Trigger (heh) warning: This is a political post that includes, in part, my opinion. It is a departure from my standard recovery and cycling theme, from a conservative point of view. If this is scary to you, if you feel threatened enough that you might want to curl up in the fetal position and have a good cry while you suck on your thumb because there are people out there who believe that government is the problem, not the solution, maybe you shouldn’t read any further. You have been trigger (heh) warned.
A key to understanding liberal politics is knowing that, unless you’re talking about drugs, gambling or abortion, they’re all about stripping freedom from those who elect them. Therefore politicians have to lie consistently about the policies themselves because to tell the truth would expose them for what they’re really about: Government control of everything, right down to the food you stick in your mouth because they know better than you and if everyone would just do what they want, their way, it would be Utopia. In fact, if you pay attention you can read between the lines but that’s not always easy.
For instance, liberals always like to complain that the rich take more than their fair share, leaving scraps for the rest of us to fight over. Certainly, traveling to the right places in several States, Florida and California in particular, will reinforce this ignorant notion. Their answer is always to artificially raise wages and tax the hell out of corporations. Unfortunately these policies do what? They force businesses in a competitive market, to seek cheaper alternatives – and if that wasn’t bad enough (and it is), once companies find a way to exploit the world labor market, they find it easier to shelter their assets overseas and avoid putative taxation at home.
There’s a simpler way to understand how their policies work though. Let’s say we have a shortage of milk in this country. We all know the rich kids are going to get their daily dose of Vitamin D goodness because they can afford such things but the Democrats want reasonably priced milk for everyone. Their response is to tax the hell out of farmers if they don’t produce more milk which in turn causes the farmers to sell the cows for slaughter to escape the taxes. The good news is, the price of steak comes down. The bad news is, in other words, their policies kill cows to produce more milk. Then, to make matters worse, rather than be adults about it and admit their idiocy, they blame Republicans for their disasters and the vast left-wing conspiracy media backs their claim up.
One only need look at the difference in the party nominating processes to understand exactly how deep this rabbit hole is. For some reason Donald Trump has struck a chord with the Republican electorate, or at least a portion of it (normally around 35%). I was hoping against hope that the nomination would go to the convention where he could be tossed out on his ear but unless his most recent faux pas dooms him, it’s looking like he just might take the nomination. Know this: The party elite does not want either of the two front runners and that’s exactly why those two are so popular. We’re tired of the John McCain’s and Mitt Romney’s. The elite say they don’t like Cruz because he’s unlikeable (and that’s hard to argue with). They point out that even his colleagues didn’t like him very much. Well, that’s exactly what Republicans want. I digress. What’s confusing about Trump is that we’re also tired of politicians who can’t win an easy debate because they don’t have a firm grasp on American conservative politics. Cruz at least has that, if he is unpalatable. Either way, at least for now, the voters actually get to decide who gets the nomination, even if it’s Trump. The party elite can try a few tricks to get around that but to do so would mean mutiny and they know it.
Contrast that with the Democrats. The party elite controls who gets nominated. Period, end of story. If the electorate doesn’t choose who they like, they have Superdelegates that can fix the race. The party says, “As long as you vote for who we like, your vote will count. If, on the other hand, you try to nominate someone we don’t particularly care for, we’re going to slam the door shut on you.” Now, don’t take this to mean I’m a fan of Big Bern, I’m not. I truly believe that he would be one of (if not the) the most destructive presidents to freedom and the American Dream in American history if he were elected. I also believe that the fact he’s garnered so much support from Democrat voters is a scary as hell… He was allowed to run in the first place because he didn’t have a chance because he was way too far left (he’s so far left he rubs elbows with Ron Paul). This little bit of opinion is really irrelevant though. What’s important is the reality that Democrats, whether they’ll cop to it like grownups or not, are all about the control of others. That may be great over in Europe. It’s certainly not American though.
I’ve ridden three brands of tires since I started road cycling four years ago. Continental Gatorskins, Specialized Espoir Sport, Turbo Pro and Turbo Elite, and Bontrager AW1’s.
I’m a big anti-flat kind of guy so generally speaking I put more weight on flat protection than anything else. My first pair of decent tires were purchased at cost because I know a lawyer who works for them… The tires were very fast and they were wonderful for cornering but they left a lot to be desired when it came to getting flats. After my second flat and a busted belt I decided to go in a different direction. I went through a pair of Specialized Espoir Sport’s next and liked them well enough. They didn’t corner like the Gatorskins but they didn’t go flat either. I was quite okay with giving up a little performance to forgo changing tubes on the side of the road because a pebble managed to embed in the rubber and work through the Kevlar lining (seriously). Then I bought my Venge and that came with a set of Turbo Pro’s. Now I liked those. They were rough slicks so they handled great and were decent on flat protection. If memory serves I didn’t get a flat with those. They were a bit pricey at the time though so I opted for a set of Turbo Elite’s when the time came. I got one pinch flat with those but that was more my fault than anything else.
Then, on recommendation from one of the mechanics at the bike shop, I decided to try Bontrager AW1’s. They were touted for their superior flat protection and extended wear and they lived up to their billing. There was only one problem: They’re slow. It’s like you’re pedaling in mud. I’ve heard reports of people dropping as much as a mile and a half an hour because of them. Even so, that didn’t stop me from buying a second set when the time came. I figured I’d muscle through with a little extra “want to”. The flat protection on the AW1’s is nothing short of stellar. I’ve got more than 1,000 miles on this tire since this happened:
They’re that good. Still, as you can see by the wear it’s time for a new set of tires anyway and I decided to go back to Specialized. Puddle of Mud was a great band but it’s hell to try to ride through. I’m going back to the Turbo Pro’s – but this year they did away with the 23’s and are offering 24’s and 26’s
I put the new tires on last night. Hopefully I’ll be able to give them a go in the next few days but it’s doubtful. The forecast is atrocious.
So for the record, my experience is:
Continental Gatorskins – fast but terrible flat protection.
Specialized Turbo Pro – very fast, excellent handling, decent flat protection.
Bontrager AW1 – s-l-o-w, decent cornering, astounding flat protection.
Pick your poison.