Mar 31, 2009

Let's set the record straight

It's not about the music.

Punk Rock.

Obviously not Punk Rock.

Playing is Punk Rock.

Sitting is not Punk Rock.

Hole was Punk Rock.

Not Punk Rock and never was.

I have 10 reasons Dave is Punk Rock.

Jay Lame-O is not Punk Rock, or funny for that matter.

It doesn't get much more Punk Rock than this.

It doesn't get much more un-Punk Rock than NASCAR (yawn).

Iggy is and always will be Punk Rock.

These guys? Not so much.

No matter what side of the pond it's played on, football is Punk Rock.


Shane will be Punk Rock 'til the bitter end.

Henry is poser and that's not Punk Rock.

Simple Punk Rock.

Simply makes me sick.

Vans are Punk Rock.

Hummers try too hard.
It's actually pretty black and white.

Mar 30, 2009

Back to Reality

On the same weekend as the Redlands Bicycle Classic, there was this other bike race just down the 10 freeway a few miles. I have to admit, there wasn't much in me that wanted to go race Fontana during RBC, but it turned out okay in the end I suppose...

Riding a brand new bike that I had very little saddle time on and getting called up about 100th in a 110-man field didn't make me feel much better at the start line. Oh, and I forgot my gear bag, so by the time Denise & Ryder had delivered it to me, I had just enough time to throw on my kit and ride over to the starting line. That turned out to be my warm-up, a whole 3 minutes. Anyway, I started on the second-to-the-last-row, but I had good company because a stealthy Aaron Olson was in the row just in front of me. It's comedy when you start that far back because you know you're about to get a good seat for all the funny stuff that happens on the first lap of a race. And with the new gnarly downhill trails and steep & loose uphills they threw in at the last minute, I saw a lot of funny stuff.

To make a long story short (my entire life is about trying to make a long story short), I ended up 66th. Olson, BTW, finished 49th. I'd say there's not much more you can do when you start that far back, but Todd Wells broke a chain on the first lap and went from near last place to 7th. What frustrates me is when he passed me, I was able to ride with him for a few minutes before I lost him in traffic. Why is that, I have to ask myself? Today I go back to work and I see on his blog, that he flies to South Africa for a World Cup. Lucky bastard, say hi to the Dart for me.

The Canadians killed it. Four in the top ten including the first two steps on the podium taken by Kabush and Plaxton. I don't think Kabush has ever lost at Fontana since we started going there for a National.

My new Gary Fisher HiFi XC is rad. I had some serious doubts about racing a full suspension, but now I'm sold. I spent a lot of time getting my front and rear end working right and once I got it dialed, it's a much better ride than those old hardtail things I've been preaching about for the last few years. Who would have thought? My legs are trash today, but the rest of my body definately feels a lot better than if I had given it a go on the hardtail.

I'm bummed the weekend is over. RBC is one of my favorite times of the year. Everyone is in town, you run into so many friends that you don't see that often, and my family was out to watch Ryder & Destry race on Saturday morning. Joey & Jamie raced the USAC Cat 4 crit on Sunday morning. On a borrowed bike, and with a lap to go, Jamie bridged up to a guy up the road and rode away from him taking it to the line with a few feet to spare, while Joey finished in the top-ten. Good job boys. They obviously didn't learn their crit riding techniques from me.

I should probalby go to work now. Hopefully I'll have some photos soon...

Mar 23, 2009

The circus is coming to town

Actually, both circuses are coming to town.

This circus.

And that circus.

I should have a new bike to race at the dirt circus this weekend. Hopefully I feel better than I did last weekend in San Dimas. The road race was pretty uneventful for me. I’m racing myself into shape, so one moment I’d feel great and the next, I’d feel not so great.

I did manage to get into a 4-man chase group that looked promising as we tried to bridge up to the winning 10 man break, but no dice. For some reason a couple guys got selfish going up to the KOM so we got picked off on the finishing stretch just before the bell lap. The effort was a big one so I pretty much sat for the rest of the race, like I did most of the race.

Since it was raining on Sunday and I had moved down in GC after the road race, I didn’t bother going back for the crit. I did a wet and muddy lap at Fontana instead. The course is getting shorter and shorter because the county (or city?) keeps putting up fences. I suspect this weekend will be the last big race held in Fontana. There, I just started a good rumor.

I wonder which circus Larry will join this weekend?

Mar 20, 2009

San Dimas Stage Race: Stage 1, Glendora Mountain Road Time Trial

Do I go when he says zero or when he says go?
Man, this guy has some really fat fingers.
Did I go when he said zero or when he said go? I can’t remember. I hope they don’t DQ me.
This effing sucks.
Jesus, this guy’s going even slower than me.
Later dude.
This effing sucks.
I wonder what time it is?
Don’t look at your computer. Just ride. Ride fast.
What difference does it all really make anyway?
Shut up! Faster!
Faster asshole.
Where did this wind come from all of sudden?
Am I spinning too much? Push a bigger gear.
That seems too big.
I think I should spin some more.
This effing sucks.
I only caught me 30-second man. I should have caught my minute-man by now. This is not good.
That’s a big camera lens.
At least no one has caught me yet.
I wonder what time it is?
Don’t look. Don’t look. Just ride.
I hate myself. Suffer. Suffer.
You’re almost done. Faster. Faster.
Well, technically you still have three-quarters of a mile. You don’t want to ride to hard and then blow up in the last 100 meters.
Last turn.
Sprint. No, wait it’s too soon.
This effing sucks.
Now sprint.
Man, I suck at sprinting.
Thank God it’s over.
Maybe I should take up sitting on my ass and watching more TV instead.
Tomorrow’s road race will be better. You can make up time there.
Tomorrow’s road race will suck. You’re not going to make up that much time.
Okay, it’s time to start training. No more beer. No more wine.
That effing sucked.
I need a drink.

"You know I'm not good at apologizing, so I'll just skip it if it's all the same to you."
- Steven Zissou

Mar 17, 2009

Maybe some day there will be a St. MacGowan's Day

I'll warn you right now. This one's gonna be a doozy. And a bit mushy too.

So it's St. Patrick's Day. Well, every day is Patty's Day as far as I'm concerned. I was going to let it go with a simple photo or 2, but then a friend from work sent me something that inspired me to write about what I've failed to write about recently. Below is what the lass Erin O'Donnell sent me, and below that, I continue my 20-plus year unhealthy fascination, addiction, and obession to all things Shane MacGowan. What? You're surprised?


It's 1987 and I'm in my bedroom sitting on my black beanbag listening to KUCR on my Magnavox sterio when they play a couple tracks off of Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. I honestly don't remember which songs they were, but it was angry enough and fast enough and the music was awesome and Shane was awesome and I was immediately hooked on the Pogues. I later had a hard time smuggling the actual cassette into the house because my mom wouldn't let me buy an album with such a filthy title. And that just made me like the Pogues even more. Good work mom.

Before the Pogues, Shane was already a teenage star after some chick (it's always a chick) cut his head with a broken bottle at a Clash show in '77 or '78. There was blood everywhere, and a photo of it ended up on the cover of a London Newspaper with a headline that read something like, "Punk Savages Take Over London." A little irony is that in the early '90s when Shane was kicked out of the band, Joe Strummer actually stepped in as the lead singer during live shows. But you probably already knew that.

There is a lot of Shane-inspired art in the world today. I like this one because he's wearing a top hat, 'a la two of my other heros, Lincoln and Bob Dylan.

Never the poster boy for sobriety. I don't know why Shane bothers wearing a watch. He's seldom on time. When Denise & I saw the Pogues at the House of Blues, they came on stage so late that the audience started to think Shane was passed out drunk back stage. Actually, that's always a worry at a Pogues show.

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but it looks pre-Pogues. Probably in the late '70s when Shane was the front man for the Nipple Erectors or the Nips. Before that he wrote, published, and printed his own punk rock magazine. There once was a time when I wanted to do the same.

Shane & the Pogues have a loyal fan base all over the world. The first time I saw them, I felt like I was at a B-list Hollywood premier.

Shane too suffers for his people.

This is a great book. Dictated, then printed by his on-again, off-again girlfriend Victoria, it's full of stories from the early days of English punk rock, soul, and reggae, all the way to the present. He even talks about his teeth, or lack thereof.

The men (and woman) they couldn't hang.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2006, I saw the Pogues at the Wiltern for the first time. It was their first west coast appearance with Shane as the frontman in over 15 years. I had an extra ticket because Denise couldn't go, so originally I was just going to give it away at the door because I didn't want to "babysit" someone who wouldn't appreciate the show as much as me. A couple days before the show, my mom called and asked if she could go.

When we got there it was an all-ages show. The kids to my left had X's printed on their hands and the people to my right were eligible for social security. As we waited for them to take stage, the Clash's Straight To Hell played in the background as a tribute to the late Joe Strummer (that song means so much more to me now and whenever I hear it, it makes me tingle). Just before the song was about to end, the lights dimmed, they took the Wiltern's Ornate stage and broke into If I Should Fall From Grace with God. No lie, I began to weep.

Shane and the Pogues can kick you in the brains, plus they're beautiful and here's why:

"I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can´t make it out alone
I´ve built my dreams around you"
- Fairytale of New York

"And now I'm lying here I've had too much booze
I've been shat on and spat on and raped and abused
I know that I am dying and I wish I could beg
For some money to take me from the old main drag"
-The Old Main Drag

"This morning on the harbour
When I said goodbye to you
I remember how I swore
That I'd come back to you one day
And as the sunset came to meet
The evening on the hillI told you
I'd always love
I always did and I always will

He fought the champ in pittsburgh
And he slashed him to the ground
He took on tiny tartanella
And it only went one round
He never had no time for reds
For drink or dice or whoresAnd he never threw a fight
Unless the fight was rightSo they sent him to the war"
- The Body of an American

"I've been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I've cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways
We watched our friends grow up together
And we saw them as they fell
Some of them fell into Heaven
Some of them fell into Hell
I took shelter from a shower
And I stepped into your arms
On a rainy night in Soho
The wind was whistling all it's charms
I sang you all my sorrows
You told me all your joys
Whatever happened to that old song
To all those little girls and boys
Sometimes I wake up in the morning
The gingerlady by my bed
Covered in a cloak of silence
I hear you talking in my head
I'm not singing for the future
I'm not dreaming of the past
I'm not talking of the fist time
I never think about the last"
- A Rainy Night in Soho

"A curse on the judges, the coppers and screws
Who tortured the innocent, wrongly accused
For the price of promotionAnd justice to sell
May the judged be their judges when they rot down in hell

May the whores of the empire lie awake in their beds
And sweat as they count out the sins on their heads
While over in Ireland eight more men lie deadKicked down and shot in the back of the head"
-Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six

"And in the euston tavern you screamed it was your shout
But they wouldn't give you service so you kicked the windows out
They took you out into the street and kicked you in the brains
So you walked back in through a bolted door and did it all again
At the sick bed of cuchulainn we'll kneel and say a prayer
And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devil's in the chair"
- The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn

"Well Jimmy played harmonica in the pub where I was born
He played it from the night time to the peaceful early morn
He soothed the souls of psychos and the men who had the horn
And they all looked very happy in the morning"
- Sally MacLennane

Mar 16, 2009

How about filling some of those pot holes instead?

Everywhere I go in town they're ripping up the roads. What's going on? Texas, ripped up. Redlands Blvd, ripped up. Eureka, ripped up. Stuart, ripped up. Oriental Ave, ripped up. While they're at it, they should probaby change that street name to Asian Ave just to be PC. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a detour sign. Now they've ripped up Mariposa or Dwight or whatever the hell it's called there at Caroline Park. The Obama Infrastructure Plan has wasted little time in leaving broken pieces of asphalt in it's wake. I was out on a ride today and I could figure out if I was in Redlands or Beirut.

With all the road work near Caroline Park, tomorrow night's ride should be interesting. Hopefully no one comes flying around the corner on Mariposa, sticks it into the broken asphalt and dies. That would be bad for business.

Mar 13, 2009

Thanks to Facebook and the big mouth of some people, within the time span of a day and a half, Adam, Joy, & Krista threw together an outlaw short track race at Hulda Crook on Thursday night. More than 10 people showed up for 20 minutes plus 3 laps of pain and suffering. The death-defying figure-eight course was even marked with cones and environmentally hazardous paint that were "borrowed" from a nearby school.

Half way through the first lap I did my best Tree Farm impersionation and took a flyer, only instead of going it alone, I took Robert Bender & Adam with me. Eventually it was just Bender & I and going into the last lap he stuck it to me pretty good, gapping me on the downhill & then drilling it on the following climb.

Willem even talked one of his friends into walking out to the course to hold up lap cards.

Afterward we all stood around and talked about how much we suffered and how much fun it was and how cool bikes are.

Then some of use rode up to the Jedi and back down to the park before it got dark.

It's a damn shame there are no more short tracks, with the exception of Sea Otter. We'll probably keep it up until Sea Otter, until the heat comes and shuts us down, or until someone keels over and dies.

Anyway, if you have a mountain bike, you like to suffer, and you don't want to go around in circles at an industrial park crit practice, come on out and try not to get taken out on our figure-eight short track. We can use the bodies.

Mar 11, 2009

I’m suffering from some serious writer’s block on this blog and even worse at work. I don’t know what the deal is, but the deal isn’t good. When life hands me lemons, I do what most of you would do. I Google lemons to figure out what the hell I’m supposed to do with these lemons. If you haven’t figured it out already, a lemon in this case is a metaphor for writer’s block.

Google gives me 8,810,000 entries for "writer’s block". It starts with Wikipedia’s entry for writer’s block, which is defined as, "a phenomenon involving temporary loss of ability to continue writing, usually due to lack of inspiration or creativity". No shit. I already know that. Now, how do I cure it?

Ah, here it is. Practical Tips for Beating Writer’s Block. I click on it and it gives me an article on titled, Top 10 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block. Of course, there are 10 tips, which actually tells me only about 7 or 8 are useful tips and the other few are useless bullshit made up to complete the list at 10. I’ll go back to Google and see if someone has the integrity to publish a Top 4 Tips for Curing Writer’s Block.

No such luck, but here’s something much more interesting and related to my love for the liquor.

Top 15 Great Alcoholic Writers.
15. Hunter Thompson
14. Raymond Chandler
13. John Cheever
12. O. Henry
11. Tennessee Williams
10. Dylan Thomas
9. Dorothy Parker
8. Edgar Allan Poe
7. Truman Capote
6. Jack Kerouac
5. William Faulkner
4. Charles Bukowski
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. James Joyce
1. Ernest Hemingway

According to this list, my options are to die young, go gay, or grow old and crazy and and shoot myself. Nope.

Back to Google. Here’s a link to Brainy Quotes from Hemingway. I’m a sucker for quotes. What does our old drunk suicidal friend have to say?

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”

Brilliant. That solves it. Tonight I’m going to fill the well with a bike ride and a drink (or four).

I just thought of something kind of funny. What if I went to Google and typed in "writer’s block" and instead of 8-million entries it pulled up zero entries? I deserve a fifth drink tonight just for that brainy thought.

“Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go on an overnight drunk, and in 10 days I'm going to set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it. Anyone who wants to tag along is more than welcome.”Steven Zissou

Mar 8, 2009

If you're not against mini bikes, don't cross this line. If yes, do.

Every year at this time, the time of Bike Week in Daytona, I actually do miss the motorcycle biz. Bike Week is/was a lot of fun. Ryder & I went to Mer & Joey's last night to watch the Supercross. Turned out to be a good race. Sounds like the 200 was a different story. Leave it to the AMA to take a good idea, like running the 200 under the lights, and still managing to find a way to screw it up.

In my never-ending quest to get faster, I did a Southridge race yesterday. It went much better than last weekend. That's for sure. I'm still not ready to go full-throttle, but Sean Donovan and youngsters Trevor Downing, & Adam Snyder are (Fort Lewis' spring break is an early one apprently). They drilled it from the word go and I hung on to that train as long as I could before coming off. It's a work in progress. By the Nat'l at the end of this month, things should be better.

I saw Adam Spik at the race yesterday. I haven't seen him in years. He's a fire fighter now and has two kids. While on his sweet Phil Wood single-speed, he made a comment about still reading my blog when I actually update it. He's right, I suck at this blogging thing now. For example, all I have to say are single-sentence statements.

Friday night Ryder asked Denise & I if he could have a treat for finishing his bowl of ice cream.

I'm selling my TT bike and a bunch of other brand new bike parts so if you need anything email me.

Today I'm going out to ride Glendora Mountain Road in preparation for San Dimas Stage Race.

Since Joy and Monique are involved in the Southern California High School Mountain Bike League, I feel like I should get involved too.

I hope Joey remembered the time change last night since he's supposed to be in Long Beach today for a 7:15 AM crit.

Today is Jeannie and Christie's birthdays.

Poor Josh has to go to Disneyland with Jeannie, so I'm wondering what Christie is sticking Greg with today.

Johnson was hanging out with Ben Harper and Lance Armstrong last night.

Between a muscian and a 7-time TdF winner, I bet you can score some pretty good drugs.

Just kidding.

I still can't believe the federal gov't has banned the sale of mini bikes.

At least there is no ban on the sale of Steve Zissou artwork.

"If you're not against me, don't cross this line! If yes, do." - Steve Zissou

Mar 3, 2009

At least I got to see the intersection where Tupac was shot.

There are two things for certain. In the beginning of every of year, I always find myself doing business travel, no matter what line of business I’m in at the time. And, at the beginning of every year, it takes me 2, or more, MTB races to learn how to suffer again. It doesn’t matter how much training I’ve done or how many road races I’ve done prior, nothing mimics the real thing. The first few MTB races always hurt like hell. If you could ride a bike in the fetal position, that’s how I would have been riding last Sunday at round 1 of the Kenda Cup West, also known as Recession Series.

It didn’t help that only a few days before, I spent 3 days in Salt Lake City followed by 3 days in Vegas. Eating a lot, drinking a little, sitting a ton, standing too much, not sleeping at all, and exercising nil: the good old American sedentary lifestyle does not bode well for good bike racing results. I’m not making excuses. It is what it is.

This is the Vegas I know. It's not slot machines or card tables. It's conference halls and glad handing. Since it was the day before Fat Tuesday, the welcome dinner had a Mardi Gras theme. I got some beads for asking a question in one of the technical sessions.

Vegas was the second stop on our two-part conference tour of the American Southwest. The tarot cards told me I wasn't going to make it home alive.

Before leaving town we had to stop at the karaoke bar in Harrah's so Donny could do a chilling redenetion of Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive. I was glad he didn't do a Stevie Ray Vaughan song since Donny is from Texas. I hate Stevie Ray Vaughan's music.

Back at Mardi Gras, Donny and this incredibly bored girl paid to stand around and look Mardi Gra-esque posed for a picture.

To get a little exercise in SLC, I considered swimming a mile in the hotel pool, but then I thought, to hell with it. The thought of trying to count that high just made my head hurt even more.

Vegas didn't kill me, but the race on Sunday nearly did.