Friday, October 29, 2010

Dirty Spaghetti

Silk's been singing their praises for years, but I just kept changing the channel. I'm a dumbass! This is the first year I've taken Silk up on his tours of old plantation roads. Been riding in this town for 20 years, had this in my lap the whole time, and blew it. Oh well, time to make up for lost miles.

Spaghetti 100 is a long time century put on by the local road club. Some of the dirt folks within the ranks began tinkering with a dirt version, a few years ago. Participation grew each time it was offered. This year, they actually have 3 versions. A 42 mile out and back to Thomasville, GA. We rode that a month or so ago, when Lil' Ronnie was in town. Pretty roads, and worth the trip. The big dog is the version you see above. 85 miles and primarily dirt roads. Silk wants to leave nothing on the table, in his run at the 85. That has been translated into, he's racing the 85. He'll be the first to tell you, 85 miles of clay roads will reach up and bite you on the ass, if you don't pay attention. The incessant buzz in the saddle and bar are hardly noticeable when you're fresh, camouflaged by the newness of the scenery, and the idea that you're running skinny tires on dirt. But as the miles and hours pile on, so does fatigue. It's all on roads, but clay road is not like that seamless black ribbon, that glides the miles away. These miles take their toll, whether you realize it or not. To hear Silk say it's no joke, I'm paying attention.

I opted for the middle version. This version is 60-65 miles, and shares roads with the 85. I think I could finish the big one, but would be miserable. This is to be a social event for me. No big mind games or death struggles, just a beautiful day, enjoying what I've ignored for all of these years. Beautiful southeastern canopy clay roads, and a big group of fiends.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Dirty Spaghetti is looming near, and finally the weather has blessed us. We bitched and moaned for months, about the hated steam bath that is a Tallahassee summertime. But then the sky cleared, and the dirt turned to silt. The clay roads of North Florida and South Georgia have been soft and dusty, leaving drive-trains dry and crusty.

It's nice to look out the window and see life giving moisture streaming down the windows, this cloudy afternoon. The local trails need it bad. It's gonna put one more nail in the coffin for the Joe's Rides for this year, but that's alright. Tonight is an easy evening of rest. Tomorrow, stretch the legs on a lunchtime spin, and then Dirty Spaghetti on Saturday.

I'm excited; little kid at Christmas excited! We have a big crew rolling together, and hopefully I'll see some of those folks who only pop up on my radar at special events; icing on the cake.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Those of you who know me, know that I rage at the end of every summer. I protest, barter, and just plain deny, the need for lights. Even when the fight's over, I'll still be the last to ignite my torch. Maybe there's Riddick in my blood. Maybe I have more in common with my favorite of all birds, the owls. Either way, I see better in twilight, without man made lumens.

Despite all of that, I broke out my light systems, and began my ritual recharge and burn down tests, to be sure my lights would not let me down in the inky blackness of the trails. Despite my love for natural light, I found myself excited about the coming season. By the end, I'll be so sick of keeping lights charged. My neck will be sore from the extra weight on my helmet. But right now, like the first bite of an apple, I'm excited about the first forays into the darkness. The eerie, foggy loops of Munson and Twilight, the spotlight technicality of trails of questionable legality, the subway tunnels of speed runs along Upper Caddilac, all wait to be played out, hopefully to the degree that my memories preserve new snapshots to recharge my own night riding batteries, for the seasons to follow.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Rules

I've been quoting a few of The Rules lately, to those in violation of a few of my favorites. Like any good enforcer, I pick and choose my enforcement. After all, I'm in violation of about 10, myself, most notably, #7! For Marcus and Big Mark, I'd like to refer you to #42. To Big Jim Slade, due to his fear of people violating #59, I offer #64 and #5. B.J.S., you may also want to make Ms. B.J.S. aware of #33.

Check them out, and cite violators as needed or wanted.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Good Food, Good Times

Damn it! This is all Silk's fault. Knowing full well that I have a sweet tooth bigger than my head, he shows me a pic of that tasty grub above. Not that one specifically, that was my breakfast this morning, but a pic of the prototype. I think the original text that came with the prototype was, "750 calories of nom nom nom!" That's tech speak for "damn good"!

Following the food trend, I'm sooo glad that Lil' Ronnie has returned home to his native North Cuba. While in town, he and I set out on a mission to eat all of the cows in Knotts Dairy Farm. After a rousing success, there will now be a shortage of milk and cheese in your local grocery stores, and for that, I apologize. I ate more cheeseburgers and various other beef products in the past weekend, than I did all last month....and every last bite was absolutely delicious! I actually gained about 6 pounds over the weekend, thanks to his beer drinking, beef eating bad influence.

The weather was amazing for Ron's visit, and remains so, even now. I managed to get in on 3 good rides with the crew over the weekend. Fern/Tom Brown/Caddy, Overstreet, Rootbug, and the clay roads of North Florida/South Georgia, all fell beneath our wheels. I had more fun riding this past weekend, than I have in quite awhile. Fall does this to me. I'm bouncing around on my bike like Joe's old dog, Hannah, now that weather is turning more crisp. While the cotton and peanut farmers are hating this dry weather, I'm selfishly enjoying not being rained on every ride, and not having to constantly clean mud wracked drivetrains. The trails are a little dusty, and the dry leaves that are starting to fall keep traction to a minimum. I constantly wonder if my tire and suspension pressures are somehow out of whack, as I slip slide through the turns. But so far, it's just been Mother Nature's way of keeping me on my toes, or on my head when judgment is miscalculated.

Spring and Fall are Tallahassee's crown jewels, so get out and enjoy the time while it's here. If you see a wandering cow, keep it to yourself. I'm shifting gears to chicken and turkey, until milk supplies return to normal.