Monday, February 27, 2006

Puro Pinoy

puro pinoy ride

The climb up to Hamburg road is absolutely beautiful when it's shrouded in fog. I pull over to wait for the rest of our group. One by one I see riders breaking through. Ambiguous and almost imperceptible at first, then suddenly, the shape of a helmet, arms, and handlebars. "Hoy, malapit ka na sa toktok," I offer encouragingly, "konti na lang." I can barely get the words out myself with my teeth chattering and my muscles shivering uncontrollably. I've been on rides where the air temperature was much colder, but with my clothes completely soaked, I'd never felt so cold.

jayd at the watershedTagalog always sounded funny to me when it's spoken on the trail. In my mind, it's reserved for big family get-togethers where it's usually spoken through mouthfuls of lechon and between draughts of San Miguel beer. It's rare that I find myself with a big group of Pinoys out on a ride, but there we were at the Watershed in the pouring rain-- a big group of eight including six PISSERS and two Pinays (both also PISSERS).

Everyone in the group were Watershed virgins, except for Rickyd and me, who are Watershed whores. So with the bad weather conditions we thought it would be prudent to introduce them to the more beginner friendly trails in the area, e.g., the suicide rocks next to "Little Canaan" and the "Death March." All in good fun. Despite the obvious suffering, the cold rain, slippery sharp rocks, and a close encounter with a speeding truck in the fog, everyone made it home alive and probably had fun too. Oh yeah, we almost lost Gina on the last leg back to the cars. After a search and rescue mission by bike, and later by car, we found her and all was well.

Sige na mga kasama, magkita tayo ulit.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

TNS (Thursday Night Swill) Ride

Photo by Rickyd
For a guy who doesn't ride through the city much, DC streets take on a whole new character when seen from the saddle of a fixed gear bike. Cars that used to buzz by you at the intersections when you were a mere pedestrian seem like they're frozen in time. You weave through the traffic, oblivious to everything but the rhythm of your spin and how it dictates what you will do next. A car stops suddenly in front of you, but with the pedals at 12 and 6 o'clock, you can't skid. So you swing left and accelerate hard through the red light dragging your fingers lightly across the door and hood of the car you just passed, just because you can. You're in total control, and yet somehow you're not. Not more than twenty feet away, the cops look on but let us pass without incident. They know they have better things to do. After three or four more of these encounters with DC's finest we're at the city limits and on the W&OD heading back to the cars.

Well, that in a nutshell was my first ever Thursday night swill ride through DC and points West. I gotta thank Stoner and RickyD for making it interesting, but what else would you expect?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. All these shiny new bike parts and nothing to hang them on. Makes a guy blue. more blue bling
I've even been indulging my guilty pleasures-- watching shows like American Chopper and Biker Buildoff. Noticing how these builders go to great lengths to create the ultimate chopper, imagining that MikeD is doing the same with my frame. See, he ran into a snag these last few weeks trying to get 17in chainstays on a 29er and still fit a fat tire like the Exiwolf. The Karate Monkey gets away with it by curving the seat tube, but I didn't want that. So Mike has been busy trying to make this work and creating a heap of scrap in the process. But innvoation takes time, and with a builder like Mike, I imagine nothing gets by unless it's dang perfect. Still, this waiting can make a guy blue.

But hold on, what's this...


Just a note to let you know I think I can make it all work – thanks so much for your patience. Will do my best to get your bike finished next week.

Talk to you soon,

Mike DeSalvo
DeSalvo Custom Cycles