Saturday, January 31, 2009

road trip

above we see a pic of MK in her XC ski boots, all set and ready to rock on an epic ski on the very sweet greenbush trail system. even better, this ski is gonna take place in the middle of a school/work day - with us having skipped outta both of those things in order to rock & roll and blow the cobwebs out on the fab roller-coaster trails, starting out a mini-road-trip weekend.

" hey dad, where did you put my ski boots?? "

uhhh, yeah. a scene any father can relate to . . . .where did I put HER ski boots . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK, no boots = no ski. no problem, we'll set up camp at the hotel, and then run down to nearby slinger to see freind aris P play a little b-ball against hi cross-town rivals. yeah that'll be awesome, maybe get a couple nice pics for the new blog . . . . . . . . . OK, the camera is with the ski boots.

anyway, turns out aris P can ball. i am sure he turned it on special for the out-of-towners up in the stands, but he came up big with 2 three's, and 14 on the nite. it was super fun to see the always classy mr and mrs P, too. we picked up a small bit of killer news concerning aris and the upcoming season, but i will let gus reveal that. feeling lots better we headed back to the hotel, so the girl could get her beauty rest. saturday had us being treated like royalty at the beautiful campus of ripon college, where the girl was throwing down with her smarts, competing for an insane scholarship package at ric damm's place.

i had to endure a bit of painful group-activities with little-leaugue style parents of smart kids asking inane question for 2 hours or so. judging by some of this, the gene for brains must skip generations ?? i know it did in MK's case. i considered jumping up and strangling a few of the more pompous and/or smug insufferable windbags, but thought it might affect MK's chances for the full ride deal, so i sat on my hands. ric made up for it by saving us a spot at the cool kid's table for lunch - how cool is it to have a college president who is a mtn bike racer ?? we felt good about that, so now it's time to hang by the mailbox and see how she did. i missed a killer ski and even snubbed rick and russell for a tosa ride to get her there, so she better have brought home the goods !! !!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

skate, and relate

it isn't often that the broad concepts of "Righteous Anger" and "Cross-Country Skiing" are linked together. and yet here we see a pair of 1st generation rossi skating cobra's that indicate otherwise.

things were not always as rosy for skaters as they are now. at one time skate skiiers were seen as ravaging Huns, terrorizing the pristine sport of xc-skiing, completely missing the beauty and ethos of the activity - completely miscast, misunderstood. or maybe not.

we did indeed trash diagonal stride ski trails ( but only if necessary ). and, not many wool knickers being worn by the early skaters, it is true. and very few fake wine skin things being passed around. there is even a folk-song they still play on WOJB up at the birkie, " What Are You Skating the Birkie For ? "

i came into skiing as a regular thing only after skating came along - i was like " well now yer focking talking !! ", and i pretty much never looked back. to me skating made skiing the winter version of mtn biking. and of course it went on to become completely mainstream, and then in a full-cycle kinda thing people nowadays are flocking back to striding. but not me. not so long as i still have my skateboarding-stickered skate-skiis to remind me of the punk rock days.

as a funny aside - didja know the guy who popularized skating didn't actually skate ?? bill koch did not bring the V1 or V2 or any modern skate technique to start the revolution. he did the Marathon Skate technique, which hardly anybody even knows anymore. to Marathon Skate you place one ski in a striding track, and then push out to the side with the other ski. it is like a V1 kinda, but the weak-side ski never leaves the ground/track - you just push it along in the track with the other ski and poles. that's what started it all, but when's the last time you saw it done ?? i was bumping around on wikipedia the other day, even tho it ( marathon skate ) started the entire skating thing, it isn't even listed as a skate technique. goddangit people - history !!

it's almost back to double digits - i'm going skiing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

i think our thermometer is broken, Quality Time, and march-hero parts bin bike

even in the best of times, the mtn bike trail situation in Door Cty is this: they mostly suck. the reasons for that are many, but point being for now is that in winter, they are ski-trails in any case. we ain't riding up here.

and, if we broke zee-ro all weekend it wasn't by much, and it was fleeting.

so then - to the Lab !! nicky needed a project bike. since retiring from racing other than the occasional fun-run, he has been constantly working on his small quiver of dirt-jump/BMX/pier-jump/urban freeride/SS rides in the studio. he knows his way around a bike pretty well from building frankenbikes, and is mostly self-taught. so, i turned him loose on this little surly we've had for 7 or 8 years - it had last been been his road bike, but was going unused for the most part.

we ended up working on it together, putting it into a new mode, and that was crazy-fun. i can be at one end of the bike, and he is good rummaging around and setting up the gearing and fixie-cog chainline situation at the other end. nice for an old dad !! and, we even managed to sneak in a few "south parkesque" bad-taste jokes about the skiiers pretending to be snowboarders in the x-games or even ( poor taste ALERT ), cheer against ( OK, and make jokes about . . . . ) the one parapalegic x-game dude flailing with distressingly bad stink-bug style down the boarder-X course on his sit-ski. Fate intervened nicely here, and the para with the smooth, low rail-ing style beat the flailing stink-bug guy for the gold.

in the end, we are close to having MK's new march hero suffer-machine done: a soft 'cross tired road going fixie that she can go old-skool with on the frozen wasteland of southern door cty come march and april. much pain awaits her on the playboy-blue machine. and BONUS - nicky's little spark-in-the-eye was not lost on me as he hopped on and sized the sweet little fixie up . . . . . . . . . . . could it be the road-going machine finds its way way back into his quiver come summer, and i ( re- ) pick up a new riding partner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?? could it be that is what i had in mind the whole time ??

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the hazards of "yogging"

it has been one of those weeks where a flex-time work situation kinda works against a guy. sometimes ya just gotta be there for longer stretches. missed some prime skiing conditions, but we haven't had a shortage of those this year, and i really like my job so it's alright. normally i'd just bag riding or skiing or whatever in times like this, but yip-the-coyote is on my case so that means i dug out my running shoes out instead. i've had times when i kinda like running, and other times not. lately, i decided to just hang around the neighborhood running a few hill repeats . . . . it's good to do in the cold, and makes the time go by, and as an old guy singlespeeder attempting to race i need to be able to run my sorry ass up hills often enuf so perhaps it could argued that the situation is even productive.

so, what does any of that have to do with a very disturbing image of a sewing machine needle stuck thru a fingernail, you ask ??

see the image below. that isn't me, but it may as well be. i have been lovingly told that i cut a less than stellar visage in numerous ways whilst yogging. one time, as i was heading out, looking more or less like the gentleman below as usual - MK was sewing. her mom criied out in horror at my stunning form as i headed for the outdoors in broad daylight, MK looked up and was equally stricken and next thing ya know - she was actually and literally ( and somewhat sanguinely ) sewn into her project( !!!!!!!!!!! ). her little friends all fled the scene immediately with hi-pitched wailing, but then stared back in petrified wonder thru the window, to see if she was gonna pass out, or croak, or what - still with the accompanying wail, naturally. quite the scene !!

hazardous activity, that "yogging".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

anybody got oprah's cell number ??

i'm not all that large a dude, but in the pic above i weighed close to 30 ell-bee's less than i do right now. evidently, the green-writing commentator finds the look less than ideal. i thought the wood-soled shoes with nailed-on cleats woulda counted for something, but not with a 15 y/o.

anyway, since life is kinda gettin in the way and lately the trainin' isn't goin so good, a guy can always go for the other side of the Kg-to-watt ratio, and drop a few. naturally, one would be wise to keep in mind the notion that you still need to be able to generate a watt or two by means of possession of some semblance of musculature - a point which i appear to have not fully grasped back in the day.

to that end, i am still locked in a nearly year-long weight loss battle with a certain cheese-and-bike-and-free-season-o-racing-winning individual. first guy to lose a "stone" wins a smoothie from the muddy cup. place your bets now !!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

secret training plan

here is my 09 training plan, i got it from a guy who is supposed to be an expert. so far . . . . . . . not going so well. maybe it is more of a long-term plan ??

Sunday, January 18, 2009

the kids are alright

just about the time yer ready to lay down and just let the chinese take over the place - like say after watching some teevee show like 'Biggest Loser', or 'The Principal's Office', or any youth related thing ya might see on the Tru TV channel - ya come across a scene like this one.

the kids had 2 days off of school last week due to the cold snap, and we had a school sponsored bus-trip to Norway Mountain cancelled for the second week in a row. i was thinking maybe i'd take nicky and a couple of his buddies snowboarding someplace to shake the cabin fever, but to my suprise they declined. turns out they had been hanging out at the old abandoned little ski-hill on the edge of town - building jumps, dragging picnic tables half way up the hill and setting them up sk8-style, sculpting gaps, and setting up branches as rails to hit. all cool enuf, but they are over on the other run - this is the scene that struck me as i went out there to check em out . . . . . . . they passed on the drive, the free lift ticket, high speed chairs and ready made terrain parks for a cheesy hometown scene and - hiking up. maybe we'll be alright after all.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

that time again

as you can see, yip has been with me a long time. there are few things which do not improve in life, by paying heed to yip.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the count of TmonT cristo

one of these pics is of a cell in the infamous chateau d'If, the horrid island prison where the future count sat plotting and planning his revenge. the other is my own personal training studio. as you may note, if i could photoshop like i wish to learn, you would be very hard pressed to tell the difference.

this is how it should be, with indoor training.

cycling is a sport of pain, suffering, vicious beatings, vanquishing one's foes, humiliation, plotting, patience, revenge, glory in others' defeat, merciless attacks and desparate riposte's, endless preparation, risk, and so forth. we all know this - it is the beauty of cycling.

so then, in what way are these themes represented and/or cultivated in a climate-controlled, carpeted studio with a dasani machine, 64" flat-screen, hidden studio-grade sound system, soft lighting, and computer controlled efforts ?? no - those things are not for me. my first training studio was arguably worse than dante's cell in the chateau - in the basement of a rooming house in the 'hood in racine where i had to kryptonite lock the frame to an exposed gas pipe to keep the burglars from walking out with it. THAT, is a training studio. MK and gretchen ride out in our converted-garage former graphic-arts studio, and gretchen worries about me in my private d'If, but i say anything taking place out in the pleasantly lit and furnished studio ain't training - how could it be ?? for god's sake one time i went out there and caught 'em watching The Princess Diaries !!

but, to each their own - best of luck to ya hammering away here:

the count of TmonT cristo will be suffering here, and plotting, planning, tempering, preparing . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

london calling

right then. it's m-focking cold out there. i don't ski under zee-ro. and, even if gus is out there riding still . . . . i mean i was his age once too and i lived by bike - god bless that dude. he is a peters - what else is there to say - he rules as do they all.

so then, before i return to blogging proper when the temps rise, nicky insists i throw one more pic up as we hide out in the house looking at old images. here is nicky's old dad throwing down hard with a barking layback lipside at an underground sk8spot near the legenday Slam City Skates shop in london. even in this day of flippy-rail-slides and so on in sk8ing, this bad-ass old-skool move will guarantee instant cred.

back to blogging proper tommorrow or later this week !! sorry for the slide show !!

PS will your wife mtn bike 6 hrs a day for a month in remote locales of the UK, covered in sheep shit as russell wisely insinuated - and then hang out at total dirtbag london underground sk8spots full of various undesireables when she could be shopping ?? choose wisely, my friends.

there can be only one

the view in the scottish highlands, looking for another highlander . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

look, we aint riding up here, so let's play a game instead !!

see how many 80's references you can find in this shot of the aggro gretchen ripping up the yorkshire dales footpaths in the UK, circa 1986. bonus points for the ones that coulda caused an international incident, and double bonus for modern "hot" product that appeared here on gretchens killer ibis 25 years earlier. finally, we see what gretchen was doing mtn bike wise in 1986 - what were YOU doing ?? ready, go !!! ! !!

Monday, January 12, 2009

uuuhhhh, can somebody call social services ??

since wors travels to remote WI locales, i like to keep this look available for relating to the locals. it works well !! for post-race hugs & kisses from the lovely wife . . . . rather less well - but that is what daughters are for, as you see.

one of the main reasons i wanted to start this blog was looking forward for a year. one aspect of which is MK being a HS senior, a year from now - theoretically - she will have been off to school, with one semester under her belt. we will be chillin' with gretchen and nicky rearranging her bedroom. so, i want to kinda document it all, or whatever. in the meantime, we spent some of last season already in nostagia mode.

this race was a hi-lite of 08 - MK's first ever elite podium in wors. it was also the first one ever on a SS, if anybody's keeping track. it was an epic battle, with a very worthy rival in patti K more most of the race and with that battle, even tho numbers were down, she felt like she earned it.

her attention these days is directed to school next year. she's off to a pretty good start with her 2 early-app choices. one represents her long-time dream of a smaller school, with the intimacy and close relations of students and profs and individualized studies direction - with the bonus being ric damm's wicked cool new varsity cycling team at Ripon College that go with that. she is super excited and honored to be invited to a special scholarship-day competition coming up at this ultra sweet small school in a couple weeks.

her other early app school was in a different vein and represented a diferent dream - big-time and big-risk and big-rep crazy-hell-selective MIT. she pulled down an acceptance there, complete with a personalized flattering phone call immediately after the acceptances were posted on-line, also. not too shabby, for a nobody kid from a tiny public school in a nothing ice-covered town. it might be said that her insistance of stupidly riding a SS in the elite Fe field on drop bars is perhaps misleading . . or at least does not cross over past mtn biking ??

lots of things need to be looked at, and decided. many of which she has no control over, and some that need defining by her. in the meantime she is both trying to keep expanding options, and narrrow-down direction. it is pretty crazy, as i am sure any parent knows. but things could be worse than having a shot at a full or otherwise very nice scholarship from a place as sweet as ripon and being honored with the acceptance at a place like MIT. all the same, if you see a toothless old guy getting a little misty ( in this pic it was the dust, i swear - the dust ) at the races this year as we wind 09 down maybe cut him a break, and so.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

eyelash-icles ??

i'm guessing that is what ya call those. 2.5 hrs skate-skiing for MK today with old dad. HR only grazed 198 a few times, so as usual she was slacking big time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

snowboard trip postponed

we were s'posed to go snowboarding in a sweet coach-style manner today, but i guess it is now next week. so, i kept up my gangster-theme roller rides with 105 minutes of scorcese's "Casino", followed by another 105 minutes XC skiing, and now i am gonna git my application for nicky and my annual week at lake owen skate-camp off into the mail. lake owen might ring a bell for many, you drive past a sign for it a mile down the road from telemark when yer at the chequamegon. as you can kinda see in the pics, this place is fabulous - who knew one of the best skateparks in the midwest was snuck into the woods outside telemark ??

i am camp nurse for a week, and nicky skates. i can skate as much as i like, too. check out that sweet little new kidney bowl in the corner of the pic and the rest of the park - cannot wait to hit that. i skated places like del mar, marina del rey in CA back in the day, and surf'n turf in milwaukee after that so for a guy 49 y/o i can actually still drop in there roll around and carve it up and stuff alright and it's cool. bonus for nicky - 150 of the campers are female gymnasts. it is fun to the watch the skaters and gymnasts circle each other at first, and then slowly move in. the camp itself is a beyond-first rate organization, and i can truthfully say i am honored to think that i can contribute to the work they do with young active-sports athletes. with 250 young skaters and overacheiving gymnasts flying everywhere 14 hours a day, as nurse it is a week with no sleep, pretty much, but i would not miss it for the world.

one thing else - the gymnasts have a total pro set-up in two huge pole-barns. they do a lot of their stuff on those bars down in pits, so that as you stand there at normal height you are right at the level of the bar as they are swinging around, launching, and grabbing/bailing and so forth. there are super-hi-quality athletes here in addition to little kids and i can tell ya, those gymansts are crazy impressive when seen inches from the action like that.

so if yer in the telemark area in summer, or by all means if ya got a young skater, check it out !! one of the best kept secrets in WI.

Friday, January 9, 2009

meta-blogging, and the madden curse

like most folks, my college career is notable largely for providing disjointed and otherwise useless trivia-contest answers. one notable exception being that i was once the beneficiary of a weekend of "slumming" down in the dregs of the dating pool by the stunningly hot gretchen - even moreso by the subsequent and highly unlikely parlay of that weekend on my part into close to 25 years of "marrying up". but, one of the things i do recall learning about is some foolishness called "meta-fiction" by a wacky english professor - this being: a work of fiction with its fictional subject being the fiction of its fictional self. or something like that.

so then, i find myself in a state of meta-bloggage. a blog with a topic about other blogs, blogging about my new blog. if it was the 70's instead of the 00's i would apply for a grant from the Natl Endowment of the Arts for all of us as performance artists. first of all, buddy and kindred spirit caffeine-powered hits me up - nice !! love that guy - few people are more fun to watch suffering on the bike than our man caff-powered.

but this one has me worried. after a post like that, how can a melt-down of shaun alexander proportions not be far behind ?? this is gonna hurt.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1st tracks, b!tches

i am not certain there is a cycling equivalent for the Sublime Fineness that is laying down 1st tracks behind a modern groomer whilst sk8-skiing - i don't think so. even this poor bastard pictured here is working sloppy seconds, it appears, obviously having a miserable time of it. i, on the otherhand, am 2-for-2 this week, hitting first tracks for a couple hours behind the groomer at cherry hills. that would me, laying down first tracks and the rest of the world - not. gotta love that flex-time. no hogged out over-skiied junk snow for us hicks, if 10 people ski the new spot the guy is personally affronted and regrooms. incredibly, jerry D hit the local hotspot over the holidays with me on the one day the groomer slept in - i mentioned it to him ( the groomer ) yeasterday and i thought the poor guy was gonna pull out a samurai sword and ram it up his thorax from the shame. jerry's gonna have to make it back.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

sha-wah-no is the new kewaunee

i need to learn how to do hot-links. if i could do so, i would have one right about -here - linking to the story about the planet bike 'cross race being part of the super-cup or whateverthehell they call that natl series in 09. what a beautiful thing, perfect timing and effort by, i assume, renee C and her crew. 'cross is the darling of the cycling world these days, WI has classy racers galore ranging from young guns to folk hero's. this is gonna be the biggest race in WI for quite some time in a lot of ways. huge waytogo to renee !!

ya gotta feel a bit for the poor shawano wors race, tho. same weekend. i thought they put on a pretty sweet race last year, kinda charming, actually. but, they took a series of brutal beat-downs for some reason, and now this. sux for them. since they are getting run over by the bus again, maybe i'll throw up just a couple crusty old beligerant points just for the sake of it:

1. while this 'cross race is gonna be huge, didja know milwaukee actually had the 'cross nats twice before ?? once in the late 70's, and again 10 years later or so. that should keep renee busy, bringing that back !! if i am not mistaken, bobby julich won one of those, maybe as a junior . . . . .

2. sept ?? portland has mud and rain, KC had ice, the NE races can have anything. the WI race is gonna be known for picnic weather ??? i like 'cross as much as the next guy, but the season thing is s'posed to be part of it.

3. didja ever notice that a lot of the same people who will bag on a mtn bike race that has a little grass and/or field section in it, will also rave incessantly about how cool 'cross is - which takes place almost exclusively on grass in fields ??

well, i hope that eases the sting a little for the shawano crew. i tried. and, huge congrats again to planet bike - i am gonna be there for sure at least one day, and i can virtually guarantee i will have the shittiest bike on the course so whatever you do don't let me pass ya on that thing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

scorched earth

mtn bike trail advocacy is a topic near and dear to my heart. my first go-round with it is pictured here. unfortunately, mtn biking in WI in general, and the raggedy band of "advocates" of the day in particular were on the receiving end.

there are around 50 state parks in WI, and near another 50 various forests, trails, woodlands and whathaveyou. in the early days of mtn biking ( indeed, since the inception of the parks ) the rule was simple regarding bikes in these parks: you could ride a bike wherever you wished, unless there was a sign saying not to. nice !!

well, no. in the early/mid 80's, the DNR put the word out that they were going to review, and possibly "clarify" that age-old rule. they kindly reached out to the mtn bike community, and asked us to collect data on which trails in which parks we thought were the best to ride, and which we would just as soon not ride. there weren't that many of us in those days - you almost knew everybody in the state who owned a mtn bike - we were just a bunch of mtn biking dirtbags, there was no WORBA or anything of the sort. but we called around, and got maps and stuff, and compiled our lists of trails and parks, and got them in to the DNR. we waited with anticipatation to see which trails we would "get" and exactly how the new rule was going to "clarify" what seemed to be an already straight-forward enuf rule . . . . . .

uhhhhh, yeah. in the end, the "clarification" of the rule was in a fact a 180 degree reversal, instead. overnite, the rule became you could not ride a mtn bike in a state park unless there was a sign saying you could ( and, coincidentally, no signs existed ). mtn bikes had been wiped out of state parks in one fell swoop. as a consolation, they did indicate that the specific trail list would be reviewed to see which trails would be reopened at some point, but in very nearly every case the order of reversal would be the exact opposite of the trails we had asked for. as an example, at that time NOBODY rode the muir trails at the kettles, it was a dump of a trail system and the parking lot on the other side of the road at the nordic trail was vastly preferred by all. so, not only did we get nuked off the face of the earth, but we were graciously allowed to first dig our own graves for ourselves by our freinds at the DNR.

things have moved on bit since then, and thankfully much better people than i are in the arena nowadays - witness muir !! i even managed to survive that mushroom cloud for another battle ( in which i was nuked again - could it be me ?? ), and insanely i might be yet again in the near future if things go OK. but, this was the first mtn bike policy history of the WI DNR, as it went down. it seems odd to me that nobody nowadays knows it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

where my wife sleeps, and my children . . . . . play with their toys

OK nevermind that is was minus 2 F, and everything was covered in ice outside this morning. it could be 72 degrees and sunny outside - if you are watching this film while you are riding indoors yer still alright. i couldn't bust out the whole 200 minutes of Fineness and Style in one go, so i'll finish it off tonite.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

icy day = work in the laboratory

shite. icy rain all day, above zee-ro temps has us holed up instead of skiing. luckily for me, i have a most Righteous new fork to finally get onto my trusty curtlo road bike. this fork replaces a very old first-gen look HSC, which has been battered, was always known as a bit of a noodly short-lived kinda thing, and was kinda making me nervous. these things are not unknown to me - i am not that smart sometimes on these matters and rode a sibex Ti fork off road for 2 years to prove it - that thing used to scare rick W just riding around a parking lot !! slow learner i may be, but when i make it right . . . . . . . yeah yeah i do try and make up for it. for off-road i came across an incredibly sweet blacksheep ti fork last season from MK's bike sponsor, and this year i recently had the fork ya see here made up for me by john caletti. we worked together a lot on the design, which was inspired by the old yamaguchi aero-steel bikes from the 90's. as ya can see, john realy got into it, and fabricated the whole thing from scratch, with steel stock and aero-plane strut cro-mo i helped source. interestingly, aero-grade cro-mo is quite cheap compared to bike tubing . . . . go figure. if ya make it to the NAHMBS, he may have a very similar fork working on a show bike concept.

the fork is white, at this time. i'll work on a full pic of it on the curtlo soonish. but, it is Bad Ass and i am stoking hard. so screw you ice storm . . . i got bike stuff like this that can keep me rocking for a while.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

early adopter

i see the grateful dead - or The Dead, musta took a hit to their portfolio's and are gonna tour this summer. neverminding the issue of why in the world you would want to see The Dead without jerry garcia steering the ship . . . . . . . . i am reminded of a disturbingly persistant and moderately embarrassing GD phase i had thru the swirling morass of Bad Decisions which was the late 70's and early 80's - a remnant of which - a dancing bear emblazoned canondale SR-900 POS frame i rode at the halloween-cross this year. that bike is remarkable in other ways, i am sure i will hit on them at some time or another - but the real thing the grateful dead brought to cycling in my book is this bad boy you see here.
that's right - the sony walkman circa 1980 ( - ish did i mention the murkiness of those days ?? ). this machine brought tunes to the bike - in my case in the form of stacks of maxell UDXL-II cassette tapes i diligently provided my local "taper" with. a taper was a guy who recorded dead shows, and then traded with other tapers - all ya had to do to have a never ending supply of new shows was flow the taper with blank tapes, and the occasional extra botanical bonus from time to time. never money - it was Bad Form to even insuate money exchange take place. anyway, this device was not for the feint of heart.
for one thing, it was the size of, well, a cassette tape player. no clipping this sucka onto yer belt, or arm, or god forbid - pocket. you wore it slung around yer shoulder like a chrome courier bag. and it ate AA batteries to the tune of 6-8 every 6 hours or so. so, ya had to run down to Radio Shack and set yerself up with a gigantic newfangled ni-cad battery set and charger for around 40 bucks. oh yeah, and the walkman itself was over a hundie . . . . . . those are 1979 dollars, when a tap beer was under a quarter, and gas under fitty cent, and minimum dirtbag wage was i dunno - 3.25 ?? for god's sake, a full campy derosa was under a grand !!
but i will tell you this, it rocked like a mofo. 'cept for those stainless steel goof-ball head-bands getting stuck in yer center-parted hippie hair, that is. and, i will say those trails out atpets that jerry D and the 'goat ride nowadays ?? they were ridden first by a yayhoo on a one speed schwinn with a motorcycle handlebar, malcom smith aftermarket motocross brake levers, a cruiser fork, with a big ass walkman blaring dead tapes thru bandana-held-down headphones.
so good luck to bobby W and phil L and the boys this summer. but i think i'll pass, stay home, and dust off some old cassettes when they play alpine valley. or, i'll record some alpine valley show from sirius radio and go ride the old c-dale that day. how many days since the last Dark Star, anyway ??? i think i'm out of the loop.

Friday, January 2, 2009

right then, happy new year.

i decided to start out the new year hitting up my new fave place to ski:

this is a local guy's backyard trail system gone mad. they went nuts in there last summer, and hauled in truckloads of dirt, redid the trails, worked out more of a deal with a neighboring golf course, and now there it is - an actual ski system. they groom like mad with $50k of equipment, and it's fabulous - maybe it's not minocqua winter park, but for a guy's backyard trails system it is insane.

i started with gretchen, going no-poles skating with her and a local doc who was striding. i kept that up for 2 hrs after gretchen went home, and then hooked onto a bunch of guys all skating for a total of 3 hrs or so. after going at it no-poles for 2 hrs beforehand i was suffering . . . we got a tour of the 5K hi-skool race course, which is pretty good to ski with a really nice mix of wooded speedy bits and 3 big-enuf-to-hurt hills, and we watched the orange helicopter fly over head on its way to pick up some fools out on an iceberg drifting into the bay . . . . . . . . i am pretty sure i have skiied more already this year than i did all of last, and i am digging it. for x-mas gretchen got me some boots i lusted after since the last olympics which rule, one of the best x-mas presents ever ( altho the sweet fixie/SS -themed z-boy-style lo-top vans MK got me are right in the hunt also ):

it looks like nothing but more snow for the next few weeks, so i am a skiier again.