Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Lad Arrives Today

Due to a strange wrinkle in the time/space conundrum Fat Lad and his dear wife Sarah will be landing in Tallahassee for five days and four nights just as I myself leave for Louisville, Kentucky for likely that exact time frame. As has been noted, this is a horrifying development that only underscores how my life on the road leaves many other aspects of my life in a state of suspended animation- songs half-learned on guitar, under-invested relationships, interrupted diet and riding patterns.

I don’t mind the occasional shitty meal at an Applebee’s in Laurel, Mississippi or overly stained linens at the Red Roof Inn in Overland Park, FL but this one stings-badly.

Within hours of fumbling onto the Google and setting up a blogsite I discovered the Lad, or he discovered me? In his writing and photography I found a brother in yarns. A rider across the ocean who appreciated a cold, muddy beatdown with friends followed by indulgent rewards like cake and pints. Over the next couple of years, there were more miles than cake and one couldn’t help but notice the title to his site didn’t make as much sense as it might have.

Next thing you know he is standing in green fields in a kilt with his bride-Sarah.

Visiting Al’s site is like watching Rudy, or Remember the Titans because here is a man one can root for wildly and with abandon. Free of my nasty bent towards sarcasm and ridicule, the Lad presents his struggles straight up the middle. His victories are the sweeter for his honesty, and his setbacks equally crushing for the lack of excuses and blame. If one thing is clear it is that riding with the Bad Brains MTB “Pootle Crew” is all about good, dirty fun. By reading our network of lies and occasional blog combat, they must view this visit as a kind of war tourism.

Aucillasinks has been Julie McCoy so far for their visit, trying to coordinate rides, beers, and such. If you have missed the conversation please reference the comments section in the last few posts here.

Take them riding, make (him) suffer a little bit on something delightful like the Live Oak Connector, and buy these sweet kids a beer or five. I hope to be back before they leave, but I am also shopping for tickets to Yorkshire, UK.

If these elections go the wrong way, I may be looking to stay for a very long time.

Thanks everyone for showing them some Southern hospitality and our Seven Hills way of life.

Have fun without me.


Fresh Ink

Please reference the post below to read my pollyanna treatise on wounds, injuries, and the inherently soulful qualities of riding through pain.

When it comes to gaping puncture wounds I feel differently.

How do I feel about these sorts of wounds? Dizzy to mildly nauseated, especially while irrigating it with a syringe.

This occurred while sliding out on the freshly laid pine needles on that favorite trail of mine, the Twilight Zone. I’m not sure how the lawsuit works- do I sue Fat of the Land and then they sue the Forest Service or is it the other way around?

Maybe 70lbs of pressure is too much for those conditions. Who knows?

Aside from that, we had a grueling ride. The sun, the sand, the tectonic pace. I tell you what, if I wanted to hire someone to guide old, retired people who have neve ridden mountain bikes in the woods before I would hire my friend Mystery, the children’s birthday party pony. He would be perfect.

Good thing he doesn’t know about the internet.


Sub-dermal Mementos

I feel like I’m starting every game with a fourth quarter body.

The over the bars incident I had with Bigworm weeks ago has scabbed and healed on the outside, but leaves me with an eery numbness in my left knee. I can burn it with a lit cigarette, and feel the slightest pinch. No matter, the pedals go up and down same as before.

The solo crash I had at the Troy State College trail in Dothan, I ratcheted my left ankle up in my cursedly plush Ergon bar-ends. The cut has healed (Go Vitamin K!) but although no bruise is present, it is achingly tender to the touch two weeks after the incident. It doesn’t matter though, I use the pang to count cadence every time it comes around at the seven o’clock crank position.

My legs burn from morning to next morning. It doesn’t matter if I’m fresh and rested, or all tapped out 20 miles from home. I stretch, but my legs and I, we both know it is a joke. Here is a picture of me in the backyard. You can plainly see that when it comes to stretching, I get by on social promotion- I just show up and try.

None of these conditions may ever go away. If they do I will miss them. I do not have any tattoos on my body (sorry for breaking the magic) but I think I understand the appeal. The ink is OK, but I bet it is the pain that you are purchasing.


I reached a critical state of “too much” yesterday whereby to commit to any single responsibility was an open declaration that other responsibilities would not be accomplished. Rather than bear the burden of choosing which priority to not do- I locked up the office and went for a bike ride at 12:30 P:M on a Wednesday.

I know, big deal, if you search the archives you would find that such behavior was once de rigour around here, but things? Things have changed.

I planned to ride out to this Orchard Pond road dealio so I cranked out Old Bainbridge road- one of our gorgeous canopy roads that distinguish Tallahassee from places like Detroit, MI or Panama City Beach, FL. The absence of bike lane or shoulder meant I had to roll over or through possum carcass and armadillo carapace, but the cool early Fall weather kept the stench suppressed.

Not having looked at a proper map I assumed I would find this road no problem. Instead there was a problem, so without too much fretting I pushed West until I encountered a river- The Ochlocknee maybe, at the end of Tower road. Making a note to come back with the kayak for further exploration I turned it home a little dejected that I wouldn’t get my big loop accomplished.

Too pretty to go home, the day propelled me to Tommy’s. Like a legendary Minuteman he was suited and ready to ride immediately and off we rode to Tom Brown Park.

One fast lap of that degenerate slag heap and a wandering tour home added up to a 36 mile day in the middle of the week. That’s a nice set-up for the weekend, and another go at a big Northwest loop.



It is not a race, it is an eco-tour-

I intend to tour it as fast as possible.

This year’s Tour will be held on January 10, 2009. Deadline for registration will be November 15, or when we reach our rider limit of 400.

The brochure can be found at It will be available on the morning of October 1. Last year we were full in around a week, so don’t delay in printing your registration and mailing it in with your check!

Direct link to the registration form is:

New this year will be the availability of pre-ordering short sleeve t-shirts, as well as our usual hoodies. A long sleeve T will be included in your registration. As always we’ll have our great lunch, and plenty of sag stops, including lots of dark chocolate at the last sag to get you through those last grueling miles!

When you are downloading your registration, don’t forget to take a look at last year’s Tour pics to see how much fun everyone had!

If you have any questions immediately, please email me. After registration begins, please direct all your questions to

See you on January 10!
Leslie and Doug

Tote ’em

It is hard to keep up. The two-legged stool keeps me hopping. I wrote the last post before I went for a ride yesterday evening. By the time most folks read it this morning the mileage total was buried around 85 or 90 for the weekend. Tommy and I rode North last night, and it was quiet out there with some peculiar exceptions. This guy was cruising over the powerline hill as we were topping it from the other direction. We paused to chat and he mentioned that he had read some BRC that morning. He sat casually draped over the bars of what looked like a road bike to me, but I am sure others would split the cyclocross hair if I pushed the issue. “It’s got cantilver brakes and gusseted stays dude!”

I pointed out to Tommy that if you run into P-Mac on a ride, you are doing something right. We usually don’t see his kind when we’re out with the weekend warrior set. He said he was coming back from some dirt road I never heard of, Orchard Park?

Even money says it’s somewhere in Georgia.

After that we saw a gang of wild turkeys at Lake Overstreet and they reminded me of all my buddies who used to ride with me. It must have been the majestic bobbing and wobbling of their skinny necks.

After some testy exchanges expressed through pedals we both aborted diplomacy and begain openly shooting goo packs in front of one another, and that ain’t code! Out to Lake Jackson and all through Redbug we shellacked one another with baseball bats scarred up with protruding nails, garbage can lids, pots of boiling coffee- you name it. Despite the big day prior, I felt like I was watching it all happen from the first class section of a very fast plane.

Sure Tommy has a new baby at home, but he is a notorious competitor and strong man so I’m just saying, it was a good ride-

-although he might disagree.



The hard part of the ride is walking out the door. Picture me tired, with the corners of my mouth still crusty sweet from Johnny Ray’s lemon pie, experiencing total radio silence from the robot army- but the weather!

The weather is perfectly cool, the air is what I describe as “soft.”

The moment before I click into my pedals the world looks bleak.

Although I recently acquired part ownership in a multi-billion dollar insurance company and a number of investment banks I can find no joy in surpassing the expectations of my 10th grade World History teacher who wrote in my Senior yearbook

“Has potential if he chooses to apply himself.”

So, aside from my ascendance as a Captain of Industry–

I have a working front brake, a new saddle best described as a comfortable suppository, and an entirely empty Saturday to paint a masterpiece of a day.
I feel listless and underwhelmed with this life.

I roll out of the driveway being careful to not ride over my bottom lip.

Turning onto 10th Avenue I check the gauge on my legs and realize the tank is full. The tank is full and there are extra jerry cans of turpentine lashed to King and Kong. I am prepared to lay siege to the trails.

Fern, Cadillac, Heritage, Pedrick Greenway, Tom Brown Park, and it is not even noon yet. Crushing up through the old Albertson’s trail, which is cleaner than you would think, I pull into Mystery’s place demanding everything a Viking needs for sustained battle. Careful to never look me in the eye, he and his dear wife provide me a BLT and a vat of hummus. Mystery maintains a steady patter of excuses for not riding, as if I could not see his smiling bride for myself!

I leave them to the rest of their lives and pound to the St. Marks Trailhead in time to run down S’quatch and his new riding gang. Local writer, Bucky McMahon, is training for a 125 mile ride in Tuscany next week as an assignment for a prominent national magazine that would be considered the opposite of a magazine about being indoors.

This crew bobbed along the trail like a drunken float trip, content to let the slightest momentum push them along towards the coast, a cold beer, and a night at the Sweet Magnolia Bed & Breakfast.

We give Bucky the cheered back-slapping and encouragement you give a man who has already made a terrible decision with no option for retreat. The recently enlisted soldier, the girl on the mechanical bull, the volunteer from the studio audience.

At the front of this pack rides Sasquatch, a dominant rider among his peers who coast along on shed-kept mountain bikes from the early nineties. They are all having fun, and they would most likely be startled to hear this outing described as exercise.

I feel like just another clown in the parade, but a clown with a 60 mile day.

San Whatsco? When is that again?



It finally happened. S’quatch and I crossed paths like two normal Tallahassee residents in a random parking lot. Me, I was picking up sushi which I will masticate and convert into speed, endurance, and power tomorrow at the formidable Oak Mountain trail south of Birmingham, Alabama.

He? He was picking up his son from work. I can’t be certain, but I think I smelled some Rally’s.

Now he is like other friends in town who I am happy to run into in the course of my day, the ones I look at and think:

an hour ago I was out in the woods, slobbering and suffering, covered in ticks and smilac cuts lost in a viking fantasy- clubbing a path to victory through mayhem!

I think that, but I smile and tell them I hope I see them again real soon. They would never understand who I really am.


Here’s a thought locals.

How about we get Pete Shins set up in my garage sometime this weekend with his tools and let him get our bikes running correct? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m running out of “Duck” tape. We can hang out, have some beers, procrastinate, and watch him fix our bikes-just like the shop without the Procol Harum. Joe can even build a couple of those Raleigh Ventures so he doesn’t lose his touch.

Rates will be configured as always:

What did you need?
What did you bring?
How big of a pain in the ass are you?

S’pose I ought to check with Pete too.

Check back tomorrow night for an Oak Mountain Redux report.


Cry ’bout a Nickel, Die ’bout a Dime

I sit all day and night on this two-legged stool.
I work, I ride, or I am in transition between the two and even that feels precious small.

There is nothing to talk about besides the tasks at hand.

Tomorrow morning I will be on my way back to Oak Mountain, which I will ride before I go to work. See, the two-legged stool.

It is stable as long as you are hopping.