Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kickin the can part one....

Well I am sure as shit going to say I told you so....

     So remember my last post...and when the whole world wide interweb got their panties wadded up at Mike Sinyard?

     I guess I will never ever understand why we always let SRAM and AVID off the hook. They have been fucking more people and more shop owners over for years. Make no mistake about it, the big sue happy S is also to blame. They are the bastards that spec that shit lock stock and barrel. ( I know nothing of what Trek specs because their bikes are all piss poor copies of someone else's work anyway.)

     Here's a bit of my personal history with the SRAM/AVID crap.

Waaaaay back in the day I was a huge Avid fan boy. Sram also. First modern bike was Gripshift and Avid V brake equipped. My bikes prior to this were re fabs. I was a retro grouch due to my socio economic state. I ran what I fixed up from the piles. But when I threw down real money I got a Specialized. Even back in the day them bastards were conspiring against us. But back then, SrAvid had something to prove. Their shit actually worked and was reliable. ( unless you gorilla fisted the cable replacement and broke a bunch of plastic shit.) They were playing to win and knock Shimano off the block.

  2000/2001. XO. Sram was launching their first big silo at Shimano. I was first in line. I got that big ass Tin full of my XO rear mech. I got me a ticket to win at the NORBA Nationals. Free "VIP" schwag handed out by none other than Mr. Cut the Course in '90. All them bitches were jealous....I really was fully into that Sram twisty shit. Every single wrench and person I knew made fun of me. But hey it worked and I was really damn close to a fully non Shimano bike. Which was my goal, to have zero Shimano on my ride.

 As time went on I moved my thought patterns to what I was paid to sell. I was paid to sell whatever corporate partnership product we spec'd on our bikes. If our trailer had Kenda on it, then by god those were the best rubbers you could ride. Fox forks...pure squishy gold. Anything we partnered up with was the company line and therefore my line. Oddly, it was always Shimano. I rode it. I liked it. I was being won over.

 Then I pulled a few years back wrenching in retail. Oh Holy Hell how times changed. The Sram stuff I once loved acted like the girl who just caught you banging her sister. It was a hot mess. It howled, actually gobbled like a turkey popping a cherry. It vibrated better than any Steely Dan on the market, you really could not control it once it started. And then it stopped stopping. It also stopped shifting just about the same time it wanted you to Make the Leap.

 Leap? Hell it couldn't even nudge. The first years of Sram Red front derailleurs alone should have brought that company down in a hell storm of customer complaints. But like most sheep we kept following. It seriously performed so bad we thought it was the new normal. Then myself or some three hundred other mechanics decided that even a Sora would work better. And that became the best way to fix Red front shifting. XX1...shit any wrench can tell you they came up with 1X11 so they wouldn't have to TRY and make another front derailleur.

 Sheeple. Sram counts on it. And most of you thick skulled minions keep walking right off the cliff. Don't even get me started on Rock Shox. They were only better than Manitou. After stuffing stanchions with foam who the fuck thought plastic cartridges were a good idea? I had a Judy DH that leaked like it was a full time job. It was. Rock Shox just finally sent me four cartridges so I could have them in steady rotation and save them shipping charges. Oh and Fuck Reba. Shut up, you brought her home so you get to bang her.

 ( Rock Shox is making some decent shit now, really. Pike ) but

 You pretty much feel that way every time you buy, fix, or ride that shit nowadays. Maybe just maybe your batch is the good one. Maybe. But its all your dollars and all your loss when your ride is in my shop getting bled for the 90th time before a recall...

Shop owners. WOW are you getting fucked. No lube. No reach around. Just a pile of shitty free chains (waiting to be recalled...), free cassettes ( also awaiting their recall), and a few free bottles of DOT. You pay me how much? And your margin was? so factor that into the free man hours you are giving away and you just got raped. But no outrage at all....just sheeple along.

 Fanboys and girls are the greatest.

"Ever ridden a Shimano brake at 0 degs , they don't work either ...."

" have Sram brakes on all of my bike ( bunch) , I've found if I flush the brakes and be fairly anal when setting up , they work perfect.... "

"because Shimano has never had a recall... Um, yeah... SRAM/Avid breaks have gone downhill, but I know plenty of people who had Elixirs and never had an issue, myself included. "

"SRAM drivetrain components work great."

from my favorite ass clown:
"poor baby...u have to r u always complaining....they credit ur service hours anyway...stop hating on everything u have trouble working on...send them to my shop and ill do them...god forbid u have to bleed some brakes...."

"Actually, I like my elixers. It helps to know how to bleed them and have a little patience adjusting the calipers."

more from my favorite ass clown:
" I dont get it...?....bleed them right away when open em folks....bleed them right...they all work fine...iv done thousands....u know when they fill them it comes from a giant drum thats absorbed water...?...maybe try stu class....not rocket science"

 One thing that they all have in common, they all really know how to bleed brakes. BECAUSE they have to do it all the damn time. My favorite is the clown who can't even use english. He was so adamant about Sram crediting you for labor. Brooooooo, a damn chain ain't cutting it in my shop. We do real work and get paid a fair wage for our professional work. Son. I cost money. My owners value me and my co workers. So yea, a chain isn't really covering it.

 Dear Sram,

 Test your shit. Like in a lab or something. We the consumer and end user actually have to PAY to use your crap. Assuming its actually going to work. Please stop using me as a lab rat AND taking my money. If you want me to test your product for you....PAY ME or give it to me for free. 

Yours truly,

Every consumer since 2002.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Everybody else is doing it so I'll pile on too...

     Well unless you are pretty dead and hate the internet you know all about the big red S and some poor Canadian bastard who is freezing his ass off trying to pay some bills and live a happy life. But how about the rest of the shittards in the mix. Who? Well me for one. I have to work in a shop that is tied to the sue happy brand. I have to sell all kinds of little packages with the S ue happy label. So I am pissed for a whole different reason.

     You see my shop sells a lot of very expensive bikes. Quite nice bikes actually, and yes some have the S emblazoned on the head tube. This sweet little shop is also run by two dudes trying to make it the best in the business. They pay very well and take great care of the employees with some sweet benefits and a whole lot of understanding. But the fact is any shop now carrying the S ue happy label has to bear the brunt of its shear stupidity.

     It is the middle of winter. Well for all intents and purposes it is, I mean it's cold as balls out right? So most of us are cleaning, finding projects we never really could take down with 95 repairs due five minutes ago. Que the lawyers to fuck us all again. In the court of public opinion Specialized has lost its marbles. One trip over to the Facebook land will allow you to see the powers of social media in full force. Really, I'd hate to be their marketing department for a few days. And FUUUCK the public relations team just in their face...they are so screwed. How do you really come back from this? A full blown shit storm. Deservedly so I may add.

     I mean a few posts down and they have the balls to state :

     Tell it to the guy you are suing now. Go Ahead and tell him how much you support his dream, his paycheck, his livelihood, and more importantly tell us all about how the name Cafe Roubaix confuses us. 
     Now about that saddle picture. any one remember this?

So exactly how stupid does S think we are? Short minded? I mean Specialized does know the internet is like forever right? I wonder how that sits with Portland? pun fully intended.

 But I digress. A few hundred of us have to go to work and try to sell these bikes, tires, and tubes. All while reveling in the fact that the big S is looking out for us, the small business owner and it's employees. I mean they absolutely have to protect their trademark ferociously or you might just not remember the difference between a Madone or a Roubaix. Hell you may even think the only place you can get a Roubaix is at the Cafe Roubaix in Calgary. HELL you mean Roubaix is in Europe? I am so confused.

     I just really do not get what the fuck they are thinking. In this day and age you want to go all corporate and screw the little guy? I mean that is basically what you do everyday, but this time you want to do it out in the open so everyone can see how mashed your thought process is. It is one thing if a guy chooses to dance with devil and take his chances buying your wares and trying to meet your unrealistic sales projections. But now just tell me how is this going to help the dealers out? I mean now we are front line punching bags for your lame ass lawyers epic ( can I say that?) brain fart. Which brings about another question.

   He is so fired right? I mean his actions just caused the internets to take an unholy crap all over you. But he was surely doing as demanded. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. They eat their young. Lawyers and sharks and Sin yards.

 From above link: "The Japanese way starts with honor and integrity" -- Mike Sinyard

Oh how you have forgotten your roots.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Grey is the new Black

  Well it happened. The internet created a whole new wheel size and dealt a death blow to 26 inch wheels. Most if not all manufacturers are dropping the 26 and going with the tweener size. I blame MTBR. Here you have a bunch of computards who in effect type more than they ride. Sheldon Brown wanna be's lauding praise because they said so ( uh, yea I see the irony duh.) The internet has no fact checks built in, they are not typing a research paper. Hell, we the reader are just as guilty because we drink it up like free beers at a work party.

  Like road disc brakes, the industry jumped on board tweener wheels. Not because of pure market demand but because no one wanted to be Yeti. Remember? Yeti was the manufacturer to call 29er's clown shoes. Yeti missed the boat and lost a crap load of market share. Finally coming out with a bandaid bike that was rather unimpressive and did nothing but save face and fill a major void in their line up to keep dealers placated. Not happy, just placated. Big mistake, they know it now, and might just admit it if you have enough single malt. No one wants to do that with 27.5/650B. ( shit that wheel size is so damn awesome it has two names).

 Road bikes. Shit. These damn things are coming with Hydros? Flat land mechanics rejoice. You have struck gold in service revenue. Bleeding these is easy peasy. But we all know road bikers are far more fearful of maintenance than their dirty counter parts. ( I mean mtn bikers fools.) So rejoice in this. Us mountain state mechanics are sighing a collective " OH FUCK". Why? Well, let me tell you.
 Flat out, people don't know shit. On a daily basis we are bombarded with," my brakes make noise." Yeah, we know they do. They are Avids, and you probably thought you could drag them all the way down the hill from Snowbowl. You can't, don't care what brake it is. The problem lies elsewhere.    People are not taught the right way to ride bikes anymore. Don't believe me? When was the last time you jumped in a group ride? The finer points of riding in a group have been lost. Technique has gone the way of the 26" wheel. Johnny come lately will sit up mid pack to check his watts, never mind he just air braked the whole pack behind him. Freddy will over cook a corner, missing the apex, and brake hard while turning too late. Skill has been lost and no one wants to teach it anymore.

 I was getting into the road scene a few years back. I started by joining the shop group rides after work. I had zero skill, negative technique, and was completely oblivious as to my general rolling disaster. I thank my fellow workers for bringing me the knowledge needed to not be a total hack. Taught me how to corner, how to brake, and more importantly the finer points of etiquette in group riding. Best lesson was to sit back and learn. It's painfully obvious that most people are no longer provided this education. It's just get in go fast and to hell with whatever.

 Same mentality happens in mountain bikes. Strava tards blowing you up on their descent as you wrongly assume they are going to follow the rules of the trail. Rules? You mean the sign? That is for "other" people. Plug in, tune out, and rip it. No etiquette. No skill. No fucks given. Poor braking skills are evident here as well. Hydros have great ability to save a noobs ass, which in turn causes more of them to think they have actually acquired skill. In fact, they have acquired nothing but can cost us sooooo much.

 All this rambling does lead to a point.

 Who's job is it to educate? The shop? The sales person in a shop? Or the wrench? As a sales person you are trying to sell product. Bottom line is that is what you are there to do. Sure, a GOOD sales person will make many friends and educate many people on product simply by answering the questions asked. No one asks how to ride anymore. No One.
 As a wrench we tend to see the end result of poor skills and education. Sooo many times we have seen cooked pads, glazed pads, and completely gone pads. Those people are missing something and eventually it could cost them harm. I mean physical harm not wallet harm. Try stopping when you have no pads left at all. Try stopping when you have a mirror finish on your pads. Hell every one of us has had the loud squealing, honking, brake syndrome. I know for a fact most of us are embarrassed and tend to stop using the brakes to avoid the noise. I did.

 Skill. Education. Two things disappearing from our sport at a rapid pace because the industry is changing technology at a better rate than its education practices. I for one am guilty. But in all honesty I am trying. I DO explain the correct way to brake to a customer who has glazed their pads. I DO explain the finer points of looking over your bike to see if the pads need replacing. I try very hard to remove the mystery of wrenching. It really is easy and hard at the same time. But how in the world are we ever going to get anywhere when people won't even lube their chain and go out for a ride with a thousand angry birds chasing them?

 You guys have the new Red 22 in stock?


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The hits just keep on coming

     Best thing about this job is the never ending stream of eye popping things you see. A good portion of it is owner induced trauma ( or hate ). Which is how this blog and FB thing started over a few beers. I kept seeing crazy mindblowing crap. Friends wouldn't really believe me, and so the smart phone helped tell a lot of stories.

     I do enjoy my work. But I ride bikes to get away from the computard. A lot of my clients really make shittons of money using the computer. They stare at and tap away at it all day. Hell, I order parts and enter work orders on one. I ride to get away from that shit. Some of you plug your pods into your earbuds and ride. EFFF that. I just ride. No computer, no earbuds. Just singletrack and a tasty beverage for my pause.

Then you get this guy...

     Now I got some big hands. This guy has his damn laptop strapped onboard. 

     Computard rider also has 90 spacers and an adjustable stem. Full upright, full windsail. Fullyfuckoff.
I just cannot get it. I bring a camera, hell I like what I see. The only digital record of my ride I need to remind me of is the escape, the sights I see, and memories to recall when I am strapped to the computard alldamnday. I sure as shit ain't stopping to take a call, answer an email, or text.

    Then you get the internet China guy.The one that is smarter than you. He found some Zipp 303's " online for like $1000." 
     UHHHHH ok guy. Happy as shit for you. So what brings you in? Warranty? huh, that's weird. Can't warranty those Zipp 303's online? huh Weird again.

Exhibit A.

     Now that is oneweirdasshitlooking Zipp 303. I mean, it does have the world champion stripes so I think it must be legit...

Exhibit B.

Ok. Now I am starting to have some kind of doubt. I mean Shimano and Sram play nice all the time right? So Shimano probably lent them some rim strips when Sram ran low. THAT makes sense...

Exhibit C. 

     Zipp is gaining in popularity. So they probably made the wrong profile 303's due to saving carbon to make more wheels. The Shimano rim strip was just a share amongst industry friends. But this? This SHIT. Now I mean, Novatec is some straight baller ass shit. Every pro in the peleton just stickers their hubs over....they ALL run Novatec. SO internet guy you really won the lottery. I'll be sure to send this in to SRAM for full warranty evaluation. I'll call you when SRAM gets back to us. Nofuckingproblem.

     Everyshopguysfavoritehomie rushes in on Thursday before close. He really needs his rig ready to rock the sport class hero ( Cat 5 if your a roadie) (( yeah I do know they changed that system. Fuck them.)) race. " I have really been pounding the miles so I "didn't have time to drop it off earlier". 


 That guy must know "I do my own maintenance" guy. The one that tells you everything that is NOT wrong with the bike. Thanks for the help champ. " The creak is from my BB not my headset. I just overhauled it last week."

So then this?????

Heeeeeyyyyyyy bro. Chocolate pudding cups are not headset lube. neverevernever. 

Like I said it truly is a good way to work through life. The 100 other people you see a week who really truly know what you do and appreciate it make it all cakes and roses. 

 I will just never understand the trying to pull the wool over your wrenches eyes. We are there to help. We are not ashamed of what we do. Wefuckinglovethisshit. 

Be real. Ride for fun. Don't be a dick.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Shit mechanics deal with part 2

Generally speaking people seek way to entertain themselves
while at work.

Mechanics are no different really,
we just seemingly have a non stop parade of opportunity.

Like this gem provided to us by Cannondale.
WTF was being passed around in the board room that day?
Yeah, the bike is old but not old enough to escape the DUH factor
of using EPO as a marketing splash on a bike.

Everybody wants a stiff road bike.
Well, lets make a carbon road frame so strong...
you can get hit by a car and the frame won't budge.

Scott wins, Shimano fails.
That there is a Ultegra crank bent from contact with a moving car.
Frame says fuck you I ain't moving.
WOW is all I could think. Carbon that didn't snap. Go figure.

Days go by, you plod through the usual bike ailments. 
Then a little gem pops in and you either 

Hope you get the bike in your stand


Hope your timing is just right so you screw your co worker.

I chose the latter on this puppy.
Not because it is a POS ( every body loves their bike right?)

But as an old man I didn't think I could lift it.

Ever have someone ask you for the valve nuts?

Ever wonder why?

now you know.

Just ease back and let the awesome soak in.
Judy if you care.

not soaked in yet?

So how much wrong is going on here?

I for one am certain this guy never ever participates in Drunkcyclist.

How could you?
one stumble and you are well on your way to bleeding out or the ER due to the parting of the Red Sea that used to be your lower leg.

O-ring clamps can cut a bitch.

Now I for one don't mind wrenching.

If you look back a few I used to be pretty damn sour. 
Then I learned that I should not just take a job anywhere, but choose where I want to spin wrenches.
So I did.
I am pretty happy at work.
Unless you are a dick.

No body likes a dick.

I do however dislike certain things that a wrench must deal with.

This is near the top of the list.
On this day Itwasthewholedamnlist



Seriously this is like a big Fuck YOU
to the guy playing catcher in this game.

there is probably a part three coming.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

only the road bikers can save us

Just look at the amazing things that could happen if road bike manufacturers 
would only take the time to help us poor mountain bikers out

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shit mechanics deal with part one...

People see shit everyday.
So what's the big deal?

Sweet stack height...oh and mount.

The big deal is that when you deal with a toy for a living
people do really weird shit.
Which can piss you off if you let it,
or as I have begun to learn,
can really allow you to make fun of people
to feel better about yourself.

These toys are not just average.
They are what most people I know use to free themselves from 
the daily grind.
Escape from the boring bullshit people do for money.

It is their drug.
It is my drug.

People can really fuck this experience up.
I decided I really enjoy one aspect of wrenching in particular.

Bring me these, I love, love, love scraping 20 years of crusty lube and trail off pulleys.  Seriously.

( OK two if you count writing this blog and making light of douche bags)

For me I like teaching people about their whip.
This is a dangerous slope.
As a wrench it can be difficult at times for your work to seem valid.
Asshats tend to think you are just a kid or loser fixing bikes.
Not exactly a technician.
but factor in the rising cost of a bike....

Do you really want some loser kid fixing your $5,000 bike?

Hell, you want some loser kid dialing in your $500 bike?

Not if you are forking over money.

But I really dig it when people are NOT asshats and treat you like a human.
People as a rule tend to not do this too often.
When people have their shit go awry they forget themselves.

They are really just frustrated,
 they have to admit they know 
jack about fixing it.
Don't believe me?

Next time your car craps out and you get bent on the bill,
are you really mad at the $$$
or that you couldn't do it yourself?
Computer issues? 
In todays world that one can really FUBAR your day.
It tends to make you all sideways.   
And chances are you can't fix it.
Pissed, right?

This is gonna be fun.

So that's not good

Which explains a whole lotta this.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Welcome back to the pit

Well that was interesting.

Took a wee bit off to try my hand at the backside of the industry for a while.
Fuck that,
it's an incest ridden clan I can not seem to find my way amongst.
Do things that make you happy they say.

So I am back wrenching, a lot less pissed and a lot smarter.
You can teach an old dog new tricks if they want to learn.
I must want to learn because I am also hitting the books full time as well.

Fifty hour a week job and then some learning off the clock.

Let's get to the smarter.
I chose where I wanted to work like I would chose where I would want my bike wrenched upon.

Step one.

Would you shit in there?
Would you let your lady friend sit down on the seat?
There is a long time myth of really disgusting bathrooms making a shop hardcore.
If they can't be bothered to clean up their own shit you feel good paying them to 
fix your bike?
It's all about attention to detail, personally that is one big detail.

Step two.

I really have no need for anyone to fix my bike. I can do it just fine.
Now say I was out of town, without tools, and we all know about borrowing tools.

So where would I bring my bike?
Probably not to the guy whose shop looks like hell.
That whole mystique thing is shit.
Probably a good wrench but not with all the carbon, hydro, squish, and computer shit
that permeates our industry nowadays.

 I want to be seen and trusted as a technician -- hell I want to be paid like one as well.

So the dirtbagwithattitudeholeinthewall is out.
I want to serve people who take pride in their bike and want to see me do the same.

Step three.

Interview the shop. 
wait, what?
Yeah man. If I am going to spend 9-10 hours a day there I guess I should 
Fuck going to a place I hate everyday, that's why I left the other deal.
What are the owners about?, the people they hire?, do they have the same goals as I do?
I don't want to get a check and go, feeding some other guys dream.
Hell man I want to get some of mine as well.
Are they in it for the same reasons I am?

I prefer to not shlep at a mom and pop. 
Nothing wrong with them but I know where I fit best,
I want what I want.

So I guess I should choose a shop that gets down like I want to get down.
It's only fair
then the people paying me are happy
because I am happy.

Happy is good.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to get the shit kicked outta you this weekend...

Step one:

Enter your local bike shop and saunter up to the wrench.
Wait until he/she is just about to spin a wrench and ask any of the following:

" did you watch it"

Uh, WTF are you talking about?
The porn link my buddy sent me?

or this:

"what do you think about Lance?"

I'll go with the on this one

Step two:

Proceed to ignore being ignored and continue to try to show the 
crew you are in the know, and begin to bedazzle them with your personal insights into

Step three:

This one is simple.

with this:

It's nice as hell outside today,

go ride.

And keep you mouth shut about Doprah.

Some of us a nursing a two day bender...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

judgement day

How do you define your success'?

Is it having the right worldly possessions, being in full tune with trending technical 
who ha's ? 
Is it critical for you to be on top of the latest look, cutting edge fashions that are here for a blink?
 A movement so flighty it changes direction more than butterflies in the wind. 

Most people I surround myself with are unlike
the rest of the followers.
No beat.
No drum.

Just a wanderlust built into their very soul.
A passion for doing,
hearing the whisper, the faint murmur,
the thing deep inside that says 

Hell why not?

A good friend always tells me:

" all you gotta do is do it"


Think about that for more than a second.

" all you gotta do is do it".

You have, more than once, become your own worst enemy.
Chances are that if you are here reading this you are one of the few people
 smart enough
 and strong enough to 

wake the fuck up, and do.

As a angst ridden punk rock skate rat
 "the trick" would haunt me, taunt me, and on occasion break me.
No matter how many times I slammed
something drove me to get up and do it again.

Deny the pain its place in the body, however briefly. 
It would have to wait,
because I was going to get it,
that trick was an obstacle in my path.
In my world, I conquered, I could out sweat, out slam
and sure as hell out bleed
ANY obstacle that was denying me my victory.

It's easy to sit there and say it's all too hard.
Right now you are hopefully drinking a cup of Joe, tea, or whatever lights your daily fire,
planning your victories.

Or as the same friend says:

" good bad ideas"

If you are reading this because you have been behind the monitor for too damn long.

Get the fuck out and do.

Plan your next good bad idea by opening the door, grabbing whatever propels you through life,

and go smash it.

Today's goal was to learn kick flips again and maybe some variations.
(I learned the opposite of this ^)

I learned that skating, is like losing a fight every minute.
There are glimpses of victory. 
Brief respites from gravity's pull.
But if you are doing it right, most likely you are losing most of the time.
( insert me there )

And I'll be damned if that doesn't feel great.
The other option is quitting.

In cycling it's the climb.
Road or mountain.
It's all the same pain.
Sure you make it to the top,
but it wasn't fast enough.

( Straight up, if you Strava that climb,  see that Johnny beat you, and then you get shitty, go fuck completely off. YOU should drive yourself to beat YOU. Johnny doesn't even know who the fuck you are.)

So you ride more. 
Push a bigger gear. 
Just smash over the obstacle in your way, floating over it, not letting the earth dictate your pathway upon it. 

You win.
 One more gear.
Soon your mouth tastes like your own blood. 
Your heart is residing in your ears and pounding out other worldly rhythms.
 The lungs that fuel you are thimbles, more air escapes than can ever hope to enter.

The top?

There is never a top. Just a place you quit.

"all you gotta do is do it."

You judge your accomplishments by the pain you feel in your body the next day.
That's how you know you are doing it.


teach it some respect.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


It's the weird time of year for most of us.
Weather tempts us to ride with rays of sun peeking through clouds, but the bitter cold air drives you inward, home bound.

For some it is the best time of year, the desert heat retreats to bring all day long adventure and moderate climate. The rain turns every corner into a slice of pie, freshly cooled and waiting to be sliced.
 I miss that sweet desert smell.

Unless you have experienced it there is no 
way to describe the way the desert floor smells when the ground can finally drink water.
I am not talking about the flora.

I mean the actual dirt, sand, and rock.
Any mountain biker worth their cuts knows what the dirt they ride on smells like.
It's simply inescapable. 

In my youth, earning my scars in Michigan, the earth smelled of death and life itself.
Earth wormy topsoil gave way to leaves rotting on the beach. That is the smell I grew up riding.
A very unique blend of rich leafy decay hiding sand. 
Your tires cracking open the topsoil gave subtle whiffs of the beach. 

Spring time brought about the smell of babies.
How else can you describe the complete onslaught that is Spring in Michigan?
Rainy, humid days giving way to cotton ball clouds swimming in a sea of perfect blue.
Life erupts from the ground, and from every pore in every cyclist.

I moved from the world of grey and greenhouse to the Sonoran Desert.
People imagine images of wastelands when you mention the desert. 
Keep thinking that lemmings.
There is no greater misconception that I know of, and that I welcomed.

I was fortunate enough to live in the desert during two La Nina/ El Nino phases.
The desert Flora opens up in ways that are both mystical and unimaginable. 
The dirt.
Sage, mesquite, and floral bouquets that mingle with your soul as you carve your way
further and further away from the well worn path.
The Sonoran Desert creates a drug that drives you,
invites you to push it further,
explore that area,
drive deeper into yourself and 
Just go.

There is no greater spectacle I have experienced on two wheels than
the three months of riding created by nature during the La Nina/El Nino phases.
It is something every rider should be graced with.
It will fill your soul,
encapsulate your body, 
destroy every preconceived notion you ever had about the desert.

 I am resurrecting myself from the pits of a three week hell. The flu and a sinus infection tag teamed me.
Sub 20 degree winter weather joined in the party for a menage a trois of epic doom and gloom.
As I am getting older, I realize the body hurts more when not used.
The bike becomes a temptress dressed as a dungeon, its chain shackling me to the bed, and smothering me in mucous and full body molecular pain.

Yesterdays ride on the front range was as pathetically delicious as one would imagine. 
A terrible performance driven by the joys of sun, warmer temps, and thawing high desert floor.
I am in a mix of geographic regions. Trees share fields with grass and cacti. 
Dirt is a mix of decaying leaves and granite heaved from the earth.
My nasal passages hide the beauty of smells from me.
Still plagued with the aftermath of the sinus infection, my body is driving me forward 
to explore the dirt.

The smell will come. Its sweetness pangs at my soul.
For now I will enjoy its feel and sights.
I will ride until I can experience the hidden treasures of its bouquet. 
I am eagerly awaiting adding another aroma to the palette.