a goal, a plan.

I'd like to see the Juniata River this wknd.

Think I'll ride from the doorstep Friday after work,
should reach Laurel Run by dark. Then on Saturday,
satisfy some curiosity along Bowers Mtn on the way
to Fowler's, then push on to East Waterford to re-up

Depending on time of day, hope there'll be time and
the legs to explore some of Blacklog Mtn, see the
Karl B. Guss picnic area, hopefully grab a bite to eat
somewhere near Lewistown, then start back home....
could be a stretch to reach that far.

Plan B, stay on this side of East Waterford and do more
extensive scouting of those squiggly lines on the map
around Fowler's and Kansas Valley. Hiked some of that
stuff years ago, not sure how good it'll be for riding.

Hope the weather forescast holds out, hi's on the 60's,
lows around 40, sunny.

still need to get a decent mileage estimate, should be sweet.



this is a good thing, bike lanes in Carlisle!!!! (maybe):

Hello, riders!

We are looking for supporters of the study to appear on October 9 at 7PM at the Borough of Carlisle Council meeting at 53 W. South Street. In particular, I want bikers to come and support the bike lanes. Council needs to be persuaded that making Carlisle bike friendly is important to the community. Bike lanes on these busy streets will certainly help.


Christopher C. Houston, Esquire
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Cumberland
114 N. Hanover Street
Carlisle, PA 17013



via the General:

kool aid

what is it about cross,
that warrants all of the media attention?

from now until World's we'll be subjected to 'cross news.

Any cross news.
Any local race series,
will have headlines in the nat'l media.

I've been to some of these 'events.'
They don't seem to draw any more people than the local mtb scene.

Actually, fewer is the impression I was left with...

They don't seem to pull in any more PRO's than the local mtb scene.

So, what's all the hubbub about?
I just don't get why 'cross is boss.'

Unless chasing around like a rat in a maze appeals to you.....

Digby says it

better than I ever could:

bullshit bailout plan.


carte blanche

clicky make big on all.
longer slideshow on the Smug
good times.



here we go, 

should be rollin' 7:20ish,
that's 4:20 in Cali.


easy enough?

rack is mounted, bike is clean and tuned.

bags are packed full and strapped down tight.

the aim is west by northwest, dawn patrol
bee line to Fowler's Hollow for a water stop, 
hit some trail of known quantity along the 
way to shake things down, then eat lunch 
maybe in Blain, hopefully East Waterford,  
would like to see McColloch's Mill and 
Willow Run from the saddle of my bike, 
but that could be a long reach.  probaly 
camp somewhere near Fowlers or down 
along Laurel Run, we'll see where the day
takes me first.  no clue what kind of pace 
to expect, other than alllll day.
mixed terrain of road, couple portions of 
fireroad climbing and cruising w/ singletrack 
linkage to figure things out, maybe some 
mellow exploration...

the setup:
On the rear Sherpa rack, in a 
waterproof OR compression sack:  
Marmot Pounder 40deg synthetic bag.
Thermarest Prolite3 pad.
Knickers w/ boxers for camp time.
Cook kit: .8L Ti kettle
MSR PocketRocket Stove
small JetBoil fuel canister.
(2) different sporks for testing.
1/2c measuring/drinking cup.
mini Salt & Pepper shaker

spare spokes taped to rack leg.

small 'Bento box" style frame bag holding
a handful of cookies, bars, & a gel. enough 
to comfortably get 6ish hours up the road.

(2) bottles of drink mix

saddle bag w/ tube and CO2's w/ shooter.

Mtn Hardwear bivy sack strapped to the bars.

In the HAWG:
shock pump
chain tool
extra length of chain
chainring bolts
SOG leatherman-ish tool.
zip ties.
duct tape around tooth brush handle
not yet worn out set of brake pads.
pack of misc bolts for rack.
Wool hat.
Tall wool socks.
long sleeve base layer.
bandanna (w/ glow in the dark constellations!)
Water purification elixer.
small bottle of soap.
small container of chamois butt'r
limited first aid kit.
toothbrush & paste.
eye/contact drops
fire starter sticks.
pak towel 
EOS led light
chain lube.
100oz bladder.
food:  Mountainhouse dehydrated beef stew,
two packs of instant oatmeal
1 pack of chocolate PopTarts
Nuun electrolyte tabs.
turned off cell phone.
camera on the shoulder strap.
Ipod in the jersey pocket.
map in a bag in the baggy shorts.

kit will be baggies over bibs 
w/ knee warmers to start.
base T, jersey, armwarmers
w/ a wind vest to hold off
the morning chill.

I left the gearing at 32:19 on the Salsa,
couldn't get the freewheels cracked loose,
not like I haven't hoofed it aplenty all ready,
so no biggy.  Probably slap the Exiwolf onto 
the rear before heading out, rolls just that 
smidge better than the MtnKing.

Looking at the load strategy, some sort of
frame bag would be nice, move the repair gear
off the back and down onto the bike, make room 
for more food/warmer clothing options as season
and journey dictate.

As it sits loaded, except for 50oz of water bottles, 
the bathroom scale shows 35lbs.  Hawg slides in 
at 14lbs, w/ a full 100oz bladder.  that's reasonable 

oh, and just added a warmish pair of gloves
to the pack, mornings have been chilly lately.

If I was a good blogger, I'd have a picture 
sequence of all the fun of figuring out the 
packing, it was an exquisite gear shuffle,
too bad you missed it, instead you got 
the tedious list..

yee harr!!!!!

catch ya on the flip, with pictures!


ya know.....

You read about and see how third world dictators loot and pilfer their country's treasure for personal use, leaving entire countries basically bankrupt or worse while they live high on the hog.  With the US now providing bailouts to the tune of $600 BILLION for just the year 2008, where's this money come from?  You read about these CEO types who are 'let go' after running these companies into the ground, and they walk away with millions, tens and 100's of millions.  They aren't tossed out on their rump with nothing.  They totally fuck up their job, shrug their shoulders and live hi off the hog while the rest of us are left to pick up, and pay for the pieces.  

Where're all these free market, pure capitalism pussies now?  Looking for a handout from all of us.  Looking for some CEO welfare, too fucking scared to practice what they preach, can't deal with the consequences.  assholes.  they game the system, lose, then still get paid.  how's that work?

And we fucking pick up the pieces.  How many more 'bailouts' can the system handle?  Is this how they bring down the US?  Is this how they "drown gov't in a bathtub"?  McCain claims he wants to 'reform gov't.'  In what respect exactly?  Bankrupt the shit out of it, then rebuild it from there, based on your bullshit theocratic authoritarian bullshit.  Reform it more to your narrow small minded incurious outlook.  Reform it to make your religious right lunatic fringe base happy?  just reform all that liberal bullshit out of there, right?  Bush/Cheney haven't gone far enough for ya?

no thanks.

it's a shame that we'll probably never see any of these liars, crooks and war criminals in a real court of law.  never see them held accountable, it won't be 'politically expedient'.  it's a shame that there are just sooo many mindless sheeple out there.  democracy is hard, it requires an informed thoughtful electorate.  otherwise we'll always be stuck with this same bullshit, year after year after year.


so, one box showed up yesterday,

thanks for the borrow on the Sherpa Rack Ralph!

qwik trip around town tonight to gather up
more hardware bits to mount the rack,
some longish M5 screws and bands. Also swing
out to Dick's to round out the kit, maybe an
extra creature comfort or two, like a mini coffee press.

Jabber due in from FedEx today, swap the 20T fw
from there to the Salsa, tune said Salsa, mount the
rack, shake it down around town.

And then dayummmm! Might be sleeping under the
stars next to my bike this wknd.....maybe set up
camp with this for the view:


"You can't do it, my friend."

ya know, I just watched video of McCain on today's morning shows, spouting about the strength of the "American Worker."

and I immediately recalled that video of him at a town hall,
telling a few folks in the audience that they don't have what 
it takes to pick lettuce for $50 an hour for an entire season 
in Yuma.  told those guys, 

"You can't do it, my friend."

what a fucking asshole.

somebody with talent should transpose that into an ad....


curtain call.

final Meeshow.

50miles of terror.
try to be a contender, 
and 'race' for an hour.
stay on the rivet for another, 
keeping Less and Topher honest.

then reality, go into denial for
until hour three.  KTM rolls by 
on a mission, I got nothing, try 
to rally later.  new sequence to
the loop, descending 4logs to 
Turtle is mega fun.  Yarnell goes by
at the bottom.  still no answer.
settle into survival mode.
survive for another 3+ hours.
I had no rally. 50miles in 6.5, 
fucking toughness out there.

time to recharge, and realllly take
a step back.  did some shopping 
over the wknd, all I need now is a rack.
And Reuban has me covered on that,
thanks man.

New adventures await.



travel day:  early start from Cheryl's, 7:30 depart from BWI.  Thru the magical tubes of airports and jetplanes, arrive RNO 1ish.  Stubbie chauffers us from the airport, we crush all you can eat sushi and bump into Erica, Mark & Harlen at Trader Joe's, neat.  Swing into the Patagucci outlet, missed the big Labor Day sale, sizes for me are either xs or xl.  Keep picking thru and cute salesgirl says, "Have you looked at the women's..."  uhhh, no, what's the difference?  

"Nothing, other than being cut with a smidge more hip room." Score!  Turns out I'm a size 16, new pair of SuperGuide pants, $29.95.  Up the hill to Truckee, retrieve Cheryl's signature requiring bike from the BackCountry and take full advantage of the Mighty Mobile service center. 

travel day 2:  hourish shakedown ride on the outskirts of Truckee.  Hit some xc trails, soil is interesting, definitely dry.  Jabber feels solid, couple efforts to see how thin the air really is.  mental note: stay out of the red tomorrow.  set the tach at about 5-10beats off normal, ride the last climb at the same tempo as the first is the goal.  Truck loaded, chill out then hit the road after a quick stop for new pedals, and donuts.  The shortcut across Yankee Jim's was pretty cool, with a bit of sketch mixed in.  First hint of incredible vistas, really sweet bridge way back up in there, crossing the North Fork of the American I think.  Then more mtn/canyon road with wandering cows, WV flashbacks for sure.  Venue is sweet, way the fuck out there.  Pre race ritual of flasks and mixing bottles for the drop.  Unknown scene out here, so I'm going with pretty much a self supported approach, figuring to only count on the aides for water and to swap my bottles.  100oz on the back, two bottles of mix and enough calories in the Ergon to get me 10hrs.  Then finally relax around the campfire and take in the mind numbing array of stars.

race day:  5am, damn, already.  shuffle around camp, not doing this out of the back of the CR-V has my routine off.  no biggy, just different.  To relax my head, been saying that 10 is the goal, just go out and ride a 10mph pace, no racing, just a fastish all day ride.  Pre-race mingling, then slot in in 2nd/3rd row, GO!  And the start is....neutral?  Really?  sweeeeeeeet.  EZ rolling tempo, relaxed conversations, Cheryl up there 2nd-third row, sser's spinning along, then we hit the gravel.  Pace starts to wind up and I'm immediately drifting back, not gonna work my legs like that, tooo early.  Hit some washboard and hit a harmonic freq that sends one of my bottles flying, 10 minutes in and I've dropped a bottle, awesome.  See Dicky up ahead, so not drifting back too bad, he's a familiar face to key off of for a bit.  There goes Rich O'Neil, not holding his wheel today though, he's movin' on out.  Finally, we make the left for the first climb.  Feels like I'm about 100ish deep now, time to get to work.  Settle in on a 167-172 tempo, and start munching carrots.  Snap some pics along the way, hook up with Stubbie after he stops to shed a layer, then reel in Cheryl for a bit, eventually the elastic stretches and they're both out of sight towards the top of the climb.  

Hourish elapsed and I get my first real experience with moondust.  The climb was dusty for sure, but nothing like the downhills.  I'm futzing with the iPod and giving up spots after cresting the ridge.  Finally get it cued up and the White Stripes are providing a nice soundtrack.  Fast fireroad descending is definitely not my strong suit, and mix in the blinding, choking, babyhead hiding moondust and I'm certainly not making anytime on these sections.  Drop in behind a group of four, and immediately pull off the trail after sucking down a lungful of dust, not quite puking.  Finally settle into a nice rythmn, finding that gap and timing moves to get around where terrain dictates less cloud producing speeds.  

2ish elapsed and we pop out onto a sweet knob.  I've hike a couple short sections to this point, legs aren't quite feeling the love.   Pre-race beta informed me that the steeper climbing is stacked to this part of the route, so I'm hoping my conservative approach pays off later.  All. Day. Long.  Snap some pics, review the safety manual, hang with Pedro for a bit, then back on it.  Hit cp21 very shortly thereafter and roll right past it.  Pass back about 15 of those that went by during breaktime.  Couple smaller hits then we're rolling downhill again.  Some fun water bars and tighter riding dual track is a nice payoff for the recent climbing.  Pass Tinker, he doesn't need anything, always nice to ask.  Slam down some calories and flip on more tunes, some live Jane's to get me up the hill.  Make the right hand turn for the second ascent and settle back into that mid-hi 160's tempo.

Carrot patch is thin this time around, some geared riders to pick off, one speeders are rare.  Finally hook up with a Cyclepath rider towards the top and keep it rolling thru the summit turn at cp35.  Roll down the pithc then situp, unsure if my blurry interpretation of the arrows was correct.....here comes Cyclepath Matt, whew....  Some nasty rollers across here, hey there's Dicky!  His bike is upside down; wassup?  "Rotor bolts, I'm good..."  These little hits across the ride are getting to me, the loss of the bottle isn't helping.  I did scavange a bottle that somebody else ejected, but not willing to test the contents.  I'm not desperate yet, but that next cp better show itself soon.  Stop to take in the view and some pics and catch my breath, Dicky has gone by, on a mission.  I'm not racing yet, still working the fast tourist approach.  Local Aaron is in need of fire, the shared company into cp41 is welcome relief and we finally make it to Robinson Flat.  

Flirting outside the four hour mark, saw Dicky mounting his steed as I rolled in, so his gap is whatever time I waste here.  There's a small leaderboard posted showing the top 30ish.  Can't comprehend it when I first get off the bike, so I go about topping off the fluids.  Fill the bladder, swap the bottles from my drop bag then take a look at the spread.  They have ice cold Coke, which easily washes down the 4 endurolytes handed up by the cute blond.  Wander over to the board, look at the watch, not quite 20 past the hour....scan the names, Stubbie is doing well, Fuzzy/DeeJay/Yuri hammering up there too, probably out of reach, but maybe not.  Oooo, there's Cheryl, just went thru about 15 minutes ago....  Roll out with Aaron and I'm quickly off the bike hoofing it, stood around the aide too long, need to get loose again.  Top of the pitch and I assist Aaron with his lack of fire.  Rolling again after the SAR Sheriffs clear the area and it's decision time, run the numbers. 

I'm on schedule for a 10ish hour ride, a 9hour effort might bet me into the running as a lingering contender.  I'm sure this field is deep, but it seems like a sub 9 timeat any of these gets you into the single digits on the finish sheet.  So, with a looooong descent ahead I settle in.  I need to cover some ground and start doing it now.  Try to keep a 20ish pace on the down, not insane monkey on crack pedaling, but instead wind it up and work the tuck, and hit every roller with mo and flow.  Catch a few here and there, then link up with two geared riders.  Back n forth for a bit and these guys need to go.  At 18mph thru the sweepers, the one dude is sketchy foot out holding on while I'm sitting in pedaling thru.  He's on his limit, I'm still in my comfort zone, these guys really need to go.  Finally a bit of an up tick in the pitch, punch it around them, and then again, and I'm once more alone.  Some Elephunk from the BEP sets the tone and the numbers are still looking good.  

Hour 6, still hitting the calories, still ticking over the pedals, legs still responding with decent sensations.  Album is over, soundtrack is rubber on dirt crunch, watching the clock, keeping an eye out for decent scenery.  Lots of vert to chew up, keep the TT mindset of the quiet place intact.  Finally roll into cp69, still good on fluids, I slow ask for beta and get the answer to a different question....keep rolling.  Track down a geared rider on the pavement, then leave him when we turn right onto the dirt.  More quiet time, then some tough riding on some abused ridgelineish jeeptrack.  Not trail, but plenty challenging, theme for the day.  Feels like I'm topping out and sure enough, looking way north I see familiar landscape way off in the distance.  Feels good to have confirmation that we're headed home.  Hit cp79 at the crossroads with around 7:30 elapsed, made up a shit ton of time since cp41 and spirits are high.  Emptied the bladder about 30 minutes ago, but still have a full bottle of mix, so I swap the empty for clean water and get out quick.  

Reassume the mindset and still have a sub 9 in my sites.  20miles of 'fireroad', with 5ish of it a fast descent, still seems doable in 1.5 hours. Settle in, comfort still found in the high 160's, turn a corner and BAM!  That's a sser up ahead, booyaa, I am pulling back into this.  3hrs of chasing is beginning to pay off.  ooo, ohhhh, that looks steep.  That's Matt from Oregon ahead of me, and looks like another onespeeder on the next pitch above him.  Matt's hoofing it, his steps look labored, go time.  Pass him on foot, setting down the "No friends on a powder day" hiking tempo.  Then close the gap to the Cyclepath dude.  

Now we're racing baby.  8ish hours and I'm trying to keep on pace for the 9.  Still enough spunk to hit these rollers with authority, the three of us stretching the elastic, give and take, give and take all the way to the earlier course split.  I keep our little group on track and get back on the front.  Change of plans and blast thru cp85, make one final dig to cp90.  Telling the legs, 20 more minutes, just give me another 20, 3ish more rollers and it's downhill spin from there.  Put these guys away now, get out of sight before cp90 and hold it down the descent.  Hit the first pitches out of cp85, don't look back, focus on what's ahead, the race is in front of you, always look forward.  Keep moving forward, legs still responding, keep you head down, work over those pedals, keep working, keep working....ok, now look back.  No one, whew, out of sight, but probably just barely.  Quick recover and then try to rock it steady, next roller....ouch, that hurt.  Check the rearview, shit, there's the Cyclepath dude.  Try to rev the motor and the lights come on, last call folks.  Elastic rebounds and he slingshots right on by, shit shit shit.  Roll the downside, hit the next one and start to go deep, look up ahead and spot Cheryl....holy shit!  Finally tracked her down, she's been hammering.  Think to give a shout, but save that breath.  This pitch is starting to hurt, really.  And I'm off the bike, hoofing it.  Man, when the tank goes dry, it really goes dry.  Top of the pitch and Matt is back and we're at cp90.  I'm shelled and totally slum that final pitch to the descent, give Matt the honors, I'm done, gave it what I could and Matt and the other fella had an answer, good times. 

Final descent sucked.  Didn't seem nearly as abusive on the two trips up.  But coming down, it crushed me, my feet have never hurt that much.  Even thought the course was all 'fireroad', it wasn't lacking in challenge.  Lots of techy focus to pick your line  most of the day, was definitely not a lazy day of pave' cruising.  Hit the bottom rollout, then finally the tarmac to the finish.  Roled it home in 9:18, 10th ss after a good battle for 8th up until cp90.  Never did catch Cheryl, she had a great day took home the big fat winner's check, well earned after an incredible season.  Homeboy Stubbie finished in 12th, damn fine showing sir.  

Apres' race scene was damn fine fun.  Once the puking sensations were relieved and a nice dip in the lake, plenty of good bbq, then did my best to aid in the emptying of the kegs.  Good 'season ender', relaxed atmosphere, good music, spectating the band from up high on the beach.  Drunken buzzed weaving starlit spin back to camp was mind numbing.  Soooooo dark, soooooo many stars, an incredible venue.  "Heyyy Bear!"  Back into camp to wind it down before crashing out next to the fire, perfect end to an incredible day.



are here.

sit back, 
hit the slideshow,


what an awesome freakin' trip.

TS100 was hard, surprisingly so.
The rest of the riding was primo fun time.
Lots of pics, lots to sort thru.
More later......


huh, what?

the hundo was good.

better legs and being able to back 
up my shit talkin' woulda made it great.
Reasonable goal was 9hrs even, figuring
an awesome day might have me flirting 
w/ 8:30, and find me in the running.  
Knowing that it's a who's who of superfast 
sser's toeing the line, a solid 9 might, might,
have me lingering on the lower podium steps.

gameplan: race the clock, and see where the 
standings fall. started by keeping Topher and 
Matt in sight, then the elastic stretched.  Spent 
most of the day groovin' back and forth w/ Andy, 
keeping the pace honest, but definitely not always
hammering it in the zone.  Spending quality time
bouncing around the top 50 with a solid group;
the Fooftown mafia, Mumbles, Mathew, Kyle!,
Richie O'Neil, the bearded dude that followed me 
down a rippin' Braley's sesh....
And, as always, awesome to spectate 
the ladies' as their race developed.

final tally, 9:08, 40th overall, 8th ss.  After 
catching Cheryl and the knee warmer dude
for the final time on the next to last pitch 
of Hanky, tore down the final descent, 
turned left, looked down and the clock read 

Two minutes, from here to there? nope.
nah gunna happin.  Talk about wind out
of the sails....I cracked so hard, it was
pathetic.  Rolling that logging road, 
dizzy in the single line, bouncing off the 
side of the rut, working with a severely
tilted horizon.  I got dropped by the guy
I descended with, and passed by the 
mystery white sleeve singlespeedr along
the way to the campground, giving up 
1:20ish and :50ish over those last two 
miles.  Cheryl almost caught me coming 
thru the campground, I heard brakes
behind me in Shanty Town, so rolled it
sharp across the courts before turning 
around, saw the Trek kit and luckily
she enjoyed her victory a bit, otherwise
I woulda been 41st place.

now I need to pack my shite, hustle 
down to casa de Sornson to crash on 
le Turtle and Lee's couch before early 
am BWI departure for the final leg of 
the NUE Tour '08.  Time to find out 
how it's done out there.  going out
for the scenery as much as the racing 
action, but 75miles of fireroad makes
one wonder about things not really 
considered again until recently...there is
still an itch to scratch, and post race
chat with Wikiwikiwiki was encouraging.

somebody's got to do it, but gametime 
decision for sure, other things to factor.