Thursday, December 30, 2010


In the never ending quest to instill a love for the outdoors in Brynna, we all suited up mid blizzard (we're in a bit of a valley so we were spared any major winds) to go out for some snowshoeing.  B has only been snowshoeing a couple of times before so we didn't know what to expect but she was a trooper and made the loop on one of the trails around our house, breaking trail the whole way.
B refused to let us lead the way.  Fresh powder!

snowbanks were a bit of an issue...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not It's Intended Use

Every Christmas, when my family gets together, we always play a bit of snow softball regardless of the weather and do a bit of full contact sledding.  Nothing too serious, basically just trying to stuff your fellow sledders faces in the snow.  All in all a good time. 

This year, after we had been sledding for a bit, one of my brothers glanced over at the Mukluk (of course I had it with me, it doesn't leave my side.  takes up a lot of room in bed though) and suggested that it would be fun for me to follow them down and try to run over them as they were sledding.  Not one to back down from a challenge, I accepted.  It was kind of scary for me not knowing how the bike would react and not wanting to drive a pedal into one of my family's heads and apparently it was terrifying for those on the sleds as well.  The THOUGHT of it was scary even if the actual event wasn't.  Other than one chainring to the back (see video number 4 and photo above) all came out unscathed.  video links  (hopefully my brother made the videos public).  According to my father and brother, the Mukluk's tires felt like nice soft pillows as they rolled over you.  Next time I'll have a bash guard on instead of the big ring.  Who needs those on a bike that rarely reached 15 mph anyway?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry X-mas

Mukluk ride planned tonight.  6" of fresh pow-pow last night means it should be a good time.  KillBill will be busting out the Carver snow bike as well as we lead the group of Bathers to an evening of frivolity. After that, you're on your own for pointless, possibly damaging and downright boring online blatherings until after the holiday weekend.  All the best to you and yours yada yada yada...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Take a look at this pic below and tell me that isn't a damn good looking kid. 

Murray bikes with coaster brakes were the shit right???
My question is, how did I go from that to this?

Maybe it's the beer?

or, maybe it was years of jamming my jeans up my crotch that did it.  That had to have effected my testosterone levels somehow.  FWIW, my upper body to lower body proportions are the same today.  I HATE having to tuck shirts in. 

I have racing and red neck-idness in my blood.

Like most dudes, I think and act like I'm way better looking than I really am.  I recognize and accept that fact reluctantly (and my brother Rus likes to remind me often as well).  Oh to have those boyish good looks back.  If I wasn't so shy I probably would have been a mad chick slayer back in the day but my confidence didn't start to build until the looks started to wane.  Oh the irony!

Lucky enough for both Marcy and I, we have a beautiful kid who we can live vicariously through.  One only needs to walk this little princess through any mall  in America in order to bask in the overflow of compliments.
Thankfully for me, she is also pretty shy so (hopefully) she won't be a dude slayer going through high school.  Argh!  I want to gouge my brain out just for thinking that.  A father's worst nightmare!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Even More Mukluky

I don't have a whole lot to post about today (other than I'm still slightly losing weight despite a Saturday bingefest and two christmas parties on sunday) so I'll just give you a few more photos of the Mukluk surprise.

To throw me off the scent, first Marcy and B gave me an exciting new button up shirt (which I'm wearing today)

Then Marcy made me close my eyes.  I knew something good was coming up or else she was planning on giving me a massive purple nurple.  She rolled it out ever so quietly (thankfully it didn't come with hope or chris king hubs or else the surprise would have been lost) and got a picture of my shock and delight.

I wish I would have known, I would have done my hair...

First sit.  In case you can't tell, I'm doing the "oooooooo" lips.

In case you haven't noticed, those are some massively massive tires on this monstrosity of a bike.  When riding, there is so much centrifugal force (is that the right term?  Hill Junkie?) involved  that the tires WANT to stay upright.  Like really bad so you have to steer a bit differently than on a typical bike.  I've only had two short rides on it so far so I can't quite explain it yet but hopefully I will be able to soon.  The float of this bike does seem pretty impressive so far.  Our area is riddled with hoar frost (again, probably not the correct term) right now which is a total pain in the ass on a regular bike but the Mukluk just floats right on over. Very nice indeed. I think that I'll be getting a longer ride in with a bit of snow tonight so maybe I'll have a bit more ride feedback tomorrow.

Today's post rating:  1 extremely happy squirrel.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Salsa RickLick

As a few of you know if you are face friends, I had my bday over the weekend. Big ole 36. Thanks to racing all of these years I can no longer remember my real age when someone asks me. I simply blurt out my racing age so anyone who asked me my age this summer already thinks I'm 36. Either way, it's official now.

As a semi-surprise (marcy told me the day before) for the occasion, Marcy arranged for a few of my friends to come over for poker and ping pong. I won't bore you with all of the details but suffice it to say, plenty of beer was drank and money was lost (and found by Tim.  fucker) and my brother almost broke his elbow trying to return a shot during late night ping pong.  How you end up with both feet in the air and land elbow first on our basement floor is beyond me but it sure was funny to watch.

despite drinking roughly 45 beers we still have a cooler full.  It's going to take every ounce of my being to avoid drinking all of it before this weekend.  Thankfully we have good outdoor beer storage temps right now because beer in fridge ends up being beer in belly.
But, but, but, hold onto your hats because my real birthday present was not the party.  Oh no, it was actually the impossible to get Salsa Mukluk. Marcy, through devious means, managed to snatch the one large mukluk still available in america out from under my nose last week by getting KillBill and Big gay Al to tell me they were all spoken for. Al and KillBill gave me the sad news that the bike they though was available wasn't anymore and I'd likely have to wait til March for one to surface again. Ricky was a very sad boy. Lucky for me, my wife is awesome (and evil) and surprised me with it for my Bday.  Now Ricky is a very happy boy.

I've had a couple of quick rides on it so far and I have to say that it is a pretty cool ride but we don't have any snow currently so I CAN'T FREAKIN WAIT for the next storm to roll through!

So, what's with today's post title? I've never been one to name his bikes but, for some reason, when I say Mukluk it makes me think Ricklick. I'm not sure why. So, maybe this will be my first named bike ever. I'm open to suggestion though.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lucky 13

Thursday, instead of hitting up the Bathers ride I would be going to B's first Christmas concert.  B, the most shy kid in class, up on stage singing in front of a crowd of several hundred.  It was either going to be the cutest thing in the world or a horrible disaster with lots of tears and blubbering.  Thankfully, it went off without a hitch, B was adorable on stage, sang her lil 5 year old heart out and the only crying to be seen was from her proud family in the audience.  Kind of lame really but I'm a big softie who went from being big tough guy before we had B to being Mr. I Cry During Commercials.  Chicks dig dudes who cry like every five minutes right?  Anyway, the concert meant that I needed to find an alternate ride for the day so I gave the low teens temps the high hard one and headed out for a mountain bike commute in the morning.  13 bone chilling degrees (if you squint really hard, turn around three times and rub your belly you'll see that is a 13 in the above picture.  and without even squinting you can see that the kitchen was at my most favoritest temp), firm singletrack and proper attire meant a good time was to be had.  The only two downsides is that my Avid Juicy Ultimates don't seem to like it when it's real cold and a 1.5 hour ride in that cold with no food in the belly (only two cups of coffee) can leave the systems a bit depleted.

There was still plenty of slush around to pack up the tires.  Thankfully, it never stopped me from riding.

proper attire = hiding chin fat

"roosted" corner.  if you trusted your tires, two wheel drift and were willing to eat it on occasion, some of the corners could be roosted a bit.  this photo doesn't look like much but the combo of snow and thick leaves left the poop shoot in pucker mode as I let it all hang out (as much as my berries would allow)

I swear, this looked really nice in real life but my photog skillz suck Tijuana donkey. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ugly Sweaters

Over the weekend Marcy and I partook in the oh so popular new trend, an ugly sweater party at our friends Chris and Sarah's place. Personally, I think it was Chris's idea because I've seen his sweater collection and lets just say he wouldn't have to dig too deep into his closet to find something suitable. Marcy and I tried and tried (ok, Marcy tried) to find us appropriate sweaters in local thrift shops but nothing surfaced so, in the end, we had to do the unthinkable and go to the land when people think ugly sweaters are "cute" and "pretty". Yep, we bought our sweaters at WalMart. The same ugly, uncomfortable pieces of shit that some poor tasteless schlep will be wearing non-ironically to a company or family gathering this year. The hideous acrylic thing that Marcy picked up for me was a woman's xxl with plenty of room for big boobies and loss of self esteem. Thankfully I have plenty to go around (self esteem not big boobies) so I still came out unscathed and, somehow, unphotographed.

Sarah got to wear the gimp mask.

"this is my sunday best" chris
Marcy almost making the acrylic abomination look good.
and no picture of me.  Yay!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lean and Mean

Way back when, I attempted (unsuccessfully) to institute a squirrel rating system to my rides. It worked well for a while but it didn't have the legs to sustain itself and, to be quite honest, I got tired of searching for squirrel images on the internet. Plus, eventually the authorities might start thinking of it as deviant behavior...

So, the squirrel photo below isn't so much a rating as it is a feeling. I'm not sure why exactly but physically I'm feeling freaking awesome recently. Am I super fast on the bike? No. But my overall fitness is feeling pretty spot on with all of the running recently, core work, bits of riding and probably most importantly, lack of daily beer in my diet. Who knew that 3-4 beers a night could weigh you down so much??? :) The best part is that going into the holiday season (with three christmas parties under my belt already) I've managed to drop five pounds and am back at my race weight from last season. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Serious A.D.D.

I've got problems, serious problems. To anyone who reads this blog (or rides themselves for that matter) you know that bike lust is an everyday occurance. There is always something out there that gets my panties moist. Usually my lust is directed at one, maybe two things. This time of year, I'm usually trying to decide what to race next year and if a new bike aquisition will be made or not. That's nothing new. What is new, is the number of bikes that I feel like I MUST HAVE!

Item numero uno is next season's race rig. The Selma all geared up worked quite well last season but I missed being able to chose on a day to day basis whether I wanted to run gears or SS so she needs to go back to SS duty next season. As mentioned before, I plan to move up to the elite class in EFTA next year and if I have any hope of not embarrassing myself I'll need all the weapons I can gather. There are a couple of courses in the series that an SS can be competitive in any day of the week, throw in nasty weather and an SS can shine so I need that at my disposal. There were also some races that you needed to be a serious meth head to WANT to race a single speed. So, a geared bike needs to be in the arsenal next season.

Will it be option 1, a Salsa Spearfish?

Or option 2, a Santa Cruz Tallboy
I've talked about their virtues a few times recently but I can't seem to decide.  A while back I got to ride a demo Tallboy and while I loved it through the rough stuff, I felt it wallowed while climbing.  I chalked it up to a faulty rear shock but KillBill just picked up his own Tallboy and said that the two ride identical so it may be that I really don't like full suspension.  I liked it back in the days when I raced a carbon fuel and I'm told that bike (at least back then) sucked but I loved it so I can't imagine I wouldn't love a modern full suspension but who wants to lay down 4g's only to hate it's carbon soul and the Taiwanese freighter it rode in on?  The Spearfish is an unknown to me since it's so new.  Early reports are that it handles and climbs well but a certain someone put it in my ear that since it's aluminum it will be flexy as hell.  Of course this is the same someone who, just last season, poo-poo'd me for my 29'er only to have one himself now so I try not to pay attention but the bug is still there.  Thankfully, there are reviews out there that say exactly what I want to hear:

"It was very efficient up the paved on the loose climbs. The three inches of suspension action is a bit stiff. Compared to the many multilink and higher travel bikes that I tried, this one was not quite active. The design does not sit much into the rear travel and sems to be optimized more for pedaling efficiency."

That right there is how I would describe my perfect race bike.  A rear that is not super active and is geared more for pedaling efficiency than small bump compliance but can still gobble up the bigger stuff.  I may have answered my own question right there.

But, but, but, there's more.  As you know, I've also been lusting after the Salsa Mukluk.  I've wanted a snow bike for years but could never pull my shit together.  With Salsa's introduction of the Mukluk things changed pretty quickly.  All of a sudden I needed to have one NOW.  Sadly, despite Marcy giving me her blessing (bless her!) on the purchase, none seem to be available because demand is so high.

Team manager Big Al says not to despair, he'll have one to me with plenty of snow left but I've got an itch in my pants that needs a scratchin.

Lets see here.  I was also this close (imagine me holding my thumb and forefinger close together) to picking up a cyclocross frame.  The shop has a Redline Conquest Disc frame available for uber cheap and it would function very well as my new commuter/ghetto cross race bike for next season.    Thankfully, I get the cross itch every fall but it subsides come January so I hope that one will pass.

and finally, at least for big ticket items, I had hoped to pick up some new spinners for the road bike for next season.  My Bonty Race's have been good wheels but they're old, the breaking surface is getting worn and they are heavy.  What do I want instead?  A set of Ultegra tubeless compatible rims of course.  They are not the most chi-chi wheels out there but they'd shave well over a half pound off my bike and allow me to go tubeless which would be a dream come true.  Throw in some tubeless juice and you've got many miles of (almost) worry free riding.  Me wants.

I've seriously run out of time so the rest of my list will have to wait for later.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I rode last night but I don't feel like writing about that right now. Instead, I'll enrich your day with the last batch of Christmas party photos from my friend Tina. Nothing too exciting but you get to see lots of pants rolling. I almost got a thing going with three others doing the roll but, sadly, I didn't get the critical mass needed to start a new trend.

This was the only time Marcy would be seen with me all night.  It's almost as if she were embarrassed... apparently this was early enough in the night that Party Rick hadn't come out yet.
lessee here, a client and a lighting designer got into the fun.  and somehow I'm wearing someone else's sport coat over mine.  I'm just CRAZY!
even the big boss joined in.
aaaaannnnnddddd another horrifying picture of me "dancing".
To add to this bevvy of embarrassing shit, there are also two videos of me from the night floating around.  I've seen one and nearly died of mortification.  I haven't seen the other but I can only assume that it's a gem above reproach.  I don't have the strength to post them now but if I get desperate, they might show up next week.

Oh and I was informed last night that a couple of large Mukluks are destined for Bikeman.  Anybody need a kidney?  I'll sell you one for the approximate cost of a snow crushing super bike...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ribbon Cutting

On Monday we saw our first snowfall of the year in the land of Edges and Combs. It was a nice fluffy 4" on top of a pretty solid base so I thought that I'd give it a go in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Temps were perfect for a winter ride, in the mid 20's, I had all of my shit together and I was PSYCHED! Like seriously psyched because I absolutely love cutting fresh tracks when the conditions are ideal and I thought Tuesday would be such a day. Sadly, I was wrong. The primary reason for my wrongness was I failed to consider that the 2-3" of dry leaves on the ground under the snow would make traction a near impossibility since my tires cut nicely through the snow right down to the multi layered leaves which provide about as much traction as a greased up pig, only less fun.

This is what most cornering attempts looked like...

There were times (say in a couple of pine forest areas) where the riding was pretty good (see top photo) and times when it was downright depressing (see above photo) but I rolled with it and headed for a venue that would allow for as little climbing and turning as possible, a preserve down the road that has a nice, long old road.  It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for but it would have to do.

not bad
The worst part of the ride was a few wet crossings that would leave my tires looking like they were made of styrofoam.  A little slush plus powdery snow left me with impressively smooth (and heavy tires).

figure A
figure B
The conditions really had me lamenting not having pre-ordered Salsa's new snow bike the Mukluk.

It's the perfect steed for my winter shenanigans and a snow bike has been on my wish list for about 5 years now but, sadly, all of the larges that Bikeman was able to snag have already been sold and we really don't have the cash right now to get one anyway.  A boy can dream though...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

And It Continues

As I mentioned yesterday, I suspected that more photos of Saturday's Christmas party would surface. I was mostly a good boy so I'm not too embarrassed and, lets face it, I've posted pics of me sitting on the toilet, in a dress and in a skirt before so these are anything but embarrassing. Anyway, just like a big bobber (The Big Bobber ~~ The kind of poop that no matter how many times you flush it always floats back to the surface) these were sure to emerge.

this pic of me doing the Elaine may look blurry but, in fact, that's how it looked in real life.
getting down with a co-worker.  noticed the pants rolled up for who the hell knows why...

and me with three of my co-workers.  there was a plan afoot for everyone to wear little black dresses so I'd have plenty to chose from later in the evening (ya know, because of last year). Like I said, I was a good boy though and kept my shit together.  No cross dressing for me! 

So, as always happens, since I proclaimed that from now on I don't care if I ride or not, I was able to nab an early morning ride today in our first snow fall of the season. More on that tomorrow.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tis the Season

for drinking, eating and general goof-ofedness and very little riding so why fight it?  The only good thing (other than stroking my ego) about maintaining a blog is you can look back at past years and see what was happening during a given time period.  If I were to look back at the last several years I would see that I freaked out each year about not riding much in November and December only to have the new year start well and a successful race season happen.  With that in mind, I'm going to sit back, relax (as in work my ass off at work and to get the house finished) and see what happens.  I'll ride when I can, run daily and try not to turn into a roly poly christmas turkey until things turn around.

The above picture?  That's me and my bud Kevin during my company's annual Christmas party this past Saturday night.  100+ attendees, lots of beers and the need for spicing things up had me out there doing the Elaine to stir things up.  It worked and I was just drunk enough (ok, totally drunk enough) to not really care that I was making an ass of myself.  Surely, some less flattering pictures will float to the surface this week and I'll be sure to post them when they are available.