Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Great quote from London

Jack, that is…

“Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living! I take exercise every afternoon that way. Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and roads, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it, into the tub, rub down well, then into a soft shirt and down to the dinner table, with the evening paper and a glass of wine in prospect – and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!”

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Go George!

photo credit

Had fun standing in the rain and watching the racers go ‘round and ‘round…

Friday, February 22, 2008

running with antlers

I haven’t been running much lately, but I was inspired to get out yesterday from reading an article about Iceland. Did you know that there are elves in Iceland? I thought I’d check to see if we have elves, too. I ran up the El Prieto canyon/trail. It was a cloudy day. We’ve had some rain - lots of moisture in the air and in the ground. I always find it a little creepy on days like that/this – today is the same. More a day for finding trolls, than elves. El Prieto is a deep shaded canyon with several small creek crossings. It’s a great place to run and I’d like to go there more often. It’s about three miles to the top of the trail where it meets up with the Brown/Millard dirt road. My heart was really going by the time I got to the top. I need to do more trail running if I’m going to run the Mt Wilson race again this May.

On the way down, since I was in the otherworldly mindset, I started thinking about Antler Man, you know, the guy that runs next to the cyclists with those giant antlers attached to his head/helmet. I’m really impressed with that guy. Those antlers must be quite heavy – they look it anyway. He’s got some really nice running form, too. With all that weight on one’s head, I guess you have to keep good posture and a methodical stride. I imagined running with antlers down that trail and it seemed to help my form. Running with antlers creates a solid, stoic, yet agile style of movement. And it seems to help crack open that door into the world where elves and trolls and other hybrid animal spirits probably live.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Long ride yesterday up Angeles Crest Highway to Mt. Wilson with Dan and Jordan. A portion of the route we rode will be exhibited on the final day of Le Tour de California next Sunday. The temps were cool but the sun was strong throughout our ride. There were a lot of other cyclists up there. I think others are getting excited about the Tour, too.

Angeles Crest Highway climbs through the steep, rocky mountains around and behind Brown Mountain. As we climbed we got some great views of the backside of Brown and front-side of Strawberry Peak.

Somewhere about halfway up our route we lost Jordan. Dan and I turned around and rode 5 miles back down the mountain to look for him, but he was gone. We didn’t know where he could have gone, so we went back up again thinking that maybe he somehow snuck past us while we were taking a break. We never found him. (Later when we made it back home we found out that he was fine, but had turned around.)

We did have a great ride up to the summit, though – just after a flat tire. The summit itself is un-amazing except in a Disneyland sort of way with all it’s tall radio towers, etc. But, the last few miles to the top are great - lots of rock and ice littering the narrow weaving roadway, the intense scent of cedars, views of endless mountains layering out toward Mt. Baldy and Mt. San Gorgonio, and the midday moon rising above it all.

After a lot of twists and turns we finally made it back down with a total of about 68 miles – my longest ride yet.

Enjoy the Tour…

Friday, February 15, 2008

dove bars

not the kind you eat...

not the kind that's soap...

the other kind...

mounted upside down with the same old ratty tape, of course...

Monday, February 11, 2008

some more propaganda

by my alter ego. (Or am I the alter ego?)

last week
run 7+7+12
ride 28+20+4+8+6

Sunday, February 10, 2008

warm again, pale again

The sun’s strength is returning. The next few months of the season always seem like the hottest to me because I haven’t adjusted to the higher temperatures. So, as happened yesterday, mid-seventies feels hotter than the high nineties of late summer.

There’s also something about the angle of the sun at this time of year. It’s still low enough in the sky to creep under your hat brim with its clear winter sky induced intensity.

I dug down to the bottom of my drawer today to find my running tank to match the warm weather. I sure am pale. Pale skin plus intense sun plus new heat equals a big bonk sometime soon. Maybe right now… I’m off for a run…

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

for the birds

Today at lunch (outside) a bird flew right past my head and landed on the ground behind my chair. I could feel its wing-wind. I was unimpressed, though - it was a pigeon. Had it been a hawk or a condor I would have called it amazing. I’d like to at least acknowledge our brief interaction, though, which, when I think back on it now, was actually… well, it was something that happened, something which may have been amazing, and yet, very ordinary – no pterodactyl, though.

Meanwhile, in other news, a pack of invading parrots continues to terrorize the neighborhood…

Monday, February 4, 2008

halfway to equinox

one hundred years
one thousand…
the same

the land, the earth
the angels
the sky

the mountains
the streams
the arroyos


the sun

winter sunset
february, 3108

Saturday, February 2, 2008

an amphibian, a cyborg, and some duck

I saw a salamander at the bottom of the Brown mountain trail today. I almost ran over it as it crept slowly across the path. Luckily I saw it’s otherworldly orange skin just in time to slam on the brakes and avoid it. I pointed the salamander out to a guy standing near by and he said “nice visuals.” Was he referring to my eyesight or did he like the way the salamander looked?

A little later up the trail, I came across Cyborg Man. This is a guy I’ve seen several times on my runs through the Arroyo Seco. He wears dark wraparound sunglasses, no shirt, a utility belt with magic liquids of some kind, and he beeps with every other step as if he’s about to explode at any moment. He was walking (and beeping) up the trail and he apparently has superhero hearing or eyes in the back of his head because he started talking to me before I even caught up to him. It was a little strange. But, he seems like a pretty nice guy, not the super-villain I thought he was. He thought it was a nice day and he likes the cold. That’s what he told me as I rode past him.

It was a little chilly out there today – low 50’s. I placed duct tape over the mesh part of my shoes to try to keep out the wind and keep my toes a little warmer. This actually seemed to help. My feet were still numb when I got home, but that probably just means I need more tape – you can always use more “duck” tape.