Tag Archives: bike

What Would Jens Voigt Do?

1 Feb

 

reposting from:  http://bicycling.com/blogs/hardlyserious/2011/06/28/talking-back/

By Jens Voigt

I am always surprised when people come up to me wearing a T-shirt that says, “Shut up legs!” It was just something I said once, long ago, to a journalist who’d asked how I could dig so deep in races. But even today people who see me say, “Come on, Jens. Tell us! You know what we want to hear!”

“Shut up legs,” I say, and they love it. They laugh. They tell me it inspires them.

This is never annoying. It’s flattering, this whole idea that I have somehow become a racer who means something to people. I would say I was a promising but not spectacular racer when I turned professional in 1997. It was two years before I got a really big win, the Criterium International, then two more before I won a stage of the Tour de France and got to wear the yellow jersey for a day. I would win two more Tour stages over the years (and wear yellow for another day in 2005), plus a stage of the Giro d’Italia, and four more titles at the Criterium International–respectable, but certainly not the sort of career that inspires T-shirts.

Somehow, I became known more for the way I race than the races I’ve won. I never imagined that, either. Whenever I got into a long and exhausting breakaway after I’d tried the same tactic just the day before, or when I attacked over and over in a race, or got up after a crash that had ruined my bicycle and finished the race on a loaner so small it made me look like a bear riding a circus bike, I was just always trying to do my job. I was just riding the only way I knew how.

I was just being myself. Maybe that appeals to cycling fans, too. People see what they get with me and they get what they see. I don’t have brilliant earrings. I don’t have tattoos. I don’t have a Porsche or Ferrari in my garage. (And let’s not forget my funny German accent–that helps as well!)

 

 

There is so much crisis in our world (and our sport) that maybe people also see and appreciate the stability in me. You know–Jens is this rock in the ocean. The waves are crashing against him, but he just stands there. Maybe a plain-talking guy who is the same every race and tries hard every chance he gets, maybe that connects, I don’t know.

I think I will never understand fully why so many people seem to like me as a racer, but it is a nice feeling. It is also a great motivation. Okay, I’m not winning 10 races a year or anything, but I am still there to win one or two for myself, and I am still able to help my captains and friends win. There is a lot of satisfaction knowing that a tiny piece of someone’s success is yours, and maybe the way I have been supported by all of you, now some of my success can be yours. And there is satisfaction, too, in pushing back against the hands of time. In many races, at 39, I’m the oldest rider out there.

I don’t know how much longer I will be able to win this fight against the clock. But for however long that is, I will refuse to let myself ride in a comfort zone, as if I have nothing more to prove and I can go ahead and slow down on a difficult descent or, when the race becomes truly difficult, go ahead and ease up because I don’t need to worry about my contract for the next year.

Every time I race, I will race so fiercely my legs cry, and when I can’t do that anymore, that’s when I will know it’s time for myself to shut up and leave.

 

 

And on that note:    Jens Voigt prepares for the Tour de Suisse by reassuring scientists at the Large Hadron Collider that he means no harm.

http://www.jensvoigtfacts.com/

 

 

 

 

http://blog.bikeridr.com/2010/07/the-legend-of-jens/

The Legend of Jens

21 July 2010 —

I challenge you not to love Jens Voigt. This man is made out of chiseled granite and railway spikes. He is truly the stuff of legend.

For the second year in a row a bad crash threatened to take Jens out of the Tour de France.

After a front-tire blow-out, shattering his bike, tearing open his elbow and being covered in road rash at the start of a 25km descent, Jens had some choice words for the Broom Wagon.

From Bicycling.com:

That stage pretty much got off on the wrong foot. For starters, we just went out so hard. We started out climbing up the Peyresourde Pass and everybody came out with their guns smoking.

I came over the top only 20 seconds down on the front group, but about 2 kilometers into the descent my front tire blew and I thought, “Oh God,” and I went down. Just one year after my horrible crash, and there I was tumbling on another mountain descent. And let me tell you, about the only place that feels good right now is my right ankle. The rest of me is all road rash. Plus I’ve got five stitches in my left elbow and then there are some ribs that are not in the right place! I may have to get x-rays, but I hate x-rays (the radiation), and plus, if I’ve got a fractured rib, what can anyone do about it?

The worst thing of all was that I almost got forced out of the Tour for a second year in a row. The problem was that the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result I had no bike, because mine was shattered.

Jens Voigt on his 'junior' bike (note the toe clips ;-)Jens Voigt on his ‘junior’ bike (note the toe clips 😉

So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.

Then, I still had to get up to the grupetto. All I can say is that that desperate times need desperate measures, but I got up there. And once I did it was grupetto all day long.

Needless to say, I had plenty of time to come up with a fitting book of the day. It’s from the Disk World series by Terry Pratchett. In it, the protagonist is Conan the Barbarian, who is a 70-year-old who has just survived everything. At one point he, and his other old warrior friends capture this village, but then they find that they are surrounded by an army of tens of thousands, and his only reaction is, “Oh man, it’s going to take days to kill all these people!” And that’s the way I was today when I was lying on the ground. I just thought, “Oh no, I’m going to Paris this year, I’m going to Paris. There’s just no way you are going to get me out of this race for the second year in a row!”

I wanna be like Jens.

 

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Best POV wipeouts and OMG moments

31 Jan

Reposting from Outside: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/video/Watch-This.html

 

The 6 craziest POV wipeouts

 

Running a 90-Foot Waterfall

Noccalula Falls Full Edit

Noccalula Falls Full Edit w/ POV from Isaac Levinson on Vimeo.

 Money Comment: “That is a huge brown stout.”
Star:
Pat Keller, 25, of Maggie Valley, North Carolina
There’s just something about the power of a flooded river flowing off a 90-foot waterfall—people can’t look away. I certainly couldn’t when I showed up at Gadsen, Alabama, at 2:30 in the afternoon with two other kayakers and a videographer. I went first, following a jet of current at the center of the waterfall. When I started falling, I leaned forward, dropped my paddle, and plunged into the pool at the bottom. It couldn’t have gone better. My two buddies followed, and we ended up with this footage, which looks straight down at a torrent of water falling, then chases it. Watch it and, even if you’re a nonkayaker, you’ll get how huge that drop really is. I’m hoping the big fish, like beer and energy-drink companies, see it. Maybe they’ll even give us some money.

 

 

Backcountry Ski Wipeout

Tuckerman Ravine Crash

Money Comment: “That’s me in the video! The fall was absolutely insane. I thought I was about to die.”
Cameraman: Dustin O’Brien, 25, of Marshfield, Massachusetts
My buddy and I were hiking Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire’s most popular backcountry ski area, on an April afternoon. About three-quarters of the way up, we were hiking up a chute when snow started sloughing down from the summit. I pulled out my camera to film it when this girl flies through the frame, sliding face-first down the hill and yelling, “Oh, my God!” She must have been going 35 mph. It’s funny, the entire day I shot 70 seconds of video, and that moment is what came of it.

 

 

 

Trapped by an Avalanche

Avalanche Burial With Black Diamond Avalung

 

Money Comment: “He didn’t even use the avalung. Way to go Black Diamond.”
Opportunist:
Adam Chamberlain, 38, vice president of marketing for Black Diamond, Salt Lake City
In the spring of 2008, a backcountry skier approached us with footage of one of our products in action. It started with a head-cam shot of a guy skiing epic powder in Alaska. Then the snow fractured beneath his skis. He was buried in the avalanche for almost five minutes before his friends rescued him. We’d never seen an avalanche video like it, and one of the reasons he survived was that he was wearing one of our backcountry safety devices. We paid a grand for the video, branded it, and posted it to Black Diamond’s website, where it went viral. A year later, people started posting comments disputing whether the avalung saved his life. He was wearing one. I think people just found it offensive that we had taken an organic gear testimonial and used it for marketing purposes.

 

 

 

Crash-Landing in the Himalayas

Paragliding vs. Eagle

 

Money Comment: “Angry birds!”
Star:
Vladimir Tsarkov, 25, of Moscow
Last October, I went to Bir-Billing Valley in India for a month of paragliding. On my first flight, I was 850 feet above the northern Himalayas when two birds that looked like eagles popped up in front of me. Birds rarely hit paragliders, so I decided to stay my course. Big mistake. One got snagged in the lines of my glider, and the entire cupola collapsed. I fell at 23 feet per second for a minute and a half and landed in a shrub. Somehow I was totally fine, just cussing up a storm. I had to calm down before facing the bird, which was still caught in the chute. It flew off as soon as I untangled it. I sent the video from my helmet cam to a friend in Moscow, and she uploaded it to YouTube. All the Russian channels put it on their broadcasts. I was still in India and hadn’t talked to my parents yet; they freaked out when they watched the news.

 

 

 

Winter Climbing Gone Bad

Mixed Climbing Avalanche Accident

 

Money Comment: “Potent reminder that surviving the fall is only the start of your troubles in alpine climbing. Heal fast.”
Cameraman:
Ed Warren, 26, of West Lebanon, New Hampshire
After 25 minutes anchored to ice screws, I turned off my GoPro. Belaying makes boring video, even when you’re 450 feet up a 70-degree slope. My partner, Brice, was a rope length above me, chopping through snow slabs that blocked the chute we’d been climbing in Wyoming’s Snowy Range since 8 a.m. Brice triggered the avalanche and fell with it for almost 200 feet before the rope caught him. When it hit me, the snow was going 70 mph and knocked me off the wall. After it stopped, Brice was fine, but I was hanging upside down with a crampon pressed into the flesh of my shattered ankle. I was shocked to be alive. I instinctively turned my helmet cam back on as soon as I righted myself, rappelled down the cliff, and then crawled two miles back to the car, filming the whole way.

 

 

 

Biker vs. Antelope

Mountain Biker Gets Taken Out by Buck

 

Money Comment: “Dayum nature, you scary!”
Star:
Evan van der Spuy, 18, of Port Shepstone, South Africa
I was in a mountain-bike race in Albert Falls Game Reserve, South Africa, riding 22 miles per hour down a stretch of singletrack when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a 300-pound red hartebeest—a giant antelope—charging at me. I think he was as scared as I was, because neither of us could hit the brakes. The thing T-boned me, horns to helmet. I got knocked out cold and woke up with a stiff neck, four chipped teeth, and absolutely no idea what had happened. We posted the video on YouTube the following day, and for the next 72 hours my phone rang nonstop while more than 400 media outlets hounded me for interviews.

Pitt’s Dirty Dozen

30 Nov

A brutal sufferfest dreamed up by two time RAAM winner Danny Chew. Take the 13 steepest hills in a very hilly city and link them all together in a one day ass kicker of a ride.

His site, with all of the details: http://www.dannychew.com/dd.html

 

And a 30 min documentary on the spectacle.

 

 

Canton Ave… 37% grade.

Defying the Dirty Dozen: Cyclists take on steepest of Pittsburgh’s steep hills
Sunday, November 27, 2011
By Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bob Stumph had just finished 4th in the race to the top of Canton Avenue, the steepest of 13 hills cyclists tried to race up Saturday during the 29th running of the  Dirty Dozen BIke Race.

But that’s not what Mr. Stumph, 24, a barber from Beaver, wanted to talk about with his band of supporters, who cheered him as he took on the hills, each of them at least a 20 percent grade.

“I’m so glad you came,” he shouted to his girlfriend’s mother, Becky Gannon, over the cacophony of cow bells, air horns, and shouts of “Go! Go! Go!” Nearly 200 spectators lined both sides of the 100-yard-long cobblestone street to cheer on other cyclists trying — many in vain — to climb the 37 percent grade hill. “This is what the Dirty Dozen is all about.”

 

That was the sentiment of the day for the 300 or so riders who came out trying to fulfill the goal the race founders had when they started in 1983 with just five participants: the three co-founders and two friends.

“The whole thing back then was to try to do outrageous rides,” said Bob Gottlieb, 52, a Squirrel Hill resident who still rides the race occasionally. “Whether it was a 150-mile ride in the Laurel Highlands, or to ride the steepest dozen hills in Pittsburgh in one day, we just wanted to do rides that we could challenge ourselves and hang out with our friends.” There were 12 hills that first year, and there have been as many as 15, but this year it was a baker’s dozen.

While the race still has that quirky, grass-roots feel to it — it has a $15 registration fee, it doesn’t take out permits with the cities it runs through, there’s no title sponsor, and the 13 finish lines are hand-drawn orange chalk lines on the streets — Saturday’s turnout may eventually change all of that.

Though the race has grown steadily, its previous record attendance from 2009 was still just 185 participants — already making it Pittsburgh’s biggest bike race.

But last year the race caught the attention of WQED public television’s famed documentarian, Rick Sebak. He brought two cameramen to the 2010 race and produced a show that ran on WQED’s “It’s Pittsburgh” series in January.

Mr. Sebak, who won a regional Emmy for the piece, said he was drawn to document the race for a basic reason: “Its spirit seems to be very Pittsburghian. It demonstrates how we love our hills.”

Largely as a result of that publicity and the great fall weather, Saturday’s race broke the previous record by more than 60 percent with about 300 riders.

Many of those people who have helped support the race and spread the word of its insane beauty over the years believe that popularity means it will soon have to change. The hills they race up are narrow streets designed two centuries ago, and it was already getting tight with 185 racers. And with 300 cyclists, the peloton is that much longer and unwieldy on even the main roads.

“It’s getting to the point where now it really needs a title sponsor and some formal organization,” said Mr. Gottlieb, who owns a scrap metal plant on Neville Island. “Because, eventually, something is going to happen as it gets bigger.”

Glenn Pawlak, owner of Big Bang Bicycles in West Mifflin and a sponsor of the race for the last two years, agreed that having 300-plus cyclists in one race could be a tipping point “or a breaking point.”

“It’s getting big enough that it’s going to need to be dealt with in a higher, more professional fashion,” he said.

Pittsburgh Police had already let race organizer Danny Chew — one of the co-founders and by all accounts the reason the race has grown like it has — know that it was becoming unwieldy two years ago. They asked him to not take the cyclists through the Liberty Tunnel on the way back into the city near the end of the race.

“So I stopped [going through the tunnel] because I want to be on good terms with them,” said Mr. Chew, a nationally renowned long-distance cyclist who has twice won the Race Across America.

Still, he has resisted the idea of making it an officially sanctioned race.

“They know I do it,” Mr. Chew, 49, of Squirrel Hill said of the police. “I tried to get a permit [from Pittsburgh] last year, but it cost too much.”

This year, anticipating more riders, Mr. Chew rounded up more volunteer marshals to help control traffic and watch the cyclists at each of the 87 intersections they cross during the six hours they are out on the streets of Pittsburgh and several surrounding suburbs.

And he asked his two supporters, Big Bang Bikes and Eat’n Park, to help out a bit more with funding and contributions.

Brooks Broadhurst, vice president of Eat’n Park and a cyclist, came out to help as a marshal and contributed Smiley Cookies, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and hot chocolate.

He said he and his company have taken note of the race’s unique quality already, in part because the course goes past two of its restaurants.

Like everyone who is part of the race, he recognizes that in addition to the grueling hills and quirky fun, it’s Mr. Chew who makes the race what it is.

“He’s a unique character,” Mr. Broadhurst said. “No one else could do it.”

With his high-pitch, staccato voice and endless championing of the Dirty Dozen, Mr. Chew’s infectious enthusiasm seems to have impressed everyone who has done the race — despite the pain it causes.

“Well, racing this is like hitting yourself with a hammer: When you stop, it feels real good,” said Jim Switzer, 56, a high school automotive technology teacher from Dimock, Pa., who came out for his first race Saturday. “Only Danny could get this many people out to do something like this.”

Only a couple dozen riders ever hope to score a point in the race — the top 10 men and top five women up each hill get points in descending order. The rest of the racers are merely trying to complete each hill. That’s a tall order when walking up hills — a compelling option on most of them — doesn’t count as completing a hill.

Ann-Marie Alderson of Etna won the women’s race for the first time, one of only three women to finish every hill out of 13 women who competed.

In the men’s race, Steve “Steevo” Cummings, 31, a Howard Hanna real estate agent from Lawrenceville, won the men’s race for the eighth time in a row.

Before the race he insisted he was “scared” because it was “so much pain” to contemplate doing the race again — a sentiment he couldn’t completely let go, even after winning.

“I don’t want to come back,” he said with a smile while leaning on his bike, still breathing heavily after completing the last hill on Tesla Street in Hazelwood. “I hope it snows a lot next year so we don’t have to do it.”

But with all of Saturday’s success, the question remains, would Mr. Chew allow it to become more professionally run with a title sponsor and all that that means?

He would, though he conceded, “It is a little upsetting, because it started so small, and it was kind of nice when I knew everybody in the race, but there’s something nice about having hundreds of people trying all of these hills.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11331/1192933-53.stm

 
 
 

Date with Death – 127mph on a bicycle

4 Nov

Crazy bastard… and I admire the shit out of him for the note carried in his pocket.

 
Date with Death

by Clifford L. Graves, M.D.
September 1965

A tense group of people was gathered on the freeway near the German town of Friedburg on July 19, 1962.

Herr Heinemann had painstakingly measured off the official kilometer. Half a dozen timekeepers of the International Timing Association were fiddling with their electrical equipment. Captain Dalicampt of the French occupation forces deployed his men at strategic points along the cleared Autobahn. Chief Schefold of the federal highway department dispatched a sweeper crew. Adolf Zimber lovingly wiped a bit of invisible dirt off the windshield of his massive Mercedes. Reporters were asking questions, scribbling notes. A photographer was angling for a shot. José Meiffret was about to start his Date with Death.

Of all the tense people, Meiffret was the least so. A diminutive Frenchman with wistful eyes and a troubled expression, he was resting beside a strange-looking bicycle. A monstrous chain wheel with 130 teeth connected with a sprocket with 15. The rake on the fork was reversed. Rims were of wood to prevent overheating. The gooseneck was supported with a flying buttress. The well-worn tires were tubulars. The frame was reinforced at all the critical points. Weighting forty-five pounds, this machine was obviously constructed to withstand incredible punishment.

On this day, at this place, on this bicycle, José Meiffret was aiming to reach the fantastic speed of 124 miles an hour. Everything was now in readiness. Meiffret adjusted his helmet, mounted the bike, and tighten the toe straps. Getting under way with a gear of 225 inches was something else again. A motorcycle came alongside and started pushing him. At 20 miles an hour, Meiffret was struggling to gain control. His legs were barely moving. At 40 miles, he was beginning to hit his stride. At 50 miles, the Mercedes with its curious rear end was just behind. With a wave of his hand, Meiffret dismissed his motorcycle and connected neatly with the windscreen of the Mercedes. His timing was perfect. He had overcome his first great hazard.

Swiftly, the bizarre combination of man and machine gathered speed. Meiffret’s job on penalty of death was to stay glued to his windscreen. The screen had a roller, but if he should touch it at 100 miles an hour, he would be clipped. On the other hand, if he should fall behind as little as 18 inches, the turbulence would make mincemeat of him. If the car should jerk or lurch or hit a bump, he would be in immediate mortal danger. An engineer had warned him that at these speeds, the centrifugal force might cause his flimsy wheels to collapse. Undismayed b the prospect, Meiffret bent down to his task.

He was now moving at 80 miles. News of the heroic attempt had spread, and the road ahead was lined with spectators. Everybody was expecting something dreadful to happen. Herr Thiergarten in the car showed Meiffret how fast he was going by prearranged signals. Meiffret in turn could speak to the driver through a microphone. “Allez, allez,” he shouted, knowing that he had only nine miles to accelerate and decelerate. The speedometer showed 90. What if he should hit a pebble, an oil slick, a gust of wind? Ahead was bridge and clump of woods. Crosscurrents were inevitable.

In his pocket, Meiffret carried a note:
“In case of fatal accident, I beg of the spectators not to feel sorry for me. I am a poor man, an orphan since the age of eleven, and I have suffered much. Death holds no terror for me. This record attempt is my way of expressing myself. If the doctors can do no more for me, please bury me by the side of the road where I have fallen.”

Who was this man Meiffret who could ride a bicycle at such passionate speeds and still look at himself dispassionately?

[personal history removed, read at link]

The Mercedes performed flawlessly. People could not believe their eyes. What they saw was the car in full flight with and arched figure immediately behind, legs whirling, jersey fluttering, wheels quivering. “Allez, allez,” gasped Meiffret into the mike. In the car, the speedometer crept past 100 mph, then 110 and 120. Anguished, Zimber looked into his rear-view mirror. How could Meiffret keep himself positioned? It was fantastic.

At the flat, the speed had increased to 127. Faster than an express train, faster than a plummeting skier, faster than a free fall in space. Meiffret’s legs were spinning at 3.1 revolutions per second, and each second carried him 190 feet! He was no longer a man on a bike. He was the flying Frenchman, the superman of the bicycle, the magician of the pedals, the eagle of the road, the poet of motion. He knew that he must live in the rarefied atmosphere for eighteen seconds. When he passed the second flag, the chronometers registered 17.580 seconds, equivalent to 127.342 miles an hour.

 
Meiffret had survived his date with death.

 
Full article with more history here:

http://cycling.ahands.org/bicycling/datewithdeath.html

 

 

 

Trek 100 ride report

1 Aug

It’s a bit (like a full year) late but I don’t think I ever completely documented this experience, which has been one of my favorite bike weekends ever. In a way this might be more of a bike weekend report, but there are bikes all the same.

Last winter a friend called me and asked if I wanted to do a bike ride with him and some friends. “Sure, sounds great… what’s the catch?”
“Well, it’s in Wisconsin (where his sister lives) and its 100 miles… but it’s put on by Trek and there’s always free goodies.”
“Well, I’ve been wanting to do my first century for a while now. What the hell, I’m in.”
“Ok, it starts at the Trek headquarters in Waterloo and heads out and back across the rolling Wisconsin countryside. Oh and bring your appetite, because the aid stations are out of this world and there’s free beer!”

About that time I finished up my new bike build (Masi 3VC Carbon, SRAM Rival, etc). Fast forward to June and it’s time to head out.

Broken down and ready to ship:

I packed up my gear and sent it up to Revolution Cycles in Madison, WI. Great shop, great people and they held on to all of my stuff for me until I got in town. By the way, would you believe that on American Airlines, when a flight attendant asks you to take the bike helmet that’s attached to your backpack via carabiner and put it in the overhead bin they will NOT allow you to just put it on your head. Apparently in this context the helmet is just too unsafe. Anyway, here’s a cool shot of Revolution:

We had 5 or 6 people meet up from around the country for this so we used the day before the ride as a prep. Madison is a big on cycling. Bike lanes on all the streets, big wide bike paths, bike racks everywhere, including bars. It’s great. One friend was just getting back from clavicle / scapula breaks thanks to a car turning in front of him while on a training ride in Pittsburgh. As a little shake-down for him we did 20 miles around the lake in Madison then popped into some local joints for a cold beer. The dinner of choice on the night before the monumental journey was pizza and more beer. Yup, this was shaping up to be a great weekend.

Oh, and we also took this opportunity to make a slight upgrade to my bike. I was planning to wear a Lone Star Beer jersey for the ride. Gotta represent the Republic of Texas, right? Well, We couldn’t find Lone Star cans in Madison so I went with the next best thing:

Fast forward to Saturday morning, pre-sunrise. The smell of bacon fills the air. Yeah, we like to really clean up the diet leading up to long rides. Bike prep, gear prep and a little drive out of the way, we finally get to the starting line for the ride. We were next to the stage where a band would be playing after the ride, but for now there were the usual ceremonies going on. National Anthem, thank yous to the sponsors, and the calling out of the one guy in the group wearing a Lone Star Beer jersey.

*On the PA system*
“Lone Star?! Where are you from”
“From the great state of Texas, sir.”
“Texas, huh… $5 says you travelled the farthest of everyone here. That means you lead us out. Make way for the Texan! Get up to the front… we’re leaving when you do!”
And with that my first century was underway.

The ride was farily uneventful when you exclude my brief moments of idiocy. Like the time around mile 20 when we thought it would be a good idea to latch onto a 30mph pace line. Or the time around mile 40 when I thought it would be a good idea to jump out front of our group and catch “the breakaway” (aka. The next pack of riders up, about 1/8 mile ahead on a slight uphill run). I paid for both of those later in the ride, as evidenced by the bruised quad that we noticed at a rest stop. Slight strain, I’d say. You can see some bruising in this pic

And these guys weren’t kidding about the rest stops! Subway sandwiches early on. No big deal.

But then, what is that… is that a snowcone stand?! Yup. Moving on… no… can’t be… hot wings! SCORE!

It was at this time that one friend who has done this ride many times before told me, “Matt, we’re at mile 65. This stand was in the same place last year and I took down 14 wings. I’m goin’ for broke here buddy, keep an eye on me.” 16 wings later, pride fully intact (if not boosted), we were back on the road.

Trucking on through the countryside, the rolling hills were becoming annoying, but every now and then we’d get a nice long fast one to make it feel a little better

Thanks to the long night before I was starting to feel it in my legs, but thankfully I had two doses of the best pain reliever to ever be poured out of Dublin. Mile 70 and mile 85 both got a Guinness chug while on the road and I have to say, it was perfect. Slightly irresponsible, maybe. Great story and the most satisfying beer ever, definitely.

Anyway, we continued on to the finish in a not-very-respectable 5:30. In this case though a slow time was completely worth hitting every stop and having an incredibly fun time doing it.

Here’s a shot of Hot-wing Steve, myself and Dave.

My favorite part of all of it though is the post-ride beer. A few in our group had a rough start and bailed early to do the 100k route. This means that they were waiting for us at the finish. Have you ever had a beer handup? No? Give it a shot sometime. It beats the hell out of Gatorade!

As a post-ride celebration we went back and had yet another night of fun. A couple growlers of some local microbrew and more food (more bacon!) and it would soon be time to head back to TX, but not without some incredible memories and experiences from my first century.

A few things from the bike shop.

30 Jun

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1192150038.html

A few things from the bike shop.


Date: 2009-05-27, 4:05PM PDT
[Errors when replying to ads?]


Whoo-hoo Seattle, the sun is out! Let’s discuss a few things before you fumble with swapping the unused ski rack for the unused bike rack on the Subaru.

So yes, you’ve noticed the sun is out, and hey!- maybe it would be cool to to some bike riding. Let’s keep in mind that the sun came out of all 600,000 of us, so for the most part, you’re not the only one who noticed. Please remember that when you walk into my shop on a bright, sunny Saturday morning. It will save you from looking like a complete twat that huffs “Why are there so many people here?”

Are we all on the same page now about it being sunny outside? Have we all figured out that we’re not the only clever people that feel sunny days are good for bike riding? Great. I want to kiss all of you on your forehead for sharing this moment with me. Put your vitamin D starved fingers in mine, and we’ll move on together to some pointers that will make life easier.

SOME POINTERS FOR THE PHONE:

– I don’t know what size of bike you need. The only thing that I can tell over the phone is that you sound fat. I don’t care how tall you are. I don’t care how long your inseam is. Don’t complain to me that you don’t want to come ALL THE WAY down to the bike shop to get fitted for a bike. I have two hundred bikes in my inventory. I will find one that fits you. Whether you come from the north or the south, my shop is downhill. Pretend you’re going to smell a fart, ball up, and roll your fat ass down here.

– Don’t get high and call me. Write it down, call me later. When I have four phone lines ringing, and a herdlet
of people waiting for help, I can’t deal with you sitting there “uuuuhhh”-ing and “uuummm”-ing while your brain tries to put together some cheeto-xbox-fixie conundrum. We didn’t get disconnected, I left you on hold to figure your shit out.

-I really do need to see your bike to know what is wrong with it. You’ve already figured out that when you car makes a noise, the mechanic needs to see it. When your TV goes blank, a technician needs to see it. I can tell you, if there is one thing I’ve learned from you fucking squirrels, it’s that “doesn’t shift right” means your bike could need a slight cable adjustment, or you might just need to stop backing into it with the Subaru. Bring it in, I’ll let you know for sure.

– No, I don’t know how much a good bike costs. For some, spending $500 dollars is a kingly sum. For others, $500 won’t buy you one good wheel. You really need to have an idea of what you want, because every one of you raccoons “doesn’t want to spend too much”.

FOR YOU INVENTIVE TYPES AND DO-IT-YOURSELFERS:

– Just because you think is should exist, doesn’t mean that it does. I know that to you, a 14 inch quill stem makes perfect sense, but what makes more sense is buying a bike that fits you, not trying to make your mountain bike that was too small for you to begin with into a comfort bike.

– If some twat on some message board somewhere says that you can use the lockring from your bottom bracket as a lockring for a fixie conversion doesn’t mean that A: you can, or B: you should. Please listen to me on this stuff, I really do have your best interests at heart.

– I love that you have the enthusiasm to build yourself a recumbent in the off season. That does not mean however, that I share your enthusiasm; ergo I won’t do the “final tweaks” for you. You figure out why that Sram shifter and that Shimano rear derailleur don’t work together. While we’re at it, you recumbent people scare me a little. Don’t bring that lumbering fucking thing anywhere near me.

A DEDICATION TO ALL THE HIPSTER DUCHEBAGS:

-If you shitheads had any money, you wouldn’t NEED a vintage Poo-zhow to get laid. Go have an ironic mustache growing contest in front of American Apparel, so that I can continue selling $300 bikes to fatties, which is what keeps the lights on.

– Being made in the 80’s may make something cool, but that doesn’t automatically make something good. The reason that no one has ridden that “vintage” Murray is because it’s shit. It was shit in the 80’s, a trend it carried proudly through the 90’s, and rallied with into the ’00’s. What I mean to say is, no, I can’t make it work better. It’s still shit, even with more air in the tires.

SO YOU’RE GONNA BUY A BIKE:

Good for you! Biking is awesome. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s good for you. I want you to bike, I really do. To that end, I am here to help you.

-Your co-worker that’s “really into biking” knows fuck all. Stop asking for his advice. He could care less about you having the right bike. He wants to validate his bike purchase(s) through you. He also wants to sleep with you, and wear matching bike shorts with you.

– You’re not a triathlete. You’re not. If you were, you wouldn’t be here, and we both know it.

– You’re not a racer. If you were, I’d know you already, and you wouldn’t be here, and we both know it.

– So you want a bike that you can ride to work, goes really fast, is good for that triathlon you’re doing this summer (snicker), is good on trails and mud, and costs less than $300. Yeah. Listen, I want a car that can go 200 miles an hour, tow a boat, has room for five adults, is easy to parallel park but can carry plywood, gets 60mpg, and only costs $3,000. I also want a unicorn to blow me. What are we even talking about here? Oh yeah. Listen, bikes can be fast, light, cheap and comfortable. Pick two, and we’re all good.

ABOUT YOUR KIDS:

Your kids are amazing. Sure are. No one else has kids as smart, able, funny or as good looking as you. Nope. Never see THAT around here.

– I have no idea how long you kid will be able to use this bike. As it seems to me, your precious is a little retarded, and can’t even use the damn thing now. More likely, your budding genius is going to leave the bike in the driveway where you will Subaru the bike to death LONG before the nose picker outgrows the bike.

– Stop being so jumpy. I am not a molester. You people REALLY watch too much TV. When I hold the back of the bike while your kid is on it, it’s not because I get a thrill from *almost* having my hand on kid butt, it’s because kids are unpredictable, and generally take off whenever possible, usually not in the direction you think they might go. Listen, if I were going to do anything bad to your kids, I’d feed them to sharks, because sharks are FUCKING AWESOME.

I hope this helps, and have fun this summer riding your kick-ass bike!

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