Friday, April 17, 2015

My First "real" bike.

The year was 1970. Starved for the real deal, having owned the Sears Roebuck version of a Schwinn Stingray and grade B versions of baseball gloves, basketballs, and footballs, I gathered my paper route monies ( I was paid $.03 for each issue's weekly Derry News delivery) and got a ride to Salem, NH. The mission was to buy the suddenly accessible dream bike. The promise of owning a popular brand was also the promise of legitimacy and to be spared from the "reasonable facsimiles" later institutionalized by Walmart.

It was orange and black, had shiny bits and real Huret (European) shifters. She was mine.

I can remember rides through Windham, Chester and especially all over Derry. Cleanup was a Noxon fan's delight- yielding a beauty meticulously attended to and lovingly embraced.

Around 1980, when attending UNH, it was stolen. I leaped down the stairs of 25 Main Street in Durham ready to ride it, and it was G...O...N...E. I wonder if it still rolls, if someone knew it was a good rig, or if a drunk simply took it and it became discarded in a rusty pile and is under a landfill's heap now. I prefer the image of a proud aficionado whose collection includes it.

At the time, I had to have a shop change a flat. I knew little of the mechanics. I just appreciated riding, being on a machine, and the freedom it offered. Here she is:

1970 Raleigh Record

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fast Masters?

Fast Masters This would never happen in New England.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gooseberry Mesa on the Edge Video


In early January,  Ed and Mark clued me into their grand plan: ride for a week at the mouth of Zion National Park in Hurricane, Utah and on Gooseberry Mesa - guided by Western Spirit. I hemmed and hawed, wondering if I could ride for a week effectively after riding snowmobile trails and spin bikes for the winter months. The lure of a good solid western desert ride lurked under self-denial until I finally pushed the button. Guides? Group riding with a dozen others? Was I going to be a slave driving middle management sahib? Yabetcha!

We ended up with a private tour- just the three of us, two guides and a trainee accompanied by Western Spirit's trailer full of food, beyaa, and goodwill ... shaken, not stirred - delivering a five day flowfest behind solid guides Josh and Simon on ripper novel slickrock- red and white with petrified wood eroding from the red layer and Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs and spirits seeing us whiz by. (BTW- they hand pumped a tire back onto a Stan's rim- a exhausting feat worth a tall one, with the evidence here:

Sony's new HD Action Cam ran for three hours at a time ( no battery issues like a more popular version and a big ol' button for turning off and on at will - highly recommended versus a HH ). An 8G card was plenty for 9 hours in maximum resolution and shake control on. I could go on... but I'll let the video speak for itself. Hopefully youtube will still show the incredible resolution.

Everyone should ride there one day... ultra-grippy sandstone and dirt singletrack through 15' alligator juniper forest with the aroma of sage and juniper as the suns rises, sets, and soothes, while rolling rolling rolling...cliff edge urging your MTB soul to fly...

Friday, March 8, 2013

SA Crossing

Anybody wanna ride across Patagonia and the Chilean Andes to the Pacific?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Every Once In While

Every once in a while amazing things happen. Sometimes we are there and maybe even lucky enough to be the source. Think of that moment when you had to make the big judgement call - left-across-shift weight- power on- tuck under and surge. and you saved your as* navigating some ridiculous narrow line across ridges of rip you to shreds ultra steep...and the guy behind you was genuinely appreciative as witness. Then multiply that by a factor of 10:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Long Live Deception

As mentioned in a earlier post, MLW and I traveled in Spain and France during the 2004 Tour de France and witnessed four stages. In light of recent developments, Experts agree: "It was a great ride while it lasted." 

Floyd Landis before the start in Valreas, circling and pissed off, wrapped in red white and blue and reporting for duty. A few days later he rode a dramatic lead out to set up Armstrong's win on Stage 17 from Bourg d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand.
Thomas Voeckler rocks the crowd. Basso lurks.

We watched, amazed, as Basso and Armstrong flew by on Plateau de Beille, superhuman and with a withering Ulrich dropped close behind along with polka dotted Richard Virenque, diminutive Oscar Sevilla, Rabobanked Leipheimer, et al, motoring at 20mph, on a 9% uphill grade, at 90+ degrees on the sixth Pyrennean peak of the queen's stage. Braaaaapppp! Braaaaaaaaaaappppp!!!!

The Notorius Climber, Richard Virenque
Levi, whose family we met a few minutes earlier.

 Tyler was absent, sodden in his own tears after dropping out following a bad bag of blood that nearly killed him the day before.

George Hincapie and Floyd Landis in the shadows on PdB

 MLW and I bought Livestrong bracelets on the Champs Elysees, thinking of each person we'd hand them out to when we got back, sensing that somehow the buzz we had then would transmute into them later.

Tom Boonen won in front of us that afternoon, soon mobbed by his teammates and press after hurtling headlong at nearly 45mph and winning!

Then we went home, along with numerous copies of L'Equipe featuring Lance on the front page- passing Jan in the final TT, crushing everyone, conquering all the greats, wearing yellow. IT was unbelievable. IT was on the faces of the Frenchmen I sat with in dark bars cheering TVs in the evening and afternoons on stages we were too distant from to attend. Everyone was thrilled, respectful. Awestruck. Deservedly so. Long live deception.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Psychosis Grows OMG NFW

I saw a post last week claiming this product yielded a great local CX finish. I thought there was only one guy who would do anything to win win win here in New England. See how naive I've been!
The mere act of posting this may lead to more folks thinking this sort of aid is now warranted if you want to be at the front. IT'S NOT!!! It's an artificial aid and anyone using it should be guided back into the light. DON"T USE this crap. It's unacceptable.
Race head to head and see how you do. Train to become fast. Using BS products that tempt but clearly cross an ethical line is cheating. CHEATING. It's not your accomplishment, it's an embarrassment to use that stuff. It's shameful. Legal does not equate to ethical.
Feel free to slap your close friends who are entertaining using BS products.
Got it?