Friday, December 21, 2007

I freakin' rock

Well, someone thinks so.

We haven't started yet so I have lots of time to screw this up, but I'll do my best not too.

These guys are doing something pretty cool and I'm psyched to be a part of it.

I think I might go ride my bike. I tried going out yesterday, but I just was not into it. I got an hour in and that was that.

To quote the great Cal Naugton Jr, I had a pretzel in my head.

Today is better.

Shake 'n Bake.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Slip n Slide

I don't know how the weather last weekend treated you, but over the weekend here the city of Allentown installed a gigantic luge track. The ground is completely covered with an inch or two of snow capped with enough ice that you just do not break through. Nothing to do but get out the sled.

The sled in this case is the sweet new Scalpel VPA will be sporting this year. BK hooked us up with a test bike and I mounted up the studded snow tires for a spin in the woods. Now, completely frozen trails aren't really a good test of the design since you don't need that new pivotless suspension when most of the rocks and roots have been filled in by snow and ice and you can literally ride basically anywhere you want - but its still a good time!

Well, its mostly a good time. If you've not been on studded tires for a couple years you forget just how low you can run them and how low you need to run them in order to get that good traction. You probably start with the pressure a bit too high and slide around a bit or even crash. You let a bit out, but still not as much as you should since you really don't want to tempt the flat tire gods. You ride some more and on an off-camber stretch you hit the ground hard.

At first you don't think much of it.
Then you start to slide.
And you pick up speed.
And you think, "I'll just grab a tree."
Then you miss it.
Then you start to slide a little faster
and faster.
Literally bouncing off a few trees
and grabbing for another one
with your legs since now you're getting a bit panicked
and maybe not thinking as well as you should.
You finally tuck up and just slam into a tree with your back
and come to a stop.
The bike got hung up on a tree further up the hill
or it probably would have bowled you over.
You have to break holes in the ice to climb back up.
You'll be sore tomorrow.
You're sore right now.
You let out some more air
the studs hook up.
Now that's fun.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I love it when a plan comes together

So it may not be quite as cool as the A-Team, I'm pretty psyched about this little ditty we've put together at work, especially on nasty rainy days like today.

Ry and I took a Cadence class this morning from the comfort of the porch here in Coopersburg!

While we're still beta testing the operation, we are close to our full scale launch of CadenceTV (Jan 1 is the plan) and soon everyone looking for a way to make the indoor training drudgery pass more quickly and get a great workout will be able to log in from their home computer and take class Live - or choose from a growing library of Ondemand Cadence workouts. I figured one of three people who reads this might find that useful since I'm sure all three of you are bike dorks.

Find out more about it at the place where I spend most of my waking hours - for more info. Again, we won't be live until the new year, but check the Cadence Blog for updates on our progress.

Of course I'm biased, but Ry's comment was that it sure made the hour pass quickly and that it was definitely a solid workout. Anyone who has to deal with weather like we have today in PA and has to get on the trainer is going to find this pretty fantastic. Can you tell I'm pumped??

Bonus---tune in Tue or Wed at 6:00PM and you get to see me on your computer! Now that should spike viewership - or crash your hard drive.

In case you have no idea

where Giant Douches and Turd Sandwiches come from you should go here, click play, and hang out a bit.

What do you know, its even timely what with the Iowa caucuses right around the corner.

I was listening to some chat this AM on NPR regarding Ioway and I got to wondering why we still use this method of selecting the pres candidates. Much like the Electoral College's shortfalls, it seems like we ought to be able to come up with a better way of doing things than having one state where less than 150,000 people participate have such a big role in choosing who we all end up voting for in the end. I know, I know, its not so much that Iowa chooses the candidate as much as perhaps bringing a surprise into contention or knocking a front runner down a notch, but between Iowa, NH and the rest there are very few of us involved. The caucuses probably boost or bruise egos as much as anything else, but the whole system is so far behind the times and technology that its rather silly. At the same, I guess that most of us don't give a shit anyway since so few of us vote so maybe its good that a few folks who actually care enough to get involved tell the rest of the country what we should do.

Every single one of the contenders is making a play on the internet and using avenues like MySpace and YouTube to plug themselves. There certainly must be a better way. Shouldn't we all have a bigger role in this? Shouldn't we care and not leave it to, as the boys at SP so elegantly put it, douchbags and turds?

Well, it doesn't matter, none of this is real anyway, is it?

Vote or Die M*F*

Here's a butterscotch candy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Turd Sandwich

Fittingly, seeing as the last post was all about Giant Douches, how can such a little cat make so much stink? I swear he leaves behind the equivalent on one cat per day. By this I mean he takes huge stinky nasty dumps. For some unknown reason he has also decided to make the litter box at bottom the basement stairs his repository of choice. This was at one time the 3rd string crapper, but since Ryan moved in and has been making use of the stellar bike service area in the recess of the Kuhn basement the cat has taken to making the basement litter box his primary receptacle. The issue here is that the odor of his lovely deposits seems to first gather and then hang out and relax at the top of the steps and the main entrance to the house. YUMMY.

Either the cat really really likes Ryan and is hanging out in the basement so much because Ryan is always down there that the lower level box is just the most convenient OR he's trying to force Ryan out by leaving huge piles of crap wherever Ryan goes.

On to another perplexing topic. I mentioned a while bike that we got that Saturn VUE Hybrid gig and we've been pretty underwhelmed with its performance. We've determined that in order to get the mileage Saturn claims you can from their hybrid you have to drive exactly 45 mph and on dead straight dead flat highways and any time you stop you need to leave off the gas as far in advance as possible -2-3 miles is preferable - and always come to a complete stop. You have to come to a COMPLETE stop because this is the only time the engine shuts off (that's the "Hybrid" part of this baby, the motor stops completely when you stop).

Now, you would think this would be a benefit in stop and go traffic since its, well, stop and go. You'd also think that in places that have lots of stop signs and traffic lights you'd save gas. You'd be wrong -- on both accounts. See, "stop and go traffic" is a complete misnomer. Really, it should be called "go-as-absolutely-slow-as-you-possibly-can-without-stopping and go traffic." Seriously, pay attention next time rather than yappin' your jaw on the cell phone and see how often you come to a complete stop. Additionally, should you actually come to a complete stop and actually have your hybrid do what its supposed to do, if you stay stopped for anything more than 1 billionth of a second longer than the person in front of you you'll immediately attract the unbridled wrath of the drivers behind you and probably be cut off by some jackass in a mini cooper.

Kris and I were in traffic that was at a dead stop due to an accident. We hadn't moved at all for several minutes. A couple vehicles moved in front of us and we stayed stopped. The cars in front of us didn't move any more at all and there was no more than a 2-3 car gap in front of us. This giant redneck douche in a pickup behind us honked. At first we thought he was just joking around since traffic was a complete standstill. We quickly found out he was serious and from his reaction I'm sure that if he'd have had a gun he'd have tried to shoot us. I've never seen someone go so absolutely nuts - though without the audio watching someone yell, scream, and generally explode is quite humorous. Of course, I had to encourage his doucheness by waving and smiling at him...and laughing...and pointing. When traffic finally did move he cut off someone in the next lane and whipped around us to show us how tough he was. And I was definitely impressed. I could tell he was certainly tough.

Giant douche got stuck a mile late in construction traffic that's been mucking things up for months and since we're locals and know all the back roads we took the off ramp - though no more smiling and waving since I'm pretty sure the guys was a complete psycho. Hell, I kept checking the rear view to make sure he wasn't following.

Of course that's not really what's perplexing, that's just a very long tangent about a giant douche. What is perplexing is why Kristine can only get 23 mpg out of a vehicle that I can only get 26-27 out of (well that part is easy - Kris doesn't drive so much as she pilots the reentry vehicle) and is supposed to get 30-32 but never has, no matter how much I keep the damn little green light on, nor probably ever will.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Team DB

I've wrapped up cross season. I was hoping to visit Big Willie this weekend at his 'cross joint, but its been 10 days of no riding and getting fat and staying sick so I've pulled the plug. Its time for long stuff and to prep for the 100s. I was willing to put up with a week off from this bug, but 10 days is eff'ing stupid -- now I just wanna ride! Or maybe its skate skiing time. It's not drinkin' time cause I don't want to do this.

Hello, I'm new here. I'm a dork?

Speaking of stupid, when did one's value as a cyclist or the amount of enjoyment one gets from a ride become defined only by one's power file screen shot? I can't believe how many guys are posting powerfiles with captions along the lines of:

'My TSS was 327 on this one. That was a great ride! I'm a complete fuckin' dork. No, seriously, I am.'


'Check this out, I'm so cool, I'm doing 430 watts and I weigh 60 kilos. I'm going to be a pro and a complete douchebag for sure!! Er, I'm already a complete douchebag, but I'm sure I'm going to be pro. LOOK AT MY NUMBERS!!!!! I should be pro!!!! MOMMMMY, make them put me on the team!!'

So I might have taken a bit of literary freedom with the captions, but even if its not there it is definitely implied.

Now, I'm all for training with power. It works. Its great. It tells you stuff you can't see otherwise. I don't want to train without it. I like my athletes to use it because its almost like I go on the ride with them when I look at their files. I like the feedback. I absolutely encourage its usage.

But, it also only tells you a very small part of the story.

Here's perhaps some of the rest of the story; stop me if you've heard this before.

I work with this guy who used to be really fast. He might have even raced in Europe. He doesn't race anymore. He doesn't train much. He's put on a couple pounds. For all you Power Dorks his power to weight is way off what it used to be. His pure LT power is way down too. He's a few years older obviously. Compare his numbers to all the local 1s and 2s and he's off the back.

And yet, every week all season long he beats the pants off everyone at the end of the weekly race. If he doesn't win the sprint its probably because he was setting someone else up for it. He's smart, he knows how to ride, and he knows when to use what he has.

You don't just get to be pro by riding around with a high p:w ratio - you have to perform.

It'd also be nice if you actually win something before you start talking about how you're going to be a professional cyclist.

Dreams are great. Dream BIG kids. Don't be a douchebag about it.