Tuesday, March 31, 2009


MTB ride this Saturday. Dallas Trails, meet at my house by 11am.

Despite the poor state of the economy, business is booming for a small operation in Rickreall.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

more from Mexico

Cousin Dan and I had several quick draw photo battles. You can check out some of what he does with that Canon at Crosshair Chicago. Also, that's a really cool t-shirt.

Cousin Emily has a side gig reviewing young adult novels, sweet.

Good old Orangey. Generally speaking I don't allow my son to pet dogs he finds laying by the side of the road in Mexico but this guy seemed OK.
photo by Jaden

Cousin Callum at Tulum.
photo by J

J wanted an action sequence.

Photo by J

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let the wild rumpus begin

Maurice Sendak + Dave Eggers + Spike Jonze = Awesome

More pics from the Yucatan

Some old building at Tulum. We took the advice in the guidebook and got there early. After the tour buses showed up it was oppressively crowded.

Iguanas were everywhere.

Cousins Ella and Cal negotiating an ancient Mayan passageway.

Because I am careless and stupid my prescription Ray-Bans ended up on the bottom of the Caribbean sea. I was a little bummed, but these sweet $5 D&Gs saved me from the glare at the price of a little blurriness.

Yal-Ku Lagoon, where fresh water from the underground rivers meets the ocean. An excellent place to snorkel.

The lagoon was teeming with fish and European tourists.

I like this one because cousin Ella looks like a cyclops.

J on the beach at Tulum.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break update

I forgot to take pictures today until we discovered the fabled hermit crab parade. We had read about it in the guest book but I was unprepared for the spectacle that unfolded. Hermit crabs of all sizes, moving with surprising rapidity. An entry in the guest book had spoken of one called Goliath and though I couldn't get a decent picture let me assure you the name is apt. It looked like a freaking dungeoness stuffed inside a conch shell. I was unnerved and quickly retired to the casita to refortify myself with 1800 and Sol.
Other than the giant land crabs it was a fairly uneventful day in paradise, the main attraction being a trip to the Cancun airport to pick up cousin Dan. I find driving in Mexico very stimulating, much like New York City. Lanes, turn signals, stop signs....whatever, man. Just stay loose and keep flowing, like a hot knife through butter.
Tomorrow should be fun, we're planning an early trip to Tulum, hopefully beating the tour buses, then a little shopping for a grill worthy pescado and a stop at Tankah Tres cenote for a swim.
I also hope to make it back to my new favorite taqueria, Lucy's Kitchen. If I ever end up on death row I would have to give serious consideration to Lucy's shrimp tacos and guava smoothie as my last meal.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Greetings from the Riviera Maya

Even though this is not an official TW activity I've had some requests for pictures so here are a few.
The view from our private pool. Not too shabby.

The oceanfront palapa. J and I were going to sleep in the hammocks but it turned out beds were more comfortable.

It's hard to tell from the photo but this cinder block pile was full of iguanas. The all ducked down when J and I approached then popped their heads up one by one to see if we were still there.

Pollo tacos from Loncheria Akumal. The roasted peppers were a nice touch. Also, a little hint I picked up today : If you encounter an unfamiliar habanero hot sauce labeled "exxxtreme piquante" maybe you should take it easy with the first pour.

Uncle Bill and his fruit plate. We celebrated Bill and Karen's 40th wedding anniversary tonight with a lovely dinner, margaritas, then some speed scrabble and a few rounds of a French card game called Mille Borne, good times, and here's to 40 more!

Cousin Callum at the playa.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

work party update

More party and less work this time as it started raining Friday night but Mace and Dabby drove down Friday afternoon and we got in some good riding and shaping time in the annex, we were out there until sunset, which seems to get later every day, viva spring!

They were both yelling at me about something and I held the camera outstretched and snapped. I kind of like the composition, with the blackberries and sky and Maces's arm pointing towards the serenity of the open field.

Dabby utilizing his #1 method of communication, pointing and yelling instructions. With that said he did design a nice little jump into a berm option at the end of the ditchstyle.

Here's Mace catching some air off Dabby's creation.

We also rode around in the woods quite a bit. The new Microloop trail met with approval, the new Cut-Through trail was a a bit muddy but with time and a little more axe and shovel work it's going to be fun.

On Saturday Sweet T showed up with Justine, a recent transplant from Victoria and avid mountain biker and polo player. Drew and Justine also brought me an amazing T-Bone steak from Gartner's Country Meats in Portland, highly recommended. They cooked it rare over the fire and served it with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus with balsamic and lemon and a nice Merlot. I also got a chunk of Dabby's salmon dish, which was somewhat overwrought as usual but quite delicious. All in all a better than average houseguest experience.

As it was too wet to work in the annex Drew, Dabby and I geared up and did some visioning in the woods. We came up with a Y shaped trail in the middle of everything. When completed it will feature two low, wide log bridges, one 17 feet long and one consisting of two 10 foot sections with a turn in the middle. The third branch will be a tricky log ride, starting at ground level and climbing to about 4 feet before turning on a little platform and dropping down a dirt ramp. The entry point is RWD clearing, staying right you exit near the Microloop for a possible figure 8, staying left you hit the log ride and drop into Makeout clearing for a substantial shortcut during a circuit race. Awesome.

There's still lots of work to do but it'll be ready by the Open.

Speaking of, I should restock the bocce balls. Out of two full sets this is all I have left.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

monetization update

I just checked the Google Adsense report and after two weeks the ads have generated $3.10. Not great, but hey, it's free money. Every cent goes into the TW slush fund to be disbursed in support of Team activities. To start I'm hoping to offer free corndogs many mtb rides this season and save a portion towards another backhoe rental or some other big expense. So if you like free corndogs click on the ads! Click daily and from different computers! Also, please send me content, everyone loves guest posts.

Work Party this weekend

Looks like the weather might not cooperate but I hear some people are coming down anyway. No heavy equipment this time but I'm sure we can find some things to chainsaw, and of course there are always holes to dig and others to fill in. I could also use some fresh ideas regarding a few new trails I'm cutting in the woods. Plus, I'm hitting up the Marion County native plant sale tomorrow morning so there will be trees to plant, that's always rewarding.

Friday, March 06, 2009

another day in the woods

I've been thinking about this cut through for a while. It's a tricky, narrow line in between the rootballs of two fallen trees.

This picture doesn't do it justice, it's scary to drop into.

I've been fighting the blackberries in this clearing north of the rat's nest.

The trees nearest the rat's nest have been gnawed away. Coincidence?

I can't tell if it's getting bigger...I should measure every year.

Here's another nest. Now that I'm looking I see them everywhere.

I'm tempted to get Natty to stick her nose in there and see what happens.

I found this bone while working on the new Burial Mound trail.

More artifacts from the woods.

The pond, stage one. I got an estimate from a guy in the neighborhood to spend 6 hours with his 20,000lb trackhoe. He said he could make the pond 3 times wider and twice as deep (36 ft in diameter, average depth of 8 ft) and pack the dirt into a crescent shaped berm 6 ft high for $800. Seems like a lot of money but I bet he'd do a good job. I don't have to decide right away as he wants at least a week without rain before starting.

Looks like some raccoons were checking out the ditchstyle.

Sometimes I wonder how high the ramp would have to be to ride through this tree.

A Letter fram Canada!

"Hellloooo...I don't suppose you'd post info about Bike Prom on your blog for us Victoria bike kids, would you? Would it help if I told you I once slow-danced with a boy to R. Kelly's ignition remix? It was so romantic.... (Editor's note : Yeah, that would help)

Victoria! Fuck yeah! Mark your calendars for the third annual Victoria Bike Prom, April 24, 25, 26!

We're hosting three glorious days of bike events: Bike polo, bike art, bike films, bike spoken word, bike rides, bike race, bike performance troupes, bike bizarro, BIKE PROM,for the locals and beloved bikey out-of-towners. Special additions this year include more rides, with more themes, around more of Victoria, bike fashion, live music for the Prom Ride, and oh oh oh so much more.

Check out http://victoriabikeprom2009.blogspot.com for updates on the schedule, billoting, and all things Bike Prom.

Victoria loves you Portland. Please come play with us. And don't forget to exchange your useless american dollars for Bike Prom currency - delicious, nutritious Tilt - before you cross over the 49th parallel.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mud, trees, dog.

Each red flag is a baby tree.

I planted coast redwoods around the edges.

I cut through the blackberries to see which side of the fence this stately, midsized oak was on. Looking at the picture now I think I should take out the cherry on the right to give the oak some room.

Turns out it is integrated with the fence but I think it started out on my side.

This seems like one of the oldest filbert trees I've seen on the farm.

One of my goals in the annex is to clear these blackberries and move the logs underneath. Maybe put a picnic bench under the tree, or a little tool shed. I could do it with machete and mower but I'm tempted to rent a goat, I want to watch it eat the blackberries. I found this goat for sale but I also saw the ad before it was edited and reposted. It was titled "pet or meat", which would be a good name for a band, and it described the goat as a "wild goat" that had not had human contact for 4-5 years. The goat couldn't coexist with their buffalo herd. If this goat was intimidating buffalo Natty and I wouldn't stand a chance.

We may have some drainage issues.

Natty tries really hard to put herself in every picture.

Are these worm tracks? If so they really get around.

The more firewood I cut off this oak the more it began to look like an expert level log ride. What do you think, Dabby? You've been agitating for this forever.

We could plane it off, maybe add some wood planking, build up entry and exit, remove barbed wire, blackberries and sharp little stumps from the falling zone.

Epic. Or if it doesn't work out that's still some quality firewood.