All posts by Joe

Specialized in Fruita

Via www.sirbikesalot.com

Last night I had a dream that my bike was stolen. It sucked. At this point I think it’s time that I write a quick blog about it.

The bike is a specialized StumpJumper 29er ht comp. It is a nicer bike than I ever imagined owning, and I’m psyched on it. My other bike seems to weigh twice as much is this one, and those don’t have gears and one is rigid.

One of the primary reasons for buying it is that I really wasn’t biking enough here in the front range mountains of Colorado. The climbs tend to be at least 2 miles in length. On the Fourth of July, we ended up climbing about 5 miles with 1500 feet of vertical.

Needless to say, gears come in handy. For a while I thought I would be a single speed purist, and never ride with gears again. I was wrong.

Two or three weeks back I was riding in Fruita, and loved the hell out of it. The bike was excellent, and the trails were amazing. It was about on par with what I expected for some reason (maybe less than I expected, but still amazing). Temperature was the biggest issue for us. By the time we left Fruita it was about 100°, with minimal shade (I was hiding under small trees to recover). My friend and I woke up early at the free campsite and started biking around 7 AM.

We rode the Ziptty trail backwards, which is quite a feat. Huge sandy steep pushes mixed in with very nice descents on a ridge. I think we did Western zip after this followed by Kessler, chutes and ladders (almost died a few times), and vegetarian. All of these trails were at the 18 Road trailhead. My GPS failed on the ride, so it looked like I rode about 1 mile, but we estimate that it was more like 15 or so.
Looking forward to getting back there soon as possible to try out the Mary’s Road area, and ride 18 Road trails again.

My bike
Fruita 18 Road

Homesteading, Camping, Madness and more Conversations on Collapse

A friend emailed me a few months ago, and I’m just getting around to posting it now. We were going back and forth about climate change and peak oil. Both of them seem to be crazy issues that very well may impact civilization heavily.
Here is the email I received.

I feel as if there should be another side to the Evolver front, something much more concrete. Yes the Urban homesteading thing is good and important, I’ve even thought about storing up seeds for some prolonged emergency. I also have to wonder if I’m going insane.

I feel like there might be a need, either in myself or in the world around me, to relearn concrete skills like building things with your hands, or making things. How do you build a wall? How do make your own fabric/sew. Things that indicate self reliance, seem to be an important issue overall, but it almost seems like in the near future, things like: how to get clean water, how to feed yourself if you arent able to go to a grocery store, will become very important.

Then I have to stop myself and wonder: Am I just buying into the madness? If so, I feel that I’m doing so in a reserved way. Yes I have camping gear, and its all pretty new and usable. No I’m not going to get the most expensive sleeping bag and a economical backpack, and waste 500 bucks on a tent, that seems overkill. But yes I’d like to get a decent tent for camping purposes, or just in case I need a shelter asap, and that I can put it together and get inside it you know?

I dont think we’ll be forced to hide in our houses with the shades drawn, doors nailed shut, but it seems like a wise thing to have ready no?

I guess the good thing about going crazy, is that you don’t really know it.

How do we balance our daily commuter lives, and also plan/think about the coming changes to civilization? Big questions and big answers should be asked if we want to respond intelligently.

Personally, I’m working towards becoming debt free, and having a useful skill set that would help get me through some craziness. Maybe I’ll learn first aid? Maybe an EMT class?

Who knows. While we still have fossils left to burn, I plan on taking advantage. Seeing the world, and learning/experiencing as much as possible.

Cicero on the Mysteries at Eleusis

I found this quote in James Fadiman’s new book. Thought it was interesting, and relevant to a few of my largest interests.

For it appears to me that among the many exceptional and divine things your Athens has produced and contributed to human life, nothing is better than those [Eleusinian] mysteries. For by means of them we have transformed from a rough and savage way of life to the state of humanity, and have been civilized. Just as they are called initiations, so in actual fact we have learned from them the fundamentals of life, and have grasped the basis not only for living with joy but also for dying with a better hope.
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO DE LEGIBUS 2.14.36

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleusinian_Mysteries

Mushrooming Fun: Stumbling towards the Light

A few years ago, Paul Stamets came into my life via a Ted Talk titled “Six Ways Mushrooms can Save the World”
http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html

This was the summer of 2005, my first summer free from College. I was living at home with my parents at the time, and decided to do as many inter library loans on the books Stamets published as I could.

His book Mycelium running awed me into becoming a believer. How intelligently organized Mycelium are as a life form is astounding, and one would be hard pressed to be disinterested in hearing Stamets speak about many of the fascinating aspects of these organisms.

As an example, here is a video of him speaking.

My passion led me to Evolver which was starting a pseudo bio-mimicry operation by calling the regional groups spores, to represent the intelligent nature of these nodal networks of people who are doing work to make the world a more beautiful place.

I then started learning what I needed to in order to grow mushrooms, and started growing Shiitake mushrooms in the summer of 2009. It was an interesting project, but failed because I didn’t make the proper drain holes. Now I am fully equipped with a huge pressure cooker, and machines to make Myco-bags. Sealed and sterilized plastic bags that can grow mushrooms of almost any variety depending on the growth medium used. I used wild bird seed (CHEAP), and so far it looks like the oyster mushrooms are loving it (Pics coming soon).
A friend of mine pointed me to MycoRiseUp, a group that wants to be an incubator for mushroom businesses. http://www.mycoriseup.com/about/about-mycoriseup/ We started brainstorming how to create and run a worker owned Mushroom business and laboratory. How could we do this on the bio-regional level so that we can act appropriately in our hugely diverse eco-systems? How could we have a bio-regional myco remediation task force armed and ready to help work on toxic waste sites when they happen? Can we open-source and share our business plans to help share this new paradigm

This is the next level of things to come… smaller scale with a local and regional focus.