Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As this holiday season commences I'd like to take this moment to share with you the fetching bruise that has just in recent days shown up. It's an after effect of the Assaulting Alder incident from two-and-a-half-weeks ago. (See posts below.) Besides its ickiness, what strikes me is how this single bruise has shown up on the inside of my right leg when the tree hit the tops of both quads fairly equally, as I remember. Perhaps I should consult with a professional bruisologist. And man, I'm losing quad muscle mass but fast!

Hey y'all, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Check out today's Seattle Times Northwest Weekend section for my story on five winter things to do that have absolutely nothing to do with the Vancouver Olympics. It's here:
In other news, I went back to New Jersey last weekend for my 30th high school reunion. (I know, I can't possibly be that old, right?) Great time and, though my recovery from my tree incident of a couple weeks ago is going rather slowly, I got in a nice 30-mile road ride with classmate Chris Kunkel. But lookee what we came upon (see below): a recently fallen tree just barely being held up by power lines. Talk about giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I've been feeling surprisingly good the last couple days so today Mellow Johnny Boy and I headed down the Interurban to revisit the scene of Saturday's clobbering. Beautiful sunny day, the trail couldn't have seemed more peaceful and harmless. Caught myself looking treeward a lot, thinkin' OK, next big wind, that one's coming down. And that one. And that one. And so on.

As you can see, the tree-slash-guillotine has already been cut and removed to the side of the trail. Looks like it was about 25 year old, maybe 30 feet high and plenty heavy enough to have caused serious damage, if not death, if it'd been a direct head or neck smacker. I know I'm lucky as hell and am extremely thankful for my family and friends and just everything and everybody, dammit. But apparently no smarter. We ran into Charlie Heggem and guess who takes off after him on the sprint up the Taylor Dock. And of course John and I got into our usual tete-e-tete up out of that "hole" on the Interurban by Cleator Road.
That's John and me with the fallen tree behind us. We cut off a slice for--I'm not sure why, make a coaster out of it?--then peed on the tree to show it who's boss. (Or who's a tasteless boor.) All I can say is that it felt great to be back on the trails!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Here's Mellow Johnny Clark today standing by the tree that yesterday made like a guillotine blade and landed us on our arses. Might not look like much but she did her damage, that's sure.

We're still trying to figure out what happened: I was slightly ahead of John so it only grazed my face--missing my head by inches--but slammed into my quads with I assume a direct hit--or pretty close to one. But how did it miss my arms completely, unless, in the instant the log passed by my face I quick yanked my hands off the handlebars? I could've had two broken arms with no problem. (Not to mention a crushed skull if I'd been six inches further ahead.) John's front tire bore the brunt of it, and so luckily he shows no ill effects. In fact today, he and Scott "Titanium Cowboy" went for a long run down to where the incident took place, sort of to exorcise the demons. (Thanks, Scott for the photos.)

Thanks to everyone who's e-mailed me and facebooked me (or whatever the verb is); I'm feeling much better. Even went to Clean Green and my improv class today.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


That's me this afternoon in the ER sporting a bloody soul patch-goatee thing. This morning, Mellow Johnny Clark, Steve Vanderstaay and I headed out for a quick out-and-back on the Interurban. Quick, because it was pouring rain and windy. About a half-mile before Cleator Road, I heard a loud crack, yelled "Look out, guys!" and was thereupon struck by a falling tree. Clark caught it on his front wheel, flipped over his handlebars, and other than a flat tire, was unhurt.

I, however, got a pretty deep hole in my cheek, bit through my lower lip and had two seriously deep contusions in both quads. A number of chipped teeth too. I look like a frickin' hockey player. Steve, luckily, was unhit. Both Steve and John were amazing in helping me back to Cleator Road--I couldn't really walk on my own so they propped me on my bike and pushed me along--where my wife met me and took me to the ER. What great friends! Four hours later, I left the ER with 30 stictches and a bagfull of drugs that I'm hoping to sell on eBay. (Just kidding! I'll probably do craigslist.)

Thanks too to Val Thompson and Laura Todd who totally interupted their run to help us get John and Steve's bike back to Cleator. The Bellingham endurance sport community is da' bomb!

And of course, thanks to Jen, Baker and me sister Kath, who offer endless emotional support.

Hey kids--if you're doing tomorrow's Padden Mud Run in the forecast rain and wind, be careful!