There is nothing better to recapture the court of public opinion than kittens eating ice cream. Aren’t they cute?
Bring on the Home Depot, the new hospital, the sprawl clear to Woodville.
I can always move to Reddick.
The following excerpt from another blogger represents one man’s dream for a more organized, developed mountain bike culture- in Serbia. He also claims the term “freebiking” as an original Serbian word, and perhaps it is.
Cycling in the West has reached cult proportions. There are
lodgings for cyclists, marked tracks leading through picturesque areas, hundreds of kilometres long in some cases, tourist packages for cyclists, printed brochures… Not to mention the availability of equipment. Here, for now, there is nothing. But let’s make it happen.“
Although he currently lacks suspension, titanium, goo, and marked trails I would caution him to be careful of what he wishes for. Serbian freebiking, and the pioneer status it now holds, will likely be as good as it gets. Every ride an adventure. Every repair a mechanical triumph.
Over here “in the West” on the other end of the spectrum where we have such things as printed brochures and availability of equipment- the squeeze is on. The adventure must be redefined by ever greater epic cross country casseroles that blend the urban, the rural highway, the singletrack and the exploration of forgotten spaces of ambiguous ownership.
I readily admit a hypocritical conflict. If new trails emerge from organizational efforts I will be among the first to ride and enjoy them, but the price is higher than you may think. The truth stings. The “woods” are not yours, or rather ours. They belong to the king, and you enjoy them at the king’s leisure. Learning too much about “recreational user groups” and “establishing a previous history of access”, and equine/motorcycle/cyclist/runner interface common denominators is similar to running unheeded into the playground fence. This is no wild place. There are no “woods” anymore, there is only the “Forest”.
Ask the skateboarders. Once your town got a skate park, were you expected to only ride at the park? Did law enforcement increase at the Winn Dixie parking lot and the middle school? Were you expected to be grateful?
Uncontained, unquantifed recreation does not seem to jibe with our current civil society’s strategic planning process.
Come in from the cold or else seems to be the current mandate. Maybe I am just being contrary, but I am not afraid of their “or else”. I’ll join the Serbian freebike movement.
Click on the title of this post to learn more about the SFM.
Attention Locals: Fat of the Land Meeting tonight.
This may or may not come as a surprise, but there has been a lot more talk of riding than actual riding this weekend, but not like you’re thinking. I’m talking about advocacy, or advocan’tcy, depending on the discussion.
Is it Erosion or Evolution?
Free- for-all or Institution?
By the book or off-the-hook?
Are we logging trees or logging miles?
Take your crew to Coney Island tonight (1/29) at 7:00 P:M and get your voc’ on. I think the meeting is at the San Marcos apartments by the trailhead.
The Angry Monk is thinking about rolling out to the St. Marks Refuge this weekend in search of the mythic Pinhook River, the Picklesimer Fields of the Big Bend. Consider this post a survey of interested parties, but please understand that any interest is by no means a contractual agreement. It’s the weekend, and I hate to commit to anything prematurely. I’m thinking 20 miles against a blasting headwind in an entirely straight line on a double track shell road, then turn around and sail back. The cool air will make the reptiles dim-witted dullards crawling groggily into the sunshine.
Perfect for taunting.
We could just go to the rattlesnake roundup in Whigam, GA and eat funnel cakes instead.
Don’t tread on me,
Scoop came to town and sparked a disc golf revival this week. A frisbee, a walk in the park, the clang of the chains. Lots of good fun I’m telling you. We played a little real golf as well yesterday, but that was about as brutal as a time trial on the Live Oak Connector riding your little sister’s bike.
I talk a lot about the joy of riding, but when you get down to it, what goes on out there is not necessarily a “joy-based” event. You can’t discuss real cycling without the word “suffering” quickly entering into the conversation. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The fun comes in moments when gravity is cooperating with you, or when it is cooperating less with your ride partners-that’s joyful. The fun comes when the trail is groomed like a show poodle and your bike makes no ominous sounds. I’m not saying that riding bikes isn’t a lot of fun, but there is that element of competition, violence even, that propels my interest equally.
I always have a shiv, or a shank if you prefer, tucked in my sock for the day I catch one of the boys off their game. Advertise your hangover and out it comes, jab! jab! jab!
I carry the scars of many a shiv’ing in the yard myself. I’m a vet of the old school cafeteria spoon fight out on the trail.
Disc golf though, was like Saturday morning cartoon fun. The bright colors, the parabolic curve, the delicious CLANG! of the chains. Sure we keep score. Sure we talk shit, but it doesn’t mean anything. everyone takes their own marbles home. It’s just for funsies after all.
I think having a few options other than pistols at dawn might be a healthy lifestyle choice. I know not everyone who drops by here rides, so what do you do for good times versus ‘workouts”? What do you riders do to play out of the saddle?
Crickets- anytime y’all are ready.
I truly have the gift. What you see is none other than a recent picture of Uncle “brokenface” Todd Simmler ripping it at Moab. you may remember my mention of Todd and his supernatural abilities back in a previous post. I would link it for you but I got things to do so if you are interested in the research- google Todd Simmler and my post about him will be in the top 5 (boo-ya! Going worldwide Y’all)
Missing friends sucks. The realization that “One day we will all get a big piece of land and all live on it” is really just a more painless way to say goodbye is hard to accept.
Fuck it-let’s all get a big piece of land somewhere and…
Thanks to the Wrecking Ball for the off the cuff pep-talk, which in its entirety said, “I read your website right when I get to work and hearing you whine about not finishing San Felasco, the dumb grey sky, and whatever- that all sucks.”
And if The Wrecking Ball thinks it sucks, then it sucks, and it is all about satisfying the Marks here at the Big Ring Circus.
So, in the freak show category, I accomplished something today. After 5 days of languishing in respiro-illness I made it out on the bike today. With the exception of a miffed pastry chef and a couple other notable absentees, it was a beautiful morning and the pace was poppin’ (in my opinion anyway).
When we finally stopped, I took the opportunity to hack out some delicious gooey protein (it is protein-based isn’t it? Like a life form?)
I found myself in a rather extraordinary situation. The ropey filament splat onto the parking lot with the intention of signing a 30 year mortgage, and yet it was still renting a small flat in the lining of my left lung (How could it afford that!)
It was awkward really. If I made a move to tell someone, I risked breaking it. If I didn’t tell someone, the moment would go unwitnessed.
I decided to keep it close to my heart (literally)…
And trust that my readers believe me (like the jaguarundi, any story that ends in me winning, the Green Flash, and my 4.5 ‘ vertical leap)
Chew your barbed wire carefully,
Forgive me, I forgot my manners. At Sasquatch’s behest I would love to hear other remembrances from the Tour de Felasco. Crush your rivals? Feel good all day? Meet a new friend? See a jaguarundi (didn’t think so). Tell us about it. We would love to know how it all went down for you.
What’s that? You don’t live around here or you don’t ride bikes? That’s Okay, please share whatever epic trials you are undergoing, from surviving the Michigan winter to wondering where your peanut butter pretzels are, if you reach deep inside- then it’s epic.
So tell Juancho a story…
My coffee tastes like soap.
And I’ll never pay off my student loans.
And New Orleans is still a mess.
And that dumbass is still driving the National Bus.
And I have to do computer stuff today (which I hate)
Because I’m really a Viking
And a kilt-wearing warrior of the heather
and sometimes the best tool for the job is a club.
And making lattes wasn’t such a bad way to earn a day’s pay-
but ambition is a curse, and I don’t even have that much of it- but it still feels like a curse when the urge to wander sets in, but you hunker down instead
underneath a shitty gray sky and think about the gray skies of the past that slowly drove you mad
until you did something about it
I have put myself back in the care of the angry monk. Illicit temptations will be met with ruthless irrationality and much shrieking. I will spend my days pounding rocks with my bare hands and eating sand. I will meditate on the weak wills of mine enemies and plot a coup against my greatest foe- relativism. I will wander naked into the wilderness of the mind and emerge clothed in the chamois of inner conviction.
I will ride my bikes.
namaste and other monkly greetings.