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You Tube Fame

Feb. 27th, 2009 | 07:14 pm

I have reached a certain level of fame, You Tube fame. I feel like a rapper. Green for the money, gold for the honeys.

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Mi Nombre Es Gringo (aparently)....

Jan. 21st, 2009 | 07:39 pm

Well, this will be the mid-trip Argentina post for anyone that gives a crap about what I do.... I gotta say though, if I were someone reading this, I'd be mildly interested in reading what I had to say. I mean, really, I have never been to Argentina before this little escapade and I gotta say, this country is pretty goddamn cool.
It seems every time I leave the US I think about my brother; he has no car and no real driving desire to see anyplace to which he can't ride his bicycle. He really loves where he is. Sometimes I admire that, and wish for that, but when I'm outside of the US I remember that there are innumerable, really awesome things that you can see if only you were to go there and check them out.
This race reminds me of the Tour de Beauce, only en Espanol. One of the reasons being that I'm on my own and this is really a pretty big tour... one only has to gaze upon the start list to see that. The other reason is that they speak a different language, sadly it's Spanish here instead of French. I could at least understand French. Plus there are homeless children and feral dogs on the streets during weeknights! How exciting is that?!
I've found that there must not be many dudes in this particular region with bushy blond beards and an arm full of tattoos because I've gotten a lot of priceless looks when I walk down the streets by myself, and the bartender remembers that I tip pretty well, even for a Gringo because she pours me some pretty tall whiskey's con hielo, even after the lights have been dimmed.
It's funny because when I was in New Zealand last year I thought, "gee... am I wasting my time sitting in cafes during the day and bars at night trying to talk to the locals? Shouldn't I be out there, checking out the scenery and sampling some other element of this experience besides walking around town and stepping out in front of traffic?" What I've realized is that Mountains are all over this stupid planet and that stuff never changes, at least it doesn't change at a rate that is perceptible to human beings..... I have friends that are fighting wars on mountains right now that carry the potential risk of death, and I have friends that are out there, climbing other mountains that have been at exactly the same risk even though there are no bullets flying so to hell with mountains.
There is an osmotic quality culture posses that scenery does not for me, and that's why when my boss says, "we might be doing a race in (insert foreign country here)," my heart skips a beat in the hopes that I might get to travel for thirty hours to god knows where to go with the team. I guess I'd just rather get stabbed than fall down a crevasse....
Anyway, if I have a key to your house, or I can walk in during dinner without knocking without getting clubbed by a blunt object, you'll be getting a souvenir and I miss you. Photos of homeless children and feral dogs will follow.....

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I hear Autumn in California is... intoxicating.

Jan. 12th, 2009 | 07:42 pm

My general disposition as of late has seen me casting my gaze to the ground quite a bit and I'll be goddamned if I didn't find a pot leaf on the road, in the pile of this fall's fallen leaves by our trailer today. It must be a sign from God. Hilarious!
I mean, everyone hears how this state has a more progressive view towards marijuana policy, but to have pot leaves falling on the ground like oak tree leaves or whatever the hell else really gives you some perspective to just how progressive they must be. I mean, seriously, it was just brown and dried up like all the other leaves on the ground just laying where it fell. I mean, that is a pot leaf right? I'm not really a botany expert or anything, but that's what it is, right?

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Jan. 9th, 2009 | 09:40 pm
music: Believe It - Sasquatch

Well folks, it's a new year and all sorts of shit has happened recently with both the personal and professional life of yours truly. I'm forcing myself to write a blog since I made the mistake of starting one in the first place. I figure I might as well keep the lie that people care about what happens to me, and that what happens to me is even moderately interesting, alive.
The story of my year as a mechanic for a professional cycling team is shaping up to be the most unfunny joke ever told because we still don't have any frames to turn into whole bicycles and I don't think they are going to get here before I leave for Argentina next week, which means I'm going to be nothing but pounded in the ass once our training camp starts. A training camp which starts a day or two after I return from Argentina. I will however be bringing back a select few of my readers a souvenir, so send me a nice email before wednesday the 15th and I might actually bring you a dried up horse turd, or whatever Argentina is famous for. They're the ones that have the vaqueros right? Horses poop don't they? Anyway, I'm pretty damn fired up for yet more international travel, and I'm not saying that with any amount of detectible sarcasm in my voice. This is truly the reason I've always wanted to do this job; hang out of cars adjusting derailleurs in exotic new lands? Are you f'n kidding?! Adventure! I'm mostly just ecstatic that I don't have to drive the van and trailer to Tierra del Fuego or anything. That's pretty awesome.
I was also quite chagrined and dismayed to wake up at the end of my first drive across the country this year to find that I'm actually PAYING to live in California. If you've ever met me, you know I'm pretty stupid, but now you understand the depths at which my stupidity flows. If stupid could cause desalination, I'd be the Gulf Stream, and Europe would already be the frozen wasteland it is destined to become.
The where and why of living in California can be answered in fairly short order. I'm living in Santa Rosa, 50 miles north of San Fran, a region I think might not be utterly destroyed by the 'big one,' but I don't really know or care if that is correct. The why? I got engaged to a very pretty lady that took a job with a different, unnamed, pro cycling team that is based in the aforementioned city in NorCal.
So it's a mixed bag I think. I'm very excited for the upcoming trip to Argentina, and some further international travel with the team planned for this year but I was an idiot and didn't buy the Spanish Rosetta Stone as soon as I found out I was going, which means I'm going as another stupid American that can't speak the language. What's even sadder is that it's Spanish. Shouldn't we all know Spanish by now? Too bad they don't speak French there. There's always the Tour de Beauce I guess.....
While there are a few things in life that I'm finding a bit frustrating at the moment, the engagement obviously trumps all of those things and makes me feel like I've been walking around with stones in my pockets for my entire life, and now they are all gone. An odd metaphor, yes, but that's how I feel goddamnit. If you don't like my metaphors, please stop reading my blog. Photos:

If you cross the boarder into California via interstate highway, this is how you'll be greeted: large trucks with large tires hauling large trailers. Trailers that are filled with dirt-bikes. Not a recipe for fuel efficiency, but wtf, we aren't gonna move on until it's all gone. It's just our way. I sadly fit in pretty well with the team rig, getting what I calculated to be between 7.4 and 8.6 MPG depending on wind conditions all the way from Charlotte, NC to Santa Rosa. Damn.....

This is for Monie Campo. It's stuck to the pallets of my toolbox so I'll always have a reminder of Seven Pounds. I love the entire Campo Family and I usually seem to miss them most when I'm gone.

Another landmark event occurred in my life this winter: I managed to get the best ice-beard I've ever had while on a good, long xc-ski with my pal, Matt. God my beard is awesome.

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I'd just like to thank the person that came up with this one.

Dec. 18th, 2008 | 04:05 pm
music: Owlwood - Cult of Luna

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The End of Chapter Earth

Dec. 8th, 2008 | 04:18 pm
music: Mirrors of Blessed Miracles - Zebulon Pike

In an attempt to elude boredom's clutches last week I sat in a chair while a man stuck me with ink drenched needles. In other words I got a new tattoo. It is magnificent and giant, and while I was there I got to see some also magnificent testimony to the fact that man kind really can't be long for this earth.
While I was sitting there getting poked a guy walked into the tattoo shop where my pal Curtis (who tattooed me) works. Curtis and I were probably four or five hours into a six hour and fifteen minute job. His eyes were probably getting tired and I was certainly tired of the pain, when our spirits were lifted by laughter. Laughter aimed at another human being, which is the best among an already good medicine.
This kid walks into the tattoo shop and is obviously pretty excited because he has just turned eighteen and was all amped up because at long last, he was able to lawfully get a tattoo. He had settled on a tattoo of the boarders of the lower peninsula of Michigan, with a star marking the town we were in, and where he was from; Lansing. The tattoo artist who was doing the walk-in stuff that day asked him, "Do you want the U.P. on there at all?" to which this young fellow replied (and I'm spelling phonetically) , "gnaw man, I ain't never been there. It's just a bunch of stupid trees, right?"
At this point Curtis started telling me that the new trend for the gangster kids in Lansing tattoo wise is to get the area code for Lansing tattooed somewhere on their arm. Which is funny in and of itself because the 517 area code comprises at least eight Michigan counties and doesn't really do much but tell people you're from a large area of central Michigan, but at least it's SOUTH Central Michigan....
Anyway, the tattooist that was helping this young Eminem fan did the drawing as described by the customer, put the stencil on the young fella's arm and said, "Go check it out in the mirror and see how you like the placement and everything." We saw the guy go out to the mirror, check it all out, go back into the area where he was to be tattooed and he says, "Is that where Lansing is? Let me see a map." Yes folks, you guessed it, the guy didn't even know where his city of residence was on a map. I guess it's hard to get people to understand the importance of Peak Oil when most of the General Public can't point out where they are on a map. Now, I'm not the smartest person out there by any means, but I thought scenes like that were just staged comedy for other, slightly less retarded General Public morons that watched Jay Leno. It's been good knowing you all, I hope your deaths are painless and quick, because we're all doomed.

I, on the other hand, knew exactly where I was.
Curtis is a good tattoo artist. He works at Vivid Ink in Lansing, MI. and you should go there and pay him to permanently ruin your skin.

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Like Two Ships, Almost Colliding in the Night....

Nov. 13th, 2008 | 10:59 am

To the bear I almost ran into last night while riding my bicycle home from the bar,

Dear Mr. Bear,

I'm not sure if you have the internet in your lair, or den, or in the forrest at large even, but if you do, I hope you can find your way to my blog and read this letter I am writing to you now. Nothing against you, or bears in general, but why were you just hanging out in the road at night? I almost didn't see you, and I almost ran straight into you. It was my swerving and brake noise that scared you away and made you run into the swamp by the road. I know humans may be encroaching on your habitat, which is cool and all, but I wasn't even on a trail in the woods... I was riding my bicycle home from my favorite local drinking establishment. Anyway Mr. Bear, thanks for not swatting at me with your claws or biting at me with your teeth, that would have totally sucked.
Maturity truly ruled the night last night. You were mature enough to realize that I meant you no harm, and I was mature enough to not scream like a small child when I realized that I was about to run into you. Anyway, thanks a lot, Mr. Bear for not killing me and just walking away. Cooler heads prevailed.

Yours Always,

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I Gotta Say...

Nov. 5th, 2008 | 12:48 am

I cried like Oprah....

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The Coming Collapse

Oct. 8th, 2008 | 01:13 am
music: High on Fire - To Cross the Bridge

If anyone reads this blog, they might read the title of this post and think that I'm referring to the current economic troubles that are facing this country. And while all of that stuff really sucks for some people, I'm not getting too worked up about that shit because I live in a van most of the year and don't really have that much money to lose anyway so whatever, my horses won't starve because I can't afford horses in the first place, and I haven't driven a car in over two weeks because gas is too expensive and riding a bike is cooler.
The collapse that I am talking about has more to do with the anti-intellectualism that seems to pervade our culture. I'm talking specifically about some evidence I've recently noticed about this country's slide towards an environment depicted in the movie "Idiocracy."
This movie plays out the scenario of intelligent people being more cautious about reproducing due to economic and social concerns and stupid people not really caring and having children at an alarming rate, thus diluting the gene-pool and turning this country's citizenry into a bunch of semi-retarded consumerist morons. It's a really funny movie, but the sad thing is that I think it's slowly coming true. How do I know this, you ask? Even educational programming has suffered. Just watch the Discovery Channel and you'll see. There used to be all sorts of good, informational, educational shows on there, now what has it become? Well let's see, there's a show on there called "Destroyed in Seconds" which is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill footage show of stuff blowing up.
Now there's a show on there called time warp or something like that. It's basically a show of stuff being filmed happening in super-duper-slow-motion. They shot a banana in slow-motion. Wow. They have a guy making farting noises... in slow-motion. And the big capper? They show something blowing up in, you guessed it, slow-motion. Seriously, the next step is "Ouch My Balls." The show where people get hit in the balls with stuff...then the spin off can be Ouch My Balls, in slow motion.

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Saving the Worst for Last

Oct. 4th, 2008 | 02:26 pm
music: Birds - Butthole Surfers

I can officially say the season is over. Sadly it ended with one of the more brutal drives I had to do this year. I was flown out to the land decency forgot, did the interbike thing then drove the new team car back to the Motherland once it was over. I left Las Vegas Friday late Friday afternoon, drove for twelve hours, folded one of the seats down at about four in the morning, slept for an hour, woke up from the cold, took all of the t-shirts out of my backpack and covered up with them, slept for another hour, woke up from the cold and kept driving for another twenty-three hours until I found myself, miraculously in my driveway. It was not fun, but it didn't last long.
Interbike was more or less cool. It was interesting going to a trade show as news of a coming economic meltdown was breaking. It was sort of like of the cover to the Black Flag album, Nervous Breakdown and we were the guys with the chair, and the guy bearing his fists in the corner was the bike industry. That being said, Glen still managed to secure some pretty sweet deals with people so that's good. Interbike is usually a good source of inspiration though, being that you're around some of the best and the brightest the cycling industry has to offer, and I think I had about two good ideas while I was there. The first really good idea I had was to pick the biggest flat-bill-souther-california-looking jack-ass I could find on the floor of the show and pretend like I thought he was some famous moto-cross dude and see if I could get him to take a picture with me. The thing that put the brakes on that idea was that in the past year the flat-bill-southern-california-looking jack-ass archetype has been eclipsed, nay forcefully deposed by the tits-and-tats-affliction-tshirt-las vegas-looking-UFC-cagefighter-wannabe dude, and frankly, while lame, they could still probably beat me up, so I just passed on that idea entirely. I also came up with a really good band name while I was walking the showroom floor, but I've since forgotten it. Yes folks, I'm never going to be your boss. I may be your janitor, but never your boss.
Now that the season is over the big goal constantly comes back to the idle hands being the devil's tools crap I always talk about on this blog. I've been doing some framebuilding type of work, which has been a massive pain in the ass, but it's better than taking up smoking. My girlfriend has gone off to finish her degree at school so I don't have her to bother and work issues are slowly strangling my dream of doing a bike tour. Damn. I haven't given up on that yet though. I just might be riding through a little snow towards the end.... Nothing I haven't done before. Photos!
I've got a few from Tour of Missouri and interbike.

Lars Boom is cool for a couple of reasons in my book:
1. He's a cyclocross world champion
2. He isn't too cool to wash a car for his team.

I have a dream job. 4:30am, cold, dark, and rainy. Pretty great.... Missouri in September? I don't need any long pants. Ooops.

The Easton booth at Interbike had some good Bissell stuff up. I've used my boss for scale. You should buy some Easton stuff, Jerky.

This is the best, funniest thing I saw at Interbike. I'm guessing it was this guy's first time at the show. Sometimes it's just not enough to show up for work after a long night. I'd also like to point out that it's like ten in the morning and this young chap is still down for the count.

Some off-season fun-time shots. Shooting rats at the train-yard and doing a repair I should have said no to.

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