Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A rare glimpse into the internal workings of the DBD...

Finally after years of covert investigative work including around the clock surveillance of the highly exclusive Kitchi Gammi Club, located in Old Duluth, Bob Woodward, the noted journalist of Watergate fame, has obtained a recent document that sheds light onto the internal workings of the highly secretive DBD Honor Board. Woodward reportedly bribed an unscrupulous Kitchi Gammi Man-servant who covertly managed to pocket one of several copies of a letter from a "Hendricks" that presumably was part of an agenda distributed to the Honor Board at a recent DBD meeting held at the Club.

Dear Sir Earnest:

I thought you may like to hear of our most recent expedition to the vast reaches of the Pequaywan Lake area and beyond. All men in attendance had on their person’s the required items including the British .455 Webley Revolver. I am happy to report that none were required to be unholstered.

Temperature a cool -5C, winds calm as we bravely depart our vessel, the William A Irvin at 06:00. To my surprise and joy, we were not two, but three riders . . . A certain John Hatcher rose early to help us reach our goal.

This expeditionary force was thus made up of: Hatcher, Sir Ek (of Scandinavian descent) and your humble friend and author Hendricks (of Dutch accessory). Mallory was there to offer his regards. Our spirits soared as he ordered an extra finger of rum for our small force.

Our route through well known areas somewhat uneventful, save the chance meeting of another explorer. To our surprise and dismay, this comrade of the morning chose to not acknowledge our presence and continue alone (what's up with that anyway at 6:15 in the morning??). Eki needed to be momentarily restrained, but he quickly regained his composure.

By the time we reached the top of the Lester River summit, the cold had rendered all external water supplies unusable, only those worn on our backs remained accessible. Some had to place these frozen supplies and sustenance next to the body, and only hope for a thaw.

As the sun began its journey . . . our route calm and beautiful . . . we rode easily as one, discussing history, thoughts and dreams. We wondered aloud of our missing mates . . . were they as ill as claimed, as otherwise busy as declared . . . or were they even in a warm place, beverage in hand in the land of Iron, Or were they indeed on their own "secret expeditions?"

As we turned to the East, somewhere North of Pequaywan lake, we were met by a strange vehicle . . . it appeared to be of somewhat modern design, constructed of metal, yet conveyed by 14 sled dogs. What a strange site it was . . . Suddenly, the weather turned against us as a thick, pea soup fog appeared . . . our vision limited to at best 15 meters . . . off we continued, unhindered by this turn of events.

Moving along familiar routes, most recently travelled on 26 September, we arrived Clover Valley where our good friend and fellow rider Hatcher was forced by prior commitments to leave us. Brave soul he . . . at the point of departure he had achieved some 67 miles, with resources rendered nearly unusable by the cold . . . and still with 23 solo miles to travel!

Here the Scandinavian and Dutchman continued Easterly, toward the Lake at high speed, searching for the warmth and comfort of civilization. A hearty "thank You" to Miss Sarah who supplied us with the life sustaining coffee we so desired.

The effects of the drug immediately apparent as we easily climbed the Homestead apex, only to be confronted by a short, yet steep climb up "Hegberg . . " Shortly after, we achieved 45 mph on a steep, gravel descent . . .

Back to the Lake we headed, rolling uneventfully along the shore only to be dared by one final challenge: the Seven Bridges and Hawk Ridge ascent. It is here where our Dutchman, who led his two letter surnamed companion up each and every preceding challenge, learned "It is not he who leads the first lap . . . it is he who leads the last lap that wins . . ." It is assumed that were it not for the help of Sir Ek, that Hendricks would still be gasping for air as he trundled up this final summit. A lesson well taught and learned . . .

Shortly after our route complete, expedition over . . . we concluded it was indeed a great day . . . Total journey, well over 100 miles . . .
Respectfully Yours,

Friday, November 20, 2009

I am a flawed individual with many eccentricities, I have my detractors, there are those who find me onerous. Yet it can't be said I am not willing to a book of any sort based on a recommendation from someone I trust or love or both love and trust...So when my nine year offspring (of whom I both love and trust) told me that I simply had to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid...I said "Okay" and I was not disappointed...It is hilarious!!! Seriously, no not seriously, but for anyone that has survived "junior high" this is a must read....I was weeping with joy. The little dramas of adolescence brought back both fond and embarrassing memories as I cruised through the pages last night. You possess a cold heart, if the cartoons do not make you laugh out loud...Note: Ingestion of a few bottles of fresh Bell's Kalamazoo Stout only had the effect of intensifying my glee....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Go to the above site and watch these promos....they are so clever, so funny....
Amazing :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sir George Mallory, in a rare public correpondence addressed to the author via telegraph, weighs in on recent DBD activities in the Northland...

Dear Sir:

Although somewhat delayed due to a problem with our Sherpa people, Earnest and I received your correspondence of November 15th @ Latok Base-camp regarding your efforts to get us to back you in getting the DBD to sanction your most recent training sessions including the east to west single-track mtb effort and more importantly and slightly less straight-forward, the two-pronged training session beginning at 8:30 p.m. on this last Saturday night through to 12:20 a.m. on Sunday and then again leaving at 5:35 a.m. on Sunday and finishing it up at 10:42 a.m. on that Sabbath, November 15th. The 8 hour+ effort on the single-track using mountain bikes is forthright and thus should sail through with no problems. While the more recent effort, involving the double session on both gravel and tar, is certainly a more contrived effort, both Ernest and I believe that it too will ultimately be approved by the powers-that-be. According to our elemental mathematical skills, the air up is a bit thin and we are no longer young men; the second effort does indeed exceed both the required eight hour threshold and the cumulative sixteen hour time-frame. You can count on our support regarding both efforts. Bravo, well done, bully!

Let me personally commend the boyz in attendance (Hendricks & Kershaw). These are brave men for on this particular night ride they were alone with you; it takes solid men to embark on such an endeavor accompanied by a rider of your erratic and unsavory history. According to our sources, the ensuing Sunday morning ride with Hendricks, Buffington, and Eki also went off without a hitch. Note: We have taken the liberty to begin a portfolio on each of these promising lads.

Although I must add that it is regretful that Eki was NOT able to achieve the eight hour parameter for either of the two recent efforts. Has his dementia improved? We certainly are not unfeeling or unmoved by the woes that face our leadership and our understudies, but plebeian behaviors cannot be tolerated, please keep a close eye on Eki. Of course it is often the case that the talented and the eccentric are one in the same.

Furthermore, I must add that Kershaw’s absence on Sunday does not bode well for his induction date. I have instructed that that date be momentarily postponed until the aforementioned submits proper documentation detailing the rationale behind his failure to appear for duty. His claims of a solo effort on that Sunday, to date have been unsubstantiated.

On a personal note; I, too, am concerned about Kershaw’s tendency to gravitate towards aspects of the occult. We had trouble when both Kipling and Newton went that route and I’d certainly rather not repeat another messy Salem’s Witch Trial. Case-in-point, his most recent adoption of what could be construed as a provocative satanic icon to represent/promote to the public the highly successful Heck-of-the-North race certainly add fuel to the fire and furthermore adds ammunition from which his (and our) detractors will be quick to seize upon.

Regarding the enigmatic Eki and his recent disconcerting propensity to retreat to the safe confines of his abode-upon-the-hill with the onset of darkness has also raised eyebrows here at the Kitchi Gammi Club. The image of an Eki in repose upon a soft couch while you and the two lads fly across the remote barrens by starlight is a vision that is decidedly unDBD-like and therefore, not surprisingly, the cause of great agitation and consternation amongst some of the more spirited of the group. For one, Crazy Horse upon hearing of Eki’s lack of participation regarding Saturday’s night ride flew into a rage culminating in his attempting to “count coupe” on a slightly inebriated Ed Hillary (an ardent Eki backer). The fact that Buffington skipped out on Saturday's night ride did not ease matters. Such gross absenteeism constitutes a red-flag for this young up-start. The ensuing melee almost ended in fisticuffs and put an unpalatable tension in the air for the reminder of the evening or at least until a second round of whiskey was served and old Tilman began to regale the group with stories of his misadventures on the Mischief.

I would also like to take a moment to commend you on your obvious, albeit subtle generosity in allowing the youths, most notably Jason and Rich, to lead the pack for long periods of time during these recent training rides. I know that as a consummate leader and alpha male, it is difficult to let go of the front position in the peloton and yet if we are to bring these lads into the fold, such self-sacrifice is a worthy and noble deed. A deed that must in your case require an extraordinary degree of restraint. To these acts of chivalry on your part, I say BRAVO! Also, thank you for reporting to the group the two important sightings of the rare tree skunk and the acrobatic lynx, not to mention the collective run-in with the white rabbit during the night ride. These reports help us to corroborate our record keeping of such phenomena. Both Messner and the Duke of Abruzzi were particularly interested in your insights regarding the elusive tree skunk.

In closing, it is our contention that both of your recent training sessions will meet with success in obtaining approval. Keep up the good work and please convey to Eki and the others our deepest salutations. Regarding the DBD group’s decision to not sanction Eki’s recent work represents a set back from him, but he is a stout fellow and will do fine. Tell Eki to hold to a stiff upper lip and that rules are rules. He still has time to make up for lost ground. Continue to push Buffington as I suspect that he has the heart of a lion. The same can be said of Hendricks. It is a good thing to test the men’s meddle, but from time to time, do not be afraid to order an extra finger of rum to be passed around after hard training rides. For the most part we are pleased with your work in Duluth.

Best regards,

ps Ernie sends his regards

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update...too busy to pubically muse or to put finger to keyboard...

Monday, November 16 Update: DBD #1 & DBD #2 (unofficial, under-review): The Reduction & Detachment Phase of the 2009/2010 season commenced on a beautiful Sunday...At the onset, the author experienced a minor, albeit disconcerting, leaking of an incomprehensible saline solution which had the effect of redden his eyes and thus momentarily blurring his vision ... full reports on both rides to follow....Been super busy with the day job of late...If you need interesting reading material check out the roster for the 2010 Arrowhead 135 (104 racers signed up and still two weeks until the entry registration date closes...the field is truly international and very exciting...many Trans-Iowa and Alaskan Invitational veterans

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I have been reading lately—[in order of importance]

Where men seek glory: The Pat Tilman Story by Jon Krakauer. Krakauer, a great endurance athlete in his own right, has written four recent masterpieces [Into the Wild, Eiger Dreams, Into Thin Air, Under the banner of heaven] and his fifth is no exception. All of which explore the absurdity and futility of it all. This is a great read and should not be missed. Amazing, and sad, amazingly sad…Just simply an amazing story detailing the life and times of a full on stud that gets mistakenly killed by his comrades in Afghanistan and then McChristal (spelling?) and the other powers-that-be (including all the way up to the White House and for sure Rumsfeld) initiate an ill-conceived and immoral cover-up. Five stars out of five possible.

In the Graveyards of Empires by Seth Jones. A comprehensive recent history of the British and Russian experiments in Afghanistan. Obama has read it and thatz why he is taking so long to commit to troop escalations. If history is a guide, we are in for a huge mess in Afghanistan, but thatz no be surprise to anyone who can think independently. Fours stars because he is somewhat repetitive and the book reads like a text book, albeit a very well written text book.

Novels and Social Writings by Jack London. Excellent works by an American master. My favorite is an essay titled, “Why I became a socialist.” Four stars cuz ya gotta work some to understand his prose.

Spring on an Arctic Island by Katharine Scherman. A great narrative pertaining to a 1953 trip that a group of six scientists took to Bylot Island which is way up north of Baffin Island. It is just a very excellent travel story. Itz great, I loved it. Top notch and five stars.

The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Contingents by John Dinges. Somewhat hard to understand and very tightly packed with tons of information. I had to work hard to get through this investigative work. Once again the CIA plays a pivotal role in screwing up the rest of the world. Three stars…

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. Won a bunch of awards…But really nothing much happens…I got through it, but it ended and I was like, “What?” Don’t bother…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Winter Formal is full...

The BIG ARROWHEAD 135 DANCE up in I-Falls on February 1th & 2th (and maybe 3th...if you are into "slow dancing") has met itz limit of 75...This is an amazing milestone in that to my knowledge it has never filled so quickly!!! The field holds many names that are linked to great cycling achievements including several Alaskans that have completed (and won) the mega-classic race from Knik to Nome (1100 miles or so). As I read through the roster my lofty loins soared with excitement and anticipation, many of my old buddies are signed up including da boyz from Nordakota, Lance Andre, Chuck Linder, Da Navy Guy, etc. etc... And even the Dark Forces of Winter promise to comeback and haunt the trail (the cold-hearted Pramann and the unmercifully frigid Brannick)...

Rest assured, Dear Readers, that Good shall conquer Evil, on the frozen wastelands of Northern Minnesota! Yet these Black Adders, these rivals of the White Knights (headed by young Jedi-Warriors, including the youthful, but tested Chris Plesko, of whom's purity of adventurous spirit surely will give the evil-doers pause), will not surcease their reigns of terror without a battle of epic, no mythological proportions. Itz gonna be SO GREAT!!!! Thanks Pierre and Cheryl :)

More on others in the field later today...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Such a proud moment in an otherwise mundane life defined by endless hours on a bicycle...

Minnesota owns ATV record — for the moment...
(Source: Duluth News Tribune (with italics that of the author)...Note: loyal readers will recall that the author found himself in the middle of this amazingly impressive record attempt while trying to ride the 155 mile Northshore Trail route last June on his Pugsley )

There's a game of ATV one-upmanship going on as the Silver Bay, MN parade apparently has only a tenuous hold on its recently attained world record.

It seems the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota has found itself in an ATV parade war since breaking the world record for the event in Silver Bay in June.

The association announced Monday it received word from officials at Guinness World Record that the June 13 event featuring 1,632 ATVs was, indeed, the “World’s Longest ATV Parade.”

“We’re excited,” association representative Jon Bohn said. “We’ll hold it as long as it takes for Utah to be recognized.”

That’s Richfield, Utah, home of a parade that featured 2,014 ATVs in September. And Bohn says there are plans in Kansas and Kentucky to better that mark.

The Minnesota group will wait awhile before making another attempt, probably in 2011 or 2012, Bohn said. It’s more than a stunt. The parade in Silver Bay was a way to draw its membership together, Bohn said, and involve state agencies and the region in efforts to educate people* on ATV use, safety, (and intimidate guyz like CP Farrow and his band of rogue cyclists). *educate people??? "I need me some mor edukatin' on that thar ATV..."

“A lot of people got a look at how the trails work along the Shore, (and many of the folks got to mock the crazy biker that was trying to get through on his way to Grand Marais)” Bohn said.

The Guinness recognition means the Harlan County Ridge Runners group in Everts, Ky., is no longer the official record-holder with 1,138 ATVs in a parade. “We have a meeting this Thursday night. I’m sure it will be brought up and plans will start being made to go after it again,” said Bill Troutman, president of the Kentucky group.

The Minnesota association tried to break the Harlan County record in 2008 but fell short. If the Guinness verification system is consistent, Minnesota will have the record for at least five months.

“We are thrilled to have the record certified and that so many ATV enthusiasts and their families could join us to break the record,” parade organizer Les Schermerhorn said. “Thank you to everyone that joined us and to everyone in the city of Silver Bay for their wonderful hospitality.”

News of the record circulated around the world, Bohn said. He has news clippings from Australia, Great Britain, and Russia. He welcomes the new record-seekers, saying the association has played a key role in promoting ATV use. “We’re part of the trend to catch new riders. It’s nationwide.”

Itz Pretty Cool to think that in my small little way, I played a part in this amazing record attempt...Itz this kind of committment to excellence, this "can-do" approach, this America #1 attitude, that continues to impress the rest of the world...YES YES YES....Minnesota can and will break this ATV RECORD again and I hope to once again play a role in making it happen....Minnesota deserves this record, we need to keep this record here in the Northland...write your congressman and/or your congresswoman...tell him or her that we will NOT stand for Russia to have this record, or even Utah...

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Real Season Begins...

November 2, 2009 to April 12, 2010 (or two weeks before the Mega-Classic Trans-Iowa): The training season- Where one is reduced, rebuilt, and ultimately transformed into a full on Enduro-Samurai... While this vital season is based upon a series of highly secretive DBD training sessions, there are an unprecedented three local racing opportunities for us here in the Northland.

Highlights of the season involve the seventy-five mile Tuscobia point-to-point on December 19th; the eighty-eight mile Northshore Ultra in January, and then of course the full on classic, The Arrowhead 135 on the first Monday of February.

I am so pumped...yesterday as a warm-up, we went 4+ hours and upon finishing it up my toes were numb from the wet cold...I wept tears of anticipatory joy...