Thursday, July 31, 2008

I will not go quietly!

I rode with the fast guys (for a few miles) last night. Basically the same Wednesday night ride that's been done here in Redding for over 20 years. Only the names have changed. Lots of guys wearing Owen's pharmacy jerseys and a hand of actual living, breathing, non-android guys. That freight train really starts to get moving just past Wisconsin Ave. heading out Placer. Even with the incredible draft one gets toward the back of the pack, I found it hard to stay on the wheel of the guy in front of me. By the time we got to Swasey I was blown. All I could do was watch that long, thin pace-line steadily drive away from me. I have a few excuses as to why they dropped me (wrong bike, faulty pedal clip on the left foot, and of course 52 years old) but the bottom line is I had a blast while it lasted! My plan now is to fix the pedal, stay completely away from the front, and get on Rocky's (61 year old) rear wheel and stay there! And by God if I have to, I'll ride something other than "The World's Fastest Rockhopper!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Moderately Unhealthy

It was official, the powers that be declared that Saturday's air quality had improved to a rating of "Moderately Unhealthy" so I headed out (on my trusty Monohopper) for the Keswick area. To me, the real beauty of the solo ride, is that it affords the lunatic (you know, the one inside my head) to fully ferment and rise like bread dough, expanding up and out of a mixing bowl. As you know from previous accounts of what I like to call, "The Magic Theatre" (a la Hesse) the Lunatic, being allowed free reign, begins assuming more and more control of the program until I (who?) am relegated to Snot-nosed, coal-shoveler boy. I am never disappointed by the shear volume of material within the evil genius' arsenal. So there I was riding my bike, howling and laughing, even screaming out choice little comments of my own (what the F&%!) and no doubt baffling not only my fellow outdoorsmen but a considerable portion of wildlife out there. No wonder I never see any mountain lions or bear or birds...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Again with the Frankenstein!

The comment on my preceding post prompts me to recall the old philosophical conundrum wherein one is asked to try to prove that we are not just brains in vats being electrically and chemically, stimulated and maintained to experience, what we call, "OUR LIVES." Numerous accounts from people who have undergone brain surgery with only topical anesthesia (so as to remain conscious) report that smells, tastes and even emotions are experienced while the surgeon probes various areas of the brain.
Although I have pondered this one for some time now, I have not yet developed an iron clad thesis that demonstrates the fact or flaw of this "MIND-GAME." Suffice it to say that about the only thing I have been able to deduce, with any degree of what might even remotely resemble certainty, is that my vat would be labeled---ABBIE-something!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Catch 22

The double-edged sword of scientific proof is that, while on the one hand we can know things with absolute certainty, the other hand must then abandon fantasy and myth. I am a big fan of 70's Sci-Fi literature, but I'll admit that the whole "matter traveling at the speed of light to make the whole thing work premise" is a bit disheartening. The incredibly miraculous, long life of Stephen Hawking (given the severity of his physical situation) has allowed him the time to take things (lately) into a realm of what many are saying is a second childhood, a fantastic, magical universe. He says that no matter how broad the lens we are looking though we are still thinking at too small a level. So maybe there is hope. Everything is entirely relative, absolute truth will reign absolute, until the next layer of the knowledge onion is revealed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is only a test...

I went out to Millville on Sunday with my especially prepared Rockhopper bicycle and ended up setting fastest time of the day. Actually, technically, the event was postponed due to smoke (of which there was almost none) and has been rescheduled for August. Oh well, I am glad that I did ride the course and hope to do so a few more times before the time trial actually takes place. There is plenty of opportunity to lose big time out on that course so it will really help to know when to push and when to try to recover. I can go out and run my body on the barf-button for about 20 mins. but not 45- 60. I will have to be smart or I'll blow like a 200 pound, ten year old boy on a birthday cake full o' joke candles. Please, no comments from my family, who threw me a wonderful birthday party last week!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yet another alter-ego.

My birthday was on Wednesday and I was surprised to find a flippin' UNICYCLE, sitting on it's little stand, waiting for me. My family must really think I am from the circus. I am sad to report that the "missing years" of my life, do not include a Big-Top period however. I have been known to juggle lit flairs (during the wetter months) and I have done some tight rope walking, so this probably seemed like a perfectly logical gift to them. I am going to give it my best shot. If you see a unicycle for sale on Craig's list it aint me, it's some other guy... yeah, that's it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Slinges and Arrowes

The Fourth of July weekend (3 days for me) somehow netted 3 good rides, i.e. relatively good air to breathe and moderate temps for me. My brother and I rode from his place in Jones Valley on Friday, the Fourth, on mountain bikes up Backbone Ridge road to a drop-in road, down to the Klickapudi Trail. I found myself fumbling at technical spots as I kept dodging poison oak and attempting to see through a pair of sunglasses that I had salted up with sweat while trying to stay on the madman's wheel. My brother may be my fiercest competition in cyclo-cross later this year. I also rode my one-speed, road bike on both Saturday and Sunday. I love that bike and am always amazed at how little the difference in the times I turn on it are vs. the geared bike. I am riding the road with a clip-on mirror lately and I absolutely love it. I am not hearing as well as I used to (thank you Steve Morse 1989) so the mirror adds a little more awareness as to what's bearing down on me at Mach 9. Time Trail July 13Th, Millville, "to gear or not to gear" that, is the question!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Like a Rock...Head!

Twenty years, where did they go? Twenty years, I don't know... Bob Segar.
My oldest daughter moved out of the nest this week. I have often said that she's been the biggest challenge of my entire life. Stubborn, Know-it-all, Unteachable, these are just of few of her, In-Yo-Face attributes. But she made me work and think and grow. One thing for sure, I hope I'm around for the next twenty so we can both figure out what the first were all about. And that's all I have to say about that!