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Monthly Archives: January 2017


Liberal Preppers are loading up on Granola, Tofu… and Guns and Ammo in the Event of a Trumpocalypse?  Welcome to the Club Boys and Girls!  

Seriously?  According to reports, it’s true!  It appears liberals/progressives (I repeat myself) around the US are flocking to gun stores to get their Trumpocalypse firearm and load up on ammo while they’re at it. 

We can gloss over the irony that it’s about time liberals discovered that the Second Amendment to the Constitution covers more than recreational hunting but let’s not get too crappy, eh?  ‘Tis a reason to celebrate!.  No need to point out that if Republicans hadn’t blocked their attempts to block that Amendment, they’d be stocking up on sticks, stones and Rambo knives.  Oh wait!  Would those be Rambo knives recategorized as “assault knives”?!  So make it “sticks, stones and butter knives”.

I digress!  Let’s look at the positives!  And I’ll offer you new whipper-snappers a tip or two, you know…. so you don’t accidentally kill yourself (or someone else)!

  • We’re a little hysterical right now, so let’s take a deep breath.  Oooooommmmm… Okay, calm?  A person who voted for Donald Trump  and happens to be disagreeing with you in a conversation is not a threat on your life or safety.  That means you can’t actually shoot someone for disagreeing with you or for voting for Donald Trump.  This may come as a surprise to you with all of the fake news out there in the New York Times, Washington Post, and coming out of NPR or your average ultra-liberal professor but it’s true.  You cannot kill someone for not liking Big Government.  
  • The place for your pistol is not in the drawer or under your pillow if you have kids.  “I told him/her not to go into my room” won’t bring them back.  The pistol goes in a nice little quick access safe on the night stand.
  • It will cost you $10,000 minimum in court/attorney costs if you’re caught pulling your weapon in public.  If you shoot a person, even in true, blatant, obvious self-defense, $100,000 minimum in defense costs.  You can’t afford the defense, so you better be sure before you even think of brandishing that weapon because you’re going into court with a public defender and a life sentence is a loooong time.  Again, a “he/she hurt my feelings” defense will get you 25 to life.
  • Practice, at a legitimate firearm range, drawing, aiming, and firing your pistol.  Become comfortable with your firearm.  Become a good shot.  Learn which end is the business end.  Learn where “the bullets go”.  Practice.
  • Being able to purchase a firearm does not allow one to carry it on their person in a concealed fashion.  You need a special permit or license for that depending on your State Law – this goes to that “well regulated” part, and that goes (by design, ladies and gentlemen) by State.  In mine, I had to go through a special course to prove that I was proficient with my firearm (and contrary to fake news, not everyone will pass… a guy two stalls down was failed instantly when we all had to duck because he didn’t know enough to keep his weapon pointed down range or flat on the table in front of him).  
  • After the course and test, expect a background check from the FBI.  They put your fingerprints on file too.
  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a license is a felony in all but one State (I believe one made it legal to carry without a license, or is in the process of doing so) though many do allow open carry.  It’s my personal.preference to refrain from advertising though.
  • Now, for a few lighter tips.  Unlike many of y0ur liberal friends, we won’t give you $#!+ about purchasing a firearm or showing up at a range.  We’ll welcome you to the club because that’s what we do.  It’s about the Amendment and the Right, not you.  Please learn from this and treat us accordingly – no need to try to shut down the firearm range you practice at to assuage your guilt for being there.
  • Notice I used the words “pistol” and “firearm”, not “gun”?  You played with toy guns when you played Zombie Apocalypse in the backyard as a kid.  Pistols are not toys.  Period.
  • Hopefully this is where you realize all that hyperventilating by your side is silly and you’re at the point you’ve come to understand what an incredible responsibility owning a firearm is.  Honor that responsibility, please.

    Finally, to wrap this up, we on the right freaked out a little bit when President Obama was elected in ’08 so I can dig that you lefties are a touch discombooberated right now.  We survived Obama (for the most part) and you’ll survive eight years of Trump (heh)…. Unless you happen to be a bureaucrat, in that case, Vaya con Dios. I hope that new post in Nome, Alaska is a peach.  Bring a warm jacket, eh.  

    It’s about damn time, too.

    With that, welcome to the club!


    GCN’s Five Hacks for Perfect Road Bike Shifting…

    I’m a big fan of the Global Cycling Network.  I’m a long-time subscriber and I watch as many of their videos as time allows.  This video really caught my eye though, because I’m exceptionally finicky about how my bikes shift.  In fact, I’m so picky I don’t think that last sentence supplies enough emphasis on just how persnickety I can be.  Dude, look at me now, I mean finicky. 

    I was fully prepared to watch this video and learn nothing new – and I’m pleased I was mistaken.  The video above provides a few excellent tips and some tremendous camera work that shows exactly how the derailleur limiting screws work for both the front and rear derailleurs.  As a noob, those limiting screws caused me a lot of consternation and if they’re set wrong, enormous damage can be done to your bike and its wheels or frame.

    If that wasn’t enough (and I’d have been happy with just that little bit of information), at 2:30 into the video they get into how to properly tighten your shifting cable into the rear mech.

    Just 50 seconds later, at 3:20, Si gets into a brilliant trick for setting the front derailleur set screws and cable which, with modern 10 and 11 speed cassettes, can be quite difficult to get right without a bunch of gears rubbing against the derailleur cage.

    If you have troubles adjusting your derailleurs or take your bike to the shop to have that done, check out the video above.  It should help your understanding of how things work.  It did mine and I’ve been doing my own cables and adjusting for years.

    Bike Porn Vs. Reality and a Wonderful, If Simple, Cure for Depression

    Trigger (heh) warning: Read that disclaimer on the left of the margin.  Read it again.  Okay, proceed, with caution.  If you happen to be easily offended, or I suppose, if you’re prone to believing that your taking offense to words should be someone else’s problem or fault, this won’t be a post for you.  Some $#!+ you can’t unread…  You have been trigger (heh) warned, though I’m surprised you needed it.  You did read the title, no?

    You show me a mint ’76 Bianchi Sprint and I’ll show you the owner who still smiles with anticipation as he’s pumping up the tires.

    Even if the owner doesn’t know enough to trim their chain, stage the bike or put it in the big ring (sacrilege)

    Show me a Specialized Alias and I’ll show you the woman who loves it’s speed, versatility, dependability and it’s smooth feel.


    Show me a Venge and I’ll show you the guy who still keeps it looking new as the day he brought it home and makes sure to get it in the picture, even in the later miles of a 101 mile day…


    Another case in point, with a Trek Madone 9 and a Jens:

    The relationship between an owner and a trophy bike is a beautiful thing…. better, trophy bikes aren’t nearly as elusive or difficult as a trophy spouse.

    Bikes don’t degrade with age as is so often the misunderstanding, they degrade with a lack of proper maintenance.  If one doesn’t keep the headset clean and lubed, the steering will be loose and the bike’s stiffness will feel slightly off.  Eventually, left to deteriorate long enough, that loose feel will change to binding when turning and clunking when hitting a bump.  Clean the headset and install new bearings and the issues will be solved.  Simple.

    Human relations are obviously more challenging, even if they do follow the same basic principles.

    Riding the bicycle equivalent  of a “p●rn star” will undoubtedly exceed one’s expectations… especially if you’re going from a low-end road or mountain bike to a super-bike, while an actual p●rn star tends to come with problems…. err….

    Say you own a $700 mountain bike, a decent hardtail.  Going from that to a sub-20 pound carbon fiber Trek Stache and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  Going from a Trek 1.2 to a Madone 9, or a Specialized Allez to a Venge in the road bike category would have the same result – mind blown.


    While many in the world scurry all over themselves to brag up their minimalist green weenie cred, I say don’t follow the lemmings.  In fact, I’m still waiting for this inevitable conversation:

    “Oh yeah, well I decided to run my single-speed on bare rims.

    “Wait, you what?!”

    “Yep, I don’t need to feed the oil industry and the industry that kills rubber trees, contributing to global warming, to make tires so I took my tires off.  I won’t feed “society’s” patriarchal need for schedules anyway.  I take all of the time I want and just slow it down to four miles an hour.”

    “But dude, they don’t kill the trees to harvest ru… You know what, whatever works for you I suppose.  By the way, what mountain do you think they leveled to strip-mine the iron for that steel frame?”

    “But… wait, it’s steel not iron.”…

    “Yeah, to make steel they melt down iron ore and add carbon.  Bam, steel.  You know, I wonder if steel has more carbon in it than carbon fiber, now that I think of it.”

    [Crocodile tears…].

    First, buy a bike and ride it, preferably a reasonable one so you can see if you actually enjoy the sport.  Had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing; I wouldn’t go all out on a high-end bike as I leapt into the sport (better to get those crash scratches out of the way on a starter bike).  Once you find out that it’s the awesomest awesome that awesome can be and you love it, save up some money for a good bike.  Doesn’t matter if it takes five years or six months (or no months).  Take that wad of cash down to your local bike shop and plunk it down on the counter for as nice a bike as you can justify.  If you need an excuse, think of all the money you’ll save on not needing medication!  There’s blood pressure meds, diabetes meds, alzheimer’s meds…  You could go on all night!
    Then ride the wheels off it, join a club, and bask in the joyous glow that is a daily bike ride.

    A “cure” for depression might be going a little too far but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.  Trust me.

    Just don’t go into debt for it.  A bike porn bike isn’t worth that.

    The Noob’s Guide to the Modern Road Bike:  The Difference between Aero and Standard Frames

    friend commented the other day on one of my posts to ask if I’d seen Peter Sagan’s new World Champion Specialized S-Works Venge.  Last year’s was special but this year’s… well, it’s amazing.  Maybe a touch on the blingy side, but hey…  An S-Works Venge ViAS with gold plated wheels and a ridiculously awesome rainbow paint job with gold outlined lettering is pure awesome, if a little gaudy:

    The article my friend linked to, and the place from whence that photo came, is here.

    I hadn’t seen it yet, but I certainly have now, and I dig it.  Would I ride it, if I could afford it (and I definitely cannot)?  I wouldn’t.  I couldn’t pull it off without feeling like a poseur.

    Now, for those not in the know, the ViAS is a relatively heavy bike.  “Aero” has a cost, and it is weight.  In fact, and interestingly, the Venge shown above weighs a full pound more than my first generation Venge (after a few key upgrades) – and my Venge is equipped with 105 components, not the top-of-the-line Dura-ace Di2 that they bolted to Sagan’s bike:

    At least for now, without getting into a bunch of confusion about bike weight (I was originally going to try but it got really messy, very long, and left a lot of unnecessary murkiness), the simple reality is that aerodynamically superior bikes add weight when compared with the less aero climbing bikes.  Usually upwards of two pounds or more.

    Now, I gave that background for a reason.  The interesting part of the linked article, at least to me, showed up in the comments after the article.  Here’s the string that caught my eye:


    8.4kg. If Sagan does race this, then he’ll be giving up >1.5kg to the serious contenders on the climbs.  

    Hella van der van:

    His rim brake version is 8.1kg, not exactly a lightweight. This is Peter Sagan though, put him on a 20 year old steel bike and he’s still going to tear their legs off.


    yeah but that’s beside the point. Why would any bicycle company provide their pros an 8.1 kg bike in this day and age is beyond me. Yeah but its specialized so the general media will just gloss over it. Too many advert dollars at stake.

    First, before we even get going, we’ll just ignore the fact that Sagan rides a different bike for the mountain stages that he does for the sprint stages.  Shhhhh… don’t tell Ragtag.

    That notwithstanding, the last point is, well, really not smart.  From the complaint about the 8.1 kg (17.85 pound) Venge ViAS (the most aerodynamic road bike on the planet) to the silly conspiracy “punch line” at the end (one could hardly call it a hypothesis let alone a theory), it’s just… all wrong.

    The following will explain what the noob cyclist needs to know about the differences between Aero frames and standard frames – and where Ragtag’s wheels fell off.

    It is a well-established reality that A) Aero is a little heavier because the frame requires more material to get the tubes into shapes that will slice through the air, yet be sturdy and B) Aero trumps weight everywhere except heading up a mountain.

    Now, unlike someone pointing out the fact that the ViAS is a few pounds heavier, then attributing that to a corporate conspiracy allowed to thrive by a complicit (bought) media, actual real science shows that an aero bike is faster than a lightweight bike – no matter what a doofus might think.  Sadly, this time the proof is a lot like rocket science.

    I won’t be getting into the equations and science behind bicycles and aerodynamics as there are plenty of articles out there produced by people who actually know the math that I don’t have to bother.

    My simple experience is, all things being leveled and made equal (meaning wheels), I have both an aero frame and a standard frame and I can absolutely feel a difference in the ride.  I would go so far as to say anyone who put the miles in that I have on both bikes (more than 10,000 miles each) would easily notice the difference in drag switching from one to the other – and I mean easily.  As in, it’s a no-brainer… especially when riding in a group (I’ll get into that in a minute).

    It’s not an insurmountable difference in feel, though.  In fact some of my fastest rides occurred on the standard frame (Like a 2:44:25 100 km [62.13 miles] on open roads).  In most cases, the difference can be made up for with a little “want to ” – you simply feel slightly more drag is all.  Where the difference can’t be made up for is on a downhill, preferably one where you achieve “escape velocity” – fast enough that you can’t pedal to make the bike go any faster.  For instance, on the exact same “escape velocity” hill, the difference between my two bikes shown above is 9 mph – 46 to 55 mph but that cancels out on the way up the hill.  Please keep in mind here, the greater the velocity, the wind resistance compounds exponentially so at 50 miles an hour you’re talking about some serious wind resistance on a pedal bike when you’re the motor.  It’s fast enough that I have to be careful coming out of my tuck, when I raise my head enough to start catching air.  As a disclaimer, I don’t recommend anyone exceed 40 mph on purpose without knowing exactly what you’re doing.  A crash at extreme speeds can mean death.

    Surprisingly, one of the best places to really feel the benefit of an aero bike is in a group where you’re spending a lot of time riding in a draft.  If you think about it, this actually makes some sense.  When you’re cruising down the road tucked in behind ten people, your body is getting a pretty good draft.  The bike won’t get the same grace though because their size will mean the air down lower is a lot choppier.  Without getting into the science of it, there is a noticeable difference between the standard and aero bikes when it comes to drag in a group.  Wait, that didn’t sound right.

    Don’t take my word for it though…  Disagree, dispute, whatever you want, but the science is out there and it all backs up my experience – and it’s not some corporate trick to make someone pay more for a bicycle.  Hell, you’ve got dopes cyclists out there paying thousands of dollars for steel framesets… the manufacturers don’t need more tricks.  They know we’ll pay anyway.  And we will.

    To wrap this post up and put a nice big bow on it, remember the following:  Aero always trumps weight, though it really doesn’t matter that much – the difference can usually be made up with a little more “want to”.

    You need an aero bike like you need a hit in the head.  In other words, you don’t.  They’re nice to have and fun to ride, but they’re a bit like gold-plated wheels.  You’ll be able to get along just fine with what you show up with*.  A high-end bike will never fix low-end legs.

    On the other hand, you can be quite sure that anyone who tells you there is no advantage to an aero bike has never ridden an aero bike and has no idea what they’re talking about.

    Finally, there’s one small problem with the aero advantage and remember this, because it is not a small triviality:  Once you have the aero bike, the aero helmet, the skin suit and the little aero booties, if you still get dropped the only thing left to blame is the motor.  Sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse.  Trust me.

    *The one thing that really does matter is a good set of wheels.  I’ll ride faster on my non-aero Trek 5200 and a great set of wheels over my Venge and a crappy set of wheels any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Freaking FINALLY!  A Ride without the Training Wheel!

    I think it was 35 (1c) when I took that photo, considerably colder when we left at noon and we had to wait till noon for the ice to melt off the road… Oh, and we had to stick to the paved roads because the dirt roads were a frozen mess, but it was wonderful nonetheless.

    I can only take so many trainer miles before I go a little stir crazy.  Still, to get my 100 miles in for the week I had to spend another 20 minutes on the trainer after we got back.

    After, Mrs. Bgddy put together a nice smoothie for me (basically fruit and yogurt… hers had a lot more to it but tasted like a dirt salad with a hint of blueberry – I have a new respect for anyone who chooses to consume their food in this manner… that $#!+ was gnarly!).

    We cleaned up, our daughters went to respective friend’s houses, and we went out for a dinner date!  I capped the night with watching the football games in between bowling (174, 183, 194 actual).

    By the time I got home I was absolutely wiped out and fell asleep within seconds of laying down in bed….  I felt a renewed happiness all day long after that bike ride.  A little fresh winter air:  Just what the doctor ordered!

    Listening to My Body… Er Sumthin’

    I’m on a tuna fish sammich kick lately….  At roughly 60 whole calories a serving, it’s a good time for it too.  The last time I had enjoyed a TFS was, maybe, three or four years ago.

    It just hit me, this craving, about two weeks ago.  Since, whenever I have an upcoming meal without a plan my body, specifically 63.4% from my gut region (48.2% stomach, 12.2% lower intestine, 13% liver), 28.5% from my melon, and the last 8.1% is from somewhere in the vicinity of my right ass cheek, says, “DUDE!  Throw me some tuna, mayo, celery on some toasted bread.  STAT!  Oh, and while you’re at it, sparky, don’t give me any of that cheap-shit bread.  Your body hereby declareth that you want the good stuff!”  

    So I comply, and it is delightful.  Go figure, when the body speaks and all…. we listen, eh?

    Oh wait…. I’m getting a signal.  Hang on a second…. Wait for it….

    42.5%, from my left ass cheek, wants a steak!  Woohoo!  Wait, my right pec just chimed in 21.8%… Porterhouse!  Ooh, and my ear (20.2%) just showed up to the party with garlic smashed potatoes!  And my pinky toe wants a salad!

    Bgddy’s eatin’ good this weekend!

    [ED. If the shit fits, wear it.]

    Sadly, I really miss my Venge.  I went into the bike room this morning to drool over it for a minute.

    Just sitting on the wall, looking like the badass it is.  Only two or three months to go to Venge Day ’17.

    Truthfully, I go off on a bit of a tangent about “listening to my body”.  Some days, I’m cool with the saying.  Most others I get to thinking I’d be riding at a ridiculously slow 18 mph average if I had.  I’d never have gotten fast.  All of those times I threw up trying to push myself was my body literally saying, “Dude, cut it out” – but I didn’t.  I said to my body, “Suck it up, buttercup, ‘cuz it’s about to get bumpy”.

    And I’m happier for telling my body to take a flying leap off a short dock, too.  So I suppose the moral of this post would be yeah, go ahead and listen to your body… just not too closely.  Some things are worth the extra effort.  There is no fist-bump at the end of quitting…

    …just disappointment and second guesses.

    The Noob’s Guide to Cycling:  Shorts or Bibs? And one flaw to avoid in ANY pair of shorts you buy.

    So, bibs or shorts when it comes to cycling?  Most noobs will gravitate to shorts because they’re “easier”.  Most will invariably assume they’re less of a fuss.

    I’ll make this simple.  And short:  Bibs.  Only bibs.  Always bibs.  Men and women, it doesn’t matter.  Bibs are better.  Period, end of story, it is what it is.

    I know what you’re thinking…  I thought it too, so let’s dispell a couple of myths first.

    1.  For men, it’s easy enough to pee wearing bibs.  Size doesn’t matter though it helps.  Pull the top down, bend over a little… Bob’s your uncle.  Or roll one of the legs up and go at it from the side.  Both methods work, and just as easy as wearing shorts.

    2.  Ladies, you’re right.  It is a pain.  For normal bibs.  I have it on authority that even regular bibs are worth it but a few manufacturers do make “convertible” drop-back bibs (see Pearl Izumi for one) or bibs with clasps on the straps so they can be undone.  Women’s bibs are revolutionary and fantastic – you get the best of shorts and bibs.

    With that out of the way, here’s why bibs are the best:  First, they’re more confortable by a long shot.  Second, like many, I don’t have the best body in the springtime.  Typically, I have a little bit of a gut and if you look closely. You’ll see it:


    Most of that is simply the jersey material folded over from a long day in the saddle, but not all of it… This is the result of wearing shorts, especially for guys (women’s shorts are generally made so they can be hiked up to pull in a small-ish gut just a little better.  However, let’s look at bibs:

    Bibs are your very own “gut-b-gone”.  Better still, look at the so-called “love handles”:

    Gone.  Bibs fix imperfections.

    Now, bib shorts aren’t perfect.  I actually have real pectoral muscles (thank you push-ups) and often the straps go right over the nips.  If I don’t put band-aids over them before I ride, I’ll rub them raw enough to bleed.  It really hurts. [ED. See Damien’s comment below for a simple fix]

    That’s the skinny on bibs.  To put the difference in perspective;  I own two pair of pro shorts and six pair of pro bibs.  All of my “shorts” purchases in the last two years have been of the bib variety because the vastly improved comfort and better look makes them worth any minor inconvenience.  

    Now, one thing I don’t want  is to come off like what I write is the Rule of what you should do.  There are plenty of people out there who opt for shorts.  The goal of this post is to present bibs as the better option while dispelling a couple of common misunderstandings about them.

    Now, for the one little thing you should watch out for in any pair of shorts or bibs you buy:  A seam that runs up the inside of the thigh.  I tried to snap this photo in the least graphic way possible:

    See where that seam is failing?  I’ve already sewn it once (yes, me. I can sew…).  Those bibs are two years old, so they have some miles on them, but that seam rubs on the saddle when I pedal, both sides.  This causes the seam to rip/fray over time.  I prefer the inner-thigh area to be one panel construction so I don’t have to worry about the seam splitting on a ride.  Oh yes it did.  Fortunately, the rip was tiny, maybe an inch or two in length.  Anyway, I avoid shorts or bibs with an exposed seam now that I know better.

    Also, I wrote another post about what to look for (and what to avoid) when shopping for cycling shorts here.