Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I feel as though, I've been in a long slumber...

I've been busy, as all busy can be, holiday season not withstanding. Somehow, I haven't figured out how to make sure to keep up on things like, blogging, and twittering, and sleeping, and working, and paying homage on time. I'm not sure how all these ADD kids can get a way with doing all this fun-jumping-around stuff, and still have time for pissing off their parents and teachers. I mean, I can get the pissing people off thing done pretty well, but the rest I just don't seem to have time for!

Either way, my hat's off to kids with ADD.

Maybe not as much to Charlie Sheen. He's a great meme for the blackness of my soul...errr...tiredness of my expletives...uhhh...expertise of my douchiness, so I'm defaulting to imagery over text today.

More to follow... soon?

Happy Holidays, and ride safe.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Twilight: A New (Old) Eclipse

So, yes, I've had a bit of a break. I would like to make a ton of excuses, or say that I always take a break from writing, like a cyclist does from riding outside, during the rainy season. (Okay, yes, this is Seattle. I mean the cold-rainy season, not the warm-rainy season. I was being facetious.) Suffice it to say, that I'm currently reading the Twilight series (yes, that Twilight series). Is it fair to say that I've been on a mental break?

So, somewhere between the brain vomit and the emotional diarrhea that comprise the chapters of Twilight, I decided it's time to start 'writing' again. Oh sure, I've been 'writing' for some time, but it's been a little bit, since I've been writing here.

Anyway, I should probably get something down in print before I choose to comment on someone else's 'writing'. Stephanie Meyer: I apologize. For now. Soon, I hope you will apologize to the rest of us.

So, cycling--I mean, Pro Cycling--is in turmoil again. Not really. But that's what 60 Minutes would have us believe. If you haven't heard by now, they (drum roll please), finally, proved that Lance Armstrong MAY have used performance-enhancing substances during his tenure as Tour de France champion. wow. Really? Do I need 60 minutes to tell me that I hit the snooze button too many times, too?

I am of the opinion these days that most professions actually benefit from the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. That's why they're called, "performance enhancing". This class of drugs is not the 'depressants' nor 'performance reducing' drugs. Let's be clear. These chemicals are performance enhancing.

Every major US and International sport nearly requires their use, in order to reach the upper most levels. Major League Baseball has been in the news for the majority of the past decade(s?) for it's copious use of steroids. Yet, fans continue to yearn for the ever-climbing batting averages, and homerun statistics. Sadly, the use of Performance Enhancing drugs alone, does not a champion make. A mediocre pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, Ryan Franklin, was busted for drug use. Like most people, you probably don't remember who he is. Which begs the question, "what part of his performance got better?"

The big 'gotcha' interview by 60 Minutes, was Tyler Hamilton, a man as famous for his 'chimera-defense' as he is for winning the gold medal. His credibility was shot several years ago, so why is he suddenly a star witness? Whatever. So Lance doped. What does that give us? By all accounts, he did what everyone else was doing. Why am I still a fan? Because he did it better. If everyone in the peloton was doping, why didn't everyone else win? Did Lance know how to dope better? Maybe. I tend to think he didn't have any 'edge' on any other doper in the bunch. I know I'm just reiterating what was said about Barry Bonds a few years ago. Yes, he doped, but you can't escape the fact that he had perfect form, good equipment, and an excellent team.

That said, it's not just US and International sport that is 'dirty'. I would argue that 'performance enhancement' is part of being a modern professional. Would you buy coffee from someone who wasn't overly caffeinated and bounding with energy? Caffeine? Yup, performance enhancing. Would you watch a soccer match without copious amounts of alcohol? Yup, performance enhancing. Would you buy pharmaceuticals from pharmacists who didn't fully understand the 'side effects' of heavy narcotics, or Valtrex? Okay, maybe. Would you go to a website or video game produced by someone who didn't participate daily wake and bake rituals? Of course not! Again, performance enhancing.

Say what you will. Tyler Hamilton may have been one more voice, though so far, the voices speaking out against Lance Armstrong have not exactly been without problems. The bottom line is, as far as I'm concerned, I don't care. I don't go around telling children that Santa Claus doesn't exist. Why would I espouse the idea that Lance Armstrong was anything but an exceptional cyclist?

Douchebag? Sure. But let he who is without vinegar and water, cast the first...uhh... well, ...whatever.

Ride safe. I love you all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do I need a new Blog Name?

Okay, so yeah. True story. If my blog were a houseplant, it'd probably be all wilted and sad looking right now.

I've had a bit of a busy summer, but not in ways that I had been hoping.

As it turns out, I'm in the process of starting my life over. I sort of mentioned this in my last post, but skirted the real issue 'cause my douchebaggery is also wussy in nature. But then, if you've been reading my writings for a while, you already knew that.


If you've been reading my writings for a while, I thank you.

True confession, I like to say that I'll try anything once. Most recently on this list, I can add both, marriage, and divorce. (Why go just halfway?) I've also moved, and then moved again cuz if something is worth doing, it's worth doing at least twice. So, this means that I'll probably get married again. If you are currently married, my hat's off to you; marriage is great. If you're currently single or divorced, my hat's off to you for that, as well, cuz really, life is just great that way. I'd love to chime in with some kind of erudite statement about why being is single is so great, but... well... just trust me that it is. Even when it sucks to be single, it beats being with the right person in the wrong way, or for that matter, the wrong person in the right way. I guess there's classes and online videos all to the contrary, but whatever.

Do whatever floats the little man in the boat.

With that said,

Ride safe. I love you all.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Interrupted?

Life is still getting in my way.

Full disclosure coming soon.

Congrats to Liquigas! And thank you for allowing me to say, "2010 domination by Leaky-Gas!!"

Wahoo! Thank you boys.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Do over: My life, part four..

I'm back!

Yes, I fell off the face of the earth for a while. But like most things in life, when you fall off, climb back up and keep riding.

I learned two very interesting facts while 'away'. I learned that at the edge of the earth is, indeed, Hell. I didn't really realize this until I'd learned the other fact, though: Advice is the new slang for Oral Sex. You wouldn't think that this is one of the facts they teach you in Hell, but it turns out there's cruelty in everything in Hell. Even simply learning. Anyway, since I can share this with you in what I hope for you, is a safe environment, I can also tell you this: If you tell someone that they need some good advice, you're probably right.

It's Labor Day Weekend, though, which means that this is the last weekend of Summer, and a great chance to ride a bike for no reason at all, other than to just ride a bike. It was, also, the last, predictably dry day in Seattle. Tomorrow, there will be rain in the city for certain; it's a federal holiday.

That said, Seattle is hilly. There are so many hills that one of the hills in downtown was levelled, and the soil moved to the area where the stadiums now live. This area was also where the nation's first 'Skid Road' existed (as it was a marshy waterway in those days), or so I'm told, so Seattle's sports pavillions are in the regular habit of asking for spare change.

Today, I rode through the halls of Fred-dom, the multi-use pedestrian trails. Though they are largely used by bikers of all shapes and sizes, I'm hoping that they continue to receive regular maintenance funds from the majority of voters. I'm enough of a cyclist to know that the majority of voters are not cyclists, unfortunately.

As I was in the warm-up miles of my ride, okay I gotta stop myself. Cycling, in it's own right, is funny to me, and therefore I can't even take myself seriously. Yeah, all my rides are epic in their own way, so I'll spare you the burden of yet, another, ride report. (For the record, no, I don't choose to race in our local 'scene'. Those guys are a bunch of douchebags.) But really, in remembering the ride I just did, I recalled the chilling stare I received from a squirrel off the side of one of the trails. He just stood there on his hind legs, with his little paws out front, glaring. No. He was menacing... in the verb sense. Yup. He was menacing me. Gives me shivers just thinking about it. Though it could've been that it was slightly chilly this morning.

So, as we head into fall, there's that major sport with a ball that's not shaped like a ball starting this week (finally!), or I could watch the Vuelta or something. Much like Cippolini, my involvement with this race comes and goes. This is looking like one of the lesser years for me, which is unfortunate, because Universal Sports is getting the cycling emmy award for coverage this year, in that they are actually covering it daily, AND in English. Haven't seen that for ...umm... ever?

Anyway, what I love about cycling is that it's truly one of the great things in life in my opinion: you just climb up and go at it. I love that.

I'm done talking at you. Now go get yourself some good advice.

Ride safe. I love you all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Other Sabbath..

Sometimes, life gives you days of sunshine and balmy weather. Other times, it spits you out--just so--like an annoying watermelon seed. And sometimes, it sends you skittering helplessly across the dirty, gravelly pavement.

It seems that the most notable the Tour de France competitors and the Dutch National 'Football' squad, have had such a weekend. First off, kudos to the Spanish National Team for withstanding a gruelling 90 minutes of scorelessness, and then a marathon of the numerically elusive, though grammatically accurate, Extra Time, before scoring a goal successfully. There was much elation across much of this city for the remainder of the afternoon. The Dutch team, on the other hand, made a good run during this year's World Cup, and made it to the final round, officially claiming second place. Now, they have all the pressure of expectation in having to make it to the final round another four years from now, and none of the joy of winning it to carry them through.

Dissimilarly, and taking place in the Land of the Disappointed, or as some call it, France, Lance Armstrong is notably attempting an eighth wearing of the Maillot Jaune while riding the world's most famous local, crit (that is to say, criterium--not to be confused with cliterium, which is a word I'm seeking to define in a popular, online definitional site.) Sadly, his time swelled impressively in ways that would likely keep him out of contention, if not many public beaches. The race around the Champs Elysees is one of my favorite of events of my most favorite event of the year. Though, around our local scene, crit is a euphemism for 'being pwned by hay bales'.

Luckily, the world seems to be very aware of Lance's abilities and controversies. The only thing he had to prove was that at his age, he could still get up on the bike. I've heard that forty is the new thirty, though, so I'm wondering if he'll make another run at it in another few years.

That said, the Tour celebrated a day of rest, and for that, I applaud them all, and their miles of hard-riding restfulness.

The epic sport of controversy, however, recently served up an exciting match of bitter hatred that only peace-loving hippies can engage. It seems that scores of Beattles fans got to invoke their hatred of Yoko Ono, and transfer it to the new generation of Onos, at long last, by abusing the cherubic Sean Lennon. For years, little Seany has been granted immunity from true analysis of his lack of actual talent because of his famous last name, and parentage. I wish him well, and I'm glad that he is no longer succumbing to the misplaced expectations that he can produce quality original music. Now, it seems the stark light of uber-celebrity has turned it's ugly shadow, on that dear son.

Sean Lennon earned a new respect from me with the way that he recently stood up to a cold legion of vampiric fans. It turns out, that he recently allowed controversial, marketing genius, Lady Gaga, tickle the keys of Yoko's famous white, upright piano. The fans are upset over the contrast of the perceived persona like Miss Gaga's, against the perception of that of John Lennon. I'm not trying to downplay the impact that he had on the world of popular music as we know it today, but it's about time for a little perspective. Thirty years after his passing, he is, yet another famous, dead guy, who happened to write some very listenable little songs, not unlike the enormous influence of Bach and Mozart. I'm willing to bet that had she been playing the 'Minuet in G' on a Keytar, she would've received a much warmer response.

If we break this situation down to it's most basic, some American guy got a half-naked woman to sit patiently and play with his stuff. In other situations, this most basic scenario would garner little Seany major kudos, demonstrative fist-pumping, emphatic high-fiving, and other physical expressions of low-testosterone joy. Add to that, the Future, Dame Gaga, knows how to operate such an instrument, and has a talent for Cabaret, if Cabaret can be considered a talent, and not just an entertainment-career failsafe.

I don't know what it is about pianos, but music majors are drawn to them like Tour de France riders to uncomfortable-looking recovery technologies. For that, I say, stand proud Sean Lennon for getting to do whatever you want with your Mom's stuff, and keep mooching ivory-time Lady Gaga!

By the way, if you're riding the tour, or riding a Posture Pedic,

Ride safe. I love you all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Survivor: the Reunion Tour

The Tour de France traversed sections of cobblestoned roads today, as I mentioned earlier, the 'Pave'. There's some discussion as to whether or not these sections deserved inclusion into the Tour. The answer is yes, in my opinion. The 'pave' are sections of roads in France; therefore, they're fair game. For over a hundred years, the Tour has been the 'Tour of France', not the 'Tour of Some Roads That Wussy Road Cyclists Prefer While They Deign to Visit France'. These are professional cyclists, so I'll venture that they've spent many hours in the saddle on many, varying road surfaces. What about tree roots? or potholes? or poor road conditions? or crushed gravel pavement? or Canada? Moreover, I've seen the guys riding the Tour this year, and unless I'm mistaken, none of them requires the dampening abilities of a good sports bra. Ride with hormonal 36D's, and then you can tell me about the physical beating you get from 'bouncing around on the cobbles'.

As it happens, my opinion doesn't matter, given that the riders have already completed this stage. Oh, and the Giro went over a whole section of dirt roads under the rains that frightened Noah. If I had to choose between slippery, unpredictable, undulating mud, or a pancake-flat, dry cobblestones, I'll take the cobbles any day. Unless I'm hormonal. But then, my bike runs off to the local bars, or the circus, or some such, on those days.

One thing that's kind of interesting about the 'pave' sections, that isn't as apparent on the smoother roads, is that it really shows off 'good form', vs not. Namely, you can really see the guys riding with their elbows parallel to the handlebars, rather than parallel with the bike. I'm not a physiologist, but it looks like the 'elbows out' position puts more strain on the triceps and deltoids, which would tend to give the bike a left-right force. No wonder, they crash so much.

The 'elbows in' position uses more of the biceps and abs, makes the position more aerodynamic, and forces the rider to bend their elbows more. Especially on cobblestones, stiff elbows increase the harshness of the ride, and stresses on the neck, shoulders and back. That, and toned biceps and abs have more of a mass appeal, than deltoids and lats.

Arguably, if you're going to be riding for more than an hour, it's important to change up your position, occasionally, and take advantage of other muscle groups; otherwise, you'll tire out faster. Again, I'm no physiologist, so if I just said something way incorrect, feel free to ejicate me. Though, for the record, I will find new ways of displaying my jackassedness in the future, if this didn't do it.

and...there! I did it!

I was able to write about today's Tour stage, without commenting about whether or not any of the riders 'have the stones'.

Ride safe. I love you all.