2015:023 Downshift on the Descent

Let’s start in the darkness this time.


Years ago, I was in the Americorps National Civilian Conservation Corps. I’d like to say it was out of a sense of giving back, a compulsion for do-goodery, but honestly it was because I was young and college wasn’t clicking for me. So I dipped, lost a couple deposits and volunteered to build houses or test water quality or feed homeless people or something.

What I ended up doing was working at a state park in Tennessee. I’ve gone into the lobster pot about that place before and you can check it out here, so I’m not going to go too deep on it. But one of the Park’s maintenance workers was named Darrell Jones. I think it’s safe to say he was Pickett State Park to the core. One of the the greatest men I’ve ever met. Always ready to crack a joke on you, but never missed an opportunity to teach you something–how handle a chainsaw until the blade goes dull, sharpen it and start over again. How to use the official state park font stencil set. He laughed at our gear, $200 hiking packs and the like. Just before the picture above was taken, he took us us on a 20 mile hike with nothing but a coke bottle refilled with water and can of chewing tobacco in his pocket. He was a good man.

I learned Darrell had passed away this morning, or sometime over the weekend. I never saw him after I moved back north. But I can’t think help to think of him, and the time I spent there, when I see state park signs or just work with the stones in my back yard. So much came from him.

Yella saw Darrell about a year ago. His Parkinson’s was already pretty advanced. And now that struggle is over. He was a good man.



Since we’re talking about state parks, Keith and I made a run to Devil’s Lake with the bikes on Saturday. Just a cool 100 miles in 50 degree weather, with a 20-25mph wind. Easy-peasy. We wound our way through farmlands, catching a tailwind as often as we could, eventually making our way to the Merrimac Ferry. I think the wind was worse crossing that river, but who knows. When it’s cold, it’s just cold. Keith was putting out the vibe for the Amish broads. I think he was hoping for a rumspringa, but those ladies weren’t having it.


We also ran into a couple old dudes on bikes. Serious old man bikes. A full carbon Colnago and the tallest Calfee I’ve ever seen. Honestly, it’s the only Calfee I’ve seen in person. Señor Colnago opted to head back to Madison, while Señor Calfee continued on, to the park. We were going to ride with him, but the dude hopped on and was gone. Straight into the headwind. We clocked him at 100mph. Jumbo ringer. Old man shit.

We made it to the park and stopped off for some lunch and a cool 12oz of Seagrams, which is pretty much an energy drink.


The winds kept snapping at us the whole ride home, and I’m pretty sure I had to downshift on a couple descents just to keep moving. Few things are more humbling than watching your speed go from 30+ to 25 to 20 on a downhill. Then, to 17. Our struggle was for real. We took a break at a winery and eyeballed some boxed wine ladies get their afternoon drunk on.


Eventually we made it back Madison, and after a quick loop we crossed the century mark with more 5700 vertical feet in the bank. Not a bad day. As is tradition, we then shoved Indian food down our throats. How was the dinner, you ask. I’ve give this place total SWAD status. SWAD.

I’m like a fricking real life Yelp over here.

More Yelping you say?

These things could be hotter.


They could also be better. Get it together Ming. 2 stars.

Snowboarding still matters, right?

As you can see the new Toyota Tacomer is still down for that shred life. They’ve even got ads about urban snowboarding.

But here’s the M. Knight twist, they’re using those cooler, 2-piece snowboards that come with poles.

Snowboarding still matters to OnBoard/Whitelines.

They just dropped an article 9 Reasons Why You Should Ride Dryslopes. I haven’t read it yet, but 9 reasons seems like 8 more than you need. The only real option is “We’ve got 5 winters left. 6 Tops. You better get cool with dry slopes now, dicks.”

Fuck it, Let’s Talk About Clothing

I learned from the Washington Post (WTF?) that American Apparel filed for bankruptcy today. Not surprising, but this opinion piece was kind of a weak way to read about. Reporter is all up in there, talking about how they never sold clothes for real people. That’s a ridiculous premise. Clearly, reporter never met Khan Phom, because homegirl was head-to-toe Helvetica Double A on the reginald. Also they made solid henleys.

WashPo Reporters be way out of touch. I’m looking forward to the next opinion piece about the black man, or the Jews in America.

Speaking of being out of touch

We got this BMXtremist getting salty because their BMXers aren’t allowed in the new skate park.

“I go out my door on my way to work and see this thing; I pass it every day,” says Burger, a machinist who has been riding BMX bikes for 15 years. “If [the rules don’t] change, I just want to move. It’s like having the love of your life dangled in front of you.”

Dude nearly dropped the I’m moving to Canada line. So heated.

Whyte folks got it so easy.

Die Heavy, everyone.
Thanks for everything Darrell.


on “2015:023 Downshift on the Descent
3 Comments on “2015:023 Downshift on the Descent
  1. gregory, i hope this is how i can get a hold of u, i don’t know much about computers but someone send this to me a few days ago i had not saw it untill now, u were very kind in your words about darrell, and he thought alot of u kids i hope this finds u doing good, but i would like to ask if u stay in contact with any of the others i know u all took a lot pic while u were here and i thought if u had any of darrell i would like to get some copies for a book i am putting together for my grand daughters. if u do my change get this i hope u are doing well

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