Monthly Archives: October 2008

Fast for Not Racing

I thought in an instant, this is a moment you have captured in time. Sunday morning on the way to the races, but not racing, I see a boy riding a bike with his cat.

We are not racing, and so we go as fast as we can, especially if anyone stops paying attention for one second. This is the type of thing that makes us go faster.

The race scene is giant cars and rolling gangs. Forearms with extra muscles flicker through gears. “COME ON!” One racer lady yells at me. I must have been standing in a bad place. It is all terribly confusing- these momentary subdivisions in the park. Everyone else seems to know what is going on. I however, could not figure out what was going on. I felt like I did in College Algebra. I got a C in that.

I got on my bike and rode as fast and as hard as I could, frequently attempting to push my riding associates further back down the trail. Racing, however, just isn’t for me.

Wrecking Ball beat Big Jim Slade but the ‘Ball had a hard look to his face while Big Jim looked serene.

Sometimes there is just no explaining things.

On the way home a little girl dressed like Cyndi Lauper rode a skateboard out in front of me on Beard Street. I slowed down to avoid her and saw the sign, Lemonade 50 cents. Times are getting tough and I know a deal when I see one. Despite the strongarm marketing tactics I bit. Fresh squeezed honest to God lemonade, on an overcast October day with Halloween decorations on every other house.

After that I passed a bluegrass band playing “Home to east Virginia.”

Summer says a slow goodbye.


Hey Y’all Watch This!

Excerpted from Alafia

The intermediate (Blue) sections, Bridges and Rock Garden, are really fun with lots of medium-sized hills, some short and steep, with others more gradual for a speedy downhill. There are several very challenging sections along the blue trail (even for experienced riders) and the sudden drops, climbs, twists and turns are just plain fun to ride.

The Rollercoaster and Moonscape trails (Black) form a 4-mile advanced loop which MUST be ridden one-way. Gatorback and Rabbit Ears are very difficult shorter loops off Bridges and Sand Pine, respectively. These sections all include steep roller coaster dips, technical rocky sections and very difficult climbs and drops. Many of these have a steep, straight line descents followed by a short valley before the trail climbs rapidly up the opposite side. It is a roller coaster sensation that takes your breath away and gives extra “G” forces as your swoop suddenly transitions from a dive into a climb. Not all of these are a straight line down and up. Some drops have relatively sudden turns. Knowing what to expect and controlling your speed accordingly is necessary here.

I will be calling one of your asses before I take off on this thing solo. Sounds fun.

Santos could not have been more different by comparison. A steady rain shower packed the sandy trails down as I rode them, like a constantly unfurling red carpet. Even the stiff and stingy John Brown sections around the the Vortex rode easy even as the rain seeped through the limestone activating that mucous that sends you slamming to the ground.

I was totally in a singletrack barrel.

Now I am holed up in a fascinating theme park, “Old Hotel-arama” where you pay the price of a normal modern hotel, but you actually experience the hotel rooms of the early 1970’s. It is so awesome! I wish the floors weren’t so sticky though, it makes my socks

Beta on Alafia from anyone who has ridden it please.


the ‘cho


I hereby declare this snake a juvenile Water Moccasin and I defy you to prove otherwise. It lunged for CL’s “jug’ler vein” right after the flash went off.

The more interesting thing about this picture is that it was taken last night on a distant corner of the Pedrick Greenway. On a ride that started out hot, full of traffic, with legs of pancake batter- I rode myself sane again. This feeling of exquisite ache is my central perspective on the world and the more distorted that image is the scarier the garish funhouse angles are on the world around me.

A four hour ride on Monday night was definitely unexpected, but I am a better human for it and CL and I had a blast. I spent most of the ride hanging onto his wheel from the hooks in my chest, my bottom lip quivering with the constant pain and panic of the pace. He chatted like a freestyle rapper about what a good boyfriend he is, how much he likes his kitchen, wondering why Republicans hate America so much, and how his allegiance to Biggie kept him from ever giving Tupac a serious listen.

I think he was starting to hurt towards the end though.

I have a decision to make today, and I could use your help. There are four significant trail systems between home base and my destination of the week, Tampa.

Crooms, San Felasco, Santos, and Alafia

I can ride one on the way down tomorrow and one on the way back on Saturday morning.

WWJD? (What would Juancho do?)

See it Coming

Everything I touch turns to shit lately. If only I could get close to GOP Headquarters, although from the looks of them lately you would think I was giving Johnny Mac private lessons in getting it wrong.

A day late for all the Friday night fun, a broken down truck, a broken down bike, a broken down other bike, and in two days I leave again, neglecting this broken down Tallahassee life to its own devices.

Rocktober is going to be a difficult time to schedule those mega-mile weeks. That means a fast pivot to focusing on exotic locales, speed, and more risk.

I will be lucky to ride twice this week, but those rides are going to be Santos and Alafia soooooo, I guess I should stop feeling sorry for myself.

Last time I checked I was a white man in America with a Titus Racer X and a job.

I followed the Fat Lad adventures from Louisville, KY and I have to tell y’all; I’m going to need a week to write up all the new inductees to the Clydesdale Hall of Fame. Aside from our great trails, which speak for themselves, you all represented our town at its best and still rode the Lad into the ground with smiles on your faces. Despite the vitriol most often found here, I am humbled.

Thanks for making the world a little smaller for all of us,