pedals, not planks.

Went to the WV for the wknd,
good times at the Canaan MTB
festy. Great to see the wintertime
mtn clan, always good times.

The commute down, wierd
to not have snow to contend
with, but those fucking deer
will keep you on your toes...
happy to arrive in time for
the tail end of Icebox movie

Saturday, reunion time at the
venue, BlackWater Bikes, then
off on the big adventure ride,
led by Suzy & Chaga. Rode
stuff I've never ridden before,
and stuff that that noone else
has ridden before, good vibe
happening in the Valley...so
that's what's under all that
snow...good times into the
early eve, then apres', then
beer:30 & Sarianni's and pile
into the van for a trip to rock
out and catch up some more
at Mtn State in Thomas, whuut?

Sunday, solo roadie effort,
putting a fresh tic on that list.
How many years have we driven
down from Mt Storm and drooled
over thoughts of skinny tire carving
that four mile stretch of tarmac?
Was really wishin' for a big ring
along the way, and maybe a bike
with a bit more intuitive handling.
That would be a nice touch.

Was still a shwoopy big grin fun
time for sure, followed by some
sweeeet rolling fresh mtn valley
road tarmac up thru Jordan Run.
Hit most of the mini marts along
the way, not sure which would
be the last before the next stretch
of grey area, 2 bottles vs the Dolly
Sods, hmmmm.

Find the first roadside Nat'l Forest
kiosk for the Sods at the base of FR75.
Check out the map, refamiliarize
and continue to spin on down to
FR19. See the northern tip of the
Gnarly from a new perspective,
wowsers!, and figure my right
turn is coming up soon.

FR19, settle into the 36:28 and
spin on up the hill thru a corridor
of green and gravel for 30 solid
minutes. Hit one of those high
mtn meadows and take in the
glimpse of a view, qwik sugar
calories and turn pedals on
uphill on a bit more, now against
a more give and take relaxing
rolly pitch for another 40ish minutes.
An hour-plus climb? been a while..

Hit the top, start rolling out the
ridge to the north, and suddenly
begin feeling really small and
exposed. Kind of a weird place
up there, so I sat down on a warm
rock and ate some cookies for a
snack break, marveling at how out
of whack my sense of distance had

Pointed the bike back towards
Laneville and rolled down one
insanely nice fireroad descent
for a road bike. Packed tacky
clay w/ narry a stone or rippled
wash along its entirety, save for
one spot at the top that required
a qwik hop, otherwise, hold your
line and let it roll. Barely even any
braking bumps, just magnifique pave'.

Of course I stopped for a looksy at
the trout stream at the bottom and
breathed a sigh of relief for getting
that bit behind me, amazing what
you can do on plain old belted 25's.
Laneville road was classique holler
riding at it's finest, sneaking a peak
at MPC in summer dress. Finish with a
shortish climb up to the Valley, and spin
her home to the IceBox.

good times. To the legs, it felt like mid
70's, clocked out w/ 6 elapsed, 12ish for
a rolling average over the 67 actually
covered. killing it!

(oh, all pics shot with the new
Pentax toy, can't wait to take it
fishin' this wknd, will hopefully
shake off the skunk I picked up
last night and get some under
water shots...fishin's been good
lately, I was due.)


getting acquainted

Went to the Allenberry Heritage Day last wknd, real good time, lots of history and talent in one place at one time, pretty neat stuff. Had on my mind that empty quiver slot for shorter 4wt, and when I came across a Duracane 704, pretty hard to walk away...especially after lining it up with the 4wt silk I just happened to have along. It's a Maxwell era rod and I've been a fan of him for a while now, partially due to T&T being here in the Cumberland Valley in their early days, homewaters and all of that......
So, figuring out where to take this rod for its first outing was a pretty easy decision, I kinda figure that those early rods were probably influenced in some way by these local waters, and breaking in this rod on this particular stream seemed to be just right. Charlie Fox mentions these waters in one of his books, and this 7' 4wt couldn't have been more at home up in the Tuscarora.

Finally had an open evening and rushed out of work on a hot and hazy day and ran for the much greener hollers over the ridge to reacquaint with a known beat and shake off the day. The occurrences of boiled & exploding waters accompanied by the wild native beauty of this spot quickly pushed all of that into the background. Plenty of quiet out there to enjoy, nice casting lanes from one spot to the next really let the 7 footer show it's legs, and picking pockets thru the braided riffles and thin plunges often surprised with a splashy take of the yellow Adams. Also saw a surprising number of yellow stones flitting about thru the evening air, this stream is always a surprise. The local brookies all showed this cranberry-ish crimson instead of the expected oranges, beautiful unique fish. The evening's 'trophy', came out of a thin little shin deep slot, a surprise for the both of us.


being graceful.

there was a dark night,
many moons ago, seeking
an adventure to Denny's,
3am on foot.

'Aim for the bright spots.'

Was the lsson I brought
home with me.

Sunday, conflicted in someways.
Riding off the back, riding my
leg searching tempo, retooling.

Sneak into the line, follow a wheel
too closey up onto that rock,
and at least try to ride it out.

Was thinking last week, spinning
around town.. "I really haven't come
off this bike in a while."

Thoughts like that mean you're due,
soon. And now soon is over, and there's
a flesh wound where there wasn't one
before. And stiff shoulders from impact
absorbtion. Damn lucky considering
Meeshow's inherent pointiness.

"Aim for the bright spot"

Lets hope that bill's been paid now,
lot of shit happens in an instant.


Evening on Big Spring

With sulphurs pretty much peaked out for the year, thought I'd head over to Big Spring and give the Letort a rest. Hit the lower end of the regulation water around 6:30ish and harassed a few large 'bows until they tired of my antics. Saw a rise under the shrubbery, tied on a #16 sulphur dun and hooked a nice fat brookie in short order. After his release, there was another rise but the sulphur dun was ignored. Tied on a goofy sparkly cdc emerger and got a take on the first drift...another nice brookie.

But these two brookies were kinda rough looking for wild fish I thought, maybe they had moved up from the stocked water which wasn't far below from where I was fishing?

Saw a few more rises here and there, so repostitioned & rerigged and ended up missing a couple takes before hooking into what would've been my big fish for the year. He took a #16 sulphur on the first drift and on that first run for safety wrapped the line around the unseen submerged sticked he was using for cover. Popped the 6x just like that, drat.

Re-rigged again, sun was getting quite low now, so worked up into some flat water where I was seeing more regular, though still sporadic rises. Eventually settled into the flow thru a set of old V dam rocks and picked up a small parr marked 'bow on a sulphur dun, but kept hearing a rather impressive gulumph at the head of the run.

Broke out the headlamp and tied on a #14 sulphur spinner. Casting on faith and feel into the darkness, heard the slurp, set into it and instantly the Hardy was singing her sweet tune. Nice fish, this one....just topping the one that had broken me off earlier. Kinda hard to get a decent pic being solo, but based on the size of my net, this 'bow was easily 19".

9:45, time for a beer, what an evening on the water!


crash course.

here comes le Tour.
in it for the long wknd,
no less, no more. (well,
maybe the proglogue too
if the travel plans allow..)

tourista survival is
name of the game.
haven't ridden three
days straight in I don't
know how long, much less
three tour stages.

this. is. gonna. be. neat.

I'm sure.

I have ridden the road bike
twice in the last five days,
mtn bike oncet, plus a simple
spin around town to seat
the fresh knobbies.


Get in one more thirty mile
road ride by Saturday, and
at least I'll have the on tap
road stage mileage in my
legs this week...maybe I'll
even get in one other ride
beyond that.

Putting the emphasis
on the Tour part of
le Tour de 'burg for
sure. If you think I've
been off the back of the
Sunday Cupcake spins....

well, you ain't seen
nothing yet.

I'll be keeping that
DFL jersey warm for
somebody, bitches.

(as long as my legs
don't turn blue.)


bike shop rant...

had to swing into my local,
in town, shop today.
not. my. preference.

but no time to drive to those I know.

was looking for a specific style grease,
for a specific job that Phil's green love
can't handle, (Hugi Star Ratchet, fyi...)

I would rant for the hell of it,
but the fresh wheel is back together now,
and I'd rather go for a spin around town.