Monthly Archives: April 2014


I have a tablet.  It’s called an Ipad.  You stare into it and it tells you whatever you want it to tell you.  It is a total frenemy.  It never gives you a chance to tell your side of the story.  You can squeeze a word in here and there on social networks, where you are sold and quartered by interest and preference like cattle.  Amazon buys your backstrap.  The Democratic party is happy to buy the leftovers to make scrapple.  On Twitter you cruise by one another, high-fiving and chin ‘supping your bros, with no time for a conversation.  Twitter’s all like, “How are you man?”  But Twitter would cringe awkwardly if you tried to unburden your soul.  If you are lost in the crowd in Tahir Square when the lights go out and the bullets start flying, I hear it is a useful tool.  That’s why I keep my account active.  #mitigate.

My point is, I have a home base again.  A good old Desktop computer, provided by one of my sponsors here at the BRC, LoPo.  A folding table, a second-hand keyboard, and it’s like I never left.  I dismantled my station when LOVE moved in, which is the only acceptable answer.  LOVE is settled, and so I followed my heart.  It lead me right back to this spot against the wall, facing 17 degrees north, which if you draw a straight line goes all the way up to Nova Scotia, then across the ocean to Ireland, then over the flat edge of the earth across the blackness to arrive right back at this desk.  I can hear this exact transmission whispering across the universe and sneaking up behind me.

For two years I let the internet have the last word, and now I have something to say again.



Pit Vipers


Snaky days my friends, and the summer yet not arrived? Snakier soon for certain.  Joey B and I saw a juvenile Cottonmouth on the Goose Pond trail the other day, out there where the little toddlers run ahead of their waddling parents, and little  companion dogs rush belligerently to the ends of leashes.  Snakes, snakes, snakes, everybody watch for snakes.

S’quatch blasted over this little sweetheart, not touching it, but causing it to jump and spin so in the next moment I passed it we both, snake and I, were coiled in menacing postures.  I tacked around her in detente and called ahead to S’quatch, whom I knew I could trust to take my phone to an uncomfortably close distance and get this picture.

And there we were, goofing around with a poisonous snake when none other than Bill O came steaming down the trail.  I could make out the red, white, and green Joe’s jersey through the trees, but it took another moment to recognize that relaxed, low-slung posture of Mr. Forest himself.

So there I was, at the end of a beautiful day with the darkly glowing afternoon sun shining through the pines.  After weeks of everything but a bike ride being the most important thing, it is just that easy.  Meet a friend, see a snake, find another friend, then fox squirrel, sinkhole, and churning white powder sand out of corners and counter-steering through washed out lines.  A simple, magnificent, bike ride.

Fast enough to know better, too slow to care,


A Correction and Apology

Dear friends and enemies,

When I converted this site to my new host platform, WordPress, I was subsumed into a new language and toolbox.  In the ensuing disruption I lost my list of links to friends far and wide, near and dear, sincere and hideously inappropriate.  I find that I miss you all, and the easy reminder to drop in and enjoy your perspective, pictures, stories, lies and scheming plots against the man.  As you will now see, I have mastered the technology to rebuild my illustrious list of co-conspirators.  As a test run, I managed to put my friends Buzz and Mary back on the list, where I hope you will soon join them.

If you can accept my apology for the prolonged neglect, email me your link and other suggestions and I will create a sprawling and confusing list of writers, riders, artists, musicians, punk rock demi-gods, and misanthropic ranters.

Send links to




Standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, traffic carumps over the worn joints behind us while our Apricot poodle gazes over the muddy water of the Alabama river.  I don’t think she understands what happened here, and if you weren’t actually standing there- with the working class landscape of Selma at your back, and the hungry violent eyes in front of you, you don’t know either.  You might know the events of the day, or the legacy burnished by a thousand speeches straining to claim some ownership of that sacrifice, but you don’t know what happened.  You don’t know what you ate for breakfast, or tried to eat but only staring, unable to eat for the fear in your stomach before you got up with your empty belly and put on your coat, and walked out over the water with nowhere to run and the certainty that your ears would ring with fractures and the bile in your gut would run in viscous rivulets into the blood of your girlfriend beside you.  Stunned and feeling failure, you would be driven back to Selma that night, where soothing hands would care for you while you moaned.  A song played on the radio, Come See About Me by the Supremes,  climbing towards number 1 on the Billboard charts.

Forty-nine years later, Happy rules the airwaves, by Pharrel Williams.  Someone came and saw about him back in 1965 and now people dance to his song in Syria, Ukraine, the West Bank, and among the ruins of Cadiz City. What is more non-violent than dancing?  So the struggle continues, and right now marchers are massing to get their skulls cracked somewhere.

Straight from Selma, AL  to Lloyd, FL we drove to sit at a table last weekend and listen to a 40 year love story celebrating our neighbors Judy and Betsy. Old friends and like us, new friends shared stories.  I had to laugh as I listened to stories from a family about a family.   Love has been made, children have been raised who now raise children, and refrigerators have been carried upstairs on wobbly feminist legs without the aid of men. In spite of all efforts to stop it, full and rich lives are lived in the absence of rights, so getting such rights will not signal a beginning of a new way of life, but a promise to do better by future generations and an apology for all the skulls cracked along the way.

But for us and our poodle?  Our symbolic walk to the middle of the Edmund Pettus bridge was just a moment in a sanguinely beautiful day in the Black Belt of Alabama, following an evening of gin and tonics at the St. James Hotel. We laughed with another couple our age that night about the insanity of Alabama football while we ate catfish and french fries.  Turn Your Love Around, by George Benson  played through the bar, out the french doors and into the night air where the melody was lost in the turbulence of all that heavy water flowing beneath that bridge.





The People United

Is it an indication of a lack of saddle time that I find myself entwined in an internet imbroglio? I think that we can all vote a solid yes on that, but straight to the point now.  Bullying is quite out of favor these days.  Also, transmitting music into the open air on a bike trail is at best a very curious behavior.  These two phenomena intersect in the story of Ernest Gagnon and the creator of the “Loudest Portable Speaker for the Active Lifestyle”- Boombotix.

Never could there be a better hero to villain dichotomy than a man with a heart full of courage, riding for his life and a company that seeks to disrupt the serenity of the trail.  In a culture where the Go Pro camera is becoming ubiquitous on every helmet, and the cyclometer is replaced by an app that encourages reckless competition and cutting corners the following scenario is now a reality.

“Dude, I had my Go Pro on my handlebars pointed at my face so I could see myself biting my bottom lip when I railed that berm.  I KOM’ed the connector trail because Nickelback came on my belt speaker so I just pinned it.” 

Hmmm, might be time to get a little further into the forest on my rides.

So, this company posted an ad to a popular social media platform utilizing Mr. Gagnon’s image as an example of a rider who is without a belt-speaker and therefore “Putzing along the fire roads” as opposed to the dude with the belt speaker “bombing the single track.”

Big mistake.

As you will read in the above link to Mr. Gagnon’s name, he is a hero and symbol of courage for many.  He took up cycling at 570 lbs, not specifically to lose weight, but because in his heart he longed to be a cyclocross racer.  He can tell his story quite well without my help and I encourage you to read it if you are interested.  Ernest has endured bullying before, and this was just the latest sad attempt.  He posted a copy of the ad with a request for some support, so I picked up the phone and called Belt-Speaker, and guess who answered the phone?  The other guy in the picture, quite unaware his image was being used to denigrate Mr. Gagnon’s.  I explained that seeing as how Mr. Gagnon and I have never met, and I would be considered for lack of any other term, a fan of Mr.
Gagnon’s, he might should inform his boss to put on the waders, because the shit was most certainly flowing downhill their way fast.

And the shit has flowed.

So the internet is a complex organism, and we are but tiny mites on her ass.

Long may she scratch.


The Black Squirrel

We saw it at Munson tonight, not the biggest fox squirrel in the forest, but an indigo black pelt.  S’quatch will tell you he may have seen some grey, but he did not.  He just can’t let himself believe.  We got off the bikes to try and verify, but there is no chance of seeing a black squirrel that does not want to be seen.

We met Dan from Tampa, and directed him here to this place that used to be about bikes, and now is a place about what will happen next- and bikes. So hi Dan, good ride tonight.

There is an awful lot of Young Goodman Brown going on around here, putting in earnest effort toward forthright goals naive to the forces that wield power over you in darkness.  Are we born in a state of infinite grace that we erode with human weakness?  Are we born in a moral vacuum that must be filled with meaning and virtue, squeezed into the inky void with the bellows of ambition?

I don’t know man.  I mean I got no idea.  I just want more sunny days, more lazy ways, less 401k’s.