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3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
a clean Pug? Garrison duty?

yup, after the roadies around here started sayin that i need to wash the Pug, it started me thinking.
so here it is.
all clean,
reminds me of a time when i was in Army, we'd be in the field, go all over god's good earth on deployments, and it always amazed me how we'd go to a wash rack, clean up the vehicles and howitzers as to not leave debris and simply look good while in convoy on hardball.
back in garrison, again with the cleaning, pmcs, everything lined up on their chalk marks in the motorpool, howitzers fresh with breakfree, muzzle plugs, etc.

a fresh clean drive train, shinny cogs and chain, clean OD green, flat black tyres, everything serviced and operational.



drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
3,910 Posts
I love this thread and how you just ramble on about ramblin'. Good stuff! Although it is entirely unnecessary for my trails, you make a Pug sound downright desireable. Keep it coming.

3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
wondering ways

thanks for the compliments on the ramble.

the Pug is a very desirable companion. the limiting factor is the rider. The rider's mindset,their psychology, the physical ability follows.

sometimes i get bummed out when i see all the bikes atop of cars, their riders now drivers, soon to get out, click in and become riders, but of course only in a park. a park authorized, that is approved for their choice form of recreation, which turns to sport, with sporting campaigns, sporting companies, and again...another choice venue. season after season, dollar after dollar do we spend, expend our daily lives grinding away in our office cubicals, or maybe with hammer and nails, or behind some register processing the passers-by. our friends we have friendly competion, our frustrations play out, we vent along the way, the recreation our salvation from the daily grind, a place of sactuary, a place where we get in rythm, as if dust from our wheels, so goes our collective industrialized minds, in a plume, faded away, i was there, am not now,only here, and only here is where its really always been, everything else dust, left to settle...

On the ramble seems to be my natural spot. A harsh reality is setting into my mind these days, as im finding more and more that there is less and less to ramble around. Often i feel as if a fish kept in a large aquarium, day after day, making my way, gently detered by the invisible barrier of thick acrylic, a metaphysical conundrum for sure, as i make my way hoping to come upon a place to somewhere else. In reality, im only a few days, if that, away, hopefully at times there is peace and quiet, a tranquil moment, when there is not a single man made sound. to sit and dissolve, acutely aware, and yet the common thinking of "I" is gone.

these are places the Pug can take a person.

to put mountain bikes/life into perspective, I've come across this little ramble below.


Gold Rush Bicycling

Terrence Cole, Professor of History at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, described some early bicyling in Alaska in the following Fairbanks News-Miner article originally published on May 1, 1978.

"Though some people think of the bicycle as a toy, like a skateboard or a Frisbee, in the 1890s the two-wheeler was the technological wonder of the day.

In magazines there were serious scientific articles about why bicycles would replace the horse, and miiltary experts like General A. W. Greely, the Arctic explorer for whom Fort Greely is named, thought that in the future, high-speed Army communications would be carried long distances by men on bicycles.

In Alaska during the gold rush, the people who sold a special model called the "Klondike Bicycle" claimed it was the answer to every miner's prayer. On this wonderful bike each man could carry his necessary 1,000 pounds of supplies 500 miles from the Chilkoot Pass to the goldfields with ease and comfort.

As one guidebook explained, "The Klondike Bicycle is specially designed to carry freight and is in reality a four-wheeled vehicles and a bicycle combined. It is built very strongly and weighs about 50 pounds. The tires are of solid rubber, one and a half inches in diameter. The frame is ordinary diamond, or steel tubing, built however more for strength than appearance, and wound with rawhide, shrunk on, to enable the miners to handle it with comfort in low temperatures."

The bicycles had two special 14-inch retractable wheels on which a miner could load a quarter-ton, and "drag it on four-wheels 10 miles or so. Then the rider will fold up the side wheels, ride it back as a bicycle, and bring on the rest of his load."

There are several amazing accounts of wheelmen riding down the Yukon River or up the Valdez Trail to Fairbanks. Last February, Alaska Magazine ran a story by Max Hirshberg about his bicycle trip down the Yukon in 1900, which he wrote in the late 1950s so his grandchildren would know the true story of his adventure. But he was not the only one who stampeded to Nome in 1900 on a bicycle seat.

Ed Jesson was hunting caribou near Dawson City in 1900 when he decided to join the rush to Nome. Ed bought a "wheel," as bicycles were generally called then, from a man who had just ridden it in from the coast. When Ed's brother heard the news he couldn't believe it. Ed described what happened in his diary.

"What the h___ are you going to do the wheel, he asked. Going to Nome, I said. He called Harry Smith and John Nelson, proprietors of the hotel, and some other oldtimers. He said this brother of mine is going to try to go to Nome on a bicycle. He's crazy, they all said. We will have to put him on the woodpile until he comes out of it."

After practicing for a few days in Dawson and learning to keep his front wheel in a sled track, Ed took off down river. One day the temperature was down to 48 below. His rubber tires were frozen hard and stiff.

He wrote in his diary, "The oil in the bearings was frozen. I could scarcely ride it and my nose was freezing and I had to hold the handlebars with both hands, not being able to ride yet with one hand and rub my nose with the other."

All the way down the Yukon people thought Ed was crazy for riding a wheel, especially since he owned a good dog team, but he said he didn't have to cook dog food for the bicycle at night, and on good days he could cover 100 miles.

Many of the old-timer miners and Indians on the Yukon had never seen a bicycle before, and Ed was always showing how it worked.

After more than a month on the trail, Ed pulled into Nome, and except for the bruises he had from constantly falling down, he and the bike were in good shape."

© Terrence Cole

those are wondering ways!

today we'd make an event out of it.
get the permits
apply a fee
get a clock
make it sport
stand on a podium

and what does this do?
removes us from the experience
it takes us "away" from that which it really is.
in the natural world are no clocks
no fees
and no podium

we here in the social world would think..."but what of the glamour?"
"why would you ever want to do that?"




3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
i guess its been a week now that I've been on some new Ritchey V4 Comp MTN pedals. they were $38/pr at Cambria Bike, so i got 2 sets.
On the Pug every day, i've come to very much like them. My 6yo pair of ATAC's now tossed in a box that i cant find.
their black finish fits well on the Pug. pedals...
3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
clean and resting

the weather here in Pacific Grove/Monterey is holding with sunshine, a nice cool seabreeze, and i think the coldest its been is 52F in the early. I love to sleep with all the windows open, ocean salt makes its way in thru my rental loft, while the barking of sealions echo about.

the Pug has been cleaned up for about a week or so, its a trip to have it so clean. its road bike clean! its almost counter-existential. along with the trend, I've taken the bar ends off, reducing it to just a plain simple straight bar. the bar ends found their way onto my Salsa Moto Rapido.

awhile back I took the advice from the Cane Creek crew, took apart my Thudbuster and re-greased it with white lithium grease. and viola! squeak/creak gone... sometimes i amaze myself with how i can miss a simple solution. duhh...
so the Salsa is primed with a thudbuster, and comfy barends. The other day i had placed an order with Old Man Mountain for new racks, that are intended for the Salsa. Panniers of course will follow, and the next shot of days off I hope to find myself on the ramble.

While the Pug will remain at home, all cleaned up, all pretty like, a wallflower, keeping my abode in karmic harmony.
the next trip i have in mind, i think is a bit much for me and the Pug. No doubt the Pug can make the haul. the question is if i could keep the pedals churning for the distance. A maiden trip, a recon of sorts, i'll take upon Moto Rapido instead. this trip could very well be of the tarp and sleeping bag type.

as we head into November with the sun shinning thru the windows, ambient temp at 71F, i wonder how fast the frost will come, what this winter will be like, and how much bike camping i can get.
all in alll, with the less than perfect weather that winter brings, i really enjoy the solitude.
so for now the Pug sits.
more stuff has been listed on eBay, and suddenly I start thinking about the Big Dummy.

eBay has quickly become my friend, all the bike stuff i no longer use, is slowly going out. more and more room is made, and of course my craving mind grasps at ideas of new stuff.
when i go thru this stuff i've got laying around, and as i clean it up a bit, catagorize the piles, and lay it all out in cognitive linear display, i'm somewhat amazed. like wow!

so heres the eBay link:
take a gander.

I've got so much stuff layin around, that its difficult for me to not build up a bike. all im missing is a cool rigid fork...then i could build up a swank SS. when you look at the parts listing you can see what im talking about.
but how many bikes do i need?



4,749 Posts
Man, I feel you...

SelfPropelledDevo said:
..reminds me of a time when i was in Army, we'd be in the field, go all over god's good earth on deployments, and it always amazed me how we'd go to a wash rack, clean up the vehicles and howitzers as to not leave debris and simply look good while in convoy on hardball.
back in garrison, again with the cleaning, pmcs, everything lined up on their chalk marks in the motorpool, howitzers fresh with breakfree, muzzle plugs, etc.

a fresh clean drive train, shinny cogs and chain, clean OD green, flat black tyres, everything serviced and operational.
I'm looking down at my worn out, cut off and made into shorts, sub bdu pants, and thinking I really do like the 1x1 being mostly black and stealthy. :thumbsup:

Great Stories, as always "D". We gotta figure out a day that I can get into work, when you're off, and have you stop by my work, on the Presidio, and let all my co-workers talk to you. I've shown some of them your stuff and they love it all.

Keep up the Great Stuff man!
3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Presidio? SF or Monterey?

today i was on the phone, following up with some stuff
as i'm always keyed into the sounds of aircraft, their azmith of approace, alt, etc
I'm hearing this plane come thinking its BIG, and its SLOW....what the???
we are in mid conversation as I'm looking out the window watching some sort of subdued OD green(ish) large 4 engine cargo jet come in.
nothing like i've seen before.
not a C141, no whine to the motor, but something with a T-tail, and winglets on the tips of the main wings. the fuse looks very Boeing-esq.
lots of wheels, BIG flaps, and on an approach alt lower than typical.
me thinks to myself, its full of cargo (who knows what), therefore the descent rate not so steep.
moments later...i hear the reverse thrusters. (obviously now on the tarmac)
me thinks maybe that is why the Coast Guard dolphin heli was flyn some kind of curious pattern last night. maybe a security check?

either way...
you got to love OD green, and anything subdued...


4,749 Posts

Now, sorry to go of topic folks, but...

~The new cargo's...definitely not the C1 Starlifter's my father flew in, and not the propped LC-130's...

They're the C-17's, sick, sick power and agility.

Here you go...

I know which one you mean. They've been doing some night maneuvers out of Moffett the past few months. They're coming in REAL LOW, as in less than a mile off the deck around Fremont, etc, before turning back practicing touch and go's... having access to bases has it's benefits! I really get to geek out!

You should've seen the Blue Angels fly over work last week, I couldn't work without smiling and laughing as customers kept freaking out and twitching as they flew over!!

Now back to our other point...

So, you gonna visit then?


3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
WOW! thats the plane. crazy pics.
so a trip to SF is what you are proposing....hmmm
well... brother...I very much do appreciate the invite.
however i am comfortable at this distance and the banter
perhaps this year i will take the weekend off for SOC.
its now been 2yrs since I've had a car.
I think I've rented a car twice to visit my grandparents in SoCal
all in all i dont think i've put 1000miles in a car in 2yrs.
thanks for the invite


752 Posts
I think I'm just going to have a rear rack. I prefer to travel light. I learned how to minimalize while hiking the A.T...
Dreaming about the Great Divide Route... What have you got planned?
3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
i never hiked the AT, but did about 1.5yrs on my bike/camping/hiking playin Joe Hobo a techno yuppie hobo complete with Ti spork. Im leavin in an hour or two for just a 4 day ramble. a loop of sorts. pics to follow when i get back.

752 Posts
...then again, I haven't actually tried stuffing a week's worth of gear and food into my panniers (ortliebs). I guess we'll see.
I'm currently in grad school and ready for another epic adventure as soon as I'm out of here. Getting paid to study geology in the Bahamas can be sweet, but I've had enough of school for now...
3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #59 ·

I just got back from my trip.
1 day early.

while this ramble is not about the Pug, that is...
its not the bike in the highlight today.
rather it is still sitting next to my futon, all clean, on display
however...I say this about the Pug.
if i hadnt spent the last year almost daily on the Pug i doubt that i could have done this ride.

I rode from my loft here in Pacific Grove, Ca. 93950
up and over HWY68 to HWY1, go south to Carmel Valley Rd and keep on goin...
turn right into Arroyo Seco and go past the pavement, onto Indians Rd.
On Indians Rd that is the "no mans land"
Continue on Indians into Ft. Hunter Liggett, turn right on Nacimiento Ferguson Rd.
climb Nacimiento and descend into Kirk Creek
now on HWY1 56miles south of Carmel Valley road
go home on HWY1.

the trip went like this...
rollin on Carmel Valley rd is mostly climb, and a long ways at that
then into Arroyo Seco, i get to the campgrounds and this guy at the toll booth, is so very much the troll under the bridge of billy goat gruff.
20$ to camp! forget it man...
im just passin thru, I want to get to Indians Rd.
ok...well that will be $5 for day use...
dude...your killing me with this...
you want to get there right?
well...its $5

Arroyo Seco campgrounds looks like a very nice place to stay. High dollar in my opinion.
at the end of the campground, which is again...more climbing
Indians Rd starts where the pavement ends.
and when they say Arroyo Seco is a definately is.
it could have easily been a scene from Kings Canyon
at less than 2000ft the terrain is hard, the rocks jagged, and the drop to the river is probably at least 500ft. straight down

its late in the after noon, im spinning the pedals, and looking for water to filter.
im anticipating less than 20 miles of unknown terrain, and lack of water, plus a night of camping, a meal, coffee or tea, etc. i need water.

I find a trail that drops into the gorge and decide i better take the opportunity. its a bit of a drop, very steep. as i've ridden every last inch possible, i've got to climb another 1/4mile to the water. at this point i had definately thought about simply just camping at this spot. especially since it had been about 6hrs of effort up to that point. instead i opt to keep going.

as i get back onto the dirt road, and get ready to climb, i hear a persons voice...
a guy, whom im thinking is the ranger, or other authority, is walking up to me, with a light backpack, and a knife on his hip. its looking about 10". crew cut hair cut, and hoofin it at a pretty quick clip.
he hikes as fast or faster than i can climb. the road is quickly turning into double track, and often just single track, the light is dropping, the temp is doin the same.
this guy is not given me a break...
we continue...
up and up and up
he keeps making strange coments...
he's not a happy guy
mostly disgruntled
a special ed teacher, and he rants and rants about politics, etc...
every so often he checks his knife, and likes me to be infront...
im uneasy...
but dont show it...
as im telling him i work at the hospital...
i was in the Army, etc...
he starts to show some respect for me...
i never really tell him my exact plans...where im going, etc.
its now dark, and we keep on with the climbing...
im wondering how long this will keep on
suddenly he says that he'll be turning around in about 10 minutes, and does!
I keep on for 1.5hrs of climbing just to ease my mind...
i find a level spot in a saddle that has an eastern esposure to the left(ish)
im at about 2300ft or so
the whole time i've been climbing with a single LED backpacking light
cycling it off and on every so often
the moon is 1/2 full, enough of a purple light to cast a shadow
i sit and listen....nothing
i pitch camp.
10hrs effort for the day.

in the am i wake up to daylight wanting to break
frost on the panniers and tent...
the sun crests, and the temp drops 8degrees so i crawl back in my tent and bag, opting to wait for Mr. Sunshine to make the day.
by 10am im rolling.
more climbing...
climb, climb, climb
Indians Rd, is nothing of a road.
a fire road washed out for 10yrs now...its double track at times, and has a bunch of landslides. One in particular, i had thought to remove the panniers and portage my kit in pieces. suddenly i laff at myself with the thought/picture of me in the Ventana Wilderness scrambling across a landslide with 4 panniers in hand. Suitcases!

the trip along Indians was a highlight for sure! Beautiful God's Country! i stopped to snap off lots of pics.
Once i got to Indians Ranger Station, not a soul was to be found...nothing but desolation
it seemed as tho i had the whole of the Ventana Wilderness to myself. the only way a person could be out there was to hike the route i took, or to hike from Big Sur, or The Los Padres Dam area. either way...i really doubt anyone was out there.

From Indians Station into Ft. Hunter Liggett
on post the miles just droned i could hear a warbird over head
mile after mile...of perfectly smooth pave
the valley(s) are beautiful. Oak trees everywhere. the sound of acorns falling sounds of a crackling. like a fire. but instead, the trees are litterally raining acorns!
i take a break at 3pm once im onto Nacimiento Ferguson Rd. its 5hrs of effort at this point.
Acorns are EVERY WHERE! not little ones either. they are the size of your entire thumb if not bigger. 5 acorns split open, shelled, leaves you with a handful of acorn meal. almost a veggie burger worth! i can only imagine how many of thousands of tons are out there. its no wonder that Ohlone lived here for thousands of years. I wish i could at that moment!

Climbing Nacimiento Ferguson the day is fading, the temp is dropping, i've been sweaty all day, clothes are damp, im adding layers, and its up, up, up. not the steep up of mountian biking, but instead, 15-30ft/min for 3hrs. Once i stopped to filter some water, the night was real close, so it was back to my LED backpacking light strapped to my helmet.
darkness came quick, as i was climbing the east side of a ridge. left in shadow long time ago.
wild life runs infront of me, stops on the road, puffs up, and darts off
bob cats
and countless small things that seem to scurry under pedal
at the summit its 6pm on Holloween :)
looking west at the vast open expanse...
1/2 moon
the world is purple
the road is mostly exposed
no more shade trees
no more forest
instad grass lands, rocky hillsides
purple moonlight guides the way
while coastal fog strikes out in bright silver!
Nacimiento summit is about 3-4000ft elevation
Cone peak is to the right. From sea level to the top of Cone Peak @ 5100ft its the steepest gradient in the Continental US.

descending Nacimiento under moon light is the most sublime, most surreal experience I've ever had. rolling along on the bike, like in a dream, all the details washed away, only the silver fog laying below, the feel of the bike beneath, modulating the brakes, while the heat is felt thru my shins. only to cycle the LED light off and on thru the darkest of forested draws and turns.
into the fog layer, everything is now bright silver, a light drizzle, the taste of salt in the air, when suddenly i pass thru, and sparkles of light flicker below, bon fires at Kirk Creek, a lone car or two on HWY1 in the distance moving slow...
suddenly i reflect on the past 2 days effort, my life, how it is that i've come to this point, all the racing, the military, the discipline, and yet the ability to let it all go, and to simply observe, take in, the moment.
this moment...
im consumed in awe, gods grace, my luck, the blessing of this moment, the experience...i break down...and emotional flood while still descending, the details of road under my pedals and before me washed away, only the details of flickering bon fires guide my general direction.
a 45min descent under moon light...
sublime for sure, awestruck...

At Kirk Creek i spend Holloween, pitch camp, a racoon comes by...
trick or treat
i toss it a few scraps
ask it to now leave...
upon its time for tricks, gone are the treats...
i toss a small rock, then a throw, now to aim, and it runs away...
again with a return, and now its the sling shot...not to harm, or mame, but to get the point across...
as the moon is so bright, i can still make out its shadow when its 30ft

the sun breaks...
the dew bakes way
im on the road at 10am
Kirk Creek to Pacific Grove is my objective.
about 60 miles.
i stop along the way to shoot a few pics

outside of Big Sur, just past the lighthouse
i round a corner as people are scurrying from their cars...
a crash
mass confussion...
i start barking out orders...
a guy just stands there in shock with his cell phone in hand
i tell him to call 911
"where are we", he yells out
me: "5 miles north of Big Sur just past the lighthouse on HWY1"
everyone is out of their cars but one...

i say my prayers
thank god for my days

i get back into town and its been dark for awhile now
stop at Trader Joes for ice cream and coffee
the scene is BRIGHT and ALIVE
people stare at me
i smile
salt trails streak my stained black cycling clothing
im faded
im tired...
im euphoric
3 days
2 sleeps
and i have no idea how many miles
how much climbing, etc.

i get home and its just prior to 7pm.
10am 10/30 to 7pm 11/1
3 days
2 sleeps


enjoy the pics


3,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #60 ·
more pics, not enough space...

more pics...
you can see how the climbing is for the most part...
its gradual, and at times it can get a little steep
but with a set of panniers, it adds up


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