Saturday, December 23, 2006

Less Yellin', More Pukin'.....Week Two........Cash Money

It all started on the Burnside Bridge, Thursday night, On the way to the "Cash Money Alley Cat, Week 2". Off the sidewalk on the bridge, to find a Tri Met short bus parked right there, and a Big Bus on my left. Fully blocked, and needing to pull over two full lanes as those were occupied too. Bjorn was behind me and said it looked like a sideways, 45 degree angled slide. Personally it appeared that going under the truck was inevitable, but I stayed fully upright and maneuvered around it. Bike Polo training pays off in the end though. Good ole Hutchison Tires.
And right down the street was Ash Street Saloon, and Slackjaw waiting to yell some more.
He was showing off prizes such as a sneaky Pete, and Grenade Gloves. Once registration got under way, a total of $55 dollars for tonight's winner was held up, and off we went.
I spoke to T. Danger right before the start, and told him everyone was going to go south on the west side of the river.
We should ride together and take the East bank.

Sure enough, at the start everyone took off fast, on the west side of the river. If you listened at the bar, you already knew that the lower deck of the Steel was closed. We plowed over the top ramp toward the East Side. I passed Gary on the way over the bridge, and rolled into the ramp for the first clue, 10907. Down the rest of the ramp fast, and across the floating dock. I love the noises the floating dock hinges make when you hit them.

At the other end of the esplanade we crossed the OMSI parking lot, and that was the last I saw of Todd Danger. It was told that he went up 99, and over the Sellwood, missing two full clues. He should have followed me, I told him.... Straight down the road was the MCoy stairwell, and another clue, "The Money Is Mine Bitch".
Off on the long, fast roll to the Oaks Bottom, where a little bridge exists, and the words " Dime Bag". About halfway to The Sellwood bridge now, my stomach started to revolt. Puking and riding only really requires slowing down a little, and an ability to aim well.
I launch an assault of bile off to the right, and across the bike path while turning left, staying dry, then pedal off. Through Oaks Bottom, I saw 4 riders going the other way, which by my calculations put me in 5th place. I wrote another clue on my arm in Sharpie. This is where I had been writing all the clues, on the fly. Stopping and gaping tells others where the clue might be, and I had encountered Bjorn and

Ian on the bridge alone. Off the end of the bridge fast, and down Macadam towards the Spaghetti Warehouse for the last clue. But not before a round of puking while rolling very fast, right near John's Landing.
There were bonus points if you brought back flowers. And so I grabbed a whole pansy plant out of the ground, and put it in the big pocket of my Reload bag.

This was a good things, since we needed the flowers for Zak, who was hit by a car. I don't want to go into that much, since I am sure it is being looked into still.
Back onto Macadam Ave. And across to Front, which is a nice, gradual downhill. On the fast track back to the Ash Street, to secure 5th place with two bonuses.
I got to slam my bouquet on the table, and grab a Beer on the race tab, which was good . It was badly needed after 40 minutes of fast fun. Scotty was the winner again, with
Barney in second, and Brady in third. Chaz was right behind them.

Much revelry ensued, Scotty got paid, and I won the sneaky Pete.
We rallied up, and went to the hospital in North Portland to see Zak. They actually let about 8 of us go back to his room, and I got some great pics of him and his bike. Plus a shot of the kids hamming it up a little.
The nurses came in to clean out the wound. So, we started to clear out, but not before I took this.
This is a graphic shot, with the gravel and asphalt still wedged in the skin.
( Click on this pic if you dare! )

I rallied home with Bjorn to dry out and relax.
Next week, I will be third, if not second.
Movin' On Up...........

Who needs paper? It just gets wet anyway......

You could see inside this cut a little, at the right angle, which of course, was not the angle I shot from.

The stem appeared to have broken at the steerer tube. Oh, and it is folded in the middle of the top tube.

This is a picture of a man about to be given painkillers, so two cute nurses can scrub rocks out of his skin......

This is Fox. He spits fire.

Gary, I had to juke him in Oaks Bottom. He was too close, so I turned off my rear light and pedaled hard, dropping him.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Five Weeks of Slackjaw Yelling........

Today was a horrible day. Wind and rain, everything going sideways. Down the street a tree lay over 85th avenue off NE Prescott.
From my room, at around 5:30, I could feel the rash of weather hit my window, moving it within the frame.
This was all a bad sign, as within the hour I would be heading out the door. While waiting for Bjorn, I put the clothes I was to wear in the dryer, warming them up for the journey.
We headed out around 6:00, up the hill and across town, leaning into the wind the whole way. But, we had to get downtown to race the first of five alleycats, in the "Cash Money Series". Drew (Slackjaw) was waiting with about 20 others at the Ash Street Saloon, 2nd and Ash, downtown.
I felt horrible from bike polo and beer, but felt I had to get there for the start, which basically was three minutes after my arrival. Having the location of three stops, and 3 bonus possibilities, Drew finally stopped yelling and said "go"!
The following is a basic rundown of my trip around town, alone, as those other suckers are not fast enough to track me, I rode alone.
I headed across Sw 3rd avenue towards the NW, where the first stop was "Monkey Park", 27th and Vaughn. There were a few riders behind me through the "Hurl" district, so I turned off my rear light to shake them, which worked better than you could imagine. While going around Chatman school, I got a good view of my surroundings, and saw no one else taking the obvious best route. Upon entering "Monkey Park", I saw Scottie and Ian just leaving. This told me that I was in line for third place, since no one else had taken the obvious best route. I searched the stairwell where Drew said the clue was. Which is also where it wasn't, costing me about 15 minutes of time, and 5 years of my life.
After speaking to Drew, I found the clue "Rain Rain Go Away", and took off for the next stop, the pedestrian bridge at SW Hooker Avenue. Todd "D" danger had informed me at the Ash Street that I got to ride one of my favorite race routes in the city, "The Ho Chi Minh Trail". This is a route from the northwest, past the stadium, past Lincoln High, through PSU, and spits you out going about 30 miles an hour past the Barbur "Y". A quick right turn on Hooker put me at the pedestrian bridge, and made up a full 5 of the minutes I had lost. The clue was "90980", who knows why, possibly the zip code in Yakima where Drew grew up. I didn't even stop to write it down, as Lucky was on the bridge, and had no idea where the clue was yet.
I passed Leila, then passed her friend on SW Front Ave, going quite fast towards the Hawthorne bridge.
Up and over the bridge, down Hawthorne to SE 12th Ave., where I took a sharp left towards Col. Summers park. I passed Jenn and her friends, who were leaving the park. They yelled out "It isn't there, we couldn't find it!" But, knowing the clue was in the tennis court,as the did too, I rolled right up to it, read it, and left the park, stopping in the dark to write it down.
One of the important things about doing well in a alleycat is not to give anything away. When people know that you know what you are doing, they will follow you, and watch you to find out what to do. This is not good.
I sailed across SE Belmont towards SE Stark. Flying down Stark, I decided not to ride the cheese grater on the Morrison bridge in the high wind, so I bee-lined it to SE Ankeny, and the entrance to the Burnside bridge.
This was the last hurrah, as the Ash Street is right on the other side of the bridge. But the sidewalk/ bike lane is partially cement, with much exposed metal, which, in the wind, is very dangerous.
I was forced to ride easy across the bridge, then flew into the Ash Street, finding Drew.
The results were in, after a half hour spent recounting stories. Scottie won it in 39 minutes, earning $95, with Ian (2nd) tracking him the whole way, though I heard not so close. What did I say about people doing well by following others? I know lucky was 4th, Fox was 8th, and I was 9th, earning 55 points towards the end result. Knowing the extra time I spent at the first stop, I should have relaxed and picked up bonus points, with things such as a car magnet, and a clue from a parking garage in the "Hurl District". Fox was the only one who did, and reaped the benefit.
While hanging and drinking at the bar, it was pointed out to me that I was the poster child of the "Cash Money Series", with my face emblazoned on the spoke card. I am the face of the messenger hundred dollar bill. Go figure!
You will have four more chances to track me, as this series continues into January. I suspect that I will be in the top two or three when it all boils down, but I think Scottie will win it all.
That I may not win doesn't really matter, 'cause every 20 year old punk I beat adds a full 5 years to my life.....

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bike Polo Tournament November 19th, 2006 Portland, Oregon

The potatoes and lamb from my lunch was barely settling in as I moved into the house. Just coming back from dinner for my parents and poker at the family compound, I barely had time to turn around and roll out in the pouring rain to the Sprockettes Weekend " Polo Tournament", November 19th, 2006.
I arrived just as it was starting, and had been put on a team with Tall Joe and Tori.The Ringer had rigged up two tarps for cover, both in and outside of the court. Good thing too, 'cause I don't think the rain let up the entire time we were there.
A good crowd of spectators were on hand, kids from Seattle and Vancouver, Dead Babies, and more.
Dee provided a special surprise for all to share, which really got our blood flowing for the wet afternoon ahead.
Having no warm up, but being on a great bike made me feel good as I sat on the line, waiting for them to call it off for our team's (Team Nightmare) first game. Of course I had a good soft buzz, and knew that would help with the inevitable crashes that come with so much water.
That first game really gave us a solid push into the tourney. We were up against "Wheelie Mark" and Zoren and a bicycle dancer from Vancouver. It was necessary to really step it up, do some passing, and not hold back. My game came back as it had left me from my summer off, and I was really knocking 'em in, making at least 4, with Tori and Joe moving the ball around great.
The final point went in when I shot one from the left angle, and Tori pushed it in with her mallet. We ended that game 5-0 as it turned out.
Many more games went off, with spectacular wrecks, and kids soaking up puddles with the clothing on their backs. (Click on this photo of "Wheelie Mark " to make it huge. You can see where the malllet hit him in the face full on.)
Our second game went down to the wire. I was less focused on passing in that game sadly, and started focusing on shooting, and taking out the Mess Man. He even tacoed a wheel in retaliation towards me, which I thought was very funny. After taking him out a couple of times, he started applying his patented grab the handlebars move on me.
His mallet went into my glasses full force, which in turn went into my face and eyes. Much pain ensued, and I had to keep playing with moisture streaming from my eye, without my bent glasses.
I re-engaged, and made some good passes to Joe and Tori, who brought the score to 4-4. We never came back and made the final score, which put us out of the tourney,
but free to watch the final three take to the court.
These games were longer than expected, as it was a final three because a team showed up late from Vancouver, and were allowed in part way through the match.
It came down to dark, we were all loaded, and the Team With Nate and mess Man on it won the final game, and the sweet trophies that Ken procured. I heard that games were still going to go on at the polo house after the tournament, but I had a offer of a warm ride home in Bjorn's van, so off I went.
Up the stairs with a handful of smoked tuna from a fishing trip my dad and brother took last week.
Ahh, this is the life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Black Line Time Trial"

It was a cold, wet morning. At least that is what it sounded like from my vantage point, curled up in bed. There is a window near me, and I could hear the rain hitting it, repeatedly.
I was in a new to me, thicker futon, that I had gotten the night before. It replaced the heinous one that Spence pawned off on me.
Needless to say, I was sleeping so well that I stayed in bed until around 1:00 pm. At that point, I had to get out of bed, 'cause sometime after 2:00, "The Blackline Time Trial" was going to go off.
Within a half hour, I was out the door, and crossing NE, on the way to the NW, to the Lucky Lab Brewpub, the start of the race.
I showed up as number 13 of what must have been 15 riders, but that didn't matter, I wasn't going to race anyway. Being fully soaked already, I had no need to go out and prove myself to these kids.
Of course, within the hour I was lined up with the rest, waiting to roll through the middle of the bar, out the big garage door, and onto NW Quimby, for a three stop time trial.
We were sent out 5 at a time, within 5 minutes, for a total of 15 minutes of starts.
Once again, having shown up late allows me to hang out and watch everyone else leave, which was fun.
When it was my turn, I rallied on out the door, turned left onto Quimby, and bombed down to and south up 19th avenue, towards the stadium. I fully knew that that was the route to take, as it has proven itself to me many times over.
Flying down the wrong way now, up taylor, and over to the high school, where I turned up 14th the wrong way. Many blocks to go up the hill now, dangerous bike lanes at freeway onramps.I turn into PSU, to ride the "Ho Chi Min Trail", over towards the Barbur Y in SW. From there it was down the hill to the Corbett Grocery, where the clue was the times minors were allowed inside.
Here I turned a block down the hill to make the ineveitable happen, This was a part of the trip I knew I would be taking, even when sitting at the Lucky Lab.
I turned onto and into the "Ross Island Bridge", which, when wet and dark, is a thing of horrific fear, both a nightmare, and a calming, light at the end, sort of transcending experience.
Not to mention the deep, deep puddles that accumulate on it's deck.
The best thing about the Ross Island is that it makes you ride across it fast, then down the hill and speeding now onto Se 12th avenue. Up to Hawthorne and down on the left is the "Lucky Lab 2", where the answer is how cement spots are in the parking lot.
I counted those without getting off the bike, and moved on up SE 7th avenue towards the Convention Center and NE Broadway, where a left turn put's me uphill of the last checkpoint, The Big Josh Who Can't, on the Broadway bridge.
I gave him the required high five in the high wind and rain, and boosted myself down the bridge and across the pearl topographically towards the finish, once again, the "Lucky Lab".
I cruised up and back into the bar, up to Rob at his seat, and checked in.
After more beers, and tallying, Rob had the results.
By the way, Rob threw a great race here last year, "The Golden Nugget", which, by the way, I won. Tad got 2nd.' I ended up drinking Elmer's Glue at the first stop even.
This weekend in Seattle is the "Rebel Without A Cog" fixed gear only race, which starts at 2 pm Saturday.
The results were called out and in the end it was Scotty, with 29 minutes, a full two minutes ahead of the second and third place finishings of Drew and Zac.
Lucky was 5th, I was wet and in 6th, and Mason got 7th desite a flat, and a train (that is the story anyway).
We hung out a while and traded stories of rainy horror, then rollled off to the "Polo Haus" for revelry, and Libations.
I made the slippery turn off the pack at the Rose Quarter, For I was meeting R. Kelly, Divebomb, Jaiden, Magnum, C murder, and Mace and Junko for a Blazers game that evening. They won, we had fun, I went home and ate way too much.
It is long saturdays like that that make me take the whole Sunday off, relaxing in my room, doing nothing at all....

Monday, October 30, 2006


As nice as it is to have donuts and coffee arrive at my door at the start of a busy day, they showed up an hour earlier than planned. Tiah called me and said she was at the donut shop (Annie's) by my house, and would be at the door in ten minutes.
It wasn't even 10:00 yet, and due to overthinking, I hadn't gone to sleep until 3:00am the night before.
So, in walks nutrition, and out of bed I get.........
After a breakfast of donuts, eggs, and halibut, and coffee, the three of us (Bjorn, Tiah, and I) rolled across NE towards The Fresh Pot on Missisipppi for the start of one of my favorite events of the year, "The NOISE Single Speed Rally".
This was the 4th year for this event. Having missed the 1st one, I have no plans to ever miss another. It was about 35 people, a diverse crowd to say the least. We had the old guard of messengers, how are you gonna keep 'em away? Josh brought some new imports from North Carolina with him. Billy Spaceman came back from San Francisco with a few others in tow, and one of the old boys again rode his fixed Tonic Fabrications mt. bike.
The Rally started at High Noon (12:45 messenger time), from the sidewalk outside the coffee shop. Chevil led us across North Portland towards the bluffs, where we picked up the trail at Killingsworth. Moments later, down at the spot known for watching sunsets, Mace got a flat. This flat of course turned into two more by Lucky, and 20 minutes later we were off again, towards the Super Fund Site.
Once we got to the school (U of P), I raced down the hill first to get nice photo ops of everyone doing a little drop, then even better pics of moving all the bikes over the parked train. We then rolled out the big gravel to Bosnia ( ala the Hunted), and had fun hanging out, then a couple of little derby's, which by the way, came down to Tad and Mace, with Mace being the solid winner.

Not far down the tracks we were harrased by the police. How funny is it that through an area that the city is planning to have a nice esplanade type path to St, John's, a little off road ride will get you a big big ticket...... (I think you can thank the religous nuts at U of P for that).

After a few spots with jumps, and more flat repairs, we headed off to Pier Park, where I took the opportunity to ride the new skatepark on my Mt. Bike. I would like to thank Dreamland Skateparks for this addition to Portland.
Eventually, we went off on a pre race lap of the "course". The majority of us followed Dan around the park on a preview of what would be a varied, and certainly frustrating two loops . Back at the container area (where the beer was, of course), we decided that it would be a "Follow the Leader" style race, with the leader required to follow the unmarked course, to the best of his, or her ability. Everyone else of course would be racing to become the leader.
After lap one, It was Tad, Brian, Lucky, and Drew up front, with me and Ryan a little ways back.
This is how we would finish up, as most droppped out to drink beer after lap 1. I recall that some OBRA guys, including the new head of, were racing with u the first lap or so, but I don't believe they rode the second.

The big winner of the NOISE Belt was Tad, and we celebrated with much revelry and beer.
Now sooner had we left the park headed for Fire On The Mt., did the police show up again to hassle the straggler's.
This is exactly why I do not lollygag around much. of course there was no time for slacking, because in two hours the "Zombie Massacre" was going off.
And go off it did. After slogging home for a 20 minute power nap, I raced down to Alberta Park for the start.
80 participants had gathered in the basketball area for some footdown, then the late start of the "Zombie Massacre".
We rode off with instructions not to get bitten by zombies, not to get killed, and not to cheat.
With 6 stops, first in SE, then further SE, then back to Ne, for three stops, then off to deeper Se again, it was at least 32 zombie-filled miles.
The stops were filled with moaning, biting Zombies, alcohol, fake blood, warm fires, and total mayhem.
I had heard the race was over at Joe's house, and didn't ride very hard to 32nd and Powell, the location of the after party.
It turns out that was the end of the race, and I was 13th place, with Lucky winning the big trophy dressed as "Spiderman".
I believe if I had pedaled harder in the end I would have been top 5, but what can you do?
And now on to the party, which, in my mind, turned out to be great. I heard the rookies arguing in the standard "I dare you to walk across the fire" mode.. So, to shut them up, I got up from my chair, walked the 5 feet across the fire, then sat back down. Between that and the trip to the keg, I didn't go far.

It turns out I didn't have to, things kept coming to me. Ted was blotto, and gave someone 30 bucks to go to Safeway, buy wine, and bring it back to me. Needless to say I stayed where I was, with Todd Danger, waiting. The police showed up about the same time the wine did, but didn't slow anyone down much.

The low part of the evening turned out to be the moment of discovering that it was 3:30 AM, and I had a couple hundred blocks to go home....
Into the back door, and straight to the buttermilk bar I had been thinking about the whole way.