Sunday, March 31, 2013


I was told, in no uncertain terms, to take the Christmas lights down this weekend.  I don't know if there was an actual threat of castration while I slept, but there might have been, and even if there wasn't, it was that serious.  The ladder came out this afternoon and the lights are down, then.

In other, more light-hearted news, planning for the upcoming fatbike/bikepack/fatpack trip is now underway. In earnest.  The sharpie chalkboard from the John Wayne Trail trip . . .

. . . has been wiped clean.  Let the next adventure be recorded.  Yep, camera bag's mounted, too.

And the massive task that is the sorting of gear is underway.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Antoine After Work

Late last fall (almost winter, technically), I discovered the fabulous Antoine Peak Conservation Area.  Within a period of just over a month, I visited three times; twice on bike and once on snowshoe.  Trip reports are here and here and here.  My grand discovery was well after first snow and as a result, riding to the top was not an option at the time.  I knew though, that come spring, I'd be back, and today was that day.

The drive from work to the Antoine parking lot takes somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, so let's just say 7.  Damn, that's sweet.

I couldn't break free from work until after 6, but I was saddled up and ready to ride by 6:15.  The road/trail to the top is in pretty good shape, but there's still a fair amount of mud and snow in some of the shaded sections.  The horses have been out and there's a LOT of horseshit everywhere, and you can't help but get it on your tires and from there it's bound to splatter around on your frame and elsewhere and so riding here makes you feel, umm, kind of dirty.  I'll leave it to your individual sensibilites to decide whether that's a good thing.  No judgement here.

The pond is just where I left it last fall.

I knew that with my late start, I'd probably not make it to the top on this day.  Still, this rad area offers the satisfaction of being able to climb several hundred feet above the valley floor in a short time.

This dude had a bad winter.  Seriously bad.

There are roads and trails all the hell over the place that are ripe for the exploring.  I stayed on the beaten path today, but the time is coming . . .

The road does get a little steep and rutted in places. Ahem.

I did end up pushing on, such was my unbridled desire to summit.  It took me 53 minutes from parking lot to peak.  So that's my baseline then.  I got there just as the sun was going down, which meant I'd have a pretty dark ride back down.  Which is not ideal, since I hadn't told anyone where I was going and I shit you not about how much wildlife is all around you up there.  You see animals and hear animals and feel animals all the time.  And it gets mildly creepy when the sun goes down.  But quite cool, at the same time.  I sang a newly invented song all the way down, just to avoid startling mama moose, and thereby avoiding the undesirable legacy of being stomped to death by an ungulate.  The song was badass, by the way.  It started out as a play on Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" . . .

Tiptoe, down the mountain
In the darkness
Through the mud and horseshit,
Tiptoe, on your fatbike
Da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum.
Da-da-da-dum . . .

It devolved from there into something exponentially more primal and guttural, and thereby unbelievably more effective, and which I am thereby quite proud of, since I am typing tonight instead of gasping my last breath on the side of a frozen mountain, my skull caved in by a hoof.  But which is not suitable for the internet.

I have a fatbike/bikepack/fatpack something-or-other camping trip coming up in a little less than four weeks and I need to get my legs and waistline back and I think Antoine is gonna be just the ticket.

Movie Review #3

If you like smart and edgy AND happy endings, this movie would be for you.

I watched it on a plane, over the Pacific Ocean.  I mention that because I know you think my reviews are a joke and I would just like to counter with whatever cred is at my disposal, irrelevant as it may be.

So I'm anticipating your response to this review and then anicipating that my response to your response should be that you should stick it in your pipe and smoke it, is what I'm saying, I guess.

This is all very rich. Whoever invented blogs was a freakin genius.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I'm really struggling to keep this sad blog going and I'm pretty sure it's a losing battle, but I'm not going down without a fight . . .

A few months ago, I was faced with the choice of "staying put" in my career, or embracing a new challenge.  I've never been much of a stay-putter.  About four or five times a day for the past few weeks, then, I've been regretting this about myself.  Heh.

The consequences of my decision to throw down have been super-harsh, but the challenge has also totally energized and consumed me.  Mostly, I have felt like I am underwater and just barely staying alive by sucking air from the surface through a straw.  But those few breaths give me hope that I won't fail.  It's really, really weird, but I have started to appreciate the chaos.  Even though I want it to stop.

I'm just coming off a trip to Vietnam.  I exchanged $50 and was a "millionaire" for a while. Until I bought a sandwich for 30,000.  And then I wasn't.  Maybe you can kind of see what I mean, about the weirdness.  Or maybe you just consider me a crazy dude.  Which I totally get.  Whateva.

Upon my return to our lovely country and city, and amidst our shared passion for all things bike, I immediately stripped the studded tires off the pump track bike.  My dream of gliding over the frozen slopes under the winter sky was seriously flawed.  Nothing close to that dream ever happened.  Let me just admit.

While travelling, I plowed into this amazing book.  I haven't finished it yet, but I will.  It's pretty huge. And yes, I have discovered the joy of readers. Magic, man!

So these next few pics are, in order, me taking first laps of the season, and then the wheelie bike languishing and at the same time poised, and then what I've been up to the last coupla nights, which is transforming the fatbike once again into its ideal purpose. In my humble opinion.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Upon The Closing Of The Window

Some awesome beer fell into my hands, via John, via Gage.

And Brandy and I got out.

Feel free to tell me that the mid-air position of the ball in this photo is not supremely cool.
At which point I will tell you that you don't know your butt from up.
Which is a fancy way of sayin' that I couldn't take this pic again if I tried.  Just sayin'.

I had so much more that I wanted to pack into the window, so I suppose I could be disappointed, but honestly, I am so, so, grateful for the window and at this five minutes, I feel like I used it pretty well, and am therefore pretty damned bike-satisfied.

Life is harsh for sure.  But life is good.  Also for sure.

Some Filling Of The Window

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I've worked a really long number of days in a row, but as of about 6 pm tonight, I don't have to go back to work until 7 am on Monday and so that gives me a "window".  I'm taking advantage of it in bits and pieces.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Therapy Ride

Even though I've been told a million times and therefore know I'm not supposed to, I've let the bastards grind me down.  And as a result, I've not been on a bike in almost a month.

When the bastards grind you down, they inherently induce a ton of stress and one major stress combatant is saddle time and so, as you can clearly see, my situation is imbalanced and well, just flat wrong.  I decided that a ride this weekend was happening for me, and I furthermore decided that what I had decided was non-negotiable.

The opportunity that presented itself was a trail ride with the homeboys.  To which I committed.  But upon waking, on this stress-induced-out-of-sorts and-daylight-savings-time-complicated-weird-morning (can't we please just do away with this DLST shit???), I was just not feeling at all like I had any energy or anything else to offer to the well established vibe of the SOS ride, so I bailed.

What felt right was a chill, solo, hour-and-a-half, road ride.  On a just-before-the-ride de-studded-and-shod-with-non-Tourgard-Paselas Elephant.

Holy living hell, what a fantastic, early spring ride.  The last time I rode, it was on snow and the 3 dozen times I rode before that was on snow or at least slick, and to be able to dive into smooth arc after smooth arc on a flippin rad road bike on dry pavement, on sticky, fast tires was just heaven on earth, man.  Just what the internal therapist prescribed.


The bastards will be grindin' at me again come mornin', for sure, but I'll have a re-worked layer of armor that they'll have to chip away at, so there's that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rackufacture: Archives

From back when I used to do bike-interesting stuff.

This was actually something I imposed upon The Eberlizer, the rework of a completed rack due to my OCD nature.

I have never felt good about this (particular imposed re-work).  Admittedly, the rack building program I ran out of my garage the past coupla winters was far from perfect, from a personal interaction standpoint.  It's a tough gig, the School Of Rackufacture, as I'm not the easiest personality to be cooped up with in a garage.  A natural-born teacher I certainly am not.  But in my defense, the goal was to get some racks built by/for friends and some racks were most certainly built.  So bite me about my lack of loveliness and warmth.

To the Eberlizer's credit, he was an amazingly good sport, because he is the Eberlizer, and to my good fortune, his loins never began to ache, as this would have sent me sprinting towards the house.  I hope the rack, in general, worked out for him, somehow.  The initial dry run is here (pre-rework), one of my most epic and impactful works of video ever . .

. . . and the experience appeared to be supremely positive, so I remain hopeful. That laugh of bike joy is about as good as it gets.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Movie Review #2

The Descendants.  You should watch it.  In my opinion.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Methow Fatcation Photo Dump

From 3 weekends ago.  Because finding even an ounce of free time has been brutal, ever since.  Methow is not fatbike nirvana just yet, but there's pretty big potential.  Just depends on how big the user base gets and therefore, what the demand is.  I ran across a coupla other fatbikes on the trails, but that was it.  To be fair, I didn't run across a ton of skiers either, so I didn't get a good sense at all.  I just went. And played some.