Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Next, please.

December !st. Yeah, it's still here. It seemed to be quite a distance away a few months ago. The city was melting the rubber off my old Cane Creek rims and food stayed hot even on the slowest most convoluted routes to it's final destination. And those tight, dimly-lit, Brooklyn street's and their black cats... Those curbs that jump out of the shadows.

The Six Packs are gone - raced and won by folks with hidden talent that reveals itself on the backsides of shady-green mountains after three p.m. on Fridays. A fixed-gear Champion of the Universe was crowned in a beer-drenched battle unbeknownst to the local Frolfers who wandered just beyond the treeline in Westover Park.

Then, two weeks after the Invitational-mud settled on Tear Jacket Knob, the Blue Ridge Cyclocross Cup gave way to frosty mornings. Rock Town took the trophy back from the Foof (Charlottesville). It's strength lays in the collective effort of four Country Club Malt Liquor pillars.

I rode for three hours today, traversing back and forth across the hilly Shenandoah Valley, until the sun fell. A mountain bike ride is in the works for tomorrow at 9 a.m. with JB. Gotta beat the rain before it beats us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rock Town Rally



Only days after the Tidewater Classic, the year's final local domestic MTB throw down, I rallied with a surprisingly motivated Rock Town Crew for Round #4 of the Blue Ridge Cyclocross Cup.
The last few days of sunshine and warmth have been nurturing for all sorts of outdoor play time. Today our sleepy little town, as well as the rest of the Shenandoah Valley was greeted with overcast skies and a chilly drizzle that made stoking the furnace and folding freshly cleaned race clothing from Sunday's mountain bike race seem more alluring than an hour drive in the rain to race with a damp, cold chamois in the heart of Foof Town. And when the hour hand struck three this afternoon I was already drifting towards the softness, encouraged by the fact my phone was still as silent as it so pleasantly had been all day after I dodged Jeremiah's interval-ride call in the morning. Then, a minute later, the proverbial "shit" hit the fan when Suzy Q Haywood from down the block rang the phone off my desk. The text read: 'Crossin' tonight? Carpool?". Any thoughts of abandoning were immediately erased as I frantically rang the go-to crowd to get the plan knitted before I got back to Sue. I called Chris Scott first who was just a few exits away from Rock Town on 81 coming back from a weekend in DC. Yo, the Suburban a go for the Blue Ride Cup tonight?, I said. "Nah, it's in the shop". With the rowdy group-mover out, we had to get creative with a few vehicles - some taking people and some taking bikes. Chris took care of Misty and Paul. Suzy and I jumped in the Element with Jeremiah while Andy and Celina swung around with their Toyota with the mad rack setup and grabbed the bikes. They were bombing out of town as the calls were being made so, thanks to the wonders of cellular technology (and Andy Smack actually answering his phone - for once) it all worked out.
So, one way or another, everyone who wanted to brave the journey over the parkway to Foof Town was able to. Save for a few missed souls in the form of Carpenter who was apparently hunting frantic animals and the SBC duo of Kyle and Colin who used their reasonable judgment. And of course our rec-center friend, Ryan Fawley, who had to work 'till nine.
The drive was dark and the rain pelted the hoods of the Rock Town Brigade. Jeremiah was bummed that he forgot his grippy front tubular tire and would be relegated to sketchiness on what was sure to be a slick course. It was good to have Sue along for the ride to balance out the intense history of racing, training, travel and competitiveness between Jeremiah and I. I'm happy to report we've both matured, somewhat, since those more eccentric bike racer days, so conversation was functional and pleasant.
We rolled into a mostly empty parking lot at Foof Town's Tonsler Park. There were a few cars with a handful of riders slowly spinning around the parking lot. I don't know about you, Suzy, but I'm staying in the car until the last second before the start, I said. Waiting until the last possible moment to prepare, I'm finding out, seems to be a motivational technique I've developed as my tolerance for the wet and cold has wained over the last few years. Meanwhile, Jeremiah was stumbling around trying to change his front tire to one that had a little more "bite". In the end, his attempt was futile as the other tire had a leak and he had to swap it, again, with the "bald" one. I think after all these years of constant self-motivation, Jeremiah, like me, has the need for a certain amount of chaos right before the start to get his engine going. He has a few years on me but still... By the time race-time came around, the scene had ballooned to 20 + racers and 10-15 spectators which was motivating for everyone.
The start was casual, unlike the mad-dash rampage at most sanctioned events. But, since the BRCC is underground and rad, the first lap is a "friendly lap" for people to warm-up a bit and check out the course before the madness begins on the second lap. The friendly lap also gives the pack a chance to sort itself out since there are no categories other than the Foof, Rock and Queen towns. Ultimately, It's one big happy effing family.
Andy Smack threw in some friendly fire on the friendly lap and really gave us a chance to experience the sketch that was the BRCC round 4 course. It took us around slick, off-camber, 180 degree turns, through a wood chipped jungle gym with moving barriers, up several sets of cement stairs and up a 3 foot wide paved-path with 5 super tight switch backs. There were two steep downhills one of which crossed another section of the course - we just yelled to avoid a full on t-bone collision with other racers. Disc Brakes were a choice commodity over the classic cantilever cross brakes. So I had the advantage with the mountain bike on a few spots along the slipping slide like course. This blog post is already too long so I'm not going to go on trying to defend my -race-winning- steed.
And so there we were, Andy Smack smacking down the field for a solid 20 minutes before relinquishing the lead to Jeremiah, Bruce, Chris Scottistan and myself. The racing was pretty tame for a while since the slick course could only be ridden so fast. Eventually, after everyone had a shaky lap or three, the racing got tighter and our passes by the lapped riders, respectively, became more frantic and less gentle. Jeremiah and I ended up in a final last lap battle during which he pointed out the fact that I was on a mountain bike several times then proceeded to put me into a prickly hedge when I tried to pass him for the "final" move. Ha! Only to be expected and welcomed in this sport, really. I used the last stair section to gap him off for good when I chose my usual line between two cement barriers and almost smashed into a disoriented spectator. I managed to still sprint across the line ahead of him by a few bike lengths. It was a knock-down drag-out last lap! Jeremiah told me afterwards that his gamble on the last section had to do with the fact that if I hit the lady he would have surely gotten a gap and won. Dirty, filthy sport this is. So good, though. And nice work, Jeremiah. See you in the A.M for coffee like a good neighbor.
Bruce of Fooftown hosted the after party with a warm house, two homemade pots of chili and a tray of cornbread. Rock Town brought the Camouflage High Life.
The roadside fog lights kept us all on the road back over the mountain. Now it's Night Time in The Little town. Still raining.

Interviews and Insights from Blue Ridge Cup #4. Charlottesville, VA

video video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's late. My brain is rattling and I've had a full evening. A sweet evening with nothing. Nothing but some goodness cooking fowl at the Stokesville Camp ground followed by four bands in a tiny basement. Good. I've got some ginger tea now. Was reaching for the sleepy time eXtra but it's been exhausted. Tommy M. has thoroughly stoked me about heading out West this winter for some big mountain shredding. All this while cooking chicken on an over sized grill fit for cooking a wide assortment of large animals (or the veggie equivelent). It was amazing that I made it out there at all. 30 min. of driving and all. Filled the tank with petrol on the way out, too. Almost stayed at the house working on the myrid of projects I have going after this morning's pre-iron cross ride with JB and Andy. That was nice. Reminds me of the days I spent oblivious to the world while bicycle racing as a junior.

And so it goes. Here and now. Still. Sweet Jesus, how much longer will this continue?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kermit

Favorite new friend in the 'Burg.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Late night loitering

Nice visit from (most) of the JV squad last night. The lights are on
here at 240 Sunrise.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pointing at stuff

Crossing great North Mtn into Folks Run yesterday morning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lots and lots

Well, I'm tired. The days have been full and I've been taking naps. The A.M routine is rolling alright and Jeremiah and Andy are sure to provide company on the rolling roads on the outskirts of town while the sun is high in the sky. Harrisonburg, Va is small, no doubt, but it's not lacking things to keep one from hitting that snooze button one too many times in the morning. I've been riding a bit, using my friends well established training routines to ride the coat tails of. And it works fine. Really. I can toggle between Jeremiah Bishops recovery weeks and Andy Mckeegan's pre-season 'cross rocket sessions in the hills. We did some steady riding up Reddish yesterday. 3x20 minute efforts to be exact - an hour of riding up for 20, descending back into the valley and then back up. We saw hikers and they were like "we thought you'd be heading up again", or so we thought that's what they said trying not to imagine it being a pedestrian harassment of some kind. Andy rides too close to the center of the rode when he descends. And that just scares me since I feel like I may see him smashed on any given turn.

The Six Pack Downhill races have been awesome. Although the first one a couple weeks ago left a pack of 20 or so of us waiting at the top of a mountain being swarmed by sweat/blood thirsty insects. And last Friday when Sue George, Whitney and I broke trail through several miles of stinging nettle bushes that left us itching and swollen for the remainder of the ride. Then I had a welcome back high speed crash that left me clinging to the very tree that took me out and limping my way down the remainder of the timed downhill like a injured, leukemia ridden, kitten. At the bottom I dabbed my freshly bloodied chin, tossed the bike, gave people high fives and enjoyed my endorphin high. One after another, riders rallied into the final steep to the finish. Sometimes we'd just hear a loud snap followed by a body and bike crashing down the side of the mountain, missing the finish all together. People cheered fantastic! Rightly so. Back to the parking lot, licking our wounds. Drink a beer. Hit the Six Pack Party at the winner's house. Surf a hoverboard around the yard and ride home in the dark. There's trail work to be done in the morning.

Pedaling hard for multiple one minute efforts in the morning with JB and Andy. Radio Paradise is choice late-night listening.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finer points

Sharing my lack of frisbee-golf knowledge with Conrad Bishop earlier
this evening.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Metal on metal



240 Sunrise Ave
Harrisonburg, VA

I could hear the scraping before I even left Brooklyn. But man, upon inspection this morning with my friend Justin, there really wasn't anything providing much stopping friction on those brake pads - and hadn't been for miles. Should've changed them when Fly offered to help when we were both still in Brooklyn a week ago. The amount of stop and go from that guy alone should've been reason enough. I mean, the lack of braking power seemed almost like a good thing for me leaving NYC. I needed a reason not to stop and turn around - because I would have and almost did several times before I hit I-81. Sitting in traffic on Canal street headed towards the Holland Tunnel, I remembered all the time I spent hustling time-sensitive packages up and down those packed avenues. I sent a shout out to Kid, Squid and CycleHawk via twitter in memory of my former constant radio contact.

I made it to Aurora, WV by one A.M after a stop at sheetz in Oakland for a late night egg shmiscuit and donut(s). The next day I hung out in Davis and almost immediately fell into the cloud of inertia that hits me when I go there. I took it as part of the recovery process and had a beer and burrito with Mom that evening before heading back to Aurora. Later we hiked by the house that recently endured a triple homicide. I felt numb as I walked by thinking about the story and wondered if anyone could ever actually live in the house again.

In the morning I went for a ride that sort of resembled training. Sort of. It was on an old loop I did when I lived in Aurora. Although beautiful this time of year, it was a little depressing and felt like some sort of come-full-circle landing. Visited Roger at BWB and had lunch with the east-west crew before heading through the final handful of mountains into Harrisonburg. Now I'm here and JB wants to ride for an hour. Full circle? At least I have fresh brake pads.



Greenpoint
Brooklyn, NY
Sunset

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mason School Rd.

Visiting an old MD loop this morning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jumping ship

Temporarily, anyway.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Brooklyn, now

A storm moved in
this afternoon
as I napped
And brought with it
the most pleasant
breeze
I've felt in a while
Relief
And the evening
Became cool
And stayed cool
These summer nights

Friday, August 21, 2009

Leaves

Are changing color and falling on the ground. Already.

Dog days

The days are getting heavy. These dog days of summer, man. Early a.m. and late evening are really the only pleasant times to do anything - and the a.m. doesn't exist. Today I poached some space in a roommates air conditioned room. It's a completely different world. The brain swelling goes down slightly and functions better with the use of a few more synapses. Granted, synapses that are a little further apart than they should be but still useful if they're given room to amass.

Delivered more wine tonight than any other time this summer. Always multiple bottles and without the task of decision attached. Just tell me what's good and I'll agree.

Playing around this cement maze of one way streets between the handrails. I know all the cracks, the dips. I can read the height of curb on the most dimly lit streets. Streets where the black cats roam and cross your path.

Crickets exist here.

A Fox followed me all evening.

The only cure is midnight Seltzer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Rounds



I'm back in Brooklyn after a reconnaissance/road/camp trip to my old stomping grounds in Harrisonburg, VA and Davis, WV. Mimi had a date with Bluegrass week at the Augusta Festival at D&E college in Elkins, WV so the trip had a lot of different destinations before heading back up through Pittsburgh and back into the concrete jungle of New York City.

Miss Tess was in Brooklyn for a show and since she was also headed down to Augusta, she jumped in the Subie and tipped the boy, beast (Riot the dog), girl ratio to boy, beast, girl, girl. A good ratio to say the least. Aiming for an early departure, we managed to pry our eyes open to the fresh blue sky and potent sunlight that is only around during the crisp morning hours. Wearily, we soldiered on, secretly impressed with ourselves after pulling a late one at Tess's show the night before. We managed our way through the treacherous NYPD war zone of Manhattan. It's not the danger that makes me nervous driving through the city at any given hour because there is nothing really that dangerous about it, it's the intricately woven and strategically placed road rules that seem to only be tripped if you're actually focusing on not tripping them! We made it through fine with Mimi piloting and steering us toward a place outside the city walls with fewer stop lights and even fewer law enforcement. We went through the Lincoln tunnel and hit Jersey, grabbed a ticket and tried our best not to miss the exit on to 78. I was alert and anticipating the 78 exit since it's eluded me in the past falling victim to my own personal auto pilot mode and getting funneled onto 95.

The trip was long with the added leg to drop the beast off at Oak Forest Kennels (AKA Fred 'n Jinny's Dog World Center of the Universe). Come one, come all! Or, rather, bring one, bring all... your pets! Riot's week at the center of dog universe was kindly "on the house" courtesy of my grandparents. The beast came away with fond memories, I'm sure, even though it stung at first. And how could he not with so many other beasts to yap with, the view of galloping miniature horses and swarms of min-pins circling and heckling the penned guests.

We dropped Tess off in Harrisonburg at the Clementine Cafe, an awesome newish music venue, on South Main st. to spare her the out and back of the beast drop. When we made it to Harrisonburg for the second time that day, the trip-time meter was rolling into the ten hour mark. We rolled into the shared SBC/Clementine parking lot and found our friend exploring the alley with an herbal intent and the flash of an aluminum Altoids container. I managed to roll through town undiscovered twice that day. It was actually pretty frightening to me coming from Brooklyn where the bustle never ends to a pre-college being in session Sunday afternoon in Harrisonburg, VA. It was the anti-bustle and I had to remind myself that there are actually people and people I know there. So, we gathered Tess and neatly pack her into the Subie and cruised quickly over the small but sharp foothills before climbing over Shenandoah Mtn. into WV. With enough speed, our stomachs were in our throats over the top of the bumps. When I closed my eyes I pretended I was on the Cyclone back in Coney Island. Tess had some moonshine that Chip Chase had given her during her last visit to the Purple Fiddle and gave me a swig as we crawled over the mountain towards several more mountains that would eventually take us to the other sleepiest college town I've ever been to. My stomach was pretty empty so the shine took effect immediately. Over the mountain and passed Fat Boys Pork Palace, where my uncle Luke once got me a yellow FBPP shirt that stunk of stale Cigarette smoke, we made one last stop in Brandywine. The little service station we stopped at has a long history of epic bike ride pit-stops, complete with the hot food deli and heat lamps to keep the golden fried assortment glistening until late into the day. I remember stopping there once and noticing that a couple fried eggs were floating in a tub of water under a heat lamp. Outside there was a years old loitering contingent of old men that stared wonderingly as Mimi and Tess walked by.

We made it to Elkins around ten p.m. that night, dropped Tess off and went in search of the late Augusta check in. There were little jams going on as we walked into the were the daytime check in center past a building with little pyramid looking things anchoring it. We ended up getting pointed to the late check in by a woman that I later while reading the Augusta Program was the director of the entire thing. Mimi checked herself in at the same building I remember checking into when the Chase brothers and I all did a dance week. Afterwards we drove across town and set up camp for the evening at my friend Andy Fitzgibon's place.

The next morning I drove up to Davis early to visit everyone. The morning was the classic WV summery-cool and misty morning with the sun just behind burning it's way through and making way for a blue sky. I stopped by east-west first to say hi to mom and Ruthie then hit the bike shop. The routine is the same each time I go there with Roger doing his Roger thing that seems to work so well for that place. I could write an entire blog about the details of what goes on anytime I step in that place and how time speeds up and all. I gave both my bikes some much needed attention so I could ride while I was there and when I went back to the Burg. I've got plans for round four of my cycling story so I tried to share what I knew as much as possible.
I went for an evening ride into the valley on my mountain bike via the old trial road and an assortment of newer CVI singletrack out to the swinging bridge. My body is so funny about the fit of certain bikes. Sometimes after riding the road bike for months on end my mtb feels like a completely foreign and awkward extension. Other times it feels completely part of me and I feel snappy and ready to dive into steep singletrack with a flow that feels completely ingrained. That night it felt great. The 24 hours of Big Bear fitness! It was just laying dormant until I touched the mountain bike again. I crossed the swinging bridge and thought of the 2002 tour de Lilly. I felt every part of my peddle stroke conforming the soft treads of my tire into the trail and propelling me up the steep, root strewn face to the fire road. I started the climb to Canaan heights and found a comfortable rhythm. The late day sun was beginning to turn orange as I crested the top of the climb and into an obvious developmental carnage. I still got a good view of the Valley, though. On the way back towards 32 I decided to pile on another steep climb and ended up, by chance, running into Karl on one of his job sites. He was painting and his dog was in the truck. Boy, dog, truck. Paint brush. Dinner plans. He's on it. He reminded me to come to the Monday night potluck at the east-west kitchen. I bombed back into town and met Mackie Marcus for some beers on Gary Berti's deck above the bike shop. We soaked in the remainder of the evening sun then went to the shop for fresh fish, salad, shrimp, chanterelle mushrooms and blueberry cobbler with Karl and Tyler. Holy fucking shit is all I can really say. And that it was a really good time.

I ended going out for a two pronged ride the follow day. I was feeling solitary so I took off, again late in the day, into the Blackwater Falls the back way past the STP Pond and over the creek. I took another random turn and ended up riding strait up the pipeline to plantation trail. The ride was soggy and I thought of all the times I've raced down it over the years. The semi-service road was completely overgrown. It's basically a wetland and I can't remember it ever being dry. My tire would sink into the spongy moss and I'd lose my momentum, only then relying on the power of my well developed leg speed to keep the cadence high and my bike crawling forward. I remember once, like ten years ago, riding up the pipeline and running into a guy with what I thought was a giant knife. I sprinted back to the bike shop to warn Matt and Sue who getting ready to ride, "there's a guy out on the pipeline with a giant knife!". "What?!" said Matt. They saw the guy, too, and told me later that the object he was carrying was a camera for photographing birds.

When I neared the plantation trail I could hear voices and out of the woods came Cory Chase and Tony from Hypno Coffee. They were on a 16 mile run. I said hey and Karl called my cell phone wondering why I left him and that he wanted to do a ride. I dove into the single track and sprinted my way back out to Rt. 32 and into town. Karl was fixing his flat tire when I got there. We ended up riding the State championship course backward up to HooDoo Rocks. Karl absolutely rocked and further confirmed his single track prowess. On top of the rocks there is a panoramic view of Davis. We hung out and discussed all the current happening of each others life, the trivialities of every day. We didn't leave until found the exact Billy Bragg song to sum up our exact feelings at that moment up on those rocks. We let song after song blare over my iphone and we found that almost all of them hit the feeling on the head! I burned "Back to Basics" for Karl when we got back to town. I stole a shower from Gary Berti's house then ate a Burrito at Hellbender with Karl. He talked me into staying in town that night and we both crashed on the east-west deck over front street.

I was out early the next morning feeling completely refreshed after a morning coffee session in the kitchen with Karl and Tyler. Afterward, I drove down the mountain to get the ailing subaru tail pipe welded back on. Got a deal from one of Karl's friends.

With a quieter car, I drove to Elkins to catch a concert at Augusta with the Meems and we had El Grand Sabor. Andy Mckeegan was expecting me for some mid-season motivation so I B-lined it to the Burg and had a great impromptu gathering with everyone at the Blue Nile basement bar. Suzy Q was there as well as the other mainstays. Colin was behind the bar and a band played. Mckeegan drank too much and I'm getting bogged down here.... My mind is going numb with detail. Anyway, it was a classic evening and was actually the same way departure from the Burg 10 months ago was. Except that time it was with Jonny Sundt giving me a boost and supporting my decision to unplug from racing for awhile. He kept telling the bartender how fucking awesome it was that I was going to NYC to be a bike messenger. And it was. It is.

Sue and I met for a ride the next morning out in Singer's Glen for the "no more than an hour" special. I couldn't help but to prod her with questions about what she was up to and what her "plans" were for the future. Asking people those questions is like rubbing a cat's fur backwards. A sure way to feel better about your own indecision while sifting through someone else's. It was awesome to ride with her and she's looking fit and back to fighting strength on the bike. In the same ride I made a visit to the Bishop's and got to hold little Conrad, visit the folks at 222 Campbell st and check out the house I'm going live in starting in September.

Kyle and I hit up The Little Grill for Breakfast Night which is also open mic night. That place feeds my soul and destroys Jeff Schalk's. Go figure! I hope he reads this. My shout out to him will be one of my favorite direct quotes from a couple years ago. And yes, I wrote that shit down. "I like eating things I know I've dominated and destroyed" -Jeff Schalk
Kyle and I had this great beer with our breakfast that night. It was an Amber of sorts.

The following day Andy and I hit the mountains on our skinny tire bikes. 3.5 hours with an 8 mile dirt road climb that at one point had us off our bikes to scurry down into a ravine from an un-finished bridge. After that we knew the road was ours. I cried a few times and got mad that Andy kept wanting to extend the ride. I'm going to be so much fun to ride with this fall.

I hit Ciro's pizza on the way out of town and went back to Oak Forest to pick up the Beast. He walk outa that kennel with a swagger that seemed give all the dogs behind him a big " fuck ya'll, I'm out".

I'm out. And out and... out.

Oak Forest - Harrisonburg - Elkins - Davis - Aurora - Pittsburgh - Queens - Brooklyn.







video

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

%v<$ your tan lines.

I'm smack in the middle of summer and my arm tan lines show it. Although not from painful hours of singletrack or near vertical climbs in the Shenandoah Valley, they're just programed for an automatic biker/farmer tan as soon as sun touches the skin even if I'm not wearing a shirt. It's a hyper-sensitivity built over many years of sickeningly routine pedaling behavior in the sun. Still, they're not really impressive at all. What were once highly defined bronze/pale- white, "You do not cross this line!", lines, have become lazy tapered brownish oil spill tan lines with no real clear beginning or end. They just fade away! The attire has most certainly played a major roll in the degeneration of my once mighty and defined tan lines. It turns out the only thing the tight rubber bands on jersey sleeves are for is a solid stencil line for a proper cyclist tan. I've since traded those in for light weight "burned out" cotton shirts with sleeves that ride up when I ride because I like my shirts small. The moral of this post is that one should always cut off those stupid little bands around their jersey sleeves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Better than a rifle.

The new Republic of Williamsburg currency.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer storms.

Just missed a big storm that hit NYC today. Raced it over the 59th at
bridge and made it home just as it unleashed on Brooklyn. Michael
Jackson playing outside my window and from every passing car. RIP.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red Hook

2 a.m jam from the garden.

And the days get shorter.

It's two in the morning and I feel like I could pull out a 9th lap on the 24hrs of Big Bear course. Last weekend was painful and humbling. True to the mysteries of form, I'm feeling stronger and snappier than before that naked leap into an icy pond experience. It shocked a few things back into place. My heart is beating in a more regular rhythm and my legs have that nice tension thing again. Karl was amazing and proved that regardless of my past, he's likely the more talented one given he had never even done a race over 20 miles before and certainly no 24 hour nonsense. That guy can spike his way up a big tree in the rain with chain saws hanging from his waist. So, nice job Karl. I'm still impressed even after recovering from the race and forgetting how painful it was.

This weekend was full messenger playtime with the bicycle film festival going on. Friday night was amusing. Raced my cycle hawk buddy Fly during the Goldsprints in Williamsburg. First time with that madness. Fun though, and I felt like I pulled a hamstring after the 250 meter 150rpm dash with no resistance. I finished my delivery shift around 12:30 a.m. and the party was still just getting started among the mess crew. Squid and Carlos were the master event officiators keeping shit loud and the people rabid. Those guys are the pillars of the scene here in NYC. Finally caught up with Squid in the early hours of Saturday since I road over the bridge in May. Good to see you, man. Road home with the sun after pin-balling between the gold sprint venue and local bar, the Levy, drunkenly. And holy shit can these guys party! In an alternate universe that kind of talent would be (Le) Tour worthy! Saturday came sharply with work in all day in the rain. I ran away with Mimi to Red hook for some string band action at the Jalopy theater. Her Boston friend and undercover musician badass, Dan Fram (spelling?) and his friend Aaron were there there as well. After Show #1 we drove through the misty darkness on Cobbled streets that reminded me more of Ireland that Brooklyn. That explains Red hook -by the water, quiet and different from its' city neighbors. We ended up at another after- show jam bar with the whole session thing going on. The Fram has talent and attracted questionable attention from all the married jammer ladies with his fiddling. The Meems had the Ukulele. Aaron and I discussed not having any particular musical talent, at least that we know of currently. Meems and Fram rocking ensued. Followed the sun home again.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bike jump

Early a.m. Brooklyn bike parking.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fly?!

My cool guy bike got stolen. Ahhhh, feck! Yeah, so my false sense of security from living in a place where I could get away with never even locking the front door to my house caught up with me. Even for one minute, man, this city will bite, snap and attack so fast you'll wonder if you even got off the bike before it disappeared around the corner. And it did, my friends. The day before was my last day at Cyclehawk messengers in the city. Already a big deal and I was stressing about it and getting all emo days before that! I know the turnover in the messenger industry is high but parting ways was tough. I was over the Williamsburg Bridge at my normal hour of 8 a.m. and met Fox man on the corner of Delancey and Christie ave. The sun was out and Spring seemed there to stay. I had the last day of school feeling in my stomach. Kinda bummed, kinda stoked... I hadn't really talked to Fox yet since I gave my notice to Squid so I was a little self conscious of the fact that I was jumping ship on the crew with the utmost respect, of course. I called in on the radio, enjoying the last of the routine, and said good morning. "Good mornin'," Kid answered with a slightly annoyed but acknowledging tone. I told him I was with Fox. We spent another 20 minutes or so enjoying the novel weather that seemed so overdue after suffering through an intense NYC Winter on the streets. His radio chirpted and vibrated with a pickup downtown, staying downtown. The last week had been super slow because of the warm weather so instead of waiting for work, I jumped on Fox's wheel and followed him around on his downtown runs. This is always a little sketchy, kinda like an alleycat race exploding into traffic, every rider for himself. Following people is a completely different style of riding through non-stop traffic than riding by yourself. The flow is just a little different and can be catastrophic if you don't pay attention. Eventually it feels as normal and flowy as riding alone, you just learn how to carry on a conversation whilst weaving in and out the constant flow of people and cars, halting and restarting a conversation when you meet back up a block down the street. I did a handful of runs that last day at Cyclehawk. Spent some good time in the office talking to Kid and getting a some dispatch system breakdown from Bobby. "Everybody has a number", he says. There's a count down for time-till-pick-up and one for time till delivery. Half hour for pickup and an hour and a half for delivery from pick-up. The color codes illustrate the state of urgency based on the time left until a package is officially late. That's when we (the riders) start getting calls. "So, how's that pick-up going?!", they'll say. Once a signature hits the system the run disappears from the screen and Bobby knows it's been delivered. It gets intense for those guys when it's busy with constant refreshing of the screen, jobs disappearing and new one arriving in need of a home in a riders manifest que. I'm riding light these days having traded in the oversize bag for a hip-holster and medium sized chrome bag. Snap has me busy rushing food around Williamsburg and Greenpoint and a few long-range messenger runs a week. I like the messenger runs as they're a good mission that usually sends me deep into Brooklyn/Queens and over a bridge into the city. My hours are all evening 'till midnight save for a two days a week. This is a shift from early work in the city lasting all day leaving me destroyed in the evening to late work in Brooklyn leaving me with a kick at Midnight and 1 a.m. Both routines leave me struggling with the prospect of staying awake for an entire movie at any hour. The city has become green since I left a couple weeks ago. The trees have all turned into giant pieces of Broccoli that shade the streets and create a canopy of green in some the cross streets. It feels like a different city to the one that blew cold ice, rain and wind in my face over the last five months. I haven't loitered a Starbuck's seeking refuge from the elements for almost a month now! When go there now I recognize most of the messengers in the city still cranking stuff around not missing a beat from one season to the next just now they're riding one handed with cold cokes. There're a handful of fair-weather messer's out there, too. One big difference in the city feel is that it's missing my friend Fly who has mysteriously vanished from the face of the messenger scene without a trace. If you're out there or reading this, call me. Get in touch. Let the crew at Cyclehawk know you're ok, homie.

The draw of knobby tires, mud and chainring marks on my calfs is beginning to churn again. Karl (my brother) and I are making some 24 hour of Big Bear plans...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Riding over the bridge.

Today is my last day at CYCLEHAWK. These guys have been awesome to me and I plan to visit the office and loiter often. I'm on now on the list for professional emergency "Pro" backup. Squid, Kid and Bobby, you guys fucking (25 cents;) rule. Thanks for everything. New gig is SNAP in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back to the Homeland

I'm headed to WV today. First I'm into the city to deliver things. I got some sleep last night and feeling a bit more on the bright side today. KBS seems to be feeling bright as well. They've been winning shit abroad. The Mtn. Bikers are all over the place as well. The season is in full swing. Feels kinda funny and kinda right not to be apart of it at the moment. Been drinking yerba mate the last couple weeks instead of coffee. Another manifestation of bike racing delinquency? Maybe. I'll be rescued from Times Square this afternoon at 3 and in Canaan by 10 or 11. Seeya there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roadside fly.

Eric has been in the NYC messenger scene for while. He now works for
Cyclehawk, is super quick and has no room for new tattoos.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Almost time for some Vaca

It’s been months now. Months of clockwise and counter clockwise riding around the three boroughs of my home in Brooklyn, Queens and of course, the grand island of retarded real estate, Manhattan. All of them connected by a selection of arched and tethered bridges. Some of them are steep and some are full of gawking tourists that have no sense of direction. I don’t ride over the Brooklyn Bridge anymore and it’s not just because it reminds me of my first nightmare of a living situation. It’s just that I don’t really go that way anymore. I went over the other week for a pick-up. The route followed my old route home so I felt smooth and in control like a well tuned barista creating perfect crème on top of an espresso. I’m meeting people and showing up to some of the events. The community is much smaller and tighter than you may think in a city like this that from the outside seems so huge and chaotic. It’s that and it’s also a place people end up finding a home and routine that defines their lives. It’s like no other place I’ve ever been. Once you’re inside the walls, behind the toll booths and under the tunnels, you kind of get the feeling there is no other place on earth and everything one needs is here. It’s a tough place but has its flow. I’ve not been out outside the borders for months now. I’ve had one sick day and maybe a couple holiday weekdays off. I’ve moved once and ordered pizza a couple times. I’m not from around here and by that I mean those of you who say, “Yeah, welcome to the real world". The 9—5, 7 day a week grind that defines most lives. I’ve lived a charmed life I suppose, a life that’s been full of support and opportunity. Travel and chance, food and wine, massaged and catered to is what my life has been all about. What banter! I’m just flexing my ability to be cynical and write stuff about stuff. I bought some crazy Brooklyn Bagels yesterday morning and Mimi and I had more this morning. I can’t get over how much better these giant, hand-rolled and steam boiled bagels are than any other bagel I’ve ever sunk my fangs into. I mean, I admit I was combative and took offense to my old roommates attack on Mr. J’s Bagels in Harrisonburg. “These things are puny little emaciated bagel-shaped pieces of inferior crap!” he would say. Well, yes, I now stand thoroughly corrected.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

59th St.

Snapped by xxx (Carlos) yesterday morning. I'm still encrusted in salt
from the storm the day before.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extra-cycle

Squid on his way to deliver the living shit outa some packages!

Pass'm out.

Big release from one company sent us sprinting everywhere on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bloody, bloody nose.

I had a Bloody nose on Friday. Kid saw it then put the nix on my
midtown nightmare alleycat plans for that evening. In hindsight I'm
sure it was a last ditch effort of my upper handlers to save me for my
grand tour destiny. I went to the start after meeting Mimi at the top
of the 59th st bridge and riding 50 blocks down a cold, dark and
trafficy 2nd ave. Everyone was gathered at the north east corner of
Tomkins square park under the cover of night. Squid brought a bunch of
coffee from the 'Bucks courtesy of Chrome messenger bags, a sponsor of
Cyclehawk. Messengers were huddled around enjoying an after-work, pre-
race cup of steamy go juice. Most were there after a full day
shuttling packages around. I love the fact that since it's a messenger
race everyone races in full on messenger gear. Bags, chain locks wrapt
around their waists, radios etc... For the start everyone set their
bike up in jungle gym area and then piled into what reminded me of a
batting cage, tennis court, animal cage or something. It was a racer-
keeper that night and of course bottle necked during the LeMonds-
style start-the punk rock version. When Stoned Tone said go it looked
like roaches scatering in every direction after you turn the light on
in the kitchen at night. The racers poured into the street and into
traffic. Stop signs, lights, wrong way signs need not apply. To people
in cars it must have looked like they drove right into the path of a
charging stampede of cheetas with wheels. At the first check point
people arrived from every direction, throwing their bikes in a mass
pile, leaning them against parked cars and pushing through the crowd
to get the signature.
Best part is that most people road with out brakes. NYC! I didn't
stick around since it was too painful not racing. The finish was at a
bar in the east villiage. Big one called monster track in a couple
weeks. We'll see.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Stoned Tone, live, on the Williamsburg Bridge this morning.

Monday, February 9, 2009

WTF?

> The bikes people ride in this city... It was gone when I came back outside so I know it's being ridden. Wear your top-tube condoms, kids. This is what happens when you drag a steel chain over your top-tube
> one too many times. On the flipside, you get a good inch or so of
> suspension.
>

Street blogging test

Test test

Friday, February 6, 2009

In the Office.

I'm in the office and it's freezing outside again and the pedestrians all have twisted, tense faces from the icy wind. People are getting tired but it's far enough along in this bitter season that it's becoming routine. Good news is I got some sleep last night and I'm starting to enjoy my new place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Just needed to cook some good food in the kitchen to get the place smelling more like my home. I'm only an 8 minute ride to the Williamsburg Bridge and 12 from the city proper. The route takes me right through the hippster central of Williamsburg and some nice street art with plenty of subversive cool stuff. It's like riding through someone's tattoo.

People are rolling through the door now at Cyclehawk. Bobby and Kid are warming up the generators and the nextel's are about to blow up. First Bobby will show us some new crazy shoes. "Where are the Gummies?", Says Kid. Bobby says you can't gett'm no more. I want gummies. Gummies? British walkers. Old school, back in the day Kicks. They don't make anymore. You can't get them anymore, he says. Clear. Gummies. Shoes. Kicks.

I drank Decaf this morning. I'm not to be trusted.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Take away the cookies

I've been eating a sleeve of cookies. Got then up the street at this strange little Polish Grocery store and they're half gone. I can't read the label so I feel like I'm eating exotic euro-cookies. A closer inspection reveals the stamp of KRAFT. I've got the week three of training camp metabolism going pretty strong, not that I've ever known anything different, so that means I get to eat cookies for dinner. Every night. After fantastic Veggie stir-fry. I'm working the dawn patrol shift at CycleHawk now. 5:55 AM is my new first thought of the day followed by coffee. Always with the coffee... February 13th, man, I'm doing my first Gritty NYC Allycat race. It'll be good to meet more of the people I see every single day on the streets but never get to talk to. I've had snippets of conversation with a few of them mostly while carving through gridlock traffic staring into mirrors and through windows. At this point I recognize most people I see if not because I know them or I just know their pedal stroke. Now Stoned Tone, I've run into this scene mainstay a few times and once literally the other day riding down Broadway at Wall st. I was rolling pretty fast and jumped through a hole in traffic to the right when I heard a loud "Whoa, son!" When I realized I cut off another rider I turned around to acknowledge the shitty move and it was Stoned Tone. He had on all his winter gear with his jacket hood pulled tight over his head, a loaded bag and puffing down a Joint the size of a mini bike pump. He was just cruising down broadway past the storm trooper NYPD check point for a downtown drop, blazing the whole time. We touched fists, he said to say hey to Kid, and I jumped back through traffic and dove down Exchange Street. The security down there, especially broad street, is absolutely retarded. It's likely to keep people from strangling one of those guys for absolutely screwing the world's economy and getting a bonus for it. Christophe Dupouey, famous doper MTB'er from back in the day, committed suicide today. After he retired from racing he transitioned from dirty athlete to drug ring organizer. And when he got caught and was slapped with a massive 3 month sentence, he became so despondent he ended him-self. It's sad even though he was a cheater. The fact is, regardless of good or bad, elite athletes should have access to post career psychiatric care. I know all to well how quickly darkness can descend when you're not able to be active. Even a rest week can be a devastating experience from all the chemical changes that take place during inactivity. RIP Dupouey.

I overheard this the other day in a fancy restaurant I was delivering to way up on 7th ave: They were two old ladies. One sitting and the other standing by the door starring out the window. The one sitting asks "How much longer are you planning on standing there?", the one standing answers, "All day if I have to. I'm telling you, Ida, I'm really in a lot of discomfort. The food's just sitting there". The one sitting chuckled and shook her head and the one standing uncomfortably just stood there looking out on 7th ave. I had mixed feelings about this strange sneak peak of future decrepitness that we're all headed for one way or another. I can't help but feel weird about even being near these seemingly "rich" people on their fine dining lunch break. My people are not in those places. You'll find us pulling out an awesome lunch from our bags anywhere we find hospitable heat and shelter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bolts and Real Estate

Out of the five bolts that hold my chainring to my cranks, only three remain. I guess it was almost to weeks ago now that I was riding up Avenue of the Americas and noticed my chain being way looser then normal. It was because all my chainring bolts were either missing or lose. I rearranged the bolt pattern to spread the load out among the remaining bolts. That worked great until yesterday when the bolts came lose again. I only managed to tighten one of them without the proper tool. It got the job done. The chain and chainring all stayed put and I made my rounds on schedule. Scraping by lean on the chainring bolts reminds me of a sketchy practice of a few pro mountain bikers I know where they'll use only 3 of 5 rotor brake rotor bolts to save weight. Ahem, JB...

After last night's epic last run the boys at Cyclehawk let me roll home at 5:30 today. I used the opportunity to check out City Bicycles Bike Shop and get some new stainless steel chainring bolts. This is the NYC Messengers bike shop of choice. Its long and narrow storefront is lined with the usual road/mtb gear suspects and a nice stash of cool messenger gear. I have to admit I find myself drooling over the sweet nylon radio holsters and messenger bags more than the fancy racer boy stuff. You get true function for your money and.... more money as the case may be if you actually use the gear for work. I also met the owner who is also a frame builder. He filled me in on all the major group rides North of the City. Unfortunately, riding a long distance is kind of the last thing I wanna do on the weekends at the moment. I got a call at 6:30 for some work to take me home. I was picking up a giant bundle of paychecks to take downtown for a real estate company. The package wasn't ready so I flipped through one of the many real estate capitalist magazines. It read more like a doomsday program than a "how to sell a happy new home and make a million dollars" journal. One article talked about how brokers are so desperate that they are starting to broker rental properties since no one is buying homes. Brokering rental properties is apparently considered "bottom of the barrel" and "only for losers".

When I was finished I took a high speed traffic wave down Delancey and over the Williamsburg Bridge to meet my punk rock buddy Zack for some burritos and Guitar lessons. I chose the late night ride through Brooklyn to my place in Cobble Hill instead of the train. I'm really trying to map this place out and it's cool to ride at night. I'm cashed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nighthawk.

Getting shut in elevator doors.
Bitter and irritated doormen.
Pissed off drivers of all sorts.
Buses.
Near misses.
Cold Toes and fingers.
Drinking a pretty large coffee in two minutes flat.
50 cent coffee "refills" at Starbucks. Same cup now for two weeks. Yep. "Get a card", they say, "and refills are free.". Oh? Maybe I will.


Today I went to what ended up being a wrong address. When I asked what floor the company was on the doorman muttered, "ain't here no more", too busy looking at an assortment of Porn DVD's to even look up. The salesman was standing there with his big bag of porn and asked me who I worked for as I talked to Kid over the radio. The dude was probably a messenger turned porn-pusher. A logical next step. Porn is one industry that likely survives a recession better than most. Funny thing about that wrong address is that the sender was in the same building as the receiver! Kid chimes over the radio and says, "you're not gonna believe this, but those guys are in the same building you just picked up from". I still had to ride but the folks who sent the package payed me to take it 16 floors up the elevator from their office.

Riding over the Brooklyn Bridge heading toward Brooklyn at night is, I think, more spectacular that riding toward the city in the day. You get a good spanning view of a lot of the bridges over the Hudson. Could also be the positivity generated from pointing in the direction of home.

Last runs of the day were wild tonight. I came downtown holding 2 packages with four pickups and they all had a deadline of 5:30 or 6. I ended up charging down through Wall st. and back up to the East Village to handoff a bunch of Chinese Herbs to Julio from Cyclehawk. I was sprinting through the night with my pack dodging people, cars and animals. Up Bowery and down Bowery to Grand and then Centre and finally 120 Chambers for the finale. I enjoy the evening rush. By 6pm everything is quiet.

We are the Meems and Pro.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Street meat.


The days are exhausting. The New York City way is all about being on the go, though, so I just “grab a slice”, fold it, and keep rolling. Cyclehawk begins taking pick-up calls at 8 A.M. about two and half hours after dispatchers Kid and Bobby leave the Bronx and enter the mass transit maze into the city. The subway delivers them about ten steps from 303 West 42nd Street, CycleHawk’s Times Square Headquarters. Meanwhile the riders, who are spread all over the Bronx, Harlem, Queens and Brooklyn, are gearing up for whatever the streets have in store for them. The Veteran riders are all on call in the City at 8 A.M. ready to go, long over the rookie drama that can hinder any casual workday. By rookie drama I mean, waking up to flat tires, dead radio batteries, dirty bikes, no clean shorts and sometimes just not waking up at all. Some of the vets even have families and 8 full hours of sleep under their belts! The Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges are loaded with messengers commuting to work in the morning hours. It’s easy to spot a messenger from the bike-commuting crowd. Even though the hipster trend these days closely emulates the messenger getup, the messengers will show a true bonded comfort level in utilitarian cycling gear and, depending on what the of the week and weather conditions, a haggard yet still pretty efficient, pedaling style. Lotta ins, lotta outs, really.

These holiday weekends make starting the work week very difficult. Last night I was in bed by one or so and I set my alarm for 7:30. This would leave plenty of time to go through a very bike racer-esque morning routine. One might even say it borders on ritualistic dependency. That alarm did not go off. Or, it went off and I didn’t hear it. Or, the computer that is my phone/alarm clock froze, like they do. Whatever it did, I didn’t hear it and slept until 8;45, 15 minutes before I should be at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhattan side! All I heard as I woke from my evening of restoration was the sound of my Nextel radio’s alert beep. Beep, beep, beep! Beep, beep, beep! I pressed the answer button and said, “good morning”, trying not to sound like I just woke up. Kid’s voice came over the radio and said, “ Pro, I need you in the city ASAP! Hurry up, ok, we’re busy and I’m short handed”. Ah, shit. “Ok”, I said and started gathering everything I needed, which in the winter is many layers, so many layers. I was still focusing on coming out of sleep completely while also trying not to forget things like gloves, pens, radio etc… And the basement I live in is so hot since it’s right by the boiler room. I end up putting all my gear on and immediately overheating from the heat and the dehydration of morning. It’s tough to judge what to wear sometimes. I’m always asking my self, “Do I really need this jacket?” Getting out of the house always leaves me overheating and winded after climbing two sets of narrow stairways with a huge courier bag, bike and faghetaboutit chain lock wrapped around my waist. I made it out a couple minutes after nine this morning after mainlining an Aloa Loa fizzing vitamin mix. No food. Hell, back in the day this was how the pro bike racers trained. It’s still the classic way to do a morning ride. It kick starts the metabolism and clears the liver! One of my first runs of the day was to 770 Broadway to pick up an offices mail and deliver it to the uptown office. The receptionist’s desk had a frickin’ bowl of candy on it the size of a bully’s candy bag after a night of beating up little kids for their candy on Halloween. The bowl was blooming with little individually wrapped, toxic, diabetes-bites. I had nothing in my stomach at this point. Nothing! The health-buzz from the Aloa Loa had long warn off and left me with that clean, anxious feeling of having earned something… Something bad. Just one. No! I can’t, I won’t, I… have no control. The guy behind the desk had to go in a back room to get the package and left me all alone with fake chocolate and other terribly crunchy and sweet things. I found my self putting piece by piece in my pocket like I was saving it for when things got really bad. The rest I just ate on the spot, justify every poisonous gluttonous bite. It goes right inline with my theory on donuts. They are best are best allotted occasionally in modest amounts rather than avoided entirely because once a dog tastes blood it goes insane! Only bad things come from this. Mimi knows. I’m still learning, always with the learning. My stomach was not happy when I left that place. Later in the day when I was back I noticed starbursts had appeared in the jar, so I had a serving of fruit. There is this public health service ad in the subway that reads: “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re not all there”. Usually I would look at that and be like, “Oh, for the love, like people haven’t figured that out! “.

For Lunch I had a Halal chicken sandwich at one of those street food carts in the city. So good! It’s crazy how those guys pile these huge piles of meat in the corner the grill in prep for the lunch hour rush. It’s kind of creepy. “Careful you don’t get sick. They don’t call it street meat for nothin’!”, say’s Squid.

My bike is a pile right now and that’s pretty normal for this time of year. I always have ambitions of being one of those people who keep their stuff nice. I think I just ride harder than everyone else. The fixed gear is a beautiful thing when it’s snowy and icy on the streets. Not having a brake in that stuff actually makes sense since ‘gearing down with your legs is the best way to have any traction at all. Avoiding drainage grates and sewer covers is a general must. They are slicker than god even when dry. Speaking of NYC sewers, they are so key to the aesthetic of this city. Their steamy exhaust makes riding through any cross street into a cool scene from batman.

Coffee Cake toaster @ Cyclehawk.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slow

The city must have had a big night out last night. I'm back in the starbucks at tompkins square after only one delivery in the last two hours. Rough. Now, I know I'm still paying my proverbial "dues" as a rookie messenger but everyone else I've been talking to in traffic or at the b side east villiage bar seems to be in the same boat. Maybe the people who would normally call a messenger are kicking off their new year saving a buck and using the delivery as an excuse to leave their own slow office. I've made some friends though with all this time to stop and chat. First thing they ask is "how many you had today?". Sigh. Nod. I bought a patch kit today at bicycle habitat. Recession patch party at my house tonight!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dear Anonymous

I'm about to experience this city in a new light. The post-holiday NYC. Since I officially landed back in early November, it's been complete holiday chaos and the sporadic work schedule that comes with it. The throngs of elated visitors in Time Square will, I'm sure, be no different but I'm curious about the flow of things in this city during regular days heading into Spring. Spring! Damn, actually, the hunker down is just beginning because though we've had some frigged, misery drenched days out in these gritty streets, it ain't over and the worst is probably still on its' way. Better to keep the mind there for obvious reasons. I've got some good pics of those gnar gnar days that hit right before the Xmas holiday shutdown. Squid (Cyclehawk Boss) and I did a mid-street, ankle deep in icy slush, photo shoot during a package hand-off. I'll put those up soon. I think Squid may have already if you go to his blog. And while you're at it check out this promo video for CycleHawk. I think Carlos who works for CycleHawk made it.



Blake Schwarzenbach from Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil is playing again and fronting the new band Thorns of life. They played a show here in Brooklyn back in November. I wasn't at the show but I've been planted on youtube for hours now listening to a few of the captured goods from it! My auntie Ruthie got me a Jawbreaker Album when I was in those turbulent teen years and I've been stoked on Blake's music ever since.