Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm surprised Massengill doesn't sponsor a race team.

Why are roadies, or more accurately, serious-acting cyclists such douche-bags? Actually, they're not even cool enough to be a douche-bag. More like an enema bottle. And I am not talking a high level cyclist, like those in the pro ranks. Nope. Most of those guys are actually cool, nice people (there are a few that aren't). I am talking about those guys that aren't even Cat 3 racers that wear full-kit outfits, ride 52cm and smaller bikes so they have short man's diesease, but think they can take Contador out if they just had the right breaks go their way. Let me explain.

Yesterday morning I was out on my normal "training" route on my cross/road/commuter bike (it isn't a real road bike, so I'm not cool) and as I crest a smaller climb, a guy passes me on my left. Mind you it is 6 am and there is barely a soul out in the world, much less other cyclists. Do you think this little, Napoleonic, full-kit, road-racer wanna-be fuck could even grunt out a hi, fuck you, suck-it or any other greeting to another cyclist? Nope. The best part of all of it was he put the hammer down to pass me, he got a little ways ahead of me then held it there. I closed the gap a little bit (about in half) and kept it there. He kept looking over his shoulder at me, trying to do his best Lance Armstrong "the look" imitation. All that told me was he spent everything passing me and was just holding on to his lead. So, I suppose he couldn't say hi 'cause he was beyond his anaerobic threshold, but seriously, give me a break. No other people out this morning, much less another cyclist and you can't grunt something?

You tiny little fuck. You weigh about the same as my legs so I am sure that was part of the reason you could pass me, but I could have reeled you in as you saw in my acceleration when I closed the gap down. But, maybe, just maybe you were afraid that if I caught you I'd get your pot of gold or your Lucky Charms.

I don't get it. It isn't like there are millions, thousands or hell even hundreds of cyclists on the roads, especially here in South Dakota. We're all part of the same "team". We're on two human powered wheels in a world made for 4 motorized wheels. We have a kinship, a brother(or sister)hood. Whether we're riding for fitness, fun, commuting, relaxation or for no reason at all, we should all appreciate it when we see another on a bike. At least I give a nod if I can't say something at that moment.

If I see that little Leprechaun out on his Barbie bike again, I will chase him down and steal his pot of gold. But you can be sure I'll say hello when I am doing it.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Over the weekend, we went to Sioux Falls to a family (my wife's) reunion. This was a snap decision to attend this reunion on my wife's part. Initially when her dad told her about it, she said she had no reason to attend, and her father assumed she wouldn't attend anyhow. But then, after thinking about it, she decided to attend, albeit slightly last minute.

So, trying to figure out how to get some riding in while there, and I knew I wouldn't be riding a mountain bike (it is Sioux Falls for Christ's sakes), so I did some research on Mapquest before heading out there. I found some nice, easily accessible country roads that I could spin out on for a ways then double back. Cool...all is not lost for riding for the weekend.

Saturday morning I get up, have a little breakfast, and take off for my ride, though it was later than I wanted to go. First let me tell you, Sioux Falls streets and road have to be the biggest piece of shit roads I've EVER been on. Holy shit they suck. Really. Cracks and pot holes big enough to swallow a toddler on a tricycle. I had to actually rappel down into one to retrieve a dropped water bottle. Fucking atrocious.

Anyhow, I did a 2 1/2 hour ride before we had to start getting ready for the ass-grabbing session with people I've never met before and will probably never see again. Actually, after I got out of town a ways, beside the fact that the shoulders were fairly narrow, the roads were decent. So, besides a big assed garbage truck coming far too close to me, the ride was uneventful and a good one.

Sunday, I got up a little earlier to go. Understand that Sioux Falls is in a different time zone than I am, so for me I was up REALLY early, especially for a Sunday morning where we went out the night before to see an old friend from high school that calls Sioux Falls home. Anyhow, I roll out on a different route, with a lot better shoulder. I have a tailwind, so I am clipping along at a really quick rate. Riding mostly uphill and I am keeping an average speed over 17 mph, pretty quick for me. I think to myself the ride home might suck a little bit. I am also under a bit of a time constraint as we have to attend a brunch at 11:00, so I know that I can't go out too far, especially taking the wind into consideration.

So, the plan in my head was to roll out for an hour, turn around and ride back. As I was nearing the hour mark, I start scanning ahead to find a suitable turn-around point, grab a quick bite and raise my seat a bit. At a little gravel road, I pull over, get out a Clif Shot Block, throw a couple squares in my mouth and get an allen wrench out and raise the seat up. I didn't have to raise the seat up right then. It was just a tiny bit (a few millimeters) too low, so if I didn't raise it right then, I would have been OK, but being the anal rider I am, I decided to do it.

I don't know if the Clif Blocks were steroid flavored, but as I am tightening the bolt down, I hear/feel a *SNAP* and my hand goes flying away from the bike. I think the allen wrench broke. Nope. It was the binder bolt. SHIT! I look around a little bit to see if I can find the head to back the broken remains out of the collar and do a make shift fix to get me home. No dice. Now what? I sure as hell am not riding 17 miles home, against the wind, standing up. So I decide to call my wife to come pick me up. I get voice mail. Shit. Her phone is in the truck on the charger, so even if she wanted to hear it ring, she couldn't. Uh oh. Not good. I don't have my father-in-law's number. I don't have my sister-in-law's number. I just might be riding the 17 miles home standing up.

So, I call my mother-in-law in Florida to see if she has my sister-in-law's phone number or if she call her for me, which she said she would. I then call my mom in Colorado to see if she can look up my father-in-law's number for me, but my mom is at work, but she says to call my sister. I do, but of course, she doesn't answer. Then I call my brother (also in Colorado) and he starts looking it up, but can't find it. No listing. I feel myself slipping into a bit of despair knowing that I'll have to start riding home.

As I am talking to my brother, my call waiting started beeping. It was my wife. HURRAY! After a quick logistical conversation, she says she is on her way, and I start pedaling towards home. A couple of miles later, we hook-up and I am rescued, and rescued in time too as we are not late for brunch.

When I got home-home last night I went to fix my bike. I get the broken bolt out and find a proper replacement bolt. I put everything back together and as I am tightening it down (more gingerly this time) the entire seat collar snapped in half, so at least I know it was ready to go.

Even though I had to get rescued, I had some good rides in while there. I just know now to never adjust my saddle height when I am out on a ride. At least if my wife's phone is on charge.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Man, I can tell I'm getting old.

Well, first of all, I lied. I truly thought I'd work out my BHFTF post in my head, liven it up and bestow it upon all of you. Yet, here I am writing something completely different and more than a week later too. Oh well. Maybe I'll finish it up before the next BHFTF.

Tuesday nights are kinda a ride night for the Ramblers. The group ebbs and flows depending on what we're riding, where we're riding and what is happening in everyone's lives. We've had Tuesday rides with 30+ and we've had Tuesday rides with 3. This last Tuesday was scheduled for the Centennial Trail starting at Pactola Resverior. I was NOT looking forward to it.

I wasn't not looking forward to it because of the ride, but because of the moisture we've had lately. Yes, I'll say it again, we've had too damn much rain. Hell, I had to mow my yard TWICE in the same day just to get the grass knocked down to a manageable level. I can tell I'm getting old 'cause I don't want ride in the rain or mud anymore, but it isn't what you think. I could tell you I don't want to because I'm a good IMBA member and I don't want to tear up the trails. And I could tell you I don't like getting all muddy, but I always jump in the shower immediately when I get home from a ride anyhow (prevents monkey butt and saddle sores the size of globe grapes) so it isn't that either. The real reason...I don't want to spend all that time washing my bike.

I am a bit of a bike snob when it comes to a clean ride, but that is why I rarely have a trailside mechanical. So, riding for two hours to come home to spend 2 hours cleaning my bike doesn't appeal to me anymore. Hell, I rode on the road on Thursday morning and hit a stretch that was wet from overnight rain and got pissed.

This isn't to say I categorically ride in the mud or rain, I just prefer to not do so.

Regardless, the ride at Pactola was an absolute blast. It is a sweet stretch of trail, rising and falling just right, twisting in and out of trees and grassy meadows. Plus, it is so green from all the rain it felt like a scene out of Return of the Jedi. You know you've done it. Blasting down the trail, pretending you're Luke (or Leia if you're a bit weird or a girl) on a speeder bike, chasing
down the Stormtroopers. The only bullshit part of that was those fucking teddy bears called Ewoks that beat the Empire. What the hell? So, let me get this right, the Rebellion, with all their X-Wing fighters, blasters and lightsabers couldn't defeat the Empire without the help of 2 foot tall teddy bears with sticks and rocks? Maybe we should round up all the sticks and rocks we can find, give 'em to all the midgets and dwarves (oops, not PC, I mean little people) and send 'em over to Iraq and Afghanistan. Then we'd win.

Whew, sorry about the tangent. Water on the brain or something and I've officially outed myself as a nerd, geek, dweeb or whatever we're called now, but you probably knew that since I write a sissy blog. Anyhow, the ride was great and I am glad I went. This Tuesday is Crow Peak, a top 3 ride of all time for me, so I am looking forward to it. Even if I have to kick a teddy bears ass and clean my bike.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother Nature and I are gonna tangle...

I have been slacking on updating posts lately. Maybe a bit of a mental block, maybe just I've been busy or maybe that dirty little whore we call Mother Nature has put a literal damper on any festivities.

I had (have) a post regarding the Memorial Day weekend ready to roll, or close to it, but after re-reading it, I realized it was boring as hell. I was recapping the great festivities of the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival, or at least recapping from my perspective, in this post. And I'll probably finish it up and bore the world with it this weekend at some point, but today I just needed to cut loose with some light ranting.

As I have mentioned, I usually work out my post ideas when I am riding (esp. by myself) but we've had enough rain in the last week to make Noah nervous. This much rain does NOT make for good riding. Actually, I was gonna go for a ride this morning (yet notice how I am here writing) but I don't like sliding around on the piles of worms all over the road. Shit, I couldn't even finish mowing the lawn last night because of the rain. Yeah, I'm a pussy. I refuse to mow in the rain. Besides, I have a damn-hippy, battery powered lawn mower (note how I put a comma in there so you don't think it was a hippy-battery, which might be a hemp battery that smells like patchouli), so I am afraid of shorting it out or getting electrocuted. And if I get electrocuted and it blows the hair off my body, we'll have a different mess to clean up, but that is another story.

I am getting sick of the rain. And more importantly, I am sick of hearing the pat answer "Well, we need the moisture". I think next time I hear some old codger say that line when someone mentions the rain, I am gonna punch them in the nuts. No, no we DON'T need anymore rain. We're 3+ inches up on where we need to be for the year. We're gonna have mosquitos, ticks and poison ivy so bad it will be like a new form of pestilence because of this moisture, so nope, we don't need anymore.

But, this is all I can bitch about in one day. I'll finish up the BHFTF reporting this weekend at some point, the weather is supposed to "dry out" a bit and I am sure I'll get in a ride or two. But it better hurry up, I am getting prune hands from all this damn rain.