If you’ve noticed, things have been a bit slow around here. I bumped into an obnoxious post the other day, and commented on it. The responses were so repugnant, juvenile and silly that I set to debunking their idiocy, point by point. I wrote four posts in the last two days, all of which came from a deep seeded anger. The anger at the politics consumed me and I’ve gotten to a point where I just can’t take being this mad. I don’t know if I’ll ever publish any of those posts… The last one was pretty good but it was still pretty angry though there is a portion that I feel needs to be shared.
The heart of the matter is women’s cycling and the fact that women aren’t compensated equally when compared to men. Anyone with half a brain knows that this is because businesses don’t see the same return from funding women’s cycling as they do men’s cycling races. Is this fair? Probably not. On the other hand, will the existence of this inequity alone, or the ongoing complaints about it be enough to bring male fans out to see women’s races? I doubt that. But this doesn’t mean we can’t solve the money shortage.
It can be done and I’ll leave this to some enterprising woman to do it and end the babbling idiocy that is the complaining about “sexism” once and for all, simply so it can be put to rest, at least for women’s road racing. I won’t be putting this together, though it might make sense for the business end to come from a man – thus a man would be able to take credit for equalizing the disparity and dispelling the notion that men don’t care because we have access to all of the “power” and want to keep women down. My God is the notion stupid.
No, instead I’ll give the idea freely, in hopes that a woman will put it into motion, make a mint, and end the disparity herself – without a man being necessary. I think they call that empowerment or something.
First, we have to deal with crowds and races – because it costs a lot of money to put a race on and the turnout can be sparse for women’s races. My suggestion here is that women’s races run with men’s races. The mileage and timing would have to be worked out. Women would have to start out early so the men don’t catch them, but the rest is pretty elementary. Women would then get exposure and maybe crowd sizes for women specific races would start to rise as we Neanderthals realized that women’s road racing is pretty awesome – and the cost would be negligible.
This leaves a hole with funding though because until returns are seen by the manufacturers you won’t see salaries climb very much. Ladies, it’s business. Sometimes it sucks, I certainly know this, but races are supported and cyclists paid because there is a perceived return on the investment. That’s just how it works. In the meantime, however, there is a way around this and even though I could turn this into my own multi-million dollar corporation, I’ll give the idea for free to anyone who wants to run with it because that’s just how I roll (Karen, I’m looking at you here): The answer is four letters. Just four, simple letters.
WSWC. We Support Women Cyclists. You make a colored logo, pick a color – any color but pink (please). You cover the cost of the decal that we can put on the forks of our mighty steeds – make it a high-end one so it doesn’t flake off or fade in a week – plus a small percentage for administration and then double it (I’m thinking ten bucks total) and sell them at every bike shop in America and possibly on-line… Then you partner with Cannondale, Bontrager/Trek and Specialized – they put those four letters on jerseys, cycling hats, helmets and cycling shorts. Every item bought comes with a donation to the fund. Then you donate all of the proceeds to evening up women cyclists’ salaries. Men get to support their women and show that they do, women get better salaries – and you’ve just created a woman owned business that can then support more women with jobs. You think Livestrong was big? This could dwarf it. Easy.
Just four simple letters, problem solved – and whoever runs with this gets to be rich in the process. My name is BgddyJim and I love my woman cyclist wife and daughters – and you’re a sexist, bigot manophobe if you think otherwise.
Now I need a nap.
So my father-in-law, technically he’s a ‘step’ but for all intents and purposes he’s the real deal, went to see a nutritionist to see about a new diet to shed some weight…
The nutritionist was more overweight than he is.
Somewhere someone is rolling over in their grave. To say I laughed out loud is an understatement. Seems about right for an education. “Do as I say, not as… Oh just do as I say!
Can’t wait to see his diet – Gummie Bears, and Twinkies… And that’s just for breakfast!
Ah Yes, Round Two with the old Ford headlights. Must have touched the bulb with a bare finger. One more time, to you, the guy who designed the ’02 Escape Headlamp Assembly: Kiss it, punk!
On a bright note, I’m so damned fit my heart rate never got over 61. Woohoo!
This morning, for the first time in quite possibly months, I actually woke up to my alarm going off at 4:30. This isn’t to say that I don’t sleep in by a half hour or so on the weekends, I do from time to time even if the occasion is rare. That said, during the week I’m always up before the alarm.
There are a few simple reasons for this. First, my wife and I fell asleep watching a movie – a movie that she chose specifically so that we wouldn’t bother staying awake to watch (yet again – I don’t think I made it five minutes into the movie). Second, I was tired – even my wife remarked on how wiped out I looked at the girl’s swimming class last night (I’d been awake for 18 hours at that point). Third, I had an awesome spin workout yesterday – I took the weekend off because this was a bowling weekend and I wanted to see how I did well rested – for the last couple of months I’ve been bowling after having run 10-13 miles and my average was suffering for it (I’m normally around a 175 average and I’m down to 168). Sure enough, I averaged a 192 over the three games Sunday night. Finally, all of that hard work – waking up at a ridiculous hour (between 2 and 3:30 am), getting to the office early and putting in long days has paid off. I have more work lined up for the next three months than I did all of last year – and while there will be a lot of hard work left to make all of this work make money, actually having work makes a whole host of problems go away – and I’ve got an interview for another huge job tomorrow. So huge in fact, if I land this one too, this will be my highest volume year ever – and we haven’t even hit March yet. Put simply, the cash for vacation this year shouldn’t be a problem – though finding the time to take the vacation could get interesting.
So, this morning I awoke to my blaring alarm, thinking “what the hell is that“. I can’t believe how absolutely recharged I feel this morning. Amazing what a perfect night of sleep will do!
The proprietor of Moolta, almost single handedly, made this the day that Fit Recovery garnered the most “likes” in a single day – personally liking more than 30 posts, and judging by the time in between “likes”, actually took the time to read each post!
So, if you want to read about fun stuff, like “Getting Naked For The Needy“, check them out here.
I don’t know what I did to sail into your radar, but thanks.
I found this photo yesterday and it really made me want to buy a Jamis bike – in fact, I almost thought about making this one of my “If I had “x” dollars” series – then I noticed it – there’s a problem with this photo and it takes a true bike nut to pick it out amidst the, um, chatter.
For fame and recognition, what is it?
P.S. It’s not that the bike is too small for the model, she’s in four inch heels with at least a two inch rise to boot… Err…
UPDATE: The proprietor of Bike War figured out what was wrong with the photo: All of the effort they put into that photo and they’ve got the chain on the little ring – for the love of God and all that is holy, when you photograph bikes, take the time to put the chain on the big ring!
UPDATE 2: Mrs. Bgddy, old eagle-eyes herself, pointed out that the model’s tag is sticking out the top of her, um, panties (or would that be a bikini bottom)… Amazingly (or not), I missed that entirely.
With cycling season rapidly approaching and the fact that I was perusing Bicycling Magazine’s archives yesterday morning, I bumped into a neat, short video that talks about how long to pull up front when you’re in a group. I’ve only been riding in groups for one season now so while I know my way around, I still have a lot to learn about tactics – and tactics do matter in the non-leisure group rides.
My biggest problem is tailoring the pull to the group. While I am a decent cyclist, because I train alone so much I have a tendency to be a one speed fits all kind of guy and that doesn’t always work in a group dynamic – especially when you’re talking about a big group or a group of riders who are faster or slower.
Starting with the faster group because this is the easiest to deal with, you pull as long as you can without gassing yourself too much to latch on at the back. After your pull, we try to go a mile each unless we’re into the wind (it’s a half-mile or so in that case), you allow the group to speed passed, as you get to the back, you will have to speed up a bit to latch on at the back – miss this by more than 24-36 inches and you’ll be off the back – and fast. This may mean you take a shorter pull than the rest of the group, don’t sweat it, just give them your best.
If you’re riding with a group about equal your talent, then a mile or two at the front won’t be a problem, nor will latching back on. Take a decent pull while maintaining your speed. Watch yourself on climbs that you don’t go too aggressive, I’ve dropped entire groups without even knowing it on a decent climb. This may not seem like a big deal, but I had dropped all of my help. Climbs are meant to be a little slower, just know that if the folks behind you start passing, it’s time to pick it up a bit – but don’t, under any circumstances, time your pull so that you’re falling to the back on a decent climb. The likelihood that you’re too cooked to latch on increases greatly. Pull off before the climb or after (mountain riding is a whole different story).
If you’re riding with a group slower than you are – I ran into this on a couple of centuries last year – having a speedometer helps. Take a glance at the speed when you’re second from the front and maintain that for the duration of your pull. My comfort zone for a century pace is somewhere between 20 and 22 mph. I rode with a couple of 18-19 mph groups last year so I took three-mile long pulls at the front. A) Because I could and B) because I wanted the other guys to have an easier, enjoyable ride. If you don’t have a speedometer, I also use a Roadie mirror – it plugs into the bar at the end of the drop – to make sure the group is tight behind me and I’m not pushing too hard… You’ll see it in the face of the guy behind you, if he’s grimacing take it down a notch. I’ve been on the other end of this, riding behind a Cat 2 racer and he busted my butt on his pulls. He hurt me, and while I did enjoy the experience (at least until mile 85 or 90), most people aren’t the glutton for punishment that I am.
Pulling, at least to me, is about doing my level best to do my fair share while making it to the finish line.
I’ve linked to the sites that I pulled the following photos from – the Double Pace Line photo is taken from an excellent “How To” on beginner pace line riding. The second is good as well.
I’ve always dreamed, that if I ever had the opportunity, if I ever had the forum, I’d write a criticism on movie critics. When I was a child I would hear about what the critics said about the newest movies coming out on the news (yes, I watched the news as a kid). I learned early on that if the critics hated the movie, not only would it make a mint, it would be excellent. Before long, my friends and I would check to see which movies the critics hated and base our “to see” list simply on the movies they panned the most. Of course this method wasn’t without its flaws, every once in a while they were right and we’d end up blowing a few good dollars allowance on a flaming turd of a movie, so we learned to pay attention to the manner in which the movies were criticized. There were certain words that appeared in good movies that they hated that were absent in the bad movies that they hated.
In fact, our little hypothesis worked in reverse as well. The better the review, the worse the movie did and the more boring it was for a kid – now this part of the hypothesis was infallible, any five-star rated movie assured us of a few things: The movie would be obscure, might make a buck or two at the box office but would induce snoring should we be forced to sit through it.
Worse, my mom being the chauffeur, didn’t understand the hypothesis – she took the critics seriously. If I had a dollar and invested it for every time I heard (after sitting through yet another boringly crappy movie), “but the critics loved this movie, they said it was excellent”, I would be retired on my own tropical island – like Marco… Keep in mind, I’m 42.
There are a few things we normal people know about movie critics: They are/were quite possibly the most self-important, overrated, pampas people on the planet. While they have improved since I was a kid, they still drive me nuts.
Take the movie The Expendables, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The critics called it things like “excellent junk” or “dumb fun”. In the good old days they would review a movie like that as if it were some artsy Indie film (I can remember the reviews on Stallone’s Rambo: First Blood (also excellent by the way). In any event, The Expendables made $274,000,000 at the box office and cost only $80,000,000 to make – that’s what I call a good return on investment (Expendables 2 did even better). For a perfect example, we only need look back to Star Wars: A New Hope, from 1977. Read this review from the New York Times… The movie, in the box office alone, made Eight Hundred Million Dollars and turned out to be one of the most adored movies of all time (Next to The Empire Strike Back – though they were right about The Return Of The Jedi).
In short, the critics are often pampas, long-winded jackasses who wouldn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to a great movie. This, of course, makes sense when you take into account their propensity to show off a silly high-priced education that was supposed to separate them from us, the little people. Well separate them it did:
Often it takes an intellectual to say something so stupid.
I bumped into a fantastic article at Bicycling Magazine’s website entitled, “Riding Is My Ritalin: ADHD and Cycling“. For me, it’s one of those articles that makes everything make sense. The person at the center of the article, Adam Leibovitz, seems to have a much stronger case of ADD (or ADHD) than I do, but my results mirror his in many ways though finding cycling took me a lot longer that it did Adam.
Some of the more interesting points in the article center around replacing (or lowering the dosage of) Ritalin with cycling, running, swimming or all three. The thought is that the cause of ADHD has to do with a lack of neural transmitters in the brain. I’ll give you two guesses but you’ll only need one: What, other than Ritalin or Adderall, boosts those transmitters?
So many things click into place for me after reading this article. For instance, while I show up early to the office almost every morning, I get more done in the three or four hours after lunch than the six or seven hours before – all winter long I’ve been riding on the trainer for 30 minutes to an hour before lunch… I am more focused and can perform multiple tasks in rapid succession after a short workout and I’m vastly more focused after the longer workouts.
The linked article is important in many ways. Not only does it detail perfectly how strenuous aerobic exercise can significantly diminish the need for narcotic solutions (Ritalin is a small dose of Meth’s cousin to put it simply), the article uses Adam’s case as an example of how exercise can replace, in many cases, the need for drugs altogether. This is a huge issue for boys and men as we are diagnosed with the problem 3-1 over girls. I have my own hypothesis as to why this is the case – boys are more rambunctious as kids, that’s how we’re wired. Also, the vast majority of grade school teachers are women who couldn’t possibly understand why we boys act the way we do – they can know, but there is a cavernous difference between knowing and understanding. This truth notwithstanding, I won’t be holding my breath for a new Title to the public school system which would level the playing field and help boys to excel. After all, we already rule everything and are, as a matter of fact, the root of all evil anyway.
All joking aside, the article also delves into the reasons behind the fact that little research is being done into just how much exercise can impact kids diagnosed with ADHD. First of all, and this is made clear if you pay attention, this is not some corporate conspiracy. Drug companies fund the bulk of the research in this field, why would they pay to prove their medications aren’t needed? Only a fool with a company that will soon be facing bankruptcy would do that. The bicycling industry could chip in some cash for the research, but the demographic benefit would be pretty small. As far as I’m concerned, it really isn’t all that necessary either – what is necessary is that the message that drugging little boys and girls into compliance doesn’t have to be the answer be shouted from the rooftops and become general knowledge.
In fact two schools, according to the article, have been experimenting for some time, with great success, starting the kid’s day with an early morning workout – the kid’s test scores, not surprisingly, improved significantly – and they’re turning out the fittest kids in the country at the same time. Of course, they receive little publicity. What a shame.
So please, for the sake of our kids and your own sanity, read that article and take it to heart. Then put your butt on a bike and reap the whirlwind of benefits – and pass on your success story so others can benefit as well.
My ’08 Trek is about to go under the knife for some much needed adjustments in preparation for the ’13 riding season. I completely wore out the bottom bracket – so much so that the chain rings “warble” when I push too hard on the pedals. So it’s getting a new chain, a slightly upgraded crank and a new bottom bracket (and possibly new cable if necessary). I could probably go another year before serious problems develop, and I actually thought about upgrading my mountain bike rather than mess around with fixing this one but I’ve got another item on the agenda that will require that much cash: My accountant is selling her 2010 Specialized Secteur with 105 components and a compact double crank – and it just so happens that she and my wife are the same height within an inch – in short, that bike will be too perfect to pass up. While I loved keeping the Cannondale around, it’s the wrong bike for my wife. With a seven speed cassette and a racing double crank, she doesn’t have enough low-end to ride efficiently when we vacation in the mountains and I’d rather ride with her on vacation and know that she’s safer on a bike with shifters on the brake levers than have a nicer mountain bike.
So the Cannondale will be going up for sale next week and we’ll be picking up the Secteur, hopefully before riding season makes it to Michigan. The bike I’ll be picking up for my wife is the black on grey model with a full compliment of 105 components and was meticulously maintained.