Rick, The Black Cat, Undies and Print
As soon as I posted yesterday's blog about my new swank Endura jacket I knew that at least ONE of my friends would have something to say about how I bought a jacket to ride in shit conditions, yet I rarely ride in shit conditions (shit being cold and snow). Well, Rick was the winner with his comment. SO you KNOW I HAD to ride out in the snow and ice today just to save some face.
I spent 20 minutes stuffing myself into various layers of supposed cold weather gear that included, amongst other things: lobster mittens, the WarmFront (which rocked!) and some vintage Lake winter boots that still sport the toe funk of Andrew Freye. I was warm, I was stoked to ride outside, it faded fast.
I figured a couple hours on the rail trail would be just fine, as long as it hadn't iced up from various amounts of dog walkers and joggers. I was happy to see that it hadn't, and the ride started off well. The Mamasita was plowing through the snow, Lemmy was jamming in my ears, and I was glad to be out.
A mile or so in, I saw a black cat cross in front of me. Shit! But then it turned back. I thought "oh hell yeah, you better run..." What I think really happened was it crossed once- BAD LUCK! Then it turned and crossed again- MORE bad luck!!
The whole bad luck thing didn't register until I realized at some point that I was now riding in the ruts of an ATV that had been on the trail (for some freaking reason!!). The snow was pretty loose, so I really didn't care, wait- WHAM!!!!!! Down like a ton of bricks, right on my ass on some rutted ice. F*CK!
OK, OK, the bike still works, laugh it off, get going. OK, stay off to the left, out of the tracks. Good, good. OK, I'm running out of fresh snow to ride on, time to head back. Just be careful... WHAM!!! DOWN AGAIN! F*CK! Now I am LESS than happy. I start to think of Rick and his taunts of not riding in the snow. I now think "Who cares?? I should have just stayed in the Stankment®! At least I wouldn't feel like I got beat up with a ice covered baseball bat!"
Again, the bike is good, I'm good, get going and get it done. Reset the "Ultimate Motorhead" play list on the iPod and get going. Ride, ride, ride WHAM!!! DOWN AGAIN!!
THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!! I now think "This is SOOOOOOO not worth it!" Cold I can take, snow I can take, rain I can take, but ice can go have sex with itself. I hereby swear off ice and snow. I'd rather Jazzercise or something.
I once again pick my ass up off the snow and ice, and continue on. I creep and crawl back to the xB. As I turn off the trail into the lot I see a paint bucket, look down as I pass and THERE THEY WERE....
UNDIES!! ANOTHER FREAKING PAIR OF UNDIES!! On the next to last day of the year, and most likely the last outdoor ride for me until the new year!!! To top it off (and be glad I edited the left half of the pick) they were, how should I put this?.... "shat in?" I almost puked. But not before I took a freaking picture! LOL!
I guess that made the ride worthwhile. Or at least funny (to me).
Eyes with anger and venom.
In the end I learned some things... Start hating Rick. Don't ride in ice and snow without studded tires, and start urging Wifey to transfer South (or Southwest preferably!).
I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being outside. I'd also be lying if I said that I'm glad I went. There are enough days without ice to ride, and not enough days WITH ice for me to want to spend cash on studded tires. The crisp air was nice to be in, but I think I'll just pull out my xc skis or hiking boots next time.
All that snow and ice angst, didn't last long. 'Cause when I got home a proof of XXC #5 in printed form was in the mail basket.
I'M STOKED!!!! I fully believe that digital is the future of publishing, and plan to continue publishing the eMag for sometime, but I also want to offer the mag in printed form for folks (as well as myself). Finally I found a way by having it printed "on demand". Saves me from investing a ton of cash, it saves some trees, by eliminating paper waste if folks don't buy it, and allows me to offer the best of both worlds to my readers.
I did this just for shits and giggle and wasn't going to start offering a printed version to the public until #6, but WTF?, I was super happy with the way the mag turned out, so it's out there. I did have to cut out the article about the Crocodile Trophy (in order to keep the cost down), but in the end produced a 50+ page mag that will be available for $13.50. Until January 1, you can actually score it for $10.90. I know it's not cheap, but it IS cheaper than I could charge if I would have had 300 mags printed at a printer and PRAYED that enough people bought it to break even and not leave me with a stack of unread, un-purchased mags. I doubt I could charge under $15 to print and mail on my own without having the mag be cover to cover advertising. It's also on par with some other semi quarterly mags that I love and respect.
This way the only time the mag is printed is when someone wants a printed copy. And if you want the digital, you can always get it at xxcmag.com for $2.99. Right now you can only buy the mag if you live in the U.S., Canada, or the UK, but that could change in the near future. I'm also sorting out a way to ship internationally sooner on my own, as well as offering the mag to shops to sell. Just need to figure all that out.
Despite my bumps and bruise and hatred of all things ice and snow, it was a fun and good day, and a nice way to (almost) end the year. Tune in tomorrow as I will post the Soiled Chamois "Year In Undies" Photo Annual. (just kidding, I think.)