The Writer’s Hustle

Fortunately, I have a primary source of income.  That, too, is a hustle, but less so than pitching articles/ideas to editors and getting the go-ahead, which might later on, after writing a couple thousand words, turn into:  it’s not the right fit, or … we’re booked pretty solid for the next year with content.  Sure,…

Bird Wings Slapping the Water

I pushed the pause button, taking a moment’s time to observe. Then a few of the birds took off, rising from the water, their feet pattering the watering as their wings gave lift, the tips slapping the water. Some riders went by, missing it, like I’ve done many times before.  

Stop Stopping in the Middle of the Trail

Today there are gobs-full more mountain bikers than there were yesteryear.  I understand what that might mean for advocacy.  Nevertheless, if it means more people on trails pedaling bikes who do NOT understand trail etiquette, then the whole advocacy thing is for naught, in some ways. Three different times yesterday morning while riding Laguna Mountain…

Kernville MTB in Dirt Rag

In the new issue of Dirt Rag (#203) is a trails-guide-of-sorts article I wrote about one of my favorite places in the world:  Kernville.  Back in 2000, while living in Ridgecrest, I learned about the little town tucked in the southern Sierra Nevada along the infamous Kern River that offers world class kayaking, as well…

2 Years Later Update: Marges/Lites Still Tight

Two years later and the Marges/Lites combo with the Clown Shoes rim strip has made, for me, a perfect set of tubeless fun.  I’ve not unseated the beads once, only adding more sealant from time to time. When that Surly 50% off sale happened two years ago, I thought:  why not?  Roll fat out in…

Boulders and Blue Sky

It makes sense why mountain lions are the color they are, doesn’t it? It’s big, endless, wide open and sometimes takes on that impossible blue hue:  dry desert sky.  

Lost Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park

Having been to the north end of Joshua Tree National Park a couple of times, I decided I wanted to enter from the south side and see what’s down there.  Lost Palms Oasis Trail seemed like it would be a good introduction.  It was, providing no disappointments. 3.7 moderate hiking miles long, with vast back…

Speak Truth to Power: African Dreamers

He cannot say what he is saying and not have each and every person opposed to his words not counter them:  in our homes, with our families, friends, at work, on the street, at the bar, hanging out at the park, in the classroom, and on and on. The truth is this:  he speaks hate….

Weathered Maya Face in Tulum, Mexico

Built as a port town for wealthy Maya, Tulum sits on the coast of the Mar Caribe along Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.  A few hours at the site had me again marveling at what the master astronomers did some 600-800 years ago. Despite the 1000s of people there that day, which made it a bit less…

10 Years On and Going Nowhere?

As I ease into the new year, the understanding that Earth and its inhabitants exist in a moment in time looks clearer when viewed from a space where a meteor crashed into our blue ball in a blip of that time, ending the age of dinosaurs. New life evolved and some from that time survived…

Street Tacos at the Bakery and Guava Soda

I saw it late one night more than a year ago, returning home from a live music show at a bar: a taco cart with steam rising up in the bright fluorescent light of a small strip mall parking lot. Not hungry, I kept on driving.  I did not forget about it, though.  A few…

Ice Crystals Fall in the Cuyamacas

Temps were in the low 40s down by the visitor center when I rolled out about 8:30 on patrol.  I was content in the thought of having a winter-like ride, at least for the start. Stonewall Peak was looking good, as always. I chose to ride the full sus carbon bike on this one.  It…

Here’s Some Weekend Cheer

Okay, y’all, it’s time to smile, if you’re not already doing so!  Science says that when we do, when we “force” ourselves to smile, that yes indeedy it does make us a feel a little better, that it can reduce stress. So, put a smile on your face!  I woke up with one today, and…

Flippin’ Phone Photos Folly

There’s no rhyme or reason to the photos, except that they are on my flip phone from the summer months: One of my favorite places on Earth: Funny thing, sort of:  I have been stopped and asked and called over probably something like 10 times, people asking me about my flip phone, saying they’d like…

Sit by the Ocean

It’s a luxury, I know, but I won’t apologize for taking time to sit by the ocean. What if we voted with the ocean in mind?  The creatures beneath the surface?  The ones that fly over it? Until then, are we carrying out this:

Why Do What We Do?

“Why do you go biking? “Why do you eat ice cream? “How many days a week do you go mountain biking?” “How many days a week do you go shopping?” “How much time do you spend biking?” “How much time do you spend watching TV?”

The Quiet Season

I’ve long enjoyed later autumn into the winter months.  A time for slowing down, it can be, along with a time of quiet.  It seems that with less light hours of the day, a sense of solitude exists as well. Out on the trail, less people are on it.  Maybe it’s too chilly.  Or, perhaps,…

Smashing Buck-a-Book Sale

At the Smashwords site, you can purchase an e-book copy of my Honduras and/or Ethiopia travel books for US$ 1.00 and download it/them to any device.  Color photos are in both books. Learn more about Olancho, the Garifuna (Afro-Carib people), Peace Corps life, Lalibela, Somali and Eritrean refugees, the land of camels, the Ogaden, and…

Autumn’s Slanted Light

What a day it was, autumn’s late afternoon light slanting through the trees and across the meadows.  Who says southern CA doesn’t have seasons?  Pffff … get outside and you’ll see that such a statement isn’t true. I spun out grunting up the little steep trail piece on Red Tail. Pause. What a wonderful invention,…

Winter Sunsets in San Diego

Though it’s technically not winter, this time of year through the winter months in San Diego delivers some great sunsets.  Moody skies with clouds are a welcome sight, for me anyway.  Those clouds make beautiful sunsets. Coffee tastes great, too, under the clouds, as do the stouts and porters.  Bike rides without the blazing sun…

So Much Beauty Out There

I’ve been going solo, of late.   In some ways, it’s the whole “the more things change the more the stay the same” or “it all comes back around” kind of thing that is present tense at this moment in time, for me; I used to pretty much always hike and bike alone. I like it….

Celebrate the Hike-a-Bike

Out now in Issue #11 of Cranked is an essay I wrote on hike-a-biking.  It’s a celebration of sorts, using a monster hike-a-bike that I experienced this past summer in Idaho as inspiration.