Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shit Cyclists Say...

A very funny video. I am not ashamed to admit I've said at least half a dozen of these things before... Okay, maybe more.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please Sign The Petition Against SOPA And PIPA

Am I stealing or sharing this picture?
 I'm not going to bore you with all the crap that SOPA and PIPA are. You can go here for a fairly good explanation if you are interested.

Bottom line is that it puts rules into play that could potentially make "sharing" pictures, videos, websites and quite a few other bits of material very difficult. Or just plain illegal.

I think protecting intellectual property is justified and probably pretty important. But both of these bills (One from the House, one from Congress.) over step their bounds and create a lot of censorship.  As well as putting the burden not on the government, but on the sites themselves to regulate these new laws.

It points us down a very slippery slope that Lord only knows where it will end up. And I know I don't want to go there.

Half the pictures, 99% of the videos, all the music that I have used on this site could be deemed illegal. Even if I'm not using them for profit. And in some cases, even promoting the media itself.

So please take a minute and sign the petition here.

And if you're feeling really frisky contact our (Oregon) government officials here on Wikipedia's site (If you're outside of Oregon you can look up your own representatives on there as well.).

Thank you.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nascar Wheel Change

Imagine this, only with just two guys...

A quick little story from the Saturday morning Scott's ride.

We were headed out of town north bound. Hoping to harness some of the wind that was whooping it up (Which we did. Unfortunately it made the ride back into town that much suckier. Huh, go figure...) in the flat lands. When I heard that ever dreaded word yelled out, "Mechanical!"

I looked back to see my Super Hot Smoking Wife (SHSW) stopped at the side of the road looking down at her bicycle.

Uh oh...

So I start to roll back her direction on the sidewalk. Steve (the shop mechanic/owner) was right behind me.

It was a flat tire.

Now Steve and I have a good tube changing system down. Since in the group a flat tire is almost a weekly occurrence. So we set right to work...

I made sure the rear derailleur was shifted all the way down into the smallest cog. Flicked the brake caliper open and flipped the quick release.

While I was doing this my SHSW was getting her spare tube out and the CO2 ready.

I handed the wheel off to Steve to peal the old tube out and check the tire for any flattening debris.

In the mean time my SHSW was describing how the tire just instantly went flat. And I (Being a Mr Know-it-all) said it was probably a pinch flat.

By this time Steve had the tire all back together again and was ready to re inflate it.

When SHSW looked and said, "But it's the front tire that has the flat!"


Now that is something that neither Steve or I have ever done.

Changed the wrong tire. To funny...

After we all burst out laughing we started to work on the front tire. All the while hearing mumbling in the group at how surprised they were that she got two flats.

Steve and I both said, right... It was two flats...

Once everyone found out what really happened they all laughed. And deservedly so.

But my excuse was that the air in that back tire was probably getting pretty stale by now anyway. So it was a good thing.

Steve's excuse was that the shop likes to do full service stops. You know, like a Nascar pit crew...

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Insightful Article About The Bike Industry Pie

This is just a quick article from Velonews about the perspective of "Joe Public" when it comes to bike brands, those brand's chunk of the pie and local bike shops. It's a good article. When you have time please give it a read.  Thanks!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Core Group

A portion of the core group.

I think every cyclist has at least a few people that they ride with that they consider their "core group".  The list that comprises cyclist's of not only different abilities but also of different thoughts and opinions.  I mean after all. What good is a social ride without some stimulating conversations about politics, religion, the latest pro cycling drama or dick jokes!?

Not a very good one. That's what...

Each riders strengths and weaknesses helping and hurting the other's that choose to ride.

There are many times when having someone egg you a long to go that little bit further. That little bit harder. And then laughing about (And usually making fun of how you did it.) it after is what makes riding in a group worth while.

Accountability is another terrific (Terrible) attribute. It's honestly the number one thing that has kept me from caving to my own laziness. Saying "Screw it!", grabbing the chips and the remote control and becoming one with the couch.

A few more...

I know I've talked about all that before. But I guess the thing that really brings it back up now is that with the onset of winter. The cold, wet blackness of night.  A bizarre number of injuries. And just a bunch of people MIA. What I would consider my "core group" has gone from about 14-18 people strong to about 4. It's both alarming and sad (Do I just have bad BO and no one will tell me?).

Some of the people have injuries and sickness. Which I can forgive (I guess...). But other's have seemingly fallen off the face of the earth never to be heard from again.

So I implore you all. Come back! I'm feeling lonely. And I need some more people to motivate my fat ass. Stimulate my every dwindling mind. And quite possibly keep the remainder of the core group from lynching me.

And the super important ones.

So if they (What's left of the group. Not little aliens or something. Although you never know...) kill me for being an obnoxious ride nazi. My blood is on all your hands.  Can you live with that? I didn't think so...

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The New Year

Well with 2011 having come to a close and 2012 staring us all right in the face. I figured I would do the thing that a lot of people are doing. Review, assess and set new goals.

Well looking back at 2011 I can say there are a couple things I'm proud of.

First, I did the most races I've ever done in one year (26). I know that's not much by a lot of peoples standards. But considering I have a wonderful family, a full time job and a lot of other commitments in my life I think that's a good number. 

Second, I finished all of them. I know that can be put down as lucky (I.E. Even when I crashed I was still able to get up and continue.). But I also think that luck favors the prepared. So I'll take it.

Third, I've never felt stronger on the bike. I still have a long way to go to be able to play with the big boys. But I feel like the depth and breadth of my fitness has continued to expand. So I'm happy about that as well.

And finally, to be able to watch Brison expand his natural abilities and, so far anyway, be enjoying himself tickles me to no end.

It's sort of like turning someone on to a new band or type of music. It pumps me up to see someone else get jazzed by what I love so much too.

So there are the big warm and fuzzies. There are lots of others... Watching teammates and friend's do well. Enjoying the camaraderie and fun of the group and event rides. And above all, getting a chance to ride with the love of my life at least a couple times a week.

Now to look at some of the problems (I hate the PC word "issues", it's not a magazine. It's a problem. Problems can be solved (eventually) so I don't understand peoples tendency to think it's always negative. Anyway...).

I seemed to have done a lot of crashing this year. I know when you race. It's not a matter of if, but when you crash. But I still seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time on the ground this year. And as odd as it may sound. I don't really like to do it. So I'm not sure what the solution to this dilemma is. All I know is that I don't want to do it anymore. Or at least as little as possible...

Although I was told a possible reason for it that stokes my ego so I'll go with that. Which is that I'm starting to go faster. And as I'm going faster my technical abilities are lagging behind a little. And since that sounds a lot like being to strong instead of clumsy or stupid. I'll take that hypothesis.

What!?  It's my blog, I can think what I want!

Another is weight. I know this is a broken record for a lot of people. But I'm pretty sure hanging on to the group when the little climbers decide to go hard up the hills would really help my chances of a descent finish in a race. I'm no expert or anything... Weight is just a tough one for me.

I know exactly what I need to do to get there. What foods I need to cut out. How much work I need to put in to make it happen. The thing is though that I like to eat. I like to have a beer. And my family likes it a lot better when I'm not grumbling my way around the house like a fussy toddler when I'm hungry.

I know that I can loose 2 pounds per week without a huge change in diet or activity levels. So that's what I'm going to do. I could try to loose more. But that requires no beer. No cheat days. And generally being in a foul mood until the weight is off.

So I guess that's really the first main goal of the new year (Huh, real original isn't it?).

The second is more core work. 

I want to be like J and have a core made of wood.

I did a lot of leg work the last two winters and that's helped immensely. So I'm going to go after my core in the same manner. Who knows, maybe it will keep me from falling as much (I sure hope so.).

The third is to move up to a Cat. 3 this year. I may have enough points accumulated know. I'm really not sure. But if not. That's something I would like to get done. I think I can play with those fellas (Especially in the crits.). And am looking forward to the challenge.

The only thing that really stops me from sending in the request is that I would really like to get a podium finish before then. Maybe that's foolish. It probably is. And I'm not saying I couldn't do it in the Cat 3's. I've just come so close several times but just can't quite seem to seal the deal. Work, work, work...

I hope everyone's New Year is filled with Love, Laughter, and Happiness.

Rubber side down,

Big E