Category Archives: Molly


Here we are at the end of a year, staring down the long, black barrel of another.  I hope 2012 didn’t take your feet out from under you too often.

The wife-type and I purchased (mortgaged to the hilt) a house last February.  That was stressful, but it happened more or less uneventfully.  We live on a dead-end street with, ahem, interesting neighbors.  Two of them are fairly sane.  One is bat poop crazy.  One has barking dogs.  They bark.  And bark and bark bark bark bark bark bark.  They really bark at the bike.  If I’m on a bike with a bell I try to start ringing it before I turn the corner.  That really gets them wound up.

Bike miles.  I put more miles on the bikes in 2012 than the previous two years combined.  My counting method varied from the GPS on the phone, to the DeLorme, to one of those computers that counts wheel revolutions, to don’t-give-a-fuck-let’s-just-ride.  In other words, I’m not entirely sure how far I went, but I’d guess it’s north of 1,500 miles.  July saw 540-something miles, including my first ever metric century.

Today is Christmas.  Christie gave me a Garmin Edge 200.  I’m going to track every last 2013 mile on it so that I can give the curious masses an accurate number a year from now.

Speaking of 2013, resolutions.

More S24O.  I think I did 3 during 2012.  This year the overnights will be themed.  Feel free to ride along.  Bring a tent; mine is too small to share.

  1. S24O on every bike I own at least once.  Right now I have the MB-2, High Plains, Collegiate, Pacer, 550 and I think something else maybe.  That’s at least 6 overnights.
  2. One should be a bikepacking adventure.  Gravel, single track, no racks, strap the crap right to the frame.
  3. Return to Pine Grove Furnace.  30-ish miles from home.  Doc discovered a super secret spot in the State Forest on the ridge east of the park.  It’s a bit of a climb, but coasting down the hill in the morning is a good way to wake up.  There are hiker showers near the lake.
  4. A fully loaded S24O.  Front and rear panniers.  Bring way too much stuff.  Go slow.
  5. Credit card S24O.  Ride one of the road bikes to a B&B.
  6. Not strictly S24O, but do another micro-tour.  2012’s was a big, fat winner.

Ride with the girls more.  I think the Megan is big enough to do an overnight on the bike.  The important part is just having time together.  They jabber.  Don’t believe me?  Find a kid you like and go for a ride.  They will talk your ear off.  It’s a blast and we don’t do it enough.

I’m sure there’s more, but I have bikes on the brain and can’t bring myself to bore you anymore.  Here’s hoping your 2013 brings you less bad and more good than 2012.  Peace, love and go ride your bike.

Conversations with Molly

I thought I’d share a transcript of today’s conversations with the little one.

“Daddy?  Do you remember those M&M’s?”


“Daddy, they’re in the yellow bag up there.”  She points to the cupboard.

“Oh.  Yeah, I remember those.”

“Can I have some?”


“Why not?”

“Because you don’t need any more sugar today.”

“Oh.”  She pauses for a moment or two.  “Can I have a Twizzler?”

Later on…

“Daddy?  Do you remember those crackers with honey in them?”

“Do you mean graham crackers?”


“Would you like a graham cracker, Molly?”

“Can I have two?”

Karate Monkey

The little one is the real Karate Monkey.  Somebody tell Surly.

Who’s your Daddy?

Today I rode up 9th and Allen to the top of the hill where it intersects with 7th.  But today’s death ride was accompanied by Molly, who is three, and the trailer she rides in.  That’s right, folks.  I pulled a freakin’ 50 pound trailer up that hill.  I muttered something like “Who’s your Daddy” when we got to the top and Molly instantly replied with “Daddy, you’re my Daddy.”  I guess I had that one coming.

We rolled down the hill faster than we should have and stopped at the school to pick up the Megan.  She wanted me to pull them both back up to the top.  Considering I could barely stand I opted to not.  Maybe next time.

On the serious side, I found out what my lactate threshold feels like.  The lungs usually give out long before the legs, but not today.  This has got to be a side effect of not smoking.  I need a bigger hill.

Who’s the King, baby?

Killing Trees for Baby Jesus

This morning we took our annual pilgrimage to the Christmas tree farm, so we could pretend we were walking in the neatly planted rows of the forest. We just happened to see several trees that were suitable. The first, which I pointed out to the Megan, was thick with branches from the ground up. But it had one fatal flaw.

“Do you like this one, Megan?”

“No. There’s no room for presents underneath.”

Alrighty then. I hacked down another small tree with the farm-supplied saw and dragged it back to the shed where they bundle them up with plastic netting, just like the kind you find in the forest, and tossed it up on top of the X. We drove home, looking forward to tangled strings of lights and broken glass ornaments. This is, in fact, my favorite of all the holidays.


I despise Christmas. Loved it when I was a kid, mostly for the presents. Today I tolerate it and try to look happy about it. Mostly for the benefit of my little girls. In reality it’s a headache. Traffic is bad, gas is expensive, we always end up traveling somewhere for something, and too much money is spent on gifts that aren’t needed or appreciated. It’s stressful and I’d rather just have some quiet time and a nap. Bah. Humbug. The girls take the edge off. Smiling, giggling, laughing, tearing open wrapping paper to unveil some coveted treasure beneath. That part is priceless and worth every penny we didn’t have but spent anyway on the toys and candy canes.

Thanksgiving is nice. The traveling, which we almost always undertake, sucks, but it’s otherwise low key. Good food, family and friends, no expectations of materialism. I have a lot to be thankful for and more holidays should be like Thanksgiving.

The tree is lighted. When the girls wake from their naps we’ll photograph the Megan placing the star on top and commence to decorating. The title of this entry is “Killing Trees for Baby Jesus”. I didn’t really go anywhere with it, but the words have been stuck in my head for a couple days. Today they morphed into “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, ‘long as I have my plastic Jesus….”

I leave you with this. (And the chords, so jam on.) Have a Holly Jolly.

“Plastic Jesus” by George Cromarty and Ed Rush

I don't care if it rains or freezes
'Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nations
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far

/ D - / G - / D - A - / 1st, 2nd / D A D - /

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   I'm afraid He'll have to go
   His magnets ruin my radio
   And if I have a wreck He'll leave a scar

   / D - - - / - - A - / D - / G - / D A D - /

Riding down a thoroughfare
With His nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead, but He don't mind
Trouble coming He don't see
He just keeps His eye on me
And any other thing that lies behind

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Though the sunshine on His back
   Make Him peel, chip and crack
   A little patching keeps Him up to par

When I'm in a traffic jam
He don't care if I say "damn"
I can let all my curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
'Cause he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Once His robe was snowy white
   Now it isn't quite so bright
   Stained by the smoke of my cigar

If I weave around at night
And policemen think I'm tight
They never find my bottle, though they ask
Plastic Jesus shelters me
For His head comes off, you see
He's hollow, and I use Him for a flask

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Ride with me and have a dram
   Of the blood of the Lamb
   Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

Yet another Continental update

SUV’d my way over to the LBS yesterday with both of my girls. Kept a tight grip on the Molly and told the Megan not to touch anything. They were surprisingly good, only picking up a few pink and purple helmets. They even put them back (in the right spots!) without being asked. The guys working had a few stories about kids and bikes and dominoes. Ouch. I’m sure glad mine were in “good behavior” mode.

On to that bikey thing. Got a pair of Vittoria Randonneur tires, tubes, brake cables and housing, ferrules, some bar tape and a pair of old Compe brake levers. And a wrench. Came out to $91 and change after sales tax. Subtracting $6 for the wrench puts me at $85. Add that to the $100 I’ve already spent and we’re at $185, which is less than the self-imposed $187 limit. Sweet.

Yet another plug for the Pedal Pusher in Harrisburg, PA. Ted and Jim are stand up guys who deserve your business. There are several bike shops in the area. I’ve been to four, and three of them aren’t worth the hassle. The Pedal Pusher, however, is simply a nice experience. Someone remind me to bring beer the next time I go.


Three days per week Megan goes to pre-school. So today, as we’re getting ready to roll, Molly walks up to me holding the bag of marshmallows I picked up last night. “Cookie” she says. “No, Molly. Those are for s’mores tonight.” “Cookie.” Her eyes are starting to get puffy. If I don’t tear that bag open right now she’s gonna melt.

“You can have one.” She’s happy. “Daddy, can I have one?” asks Megan. I’m too slow for the girls. “Sure.” “Can I have two?” Whatever.

Megan finishes hers and Molly’s still munching as I load them in the trailer. Up hill, headwind, all the way there. Drop off the Megan. Molly’s still munching. Roll home.

Half-way home Molly starts screaming. WTF? I crane my neck around and she’s got a third of the marshmallow stuck to her hand. It’s flailing violently back and forth and up and down trying to shake the sticky ball of mush off. It’s not going anywhere. She screams louder and I stop the bike. She’s covered in it – mouth, hands, face, dress, the seat in the trailer, the side window. And she’s mad! So I take it from her and now it’s stuck to me. Great. Now what?

I ate it and we rolled home.

Sabby Hager update

We listened to some Sammy Hagar yesterday. Megan didn’t explode and Molly danced. All is good in the world.