Thursday, September 27, 2012

Best Song Narratives

Okay, okay, favorite song narratives... Couldn't sleep last night, so thought this up. These are some of the best stories told in popular music. According to me, the King Of This Blog. Or at least the limited popular music I listen to. They all have a narrative, a beginning, a middle and an end (mostly).  Ranked sorta' by what I think are the best stories, but also what I like more. Feel free to add to this (biased) list!

Honorable Mention:  Until The End Of The World - U2 - Not so much a story, but a conversation between Jesus and Judas has to rank here somewhere!

8) Romeo and Juliet- Indigo Girls (I think their version rocks more than Dire Straits!). Amy Ray just belts the lyrics out and conveys a lot more emotion than Mark Knopfler's slow simmer.

7) Jeremy - Pearl Jam - Not a happy song.

6) Paul Revere - Beastie Boys - Has there been anything as good as these three guys ever?

5) Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police (try to disregard the Mardi Gras pirate attire). It's a messed up story of obsession and desire at it's best.

4) El Paso + Feleena - Marty Robbins- Such a great song cycle. Feleena is even better than El Paso, which is pretty hard to beat.

3) Red Barchetta - Rush - 1981 was a good year! This song was my gateway drug to music. Maybe not the best story on this list, but damn I still love this song!

2) Tangled Up In Blue - Robert Zimmerman - the Jerry Garcia Band version is a very close second that I almost put on, but Bob's original is just so great! This rolling & rolicking story is just amazing!

1) Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash - Can. Not. Top. Story telling at it's best!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Up, Up, Up The Hill

The first weekend with some cooler temperatures sent me out the door and on my bike. But where to go? I've been wanting to ride up to Angelus Oaks for a few years now, but it just never worked out. Time to change that!

Over the past few weekends I've put portions of the ride together, riding up to the trailhead and back, and then driving up and riding the off-road portion. But never strung the complete route together. No longer! As of Sunday I can say I've done it!

San Bernardino Forest Stitch

And what a ride it was! Absolutely gorgeous day, low traffic, and feeling good. 40 miles and 8,000 ft of pedaling against gravity! This is an excellent ride if anyone is looking for just such an outing. It's cooling down now which makes the ride really nice. LOTS of gnats up in the mountains though. I'm going to wear some sort of a bug net over my head when I ride up there again.

While the first part of the ride is all on road, it's still nice. A bit of traffic on Hwy 38 through Mentone, but not too bad @ 9:00 in the morning. It's about 13 miles of constant grade getting to the trailhead.  That's where you see this sign and know the real fun begins:


That leads to seven miles of abandoned pavement, singletrack, stream crossings and blue jays! I had 42mm knobs last time up, but used 35mm Paselas this time. Definitely bounced around a lot more on the rocky trails and had to push through the occasional sand pit, but I was OK with that as most of the ride was road miles up to that point.

Speaking of which, the downhill was amazing! I rode the highway back to save some time and was hitting 40mph for good portions of it, just tucking in and hanging on!


I did bite off more than I could chew, and by the end I was forcing myself to pedal and get home. No pain, no exhaustion, just tired of being on a bike after five hours. I'd like to get to the point where I could do this consistently, but it is a bit of a time sink. I'll probably drive to the trailhead and enjoy it from there in the future.

Where I should have turned around

But best of all: No knee pain for the entire ride! That's a BIG one for me as I have IT band issues that can occasionally be debilitating. Mostly not there, but it sometimes it just crops up, usually on road rides where I'm pushing a constant fast pace. There were some solid road miles up there, but I rode my own pace and seemed work great. Whoo-hoo!

So get this: Not only did I have spousal clearance to take the entire morning off, but when I got back home, I was greeted with this:

There was beer involved, trust me.

Sorry folks, she's all mine!

Full pics from the ride on flicrk:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Yet another set of gloves done in.

These are Planet Bike gloves purchased June 2011. I believe they cost me $11.

Rivendell gloves last me two years before disintegrating but cost $15. So the Rivy ones last 100% longer while only costing 50% more. A good investment it seems!