Monthly Archives: December 2010

This has been a great break for me, and it ain’t over yet.

I rode some new terrain at Robinson Preserve in Manatee County, and Alafia River State Park (full review to come). I ate Stone Crab Claws and swapped books with my momma, and stared out to sea for an hour at my favorite windy beach where the cold winter water shines like a polished suit of armor. I attended a yoga class where I was related to every single person in the room. I enjoyed a chicken salad at grandma’s swank retirement community and admired her fancy manicure. I caught up with the left fullback from my first soccer team (The Blue Sharks, we went 0-10). It wasn’t the left fullback’s fault, she always did a good job. I walked the old 5k course at Highland’s Hammock- the scene of my victory in the 1980 10 and under category. I laid down in commune with armadillae. I left a few more lbs of butter on the trail. I lobbed a pitching wedge shot that plopped 2 feet from the cup and it made the sound the pros make when they plop lobs. My brother did the same from 200 yards further away, but this is my blog so we aren’t talking about that anymore. I spent last night with one of my oldest friends and some favorite relatives playing remember when and as often as not I did not remember when or pretended to have no knowledge of the incidents for which I was being impugned (lots of references to parachute pants.) Now I am loading up and rolling north in my mobile toy box, the GMC Safari- which carried my mother 40,000 international miles before it carried me. I could be riding at Santos by noon, and throwing wood on the fire at Bard Owl Plantation tonight, or I could be home in my own bed by 8:00 P:M. I could be riding San Felasco tomorrow morning or climbing my first tree using non-injurious passive anchor techniques. I could be anywhere, doing anything, as long as it is a tank of gas away.

For 2011 all I ask is more of the same, and maybe a little more.

Happy Hew Year Y’all! Don’t take no for an answer.


A Date with Density

Will tomorrow be the day I finally rendevous with Alafia River State Park? Many times I have driven within 50 miles of it to east or west. Something always happens, unless something doesn’t happen. Either way I end up with a fresh justification, rationalization, or excuse. Here I am a Florida native, a mountain biker, and a professional traveler who has found and ridden Butt Park outside Jackson, MS and I have yet to ride what many would rate the #2 trail system in Florida. I can find the time to dally out to the likes of Hannah Park in unrelenting stop and go traffic. I have ridden the 4.5 mile single track behind Troy State University in Dothan, AL. Two summers ago I stopped in Macon, GA and rode the Orphanage trail in 103 degree heat. It is probably 3 miles long and not close to the interstate at all.

Yet Alafia eludes me. Tomorrow might be the day. The weather is ideal. I have to go within 15 miles of the trails to get to a scheduled appointment. I have plenty of time to get there and ride everything I am able to ride. I am fit. I am motivated.

It could be the day.


Hold Steady

2010 knocked the wind out of me so indulge me if I need a few days to pass it through my psycho-alimentary canal. This, the Year of the Snuggie in Subsidized Time (2010 b.s.) still has a few days left to continue the re-education it has provided for so many of us. I, for one, have learned my lessons well.



All right, tell it like it is– what was the best and what was the worst of 2010? Movies, music,books, meals, events personal and public, what needs to be celebrated or derided before the clock runs out on 2010?


Pontius Maximus

This is a picture of me as a child standing next to my blue ribbon winning turkey I raised for an FFA project. I named him Pontius Maximus and I used the money I earned from selling him to pay off the mortgage on my grandparents’ old farmhouse that the bank was trying to steal. That is all beside the point. I pulled this picture out of the family album because I needed a good representation of what 35 lbs looks like, because 3 days ahead of schedule I got my Christmas wish and clocked in 35 lbs lighter than I was on October 2nd. Good old Pontius Maximus. I hope he had a nice life with the Turkey Circus that bought him at auction.

Now it is over 60 degrees and the sun is shining. After I hit send on this post I am out the door and headed to the trails. There’s no time to waste today if I’m going to ride, make my tee time, and still get to yoga by 5:30 P:M.

The holiday schedule can get so hectic!



It is a relief to get back to the mindless logging of bike rides on this site. During the summer of 2010 (hereafter referred to only as the Darkness) I ventured into psycho-analysis, just plain psycho-ness, religion, politics, dental hygiene, viking revenge fantasies, role-playing scenarios, geopolitics, practical and theoretical lexicography, and H8ing on most anyone and anything that stepped into my jaundiced cross-hairs.

Now? Things are much better under my new regiment, I mean regime, no-regimen actually. Much better. So let’s recap what is going on around here.

The 86 list

Sugar in all its evil forms
Flour/Wheat (occasional slice of Ezekiel 4:9 is the exception)
various and assorted non-supportive individuals
Processed meats
3 squares a day

And now let’s take a look at the Wellness Team

Yoga- Started as a way to fill two nights with something other than wine, Yoga is now a cornerstone of my program. I do it in the car, on hotel floors, and standing in lines. I’m even doing it right now.

Brown rice
Greek Yogurt- who knew the Greeks made such good yogurt?
5-6 meals a day
Mint tea
Tomatoland Produce on Thomasville road. (Love ya TL!)
TKM (secret healing practice)
Vitamin D
Highlands County Wellness Camp
Holmes Beach Resort and Spa
Jake Gaither Municipal

Results after 90 days- I have lost enough butter to carve a butter sculpture (a turkey maybe?) I am enjoying reading Infinite Jest- a tome that intimidated me for years (turns out it is just a book)and I am riding stronger than I can remember since I began this blog 16 years ago. I haven’t had the chance to take it to the extreme and log any huge mileage days, but for now- I’m pretty happy.

There is nothing easy about self-exile, but you can’t argue with results. Me though? I’m going to stay humble, grateful even, that the Great Magnet has chosen me for this regeneration, and I see no need to stop now.

Namaste Y’all


My very own personal ray of sunshine

That’s what I found yesterday in the middle of a cool, drizzly ride out to the landbridge and back. Just a single spot of blue sky and a ray of sun banking off the railroad berm. I admired the beauty of it for a moment as I rode on past, then I realized my mistake and returned. I hacked my way through the smilac and kudzu husk into the crepuscular glow. I tried to get into that empty mind place, el pizarro en blanco, and I kind of did, for a few seconds. Mainly though I thought about just what a miracle it was to be sweaty in a chill dusk air riding my bike at all.

We all have a sunbeam out there somewhere, just for us.


Body Count

Another friend suffered a near-catastrophic injury a couple of weeks ago. I refrained from writing about it until the pins and screws were placed in his wrist and his memory was partially restored. This time it was a 12 foot free-fall interrupted by some cold concrete. Lucky for him he hit some large beams and a table saw on the way down, which helped orient him into a non-neck breaking position. He was sleepwalking at the time so we have no clear forensics on the accident. The dogs licked up the blood leaving scant evidence. This fellow is notably more hale than your average 40+ office pogue and so with broken wrist and an open wound in his head he climbed back into the loft and tried to go back to sleep.

He found sleep to be elusive.

Now he is resting comfortably with some serious hardware and a new appreciation for ambulating un-somn-.

This brings the 2010 body count to an impressive level. I can’t remember this much carnage since the summer of 1991, and most of that was the same person (Darin).

We still have a couple of weeks left in 2010 so it is not too late to take your lick and be counted. As far as I know, the stats look like this-

The Torso -broken shoulder (Acromion dislocation) I think + unspecified internal injuries. Cadillac Trail.

Myself- Well documented dislocated shoulder, broken humerus. Skateboard.

Sasquatch- multiple broken ribs- road bike/ recycling bin.

Wrecking Ball- just read about it here.

GM/Bird- aforementioned sleepwalker.

I think I am leaving someone out, but that is enough that if I had a point to make it would be made by now.


Take Five

I am so busy with work this week that I have not been confronted with the choice of going outside to ride my bike, walk, golf, disc golf or anything else. By the time I am free to act like an independent being, or at a minimum enjoy the ornate constructs of denial in which I have long invested, it is dark and cold. If not for my humble yoga mat I would be stalled out completely.

Oh well, if I were not so busy of course I would be out there, riding away, enjoying the brisk 17 degree air. By complete coincidence my schedule opens up tomorrow as the temperatures relent and rise to 70 degrees.

This is a good post. Nothing controversial, takes advantage of time honored niceties, a couple of unnecessary nouns (constructs?) it really is everything one looks for in a blog post don’t you think?