Monthly Archives: August 2005

Time for the Saints to get Marching

Who will save New Orleans? Biloxi? Gulfport?

I made a vow not to bring the BRC into this, but as a southerner, it is just too much to get your head around. The Quarter gone, and sinking deeper by the hour? Should I load up and go pick some random family out of a Red Cross shelter and bring ’em home? We could be grilling burgers and drinking bloody marys by tomorrow if I did. A nice idea, but those things never work out like you expect.

Trust me on that one, but still, I feel sick.

Please consider the excellent dialogue going on below the pizza to be active and welcoming new perspectives on fate, destiny, moving, friends, and bike rides. It seems most relevant.

You know you are homesick when…

You live in Queens, NY and you use grits to dust your gourmet pizza crust instead of cornmeal.

This was done recently by my friend Mel (not his real name) while he was cooking up some homemade pie in his NYC hipster flat. Those of you who are familiar with Mel (Once again, not his real name) should take this opportunity to encourage him to exercise the 1 year plan, which has him back in Tally with a new Moots FS by February 06. The 2 year plan, which is ridiculous, involves staying in the city, saving more money, completing some sort of “schooling” and then returning to Tally, at which point we will have completely forgotten him and both of his plans. I mean, I appreciate his pragmatic approach to work, education, and a panic-free retirement, but really, who has a plan that lasts a whole 2 years into the future? I hesitate to commit to a weekend outing. What if something else comes up? (Not that anything ever does).

I would like to hear from some of you who may have a better vantage point than a single 35 y/o Man (with a capital M fuckin’ A right!) who has no savings plan, still rides a hardtail, and plans on working at a bait shop during “retirement”.

Dr. Detroit? Mrs. Dr. Detroit? Squatch? Squawtch? Hi-Tops? Sascha?(You can relate to the “first day of the rest of my life” dilemma), All the rest of you lurkers, shirkers, and overpaid office workers?

The choices for Mel (Not his real name) are clear.

NYC, a fat salary, and no bike vs. Tallahassee, ?(definitely less) salary, a sweet Moots, and some friends who appreciate him more than they let on.

I’m trying to use this site responsibly, so you be the judge.

1 year plan or 2 year (dumb) plan.

Juancho (Not his real name)


Well, we been through quite a few tough scrapes in our day, but this time I don’t know. I think our numbers have done come up. It looks like we’re trapped by some real tough hombres out there. I’m afraid we may never ride again.

You see up on that ridge? That’s Roadbike Rex, he’s been known to keep quite a few mountain bikers out of the cross country saddle.

And over there? Under that rock? That there is Careerface Carter. He don’t take kindly to nobody trying to squeeze in a ride when there’s work to be done, you know, of the paper shuffling sort.

Over here on our east flank is Ace Apathy. Shit, ol’ Ace, he don’t need no damn reason. He will just as soon shoot ya’ as watch you throw a leg over the saddle.

Right down there, blocking our getaway route is Humidity Harold, and being a big fella, he just likes to kind of drape hisself over your shoulders and drag you down.

Nope, it looks like our little wagontrain has done circled up for the last time.

It’s every man for himself now.

Juancho-lightin’ a shuck!

The 2 Year Plan

I need your help.

Some of you may remember my bro M&M, who currently lives in the borough of Queens, in NYC. He is a bit of a pragmatist. After spending 5 or 7 years making it happen in the big city, he is ready to move back to a real proving ground, Tallahassee, FL.

Here is the problem…

When the levee breaks

Artist- Paul Thorn

The bloggers’ union threatened to revoke my card if I didn’t write about the Hurricane which is currently baptizing New Orleans. I can’t think of a city more overdue for a cleansing. Sometimes, if you refuse to go to the river, the river comes to you.

It’s a shame really. Few places evoke the spirit of the BRC like New Orleans. Fried merliton, steaming plates of etouffee over rice, more than a few dangerous connivers, and a ragtime trumpet wafting somewhere over the pee-drenched streets in a hot pre-dawn Sunday morning along the Mississippi river.

The crawdads belong in the pot, and instead they are now swimming leisurely through the kitchens, exploring Bourbon street from the other side of the table.

I am truly surprised that I have not heard any Sodom and Gomorrah type damnations. New Orleans, city of sin and vice. Gambling, prostitutes, hard drink, gluttony, lasciviousness of every kind, and not a single Christian Conservative willing to stand up and declare it to be God’s will? Cowards. They finally get served the lob of the century and they are afraid to swing the bat.

Meanwhile, we get more hot, muggy weather. Tallahassee is the eternal hurricane bridesmaid.

Summer is over, a canceled check. Students are back. The pace of life in Tallahassee has assumed the busy, everyone needs to be everywhere flow, and all that remains of the summer of ’05 is the heat. Powder is still at large in the Rockies, so for him at least, the idyll continues.

I’m ready for a cool dry wind, carrying the hoarse cries of 80,000 football fans, as I roll out of the house for an all day ride.


Urban Riffs

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

-Henry Valentine Miller

6:00 P:M -Still hot as hell-

For just a minute I stood there with my hand on the Bottechia, thinking maybe I would stick to the neighborhood and spin some crit style laps around the Beautiful Circle. Smooth, wide turns on a 53 tooth chainring, something totally different for a change.

Then I wiped my lipstick off and got on my real bike.

The natural line out of the neighborhood falls right down into the old cemetery at the end of Martin Luther King Jr. drive. A Chevy Blazer with VFW tags sits idling with the windows up, the driver, a lone old man paying his respects from inside, to who?

A young guy, I recognize him from the coffee shops, rides ahead of me with his dog, burnished red and shaggy, on a leash. The dog pulls up to catch a scent and dude makes a lurching bail save with a swing of his leg over the bars. Down he goes, but no harm done.

Onto campus and the run I have ridden 100 times or more. Start at the fountain, into the corner drop over the manhole cover, if you hit it right the world falls beneath you then catches you again in the secure palm of her hand. Up and over, through the hedge, squeeze between the bench and the emergency rape prevention phone, down again, carve it back deep to get under the Magnolia and hit the little hip jump that spits you out towards the business school.

Stairs, sets of three, four, eight, and twelve, whatever you want. Just sit back and hold lightly, stay off the front brake. still I can feel it in my wrists like I never did before.

A flash of yellow and red. Its a dude on a fixed gear, with a big messenger bag. A poser, but one with good taste, maybe poser is not the right word, his look is so 1979 NYC messenger he is more like a tribute band to the old school (older than me school anyway). Of course I run him down . He marks me as I get within 50 feet and he stands up and goes. He’s got no gears so there are no surprise moves, just pushing pedals as hard as we can. I imagine it is like fighting with axes vs. swords. I get on his wheel, but I can’t visit long, “So nice to make your acquaintance, I have to go push my aorta back down my throat, very well then!”

Sorority Rush- Ponies prancing, makeup melting in the heat, hoping to be accepted, have your life all spelled out before it gets going. Still, some pretty fine young ladies out and about this time of year. I may be grouchy, but I ain’t crazy.

1997 Jamis Durango, rusty color, white rock shox, no mistaking it, my brother’s old bike. It isn’t the one that was stolen, but the recent trade-in. It now belongs to Katie, wide-eyed and brand new to town. She said she already took it to Munroe trails. I assume she means Munson Hills. Great, she will probably be passing me out there in another month, on a bike I helped rebuild. She paid $250, which is sweet because that more than covers my brother’s balance on the new ride. she asks me what the bike was worth when it was new. I told her adjusting for inflation, probably $500, which would be like a $900 bike today. I have no idea what any of that means, but she likes it. I want her to be happy. she tells me to tell the guys at the shop she’s taking good care of it. This will no doubt spur a run of the most vulgar sort of comments before everyone retires to the shop porch for a smoke and more lewdness.

Time to go clean up for poker night, and the hill climb up through Frenchtown, the historically black neighborhood, of which I am a proud fringe neighbor. City league football practice is gearing up, it looks like the first day. A man my age, thirties, in a shirt and tie is throwing passes under the 90+ degree sun to pairs of 7-9 year olds. I know he would say it is about respect. I can see by the all eyes on him posture of the line of boys that he gets it. I feel nostalgia sweep through me. I don’t know if it is because I remember what it was like to be him, or if I remember being like the boys, at practice-paying attention and waiting in the heat.

Back up MLK Jr. Time to eat, change, go big or go home.



Back of the Bus

I may be wrong, but it seems my new feature, “Great Enemies of Moderation” is causing some of my pro-moderation allies great concern for my health and well-being. I am touched, truly touched.

They need not worry.

I am just drawn to the bad kids. I always have been. It’s not about the self-destruction, although that is a sadly common side effect of the rebellious spirit. I like to challenge traditional values and mores, not because I disagree, but because it disgusts me, absolutely disgusts me, to see them go unchallenged. If you take the moral high ground and prevail, good for you, but if you climb up on that log, be sure you have what it takes to stay, because I’m coming after you.

One person’s common sense is another person’s cowardice.

We are all balancing our risks against potential rewards.

Juancho- Thug 4 Life

Great Enemies of Moderation presents

Elvis Presley 1/08/1935 – 08/17/1977

Go ahead and get your fat jokes out of the way. Tell me the one again about how he died on the crapper. Maybe you want to blather on about how he stole the black man’s music? Sure there were sleeping pills, bennies, black beauties, white crosses, marijuana (for his glaucoma) bourbon, and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. After all of the tired cliches about the King have been drug around the block, you have to face the facts.

Elvis’ voice was better the year he died than it ever was before. Forget the young vs. old debate, old Elvis clearly rocked harder-scars and all. He loved his mama, Jesus, and Bruce Lee. He was deputized by Richard Nixon. He once karate kicked a violent, charging fan off the stage in Madison Square Gardens (1968).

In 1991 I stood in line with tens of thousands of fans from around the world in a candlelight vigil through Graceland. I met them all, Biker Elvis. Gay Elvis. Gay, Japanese, biker Elvis, you name it. That crowd was pure Elvis love, and it rocked me.

So hats off to Elvis Aaron Presley, the kid from Tupelo, who could sing pretty good, a great enemy of moderation.

If I can dream- Juancho

I will ride my bike as much as I want.

As a general position of temperance I understand the notion of “moderation” completely.

I understand it to be a general avoidance of gluttony for, according to the saying-“everything”.

Another way I have heard this expressed is, “Enough is as good as a feast”.

Well, isn’t that just a sweet little homespun homily.

Living within a culture that celebrates ravenous gluttony while muttering, “Everything in moderation” out of the corner of a ham-stuffed mouth is just a bit much for me to take. Moderation is, and always has been, an object for derision in this country.

Think Jimmy Carter, ” We can all wear sweaters in the house to save electricity during the energy crisis.” Fuck you country boy, it’s a new morning in America, time for you to go.

Ralph Nader? Pantywaist.

Carpooling? For total losers.

Bicycle commuting? Get away you poor, sweaty, freak.

There is no phenomenon of, “Girls gone moderately wild”.

Manifest Destiny did not mean “Stop at the Mississippi River” or “Whoa, there’s some people already living there.”

Maybe it is just in my nature to dwell on the inconsistencies, but you can’t just explain them away. Who among us is free of gluttony in this culture? If you are, then congratulations, although it seems you may be over-indulging in moderation.

Consider some of the things we celebrate, and appreciate–

Lance Armstrong- Nobody said, “Come on Lance, 6 is the record, you proved your point, show some class.”
Really big vehicles.
Silicone implants
“This house is just an investment to make some money before we buy our real home.”
The Big Bertha Driver
6+ inches of full suspension travel
New, long-lasting flavor
Anti-aging cream
2 for the price of 1
My partner doesn’t accept me for who I am, “Why should I be the one to change”.
“Self-help” books rather than “help others” books.
Hot dog eating contests rather than fasting contests.
John Goodman’s comedic brilliance

I am not pointing any fingers here. I can say with some surety that I am down with half of the things on that list. All I ask is if you are a preacher of the “everything in moderation” tenet, please consider what the statement is actually advising…

What if the civil rights protests of the 1960’s were exercised in moderation, like maybe every other Thursday in the Summer, you know, when school was out?

What about your desire to love someone? If you have a partner, do you love them moderately or fanatically? How do you want to be loved?

What if Louis L’amour wrote western tales in moderation? I would have finished them all years ago, and that would suck.

What if Cassius Clay aspired to be “The Moderatest”?

What if NASA had thought, “Oh I don’t know, 1/2 way to the Moon is pretty darn far enough, we don’t want to show off”.

I realize there may be some of you out there who disagree, and perhaps you can offer a poignant defense of moderation, but luckily you never write anything, so I think my argument is safe. In an ongoing project to explore this issue I will be developing an “Enemies of Moderation” feature that will post at least as Haphazardly as the “Clydesdale Hall of Fame”. Please feel free to submit your favorite over-achieving, excessive, people, places, or things for consideration through the comments section (It is quite easy, anonymous, and non-intrusive to your personal life) or by contacting the host at

Juancho-turn me up and rip the knob off.