A random collection of thoughts associated with the sport of cycling, as relayed by one hopelessly devoid of too many competing interests. It's a one track blog I'm afraid. But hey, if you like bikes you might enjoy it. So keep reading and the worst that'll happen is it might rot your brain..

Friday, January 25, 2008

Anyone want to ride?

I'm kind of tired of freezing my bits off on the road alone.. Anyone want to join me for some weeknight East Side loops for the rest of the winter? Pretty chill pace ~ 15/17mph for an hour or so ?? It's not as cold as it sounds I promise... Okay, I'm lying. It's cold as all get out, but what's a little frostbite? At least you're not on the trainer watching Pat Sajak. If you're all about suffering we can even do hill repeats too. Or, better yet - you can do 'em and I'll watch ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What, no McRib?!

So it was that I found myself in a McDonalds, on the Cape, on Saturday, January 19th.. This was my first visit to the Golden Arches in roughly ten years. With only a few bucks in my wallet and a serious pang in the gut I numbingly made my way to the altar of all things really, really, really bad for your health.. It had been a while and I was a little overwhelmed by the menu. Really, I mean it. When I was younger it was a no brainer; two Big Macs, a large fry and a bladder blasting Coke. Easy, cheap and promptly metabolized in less than twenty minutes thank you very much. I suspect if I regularly followed this dining regiment I might look like Jan Ullrich after one of his bratwurst and lager winter training camps. All concerns of a disproportionately large ass, and immediate heart attacks, were pushed to the wayside. It was time to belly up to the counter and get the hell out of there, the place is kind of creepy what with the large red haired clowns hanging around. I grabbed my grub and decided the drive home was the perfect way to ingest the gazillion greasy calories and slip into a diabetic coma.

That's when it hit me. That taste, so familiar, addictive and yet completely not good at the same time. Edible and scary all at once. Salt overloaded my taste buds, so for all I know it could've been dogshit between the buns. But man was that salty greasy crap great! Seeing as how I'd dealt with a nasty case of bronchitis the previous week I figured any residual antibiotics from the mystery meat might help me out. The massive supply of calories helped offset the two hour singlespeed ride at Otis Air Force Base. I think I might have actually consumed more energy in 5 minutes than I actually expended over 120.

Speaking of the ride, it was great. No snow and firm trails are in short supply in the Providence area, and the drive down was well worth it. I was hurting on a few of the steeper climbs due to not having ridden at all during the week. After clearing out the last remnants of lung fungus things started feeling right, and a little flow started coming back. I had no idea where I was going but I wound up back at the car after an hour and ran into Hannah and Scott (?) -sorry I have a bad memory.. chalk it up to active ingredients in fast food. I went out for another hour and continued to have a blast. Fast and swoopy is how to describe Otis, kind of like Trail of Tears without as much climbing. I'm sure there are better directions/loops to ride the trails but I managed to find a lot of fun techy features to keep it real interesting.

Hey - if you happen to read this and are at all interested in becoming a RI NEMBA trail ambassador please go here: rinemba.org In other RI NEMBA news local to the Providence area we will be starting up a regular ride at Lincoln Woods on Fridays at 6:00 PM. There will be two rides (beginner and intermediate) and it should be starting up in mid April. This will be a great opportunity to learn a loop in the tangled web of trails that are in LW. More details down the road. Thank you, drive through.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Feeling Throwndown

Warning: This post has a little to do with riding bikes, and a lot to do with feeling beat down...

What happens when you take two perfectly healthy 32 year olds, 2 great shows, too much beer and a whole bunch of riding in late December/early January? Some kickass sickness that's what! Apparently drinking beer and then jumping around like a fool in conditions that resembled a sweaty gym locker at the Middle East on the 29th, coupled with back to back road rides, another show on NYE, and 3 more back to back MTB rides might, might leave one susceptible to an ass whooping at the hands of an evil virus. I'm not 100% sold on this theory, but I'm guessing some combo of the above activities may have led to me hacking up acrid goopy grey blobs of lung all week.

I did manage to get on the road twice this week for about two hours, and it actually felt great to breathe normally. This feeling abruptly came to an end shortly after I stopped riding, and I proceeded to wheeze like a lycra clad hairball stricken house cat. Awesome!

It's not fair to blame the shows, the booze or my bikes for my current state. It's more likely that the stuffy box in which I work is partly to blame. Colds spread through here like farts in an elevator. Everyone gets sick, but no one wants to cop to being the originator. Usually my generally positive lifestyle of riding bikes and eating well keeps me pretty healthy. Not so much this time.

Was it all worth it? Absolutely. If you missed the reference in the title (and the freaking logo) Stacy and I saw the 3rd night of the 10th Hometown Throwdown in Cambridge, and then the NYE show at home in Providence. The Bosstones hadn't played in a few years and getting tickets wasn't easy, harder than finding World Series tickets, if you can believe that. Both shows were great with the Middle East show being the smaller, and better, of the two. I hadn't been there since I saw the Bosstones there in '94. My goal this time around was not to hit the floor (at least not so hard) and to try to remember some of what happened. Long story short it was a really good time in a place full of people happy to see the band back at it, after what seemed like a really long time.

Providence was a little different. It is, after all, a full on gebrone factory so I probably should've expected all the fights and BS. Still, it was like watching Roadhouse in real life. Only instead of Dalton and Garrett it was the Lupo's bouncers dealing with drunken schmoes. Guys who probably should've rang in the New Year at McFaddens instead of at the show.

I'm bummed I missed the Fez dance-o-rama. I could've swung by after the show but, as previously mentioned, I'm old now and we old farts like to get home in time to see Nightline. Anyway, I'm going to straggle around on the road again tomorrow as our local trails are softer than a whisper right now. If you see me out there feel free to throw empty Dayquil bottles and Kleenex at me. Maybe next time I feel lousy I won't ignore it by riding like a fool for seven of eight consecutive days. Or not..


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope everyone got out into the woods at least once this last week. Decent conditions, and a day off from work, yielded a total of 4 MTB rides already in 2008. With any luck things will stay calm on the weather front. Today I remembered why I enjoy riding my Karate Monkey so much. Conditions in Big River resembled those present at CX Nationals in 2005. Ribbons of greasy mud surrounded by melting snow, nice and soupy. Anyway, here's a post ride pic from my camera and Stacy's Mac.