Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The 37 Minutes of Moab

Bruce from Tuscon in Durango, at the top of the Hogsback downhill.
(Photo by The Republic of Doom!)

The lack of wireless in Colorado has not surprised me anymore than the quality of riding. It has left the outside world without a hint of what we have been up to, while the latter has left my lungs empty of air, with a huge grin on my face.

Our first riding destination on this trip of death was Moab, Utah, home of the famous Slickrock. (pics to come, my camera died, so no pics from me. I have gathered some togteher others took and will post them soon.)

We arrived in the evening, and dined at a place that sounded great, Eddie Mc Stiff's. Sounded exactly like Team Wreck material.

What a disappointment though. The service was lousy, the lettuce was watery, the beer 3.2, and the wireless was slow as crap.

After surviving the lows of dinner, we found a great campsite on the Colorado river. Rapids filled my ears as I drifted off to sleep. I think they must have popped early in the night, for I woke up hearing a large animal crossing the river right there.

I had not seen the river yet, and I was confused as to why a bear would be crossing it so late in season. I imagine hibernation would be right around now.

The reality of the situation was a little different. I realized my ears had popped, and was simply properly hearing the water flow. Safer, but I wanted to see wildlife too.

The morning brought great weather, fabulous views, and an opportunity to check out a local bike shop. The bike Ryan had brought for the Rev. turned out to have entirely broken front brakes, as in the press fit coming apart. Phil has never ridden off road before, and he needed the brakes. My alternative plan was to remove mine for his use, which would later turn out to be lucky not to happen, as the terrain I will be describing in future posts is outrageous.

We walked right into a shop called Slickrock cycles, in a town where the last thing I imagine would happen, happened.

A man asked if he could help me, and I held up the brake, and said I needed a vice. He actually pointed back to the shop, and walked away, pleasantly. I could have not been more impressed (up to this point in the trip) with the help, and the vice mashed the brake together nicely, forcing me to do the same to the now weaker other arm.

Coffee and pastries procured, we drove out to the famous Slickrock trail. Our schedule was tight, and we established a turn around time. The trail was smooth, fast, and fun, and Phil was really impressing me on his first Mt. bike ride ever.

We rode a total of 37 minutes that morning, an epic period of time. Back to the car, onto the road, and off to Durango, Colorado. The "Tour De Mort" stage of the "Ride of the Dead", was going off at 6 sharp, and it was going to take everything we had to make it on time.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bikes, Bungees and Beer, Oh My!

Saturday morning, I felt pretty bad. The combination of Stoli rocks and Mirror Pond is hard on my melon, and mornings are the worst. I drank a big cup of coffee, and watched some skateboarding on dvd.

I wanted to race at the velodrome, and in order to do this I was going to need to work the crap out of my system. The route I chose to the track took me through the NW hills and onto Skyline. Another cup of coffee at Sylvan, (cooled by ice cubes double tiny latte) so I could slam it, and it was down the big hill and over to Alpenrose.

I had brought my shoes, my pedals, and clothes to ride on the track, and felt real good when I got there. But, I was late, and they were already a few races in.
This gave me a perfect chance to just hang out and relax.....

The racing was great, with Zac and Sharky taking first and second in the main.

We started migrating to the park near the velodrome for an after party, at about 2 in the afternoon. About six of us played some impromptu Frisbee golf , then I got into a heated game of Frisbee 500 with Kelsey, Mess Man, and Luciano. There was mid air checking, and face masking. Me need beer.

Well, that put me in the great opportunity to try out the Beer Bungee. This one was well managed by Joel Metz, and lasted longer than most do. I took one run at it, and ended up sprawled out, with my fingers and toes ( I was barefoot) dug in. This left me crawling towards the beer.
A quick note here. It is very important, when doing this "Extreme Beer Reaching", is:

In no manner do you want to fail in getting the beer.

This drove to towards it, and as before, I took a minute, thought about it, then moved in.

That last reach for the beer, and it was mine. Joy.

I have quite a few pics of this I will be downloading soon, but for now watch these. It is video but from my point and shoot, so you know, not the finest.
Dr. Doom can show you how to manage the beer bungee here.
The best part is right at the end.

And another:

Leland on the way in.

I got a whole series of pictures of Casey taunting Velo. I hope I don't have to use them to protect myself in the future.


The before and after effect of these next two doesn't show the lunge, but the result of it.

This was taken at the Thunderdome under the Burnside bridge. I really like this shot.

West Side Invite 2007!

Here I sit, Tuesday afternoon. It has been a while since I remember being so completely tired, aching, hurt, and heavily bruised, at the same time.

The 2007 WestSide Invite was a smashing success. We all met up on Thursday at Damien and Gary's pre-party, also known as the barbecue they have every other week. This was a good time. I had picked up some Mediterranean Lamb sausages for C. Murder (Big Chief Can Whoop Ass) and I. The Bear cooked a big slab of fish, which was enjoyed by all..

What it is with these slanty yards and parks in Portland? I spent the weekend on a slight angle, putting too much weight either on my ass, which has no padding, or into my toes, which due to poor circulation made my feet fall asleep.

I should have just carried around a lawn chair the whole time.

Friday night we went to the Ash Street for registration and drinking. The stoop was full of familiar faces, from as far as London, and as close as mere blocks away. Registration was on the back "patio", which is where I got these nice shots of Sharky and C. Murder.

I just got my camera back from Sony, and it is supposed to be fixed. They said I smashed the lens assembly, but also pointed out that it is very difficult to do this on my camera, as it is internal.
The pictures aren't coming out great right now, and I apologize for that. I took at least 250 during the last two polo games on Ryan's camera, some of which can be seen on The Team Wreck Blog.

The Friday Night Alleycat went off, thrown by "Alleycat Inc.". It had the potential to be a good race, and we had a Le Man's start from the stoop, to the parking lot across the street. It pretty much went bad from there.....

Off to the pump house by PSU, where the trick is to go to the bottom of the stairs where the clue is, then leave by the top of the stairs and down the hill. So, of course I did the exact opposite, with Lucky and someone else behind me. They must not have known the way if they followed me. Then it was over to Couch Park in the NW, for another quick stop, before flying across the Broadway bridge. The next stop was on Swan Island, and when I got across the bridge I could see the big pack. They had gone way past the turn and up the hill a ways, by the time I turned down interstate the right way. This was not the first time I had seen them, so I now knew I was in front of them by a bit, with two other riders visible in front of me. This turned out to be Dr. Doom and R. Kelly.
It was here my race went bad, within a shout of the finish. The Swan Island stop was silly, wonky, and not at the spot indicated really. We spent a lot of time there, as did most everyone.

It was then to the bluffs. I decided to go straight up the path I had come down during the Logan's Run race. This is steep, steep like pulling yourself up with trees barely. Then there are the sticker bushes. Bobbie folllowed me through, even after I had warned him it would suck. he is a trooper, and beat me to the top.
Leaving the bluffs, and to the going street bridge for the sign, which turned out to be a "Bike Trash" sticker, was gone. This was a bonus that could have helped me out, and I was bummed. I think someone pulled it down during the race, but who knows.

Over to Dee's house to have the manifest signed, and off to the Florida Room. It was during this stretch that I could see quite a ways ahead of me, and realized I could get DFL if I just slowed down, which is exactly what I did. Ryan even called mne to actually see if I was ok as I had not shown at the bar yet.

Into the bar, get a drink before going to turn in my manifest, and all appears well on the last place front when, out of nowhere, or twenty minutes later, the real DFL comes into the patio.
My glory is doused .........

R. Kelly of TEAM W.R.E.C.K. won, and of course there were prizes

There was fun, there was booze, there were tots. More tots than you can shake a stick at. I had mine with cheese melted on them, but sadly, the critical error of under cooking a order of tot's ordered crispy will never be good, no matter how much cheesy goodness is on top. This is by the way only the first time I have not enjoyed my tots there. Since they get so busy, I find this to be a positive way to look at it.

Hat's off to the Florida Room!!!

The Strip Club classic went off at ten, and the first stop was the Dancing Bear. Not a very exciting place at all, though I must admit that some of the talent there was very interesting, to say the least. After an hour at "The Bear", we rolled off to NW and "The Magic Garden", with a fun stop in Overlook Park added in.

The Garden was fun, and my old best friend Mike from Astoria met us there too. We were loaded, and tired, and decided as a group to roll by the stoop (of course), and the on to the playground known as "Union Jacks". This is where a total of about 50 of us drank and cavorted until closing.

Jesus De' Beefa

Tall Joe
Dr. Doom and product

Alor with the ball for a Seattle team.
Strolling in the park

Matt Case

Three from Seattle go at it

More of the same...

Instead of circling when you dab.....

Jason, Peter and MessMan

Jason ditches the bike quickly

The cage.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mustache Ride Plus!

Another fine week has passed, and here I sit, watching a movie about someone I was kinda fascinated with growing up, Howard Hughes, the D.B. Cooper of Hollywood.

Wed night polo was fabulous. I have this new stick, which Casey has dubbed "Wonder Boy".
It is made of Filbert wood that grows wild on Ryan's farm in Rickreall. The mallet head is some soft oak I think, and has worn in nicely.

It has developed this crazy bend to it, which makes it better to play with strangely. The Ringer bent it back, and basically said, "Try to play with that!"

I am the only one who really still uses the wood, and I don't have any plans to switch to the pipe.
I plan to spend some time soon searching through the woods for another piece. El Dupe has given me more already, as I break a lot of mallets.

Thursday I hung out at the Polo Haus, and helped work on the yard in preparation for the Saturday Fiasco. I instigated a project for The Ringer and I, and we were off.
Brian had found some bus seats somewhere. They were in great shape, so we proceeded to put legs on a set if them. What fun! Especially when the project gets completed all the way. (Check the front porch sound system. Could sound great but......)

Friday night I stayed home and watched some movies, in preparation for the long Saturday, and the Mustache Ride.

About ten, Beefa called me to go Frisbee golfing with he, Spence, and "The littlest Beefa". Oh and Sandy the dog.
This was something I could not pass up, and rolled out on my bike to meet them.
We, or I, drove us out to Pier Park, where we played 18 holes, with Eric and I tying it up, and Beefa being one stroke back.

I rolled home, and showered and shave before the afternoons festivities.

We met at Col. Summers Park at 4:00, where a rousing game of Bean Bag toss commenced.

I got a point, but to no avail, as Disco got no less than four points for the big win. Much drinking commenced, and eventually we headed off. But not far, 'cause right up Yamhill is Sunnyside School, where the four square commenced.

I don't think they realized what they had done, for we were within smelling distance of the lair of the El Chupa Cowboy. This dreaded creature, upon investigation was strangely downtown getting fitted for a suit. I wish I had been there for that.

Instead I was there to KICK ASS at Four Square.... The final game came down to Pen, Disco, R. Kelly, and I.

We played to like 11 points, and Ryan won. This was followed by him leaving for sandwiches, and yes, hold onto your hats folks, more beer.

We left rather quickly from the school, and rolled over to Laurelhirst Park for a good old fashioned, extreme three legged race.

Disco was my partner, and we royally sucked. I got some video of this event, but it sucks too.

It was about this time that I heard a woman to my right utter the words "We have three kegs of beer, and you guys should help us drink it" .

I told Ryan, who didn't believe me at all. Then it was backed up, and the game was on.
We hung out much longer than the predicted 20 minutes, and were never asked to leave.
This could be looked upon as a red letter event on that note.

Eventually even their beer was gone, and we rolled off. The free beer part of the mustache ride had canceled out everything but the U-lock horseshoes, and I forget who won that, but I do know once again Disco was a contender for the title.

It was off to the Polo Haus, where another keg of beer, and a small pool of wrestling jello waited. Some turntables were hooked up to my spare speakers, and off it went.

Maggie and Brian were the first contenders, jumping right in. They got gross , and rubbed up against virtually everyone when the dancing started.

I have a couple of great shots of Lucky and Will wrestling early also.

Much dancing, and a little yelling as Lucky threw his girlfriend Jennifer in, and she did not like it at all. And I really don't blame her a bit, as you will realize here that I got nowhere near the jello myself. Tom, having a moment...

I did have the great luck to be sitting next to Beefa when Will called him "Queen La Beefa".

Steve looked at me, and said we should kick his ass. and, having my wits about me , realized that I had a golden opportunity on my hands and yelled " Take it to the Jello!!!"

He stood up and started removing clothing, and then Will attacked him.
It was a surprising move, given what a hassle it is to wrestle Beefa at all, let alone antagonize him. It took a few minutes of rolling around, with Will kinda having the upper hand. But then, the mighty Beefa broke from his grasp, and got the upper hand. He wrapped his arms under Will's armpits, locked his fingers around his neck, and pushed him face first into the jello.

Having been fully declared the winner, he finally let go. To my great dismay, a few minutes later I watched them hose each other off in the yard, a image that was simply added to the many other horrible things I saw that day.


Soon after that I headed home, for we were meeting at ten in themorning to go MT. Biking in Scappoose, Oregon. This is private land I think one of the PUMP guys owns, and we like to ride there.

Ryan, Mary Lou, and I were "Rolling Retro" I on my Fat Chance, and he on his Independent Fabrications, and Mary Lou on Lucky's Klein.
Slackjaw was on a newer K2 bike. I thought they made skis and snowboards......

It was a great and tiring day, doing little but very fast loops through the woods.
Mary Lou and I were really charging some sections. He is a great rider, and together, just like when skateboarding, we pushed each other to go faster and faster, dropping Slackjaw and the old guy a lot of the time. But at least Ryan had a excuse, as he had the dog with him.

When the dog got tired, we used this as a good point to drive back into town, and luckily just in time to shower before running off to bike polo.

Having come from mt. biking on the very same bike I play polo on, my game could not have been better. And "Wonder Boy treated me right, guiding me and my Team mates to a couple of scrimmage wins, prepping for the big polo tourney this weekend.

After polo we went back to the house, and I spent some time whipping up some spag sauce, using tomatoes from the garden. I even impressed myself, my own worst critic, with the sauce that night.

I spent some time tonight working on my bikes for the big "West Side Invite" this weekend.

Though I am sure I will have a lot of fun, and maybe even do well in some races, I am really looking forward to the polo tourney. I believe it is my time to shine.

See you there, in the park!