Friday, February 29, 2008

a Slow farewell

Some places are hard to say goodbye to. We're down to 3 weeks and counting before we ship off, so the due farewells are piling up. Jenny and I are (sometimes overly) nostalgic when it comes to the places we eat and drink. Portland is pretty spoiled in the bar/restaurant department, and since we've lived here we've tried to experience as much of it as we could afford. Like anything, there are hits and misses. One place we've been dreading leaving is Slow Bar.

You know how you have those conversations with your friends that go "man, if I owned a bar it would be all like bla bla bla bla bla?" I've had lots of those, and this place is as close as it gets to my ideal bar. It's small, has bare brick walls, high-backed leather booths, stiff drinks, dim lighting, and probably the best jukebox ever. Lots of 70s and 80s punk wierdness. To top it off, the food is awesome. All fresh, delicious, cheap. It's the kind of place you could see Hemingway hunched into a booth with a tumbler of whiskey, scribbling stuff into a notebook. If Hemingway were alive in Portland on the eastside. Anyway. Point is, Jenny and I frequent this place. So we decide to go in last night for one last meal and a pint.

Jenny is a creature of habit. She finds things she likes and sticks to them. At Slow Bar, she likes a particular sandwich they have, orders it nearly every time. So we sit down, order some drinks and check out the menu. The sandwich is gone. She freaks. When the stoned/drunk/bored waiter guy meanders over she asks about it. "yep, discontinued, but hang on" he manages to get out. He wanders back to the kitchen. Comes back a couple of minutes later, "yeaaah we're not doing that anymore, but the guys have enough stuff to make just one more."

I'm not into too much mystical stuff, but to me this was wierd. To Mrs. Tracy, it was sublime. Sandwich in hand, smile on face, drink nearby, she was in a blissful state. As we walked out we agreed that Slow Bar was saying goodbye in its own way.

As long as PBR or coffee doesn't get discontinued in the next couple weeks, I'll be safe.


Monday, February 25, 2008

home base

Secured the new home base in CSprings today. Sweet apartment in a converted mansion downtown. No turning back.

Tuckerman's arriving on the sunny beaches of Portland in a couple of hours. If you've never met this lad, perhaps you'd like to join him on the pot for a chat about burritos and stuff? Click on the link, then scroll down to Meet The Kiwi. Pot Chat? Toilet Talk? Porcelainversation?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

nice jerk-mobile, jerkface

Engage transportation rant... NOW.

I fear for people sometimes. Usually when I'm driving. The blatant disregard for the safety of others that people show when they climb behind the wheel of thier SUVs, minivans and hybrids amazes me to no end. Seems like people lock themselves into thier metal safety bubbles and suddenly don't give a shit about anyone else but themselves and whoever's on the other end of the cell phone strapped to thier faces.
I can understand a mistake here and there. I turned the wrong way on a one way downtown once. When I was 16. The first time I went downtown. The thing is, I wasn't a 40 year old in a LexusHummerFord who should know better. I could barely operate a clutch at that point. But I see people who've had plenty of practice do it every day.
Maybe it's not that people don't care. I think a lot of people just have no perspective. Say you climb into your average car, drive down the street, don't check the bike lane and turn right into a cyclist tooling along, minding his own business in the bike lane. What happens to the driver? Zip. Nothing. You feel no after effects. The dent in your audi or toyota is not a broken bone. The cops won't even write you a simple ticket (even if the person on the other side of the sheetmetal doesn't get up). You'll just be sent on your merry, oblivious way.
I don't know. Maybe commuter bikes should come with holsters for giant monkey wrenches and ben-hur spikes on the wheels. But probably not.
End rant.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TOC update

I'm gonna call the results early (CNN Election Coverage '08 style). Tour of California has been won by David Zabriskie.
Here's why:

Look at that. Just look at it. Looks like the guy should be rolling up to the start riding bareback on a wild stallion while shooting a six-gun in the air and hollering something no one can understand. Seriously, check out how fine of a point the sides come to! That's no accident. He could alternately show up in the back of a horse-drawn carriage with velvet curtains, wearing a top hat and speaking in a foppish British accent. But given that the race is in California and is already full of prissy Europeans, I'm sticking with the Wild West David Zabriskie over the Hat Doffing Englishman David Zabriskie.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

taste the future

Roller races are for chumps. Trini knows how to rollWorld Cup podium style. When I last saw Trini, I was rooming with him in CSprings and described him on this here big green me-fest as a "drunk, male Miss Cleo after smoking a couple gallons of PCP." Now add "World Cup medalist, Arnand Tournant-smashing monster" to that sentence somewhere. Maybe at the start.


Monday, February 11, 2008

rollerface deathrace

Hey boss, howyafeelin?

Mr. Hurtface

Mr. Seriousface

Eye of the tiger? Eye of the naked mole rat?

It's important to hydrate regularly

I got you this grapefruit, but I'm taking it back.



Sunday, February 10, 2008

taste the good times

aahhhrrggg. Climbed into the hurt box last night, shut the lid and still haven't found my way out. The Rapha gallery was at full capacity not 10 minutes after opening for the roller-deth-o-rama. People 6 deep, racers, builders, enthusiasts, messengers, pearl dwellers; all screaming bloody murder at 4 riders on stage. Stupid loud, two inches of beer on the floor, 140 degrees, 4 kegs of beer and the English version of a kick-ass soundtrack. Bian, Dirty Dave and I represented the glorious Laurelwood brewery in the winner take all rounds. Up for grabs on the night: Custom Ira Ryan frame, Krietler rollers and some sweet Rapha shwag.

Long story short, the racing was effing hard. 20 Seconds of max effort at 200rpm. For 5 rounds. By the 4th round, it was looking like the fastest times were being put up by myself, Beardsley, Captain Underpants (SanFran messenger guy) and one of the young River Cityers. I guess in the interest of having a Portland Racers Vs. San Fran messenger final, SuperStevie and I met in the semis. The crowd was charged on rocket fuel at this point. You could barely hear Jon Walrod and Brian Witty's hilarious commentary. I ended up beating the Gentlest of Lovers and on to the Portland VS. SanFrancisco superfinal.

The Gentle Lovers stuffed unicorn mascot found it's way to my handlebars, and I knew I'd need some Unicorn Power when they announced the final would be double the distance. At this point, I'm not walking so good. I lost my dinner hours ago. I can't hear anything and I'm seeing wierd stuff. Bets are being made. Suddenly I have 60 bucks in wet twentys stuffed into my waistband. And we go. I get out to a good lead, hold it, fade hard, the volume in the room triples, so much screaming, so many cameras, and I win by a tenth of a second. Boo-ya. Captain underpants and I congradulate each other, I spray a bunch of champagne around, fall off the stage and go collapse in the corner and think about my new Ira Ryan.

You know how when you're about to hurl, and you start hearing your breath in your ears? You feel cold sweat all over your forhead? You panic? All that was happening when Walrod announced the re-ride. I don't remember much after that. I remember Zak and the Team Beer guys (and eventually the rest of the Portland crew) chanting "Bullsh!t" in unison. I remember Slaven freaking out. Everyone was freaking out. The Rapha guys looked none too happy. But hey, if the big cheese wants a re-match, he gets a rematch. Which I lost. I could barely stand under my own power before we started, let alone do another race. Either way, they announced us both as winners. Looks like Ira's building two bikes. I wonder when they'll tell him?

Pro-est looking team of the evening: Bike Gallery. Between Ping Pong's aero helmet and Shannon's white sheepskin gloves, there really was no team pro-er. Ping Pong even brought the wood and sent the Dirtiest of Daves back to the peanut gallery twice in a row.

The Sweetest Move award goes to Tony Kic. No big surprise there. Three words, one hyphen: Tear-away suit.

Super Steveo gets the Smile For Me Baby award for being the most serious man of the night. Dude took the gameface to a new level.

The Metal-est Move award goes to ZAK. See Tony Kic's suit was built with Velcro. Zak just straight up tore the shirt right off his back. Hulk Style. Mad points.

Pictures later. Maybe.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Come one, come all, bring your drinkin shoes and best verbal abuse to the Rapha Roller Races next Saturday night. If you've never seen a roller race, the fine folks at Rollapaluza have been reviving this lost art in England for a while now. Rapha has been promoting races across the ditch and next weekend they're bringing it here. Come cheer on your favorite team of fat track racers (like me, brian and casey) or just come see some sweet artwork, or maybe have a beer or four.

Saturday, Feb 9th
Doors open at 8pm, Racing starts at 8:30pm
Admission is $10

Rapha Gallery
Crane Building
710 NW 14th Street
Portland, Oregon 97209

Once your hangover has subsided on Sunday, roll down to theHandmade Bike Show. My Prediction: Signal Cycles wins Best In Bro.

In other news, some border agent fell asleep at his desk and let Skeletor back in the country a couple days ago. He's riding around somewhere in Southern California (lost, no doubt) with a pocket full of Jelly Beans and a bad habit of saying whatever comes through his brain. Let's hope he survives. At least until his death, which by my count should happen somewhere on stage 3 of the Tour of California. If by some miracle he survives that death-march through America's most worthless state, he'll be back to the Dirtiest of Couves somewhere around the end of February.