Saturday, December 4, 2010

Are we ready yet?

Looking forward to getting some proper MTB saddle time tomorrow. It's been almost a month since I've ridden if you don't count Thursdays road excursion. Just have to decide if I want to ride Tech at FTP or XC at Halpat..... Decisions decisions.
For now I'll continue sipping a nice Scotch on the rocks and watch videos of people pulling insane stunts.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Safety first?

I finally got some saddle time yesterday after nearly a month of not riding due to some persistant back pain. The problem of course is that my ride was not the blissfull winding trails of the woods complete with hucks, drops, logovers, rocks and roots. It was the road.....

I had to drop my truck off at the shop across town to get a bunch of minor issues corrected and for some reason none of the more than 150 facebook friends of mine were willing to give me a ride back to the house. I didn't mind too much because I figured hey, I'll get to ride my bike again... finally!

For strange reason lugging my 30lb 5" travel monster wheeled FS trail bike against a 20mph headwind did not leave me with the feeling of satisfaction that I had hoped for in finally getting some saddle time.

All I can say is that you roadies must have a monster set of brass balls to go out and do the things you do. Stroking down the side of the highway while a ton of steel driven by work crazed automatons yacking away on their cell phones screams past mere inches away is really really frightening. I was nearly whacked at most of the side street intersections that I passed and knowing how blind most Florida drivers are kept me on edge the whole time.

From now on I'm going to stick to hucking off of hills, jumping roots and rocks and sliding on wet leaves. Its a whole lot safer!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Riding Lesson

Picture this scenario;
You're making fast tracks down your favorite single track and you come up on the root or rock garden that always kicks your ass and slows you down. What do you do?

A) get off and walk
B) try to pick the smoothest line
C) plow straight over the top

Chances are, if you picked A or B that explains why you're constantly getting your ass kicked on this section and your ride times and energy levels will probably reflect this. The truth is, unless you're riding a big box store brand bike you're sporting at least 3 inches of travel which is more than enough to handle most root or rock gardens packed with baby heads.

The problem with trying to pick the smoothest line is that you invariably need to slow down, scan for the smooth route and then wind your way through it. This slower speed reduces the momentum required to easily traverse all but the smallest obstacles while at the same time reducing your stability. Tihs reduced momentum and stability makes it more difficult to hold any kind of line and will require a lot of standing pedaling effort to balance and push your way through.

On the other hand, assuming that you're up on your riding skills most modern valid bikes have the suspension to easily handle roots and rocks 6-8 inches above the trail as well as being able to negotiate 2 foot vertical drop-offs without having to "huck" your way off of them.

Your best bet is to approach the garden with a good speed that will carry you over most of the obstacles without pedaling, stand up and loosen your body and allow your bike to float under you. Pick a relatively straight path through the garden and let er rip! You paid big bucks for that 5" travel trail bike so quit being a sissy and put that suspension to work.

(Alays be aware of trail conditions and your own abilites and never attempt to ride above your abilities except under controlled conditions. It's always better to walk around than be carried out)
-Mike "kerbouchaud" Sullivan

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beware the beast!

I don't usually go in for discussions on politics, money or religion, but it seem this is one that needs to be adressed.
I was speaking with a friend of mine a week or so ago regarding our current president and talked myself into a startling conclusion. My friend (who happens to be a black preacher) said that he thinks that Obama must be stupid. My instant reply was "Take everything that you know, have heard and seen about Obama, you can't say that the man is stupid" I said this at the time, and believe wholeheartedly that this man is not stupid. We are!
This discussion was started over the economy and economic bailouts. I had made the statement that if the government were to give every taxpaying citizen $100,000 it would still be a lot less than they have spent on bailouts. When I made this statement I was generalizing but after little bit of research I have found that it would in fact work. As of 2007 the taxpayer base was about 138 million. Multiply that by $100,000 and you have 1.3 trillion bucks. Still less than what the Gov. has spent on bailouts. I would however like to reduce that number to include only taxpayers over the age of 21. I'm prett sure that it wouldn't be a good idea to unleash a 16 year old working at Publix on a hundred grand. Also I would like to exclude anyone with a net worth over I dunno say...2 million. Lets face it, they don't need it and will get it anyway. This is going to drop that 1.3 trillion down by a few Mil. Still sounding pretty good.
The best part of this, where the bailout really works is that the majority of people that get that amount of cash are going to spend it. Paying off and/or buying houses, cars etc. These payoffs and new purchases are going to go straight to the companies that are getting bailed out. The biggest difference between my idea and the Gov's is that my plan helps out all of the citizens.

Now that we have firmly established that a 33 year old non-collegiate laborer can come up with a better plan than the Government let's look at why they aren't doing something along the same lines.

1. By bailing out big companies directly, it puts the government in a position of more control. It leave big companies beholden to the government and leaves the citizens still begging for help.
2. At some point in time the gov. Will either force those big companies out of business or take control of them. Still leaving the citizens begging for more. In this case we have what is known as a communist state
3. At the point that the government now owns and/or controls all the big buisness and banks they can now dictate how those goods and services will be distributed to the masses. John Q. Public still broke and begging.
4. Of course I have oversimplified this a bit but at this point the Government and by now one can assume that we are not speaking of the US government but a global government can step in and say that you have to conform to certain standards in order to obtain goods and service. By now the general public is so broke and desperate that they will bow to nearly any demand in order to obtain relief.

Ever hear of the Mark of the Beast? New world order? These are the kinds of things that I'm talking about. When people mentioned this kind of stuff to me years ago I laughed and said "no way!" People will never allow that to happen. Now, I think I can draw a pretty straight line from where we are to that point. Not saying that this is going to happen in the next week, more like over then next 8 to 10 years but the handwriting is on the wall.

What can you do about it? Nothing! If you are a Christian, the same biblical truths that tell you that Christ will save your soul from eternal damnation also tell you that these things will come to pass. If you aren't a Christian then well......I guess you've got bigger problems to worry about.

Just a side note, I'm not a politician or statitician or anything great like that. I've just been observing and thinking and this is what I've come up with. Please feel free to comment and add your own insights.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Southshore Trail

Last weekend I was able to sneak off and take aim at the South Shore Trail in Palm Bay Florida.
This short little trail runs along a canal easement just off of I-95. From what I understand the trail itself is neither governed or sanctioned by any particular body, but is rather tolerated by the South Florida Water Management district.
The main part of the trail is only about 2.5 miles long, but what it lacks in distance it makes up in fun. There are quite a few steep decents, gapped drops, double-up jumps single jumps and short hill climbs packed into a really tight space. As well as the main trail, there are also smaller routes that can be used to bypass some of the more technical features.
One of the nicest parts about this trail is that because it is so short, you can do mulitple loops as well as double back to hit the cool stuff. This allows you maximum exposure to each trail element. In most places, to hit a really cool jump 5 times, you'd have to make 5 trips out there. Not so at Southshore, here you can do 3 laps of the trail in an hour, and then turn around and camp out at a certain feature and hit it over and over again.
This being said, I was able to get more jump and air time in during the 2.5 hours that I was there than I did all of the rest of the year total!
Anyway, awesome trail, awesome time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A response to "Responsibly starting solids"

I just finished reading a post on regarding starting babies on solid food. Always one to play devils advocate I had to throw this out there . It shy's away from the topic a bit, and certainly isn't meant to discredit or argue any of Dr. P's points. Just another point of view is all.

In a hunter gatherer society, both parents were responsible for providing for the well being of their children. As the popular "ring sling" hadn't been invented yet it's likely that more parents shoved a chicken leg in their kids hand and got busy with trying to survive than sitting around breastfeeding for 8 out of the 12 waking hours of the day. If you look at the cool vids and pics of African Bush people on National Geographics, many of the children are down in the dirt playing and fending for themselves while being watched by older siblings while the parents are off taking care of their responsibilities. The children that are being carried are only a few months old, and are being carried in a sack on the back instead of being carried on the front. Naturally we aren't native African bushmen....bushwomen....whatever, but the argument was about hunter/gatherer people and the bush people are the best example we have.
I have also even seen videos of some Asian cultres pre-chewing food for babies that appear to be less than a year old.
Not to say that breastfeeding is bad, in fact I think it's great! I just can't help but wonder if parents are stifling a child's natural independance and growth to satisfy a personal need to nurture.

My personal opinion is that there is a certain amount of instict that plays into this. Many children will go after the solid foods as quickly as the breast at 4-6 months. Should they still get the good stuff? Of course. How long? who knows? I don't think that breast milk is going to take care of the dietary needs of a teenager or adult, so at what point do you draw the line?
In my strictly non-medical but commonsensical opinion A child should be given the option of solid food as soon as they are able to eat it. Infants are physically unable to eat solid food, they don't know how to pick it up, or put it in their mouths, they don't have the teeth or the dexterity of the tongue to gum it to pieces, and so they obviously need milk, and mommy's is best. Once they are able to overcome the obstacles of feeding themselves solids, I think they should be eating said solids.

I also believe that this new "breastfeeding" movement has become more combative over the years and is not more about the "rights" of the breatfeeding mother than the well-being of the child.

Many of the breastfeeders (members of a league which I will not name) seem to think that a mother keeping a full time job is a bad thing. "They aren't putting thier child first". That's a bunch of crap. I'm pretty sure that a child that is raised in a financially stable environment while eating pumped milk, formula or solids is in a much better environment to thrive than one that is raised in a financially strapped, stressed out household where mom stays home with them. Of course if Dad is making enough dough to keep it together on his own then great, but I think you will find that by percentage, this is a very small demographic.

Also, let's look at the flaws in the belief that this "is in the best interest of the child" Childhood makes up a very small portion of our actual life. And while our experiences during childhood may have a pronounced effect on our adult life it is by no means the deciding factor. If you were to ask a large group of degenerates, fatties, drug abusers, womanizers and people with poor health if the lack of breatfeeding, co-sleeping etc was the root of their problem they would probably laugh at you. with the few exceptions of medical conditions and the obviouse genetic predispositions to certain diseases you will find that the majority of these situations are the result of poor dietary or life choices made during adolescence or early adulhood. Sorry ladies, when you decide to withhold the breast, and/or start solid foods isn't going to have a big impact on their adult lives.

I think that what has a greater impact on a child as they grow up is how much love they experience and how much responsibility and independence they are taught. Children thrive in a constant and happy environment. They crave the interaction of mommy and daddy, and they are pre-wired to start reaching and branching out on their own. These are good things and should never be overlooked or dismissed.

The choice to breastfeed a child until they are 3 or 4 years old, and homeschooling them may even be a detriment to them. I have personally known and/or read about teenagers that distinctly recall being weened from the breast at 4 years old, or the ones that weened themselves out of embarassment at 6 or 7. This is an apron string that will need to be cut, cutting it once they have reached the age of conciosness is in my opinion extremely unfair. It's kind of like taking a 4 year old boy to get circumcised. That's something he will never forget. Ask any adult that was circumcised as a newborn and they don't remember anything about it. Keeping a child homeschooled for their entire life can be equally unfair. I personally fight with the crap that my children are exposed to in public school on a daily basis. But! I would much rather expose them to those things now and teach them how to work through this ugly world than to turn them loose to college as a clueless 18 year old where they will not have me to guide and teach them.

Some parents and experts say not to give your children aceteminolkadf;l......(whatever) or ibuprofen. So....when they are cutting teeth and screaming their heads off at 3:00am should we....use the old rubber mallet to the head trick, or maybe some whiskey on the gums? What about when they're 7 and get a nasty bone bruise? Maybe an expensive trip to the hospital and some good ole' narcotics? Just a question, I don't have the answers feel free to post some.

One thing that I will definately agree with the experts on is feeding children stuff that contains bleached flour, preservatives and other nasty chemicals. These really are bad for everyone. Unfortunately our life only has so much time and money set aside for food prep and while our family tries to eat healthy sometime "good enough" just has to be good enough. The baby gets a lot of fresh veggies and organics, but the rest of us.......let's just say that we will be well preserved when we die.

To sum things up, I'm not trying to start a fight, or tell people that they way they are raising their children is wrong. Far from it, what I am doing is asking that people be open to other ways of seeing and doing things. I do not know your life or how your life decisions are affecting you now or how they will affect your children in the future. Conversly though, you do not know our lives and how things are working out for us. Keep an open mind, question everything and weigh it against common sense. And above all be wary of anyone that says they have "the answer" Only God has "the answer" anything else is just human speculation.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't ask