Monday, March 31, 2008

A ride with Noelly Frejole and Brook

I have been noticing that Noel is rollin' out for Sunday rides just about the same time as the Gazzigli Boyz are on Sunday mornings. So I hooked up with he and Brook yesterday and we hit the Hornbeck recreation area. What a fun ride we took. Noel reminds me of a kind of Sir Edmund Hillary of cycling. He is incredibly strong and big! Brook is a bike handler extraordinaire. Incredible flair and style. We laughed our butts off and rode some superb trails. I took my Monohopper and hung in there fairly well. My quads started locking up a bit towards the end of the ride, when I would get up out of the saddle for climbing (one-speed). But all and all I had a great time and hope to do it again next Sunday. Come one come all. The more the merrier!

Friday, March 28, 2008


1975, We were a motley crew of long haired, harebrained pranksters. We were rolling through downtown Reno Nevada (the"BIGGEST LITTLE CITY IN THE WORLD") in a 1960 V.W. bus. It was spring break and day 6 of a road trip that had taken us to a "vision quest" in the North West section of Nevada (the area is now used for the annual Burning Man festival.) Three of our party of seven were standing in the back of the bus with their heads and shoulders sticking out through the roof hatch of the bus yelling at the top of their lungs "Eureka.. We found it!!" Then they began tossing small handfuls of peyote buttons to the bewildered crowds of blue-haired, day-gamblers as they shuffled down the side walks toward their tour buses.
I had, up until this point, just been sitting in the back of the bus brooding and mumbling my general disdain for this whole affair and kept quipping little statements of dissension toward Matt the driver and hatcher of this silly scheme. Where upon the inevitable killer-bong made it's way back to me. In a fit of one-upmanship, I took the biggest hit of monster hash of my life and rose from my seat like a ghost from Marley dream. My smoking head was now sticking out of the top of the bus and I began screaming like a madman, "That's it! You've bought the whole pig... Hocks, Tripes and chitterlings!" "Now go roast the Bitch on your sacrificial fires you Mongrels!!!"
Smoke and particles of spittle continued to issue forth from my yowling yapper as my tirade escalated into a truly disgraceful oration, well beyond anything proportionate to the relatively prosaic situation into which our little band of hippidom had found itself. The crowd started looking on in fear and disgust when suddenly, to my horror, I realized that two of the crowd were my grandmother and grandfather Dixon. But worst of all they saw me! "Oh Charles!" leona pouted. "Isn't that JIMMY in that dirty old hippie wagon?" "JIMMY HONEY!" my papa sang out in a melodious, artificial voice. "Jesus Christ...We're BUSTED!!!" I yelled and dove into the back of the bus then buried myself in a mound of sleeping bags.
I never completely copped that entire story to my folks or why I was unable to look my Nana and Papa in the eye for years after the debacle.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Wednesday night ride at Turtle Bay East, smells of Chamomile and Ceonothus filled the swirling air, while fresh green grasses rolled along in lush, long waves. Lupine in bloom with purple flowers, yellow little ones, shimmering bright in rainbow-light, storm skies broken. Shiny oak leaves young and tender, buzzing in the high branches. My machine, smooth and quiet as I roll through the course, still looking for that perfect lap. Then , I think I put one together. At least , it was perfect for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing means Anything!

I love to try to get down to the real nitty-gritty of the inner workings of peoples minds. My own included. I have a dear friend (we'll call him Cap'n) who is a self proclaimed Atheist. I have no problem with that as long as there is a well considered philosophy behind it. But through the years, catching glimpses of the inner workings of Cap'n's mind have been like trying to read wisps of smoke from ships on horizons afar*. The other day I was reading a sort of philosophy for dummies book and I came to Existentialism. There it was! Cap'n is a flippin' textbook Existentialist! I finally had him pinned down. I quickly contacted him and feigned a position of matter-o'-factness and asked if he had read any Nietzsche lately. He asked me "What the Fuck" I was talking about. "Come on Cap'n!" I said and started going down the list of existentialistic attributes his life espoused. "I don't know what you're talking about!" He demanded. "Dammit Cap'n, to say you don't believe in God and then have no philosophy to bring some "meaning" to life, is tantamount to a monkey sitting at a typewriter randomly pecking out The Lords Prayer. No doubt about it, I gotta find a new breakfast cereal!
*Paraphrased from Pink Floyd.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I give you, The 1987 MONOHOPPER!!!

The project started by stripping every piece off the frame and forks. I had Nick from Bikes Etc. shave the derailleur hanger and rack lugs off. Then he machined out the axle drop-outs. When he returned it to me, I prepped and painted the rear triangle, forks and select other parts with orange Rustoleum, rattle-can paint. We rebuilt the bottom bracket, head set, pedals, and hubs, then replaced the hollow axle the bike came with and installed a solid axle. Then Randy worked his magic on the wheels by first making the front wheel round(!) and then he dished and spaced the rear wheel to create a perfect chain-line with a new BMX style single speed free wheel (20t) and single Sugino chain ring (40t). We trimmed it out with blue cable housings and orange "Da Kine" grips.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday Night Ride

A beautiful, squally, gusty, balmy ride I did take upon me old Bianchi cross-bike and a better man returned from that ride than the s.o.b. who left his family and home in tatters only 90 minutes prior. Golly, what a difference a ride makes in my mid-week, frenetically charged, raging bull, caffeinated, mind fire. Bottom line, traction; perfect, temperature; perfect, course; clean and empty, bike; super fast. Family; recovering nicely.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Goathead 101

Amidst a large volume of conflicting theories, myths and folklore I, J.Fuzz Feely would like to put forth my hypothesis on the life and times of the dreaded scourge of cycling, the Goathead puncture vine. Right now, even as I write this article, five Gothic skater boys (they work surprisingly cheap!) are scouring the local area in search of sproutling Goathead vines that will become the curse of 2008. I will assemble a month by month specimen collection and build a diorama with the help of "Wild Bill" the homeless, cardboard wiz-dude. All will be faithfully filmed and edited by that guy, who used to be a regular guy and frequent contributor to the now defunct, alternative Redding paper, The Flying Penguin (defrocked?). With any luck the whole project should be completed in time for the Fall, local artist/scientist film festival at the down town Cascade Theater alternative, Carpet Mart At Night Club. Remember, we're not real scientists... We just conduct a lot of experiments with plants and chemicals!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Birth of the Mono-Hopper

Well it's finished and it's...spectacular!? My Phoenix project (up from the ashes) was completed last Saturday P.M. and ridden on Sunday. It is pretty sweet and a ton o' fun to ride. In many ways I kind of put the cart before the horse and ran into some unforeseen problems that I thought would kill the project for sure, but with the expert help of Randy, Noel and Nick at Bikes Ect., I am riding a relic of my early Mountain Bike days, with a funky new twist. If you don't have an old 80's Mt. Bike that you've retro fitted into a one-speed in your stable, by all means build one. Chances are you've got an old steel framer hanging in the shed that would be perfect for it. You've also got a group of Gurus right here in Redding who'll help you do it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Art of Ugly

It's weird, I am starting to like what I've done with my old Rockhopper. At first I couldn't seem to step back and see the whole picture. But now, that it's mocked-up and rolling, it looks pretty good. I'm getting some positive feedback from others and I guess it's gonna be just fine!
Basically what we are really dealing with here is this. A little boy (Me) is motivated by fear (Dad) and thinks that the eye of a confirmed mechanical master is going to take one look at the monstrosity and laugh his all-knowing-ass off when he sees it. The very same ass that tried to grind and beat that sweet little bike into the ground. Hmmm!

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Speaking of Plan Nine From Outer Space, I had an opportunity to get acquainted with my inner Ed Wood Jr. this week. It seems that I (like Ed) am also a hopeless, corner-cutting, penny-pinching hack, who is content with a sort of "wham-bam-slap and go" kind of work ethic. The result of which has created what may be (arguably) the world's-worst, "Custom" bicycle ever.
The combination of a brain aglow with this damned viral crud everyone is spreading around and my innate Ed Wood nature afforded me numerous opportunities to step outside of myself and watch my sorry ass at work. (layer upon layer of consciousness!) There was also a kind of Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa-like dynamic to it. Bottom line, UGLY! OUCH!!