Tuesday, September 27, 2011

sticky-fingered lunchtime typing...

There's something especially distasteful (and perhaps degrading) to me about eating meals at my desk. It's just so...grubby.

There are of course several advantages to bringing food to work versus going out. It's cheaper. It's usually healthier. I usually eat less. I save time.

But it just feels so...uncivilized. Perhaps the word I'm looking for is uncouth. (I write between bites of my "Simply Asia Sweet & Sour Chow Mein." Yes, it's not 9:15 am and I'm eating lunch...)

I really miss my office at Vandy. Not only did we have a very nice break room, complete with patio table on deck for nice weather, but there were also so many and varied eating options within very close walking distance, both on and off campus.

Sometimes I really miss that place...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

stationary trainers: the anti-awesome


You've got to be kidding me.

No amount of movie magic is ever going to make a trainer--or riding a trainer--awesome. And the people who made this video know that, and they know people watching this video know that, yet they still made it.

And then they had to punch themselves repeatedly.

(Though, watching this, I'm reminded of desperately wishing the other day that I lived my life to a soundtrack. I mean, really, wouldn't that be awesome?)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a test run with the GoPro

It's not all that awesome, but we're in business, which is awesome. (FB'ers, click here to see vid.)

I recorded A's cross country meet this morning, but it needs some editing (and some inspirational music) before it's ready for public consumption. So, stay tuned...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

interbike 2011

Well, I've been terrible at blogging Interbike. I thought I was going to be awesome--posting pictures and witty, insightful comments--but I've been super busy running to and fro and, when not busy, way too tired to blog. So tired that I fell asleep in a couch that was part of the Hammer Nutrition booth, only to be woke up by some Hammer dude who sat down heavily next to me and, when I looked up, said, "Comfortable couches, aren't they?" I was so pissed I sat for another five or six minutes before leaving.

But I've had a great time.

I missed the first day of outdoor demo because my flight was cancelled (due to weather), but I rode 10 bikes the second day and have pictures of six of them.

Wednesday morning was spent setting up the WickWerks tent in the rain at the CrossVegas venue, the day was spent wandering the Expo hall looking at all kinds of cool stuff and quite a bit of lame stuff too. And the late afternoon and evening was spent back at CrossVegas watching the races and selling chain rings. (I bought a GoPro camera at special Interbike pricing yesterday--if anyone wants one while I'm here, let me know quick--and shot a bunch of video at CrossVegas. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm hoping I've something cool to post when I get home and have time to sort out everything.)

One of the coolest things I saw yesterday was suction cup bike carriers.

It's pretty cool. Clearly, to sell these guys you've got to get over a major mental hurtle, but after seeing the demonstration and watching their videos, I'm convinced. And I want some. What a great, great way to carry your bikes (you can do it on the roof, or the back of your car like the picture above, which I think is really the way to go).

And CrossVegas was awesome. I don't think I've ever seen such an exciting cross race. Out of an elite group of 10 there came attack after attack, but nothing held for more than a couple of laps and the race ended pretty much in a nine-up sprint. The finish was too close to call...between _three_ riders! Good stuff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

there are hard men, and then there's Gilbert

"I'm tougher than the tarmac."

--Gilbert, to his teammates upon their expressing concern at the state of his hand after a crash.

Even when Gilbert doesn't win, he still plays the part of the hero in the last kilometer. Watch.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

shipping on two tomato cages from ID to PA = $$$

This picture probably hasn't gotten enough attention:

Taken a few weeks ago, at a campground somewhere between Leadville and Buena Vista, Colorado. (A campground, btw, that was next to impossible to find at night. We drove past seven times before we found it.) Three bikes. Two indestructible tomato cages. Hauled from Idaho Falls all the way to Shippensburg. Via Ontario.

A map, you ask?

Ok. :-)

View Larger Map

Something like that.

Interestingly (to me), getting into Canada with my car thus loaded was no big deal. Getting out (even with two US passports and a PA license plate) was more difficult. Not difficult, per se, but the US border patrol agent had that sort of bad-ass cop attitude that we've all come to resent.

US border patrol agent: "Where are you coming from."

Me: "Idaho. Via Niagara Falls."

US border patrol dude: "You'll need to adjust that rack when you get out of here. A state patrolman will pull you over."

Me: "Oh, you mean like they haven't done in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan...nor in Canada?"

Ok, I didn't really say that. I was all "Yes-sir, no-sir." Cops make me nervous. They have guns. And (yup, I'm going to say it) I don't trust anyone carrying a gun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I will admit to enjoying a good ride in the rain (sometimes)...

Yup. I admit it. I do enjoy riding in the rain. Quite a bit, actually.

An archive photo. SoYoCo 2011.

What I don't enjoy is the aftermath. I don't enjoy how dirty everything gets, and when I say "everything," what I really mean is my bike. Which is not to say that I don't mind a dirty bike, it's that I mind the performance issues associated with a dirty bike that doesn't ever quite get clean afterward, even when you think it is.

I feel like I need to take things apart (pull the crank, pop the seatpost, take off the wheels and pedals) and let everything dry and wipe everything off. In the nooks and crannies. The bottom bracket bearing races, etc. And brakes, chain, derailleurs, etc.

And it seems to me that riding in the rain significantly decreases the useable life of cable housing, especially brake cable housing. I hate when brakes and derailleurs don't crisply spring back (when releasing tension) due to the crap that gets in there from who knows what. (I probably ought to look into that Gore sealed cable stuff, especially since I actually enjoy riding in the rain, but it seems expensive and complicated.) Seriously, though, riding in the rain leaves grit everywhere...

I also don't like wet shoes. Wet shoes dry quicker in the winter when the heat is on (and you put them next to the vent), but in this weather (and eastern humidity) it seems to take forever. Even with newspaper stuffed in them.

Anyway, I rode today. In the rain. For two hours and ten minutes. It was lovely.

But once home I had to drop everything in a hurry, shower, and get back to campus for a meeting. To which I was 10 minutes late. So I didn't get to take anything apart, and I didn't get to do any cleaning. So, now, when I do get to it, the whole thing will be worse. Which is a pain. But it's probably still worth it. Sometimes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

slumming in Tripoli

You can't make this stuff up...

From The National:

Chris Jeon, 21, a student at at University of California - Los Angeles, decided to travel to Libya to join the rebels for the last six weeks of his summer vacation. Here he is surrounded by rebels who are amassing about 130km from Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's hometown and stronghold.

Wow. What did you do with the last six weeks of your summer vacation?