From the Top Of The Hill

My butt's planted back in Lincoln. The livin' is easy and friends are aplenty. Life is good.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Hello from Canada!

My internet access has been spotty, at best. I hope these photos go through. I'll post a few more soon. Enjoy!

Took this shot of the sun setting on Mt.St.Anne as we were setting up.

Danika Schroeter, Canadian rider wrenching on her bike in our pit. She got a bit obsessive over how straight her fork/wheel/handlebar was. Ok, it was a bit tweaked, and to her credit, she did most of the work herself (super-cool for a rider.) While she was working on her bike some reporters interviewed her. They asked stupid questions like, "what is your strategy," and "what is your goal for this race." She told them she hoped for a top-5 finish, which she latered confided was just a bunch of BS she was feeding them. I ran into Danika before the finals, and she was excited that she had qualified in 11th position, but was worried about her fore-arm strength because the course was so challenging and long. I happened to catch her run (saw the finish) and she took over 1st position as the 13th of 24 riders. She beat the previous best time by 17 seconds. She would end up in 6th place in the end, missing 5th by .03 of a sec. Her bragging held up!

Vanessa Quinn's bike. World downhill champ last year. Ask me if I miss working on "Wednesday's" bike, or Karl's, or the "dis here, dis here" guy.

Yeah, those are world-champ stipes on that bike in my stand. Gunn-Rita Dahle wins pretty much everything when it comes to women's cross-country, including a gold medal at the Olympics last year. She came in second here, but lost to a home town favorite, Marie-Helene Premont. The crowd went nuts.

Our set-up at the race. We survived rain, cold, heat and wind. The Trek/Fisher trailer lost their tent. It was larger than ours and brand new, bummer.

I really wish I had a faster camera, but I haven't been too disappointed with how my little Canon has been performing.

Hmmm... nice fork.

Michael Prokov schooling the field in the semi-final 4-Cross. He went on to win the event. Yeah, he's on a Manitou!

Glad to see somebody here knows how to have fun on a bike that isn't a mountain bike. If I hadn't been so busy, I'd have loved to try that boneshaker.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

If I'm in Lincoln, I must be drinkin'!

Clarke and I spent the past couple of days in Lincoln. There was fun to be had. Went out Friday night to revisit my old O Street haunts. YiaYia's, O'Rourke's, Bricktop... it was all good. My auto-pilot still got me back to the hotel.

Say my old buddy Greg and his family yesterday. Always good to see them. Went for a swim with some friends also. We snuck into the swimming pool at my old apartment complex in south Lincoln for a refreshing dip. Had a party at the D Street last night, was a little quiet, still some beer in the keg if anyone's interested. It was still a good time. John, Matt and I busted out the trials bike for a little living room session. I wasn't doing too well on the bike, but pulled out a unicycle for the amusement of all. Got some videos of it if anyone is interested. I'd have to email them to you.

Taking off today, heading towards Mt.St.Anne near Quebec.

Had a great time seeing everyone in Lincoln, hope to swing back through soon.

Kickin' the party off with some living room trials.

Heavy D and PeeWee at the "party."

The official "Tapping of the Keg." If you're thirsty and near the D Street Hotel, stop on by, there's half a keg left.

John drying off after being spritzed while tapping the keg.

This sign is on the bike path in Lincoln by the Children's Zoo. I thought it was goofy.

I think I've developed a fetish. Apparently I like to take pictures of lady's legs with chainring marks. This is the second leg in a week.

Another leg and chainring mark.

I found Nemo.

Jessie P. being molested. You know he likes it.

Back in Lincoln, eating and drinking at YiaYia's. A pic of Frankie and me. Undoubtedly the best poet I'll ever have the pleasure of knowing.

As we were driving through Denver we saw this girl pop out of a sunroof and start dancing like an idiot.

Big bicycle sculpture in Fruita.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

On the road. Finally. Clarke and I headed out yesterday, should make it to Nebraska today. Here you see me at the wheel for the first time. Is that I smirk? Yes, I think I'm enjoying myself. Give me another month or two and we'll see if I'm still smiling.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Earthquakes, Comedy and Coffee

I missed the earthquake. I don't know how, but I missed it. There was a 5.9 quake near Palm Springs yesterday. My roommate got all excited and started asking if I felt it. He was sitting in his recliner and he said it moved and his bookshelf and entertainment center were rocking.

Me, I was in the shower. Too busy lather, rinse and repeating to notice, I guess.

Todd performed at the Improv last night, so I went down to catch his set. Had a good time, laughed a lot. But I got home pretty late and I sure can feel it today. I got a large coffee on the way into work, but I don't think it will be enough.

Clarke and I have a lot to get ready today and tomorrow, we're set to take off on Wednesday. Hope to see you all soon. Have the pitchers of Old Style ready and clear out a couch at the Hotel!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Midnite Ridazz! Take Two.

Well, last night was another Midnight Ride. Took me friend Pete from work this time. This ride has been growing larger and larger. It's a lot of fun, but I'm fearing it's nearing the breaking point. I don't know how much longer it will last, so I'm just glad I've been able to experience it. Last time they had a record 322 riders. Last night the head-count totaled 620! You have no idea how cool it is to be riding through the streets with that many people, cyclists filling one or two lanes of traffic, stretching for blocks, as far as you can see. Reaction to the ride is mostly good, lots of honking and waving, but a few people get annoyed. There were a few tense moments last night, some guy got upset that somebody touched his truck and jumped out of it for a confrontation. That took some serious balls. I know we're just a bunch of goofy cyclists, but he was out-numbered 600 to 1. There also was a situation at an intersection with a police cruiser. I don't know exactly what happened, but the group got split up. At the end of the ride was big party at one of Todd's co-worker's place. It was a bunch of fun, but you know it's time to go when you fall asleep standing up watching a band play. Proving that I truly can sleep anywhere.

I have to find me a pair of these goggles.

The Bike Cult Leader. It's a Velolution!

Gathering before the ride. I really wish I could capture how many people there were. I'm going to have to find something to stand on next time.

My friend Pete from work and I. We're number one! Aren't we so cool? What the? Who thought this would be cool for a photo. Why don't we just write "Loser" on our foreheads.

I don't know what it is about seeing tons of bikes all parked together that I find so cool. This was the alley outside the party. The fence was about four times the length you see here, covered in bikes.

Pete and I saw this car today while walking through Todd's neighborhood. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it been shot up. Lots and lots of bullet holes. Don't worry people, it wasn't random violence, just your run-of-the-mill gang warfare.

This is my good friend Jonn Forslund. He's living his dream. Currently he's on his first bike tour, and he's busting it out solo. Some thought he might be biting off more than he can chew, but I think he's just taking advantage of all life has to offer. He's riding from Seattle toward Lincoln. He's already had some good adventures and met some cool, new friends on the journey. At the end of the summer he'll be leaving for Aftrica to go into the Peace Corps. Another enviable adventure that I wish him the best of luck on. Before he leaves Jonn will be taking residence at the D Street Hotel. Yet another lucky individual to join the Dirtbag Mansion clan.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Stating the Obvious

I'm driving to work this morning and while I'm stopped at a light I glanced over to see a bumper sticker on the rear of a police cruiser. It read, "Don't Abandon Your Baby." Um, thanks for those words of wisdom. Do we really need to remind people to do this? This sort of goes beyond the helpful reminders of "Buckle Up" or "Give 'em a Brake." Has this really helped anyone? I can just imagine some frazzled mother, running late to work, applying her makeup in her rear-view mirror, going over all of her days tasks, glancing at the bumper sticker and going, "SHIT! I forgot the kid in the driveway!" I mean, really. And let's take a second to think about the people who actually do leave their kids unattended at home, in a car or permanently in a dumpster. Is this sticker really going to help them?

All I can do is shake my head, roll my eyes and grin.

Where I Work

Well, I've had some inquiries about my job, where I work and what the heck this truck looks like. So I'm including some photos that I hope enlightens you all.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A few people have been asking about the truck, well here it is.

Step out the back door of Answer and there's Roller Coaster Heaven.

Yes. It's pink.

This used to be a nice shade tree that I'd try to park under every day. Then the tree trimmers came and turned it into this atrocity.

This is how they "doll up" their bikes in Cali'.

Clarke and Joel groovin' it up in the Race Shop.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Come and Knock on Our Door...

Take a step that is new, where the kisses are hers and hers and his, three's company, too!

Well, the big kickoff party for LA Bike Summer was this last Friday night on the Santa Monica pier. If you're old enough or corny enough to remember Three's Company, you know why I started my post off with those lyrics.

My good pal Todd Munson organized a bike ride from i.Martin, the bike shop he works at in Beverly Hills, to the Santa Monica pier. The route took us through Venice beach up to the pier. About 12 miles total. The ride grew to over 100 people. Bikes of all types. Even the crazies in Venice Beach were bewildered by the site of our two-wheeled pilgrimage.

I tried to take some photos on the ride and our approach to the pier with its neon-lit carnival rides, but I had my camera set up wrong, plus it's really hard to take photos from a moving bike. It was a shame, I messed up some shots of all the bikes chained and locked to the pier railings and bridge. Hundreds of them. It was like the porch at the Dirtbag Mansion during a party times 20. The party was a good time, bands, dj's, flat-landers showing their skill. Todd acted as MC for the raffle.

Next week is the Midnight Ridazz ride again, so I'll get to hit that one more time before I head out on the road. I think the theme is "Cult." I'm not sure if I'll go as member of Jonestown or Heaven's Gate. The last ride had 322 people, they're shooting for 500 this time. Can you imagine it, 500 velo-freaks riding through the streets of LA? I can't wait.

Mr. Munson holding court at the big, Bike Summer kickoff party at the Santa Monica pier.

Todd and Melissa noshing on overprieced pier food. Soon to be washed down with overpriced pier beer.

The crowd getting ready for the next band. Bluegrass is everywhere.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm a Cannuck!

The latest issue of Decline just came out. For those of you aren't familiar with it, and unless you are a complete bike geek, you probably aren't, it's a large format, glossy mountain bike magazine with lots of "edgy" photos of people doing insane things on their bikes, like launching off a 15-foot cliff. Well, a picture of me made it into the latest issue.

I'm not riding my bike off of a cliff. I'm not on a bike. I'm not even doing anything crazy. (okay, I am wearing a crazy, hunter-orange stocking cap.) I'm pictured working on a suspension fork in a Canadian service center. Really, I was in my shop at work in Valencia, CA, but shhhh... don't tell anybody.