Sunday, December 14, 2014

Licking Windows

"We're licking windows now."  It was an apt observation. At 2:00 am the discourse had deteriorated to something akin to a bunch of 12 year olds in the back of the school bus at the end of a very long ride.

About seven hours earlier we kicked off festivities with the traditional mountain bike ride. This ride is never too ambitious but it's always fun because we know what's coming next. The ride is how we legitimatize what happens afterwards (the window licking part). This years ride was notable for the number of  fatties (five) and our penchant for driving headlong into every mud pit we could find on the west side trails.

Some kiln dried lumber and a couple gallons of kerosene ensured that the bonfire got rolling without a hitch once we tossed the match after the ride. We had a minor violation since Rob, as only the second person in history to clear the Trail of Broken Collarbones uphill on a mountain bike, was supposed to do the honors but was otherwise indisposed. We'll somehow rectify this next year at the Tenth Annual which is sure to be a doozie.

The post-ride alfresco menu featured reindeer chili topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, cornbread, homemade mexican guacamole-sour-cream-cheese-bean dip, bags of cider donuts, a huge pile of christmas cookies, chips, and assorted other high-calorie snacks enjoyed by mountain bikers.

Well fed, amply watered, and energized by the ride, nine of us settled in for a long night of shenanigans and belly laughing around the bonfire. Shenanigans included one fire jump (it's not a bonfire without one of those) and belly laughing included Löwenbräu lyrics and some now immortal bonfire memes and quotes including:

  • "The Finger of God." I won't attempt to explain it here and Google won't help so don't bother.
  • "It's the end of the the world and I was facing the wrong way." It looked like it was, and clearly one of us was. Yeah, I guess you had to be there.
  • The window licking reference which I think has some legs with this group.

We finally threw in the towel not because we'd run out of material but because it was almost 3:00 am and apparently you have to draw a line somewhere.

Chris

"Here's to good friends, last night was kinda special."
     -- The Löwenbräu guy

Friday, December 12, 2014

Just Around the Corner

This guy provided the chili recipe. I figured if he could make 
a bunch of squirrels edible then he could probably do 
wonders with some reindeer meat.
Quick update on the bike bonfire beer thing, which is just around the corner:
  • Elk & bison meat chili has been re-dubbed "reindeer chili" by my disapproving daughter. No need for me to bring any home, she won't be trying it.
  • It will be mild (low 29 degrees) so consider flip flops for apres-ride attire. Also Kirk has kindly offered the use of his hot tub to "take it up a notch" so bring your bathing suit too (no birthday suits please). Seriously, bring it.
  • Kirk and I will be setting up the bonfire tomorrow mid-day (felling trees, lashing the pyre together with bailing wire, dousing with gallons of kerosene, setting up a fire jumping skills course, etc.) so if you want to join that fun let me know and we'll keep you posted on time. 
  • Park at my place or in the cul de sac, then hump your stuff behind Kirk's (walk to left of his house) and down the trail to the bonfire site by the creek. Plan on a couple trips to get all your stuff (bike, cooler, chair, food, gear, etc) down that dang trail. It's called the Trail of Broken Collarbones for a reason. Note: if you RIDE down the trail then you are nominated to light the bonfire (an honor not unlike the lighting of the Olympic torch). If you ride UP the trail then you are superhuman. It's only been done once. Ever.
The fun starts in about 21 hours and this house smells awesome!

Chris


"Oh the things you can find if you don’t stay behind."
     -- Dr Seuss

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bike Bonfire and Beer Exchange Fun Quiz for 2014

Back by popular demand, here is the Bike Bonfire and Beer Exchange Fun Quiz for 2014... 

1. At Mike's Tiki bar in East BurkeVermont, four dollars will buy you:
a) A warm beer
b) A cold beer and a warm shower
c) A cold beer and a space heater with an empty propane tank
d) A french Canadian cycling chick and a cold shower
2. "Ginger lips" is:
a) An organic lip balm made from hemp and ginger root oil
b) A taunt used to provoke red heads, as in "get back in your biscuit tin, ginger lips"
c) Someone who insists on ordering fish tacos even when barbecued pork shanks are on the menu
d) All of the above
3. The Dirty Penny Fan Club is:
a) Figment of our imaginations
b) Back in business after a brief but alarming 12 hour hiatus
c) A hall of mirrors that makes big things look small and possibly visa versa
d) All of the above
4. Which of the following has never happened at a Bike, Bonfire, Beer Exchange:
a) Burning of a scantily clad blowup doll
b) An Irishman getting a sunburn
c) Driving a lawn mower through the bonfire
d) Visitation by a homeless guy wearing spandex
e) An Irishman taking a swing at a town council member
f) Drinking beer from a toilet bowl
g) None of the above (i.e., they have all happened)
5. The "Brew Screw" is:
a) A novelty item made by mountain bikers in a garage in Pennsylvania
b) A form of fraternity hazing that has been mostly outlawed except in Kentucky
c) Espresso chased with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
d) At the bottom of Marsh Creek Lake with a cheap Welgo left-side pedal attached to it.
e) Both a and d
6. During the 2014 Kingdom Trails trip, Andy Doble earned $80 cash by:
a) Playing Texas Hold'em in a barn outside of town
b) Playing slot machines at a dive bar just north of the US/Canadian border
c) Throwing a hissy-fit at the LBS when his fancy Niner frame cracked
7. During the 2014 Kingdom Trails trip, how did we learn that Chris' nickname is "Rug Rat." 
a) He was caught sneaking to the bathroom in his flannel RugRats cartoon pajamas
b) His Navy buddy Marc told us
c) He mumbled something about it while half asleep in the lounge chair by the wood stove
d) Someone saw it tatoo'd on his leg
e) None of the above (his real nickname is "Maverick") 
8. The 2014 Cinco de Mayo ride featured:
a) Hot dog tacos with cabbage and barbecue sauce
b) A teak coffee table and a 7' blowup cactus
c) Three donkeys and a guy playing guitar
d) Home made heirloom tomato salsa eaten off the bottom of a SIDI riding shoe
e) Bike riders riding by and smashing a pinata with their heads
f) A horrified trail runner splayed out on the ground
9. Steerer tubes should be cut:
a) By a professional
b) By someone who is not drinking beer
c) By a chopsaw
d) Once but only after measuring twice
10. Two DB's were DQ'd from the Brandywine race because they:

a) Were juicing
b) Wore flesh colored spandex
c) Stopped for unsanctioned hydration during the race
d) Couldn't follow instructions
11. The January 2014 "Tour duh" planning meeting at Victory resulted in:
a) A detailed plan for the event of the century
b) A bar tab of $147.58
c) Decision that Corinne will be our waitress for all future "Tour duh" planning meetings
d) A bunch of scribbles on the back of a paper napkin
Happy holidays, and don't forget to...

..."use it while you still have it"
     -- Gasp4Air

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fat Bike Beat Down

Five and a half hours into the ride we ran down our list of aches and pains. "Oh God my butt is KILLING me". "My hands are sore". "My back and neck hurt". "My knees are a mess". "The balls of my friggin' feet are sore" (Bryan was literally pedaling with his heels at this point).
It has been months since we've indulged in a beat down of this magnitude. Even longer since we've gotten up at 5:00am in sub-freezing weather for the beat down. 

Our Tour de Perkiomen (led by Rob - thank you FaceBook) used miles of scenic creek-side Perkiomen trail to string together a grind up the backside and down the front side of Spring Mountain and a spin around Knight Lake in Green Lane Park. Cool temps and a warm sun made for ideal riding conditions. 

Most of us were also on fat bikes which makes just about any ride more fun. Fat bikes are ironically very nimble and they go just about anywhere as long as have the legs to keep pushing the pedals. They also put smiles on the faces of civilians who think they look like clown bikes. 

And there is something immensely gratifying about suffering together and draining the tank bone dry once in a while.

Chris

"Suffering has a luminous beauty, and cleanses the mind in much the same way a wildfire clears an overgrown forest."
     -- Mike Ferrentino

P.S. Thanks to Kirk and Rob for the snaps.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Magical

Today was the first FHHR since the Kingdom '14 trip - a chance to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while (two of whom were Kingdom '13 riders who sadly couldn't make this year's trip).
Tangent: I'm embarrassed to say that I rode from the cheater lot (I didn't know how my back would handle the milk run the The Beer Tree). I'm glad to report that, while still a bit tender, it felt OK and I am optimistic about Allegrippis '14 which is just around the corner. Yes, two bike trips in one month. I am a lucky guy.
The Beer Tree flaunting
her stuff in the warm
evening sunlight
Dirty Penny Gets Nailed
at The Beer Tree
This Friday's FHHR menu included home-made beef jerky, one of Jesse's vegan chocolate coconut masterpieces, and beer "samples" from the up and coming Boxcar Brewery.

The company, the weather, and the low evening sun reflecting off the lake made it kind of magical. Especially the company.

Chris

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
     -- Dr Seuss

Making Omelets


$4 for a craft beer and a shower at Mike's Tiki Bar sounds like a pretty good deal. Add in seven guys with a long-weekend hall pass, a rented post-and-beam farmhouse with a million dollar view of Vermont's Green Mountains, and countless miles of world class singletrack and you've got more than a pretty good deal. You've got the  recipe for one amazing omelet.

Omelet? Let me explain. We'll start with the ingredients:
  • Mike's thatched roof Tiki Bar sits at 45° north latitude. There are not many Tiki Bars that close to the North Pole. Instead of Stripers and rum drinks, Mike had 25 varieties of craft beer on tap.
    Our perch overlooking The Kingdom.
  • We started with eleven guys prior to the trip, lost two to nasty mountain biking accidents, one to a sales conference, and one to the legal system, which left seven of us to carry the flag to The Kingdom. A couple nicknames were revived and/or earned, including Rug and Ginger Lips. I'm not going to elaborate, join us on a ride if you want to learn more.
  • Our base of operations was a rented post-and-beam farmhouse on about 15 acres of land on a hilltop overlooking The Kingdom. It was equipped with four bathrooms and a fridge large enough to (barely) hold a substantial supply of bacon, pulled pork, smoked london broil, and Cincinnati chili. I think there may have been some vegetables in there somewhere but can't be sure.
    Early Morning
    Wrenching
  • Over 100 miles of amazing singletrack, with many capital improvements since last year's trip. I don't know where to start, so I'll just mention that Farm Junk had a lot of work done on the top side. Riverwood was a tight twisty masterpiece which we rode in both directions - multiple times - and spurred many fruitless debates about which way was better (this type of argument is clearly a "first world problem" that we're happy to have). Leatherwood, Pines, Kitchel (Oh My God), Tap and Die, Troll Stroll, Webs, New Webs. The list goes on and on. 
  • Random ingredients added "to taste": Homey the Clown, a very angry guitar player, and a bottle of root. 
Broken Egg #1
(look closely)
We started mixing the ingredients Thursday morning at 5:30am and by mid-morning on Friday the Dirty Penny Fan Club was back in business (after 12 hours of unnecessary self-inflicted panic) and we were on the trails. By Sunday night we were sore from laughing and dog-tired from dozens of miles of single track, repairing a set of hydraulic brakes, and one marathon poker game. We had eaten a pig and probably half a cow and of course we had broken a few "eggs" for the omelet (actually a tooth, a chain, a shin, and a lower back). 

So sure, this recipe can be a little messy and takes some time to prepare, but it's a real crowd pleaser. A keeper.

Broken Egg #2



Chris

"If you want to make an omelet, you're gonna have to break a few eggs"
     -- Chris (one of the eggs)

"Fixing chains makes me gassy."
     -- Flatch

"Root makes me gassy."
     -- Flatch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Calling an audible: MC 630 Phat

It was a good call and here is the photosphere to prove it. Give it a whirl (literally)...

 

More (and better) to come I am sure.

Chris

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose"
     -- Dr Seuss