Thursday, March 31, 2011

This week has been madness. All good stuff, but keeping me way busy, eventhough this has hardly been my most lucrative week at work. Apartment search, pressing for bike racks at work after a co-worker caught a guy ripping his bike at lunch time, talking bikes w/ one west coast builder, and riding around town with some new buds. Tonight I headed out on the fixed gear and got stood up; this time it was dudes doing the standing, but I wasnt going let my broken heart get in the way of a ride. I headed out on blue and yellow then ended up way over my head on Kublai Khan and was greatful for the woods dump I took earlier in the ride. Fixed gear riding takes things to an entirely new level of sketchiness, and I am in the thick of it with only 4 off-road fixie rides under my belt. Why you ask? Why the hell not. It changes the game, so that even if you have been riding the same old trail for 10 years, it becomes an entirely different beast when the ability to coast or use a rear brake has been taken away.

The Green Machine at WABA HQ...


Ground scores dont get much better than this unworn fresh mesh...


So I have been borderline obsessed with this Tour Divide thing for about 5 years now and am very close to throwing my hat in the ring and doing it. Perhaps on a fixed gear. Perhaps not. So I ordered this frame about a year ago and now we are talking fork and front rack for single track touring. Front rack only, so you can still get behind the seat and actually enjoy riding the single track, but still be able to carry your bed roll without having to use 10 toe straps to fix it to the handle bars. Anyway, I am super excited about it, and Todd also seems very interested in doing this project for me.

Wait a minute, that doesn't look like no west coast bike...


So last night, I met up with a guy to swap some bike goodies and we got to chatting and he was telling me about his ride the previous day out in NOVA. Ugh. The only time I spend in Northern Virginia is passing through to head out to the valley. Anyway, he was riding with some folks I know out in Accotink and came across a guy sitting in the woods against a tree. They thought it seemed odd and so they stopped. Then they saw the gun in his lap and hole in his forehead. Dude just offed himself. On the one hand, I can sympathize to the turmoil and seemingly endless pain and suffering life can sometime dish out, yet on the other have no love at all for the selfishness and utter disrepect shown to all affected. I find it interesting that during lunch today, the book I am currently submersed in, talked for pages and pages of suicides and it being a sort of tragic personality trait. One experienced by artists who create from this immense pain and suffering they feel, yet are not stuck in such a feeling. I need to reread that passage as it was wonderfully written and descriptive and probably something all could relate to on some level. Someone once told me suicide is permanant solution to a temporary problem. Someone else found it interesting and very odd to hear that I knew several people to take their own lives. It had never even crossed my mind that it might be somewhat abnormal to know even one. I hope to not know another.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Been spending some time down along the river again since the weather is getting a bit more mild. Last weekend I took a casual spin on the dirt trails where I hadnt ventured since the fall.

This weekend, Tennessee was down from the big city up north for the half marathon. She came in for the good haircut and then hung out with some of her peeps, before I called it a night in order to rise for a ride with the MORE crew in the Shed. I opted for the fixed mountaineering bicycle and am finally getting the log overs that had been giving me troble on a bike of the fixed gear variety. Still not an expert by any stretch, but stoked to be able to get through some chunky, technical bits with the pedals still turning. After a day of respectable duration in the saddle, I returned home, hollered at Tenny and friends and went night riding on the river to the good ole' Great Escape" for old time sake. Topped off with some late night papusas and then begins the week of house hunting. Also been running through the idea once again of Tour Divide. I am kinda fired up right now, and if the fire continues to burn, it wont be long before I begin whoring myself for sponsors and coverage.















Hey ladies...

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Many loved him as a refined and clever and interesting man, and were horrified and disappointed when they had come upon the wolf in him. And they had to because Harry wished, as every sentient being does, to be loved as a whole and therefore it was just with those whose love he most valued that he could least of all conceal and belie the wolf. There were those, however, who loved precisely the wolf in him, the free, the savage the untamable, the dangerous and strong, and these found it peculiarly disappointing and deplorable when suddenly the wild and wicked wolf was also a man and had hankerings after goodness and refinement and wanted to hear Mozart, to read poetry and to cherish human ideals. Usually these were the most disappointed and angry of all..."

The Ring

Coming soon to a blog near you...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shit and Shinola

After all of these years, I still have trouble with this one...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Training

March On

As the saying goes "Beware the ides of March," but as usual I failed to listen. In the past 2 weeks, it would seem I have the Mr Hankey touch where everything I am in contact with turns to shit. There is hope however, as one of my clients, who was talking me off the ledge the other day reminded me that March is in like a lion and out like a lamb. Rumor also has it that March is the month of cheesy cliches. So I am doing away with the massive bungalo and roomates, as well as the idea of a weekend get away, and trading them all for solo living in the city. Not too keen on the idea of apartment living again, but at least I wont have to deal with some of the madness that has been unfolding at the home 20 as of late. Nuff said on that front, I have a new frame that I need to focus on ideas for as my name is next up on the long list of frames coming out of one man's fab shop in Santa Cruz. I always think visual aids are a good idea, because one man's vision is another's blindness, whatever the heck that means. So yes, I have been perusing the interwebs and have come up with some inspiring images.

Something about this bike screams fun...


This image comes courtesy of Tim and this bike competed in early 24 hour events so you know its comfortable for all day afairs...


The Navigator is ridden by some of the best single track descenders in the valley and boasts plenty of stand over...


This bike handles like its on rails...


The Jackalope bike had lots of hand positions for long rides...


Nuff said...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Changes

Lots of life style changes on the horizon at the moment. The idea of getting a spot in Harrisonburg is officially squashed and am I currently feeling kinda burnt out on riding, so its time to go underground and roll solo for a while. Just wondering, is it too early in the season to be burnt out?


Couldn't be better timing with a custom frame I have been waiting a year for scheduled for delivery in the next month or so. As you may or may not remember from previous posts, 2011 is going to be my year to make things happen, and sqandering money to go play in the valley every weekend isnt going to help my cause. This year is all about stacking those chips. As I sit here listening to folks jam on the sitar and tabla, the idea of wanting more from life is floating in the breeze. Or maybe that's just the smell of the super hit burning in the corner. And so with the end of a westward journey, comes the beginning of the inward journey.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Week, Another Lack- Luster Post

Weather was finally nice enough to get out for a ride on the trails this weekend, but The Shed still had the occasional mud pit. Cant imagine how bad Patapsco was. If you rode there, shame on you. Was gonna head down to ride the Nutt but a last minute casting interview came up for sunday evening, forcing me to stay a bit more local, which is probably gonna be where I do much of my riding for a while. 3 hours or so on the bike was good. The rebuilt fork (thanks Kurt) felt nice and plush, the gears shifted A-ok (but will take some getting used to) and the Nevegal (yup, Im hatin')saw its last ride with yet another tear in it. Still trying to get this whole tire thing figured out, but so far am sold on Ardent LUST in the rear (hoping for a 2.4 in the future to run in front) and am returning to the FR3 which I tried and had mixed feeling for. At least the casing instills some confidence... but really, these are my personal problems, so I will spare you any further dumping of emotions for today.





So yes, a second interview for this TV show where there would take me and Kelly into the backcountry ponds of Oklahoma and teach us to catch large (and by large, we are talkin' 50+ lbs!) catfish with nothing but our hands. I must say, after watching just how they go about this, I had nightmares last night. The way it works is, you wade out into these ponds and stick your bare feet into these catfish holes. The fish, being territorial, will bite your foot at which point you grab them by the gills and pull them up. However, you dont want to go and put your foot in a snake hole and this is where the nightmares came in. I had a run in with some snake 2 years ago, that left me a changed man.





Today I met up with Gwadzilla for some lunch and conversation which was nice. We compared Blurb books over pancakes and eggs and I had way too much coffee. Coffee? Is that how we are starting off our week? Watch out folks.

Over the river and through the woods...


Caught in the act of catching me in the act...




Chris Duncan art? Yes please...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Next Level

For those of you who know me, I am somewhat anti-contest and yes, I can be anti-social at times but I couldnt pass up the oppotuntiy to take things to the next level...


Here are a couple of stills of testing out the course before the contest. I was rippin' but not good enough to best those boys from across the pond...





Actually, these are photos taken from the Pits Jam in 1999, where I took first place in the dual slalom on that very bike, in that very outfit. I qualified 6th but the finals were run 8 deep, with the first 2 qualifiers up front, 3rd and 4th in the next row and so on. I was able to jump from course to course and throw a big elbow in the sweeper, taking out Hartlove, Appel, some Trek pro and some other fast guys coming out on top... on a 20" BMX bike with only a front brake wearing a ball cap. Sick knife to case on a substantually smaller set of doubles. Note the front tire bottoming out upon landing.

Last year, I was kickin' it with my friend Tennessee, and we were chatting about documentaries when she told me about one called Okie Noddin'. I had no idea what "noodlin'" was until she schooled me and since then, the topic has come up numerous times, most recently today, when I was approached about being in on an Animal Planet show where there teach people how and then have a contest of sorts. Tomorrow I have an interview with a producer and then do some Skype interview. Is there a career change in my future? For those not in the know, here is a taste...



Jimmy P. posted on facehole today that March 11 was Pepe's B-Day. The pictures he posted brought back memories of days (and some nights) at Freedom Plaza back in the day. Rest in Peace my friend.

Nicotine wheel ad...


Lance Dawes photo...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Exercising

another lazy, rainy day...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rock Riding

Since it monsooned all day Sunday, there was riding of rocks to be had, however, I will not leave you high and dry...

A Hill in Spain from chris akrigg on Vimeo.

코리아오픈 재키 스피닝 선수권대회

werd!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life Returns

Since returning from Sedona, I have been fired up, which for the most part is a good thing. Nights have been somewhat hellish, averaging 3 or 4 hours a night, but I have been doubling the dose of the sleepytime tea with descent results. As I walked the local Wholefoods searching for my tea I spy some Sambazon goods so its gonna be smoothie central at the 20. I wake up in the morning fired up once again and ready for action. I also blame spring weather coming and going as well as ride planning as contributing to this feeling of anxiety and the mentaility of sleep being a waste of time. After just 2 hours of napping, Sunday was my first ride in Frederick since the fall and the first on fixie. Some bugs needed working out and I got back to the car with a swellbow and a renegade MOuntain Laurel bush attacked my tender thumb setting my recovery back a bit. I need to get that worked out as it is painful to shift the front rings with that thumb and there is a very special challenge on the horizon.Regardless, I blew up the B/B on the cheap Marin and the slack caused me to drop the chain, wedging it between the crankarm and chainring, folding the chain at a 90 degree angle. Luckily we were dropping down Supersweet back to the car so I coasted back rather than removing the ring and trying to salvage the chain.




Wednesday I was up at dawn and went out in the Pits on a scouting mission. Lots of downed trees, but someone has been chainsawing them out. Always good to see someone maintain the local rogue trails, especially since the only other users are motorized. I cleared what I could on my own and got back to car just shy of 3 hours after starting.

Not the beach, just Pits...


The mountain fixie in its new state...


Horst frost...


The afternoon was slow at work so I headed out for some riding of rocks along the river...


Where I found this guy...



An update from Collin contained a single photo...


Another phot courtesy of Sabrina. Collin off the wall...





Off to Bikram...