Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 signs that cycling has taken over your life

1.  Distances are measured by how long it would take you to cover it on a bike.  New York to Los Angeles is 208.34 hours.  197.59 hours if you use your aero wheels.

2.  You mutter "car back" while driving when you see headlights behind you.  (+1 if your significant other actually understands why you do this.)

3.  You start drafting behind people on the sidewalk.

4.  You read articles about cycling and impotence, shrug your shoulders, and go for a 50 mile ride.

5.  You try to lift your butt off the car seat when you drive over a bump.

6.  You shave your legs more than your wife or girlfriend.  She borrows your Nair.

7.  You have quads like a horse.  And biceps like vermicelli.  And you think this looks good.  (Urkel wants his arms back.)

8.  You calculate the cost of your last carbon fiber purchase in $/gram.  And discover that cocaine is actually cheaper.

9.  You traded in your perfectly good car to buy a new one with paddle shifters... because they just make more sense.

10.  Someone tries to schedule a meeting at 12:25 and you hear something about cassettes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The tasty Grande Boucle

"A hot day for a ride, no?  Maybe I should have gone to the beach today with mon petite amie."

It's mid-July 2009 and I'm standing in line inside the Runcible Spoon, waiting to get an iced coffee.  It's 92 degrees and humid outside and I've pushed myself hard on an interval workout riding up here.  I'm actually on the verge of heat stroke in this weather.

Mon petite amie?  What does that mean?  I never took French in school growing up.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cycling in a blizzard

Cycling in a blizzard... you just don't do it.

What can you do? Well, since it's Sunday you can sit back and watch football. But if you want to watch something cycling related, I'd recommend Chasing Legends. It's an entertaining documentary about the 2009 Tour de France, focusing primarily on the HTC-Columbia team and Mark Cavendish.  It has a cameo by my favorite cyclist, Jens Voigt.  Worth watching, especially on a snowy day.

This is a short entry since I have to go and shovel some snow.  Joy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Muffins in Nyack

I fully enjoy dodging yellow cabs and jaywalking pedestrians as much as the next cyclist.  There's nothing like getting squeezed between a FreshDirect truck and an M15 bus on Second Avenue to clear your sinuses and wake you up in the morning.  Works even better than inhaling a jalapeno or drinking Red Bull (neither of which I've tried).  And there are very few things more exhilarating than racing a Chinese food delivery man who rides a bike with an electric motor.  (There's been an explosion of these types of bikes in NYC... kind of like rabbits in Australia.)  They are damned fast!

But after a week of testing my tailbone's ability to absorb the brunt of every single pothole (also known as the cyclists' "coefficient of restitution"), I'm usually ready to get out of the city and enjoy the quiet wilderness of... New Jersey.  Ah yes, the lush, verdant forests of the Garden State.  But I'm not alone here. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Is it normal to be cycling in weather that's cold enough to freeze your water bottle?  Probably not.  Last year, I stopped riding in the winter once the temperature dropped below 40 degrees.  This year, I seem to have misplaced my higher brain functions and have continued to ride even as the temperature continues to drop in the NYC area.  The screenshot above has a column highlighted that shows the minimum temperature during a few of my recent rides.  Let me just state for the record that 26.6 degrees (-3C) is quite cold.

One of my friends remarked to me that this behavior isn't normal.  In fact, I was told that I may single-handedly prove that Darwinian evolution sometimes fails.  His contention was that behavior such as mine should have already been deleted from the gene pool.  I'd like to disagree with him.  But then again, I don't have any children so Darwin may yet still win.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Metric System

There are only 3.5 countries remaining in the world that use the English Imperial measurement system.

The United States
The UK

I count the UK as 0.5 because they use both the metric and English system on a daily basis. One could argue that they deserve a full point for being facile with both measurement systems but since I'm making the rules here, they only get half a point. Actually, if these were real points, then all four countries would get -100 points simply because they refuse to cooperate with the rest of the world. For that matter, why is the English system also called the Standard system? How can something be a standard when only 4 out of 195 countries use it? And when two of the countries have a combined economy equal to that of Montana?