Wednesday, January 30, 2008

you go to [ride] with the [parts] you have, not the [parts] you might want or wish to have at a later time

Much like my last entry, this post has a moderately clever title which overstates the case while paraphrasing a famous/infamous quote. What followed in my prior post was a description of an event and the equipment which was involved in the event. No further aspersions were cast outside of the title. If I wanted to "dis" White industries the title would have read "Cheap, Light, won't disintegrate (and dump you on your head in the middle of an intersection) Pick ONE". Because those chainrings aren't cheap. Now that would have been harsh.
Sorry if the title of my post offended, it was meant to be silly. As far as the idea that I shouldn't have even written about what happened...that's ridiculous.
When Donald Rumsfeld uttered the statement which I chopped up and recycled into the title of this post he was criticizing soldiers who came forward and brought attention to serious flaws with the equipment they were using in Iraq. I think people should know that they should check their White chainrings for stress cracks at the spider. Silence equals Death! Or serious injury...or near serious injury anyway. No further questions!

Until I get my new chainring from White (which was warrantied, no questions asked) I'll be running the Truvativ cranks from my Rig. I had to cobble things together just to get home the other night, single speed chainring bolts were unavailable and time was short, so I ended up with this thing of beauty:

Hey Sweet Fixie kids, this is where it's at, the "Too Small Bash Guard Look", it's about as functional as a top tube pad. Do it. Beats the hell out of how I got to work. Had to space my 105 cranks out 3mm to the right to get the chainring to clear the chainstay. Damn 135mm spaced 'Cross bike. Don't try this at home, it is bad mechanically because there is very little spline engagement on the left side crank, and bad bio-mechanically because you are off center over the pedals. Bad.

Me and my bike actually went out for a ride other than a commute. I bugged out for a lunch time ride, taking advantage of the warm weather (40°) and the deadness of the shop. Took a photo of me eating a banana, unintentionally using a McMansion construction blight, uh I mean site as a backdrop. Later I saw it as a visual metaphor.
Some people are "good" consumers, they buy lots of big, expensive cars, and big,
ugly houses with lots of useless space to heat. They can afford to do that, or maybe they can't and that's why America's credit card debt dwarfs the national debt. I can't afford to buy houses and cars with four DVD players in them but I can afford bananas, so I buy and consume bananas. Big, ugly houses have very little potassium in them (unless they have a bowl of bananas in the kitchen) if you were in a bike race and you tried to eat a McMansion your muscles would cramp and I'd beat you.
I think that my form of consumption is superior. Call me crazy, just don't call me late for dinner...especially if we're having "Monkey" (a hybrid of a Monkey and a Donkey, much tastier than "Donkey", a hybrid of a Donkey and a Monkey).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cheap, Light, Won't disintegrate (and dump you on your head in the middle of an intersection) Pick Two

This was not what I had in mind when I got up this morning. I left the house with the intention of getting a good 1.5 hours in on the way to work. The idea is to incrementally up my commuting mileage going into the beginning of my base period. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men on pink bicycles.
Everything was going just fine. I was rolling along, it was a nice, sunny day, the temperature just shy of thirty degrees, I was loving life...until I came to an intersection in Cambridge. I sat there, track standing right next to a group of Verizon utility workers. The light turned green, I stood up and began to pedal forward. Then BAM! (Metal ripping apart type sound effects) I go flying over my bars, stuffing the bike underneath me like it was my partner in a game of leapfrog gone horribly awry. Then I'm in the middle of the intersection on my hands and knees, Verizon guys gathering about, making sure I didn't get run over by a Cambridge mom speeding to Yoga class.
I wasn't hurt, but my bike wasn't going anywhere. My White Industries chainring had sheared clean off of my Eno Cranks at the spider. The Verizon workers insisted they had tools in their truck which could fix anything. Not this time fellas.

I hefted the bike to my shoulder and walked a spell, I was about four miles from home, this was going to suck immensely. At this point I secured the chain and began scootering the bike down the sidewalk, leaping onto the saddle 'Cross style and coasting whenever possible. This got old quick, as my left knee began to throb with every push. The plus side was, I looked really, really cool doing this.
I stopped at my parents house hoping my brother who has the sleeping habits of Nosferatu might still be in bed and I might enlist him to give me a ride home. No such luck. I scooted the rest of the way home. There were no parts at the house to make Mr. Pink rideable. So awesome plan B was enacted: Ride my 35 lb. Schwinn Varsity the eleven rolling miles to work. Sweet. I couldn't wait.
I fixed the flat on the Varsity. One of the truly amazing things about this bike is that in the what...four years it's been in my possession it has never left me stranded with a flat. It has gotten two flats, one front one rear, both were slow leaks which occurred while the bike was parked on the porch. This with cheap gum wall tires. The Mojo which it's former master Todd Downs imbued this thing with must be mighty. MIGHTY.

As magical as this creature may be, after about twenty-five minutes of solid riding I was pretty miserable. All I could think about was my exit would I get home by some other means than this lumbering mass of solid steel and rust.
It was fun while the fun lasted though, and with the neon yellow and teal Pearl Izumi Jacket I dug out of my closet (which may actually be a wormhole to 1989) I looked good doing it. This cycling thing is, after all a fashion thing for me, or couldn't ya tell?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You know you really want
to lay it down
Right now
And how

This morning's commute started like any other. I took a moment to get a shot of a box of Ritz crackers on a tree.

But during the day it rained, moisture settling on deep frozen asphalt. It seemed warm as I struck out for home. The streets were glistening in my lamp light. I noticed that the paint on the cross walks was a little slippery, I backed off each time I cornered across one just to be safe.
My computer told me I was going just shy of 20mph...let me take a moment to justify my new found love of the cycle computer, something I usually view as an unnecessary distraction. The way I'm using it, it serves more like a cadence computer. Constantly motivating me to tip the scales so to speak. If I'm going 18mph, I know I can maximize my puny 38 X 16 gear and get 20-22mph out of it, if I concentrate real hard. Get it up to 30+ on a downhill and you'll know the meaning of terror.
Anyway, the gadget told me I was going almost 20mph, I was coming into a wide arcing corner. BAM! That's all I can say. Hip hits tarmac, bike makes sickening scraping noise as it slides, me still attached to it toward the sidewalk, bike leaps curb as my left foot slams into it.
I was out of the road, so I lay there with my eyes closed, my ipod was still blaring in my ears so I didn't hear the old man standing over me asking about my well-being. I looked over my right shoulder, telling him I was fine. A couple walking a dog came up and insisted they should call me an ambulance. I insisted I was fine (a bit of hyperbole, but I didn't need a meat wagon that was for sure). It was funny, I didn't notice when all these people walked away as I fidgeted with my earphones, lights, and fenders, trying to get all sorted out. After collecting myself I creaked off toward home, thinking about Ibuprofen and beer.

Why do we fall down? So we can pick ourselves up and go "Jesus Christ! Crap! Argh!".
That's why little skipper.

Lay it down
Lay it down
Lay it down
Lay it down
Lay it down
Lay it down
Lay it down
Yeah yeah yeah

- Ratt (with two "T's", so you know it's got to be good)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nothing To Say

I don't have anything interesting to say today...but you might want to check this out:

My buddy Andy (who has a great rant on his blog today by the way) forwarded this to me a while back, it sums up the whole single speed thing in a very intelligible, technical way:

Cyclists: Single Speed Training for Mountain Bikers...

Single speed training isn't just for dedicated single speed racers but for all mountain bike racers interested in improving their limiters in a fun and specific way.

Using Power-Tap data collected from the same rider on both a gearie (geared MTB) and a single speed mountain bike (SS MTB) a quadrant analysis (QA) was generated to compare the demands of each. Each point in a QA plot shows the pedal force and pedal speed (think cadence). QA helps to identify the neuromuscular demands of a cycling genre. In this plot what's striking is the relative differences between SS MTB and geared MTB demands in terms of force and cadence.

Single speeders spend more time at higher and lower cadences than gearies. Gearies concentrate the majority of pedaling around a small, preferred cadence range, whereas single speeding requires cadences in a huge range, from 20s to over 130s. Single speeding puts you out of your cadence comfort zone and stimulates new abilities.

The force distribution differs significantly between both riding styles. Single speeders spend more time pedaling at higher force levels at lower cadences, i.e. they do a lot of mashing and a lot of standing. It's a matter of physics—to maintain a given power output if cadence decreases, pedal force must increase, and as cadence gets really low, pedal force must increase a lot. To single speed successfully you have to push a lot harder while pedaling slowly! The cadence and force characteristics of single speeding are similar to structured training drills such as spin-ups or force repeats. The single speed mountain bike is a valuable training tool!

Any hard tail mountain bike can be converted into a single speed. Everybody has one of these lying in their garage, right? Take off all the shifting stuff and put back on a handful of cassette spacers, a chain tensioner and a single speed cog. To go super low cost, take an old cog from a cassette and put it on backwards with the shift ramps facing the wheel.

The single-speed is the ultimate winter training machine. Sloppy conditions are hell on drivetrains. Single-speeds steamroll through mucky, wet conditions. Spend your time riding instead of fiddling with derailleurs, cables, shifters or cogs clogged with mud. Save wear and tear on your bling components for the race season.

Winter or the off-season is the time to improve your limiters so you break out into the new race season a level above the previous year. The single speed can target these limiters in a very specific way.

Torque: Low cadence/high force pedaling time improves low cadence power abilities, mimicking the goal of structured workouts such as force repeats or muscle tension sessions. Increasing leg strength on the bike is more specific to mountain bike racing than lifting weights in the gym and comes along with the added benefits of cardio and skill development.

Full Body Strength: Pedaling uphill, off-road out of the saddle with high force and low cadence is a full body effort. This type of training increases upper body and core strength in a riding specific position.

Improve Pedal Stroke: High cadence pedaling time improves pedal stroke replicating the goal of skills workouts such as spin-ups.

Bike Handling Skills: Single speeding enhances technical skill development with a simplified focus. No attention is spent on gear choice and there is no need to ease up on the pedals to plan a gear shift. This frees up all pedaling and thought time to conquer a technical challenge. Hammer straight into an obstacle with a plan of attack. Learn how to rail corners as losing momentum is costly. Learn to make the most of those out-of-the-saddle efforts, improving your ability to maintain traction and forward progress in the steep and loose stuff. Watch your balance improve with every ride.

Increase Attention: With only one gear there is less leeway to save technical mistakes made on the trail. Attention must be paid to the line ridden and correct momentum carried through. Getting it right the first time is the key to keep it rolling with no bailout gears on board.

Maximize Flow: Momentum killers such as braking, soft dirt, holes, bumps and rocks become bigger features to the single speeder with no big ring to power it out. The penalty of losing momentum is a strong motivator to learn the flow of the trail, maximize efficiency and conserve momentum. You'll learn how to keep your bike flowing along with less power. You will become a smoother rider.

Incorporate single speed training into your program this winter as a way to improve limiters in a manner most specific to cycling. The new challenge will add variety and simplicity in bad weather, but most of all you'll reap big training benefits while having a ton of fun out on the trails.

Lynda Wallenfels coaches and consults with mountain bikers. Her 2007 athletes boast two national championship jerseys and a podium finish at Worlds.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And the winter's so

And the winter's so long

Yes I listen to The Decemberists while I ride...and in general. Those lyrics seemed more than apropos today. The temperature was officially in the low twenties, but with the 15-20mph headwind, it drove the perceived temp well below that. Brutal is the word I use to describe. Just brutal. Lobster claw gloves, Balaclava with neck warmer and marino wool cap over that, polypro top, insulated long sleeve, craft mid weight, windbreaker with windvest thrown over for good measure, knicker bibs under amphib tights, heavy smart wool socks, Pearl Izumi's most burly booties. An hour in I was already hurting. I think of these rides strictly as an out and back thing. I try to ride directly into the headwind for as long as I can take it, then I turn and drag my ass home. The plan was for three hours, but an hour out was all I could handle, by then my hands were numb and my feet were in bad shape. Just in the sense that they were cold as hell. My feet and everything else are actually better off than they've ever been, thanks to Bill Peterson at We Do Feet. The fitting I got with Craig Gaulzetti has worked wonders as well...more on all that in a future post.

Breakfast was not broken before the ride, then I procrastinated so long that I was already a bit peckish when I left the house. By the time I was three quarters of the way into the ride I was ravenous. I wanted to stop and eat somebody's cat. The second I walked through the door I b-lined it for Miriam's banana bread. What's better than banana bread? Banana bread with peanut butter and jelly. That's what chief! I polished that off with a mug of of hot-recovery-cocoa with recovery marshmallows.

The previous night I'd gone out to opening of a new shop in Union Square Somerville. I took the scenic urban route over from the shop in Newton.

The bartender at the opening was probably a little inexperienced, he was very proactive, shoulder tapping potential customers and asking if they wanted a beer. How could one say no.

"she loves the faded colors of 3AM just like i do"

-Jonathan Richman

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Listen the snow is falling over town
Listen the snow is falling everywhere

My commuter pack gathered dust over the past two weeks or so, but looked majestic in the morning light while doing it. The rain cover still deployed from the last miserably wet ride home.

The only bike I'll be riding for the foreseeable future is Mr. Pink, the fixed gear. The gear is an insanely spinny-light 38 x 16. I'll definitely get my speed work in, but it will grind plenty good on my longer base mile rides.

A "Natural Break" while wearing three layers of clothing is always fun.

Those who spend the entirety of the winter months riding an indoor trainer watching Dharma and Greg reruns are missing out on some amazing stuff.

I Had a Slight Diversion, But I'm Back

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stuff I'm Selling

Just posted a couple things on Craigslist:

-2007 Rockshox Reba SL 29er Fork
It's in great shape and I'm asking $200.00

Also posted my Cross Frame with some extras:
- Ridley Crossbow Frame Set

I'd actually accept barter for the Cross frame. I'm just looking to replace it with a 58cm or 56cm Road Frame/Fork of equal condition and value.

In addition I'm planning on selling my Extra-Special Fisher Rig:

It weighs in at 20.5 lbs. as it stands, which is super light for a Rig, or a 29er in general. It could potentially drop below 20 with a lighter saddle, seatpost, and bar. I will probably end up swapping the existing bar and stem, otherwise I'm selling it as is. It has a few scuffs, but no real scratches and no dings or dents of any kind. It's been pulled apart and cleaned down to the last chainring bolt backing nut.

Here are it's stats as is:

-2007 Fisher Rig Large (19")
-American Classic Single Speed Wheelset
-Stan's No Tubes Crow Tires (with Sealant installed)
-Bontrager Select Seatpost
-Bontrager Race Saddle
-Truvativ SS Cranks with 32t Chainring
-American Classic 18t Cog
-Bontrager Race 12° Big Sweep flat bar 31.8
-Thomson 90mm 4X Stem 31.8
-Avid BB-7 Disc Brakes, FR-7 Levers
-Bontrager Switchblade Carbon Fork

I'm planning on getting an '08 Rig in the next few weeks, but I'm not posting this thing on Ebay or Craigslist until I get it,just in case I need to ride. It is highly doubtful that I will it ride though. I accept Paypal and personal checks from the Financiers of African Princes.

Shit Romney

My place of work can often become a place of war. The war is carried out on computers. Now I'm not talking about some crazy, futuristic "War Games" starring Mathew Broderick type scenario here (I was going to trash "World of Warcraft" but I'm pretty sure if I piss "those people" off they can actually come through my computer and kill me). We simply begin a theme for the desktop image on the computers, and then change the image throughout the day upon that theme. Sometimes it's more of free for all, where we try to offend or disgust our coworkers, forever reaching for new heights/lows of repugnance.
During one of these image-one-up-manship competitions I Googled "Shit Romney" my surprise nothing came up. What? How can this be? At that moment I vowed to alter this fact so that the next time someone Googled "Shit Romney" they would not come up empty handed.
Like that Range Rover ad with the husband and wife driving to the opera in the rain who stop to rescue a wet golden retriever even though they are running late said: "If you've done one've done something". Oh, I feel sick. Now if I could only hack into to Google and rig it so when you Google "Mormon", it asks "Did You Mean: Moron".
And when you Google "Moron" it asks "Did You Mean: Mormon".

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cause I'm a Sparrow Hawk and You're a Sparrow

On January 11, 2008 Dr. Bryan Philbrook and I were returning to work after a harrowing voyage to Starbucks, traveling North East on Needham St.. It was a dreary day and the sun was low in the sky as we pulled into the parking lot. Something caught Bryan's eye, it skimmed along just off the ground, swooping up and coming to a perch on the fence between International Bicycle Center and The Mobil Mart.

I approached the mysterious creature cautiously, getting close enough to determine that it was a Hawk, and as far as I could tell, not a Red Tail. Dr. Philbrook quickly assessed the large raptor, telling me it was obviously a "Falco sparverius". "Whaa?" I queried. "An American Kestrel, dumb-ass" he elaborated. "A what?". "A Sparrow Hawk, you Ornithological genius, you zoological wizard". He condescended.

I ran for my camera, shooting from the hip the whole walk back, expecting bird-dude to take flight the second I invaded his personal space. I was able to get pretty close before he took a dive over the fence. "He's hunting Sparrows in yonder hedges, you [expletive] fucktard" Philbrook observed.*

Sure enough, I could hear a huge, squeaky commotion on the other side of the fence. I ran over, about to peak over the fence to get a glimpse of the slaughter, when the big, bad bird, rose up just above my head. I ducked and covered, Philbrook laughed, I snapped a blurry shot, and nobody tore my face off with their razor sharp, pointy, pointy bird toes.
A few moments later he hopped off the fence again, the tweeting was more intense this time, I could hear the Hawk flapping around as he ran after the Sparrows. This time he burst out from behind the fence with a still twitching little bird locked in his talons. I would have gotten a shot of that, but I thought I was next so I tried my best to crawl under a Toyota Yaris but only succeeded in getting my head lodged under it. Dr. Philbrook chose that time to inform me that he was "not a medical Doctor" but he was a "Doctor of kicking yo ass". He then demonstrated his credentials by ...kicking me in the ass mercilessly for hours while Joanne the gravelly voiced expert of skin diseases from the Mobil Mart brought him Red Bulls.

*Bryan Philbrook is not now, nor has he ever been a Doctor, a Dickhead, or a member of The Republican Party.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"We can rebuild him. We have the technology"

It's been nigh on two weeks since I last rode my bike - even to work. First it was the laziness and gluttony surrounding the holiday, then a virulent Flu type thing, which absolutely wrecked me. I couldn't gesticulate wildly without going on a coughing jag punctuated by the expectoration of green ectoplasm.
Just a few years ago I would have spent months off the bike without a second thought, gaining a Jan Ulrich like fifteen pounds, primarily in my belly. That was
'normal" for me. I'd be proud of myself if I got out on the bike a couple times in a late winter week. By the time the warmer months arrived I would be so out of shape it was depressing to the point that I wouldn't even want to look at a bike.
Being forced to ride to work four out five days does wonders as far as keeping me honest goes. That and more importantly I miss my bike, I miss the hell out of it. Sitting on my ass for this long has thrown my life out of balance. For now I sit guzzling Airborne spiked water and gnashing my teeth in anticipation of climbing back into the saddle.
Next week the beginning of the, begins. I'm getting a bio-mechnical fitting with Bill Peterson at "We Do Feet" this coming tuesday. This is to address a few nagging problems which have bothered me ever since I started riding more competitively. Hopefully he gets me sorted out and I can raise the bar a bit higher
for the impending season. I'm not getting any younger, but I'm not getting any slower either, I want this trend to continue for as long as humanly possible. I still want to be racing when the issue of the day isn't blood doping and steroid use, it's Elective Cybernetic Augmentation and Forced Genetic Mutation.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I said was because of alcohol and anger

I spoke harshly and now it seems the tide of bile has turned to tidings of good cheer over at the afore-mangled MTBR forum:

SSWC... I'm sorry.
When I reacted to the email from the guys at SSWC my head was up my ass for a few reasons...

1-dealing with in-laws during the holidays after the death of their mother.
2-dealing with lack of work.
3-having an unrealistic expectation and lack of understanding of my odds of getting in.
4-just not having my head screwed on straight.

So, to the guys at SSWC and to anyone else for that matter, I'm sorry I wasted your time with my rants. Have a good time at the races... following CreepyFriendly and the Darkness.

That's just one example, hopefully more people will come around as well. Sorry I trashed the forum, I'm sure lots of good stuff happens over there when I'm not looking. Maybe it's just that people tend to point you toward a forum whenever there's badness going on.
One note on the race, if Creepy Friendly and The Darkness are indeed coming, the race is already for third place, even if you're initials are the same as those of a medieval respiratory disease and your side burns show up on Google Maps.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lit Up Like a Big "Frickin" Whiny Xmas Tree

The above title refers to the prevailing sentiment being bandied about over on the MTBR forums regarding the registration situation for SSWC08 in Napa. I'm not going to go and post on the forum and add to the overwhelming negativity myself. I'll go ahead and say it...forums are (it seems to me generally) for whiny wankers who just sit around contradicting and correcting what other people say about any subject. A thread will stay positive for about two seconds and then it goes all to hell. "Ban! Ban!" Shut up. I hope the forum zombies have a sense of humor and don't pull out my viscera and eat my brain. I guess that type of thing happens with the Bloggers as well, in the form of comment abuse, but abuse seems to be ALL that forums are about.
Yes, I digress before I even bothered to try to make a point. My point is this...I was bummed when I got the rejection email from the SSWC guys. I was confused about why I didn't get in just like a lot of folks. That stage of the grieving process lasted all of ten minutes. Then I said, "Fuck it, I'm going anyway, I might get to race, I might not, but I'm going to go drink beer, get some rides in, and have a good time". This is a quote from an email I sent during that stage of the process:

"Either way, I'm going and I plan on racing.
It's worked out two out of two times thus far."

It's true, I didn't technically get in to either of the SSWC's I went to, and I raced them both. Going to Scotland with no guarantee I would get to race was a hell of a lot scarier than someone going to Napa in the same situation. Someone once said (maybe they said it more than once, I don't know) something like "The first step toward winning is showing up" or maybe it was "The first step toward whining is logging into your forum".

Dave from Dirt Church had this to say:

"Uh, of course the SSWC08 is closed out of registration already. And we didn't even know it was up. No big deal, we crash 'em all anyway".

There's no need to trash particular offenders over there at the MTBR forum I'm just addressing the general wankiness of it all, but I have to take issue with anyone who is taking swipes at the organizers themselves. Curtis from Retrotec is a super cool guy, he is an amazing frame builder, he can dance a sick Scottish jig, but he is not nor (as far as I know) are any of the SSWC08 Team professional race organizers. Thank god for that. I'll channel 2005 SSWC race organizer Eric Roman to address this issue:
"If you want timely results that go more than one deep...go do a NORBA. If you want a race broken up into six hundred and thirty seven separate age categories...go do a NORBA. If you want to win a pint glass and no money and not have to get a tattoo...go do a NORBA". Hey, another note from Eric's book - if you got a problem with the "official" SSWC, have your own race like Eric's "East Coast Single Speed Champioships of The Universe".

From the SSWC Wiki page:

Alternative Races

Many people unable to attend the annual World Championship or considering the venue or organizers as poor, have gone on to organize other SS races. These events have had names such as the Universe Single Speed Championships, the East Coast Single speed Championships of the Universe.

Ah, I'm about vented out, in closing, you can go on having a whinge, having a sook, (I don't even know what those words mean)or having a cry about it. Or you can make like Chopper,
"Harden the Fuck Up",and get your ass out to Napa for all the good times surrounding The SSWC's.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Shut Out of Single Speed Worlds

New Year's Eve, I'm at a party, my friend Matt informs me that registration for SSWC08 is opening that night at midnight Pacific time, 3AM east coast time. I made a tough decision...I would curtail my PBR drinking and dancing to classic lame hip hop hits and head home to wait by my computer. I was home with time to burn, brought up the SSWC site, filled out the form, heeded the warning not to send the form early, and began eagerly awaiting 3AM, my finger on the send button, watching the clock on the cable box and my computer, like a (drunken) dog watching a steak and a chicken leg. Bam! I did it, fired off that form faster than a cheetah on EPO.
A couple days later I got the response...denied. How could this be possible? 350 people stopped what they were doing on New Year's Eve, like a bunch of losers (like me) and got on their computers. Seemed even more likely that folks in the Pacific time zone spent the very moment the ball was dropping sending a registration form for a bike race which was nearly eight months away. Thing is, a whole lot of people who wanted to go didn't even know registration was even opening that night.
And that would have been the end of the story, I would have gone to SSWC in Napa with every intention of crashing, but unbeknownst to me Miriam (my most specialest friend) went behind my back and contacted the promoters, telling them to transfer her registration to me (she actually got in). Here is her email:

Hi SSWCO8 people:

I am very excited to hear that I am in, but I would like to give my spot to my boyfriend, Thom Parsons, if possible. Why would I give up my precious spot you ask? Well, first off, he is the one who came home early on new years eve just to get on the computer to sign up. He signed himself up before me and then I asked him to sign me up too, as an after technically, his entry was submitted before mine. Secondly and more importantly, he is the true single speeder in our house. He is all single speed all the time, not just for a race here or there, when the terrain suits one gear. He even races cross on a single speed. In my book, he is Mr. single speed and deserves to be able to play/race with his peers way more than do. He does not know I am making this request, so please don't picture some wanker sitting there telling me I need to write an email and give up my spot. Ideally, we would both like to participate, but if it is just one of us, I hope you will transfer my spot to him. If you are able to make this change, could you please put me on the waiting list? Please let me or Thom know by the 15th so that we can pay the registration fee. I appreciate your consideration of this request. His email is


That was mighty, mighty magnanimous of her, and this was their response:

Hi Miriam - We have changed the name and email address on the registration list to Thom Parsons and have wait listed you case someone changes their mind before the 15th. Go ahead and send in the entry fee under his name.
SSWC08 Team

Giddy Up! They followed it up with this:

We just had someone drop out and because you selflessly gave up your spot to your husband, YOU ARE IN, again. Go ahead and pay your entry fee by the 15th and we look forward to seeing you in August.

SSWC08 Team

This is the way human interactions should always work, amazing, Christmas came late this year. Miriam rocks and so do the SSWC08 Team, thanks!

In other news my racing nickname is now "Smash Proton", it's an anagram of my actual name.

Thursday, January 03, 2008