Monday, April 30, 2012

Dog Gone It!

Doggone it! I could have been a speed racer. But I went and moved. Over here on the Eastern Shore you can really focus on things like speed, and cadence, and pedal stroke. There's really nothing else to think about.

So now that I'm back my rides feel a lot like sitting on a trainer...except for that blasted wind. I've got flat, and boring, and windy. Awesome.

But I'm making the most of it. I do miss the puzzle of squeezing through city traffic and the contant mind whirl of how to survive, but a quiet open road in the country is not bad. It's just different.

Yes, there is the pitfall of the 'country dog'. I picked up a rather large one today. He was with an owner so I didn't sweat it. Just poured on the power because I could. In the distance I could hear the dog's name being shouted repeatedly. I figured it might be chasing me. I was about to turn around to check when I saw it pulling ahead of me. Wow! We stayed neck and wheel for some time. Could anyone help me with the SOP on this I need to return the dog after our sprint workout or just keep on keeping on?

It's good training, but as of yet, I'm still a nogo on the racing scene, despite the tireless (ha) training partners. I'm much more content working on my post Tour Finish Line technique, seen here in the photo above. Arms outstretched, eyes to the sky...there's just no one around to hand me my glass of champagne. Really, I'd settle for a PBR. Anyone?

Note to the Christmas shopper...a stocked ipod and tri bars would be awesome in my Christmas stocking...What!?! It worked last time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bare Naked Ladies

Haha. It's not what you think. The group, not the the exotic male fantasy. But let's watch my Hit statistics soar on this post!

If I had 1,000,000 we would absolutely still eat Kraft dinners. We are both cheap that way. The girl would prefer to call it frugal, but let's be honest cheap is as cheap does.

And I would like to state for the record, some things are worth the price. Take pillows for example. She scoffs at me because I will pay $80 for one pillow. I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't easy, but I don't spend more time in the day in any single other place; it should be comfortable.

She on the other hand would rather spend 12.99 on a pillow. And then buy 5 pillows. This is great if there's the possibility of a sleep over or orgy breaking out, but at our age I suspect neither one is highly likely. One good quality pillow should suffice.

So what happens apparently is she gets to pile four pillows on top of each other  in an effort to create one usable pillow while I get the one  flattened extra one, which by the way, is not unlike sleeping on the bare naked mattress.

Now she will read this and say' "HEY, you make me sound like ________________." (I'm not sure how she will fill in the blank this time) She will then follow that proudly with, "And I did NOT spend $12.99 on any pillow! I bought them at the Dollar Store."

Baby, if you can spend $80 on a bike seat the least you can do is spend as much on a pillow. Wait, what am I saying I bought the bike seat too.

Hi Sweetie, I love you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Beverly Hillbilly Cart. That's what she called it. My no emissions carbon footprint reducing rig...a cart? Hillbilly cart?  Baby.

I mean maybe there might be a design flaw or three. Maybe. Maybe I didn't think it completely through when I was McgYVering together a bike trailer to haul supplies and stuff out of scraps around the bike barn.

Take for example the zip tied milk crates...which got in the way of transporting the display board. She may have mentioned something about the immovable crates. Nothing about the display board.

She may have also mentioned something about weight. But we were fashioning this thing out of stuff in the yard. I mean I know they sell wood at Home Depot (who doesn't...don't answer that) but what about aluminum beams? And most people who weld, can't even do aluminum. What do you expect Baby? I'm an office manager not an architect. And I don't even have an office!

So the peg board was a nice compromise I thought...until it rained. Particle board doesn't do great in the rain. Know what else doesn't do great, in general? Pulling a loaded down trailer with a single speed. Not great at all. She didn't mention that either.

But I really can't hold her responsible for the design flaws, I was the one throwing this thing together. Not to detract from her part; she held a very important role in the cart making experience, but it's not like she came up with it. On second thought, perhaps indirectly she may have been partially responsible for the design flaws now that I think about it. Holding someone's beer as they work, as important as that may be, may also involve a few negative kickbacks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Lesson In Communication

What she said was, my chain came off and my brake is rubbing a little bit. I didn't take a hint. We kept going. This is the first of the many blog posts I promised in an upcoming mountain bike series...word of caution: it might also be the last.

Now I don't know if this was before or after she decided to ram her bicycle into a tree in hopes of rendering her bike useless forcing us back to the parking lot. If this happened before the chain came off...I'm thinking this might be why.

If, however, it happened after....Baby, we need to address your stubbornness.  When I stop and ask, how we doing....the generic answer is not fine. When I stop and ask if you want to go to the zoo...I'm saying, would you like to take a break from the bike and go look at animals. Maybe I should have asked, would you like to have pizza?

Turns out my wording is all wrong. This isn't the first time I've heard this. When we got to a turning point what I said was, do you want to BAIL? I hear it now, I get it, you're right. What I needed to say was, would you like to redirect our energy in a more advantageous way to make the most of our dwindling time together and perhaps grab some food before you need to head back home?

In my defense, I did ask about the zoo. It's my gentle reminder about our 'safe word' Po-UHOH-ny. Damn it, I did it again. I missed her obscure clue. What she said was, what's that brown thing over there? Like a clueless dolt I said HORSE. Which dumb the same as....PONY.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Oh Virginia, we need to talk. We've been spending way too much time together these days. And let's be honest, you're high maintenance.

It's the roads. The directions? The signs? Somehow every time I'm in your state, I get lost. I'm not sure it's me, it could be you. I know your people say it's us and they talk dirt about our roads, but let's be real...

Have you ever traveled the back roads of Virginia? They are numbered, like Interstates. I think some of them might be driveways. But then you get on the big roads and it's like they ran out of numbers, so they use them twice. Did anyone think maybe this wasn't a great idea? Different roads, same numbers.

Take the weekend I wound up in a circle with directions to stay on 29. And every road leaving the circle was 29! Four choices, all the same route. Business 29. Old 29. New 29. Let's-Trick-The-Out-Of-Staters 29. Nice.

This weekend the road completely changed names on me. When I looked down at my directions it said Gallows Rd. Then, turn left on Gallows Rd. And left on Gallows Rd. And somewhere along the way Gallows Rd. became another road. So let me get this straight, I was supposed to turn three times onto Gallows Rd. but after the first time, I LOST Gallows Rd??

I gave in early. I turned off to look at my map, to see where I went wrong. Turns out I just needed to go one more street and I'd be back on Gallows Rd. UNCLE.  I'm done trying to figure it out. So when I left I followed a fellow Virginian. He drove me in one complete circle, but at least I recognized it straight up. And he was using a 'smart' phone.

Siri, get me out of Virginia.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Huff and Puff and Bluff

You may be scratching your head these days over the topic of this blog. You look up, you look over, it appears to be about biking and yet the body is disguised as something else. Why did you sign up for this feed after all? Certainly not the wisdom, or the entertainment. Why DO you read this insanity?

Well, strap yourself in, you are in for quite the ride, AND we are bringing it back to riding. I anticipate some lively entries this upcoming riding season. I, as you know, have more time to kill. And perhaps you've noticed I've also acquired a kill. Tell your friends, they're gonna wanna subscribe.

She will tell you different. She will puff out her chest and spit quite the smack. I will goad her on. I will tease and taunt her. She will call my bluff. I will chase her up hills. She will run me off the trail on the down. IF she can catch me.

I think her lungs will explode. She has informed me it is not about lungs, but heart. Baby, this isn't a Hallmark card, pocket your sappy sentiment.  These are her exact words, not lungs, but heart. I am recording them here so I can feed them to her later. A mid-trail snack. That is if her heart doesn't stop due to lack of oxygen. I'm just saying....

But we ARE talking single track. She doesn't get to pass me on the down if she can't get ahead of me on the up. I don't doubt she will blow me away on the downhill. We haven't been on the trails together yet. She will say she is fearless. It could be that. It could be her competitive nature. Stubbornness?  Perhaps stupidity? It could be she's a card carrying insurance holder, and I am not. I'll let you, the reader, be the future judge and jury.

Like I told her earlier, it is she who makes it uphill first that controls the speed on the other side in single track. Baby, try to keep up.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doo Dad

IF he had a day job I might tell him to keep it.  My inheritance depends upon it you know. We are talking about my dad. And I'm not being overly critical, technically he did fix the problem.

The ah, the DANGER sticker there on the right...I realize the red highlights look particularly nice against the red mower but it is NOT an accessory. It is actually alerting the user to potential DANGER. Go figure. The most notable ones, surprisingly, involve putting your hands in places they shouldn't be, hence the hand on said label.

So the lawn mower has not worked for months. Every week I pull it out and try to start it, without really doing anything to it, and well, it doesn't start. See, it's not a computer, you can't turn it off and turn it back on or reboot it or even unplug it.

It's a good old fashioned mechanical engine. Even runs offa petroleum based gas-o-leen. In fact I thought that was the problem. I tried filling it. Nothing. I checked the brake cable. Nope. I took off the cover and confirmed the primer has actually spitting gas into the doohickey. Wasn't it.

I tried my Dad again not that he typically answers my calls. He knows about this issue and he is avoiding it. See, he 'fixed' it last fall. AH, Hello? You're home?!?! The's what it's doing, or rather not doing.

He tells me to take another cover off, back near that brake cable I already checked. Here is where the previous issue resided. Do you see a wire? Yes. Cut the red one, NO NOT THE PURPLE ONE...Just kidding.

He told me to disconnect the wire and try to start it again. Clearly I didn't understand what this does and I asked if I needed to squeeze the handle, he confirmed that I did. Now, here would have been a great time to explain that the mower would no longer stop running when you let go of that handle, but he left that part out. Sure enough it started...

And so, I had the cell phone in one hand, the mower in the other, and when I let go nothing happened. Cool, now the mower won't stop! I might have preferred it not starting. I could barely hear my Dad, and then he was gone. Perfect, Call Lost. Now? I lose the call NOW?

He tells me to grab a piece of metal and touch the wire, it needs to be grounded. Do WHAT? Ground a live wire? Really? Is that safe? From a man who will stick a metal object in a live receptacle. I bravely pushed a screwdriver on it, nothing. Nothing. Nothing. He said, well, I guess keep mowing until you run out of gas. Awesome.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Good Ole Fashioned Neck Wringing

Why I oughta...I don’t often ride up to an open window. Especially one at a stop sign, lingering, on a chilly, dark night. But it was clear I wasn’t pedalling forward tonight if I didn’t.

The driver leaned over and back and said, “Excuse me…” This is how they ‘get you’. They act like they are in need of assistance and then they try to school you. And not like they ever ask, but this particular night I was all good with my pile of knowledge, thanks.

So he says, “I just wanted to let you know you aren’t very visible from behind.” Now I had checked my light before I left and I knew it was bright and visible. The headlight….not so much, it was desperately in need of a charge. And so I waved my hand in front of my sputtering headlamp and said, “I’m not overly visible from the front right now either and the longer we stand here and discuss it the less visible I become so I’d really rather go.” 

Then, because he’s the type that knows everything and needs to not only let every one of us know that but also spread his diarrhea of knowledge around the crib like a unsupervised baby with a dirty diaper, he starts to talk about the angle from which my light is dangling from my bag and the trajectory of light emanating from within. 

He follows this up with, “And you should really have reflectors on your pedals.”  Okay, Mr. Selfish…did I not mention my dying headlight? I politely and less condescending than him explained that real pedals don’t really work that way, but thanks again.  I left out the presence of the glowing reflectors on my shoes, bag, jacket, and gloves, which he clearly didn't see.  

And if he actually had his eyes on the road, the brightly lit city road, he might actually see me. Given the field angle times the hypotenuse of the beam spread divided by the width of the lens x focal length of the instrument minus the kelvins absorbed by my dark clothing…Really I just wanted to say, maybe it's your driving.

Then he gunned the engine, scared the elderly man dead center of his front bumper carefully crossing the street in the crosswalk, as I screamed, “Don’t hit the pedestrian in front of you!” The street crosser breathed a sigh of Thanks to me and I rest my case about this guy’s driving. Just sayin...