Ice Sock Fever

The storm before the calm A crack, a flash, the room strobes with light and something outside thumps. I sit up on the foldout bed and see the shadow of Taco do the same on his throne of an air mattress. What the…? Is that…? There’s the unmistakable sound of fat-bellied rain being hurled against a glass sliding door by a howler of a wind. Another flash and Taco’s features are caught in the lightning’s glow. From my bed, I pull the curtain back and peer outside to see a tree frantically waving its pom-pommed arms at me. Gimmee an …

Lay your dirty burden down

This is for you. And so the mud caked you and raked you, it stuck and it clung. It formed five-pound pie plates under each foot, and you squelched and stomped, left right, left right. It weighed you down worse than a mortgage, heavier than Thor’s hammer. A carefully constructed and grotesque glue prank—set by an antagonistic and oddball god—it rode up your heels like ants ascending a sugarcoated tree. This mud, this muck, this god-forsaken goo—it set its mind to crest the cuff of your shoe and infect your carefully chosen socks with pure Kansas gunk. You slogged and …

Hematoma Takes a Holiday

We don’t have time for this! No time. Tick tock. I’m not starved for attention, nor do I yearn for affection or the ear of a long-suffering confidant. But if I’ve absorbed anything from American summer camp movies it’s that you need a camp buddy if you’re gonna survive the short-sheeting and underpant wedgies. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I sought one out for Dirty Kanza training camp. It may come as some surprise, however, to discover that in order to find my camp buddy, I had to look no further than my own leg. That …

Tour de Tree: Groundhog Day Edition

The Tour de Tree. Five Days, 10 stages, mucho hurt. There is only one rule: All riders must complete a loop of the Mother Tree during a stage or risk disqualification. The following is an account of the thrid edition of this tour. Photos here

Rebecca’s Private Idaho: This Cowgirl’s Poem

There once was a Queen in Idaho With a penchant for pain, well dontcha know She put on a race With gravelly high pace And we all fell apart like weak so-and-sos. There’s poetry to riding a bicycle. A rhythm. A tempo. The percussion of the chain as it reverbs over terrain, the gear-shift melody, the rattling of a loosening bottle cage in a syncopated tick, which amplifies the verse as it flows through your mind. So. If there is poetry to riding a bicycle, then my style of riding could be classified as pure dirge. A ballad for the …

Common colds and carbonated beverages

Sick of it. Sick of riding my bike. Just sick of it. Probably not the best frame of mind to be in, a week out from The Death Ride. The Death Ride, aka The Tour of the California Alps, aka The 100% Surefire Way to Enrage a Saddle Sore Ride. Sick of it. Sick of riding my bike and the perceived detection of invisible expectation that I’ll always be found on a bike and the pressure I put on myself to Be Out There All the Time and Ride Long for No Reason at All. Except perhaps to find where …