Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I want to write dark and brooding things.

Tap into a well of inky blackness and let it run all over the page.

Wallow in it.

Give the shadow a voice.

I’ve lost a close friend, the kind you only get a few of in a lifetime.

It would serve me well to pull down the shades and paint this blog in shades of gray for awhile.

Yes, serve me well.

Pastor Tom, as many knew him, wouldn’t approve.

He painted the world in color, music and laughter.

He served others.

So, for my next post – when I’m feeling better - I will click the light back on and once again deal in the highly unimportant.

I promise.

But I’m sad so I’m going to ride out this Ansel Adams portrait of black and grays awhile longer.

Color again, soon.

I promise.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stupid Hike


My long-time readers (4) will be pleased with the reemergence, in this post, of Trail Dog.

For those of you unwares on Trail Dog, Captain is a lovable, pound-rescued mutt that has brought both joy and destruction upon our home. He has a way of having adventures, once he even got a shirt, which was good because he wishes to be human....and he loves hikes. Trail Dog has been on a break from the blog mostly because he started showing his age in the last year, but the cold weather seems to have rejuvenated him.

I'm currently in the process of scouting a nearby park for new mountain bike trail and Captain makes a good companion for these trips. We went out there last week, so trail layouts were swimming around my head. Last week I used my phone to take some pictures and even record a GPS track. I marked several waypoints on natural features like ravines and big trees. Coool.


When we got to the edge of the woods I pulled out my phone and marked the possible trailhead. After putting my phone back in my pocket, Cap and I headed into the woods. After a short distance we came to a steep little hill and a creek. To mark the creek I again pulled the (bleep) is my phone? Aw......come on. I thought pockets were for when you want to keep something with you......Grrrrrr.

I knew it was between HERE and THERE, which wasn't very far. Sure, it was buried in the SNOW, but it would be somewhere in my TRACKS, so I was hopeful of finding it.

And so on.

Captain was pretty patient with me as I retraced my steps. He did wander a little but always came right back when called. Since the phone battery was almost dead I knew I needed to head back home to grab a Search and Rescue Team (my kids). We would find it if we could call it...

Let's go, Boy.
Captain? Here boy. Heeere Boy.......


Search back and forth and back and forth. This starts to take a long time, too long. I run over bad scenarios in my head. Worry. Angst. Just when I had decided to head back to the truck to grab the kids for a dog search and rescue instead of a phone mission, there he was...bounding at me with a giant, tongue flapping smile (how can you be mad?). He did a circle around me and dipped his nose in the snow, just for effect.

Hike gets alot better.

I hightailed home, dropped off the dog and grabbed the kids (I got a bonus neighbor kid too) and went back out. We spread out in the woods and called the phone. The neighbor girl finds it immediately.

Hike gets better still.

Well, as long as we're out here...let's do a little hiking. I'm telling you, hiking with girls ages 14(x2) and 12 is high comedy. I can't even describe it, so I'm not going to try. We finish up the hike and are on the way back to the car when I go to step over a steel railing for the soapbox derby track, my foot slips. My shin comes down directly on the sharp edge of the rail and scrapes all the way down my leg.


I could feel the blood running down my leg, but I promised the girls MickeyD's for finding my phone, so we did it up before coming home. When I showed my wife she nursed me up pretty good. I'm definitely missing a piece though and I would like to have it back.

It is a sad ending to a sad post but...ya know...I was feeling kinda frustrated about my bad luck and my bigtime misfortune and what have you, but I still strangely"enjoyed" the hike from hell. Then, today, I come home from work and get a phone call from an dear old friend. She has bad news, another dear old friend of ours had suddenly passed away. Tom was 43. He was a father of 3. He was a pastor and a musician. He was as funny as the day is long.

He was my FRIEND and, at the moment, I am heartbroken.

So, do this my friends: enjoy even bad hikes, as they are precious too.

Friday, January 7, 2011


"I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn"
— Robert Frost

I get what Frosty is saying.

He writes books in retro. I write blogs in retro.

He talks. I talk, too much.

He teaches. I serve as a warning to others.

We simpatico.

So, that is my lame introduction to this look back at great moments in Briancycling history (2010 edition). Of course, my edgy self-deprecation reduces the relative lameness of said retrospect. Yeah, that just happened. Did I blow your mind?


I went to Bootleg Canyon and SW Utah. I lived to tell about it.

The rollercoaster ride of Bearclaw Poppy is the most fun I've had on a bike.

I sacked up and raced the Bone Bender 3/6 enduro. It was a strange thing for a non-racer to do, but I liked it.

I got another weird haircut.

Despite massive frontal assaults by naysayers and curmudgeons I built a 650B bike. I like it (so HA!).

In the process I dsicovered the merits of a good wheelset, titanium seatpost and thru-axle forks. That's going to be an expensive discovery.

I hit the Quad City trails for the first time. They are solid-to-awesome and getting better all the time. The Midwest Mountain Bike is going to be there this year.

I remembered I am old and replaced the rigid fork on my singlespeed with a squishy one.

I restomped an old stomping ground, Springbook State Park.

Caught some owl-on-squirrel violence on the Taco Ride.

Gnome Fest was very gnomey, again.

Rode the Human Powered Trails in La Crosse for the first time - very cool.

I bought an awesome sweater.

Spooky Woods ride was epic, again.

I got caught in a lover's spat between Bike and Tree

The Sweater haunted me.

The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
-Albert Einstein

Did Al just blow your mind? Well, if he's right about all that relativity junk there is no retospective.