Monthly Archives: January 2008

Room for Everyone

Last Sunday out in the forest we came across a hunter-person on the Twilight Zone, which at least contributed some legitimacy to the name of the trail. Four dogs with shock collars and a guy in an orange vest with a shotgun strolling along through our newly acquisitioned specific use designated land parcel. Was he allowed to be there? Were we allowed to be there?

What if everyone just did whatever they wanted out there and we all just dealt with it? Horses and motorcycles and birdwatchers and salamander collectors and mountain bike riders and white goods disposal persons and homeless folk trying to get away from it all, wouldn’t that be cool? Plenty of room for everyone out there I say. Just leave your brown mohair jersey at home and get a bell.

Ding ding!

On other fronts, The Human Wrecking Ball has branched out. In a spin off on par with Joanie Loves Chachie, he can now be found at (pretend I hyperlinked it). Go say hi, he has to be lonely over there.

Sasquatch keeps bragging about his incredible diet program, which I have staunchly avoided since it involves something called Ubo oil or Ouzo oil, but the other day he walked in with a bag of Chik-fil-A so I’m thinking it might not be such a bad program after all.

Mel (Not his real name) is a domestic juggernaut. He is hunkered down in snowy Westchester county and he keeps sending me pictures of cappuccino art, emphasis on the microfoam, and loaves of homemade bread. He has a regular laboratory of comfort going on up there. If you are a single woman, or looking to stray in the New York area, and you have an attraction-or at least no aversion- to cranky Asians, then you should definitely look him up.

What else? I couldn’t really say. Oh yeah, thank God our delegates don’t count in Florida. Yeah, I went there, so what?



Dramatic tension is what drives the reader, as well as the writer, further into a story. Dramatic tension keeps them coming back. Without an inherent struggle between good and evil, east coast and west coast, Sneetches with stars and Sneetches without, a blog is just another vanity license plate that reads something like 2KUL4U.

Don’t get me wrong, many of you out there can serve as a nemesis in a pinch. I even hung up on S’quatch yesterday while he was talking. He was trying to sap my motivation to ride on the most beautiful day of the year. If that’s not evil, well, that’s definitely evil.

I could wage bike blog jihad on Bigworm over at Apebike, but he carries the goodwill of the people and any move against him would be sure to backfire.

I also want to be challenged as a writer, so that leaves out the obvious choices like W, Karl Rove, hippies, Wal-Mart, the Taliban, people who can’t drive and talk on cell phones, and Yankees, not the baseball team, but people who live in the North.

A real challenge would be to take the fight to someone like the Buddhist Monks (lazy beggars!) or to declare kittens eating ice cream to be the antithesis of everything the Big Ring Circus stands for (when in fact they are its essence).

I don’t know who, but someone’s going to get it-


Crank up the Base

Simple, steady miles, that’s what is called for. The last two days of riding in the morning solves all kinds of problems. Increased mental acuity and motivation for work post-ride, earlier dinner, earlier bedtime. I feel like a hundred bucks!

The weekend of April 18 I will be headed to the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia for the annual Spring Rendevous. There has been talk of Bigworm and Company joining us in some sort of global merger, so consider this an invitation. Any of the rest of you from Yorkshire to Timbuctoo, from San Diego to Kalamazoo, from Leesburg to Pittsburg, you can come too. Details to follow, but I can pretty much spell it out like this- Camp on the Davison River near Brevard, ride Pisgah, Dupont, relocate to Tsali for a night and come home.

Don’t expect me to be sniveling in the back with a note pinned to my shirt by then either. Punks.


Kid Brother

After being treated like a punk kid brother on Sunday I took the only recourse available to me and I rode with my actual younger brother (more punk than kid now) yesterday. His Jamis Durango has been collecting dust for about 8 months so it wasn’t hard for me to feel like I could drop him at any time. That’s good for the ego. Mine anyway, not so much his. If he ever wakes up we’re going out for more this morning. We’ll see about all that.


Twilight Zone

Before you go over to Bigworm’s place and read his “shiny happy people” version of the ride yesterday, you owe it to yourselves to stick with the BRC version, otherwise known as the truth.

It was a cold and lonely day in the forest yesterday, as I struggled along just out of reach of the warmth of brotherhood and camaraderie. I was the kid brother tagging along, dodging pine cones and rocks as the big kids shouted, “JUST GO BACK HOME JUANCHO OR WE’RE TELLING MOM!”

It was the coldest ride of the year, and not cold enough to impress upon some of you the ache and challenge this presented to us thin-blooded Southern folk, but cold all the same. It is a matter of perspective and acclimatization. The coldest ride is the coldest ride no?

I was wearing 4 or 5 layers and carrying more just in case I had to spend the night out there (Mystery the Untameable Stallion was involved). Towards the end I was wishing I had thought to bring fuel instead and didn’t relish the thought of slurping on a corner of my polypro longjohns to obtain a few nutrients.

We rode the godforsaken Twilight Zone trail, crown jewel of the new trail initiative. With the clearcuts, the shotgun shells, the sand pits, and the whoop de doo’s short on whoop or do, it was a less than lovely tromp thorugh the forest, the sound of wheezing occasionally disrupted by a fusillade from the firing range nearby ( I hope it was a firing range, I tell myself it was a firing range).

After extended periods of solitude I would abruptly ride up on the rest of the group feeling like Tom Hanks at the reception party in Castaway. The awkwardness of socialization quickly passed as the group wasted no time once again disappearing up the trail.

I guess the good news is, they kept saying, “You’re right behind us man, you’re practically riding with the group.”

Frozen tears don’t fall,


Sub-30 and Sunny Sunday

Whew-eeee! Tomorrow looks to be cold and wet, much like the last two days were, which means conditions will be good for toughening up, and bad for enjoying your ride. Sunday however, with a forecast of a low of 29 and dry sunny skies, might be a good call for a special outing, in full bundle gear. Maybe the Line Tract is up on the dance card? Maybe, what do they call that Brigadoon, that Xanadu? Ah yes, The Pinhook River.

Or perhaps I will simply phone in a quick lap of the Cadillac and hurry back to the couch, there’s really no telling, but smart money has to take the couch.


Where’s Juancho?

Is this a photograph of-

The first night, last hour, of Driving School?
Kim Jong Il’s elite Special Forces team?
The remaining fans of the Florida State University football team?

No sillies! It is the resurrection of Fat of the Land/SORBA, our local mountain bike trail advocacy and cheap car insurance provider organization.

Word on the trail is that major and minor improvements are in store for most of the trails in the area. Under the Al Quaida cell structure of new director, Roboboy,and with the substantial support of the Cobra Kai cycling organization each trail will have its own steward and work with the landowner on a management plan. Our own Aucilla Sinks will be providing oversight as Grand Wizard of Singletrack.

Bridges at Cadillac, a haircut for the imaginary Twilight Zone trail, and a 12 hour race at Tom Brown Park are but a few of the rumors on the table.

I don’t recognize many of these people so I have to wonder, are they really riding their bikes, or is the real question, am I really riding mine?

Let’s take a moment to thank Scot B. for his early efforts to organize and motivate the riding community, every step begins with a single journey. Best of luck to him as he opens his new bio diesel station/Alpaca farm in Lamont, FL.


Spring Training

Now that San Felasco has passed most of the riders I know will let their guard down, enjoying a few weeks of relative downtime after accomplishing their winter goal. S’quatch’s hand will find its way into the cookie jar, others will follow his example with unprecedented stretches of laziness and ennui.

While they exchange high fives at the bike shop reliving their best “50” moments, I will crack out of my carbonite casing and begin spring training.

Today it is cold and wet, and not just Florida cold, but cold like a soggy winter day in Portland- the perfect day to get the drop on the pack. It will be miserable and slippery, hands will be numb and toes will be numb, but if I can just talk myself onto the bike, there is a chance I can pull it together in time for a trip to Tsali in April.

The old he-coon walks just before the light of day-



In light of recent poor decision-making I have taken up chess again to clear my musty brain. So far I have lost three and tied one, not a very good record, but possible proof that the correlation between strategic decsion-making in game theory is a fair measure of one’s ability to choose effective life decisions.

Lately I have been trapped in zugzwang, a moment known to chess in which one is compelled to move, and yet every possible course leaves one’s position weaker.

To sit and do nothing would be preferable, but the rules of the game do not allow one to “take a pass”.

It is the move you make before the zugzwang that means everything.