SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF AWESOME

Captain Skid the kid stamping in for duty, Sir. That's right your webwaves are being interrupted for some international programming [GASP!]. Colonel Caleb (is a Colonel higher ranking than a Captain? I never made it past Cub Scouts) has asked me to give you winter-bound people some fuel to fire up the frequent flyer points or the winter thermal riding gear.

I'm writing this post from the summer beauty of Santa Cruz, California. A place where the sun is only blotted out by night time and the day time temperature today is 72°F, which is about 20°C in real currency. It's just torturous [Snigger].

Caleb told me to make a stop by the Santa Cruz Bikes HQ to pick up his new shiny Nomad Carbon. Well, here it is Caleb (above photo). Mike Ferrentino said you would love it as you had problems turning right. Only kidding folks, that's not Caleb's Carbon Nomad. It's the brand new weight weenie prototype Blur SDDBXC (which is Santa Cruz's new acronym for Super Duper Douche Bag Cross Country). Should be perfect for the gnar fest skid pan zone of Wellington's Makara Peak.

DISCLAIMER: Just in case there's any internet forum users reading this, the above paragraph was heavily loaded with sarcasm. Sarcasm used to be the lowest form of wit, until mtb internet forums took the title of most witless.

These beauties were kicking around the web masters office. On the right we have a Syndicate Custom Nomad Carbon and on the left we have a very special one off Blur LTc that has been custom hand painted by Troy Lee Designs. If you're interested in getting your hands on this beauty then apparently all you have to do is call Styli Mike at Hyperperformance Hardware.

The racers on the Syndicate must be a blessed lot. They have bikes just lying around everywhere. No wonder Greg Minnaar had one stolen. I'm just surprised he noticed it was gone as he must have a box load of spare ones kicking around.

Right next door to Santa Cruz Bikes is the home to Swobo. Check out this set-up. Grind Box? Check! Mini-quarter? Check! Foosball table? Check! Table Tennis table? Check! With this much employee perk I can't for the life of me work out how they get work done. To find out the answer to that check out their amazing blog HOWTOAVOIDTHEBUMMERLIFE.

Another reason for popping along to see Santa Cruz Bikes is to get a thorough tongue lashing from Rob Roskopp about my recent unwanted antics onboard a certain larger wheeled bicycle. He wanted to tell me that it wasn't good for the bike's image to be skidded around the globe and that if I persisted on having fun on that bike then he would force me into a lifetime service as Josh Bryceland's personal scribe. This is Rob Roskopp's office. Warning taken I headed out for a ride...

...and the most amazing thing ever happened!!! So there I was riding along the road about a hundred yards from the trailhead when a mountain biker coming the other way hangs his hand out for a rolling high five. At first I thought he was trying to get a feel of the contents of my chamois (worn under baggy shorts I must add, nay, insist), but then I realised he was just a friendly dude that wanted to share the stoke with a little palm time (the nice kind, not the other kind). I released my grip on my bars and hung out an open palm and BOOMSLAPCRACKBANG!!! The best contact ever. It made the satisfying loud slap noise of a full contact high five. He kept rolling in his direction and I kept rolling in my direction, totally shell shocked and blown away at this random act of radness.

I don't know who this stranger was, but I do know that this was without doubt the greatest way to start a ride ever. I rolled into that singletrack so amped up with this spontaneous act of community that I just had to let out a holler and then proceed to leave a big dirty skid mark the whole way down that piece of trail.

The above photo is a reconstruction of this moment of awesomeness.

I've also been doing a little bit of road mileage. My back tyre is so bald from all the skidding that road work on the shagging wagon is a pleasure. This morning I caught up to this female roadie and was also knocked off my bike at the logo placement across her derriere.

I took a sketchy photo on the roll but she got freaked out and started time-trialing her arse out of there pretty fast. I managed to catch her at some traffic lights. It turns out it was a friend of mine, Emily Johnston (one of only three known women to do a backflip on their bike), and asked her whether I can get a photo of my face next to her bottom. Yeah, that wasn't awkward at all. BearBackBiking and sausage powered goodness.

Right, sorry for wasting your day. If you got this far and still haven't found anything worth reading then I apologise. Tomorrow I hope to hit the road and start heading northwards. Destination Whistler, but first, more randomness along the road in the world of weird.