a tale of 2 bro's

I've mentioned here numerous times two of my favorite people to ride with are my bro Stuart, a natural blood relative bro, and bro Rich the wacky speed demon in-law. Well they've both had their health issues recently; Stuart's had multiple surgeries over the last two years and has one more coming soon which by his standards should be minor, a mere hernia that reaches from his sternum to the upper base of the peni peninsula. Stuart’s on a tear and itching to ride and Rich is on another riding plane right now healing up from a massive clusterfuck crash. (Pics later!)

Stuart’s recently bought another house (3) in Texas and called the other day; he was in a bike shop (bad move) and looking to buy a bike to keep there so he wouldn’t have to move his fancy-ass Enduro from location to location. The bike shop sales dude recommended this: That's a Fisher Cobia, retail about a G.

That made a ton of sense since Stuart is 6’6” tall so a two-niner seems like a perfect fit. However the sales rep didn’t realize that Stuart doesn’t ever buy the cheapest thing around so he took upon himself to upgrade to this:

That's a GF X-Caliber retail about a G & a half.

Now the dumbass has got me jonesin' for a 29'er. He's supposed to be in town this weekend and bring the new steed. He wants to ride the two back-to-back and see what the differences in rides are. That's cool, especially for a dude that's only mtn. biked a handful of times in his life. Of course he was bitten pretty dangerously by the bug before his health became an issue. An FYI, his health issues weren't his fault, what was all minor became massive due to poor healthcare and great insurance.

On to Rich; I'd mentioned sometime in the past that he'd had a severe road bike accident. He swears he was going quite slowly upon impact but the pic's tell a different story. I'll only explain the wreck, I don't need to pass any judgements or make any smart-ass comments; the pictures paint quite a story by themselves. Rich swears he was only (only) doing about 35 when he wrecked; he was descending (Mt. Tam I believe) when he hit the brakes and his front tire popped off the rim tossing him to the tarmac (road ride) thus breaking his pelvis in numerous places.

The resulting scar of a 22 pin surgery w/one broken drill bit left for good measure:

Other than a gasp I've got nothing else to say, except get well of course!


faux in a raux

God I suck at this blogging thing; I often mean to post but often forget or get busy or just don’t care.

Anyway, for the 4th year in a row I made a pilgrimage to Greenleaf during Christmas vacation. Knock on wood I haven’t been sick in a long time and am able to take my sick leave during this week. In years past my goal was to ride everyday and actually accomplished this goal for 3 running years but the last 2 haven’t been able to, but I’ve at least kept the tradition of a Greenleaf ride, and it’s getting tougher every year.

As usual I rode the lollipop in a counter clockwise rotation to minimize the amount of hill climbs (hike-a-bike’s for me) and to maximize the amount of killer downhills. However this year’s most smiles for the miles route wasn’t too hot. While Greenleaf wasn’t hit by the recent ice storms that destroyed Turkey and Keystone they were devastated by last years ice storms that crushed Muskogee; meaning there were still LOTS of trees down. Seemingly every opportunity to open it up and let ‘er rip on the downhills was interrupted by a downed tree, often every 200 yards or so. The dismount/remount tally between getting off to hike-a-bike and dismounting to get over or around the downed trees easily added up to over 100 and it fucking sucked! But compared to my riding partner Stacy I fared really well. At the 40% completion point he realized his knees were giving up on him and by the time we finished they were swollen and killing him; I actually felt sorry for the poor bastard. (I’ll get over that I’m sure.) The only problem I had was cramping in an odd spot; just above my knees on both sides. They got so bad at one point; about 400 yards from the finish, that I had to dismount and just stand. The pain had got so bad that I couldn’t pedal or walk, just stand there looking like an idiot; not that there was anyone around to see me but humiliating just the same.

As is typical of Greenleaf outings, when you first leave you think “screw this place, I ain’t ever coming back”; but after a few days the memory fades and you think “hell yeah, I can’t wait to get back there!” My passion to return is stoked by the memory of the final downhill section, it’s about a 3 minutes downhill that’s super rocky/technical white knuckle steep in one section and what Greenleaf is all about for me. I just need to buy one new replacement part for the Heckler and I’ll be good to go.

Try climbing hills with that pedal! I think this was part of the reason I cramped; while the often lauded great mud shedding capabilities of the eggbeaters was improved by 25% it made the clipping in possiblities decrease by 25% too; and it ALWAYS was in the wrong position when trying to remount.

I’m already looking forward ‘til next year.