Sunday, March 22, 2009

On Saturday Afternoons

I saw the scene unfolding as I rolled by the ball park. A Dad coaching a kid, whose face bore the look of a child condemned. He was probably so excited when they left for the park. He was finally going to have fun with his Dad. Now he was nothing more than a hapless pawn in the grip of a mad man, being schooled on his technique. He was five. I smiled. I wasn't alone, although I was in recovery.

Years ago I ruined my oldest son. We had gone on a bike ride and I was barking tips and instructions. About a mile into the ride the little man melted down. Even buying him a Gary Fisher Cozmo, couldn't mend the damage. He would never grace the saddle of a bike again. From that moment forward he would only pursue sports I knew nothing about.

Last week I did some rough calculations and estimated he (now fourteen) spent forty five hours a week killing people in the virtual world of "Call of Duty". The sound of him talking online at the top of his lungs, and reveling in the death of his foes was becoming a bit of an annoyance. On a Friday after noon, I snapped and announced we were going on a ride. On the way, I told him how I had failed him as a father, and an ambassador of the ride. I promised him I would not utter a word, unless it was complimentary or positive. We decided on a safe word that would stop me from talking all together.

Now younger brother (Lil' W.B.) has graced this bloggie many times and is a skilled rider. He got a new ride for Christmas and has been clipless for years. I am a proud Papa when I see how smooth he rides and to watch him roll a log or wheelie drop a ledge is great, but my dream was always to ride with both my boys.

Well the long and short of it is we did ride and it went well. Some bikes that weren't seeing any use were taken off the hooks and brought to Joe's. The bitter haggling took seconds. Joey fitted #1 son, and lickidy split, a Raleigh was on the rack. Now we ride Mondays , Fridays and Sundays. I feel as though a weight has been lifted. Today we rode from the casa, out to Tom Brown and back, and #1 son even attacked me on the Woodgate climb. Do I see a little chip of W.B. in that charge? Yes I do, and life is good. A great wrong has been righted.

W.B.Z.N......and sons.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ok computer!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Cheating Game

I walk into and empty house from my Poly-Sci class. I got a hundred on my mid term. A piece of cake is on the counter from my brothers birthday party the previous evening. He's sixty two, and still looks young for his age, but weathered as well. A reminder the clock is ticking. All that sand used to be rock up river. In three minutes, I could have a cup of tea and bury a fork in that cake. I put on my kit. I fill the Camelback. I mount the light on my helmet. I roll out.

I am having a weird year. I missed almost all the night rides. I have to admit, it makes me mad that I can't get in the miles as easily as before. Would I like to be yucking it up with the boys on a nice leisurely crew ride? Bet your ass. I am getting to Tom Brown at 7:30, it's too late to make it out to the Cadillac. TB is harder, especially in the dark, but it's closer, so I turn right, and climb. I have to save my light for the time trial on Blairestone, to keep the angry sardines from rolling me out like pie dough, to save two minutes ride time home, from the jobs they hate.

The boys are rollin easy, looking at their Garmin's to keep their heart rate down. They are stoked for the race this weekend in Georgia. I can't go. They are enjoying the taper before the race. One of life's little known treasures. I am looking at my watch, knowing that by now they are doing the recap on Worm's tail gate. I am eating gnats that can't wait to dive into my beam, my eyes, my mouth. They come at me in amorphous clouds of swirling, dotted, smoke.

8:05P.M. I am in the big ring. My tail light is blinking. My headlight flashes red to let me know I am almost out of battery. My hands are by the stem and I am trying to stay with the speeding traffic. A cop gives me a thumbs up, by the light of his lap top, as he slides by. I can't go any harder. They drift away through the light, which turns red as I roll up. I cough, and cough. A lady looks at me from her car, and turns away when our eyes meet.

An old feeling awakes. Ride no matter what. An hour as hard as you can go, is better than a piece of cake. I roll into the garage and the lights are out. I smell no dinner. Mama is tired. She just got back from soccer and a hard day trying to help people finance houses. No one has it easy lately. Not her, not the buyers, not the sellers, not the agents. It's very hard out there. I see my bike in the beam. I hear a click. This could be the start of something good.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

It's raining ....thank Deity of choice!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I hope you all enjoyed your drive by BASTARDS!!

"He wasn't quiet and he never kept to himself.....that's whats so weird about this BASTARD!!! rampage, WE TOTALLY EXPECTED IT!"

A source close to THWBZN said of today's brutal BASTARD!!! attack.

Nicol, I know you're disappointed but that's what happens when you shut off your comments.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fully Alive

I still skate at least a few times a year to justify wearing Vans. Pretty Good style

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I remember it well. The knife in the back, the struggle for air, the low grade fever that hung on for weeks. The coughing fits and sleepless hours. The last time this plague was visited upon me, was after a short recording stint at John Kurzweg's legendary Pensacola Street, Kitchen Studio. His place had a penchant for flooding and on more than one occasion, I found him knee deep in water, living his life like a Bangladesh local in typhoon season. Everything he owned was on stilts made of milk crates. The rent was cheap and he wasn't fussy, plus the place was haunted and sounded great. You can't put a price tag on that. The mold from that unholy Petri dish crawled into my Irish lungs, scared and weakened from many a lost bout, with all things bronchial. I went to the doctor, had two courses of steroids, and antibiotics, but I just couldn't shake it. Through it all I had to sing forty songs a night, four nights a week, in the smoke, for my supper.

One blue Monday night, I told (local legend) "Mississippi" James Stanton about my plight and symptoms. He listened and stared through me, as smoke spiraled out of him, like an incense wizard from the seventies. His prescription? Brew and drink a pot of special Red Zinger Tea from the health food store. Take a clove of garlic and quarter it. Swallow it like a pill every six hours, drink the tea, plus a gallon of water. I stunk like a grease trap from a Jamaican restaurant for days. Just like he promised the pleurisy, and the infection it rode in on, left town on a rail. Mississippi James was in my "Hall Of Fame" for life.

This recent thing I had, felt just like that. It has been a two week beat down that keeps re morphing into new forms and tormenting me like a six year old on Cuban coffee. Still, I mustered onto the chariot at the behest of Red Dragon, and sauntered out to Cadillac. It was a great ride and when I got home, ate and passed out, happy to be back...finally. Now it's around one A.M. and the fever has returned. Tomorrow I am going to the New Leaf Market. I am going to call James and have him play the intro to "Gimmie Shelter" while I take the first dose. I need the Voodoo only his stained fingers can provide, while I summon the power of his cure. One of us is going to tap out: me, or the lung funk.

Two will enter, but only one will leave. This time........It's personal.


Friday, March 6, 2009

57 Channels (And Nothin' On)

I was sitting in my Snuggie watching the styling DVD for my Magic Combs and I spilled my water. No prob, I get out the Sham Wow and clean it with Oxiclean....... then it hits me. I have been sick and off the bike for a really long time.

I want my life back. I swear if Billy May screams at me one more time, I gonna freakin loose it.

There is never anything on T.V.



Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let It Roll

I am fairly cruel when it comes to R.D.'s bouts with windmills. I suppose it's because I have traveled down so many (lost cause) roads that when I see the streak in another, my anger makes me lash out. All our bad traits are attached to bad memories.

When Red Dragon and Frog Legs (sorry, I just can't call him Bike Diet with a straight face) brought up the idea of a race, I launched into my sarcastic trifecta. The rolling eyes, the wise ass comment, the list of other ideas in the scrap heap. A verbal combo only Rocky and R.D. could take with a smile. I give him a lot of shit, but I think he would agree when push comes to shove, I don't mind handing him a sword and pointing at the next turbine.

You see, you have to watch those guys with big ideas. Especially the ones that aren't afraid to hang their balls in the wind. Guys like that have a tendency to hit bulls eyes. People with safe warm balls, tucked away in pleated trousers, mostly just stare out windows from cubicles, dreaming of what it would be like to put it all on RED 27 and spin.

If you made it out to the race today, I bet you had fun. If you didn't come out, I'll bet after hearing some stories, you'll wish you had. It was just organized enough to be fair, and just chaotic enough to be cool. Don't feel bad, someones got to wear the pleated pants...might as well be you.