Wednesday, February 2, 2011


IMG_6557, originally uploaded by Красный Октябрь.

I would go anywhere with these men

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ive been watching the Isle of Man TT for the last few weeks (As anyone who has a pulse should be) and Ive noticed a few things. The classes at the TT are basically the same as the rest of International Motor Racing, but they are confusing even to someone who follows it as closely as I do. Bottom line, whats the difference to a spectator between the Supersports, and the Superbikes when they look exactly the same, sound exactly the same, have the exact same riders, and lap within a few seconds of each other even on a course as large as the IOM? Basically I feel like Ive watched the same race 5 times. I do know the technical differences, and I believe in superbikes as unlimited PRODUCTION BASED motorcycles (as opposed to the Prototype concept employed by GP racing) but the difference between superstock and superbike is so narrow right now, that its just silly. Its as bad as Daytona, when you used to care who won the Daytona 200, and saying "Oh well he won Daytona" meant that YOU WON THE RACE AT DAYTONA. Now you have to respond to that with "which class?" on "which bike?". Probably seven people can say they won Daytona this year, and the same would apply to IOM if Bruce Anstey hadn't won everything. Number of race win records are falling left and right when a man can compete in 9 classes at the same track. I hate to reference NASCAR but they had this problem a few years ago when drivers were racing both Busch and Winston in the same weekend. Ultimately they limited participation in classes to keep the two distinct. I understand the the group of cempetitors in the IOM is small due to the danger, and there is a financial incentive to compete in as many classes as possible because these guys arent wealthy factory riders, this is a once or twice a year gig for them, but it will be come a no time a year gig if more people dont come to watch it. I saw a post on superbikeplanet the other day showing a stunt rider (whose name I dont know) with a caption that said "Sadly, more riders today know this guy than Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson".

Racing is ultimately a spectator driven event, and if you confuse the CASUAL spectator, the enthusiast base isnt big enough to make up for it anymore.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A little Tom Waits for a Sunday

Tom Waits
Blue Valentine (1978)
A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun

It's Raining It's Pouring
And You Didn't Bring A Sweater
Nebraska Will Never Let You Come Back Home
And On Hollywood And Wine
By The Thrifty Mart Sign
Any Night I'll Be Willin To Bet
There's A Young Girl
With Sweet Little Wishes
And Pretty Blue Dreams
Standin There And Gettin All Wet

Now There's A Place Off The Drag
Called The Gilbert Hotel
There's A Couple Letters Burned Out In The Sign
And It's Better Than A Bus Stop
And They Do Good Buisness
Every Time It Rains
For Sweet Little Girls
With Nothing In Their Jeans
But Sweet Little Wishes
And Pretty Blue Jeans

Now It's Raining It's Pouring
The Old Mam Is Snoring
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
I Hear The Sirens In The Street
All The Dreams Are Made Of Chrome
I Have No Way To Get Back Home
I'd Rather Die Before I Wake
Like Marilyn Monroe
And Throw My Jeans Out In
The Street And The Rain Will Make 'Em Grow

Now The Night Clerk He Got A Club Foot
And He's Heard Every Hard Luck Story
At Least A Hundred Times Or More
He Says Check Out Time Is 10 Am
And That's Just What He Means
And You Go Up The Stairs
With Sweet Little Wishes
And Pretty Blue Dreams

Now It's Raining It's Pouring
And Hollywods Just Fine
Swindle A Little Out Of Her Dreams
Put A Letter In The Sign
Never Trust A Scarecrow
Wearin' Shades After Dark
Be Careful Of That Old Bow Tie He Wears
It Takes A Sweet Little Bullet
From A Pretty Blu Gun
To Put Those Scarlet Ribbons In Your Hair
No That Ain't No Cherry Bomb
4th Of July's All Done
Just Some Fool Playin' That Second Line
From The Barrel Of A Pretty Blue Gun

No That Ain't No Cherry Bomb
4th Of July's All Done
Just Some Fool Playin' That Second Line
From The Barrel Of A Pretty Blue Gun

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mr Domestic

Man I've been Mr Domestic this weekend. If I werent such a fan of women, I'd make a great wife. Sunday morning I got up, made coffee, then immediately made the best damn home made scones ever (vanilla orange for the record), then cleaned the kitchen, then followed that with a really good salad (red leaf lettuce, avocado, black beans, sweet corn, slivered red onions, and grilled chicken) and then cleaned the kitchen again. In between I stain treated the kids jacket sleeves, (why do their cuffs get so grubby..) and took all the glass recycling to eco enterprises.

Still looking for a Landcruiser though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bikes, life, time

Well, Im back in the USA of course, and for the last 2 months I was in Afghanistan, all I could think about was when I could get back to riding everyday, re immersing myself in the bike culture. I had visions of 100 mile days again, and long rides out by the lake, as well as more trips with my daughter, and taking her to the mountain bike trails as her skills have progressed alot.

Well. That didnt happen. I find myself wanting to ride, but not having the drive to get out and do it everyday. I've been on leave for a month, and instead of riding everyday, I've put on ten pounds and ridden twice. WTF. I did put the cross bike back together Friday afternoon, so I do find myself interested in hitting up some gravel trails around the house here, and I'm hoping that puts the spark back in my riding.

I went to Frankenbike yesterday to pick up some mountain bike tires, and I saw a bike that piqued my interest. Its a Kona "Unit" which is a 29'er fixed single speed. The guy had it set up with Crossmax 29'er wheels and I really chewed on it for a few minutes. He said if it didnt sell, he would be putting it in craigslist this week. I might be perusing craigslist this week...I've been wanting a 29'er fixie...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local Cycling Support in the USA...

I dont know what prompted me really to write this, but something did. I was reading and article earlier posted by one of the more excellent brains in the cycling BUSINESS these days, over at Competitive Cyclist. He talks about just that, the lack of support among the USAC for anything that remotely resembles a grassroots, or local program to enable young riders to achieve the type of success that would put us on the map again vis-a-vis Europe. Since I can't seem to link to the page correctly, I will post the text of it, I hope they don't take huge offense to me reposting it here.

"- This week USA Cycling made public their plans for creating membership growth: Having Lance Armstrong race 'til he's 67 years old. What you won't see in this article are the words "grassroots", "developmental", or "significant corporate sponsorship". When contacted about these concepts, USA Cycling suggested we contact USA Luge instead. Uttering these words at USAC, apparently, is a firing offense. Other forbidden language includes "world-class track program" or "awareness that cyclocross exists."

The lack of vision at USAC astonishes -- that is, if you're old-fashioned like me and measure "vision" though (a) measurable results (like, e.g. "high-school club racing has grown by x%" or "we have increased corporate sponsorship by $x" or "membership numbers from ages 11-21 has increased by x%"); or (b) by substantive communication. But as we all know, the membership is furnished with no data. Communication occurs as we cite above -- USAC-to-cyclingnews, aka Politburo-to-Pravda. But visibility to a strategic plan with an actual strategy (i.e. more specifics than saying "we strive for excellence")? It'll never happen. At USAC jocksniffing runs amok: They ceaselessly fawn over world-class riders, but provide no proof of interest in cultivating the superstars of year 2030. Where is the outreach to kids who've never ridden a bike outside the neighborhood? Why doesn't anyone there understand the future value of today's novice? For the average American amateur bike club, USA Cycling licensure expense is just that: An expense with no apparent ROI."

Its definitely an accurate argument, and its something that has been in my thoughts lately too. My daughter is coming along really well in her own cycling, (I mean, admittedly, shes still young, and just beginning,) but why should she pursue it at great cost, and devotion, and have no hope of real, long term success? It's hard for any woman in cycling, so even if it were my son who was developing well, USAC's policies give them no hope of future success. It makes it necessary for a cyclist to either live as a pauper, or be basically a playboy, able to support his own habits.

I wonder where things are going in the US, cycling wise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Going home soon...

As we're preparing to get out of here, we have to pack well in advance, because of the logistics system. So I'm packing up over thirty days before we actually leave. So in any case, as Im going through my stuff here, I find myself oddly attached to strange little things. I just chewed on whether or not to pack this silly little pen. Its a pen on my desk that I've used for some time, but I certainly don't need to take it home. So why would I even consider it? Very odd. I'm so ready to get the hell out of here, I would think none of this would matter at all to me.

All I can really think about, all that really matters to me is getting back to this...

I just can't wait to see them, talk to them, sit with them...