Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surfing the [Heat] Wave...

Another day in Pirate paradise, another successful Wednesday night pRide. Looking back on the past *38 posts we see the word heat more times than the Clergy was indicted for touching little boys. The infamous moist and dreadfully hot Midwest summer is in fact a reality, once again. Could it be Global Warmings? Maybe just the end of days and Satan is one step closer to the surface? Whatever the case may be, when it's time to ride it's time to ride; no lollygagging, no excuses.
The crew that dared the 105 degree temps was small yet solid, consisting of Tall Bitch, HandleBalls, Mr. Joshua, Silent Killer, MaxiThad and Jack Sparrow. You knew it was going to be a good time when the duct tape lighting technique was applied pre-ride, Handleballs was tossing down a Miller Lite Tall Boy and MaxiThad was already moaning and laying on the ground. I for one was ready to get my mash on due to a lunch hour tequila fueling earlier in the day motivated by circumstances that are not for public knowledge, yet brought out the Irish temper that many of you have had the non-pleasure to witness in years past. All I could see was red and Dirt Church was the only chance for aggressive meditation w/o ending my day in an eight by eight concrete box bumping ugly's with Bubba.
So yeah, we finally got to riding bikes. The self manufactured breeze was welcomed by all as we tore through the humid and forested landscape. We pretty much stuck to legitimate trail the entire ride which was the beginning of our demise as the crashing and head-over-tail yard sales started off almost immediately. I think it was TallBitch with crash number one, where he almost went down, yet while thinking to himself how psyched he was about recovering, he went ahead and crashed his taint off anyway. A proudly displayed 6'-4" snow-angle of flattened grass was testament to his full body contact with the earth. Laughing it off, we kept riding.
Memory fails me, as it often does moments after any horrific event lacking cheerleaders or chainsaws, as to who else was eating dirt during our adventure, but I know there were many crashes. I vaguely remember that 99% of them were TallBitch, who for at least the next 132 hours will be referred to as TrailsBitch, since in fact that was the case.
 As we rallied through the goods that is the SMP trail system, I noticed that THE tree gap, the one that was once super-scary tight, so dang tight that there's scares at handlebar height on each tree, had changed. It appears that the downhill tree is dead an is falling toward and blocking the sally line. Prosser said it best, "Long live the Tree Gap!".
Silent Killer was doing his typical complaining about how our pace was too fast and that he needed to rest more, but we just ignored him as usual and kept a solid pace that would make even Lance dope. HandleBalls, who'd just escaped from prison labor camp minutes before the ride, was crushing and riding strong; the energizer bunny of all things singlespeed. 
Our overall festival of bikes was shorter than usual, but a good time was had. We rode for a few hours before retiring to the driveway to toss back some refreshments and talk shit on Silent Killers fear of booze. I guess I can't really imagine him with the extra power one gains from a 12 oz. IPA. He'd be unstoppable, especially when he gets that evil look in his eye, poking at whomever might fall for his Lawrence Hill sprint/race trickery at the end of every P-ride he attends.
Next week is a Holiday, so we will be on a hiatus from night rides for a week or two. Other adventures await. Beans will be spilled.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Heat Advisory...

The Infamous Cotter rolling through 8-pins
It's hotter than Hell here in Kansas Shitty. Full on moist summer conditions that leave you drenched with perspiration and covered in a fine layer of dust. With a Heat Advisory and Air Quality Alert in full effect, I headed out for a quick lap at Swope in the early a.m. to try and beat the heat. There was a momentary lapse of reason in my decision to ride Swope. Upon arrival I realized all too quickly that it was the Specialized Demo Day, and that i would not have the trails all to me oneseys as hoped, but rather a sausage fest of folks trying out the latest and greatest that Specialized has to offer. I'm 110% stoked on my Niner, so other than visiting the demo tent to say hello to The Trail Asshole, who didn't even acknowledge my existence, I kept to the dirt.
 The best part about the morning ride was meeting up with Cotter, Davis and Tate in the parking lot. These three fellas are a pleasure to ride with not only because they are chill, laid-back and have a great sense of humor, but because they can actually ride mountain bikes like Debbie rides Dallas
It was time to roll and one of our group decides we should climb up the pavement to get warmed up. The paved climb is a brutally steep and long bitch of a grind. it takes its toll on you and causes more of a pre-bonk than a warm-up, but that's the way these guys ride: go hard or go home and pretend it's all a cruise while keeping things fun and interesting.
We all have our good days and bad days. One day you feel great, your legs are strong and breathing comes easy. The next day you are dying to keep up, legs are about to explode and you're half a step away from hyperventilating. Today, I was having a good day. The trails, which I had not rode in months, were feeling great. The climbing was solid, technical sections challenging and everything was flowing like like a Japanese Tsunami. 
At some point during our high speed rock flyover festival, Tate managed to crash his brains out, which in turn was an early excuse to head to the Demo tent and talk bikes while the rest of us finished our lap. Soon thereafter it was time for me to head back to the lair, and in doing so I rode out one last climb with Cotter and Davis. This particular climb is basically from the parking lot up and parallel with the paved climb we started the day on. There is one section that has a couple of rock steps and is very steep. This comes long after you've popped *23 veins in your forehead, and with pumped legs the steps are almost overbearing. I'm about %50 on this obstacle, and as Davis agreed, it's probably THE hardest little required ride-up challenge at Swope. A pure and undoubted litmus test on what type of day you're going to have.
I personally had a great day. Thanks fellas for sharing the ride. Hope to do it with more frequency in the near future. I just love riding bikes.
Maybe Wednesday Night?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012


HandleBalls B-day bash went off without a hitch. We had eight brave souls ride off into the moist darkness to get a face full of dust during what turned out to be a three hour ride. TallBitch showed up with P-ride rookie Joshua who had no light, so we did what we here at Pirate headquarters do best, we MacGyver’d some lumens to his helmet and were ready for action. Justin showed for round two, as he did a few laps at Smithville during the Specialized Demo earlier in the day. That was of course [his] excuse to nearly toss his lunch after we climbed out of the valleys North of OGG Rd. early in the ride. 
Duct Tape - Still THE fix-all
 Our crew put down some mileage at a casual pace that might have made pulling the beer cooler worthwhile. We stopped about *87 times for the group to huddle and for MaxiThad to lay in the dirt and moan, which is a typical maneuver for said landlubber during any ride/race or beer swilling festivity. The trails were in good shape if you’re the type who’s down with black lung; it was one dusty sumbiotch out there. BillyManilly showed up once again on his garage sale clunker, brilliantly adorned with no less than *18 zip ties to keep the chain-line in its money spot. Taylor, still riding a kid sized 29er frame, was killing it as usual with his off-the-couch mad skills. I’ve never seen a seat post that long before, ever.
Checking the radar at hour two of the ride we noticed a storm blanketing the area only minutes from our location. We made the decision to make no decision to ride fast or get to safety, but rather lolly-gagged onward on our quest for all things dirt and possibly a free shower. I guess all things dirt would be short changing ourselves so every man-made stone retaining wall was rode in style by non-other than the birthday boy himself, who can now legally date outside of his immediate family.
Half the crew was in rare look-of-doom form as we slogged up the Lawrence hill back to the Lair. Parched and seeing nothing but visions of beerverages dancing in our heads, we somehow made the long climb back to the fridge where good and bad barley pops were downed in yard-sale driveway style. After a short bit of chatting it up, the deluge that we’d foreseen yet not feared, reared its face and doused us with a fine amount of rain and a welcomed cool breeze. We were psyched to get in a ride before the much needed moisture. I’d imagine the trails will be in prime shape tomorrow, once the rain stops and they have a few hours to dry out.  Time to make some more time to ride while the gettin's good, so getcha some.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Golden Rule...

"Drive time to and from a mountain bike destination shall not be greater than actual ride time".
I regret to inform you, the masses, that we here at Pirate headquarters came damn close to breaking the golden rule of mountain biking in an attempt to experience all that is the Smithville Humpday Ride. Being of sound heart and mind we always strive to spin our brains-out on all terrain that exists in the multiverse, and SMV trails had not seen rubber-to-dirt from our crew in a coons-age. Our small crew of jorks consisting of the almighty MaxiThad, Shoffy, Silent Killer, TallBitch and Jack Sparrow headed out in the man-wagon toward the great white north a bit behind schedule. I think it was the grand tour of Shop-de-Maximus that at first did us in, not soon to be followed by a shiz-load of rush hour traffic and directional  memory loss. But we did in fact finally acquire the correct co-ordinance to attain a parking spot at the Smokin' Davey trail-head, which is the sight of many adult beverage drank and pseudo campfire's burnt, or so we were told.
Upon late arrival, a solid 45 minutes too late to actually meet the local dirt loving man-train, we met little to no resistance getting our loyal steeds on the trail, starting with nothing other than the dirt strewn goodness referred to as Lakeside Speedway. This was my last ride on the Death Machine, a bon-voyage of sorts, and I wanted to make sure I could live without her constant peddling and loose rear-end. It's sad to let a good hunk of steel go, but money is all too often king in this bastard of a world, and I have to pay the piper before I earn a pair of concrete shoes.
The Death Machine Fixie
Spinning around the SMV trail system we were rolling about as fast as the roadrunner being pursued by the coyote, with some carnage along the way; consisting for the most part of the typical MaxiThad mechanical circus. First [he] flatted, then he proceeded to put down as much power as a hobbit on meth, which resulted in the instant yet tool free removal of his non-drive side crank arm. Here is the hard evidence, still attached to the man himself.
Crank Arm? Check.
 Halfway through our first glorious lap we met up with TallBitch, who was hoping he'd miss us and have to wait for hours guarding the beer cooler back at the parking lot. Instead he got to ride some great trail. The SMV crew has been working their tails of with no less than *145 re-routes, new wooden bridges over the most heinous of creek crossings, and stone block reinforcement of various seepy areas. In short, the trails are in prime, ball-kicking shape. 
Silent Killer (enter evil laugh here) overlooking Maxi's flat repair skills
After our circumnavigation of Smithville Lake, we returned to partake in the Skirt-Humping festivities. To our surprise there was no campfire, but a small smorgasbord of chips/salsa and goldfish crackers which were easily washed down by the various and hoppy barley-pops in Maxi's cooler. Many a local were telling tall tales of stardom and showing off their bikes. 
Slowly the crowd dwindled to just the P-ride crew (minus Silent Killer) as we dawned lights and headed out for stage two of our mission; riding bikes in the dark with a minimum blood alcohol content of 10%. We shredded the trails like Miss Piggy reacts to constructive criticism. MaxiThad Once again ripped apart his cranks and lost the tiny bits that hold them together, which in turn would end his night ride festivities. Shoffy, running a junky light provided by yours truly, was on point leading us through the darkness and sometimes into the woods.
Pirate "Wanna Ride More?" MaxiThad "I'm Fucked Up, Yeah."
Finally we'd had enough, figured the *764 miles back home would be plenty to sober us up, and we loaded up the family truckster and rolled out. If my calculations are correct, we just barley followed the golden rule with just shy of three hours on the bike and just over two in the vehicle. Driving that far to ride sucks. But then again, sometimes in life it's important to just show up, as we did, and so it goes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hipsters (or Hips-Turds)...

The past two weeks have been a blur. I can't think of five minutes that I was able to just sit back and relax. Commuting has been going pretty good, but not anywhere close to 100% of the time. I get lazy, have to run errands or come up with lame excuses to drive. It's hard out here for a pimp.
Last weeks night ride was a dash of ignorance, or a giant example of being dumb and setting yourself up for either failure or stardom. Moments before HandleBalls, Silent Killer and I rolled out we double checked the radar. Sure as shit there was a huge ass storm just minutes away from taking us all to see the mighty and powerful Oz.. We stripped ourselves naked, not really naked but of all electronic devices (yes, including our lights) and we rode off for what we assumed would be a half hour ride into a deluge. As luck had it, we were spared the torrent and found ourselves miles from anywhere, deep in the woods with only our keen sense of 'stay upright and keep moving' to guide us. It was pitch black and we were on some semi-gnar trail. What the heck right? It's cool to do night rides sans lights just like its cool to pee your pants- as long as everyone is doing it...

Time-warp one week ahead to last night. Perfect weather and perfect trail led us out on a three hour dirt loving adventure. The usual suspects - The Manimal, HandleBalls, Silent Killer, MaxiCrash and The Pirate all headed into the tick infested woods. Though I sat out the bug spray consisting of no less than 99.9% anthrax, I still forgot to apply it to my tasty thighs. This momentary lapse of reason was the cause for what later turned out to be a tick-picking-marathon. I plucked at least *345 of those little bastards of my flesh.
After trying out a new route in and up to yet another beer climb dubbed The Silent Killer, we were off and into the valleys of the Red trail, where not only did we catch major air on the rock jump, but we also about shat our panties during a brief Predator de-cloaking exodus, which turned out to be nothing more than roosting turkeys bailing out of the trees above our heads.  After climbing out of the deep valleys of Red, we sat around for a brief moment to take in the setting sun.
En-route to the Autobahn we enjoyed the brutal and horsed-out dam hill, which was exactly that. Moving onto the Autobahn, where speed limits do not exist, we met a few obstacles that overpowered even the stench of Handleballs himself. Yes, the Silent Killer and Maxicrash both succumbed to the ever challenging dip-n-weave maneuver and failed to avoid canine poo, which yielded the following turdtastic results.
Just as things were going great, they got better as we found the holy grail of pirate ride booty; a toddler sun hat embossed with an array of skull and cross bones- which Maxicrash decided to use for his upcoming Taddihogg world domination campaign. 
Once again and sooner than later, all good things come to and end, or to a sudden stop in the case of MaxiCrash. Ego boasting and mouth spewing words like 'Watch out Mother Fuckers', was immediately interrupted by crashing into a pyramid shaped rock straight to his hip with a solid thud. His old man bones were rattled as he moaned in pain, which sounded vaguely similar to Bjork. Said hill will now and forever-after to be referred to as Hipster Hill. I'm sure his ass is looking good today.
Not to be made into an excuse to head to the bar early, MaxiCrash did in fact save face by doing the Lollypop with zero dabs - quite a feat to behold (your prize awaits).
Having a few hours under our belts we decide to head back to the SMP MTB trails for a final push back towards the Lair. Getting from point A to B had a few variations, and the one that we chose led to a brief encounter with the enemy. From what i was told (because I don't hang around when crazy bitches are yelling at me), said enemy's appearance was something to behold - or to not add to the spank-bank.
Needless to say the moral litmus test showed true as The Pirate and MaxiCrash poofed into the wilderness never to be seen again, or at least not to be seen anywhere other than at Pirate headquarters swilling moonshine in the moonlit night whilst telling stories of vigilante justice as fig newtons flowed like beer on St. Patrick's day.
Another P-ride, another successful night of non-riding and shenanigans. Riding bikes sure is fun, just like that time I smeared poo on my asshole neighbors car door handle. Good times.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


 Keeping true to the old ways of my old ways of thinking, I am re-thinking this whole plastic bike issue. I'm currently riding a really nice Niner Air 9 Carbon, which I truly enjoy. I have absolutely zero complaints. The bike rides like a dream, the geometry is spot-on, and it's sexier than eating bananas.
 If you think you might be worthy of my slightly used 2012 Niner Air 9 Carbon, shoot me an email. Retail on this frame is around $1,900. I'm including the Niner Biocentric EBB (annodized blue), der. hanger and other bits if you want to run it geared, a Thomson Seat Collar (black), Thomson Elite seatpost (black) and Cane Creek Headset. I'm asking $1,450 for the package.

My plan is then to buy one of these (below).. I feel it defines me in a much truer sense of being defined. A gem in the rough you might say, a true work of art without the bling; A single speeders dream machine.