27 August 2006

Bike Camp

One of the risks of sharing a plot of ground with humans is that you have to live with those hominids, ever so slightly as it might be. Camping in public / private campgrounds offers the security of organization (Site 34, Site 35) and some degree of comfort, especially when bike touring with children. There are a number of camps near our home and one even offers an Olympic-sized swimming pool, horses, horrendous quads and, yes, even mountain bikes for those who do not bike to camp.

But then there’s the people. Some people. They are rowdy, loud, drink a little too much as though nature and star-filled skies bring the best of alcohol-induced male bonding. Rudeness is a key ingredient in male bonding, it would seem. But who am I -- ??? -- to say.

At 04:00 a.m. while the toughest males of our species where playing hide-and-go-seek with equally well-behaved females of the species around our tents, my lovely wife calmly said TO ME: “Oh, shosh, you old grouch. Remember that time in South Jersey when you and Santi lit a torch in camp and prayed to the fire gods – quite loudly till dawn?”

I don’t remember, I must say.

22 August 2006


I almost forgot. In Frankfurt Airport many of the staff ride bikes too and fro. They are little bikes – like Bike Fridays – with their racks and baskets to carry stuff around. Pretty cool. They are obviously silent and seem quite effective. I never noticed them in other airports before, but then again now I see bikes everywhere.

18 August 2006


I ’ m
u n d e r
p r e s
s u r e

It seems like my LBS guy has me correctly measured. I’ve been roaming his shop like a drunk outside a licor store. I look for excuses to go in; I want to see more bikes. Am I beginning to like road bikes and spandex?

Turns out that Mr. LBS has a second-hand Specialized Allez from a kid we know. (The kid’s sicker than I am and wants an all carbon roadie though his Specialized in practically brand new.)

“It’s a nice bike,” he says, “in great condition,” and he grins his evil grin. “Nice price, too.”

Stop. (I wash my face in cold, stream water.) What the hell am I gonna do with a road bike?

Will I break Piglet's heart???

15 August 2006


Good stuff from Mr. Grahm: I don't want to live a big life I just want to live a small life doing whatever I please.


Stop thinking the world is happy and altruistic, it will squash you like a bug if there is a dollar in it. Turn the television off, stop going to the mall, go for a walk with no cellphone and no money just walk for the sake of walking. Watch the sunset instead of some stupid fucking Nascar race. Think about something anything instead of just letting the advertisers push their shit into your mouth. Do something. Get off your ass.

13 August 2006


I was away on another trip.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch half my country has been burning to hell. Apparently some bunch of psychos have been setting our forests ablaze. We have experienced nothing like this in our known history. Fires burn everywhere you look around the horizon – all is smoky haze.

All the mountains I normally ride through, enjoying that Irish-like, Celtic-green scenery, are now smouldering heaps of ash. Wild horses and cattle have made their way down to some towns to find minimal food and water. I hate to think what has happened to the rest of the wildlife.

Three folks have died so far from smoke inhalation.

We need a cold front to stop the northeast winds on their tracks. We need winter rains.

That these catastrophes are intentional is beyond reason. That these people aren’t caught – yet – is right down shameful.