Thursday, November 8, 2012

Year of the Rabbit Dragon

The corner of Stewart St. and Waterloo
One, single day. That's how short of a year I came without a wreck.

I swore off wrecks. No longer were they funny, no longer were they thought of as just the cost of doing business.

I made it 364 days.

Almost exactly 364 days, to the hour as a matter of fact, after Nick and I slammed into each other and I broke my ass.

I was heading home from Jeremiah's after a little election night TV watching. As I pedaled, feeling good about the future, I skillfully maneuvered onto the Fremont Bridge approach. The air had a nip in it, a nice nip, like a teething puppy.

I wouldn't say I was going too fast, or that I was too stoned, or that I was feeling too good about the future, but I leaned into a gentle turn and my front wheel slipped on a wet metal sidewalk panel. Before I knew what was happening, my brand new frame disappeared from beneath me. Vanished. Poof.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I like this show, but really, there is nothing else on.

the evergreen state legalized it today. Suck it, oregon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Leveling of Seattle 2.0 - The 7 Best Hills For Bombing

In the beginning, it is possible that nobody knew how to properly change a flat. Night riding was not about bicycles.

If anything, the Night Riders Union of Seattle has deeper roots in freight train hopping than bicycle culture, evolving from an obscure hobo gang, The Crossbuck Boyz, which had two members.

Mr. Q and Bobby Gentle started riding trains the summer of 1999. They rode long distances, short distances, and even drunkenly hopped a BC Rail boxcar to Edmonds one night and had to walk most of the way home.

Because of school, family, work, relocation, and bad backs, the last time Q and Gentle hopped a train was September, 2004.

Night riding started four years later, in September, 2008. With its nocturnal explorations, mysteries, booze and blunts, adrenaline pumping thrills of screaming down the tallest hills fit to be paved, ridin' dirty filled their gasping need for adventure. 

It wasn't the same as catching trains, but it wasn't as disruptive to the routines and relationships of a normal life. Night riders could hit the streets once significant others and children hit the sheets and return before they woke up.

And the more night riders rode, the more they learned about bicycles and how to make them work properly. They also became less suspicious of bike culture, and less intimidated visiting bike shops. Soon, they became bike nerds.

Additionally, the more they rode, the more they learned about the hills of the region. Soon, they thought they knew everything.

This know-it-all-ism was first assembled two-and-a-half years ago, as an 11-point ranking of the best hills for bombing.

Since then, with the advantage of more rides and more discoveries, it has become necessary to revise the list.

Humans are fragile, death stalks the roads, and bicycling -- at night, impaired, listening to "The Humpty Dance" -- is dangerous enough without making it deadly. Speeds on these hills are well over 30 mph, and in parts well over 40 mph. Suddenly stopping or swerving becomes perilous or just plain impossible even under the best conditions.

There are hills that are steeper than those on the list, such as South McClellon Street from Beacon Hill to the Rainier Valley, and hills that are both extremely steep and long, such as many of the roads off Renton's Benson Hill; South Puget Drive and Southwest 43rd Street/Carr Road, to name a couple.

Those hills have not been discovered by night riders. One day, maybe, but so far, good sense has prevailed.

The hills on this list would terrify more sober souls, but they have been successfully bombed at least twice without incident. They are long and steep, but mostly have limited cross streets, minimal stop signs or stop lights, little car traffic, mostly smooth surfaces, and are well lit.

There are other hills that are begging to be bombed, but these are hills that night riders know and will go out of their way to ride, even make it the night's objective. These are the destination hills

This is not a definitive list of the best hills of Seattle. Union members are still searching for the golden heights of El Dorado, and welcome all suggestions.

The changes include the addition of two new routes, and the removal of six old routes. While slimming the list down to the best of known hills, this version attempts to take a more regional view, reflecting the expanded reach of the union. As such, only three four routes on the new list are within Seattle proper.

The new list also disposes with rankings. Although some routes are longer and others are shorter, it now feels capricious to say one is better than the other. So much depends on your bike, traffic, weather conditions, and favorite blunt wrap flavor. Therefor, The Seven Hills are presented by length.

Note: Don't get hurt or killed. If you get hurt and/or killed, don't blame us. You have been warned.

Juanita Drive NE/68th Ave NE - Kenmore (1.6 mi) It's not the most ridden hill in union history for nothing. Although speeds are not supersonic -- usually in the 35 mph range -- this sortie is anything but shorty. Plus the road surface is fair, there are some twists and turns, and the landing in Kenmore is soft as a thousand decorative pillows. Usually this hill comes near the end of a Lake Washington circumnavigation, the Big Pay Back. Night riders have been known to use Bastyr University as a way station for blunt smoking and adding layers for the chilly air of outer space.
WARNING: Unlike other hills, this one has at least one death on record. In Feb. 2007, a 28-year-old woman was killed when she collided with a truck as it turned onto Juanita Drive NE, down the hill from Bastyr, at about 5:15 p.m.

Olson Place SW/ First Ave S  - White Center (1.2 mi) Of all the routes, this might be the most intense. Not only is it steep and long, there is one light near the start smack dab in the middle that doesn't seem to favor down hill flow and a four-way stop near the bottom, and a large stretch of it lacks adequate lighting. It isn't hard to attain speeds of 45 mph, at which time you will be able to hear the tread on your front tire sawing through the air. Because the road splits off into highway onramps, it is best for an experienced rider to take point and lead the way. The four-way stop before the final plunge into South Park can be run with caution. Taken at the right time you can thread the needle and this hill can be vanquished in one seemingly-endless swipe, but be prepared to slow or stop. Feather your brakes, partner. Feather 'em, so you and your pads don't melt upon re-entry.

Admiral Way (West) - West Seattle (1.2 mi) Often overlooked because of its sibling hill (Admiral Way eastbound), this route is as close to an ideal bombing hill as Seattle offers and should not be dismissed. The landing is very soft, the hill is long, steep, and offers many curves. Headwinds are common, but even at lower speeds, the course does not disappoint (like Edmonds). There is a lighted crosswalk, but no stop lights or stop signs. However, the hill has many cross streets, alleys, and driveways. Also, because it is one lane, and on-street parking is allowed in sections, it can get dicey if cars back up behind you and try to pass.
For video click here

Renton Ave S - Skyway (1.1 mi) Just beyond Skyway Bowl lies this slope, one of the best as far as surface conditions and safety, in part because a well-marked bike lane follows you down. Although bikes tend to reach speeds that rival cars, it's nice to have the peace of mind a bike lane allows. There is one light in the middle, and it doesn't always favor downhill flow, but it lacks an abundance of cross streets. Once at the bottom, you run into an intersection on Rainier Avenue that has a light that doesn't ever seem to be green. Fortunately, there is an am/pm at the intersection. Unfortunately, its alcopop selection is limited.

140th Avenue SE - Renton (1.1 mi) Along with the Skyway route, this Renton hill has good surfaces and a bike lane. It also has a midpoint light (which does favor downhill traffic) and a major intersection at the bottom. However, it has very few cross streets and is wide and uncramped and quiet. The bottom of the hill intersects with the Cedar River Trail, which provides easy, scenic egress back into downtown Renton. It is also one of the most difficult routes to access, as it is the most distant route on the list, about 21 miles from the University District, and there are no direct routes to the top. The union recommends climbing up Benson Road from downtown Renton, then cutting through Cascade Vista and Fairwood to the top of the hill.

Admiral Way (East) - West Seattle (0.9 mi) This route has been in the news for the attention cops have paid to speeding cyclists. That says it all. With its silky smooth surface, zero cross streets, epic view of the Seattle skyline from the summit, this hill plunges more dramatically than necklines at a middle school formal. The road splits at the bottom and then merges with traffic on the left, which is exactly where you want to go, so it might be best for an experienced rider to take the lead. About two-thirds of the way down the hill, turn on the gas. That's the sweet spot.
For video click here 

S Holgate Street - Beacon Hill (0.6 mi) This is more of a precipice than a hill. This hill is fast, fast like a roller coaster gone off the tracks and crashing to the earth. Without much pedaling, one can usually break 40 mph. Surface conditions at the top are poor, so be sure your accessories are strapped down tight. At mid point, the newly established Beacon Hill bypass trail emerges at the curve just before the I-5 overpass, where it gets really fast. The city recently repaved the bottom of the hill, softening the landing zone, but just beyond are rows and rows of railroad tracks and road surfaces chewed up by semi trucks. Despite all this, the road is fairly untraveled at night with a dearth of cross streets/driveways and zero stop lights or signs

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Severed penis on Broken Land Avenue

Don't be alarmed, the severed penis you see here is plastic, or rubber, or a spaceage polymer.

it is not from a man, a human man, or any living thing. It could be the dispossessed apendage from a robot or synthetic being. A well-endowed and now very bereaved robot or synthetic being.

It was found Tuesday in the gutter on the 5200 block of Brooklyn Ave NE following an afternoon ride up the Bumpy Gilman.

I don't know about you, but it always makes me a little sad to see severed penises.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Summer 2012: The End Is Nigh

Today marks the unofficial official end of summer for Seattle.

Today, we are told to expect the return of the rains.

For the past two-plus months it hasn't just been dry. It's been sunny. San Diego sunny. Sunny like the summer of 2003.

Unsettling, to say the least.

One need only look at the data, and wonder, “We really have a problem in this town, when the sun shines and people feel the need to stay inside and study up on why.”
Fenders came off. No need to bring a sweatshirt. Once, on a night ride, we even jumped in the lake.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You think you're better than me?

Smokin bluntz at the waterfront park to cap off a very nice trip. Word to your moms.

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Tacoma! Vashon!!

Glass Museum, Do Not Touch
Tacoma, toward Ruston

Point Defiance

Vashon Ferry, very mod


Monday, October 8, 2012

Puyallup River Trail to Heaven

North Levee Road into Fife, where there are enough crappy motel rooms to lodge the dreams of even the most discriminating degenerate.


Southland - Renton to Sumner

Family Fun Center
Single Male Fun Center

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day Ridin - clear skies far as the eye can see

All things considered, its been a pretty swell summer. This, all this sunshine, is gravy. Gravy, my friend. Grrrrrrravy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Night Riders Celebrate Four Years of Penetrating The Evening That The City Sleeps To Hide

Happy Birthday to you, Night Riders!

September marks the fourth anniversary of the union's inception.

Much has changed since the beginning. Different bikes, different beverages, different blunt raps.

Not to mention the ever-expanding borders of the Night Riders' sphere of influence.

There are no official events planned to celebrate the anniversary, so membership is encouraged to celebrate as you see fit.

Here's to four more years of hill bombing!

Four more years! (repeat)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ridin Dirty - Early Fall

Solo ride to the sammamish river. i believe led zeppelin and metal fingers are the best night riding jams. how many more beautiful nights will we have? isnt that the question we are all asking?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beacon Hill bypass trail to nowhere

Solo night ride tonight, checked out the new beacon hill bypass trail. It's pretty nice heading south from the RZA bridge, the other way would be a climb. Sort of an odd trail, makes sense at the north entrance, but the south end t-bones into the middle of holgate: take a left and you've got yrself a serious climb up to hilltop; go right and you plummet into sodo at 40mph coasting.

the bridge from the waterfront to lower queen anne is nearing completion, the elliot bay trail has reopened.

nice night, cool air, clear skies far as the eyes can see. september is the new august, except without the heat.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New FOUR Loko flavor is Coppertone Inspired

It's called 'coco loko,' and it tastes like suntan lotion.

'i like it,' mr. q said. 'it's funny, this is basically a bottle of wine, if we've done our math on this right. This is middle-aged Boone Farm.'

Porno Bridge Cryptographs!

Like the cave paintings of somewhere in France, a pervert has crudely expressed his highest aspirations. Instead of tasty bison, this hungry soul prefers to depict grandmotherly types, grinning, while apparently peeing in a stemmed glassware.

jeremiah weed spiked cola is 5.8%. mr. q finds this laughable.

lots of dr. dre on the jam box.

12 miles in, already drunk

Ridin Dirty - Labor Day Pains

Had to fish a chunk of glass out of mr. Q's rear tire. on our way for about 15 mins. going round the north lake loop.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ridin' Dirty - Sammamish River Trail Jaunt

Headed up to the confluence of the burke gilman and sammamish river trail. It's cooled off, took long sleeves along, and a hat. Big moon tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roll on Green River

dipped a toe in auburn, felt like vindication. heading back. now, beneath the racket of i-5, watched a big train rolling into seattle almost as slow as the river, bookended by a squad of humming engines.

Strung between my cable housing is a cat's cradle of spider webs, picked up from where they lingered in the air above the trail, electrified in front of my headlight beam. near my left shifter is a small yet sturdy orb web with a small spinner strapped in for dear life. he is close enough to my hands that i can extend a finger and stroke him like a pet, my spider hood ornament.

we've seen many rabbits tonight. big ones, small ones, rabbits alone, rabbits in groups. even when you cant see them darting in the margins of the highbeam, you can hear them rustling in the bushes, uneasy. a few miles back, a spotted specimin of bunnydom broke across the trail in front of us. as he changed direction, you could hear its little toe nails scrapping against the black top.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ridin' Dirty - Two bananas in the larder

Making an attempt for south king county. long pants, first ride in a long time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You need hands

42.8 mph bombing out of white center. Here is a picture of the waterfront ferris wheel.

Ridin Dirty - Rat City Sortie

Fllllllannge squeal on Harbor island, on the way to white center.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Seafair winners all of us! every last one!

'where the hell is the porn? there's supposed to be porn here!' - president q

oh boy! oberto, not only the seafair cup winner, winner of the coolest brand name of any salty meat snack.

90 degrees today, at least in my room. hank is being a trooper.

jumped off a dock on mercer island. you just can't beat that. when we are freezing off our rear ends come winter, we will think of seafair weekend, and share the glory of a whine-worthy hot day in seattle with the good people of oh boy! oberto.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Porno Bridge-

New smut discovered at porno bridge! is some pervert out there trying to communicate with us?

'i hope that doesn't jinx us,' jeremiah said. 'showing up at porn bridge without any porn to leave as an offering.'

Summertime is A-ok!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Handsome Jack the comeback kid

Rode the roads of renton, had a nyte ryderz of renton sighting. Also split a fifth of mid shelf vodka, so we werent so swift in chasing after. Perfect weather. now, sitting on the shores of lake washington, the moon hung bright in the south. Almost to i-90. just a mile or so. peeled off from jack in front of the old library. he rode strong, and said he felt good.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ridin Dirty - Ren'on Represent

The bugs in renton hang in the air thick as curtains. You can hear their wee exoskeletons bounce off yr glasses. They bounce of your face - and helmet with a little tick - and get trapped in your ear and buzz like alarm clocks. they fly in your mouth when you breathe or talk or try to spit out the last fly you just swallowed.

tour of renton with handsome jack. on the railroad tracks near the kent boarder.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ridin' Dirty - Georgetown

We honor the first minutes of July by wearing long pants and three layers.

Rolling past the scrap pile, j and i found an heretofor unknown pathway near the union pacific yard. a person was under the bridge. A mountain bike leaned against the wall. sleeping beneath blankets and tarps, pulled up over their head, the person had two or three kittens sitting on their chest. The kittens watched us roll by, tracking us like big, scary rats.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ridin' Dirty - White Center Exposed!

Late June rains subsided in the evening, and mist grew like mold. Its cold when you are sitting still, sweaty when pedaling even with slight vigor.

The road to White Center is not paved with good intentions, but it is paved well. Climbs are moderate, easier than Avalon.

About to drop down Roxbury into the Duwammish valley.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The land of ice and snow

EDMONDS - it is 49 degrees, after 1.5 days of monsooooooon! heading north on the interurban. ¡lime-a-rita is muy bueno!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day Ridin - tuk yo wila

Grey skies, mostly, for a day ride to tukwila's montana boquito.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thats the way to roll

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Skyway - sucka friendly

You know I'm a menace to society, but girls in biker shorts are so fly to me - Ice Cube

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ridin' Dirty - U District to Skyway

Likker legal at the company store. First day, the safeway on brooklyn ave was picked over like a diminutive thanksgiving turkey. Peace to badger and what up to handsome jack.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mercer Island, the Sweet Life

Graffiti at the I-90 overpass, Seattle side

Mercer Island has sweet tailwinds and sweeter water. Jeremiah and I completed the loop, Nick joined in for the beginning, but pealed off in Pioneer Square. Mileage was about 44 miles.

Stopped by a convenience store in Chinatown. Outside was a couple of drunks short 30 cents for a 24 oz. Blue Ribbon. I asked them if the store had any FOUR Loko or Sparks.
"Are you an alcoholic?" one of them asked.
"No," I said, then giggled nervously.
I bought them their can of beer. They were very grateful.