It’s Monday. Time to read some stuff.

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First up, in case you were curious, Los Angeles is still covered with smog..
As I mentioned last week, my better half and I made our way to the Southland for a familial visit, during which time I met my niece, nephew and their family dog, Kona;
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As I walked along the beach, my mind couldn’t help but wander to the saga of Californication and its protagonist, Hank Moody. Thoughts drifted to the abundance of anonymous sex that everyone on that program has, and if the world’s end has in fact been validated by a movie, or rather, said end’s aversion by the guy from Better Off Dead (his role in the film is still a bit fuzzy for me) then by all means, there is something to the show’s presentation of everyone in Los Angeles having sex with one another all of the time, and if this in fact, is fact, then by god, I wanted to dip my ladle in the punch as well.
Alas, my dog walk simply ended with me not bedding a random beach hooer, but rather simply returning to my temporary residence to play twirl-and-fall-down with a 2 year old little girl.
The media has let me down once again.
Despite my short comings in the anonymous romance department, I did manage to steal the world’s second coolest cüzie from the nine month old;
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Of course it’s the second coolest after the first.
Anyway, as luck would have it, early the next morning while on a walk sans dog (I thought I’d try my luck without the furry companion) I happened to run across this guy;
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He looked exactly like the older douchebag from American Chopper (who of course is not to be confused with any of the younger douchebags) with the exception of having fewer tattoos. My first thought was to ask him if he’d show me his record collection, because you know any man who cruises around in Uggs and a pink nighty has some slabs that would blow your mind, but instead I opted to simply fall back and soak up his majesty as he disappeared into the thick Pacific fog.
Upon leaving Los Angeles and returning homeside, it turned out that I wasn’t destined for rest, as I got a call from Jimbo who was enroute to my ville while amidst a year long walk about for Genuine Innovations;
It could have been a relaxing few days, but instead we decided to make our way to the Bike Monkey Cross Palace nonsense.
You see, Cow Palace is the place where they have concerts, stock shows, boat and RV shows, monster truck shows and so on. On this day there was a huge swap meet, teeming with everyone from died-in-the-wool roadies to low rider kids. Along with the swap meet, there was a cross race as well as one of the most epic dirt jumping contests I’ve ever seen.
Immediately we posted up at the Soulcraft booth, cause I know which side my bread is buttered on, and
Jimbo went to work making Sean some scratch;
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Rightfully suspicious, Sean and Lainie watched us with eagle eyes to make sure we weren’t stealing any of their money;
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While Jim, Sean, and Sean’s dad Ray were busy wheeling and dealing, I stumbled away to see what else was happening;
There were some people walking around and looking at some things;
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I eventually ran into the esteemed Eric Lipps;
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If you live in the Bay Area and don’t know who this guy is, then you are new to the trenches, cause the guy is a legend.
Speaking of which, Mr. Bruce Gordon was in attendance, and along with him, some of his beautiful bikes, and his always present bad attitude;
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I say this with the greatest level of respect and admiration, understand. Bruce is one of the few people in my life who I can genuinely say has made being a curmudgeon an actual art form, the heights of which I can only dream to aspire.
Anyway, starting off the day with far more beer than food, I knew that it was going to be a challenge to not only document the day’s events with any level of professionalism, but to finish my race without barf on my face.
I’ll just cut to the chase and note that if those were the two challenges to meet for the day, I failed.
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In my haze I was able to snap off a few decent shots though, but this final one presents a question;
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In this specific section of the course, there was a long, very steep descent into a hard right hander and I noticed through my vaseline eyes, an overwhelming majority of people who rode it, neglected their drops.
How it would even seem reasonable to think of navigating such a section while atop the hoods is beyond me.
Is descending on your hoods the new fixed gear and everybody’s doing it?
Did I miss the memo?
Make no mistake- the fella depicted is by no means a slouch, as he snagged 2nd in the open As, so I am in no way commenting on his ability to crush all comers.
He was just one of the many who I witnessed engaging in this puzzling activity, and with the esteemed readership as a sounding board, I know I can find an answer somehow.
Beyond my addled lens however, this stuff caught by Pamela happened;
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and this stuff, caught by Patty Jo also happened;
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Just before my race, I realized in my haste to get out the door, I’d forgotten my helmet. Lucky for me I’d remembered my hairnet, and upon pleading my case with Carlos the promoter, he begrudgingly replied “don’t crash and make me regret it.”
“I’m a pro, man. Besides, I’m too drunk and out of shape to go very fast anyway.”
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As the sun sets on this particular installment, I’m looking at a full mail bag and no ability to incorporate any of it, so we’ll save that for Wednesday.
I’ll finish this off with a repeated thanks to Carlos and all of the Bike Monkey crew. A bunch of regular high fives, as well as a few ‘Portland high fives’ for the whole gang behind the SF Bike Expo, and some Kid ‘n Play heel kicks to the folks from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition;
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Events like these make me glad to be in this area, and hopefully will continue to build momentum as the months go by.
Events like these also ruin the race for everybody.
*Update* Despite my very best efforts, I still didn’t make dfL. Close, but no cigar. I think the girl I beat actually dropped out though, so victory just might be mine yet.
Rock out with your socks up, and I’ll see you on Wednesday.
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20 Responses to “It’s Monday. Time to read some stuff.”

  1. Jeff November 23, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    What’s a Portland high five?
    Kid-n-Play heel kicks? You’ve outdone yourself.

  2. Stevil November 23, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    A Portland high five is where you grab the other person’s hand, hold it up and slap it. You’re basically doing all of the work. There’s no reason that they’re called a Portland high five, save for the fact that I gave alot of them when I was there. At some point someone argued that it was because Portlander’s wrists were too weak to withstand a regular high five, but I don’t buy that.
    They have been strengthened from all of the congratulatory back patting they do.

  3. Robert November 23, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Yous a classy motherfucker

  4. Danny B. November 23, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Last time I descended Wilder on my hoods, I broke my arm. I do not suggest it.

  5. kbollox November 23, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Hairway to Steven

  6. krafty November 23, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Somehow I thought that was just cheeze from a poorly executed nacho hand-up that graced your cheeks after the promenade lap… or was that the parade lap?
    Sorry we got the beer hand-down protocol a bit skewed, but the guy that actually caught it shared a bit with us and then just walked off with it. We’ll get it right the next time.

  7. irishpunk59 November 23, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    when I grow up i wanta by Bruce Gordon, good to see him rockin the “gucc” keepin my bills paid

  8. slappy November 23, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    extensive hand work-outs make braking from atop the hoods fully doable, and down in the drops descending just isn’t for everyone, of course, aerobar descents are far classier

  9. allison November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    I did in fact quit, very unlike me but f*(& my bike was heavy. I was actually quite surprised to find I was ahead of people when I pulled the plug. Umm, there are people slower than me?

  10. Karl Hungus November 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Can Stevil or someone else explain the reasoning behind riding steep stuff in the drops? I’m not being a smart ass, I’m actually curious. Wouldn’t riding in the drops put your weight further forward? Coming from more of a mtb background, riding in the drops isn’t all that comfortable to begin with for me. Can someone explain the benefits of the “riding in the drops” lifestyle?

  11. Stevil November 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    Control, proper ergonomics, and greater leverage on the brakes. Easy peasy.

  12. 3Bills November 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Crap… I now am filled with regret (and bloody guts) that I decided not to go to the Cow Palace now. Thanks for ruining my week Stevil.

  13. worldbtom November 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    When you’re in the drops, you can get your weight back further, and roll through anything. Plus there’s the old saying, “on the tops or in the drops”.

  14. slappy November 24, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Pretty much like climbing singe speeds with barends, it’s the best way..

  15. Morgan November 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I love this picture.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbrooks/1802485846/sizes/l/

  16. gorgeous November 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    yeah dude, I don’t get descending in the drops, but what do I know? I can’t bunny hop roots or rocks to save my life while down there.
    whatevs.

  17. andrew November 25, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    well, in the drops you can keep fingers around the bars and simultaneously work the brake levers, which I personally find to be a good thing on rough descents. lots more steering leverage than the tops, too.

  18. Colin November 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    It’s hard for your hands to slide off the drops if you hit a big bump…. Not so much on the hoods… I guess some people have more faith than I do in their shift cables than I do…

  19. skidmark November 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    descending in the drops. the biggest advantage for me is when I hit an unexpected bump and my hands don’t slide right over the top of the hoods and I don’t eat stem cap.

  20. Bikefag November 27, 2009 at 2:26 am #

    I also had an MTB upbringing and also feel ultra sketchy in the drops. I ride anything gnarly on the hoods (including steep descents, hops, etc).
    I guess I always thought that ‘cross(/road) braking just sucked ass. Maybe I just need to get a little technique (or a flat bar…).