Friday, December 29, 2006


I once worked with a guy who had gone through a bad spell in his life. His wife had split, he was nearly broke, and using drugs that didn’t enhance his judgment much. So despite being an educated guy who was well read and pretty intelligent (for the most part) he decided to rob a bank and then ride away on his bicycle.

Now, as much as I love bicycles, I’ve never considered them viable getaway vehicles for bank jobs. And when you’re 6-foot-8, weigh close to 300 pounds and have a face that scares small children, a 10-speed sure as hell isn’t going to improve your chances of escape. Especially when its rider is whacked out of his mind on illicit chemicals. Poor ol’ Fish didn’t get very far.

Fortunately, his contrition and the circumstances of his life were considered, so he didn’t spend too much time in the Graybar Hotel before returning to life as a productive—albeit occasionally stoned—citizen.

Why am I telling you this story? Hell, I don’t know. I just remembered it while reading about a guy named Michael Paul Hammonds, who robbed a bank in Paris, Texas, using a shitty old pickup as a getaway vehicle. A customer in the bank jumped on his bike and followed the truck long enough to get the license plate number, enabling the cops to find Hammonds and bust him a few hours later. (The story's a little more than halfway down that page.)

It’s not every day that a guy on a bike gets to be the hero.

Sadly, ol’ Stick-em-up Hammonds apparently didn’t get his life back together like Fish. When I Googled him, I found this story about shot in the knees with a 20-gauge when he approached a guy’s house while running from the police.

Capped in the knees. Damn. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Thanks for stoppin' by. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Don't get perforated

Which is scarier?The prickly headed dude from Hellbound Hellraiser?
Or AKBubba's kinky S&M tires?

Come find out for yourself this Saturday at the final Frigid Bits race of 2006. Ten laps on Goose Lake, each one a mile long with 40 turns. Carlos has widened the turns for more passing opportunities, ribbed them for your pleasure and ... oops, I wasn't supposed to mention that last part, but I can tell you he has altered the course to eliminate the heinous sand section except for the first and final laps.

There'll be a tailgate session afterward, so toss some beer and dead animals in your car before heading to the Goose.

Race time is 7 p.m. Sign up begins at 6:30.

Just don't wipe out in front of AKBubba. Unless you're into that kinky stuff.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Buried alive

Between this new snow and all the food I've been eatin', there's not much bike news these days. I've been stuffin' my face, ridin' the trainer a bit, and walkin' around on snow shoes a lot just to get out of the house and have a little fun. Hell, the photo with this post was taken before the snow really even got started. The storm was still flexing its muscles that day. It hadn't started kickin' ass yet. We've had, what, two and a half feet over the past few days?

I did score some cool bike stuff for Christmas, though. A comfy new Terry Fly saddle with titanium rails to go on my new TCR C1; a damn fine T-shirt from River City Bicycles (thanks, Sue); and a Garmin 205 bike computer/GPS thingamabob. I'm still scratching my head over how to use it, but it'll help pimp out my main bikes next summer (thanks to the fact it came with two bike mounts and accepts two bike profiles) and give me a new gadget to play with.

Damn, maybe it'll look so flashy on my stems that it'll keep a few people from noticing the winter flab hangin' over the top of my shorts.

Naaaaah, that ain't gonna happen. They'll see the flab.

The final Frigid Bits race of 2006 returns to Goose Lake this Saturday night. My next post will include all the details.

In the mean time, I'll be eating something. Carry on about your business.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays

Steve, a guy who rides to work from my neighborhood,
riding his old GT home in four inches of new snow.

Merry Christmas to all who ride.
May Santa bring you lots of exotic bike bits.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Solstice ride update

It's too deep out there. We're switching to snowshoes. E-mail me if you want details as they're worked out.


I’ve been tagged by The Old Bag, my favorite Minnesota bike babe. So I’m supposed to post five things about myself that readers of this blog might not know. Brace yourselves, my darlings, for I am a deep pool of undiscovered wonders.

1. I don’t want to work. I just want to bang on the drum all day.

2. Sometimes I say to myself, “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.” And sometimes I ask myself, “How did I get here?”

3. I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

4. I saw Mommy kissin’ Santa Claus.

5. I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Missing mountain bikers

All last winter—and much of the past 18 months or so—I’ve traded morning waves with three guys who ride together along my route to work. Sometimes it was only one of them. Sometimes two. But often, all three. It was always fun to see their headlamps coming toward me in the winter darkness and to have a second or two of friendly interaction with some other riders.

This past summer, I finally had a chance to say hello when I found two of them changing a flat near the Fred Meyer store on Dimond Boulevard. I crossed the street and introduced myself and asked where they ride each day. They were friendly guys and said they had always wondered what my story was, and what had happened to me on the days when they didn’t see me. The same things I wondered about them.

That’s one of the cool things about bike commuting. Strangers riding in the opposite direction on a regular basis become a fixture in your day. When they’re not there, you wonder if they’re OK, especially if the absence lasts awhile. Did the friendly woman’s bike break down? Is the old man sick? Did the young guy change jobs or move away?

Now my three friendly guys are missing. I haven’t seen them in weeks. Not even their tracks in the snow. Did their morning routine of meeting for the commute fall apart? Have they changed their route? I have no idea.

But I miss seeing those headlamps coming through the darkness.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Solstice with soul

We’re entering the darkest depths, folks. Thursday will have only 5 hours, 26 minutes and 54 seconds of daylight. If you can call it daylight when it comes through the thick layer of clouds that will probably be parked over Anchorage like one of those big-ass, doomsday alien ships in Independence Day.

But the beauty is in the details, because Thursday is the winter solstice, which means it’ll be as dark as it’s gonna get. On Friday, we gain 6 seconds and begin the glorious, light-gaining march to summer. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, what is? And could there possibly be a better way to celebrate than doing something silly on a bike?

That was a trick question. We all know there’s no better way to celebrate than to do something silly on a bike.

So Thursday will be the day of the first Silly Solstice Ride. And you should be there, because who knows if there will ever be another? By next year, the whole organization could fall victim to bankruptcy, fraud, embezzlement scandals and indictments.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re invited. So charge your lights and blow the dust off your bike if you’ve been too lazy to ride so far this winter. Hell, you don’t even need studded tires because the trail is groomed snow—knobbies will get the job done.

The ride will begin at 7 p.m. by Trailwatch Headquarters (the old police substation) at Westchester Lagoon, and head south on the Coastal Trail toward Kincaid Park. We’ll ride south for an hour or so, with all the wine and chocolate breaks we deem necessary, then stop and enjoy the view for a few minutes before turning around and heading back toward the lagoon.

This will be a slow-paced social ride. Anyone attempting a breakaway will be chased down, stripped of their pants and forced to ride back with one hand while trying to protect their goodies with the other.

And because it’s the darkest day of the year, we’ll brighten that sucker up with as many lights as possible. Headlamps, blinkin’ butt lights, glow sticks, disco balls, strobe lights, whatever ya got.

Fire 'em up, folks. Only six months to go until we’re ridin' on dirt again.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Uranus is unusual

Really. It says so right there on the sign. And it glows in the dark, thanks to the chem light Carlos put on it.

Saturday night’s Snaux Bro race was held under ideal conditions. The temp was around 18 degrees, the trail was hard and smooth and my flask was full of wine. Well, it was until AKdeluxe saw me sipping from it and then bummed a few hits.

The singletrack sections in the woods around Earthquake Park added some spice. Good thing Carlos warned us about the wooden bridge. What was that, about 10 inches wide? Good thing I was following Manny so I could see when it was time to dismount and walk across the gap.

And thanks to some of the Uranus division riders apparently overshooting the turnaround, I managed to finish in fourth place. Fourth out of eight, I think. Hell, for me and my old winter commuter bike, that’s about as good as it gets.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Put your foot up his ... socks

It’s a good thing I can remind myself every time I see this picture that mountain biking is the most fun thing you can do with your clothes on, because otherwise, having to share a sport with the Dipshit in Chief would be really annoying.

I mean, c’mon, we’re not even gettin’ any benefit out of it. We actually have a mountain biker in the Oval Office, but do we ever see him wearing an IMBA T-shirt or promoting singletrack on public lands? When this dumbass hears someone say “IMBA,” this moron probably thinks they’re talking about a foreign woman who works on the White House maid detail.

Well, if we have to put up with pictures of him riding a bike, we can at least take comfort in knowing we wear cooler socks. If we’re wearing “Impeach Bush” socks, that is.

I ordered a pair a couple of years ago and have worn them proudly. Then, a few days ago, I got an e-mail from the people who sell them at Dol Active Wear. They weren’t looking for a plug on the blog—they don’t even know about the blog—they were just reminding former customers that they’re still there, and still selling the socks.

They’re good folks. So good they actually sell these bad boys on the honor system. Remember it? You tell 'em how many pairs you need and they mail your socks right away. They trust you to mail a check to cover the bill. (They also use PayPal.)

As Dolores told me in an e-mail when I placed my order, it’s not really about the money. It’s about the message.

Besides, if you can't trust a fellow cyclist, who can you trust?

Well, OK, I can think of one we can’t trust but … oh, hell, just order some socks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lookin' for Uranus

Ever try to find Uranus in the dark? It can be a little tricky.

This Saturday's race—called the "Frigid Bits: Snaux Bro!"—will start at Goose Lake and go to the Kincaid Chalet via the Chester Creek and Coastal trails, with maybe a little singletrack in the area around Earthquake Park, then return to the lake. That's about a 26-mile roundtrip, the longest race of this winter's series.

For a little less butt-pounding adventure, there will be a shorter option of turning around at Uranus on the Coastal Trail. You know, Uranus? The information board that's part of the solar-system information signs installed by some do-gooder Eagle Scout a couple of years ago?

So be prepared. When co-workers starting asking on Friday what you're planning for the weekend, you give 'em a little laugh and say, "I'm racing to Uranus! Care to join me?"

Race time is 7 p.m., so show up a little early for registration and all that stuff.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mother%*&@!rs of Invention

Singlespeed in Interior Alaska
around the turn of the 20th century.

I was reading the new issue of Bike magazine a couple of days ago when I saw a photo caption identifying Gary Fisher's original clunker as “the bike that started it all.”

Now, I really hate to sound like a geezer but I do anyway, so I’ll carry on. Anybody who’s been a mountain biker for 15 to 20 years, like I have, has seen this sort of thing a hundred times. “The first mountain bike.” “The inventor of the mountain bike.” “The guy who ‘started it all.’”

These things are always attached to photos or stories about Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, et. al. And it’s always bullshit. The caption in Bike magazine should be more along the lines of, “the bike first ridden by a guy who decided to sell a bunch of 'em by branding himself as the inventor of the mountain bike.”

No offense to all those guys and their marketing prowess, but they no more invented the mountain bike than George Foreman invented the grill.

The mountain bike wasn’t invented. It evolved. Sturdy, fat-tire bikes had been played with at different times in various parts of the world for decades before the Marin County crowd ever tried it. Some of the same magazines that often call those guys the “inventors” of mountain bikes should know better, because they have often published photos of 1940s- and 1950s-era bikes that could almost pass for one of today’s machines, especially now that so many masochists are eschewing derailleurs.

Those beer-fueled baby boomers in Northern California helped shape this sport by driving a major step in its evolution, but it would be a damned shame if their ad campaigns lead newcomers to believe those guys invented it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Now THIS is a tree

Another cool item from the folks in Morgan Hill.

This is my kind of tree. In fact,
I'd call it a TILF.

Not to be confused with a BRILF.

Thanks to Big Jonny for leading me
to these wonders of the Internet.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Your skills suck (and so do mine)

This kid's so good, he scares me.

Don't try this shit drunk.
But if you do, don't lie
to your wife about it

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Steaming winter commuter?

Or damned mountain biker
burning in hell?

(And is there really any difference?)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Last Man Standing

It's Picture Day at Bicycles and Icicles.
Why? Because I like
these shots I took at Saturday's race.Titanium bike. Orange safety-tape helmet vent covers.
Hey, it's Alaska ice biking. Whatever works.

Speaking of whatever works,
fixies with skinny tires don't
in deep sand and snow.

If people at work think my bike fetish is weird,
they should see who I hang out with on weekends.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gimp with a camera

I did something I'm not used to on Saturday. After injuring my leg during a warm-up lap, I actually exercised the good judgement to scratch from the "Last Man Standing" race at Goose Lake.

I must be getting wiser with age, because a couple of years ago, I would have raced anyway. These days, the prospect of limping for a week is less appealing than riding in a race I have no chance of winning. I had my camera, so I dumped my bike and decided to serve as race photographer.

The sky was clear and the air brisk—somewhere in single digits. As usual, every lap brought racers off the lake and then back onto it by running them over the beach. The beach sand is always the most heinous part of a lap, in my opinion, but mixed with six inches of dry snow it was guaranteed to deal out a dose of misery every time the racers passed through it.

The fixie crowd had to run through that crap like they were in a cyclocross race. Even the guys on regular mountain bikes were fish-tailing through it, and many of them were walking through before the race ended.

By that point, I was sittin' in the snow and shootin' pictures with one hand while I drank a beer with the other.

Pretty good work if you can get it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fashion show

And now, a word about my underwear. I rarely wear any and, when I do, it's usually something kinky. No, wait. That wasn't me. It was Pvt. John Winger in "Stripes."

Dang, in 1981 that movie gave me a major crush on P.J. Soles. (Who's your buddy? Who's your friend?) That's one M.P. who could throw me in the brig anytime. But I digress. Again.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Darron at Outer Sports Long Johns dropped me an e-mail and offered me a set of his company's polypro "Performance Underwear" to try out in return for a link on this blog. Now, personally, I've always thought performance underwear was the kind of stuff you get at Victoria's Secret on a good day, and someplace nice 'n' sleazy on an even better day. But considering where I live and ride all year, I was willing to be open-minded.

Besides, mountain bikers are sluts for free stuff. And, slap my ass and call me Sally, I'm a mountain biker.

So I've been ridin' around in this thoroughly non-kinky underwear, and it's good. I had to look up what they call that thing they do to their seams to make 'em comfortable and strong. Turns out, they're called "flat lock" seams.

Hey, it's long underwear, you know? But it does the job. Polypro wicks moisture, the stuff doesn't shrink and suddenly become something you have to donate to hungry people, and the reinforced seams don't fall apart when you wash your skivvies or yank them on or off your body.

Bottom line is, the stuff is good and Outer Sports reads bike blogs, so check out their site. The stuff they sent me even happens to be on sale right now, so you can save a few bucks if you need new undies.

Who knows? If you e-mail Darron maybe they'll introduce a leopard-print version.

Mmm, nah. Probably not.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Iced up

Damn, the ice-riding stuff just never ends these days. I want to write a blog post about Clif Bars or cactus-needle punctures or why Cannondale gave a $5,000 mountain bike to the Moron in Chief.

Or something.

Instead, I have more photos from last weekend's Portage Glacier ride. These are the shots I screwed up and had to salvage with a little work on the computer. The quality's still sketchy, but the ride was too amazing to not post them. And before anyone fires off an e-mail accusing us of taking unnecessary risks, let me say that the photo of Melissa standing over her bike while surrounded by broken ice makes conditions look worse than they were. All those cracks had sealed up with about 12 inches of new ice. They look nasty, but they were solid.

Speaking of ice bike news, the week wouldn't be complete without an update on one of Carlos' evil plans. This Saturday he'll be staging a "Last Rider Standing " race on the Frigid Bits course at Goose Lake. Riders can choose between 10 laps and 20 laps, and pit crews are allowed. Personally, I want a crew with a pneumatic impact wrench to make loud, Indy 500-like tire-changing sounds when I pull in after every two or three laps.

The 20-lap riders will start first, and the 10-lappers will start when the 20-lap riders have 10 laps to go. The first four finishers in each division will then have 10 minutes for any necessary bike/body repairs, then compete in a five-lap sprint to determine the winners.

Confused? Not as much as you will be after seven or eight laps, trust me.

Sign-up starts at 2:15 p.m. and racing starts at 3.

Providence E.R. is open 24 hours a day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Best ride of the winter (so far)

This one's gonna be hard to top.A month of sub-freezing temperatures and no new snow has frozen Portage Lake hard and smooth. Thanks to a tip from Jon and Rose at Paramount Cycles, I knew the riding conditions were good, so a few of us decided to spend Sunday riding to the face of Portage Glacier and then wandering around on the lake.

The temp was 15 below zero when we started from the parking lot. According to my cheesy little zipper-pull thermometer, it warmed up to -10, then held steady as we spent a couple of hours playing on the ice. What an amazing day. The kind that makes it hard to imagine ever living anywhere else.

Unfortunately, I was so jazzed by all the great scenery, I forgot to check the settings on my camera and all the photos at the glacier came out too dark. I'll have to see if I can brighten them up on the computer.

In the mean time, I bagged a few decent pics on the second half of the ride after Andy and Melissa had to head back to their car because of a committment later in the day. Maura and I did a little exploring among the icebergs (one with a natural tunnel where I threw down my sexy-man pose), ice falls and frost flowers.

Ice rides kicks ass.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pull my finger

Every winter, I hear comments from people as they pass by when I’m locking up my bike after riding to work in the dark when it’s 5F outside. Some people express admiration for the effort to ride through the winter. Others aren't shy about saying they think I'm crazy.

A few weeks ago, a woman who works in the building walked in the back door just as I finished throwing the lock around my frame. “Your sanity is seriously in question,” she said with a smile.

As she continued to talk about the single-digit temperatures and icy streets, I pulled off a glove and told her to grab my hand. As she wrapped her cold fingers around my toasty ones, she was surprised to find that I was much warmer than she was after spending 20 minutes driving to work.

Cold steering wheels suck. Grab a handlebar.

But you can still pull my finger.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I was driving to a meeting tonight when I heard a reporter from NPR say that 31 million Americans will be hitting the highways this holiday weekend. Airports, of course, will be huge mosh pits of stressed-out travelers.

No thanks. Those crowds can have all the highway carnage and TSA madness. I'm staying right here. I ran by Paramount Cycles and picked up all the holiday supplies I need: a couple of rebuild kits for my reliable, neglected Egg Beater pedals, and a brake-bleed kit so that I can start a long list of winter maintenance on my Epic.

Maybe I'll join the weekend race crowd for some silliness called "The Nutcracker." Two laps around the Goose Lake course, followed by a trail ride to the Hilltop Chalet and back, with two more laps around the lake to end the race. That's about 20 miles of riding in the dark, with expected temperatures from zero to 10 degrees.

I just need to make sure there will be a couple of fun guys to hang with in the back, and some liquor in the equation. Otherwise, we might end up looking like our man AkDeluxe here. Come to think of it, the liquor might make us look exactly like that.

I don't care. I'm not taking any chances, and I'm not doing this race on water alone.

Have a safe one everybody. Pour on some extra gravy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

High Frigidity

Gentlemen, start your shivering.
We could use some banked turns, Carlos.
(Photo by Christopher)

It was 4F at the start of Saturday afternoon's Frigid Bits crit. The field included full-suspension mountain bikes, fixies with homemade skinny studs, and the usual assortment of cobbled-together winter/commuter bikes. Just to throw us a curve, Carlos switched directions and made us run the course clockwise instead of the usual counter-clockwise.The fixie crowd, and a couple of other guys.
(Photo by AkBubba)

Twenty five racers started and 21 finished, including Rob G., who didn't show up until the second lap. And no, I don't mean he started slow and found his legs on the second lap, I mean he didn't arrive at the lake until the second lap.
Handsome makes up for slow, right?
(Photo by Christopher)

Somebody won, of course, but I can't remember who it was because I'm never near the finish line when the fast guys get there. I'm always somewhere out on the course working my way through a tight turn while muttering, "Sh-sh-sh-shit! Whew! OK that wasn't too ba ... Doh! Damn it!"

(More photos at Christopher's site.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chick magnet

I've become a big fan of Anchorage's craigslist page in recent months. It helped me find a 4Runner, sell my Tacoma, and unload all sorts of stuff from an old Apple computer to my daughter's guinea pig. And it did all of that for free. But I never spent any time reading the Best of Craigslist until the past few days. There's some hilarious stuff in there, and some of it even involves bikes.

There's the rant from the guy who gives cyclists a bad name. There's the woman who rode a bike to a Subaru rendezvous with her lover. (That one's probably NSFW.)

And, best of all, there's the bottom bracket that's a chick magnet.

Speaking of chick magnets, there's nothing that turns on the babes like fools who ride bikes on frozen lakes in Alaska, so I'll see you locals at the Goose on Saturday afternoon for the first Frigid Bits race of the season.

C'mon, you know you want it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Frigid Bits Season II: Elmo's Revenge

It was 8 degrees with a 30 mph wind out of the north during this morning's ride to work. Oh yeah, baby, winter's back.

And that means the ice is here. It's time to go back to Goose Lake for winter racing instead of subjecting yourself to the agony of da feet, which these poor guys suffered last Saturday night during the death ride down Rover's Run.

That guy in the red helmet? The dude waded through ice-cold water up to his knees in the early part of the race, then kept going. That's OK, though. The temperature was well up there in 15-degree range that night. Go ahead, take a closer look. Then tell your toes you love them and promise to never abuse them like that.

The first Frigid Bits criterium of the season is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. It's the usual drill: Show up a little early to register, then be ready to ride four, eight or 12 laps around a curvy course that was born in the twisted catacombs of Rio's mind.

Anyone with a head-to-toe costume gets a four-minute time bonus, so we can expect Rob G rolling around the course with a smile on his face while his wife, Amanda, stands nearby bandaging the fingers she wore to the bone sewing his latest pajamas while he watched "The Simpsons" and drank beer.

That damned Palmeranian will probably bag the time bonus and win again. But will Carlos take four minutes off my time for dressing like a slow, sloppy-riding fat bastard?


Monday, November 13, 2006

And then my therapist said ...

Singlespeeders often make a big deal about the simplicity and purity of their bikes. No technology contaminates their riding experience, dammit.

Well, actually it does. I know this because I passed the same SS rider three times during one lap in this year's 24 Hours of Kincaid. He was younger, fitter and faster, but he was still riding a device susceptible to mechanical malfunction. And that day, my 9-speed derailleur was working a hell of a lot better than his one gear. Every time he got ahead of me and then had to stop and fix his bike, I felt like my XTR deserved a little tongue action.

But I digress. In a disturbing way. The point is, lately I'm seeing a lot more singlespeeds with disc brakes and suspension forks. Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?

OK, I can understand the brake thing because discs are easier to maintain once they're installed and set up. But suspension forks? They require maintenance. And they make it easier to ride technical terrain, just like gears do. So why is a Rock Shox acceptable, but a shifter isn't?

Seems to me, a true purist and lover of simplicity would ride rigid. Anyone who has a suspension fork and only one gear, well, they're just working too hard to ride up hills.

I don't pretend to be a purist. I'm a technology slut. (Why else would I think of a derailleur and tongue action?)

I give myself to the granny gear and beg for hot, sweaty mercy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Poached it

All last week, I was nagged by reports of nasty conditions on the Goober Smacked race route. By Saturday, I had talked myself into showing up just to ride with Rob G. and sip a little tequila. As soon as I filled the flask and set up my bike in the afternoon, Rob bailed out to take care of his son, whom he had already nicknamed "The Vomiteer."

Motivation failed me. Instead of the race, I opted for a solo evening ride that included the soon-to-open C Street extension between O'Malley and Dimond. I love riding new stretches of road before they open. It's the only time to enjoy them without menacing vehicles.

After a plate of nachos and a home screening of Blazing Saddles, I settled in with a glass of wine and checked in via a Gmail chat with Maura, who handled the Goober Smacked checkpoint at Goose Lake.

Is it possible to increase the enjoyment of my evening ride retroactively?

Maura's report from the checkpoint indicated frigid carnage. Frozen toes, pants soaked to the thigh, and racers dropping out.

I've been known to make the decision that leads to pain and suffering. Tonight I enjoyed a quiet solo ride and a few glasses of wine in a warm chair.


Friday, November 10, 2006

“Constantly Moving”

This video is a brief glimpse into the life of Nat and Rachel Lopes, the IMBA Trail Care Crew. They’re two very cool people who spend 10 months a year traveling North America to help build and protect singletrack, and help mountain bikers maintain access to public trails.

While they were in Anchorage last year, two other local riders and I spent several hours riding with Nat and Rachel while Nat recorded digital video with a helmet cam. It was some of the most fun riding I did all summer.

Unfortunately, they didn’t use any riding footage from Alaska, so I'm still waiting for my 1.5 seconds of fame.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Goober Smacked

Carlos is stirrin’ up trouble again. Goober Smacked, the first winter race of Soggy Bottom Productions’ winter season, is set for Saturday night at 8, starting at the Hillside Trailhead parking lot. The course runs to Goose Lake and back using a combination of Rover’s Run, the Tour of Anchorage trail, View Point and Moose Meadow.

As if cold and darkness weren’t enough, EndoRando—who shot this photo on the course last weekend and then posted it on the local forum—reports that there’s slushy overflow at one of the bridges on the Tour trail. This might be a race for the Pugsley crowd, so make a date with Large Marge and her buxom Endomorphs.

Oh, and one more thing. All entrants must bring one apple. Don't ask questions, just do it; you'll find out why at the appropriate moment. Sign-up is at 7:30, pre-race meeting for all racers at 7:45.

And I don’t mean to dredge up the whole iPod-on-a-bike debate again, but I couldn’t resist posting this little number I found on Gwadzilla’s blog.

Actually, that was a lie. I meant to dredge up the iPod thing again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wasilla divorce

This "Breaking News" banner on CNN's website means two things:

1. Journalism is in an unrecoverable, downward spiral.

2. Somebody's gonna lose a trailer.


A guy named Eric sent me an e-mail a couple of days ago saying that he's been checking out my blog and was wondering if I'd put up a link for him. He's in a bike club at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

A link for a bunch of local college students who love to ride? Hell yeah, I can do that. Go Seawolves! The club link also has a more permanent home under my "Alaska Stuff" links.

And Darron at Outer Sports Long Johns recently contacted me to ask if I'd be willing to try some of his product and add a link if I like the stuff.

Imagine that: Someone who has actually read my blog offering a product sample for me to review, instead of just asking me to pimp his stuff. Darron even read my Cheap Marketing 101 post, then sent me a full set of polypro long johns—including a pair of sock liners—to test this winter.

With these clear nights and single-digit temperatures, I'll be wearing them soon. Maybe even in this weekend's Goober Smacked race, the latest Frigid Bits production a la Carlos. I'll give more details in my next post, but the Debacle in the Dark will start at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Charge up your batteries, get your lights ready and stay tuned for the course description.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Go read it

"Evolution can go to hell as far as I am concerned. What a mistake we are. We have mortally wounded this sweet life-supporting planet—the only one in the Milky Way—with a century of transportation whoopee. Our government is conducting a war against drugs, is it? Let them go after petroleum. Talk about a destructive high! You put some of this stuff in your car and you can go a hundred miles an hour, run over the neighbor's dog, and tear the atmosphere to smithereens. Hey, as long as we are stuck in being homo sapiens, why mess around? Let's wreck the whole joint. Anybody got an atomic bomb?"
—Kurt Vonnegut
A Man Without a Country

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh, mama

I think I'm about to enter a new phase
of my cycling life: part-time roadie.

This baby just joined the family
of fat-tire bikes in my garage,
and I think it's faster than I am.

It's a Giant composite TCR Composite 1.
Full-carbon frame, Ksyrium Elite wheels
Ultegra and Dura Ace components,
Race Face cranks and BB.

And I got it in November.

It's going to be a long winter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

C'mon, it's not hard

Why don't more people know the difference between "peddle" and "pedal?" This kind of foolishness is especially irritating when displayed by professionals who get paid to know better.

Writers and editors who commit this vile error should have their typing fingers slapped with an old inner tube.

Maybe I should be more forgiving. Because as Steve Martin once said, "Let's face it. Some people have a way with words and others, well ... not have way."

The example above was found on, which deserves at least a little credit for publishing a collection of cycling images.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Now that I think about it …

I once read that the average man thinks about sex every seven seconds. Then I found out the numbers were bullshit, which was a relief. I was afraid I wasn’t keeping up, despite my best efforts.

Turns out, the Kinsey Institute says the majority of men “think about sex every day or several times a day.” Although I haven't been keeping track, I'd probably qualify as an average guy on the Kinsey scale.

But I'm pretty damned sure I think about riding bikes more than “several times” a day. Could this mean that I think about riding bikes more than I think about sex?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Necessarily.

I’m just saying.

(Thanks to Bicycle Diaries for today's picture.)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wayward wankers

Damn, I love it when a wicked idea pays off. Thanks to my hot chicks post a few weeks ago, I’m still getting hits from desperate wankers looking for durty pitchers o’ naughty gurls. The poor schmo who did this Google search arrived here by looking for pictures of Lindsay Lohan in the bathtub.

Sorry, sucker. There's only one hottie on this site, and she doesn't have freckles.

It’s time to point out some new stuff for people who haven’t checked my links pile for a while. Race czar Carlos recently turned me on to the Captain’s Log, which is a treat for anyone who remembers Capt. Dondo’s old columns in Mountain Bike Magazine.

I’ve also been reading Facility Bike Club from time to time, and occasionally checking out Linda Morgi’s bike blog from Switzerland.

I’ve added Chico Gino back to the list after losing his link at some point when the Blogger site went batshit crazy and destroyed part of my template. Hey, it happens, ya know?

And is always interesting, even for those of us who aren’t abandoning Alaska and moving to Oregon, like Sue.