Wednesday, October 27, 2004

First Snow of the Year

Here we see DeVito smiling comfortably under a few layers of clothing. If people realized how much fun we had riding in the snow storm, maybe they wouldn't have called us crazy (or even stupid) as we left the building.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Update on the Sarge

Here we see The Sarge in his new position as first mate on a crabbin' boat. Many would agree that we've seen a decline in interest in the Facility Bike Club since the Sarge left for Maryland in July. The waterfall fire is heavily to blame too, but I saw it coming before the fire struck. The Sarge was definitely the motivator of the group. I think he would be appalled to find the state we're in if he returned for a surprise inspection! When he's not crabbin', he's coding COBOL and drinking the same time!

"Beer day is every Friday....people just bring beer in at lunch and everyone has 2 or 3.....amazing to sit at ur desk, do ur work and sip on a brew...."


No riding yesterday or today. It hasn't rained for months, so now it's making up for lost time. I don't mind the cold or snow, but riding in rain is miserable.

Instead of seeking fitness today, I went out for Krispy Cheeseburgers with my buddy Scott. I told Scott that I was a little chilly, and that my heater never really kicked on during the drive to the burger place. He just rolled his eyes. I suddenly realized I had made a wussy-esque statement. Scott drives for UPS, and drives with no right door all day. He said his feet had been wet for 2 hours already, and he still had 6 hours to go with wet shoes. So maybe I wasn't that cold after all...

Huffy bicycles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today. Huffy imports its bicycles from southeast Asia, including China and Taiwan, and sells them through high-volume retailers that account for about 85 percent of all wheeled products sold in the United States. It's amazing that 85 percent of the population chooses to ride a sub-standard bike, assembled by a sub-standard "bicycle mechanic". Recently, the neighbor kid brought over his new WalMart bike for my inspection. The rear brakes were not even functional! I guess they sell enough of this crap so they can afford the law suits! I did what I could do with the barrel adjusters to tighten the brake cables, but it wasn't enough. I told him that cables stretch on a new bike, and that he needed to come back over this coming weekend for a tune-up. He was very proud of his new bike, so I sugar coated it for him. He should have a decent bike for his skill level after I fix it for him.

Die Huffy Die!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Cold Weather Riding is Back!

Today marked my first cold weather ride of the season. The neoprene gloves, Gore-Tex jersey, wool socks, and long pants came out of storage today. A rather abrupt change, since we were wearing tank tops just last week.

Trail conditions were awesome! Carson received lots of rain over the weekend, and the sand was packed. We carried incredible speed down the Lakeview to RR Grade hill.

It was interesting to see all the ash in the sand washes today. The bottom of the sand washes were black with all the ash runoff. Since this was the first real rain since the fire, there's no new vegetation to hold anything back.

More bad weather lined up for the rest of the week...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Freedom Riders

"The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good." --Thomas Jefferson

I thought of our founding fathers as I rode today. Not because we both wear tights with funny shoes, but because I felt as if they would want me to give the tree run another shot. I pursued life, liberty, and happiness as I pedaled into the "burn area". A blanket closure of the area is ridiculous as long as I don't tread on other people's rights...causing damage to the hillside, endangering the water supply, etc. We used common sense and stayed on the trail; our tracks barely visible in the dirt.

We used to be divided by fitness level, but it now appears that demarcation will be determined by those who choose to pursue happiness, and those who choose to ride the Rail Road Grade every day.

If you've read this far, you're probably saying, "But isn't it still illegal? ". Yes. But, isn't driving 56 mph in a 55 zone illegal? Yes it is. I guess we all choose where and when we want to fudge.

There...I've justified myself to myself. On to the actual riding stuff...

Me and the other Freedom Rider did the tree run again today. Not wanting to screw up the hill like we did last time, we prepared ourselves for the final ascent. We had to search back in our memories on how to use the granny gear, and scratch and claw our way up the hill. We prevailed, and it even seemed somewhat easy when we got to the top. On the way back down, we hit Hamburger Hill. Boy did it look scary not seeing it up close for so long. It was torn up and rocky too. We went for it, and it turned out to be not so bad. Sure we dabbed a couple times, but we got a feel for it. Biggest enemy was going too slow. We will clear it next time...

Let freedom ring...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Bobcat

Just when I thought there'd be nothing to write about today (other than kicking Todd's and Patrick's butt on the climb), it happened. Crossing the bike path near the college was an animal. At first I thought it was a dog, then a cat, no too's a dog, holy's a bobcat! We stopped and watched him walk slowly up into the neighboring property. He must have been down at the college day care center looking for an easy meal.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Huevos Grandes

The more you get away with, the braver you get, Patrick said. True statement. Back into the burn area... Today we pedaled up rocky road (which is now red from fire retardant), and then attempted the back side of the tree run. The tree run was covered in an enormous amount of hay. It looked like the aftermath of some crazy hoe-down. I came to the quick realization that we haven't done a hill this steep in a long time. I spun up the hill until my back tire slipped and forward momentum ceased. At first I couldn't get unclipped, and almost DeVito'd into the side of the hill. I was at 100% heart rate, and had to hang over the bike for a few seconds before continuing to walk up the hill. When we got to the top of the tree run, we gazed up the deer run. Looks like it hasn't been ridden for months. I was tempted, but it was time to go. We blasted down the "V", and then headed down the fast path. We came across a hiker, and he appeared to be more than a little nervous. Patrick and I were both wearing tan jerseys with black shorts. I suspect he thought we were cops swooping in to give him a ticket for trespassing. He God Blessed us, and then we were on our way.

It looks like we're not the only ones that can't wait any longer. There were tracks of all sorts up, bicycle, joggers, and ATV. Someone has even started building rock trail markers that guide you onto the trails.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Behind Enemy Lines

Today we sent two operatives (we'll call them Mr. M and Mr. O to protect their identities) deep into the "Burn Zone". Risking life and liberty, these two operatives pedaled around a road closed sign, and climbed up the dirt road to the top of Timberline. The only witness to the trespass was a young man of about 5, watering the plants in his underpants. Here's the declassified account...

"The climb was littered with smashed hay bails. I don't think they were dropped there intentionally, they just bounced down the hill above the road. They were fun to ride through. I felt my self pounding the pedals, and my heart was racing. Not because I was tired though. I was trespassing, and I wanted to get the heck out of Dodge. We took a quick breather at the top of the climb. What was left of the pine trees didn't provide very much cover, so we deiced to get going. That's when we saw the truck coming up the road. Fortunately, the truck was going up the road to the water tower above Timberline. We still didn't want to be seen though, so we waited for the truck to turn the corner, and we took off. I was suddenly reintroduced to mountain biking. I was turning, jumping, braking, so many things that I haven't done for three months. I remembered why I decided to by a 5 inch travel bike! A minute went by, and we weren't even half way down! We were pedaling hard, swerving through some hay bails, riding a wheelie through others. The tires were biting in as we railed the high speed corners. Was this trail ever this fun? I can't remember. The trail was definitely a little different from all the dozers and forest trucks, but still familiar. Will I go back and do it again? You bet. Not that often at first though..."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bad Luck!

Notable recent events of bad luck...

September - Bill travels to Whistler Mountain Bike Park in British Columbia...the mountain bike park by which all others are measured. Torrential Rain kept Bill off the slopes.

October 1st - DeVito travels to Washington to ride in the Mount St. Helens area. The volcano decides to become active again after 18 years.

Church Loop Closed!

After weeks of insisting that is was ok to ride in the burn area next to the Mormon Church, a new keep out sign has appeared. I was hesitant to mention this, because DeVito refused to ride this trail. I'm dreading the day when Todd returns from vacation, smirks, and says, "I told you so!". Patrick and I originally discussed keeping the closure a secret, and make DeVito think we just didn't feel like riding in that area anymore.


We've been riding for a number a years now, and many of our adventures have gone undocumented. Some of the details of past events are starting to become hazy, so I thought this would be a good place to keep a diary. Check back here from time to time to read history in the making!