Friday, July 16, 2010

It never ends...

...does it?  The good times.  Well, it does for us, but there will always be others to step in.  Not just us; everything.  Days come and go, rides, laughter, people, place, space, time. It continues.  With or without us.  The smiles.  Sunshine. Leaves. Dirt.  Long after we're gone.  I find comfort in less. It's all around us.  Quiet.  Listen.

Familiar.  Timeless.  It never ends.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A six pack of years.

While writing the details of the BABE DirtFest weekend, I got to reflecting on how uniquely different this past  event was to the last "BABE Report" at the Single Speed Word Championship in State College in 2005.  Back then the club was just over a year old and we certainly didn't have a reach whatsoever in the biking community.  We didn't set out to do much more than ride our bikes and be good trail stewards.  But still, I think we all knew we had something to offer each other, and the bicycling world in general.  Between countless hours riding our bikes and fully well documented hours working on our trails ;-), we've still managed to have a hell of a lot of fun off the trails as well.  It's all about the balance.

Catch ya further on down the trail.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The BABES are back!

…and ready to ride, drink and fest!

It’s been a fun spring with a good deal of riding and I’m really looking forward to the BABES first ever (I can’t believe it took this long!) official camping trip at the 2010 Dirt Rag Dirt Fest event at Raystown Lake. Leave it our good friends at Dirt Rag to help motivate us to get in gear, get the gear and gear up for a fun weekend outdoors. I plan on keeping some notes, ala SSW05, to document the weekend. Of course, photos will accompany. I look forward to reporting back next week.

Until then, ride on.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do you like me or are you ignoring me?

And I decided to go out for a walk
And do nothing except
Look everybody I see in the eyes
And not be the first to avert my eyes
No matter what
And I was planning to be gone for ten minutes
But things started happening
And I didn't return for two years
By which time I was the heavyweight champion of the world
And the expectant father of sixteen children
By thirteen different women
                       - Dan Bern "True Revolutionaries"

This song, and specifically these lyrics looped throughout my head on my Thursday evening as I pedaled Mr. Plow through the wonderful streets of downtown Pittsburgh.  I hadn't been on a solo city ride in some time and what I could not believe was how many people were out, walking and cycling.  But even though I was encouraged by how many people were out, I was discouraged by how many people seemed not to be enjoying themselves.  And how many were ignorning the very people all around them partaking in the very same activity they were, uh, "enjoying".  As is usual when I'm cycling, whether alone or with a group, I was smiling.  Cycling represents such freedom and connection to community to me, but I grow concerned that others are doing for other, less fun reasons.  Perhaps they're just showing their concern for the "environment" or trying to save money in fuel costs in the tough economic times, but whatever it was, it didn't seem like many were doing it for the joy of it.  After noticing this, I decided to start smiling at every single walker or cyclist that I passed.  I would look them in the eye, smile, and nod to them that I recognized and appreciated their endeavor to be active and enjoy the day.  Throughout the day and evening I encountered 84 people and only two people smiled back at me.  The rest had looks ranging from fear to completey nonplussed. 

Perhaps it's just our culture of cell phones, internet and facebook, but it certainly seems the people on the streets are uninterested in friendly acknowledgement of their fellow humans all around them.  On the positive side, however, I had a decidedly different experience on our Sunday mountain bike ride at Bavington.  Every rider we ecountered that day on the trails was friendly and made some effort to say hi.  It was also very nice to be smoked by local cyclist Tim, who blew by us on his single speed Moots, but still yelled out thanks for our moving aside.  We had the good fortune to meet up again with Tim shortly thereafter as he finished a loop around the same time we did and he stopped on the road for a chat.  Turns out he actually reads this blog (Thanks Tim!) and is aware of the BABES endeavors.  Just shows once again in the balance and harmony of our wonderful world.  Yesterday, they were as big as small dogs, yessir, yessir.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rides are on!!!

The Wednesday and Friday night rides are in full swing in this lovely spring! So get out and enjoy the evenings after that long and brutal winter. 6:15pm meet times and 6:30pm ride starts!

Sunday rides are taking shape as well and there’s talk of getting out of Beaver County for a ride real soon. Perhaps even this coming Sunday, April 18th. I’m wondering about Bavington. I think I only rode there once last year. Or perhaps even Moraine. I hadn’t ridden there at all last year. Gotta make up for lost time.

Also a PGH City ride scheduled for Friday, April 30th for the BABE favorites Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival and Whiskey Daredevil show at the Thunderbird. The show doesn’t start until 10pm and the ride starts at 6pm, so if your soul is in need of no cleansing bubbles
 and therefore you want to skip the show, you still can come out for the ride about town.

Lebowski Fist in about 2 months as well. Wow, these years just fly by, don’t they?

Check the BABE Facebook page for up to date details on these and other activities/events.

Ride on,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Another BABE blog for our pleasure.

Complete with pics too.

'preciate it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

40 years and counting...

About 13 years ago, just after moving back to Western PA from Aurora Ohio, I started mountain biking in Brady’s Run again. After a few months of solo riding I came upon a few people I knew from my youth growing up in New Brighton. I was still riding my 8 year old steel Paramount Series 30 and these guys were riding the latest and greatest aluminum rigs with, gasp, suspension forks! They also had clipless pedals!!! This was eye opening to me as I hadn’t changed a single item on my bike, aside from a few tubes and brake shoes, in 8 years. Yes, that’s not an oversight that I neglected to mention tires. I was running 8 year old tires that, I hate to admit, were full of 45 lbs of tire pressure (no wonder my neck hurt so much!).

Anyway, despite these guys being newbies to riding mountain bikes, I couldn’t keep up with them. They were a few years younger than me, but still, I figured it had to be the latest in bicycle design that was the difference. This was 1997 and Gary Fisher had just come out with his Genesis geometry bikes, and I figured it sounded pretty good to me. I picked up a beautiful blue Big Sur that year and I was amazed at the difference in my riding and enjoyment. My knees stopped hurting and I described climbing with the bike akin to strapping a rocket to the rear. It was indeed a genesis for me, and it wasn’t long before I was able to stay with the pack on our nightly rides. However, this enjoyment soon gave way to disillusionment as I came to realize these rides were not rides at all, at least not how I defined a ride. No, these were little races.

On my Paramount, I would always be at the back of the pack and the group would wait for me at certain spots and upon my arrival, they would immediately start riding again. But once I was able to keep up, they quit stopping as often. And on the rare occasion when we would stop, the banter would most often revolve around some lighter weight component someone had purchased, or some ointment or drink mix that was helping them ride more quickly or for longer duration. On a few occasions, after a few of our regularly scheduled rides, I would pull out a beer from my cooler and get looks of disgust from the other riders as they chugged down rainbow colored “energy recovery” drinks out of old plastic bottles. I found this odd.

I was quickly becoming disgusted with the whole scene. Immediately I began skipping the scheduled weekly rides and started sneak out for some solo rides on other days of the week. What I discovered was these guys were actually training on these other days. Mind you that none of them were actually racing their bikes in any official capacity. They were training for our weekly rides! I will never forget coming upon a couple of the guys on the access road as I climbed from the horse arena. They were coming down the main vein trail and so I waited for them and joined in as they went past and up towards Wildwood trail. Except they didn’t go onto Wildwood, they made the hard turn on the road up towards Shelter #1 (or 10 as it was in those days). I thought that strange since they had just descended from there, but thought, “oh well”, and continued to follow them. Once we got up to the top of the hill, they made the hard right onto the main vein and proceeded to blow down the main vein back to the very place where I had just joined them. At this point I had no idea what the hell they were doing, but I figured there was only one way to find out and so I followed down the hill. What I quickly discovered was they were just doing this loop over and over again. I caught up with one of them just as he was turning to go back up the hill. I hollered out asking what the hell they were doing. What he yelled back haunts me still to this day. He said “We’re working on hills tonight. This is number 4 of 10”. They were “working” on hills?!? At this point, in near paralyzing fear, I turned around and rode out Wildwood trail alone and, finally, at peace.

I never attended another of their weekly rides. Over the next year or so I ran into a few of them on occasion. I’d stop and say hi, never, of course, asking to join in on their ride. After a few years I never saw any of them in the park again. Then one day I ran into one of them in a local bar and asked where they’d been riding. The response was “Oh, we all sold our bicycles and bought dirt bikes”. I guess there’s only so much “work” one is willing to dedicate to them thar hills.

Ride on,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God loves the BABES!

The weather forecast for this week is unbelievable!  High temperatures near 80 degrees and nothing but pure clear sunshine!  Get out there and ride! 

There's a ride scheduled tonight, tomorrow and Friday.  And I wouldn't be surprised if there's one on Thursday too!  Make hay while the sun shines people. 

Friday's night ride followed by a Hollywood Hootenanny for anyone interested in some cowbell and kazoo after a fun evening on the trails. 

We have Beacom Road back, our trails are in fine shape and we got a full season of riding ahead of us.  Time for some optomism for a change. 

See you on trails soon, pardner!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Trail-Ride Season Has Begun!!!

What a georgous week!  The trails at Brady's are beautiful and word is that Hef and friends went out and did some tree clearing yesterday.  Go out and ride.  It's been a long winter and we all could use some woods time. 

Looks like "Slinger" (Brad Sheasley) has got the Wednesday night ride groove back in business, 6:15pm Wednesday night.  Usual spot.  Get it!

Oh and one more update.  It appears the A-Frame house has been abandoned.  I saw two very large U-Haul trucks there on Thursday night, and by time of the ride on Saturday, it looks like everything was cleared.  I have no information as to why, but the property is lacking a "for sale" sign at this time, so perhaps it was a forclosure situation.  Just speculating.  If I get any information, I'll post it.  BABE Clubhouse anyone?

Yeppers, things are looking up.  Makes me smile to beat the band.  Parts of it anyway.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After some technical difficulties with Blogspot, I'm finally able to post again.  And while my time is much more restricted than it used to be, I do know I want to ride more in 2010.  And ride I will.

We've already been fortunate to get in a few townie rides this spring and I hope that can keep up.  Especially once the time change occurs this weekend. 

As of now, here are the dates for the rides we have scheduled so far in 2010:

Syrup Ride - Sunday, April 11 @10am - ride starts at Beacom Road trail head to avoid the traffic mess in the park.

Dirt Rag Dirt Fest - '10 - Friday, May21-23 - more information forthcoming on this event

BABE Club's 4th Annual Lebowski Fist - Bowling, Ride and What-have-you - Saturday, June 19 - details forthcoming.

Ride on,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We're going to Ray's Super Bowl Sunday

Depsite coming down with some sort of sickness thing, I'm filling up with garlic and taking my new used single speed to Ray's and riding it hard, just like I always do.

We leave at 10am Sunday.  Bring some clothes to change into after the ride.  Bring some water, lunch and snacks and refreshments if you'd like.  After the ride we'll grab something to eat on the way back.

If you want to be back in time to catch the Super Bowl, you're best to just stay home, we don't need no stress.

Let me know if you want to come along:

Let us not forget the fun we had exactly one year ago...


Monday, February 1, 2010

Tuesday Night Pi Rides - Burnt, for now

Due to a variety of factors, most of which are within my control, I'm suspending all Tuesday Night Pi Rides until further notice.

Remember, if you want to keep up with the latest rides, get on the BABE Facebook Group.

Next Sunday we're going to Ray's Indoor MTB Park for a day trip. Leaving at 10am, coming back sometime in the evening.

More details to follow on the Ray's trip.

Okay then.

See ya on down the trail,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The times they are a changin'

The BABE is looking around at the Cooler Buddy Blog.

This is quite a blog you got here,
man. Completely unspoiled.

What's your drink, BABE?

White Russian, thanks. How's the
boozing business, Frank?

I wouldn't know, BABE. I deal in
Cycling, exercise, advocacy, and--

Which one was the last Pi Ride?

Regrettably, it's true, standards
have fallen in our bicycling events.
It's this bar I have, BABE. Now that I have
another job, I can’t afford the time to invest
in BABE meetings, phone calls, email
distribution lists and in-depth blog postings
to get people interested in our rides.

He taps his laptop with one finger.

People forget that the computer is the
biggest communication device--

For you, maybe.

He hands him the drink.

Of course, you do get the good with
the bad. The new technology permits
us to do exciting things with
member communications with postings and text
messages. Wave of the future, BABE. 100%

Uh-huh. Well, I still communicate

Of course you do. I can see you're
anxious for me to get to the point.
Well BABE, here it is. When’s the next ride?

I thought you might know, man.

Me? How would I know? The only
reason I ever know any of the rides is
because either I schedule them, or someone
calls me on the phone. But now, with
Facebook, anyone can schedule a ride and
everyone who’s in the Facebook Group will know
about it.

Okay, you get the idea… so go out and join Facebook, if you haven’t already, and start posting your rides and communicating with all. I hope it’ll help get everyone talking again, and keep so much being channeled through me, who simply doesn’t have the time he used to.

Ride on,

Click here join the BABES Facebook club.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pi Rides R Back - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I took off some time for the Pi Rides over the holidays, and again this week due to a very large project I was working on here at the, uh, facility.  Anyway, I'm ready for another Pi Ride, and in keeping the spirit of the Pi, want it to be in a place which I've never ridden.

The ride starts from here at 7pm this coming Tuesday, January 19, 2010...

View Larger Map

I don't expect it to be a long ride.  Hey, it's winter.  It's cold.  It's dark.  We're far way from home.  But you know what?  It'll be fun, I know that.

Let freedom ring!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Six Years

Six years ago, on a cold dark night, the BABE club was born, beneath a neon light.

Though the pace of our activities have slowed, it's a fine feeling to know we're still doing it. We're getting older, but we're still getting out there, laughing, sweating, drinking, shocking some, enticing others. The spirit and the idea, remain.  Countless have fought it, many have died for it.

I just want it to ring.  Forever.  Freedom.

The peaceful battle continues...


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

It hurt today.  It felt great today.

More miles in Twenty Ten.  But perhaps not for a few days.  Brrrrrrrrr.