Monday, April 8, 2013

happy monday you heathens

this has been one mother fucker of a trip.  almost every night was spent sleeping under the stars, seeing some of America i never knew existed, and meeting awesome people everywhere i go.  falling face first into the love that is cycling's heart.  ...and rediscovering mountain biking on a cruiser frame (thank you again Ralph) rolling rigid on big balloon ass 26'ers.  and i've been lucky to always hook up with a local or crew.

meet this kid.

he's been riding his dad's Marin, just shredding on, well, you know... what you ride when yer riding in california.  something designed by people who live there.  when i noticed the pedals as willing to work with my cleats, i almost asked.

so he decided just a couple weeks ago, after getting his masters and before his kick ass internship, at 22 years old, mountain biking is more fun than the years of road riding.  yeah.  well i ran into him while lost at La Costa outside of Carlsbad.  the trail is just a couple miles from the beach, or just a little farther if you can't afford to sleep on the beach.  basically you should ride there, and look for the dude handing out asses on his dad's old sled, eating shit, and jumping right back in.

i was also afforded the opportunity at trying not to die chasing some dude on a 6" travel 29'er, which almost looked something almost like this... never mind trying to get a shot off.

Randy brought another opportunity on the way north.  the Inland Empire.  bring yer dual slalom bike.

i can not remember all the people's names because i'm an ass, plus we spent more time chatting about rides and drinking beer than anything else.  i know they did a 24 minute race, and it's in their second year.  but all the locals smiled and chatted it up on the climb all the way to the top.  then back to the truck in a quarter of that time.

all i can say is its out there people, all of it.  go get it.  turn off your nightlight babysitter and go do cool shit, not matter what your kind of fun is.  now

in other news, $50 a night to camp on the beach, or in any park in california whether it's on the beach or not, never mind they all get booked up months in advance, or random roads get closed whenever because of whatever.  gunna need to invest in some paper BLM maps here shortly, the ones with marked roads.  this is getting stupid.  thanks internet.  do you not go outside?

other than that, buncha driving the last couple days, i took a bunch of pics from the truck, as that was the majority of today.  but they're from the truck, and i ain't into trucks, i just drive one.  so enjoy this pic i took at Pacific Coast Cycles.  it's softer on the eyes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Van Halen sounds better in California

so much has happened in the last 72 hours that i can not even begin to unwind the tentacles of memory enough to put them together into a constant stream of thought.  the final night in phoenix started innocently enough...

and ended looking exactly like this...

i would like to give Dirty and crew a heartfelt thank you for the wonderful tuesday night that allowed me to wake up drunk, sober up packing, and eating a 4000 calorie, heart clogging breakfast to keep me full and soak up what needed to be sponged out of my gut in order to allow me to drive to our next destination.

as we had no plan other than no plan, a quick pull off the interstate to jump behind a bush to take a piss brought us to the fact that between us and the Salton Sea was National Wilderness.  which means camping bliss.  basically leave it the way you found it and all is good.  so not only is it free, it is as primitive as it gets, and as far as i am concerned one couldn't ask for more.

a quick jaunt through the Wilderness Area brought us to a vast body of water that could easily be mistaken for a "real" sea.  that was until the doors of the truck opened and the familiar aroma of Atlantic City filled my olfactory glands.  "The Sea was created by a flood in 1905, in which water from the Colorado River flowed into the area."  and it is as salty as Quint.  as beautiful and stunning it is to the eyes, the flavor permeates to the point you can taste it.  a shoreline riddled with the mummified remains of fish bathing atop large swaths of sand made of scales and bones.

i have to admit it was an amazing thing to behold, and with every reason to never visit in the first place, i am glad i did.  and as always, when you visit any natural wonder be sure to leave it better than you found it.

with the sun beginning it's drop below the horizon, it was time to motor back up to find a place to camp, eat dinner, and relax before the final push west to the point the adventure begins moving north.

one rested and rehibilitated from the last night in Phoenix (yes, it took two nights sleep), it was back on to not the interstate for the final leg of following the sun.

the climb up this mountain pass was so amazing, and every single person on a bicycle working their way up the thousand plus foot ascent had no idea how jealous i was watching them grind out the climb while my big toe gently nestled the accelerator keeping the truck at around 35mph with literally zero effort.  this is the type of climb where you earn the descent, and it is worth every ounce of strength.

once over the pass and through the southern California desert and pines,the road lumbered along thin lanes and over small passes until the final drop down until my feet planted a few inches into negative elevation gain.  the ocean air is one of the most cleansing things i have ever enjoyed, and with the theme music of the mountain pass still ringing in my head, i engulfed it as heavy as i could.

Friday, March 29, 2013

if you wanna screw a goat, and the goat is into it, i support that

it's good friday.  but every friday is a good friday.  i like tuesdays as well.  in fact, tuesday seems to be THE pivotal day for me for some stupid reason.  maybe it's the fact that for so long, like years and years, my day off was tuesday.  so going out on a monday night to party like it's 1994 seemed to make sense to me, however many of my drink.ride. buds that went along seemed to suffer much more greatly at the hand of doom than i.

1994.  fuck.  that was some shit.  that was my own personal heyday year of hedonism, drinking nothing but coffee and booze for days on end, and sometimes waking up somewhere strange missing a shoe and walking back to where ever i happened to be hoarding up that week fuzzy and half blind.  seems no matter how hard i try, 1994 is who i am.  guess maybe that was the pinnacle of reckless abandon in my life and i've tried as hard as i can to hold onto it like a cop after a doughnut.

and that's why these things happen less than two hours after i show up for the party...  almost every time.

but my life phee-lo-soffee (which is much like Cee Lo Green without the marketing) is simple:

if everyone is cool about it, then everyone will be cool about it.

see, nobody got hurt.  sure, this dude was only doing his job, and the fact that we kinda launched off the curb right in front of him is why he did his job. if i was riding my motorbike and some punk fuck pulled some shit like that, i'd probably get in their face and offer an ass whipping, which is much differnt that a warning ticket and a laugh at his expense.  there were others breaking laws right in front of us, and we were pointing it out, but The Man does, and the Dude Abides.

and i'll tell you what, being cool about gives great opportunities like one bud in Pittsburgh telling you that you need to know someone that lives in Tucsony and it turns into this.

apparently here in the desert there is only one way to pose for a picture, especially when the dude hauling your slow and out of shape ass around his home trail has convinced you to ride flat pedals on a single speed when he's pushing gears and clickity pedals.  there was no fuckin' way i could have even thought about getting a pic on the move considering the knives spires spears shivs and bayonets lining the trail.  then again, maybe that was punishment for not being ready at all in any way shape or form when it was time to go.

some more people being cool about is the High School Mountain Bike Association.  and wouldn't you know it, they were having a shin dig here that coincided coincidentally with my visit.  as always, we rolled in to the premiere just in time for the credits.

be certain to watch this movie when you can and tell me about it cuz i missed it, and support these people being cool about it.

so there you go on yer good friday, with a little inspirational speech from yer unkle dan.  go out into the world and be cool about it. and get drunk and others drunk, cuz i'm gunna and maybe we can do that together...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

missiles and gypsum

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is where the government tests war machines.  missiles, stealth fighters, you know... all that kinda shit.  it is also one of the most beautiful places i have even been in my life.  i really dig the desert, and this is as deserted as it gets.

the blinding white sand (which is actually gypsum) feels like snow beneath your feet, and it always seemed to feel cool, even in the heat of mid day.  it never stuck to anything.  as in you could fall down and roll around, get up, shake yourself off, and you would be pretty much clean as a whistle.  the campsite was about a mile hike unto the desert, and after the wind storm in the middle of the night, there was no argument as to why you were not allowed to camp on top of the dunes.

shortly after sunset, planes started taking off form the military base near by, which continued until the following morning.  shortly after 10:00pm, a huge blast shattered the still, followed by a grand explosion that could only be a missile test.  not many things make me nervous, but this was a hell of a jolt.

...and the sunset was as an indescribable spectacular light show that rivaled anything i have even seen.  if you have the chance to visit this place, you better.

Monday, March 25, 2013

know the grackle

the three days in Austin were packed full of fun like a hoarder wining the lottery.

i will say this, i had not to much interest in going to Austin, but it was on the way to Tucson which is one of the places on the trip tic.  seems this here Tex-ass city has a whole lot to offer along the lines of bicycle outdoor food and stuffs.  and in the interest of making it simple, and the fact pictures speak a thousand words, we'll just take the easy way out.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Dallas doesn't suck.

so if you need to find a party in a town you have never visited, don't know anyone, and didn't even know you were going, just look and see who's a Surly Dealer, walk in, and ask where the beer is.


Aaron looked up from his bag and said,"i got a bottle of tequila right here, and we're about to head to a bar.  come on."

never, ever, ever, question this type of statement.  you follow, and ask zero questions.  which is exactly what we did.

our blast through downtown rush hour Dallas was extra special as these dudes has started hours prior, and were already rip snortin' and ready to go.  everything happened so fast we can't even remember the first bar we entered, but it was classic belly up and order, with bartenders that knew who they were dealing with and responded accordingly.


a couple quick drinks to peel off the tension of sitting in a truck all morning, and it was off again to yet another beer swilling establish so we could make it back within the two hour parking limit.  (having your truck, with everything in it towed away at any point during this adventure would likely ruin most everything immediately).

our mad dash was interrupted by Wes picking up a nail, but luckily bicycle shops are plentiful within just a few feet of beer around these parts.  we didn't have the opportunity to hang out at the previous shop, but Switching Gears was exactly what i like.  reminded me a whole lot of my last endeavor.  they even carried many of the same brands and such.  the quick service, super cool people, and smiles made the shitty part of catching a flat comfortable and nice.  i'll give these kids my endorsement, as if that matters at all.

we stomped into Craft and Growlers realizing that if you wanna cheap beer, you are completely in the wrong place.  and by cheap i do not mean shitty.  $4 for a special looking glass of porter was just fine, as long as your in the mood to chill.  we weren't.  it was time to eat.

Our host, Aaron (who turns out it the me of Dallas) and i hauled back to pick up the truck, while Jessica and Wes were going to ride to Aaron's to meet up for grillin' chillin' and swillin'.  once Aaron and i got the most amazing mexican grocery i have ever been in through the entire course of my existence, i got a text from Jessica letting me know Wes was doing wonderful, and had only eatin' shit four times, and that they were a slight bit delayed.  you'll have to ask her for the details but after seeing him show up an hour and a half later, it was obvious these dudes knew how to party on a wednesday night.

as the evening carried on with more people showing up, dents beginning to show in the store of beers and tequila, some falling, tripping, flipping and dipping, while dogs ate everything that started to begin to fall from our numbed hands and blurred minds, we retired to a table of dominoes and low light to relax and taper down the festivities to a 1:00am slumber.

guess what?  we are everywhere.  we are people that don't give two shits about strava, lycra, how much your bike weighs or where you are from.  we care only that you ride bikes, drink beers, have fun, and wake up knowing that no matter how bad your brain is pulsing with the thump of a million mules kicking you in the skull, you have a home.  this is only day four, and it no doubt is going to get even better.