Monday, December 31, 2012

Florida's 40 Weirdest Moments of 2012

I love my home state.  Riding endangered marine animals like horses, eating each other, eating each other's pets, crapping ourselves, offensively naming lunch dishes and being overrun by invasive pouched rats.  No other state in the union can offer so much.

#32 - Giant mysterious eyeball washes up on a beach.
Notable Mentions, the utahDOG! Top 5!

5) - Number 39: Polo club founder adopts his adult girlfriend to shield assets from civil lawsuit.

4) - Number 31: A Fox News-obsessed man stabbed his wife because she didn't like Fox News.

3) - Number 24: Drunk woman calls 911 to say she is lost in the woods, did not know where to urinate.

2) - Number 17: A mother and daughter became porn moguls.

1) - Number 5: Wild Raccoons Invade School, Pee on Student.

Goodbye 2012!

Have a Happy 2013 everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!

After shamelessly ganking pictures from the interwebs for eons, peep this; a winter montage...

Happy Holidays from the Gleaming Towers of One Utahdog Center, World Congress of the Americas. And of course, from all the websites and forums I've linked to on the right hand column of the blog here, that unknowingly provided these pictures.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayan Weather Forecast

Since we will all be dead soon, thank you for reading my blog all these years....


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tillie Fowler Trail Armoring - Part 3


Looking down the approach from up on the ridge, fully decked chalked and cut straight, lag-bolted, set in concrete, and with limestone packed in at the ends for durability of the transition from earth to wood.  Total length of this section is probably 25-30 feet.

And standing on the ridge looking down the slope back off of the ridge. 

Troy brushes aside his aching shoulder and grabs the fat-front single speed Sawyer for a run down the steep slope off the ridge.

Keep that weight back!

Looking up the approach, this is in the direction that you will ride the feature.  The ridge is about as tall as me, (6' plus) if not more.  The trail built up to the approach will be situated so that you can gather speed to roll over the ridge.  The slope will then scrub the speed off for you in preparation for the steep slope back down to level ground on the other side.

Side view of the approach.  Here you can really get a sense of the length that we had to make it to allow for the up and over.  The split rail fence on the crest in the distance of the ridge was also installed bu us and hopefully will prevent riders from leaving the trail and deviating from the prescribed direction of the trail and doing the drops and decks haphazardly.

It is an awesome feature and we are very happy with the end results.  There will be a few more of these up and overs built on this ridge-line as part of this project as the club looks to add trail length to the park, and yet maintain sustainable trail use over the ridge, so stay tuned.

Thanks to SORBA/Jax volunteers and the City of Jacksonville Parks Department.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tillie Fowler Trail Armoring - Part 2

Part two of the armoring project consisted of adding the decking , snapping a chalk line down the edge and cutting the planks flush and straight.  This is the tedious part, and J-Pow and I teamed up and put this PITA baby to bed.  He's placing the decking and pre-drilling 6 holes per board, 2 screws in each stringer. I come along after and sink the screws.

J-Pow doing work.  We've cut to length all the 2x4's for the decking down at the chop saw (yeah we had one of those too, set up on the tailgate of Ryan's Chevy and powered by a Honda generator that was a Police Theft Recovery piece that was donated to the club by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.  Being a registered non-profit makes that all possible.

After the decking is in place, (which we've cut a little long intentionally), we can snap a chalk line and trim the sides so the feature looks pro.  We ran a string down one side and butted the decking up to that string to keep the first side straight, then the second side, where the variation in cuts is obvious, we will chalk and cut.   We don't want the thing to have a cheap-o slapped together feel.  This thing will look like a pro-built dock.

Upper flat section of the approach side complete, J-Pow and I transition to the slope down.  Troy is in the background here again, still clearing the trail.  He was swinging a machete like a mad man trying to get through the thick vines.

Total width of the feature is obvious here; 30 inches.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tillie Fowler Park Trail Armor - Part 1

On Saturday of this past weekend a group of us from the local SORBA/IMBA chapter headed out to one of the area urban parks and launched a trail armoring project.  The park is called Tillie Fowler or West Side Regional Park, and it is on land owned by the US Navy and leased long term to the City.  The property is actually abandoned Navy Base housing, and sports all sorts of defunct infrastructure and water treatment facilities and stuff, all long since abandoned.  

This was the Split's first foray to the west side of town, a journey of quite a large distance, for a bus that didn't move for a good many years and has only this year been back on the road.  A few things popped up.  First, a little fuel starvation to deal with again.  Probably more crud from the gas tank in the main jet.  Second, the sun visors make me slouch way over the wheel to see out of the thing, and while that looks kinda cool in a thuggie "yo yo, whassup?" kinda way, it makes my back hurt.  I think I'll pop them off the bus and bag them as keepers and just run no visors.  Finally, no matter how hard I try, the glass gets so gooey.  Does glass absorb the off-gasses from upholstery and then even after cleaning release the goo back to the surface to materialize as fresh smudges and smears?  Glass is always dirty in the thing.  Weird.

Anyway, on to the park.  The trails there currently run along a couple ridge lines that are man made. Our goal is to run new trail perpendicular to the ridge lines and then cross them back and forth as an added feature to provide difficulty.  In order to do that though, we need to armor the ridge.  The first section is a totally new segment, including trails cleared up to and away from the two ridge decks we are building here.

Placing the 4x4 footers, in concrete, and then cross bracing with 2x4's.  The first 2x8 stringer of the top section is fitted in preparation for lag bolts.

Same thing down at the other end of the flat upper deck, and then in the distance another 4x4 waits to join the structure.  The stringers down the slop will be 2x12's and there will be three of them. All lag bolted together. This feature will last through a nuclear explosion.

In the distance, Troy clears the trail that will be the approach to these features.

Charlie digs a hole.  He's from the Bronx so you know he's done that a few times before... 

Side view of the bottom footers dry fit in place and the 2x12's cut to fit.  Lag bolts on the way.

The center 2x12 is lowered into place.

Me, Brian, Charlie, and Ryan (doing work). The top of the 2x12's are cut with a radius edge so that the transition from slope to flat is gradual.  More speed on the bike!  Here Ryan joins the 2x12's from the slope to the 2x8's from the flat.

Then woodland creatures began to develop an appreciation for the improvements we were making.  Here Ryan holds up a King snake that tried to volunteer to help.  Red on black safe for Jack.

Charlie digs footers for the downside of the feature.  This is on the opposite side of the ridge from the previous work, so together there will be a decked up-an-over with dirt in the middle on the crest of the ridge.

Looking down side dos.  Again,  2x8's on the flat, then dropping down the slope beyond.  This will be a one-way trail, so the steeper side is the down side.  4x4's as footers in concrete with lag bolts all around.

Looking up the down-side of the ridge.  The 2x12 stringers are cut to fit and the upper framing is complete.

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 17, 2012

X-Mas Shopping Surprise!

Sunday trip to the local shopping district and signs were all over that the complete resurrection of the 1980's is almost upon us...

On the rack at Dillard's...

Label says "The original since 1976".  Yours for $80.

Me, grinning from ear to ear.  For the fun of it I am almost tempted, but in all honesty, I'd like another Kirk Cameron Growing Pains Bomber jacket like I sported in high school, if only I weren't so concerned that his wonky religious conservative ideology would eat my brain.

Member's Only is so Junior High.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Split Buses in History - Part 1

How is it that just three hours after this post goes up some wacko shoots up an elementary school and kills a bunch of children?  What is WRONG with us?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

White Springs on a Saturday

 Mr Turner and I spent Saturday parading around the trails in White Springs.  These are some sweet loops maintained by the Suwannee Bicycle Association, and they do a phenomenal job.  We hit Gar Pond, Bridge to Bridge and I think Foster Hammock Loop.  All but Foster Hammock were well groomed and speedy.  FH is inside the pay to play part of the park, and I get the sense that nobody wants to...


Some dude gets a monument to volunteer efforts.  Damn.

Orange blaze means Florida Trail.  No bikes down that spur.

Nice and curvy.  Lots of flow.

A good day on the bike.  Recommended.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Paid in FULL!

This Sunday I volunteered at a bike shop to fix up and tune some abandoned and donated bicycles to be repaired and then given out to the homeless community here in town.  (homeless community?  Is that like 'jumbo shrimp'?) Most of the bikes were junk department store BSO's but there were a few workman level Trek Antelope's thrown in the mix, as well as an old broken Mongoose Hilltopper and a steel Scott of some ilk.  One of the bikes I worked on was a 1990 bonded aluminum Trek 1200 road bike with Shimano 105 6 speed Unigllide bits.  Some homeless dude is going to make out like a bandit on that bad boy.

After the wrench fest was over, I dragged my tired bones to the beer keg for a freebie cold one only to find that the fixie hipsters at the neighboring part swap had sucked down all the refreshments.  Bastards.

All not lost though, as there was a suitcase filled with tacky free promo bike crap waiting for a good rummaging. So rummage I did commence.

Altruistic volunteer goals met, paid for with worthless tacky stickers, for which I'm a well known sweaty tramp, and I'd say it was a fine day.  Put that in your tapped out fixie hipster keg and smoke it.