Monthly Archives: March 2007

Clydesdale Hall of Fame

After so much stirring testimony, the board of directors here at the BigRingCircus have no choice but to induct the first inanimate object into the Clydesdale Hall of Fame. For its giant contribution to cycling history and its incredible comfort and range of motion, the yellow banana seat joins the ranks of such luminaries as Magnus Backstedt, Rosa Parks, and John Goodman.

Red Sparkly is going to have to settle for an honorable mention.

I enjoyed my first therapeutic ride yesterday with the help of Tommy Torso and his sidekick Annabella (5 yrs. old). I am lucky enough to have recorded my second loss to a parent/child team and I anticipate at least one more when Dogboy’s little girl is old enough to hang onto the bars of the trailer bike.

In other news, SLOW is officially the new FAST so please make a note of this change before your next ride.

Thanks for the great remembrances yesterday, I hope to compile them, get rich, and leave you all in the dust someday.


First Ride

After passing the 9 hole golf test, I think my knee is ready for a real bike ride. I know, that was a whole lot of bellering and wailing for a three week injury. I didn’t necessarily shoot very well yesterday, but then, I’m not much of a golfer on the best of days.

Unlike the child in this photo I will not have the benefit of my racially diverse parents to cheer me on. Don’t worry, they’re actors, and that kid can probably ride just fine.

Do you remember learning to ride a bike, or has it been too long?

I often credit my Schwinn Mag Scrambler as my first bike, but I know there was a purple bike of unknown make and model before that.
Some of you out there have tiny little people, often called babies, and others are expecting the same in the near future. Have you thought about how you are going to teach them to ride?

Will you promise not to let go and then let go anyway?

I think that ruthless tactic works best, but there are definite consequences to the long-term relationship.


Spring Fervor

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over

It occurs to me this morning that I may be going about things all wrong. In the past month I have declined invitations to go to Thailand, India, and Mexico from various close friends and loved ones, and for what?

As a man of 36, a few breaths away from 37, I am still as loosely tethered to God and Country as I was at 26, or 27. No kids. No mortgage. I could join the French Foreign Legion if I wanted and all I would have to do is find someone to take my cat.

I won’t go into my rewarding work, and all that it means to me (seriously) but a person can serve humankind in many ways.

What’s to fear?

I could just walk out the door and keep on going, because one day there will be no more green fields.

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

Ever feel like taking a hike?


Round up

I rode this weekend. I rode about 300 yards.

Mainly though, I got my two-wheeled fix down at Joes’ Bike Shop ( Joe had to attend a wedding this weekend, which means he loaded up the family in the Dazed and Confused van, washed and ironed his dress shorts which are the pair what has the zipper that stays up, and away he went to Tampa. I thought Pete/Huck Shins could use a hand dealing with the general public so I put on a dirty t-shirt and headed down to Lake Ella, finest retention pond south of the Mason-Dixon.

I’m just ordinary as far as mechanicking goes, but when it comes to selling bikes and talking to crazy people, my blood gets going and I was in a selling mood.

Imagine my surprise to see Ed Miller wrenching around back there. Ed is Joe’s Alumni 1991-1998, or something like that. If Joe’s had a softball team, the bench would run way deep. Nearly every mechanic who ever worked there, pitches in on a Saturday for old time’s sake. When was the last time you revisited an old employer to work for free, you know, because it was so much fun?

All day long it was punk rock, cheeseburgers, and “remember whens”.

For the record, that Ed sure does have the phone skills, just nice as pie all the time.

Great times, and I sold a bike.

I watched some road racing yesterday, Milan-San Remo, and as I clicked onto the race a rider was lying in the road, out cold or dead, does anyone know if he survived?

And Pete just called with car trouble, so I’m out of here…

what did you do over the weekend?


Revisionist History

Few things better than a legitimate injury can happen to an under-motivated, excuse-prone, sarcastic “B” rider. I should know, because I have been interviewing them for years. One could say, my entire cycling career, even.

So this weekend, when I will clip in and go for a light- No make that lite spin historians take note:

All references to said injured rider and his capabilities in the future will be preceded by:

After his injury

Also, all future victories large and small must be followed by:

And he was injured!

Some of you folks, and you know who you are:

Mr. “I busted my knee when I was 6.”
Mr. “I had shoulder surgey 14 times”.
Mr. “I crushed my foot in a yacht-racing competition”.
Mr. “I’m deaf in one ear”.
Mr. “I ran over my Trek Fuel once”.

When I recover from something far more serious than those trivialities, patellar tendinitis, I will begin my Mother of All Comebacks with the Shock and Awe to which you shall soon become accustomed!

Saddle Time

In order to keep my form I have picked up some work as a street performer. Being very, very still is harder than it looks.

The air has that soft, gentle, quiet spring feel to it this morning and I want nothing so much as a long easy ride out to the Miccosukee Greenway, or God forbid even a road ride down to Wacissa Spring.

Instead, I will just sit here, and try to think good thoughts.

Not my forte’ to say the least.


Come out of your Shell

Even though I am missing some of the most beautiful riding days Tallahassee can produce, I am not laying around feeling sorry for myself. Not when Mystery calls with a report of fresh Gulf oysters at his house.

20 minutes later we are cracking and shucking, slurping and chewing like seagulls squabbling over a bag of Doritos. As the McC brothers throw horseshoes, S’quatch makes the observation that points should be awarded for “sound”. Nothing calls in summer like the CLANG! of ringers and leaners.

Since these are freshly harvested, they have not drained so every oyster is filled with the sea. A dash of tabasco and next stop heaven.

Eating them is magic, and they provide you with certain “qualities”.

Oysters, Azaleas, Dogwoods, dark beer mingling with light beer in the coolers, shorts and fleeces, definitely Spring.



From zero to hero in 24 hours.

Dark times fell upon the circus last night. An alarmist doctor at the Patient’s First clinic had me diagnosed with a fractured patella. The implication was surgery, followed by absolutely no bike riding for up to six months due to the full leg cast she envisioned.

Dark times indeed my companeros.

After a delirious sleep of fitful nightmares I crawled from bed ready for a day of lasers and scalpels, and instead the Orthopedist scoffed at the diagnosis and prescribed three weeks of brace, ice, and a potpourri of pharmaceuticals. That, coupled with a few secret tricks my Pop knows, and I will be out on the trail, underperforming like usual.

In the meantime I will take advantage of the time to work on writing my book entitled,

Think Outside the Box and other ridiculous things people need to quit saying”.

Any suggestions?


Reservations for the Pain Cave

Who knew? All the time in the saddle, redlining the max heart rate, all in an effort to get a few moments of clarity in the pain cave. All you need to do is ignore a minor injury until it becomes a backstage pass to the Pain Cave live in concert.

I’ve never been one to have any of these chronic knee/joint-related injuries so this is pretty new territory for me. I do know that staggering around straight-legged like Frankenstein’s monster does nothing to improve an injury.

Today I am scheduled for total cessation of activity, constant ice, and major rest. Sometimes you just have to give in and roll with it.

It’s a big, boring, disappointing bummer for my first week home in a long time- not that I’m playing for sympathy or anything.