Fit Recovery

Home » 2017 » January (Page 2)

Monthly Archives: January 2017

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:

Fabio:

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.

Ragtag:

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:

wp-1472953579866.jpg

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.

Fit Recovery’s Cycling Dictionary: The Definition of Pro-fit

Fit Recovery’s Cycling Dictionary defines the term “Pro-fit” thusly:

Pro-fit
prōfit
descriptive adjective

Special sizing used in cycling apparel.  For men, trying to fit into their normal size will have them feeling like Hulk Hogan.  Once the male of the species realizes he can’t pull the shorts up beyond his knees or can’t zip the jersey, he’ll simply send them back for one size larger.

For the female of the species, trying to fit into their normal size will have them feeling like they ate Hulk Hogan, barbecued, ground up in a sammich, between two 100 pound slabs of bread, with extra mayo, onion straws with a side of French fries (I think the Brits call them “chips”).  I’m not going to go any further because, you know…  You get the idea though.

wp-1455057234530.jpg

This kit is Pro-fit

We should clarify absolutely here:  Pro-fit cycling clothing is not meant to fit one’s actual size.  Say, for a male, if you have a 32″ waist, you will need to order the 34″-36″ bib shorts.  I don’t do women’s sizes, because I know better and value my testicles, but you get the idea.  The fault is not with the purchaser.  You did not become “fat(ter)” overnight, you did not mystically gain 25 pounds.  Pro-fit translates to “order up one size”.

So, from now on, should you order cyclewear online, if you see “Pro-fit” anywhere in the description, simply order up one size.  To my knowledge there isn’t one manufacturer out there who actually sizes their stuff right.  It’s not you.  On the other hand, if you’re a pro cyclist… well, do as you do.  You know better than me anyway.

Recovery and Making Peace with the Trite phrases that have become part of the Program…

I read an interesting post the other day in which the author complained about some of the trite sayings we hear quite often in recovery.

One that really had him fired up was, “Now the real work starts”.  Where I grew up, they actually preceded that gem with “The first year is a gift”…

This is typically said at a person’s one year sobriety anniversary.  The person who wrote the rant to which I am referring was irate at the notion someone would say this in the first place.  He assumed whomever would say such a thing would be negating or diminishing the work that was done to get there in the first place.  In fact, that’s how I felt when it was said to me after I gave my first Open Talk on my One Year Anniversary.  Let’s just say I wasn’t happy at hearing that little comment myself.

I remember that night vividly.  “A gift?!  That first year was f***ing hard.  There was no ‘gift’ about it!”

There’s one problem:  It was absolutely spot on.  That’s when the real work did start, and it was a good deal harder than actually getting sober in the first place.  The first year was a gift.

I didn’t freak out though.  I didn’t get upset, I didn’t get all indignant about it and I sure as $#!+ didn’t stop going to four or five meetings a week.

Here’s another trite line:  “I took it one day at a time” and muscled through it.  The hard part of that second year was that I’d figured out how to not drink (a miracle on its own).  I’d begun a new life and things were getting much better.  Something was missing though.  Something was off, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first.  After talking at length with my sponsor, he let me in on what I was going through;  I’d fixed the drinking part but the rest of my life was still a bit of a wreck.  Getting drunk was a symptom of a bigger, underlying issue and now it was time to fix the big problems.  I had to learn to apply what I’d learned about quitting drinking to the other aspects of my life…

It was vastly more difficult to nail down and change the underlying issues.  The first year, by comparison, was a gift and the real work was just beginning.

The key to dealing with that trite bullshit, at least for me, is to take a deep breath, relax, and not add any of my extra thoughts and fears to what is being said.  There is nothing presumptuous about that saying.  It isn’t cruel to say to a person who gets their first year.  It isn’t spiteful, mean or ignorant to say it.

It’s the honest to God truth and I’d rather know what I’m in for than rip myself apart trying to figure out what’s wrong with me later on, wondering why everything seems off, on my own.

That initial anger was really just my ego messing with me.  Of course, everyone who has more than a year knows how hard that first year is.  And everyone who has more than two knows how much harder the second is.

Humorously, I didn’t tell him the next in that line of trite thoughts:  The clouds really don’t even part till you hit 10 years… And while we’re at it; The sun really doesn’t start shining till you hit 20.

If you think those are bullshit, stick around and prove me wrong.  I’ll still be here and I’m always okay with being wrong.  Either way, you end up with 20 years and as with day one, you’re welcome to go back out and have your misery refunded in full.

Chuckle.

A Life’s Goal Achieved:  To Love without Fear.

My wife and I have worked really hard on our marriage over the last 20 years.  We did the “should we divorce” tap-dance for a bit but when it came down to it we both decided we would not only stay married, we’d put everything we had into the union.

To say it worked is a bit of an understatement.  The trick is, we both had issues to work on and we both had to fix our own issues.  Trying to fix the other’s never works out, and for those who have tried, well let’s just say divorce lawyers have to eat too.

Some of my baggage involved never really fully getting into the marriage on an emotional level in the first place, and that was entirely fear-based.  My fear, specifically, was selfish and revolved around “what happens if I get hurt”, or more to the point, “what happens if my wife cheats and I’m too devoted.  I don’t think I could take that”.  Put simply, if I went all in to the marriage and she did something like that, I’d be devastated.  The end result was that I always held back a little, thinking I’d just keep it under wraps.  What ended up happening was I stayed just a little separated from the marriage, emotionally.  That led to my wife and I living single lives, together.  We were never able to act as though we were fully married.  It was a kind of “partial marriage” if you will.

Now, where this gets fun is that I expected my wife to be all in, so when she withheld her little bit (though in a vastly different way) we ran into huge problems…  We were both withholding a little bit of ourselves from the relationship.

Now, the pain in the butt is that I can only do something about my part in this.  I’d be better off attempting to fly by jumping off a building without a parachute than try to change my wife.  I can only change myself, and that’s where the fear comes in because what happens if I change but my wife refuses to work on her crap?

This is a hard fear to shake, but it was flawed thinking that led me there in the first place.  The following two notions decimated that fear:

If I’m willing to change and work on the relationship in a positive way, including, but not limited to, holding back from the relationship, how could the entire dynamic of the marriage not change?

If I’m not willing to change, or if I wait for my wife to change first, how can I expect anything different?

My fear, as is so often the case, centered around my habit of trying to solve problems with the same thinking that created them in the first place.  Now pay attention carefully to the words I’m about to write because this matters in terms of overall life happiness:  My fear that my wife would not change if I was willing to put in the effort and change myself was based on a flawed premise to begin with – it was centered on “me”, not “we”.  The reality is, if I change “me”, I change “we”.  My wife and I cannot have the same relationship if I change and keep my side of the street clean.  It’s impossible.

Now, the reality of it worked out like this:  I changed, my wife changed, and “we” absolutely changed and it was all for the better.  My wife and I love each other so deeply it’s hard to put into words, really.  Our relationship just feels good.

I read a post that “called bullshit” on the old adage, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  Every messed up relationship I was ever in before my marriage got me to a place where I could enjoy this.  Every heartbreak, every gut punch…  It all made me who I am today.  And today I can understand the true meaning behind that statement that it’s better to have loved and lost.  I actually think about it every time my wife and I are in synch and loving each other in the same wavelength…  I look at her, she looks at me, and that’s all it takes.  Feeling that good as a “we” is worth the risk, because without leaving my heart on the table, without fully committing to the marriage, I’d never get to feel that.  I’ve tried.  It just doesn’t work when I hold a little bit back.

Today, rather than sweep problems under the rug, hoping they’ll just go away, we deal with them head-on and resolve them.  We are protecting what we worked so hard to build, because now that we’ve spent some time in the sunlight of real love, we’ve come to the conclusion that the experience is too good to allow petty things to get in the way.  We’ve created a union where there was once two separate people cohabitating.

But what about lost?

This is undoubtedly a tough concept to grasp, especially in the middle of the loss.  If my wife were to pass early or leave me for another man (or cheat, same thing) it would be absolutely devastating but only from an obtuse point of view.  One might think the latter would be harder to handle because there would have to be forgiveness and coming to grips with whether or not “I was good enough”.  

In the end, if my wife isn’t into the marriage wholeheartedly, I’d rather know sooner than later so I could move on.  I can see how someone could get caught up in the loss for a while though, especially while in “end of the world as I know it” mode.  On the other hand, God as my witness, I’m still siding with better to have loved and lost.  To love my wife enough to have my heart still skip a beat when she gives me her little smirk, after all of these years, is worth the risk of losing it later.  As I wrote earlier, I’ve tried marriage hedging my emotions just in case.  With that little wall between us, the relationship could never be as good as it gets.  

Sale at Nashbar!

There’s a smokin’ sale happening at Nashbar.

A high priority on my list was shorts and bibs….  Bibshorts for me, shorts for my wife.

I ended up with three pair of bibs for me and three pair of shorts for my wife.  All top quality, for less than $230 delivered to my door.  Not only are there plenty of items on sale, they’re knocking off an additional percentage at checkout for orders over $49.  All told, we saved around $300-ish.

Watch the Cannondale shorts… the high-end stuff is almost assuredly Pro-fit.  I had to send back my first pair of bibs and exchange them for a larger size.  I’m a 32″ waist and the sizing chart places a medium at 32-34″.  That’s my normal size with Specialized.  I could barely get them over my knees.  I opted for the 34-36 Large.  The Gore bibs are true to size.

My wife got two different pair of Cannondale shorts and a pair of Bellwether’s.  

Check the sale out here.

Cycling and Flat Tires:  CO2 or Air?

One thing is certain…  Ride long enough and you will get a flat tire.  Ride far enough, it’s inescapable.  It doesn’t matter how often you change tires or how good your flat protection is.  You. Will. Flat.  

There are three periods there because just one won’t do.

The question is, how do you choose to pump it up after you’re patched up?  This is a personal choice and there are benefits and faults with each.  

I have been afflicted with… let me count them… four or five flats in five years, or an average of one flat every 7,000-8,750 miles.  They’re not common but they do happen enough that you have to be prepared for the inevitable – and the lighter, faster, more expensive equipment you ride, the easier it is to flat.

This is my tool kit that fits perfectly in my center-back pocket:

Open it up, and I have almost everything I could need to keep my bike rolling:

In that little baggie at the top are two MissingLinks, one for a 9 sp (my rain bike) and one for a 10 (The Venge).  Tire levers, inner tube… in the lower half I have plastic gloves, a spoke wrench, a pack of stick on patches, and my tire pump.  I also typically carry $20-50 in there as well, just in case.  Not necessary when I’m stuck on the hamster wheel.

If you’re a noob to cycling, you’re like, “Dude, you can’t fit a tire pump in that bag, dude!” [ED two dudes for emphasis, that’s not a type-o]

Ah, but you can:

The Air Kiss is a premium CO2 pump.  It will fill a 700C x 23-24 mm tire (tyre for the Brits) in about a second to a cool 100 psi (one must pick the proper CO2 canister for one’s weight – the heavier you are, the more CO2 you need). Speed, efficiency, awesome, and in a tiny, lightweight package.  

The ultra small CO2 pumps are not without their flaws though.  First, I only carry one CO2 canister (two on longer rides or big trips).  Once that’s gone, I’m SOL ($#!+ Outta Luck).  This can be a problem if the pump is misused as most of the CO2 can be leaked out in an instant.  The smart thing to do is use the pump at least three times before you actually need it.  This will help you to avoid making a mistake.  Second, CO2 is said to leak out of a tube a little faster than straight up air.  I have no idea if this is a wives tale or not, nor has it mattered.  I do, however, empty the tube and pump it up with a stand up pump once I’ve reached my destination… just in case.  Worse, if you happen to be unlucky enough to get two flats on one ride and you only have one CO2 canister with you….  Well, you’ll get to find out exactly how far you can carry your bike.

As a noob I purchased a Serfas Grifter air pump that can be mounted to a bike frame:

Notice, this little bad boy has a built in pressure gauge and a hose (rather than one of those doohickies that attaches directly to your valve stem).  This is, as far as I’m concerned, the perfect frame pump.  It’s light, can push a great volume of air for its size.  The hose and foot pedal are the serious advantages for this style of pump.  Too often with direct-to-valve stem pumps, if one is not careful as the pumping becomes more labored, one can snap the valve stem off whilst, and at the same time, trying to pump up the tube/tire/tyre.  The Grifter takes all of those worries away, though a special presta adapter may be necessary (they’re cheap, common, and available at any decent bike shop).

There are only two negative issues with the old fashioned air pumps:  Weight and Style.  Call it what you want, vanity, ignorance, pig headed dumbassedness….  I’m not defiling this piece of art with a frickin’ frame pump:

My friends, I would have to kick my own ass for putting a frame pump on that bike.  In some cases, the Velominati Rules must be followed.  This is one of those cases.  Now, I could carry the Serfas pump in my back pocket but my pockets tend to fill up rather quickly with my phone, my on board fuel and arm/knee warmers when shedding them is necessary.

On the plus side of air pumps, you never run out of air if you initially miss the cause of the leak.  Now, I’m rarely, if ever, out on my own where I can’t get by with the CO2 setup.  In fact, I usually ride with enough friends that we have an ample supply of canisters.  

This would be a very different post if I were a commuter or into randonneuring.  If I didn’t have a pile of friends to rely on (and who can clearly rely on me), there’s no way I’d chance a CO2 canister rig.  In that case, the only way to go would be a frame pump… Of course, I surely wouldn’t be riding a Venge for either of those anyway, so the gangly frame pump would be just fine.  Or maybe, ignoring a rule or two could be accepted.  Or not.

Sound off down below.

My Surprise New Year Resolution…  Meh.

For 2017 I resolve to not need a resolution….  Hold onto your butts, this is gonna get bumpy.

I put my cycling shorts on one leg at a time like everyone else, which means I am quite proficient at letting New Year resolutions slip by the wayside the very second I get bored or they become too much of a challenge.

Where I differ is that I know this and am quite okay with being honest about why it happens.  Let’s just say you don’t see this often.  It’s all too common, if people aren’t plain ignorant of how they work or lack the capacity to honestly assess the inner workings, they choose to be a victim of some nameless, faceless “society” that makes them feel bad.  The disdain I hold for the weak, soft, petulant, loser mentality that creates this manner of blaming one’s reality on something outside themselves that they can’t even put a real finger on…  Well, let’s just say it’s not surprising these people can’t find peace and happiness if it knocks them on the head.

Consider, if the source of one’s discontent is outside them, so must their source of happiness.  If happiness is an inside job, and indeed it is, simply put, you’re screwed.

I won’t be making any resolutions this year.  Perhaps I’m getting on in years and patience.  A simple, honest inventory of where I’m at and where I want to be will suffice.

In terms of recovery, things are going  excellently and only a minor tweaking of a few things will be necessary, at least as I see it today.  I reserve the right to reverse course at any time, as my ignorance or lack of vision becomes apparent.  Perhaps it would be better to say, “as my inventory exposes certain defects of character to the light of day”.

As my marriage goes, the key will be to continue to stay on top of things, making certain not to “sweep things under the rug”.  All too often, as a male of the species, I tend to confuse quiet with peace and happiness.  Rather than discuss something that will lead to intensive negotiation, I’ll sweep it under the rug to preserve quiet.  Over time, things build up into a pretty big lump and it all comes out at once causing a week(s) of fighting.  Our marriage, through hard work and a lot of love, has become too good, too special, to treat it like that.

As fitness goes, it’ll be lose five pounds before spring (that vacation kicked my @$$).  Other than that, I would love a repeat of last year…. rinse and repeat – and fewer miles is acceptable.  What matters nowadays is quality.
As work goes, I have some big plans for the new year and will get to them as soon as I get back to work on Tuesday.  I’m fired up to get going.

A lot of honesty and a life inventory go a long way to making resolutions, that won’t stick in the long run anyway, unnecessary.

Oh, and just to mess with those who find comfort in their victim mentality and won’t like seeing it attacked, the phrase “it takes one to know one” applies to me.  You don’t get to recovery from addiction without A) Believing that your addiction is someone else’s fault and B) Coming to the realization that belief holds you back from the full sunlight of recovery.  I know exactly how hard and necessary it is to lance the victim mentality if one wishes to be happy.