Friday, August 31, 2012

Roll Call



Hijacker
As most of you are painfully aware, I have an annoying habit of coming over to your Blogs and typing a comment that is usually twice as long as your post and then rambling around and saying stuff that pertains to your topic in only a vague way, while managing to make myself look cooler than I am and all-wise and knowing and nothing if not verbose. It cannot be helped; I was born Excited About Life and interested in everything. While that interest here in our little clique is allegedly centered on bicycles, that is mostly a ruse. Oh, we all ride, as near as I can tell. But it ain't the only thing we do and that is how it should be.

The Secret Life Of Cycling
We also communicate and interrelate and since I started this page I have come to know, if only via the Web, a whole menagerie of new people who share my passion for cycling and we really are members of a vast Secret Society, once you think about it. Chain rings and derailleurs and headsets and carbon and lycra and wattage are our secret code and we know things denied to non-cyclists; we are familiar with the weather and we know where dogs are and we have our elite pantheon of secret gods, with names like Grant and Sheldon and Snob and yes, Lance...I may get into that in a minute but I already wrote my say onTHAT subject a while back.

We are in on a secret that should be shared by everyone but it isn't. Ours is a happy world of pedals and wheels and the sound of the traffic, the sound and smell of country lanes and the song of the surf and ours is a pretty happy world (except for the Lance part) and not all of us wear fancy clothes to go for a ride and so, in my usual errant manner I come to the subject(s) of today's post.

Doug
I have a friend and fellow pedalist and sailor who lives somewhere north of here. His name is Doug and he posts over at Life In theSlow Lane. A while back I rather imperiously demanded that he post a post and, like the true-hearted soul that he is, he complied. I was a little abashed at my forwardness but then immediately rewarded by what he had to say. Simple stuff and rather than hash it out here why don't you guys go have a look.

Harold
My other buddy Wayward Home posts even less than I do, if that is possible, but each one is a corker and his last effort will break your heart and make you grab the nearest dog, spouse, sibling or friend and hug them and tell them how much they mean to you. Seriously. Do it right now.

Judi
Judi, the Mistress of Miles and Madness, is feeling her age and it makes me glad because I am WAY older than her and half as strong, but always glad to hear that I ain't the only one feeling the good pain of our velo ventures. A thing about her is that since I started reading her stuff I have witnessed a lot of ups and downs in her life but she always comes through looking like she planned the whole thing. I know this: if I ever have to go to Hell and get back out, I would want her in my posse.

Paducah
Once in a while I get in these little moods of wanting to shout out to some of my friends and readers. I remember when there weren't any and it was a cold and desolate place here at the Park. I will have to leave some of you out, because (happily) there are so many of you now that it would look like the Manhattan phone book if I list you all. OK, maybe the Paducah phone book. (I lived there once).


Mission Statement
When I first started writing this Booger I had glorious plans to be the Voice of the Unwashed Cyclists, the Clydesdales and Athenas and homeless riders and the beginners and the mechanically challenged. I still want to do that because I myself am all those things, except an Athena, and I am only marginally homeless, but the Clyde and the mechanically challenged I am. (and unwashed I also am a lot of the time.)

Nicholas
Nicholas the Gypsy by Trade is living this wild life of constant beauty and bicycles. His photography and lean, sinewy posts, combined with his ever diligent search for the elusive Fat Bike Formula of Perfection, is very addictive and I warn all of you to beware: his quest is riveting and told in a style that will one day be required reading in High Schools across the planet. Or it should be. Today's post is in fact, a kind of echo of Nick's most recent publication. He is sending postcards to a long list of friends and readers and I was happy to see myself included. Postcards! That's so cool! Now I want to get a big stack of postcards and send them all over the place.

The Jackson Two
There is this brother and sister out in Texas that somehow seem to have become a kind of surrogate family to me. I don't know why. They never send me postcards. But when I first crossed their trail it was instantly as though I had known them forever. The sister part is Crystal Jackson (coolest girl name ever) and she posts as CryJack over at Fight Stupidization. Not a bicycle to be seen but we cyclists fight stupidization every day so check her out and you'll see what I mean. Her brother, Tohner Jackson, is a fellow woodwright but you can bet I never did any wood stuff like he does. He is an artist and apparently the custodian of a very old soul. Check out One Tree Woodworks and tell him I said hello.

Dee
South of the Whispering Pines is a land called Hanalea, I mean Australia and I have my friend Dee there. She is a bicycle advocate and horticulturalist and model, an epicure and who knows what else, a racing cyclist and cartographer. Cartographer.  Plus she was mentioned at the Snob's, which is, well a kind of pinnacle of achievement.

“What do you do for a living?”

“I'm a cartographer.”

"No way"


"Way."

I think she is in her old home of Nova Scotia right now. That's right. The land of the Trailer Park Boys. Dee, if you're reading this, tell Ricky and Julian I said hello.  And Bubbles, who is also a kind of cartographer.

Art VandeLay and One Scary Chick
See what I mean? Because of bicycles I know these cool-ass people. Wayward drives a locomotive, a real-life locomotive; Swampboy Steve at Hey Look At me is an architect, (as well as a trail-builder and cycling advocate) and the list goes on. Angie the Bikinator is one to keep your eye on, I am certain she will one day be a cycling journalist of note and reading about her efforts as an amateur racer always leaves me slightly exhausted.


Old World Craftsman
There is a place to go when it is time to work on your bicycle, or if you want to see a craftsman do wondrous things to crusty old bikes. His name is Hugh and he once was a mason by trade. If the work he does restoring old bicycles is any evidence, he must have been a hell of a builder. He meticulously takes apart and rebuilds bicycles that were fairly run-of-the-mill before he got hold of them, but after he puts the Hugh wang-dang-doodle on them they are two wheeled works of art. You won't believe your eyes but what makes his place special is his friendly, down home writing style. Go there and read about changing out a head set or bottom bracket or wet sanding a frame and you will leave with a warm feeling that as long as we have guys like Hugh, everything will be OK.


The Land That Time Forgot
As soon as you leave Hugh's it is a natural thing to stop by Cameron's Old Ten Speed Gallery. That's where I go hang out with my fellow fans of the Old School and really, after a visit there you will wonder why anyone would ever buy a new bicycle, when there is so much excellence, beauty and grace in all things old.

Disclaimer
I realize that it wasn't that long ago that I wrote a similar post, extolling the virtues of my friends. Please bear with me. While I have a knack for spinning a yarn and sometimes making you smile, I have a mandate from myself to make damn sure that those around me know that they count and are appreciated. 

Meanwhile, Back In Manhattan
 Here's another one:  His name is George and he seems to be tackling two worthy challenges at once:  Style and cycling.  George Hahn is a city boy, as are many of my friends.  But he is, without a doubt, one Sharp Dressed Man.  He has recently signed on as a cycling writer and while I don't know if it will work out for him, it will not be for lack of support from the Whispering Pines.  My own "style" has been cause for concern in recent years and if you guys go by and give him an encouraging word it will be appreciated, I am sure.  In particular, read his tribute to his father.  Any  writer this straight up and honest is worth watching.


"Every Body Say Hey!  Put Your Hands Up and Say Yeah, Yeah Yeah!" (john lennon, et al)
All of you. My soul-brother KAZ, Roadie Ryan, Bill Hopp the Anonymous Hoosier, Jason in Colorado, Jim Bangs, Jonathan, my other brother Matt in my old stomping grounds in California,  Dan in Las Vegas, The noble Bloke on a Bike, Brian the Boss in Old Virginia, all of you, on and on...


Uncle Ed Is Watching
When my Uncle Ed Comstock passed away in 1970 the funeral procession was unexpectedly long; so long that police had to come work traffic and the crowd at the cemetery was huge. People came from all over the country to attend. There was not a dry eye anywhere and the mayor and some other politician made comments and it took two preachers to get him in the ground. Who was this dignitary? He was a shoe salesman. He sold shoes for forty years at a little store in a small town in southern Indiana. But every person who got fitted for shoes by my Uncle Ed walked out of that store with a smile on their face and feeling better about themselves and never even thought of going anywhere else for their next pair of shoes. I'm pretty sure that some people got shoes they did not need just to get another dose of Ed Comstock.

He is looking over my shoulder as I type this and I hope I did it right.

Yer pal, tj

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Feel-Good Factory
#79






34 comments:

  1. TJ

    All the blogs I read have been the result of people sending them my way. I've just picked up a bunch of new places to meet folks, learn new things, and enjoy life. To that end I say:

    Thanks for the shoes!

    Your friend,
    Brian in VA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian, you always get it and I am never surprised. That's why you got called the Boss. Thanks for being there.

      tj

      Delete
  2. It's an honor to be in such good company. I promise I won't cuss (too much) and will wipe my feet before entering.

    Here's to a somewhat labor-free Labor Day weekend.
    Crystal

    PS - I'll send you a postcard if you send me your address. Don't worry - I'm too far away to drop by unexpectedly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hell, CryJack, I always expect you any minute. Do I have your e-mail? I would post my address on line but I get enough pilgrims as it is. If they came seeking wisdom I could give it to them because I am full of it; but usually they just want a dollar.

      tj

      trailerparkcyclist at gmail dot com

      Delete
  3. Very Nice. I look forward to that day we are all hanging out and somone says...."Campy or Shimano?".....or "Steel or Carbon?"....or "Tim Joe, tell us about that time.....".....True.

    Yer Pal
    Zig

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are way overdue, buddy. Next month it will be a year. Same old bike, same old dude. Bring yer woman.

      Bill is dwelling in the land of Nod, but maybe a feast would drag him back. But thin ice in a hot place, all the same. Let's telecon. my number has changed but any given sunday I am at my desk being me. dial the old number and one of the interns will route ya thru.

      tj the mighty

      Delete
  4. The day before your very first comment I had decided that I would quit the experiment in futility that I call my blog. Other than some supportive family members and a sprinkling of rubberneckers my S.o.S call had gone unanswered. You not only answered you let me use your compass and for that I am grateful.
    T.s.j

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of these days, Tohner, them tow-heads of yours will be strengthened and empowered by reading the stuff ya posted way back in the old days. They will know their Dad in a way we never got to know ours and they will be honored to be the children of a man who, even in his youth, had enough respect for his family and his life to put it all down.

      That will count, my brother, it will count big time so keep hackin' at it. I will be watching and as I told you once before, I get more references to my pages from your site than any other. You have lurkers galore, dude.

      your brother in sawdust,
      tj

      Delete
  5. I'll be a while checking out all the new links, but I know they will be worth checking out. Thanks for including me in your post, I feel really special! I will keep an eye out for the boys from the Park. They are my claim to fame in Australia. When I say I am from Nova Scotia everyone always says "I LOVE the trailer park boys!" and that makes me smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because Trailer Park Boys are so lovable, me darlin'. And listen, I am honored to know such a one as you. Don't ever stop and don't ever stop. Ya already got your wings and now your chore is to fly.

      That photo of your Dad in the Grove brought me down to my least common denominator, it might be the most beautiful thing I see this year.

      tj

      Delete
    2. I love the photo too, it was an intensely happy moment. That is what you travel almost exactly round the globe to experience. I loved the Bubbles clip BTW, when I am a crazy old woman I may be doing the same thing.

      Delete
  6. Wow, Tim Joe just your endorsement sent a few people over to my blog.. you must be famous. I was kind of surprised to see that a couple of people from Russia looked too. I hope that won't get me a visit form those Homeland Security guys.
    I really do enjoy seeing what everyone in the world of bicycles is doing and what their other lives used to be before they moved to the dark side. Keep up the good work.
    Doug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fun. I have readers all over the place. I'm glad to hear a couple of them found their way to your site.

      There will be more, rest assured.

      tj

      Delete
  7. Tim Joe how goes the Le Tour Redux? Any pictures coming soon (Hint!) and it sounds like we need some Uncle Ed Stories based on the turnout for his last hurrah sounds like you could fill a post or two and maybe even relate it to cycling somehow ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Ryan! The LeTour...well, I started to re-assemble it today (Labor Day) then at the last minute decided to wet sand and put on one more coat of paint. It rained so much last month that painting was questionable. Home Depot carries a "High Performance" Rustoleum Matte Black that I just have to have on there, or forever wonder if I stopped short of perfection. I'll be doing photos for Cameron and no doubt posting a post.

    Ed Comstock was legend in my home town, He came back from WW2 full of piss and vinegar, roaring around on a Harley raising hell like a one man Wild Bunch. Then he met and married my beloved Aunt Jenny, sold the Harley and started ushering at his brother's ministry. He got a job at the shoe store and spent the rest of his life saving souls and selling shoes. He was also the local auctioneer at the yearly cattle auction. That was a HUGE affair involving hundreds of people and cooking and square dancing and pie eating and the Comstocks were always the unofficial hosts, since the Auction was next door to my Granny Comstock's country store and pie factory.

    As sweet and bucolic a childhood as one could ask for and the source of a lot of my attitudes about square dealin' and simple, self sufficient ways. And barbeque and pie eatin'.

    I hope everything is going your way, my brother. Thanks for dropping by the Park.

    tj

    ReplyDelete
  9. TJ,

    Thank you ever so much for the kind words and the generous plug. I LOVE your blog.

    George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, George! I'm glad you stopped by and I hope you will be back.

      tj

      Delete
  10. TJ,

    Thank you for the shout out. I found you through Fat Cyclist's blog, and I found Judi's Miles and Madness through you. It's a small world for us cyclist bloggers, but it's great when it grows! I'll check out your recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie. Just a little payback for all the support I have received from you guys. I'm overdue for another Guest Post at Fatty's. But now that he is getting podium time and some pretty impressive race finishes I'm not sure I fit in anymore...except that I am still a Fat Cyclist.

      tj

      Delete
  11. TJ, insightful as ever. I am always happy to find a new post here and I look forward to many, many hours of reading at those on the roll here.

    I applaud your mission and feel honored that you would speak for those of us who are true clydesdales. :)

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks Dan. I would really like to get a little more "training" oriented with the Blog. I was down to 215 a couple months ago then incessant rain and a bicycle rebuild took its toll and my pants are tight again. I'll be writing about the rebuild soon, and then maybe do a little weight loss rumination. A few readers have mentioned the need to shed a few pounds. I sure do. At one point I was riding pretty hard and it was working. But my rides were becoming chores and I cut out the "training".

    I'll find some way to make it fun. Maybe some guests posts on the subject? I don't know. I edited the post and stuck you in the second-to last paragraph. Everybody say hey, yeah...

    tj

    ReplyDelete
  13. TJ,

    Thanks for the mention! I was so moved that I actually got the rough draft of my next post out to edit, scrapped it all, rewrote and made a new post. And I always enjoy your comments - it's like a bonus mini visit to Whispering Pines.

    Kind of funny the way the blog world works. You can't really reliably search out a mtb blog by topic - you have to get them linked from another blog. So it turns into this weird organic linked community, where people kind of slowly collect from the center out, adding more bloggers from the links on their latest addition. Very cool and very interesting.

    Hope you're keeping peace of mind down there and keeping dry.

    Steve Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is still hot and steamy here but August has passed and things will get to almost perfect outside soon enough.

      My friend Nick has really got me thinking about fat bikes. Our trails are VERY sandy and there are potential rides that I have looked into that are just too soft and loose for a really fun ride. Plus, I have been half-joking about a circumnavigation of Fla via beach. I'm thinking Mukluk...but as usual, I would have to dig up some dough first. But money always seems to show up sooner or later...

      I like to introduce people to each other. When I was still working building commercial restaurants I would find really good guys in the towns I went to. The best of the best would get invited to join me later. It cost more money to have these all-stars on the job, but my reputation for being the fastest gun out there ended up being pretty lucrative. And working in a super-group is one ass-kickin' adventure. Some of those guys, younger than me, are still kickin' it.

      So in my efforts to help other cyclists I have to gather around me people who actually KNOW something about cycling. That is you guys. If you scan the pages I mentioned up above you will find a lot of first hand knowledge based on savvy experience, with the emphasis on savvy. Everyone of you are smart people. VERY Smart People. Trust me, I know a lot of dumb-asses. You guys have a lot to offer and by mixing it up and opening lines of communication our sport in all its forms is strengthened and we get to meet new and unique people.

      I have found that the comments section (particularly at Gypsy's) can be like an enlightened forum without the children and the trolls.

      Looking forward to reading your next post, Steve. Thanks for coming by.

      tj

      Delete
    2. TJ,

      BTW your idea of a bike circumnavigation of FLA by beach is intriguing. You'd have some pretty amazing riding I'm sure, but dealing with the world 10' inland from the beach might not be so much fun. But that is an amazing idea I've never heard of before. Makes me wonder how far up the eastern seaboard a person could actually ride. Of course you'd have to cross every creek and river at the mouth, but that could be solved by routing or by bringing a pak raft...

      Another BTW, since you mentioned old 10 speeds - I currently have a '70's Puch Cavette in my basement, awaiting a (slow) transformation back to a lean mean street machine. Sure would be nice to get out on the pavement on a skinny tire bike again.

      Steve Z

      Delete
    3. It would be an interesting experiment to cruise around staying on the sand. I am very familiar with the East Coast from Jax Beach to Key West. It would be do-able as long as I timed my rides to be in sleepable beach zones as night fell. But with a full moon, night rides on the beach would be a blast! From the Keys I would take the Fort Myers Ferry...

      DUDE! Get that ten speed up and going! Check out Hugh's place for inspiration and Old Ten Speed Gallery for hope.

      tj

      Delete
  14. TJ, Thanks for sharing your posts and life with us lurkers out here. I originally found your blog by way of Fatty. I always read and look forward to your writing because it speaks to a cycling philosophy that shares in me. Can't relate too much with Fatty anymore, he has become too much of a racer for me to fit in.I was a five year clydesdale until this last two months I got it under the 200 mark for the first time in five years!
    I have been absent lately due to a cycling wreck I suffered. Nothing dramatic like a missing tooth tourist riding me off the road!! No, just some slippery road on my morning commute and down I went, head first, cracked open the helmet instead of my head, gouged up the sun glasses instead of my eyeball. Did suffer two broken ribs which take a long time to feel better (bummer!). So I'm on the mend and looking forward to returning on my bike commute and weekend rides inspired by your rides on classic bikes. My winter project will be a rebuild of my 1970's vintage Univega Gran tourer. I'll be asking for your and Hugh's advice as I plow forward with that.
    Thanks for your words and insights over these past two years!!
    Your friend in classic steel bikes and Coors Banquets!
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dang, Jim! I only have a hand-full of readers who are sub-200 and most of them are girls. Good for you! I clicked through to your site and was stunned to find it empty. You have a story to tell and I want to hear it. Don't worry about writing style: Look at the stuff I get away with.

    Post Up Dawg and let me know...

    You've Got A Friend.

    tj

    ReplyDelete
  16. Tim Joe,

    This afternoon my thoughts were guiltily getting around to the need to post a belated comment commending you’re A Simple Act and sharing with you that I too once discovered a male (with nuts!) bottom bracket assembly on an actual bicycle. This happened about five years ago when the need arose to swap out crank assemblies on my then new (to me) 1975 Fuji Dynamic Ten. I thought it made for a good enough story to share and would let you know that odd things seem to come to all those who ride and wrench. Almost as odd as finding sealed bearings on the bottom bracket of a velocipede of similar vintage. But, that was a British bicycle. So I took it in stride, affecting what I hoped was a stiff upper lip.

    Back to today. I thought to review the lively and informative words of A Simple Act before I decided to act. When I found my way to The Trailer Park Cyclist, you had made a new post. Days ago. I had been doubly, nay trebly remiss. Humbled and ashamed in my dereliction, I could not but read Roll Call before proceeding. It was an easy and pleasing piece of writing to settle into. It pointed me in new directions and gave gentle reminders to revisit other paths. Then, I came to:

    "Every Body Say Hey! Put Your Hands Up and Say Yeah, Yeah Yeah!" (john lennon, et al)

    Somehow, I got a mention too. I, the undeserving, was there amongst the deserving and worthy of mention others. I was at a loss. What was I to do? What was the right thing to do? What would TJ do? I pondered. Then it came to me. Taking in hand simple tools and a few bits and pieces, I went to my Schwinn (O.K., one of them) and performed a task that had waited too long: I affixed to the handlebars a non standard illumination device that had been acquired for just that application. Then, I spun the pedals of that same Schwinn and completed two errands that had been delayed to the point that internal combustion was becoming a possible, if unwanted alternative.

    Back home and feeling slightly better, I watched this note come forth on the monitor.

    Many Thanks for your words,

    Bill Hopp the Anonymous Hoosier (may I keep that as my moniker? I'll give proper attribution!)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Consider yerself SIR Bill Hopp, Anon, Knight of the Whispering Pines, Pedalist of Old Steel, Male-With-Nuts, et al. LSMFT,BMOC,MSG.

    Keep coming back and write longer and longer comments. It sounds like you may know a thing or two about our obsession and I want to hear it. Other people do also. (That's a pretty good sentence: "Other people do also." I don't know how much longer I can get away with this before the Word Police hunt me down and smash my keyboard.)

    Thanks for being there, Bill!

    tj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TJ

      I am deeply honored by the unwarranted knighthood. I will make every effort to live up to the responsibilities that I am sure accompany the title.

      Letting out into the public domain a bit of my distant past, I well remember the ancient meaning of LSMFT. I also remember that the product package further proclaimed "It's Toasted!". Thus enticed, I once made a purchase (coins into a vending machine in a well-lighted gasoline station west of the Mississippi when Jimmy Carter still resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) and sampled the contents. That was an educational experience that led me to the conclusion that "It's Toasted" was marketing code for "It's Stale!" But, that is just my opinion. It also contributed to my belief that I am better off spending time riding a bicycle (or two), or drinking a beer (or two), than burning paper cylinders of noxious, if legal (although some of the other brands were actually tasty...) dried plant material. Again, my opinion.

      I seem to be full of opinions and who knows what else.

      Thanks again,

      Bill Hopp the Anonymous Hoosier

      Delete
  18. TJ, I hope you received, and enjoyed your postcard. Perhaps it got sent to an adjacent trailer with a similar address, such as 113 1/2 Whispering Pines Way. I'm not sure if trailers follow standard numbering procedure.

    Thanks for the support as always. High schools required to rear vintage travelogues would be awesome. Those kids would be dreamers for sure. As mentioned previously, high school graduation should come with a reliable bike such as an old Schwinn High Sierra or Surly LHT. A reliable bike and some dreams would take young people very far. College, is some cases, does not.

    nicholas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah buddy, I got the card and now I am tearing out the walls and building a suitable shrine.

      Teach 'em to read and then show them the books. Any person who wants it can get it, I believe. I am currently on "J" in a 1960 edition of Collier's Encyclopedia that the Blonde found at curbside. A complete, 30 volume untouched set complete with yearbooks to 1972. Unbelievably enjoyable reading and I am like a man from the future as i read it.

      Kennedy has just been elected, computers are like several phone booths, and if you want to phone home ya need...a phone booth.

      So I am now a time traveler. Thanks for dropping by the Park.

      tj

      Delete
  19. awww. you are so fuckin' sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sweetness is as sweetness does, Miss Judi. I hope you are feeling better.

    tj

    ReplyDelete