Monday, July 26, 2010

I Fought the Car and the Car Won

I must have ESP or after riding offroad, I decided to do a little urban riding to just have more saddle time. While riding suddenly a thought popped into my head about my helmet. It is several seasons old and I probably should have replaced it this past summer. I was thinking, about my helmet and its job, etc. I kept riding.
I was also thinking about breakfast. I was hungry. I was thinking about riding to a Zuliano empanada stand (empanadas are Venezuelan pastries that are stuffed with all sorts of stuff, i.e., dried fish, ham and cheese, ground beef, shredded beef, cheese, etc. Zulia is a state in Venezuela which is like Texas. Everything is different in Zulia...even the empanadas.) 

Anyway on the way to the empanada place, I had to ride in traffic. A small car passed me, then swerved into the curb towards me, trying to go around a car. I banged on the car's window but that made things worse. I hooked my handlebar under the door handle of the car and the car gave me a judo flip. I hit the pavement rolling, my beloved Merlin bouncing on the pavement with me. I immediately got up, mostly pride that was hurt. I skinned my right knee/shin pretty good, have some kind of lump on my lower left shin, skinned my knuckles where my half-finger gloves exposed the skin, and a must of bruised a rib. I was shaking a bit. 
 Damage to my bike was minimal. My handlebar/stem was a bit out of alignment from the fork and a broken drive-side spoke so I had a wobbly wheel on the way home. No damage to the carbon fiber fork or handlebar as far as I've looked.

I apologized to the driver for being overly aggressive, and that I had broke her door handle. (I should have braked and not been so aggressive/assertive, but that's how I ride on the road.) I feel bad for that. Law in Venezuela favors me, the cyclist, so I think she was happy to get away with a broken door handle. 

Ultimately I could have been mangled worse, especially if I had been thrown under the wheels of a truck. I was lucky this time.

Be careful out there.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Hometown

I am back in Venezuela with my wife which is good. I was going through some photos this evening what I took while in the USA. I came across this photo which is somewhat interesting to me.

...mainly because of where I live now. I find this photo interesting because of the vacancy of the scene. The photo does not capture the sounds, but behind me is the Javalina coffee house where they were having a slam poetry/open mike night, so there was interesting sounds and voices emanating from there. Across the street at Isaac's was karaoke night, so there were people sing off-key in there. The Harley Davidson owner was probably next door to my left in the Buffalo Bar, but I don't know for sure. The VW van belongs to the slam poetry coach. My hometown is an interesting little place. Its always been that way. I liked growing up there and going back is always enjoyable. I miss it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Albuquerque Pedi-Cab Guy

Andrew, the Albuquerque Pedi-Cab guy.

Friday night Albuquerque...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Basal-Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer)

When we got off the river the other day and drove up to Cliff Dweller's restaurant, I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I was shocked and surprised to see the little mole-thingy under my left eye was bleeding.
I walked into my hometown dermatologist this morning and he diagnosed it as a basal-cell  carcinoma (a.k.a. skin cancer). He removed it by using a local anesthetic, digging it out, then zapping the roots of it with an electric needle, then covered with a band-aide.
Hopefully this will be it. Just got a long-sleeve cycling jersey (which I used on the river), and will use more sunscreen on my face.
Wear a hat and sunscreen!

Lee's Ferry with the Garros

Took a great 3-day/3-night trip up the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry (AZ) with the Garros. Amazing beauty in the landscape, the fish, the fishing, the paddling, the food, and the company. Great fun! 

The Route

Denise assembles the Long Haul Mark II (amazing boat!)

Denise and Steve fishing. Steve caught (and released) over 30 trout. We kept only the trout which were injured (gill mouth, swallowed hook, etc.)

Camp 1 at 6-mile. The U.S. Park Service only allows camping at designated places.

Incredible lunch on Day 2 at Lunch Lady beach (7 1/2 mile)

Fresh guacamole

Fresh trout fillets sauteed with onions

Where is Anthony Bourdain?

Fresh Mexican rice

Tasty trout gordita: fresh trout sauteed in onions, fresh guacamole, fresh Mexican rice, habanero hot sauce, on a small flour tortilla. Best food ever! We drank a big portion of our Tecate supply at this lunch stop. 

When ferrying across (a paddling technique) a riffle, I miscalculated, came up short, and was still in the riffle (barely) and had to get out of my kayak. In doing so, I rolled the kayak and my camera got wet so no pics until it started working again the next morning. Here is a test shot.
Barry in the canyon. FISH-ON!

Camera stayed stowed, so no pics until the end. Denise breaking down the Long Haul, and we are drinking beer. 

Camp 3 was away from the river in an area of big rocks. Incredible night sky! I've never seen the Milky Way quite so bright. 

Incredible trip! Just want to say thanks to Steve, Denise, and Barry for the great experience. 

Friday, July 09, 2010


Garro is a badass...and he builds badass bicycles. Took this pic of him today and it pretty much captures his attitude.

Road Tripping

Finally got out of Silver City and on the road. First stop was Black Canyon City, AZ to see my friend Mike. Mike and I laugh a lot when we are together. 

 Traditional stop one, Javalina Crossing where we had a couple of beers before going off to eat ribs.


Nice CJ-2A (being towed by a tractor)

On to Flagstaff and the Garros. Steve makes some of the finest bicycle frames on the planet. Hours of meticulous work goes into making a single frame. 

At Steve's I made myself a smoked trout burrito! Very tasty. Fresh ingredients...homemade salsas, organic red onions, avocados, and the trout had been out of the Colorado river for less than 6 hours.

Did a great bike ride with Gullo. Dusty due to horses. 

More to come.

Monday, July 05, 2010

My Sister's Class Reunion

My little sister organized her 30th high school class reunion. It was a huge success! 
I crashed the party Saturday (she told me I could) to see some old friends. I hadn't seen "A" in 30 years. She was very funny! 

My sister is great!

Independence Day Ride

Me and my friend, Kyle, from San Angelo, TX, rode the "Extreme South" trail and the "CDT South"on July 4. It was a blast!
 We did about 20 miles total. Scenic and fun!

Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gila Proven

An Internet friend showed up today, Kyle from Texas, to ride mountain bikes in the Gila. Great to meet him face to face finally. Great guy and he rides a nice custom Coconino!
I took him on a introductory ride of the Gila and I think he's seen the light!