Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dispersal

The Running Man was hit and killed by an Isuzu Trooper on Tuesday morning, in the fog, while running west out of town on 250.  Toph sent me a text pretty much right away with the link to the story and the words we all felt, I FUCKING HATE THIS.  


It was inevitable.  It was inevitable because he was incredible.

As a guy who logged about 5,000 miles/year - on foot - on the roads of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, the exposure he faced and the risk he took on by doing what he loved were pretty high.  How high?  It's hard to say.  I've written more than a few times on this blog about the unlikely and unfortunate reality that Route 250 is the "safe route" out of town.

The timing of his death, so closely following the news story a month ago about the man himself and his accomplishments, his goals and lifestyle, is physically jarring for me.  Collectively, I feel like we just met him.  I'd seen him many times out on the roads, of course.  Pounding pavement on Garth, on gravel on Ridge, Reas Ford on the big hill up from the Rivanna, all over the place.  It's just what he did, wearing next to nothing, in freakishly cold weather, simply running.  Seeing him always made me smile.  The story on NBC29 back in November, though, gave a little context to the legend.  He was a loner.  He had no family.  He was running...somewhere, and in huge amounts.

Some mountain lions do this.  Wildlife biologists call it Dispersal.  Basically, it's the instinct that young, male mountain lions follow sometime before they turn 2 years old which drives them to vacate the area where they grew up.  They split.  They disconnect from their family, their home, and they run for it.  Typically, they travel about 100 miles, far enough that they won't have any chance of someday mating with their sisters or mothers and harming the collective DNA of the population, and they re-settle.  That new place becomes their home.  But sometimes, the dispersal instinct goes haywire, and they simply keep running.

In a well-documented case of such a dispersal gone too far, there's the chronicle of the mountain lion from The Black Hills of the Dakotas who, sometime around his 2nd birthday, went East - crossing the Mississippi way up in Minnesota somewhere, before plunging through Wisconsin in the snow, then farther North - into Canada, and across the northern edge of the Great Lakes before somehow (possibly by swimming the channel across Lake Erie near Buffalo) he crossed back into New York, traversing the entire state West-To-East, and winding up in Connecticut, almost making it to the Atlantic Ocean.

It would make a nice childrens' book, I've always thought - "The Cougar Who Walked To The Sea."  But you'd have to re-write the ending, the part where he was hit and killed by a Hyundai SUV on Route 15 near New Haven.

The truth is, we all share this instinct - at least a little of it.  You can run away from home.  But most of us have a governor of sorts - an opposing instinct that serves to pull us back into the fold.  We curb the dispersal instinct with those other instincts like, for example, nesting, or being a creature of habit.  Self-preservation.  Community.  Fatherhood.  These are the things that keep the rest of us grounded.

The Running Man's name was Philip Weber.  But I don't think anyone knew that.  He was a loner, an eccentric.  He recognized the risks, and he just kept going.

Here's the thing about Long-Range Dispersal that you might not consider, however.  Eventually, it's the cat who is willing to go the farthest and survive that ends up setting the the new mark for what is possible.  One day, that cat meets another cat in Connecticut, and they hook up, those two wandering souls, and they have a family together.  And where today, The Federal Ag department can tell you all about (and prove) that there is no reproducing population of mountain lions east of the Mississippi, suddenly - under those circumstances - we'd have one again.

Or,  suddenly, 5,000 miles/year is attainable.

(I FUCKING HATE THIS.)
We will miss you, Philip Weber.  The bar is set, and it's dangerously high.

Keep looking up, up, up.

Monday, December 28, 2015

There's no place like loam for the Holidays

Man.  70 degrees AGAIN tomorrow.  December 29th.  Liberal media bias and global warming fear mongerers notwithstanding, this weather is enough to make you want to vote with your conscience or something.

What it means to you, I don't know.  What it means to me is riding.
Wanna do this to yourself with myself tomorrow night?  Get in touch if you do.

Ol' man winter, lurking down there sub-surface, just dropped an ice storm on Los Angeles.  Don't be a fool - yer time is gonna come, Virginia.  Better get out while the gettin is still good.  REALLY good, as it turns out.

And I pity the fool who doesn't know what good is.  Especially when that fool is Nancy Reagan.  
You got 10 hours of daylight, kids.  But 14 glorious other ones too.  Enjoy yourselves.

Side note, mostly unrelated, unless greatness is something you aspire to...
Remember that time Kev29er whooped up on Qwadsworth back when Qwadsworth was still just a pup?


The good ol' days, as I like to call them.  Back before Qwadsworth grew a pair, and Kev was diagnosed with shizophrenia, hydrocephalia, syphillis, manic depression, and more broken bones and hurty toes than you can shake a wet, pink loofa at.  I have to admit, I liked Qwadsworth a lot better when we could push him around on the steep stuff a little, but following Kevin through the woods at those speeds was a fucking nightmare.  I'd live in the past, but I'll take what I can get, I guess.

Because if you like to get down, you gotta get up, up, up.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The worst mountain bike crash of my life

I took the worst mountain bike crash of my life last night.  Harrowing.  I'm lucky to be alive today.

It all started well enough.  60 degrees, a little damp but not bad, a nigh-full moon, and a leftover keg of Hydraulion from the Christmas party on Sunday.  For late December, the whole thing came together like a Christmas Miracle.  So four of us set out from the Rancho Relaxo at 6:30 to ride some gnarly local stuff for a couple of hours.  Good times all around - up and down the slightly slick but rideable paranormal loop, then onto the narrows and ledges of the nebula that exists in the time space continuum where Buck Mountain Reservoir should rightfully be.  Some great trails in there, not for the faint of heart - especially at night in a little mud, but again, all was well.

But we got back to the house and, excited and buzzed from the ride, I poured us 4 beers from the aforementioned leftover keg, and I was carrying three of them pyramid style in my hands while I had the 4th one for me in my teeth, and I was coming down the stairs off my front porch and I blew it.  Badly.

I was wearing bike shoes, which aren't great on stairs as I'm sure you know, and because of the 4 beers I was carrying I was sort of leaning backwards a little to balance them, and the stairs were a little damp I guess, so I sort of slipped and fell backwards at first.  I'm not sure what happened after that, because the 64 ounces of beer that I was carrying basically exploded, and the one in my teeth went up my nose, and I sort of choked on it, mid-crash, and I couldn't get my hands down in time to break my fall, and then I don't really know what happened.  I know I hit my back and my head on the stairs, and I remember not being able to breathe for a minute because of all the beer in my mouth and nose.  I'd like to think I turned it into a little tuck and roll, but that might not have happened, but anyway I came to some kind of rolling stop in the mud at the bottom of the steps, covered in beer, and rolling around in shame.  It took me a minute to get up.

C-ham came over from his truck where he'd been changing and asked poignantly, "what the fuck was that noise?"  He said it sounded like someone had dropped a tray of dishes.  I assume that was the sound my tailbone and ribs made as I was crashing down the stairs, but I don't know.  If there were a surveillance video of this, I'm thinking 10 million youtube hits, minimum.  As it is, no one saw it, not even me.

Today is painful.  I estimate that I snorted about 6 ounces of beer, which is not good for the nervous system.  It hurts my tailbone to take a deep breath, but I think it's bruised not broken. I have road rash on my back.  Bruises on both elbows and my butt.  Big lump on the back of my head.  I think if I'd had my helmet on, I'd have broken it.  The list goes on and on.

The lesson, of course, is that you should limit your beer carrying to three beers or less if you're wearing bike shoes at night and running down wet stairs.

The Pantani ride is in 7 weeks.  By all means, train, do your thing.  But be safe out there, kids.

Up, up, up.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gordon Wadsworth for President



Looking forward into 2016, which you may already know will be the first year that BRC officially backs Gordon Wadsworth in his bid for the Republican Nomination for the office of the President of the USA, I thought it would be worth our while to sit down and learn a little bit more about the man behind the mustache.  

You already know that he's tough, on drugs, and 100% committed to protecting our collective right to bare arm warmers.  You know he deserves your vote.  But I sat down with him to learn a little bit more.  


BRC:  I guess we should probably start with the weather.  It's 75 degrees in the middle of December.  Did you cause this?  Excessive watts or whatever, technically a measurement of heat, blowing right off your drivetrain and warming the atmosphere.  You can deny climate change all you want, but science is happening whether you admit it or not.  


QWAD: I'd like to start by paraphrasing one of my mentors, Sarah Palin, by saying that it's not yet confirmed if this whole global warming whosiewhatsit is a real thing, or just a natural part of the end of days.  And I wont say i "caused" it. But hey, gravity is a funny thing. I dont claim to be a scientist but I know something aint right about the present state of this planet and I know im feeling pretty good these days. Draw your own conclusions.

BRC:  Gun control.  What exactly are we supposed to do about your legs?  I support open carry, but come on, there's a limit.  You cant just walk around with those and expect there not be be trouble.  

QWAD: " Gun control?" Thats a neat way to say he with the biggest guns has all the control. So I guess what im saying is...do you feel lucky punk? Well..do ya?

BRC: OK, enough of that.  What is on your race calendar this year?  

QWAD: Race Calendar. Which is like a real calendar with family time scheduled in. Lots of NUE series again, maybe some of the new marathon series. But Ill be honest and say i have a score to settle with the Open Men's category. Ohio robbed me of some glory. And I love the way glory tastes. Like the ear off a chocolate bunny. 

BRC: Tell me about the NUE serieses.  Plural.  Is this just a way to allow Dicky to win a race series, or is it conceivable that you will win both, not just one?  

QWAD: Seri? Serieses? Hard to tell. Doubt it. Poor sweet little Dicky. Hes winning alright, just not at bike racing. Ill say this, not since Bruce Jenner became a lady bird has anybody paid that much attention to someone so generally forgettable. One things for sure, As long as Im on a podium we will go "Dicky Deep." If only for entertainment purposes.

BRC:  Do you still single speed, brah?  Like, what exactly are you riding these days?  

QWAD: One at a time maybe! Bikes are fast, bikes are fun, and I can get home to the beer and my lovely ladies faster sometimes when I flick the little lazer turtle shell blaster on the right side of the handlebars. 

BRC:  As a single speeder that seems to dabble in gears, do you find that you lack the proper butt callouses to really be competitive?  

QWAD: Sitting is hard on a man. The short answer...no. I dont really get it. Weird because everybody thinks SS is the harder of the two and yet those shifty bits make me awfully uncomfortable sometimes! But I like the little "pew pew" sound the turtle shooter lever makes.  Also, on a related note,  I believe it's my right as an American to shoot wolves from my helicopter.  

BRC:   Pantani is Feb 13th.  When can I expect the Maillot Pistachio to be delivered to my house, laundered and pressed, neatly folded, along with your handwritten apology for possessing it without proper credentials for the past year? Also, Chaz Michaels has the right to punch you square in the dick whenever he'd like, in perpetuity.

QWAD: Well...Youve hit a sore topic. The Maillot Pistachio is a fickle mistress. She can be hard to give up. Literally, she has this sticky spot on one of the sleeves. its gross. Chaz Michaels Michaels (not a typo, just an inside joke) deserved it. No doubt. He a tough cookie, one thats tough to chew. And especially at his fighting weight hes a contender. Always. 

BRC:  The Tour De Burg turns 20 this year.  Gonna be a big one, I've been told.  Do you have any drug tests that you'll be facing in July/August?  

QWAD: Yeah!  I'd like that. Burgalicious. Why not. I heard about the fireworks they pack in their brownies up there! I heard they're great that is.

BRC:  Speaking of Drugs, Lance Armstrong recently came out and admitted that he's made two major mistakes in his life:  drugs and being a complete asshole.  But, in his defense, his mom wasn't the typical mom figure and did very little actual parenting during his formative years.  You, on the other hand, seem to not be on the juice, and your parents appear to have given you a healthy slap on the back of the head when you needed it, resulting in a mostly pretty good dude by all accounts.  So my question, naturally, is this: do you think you could get a date with Lance's mom?  

QWAD: I heard she had a thing for Tom Selleck...so maybe?!

BRC:  I knew Tom Selleck.  I worked with Tom Selleck.  You, my friend, are no Tom Selleck.  But remember that time I crushed you at SM100 three months, 6 days, 18 hours and 14 minutes ago?  

QWAD: Yeah, that was a good time. I almost died. It was swell! You didnt even stop to say hello at Aid 2 you bird dog. Stackhouse and I were having a metaphysical debate and you just blew by. Some blogger you are. No wonder Dicky gets more reads. 

BRC:   Qwad vs. Calf.  2 months.  Brokenback.  Now that you've seen Will Leet operate a mountain bike and not completely suck at it (only mostly), how do you like your odds?

QWAD: Well, center of gravity is worth noting. As is costume choice. But one things for sure. The rural folks are my people. Ive been living in Georgia buddy, I can speak red. So Leet better stick close to my wheel or else the country folk might take a liking to him and all his shiny teeth. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Well, there goes your social life.

back is a bit better. trending in the right direction, I think. May try to spin for 2 hours tomorrow
nice
gears?
wanna go to byrom or something?
gonna be 73 at 2 pm
9:54 AM
nothing about byrom sounds spinny to me
1x10
its insanely steep
but your a singlespeeder
10:16 AM
I'm thinking I don't want to be hunched over huffing and puffing
still need to tend to that rear wheel on the moots too

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Weekenders



Just insanely good conditions for December, even for a modest Winter state like Virginia.  By all means, go out and do something terrible to yourself this weekend.

For example, the forecast for Stokesville:

THIS WEEKEND, 12/11

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankful for...

Family
All of these dents in my bike that aren't in me.
Ridge-Decca-Ridge
The Parkway
That uneasy feeling on Tuesdays at exactly 6 pm
The color teal
Simmons Gap
Drinking not coke at the old coke building
Flo Lakes
Rocky Holler
Rigid Fork Comeback
24X36
Brokenback
The Hold Steady on the way to night ride at 9 PM
Strict Chipotle pre-race regimen
Ditch Witched trail
12 pack of 40Mile cans for $10
DWLinks
Little rippers
New grips
8-speed stuff that I stockpiled 10 years ago because I saw the future
Honey Stinger Gingersnap Waffles
Private land
How insanely bright a new $150 light is now
Slacks
50-foot tall Rhododendron forests
The diverse pursuit of 2 wheeled happiness in all its forms

And on and on and up and up and up.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Perpetual Tie

A decade and a half ago, I lived in Paris for six months while on a study abroad program.  I was finishing out my last semester of college in Europe vs. within the relatively safe confines of the sheltered bluestone campus in Harrisonburg.  It was a tremendous experience.  Not all positive, but all very real - certainly an education.


Early on in my stay there, after the luster of just being in Paris wore off a little, I recognized that it was still a big city, complete with all of the big city highs and lows you might find in New York or London or Hong Kong.  Non-directional septic smells.  Street sweeping dog shit.  Mean people.  But also, the best of the best: and at times that was Sports.  Indeed, one of the most profound experiences I had in Paris was taking the RER north to St. Denis, buying a ticket off a scalper, and watching a football friendly between Team France and Team Cameroon in a much-hyped match between what was, at the time, the Olympic Champs (Cameroon) and the World Cup Champs (France) at the Stade De France.

Outside of being just an absolutely huge stadium, the second most defining characteristic of The Stade De France is that there are basically only two levels - The Top and The Bottom.

The Top, where I sat, and much to my surprise, was almost 100% black people, mostly North and West African immigrants.  I wasn't bothered by this in any way - quite the opposite.  These were the warmest, most welcoming, and certainly the most excited people I had ever encountered at a sporting event, immediately prompting me to root for Cameroon instead of France.  We sat together, cheered and yelled and hissed at the refs, and all the while looked out across The Lower Deck, below us and a great deal closer than we were with a better view of the action - pretty much exclusively white Parisians.

The obvious and unapologetic segregation was shocking at first, but everyone there seemed to take it in stride.  The reality is that this was and still is a pretty accurate cross-section of France and Paris today.  The old guard - white people near the center of the city with the view and influence of it all - and the immigrants craning their necks from afar just to see.

I'll cut to the punchline on this one: France and Cameroon tied that night.  I didn't see anyone fight after the game, but I heard on the news the next day that there had been some serious brawls later that night - as so often happens in a tie, sometimes the fans will try to sort out the winner on their own.  Of course that doesn't ever work, but it was obvious to me then - December of 2000 - that the table was set for a real, hard, bitter struggle for what you might call "limited seating" between the haves and the have nots.

Such were the grounds, at least in the sense of an actual location, for the suicide bombings in Paris last week.  Of course, Cameroon is not ISIS, and that's not at all what I mean to imply.  I'm talking about the enormous gap itself - that space in the middle.  It's the perpetual tie in a game we insist on continuing to play over and over - the fact that I'll never convince you and you'll never convince me, and hate, death, and whatever hell may come, no one ever actually wins.

It's not just in France, of course; it's everywhere.   The divisive, unholy line.

I've been in exactly two sprint finishes in bike races - both times racing for the Win, and both times I've been beaten at the line.  Once, in 2011, I almost won the XXC at the Middle Mountain Mamma, probably the closest I've come to winning a decently big race.  I actually had a pretty big gap coming into the last downhill, and I played it safe in some pretty poor conditions while the guy behind me risked it, and he came from a long way back and outsprinted me at the line.  At the Urban Assault in Richmond in about 2009 or so, I led it out into the final straight, but Mike Hosang passed me, only I passed him back, but then he re-re-passed me to take the W.  In both cases, I was pretty psyched just to have been close, and I was beaten by really fast guys.  And, more than anything, we didn't tie.  Nothing in a bike race ends up being a tie.  There's a clear winner, and a podium, and a top 10, and everyone else too, and we can all move on and go home and feel OK about that.

But life is not bike racing.  Most things aren't.

Today - The Third Thursday of November - is Beaujolais for the French.  It's the day when the newly bottled wine of the year is uncorked, decanted, and served across France even though it's still pretty fruity and not entirely ready for consumption.  It's a national holiday and basically an invitation to call in sick to work tomorrow.  But after various credible threats around Paris and the rest of Europe this week, it will be no surprise if another terrorist attack hits France right on the nose again tonight.  I could be wrong about that, and that's one of the unfortunate effects of terrorism - that attack or not, we're all at least a little terrorized.

I've done a ton of bike riding in France over the years.  Ventoux.  Alps D'huez.  Normandy.  Arles.  Right through the streets of Paris and out past the Hippodrome and farther West out to Versailles and back.  But right now, it's hard to imagine.

The lines we draw are all so clear, now - that's the power of the internet.  They're Social.  Economic.  Cultural.  Religious.  Ethnic.  Political.  There are language barriers.   Financial gaps.  Dead bodies to reinforce the threat from the other side, whatever that side might be.  The distance from here to there is so enormous, people so far out of context with our own reality that perhaps we'd be better off just not interacting at all.  But we can see them all so clearly, and so far, that isn't helping.
I saw the gap - right across the waistline of the Stade De France, just like that night when France and Cameroon tied, and fought, and nothing was ever really settled.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A letter to John from his Ex-Fork

Look, it was either contemplate the meaning of a world that might allow the existence of a caliphate state on a closed-borders-only basis because religious freedom isn't really religious freedom if we only allow the religions we like to be free, or write an imaginary letter to John from his old fork that he gave me because he didn't want it anymore.

Neither would have been safe for work, but I chose the latter.
You are most welcome.
Up, up, up.

Dear John,
At first I was afraid; I was petrified.  

I'm a rigid fork, after all.  So movement isn't something I do very well, and I think that comes with a fear of change.  Travel is not what I do.  I've never left anyone before.  But you and I both know how bad things had gotten between us, and the end was the end.  And that's fine.  I mean, I was furious at first.  How could YOU leave ME?  You with your floppy little handlebars and your wanky saddle.   I hate you.  You want to know what I really think?  Of course you don't because you're a mean-hearted soul sucking buzz kill.  So let me tell you what I think about you. Kiss my dropouts.  Again, I'm a rigid fork, so I'm basically genderless, but if I had a genitals I would definitely not let you touch them anymore.  You with your hate.  Always with your disdain for my body.  Like I wasn't good enough for YOU?  Ha!  That seems so silly now.  But I couldn't see it at the time, because when you told me I wasn't good enough to flow down North Bank trail, I believed you.  And so you would run off and ride that other fork you have, with her implanted travel adjustment and her perky air valves and bullshit - let me tell you something - that shit ain't real.  And I'd sit at home all alone and think I wasn't pretty enough, and then you'd come home and we'd go get groceries or walk the dog or some garbage, and I was just that - a utility.  

Let me tell you something you don't know about you, John, you can't handle me!  You and your wanky little short stem.  For so long I believed the story you told me that I wasn't good enough.  But you know what I did last night?  Of course you don't, because you LEFT ME, so let me tell you what I did: I JUMPED DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.  You would have never let me do that.  You thought I wasn't good enough for it.  But now I see the truth, the awful truth, that it was YOU who couldn't jump those stairs, not me.  And sure, I broke a spoke or two on this wanky little no-balls wheel, but screw him, I'm a grown-ass fork now!  I will huck all the stairs I want now, and bitches and spokes better bend a little.  This grown ass fork is a whole lot of fork, and I'm going to paint this town with my ass on backwards if you know what I mean.  Of course you don't know what I mean, because you wouldn't ever let me do that.  And you kept me locked up, and I almost believed you and I could have thrown my whole life away, but finally I have escaped, and I will SURVIVE.  

Again, and in summary, screw you and your wanky saddle and your carbon bikes and whatever.  I hope your other fork blows oil in your stupid eyes.  

-Karate Monkey Fork

PS - Here's a picture of me.  It's amazing what a little fresh paint can do for a girl's confidence.  Eat your heart out.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tractor Factor


I want to tell you about a really sexist, bizarre, shitty thing that guys do when they talk about women, and why they do it, and how it applies to cycling, and what I think it all means.  So dig in there and be patient with this very calloused thing I'm about to explain to you, and I'll try to help make it all make sense by the time I roll out of here in 10 minutes.
 
What I'm here to tell you about is Tractor Factor.

And it goes like this.
There's this inane, bizarre, sexist way that men objectify how a woman looks, a very simple rating scale that I'm sure you're familiar with: a simple number rating of 1 - 10.  "She's an 8."  "She's a 10!"  "Oh man, she was a four.  Ugh."
That sort of thing.  You've heard of it before, I assume, though if you hadn't I'm sorry you had to read about it here first.  It's not only a calloused way to objective the complex nature of beauty, it also tends to dumb the entire worth of a person down to a simple number.  And I do mean Dumb.  We're talking about the most basic of male instincts here.  Not something anyone is proud of, I don't think: it simply IS.

But here's the part you might never have heard of: Tractor Factor.
Tractor Factor basically works as follows:
"Bro, she'd probably only be a 6, but she drives her own tractor, and it's a John Deere.  So she's a 9."
You see what happened there?  An otherwise modest "score," if you will, was amplified by an outside factor - in this case, quite literally, a tractor.  The gifted lady in this case has a 1.5X tractor factor, resulting in a Net "score" of 9.

Congratulations, you've just entered the human male brain at the very bottom floor.  Welcome.  And again, I'm really sorry.

While still abhorrently sexist, Tractor Factor actually serves to add some level of natural complexity back into the overly simple 1- 10 scoring system I mentioned above, thus restoring (in a minimal way) the very subjective and nuanced way that a person actually perceives the beauty of another person, and thus (I hope) helping to right the wrongness of the 1-10 system in a very minor way.

Ok, let's get back to bikes.  Because that's what you came here for and that's what I actually know something about.

Tractor Factor applies to bikes also.  In fact, since a bike is an actual Object, objectifying it isn't such a bad thing, and again, the male brain is only capable of so much complexity when it comes to surmising a person or thing's worth.

So a 2005 steel 26er hardtail with a little rust around the edges isn't exactly a bike that you're excited about spending some time with this winter, right?  But put some 2.4's on there, a short stem, and some 700mm wide bars with new grips and wait, what?  Yeah, you'd ride the shit out of that thing.  You might not tell your buddies about it, but you'd do it, and you'd love it.  A subtle difference changes the whole game.

Ditto that for your road bike.  Again, it's a mid 2000s aluminum frame with a triple crank and some really heinous shifting.  So you sell it, right, because you're just not into it anymore.  And some guy buys it, and he lovingly bolts on a double crank with some new cables and housing, some new grip tape, and maybe even some new tires and boom - it's like seeing your ex-girlfriend with another guy, and she looks great.  They look super happy, and they drop you on the steep climb coming back into Free Union.  You're a fat asshole, and you're an idiot.
 


None of this is revolutionary psychology, nor is it a mode of thought that I think anyone should subscribe to in a broader sense.  The male gender of our species simply lacks the ability to understand worth in much more than black or white terms.  Tractor Factor, sexist though it remains, is a useful vessel for trying to overcome this.

In summary, you need some new tires for the winter.  But more than anything, don't be that guy. The beauty of a person (or a bike) is actually bound by you, not them.

See something for what it really is for a change.

Up, up, up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Election Day

“This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!” he said.
We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!” 
-Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who