My name is Jason (AKA The Soiled Chamois). I’ve been cycling and riding mountain bikes since the early 90s and spent a good ten years or more unsuccessfully competing in XC and XC endurance events. You may or may not remember XXC Magazine & xxcmag.com [site now expired]. Yeah, that was my gig for 5 years.
In my racing days, I always suffered like a dog in an attempt to get a mid-pack (at absolute best) finish. I was the sort that slowed down during a race, not just to dry heave on the side of the trail but also to soak in a view and remind myself of why I love riding my bike. But mostly, it was to dry heave.
Back in 2005, v.1 of The Soiled Chamois was launched and was my journal about training for–and competing in–endurance mountain bike races up and down the east coast of the U.S (just what people needed, another suck, narcissistic bike racer who felt he needed to share his life with the world).
Between 2008 and 2013, I developed multiple DVTs (blood clots) in my legs for unknown reasons, and I am now on blood thinners for life. With that, my racing is now nonexistent. I still ride my bike, but now it’s at a slower pace with camera in hand, too much pizza in my belly, and beer in mind. At one time, my rides were 40 to 70 miles, 5 to 6 times a week. Now they are 25-30 miles and about 1 to 3 times a week IF I feel spanky, and only if the weather is perfect.
Between the DVTs, blood thinners, losing a close friend of mine to a motorist less than a mile from my home while he was riding, depression, and weight gain, cycling has become a bit “complicated” for me, so more often than not, I opt for a hike with my camera over a ride. I suppose a name change/end to this blog is needed, but a 17+ year habit is hard to break.
The Soiled Chamois v.3
Since 2005, this blog has moved from Blogger to Tumblr, and now to a standalone WordPress site. Each year brings less and less focus on bike racing and more and more emphasis on me goofing off riding my bike, taking pics, cooking food, or aimlessly walking around the woods like a mental patient with a camera. You might dig it, you might not. There will be no comments (you don’t have the time, and I am pretty sure you will give two shits about what I say anyway, so why even bother). There WILL be spelling and grammar errors. Don’t tell me about them, I KNOW I am an idiot. BUT if you take the time to email me or post about my mistakes you have even more time on your hands than I do. Having said that, if you have a question or comments feel free to contact me.
B-Man: My son Brennan, also known as B, Brenn, or the boy. One of the smartest, most talented kids I’ve ever met. I really can’t believe I had a hand (that’s not all!) in his creation.
The Bed of Torment: My lumpy, creaking bed, that I fart, toss, turn, and hate myself in.
Better Than The Trainer Ride™: The rides I often do that are just barely better than spending an hour on the trainer.
Better Than The Trainer? Ride™: The rides I do that fail miserably for one reason or another and leave me asking “was it better than the trainer?”
The Black Dog: The name that the ancient Roman poet Horace and eventually Winston Churchill gave depression. If it was good enough for Winston, it’s good enough for me. I endured depression for almost my entire life, but didn’t seek help until I was in my 30s, and I didn’t start therapy until I was in my 40s! I can’t stress enough how important it is to reach out for some help. If your doctor won’t listen, get a new fucking doctor. It’s never too late to start feeling better, or to work on being a better person.
The Boone: My Trek Boone cross bike that never races cross. Why do people keep getting off their bikes again?
Mr. Burgundy: My Trek Checkpoint gravel bike.
Cameras: Nikon Z6, Nikon z50 (used), Nikon D4 (used),
Nikon D610 (used) and Ricoh GR (used) digital cameras are all currently in rotation.
Cat 5 Cooking: I’ve always been the cook of the family, it’s also a hobby, and what keeps my waistline expanding.
The Chamber of Farts: Our spare bedroom that I am often banished to due to my constant gas passing.
Cul-De-Sac-Shack: Our home located in, you guessed it—a cul-de-sac.
Doing Stuff: Mostly sitting, staring into space, but also includes: cycling, hiking,
running lumbering, weight training, Jazzercise, and competitive masturbation.
The Dirt Road Launching Pad: The varying locations I start my gravel rides to avoid cars looking to smash me dead. Usually a county park or rail trail parking lot.
The Fatterson: My beat to shit Trek Farley fat bike that is in need of a makeover.
The Fred: Better known The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. A 42-mile paved rail trail in mid-Michigan that I sometimes utilize to access dirt and gravel loops.
Football, Footy, Footie: Known as soccer to most of America. I love watching it, B-Man loves playing it, I love watching B-Man play it.
The Hammer: The CycleOps direct drive trainer.
The Jacques: Better known as theThe Pere Marquette Rail-Trail (PMRT). Named after Father Jacques Marquette. I sometimes utilize the trail to access dirt and gravel loops in the Clare, Michigan area.
Jake The Dog: Our snoring, farting, slobbering English Bulldog.
Junk Miles Media: The photo heavy sub domain to this digital fish wrap is junkmiles.thesoiledchamois.net. As my ability to do long rides wanes, and my love of photography grows, I feel the need to expand The Soiled Chamois empire of nothingness.
Lola: The newest canine member of our family. Yes, another English bulldog. And yes, the whole house smells like dog and fart.
Me: see intro above.
Michiganderburgh: The mythical–made up–rural Michigan landscape in which I ride my bike through. Often better than reality.
Mind Bender, The O.G. Mindbender: The therapist(s) that I’ve been seeing for over two years now. She has done wonders to help me fend off and deal with the shame, ridicule, fear, and guilt that I grew up with and brought into adulthood.
The Not-So-Stankment: Years ago we had a house with a cold, crap basement: it was the Stankment. Now we have a pretty nice crib with a finished basement. Thus “Not-So”.
The PrOcal: My Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL. An amazing mountain bike that sadly doesn’t see too much singletrack anymore. If you want to buy it, you can. SOLD!
Roscoe, The Roscoe: The 27.5+ bike I picked up in June of 2020. I think I might mountain bike again.
The Shop: Terry’s Cycle in downtown Alma, Michigan. I’ve been going there since we moved here. I also do their graphics work, web design, and work the register a day or so a week now and then whilst trying not to fuck things up.
Town: Mt. Pleasant, Michigan is where I currently reside. Oddly enough, I was born in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
Underemployed (being): I left my last “real job” after 20 years as a newspaper graphic designer in March of 2009; taking a financial buy out before I could get laid off, Wifey’s transfer to Michigan, and the paper’s eventual implosion few years later. After that I started XXC Magazine. Since XXC Mag closed shop in 2013 I have done freelance design, WordPress website builds, and photography to make some spending money. I also work at the shop (see above) a day or two a week in the summers. In other words, I’m not unemployed, I am underemployed due to a lack of marketable skills in a small town and a lack of a “real” non-art school education. It seems a 2-year for profit art school education only gets you so far. But it’s all good, my underemployment has meant that I’ve been around for B-Man most of his childhood, and for that I am very lucky.
Wifey: My wife of 22 years and counting, the brains and ginger haired, bosomy bacon bringer of the family.
WPA: Western Pennsylvania. The land of partly cloudy skies, rain-soaked summers, fatalism, traffic, and yinzers. Also the land in which I am originally from.
Often my writing can be pretty crap, I apologize in advance for my shit spelling and grammar as well as my use of the word fuck.
Thanks for looking!