Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Zwift Doping

Deep thoughts on the subject of doping, strava, social media, and the bizarre commercialization of weekend warriors and their Instagram feeds.

It's a fascinating read that I highly recommend:  http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/who-is-thorfinn-sassquatch-the-mysterious-case-of-a-los-angeles-strava-legend/

Because until there's a good hack for Zwift that will give me an extra 200 watts (up, up, down down, left right left right b a start) there's still old fashioned doping, which luckily works in all manner of imaginary racing - Strava, Zwift, Instagram, your local Tuesday night fast ride, and now it's more convenient and affordable than ever.  At least for a little while longer...

If you bought drugs through the mail in the last 10 years or so, my advice is to just fade into the background, deadbolt your front door, and arm yourself to the very fucking teeth.  The feds are coming.

No way out but up, up, up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ragged Mountain and Main Street

You know, places you can ride your bike.

A wee bit of linkage first:

The Ragged Mountain Public Hearing is tonight, 3.22.  I'm told the first one was sparsely attended.  But this is our chance, as a community, to make our collective voice heard - that our greatest in-town singletrack future is strong enough to support bikes.  And dogs.  And running.  And fun in general.  Indeed, if you believe that more than one bizarre, misguided, remarkably slow and plodding user group deserves access to our public lands, then show up and make your voice heard.

Similarly, City Council is now accepting your input on the design of West Main Street.  Same deal: residents on bikes should be able to ride down West Main without being run the fuck over by trucks.  You can read more, ponder, and support that kind of outlandish, radical thought here: http://gowestmain.com

This stuff is easy for me.  I know where I stand on these subjects, and I don't even have to attend.  No, indeed, my wife is plugged in, and since she's more beautiful, better spoken, cooler under pressure, smarter, calmer, less likely to cry in public, faster, and generally a better representation of the kind of quality person who'd like access to these kinds of bike infrastructure; it's just better for everyone involved that she attend and speak her mind vs me showing up with a rogue hoe and a muddy "fuck you" t-shirt.  So she attends, I stay home, and everybody wins.

But this sign...
Every time I see this sign, it absolutely murders me.  You read that right: no beer, no dogs, no running ("NO RUNNING!") no bikes, no "collecting."  Basically, no anything.  You can walk there, as long as you don't pick anything up.  Not much else at Ragged Mountain is legal.  We, the taxpayer, actually pay a significant amount of money to keep ourselves the fuck out of there.  Animal control is out there a few times/month to ticket, arrest, and persecute people who have the audacity to walk their dogs.  And NO RUNNING!  That always makes me smile a little.  Is there a lifeguard there who will blow the whistle and scream at you if they perceive you moving too fast? Are we five years old and at the pool?  And, for that matter, running is a little tough to define...what about just a really fast walk?  A shuffle?  Are there judges there who - like in the powerwalking championships of the World will disqualify any walker that they can closely inspect and perceive to be, in fact, running?

It's a slippery slope, this whole "No Running" business.  Lucky for us, our tax dollars can support the infrastructure to prevent running, that being a chubby little fellow in a white hat with exceptional judgement, character, and a startling level of passion, capable of tossing even the great walking champion, Jane Saville, from the women's 20K walk at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  Let's just say this: HE will not be persuaded.

But maybe the people who actually matter can be.  So get out there and help mold the future of how bikes, runners, dogs, and pretty much the remaining 95% of us will access our public places in the very near future.

Because it still holds true - even amid the internet of all things: the world is still run by the people who actually show up, up, up.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Bike

Unless your neighbor is your brother, and his bike is one of these.

And he's not even going 40 mph.  Or shaving his legs.  Or wearing a helmet.  He's a little occupied in other ways, you might have noticed.

In that scenario, by all means covet.  Steal it off his deck and wreck it a few times.  It's what you all deserve.

Up, up, up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Counterfeit Carbon Shit

As a woman, what is the absolute last thing you want to hear after you've made love to Willie Nelson?

"I'm not Willie Nelson."  

Just some old, scruffy guy in a bandana.  Knowwhatimean?
We've all done it.

Which naturally brings me to the topic of the week: Counterfeit Carbon Shit.

Full Speed Ahead.  Straight into the ground, though, and faster isn't necessarily better in that direction.

Linkage on the subject in the mainstream:



To be clear about this, when you order cheap shit on Amazon, it is still cheap shit when it arrives at your door mere hours later.  Outside of the insanely fast delivery time of this fake bike part, there's no miracle that is happening while it's in that magic brown box.

The price point sounded, is, and will continue to be too good to be true.  But this very bizarre supply chain is only what we ask for - that's the nature of it.  It's all demand-driven - from the shipment right up to the production.  If we keep asking for this product, it's what we'll continue to get.  And we'll get it fast: delivery times have gotten downright insane.  This is robot-packaged, drone-delivered plastic shit handcrafted in China by tortured, yellow hands.  The convenience of the experience is only outdone by the catastrophic failure of it all.

One interesting nuance of this phenomenon is that the used hardtail you buy on Ebay that happens to have FSA components might actually be built up with this shit too.  And the seller who watched the bike gather dust in his garage while he contemplated how rad it was to be a mountain biker, well, he probably has no idea.  Point being that a visit to the ER on your next downhill isn't limited to just people who are mail-ordering components.

Meet my friend, Willie Nelson.
Face, meet wheel.
You guys are going to get along great.

Up, up, up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


March: rolling in like a lamb chop, marinated in Super Tuesday Sauce to get all over your tie.

It's going to hit 70 degrees today.  So your ride to the polls to cast your vote should be an enormous pleasure.  What you do there, that's your business.  But I'm confident it'll be the right thing if you take two wheels instead of 4.

Remember, get out there and vote, while it's still legal.  And whatever happens, as long as we all take part, no matter the result - that's the democratic process working as intended.  That's the experience of the ride I guess; some days you like it, and other days you fix your flat, straighten your hanger, clear the leaves and mud from your helmet, and limp home on one pedal.    It's not always your day to stay upright.

Tide comes in.  Tide goes out.

There are a million ways forward, and they all go up up up.