Your definitive resource. That's all, just your definitive resource.
27 July 2007
25 July 2007
Bike racing scares me. I don't know how I'm gonna do and there are all these factors that I can't control--unfamiliar courses with turns that are sharper than they appear, gravel in corners, other people (shit! people! you certainly can't control those fuckers), and weather and what if my mind goes blank and I forget the few tactics I know or my leg gives out and stops pedaling or my bike disintegrates underneath me and I don't know how to use the wheel pit, though I'm supposed to, and am I supposed to have an extra set of wheels with me? Kinda like the equivalent of having a blanket and first aid kit in the car?
And the training. Man, it's like, you spend all this time training and now it's race day and do you have it? Imagine you spend months building a house. It's haunted. You took care to make it sturdy and scary because you want to see if you've got the guts to walk through it to the backyard. As you're building it, you imagine yourself walking over the threshold of the front door, down the hallway, through the living room, and out the back door. You picture this every time you hammer and saw and sand.
And then the day you're done building, you stand at the front door. You turn the knob and push the door open and stare down the hallway. Through the sliding glass door at the other end of the house, you can see the backyard. In between you and it is a lot of dark and what you take to be cobwebs. This is stupid, you say to yourself. You don't have to do this, you know. You can walk around the house and still get to the backyard. Hell, you could burn this fucker down, rebuild a greenhouse with pretty flowers, ignore your allergies, and walk through that to get to the backyard. And what's so great about that backyard anyway?
But the thing is--you built this house. This was the thing you wondered if you had the guts to do. And now there it is, opened up in front of you.
Do you go?
23 July 2007
The Prius is a great car. It saves energy. And decreases whatever horrid emissions are causing the world to hobble and slowly wilt its way into the future. Also, the Prius eradicates third world debt and it makes a mean Denver omelet.
22 July 2007
21 July 2007
This is like following the yellow brick road to find The Wiz, except that it's not a yellow brick road, it's a paved bike path, and we weren't going into Oz, we were going into Minneapolis, and we weren't looking for The Wiz, we were looking for Fig Newtons and Gatorade. But otherwise, it's exactly like the movies.
Apparently, Minnesota has thousands of lakes. I used my bat phone to call the governor and suggested the state add "Land of 10,000 lakes" to their license plates. You will be happy to know, they are going to do so.
Today we rode on bike paths and bike lanes. Real bike lanes, the kind where cars do not double park. Yes. There are places that have bike lanes that are not considered extra parking spots. I am not making this up.
If I was the travel writer I wish I was, I would give you some history on this cathedral and maybe a personal anecdote of an experience I had here. As it is, it was at the top of a hill that I was ill prepared to climb and so all I can really say is that, when you suddenly find yourself climbing up a hill that from far away looks insignificant but is most definitely not when you are in the middle of it, do not hit the one crater-sized pothole while you are trying to take a picture. It's quite possible you may find yourself a bit off balance.
20 July 2007
We have set out to discover the mysteries of the Midwest.
So far, we have discovered that the grass is green.
And, trucks travel on the highways.
An aroused minivan. Is that an antenna on your car or are you just happy to see me?
This is a funny joke only if you can see that enormously long antenna in this picture.
Actually, no. That joke is not funny at all.
JEFF! Madison told me to tell you hello.
Moto-cyclist: But still, you have to admit, it sounds a bit too similar, like Republican conspiracy similar.
Cop: Can you walk a straight line?
This is Doris. She talks like a flight attendant on quaaludes. She spends hours ignoring us then suddenly interrupts our conversation to tell us to "bear left on 94." She doesn't like the fact that we can sing every word to that one Mister Mister hit from the 80s. She refuses to produce a light show that can be choreographed to classic rock. I'm not quite sure what to make of Doris.
18 July 2007
Big news! Crayola is coming out with a new crayon color, inspired by the Chicago River. It's called Rainy Day Grey Sometimes Green Depending on Bacteria Levels. Sure to be a hit.
a. The newest look in head wear
b. A proud moment for members of The Association for Humans with Foreheads as Big as a Movie Screen
c. Headphones you wear when you're recording something for the radio
Stay tuned . . . good stuff is coming . . .
10 July 2007
What is a 2-person time trial? For those of you cyclists out there, you know this is a chance to share the load of pain, usually with a fitness-similar friend, because what is friendship without pain, and you both "work together" to eat up road with robot-like efficiency and win your category because, after all, this is A Race.
For those of you noncyclists out there, you know that you have to be bat shit crazy to get on a bicycle in 90-degree weather and go as fast as you can around a rectangle of corn fields. You also no doubt know that you have to be even battier shit crazy to wake up at 5am and drive 2 hours to get to said rectangle of corn fields.
But this is not about logic. This is about bike racing.
This is me and Ginga Mojo at the start. This picture was taken by Jennifer Hill, photographer to the stars.
I'm smiling because I'm thinking how cool it would be to have a time trial bike. I don't have a time trial bike. I have aero bars, though, which are allegedly something you should use during a time trial, but I wasn't using them because I love to make an already difficult situation difficulter. If you can't be your own worst enemy, then I ask you--who are you?
Apparently, you are also supposed to wear a skin suit while time trialing. Cyclists will know that skinsuits help you achieve that perfect aerodynamic slickness necessary for perfect aerodynamic racerliness. Noncyclists will note that skin suits are yet another example of the cycling community's gross violation of all fashion rules known to mankind.
I can say that I've ridden Ginga Mojo's wheel somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,567 miles. In that time, I have been relaxed and unnervous, happy to be with a friend, and confident that I can find my place to draft and know that The Ging will do nothing that even vaguely represents a bobble or a weave. Cyclists will note that this is an ideal situation to be in. Noncyclists have probably stopped reading.
So, it was with some surprise that I noted at about the .005 mile mark that my bionic legs were not working. Of course, this had to be because I was not finding that one teeny tiny little spot behind my partner that would provide me with the protection from the wind that I needed. The problem here is, that first stretch was not the windy part.
The second stretch, around turn 1, is the windy part. It is like riding into the mouth of an Earth-sized hair dryer turned on high. If you have just spent that last 5 miles wondering how your real legs were left in the car while someone surreptitiously replaced them with these fake, heavy, go-slow legs, turning into a hair dryer will no doubt cause you to say something poetic like, "Oh, holy shit." I would suggest that you not say this too loud as it does not do much for team morale.
Unless you're riding with Ginga Mojo, then really, all you have to do is hang on and thank whatever higher being you thank when you know you are sucking ass and you have a friend around to pick up the pieces.
Cyclists will see what is coming at this point--I did no work except for the occassional cry of, "Wait!" that included a mental hamster wheel of self-loathing and scathing insults toward myself that ran around my head with sprinter-like quickness. Noncyclists will understand this as a need for an intervention.
These people are smiling because this is the Before Picture. Also, they know they are going to go really, really fast on really, really cool bikes.
Labels: race report
05 July 2007
Hey--did Katharine Hepburn moonlight as a model for Starbucks coffee?
Thursday Oxtails. Not just for dinner, it's also the name of Team Power Love's banjo band. Fan club information forthcoming.