Monday, September 29, 2008

Further Explorations of Old Hwy 99.

I got a ride to Red Bluff in my friend's pick up truck, early last Saturday morning. I took my one-speed road bike out of the bed of the truck and then rode home on it. It took me about two hours and I had a beautiful ride. As I made my way north I started thinking about old 99, how the old highway used to go right through downtown Red Bluff, Cottonwood, Anderson and Redding. When big old "Super Slab" (that's what they used to call I-5 'cause it was cement originally) carved a football field wide swath through farm and ranch land the length of the state, well my friends, that's when my grandpa and his pals started the saying; "I've watched this place go from Jackrabbit to Jackass!" Tom Wolf said "You can never go home again." Well I suppose that's true if we're talking about living in Mayberry but really, about all a guy can do these days to get off the thundering circus freak show ride is get out there on his bicycle and take a long ride. Enjoy your Bicycle!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Goat Heads Are Ready!

The smell (and sound) of basmati rice and lentils, gently simmering on the stove, mingles with cool early morning air as it falls into the house through an open window. They slam into one another right here where I sit, in front of the computer reminding me of my years in a Turkish prison. I woke up in love this morning, but it may just be the early symptoms of West Nile disease (God Damn this outdoor lifestyle!) My hips feel like they've been beaten by the prison guards (again!) I was movin' kinda slow upon risin' this morning. Might just be all this running up and down steep hillsides with a fargin' bicycle hoisted upon me shoulder. Oh well, if nothing else it's good penitence.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Check out my 69'r!

Well I intended to have a short video of my little 69'r CX bike here but alas, my computer skills are on par with my bike mechanic skills... NEEDS TO IMPROVE! I had a funny dream this morning just before I woke up, in which I was in a cyclocross race. I discovered that it was just as fast to run with the bike on my shoulder as it was to try to ride the very technical course. It got real weird when I realized that some of the other guys had also figured it out but had taken it a step further. They were cross-country runners carrying small pieces of a bicycle (brake levers, chain rings) and were winning races on a technicality!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trouble? Call Mr. Wizard!

With cooler mornings and shorter days, you better believe that thoughts of the upcoming cyclocross season are on more than just this old boy's mind. There is a buzz in every shop (bicycle) in town and lots of phone calls and emails are being made and sent. I got to work outfitting my crazy, Frankenstein Bike, for it's next incarnation as a 69'r, one-speed, CX machine. Almost immediately, I found myself in a spot of bother with the, how the hell am I going to do that, REALITY of the project . You see, I am not a real bicycle mechanic, I just play one at my real job, at Carpet Mart. So, thanks to my friends at BIKES ETC. another one of my Hare-Brained ideas will be rolling around here on earth with my old carcass atop it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

One Speed Super Moto.

I have been riding my Redline, 925 bike on Saturday mornings for about a month now. I go from my house down Bechelli Lane to Bonneyview then over the river west through the construction area. Nice progress is being made down there, soon it will be a very cycle-friendly byway. The big tandem tires, the bike is shod with, allow me to hop over to the (still) gravelled sections , well off to the side of the narrow traffic corridor. I then work my way north, up through the farm-like neighborhoods of that area, to strategically emerge on Eastside road, right at Cross Fit training gym. So far, my hope of being seen by fellow cyclocross people has not panned out. Then it was up to the Farmer's Market at the city hall for an amazing oatmeal raisin cookie to fuel my further northern meanderings. Over the Sundial bridge to Market Street, I got back on the dirt at the bottom of Sulphur Creek hill and went up the old hwy 99 route to Lake Blvd. About a half a mile further north I got on Twin View Road (also old 99?) and got up to the Redding Record Searchlight area. From there I roll down through up-scale neighborhoods to a cool little dirt section along Churn Creek to the North end of Hawley Road. From there it turns into Churn Creek Road, south through the "Big Box" jungle and home for yet another cuppa Tea.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday Morning Ride.

Feels like I've been abducted by some kind of dream ghost, during my absence, the season change has happened. Rode my Mono-Hopper this morning at 6:30, started out dark and cold, ended back here at Carpet Mart, cool and Autummy. I threw on a few extra articles of warm gear (could have used fingered gloves!) then headed on up to sundial bridge and out west on the river trail. Staying close to the river probably contributed to my chill factor but I didn't want to be out there in traffic, in the dark. Something about riding early, feeling groggy and stiff and hitting those first climbs (that makes breathing feel as if I were sucking through a soda straw) that really blows! I think I may be going back to Wednesday Evening rides real soon. In the mean while, cooler temps are sure wonderful.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's on your I-POD?

I see that now-a-days, a common question asked of celebrities is, "What's on your I-Pod?" When I think back, not so long ago (that is, if you're old enough to not consider the entire lifetime of a young adult a long time!) to the choices of music that the average Shasta County resident (of the 70's) had available to themselves, compared to today, it really "Blows one's mind!" When I think back to the Pop Music, Top 40 B.S. Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, K.C. and Sunshine, Horse manure (Hmmm, that's a fun word, it's Ma, that's a nice word, with newah at the end!) I am semi-amazed that there weren't more Charlie Manson, John Wanye Gacys running around out there!
Well it's September so I have begun throwing in the occasional, dismount-and-run-with-the-bike-on-my-shoulder to my rides, in preparation for the not too distant cyclo-cross season (YAY!, OUCH!) There I was riding along with my decidedly retro transistor radio playing when Tourrettes-like, I leapt from the bike and began plowing and crawling up a steep embankment, while singing loudly in my operatic falsetto voice, along with the radio, "September Morn, I reached to you to find a brand new day!"