Monthly Archives: November 2007

R.I.P. Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel

Back in 1995 when I was in my yonderin’ days I drove from Bozeman to Butte Montana for the annual “Evel Knievel Day” festivities. As a young perspiring writer I intended to interview the man, write it up, and then report to work at Rolling Stone magazine sometime the following week.

The star of the weekend was the town of Butte, with the yawning metallic waters of the Anaconda Mine, one of the nation’s most magnificent Superfund sites. I paid admission to the viewing tunnel and heard stories of men patrolling the toxic waters in Spring to dissuade waterfowl from mistaking the pit for a lake. The job seemed to focus on firing rounds from a shotgun to herd the birds on to better options.

I remember eating breakfast in a place that featured a full length diner counter paired with a full length bar. Keno and offtrack betting activity continued around the clock, as did the scotch and pancakes. I enjoyed a bit of everything the place had to offer, losing a few bucks on Keno because I was too young and self-conscious to ask anyone to tell me how to play Keno.

I noticed an imbalance in the population that leaned towards the hydrocephalitic and the strabismal which both fascinated me and filled with disquiet.

I discovered Evel at a city park, which was being named in his honor. He held the infamous black cane, and I wondered if he had enough bile left in him to swing it like he had back in the day.

The crowd was small and it was early, about 10:00 in the morning. I maneuvered into the crowd of autograph seekers and well-wishers and easily found myself shaking his gnarly hand. I asked him if I could ask him a few questions for an article I was writing about his hometown. His grip tightened on that cane and he spit. All the while looking away behind his Carreras he said, “If you don’t need nothin’ here, could you step aside?”

I bought a picture and he signed it, “Kiss my ass, Evel Knievel”.

Actually that part is not true, he just signed it, “Evel Knievel” but the kiss my ass was implied.

Honored here today as a Great Enemy of Moderation, Evel Knievel may you rest in peace you ornery son of a bitch!


The Round Up

Well it is Friday, which for most of you means some sort of government sanctioned rest time is due you for the next two days. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in Tally it is balmy and the air is soft and gentle. A mild 65 more or less. Not so bad for riding bikes is it?

Not a bad idea, I just might do that.

Meanwhile, Sasquatch Kate Olsen continues melting his way towards an impossible 225 malnourished lbs. Yesterday he went to the doctor, alarmed about some bumpy protrusions along his chest.

Turns out they were just ribs.

Through a long and complicated bartering system I learned from the Mongols while fighting Mother Russia in the foothills of the Steppes, there may be a Titus Racer X frame coming my way soon. If that doesn’t speed my up or make me look cooler, (or something, just anything please Lord!)then I’m going back to collecting beanie babies because anyone will tell you I was pretty good at that.

What else is going on out there? All BRC carnies, stop by the big top and report in.



Got some gear to get rid of? Advertise it here on Juanchobay, your latest source for online trading. I hear people get rich on the internet, and I think it is about time I make a go at superstardom and megawealth.

The first item up for bid is a 2005 Jamis Dakar Expert. This is a sweet, sweet bike. I’m just tired of it holding me back. I could do any number of things to court that alluring mistress Speed, but a trade-in is the easiest. S’quatch’s dieting and purging sermon has done nothing but drive me under the covers with a wedge of Brie and an 8 pack of Rice Krispy treats.

So who wants it? We will start the bidding at $1,000.00.


“Do Whatever You Feel Like Doing” Thanksgiving is finally over, and it took more stamina than a frat boy at Mardi Gras to make it to this wonderful, work-filled Monday. Finally, a day with some expectations, a bottom line of some sort. I kicked the holiday off with a trip to Lloyd, FL to meet our online compatriots Ms. Moon and the Downtown Guy I was all set to tell you that story this morning, but I froze up. I’ll work it out eventually, or maybe I’ll just keep it to myself. Either way, it feels good to know you ain’t too set in your ways to make new friends, or become a part of new families. I’ll tell you all about it, but you have to give me some time to sort it out in my mind first. We had us some fun, I can tell you that much.

I hope you all had a good long break as well. For the record, we rode bikes a lot, in between spoonfuls of Ms. Paula Deen’s famous conrbread stuffing recipe.

The saltines are the secret ingredient.

I’m a little concerned about the Wreckin’ Ball, word has it he is sick, but to not see or hear from him for over a week? What’s he got? Probably another dose of the clap, huh?

Ole Sasquatch is skinnying right up these days and it is just about insufferable. The man trims down to 230 lbs and now he’s all Diva all the time. I’m telling you, I know why those supermodels are bitchy. It’s because they’re hungry. I can guarantee that this comment alone will be enough to spur him towards some haughty, finger-snapping, zig zaggin’ tirade. I miss his Bernie Mac routine, and laying waste to the Bamboo House buffet.

Those were the days.

What still sucks?

That’s right, road biking!

Besides the glimmer of broken glass,
the bloodthirsty coming home from work traffic,
the redneck morons screaming LANCE, LANCE!

There’s the smog, the right angles, and the monotony.

I’m glad I got that over with for the year.


Say it,
polaaahkooo. It is Bosnian for slow down. You have to say it like that though, puuulaaaahhhkoh, to get the proper effect. This 3 day work week before the holiday is feeling like a semi-permanent downshift. I could write an entirely different blog about myself, bikes, and slowing down, and I encourage your wittiest barbs toward that end (I will get you all eventually, running you down one by one on the long slow march to the grave!) but that is not my point here today.

I laid in bed staring at the pre-dawn ceiling for a good hour this morning, too excited about being able to stay in bed to get back to sleep. Nowhere to go, not much to do, just wake up eventually and send some pre-emptive e-mails to get the work world scrambling off on some subterfuge, some red herring to keep them at bay until Thursday- not that anyone else is trying too hard to get much done.

James Taylor is singing on T.V. this morning and even as his cliche music takes me back to a Wyoming campfire and a dark-haired, blue-eyed girl I can’t help but look at his eyes and think to myself, “Now there’s a difficult son of a bitch if I ever saw one”. I’m certain all the shiny white people swaying before him see it differently and well they should.

With a stretch of downtime before me I think about writing a book, joining the Y, making room in the garage for rocking out, volunteering at Nims Middle School, meeting some nice new lady friends, going to Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School class, framing some artwork, making some artwork, dropping in on my buddy’s Jungian Dream Interpretation class, and of course riding my bikes.

When push comes to shove, I will probably be seeing a lot more of this ceiling.




Here’s a rare shot of me relaxing in camp at Sand Rock “Paint your name here” Alabama. I think the light really favors my rugged good looks, don’t you?

I’m dragging around with a cold, or Bird Flu, or Hantavirus or something, but you know, the show must go on. If you don’t mind I think I will just ramble a few non sequiters by you and as they say, “phone this one in” today.


Welcome to our newest riding buddy
Splinter Cell who kicked off his mountain biking career with an 18 mile ride yesterday. Aside from some bloody shins he looked fine at the end. He declined to don the manotard and I was therefore very disappointed that he reported no undue trauma to his t’aint. Might we be wearing all that stuff for nothing? Could we get along just fine riding in a pair of high-waisted Lee jeans and a snap button western shirt? I just don’t know. Splinter Cell is a Marine and will not be enjoying much of what you might call sympathy, or grace, along the trail.

The moment has passed to capture the joy and terror of downhilling at the Tanasi Trail system and its showpiece the Thunder Rock Express. Don’t go within 100 miles of these trails without stopping. Bigger than Tsali, smoother than Pisgah, faster than Santos. How did I not know about this place? A true gem, and a BRC insta-classic. I will be back in the Spring.

S’quatch is struggling to find his motivation for San Felasco. Since most of us have been excluded from this elitist event, would someone please claim him? He doesn’t eat much (lately) and he’s a good road trip buddy, especially if you like close calls on the highway and dodging camp fees.

What? Too much bike talk? You’re probably right, that’s why I go over to Ms. Moon’s page to get my fix of deep thought and eloquent elocution.

Meanwhile, ole Jill in Alaska, another “Blolg Fwhend” is lording it up as an NPR correspondent. She’s going to ride 350 miles in the Ididarod Invitational that precedes the dog race. I say BIG DEAL! Why not do a story about a guy who acts like he’s being carjacked whenever you make him get on his bike and who can cook and eat pancakes at a 1:1 ratio while standing at the stove. Oh, he’s also grumpy and inclined towards schadenfreude. No? Not as interesting? Whatever, go over to if you want to see what a real blog looks like. Harumph!

It was good to see everyone out on the Tom Brown Park Promenade yesterday morning. Bigworm, surrounded by his Lost Boys, Tallyflasher and fast Floyd. Ken in his sleeveless denim vest- too hot, and of course- I was there- and that makes me happiest of all.


The Comet

The party was in full swing Sunday night up along the Ocoee River road. Bird was chopping wood wearing a blood-soaked sock from an earlier wood-chopping incident. Shawn from Auburn was strumming a new tune called “road head” and people kept trying to drain the last drop from the bottle of Booker’s bourbon. Although we were miles from the sea, or even a decent grocery store, the Raw Oyster Bar was doing a brisk business about thirty feet south of the fire.

I wandered out to the road for a breather, and the air was cold, cold, cold. Staring towards the eastern sky I identified Pleides, the constellation most known for having an 80’s video game named for it. Looking southward I noticed that kite-like constellation and at the left end of the kite stay was a large fuzzy star.

Now wait a minute, the tumblers started aligning and dropping, and I remembered something from the radio (public radio thank you very much) about a comet that inexplicably magnified itself a million times. They said it looked like a fuzzy star. The Comet Holmes.

You have to say it like Cheech Marin though, the Comet Holmes.

A small crew joined me in the road and we all got our comet watch on. A mix of laughter, stupor, and genuine awe- a bunch of good friends, celebrating the 17th annual Cheaha Trip beneath a bona fide astronomical miracle.

The Thunder Rock Express trail was waiting for us in the morning.