Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coaster Brake Challenge - Race 3

We completed the third race of the COASTER BRAKE CHALLENGE on Sunday evening... well, some of us completed it, and others, myself included, succumbed to the heat and quit early.
Still, an awesome time... just wish it wasn't so hot in Chatsworth this time of year. I think I saw a Gorn that had died of thirst out there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One Lap in Northridge

The first race of the Coaster Brake Challenge series seriously kicked my butt yesterday. I managed to finish one lap, but had rubber knee at the top of the climb. Geared too tall and out of shape. My bike went on under a couple of riders who'd had equipment faliure to do three more laps. I had a blast, and look forward to/dread the next race - a 6.8 mile out&back loop.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I felt the need to share this:

The Tao of Singlespeeding
By Corvus Corvax

The Tao of Singlespeeding
Adapted from the Tao Te Ching, the following verses are meant to inspire and enlighten. As there are a total of 13 verses, we will continue to release a new verse with each successive eNewsletter.
ride. enjoy. live.

The ride that can be finished is not the perfect ride.
The frame that can be broken is not the perfect frame.
The ride is the beginning of sky and dirt.
The singlespeed is the mother of the ten thousand gears.
Ever desireless, one can see the trail.
Ever desiring, one can see the bike.
The two spring from the same source, but differ in name;
this appears as riding.
The gate to all mystery.

Sky and dirt are ruthless;
They see the ten thousand gears as useless.
The wise are ruthless;
They see the riders as fools.

The space between sky and dirt is like a tire.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More gears count less.
Hold fast to the trail.

Sky and dirt last forever.
Why do sky and dirt last forever?
They are unborn,
So ever living.
The singlespeeder is behind on the downhill, and ahead on the climb.
He is unencumbered, thus at one with all.
Through flow, he attains fulfillment.

Better stop short than fill to the brim.
Make the bike too light, and the handling will suffer.
Adorn your frame with XTR, and no lock can protect it.
Claim medals and podiums, and drug tests will follow.
Drink beer when the ride is done.
This is the way of singlespeeding.

Thirty-two spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape latex into a tube;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Drill eyelets in a rim;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness comes from what is not there.

Accept difficulty willingly.
Accept pain as the human condition.

What do you mean by "Accept difficulty willingly"?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with your heart rate.
This is called "accepting difficulty willingly."

What do you mean by "Accept pain as the human condition"?
Pain comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be pain?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to ride any trail.
Love your bike as your own self; then you can truly ride anywhere.

The masters are subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The skill of their riding is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Delicate, like riders crossing a winter stream.
Alert, as if on tight singletrack.
Balanced, as if negotiating a switchback.
Focused, as if on a long climb.
Yielding, like fine steel.
Simple, like track hubs.
Smooth, like machined bearings.

Who can wait quietly for the ride to begin?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Followers of singlespeeding do not seek advantage.
Not seeking advantage, they are not swayed by a desire for change.

Do you think you can take my bike and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

My singlespeed is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will lose it.
If you add a suspension fork, you will ruin it.

So sometimes I am ahead and sometimes I am behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes the trail goes up and sometimes down.

Therefore the singlespeeder avoids extremes, complacency, and heavy traffic on climbs.

Give up gears, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between the granny and the big ring?
Is there a difference between uphill and downhill?
Must I ride what others ride? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying their full suspension.
In spring some go to the trails and descend the mountain.
But I alone am riding, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.

Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and wandering.
I am different.
I am nourished by the trail.

To ride one gear is natural.
Sprints do not last all morning,
Descents do not last all day.

The follower of singlespeeding
is at one with his bike.
He who rides smoothly
Experiences flow.
He who loses the trail
Becomes confused.
When you are at one with your bike,
The trail welcomes you.
When you conserve your momentum,
The flow is always there.
When you are at one with pain,
The pain is experienced willingly.

He who does not get out of the saddle
Will not make it to the top of the hill.

He who has his weight forward is not steady.
He who sprints cannot maintain the pace.
He who makes a show is not enlightened.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
He who boasts achieves nothing.
He who brags will not endure.
According to the followers of singlespeeding,
"These are extra gears and unnecessary weight,"
They do not bring happiness.
Therefore followers of singlespeeding avoid them.

Spinning is the motion of the singlespeed.
Flow is the way of the singlespeed.
The ten thousand gears are born of singlespeeding.
Singlespeeding is born of not riding.

The wise rider hears of singlespeeding and practices it diligently.
The average rider hears of singlespeeding and thinks of it now and again.
The foolish rider hears of singlespeeding and laughs aloud.
If there were no laughter, singlespeeding would not be what it is.

Hence it is said:
The smooth trail seems rough.
Going forward seems like retreat.
The easy climb seems hard.
Singlespeeding is quiet and without artifice.
One gear alone nourishes and brings the ride to completion.


Adapted by Corvus Corvax from The Tao Te Ching, translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, Random House, Inc., New York (1972), with apologies to Lao Tsu.

© 2002 Dirt Rag Magazine

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should.

This thing is freakin' NUTS, not to mention ugly as sin and pretty stupid. For some reason, I still like it.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I don't know how many of you travel the coastlines and canyons like I do (or for that matter, if anybody actually reads my drivel), but if you do, you've probably been trapped behind Mr. Slow. If you haven't, you probably ARE Mr. Slow.

I realize that we have some of the greatest views in the U.S. right here in So Cal, and that they may be distracting for tourists and those suffering from ADD. That said, IF YOU HAVE FIVE CARS OR MORE STACKED UP BEHIND YOU, PULL OFF THE F#@KING ROAD! The speed limit on PCH is 55 from the Malibu city limit North to Mugu, and SOME of us would like to get to work! It's just as illegal to drive 15 mph BELOW the speed limit (unless traffic conditions dictate otherwise) as it is above.

Even worse is the douchebag that is so unsure of their driving skills that they drop to 35 mph in the curves, AND THEN ACCELERATE TO 65+ WHEN THE PASSING LANE OPENS UP IN THE STRAIGHTER SECTIONS! If you can't learn to handle your vehicle, why penalize the rest of us who can? Same rule applies - five cars or more held up behind you, LET THEM PASS!

Of course, the drivers that need to read this aren't in the demographic to ever read my blog, so I can just put this down as catharsis.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A personal soapbox racing history lesson:

Back in August '07 was when I first jumped in and joined the world of Illegal Soapbox Racers. Although I finished this race, I ended up doing it on only three wheels. Watch this video, and you'll see why. I was the idiot in the wheelchair; my faceplant has become soapbox legend now.

SFVISBF Soapbox Race 8/12/07 from Paul de Valera on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009