Sunday, November 27, 2016

Here today, gone today...

Every November we are issued a new Smokey Bear pocket calendar to log incident numbers and other pertinent travel information while traversing our beautiful state chasing fires. Olive and I have enjoyed thumbing through them over the years and I realized this evening that I'm on my 4th "Commander-in-Chief" with this career. With 6 more calendars (2 more presidents...) to go, I plan to close this chapter out. My point is that 21 years have ticked by so quickly that 4 seem minor in the big picture. Don't let them go by as a dress rehearsal because this is for realsies. Get out there and enjoy every moment, because the moments are going to happen anyway - I have 21 calendars to remind me of that.

21 and counting...


cold air immersion therapy with Kev McGill & Mike Martin

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'll take fire chemistry for 300 please...

I've saved all my Winning magazines since June of 1987. This one was appropriately utilized recently to create a rapid self sustained oxidation process that gives off heat and light. Sorry Dag Otto, I kept the ones featuring your 3rd place finish at Flanders and you will forever be know for the amazing field sprint at the 84' Olympic RR in Los Angeles (behind Grewal and Bauer).

Image result for alexi grewal

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Dad, does that mean I can do that next year...?"

Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara via Coast Road 1988

  Jake & Matt after my 8th grade graduation (Coastal Sportive kit by Hugh Forest)

Soberanes Point with Rudy Projects, MB1, & Asic Gels

 somewhere between here, there and yonder

sunset at Kirk Creek 28 years ago

somewhere outside of Hearst Castle

For the record: it's my daughters 13th birthday today and I'm trying to wrap my mind around the thought of letting her and a friend pedal to Santa Barbara next year by themselves (with no cell or map). After some great family dialog and comparing and contrasting different options (she'd rather go to Paris), we agreed that since she like me at 14 does not have (need) a cell phone and the fact that she's big enough to kick the crap out of most knuckleheads that a trip is in order (with mom in tow). I believe the artisanal millennials call this "bike packing" or will always be cycle touring to me regardless as to where the fancy bags are placed, what surface you're pedaling on, how many tattoos you have or how expensive your coffee is. Go out and enjoy some touring even if  you're using running shoes.

AC, Matt Mendes and Kev Mcgill took me to the Catalyst after our touring trip to see Fishbone for the first time and Angelo climbed up into the rafters after the lights went out and launched down just missing me...


Friday, November 18, 2016

Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

If you're old enough to remember the Wonder Twins Powers, you better go schedule a colonoscopy tomorrow. I was suffering on a ride recently and for some reason it felt empowering to yell, "Wonder Twin Powers Activate!- form Cat 3 fitness". I was introduced to the Wonder Twins in 1979 at Squaw Valley Ski School during one of our breaks by this guy. The ice unicycle is a nice touch. The next time I'm out chasing my nephew up Fremont Peak I'd like to form a 98' Bobby Julich.


Friday, November 11, 2016

I'll take Henrietta Peak for 200 klicks please

 Mrs Henrietta off in the distance 

 I celebrated Veterans day today with a solo boogie in the northern Gabilan Range to Henrietta Peak via San Juan Di Anza Historical Trail. I ran into a couple of fire buddies in SJB while I was refueling the tank and they said that I looked "tired". I was pedaling octagons up School Rd on the return trip with a huge smile on my face. I was thinking of this mountain when I wrote this.

Wulerus who can't ride often dream of riding

I can almost make out the words of the green street sign as the rising sun wiggles its way through the early morning coastal fog.  I usually don’t get up this early, but this all day ride has been on my mind for months and I had to experience it again.  As I approach the old fire house and the first small decent of the day, I feel like reaching down and slowly dragging my hand over the familiar smooth roads like a surfer would feel the silky moving water of a wave.

When I was a kid, I embraced the endless stretch of time between school years. That feeling of drifting is one that I look back upon with fervor that borders on a jealousy of my former self. I can’t remember particulars, only that feeling of freedom from a life unencumbered, and drifting free. And while growing up has eliminated those epic spans of time, the drift can still be felt off the tarmac. I climb to crest the summit, and see the gravel bed lying down before me. I surge to pump speed into the backside of the summit grade. I lift my hips up and behind the seat, drop the heels, and personify a mountain lion about to pounce. As I accelerate downhill my speed indicator is simply the wind whipping along my ruffling jersey. The drive train whirs. Each tic of the freewheel is a stressball rolling off my shoulders. I dive into a massive sweeping gravel left. The bike leans over. While down below the tires claw for traction, up top I’m relaxed, I’m drifting. And as I hit the apex of the turn and begin to carve, the g-forces push the corners of my mouth upward. The wind. The drift. The smile. The endless sense of time between this corner and the next.  I’m young again.

I cherish the moment knowing the road has gifted me this day. My life long kinship with the open road has been unwavering and feels like a warm blanket as I drift in and out of its familiar spaces. As I pedal along leaving a virtual trail of worries in the dust, I make subtle adjustments to my position unseen to the naked eye which will prove to be crucial over the next 6 hours. As I scan the horizon I can see my prominent and permanent friend off in the distance waiting for my arrival. My mind settles on the notion that every valley, every pebble, every inch of pavement, have defiantly conspired to deliver me to the top of the mountain.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hey Dad, some dude on a bike asked me...

 when are we going to do our "San La Glorious something ride". You mean our La Gloria Grade Boogie? Tell him it's the first week in January traditionally right after the Virgen de Tepeyac by El Teatro Campesino.

Steel Wul Chronicles -San Juan South from Caletti Cycles on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Breaking News...

Late last night the flag football association in San Jose crowned the mini dudes in the red kits as champions. That's all I got today after a restless night in shock.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Two Six Market coming soon...

Kong's Market served our community for years and now Two Six Market has stepped in to fill the need. We are really hoping that Evan and his amazing homemade bread, cookies and treats from around the corner end up inside! Cheers to the unincorporated neighborhoods of the county!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Do you live in Soquel, Capitola or Live Oak...

           I look forward to seeing all these folks (especially Sir John Lucchesi) on the Central Fire Protection District Board.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Eagle Tree via I think I'm turning Japanese

Every now and again I stumble across a "road" in the county that I'm unfamiliar with and this one was loaded with vineyards, rolling hills and a huge meadow unimaginable from the bottom of the drainage. When I'm off the beaten path, I usually have a local real estate rag rolled up in my jersey and luckily I ran into a very nice women who gave me chapter and verse of the lay of the land including the 3 million dollar ranch home and surrounding vineyards that I was "interested in". We agreed that it was a bit out of my range and we parted ways.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sandy Point Fire Station 1948

 California Division of Forestry Sandy Point Fire Station circa 1948.

current site of the former Sandy Point Fire Station

Sandy Point was located at the confluence of Gazos Creek Rd and Johansen Rd. The foundation for the apparatus bay and barracks is still there and often used as a lunch stop on our Boogies. Viva Sandy Point and all the Fire Rangers assigned to it over the years.