Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The first road bike I built. This one for Bobbie in 1994

News Fash! BikeJournal is now fully up and running. So, my daily cycling blog should be up again. I'll update that once it stops raining!!

I've been on a quest now for almost 3 years to catalog most, if not all, of our family photos into electronic form. The task has been much larger than I originally thought, as well as consumed much more of my time. Murphy: "Everything takes longer than you think." Looking at all these pictures of time gone by in multiple succession, I couldn't help but think to myself, "where did all the time go?" So, I guess I started reflecting on the past and in some way hoping to match up braincells with the multitudes of images. What does this have to do with bicycling? Well, a lot actually. I began to reflect on how long I have been riding my bike. Not riding my bike as a kid because most, if not all of us, can remember those days. But, rather, reflecting more on how and when I got serious about cycling. Some of the pictures brought me back to 1989 and the time I got my "real" road bike. A friend of mine got me into cycling after running got just too damn painful and hard. I remember how cool 7-speed index shifting felt, and how cool that Trek 2300 looked sitting in my garage ready for a spin on the road. With each image, those memories seem to stand still in a weird sort of way. Kind of like all the old family photos I have been going through. The photos, viewed individually, seem to freeze time. They halt your thoughts and transport you to that instant in the past, while at the same time, leave you with the feeling that it was only a moment before. Photos awaken memories of my first Century to Mesquite, Nevada and how I carried that 400-pound gorilla on my back with about 40 miles to go. And the exhaustion I felt finally dragging myself to the finish line with a nearly flat front tire, unwilling to get off the bike before the end to fix it. And, how good that beer tasted at 150 miles of my first double attempt. It never felt so good to quit something in my entire life. Yep, reflection. A perfect word to describe my mood of late. Here's a quote from an article I like:

"Everything Dies (Every Rider Crashes.) Everyone and everything falls down eventually; Twin Towers, The Roman Empire (most of it anyway, except for the ruins still on the official tour) Kurt Vonnegut, rest in peace our hopeful cynic. Truth is, the more you worry about crashing the more likely it is you will. Riding and living tentatively is the kiss of... well, you know. Worse still, if you try to eliminate all chances of crashing, it's the kiss of mediocrity. Over time you'll go brittle, hollow and old while barely noticing, and your bike will grow cobwebs from hanging in the garage. Try this, act as if today is the last day you'll own a set of legs... it might be. No, I haven't heard anything, but if I had, I'd want exactly what you would want... one more ride."
Joe Kurmaskie.

Honolulu Century circa 1995!

Ride the Rockies circa 1998

Windmill Century, Central Coast California circa 1999.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Down but Definitely Not...Out!

As most of you know by now, we had an automated attack on our database, Monday, Nov. 3rd. Nothing personal as far as I understand - but that doesn't make it any less vicious. As a result, many records were overwritten with a malicious URL (website address).

I wasn't gonna say anything about this but I just can't let this go by idle. Would the person who wrote the malicious code that put his site down please identify yourself as the low-life scumbag that your really appear to be! There are about 15,000 people right now who would like to take a wire brush to your butt and teach you a lesson. Although this attack on BJ appears to be nothing "personal", the fact that some low-life would write such code to destroy the good naturedness of this site is beyond belief to me. We should just take these assholes out and break all their little fingers so they have to use a pencil in their filthy little mouths to tap on the keyboard. I voted for hope just recently, and it is my fervent hope that we find these little self-indulgent assholes and hold them accountable for their vicious little deeds.

OK. Rant over. On a more upside, I recently added several links on the right hand bar that take you to various journals about bike touring. They are individually linked so they won't navigate you away from my main page. I also did the same with my ride reports that you will also find on the right hand bar. Unfortunately, the way that blogspot is setup, they navigate you away from the most current blog. To get back to the most recent blog, just click on "Mozam's Cycling Adventures" and you will be taken back to my most recent blog. I'll fix this later, now that I know how to make it work correctly. Comments are certainly welcome so feel free to tell me what you think. I'll change these up now and again to add a little interest so if you find a journal you like be sure to bookmark it for yourself. You can also read a ton more journals at Crazyguyonabike.

Cheers, Mozam

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ride for a Cure...


Rows of shelves lined with fireworks, and I’m not talkin’ sparklers here either. Also, more cigarette cartons and bottles of booze than you could shake a stick at. Where was all this you might ask? The Paiute Indian Reservation truck stop at exit 75 just north of Las Vegas on I-15, the start of today’s charity ride to raise funds for a local lady stricken with breast cancer. That’s what I saw at 7 o’clock in the morning when I went inside looking for a restroom. To say the least, I was a bit taken a back. Turns out that that wasn’t the only surprise of the day, and the ride hadn’t even started yet. Getting back in the car and following what was obviously another cyclist looking for the start point, we entered a rather large truck-stop parking lot and were directed by someone obviously in charge to park, “over there.” So, we parked “over there.” To my amazement parking over there meant that we got a birds-eye view of the fireworks test area. Seems you can do that in Nevada. Now, I’m not much for litter. As a matter of fact, I hate it, and loath those who are so lazy to create it. Well, let me tell ya. This area was at least a square mile of used bottle rockets, large fireworks containers, and general trash. Disgusting. But I guess it’s not my reservation so I’ll move on to the cycling.


The event was probably one of the biggest “non-organized” events I’ve ever attended. The gal running things, Asia, managed to get over 200 people to show up, all of whom raised over $4250 dollars to help this nice gal fight breast cancer. Several bike shops donated items for raffle, and several folks gave up their entire day to volunteer and SAG. The only thing that didn’t cooperate was the weather. The skies were relatively clear but the wind was blowing relentlessly and was getting stronger by the hour.


The ride started a little late and we rolled out about 30 minutes past the stated start time. The route took us up a small 9-mile incline towards Valley of Fire State Park which lies about 11 miles from the truck stop. Everyone pretty much stayed together until the road pitched up. Standard. The racer boys dropped everyone early and proceeded on their way while the straggling peloton eventually broke completely apart into small groups of riders. I must say that the scenery is pretty much junk until you drop into the park. The Nevada desert just doesn’t have a whole lot to offer from a generalists standpoint.

After reaching the summit of our 9 mile climb, the road drops off dramatically and immediately into the park. The downhill was quite a thrill and quite a challenge for me as I did the “one handed” photography thing. Just past the ranger station the rewards begin. The bland Nevada desert changes into a spectacular assortment of colors that contrast dramatically with the brilliant blue sky. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. Valley of Fire is truly a remarkable place and it was hard to keep focus on riding with such dramatic vistas unfolding all around us. The only bad part about this ride so far was the fact that it was downhill for a really long way with a tailwind. And any experienced cyclist will tell you that that means only one thing: uphill and a headwind on the way back. As luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened and the effect was dramatic. We lost a lot folks to the SAG, including Mrs. Mozam. It was probably a good thing that Mrs. Mozam dropped out at the ranger station because the climb back out is about 4 miles of 8-10% grade, all of which was against a headwind. I pressed on to get the car, when Asia pulled up to offer a fill of water. I told her I left Bobbie at the ranger station and she eagerly volunteered to go SAG her in. What a great lady! After the climb out, the headwind turned to a quarterly tailwind pushing me back down the grade at speeds exceeding 30 miles an hour. There is just something very cool about cruising down a desolate road all alone on a bicycle at such speeds.


By the time I got back to the start, the wind was blowing so much dust across the road it was barely visible. My car was covered with dust and it was a real challenge to get everything put away before the wind carried all our stuff off across the parking lot. The place was practically deserted when got the bikes put away, and it didn’t look like there was going to be any post ride events so we just loaded up and got the heck out of there. Next time, if we get up and the wind is blowing, we’re gonna blow this one off!

See the rest of my photos of Valley of Fire here

You can also see more pictures here.