My fellow horsemen,
So I’ve been in NZ for about a day and have so far succeeded in forcing myself into the daylight schedule…jet lag is weird. It was a long day of travel, and it was particularly weird in that I left on a monday afternoon and got here at the buttcrack of dawn on wednesday… Ohope Beach, where Jen lives is a tiny town on the ocean. If you drive over the nearby mountain (which is the windy, steep road that Jen rides to work each day) you get to Whakatane (pronounced fuck-a-tan-ee — sweet), still a small town by US standards. The hospital is in Whakatane and it the little “strand” which they call downtown here has a gorgeous little overlook in the middle of it. You can see 2 mountain ranges, an active volcano and the pacific, which has a bunch of cool volcanic islands that are apparently reserves where people are not allowed except on a limited basis once a year. NZ is pretty laid back and people don’t work long hours, so pretty much everything including most restraunts close at 5pm, which is weird–there is an irish pub, and I have already identified a few signs that are going down hard the first time we go out…
Yesterday, I got the tour of Whakatane, had some lunch, hiked up to the overlook, then came home to Ohope Beach, saw the town, the house and went for a swim in the Pacific for the first time…water was nice and we didn’t see any of the sharks that are apparently somewhat common at that beach. I’ll get some pictures as soon as we have a good clear day where you can see everything. The beach is kinda nestled between two mountain ranges that run down to the ocean…when the light is good and the sea spray isn’t too much, it is just retardedly scenic.
Jen has to work today, so I’m going to explore some more and will make my first attempt at driving on the left later today…we’ll see how that goes…I was paying good attention yesterday so I think I understand how things work. Whakatane is big on round-abouts, which I find weird under the best of circumstances, much less doing things on the left… If all else fails, I’ll just hold my middle finger out of the window and hope people get the message to get the fuck out of my way.
So that is about it for now. We have a 3 day weekend coming after today, so will probably run and have some sort of adventure, or several mini-adventures. There is a really cool mountain-bike park about an hour away (rotorua)…it is in the midst of a huge redwood forest, so I think we’ll certainly do that. I’m not sure if the shuttle is running or not so we may have to do regular pedal-biking around the lower part of the mountain…either way, should be fun.
Ok, I’m sorry that was so long…I’ll see what I can do about pictures and stuff soon.
When is the Ray’s trip?
No footage from Woodward this weekend. Several cameras were brought, none used. Typical. But I can summarize. The summary may even be better than some crummy footage anyways. Plenty of that shit online now anyways (read–shitty footage). Also, considering we saw ourselves on the video screen there, we already know how much we really, truly suck. Negative self-esteem after watching how bad were actually were. Not low self-esteem, negative. And we got too burnt and hurt to even get to a titty bar. That was just sad. 20′s to 30′s, rough transition.
Sick (literally) Friday, back hurt going in to the drive up. So we’re not even there yet and I’m already both (1) hurt, and (2), sick.
Arrive late with gang of idiots from MD and PA environs. Gross burrito for lunch at “alternative burrito”. Note: do not get burrito there again.
So session is already 1/2 over when we get there. Blizzard-like conditions add to the psyched-ness of riding heated and indoors. This psychedness will bite me real quick.
Hurt my back even more within first hour on some new drop into the foam. I got hurt in the f’ing foam! Now I can’t even move my neck. Begin doing ‘self massage’ on every pole I see for the next hour to try to salvage any sort of session, or to be able to take full breath, even. Now I can’t cough well OR get a full breath. Feel as though death is near, or should be. Eye up various Moms of Groms (MOGS, not MILFS) for sympathy back rub. Doesn�t happen. Continue the bear-scratch thing to be able to even breathe.
Others are in various states of being old, sucking, or a combination of the two. Oddly enough, the dude who didn’t ride his 20 for a year appeared to be doing exactly the same shit as the last time I saw him there. However, he rode 1/2 as much. And not at all Sunday. Reasons why follow. And it wasn’t even Frank. He came back Sunday and threw me into a wall. Literally, again. Back more more fucked up now. And he’s still drunk. Frankenstein, damn you. So I have to hit everything better than him to retain some sort of boss status. But it’s weak, at best. Like wearing AXE effect. Beejus.
Go direct to state college for dinner, get kicked out of bar for fondling the nubiles at 2am. Most women in the bar were handled prior to eviction, so it worked out, since they were closing anyways. And girls feel soooooo good. All squishy and what not.
Urinaring on cars, wrestling in snow. Wait, dudes are pissing on my car. We are driving back in. Brains working even less now. This is all within 10 minutes of getting to the car. Back hurt even more now. Friends not listening to my pleas to PLEASE leave my back alone. Pleas go unanswered. Consider leaving them in town to wrestle others as I drive back, but sadly there is another car to take them back to the Inn. Fuckers.
Wrestling ensues at the Inn at 3:30am with various levels of pathetic-ness. . Others hide, some commence to safety breaks under large “NO SMOKING” signs. Frank ends up giggling and falling out of bed, then leaving the room after snoring for two hours and not returning. When I got up for a pee break, he was not spotted in the hallway on the way to the bathroom or in the bathroom (cue visions in my head of sink vomit from that old CP house) It was reported he was seen sleeping on a chair in the hallway approximately 10 feet away from several open, unoccupied beds. Note said chair was not a lazy-boy type, but rather a little wicker thing with no arm rests. He weighs 240 pounds and looks like what a neo-nazi would look like in a scary dream. Even though he’s not, that’s the best description I can come up with. Even though typical neo nazi’s I see on the news look like they could spend a bit more time in life getting some sun and working out, neither of which franks needs any more of. But the big, scary description remains until I find a better comparison. I mean, dude was drunk and threw me like, like a discus. He may have even giggled as I arched back into my pain.
At breakfast others already asleep for the night report ‘entire building was shaking’ when we arrived.
Session Sunday is my best. Unsure why; perhaps trying to jew-out a few pennies of the cost to get to the fucking place and ride at all. Not to mention the drive time, dealing with etc, etc.
Team USA happy ending. Everyone shakes and is psyched. Unsure why, as we all reek of old pads and cigarettes, didn’t get more than a quick squeeze of ass, and are pretty much feeling like shit and are hurt and just need to go to bed.
Proof of my shit state is me sitting here typing this out for the last hour. Back doesn’t bend, and coughing up what appears to be discolored clumps of yogurt, but I can type.
Shred gnar, or just pretend to.
damn, my shit is weak
The backstory is that after the Beerfest and several Nighthawks, the Horsemen came up with a great idea, one that actually stood the test of sobriety. Come Christmas, we would escape the ensnaring clutches of our respective families and spend the holiday with the people we really cared about. Namely, our drinking buddies. Bike riding might figure in the activities as well, should time allow. Also, there would be eating. Eating on a scale rarely equaled in the annals of human history. And for once, the Horsemen actually followed through.
Ten thousand emails later, the roll call included the Horsemen (ShrEd, Dr. Mike, teh Gnome, and myself), and various honorary Horsemen and hangers on, including T-rok, Tom, Lyn Dinton, Brian and Jen, and Mike and Ben. There was also a canine contingent consisting of Manfred, Luke, and Mattie. Somehow I persuaded the culinary queen of Carrboro, Manyele, to bless us with her presence and provide sustenance.
Arriving thirty minutes late since Google didn’t realize that just because US 21 through rural VA is signed 55 doesn’t mean you can drive it that fast, especially on the Spentra, despite my best effort efforts, I was treated to the first of two beautiful sunsets.
Once it finally disappeared behind the horizon, we turned our attention to something equally beautiful.
Needless to say, shenanigans ensued, if shenanigans is understood to connotate MySpace-style portraiture almost exclusively.
The morning morning we were treated to an awesome sunrise . . .
. . . and the arrival of the Asheville contingent: Brian, Jen, and Mattie.
After breakfast and a brief drivers meeting, we loaded the trucks and drove off into the fog.
Luke was unhappy to be left behind.
First up were a couple runs on lower Headly’s. The dude dropping in is definitely not Dan Linton.
This may be the only riding shot the trip produced.
Next we took advantage of bear season to put in a couple of runs on Raspberry.
We hooked up with a couple of dudes from Charlotte (sorry, I only use nicknames I’ve made up, not screen names, otherwise you’d get a shout out) and closed out the day with a run on Raider’s Camp.
The drive back up 181 provided the big downer of the trip. T-rok had come down with some sort of stomach bug and very graciously volunteered to take over driving duties. Relived of the need for a third vehicle and eager to get in as many runs as possible, we left Brian’s Cherokee on the pullout on the side of the road near the drop in for Headly’s. We returned to find this:
Apparently during the course of the day, someone had decided to vent their frustration with a domestic situation by driving 181 at an excess rate of speed. She lost control and plowed into the Jeep, pushing it forty feet or more. To top it off, we later learned that the driver was uninsured, although Brian’s insurance is covering it. (If I may be permitted a professional aside, I’ve long recommended uninsured and underinsured driver coverage in addition to basic liability; it’s worth it even if you drive a shitbox like mine.) After surveying the damage –and counting our blessings that we weren’t unloading at the time– we trudged back to the cabin to drown our sorrow in beef.
While we were out shredding the gnar, Manyele had been slaving away all day in the kitchen, preparing a Texas-style brisket, collard greens, pinto beans, and rice.
Old school Xmas. The Pits got cised up, even though I wasn’t. Green resurrection session.
Despite the graphic, this single is actually the work of The Real Untouchables, more commonly known by the acronym T.R.U.; its members included all three Miller brothers, whose PG County roots make the choice particularly apropos. Cocaine Blunts put me up on this track; it’s OK for white people to read because dude is on NPR more than ShrEd.
A Sundance selection featuring zombies, Nazis, boobies, and extreme MG42 equipped snow “scooters” — this one definitely has a place on shelf reserved, right next to Blood Trails.
Shit went down for T-rex’s birfday, but not sure it needs to be published on teh intrawebz.