back to basics

stoner move, left the front wheel
in the alley. realized it out at
the Pioneer Cemetary along Laurel Run.
ninja mission into the Tuscarrora w/ Buck
was aborted. Shortest commute options
weighed on the drive back to town. Snag
the wheel from the alley grass quickly
parking at Marsh Run, then smoothly
grooving up to Hammond's Rock via old
school Spruce Run, 10:15ish.

Beer & sammy break at the Vista/Canyon split
maybe hooking up w/ Philly posse on the move,
no signs, so drop it like it's hot for quick photo
sesh into Canyon. squish.
Up Blue blaze to Fox Trot and roll
the sweetest finishing ridge descent
in Meeshow, imho.

Springtime Marshes.Short but sweet holidaze blowout. Blurry-ed focus
along Ridge Rd Enduro to Gretel & Hanzel and testing
ghetto tubeless on the Lollipop plunge. Mad Scientist
brewed up some wickkkkked bermed out fixy love,
new heartrate gizmo logged me a max of 198 in there
somwhere, huh. Brilliant euphoric sensations for a bit, wish
Pedro had had the helmet cam......then the hands
fell apart and had to kick it back before finishing with some
Roman Candle escalante' on Fegley to a back track on
the just give 'er enduro love. Sweetly timed 100% focused
uphill log hop set the tone for paring it all down to just
traction & breathing, Ridge Rd was a welcome sight.
Tastey chicken and enough beer drinking to bring a sunburn
wraps up that first step into the next phase.

mmmmm, neopolitan icecream.


moving on.

getting things sorted out, writing it down helps.
not much time to dwell though, time to climb.

Spring is happenin'!

happy garden:

mooooooooo.purrrrrrple.pain cave?heading home.shhhhhhh.


used to be a racer

big events like last wknd leave a lot for the mind to chew on.
leaves a lot to wrap the head around.

why choose the rigid one speed?
why not the squishy comfy Dos Niner?

you'd think that maximizing the fun would warrant that choice. why minimize effective fun levels by choosing what appears to be the least effective tool.

big mtn ss'ing requires a bit of an off kilter approach. mellow social parade climbing with the bunch doesn't happen. solo off the front tempo climbing or slumming off the back in a 20mph spun out haze trying to keep contact on the road transfers. Missing out on the relaxing social time, only to be LoneWolf parade KOM chumpion when the earth tilts again. Regrettably, it's a selfish endeavor when cruising with a group.

Then, instead of reaping the glory of buff singletrack descending love, it's jackhammer time and excessive focus just to keep things in check, all while getting dropped. Find my own flow and maximize that instead. Fade to the back, mini sessions with friends before giving it up and letting them by.

Answering the question, "Is it possible?"

sure, anything is possible.

that was proven by the true pioneers of our sport, wayyyyyy back
in the day, when these modern gadgetary options didn't even exist.

"Is it possible, for me?"
"Do I have it in me?"

I remember Tim saying that when he first rode the Shen100 fixed, that he got into the best shape of his life to do it. That's one of the reasons it took a couple years to build to my first attempt. To even consider an attempt, after hearing that from someone that you hold a lot of respect for.

During conversation last wknd, Jake asked if I'm fitter than ever before. at 38, I dunno, I guess. I don't have the gadgets to quantify that. I don't really 'race' enough nowadays to post the results to mark a trend, to see where I rank amongst my peers. I'm still able to log that token win/podium each year, that's a good sign. My personal best 100 miler time is 9:13, on gears at the Shen100 about 4yrs ago. Now I'm trying to better that on a fixed gear, and getting oh so close..

So, maybe I am 'better than ever.'

The dilema, how to quantify, how to measure 'progress'.....I used to be a racer. That ego still likes to be fed, still likes to talk shit, obviously. Results and placings once mattered, still do in different ways, or at least had some sort of value attached. But I was never a 'sponsored racer' type, so what value was there to those results? Beating the privateer drum, writing just another dime a dozen underdog story. Nowadays, 'racing' for 20th or 30th doesn't do much for me, so why bother?
Just another pint glass, I have a cupboard full.

So, why not dance to my own rythmn? Continue my quest for whatever it is that I'm questing. Show what can be done with the bare basics in this day and age of excess. Remove the technological aid, so the only thing to blame is the motor. Get down to the roots, pare it down, make it as pure as possible.

Just pedal tha damn bike, and whoever pedals the hardest, the fastest, wins.

Just pedal the damn bike.

9hours, I'm gonna make you my bitch.



Rich & I entered a contest,
to get into a bike race.

We weren't chosen as finalists.
We made clear our intentions to do
the damn thang fixed.

I thought, of course, that we had a
pretty damn entertaining and not too
boastful letter of intent. The thought
was that we had to present our palmar'es
in order to ease any fears that we
wouldn't be able to finish the event.
I thought we did that in a creative and
not toooo racer boy way to at least get
a shot at the public vote.

Didn't happen, didn't make the cut.
I wonder why? Maybe we didn't fit
the criteria, being more racing circus
sideshow pals vs super buddy wknd
warrior riding partners. Maybe they
didn't want to risk a sweet prize package
on two fixed gear kooks who they assumed
wouldn't be able to finish their catered
event.....who knows.

leaves bitter thoughts.

last wknd brings new strength.
now wheels are turning. what to do?
what to do? what to do?

Put on a show.


Jabber.....of course.

Fixed....and chase that 9hr dragon.

or Free?
Free......free, free, free. hhmmmm,
that should put the fkear in ya.
I might have a point to make in a
week and a half. gettin' hungry.
might even throw the Reba on
the Jabber, see how she likes the
squish. maybe it's time to come
out from the shadows, for a bit.

beyond all that and backtrack a bit;
Harlan sent me, by request, a handful of
pictures from last wknd, I think they're
a quick Cliffnotes version of the ss S-D-S
and this one by Chris:
makes it all worth it,
thanks again everybody.


"big boy survival"

is the phrase from the invite that was stuck in my mind all wknd.

first, huuuuuge thanks to everybody.

everyone involved in this wknd rocks. ya'll kick ass, especially the behind the scenes crew; Carri, Julie, Misty, Sarah and evil mastermind Mumbles and the crew that heads out each spring to open up portions of the route.

S-D-S was a hoot.

I'm whupped.
75 with 14k+ on Saturday in 9:15/12:20 elapsed.

Played the role of lone wolf singlespeeder amongst the 20ish strong peleton. Found that tempo climbing pace early, and kept it in check for the most part. Gotta keep those matches dry, knowing that the normal end of the ride is only half way today, just a quarter of the wknd.

Early start.

Views were insane.
Descending Dowell's was a good warmup/introduction to the now coastable Jabber, interesting. Lots of questioning the decision not to swap the Reba over from the Salsa, 20+mph on the trail is a bit different than the 15ish max usually seen with her fixed, and the rear brake is an interesting component. Working the SMT at a smooth conversational pace with Jake was a good groove. Carp's first broken bike, four zip ties got him across the SMT and down ze mountain.More learning for me down Jerkemtight, incurring a front flat. Spotted a beautiful eagle while rolling along the Bullpasture with Sue and a banged up Mathew. Lunchbreak, 6ish hours in. Carp gets a bike change, I get more single solitude either OTF or OTB to mythical Little Mare. Fuck. That. was. tough. The rippin' descent off of Brushy made it all a distant memory though. Finally started to get comfortable with big mtn speed again. Streams were runnin'.With Carp now a singlespeedin' freak like me after tearing up his 2nd bike on the manicured trails of Little Mare, and the clock rolling thru 12 hours, there was no major push to head up Middle Mtn. I didn't like the prospect of possibly another hour plus push a bike, so I opted out with the majority, following a Bo'yes led train for a bit of flowy desert along the fisherman's path. Only 5 threw down for the extra credit, but all rolled into Creasey about an hourish or so after us with big fat grins. Much food and caring for battered bodies ensued. Slept like a rock, then up at 7, kick it into zombie gear up mode, throw down a big breakfast and departing 8:30ish, rolling up thru Douthat Middle Earth to Beards. Poz getting ready for BC. Surprisingly able to ride a couple of those incredible switchbacks, so the legs have rebounded kinda well. Bye Bye Middle Earth. Dropping off of Beards was holy smoking pure benched tight pitchy off camber tackiness puckertude, along with some loamy piney love. Wow. Old Man Freeride gets his carve on. Two hour session of roadiness spinnin' with many a helpful push to keep me in the group at 20+mph, thanks guys. Lunch break at about 4hrs, one final incredible spread along the scenic Calfpasture. Rolling out at 4:20 elapsed, decision time. Elliot's taunts me, I thought I had 'til Deerfield to make the call. Body felt hollow before lunch, and bailing was heavily considered, lots of out loud options debated with those in the know, gathering beta. Feeling kinda better now with a rest and food and travel partner Cheryl is game for whatever. So we make the immediate right hander with the group and bid Jake adieu as he heads off for some Jake time along the valley roads and the long commute home to Joisey.
Plug in the speakers and tempo it to more meaningless KOM points up to the left towards Elliots. Weather has been crisp all wknd. Breezey sun on Saturday, cloudy breeze today, ridgeline temps are feeling like hi 50's. Sunday started out sorta damp with a rolling out shower first thing, then cleared for a bit thru the morning, eventually clouding up as we hit Ramsey Gap. Heading towards Elliots, we learned about the spontaneous nature of mountain weather and were all reminded what it's like to be really fucking miserable while riding your bike. A windy 50ish degree all but downpour pouring rain soaked everybody to the bone. Sam volunteered and was charged with the mission of getting up ahead to build a fire.
Cold, wet and kinda scared, I kicked it into survival mindset, getting up the trail whenever the opportunity presented itself, just in order to keep the motor running. Getting to Elliot's turned into a one foot in front of another shivering cold slumtown slog. But once there we had breaking cloud teaser sunshine and a top secret hot air plume along with Sam's mtn man skillz to get us somewhat warm and dry before cashing in a bit of what we just earned. Haven't been down Elliot's in a few years. Holy wowie zowie! Really getting into sync with the flow and pace of the rigid, the Sun began to pop here and there and the benchy scree was confidence inspiring gravity induced luv. Bouncebouncepoploftdriftbounceloftpowerbrakeoomph and awwwww yeahhhhh! What cold miserable rain? Then the hike a bikes of Crawford and a 30sec too late chance to see a bear up around the fourth one. Harlan and Reubane said it was pretty cool. Clamber up the fifth hike a bike, then bombing down Chimney hollow, holeshot dibs to the 4 for 5 club. Take a Press Pass at the turn and scared Carp a bit setting up the photo shoot. Sam too.More more more how fast do you wanna go singletrack.And then it's back to reality for the final climb up Dowell's. Not as bad as expected. Riding more than hiking, would be plenty ridable if not at hour 23 of 24. Perfect headstart gap as the group catches me at the final stop overlook, then bomb it on down and back to camp, but not before rolling up on a trailside Whipporwill in the fading light. Saw it flutter around a bit once flushed, but things were kinda blurry at that point. Punched out on Sunday with 70 on the odo and another 14K est, 8:55/12:05 elapsed. Dropped off Cheryl at 1ish in the am as the big city gangstas rolled in for the overnight crash and finally stepped thru my door 2am.

Thanks again to everybody involved, you are all special people.

Will get more pics up on the Smug, also saw Harlan, Bo'yes and Mumbles sporting their picture boxes.....



keeps you honest.
lets you know when.

the Jabber looks like this,
but just thru the wknd.

why? I have my reasons. this:
& this:(thanks Boyes.)

the fabled S-D-S.

another step into new territory.
some familiar terrain involved,
some not so much.

how deep does the well go?

Was tired last wknd, tacho not
winding up. because of the fear?
subconcious self preservation
keeping that powder dry? or
genuine from all the work since
March? few small scattered breaks,
but the load has been consistant.

so, minimal riding this week. trying
to read the signs, and not seek the
bailouts on the map.

this ride scares me.

other scarey things, help fight a good fight:
HERA Women's Cancer Foundation
please throw some love Sam & Elk's way,
feel good about doing something!!!
win an IF fork! race for free!
win the best freewheel out there!
Here's the info: BikeReg Raffle


sellin' out.

started another project a few weeks ago. Saturday
was go time after a sweet post rain sticky clean
BlueBLaze-Narrows session with Jake. tomato and pepper starters from Jackie, sowed in some
carrots and lettuce, onions and broccolli. Wonder how this
chilling rainstorm will affect it all?

Sunday ridin', lots of this as usual:

Unfortunately led to some of this, Pedro found a tree:Buck put some ooomph into it, better than before, bit of fine tuning, we kept moving. Man I love it here. so does this little guy, Huck Gettier:

and this was on my doorstep today, thanks guys!

more later.......