What is wrong with Big Jim?

Nobody asked me (well some did) but Big Jim is creeping me out. With all of the chaos going on in the BC world we were relying on Big Jim to be the face of BC. He was doing a great job but lately he’s been wavering. Maybe it was too many NB jokes? Or perhaps our hectic lives have him irritated? Maybe we should ride bikes more? Part of me thinks he’s mad, another part thinks he’s bike depressed, and yet another thinks he is wookin pa nub. MOST of me thinks he’s like this picture on the left – smiling but you know he’s thinking something else. The espresso is almost ready. Terry is back on the bike. I’m back on the bike. BRC is fast and new folks are hanging around the shop. RBC is on the horizon. What more could you want? It’s time to come home Jim. Snap out of the funk or get snapped out of it. Dragon

Jim Laugh (JL) vs. YAPL

Interesting. We have always had a pecking order for who is the fastest on the bike. This has been great fun and another way for fake humbility – aka: sand bagging. The latest “sizing up” competition is who is funny and who is not. I’m so on tilt that it doesn’t matter anymore (at least to me). I’ve been verbally brutalized as of late. Reminds me of the time I tried to be funny and Mark apologized on my behalf and said I was just in kid mode – affectionately dubbed “pee pee poo poo pants.” I could always come back with some sort of bicycle accomplishment but those days/times seem to be a long time ago now. In my mind I’ve been here all along, but in reality I’m far removed from the cycling culture (which is not where I want to be). It reminds me of the time I made it back to cycling and Terry asked Chris “who’s that loudmouthed new guy?” So it’s time for a comeback from all the comebacks. Ronnie and I are in self-improving mode so I think I have at least one buddy. I’ve recently been called out – more so than in a long time. At this point I don’t get to ride, I HAVE TO RIDE. Can you imagine Terry gets off his liquid plumber and kicks my ass on the bike? I will never live that down.

So… in an effort to spend more time with my friends AND ride my bike, I make it out to the Yet Another Steve ride on Thursday. Now maybe it was the two weeks of oxycodone and bed rest, maybe it was the lack of muscle memory OR maybe it was this little piggy went to Piggy’s too many times, but the fastest 30 minutes in cycling blew to pieces at around 1 hour. On my excuses side of the brain my knee was hurting and I had crashed hard twice (once less than a minute into the ride). I had been feeling great on the ride but we had a quite a few start-stops. I do better when we without the stops. For some reason it takes me quite awhile to get the legs back after a stop. Hopefully it’s just a lactic acid thing. And so it goes we had been at the bike wash – getting water bottle refills. Somebody questioned “lap of Tom Brown?” And of course we were off. It wasn’t a face pace but for the second time on the ride my legs just went to noodles – barely capable of making forward progress. Jim was behind me talking as my mind was trying to command the pedals. He joked as to why there was such a gap between the group and us. My non-response and lack of speeding up indicated to him that I was indeed not joking. “Seriously?,” he replied in a drawn out version of the word. He followed that with a new laugh. A soft laugh that you try to stop or stifle – the kind where you laugh and immediately know you should not be laughing. The kind where you have no way out of the laugh but to clear your throat or golf cough. He was dead silent. Not sure if he felt bad or was smiling ear to ear, but he had just invented the You Are Pathetic Laugh or YAPL. Feel free to sub in other words but just know Jim is the author. What was I to do? He had just verbally pants’d me and I had NOTHING left in the tank. It did not matter that nobody else was around. Rule # 5 kicked in and I hammered – at least for a few minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Drag on

Ron, day 1 and 2 – Seriously? Good times

Ron rolled into town yesterday and met the fellas at one of the local feed bags favored by Big Worm and Big Jim. I hate the place and their yum yum sauce. I showed up late because of work. By the time I walked in, the crew was done with lunch but still chewin the fat. J, Worm, Jim, Zak, Terry, Mark and Lil’ were there. Out of smack-talk practice and late to the party, I took a verbal beating. I’d like to say I did so with grace but not really. Had a hard time coming down off of work – kinda like when you get home and just need 30 minutes to yourself to get right. By the time I was warmed up it was time to for everybody else to go. Ron and I had planned go ride but I needed to drop London’s car off and run a few errands. He was pissed in a funny way and kept saying “seriously?” (because he had to chauffeur). I was close to shaking the work funk when we finally got to my house. A quick introduction to my disgusting dogs and some ride prep and we were off – headed to Silk and Cliff’s singletrack. A stop at Mark’s house, no ride cause you’re daddy empathy and we headed down the power-lines. Got the new singletrack, east and west loops. Other than slinging beef and vurping garlic chicken, it was “as advertised”. Talking and cranking jokes all along the way we made it back to my house 17 miles later. It was an awesome ride and by all accounts and all life segments I felt great.

Day 2 – Woke up and did some honey-dos. Had errands and a life-strategy session with cuz. Forgot my phone and felt too unplugged. Got back and found out we were rolling from Blairstone at 2. From yesterday we lost Mark, Lil, J and Terry, but we picked up Spanish Mackerel (aka Steve). Legs felt good considering I rode the day before. Odd because I haven’t ridden two days in-a-row since Birmingham two years ago. This is where things started going horribly long. With a false sense of security I made my way to meet the boys. Mostly everybody was sporting the black and orange. I hang a u-ee and latch onto the back. As usual we are skipping along pretty quick on an allegedly “conversational ride.” Everything is great. The weather is perfect, riding with the crew, on a dualie and I’m not working – in other words a hard situation to beat. Then the family truckster starts having problems. The wheels are wobbly, dents all up and down it and the tranny is making a noise – basically I’m starting to come apart. I can’t get the salt out of my eyes, I’m breathing hard and having a hard time keeping pace – which I’m sure is not very fast. I keep trying to ride through it but not having much luck. After the ravine I try to sport a downhill and end up speed turning a corner – right off of the trail and crashing into the woods. Sucks. Shake that off and limp up to the group. Gathered by the bike wash, I fill my bottle and shove off to go check out the root hole. Everyone has stalled at some point of this technical downhill section. I’m following Steve as we pass the fellas and he’s cleaning every little mini-section. Near the end just when I started celebrating in my mind – wham, bang, boom. Steve cleans the whole thing and I’m ass over head crashed. What followed during the next hour and a half was a long string of pedal suffering and more verbal abuse. I was defenseless in my weakened state.

I loved every minute of it.

Thinking about a BREW

We don’t usually go too far outside of the crew… but lately we’ve realized there are a bunch of people out there that look at bikechain.com and this blog. Lots of folks in Florida and elsewhere in the states and some from all around the world – that’s pretty cool. As big as the world is it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-glossing – that is to mean only being worried about shining yourself up for self-promotion. It’s OK to have pride but sometimes you need to look around and give credit where due. For a number of reasons I’ve been thinking about BREW bikes and my facebook friend Steve Brewdude Garn. The guy is an awesome frame builder. The guy is a promotion machine and lately known more for his motorcycles. Best I can remember he cut his teeth on BMX bikes but the crew will remember him best for the 180 and 200 proof MTB frames we used to sell in the mid 90s. Many of these frames are still around and ride great. I’ve got a large 180 proof (Tim’s) for sale if anyone is interested. The cool thing about the Brewdude is he is authentic. He is a tinkerer and magician with all things mechanical. Do your self and poke around on his web site some time – http://www.brewracingframes.com . You have to dig around for the really cool stuff but it’s there and worth the price of admission. Look at the pictures of Ol’ Rusty and google it – this bike (pictured above) is bad ass. The cool thing about BREW is they are still making new frames – check out the fixie stuff. The cool-est thing about BREW is that they will make anything for you or help you build your own stuff. A few of us have been seriously thinking about taking BREW’s frame-building class. I personally been wanting to do this for many years. A few of us have built bikes before and welded many things – but the class is an entirely different level. I been needing a new 29er. Who’s in for a January frame-building class?


Fat Tire Goodness

The Florida Championship Series promoted by Gone Riding rolled into Tallahassee this past weekend. Ron hitched a ride up with Bob. Several of the BC crew kitted up to race. And lots of friends and family came up to hoot and holler. So many things went on that day it was truly a blur. I’ll try to capture some of the day below with my thoughts but the main takeaway is that BC still lives and THANK YOU to all for showing support for the black and orange.

Tim is ripped (look at his arms). He had a bad day racing but still managed a 13th. I know he was poised to win but it was not in the cards. A little rest and he’ll be good to go. Nancy was, as always, a lifesaver. Good to see some other Shanks there as well.

Steve is happy and I think it has a lot to do with Kristen. Kristen seems happy too. They both promise to start riding bikes.

My mom and dad made it out. Papa Benny helped out at the booth and worked the crowd. Grandma Shirley brought the Key lime cupcakes and my childhood favorite – chocolate-iced brownies. Case and Mia scarfed those goodies all day and it was nice having London there.

Big Jim had a self-described bad day. One way to look at it is he got a top 20 finish – there is always a bright side. Thanks for showing up tater salad.

Jason showed up big and nonchalantly dominated his class for his first win. His lap times looked real, real good. He’s in the right class right now but the rest of BC needs to watch out if he gets ANY faster. Congrats on the win

Terry, Michelle and Cory were there all day. The Wrecking Ball was in good spirits and full of jokes and laughs. Thanks for the Sonny’s sides.

Big Worm was another second wave rider claiming to have a bad day. For what it’s worth HE rode the track and took home a fourth place so not really trying to hear much complaining. Thank HIM for lugging the charcoal and grill.

Darien flatted but was giving it a solid effort in the single speed class. D supplied the fruits and veggies. Julie brought the kids to cheer dad on.

Ken was pulling double duty – working the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association magic and rooting on Colter in his junior race. Good race buddy. He had a solid 6th.

Zak? What can I say. He brought his girl for support and spun out the single speed to a solid 2nd place. Congrats. They both sported BC gear and Zak worked a FAMU lid.

I’m pretty sure Ron, Mark and myself had too many Fat Tire Amber Ales, but I know Lt. Dan did. At one point he was going to beat up me, Lyle, Darien and Ric (Lyle was not there).

Berg flexed and ran with the big dogs in the expert/pro class for an impressive 8th.

At different points in the day I spotted Libby, Cort, lil and host of other friends. I know I left something and someone out of this post but your presence and efforts are still appreciated.

It was good to have Ron in town.

Bottom line it was good food and good times.


Special thanks to Steve Andrews for supplying some of the photos. You can buy a picture of yourself on his site at http://www.andrewsphotogallery.com/Sports/Mountain-Biking/Florida-State-Series-2010/13746525_U5ZkC#1005390500_c3GBz BTW, congrats on winning your class Steve.

Red Faced Drama

Hard to top Ron’s last blog so I won’t even try. I think re-living those thoughts has him home sick so he’s making the seven hour trip up here to Tally Ho for the gone riding race this weekend. Not that he would race – he’s bowed out of racing ever since Asbell crashed him out of that Tom Brown Race. It went down over by the shortcut entrance (behind the RC track). Ron was riding behind Jaysun. They were 1 and 2 coming out of the BMX track headed out for another lap. Jeff was trailing and wanted to pick up a place. So… he sprinted hard, cut underneath with not quiet enough room and caused Ron to high-side. It was an awesome sight and it was THAT much funnier because it was Ron – you know because he hates people. Ron is ACTUALLY headed up here for the good fun, good times, so you know we will have to throw down.

His recent announcement has opened a debate. Should Kent race or not? On one hand it’s a 9:00 start for me, I need all the points I can get, I like to punish myself and racing is just plain fun. On the other hand the last time I rode was July 27 (except for Terry’s Monday beat down) and am I really going to race the other cities? I know what I think and I think I know what you think. But… what it boils down to is team dynamics. Do you want me to race to the point of red-faced drama OR.. would the team benefit more from me working the BC booth? Need your votes and feedback ASAP so I can mentally prepare for my assigned role.