A random collection of thoughts associated with the sport of cycling, as relayed by one hopelessly devoid of too many competing interests. It's a one track blog I'm afraid. But hey, if you like bikes you might enjoy it. So keep reading and the worst that'll happen is it might rot your brain..

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Pleasant Valley (aka: East Side) road ride

The air was cool, the sun was shining and I should've known better than to just ride loops on the East Side yesterday. I had the time for a longer ride out to Rehobeth but I opted to stay close to home. All the while conveniently forgetting the way nice weather lures those not prone to movement out of doors, much in the same way Craigslist attracts illiterate fucks selling over priced POS bikes they pulled from the rafters. The flat tire that greeted me when I went to grab my bike should've been a clear omen. The only way to correctly interpret such an signal is to utilize the tools at hand, namely beer, your couch and reruns of Seinfeld. After much reflection all is usually revealed. Instead of doing the smart thing I replaced the tube and hit the road, neglecting to notice that my stem was pointing to the right at roughly a 10 degree angle. Well, that explains the weird left hand turns anyway.

That issue addressed I headed over toward the nice part of town. The trip over was fairly uneventful, and the weather was just too damn nice to second guess my planned ride. As boring as loops of Blackstone Blvd. and the adjoining streets can be the area offers a convenient place to ride close to home, and it's a decent spot for some structured work like intervals and self TT riding. Not that it makes me any faster, but I like to at least humor myself.

Things were going swell, wonderfully in fact, until Johnny Law almost got me run over by a guy who looked like a fat Juan Epstein from Welcome Back Cotter. This all came about because a cop attempted to pull Epstein over on the Boulevard with little to no warning to all involved. He blazed up real fast, so fast it seemed like he was on a mission from God and there was a slim chance the smoking 20 year old shitbox might elude him. He then gave one quick BOOOOP of the siren for good measure. This action caused Epstein to shoot across the road from the left shoulder to the right in one decidely ungraceful display of driving. It was not unlike watching a crackhead spastically dart his way up Pleasant Street, peeking his head in trash bins hoping to score some discarded treasures.

This stunningly awkward action caused the car in front of, and to the left of me, to jack on the brakes. This caused me to stop humming Last Train to Clarksville and go all bug eyed as I nearly shit myself. Options were limited, and it really sucked, but I was quick enough on the front brake and got around everything in time to yell at Epstein. While I spewed a few swear words of my own concoction I noticed he was looking at me and laughing. I found this amusing coming from a crooked Afro sporting dude in a beat to shit Mazda MPV clad in a ratty T-shirt, with glorious stains of an unknown origin, and his equally attractive passenger. I'm guessing here, but I think his time with the fuzz on the East Side was less than enjoyable as he was held there for the next 30 minutes. One would imagine it's not exactly the neighborhood to be pulled over in when you look broke, and you don't fit the description of the majority of the residents.

Anyway I kept on cruising figuring my luck had to turn around at some point. That point apparently was to be a bit later on in the night as I had a few stop sign running fools almost take me out on the ride home. Loads of fun, I won't even get into the idiots roller blading with traffic in the bike lane wearing next to no clothing and, of course, headphones. Sorry if I scared the crap out of you when I passed so closely. I couldn't resist, and besides I didn't feel like cutting in front of traffic to accommodate your pasty ass as it weaves across the whole lane. Put some goddamn pants on next time, OK?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun Ride was Fun

Yep, it was a good one yesterday. The weather cooperated and we were treated to warm sun and a cool breeze. We had ~ 100 folks turn up to ride a really nice loop laid out by Jim Grimley and company. Riding the Mt. Tom trail through the "Ledges" on both sides of 165 reminded me of why the trip down to Arcadia is always worth it. Being the dummy that I am I forgot my camera, so I unfortunately have no pics to share. It's hard to describe in words how hard, and ultimately rewarding, the Mt Tom trail can be. Everyone I saw who had ridden the loop seemed to enjoy the views and super technical riding. The food and drinks provided afterwards probably didn't hurt either.

Pete Gengler and I rode the Mt. Tom trail in the morning, and then we headed back for lunch prior to heading out to remove arrows. While pulling down arrows I ran into some folks I know from the Boston area. Knowing they were the last group to head out I swept the course behind them, and I eventually caught back up with their group. Before leaving I gave Tom and his crew a quick tour of the "95 trail" while making sure to finish with a nice long descent at ludicrous speed.Being the tough guy he is Pete re-rode Mt Tom to remove the arrows on both sides of 165. I was pretty well worn out by the time I left, and all the riding in recent weeks is catching up with me. I'm going to lay low for a few days before resuming riding like a madman again. My "training" to date has basically looked like this; Ride the road fixed, ride in the woods, ride SS in the woods, ride the road fixed, ride in the woods, etc.. That, my friends, is a solid 1/2 ass training plan if I've ever seen one! Let me know if you want an advanced copy of my forthcoming training guide entitled "Riding Too Hard, Too Often, and for no Apparent Reason".

From what I hear we raised around $500 for a local charity to be determined, and we had roughly 30 folks either renew or join NEMBA. Thanks to all the shops that provided raffle items! I also got most of the Trail Ambassador jerseys and supplies passed out which is a really good thing.

On a related note the Arcadia Ride Series starts in June, I posted the dates in a previous post and they are on the rinemba site as well. These rides are a free tour of Arcadia, just show up and go ride. Not too complicated if you ask me, so if you'd like to learn the trails check it out.

If you read RI Monthly be on the lookout for a short piece mentioning the Mt. Tom trail, RI NEMBA and the ride series. I'm not sure when it's going to be published but I'm guessing it'll be in one of the next few issues.

That's about it for now..


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Arcadia Spring Fun Ride Sunday 5/18

Just a quick head's up. The RI NEMBA Spring Fun Ride is happening this coming Sunday. The rides leave from the Browning Mill lot on Arcadia Rd. Registration is from 8 - 11 AM. As per usual there will be two arrowed loops. One for beginners, and one for those interested in a longer haul. The cost is a measly $5 for members and $10 for non members (or join NEMBA and ride for free). There will be a post ride cookout for members, and there will be a water stop out on the trail as well. We will also hold a raffle with great swag provided by various local shops including Ski Market, Victory Cycles and Providence Bicycle among others. Proceeds will be going to Trips for Kids this year.


95 N or S: take exit 5a onto Route 102, follow for 1/2 miles to the end then take a right onto Route 3 south. Follow for 1 mile to the blinking light and take a left onto Route 165 (Little Country Pizza is on the corner), follow 165 for about 1/2 mile and take a right onto Arcadia Road. Browning Mill Pond parking lot is on the right roughly 2/3 miles down the road.

I know that some of you are pissed this is competing with the Glocester Grind, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. There's only so many weekends available and we had to go with the 18th. We set the calendar early this year so we could be more efficient. There was bound to be some overlap considering all the different event schedules we need to consider (Root 66, EFTA, Regional NEMBA, Kenda Bikefest, Interbike East etc, etc.).


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Some RI NEMBA news and other stuff

When I'm not busy ripping apart other people's horrendous spelling and grammar (see post below) I like to get busy with some RI NEMBA activities. That said here's some of the things that have transpired recently..

Trail Ambassador Jerseys are here! I passed out 1/2 of them at the meeting last night. Leo Corrigan and I are going to figure out a date/time to dole out the rest of the jerseys and the other supplies. For those of you who are wondering, the TA program is simply a low key plan to keep RI NEMBA visible on the trails. It also serves to get folks involved in NEMBA in a really easy manner. Basically we're going to be out in the woods sporting the jerseys and doing what comes naturally. That means being friendly, offering assistance with directions, basic first aid and mechanical issues. Most of us do this already so why not pimp NEMBA while we're at it, right? The jerseys were produced by Champion Systems and they came out great. They are T-shirt style, and we had them done up in blaze orange. This is helpful now that hunting season extends into early summer, and it starts up again early in the fall.

The Lincoln Woods ride series rides have started. We ride every Friday at 6:00 for 1 - 1.5 hours covering most of the trails in the park. Most Fridays we have two ride leaders, and we lead an advanced intermediate ride and a advanced beginner ride. Remember, it's Lincoln Woods, so if you plan to ride the intermediate ride be prepared to climb a little as that's just how it is out there. We only go as fast as the slowest rider so please keep that in mind. It's not about me getting in a hard ride, it's about showing folks the trails. If it's raining the ride is cancelled. Any other cancellations will be posted on the NEMBA forum under the RI section: http://www.nemba.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=27

The next issue of SingleTracks will include an article featuring LW, Arcadia and Burlingame. Hopefully this will expose folks to the great riding in RI. Also, RI Monthly may be giving us a nod in an upcoming issue with a piece focusing on outdoor activities.

The Spring Arcadia Fun Ride is coming up quick. It will be held on Sunday, 5/18 at the Browning Mill Pond lot, registration is from 8 - 11:00 AM as always. $5 for NEMBA members, $10 for non members or join/renew for $25 and ride for free. Food and drink afterwards and there will be a swag raffle to raise funds for a local non profit (to be determined). There are no led rides, the loops (easier/longer/hero) are arrowed and there is a water stop out on the trail. Jim Grimley always lays out a great course. I'll be helping out early in the AM with Pete and Al, and then we'll be helping Jim take down arrows.

I know this is competing with the Glocester Grind MTB race, but if you feel like participating in a lower key event, and you want to learn your way around one of the best trail systems in the State then come on down!

While we're talking about Arcadia... the Arcadia Ride Series starts up again in June. This is a free guided tour of the trails in Arcadia. It's a simple show and go style of ride. We'll have 2-3 leaders per ride and will offer slower and faster rides. The first set of dates is as follows: 6/1,6/15,6/29,7/13 and 7/27. Again, be sure check the NEMBA forums and/or our website (rinemba.org) if you are in doubt about the ride due to weather.

In non NEMBA news it seems like my Surly 1x1 is finally finding a new home. I'm also picking up a new geared 'cross bike this week. One in, one out. It's the best way to roll (especially when you live in an apartment). Also, my Twin Six duds are still in limbo, no big deal but I'm kinda hoping they show up soon.

In non bicycle related news I'm going to see the Pietasters on Sunday at the Living Room. Yeah, I know Ska sucks..ha ha FU. It should be great, even if I am damn near the oldest person there.

That's about all I have for now. I've been doing plenty of riding on the road and in the woods of course. It looks like mtb racing is going to be taking a back seat to NEMBA stuff for most of the season. But that's OK since I wilt like the pansy I am in the heat. Maybe I'll just channel all of my competitive spirit into flailing about on the 'cross bike this fall.

Take care,

I'll leave you with some quality Hardcore courtesy of those bad ass mofos on the half shell. Take off your backpack and get your jump kick skills ready for the carnage that follows:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

RI Bicycles Craigslist Post of the Year

I know April just ended (happy May Day comrades!), but this one takes the cake. Read it, I dare you. I know it's devoid of punctuation and all, but it's completely worth it. You can really feel the despair of the seller. Poor guy pours his heart into his ads and folks just jerk him around. People please stop wasting his time and buy the bike. While he may not answer your calls, or text messages, he's pretty much guaranteeing you will enjoy this bike. He wouldn't even be selling it if he didn't need the cash, what with it being so good for excersize (a form of eczema treatment perhaps?) and all. That right there should tell you it's an awesome bike! Scarier still is that this is a follow up to his earlier ad about a cursing bike. A bike that swears?? Hell, where do I sign up?!

Without any further snarkiness here's the ad:


Reply to:
Date: 2008-05-01, 11:18AM EDT

i posted it a few times had a bunch of people hit me up bout it only to have them get back to me the next day sayin they jus bought one this bike is not like normal bikes your not all bent over wit ya back achin if you look at the picture the frame has a downward slope to it and if you look where the pedals are they are not directly below the seat like every other bike they are more toward the front of the bike wen i first got on it it seem very diffrent from a normal bike it is so much more comfortable no strain on the feet the legs or your back the seat is nice and big it has front shimano v brakes and back pedal breaks has 3 speeds so instead of having to switch thru 12 or 21 diffrent gears you have three that are perfect for any drivin situation has a 3 peace crank it is pretty much brand new i never drive it i used it for about 3 nights jus riding it around town there is absolutly nothin wrong wit it except it probably jus alittle dusty from sittin in my basement it is 400 brand new im only askin 150 well worth it for a trek bike def worth it if you use a bicycle to commute to work or school or even to excersize great for riding long distances i wouldnt even get rid of it if i didnt need the xtra cash so email me or call me or text me at 4---- cant promise that ill answer but if you leave ya name and number ill call you back as soon as i can and if you text or email i mite respond faster but to whoever does buy it you definetly will not b disappointed in your purchase the pictures dark too so if you are seriously intrested in buyin it ill take better ones and send them but if you jus gonna make me run around and wait and then not buy it then dont even bother hittin me up