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.