Saturday, October 20, 2007

6 Weeks from Sunday

What will this year's Dirt Rag Punk Bike Endro hold? Snow? Rain? Mud? Dust? Beer? Bourbon? Surprise out of town guests? Blood? Smiles? Fun? Sun? Dogs? Punks? Torn Shirts? Cramping Calves? Naked riders? Ronald McDonald? Cops? Choppers? Fixed Gears? Unicycles? Flasks? Men in dresses? Women in leg warmers? A cod-piece perhaps? Laughs? Gaffaws? Tears? A broken tooth? Tall bikes? A joker? A smoker? Spam? Chili? Enchiladas? Road rash? Good stash?

Time will tell. It'll be... but I know it will hold FUN!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What is a BABE?

The BABES held a BABE meeting at the end of September, and this question was pondered there. The club has been in existence for 3 years now and we've grown some and we've shrank some in that period. We've also had time now to see what we like and perhaps don't like about our humble little club. We discussed things we do well, along with things we don't do so well. It was an enlightening conversation. An important conversation.

So what is a BABE? What do we want to be? What do we want to accomplish?

What does it take to be a BABE? Well, it doesn't take money. We've decided to terminate the dues effectively immediately. So now, it doesn't take a treasurer. It also doesn't take a president. Or vice president. It doesn't take officers at all. It takes time. It takes compassion. It takes a caring and concern for bicycling, for trails and roads we ride. It takes an understanding of other trail users. It doesn't take a computer. And it doesn't take a dedicated web site. Therefore, the BABE web site will no longer be maintained. All communication for "members" will be made via email, this blog, or a friendly phone call from another BABE. One thing I felt was important to save from the web site was the "F.U.N." picture. This picture has been on the web site since the first day. And it's there for a very good reason. I've always felt fun was the best reason for people to get together. We have enough seriousness in our jobs, our family lives and just in modern life in general. Why should a simple act of riding a bicycle not be fun?

Anyway, I'll elaborate more on all of this in future posts. But I thought I'd let you know the basic cut of the meeting's jib. We'll have another meeting either late this month or early November. But for now, I'll leave you with a conversation I overheard one day, a number of years ago, as I was putting on my biking shoes at the back of my vehicle. I had laid down a before-ride snack (a Clif Bar) on top of my post-ride refreshement container (cooler buddy)... and following conversation ensued as I laced up my shoes...

Clif Bar:
We're going to ride this ride faster than anyone here today. We're going to WIN!

Cooler Buddy:
This isn't about winning, it's about fun!

Clif Bar:
What's that?

Cooler Buddy:
Fun is when you... sorta like.... fun is about... What is fun? Here. Let me spell it for you.

Cooler Buddy:
F is for friends who ride bikes together
U is for you and me
N is for anywhere and anytime at all
With those who are really happy

Clif Bar:
F is for fancy rehydrating drinks
U is for unusual food
N is for no joy anytime at all

Cooler Buddy:
Clif Bar! Those things aren't what fun is all about! Do it like this!

Cooler Buddy:
F is for friends who ride bikes together

Clif Bar, interrupting:
No! That's completely idiotic!

Cooler Buddy:
Here, let me help you.

Cooler Buddy:
F is for friends who ride bikes together
U is for you and me... you try it!

Clif Bar:
N is for anywhere and anytime at all
for those who are really healthy!

Clif Bar:
Wait. I don't understand this. I feel all tingley inside. Should we stop?

Cooler Buddy:
No! That's how you're supposed to feel!

Clif Bar:
Well, I like it. Let's do it again!

Cooler Buddy and Clif Bar:
F is for a frolicking ride through the park
U is for you and me
N is for never leaving a man behind
Here with my best buddy!


Friday, October 5, 2007

I got a fever...

Some of you may know that this coolerbuddy has been burning up lately. A nasty little flu bug took me down for a few days this week. I'm happy to say I've managed to get out of the house today and even tool around on Mr. Plow for a bit. Felt real nice to be back on the bike. At that's really when I know I be feeling my right cool self again. The only real prescription for what ails ya, is MORE COWBELL. Ya'll know what that means. Now get out there and do it! Don't fear the reaper!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ozzy anyone? Slim everyone?

Another fine Alleycat coming our way. Info here...

and here...

Is there anything better than an alleycat? Perhaps a nighttime alleycat. This one certainly looks to be interesting. I'm suspecting an alleycat back and forth across the Mon, just a thought. Nothing mentioned about costumes, but I suspect one would not be frowned upon for wearing such.

If you're interested in this, may I first suggest cleansing your soul through a Slim Cessna confessional. Slim and the Auto Club are coming to town on Sunday, that's right, Sunday, October 14th at 31st Street Pub.

Slim, fighting for our right to sin, and still find salvation in the Lord...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Safe... and Healthy?

Back in early February, I created a post ( basically wondering if 2007 would be a safer year for BABES. As you may recall, in 2006, quite a few BABES were injured during rides.

I'm happy to say that so far this year, no BABE has been injured while riding their bike. At least to the point where they couldn't ride again the next day. This is good news, but my happiness is somewhat tempered by knowing that the BABES simply aren't riding as much as they have in years past. In addition, I'm not sure we're having as much fun when we do ride. Almost everyone who's ridden with me has heard my philosophy on riding... "Have fun, and be able to ride again tomorrow", which equates, basically, to "Enjoy and be safe". But note that I don't say "Be able to ride again tomorrow, and have fun". The emphasis is first to enjoy and have fun; otherwise, who even wants to ride again tomorrow if it's not fun?

So with that, let's get back to having fun (riding) and staying safe. Staying safe by not riding is no fun at all.

What really got me to thinking about that February post was Brother David Sunshine's Monday, June 25th post about his latest injury ( In the post he begins to talk about their Wednesday night ride and the general horse-play that ensues at some point during the ride. It all was sounding like good fun until he mentions some grappling that takes place with Brauer and is subsequent fall and injury. It's a bad injury and his second serious injury in the past year. I've been reading the Surly Blog for years and have always admired Dave for his zest for life, his passion for cycling, but mostly for his solo bike excursions and naturalist survival skills (I should mention that Surly Blog is one of my favorite reads on the web, right up there with Nurse The Hate by another of my heroes, Greg Miller, but that's a post for another time). Anyway, it got me thinking that, really, is it normal that a grown man keeps breaking bones like this? I mean, 14 screws and a steel plate on a femur? That's femur is normally one damn strong bone. Should a fall, from a basically a standing position, be enough to do this much damage? I don't know the answer to that, but I'd be questioning my diet and exercise levels if I were him. Maybe somethings just not right.

I remember, quite vividly, reading an article in Bicycling magazine (they have some good investigative articles, which makes it a worthy magazine, even if, otherwise, it's a large product catalog) a few years ago about how cyclists are more prone to bone related problems and injuries. I can't find the exact article on-line right now, but a question and answer related to it was posted here...,6617,s-6-81-89-1,00.html

The summary of the article is that cycling is really not that good for our bones. That's why it's important to eat right, get rest and work some impact related activities into daily lives. Take the steps, ride off road, lift some weights, jog. All are good to help build strength in our bones. Drink some milk too. It's good for you.

Just one last thing related back to David's injuries. In both of his last few injuries, he's had to rely on serious medical professionals to piece him back together. In fact, if he were an animal in the wild and suffered that femur injury, he'd be prey and would never survive. Not real good for a survivalist.

Fact is, we really are different from animals and that's not a bad thing. Eat a burger with bacon and a big ol' glass of milk. Thrive and survive.

Now let's get out there and ride!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Feeding on Thought

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the diversity of life’s experiences. Not on a grand societal scale (that’s a post for another time, another blog altogether...), but on a local, personal level. I’ve often referred to the importance of “Balance” in one’s life. I use the analogy, “If you only ever steer your bike in one direction, all you’ll ever do is ride in a circle”. In other words, you’ll keep seeing the same things, experience the same things, riding the same things. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me. But I witness this phenomenon in too many people’s lives. They keep doing the same things, steering their lives in the same “circle”. Day in and day out. Week in and week out. (I won’t provide examples. You know to what I am referring.)

I’ve been complaining a bit of late, about bartending and how my Friday’s end up being 24 hour marathons. But maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Last night (this morning?), I found myself posting a PORC forum response at 5 in the morning, just before going to bed. This morning, I find myself writing a “cooler buddy” blog entry at 5 in the morning, just after getting up from bed. Perhaps this isn’t such a bad thing after all. This balance of experience provides perspective. It led me to this posting. Took my thoughts further than they’d been before on this topic... to wit:
Without diversity, we lose all meaning of... well, everything. Without something being hot, we’d have no point of reference to what is cold. In fact, it’s impossible to have cold without hot. Same goes with light and dark, pleasure and pain, happy and sad, strength and weakness, good and bad, tired and rested. It goes on and on. Diversity of life = Meaning of life

We ride in the woods a lot. Block out some time next week to ride the alleycat on Saturday in the city. Don’t wait to have the right bike, the right weather, the right physical shape or appearance. Just bring whatever bike you have, whatever clothes you have, and ride. It’ll make for a more diverse crowd. It’ll add texture to the day. The BABES will provide balance and diversity; and we all know what that means.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Dandy!!!

Spring is in the air and I can think of no better way to kick off the upcoming riding season than an Alleycat. A Jesus themed alleycat is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st and I think we'd better had be there.

Bikes, the city and a bag full of beers is nothing to scoff at, so get on your bike and let's ride. Christ is in training, so He's going to be tough to beat, I mean, who among us is doing their ab crunches on a regular basis?...

Or... tsk, tsk, performing weighted deep knee thrusts religiously (no pun intended)?...

And I sure know that my flexibility isn't what it used to be...

We should keep in mind what He did to the competition a few years back when He tried His hand at basketball...

But... cycling is different... and I know His weak spot... one that we'll exploit to our advantage on Saturday...

He favors fruity "sport drinks" and wine, to beer...

Victory will be ours... I mean, seriously, who could possibly best the BABES?...

They don't call me "Rommel" for nothing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Monkey and Cork

My last post here was three-two-ought-seven. After which followed a relaxing and liberating time off the computer, subsequently bringing down upon me, some thoughts and ponderings...

Garlic is one of God’s greatest gifts.

If someone bothers you, you will either try to change your perceptions and attitude; or you’ll try to change the other person’s. The latter is easy to attempt, the former tough to achieve.

I think almost all man-mad metallurgic objects are worth keeping.

The proportion of a man’s professed love to inanimate objects is directly opposite of the loved he receives from animate ones.

I wonder if it’s better to have 365 people love you only one day each for a year, or to have only one person love you each and every day of the year.

If you haven’t yet discovered the true healing powers of good tequila, well than you just haven’t drank enough of it.

I'd like to spend a little time with Greg Miller and a lot of time with Leo P. Love.

Most people don’t want to be controlled, so why do people controlling institutions aspire to control most people? I’m just wondering.

You’re too close to yourself to have any proper perspective of the view.

I think obsessing over your good health is bad for your health.

I believe music is one of the most important factors in the success of man on Earth.

I'd rather walk 12 hours a day than sit for six.

I believe human beings are a positive force in the universe. At least as long as human beings believe it.

People don’t ride bicycles enough.

Of the bicycles people do ride, not nearly enough are singlespeeds, cruisers and fixed gears.

Never underestimate the freedom of peeing off your deck, unseen, anytime after sundown.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Babes in Bocktown

I've work near Robinson Township a little over 4 years now. As I'm sure you're aware, it's essentially a big box, chain store hell. One nice thing about the Beaver area is that we've avoided this sprawl for the most part. Sure we have the Monaca Mall area, Chippewa and of course, Cranberry is not too far away, but you can still hang out and take a bike ride around our little river towns and find plenty of local businesses to patronize. Robinson Township? Not so much. Which is why Chris Dilla's little (for now) slice of heaven, called Bocktown Beer and Grill ("Beer"... it's in the name!) in Robinson is such an incredible inspiration to me.

Simply attempting to swim against the tidal waves of chain restaurants and big box stores is a noble undertaking, but when the vision and execution results in something as flawless as the Bocktown, it's hard not feel awe.

There are over 400 bottles of beer in the cooler, 16 fresh domestic beers on tap, a unique menu and some live music thrown in. But that's not what makes the Bocktown heavenly, because anyone can do that. What sets the Bocktown apart from all the others is the people. It starts with Chris and Chef Scotty and their vision. Read the story here...
Anyone that knows me know's I've seen the inside of a few bars in my years, and I have to say, the Bocktown, in just a few short months of being open, is one of my favorite bars ever. They've truly combined the best of what a locally-owned neighborhood bar should be. And in a strip mall, in Robinson Township. I think that makes it all the more special.

I had started to type a lengthy rundown of an evening I had recently at the Bocktown, but I thought, perhaps the story is best told in pictures. I hope from these few images below, you can see, Bocktown has it all.

A huge beer selection...
Excellent live music... Special guest singers...
Exceptional bartenders...Fabulous Martini's...

Fun loving clientele...

And Chris, the person who made my dreams come true...

P.S. Even our bikes have special place to feel right at home... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Great beer, great food, great music and great people. Heaven indeed.

See you there!

Bocktown Beer and Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 26, 2007

Florida is for pansies

About 3 years ago, to encourage my Mom to get some good exercise here in flat Florida, I shipped her a beautiful cro-moly, lugged, women's 1991 Schwinn Crisscross. However, not before I swapped out the stock stem for one of those adjustable "swan neck" type stems, and the stock saddle for one of those, well, obscenely over-padded springed models. The bike didn't really fit her well and she quickly decided to buy a coaster-braked beach cruiser, complete with basket hanging off the handlebars. This has left the Crisscross for me. And what a joy to ride it is!
So tonight, my last night in the great no-state-tax state of Florida, and after a day of doing odd jobs around my Mom's house, I set out for a refreshing bike ride to take in the 70ish degree evening around my The Groves, my Mother's retirement community. I flew out of the garage, posture perfect, into the pitch dark night. I had hoped to ride for a while and stop off for a mid-ride martini at the Florida Groves "bar" at the community center. I have in the past found some good beers and decent martini's there, but that idea quickly took a powder when I wizzed by and saw the bar lights out. Monday's in Florida finds many a bar closed. I don't really get that, but I know a lot of bars in the South do not open on Monday. Strange ritual that I don't quite understand. But I continued on at mach 20 around this quaint little community... frightening the old folks out for a quiet evening stroll. I had no light, no bells and no fear. It just felt good to be on a 16 year old bike, riding like the natives and smiling ear-to-ear like a kid. A few laps in the big-small ring combination, while sitting perfectly upright, left my body feeling quite refreshed. I came back to the crib, popped open a "craft" beer (not many choices in Florida) and settled in for an evening of packing and listing to tinty Split-Lip on my laptop. Life is pretty darn good.

A side note, I forgot to pack my cables, so I can't post the pictures I took until I get back home tomorrow. So, check back again to this post to check out the accompanying photos.

I'm looking forward to the wet, fertile ground of Beaver!

See ya all soon.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kirk Rundstrom - RIP (center of pic below)

I'm in Florida right now, enjoying mid-70 degree tempuratures and plenty of sunshine. I rode a bike this morning and was feeling good. Then I came back to my Mom's place, jumped on the internet, stopped at and saw that Kirk Rundstrom had died. I knew he was sick. In fact, I saw his band, Split Lip Rayfield, about a year ago at the Cleveland Beachland Ballroom. Lord's of the Highway opened up and Sugar was putting up the band at her house. She invited me to her house for an after party with Kirk and the band. I felt incredibly blessed. But after SLR finished, Kirk didn't look so good. Sugar came over and apologized and said Kirk wasn't feeling well and would just like some quiet time. I was disappointed, but surely understood. It was only a few weeks later he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him a few months to live. I believe he just played again at the Cleveland Beachland Ballroom a few weeks ago. Tough guy.

I took some pictures of the band that night and I'll post them on the web when I get home. I'm glad I got to hear them and see them. I'll take B Rose's advice, go over to my laptop right now and burn a copy to listen in the car today as I go to visit my Sister-in-law and my nephew. I knew there was a reason I brought that laptop.

I discovered Split Lip Rayfield through Bloodshot Records in 1998, just as their first CD was released.

I was blown away. They used a Ford f-150 gas tank with a single weed-wacker line, which played on the key of G, as a bass (you can see it in the first picture above). I have to leave right now, but if you're interested discover more here... GO...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keying Up

Sometimes, you just find a photograph in your collection that sums up your feelings at the moment. That happened to me tonight.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lewbowski Fist?

When I contacted the founders of the Lebowski Fest for advice and information on organizing such an event, I received the following email response...


We have to ask that you do not use the name "Lebowski Fest" for your event. We've worked hard to establish our name and our event and don't want anyone to be confused as to who is doing what.

You can call it anything else, just not Lebowski Fest. That's our name, Dude.


That was it. The Dude abides, so we'll call our event something else. Any ideas? I have a few...

BABEkowski Fest
BIKEkowski Fest
Lebowski Bash
Lebowski Bowl
Lebowski Rama

A fun event by any name is still a fun event! Check back here for details.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Whoa, it's cold out there

Being a biking enthusiast, I'll ride a bike to just about anywhere and in just about any conditions... except sub-zero wind-chill factors. Bikes are great and wonderful, but this type of weather is why man invented taverns, which is where I've found myself 3 of the last 4 days. It's okay, the beer has been good and the tequila tasty. Winter can be a good time to hang out, listen to music and socialize. I like my healthy 10 digits, so the fingers are off this bar...

and stay on this bar... least for now. Soon enough, we will ride again. Sunday, in fact. Remember, it's a BABE ride and meeting. Worship starts at 11am at the Brady's Run Ice Arena. Then the BABE meeting at 2pm at Hollywood Gardens. Sunday, we ride...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cleveland Rocks!!!

The BABES found themselves in Cleveland this past weekend. A rocking good time riding the trails and stunts at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park. This place rocks. I recommend any true biking enthusiast make at least one trip to Ray's each year. Once you go, you'll know.

After the ride at Ray's we needed some refreshments. What better place in the world than Great Lakes Brewing? Only a short 10 minute ride from Ray's. Some of the best beer on the planet. And for the food... well...
After we did replenish our bodys, it was time to replenish our souls. Of course, that can only mean a trip to the most spiritual of music venues, the Cleveland Beachland Tavern. There the stage was finally graced with Brother Ed and Brother Ant of Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival. We brought the flock... and they did ROCK!
In the end, the BABES were glowing...

Next show... Slim Cessna's Auto Club - Monday (Yeah, Monday!), March 12th at the 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh. More serious, more dignity and much better musicians... I recommend, you be there... and be blessed...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Everybody Loves Cooler Buddy!

Okay, first post on the blog. Thanks to Pratt for pointing me to this. Purpose of this blog is to post what's happening in Biking related activities with the members of BABE (Beaver Area Biking Enthusiasts). It's called Cooler Buddy because Cooler Buddy is a very popular BABE. I'd argue the most popular. Everybody loves to see him come out at the end of a ride. Sometimes at the beginning of the ride too. He's our friend. He's your friend too.