Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Measured by Men

5-8 inches of snow.
2.4 inch tire.
6 inches of travel.
19 inch seat tube.
A fast 30 mile loop.
A quick nap.
A bite to eat.
A 12 percentage point lead in the polls.
A 10 minute climb.
All downhill from here.

One could write a book filled with lists of all the things that men can't accurately measure.  And of all the things that we, as a gender, can't quite add, I would estimate that snowfall is perhaps our most inaccurate.

But, of course, that's my estimation, which I am gender-prone to missing by an enormous margin, so pay no mind to it.

It's a good thing truth doesn't matter anymore, given our propensity to stretch it.  Otherwise, we might do something wild and crazy, like elect a woman.  

If you go deep into our current and massive discord as a culture, you'll find exactly this: two people who see the same thing two different ways.  It's easy to look at the world how you look at it, see it the way you see it, and call the other side wrong.

I don't think we'll get any better at measuring until we, on this side, look at that quarter-inch of snow and at least wonder a little if it's actually maybe 6 inches and we're the ones who can't see it accurately.  At least be open to it.

Maybe bikes DON'T belong there.
Maybe the EPA does need scrapped.
Maybe we are the ones who can't measure.
Not that any of those things needs to be true.  I'm talking about a mindset that yields the possibility that you might be wrong.  You're not wrong.  But you MIGHT be.

In my memory, I did the SM100 in 8:40 back in 2010, the year before my kids were born.
I dug through the bowels of the internet and pulled up the actual result just the other day, and in fact, I did the SM100 in 8:47.  But it was only 92 miles back then.  And that was in 2009, not 2010, and I raced for Bike Factory.

The transportation of the mind from belief to reality - that millisecond where the truth sets in - like politics, feels terrible.  We don't quite understand, and we never have.  It turns out WE are the asshole.

There's snow in the forecast for Saturday.  6 inches?  The truth is that no one actually knows.
We can only keep trying if, first, we listen.

Up, up, up.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

“Any one-a-you lily-livered, bow-legged varmints care to slap leather with me?”

The new face of Advocacy.  

Fear not, Foof.  We are in good hands.  

Up, up, up.

Note To Self; Life Goals

Do this:

Before you do this:

Certainly do both.  But, in all likelihood, the order of those two hundred miles is vital to the end result.  One before the other.

The clock is only running one way, and that's up, up, up.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.

Is the environmental jewel, the fragile ecosystem of Ragged Mountain about to be politically pilfered, STOLEN, I daresay, from the birdwatchers, the dog haters, the barefoot hikers, and the natural elite who have done such a super job taking care of it for the past 30 years...

Or, are we witnessing a changing of the guard?

Can we accept the rapidly changing and bizarre world for what it is, and operate within the framework allowed in our modern, fluid, massively imperfect society, where we stop obsessing and defending how we think things SHOULD be and start dealing with exactly and precisely how they really ARE?

More succinctly, are overprivileged white people genuinely capable of sharing?

It all remains to be seen, I reckon.

But know this, the hard lesson about holding on too tight:

That which you sacrifice to keep you eventually lose anyway.

Up, up, up.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Also, not all is lost in the world.

 Woodberry Forest Pump Track.

 Yesterday my kids didn't even know what a pump track was until about 3:00. Now it's ALL they know.

 Coming soon to a Preddy Creek near you? We shall see...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Not all is lost in the world.

The Pantani ride happened, but that's so 2005 it's barely worth mentioning.

What matters: The Future.

It will be cool to tell people, some day, that you knew them back when they were groms, before they made it big, when they were stuck holding down the fort while their parents celebrated a dead roadie who did EPO.

Brian Lewis might have sent the whole Pantani route in 2:39, with a flat tire, on a road bike, into a headwind, shattering the record by 18 minutes or so.  That's cool and all.  But these kids rip.

The whole thing reminds me that I should be building much bigger berms.

Thanks to all who came out, shredded, drank all the beer, and made it home safely.  Prepare to be a part of how things used to be.

Into the future, and up, up, up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

You've got questions, I've got questionable answers.

The mailbag is full, overflowing, with good people who should know better than to associate with such a tawdry, ragtag, non operation as Il Pantani.  But they simply can't look away.  Il Pantani is like the Crystal Meth of gravel non-races.  No really, there's a lot of Meth out there, so be careful.

Let's go straight into the mailbag, and I'll see if I can settle some of these queries once and for all.

1)  Is it really going to be 69 degrees for Pantani on Sunday?

Naturally, given the fact that it's February and you used the number "69", I assumed this was a prank email.  But no.  Indeed, it appears we're on a warm streak here the likes of which has not been seen since China came up with this whole global warming hoax.  And the forecast for Charlottesville does currently say it'll be exactly 69 degrees on Sunday afternoon.  So yeah, I guess it'll be a warm one.  But no way will it hit above 60 degrees out there atop the pop.  In fact, I bet you'll want a jacket for the decent down into the arctic tundra that is Bacon Hollow, where snow is forecast to actually fall and stick tomorrow morning, despite the fact it's currently 72 degrees.  Make of that what you will.  Dress warm, dress light, dress however you want - but dress awesome.

2)  Should I ride my 1X10 MTB or my cross bike?
 A 1X10 mtb, even if you are running a 34T front ring, will probably leave you spun out and dropped in the first 2 miles.  That start down Markwood is like a road race.  But then, on brokenback, a 34X36 is not nearly sufficient to climb brokenback after what you've done to yourself for the previous 2.5 hours or so.  So a 1X10 mtb is a rough choice on all surfaces.  Then again, a cross bike that has similar gearing deficiencies is probably worse.  But at least it'll roll nice until it doesn't.  Was that helpful?  No.  OK then.

3)  Can I get a coach and a training plan that'll help me get fit by Sunday?
You know what, YES.  There are lots of options on this front these days, but B-slow, local pro, Past Pantani-Runner up, Tour De Burg champ, Battenkill champ, and just all around good guy is now an in-town resource for screaming at you to get you in shape.  Coaches, of course, are not for everyone.  But if there's one dude who could take you, in whatever state of disrepair you are in, and actually improve your performance between now and Sunday, given his history as an underground and gravel racing boss, I think B-slow could at least help.  I'm not sure how he'd do it, though.  Just look at yourself.  Jesus.  How did this happen?  Anyway, give him a call.

Though around here, I imagine the biz dev conversation for the new coach in town going something like this:

I got a coach.
You got a WHAT?  How long have you had that problem?

4)  Has VDOT dumped gravel back there on the mountain yet?
As of today, Wednesday, no.  It's smooth as silk back there.  Which makes me believe they are waiting until Friday or Saturday, or maybe even Sunday morning, to get to work.  Pinch flats for one and all.  See also, Huck Norris.

5)  Will you cancel Pantani if it's over 80 degrees?  
I will not because I cannot.  You see, I'm not in charge - in fact, no one is.  This is a mob, not a monarchy.  Going with the flow is not just a good option, it's the only option.

6)  Can you recommend an appropriate Singlespeed gear for this route?
 Every year someone comes to me with this question, and I hastily link them to Kev-29ers gear doc.
Then I mumble a few obscure comments about gear inches and metric vs American standards, and I try to blend the conversation back into something else that I don't know anything about before I'm exposed as the single speeder-fraud that I actually am.  To that point, take note, I don't know.  Kev29er might chime in here with real wisdom, though it's worth noting he'll be only slightly under-gearing on Sunday with a 1-10 mtb.  SOFT.

7) Who is your pick to win?  
Ricky StillGetsCardedInBars Everington.  3 hours flat.  Long live the 26er!

But you read all that, and it didn't actually help, right?  I know.  Reading, and factual information in general, are both a thing of the past.  BUT, Marky Mark did chime in that he has procured a keg of minuteman IPA.  So you've got that going for you, if nothing else.  (You have nothing else going for you but that.)  So take advantage.

Sunday, 10 AM.

Up, up, up.