Put Something In The Box
A change is needed. It may or may not affect dramatically. But regardless, a change is needed.
A new or different saddle provides a modicum of freshness to what may or may not be stale. I make these changes due to possible fit issues and sometimes, more importantly, style issues.
This is an actual case of pure cycleboredom. I present to you this boredom in photo essay format.
There was a picture that fascinated me at my shop back early last decade. It was of the owner, a few other Trek dealers, and the man himself—disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. The group portrait itself wasn’t what was fascinating. What continuously captured my attention was Armstrong’s stance and facial expression. The Trek dealers were stoked and leaning in to their cash-cow hero. But Lance was noticeably uncomfortable. Being in the middle of this love fest didn’t allow for him to lean away. Yet, his posture as he clutched his bottle of Shiner Bock was doing just that. His face finished the sentiment almost mouthing the thought, “Jesus f***ing Christ, get me the f*** out of here.”
There was always something disturbing in that image. Now I know.
Not unlike the semi-sweet reflux following a fantastic dinner, Part II returns to satiate the insatiable. You’ll be looking for the digestives after 6 more helpings of narcissism seasoned with desperation. I deviate slightly from the standard fare “bike stuff lust” of the last post. Finally, I end up humping a traditional new-year’s contrivance. Prepare yourself.
Tying in with the previous post’s Garmin issue, I desire even more data. And by need, I mean I don’t, but it would be nice. As an early adopter of power tech I’ve gone too far w/out, again, knowing how feeble my power output is. No matter how burning the truth may be when my averaged power scores are validated by truth of specific technology, I still want that burning. So, a CycleOps PowerTap, or an SRM, or even that weird Garmin pedal dongle thing would do just nicely. Let’s make this happen.
I have small needs as well. One of my favorite cycling shirts of recent memory is the collaboration between Embrocation Cycling Magazine and Gage+DeSoto. Moka pots and Lemond’s legendary Team Z!—what’s not to love? We needs it, we wants it!
Thanks to a generous D80 hand-me-down gift from Pa Boredom, I’ve finally been able to shoot proper product shots. But this is a sickening list of excesses, right? Why stop at the D80 when there’s full-frame sensor DSLRs to be had. I’m obviously covetous of such common shooters as the Nikon D3 or Canon 1D, but let’s take it a bit further. Howsabout a meager studio setup starting with a Hasselblad H4D-200MS, coming in at a scant $44K—w/out a lens. Or if that’s a bit much, why not the Leica S2? I’m not above lowering my standards. Lens-wise, there’s too much to choose from. I’ll just take the best from Sigma, Leica, Canon and Nikon if you don’t mind.
I am in the unenviable position of owning 3 road bikes adorned with aging 9-speed Shimano groupsets. One of these bikes has a front right shifter that’s getting more temperamental by the day. I imagine that I’ll be stripping one of them (like I already am) for replacement parts. This makes me a sad panda. But what leaves me truly depressed and curled up in a darkened room listening to The Cure is the price of components today. Since there’s no backward-compatibility between 10 and 9, I would have to purchase a drivetrain almost entirely.
I want a Spring Classic. I’m not paying for one, I simply want the gift. Push me along in the bunch, get my effing bottles, and tow me up the bergs. Whatever you do, just let me cross the line first.
*Dons smoking jacket, stands in front of a crackling fire, lights pipe* Let us now indulge in yet another clichéd year-end tradition: the resolution. I racked my brain for minutes on end and came up with nothing more than this: get more better. Mainly, I need to get more better at posting regularly. I’ve managed to compile a massive backlog of half-written posts only to manage not to finish them for various reasons. One of those reasons is I’m lazy. Another reason is I’ve been avoiding confrontation on various fronts, but especially when it comes to advocacy issues. Rest assured that is changing for year 2012.
Thanks for reading and for choking down unprecedented levels of snaark during the 2011 season. Here’s to an unbearable amount in 2012!
Those of you who dabble in the seedy pro cycling side of Twitter will no doubt know of photographer extraordinaire, Jered Gruber (T: @JeredGruber). You’re also probably familiar with the events surrounding the 2012 Giro d’Italia route presentation and how they managed to grab Jered’s shot w/out his knowledge. Already highly interested in Jered’s work, it was piqued as he and his wife Ashley (T: @A_Gruber), returned to the States after a long stint in Europe. Knowing how fantastic his images are and that he was covering some of the biggest races while shooting product shots for Castelli, I was shocked to find him selling some of his bikes to cover expenses. Here he is selling some of his, as a cyclist, prized possessions while one of his shots was being paraded around Italy and the net.
After getting hyped up on Twitter for a second time after the Giro account tweeted the shot in question again, I decided that the entire story needed to be told. Jered was kind enough to oblige, so I sent him some questions that I felt would shed some light on the situation.
The shot was taken at the end of May for Castelli’s 2012 Summer catalog. We went to the Dolomites with Garmin-Cervelo’s Peter Stetina, who had just finished the Giro in the top twenty – his first Grand Tour.
We shot on the Fedaia, Giau, and Valparola that day, but it seems like we got it right in a big way on the Giau.
The image was available almost immediately on my Flickr page with no copyright or anything. It wasn’t at full size though – just 1200 pixels wide.
I’ve long tried to avoid watermarks. I don’t like watermarks. I don’t like to be distrustful. I guess I always want to assume the best in people. It’s why I hate to lock my house door or my car door. I’ve always felt like I shouldn’t have to protect an image or lock my doors…I’m starting to realize that it might be a good idea though.
The Giau image isn’t really an example of this though. The image that really underlines the need for “Kristof Ramon… told me that my picture had just won a signed Fabian Cancellara jersey…for someone else.”watermarking was the Fabian Cancellara shot from Flanders this year. Some guy swiped the image entirely from my Flickr page and submitted it for a Leopard Trek Facebook contest. He won. The only reason I ever found out was through the great photographer, Kristof Ramon. He told me that my picture had just won a signed Fabian Cancellara jersey…for someone else. It was absurd. I still can’t believe that happened.
I feel like plagiarism can happen to anyone. If you read someone’s words enough, it’s possible that you can state your own words in a very similar fashion. With a photograph though, that’s just not possible. If you use a picture that isn’t yours and say that it’s yours – that’s just filthy.
I didn’t start watermarking until around September of this year. I had known that I probably should for a long time, but overall, I just hate it. I’ll do it from here on out, just to make sure there aren’t any more incidents like the Cancellara one, but the Giro situation didn’t happen because of a lack of watermark…
The Giro got the image from Castelli. From what I’ve been told, new Giro director Michele Acquarone saw the image at Castelli’s stand at Eurobike. He loved the shot and asked for it to print for his office and for some Giro materials. I would never fault Castelli for passing along an image in that situation. However, the Giro decided to use the image in a BIG way, which was a little bit different than had originally been stated.
We were sitting in the studio at the Giro presentation, just happy to have made it on time. While taking some deep breaths and feeling grateful to have found a seat, we were sort of, but not really watching images scroll across the giant screen at the front. Then, my picture popped up. It was only for half a second, Ashley didn’t even see it – but I saw it. I was exhausted from the last week of insane traveling, so I seriously questioned myself whether or not that actually just happened.
I didn’t see it again after that, but as we were leaving, I started seeing my picture everywhere. The Giro gave away folders and posters to all the guests with ticket stubs. The Giau image was on the folder, but the real surprise was in the poster tubes – an even bigger version of the Giau image.
I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea where it came from, but I knew I wanted my own poster and folder! I went up to the stand to get it, but the ladies wouldn’t give me the poster and folder, because I didn’t have a ticket stub – I was just media.
“They wouldn’t give me my own poster. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t get a poster of my own – in my mind stolen – image. I had no idea how they had gotten it at that point, so there I was, begging to get a poster of my own work – a lunatic babbling in English to two Italian speakers.”They wouldn’t give me my own poster. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t get a poster of my own – in my mind stolen – image. I had no idea how they had gotten it at that point, so there I was, begging to get a poster of my own work – a lunatic babbling in English to two Italian speakers. They eventually relented and were quite surprised when I pulled the poster out and finally got the message through: that’s my shot!
I found out a few minutes later that it came from Castelli, but I couldn’t help thinking how hopeless this all was. It was without question the biggest honor I could imagine, except nobody knew it was my picture. Our year flooded back to me – a great year of traveling, working, writing, and taking pictures, sure, but overall, it was entirely unprofitable mess. Up to that point, we had made 250 dollars off of our pictures…ever. I was so happy that an organization as big as the Giro loved the picture, but I was so, so sad to have it shoved in my face once again that I wasn’t worth money or even the mention of my name.
That situation has changed dramatically in the last couple months, but that feeling still remains. I want to do everything possible to make sure we don’t get used in 2012. We’re happy to call 2011 a learning experience, but if the same stuff continues to happen in 2012, it will be a result of utter stupidity and laziness on our part.
My parents always said that I have to learn everything the hard way. 2011 was yet another instance of that in terms of the business, contract, rights side of photography. It would be a damn shame to make the same mistakes again next year.
It’s not clear yet how I’ll be compensated, but they’ve been really communicative and willing to work something out.
We’ve had a few phone conversations with the people at the Giro, and they’ve been really supportive. They’ve proposed the idea of us taking pictures of RCS events – all of their cycling events like the Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo, the Giro, Lombardia, etc, plus the Milano Marathon.
I wouldn’t be taking normal pictures though – the goal would be to get scenics of the races. They’d provide us with a car, and our only task would be to take pretty pictures. It sounds like a dream job, but it’s about to be 2012 and my new promise kicks in – the business end has to be taken care of in a satisfactory fashion for that to work out. I love the thought of it, but I don’t want to continue behaving like the 2011 version of me: “You want pictures? For free? Sure!”
I don’t want to come across as a gimme gimme spoiled entitled ass, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be compensated for our work. I hope it’s not too much to dream that one day we can make a legitimate go out of it as photographers.
On the other end, I just can’t afford to spend that much time not making money. I recently talked to a great photographer based in Italy, Dan Patitucci. He said to ask ourselves: is there something better that we could be doing with our time?
If the job is to journey around Italy in 2011 chasing bike races and a marathon for free or a pittance, you’re damn well right there’s something better we could be doing with our time…like riding bikes and making a living. With all of that said – I’m really happy that the RCS has even made this offer. It’s a huge honor, and I really hope it works out.
Surprisingly, I don’t think so. The people that are interested in purchasing the image don’t care that it’s available at basically full size from both the Giro and Castelli. I’m blown away by this fact, and extremely humbled. The people that want the image, want it from me. Sometimes they’re even requesting for it to be signed by me. Some people want my signature on one of my pictures that will hang on their wall. How crazy is that?!
We decided to do a limited run of the Giau shot – 100 prints, signed, and numbered. We’ve sold about 50 so far. It’s a start!
No, not really. I will watermark my images, and I’ll continue to show them at a decent size. I don’t ever want to be so paranoid about the possibility of someone taking my images that it stops me from showing what we’re up to.
The internet, Flickr, Twitter all have made me, us. I respect that, I’m thankful for that, and I plan on continuing to post as much as I can to Flickr and anywhere else people are interested in having my pictures/words.
As always, the best place to see my images is on Flickr. If you’re looking to purchase images, we have a solid selection on our new Zenfolio storefront. If you want to see them in print form, you can usually find quite a few in an issue of Peloton Magazine.
See above. It’s a slow learning process, but we’re starting to figure out how to best move pictures from our cameras, to the computer, and hopefully further to someone who really likes our work. We don’t know the slightest bit about what we’re doing, so we’re stumbling along trying to figure it out.
Email: jeredgruber [at] gmail [dot] com
As I sit here in a pharmacological haze due to a MASSIVE attack of Streptococcus, I’m finding it difficult to recall anything from my past 15 days. Luckily I’ve been stalking myself with a camera and posting the lurid shots for the world to gaze upon and judge.
After viewing my personal paparazzi shots, I’ve concluded a few things:
I’ve already written how stupendous the #30DaysofBiking phenomenon is, and if you haven’t already read it, that’s what the obnoxiously long hyperlink is for. Even if you’re not participating in the challenge, I highly recommend trying to insert some extra bike into your life. Just pick something you normally do by car, and try it by bike. You’re not going to regret it.
If you’re already rocking through your own 30, how’s it going?
Here at the Cycleboredom offices, we’re suffering from a little Openingsklassieker hangover. Between Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne we drank hard and deep from dirty Classics wellspring. Actually, I think most of the damage was due to lost feeds and the Tweetzkrieg. If you’ve never watched a cycling race with the obligatory Twitter chaser, then you’re a sad individual lost in the purgatorial land of GeoCities.
The Tweetzkrieg is the running commentary on Twitter as a race is unfolding. It’s fast, furious, and definitely too witty for Vin Diesel. Some directly regurgitate the race (good for those holding the shopping-bags of their significant other), some provide incredibly insightful commentary that shame P&P and the Duffer (@cyclocosm), and then there is the group engulfed in the flaming rocket fuel of sarcasm and hyperbole, spinning wildly out of control damaging everything in its path.
Followers are lost (known as the wekelijk) and followers are gained (known as the krachtig) during these furious moments. There’s usually a leader (@nyvelocity) that sets it off, while others react to or attempt futilely to out snark the leader. It’s not unlike watching an Imperial Galactic Cruiser blazing across the sky followed by the flaming remains of an instantly and repetitively shot down Rebel Fleet. Although, from time to time there is a single perfect shot (@mmmaiko), a bullseye of such lethal accuracy that everything stops, save the graceful death arc of its victim, and a sweet, sorrowful anime soundtrack.
After a description like that, how can you not participate in the ras dag Tweetzkrieg?
Apparently people won the two Semi-Classics we were so amped to watch illegally. Reporting that isn’t my job. But watching them battle it out on the cobbled bergs of Belgium, spoke racing in a language I’m far more familiar with than the desert flats. As a long time fan of racing, it traditionally wasn’t until the semi-classics kicked off that the season began. For the longest time, there wasn’t any racing in January, and barely anything in the beginning of February. As fun as the TDU was, and how important the UCI wants us to believe in Oman and Qatar, they still feel like expansion teams you can’t sink your heart’s teeth into for fear of them disappearing.
Omloop and Kuurne are like appetizers for the main events of Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. They’re made of the same ingredients, and in the Ronde’s case—parts of the the same route. But they are no less exciting as individual races. Okay, KBK ain’t that interesting since it devolves into a sprint classic, which is essentially just a long kermesse (crit). Not to take anything away from Chris Sutton’s win, but when you’re in the land of the beautiful painful breakaway, why destroy it with the speed lottery? Omloop Het Nieuwsblad sets the tone for the rest of the Spring, as you’re able to see your favs flexing their leg and brain muscles as they gauge their form in a true Classics setting before The Show.
Leading up to the weekend word had it that there would be an exercise in futility—otherwise known as a pelotonal protest against the might UCI. The radio debate reared its ugly head again and it looked as though our first real race of the season would be nullified if the teams didn’t heed the warnings of cycling’s governing body. Ironically enough, the team most vocal about defying the ban and using race radios during the Omloop was Rabobank—the eventual winners with Sebastian Langeveld taking the win at the line from defending champ, Juan Antonio Flecha.
But that’s not the point of this so far pointless paragraph. Garmin-Cervélo manager, Jonathan Vaughters joined in on several Twitter conversations/debates with some of cycling’s more vocal tweeters. This is a regular occurrence for JV. He’s willing to jump into the turgid faceless waters of Twitter and deal with come what may. Being on the frontline of the anti-doping war as a leader, as well as a controversial element of the murkiness, he’s constantly subjected to a multitude of questions, assaults, accusations, and approvals. All of this is dealt with aplomb. It’s refreshing to have insight from one of the shot callers in the pro peloton. Thanks JV.
As always the early season seems to brew one ridiculous story after another. Although this year the stakes are much higher with the drama surrounding Armstrong and Landis. Oh, then there’s Contador with the REFC and the UCI. Plus Riccó deciding to play nursemaid to himself. And you can’t forget Landis v McQuaid v Verbruggen, and the status quo. And… well, you get the belabored point. Here’s this week’s MWBASS.
Quite possibly the undisputed katana into the hypocritical distended belly of cycling is NY Velocity. Their graphic series As the Toto Turns continues to eviscerate any and all subjects/personalities within the cycling world. If you’re unfamiliar, you’re an idiot. Once you’ve recovered from that glove slap to your cheek, read a few and get back here pronto.
Now it seems that they’re the digital version of cycling’s confessional. In just the past few weeks we’ve been treated to such scandal pr0n as:
It goes without saying that as more of the damned feel the need to exorcise their demons, NY Velocity will again find themselves leaked upon.
The Contador situation has gotten so out of hand that I’ve pretty much ignored it. But it seems that when massive amounts of money are concerned, governments get concerned making “official” judgements effectively telling all those concerned to “**** off!”
While a few opinions were voiced, and Bertie chiming in on his own behalf, unfortunately much of the peloton refused to comment on the situation. “Let’s wait and see, until all the blah, blah, blah.” Ahh, the many faces of pelotonal omerta. Hard to slag off on a multi-grand tour winner isn’t it? Why do I bring that up? Someone cue Riccó…
Apparently pro cyclists don’t like dopers. Actually, pro cyclists don’t like dopers who **** up. They all made that pretty effing clear after Riccó botched his transfusion attempt by injecting some of his own stale blood. Apparently doping doesn’t make you smarter. It’s also apparent that I suddenly like to use the word apparently. Anyway, a large majority of the pros that typically have nothing to say about the big fish, had plenty to say about this one. Oh, the hypocrisy.
Apparently I also like the word hypocrisy. Then again, if you’re writing about pro cycling and the UCI you can’t help but use the word in just about every sentence. We’re eventually going to discover that all the OutLandis (like that?) things Floyd has said about the UCI are completely true. Being able to make money off “leading” the fight against doping, as well as expertly guiding the greatest dopers in the sport is pure genius, but ironically also completely cancerous.
Although, with everything coming into light courtesy of Kimmage’s interview, it seems as though UCI Prez Pat McQuaid knows that cancer is metastasizing. Almost completely changing his previous statements re: Landis’ statements and contradicting his intention of threatening intentions letter, Pat offered up some tasty nuggets of insight in Cycling Weekly. As @NYVelocity tweeted, “Coupla shockers in here. Is Pat throwing Hein [Verbruggen] under the bus?” Yes, yes he is. Considering a large majority of the shady *ish in Floyd’s interview went down during Hein’s reign, I carefully selected a video to demonstrate his glorious technique in running the UCI:
It’s right about here that I officially got tired of writing this post. If you provided fantastical, amazing 140 character insight, I more than likely saw it but completely forgot. Feel free to add them in the comments. Or not.
No loquacious setups, no wistful words of memories past, let’s just jump into the sheet.
Still partially buried from the first of the ’09/’10 winter dumpings, I made my way with the Revolution Cycles management team to the Dominican Republic for a little “R&R”. It turned out to be not completely restful, and in some cases not relaxing at all. But it made for a ton of stories. Out of everything that happened on that trip (24/7 rain, fire in airport terminal, moldy clothes), these two are the most memorable for two distinctly different reasons.
Bike Ride of Doooom: MTB ride down picturesque mountain roads and paths. Turned out it was during a downpour in 60˚ temps and we had no cold-weather gear. You know, because we’re in the TROPICS!! The ride tested the limits of our handling skills as sheets of rain obscured our vision while cars/trucks passed us on narrow blind corners. “…desperately stripping myself of soggy, clinging bibshorts moments before I produced my own torrential downpour.”Once we got off the roads and on the paths, they turned out to be brutal rock gardens covered in mud. Midway through our harrowing decent, the previous evening’s dinner decided that it had enough and wanted to escape my colon while I was riding my bike. Next thing I know, I’m in a shed behind a road-side fruit stand sitting on a wooden box desperately stripping myself of soggy, clinging bibshorts moments before I produced my own torrential downpour. Once I reigned in my innards, we continued down the mountain again, where I was promptly shelled off the back due to my lack of fitness. Then I flatted. Yeah, it was THAT fun. Luckily we had a sag-wagon that scooped me up and dropped me off with the others for an amazing Dominican feast under a thatched-roof canopy. But not before I hit the baño a few more times… One of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Earthquake in Haiti: Definitely not a highlight whatsoever. While eating dinner we all suddenly felt off-balance and queasy. At first we all thought we were having a simultaneous outbreak of Monty’s Revenge, but it turned out we were feeling the ripples from the massive earthquake in Haiti. We made our way home through yet another downpour and could the locals congregating around the glow of televisions, their gaze affixed attempting to glean some sense from the disaster. When we arrived back at our hotel, the entire area was under a cautionary tsunami alert. We all held our collective breath waiting for something that fortunately never materialized. Being so close to the disaster was painfully sobering. I could only think about being with my wife and daughter again.
February brought a unique opportunity in the form of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). That it was being held in my “backyard” of Richmond, VA guaranteed that I’d be in attendance. I’ve been to Interbike a few times, and marveled at the quaint size of the NAHBS show. I say that because the entire show is the same size as the BMX pavilion in Vegas. But needless to say, the vendors/builders of handmade bikes are much more interesting people to talk to. I took a crapload of shots, and you can find them all on the Revolution Flickr page. Or below in the fantastic slideshow:
Mr. Fisher and the Lord of the Trek: In March I was part of something pretty revolutionary as Revolution Cycles opened the City Hub concept store in Crystal City, Virginia. It’s a mix of fixed-point localized bike-sharing, bike rentals, and traditional accessory sales and service. As we were putting the finishing touches on the space, the National Bike Summit was taking place just across the Potomac in DC. The summit brought us our very first customer, who was none other than Gary Fisher! Gary also sparked the first Tweet-ride from the City Hub location that evening. I had envisioned doing Tweet-rides beforehand and I couldn’t have asked for a better impetus than one of the founding fathers of mountain biking and Superman cycling ambassador. The City Hub business model was revolutionary and intriguing enough for Trek president and CEO, John Burke to pay us a visit the next day. Not too bad for the first 24 hours of being open!
Logos. Oh, and Brochures. Wait, Add Business Cards too. Also…: So other than looking pretty while mugging with Mr. Fisher, I had a relatively important job—the Hub needed a logo. It also needed a metric ****-ton of printed collateral! My partner in crime and I were flying by the seat of our pants as we were crafting both the conceptual and visual identities simultaneously.
I get to brag as well, since both John and Gary both commented on the design of the logo. Being cycling dignitaries they both copped a free City Hub diner mug as well. That’s a damn fine mug.
There’s also a damn fine shirt as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome than how these shirts turned out. Logo on front, and my City Hub slogan/catch phrase , “Shares Well With Others” on the back. How much genius can be packed onto one garment? Don’t answer that. Instead, marvel as you gaze upon its visage.
If for some reason you’ve enjoyed my narcissistic indulgence, I have more coming. Topics include, a secret alternative Hub logo, a multitude of design, Hub Spins galore, and whatever else I can remember that I’ve obviously forgotten here. Stay tuned. Please.
Randomness is generating within my head nearly every second I’m riding. But it’s during my longer road rides that I truly acquire some post-worthy subjects. Unfortunately, I’m out there for so long I typically forget them by the time I’m at the computer. This time I was lucid enough to capture these tidbits just before slipping into a Nutella induced coma.
Stopped into Boccato for an espresso, just to create a pre-ride ritual other than my usual taking a long-assed time to get out the door. I was greeted by Rob (co-owner, but the best owner) with a, “That’s one serious looking outfit. Nice ballet crotch too!” Nothing like having everyone in the place looking at your cod-piece, but that’s the beauty of wearing your kit in public. People can’t take their eyes off your package. Virgina (barista extraordinaire) however ,was unmoved managing to avert her eyes from my protuberance, crafting my shots as well as a mini fruit tart thing. Sweet!
I pretty much haven’t recorded a single mile or calorie this entire year as both of my Polar HR monitors batteries have died. And since these were purchased before Polar got their heads out of their asses, I have to send them back to base camp because the batteries aren’t user serviceable.
Regardless, I’m really starting to need one as my ego (cycling brain) is writing bigger checks than my legs can cash.
Case in point: Came upon another sartorially exceptional cyclist such as myself riding a Colnago. As he slotted in behind me, I picked up my pace slightly. It didn’t take long for him to That lasted a few hundred meters (metric is pro), until you could hear a distinct pop, then a horrific crack.decide that I’m not going fast enough for his HR to begin to register actual exercise, so he passed. Of course I immediately jumped on to his wheel in order to maintain the extreme level of pro-ness we were both exhibiting. That lasted a few hundred meters (metric is pro), until you could hear a distinct pop, then a horrific crack. There I was, 1/4 of the way into my ride, and I was cooked. Plus I also realized that I was starting to act like a pathlete by jumping onto his wheel, and that’s a Cycleboredom no-no.
I also need the timer to tell me when I should drink. I used to pull out the water bottle every 10 minutes, and the gel every 20. Now I’m completely forgetting both. I didn’t drink anywhere NEAR the appropriate amount of fluids for the ride. And the fluids I did managed to consume were hydration hole-digging diuretics. I’m a smart one I am.
While rolling through Old Town Alexandria, an impatient driver tried to overtake me as I came to a stop sign. I dutifully paused, then as I accelerated I looked back to stare down the car who essentially was trying to cut me off due to their impatience. Surprise, surprise, it was an unmarked police cruiser. From that point on, he stayed a respectable distance off my wheel as I stopped at each sign. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Since this post has gotten completely out of hand lengthwise, and I can’t see how anyone could read the literary equivalent of bleaching your eyes, we’ll continue using bullet points.
2 rides are enough to declare something as fact. If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Flickr then you know that I’ve been doing nothing but bitching about my back. So for the past two rides I took MA’s advice on embro-ing the lower back during colder weather. All I have to say is that it’s sex on your back. And depending on who with we’re talking about, it was better than sex in some cases. I used Mellow since anything more would be a punishment for that soft, virginous skin just north of your crack. It was just enough burn to remind you that it was there. Plus when I was literally chilling while sipping my espresso outside, the fire above my butt kept me warm. Lovely. Mad Alchemy Embrocations ain’t no snake oil. Check ‘em out!
This doesn’t really constitute as news, but I was delighted with my espresso shots at Perk Up. Aesthetically speaking, espresso served in Illy demitasse cups tastes better. Ironic that the shots aren’t pulled from Illy grinds though. Then again, Illy tastes like ass most times anyway so that’s probably a good thing. Reason I’m writing on such an inane topic is that it’s the closest shop to the Mt. Vernon Trail that isn’t Starbucks, and that their pulls have varied each time I stop in. So I give them a break since I don’t have much of a choice by going into the whole operation with less than positive expectations. Maybe I should Yelp that for them?
I know I’m generalizing, and that I can’t possibly know everyone’s life stories at that given moment, but rich looking people on the trail generally have the most sour looking faces, ever. It baffles me that while walking/riding/running in such a beautiful environment, and living in ridiculously expensive neighborhoods that no one smiles. I’ll admit from time to time I’ll extract a small crack of a smile upon their dour visage but that’s few and far between. Is this true of rich people in general, or is it just a Northern Virginia/old money thing? It makes me enjoy being poor so much more if that’s what I have to look forward to. Anyway, enough on that silliness.
These really have nothing to do with the title of the post, but they happened. So here they are.