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Vegans Over the Edge… Yet Again: Class Action Lawsuit Against Burger King for Using Same Grill as Normal Burgers. Paging Captain Obvious, Please Call the Office

Trigger (heh) warning:  This post will be somewhat of a hit piece on a specific, small, yet exceedingly loud portion of the vegan/vegetarian population.  Not quite what would come out of the New York Times if it pertained to President Trump, because at least this will be truthful, but I’m going to be pretty blunt, as my disclaimer to the left explains.  I’m not, in any way, shape, form, or manner, trying to say all vegans and/or vegetarians are bad, mean-spirited, ignoramuses… just that a very specific cult of that small group is.  You have been trigger (heh) warned.

My wife has a vegetarian friend who once complained that my grill had meat cooked on it at one time, so she’d prefer it if I didn’t grill her veggie burger on that same grill…  I did figure a way around that for her, though.  I steam cleaned that side of the grill to her liking, applied some oil to keep her burger from sticking, and grilled her veggie burger.  I did this because I love my wife, and her friend is pretty cool about the whole thing, anyway.  Now, if she were like some people…

When Burger King came out with their Impossible Whopper, however, I had a feeling a complaint wasn’t too far off because there’s no way Burger King was going to appease the vegan nutter base.  What’s it been?  Three months and some change.  One way or another, someone was going to go all apoplectic.  I should have published something to show what a genius I am… and what a loser the vegan who would eventually sue Burger King is:

The lawsuit alleges that if he had known the burger would be cooked in such a manner, he would have not purchased it.
The Burger King that Williams visited did not have signage at the drive-thru indicating that the plant-based burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat, the suit says.

Paging Captain Obvious, please call the office.

What did this knucklehead think, Burger King would install another grill to grill their Impossible Whopper?  The guy, if he thought that, is impossibly stupid.  He obviously has never looked beyond the cash counter to see how little room there is in the back of a Burger King – there’s certainly no room for another broiler!

Where this, and so many sordid stories like it, runs afoul of decency is when nutters try to impose their idiosyncrasies on the rest of civilization.  It’s not Burger King’s job to anticipate and prepare for every nut who walks into a Burger King.  If Phillip Williams has a problem with his veggie burger being cooked on the same grill as a normal burger, perhaps he should be wearing signage stating that his beliefs run counter to popular norms and he prefers his burgers to be prepared a special way… this way the employees can simply nuke his Impossible Whopper (I’d bet that’s BK’s “non-broiler method of preparation”) and be done with it:

“For guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request,” the site notes.

This can be put in simple terms, folks; if you require your food to be prepared in a special way, not in the norm, and obviously Phillip Williams knows he does, then it’s his responsibility to make sure his needs are met, not someone else’s.

Better, in a sane world the court would make the complainant prove his/her/their Impossible Whopper actually did get beef on it from being cooked on the same grill.  What most people don’t know about Burger King broilers (that I happen to), is that the grill is a based on a conveyor belt system, about 2-1/2 feet wide by, maybe five feet long (if memory serves), so the grill actually goes through the fire a second time which gives any meat that might be stuck to the links time to cook off.  Thinking back on teenage days at BK, more than three decades ago, I can’t remember ever seeing any buildup on the conveyor, certainly not like one would see on their home grill, and certainly not in amounts that would lead to meat clinging to the conveyor so it could then be transferred to someone’s Impossible Whopper – the claim this could happen seems shady to me.

Anyway, insufferable people are insufferable.  Paging Captain Obvious.  Again.

Junk Miles Versus Training: How to Get the Most Out of Your Body on the Bike

This post is for those who want to be faster on the bike – and I mean fast.  If you don’t, if you believe putzing around the neighborhood is for you, then you may not need this post.  On the other hand, it can’t hurt.  Either way, what’s most important is that you’re smiling when you’re on (and off) your bike – if putzing around puts a smile on your face, fantastic.  If putzing leaves you wanting a little more, read on.  Fair warning though, I’m not about to beat around the bush.

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Speed on a bicycle does not come on its own, and it rarely comes freely.  The faster I ride, the harder I have to be willing to work at it.  I can’t remember the formula, but there’s a lot of talk out there about how the force required to push the wind doubles as your speed increases.  I’m here to tell you, I know exactly what that feels like.  Anyone who’s tried to get their bike up to 30 or 35-mph (48-56 km/h) on flat ground knows this feeling intimately.

There once was a time, 14-mph on a mountain bike over four miles was about max effort for me.  That was long ago.

My friends, we are going to discuss an uncomfortable phrase for a minute.  It’s uncomfortable for some because those who log lots of miles like this have a tendency to think they’re working a lot harder than they are.  Then they wonder, after putting in all of those miles, why they struggle to hang with the fast crowd.  Pointing out that it takes more than turning the cranks to get off the porch and ride with the big dogs is… uh, touchy.  And heavens to Murgatroyd, we wouldn’t want touchy!

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The phrase is “Junk miles”.  Junk miles are those miles ridden where you can easily hold a conversation, speaking freely in full sentences for hours on end.  Your ability to ride fast will be directly proportional to the amount of junk miles you put in.  This isn’t to say junk miles aren’t allowed, they’re absolutely necessary.  We simply must make sure the junk miles have their place and aren’t confused with what is needed to increase one’s overall speed and fitness.  They also like to call this “zone two”.

It’s a lot like eating junk food.  Junk food is certainly fun to eat, especially when you’re clocking 300 miles a week.  Sadly, the more you eat, the heavier you get, the worse you ride.  Well, junk miles work on the same principle – minus the extra weight.  Oh, sure, there are those who like to claim cruising around in “zone two” is better for weight loss, but that horse-pucky never worked for me, anyway.  And it certainly won’t make one fast.  It will, however, get me used to riding a lot slower than I’m capable of.

In other words, if I want to be fast, I have to work at it.  And as it turns out, a lot.

First, I’m not without sympathy.  Junk miles are awesome fun.  My buddy, Mike and I went for a cruise a couple of weeks ago – we averaged 17.3-mph over 35 miles – and it was a blast.  Not only could I have pulled the entire ride, including into the wind, I easily could have averaged another couple of miles an hour faster… by myself… but it’s the end of the season and it’s time to sit back and enjoy a little R & R miles before the snow flies and the real training picks up again in January to get ready for spring.

So, the following is how I balance the good miles with the junk miles.

First of all, I’m not a big believer in pushing hard every day, year ’round.  That’s a fantastic way to burn yourself out or worse, injure yourself.  I admire those who can, I just prefer to take it easy for a couple of months at the end of the year.  Usually November and December are all easy miles, mainly indoors on the trainer.

The real works starts January 1st.  I eat better, and I work hard on the trainer building up for March.  To start, I do hard workouts every other day – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, rinse and repeat (sometimes I’ll ride easy Sunday if I’m feeling tired).  Once in a while, I’ll take a day off, and the other odd days are easy spinning trainer rides to loosen my legs up.  I do that for two weeks.  Then I switch to a harder gear for part of the hard workouts for a week.  Then, the next week, a harder gear still for the tough workouts.

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February is a continuation of January, but with a still harder gear (my highest gear) added in.  Same easy days, too, by the way.  I’ll also work in some intervals during February, steadily increasing the intensity of my workouts until we head outside.

In-season, say from April through October, my schedule is simple.  Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday are the hard effort days.  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are some varying form of less intensive cycling than the harder days.  Let’s say 17-18-mph is easy, I’ll do that one or two days, depending on how my legs feel.  The remaining are between 18 & 19.  The fast days are 19-20 over the weekend and 21-23 on Tuesday night.

Monday and Wednesday are what could be “junk miles”, but they’re necessary rest for a working stiff who likes to spend an hour a day on the bike whether he needs it or not (or more, especially on the weekends).

A friend of mine who is currently trying to get his pro card enjoys saying, nobody loves going slow like a pro.  Some of his workouts show it, too.  The trick is, his hard workouts would leave me hyperventilating in a heap on the side of the road.  I try to follow the same principle, I just don’t bother with the panting heap on the side of the road part.  I’m old enough to be his dad… and I have no desire to work hard enough to be that fast.

In short, to wrap this post up, own who you are and how you want to ride.  If you want to be faster, put in the work.  Don’t think that by riding slow everywhere you go, you will magically become fast.  You’ll be disappointed in your results.  Every time.

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Day 259 Days of Recovery from Procrastination

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I’ve never seen anyone drink their way to happiness…

Or, as the linked post explains, I’ve never seen anyone procrastinate themselves into happiness.

Never thought of it quite so simply, but it sure does work.  Please take a moment and check the linked post out.

A Special Note to My Recovering Friends Out There; We Interrupt the Regular Message…

My friends, this is going to be very short.  I fell asleep on the couch watching the World Series last night after fixing my wife’s rear brake (new housings, cable, the whole nine yards – expertly done, I might add).  All was good in my world as I drifted off to sleep.

I awoke with the Nationals in the lead and got up to head to bed.  I shut off the TV and noticed my wife sitting in the kitchen, so I went over to kiss her goodnight before heading to bed.  She was crying.  We got a gut punch of bad news last night. I can’t get into it right now, just know my wife and kids are just fine, but this one’s bad.  And it ties directly into my recovery, so I have one simple message for today.

I am a second chance recovered alcoholic.  Meaning, I was given a second chance by a judge.  He sentenced me to treatment rather than prison and while I didn’t plan on staying sober on day one, shoveling pig shit on a working recovery farm, hungover to beat the band, I became a small miracle in the first two weeks.  Delirium tremens is a bitch that way.

I asked God for a deal; if He helped me, I’d give recovery everything I had.

I’ve never slept so good.  I woke up the next day on a mission and I’ve never looked back (well, there was one glance over my shoulder but I didn’t relapse and I did survive).  After the aforementioned glance over my shoulder, I gave up everything tied to my use of drugs and alcohol.  Old friends, old places… gone.  I changed everything to stay on the right path.

I’ve written countless times about how good my life has become and I owe all of it to that bargain – and doing something with what came of it.

Recovery is a daily gift.  My life, every awesome moment (and every tough one, too) is another point in a great existence – a life of meaning, purpose, direction, and above all, fun.  I have more fun just being on the right side of the grass, pumping air that I ever dreamed possible as I dug that pitchfork into another pile of gnarly straw in that pig stall.  Just working on my wife’s brakes last night (betwixt cuss words) put a smile on my face…  I treat my gift with the respect it needs and deserves because there’s another side to me;  A dark side.

As much good as I’m capable of today, with a wrong turn, I’m capable of just as much bad – worse.  All it takes is a tiny decision to unravel everything.  One tiny thought, entertained would lead to my downfall and land me in the ground or in prison:  “I’ve been sober long enough I could control a drink or twelve.”

Entertaining that one thought is all it would take to let that thought take hold and undo everything. There’s two months, maybe, between that and a prison sentence.  Or, if I was lucky enough to stay out of prison, seven years and I’m dead from liver failure.  That’s it.  My best outcome if I drink is dead in seven years.

My happiness balances on that thin a margin.  One little thought, gnawing away at the foundation of my awesome life.

There, but for the Grace of God, go I…

Stay hungry, my friends.  Lest you get thirsty.

Surviving a Big Week on the Bike

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I put in a 466 mile week at the end of August and into September. 377 of them coming in just four days. My average pace for the 466 was north of 19-mph.

So, how did I prepare for that with a wife, kids and a job?

I wish there was a magic bullet. “Yeah, just ride so many days in a row, for so many miles, at such-and-such a pace, and you’ll be great!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful? It would, but that’s not how it works.

In all seriousness, as a working stiff, there’s really no great way to train for a four day tour where you’ll be putting in upwards of 100 miles a day – and all four days are going to be a fairly hard effort. There are a few things that will be helpful to know up front.

  • Day One, be careful. It’ll be easy to go out too fast. Your adrenaline will be maxed, so you’ll have to contain yourself a little bit. This is especially true if you’ve done the ride before – the more I ride tours, the more excited I am to do them. Just remember how many days you’ve got in front of you.
  • Day Two sucks the worst. You’re fresh off your first hundred. Your butt’s a little sore, your legs are tired… and you’re just not feeling up to snuff. You’ve gotta muscle up. It’ll only hurt until you get settled in, maybe ten or twenty miles in. Just keep pedaling.
  • Day Three should feel better – well, most of you should feel better. Your ass will feel as though it’s on fire when you first sit on your saddle, but that’ll numb out as the day progresses. Don’t worry. Just keep pedaling.
  • Day Four will likely be your best day. You’re ass will be red enough they’ll be shooting blow darts at you in the locker room when you shower up after Day Three, but your legs will have adjusted and, other than the aforementioned fire heinie, you should feel pretty spry. Just keep pedaling.
  • I’ve only ever done a four-day, so I can’t really speak to what’s next, but rinse and repeat just keep pedaling. Your Dave’s Insanity Sauce butt will recover just fine. Later. Much, much later. As long as you don’t have an extra hole or two in there, you’ll be alright. If you do, Aquaphor. Buy some. Use it. Love it.

Now, the previous commentary was meant to be truthful, but also funny as all get out. If you didn’t laugh at the part about having blow darts shot at your baboon ass, you’ve got something wrong with you. That bit was funny. Thanks for the heavy lifting on that one, Chuck.

Let’s get into some real, valuable information, though. This is the middle of Day Three and those six smiles are all genuine (Todd was having a rough go).

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  • First, get your gearing right for your environment. I’ve got compact chainrings and an 11/28 cassette on the my tour bike. On my Tuesday Night fast bike I’ve got more of a corncob – 11/25 for the 52/36 chainrings on that bike. If you’re riding a flat course, then go with the corncob. On the other hand, if you’ll be doing a lot of climbing, go with some easy gears. Also, factor in you’ll be tired by the second day. You’ll want one or two easier gears than you think for those late-week hills.
  • EAT! You shouldn’t be out on a multi-day tour to lose weight. Trying to ride hungry is ill-advised, as you’ll already be pushing the comfort zone. Nobody needs to throw in a bonk halfway through the trip.

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  • Gu UP! Aussies call them something else, but we Americans call the single-serving packaged gels, “Gu’s”. Point is this; if you’re feeling rough, if you feel some butt pain spring up, maybe a sore muscle or something, I always look at that as my body’s way of saying, “Yo! Knucklehead! You’d better send something for me to burn up pretty quick or I’m gonna make this $#!+ hurt for real!” I always fire down a gel when I start to hurt for no good reason. Preferably something with caffeine. Gu Roctane is good for that. Lots of caffeine. And a Coke. Sweet Jesus in a manger, a Coke always makes miles feel better.
  • Speaking of Gu’s, if you’ve got a big climb coming up late in the day (and if you’re lucky enough to know about it ahead of time, ahem), fire down a Gu about 10 or 15 minutes before you get there. It’ll kick in just as you get to the hill and it’ll help A LOT. We’ve got a monster 18%’er after a 2-mile 2-4% climb at mile 91-ish on day three of a normal tour I do. There’s a rest stop at mile 89, so (at a friend’s suggestion, thanks, Chad) I fired down a Gu Jet Blackberry just before I left. I beat my best time on the climb up to the wall by more than a minute and knocked 30 seconds off the big climb. There’s no question it helped.

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  • Dude, here’s the tricky part; you finish by not getting off the bike. Keep track of the electrolytes, eat well (not a bunch of sugary crap, unless said sugary crap is ice cream… in that case, knock yourself out), and drink lots. Keep pedaling… and don’t listen to any self-sabotaging bull$#!+ coming from the melon committee (the one in your melon, your head). It’ll be hard but you’ve gotta shut that $#!+ down or it’ll eat you up alive because long tours hurt.
  • Garmin Edge 520 Plus (or better). Buy one. Use it. Download the routes from Ride with GPS to it and follow the turn-by-turn directions (and set up one of your fields with the “Distance To” feature so it’ll tell you the distance to the next turn). Not having to worry about a cue sheet is WONDERFUL.
  • If you’re riding alone, leave a little early and wait for a group to pass you in a pace line. Start to pedal harder as the first one goes by and as the last one passes, latch on to the back. Let the person in front of you know you’re there (don’t be all shy about it, a pace line is not the place to be shy). If you can keep up well, these will be your new friends. Be nice to them and they will likely be nice to you. Do your turns up front and they’ll accept you into their group without hesitation. Almost everyone loves another person in their group who will help. We’ve got a guy who joins us every DALMAC, who showed up exactly that way about four years ago. Now he rides with us, eats with us, camps with us… he’s just as much a part of our group as I am.
  • Finally, and lean in because this is important, you need a new, clean kit for every day. I own, currently, about eight full kits (jersey & bibs), but only four make the rotation on tours. I have a specific jersey & bib combo for each day, too. Semi-pro kit for day one, pro kits for days two and three, and a very specific bib/jersey combo for day four, that match perfectly with the bike and saddle I’m using (the kit below is Day Four’s – Gore bibs and my Affable Hammers jersey). For whatever reason, the chamois in those bibs is perfect for the Trek’s saddle. I don’t know why, either, because it’s a thin chamois and I generally prefer thicker… but the point is, I stick with what works and I always use my best stuff on tours. They’re long days, my friends. I give myself the best chance of making it to the end with a smile on my face… and enough in the tank for one last sprint.

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Most of all, my friends, have fun. We’re not getting any younger and nobody gets out alive. Enjoy what time you’ve got left, you never know how much that is.

You Can’t Recover if You Don’t Quit; Paging Captain Obvious

Recovering from addiction, if done right, will be the hardest thing you ever do in life.  If you’re doing it wrong, then doing it right will be the second hardest thing you ever do.

For the last, oh, I don’t know, several thousand years or so, alcoholics have been trying to switch addictions to cope with quitting their drug/drink of choice.  Beer only, wine only, liquor only, foo-foo drinks only… weed only, pills only, heroin only, cocaine only, weed and beer, coke to get up, booze to come down… you get the idea.  Hey, why not swing for the fences and throw meth in there for good measure?  I’m sure that’ll end well.

Friends, there is no escape an addict won’t exploit.  If it makes us feel good, without proper motives and checks, we’ll abuse it.  It’s what we do.

The problem is not that we abuse the $#!+ that makes us feel good, it’s that we have to escape what is happening around us, that we want to escape life (usually synonymous with our bad decisions and the wreckage we create).  As addicts, we used to escape, to hide from life, therefore anything that gives us that escape in recovery has to be suspect (even, gulp, cycling).  If it’s mood or mind-altering, in the form of a drug, it’s simply off limits (there are exceptions, obviously, but none of them include self-diagnosis or pot – though feel free to kid yourself.  I won’t try to stop you).  If it’s something that simply puts a smile on our face, like cycling in my case, we must constantly assess our motives and our behavior.  If we don’t, we risk creating more, new wreckage from which we’ll seek to hide.  And that will start the cycle of destruction and the downward spiral to relapse.

That’s how $#!+ works.

In the end, Captain Obvious, it’s very simple; quit first, recover second.  Sadly, we don’t get to put the cart before the horse.  I can’t have the benefits of recovery if I won’t quit in the first place.

 

Everesting 2 – So Close, Yet So Far

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My friends, if you’re ever in need of motivation to push on, read the linked post.

I missed this one, it was written back in may, when I was buried under work. Check it out if you get a minute.