Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Epic Riding Before The Epic Imbibing

When I said I spent five hours riding in the hot sun in preparation for the Bachelor Pub Crawl Death March, I wasn't kidding...or lying either. Half of the crap I say over here is totally made up and the other half is imagined. Nobody is fact checking The Big Bikes and that's the way we like it.

At about noon on Saturday Andy and Jeff (I am going to continue linking to his "retired" blog until the plonker writes something new. If you have time to raise a child, you have time to blog) showed up at the house. Then we prepared our bikes, tripping over each other as we worked out of my rickety, ghetto as hell house tool box. We turned Jeff's IF 29" into a single speed with a "feathery light" 32 X 17 and I installed a new pair of Bontrager 29-3s which I will be reviewing on the Crew Site, perhaps Wednesday.

Andy's Igleheart Franken-Bike. Check out the overlapping Juicy hydraulic brakes.
We stopped to chat frequently, I don't to see these guys nearly
enough and this is the only catching up we get to do.

The plan was a Semi-Suburban epic, linking together all the stuff in my neighborhood and beyond. I thought Jeff would enjoy this, he doesn't get to ride over broken glass and beer cans enough up in Waitsfield, VT. We started with a taste of The Fells, staying in there just long enough to realize how much riding there sucks on a beautiful Saturday when it's full of hikers and dog walkers. So we cut out and hit Horn Pond Mountain. It's a mean little bastard that one. But the descent and the singletrack linking up to the powerlines that take you up toward Lexington are sweet!

En route to Bedford and Burlington Landlocked Forest we cut through the swimming hole in Lexington. I was not shocked to see that the ratty old tree which for years had anchored a rope swing had finally met its demise. Apparently to a very loud and fat gentleman who was present when we arrived there. By all appearances he was wasted, but he only had ice tea and ginger ale to offer us. You can hear his floral voice in the background of the video below. After my trip to Highland I was feeling a little daring and took the Superfly for a little flight off some roots and down a steep, sandy embankment...barely arresting my skid before I hit the water. The first effort almost landed me on Jeff's bike.

Super Flight from thom parsons on Vimeo.

From there we ripped through Willard Woods and over to Bedford where we rode around in incredibly entertaining circles on some of the best cut trails I know. The new markers are key, thanks PK and MKR, you guys are both the man...or the men. We thoroughly appreciated your work.

Jeff had pre-hydrated for the ride with several Long Trail Ales (Hmm, that gives me an idea...aah, that's better, thanks for leaving me some of those Long Trails in the fridge JW), this perhaps left him feeling a little off. So while he took a nap Andy made a totally unrideable pile of rocks slightly less unrideable (at least for him because he's a Super Army Bike Soldier) check it out:

Andy...Rocks from thom parsons on Vimeo.

Somehow I thought it was a good idea to drink just two bottles in five hours on a near 80° day and eat nothing but a package of Gu Chomps. We were all pretty hurtin' by the time we reached Lexington center. Dreams of ice coffee and pastries at Pete's Coffee gave way to a burning desire for Coke, potato chips, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

We wound up getting back to the house at 6, barely enough downtime to get showered and down to The Bones for the start of the pub crawl. And that, was a damn good day.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Bachelor Pub Crawl Death March

In preparation for this endurance event I spent five hours riding in the hot sun with Mr. Whittingham and Mr. Sanidas. That's a story for another day, possibly tomorrow. This is kind of an inverse of my usual situation, where I've gone out drinking before a race and then suffered for it. In this case I went out riding and it made the drinking that much more painful. At least the pedaling part anyway, it was a pub crawl by bicycle.The fact that I'd had two bottles to drink all day long was probably not ideal either. We got back from the EPIC and started drinking beers and I went "Oh crap, I should probably drink some water or something".

My brother James tries to convince Uri to put him on the back of his bike and attempt to jump The Snake River Canyon...or The Charles River.
He settles for riding Bitch over The Longfellow Bridge.

We started off at Redbones in Davis Square, the headcount at that pint, I mean point was maybe fifteen (actual slip back there, I just added the "I mean point" part"). Greg "The Leg" Montello was our Cruise Director, the man with the plan. After a quick dinner and a couple drinks at The Bone, we moved ever so slightly down the street to The Toad in Porter Square Cambridge. There GTL stated the rule that when I finished my drink, it was time to move on. From then on everyone drank their beers with one eye on my beer. If I wasn't digging a scene, I would down the beverage more rapidly. Now that's power.

From there we moved on to Charlie's Kitchen in Harvard Square where we were introduced to the modern equivalent of Zima - Bud Lite LIME. Outside Charlie's I took my first ride on Uri's Africa Bike which has a Moped seat affixed to a trail rack and foot pegs for the passenger. Uri then gave rides to people who didn't need rides as they held onto their own bikes, the cranks and pedals coming dangerously close to going into the spokes of The Africa Bike's rear wheel. I don't think Greg Paraskos knows how close he came to dying on Mass Ave. last night.

Green St. Uri and The Africa Bike living dangerously

There was a brief mutiny where Mike H. and I sprinted ahead of the group leading them to The Cellar in Central Square where we had Tequila shots. That was a great idea. Then it was over to Charlie's Kitchen for Cocktails. Mine was a Rhum...something or other. Yes Rum was spelled with an H. At least I saw an H at the time. After taking some photos with a the members of a Bachelorette party (me in the blinking Tiarra) we were off to the big city.

Apparently The Liberty Hotel is much more popular now that it is no longer a prison. GTL went to work bullshitting the doorman to get us in. The troops became restless and began wandering off toward Charles St.. GTL called me to say that we "were in" but when we got back inside he was still in heated negotiations with fatty fatty gel head. In the confusion, two members got in, texting me "We walked through the bushes onto the patio". Greg P. and I tried that move, it did not work. A large security guard was onto us. We made like we weren't really planning to squeeze between two planters into the patio at all and pretended to check our text messages simultaneously. He wasn't convinced and kept an eye on us until we walked away.

Meanwhile three others from the group had stepped into an elevator which opened right next to the line. When GTL finally wore the doorman down and we got in , the elevator riders were waiting inside for us. So if you ever want to get into The Liberty Hotel and I have no idea why you would want to do that, just walk through the bushes or get in the elevator.

The secret elevator. Things get blurry. Bryan has a weid Cell phone, it's attached to the wall outside The Blue Diner

After The Liberty we tried to go to some awful place in Fanueil Hall, Hennessy's maybe. It was slammed, no chance. Somewhere we lost Sanidas, I still don't know where, then Bryan flatted, oh, and Matt O'Keefe blew out his freehweel and had to be towed across the Salt & Pepper bridge by Rooter. Sanidas would eventually find his way back to my locked house, walk into my neighbor's apartment then ultimately gain entry to the correct apartment by leaping through a high first floor window. Which, if you are a burglar, I implore you not to do.

From there on out things get hazy, but a stop at J.J. Foley's and The Good Life happened as well as, perhaps, possibly some others in the Chinatown vicinity.

Thanks to everyone that came out to make this an extra-special-awesome night.

You know it was an epic night of drinking when you think it's a good idea
to eat at The Blue Diner at 3AM

Friday, June 26, 2009


Finally got up there, Highland Mountain Bike Park. Un-be-frickin-lievable. It was a long day, and a hard day in a different kind of way. My arms just 'bout fell out of their sockets and I feel like I lost a push up contest to...some guy who can do a lot of push ups. Maybe Bruce Lee, he looked like he could do a lot of push ups.

Dave O'Connell, Trek Regional Tech Rep was there to hook up Trek dealers
with the Remedy and Session demos. Thanks Dave.

Erich Leas, Dan B., from the shop and some guy who I didn't meet but he looks like a nice guy.

Me, Colin, and Dan hit the lift. There was a learning curve with the whole lift thing. The lift operators did a really good job of laughing at us for fucking up getting on, then smiling and looking really, really stoned. I spent a whole lot of time on lifts during my previous incarnation as a snowboard bum but there's always a bit of first lift ride of the season nerves. Then you get to the top and realize that you aren't sliding like you do on a snowboard and before you figure out that you actually have to run out of the chair's way, it whacks you in the back of the legs and you say "ow!".

Of course some of the gnarliest stuff is right under the lift. I felt like someone going skiing for the first time and seeing nothing but Black Diamonds wherever I looked.

Then you run into Gerry Finnegan and he gets you stoked as all hell to be doing whatever it is you are doing because he himself simply exudes stokedness about everything in life and things to do with bikes in particular.

Colin had one of those crashes that sounded like King Kong charging through the trees, crushing everything in his path. I looked back to see my bike, The Remedy which he was borrowing, peaking out of the trees, on its side, Colin was nowhere in site. I was worried. "Are you okay?" I yelled. "Ya, I think I am". A team of tree saplings had broken his fall.

You know it's a good crash when your shoe falls off. It's better still when your shoe is still on and Colin's has fallen off. This isn't like a Skater's shoe falling off, a bike shoe is like an ice skate or a ski boot, or a fiberglass cast...it should not just fly off like that.

Jesus Christ, the kid went sailing, it was insane. We never did find his glasses - which were Dan's. Note to self: when planning a massively catastrophic nightmarish crash...do it in borrowed glasses.

Speaking of freakish. Dan took a flier as well. Later he noticed that one of his cogs had completely disintegrated like an Air France jet. This may have been what sent him flying. I've worked as a bicycle mechanic for...I have no idea how long and if I try to calculate it I will just end up being sad and feeling like a total failure, and Dave is a Tech rep for Trek, neither of us had ever seen anything like this.

Three runs to go at the end of the day we discovered (hey, we're like Christopher Columbus over here) a run called "Maiden Voyage". It was by far our collective favorite. It was all steep and rooty and wet and muddy with drops and chutes and gnarly kookiness everywhere. The third time we hit it I was all over the place, half a dozen close calls, I knew it was time to pull the plug. Colin and Dan convinced me to do one more run on "Fancy Feast" which was easy in comparison to "Maiden" but the lift closed before we could get back up there. Just as well. I was spent, little kid playing all day in the hot sun and forgetting to eat or drink tired. I was an accident waiting to happen to myself.

Drinking problem.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Re-Direction Section

Not much time to do the writing so I will be sending you over to the 29er Crew blog once again to read a bit more about the big kids bike donation thing and the revitalization of my commute via my 29er.

Have fun over there.

Highland tomorrow, if I don't break my arms and hands I will tell you all about it.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Promises Are Shit

But still I promise to tell a story about bikes by the time this week is over. Here's the potential bike-related story forecast.

Wednesday - Too rainy for a NEMBA sanctioned shop ride but I may still ride with IBC MTB guy Harry Precourt after work. I haven't been riding my bike alot (at all) so this is exciting.

Thursday - Ooh, this is big. I'm really going to Highland. If I don't literally die, the embarrassment I suffer will surely make for good blawg fodder. I'll be riding a Session 88, wearing baggies and a full face helmet. Kooky.

Friday - Commuting. Unless someone really pisses me off, shouldn't be much to talk about.

Saturday - Epic ride with retired blogger Whittingham and others, then bachelor party pub crawl. If I can remember any part of the latter I'll tell you all about it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh Crap, This is Turning Into a Blog

At least this week it is, Usually it's more like Crazy Uncle Thom's Disjointed Story Hour (or three). I'll be back soon enough, just as soon as those ninety whatever kids have their frickin' bikes.

We dropped another thirty or so today, I've got a box truck with another forty plus sitting out front of my house (by the time you read this it will be long gone, so don't even think about coming over to steal them you ingrates).

I've been driving everyone at the shop nuts with my demented Santa's work shop routine. They'll be psyched when I finally clean up all the organ donor bikes which have been underfoot for the past week and things return to something like normal.

Oh yes, photos from Highbridge, they are from a wicked pro dude's site, so I'm not going to "borrow" them and post them (they are so good I may have to buy some though). They are about the best event photos I have seen. So accustomed to the "Hey it's me looking like a douche bag riding through the start/finish area in a field with my race number clearly visible so that it is very easy for the lazy photographer to later organize the images". Seriously, these shots are dope. They really capture the craziness of the terrain.

Question. How sleep deprived do you have to be before it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle? Can they test for that? Maybe it's more performance or results based. "Officer, there was no way I could avoid hitting him". "Sir, you hit an apartment building". "He cut me off".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh, I Am Wearing Socks

Friday I said I'd be talking about things I'm doing and things I'm thinking of doing, but all I'm thinking about doing right now is sleeping. No racing this weekend, hardly any riding at all in fact. Instead of making excuses for why I can't write, I'll just tell you what I've been doing and what I will be doing for the next couple days. I'm sure you'll hear more about this later and with more detail (and hopefully with some attempt at humor).

Trek and Fisher have a program where folks can get a credit for up to half the amount they spent on a kids bike toward their next kids bike within two years of the purchase date. Our shop sells a whole lot of kids bikes. We end up with hundreds of kids bikes in our warehouse...it's now my job to figure out what to do with them.

My sister (who is awesome) teaches at a school in Dorchester, a lot of the kids she works with don't have bikes. We worked out a plan to deliver nearly 100 bikes to specific children, fit them to the bikes, and get them outfitted with helmets. The end of the school year is looming so this all had to happen in very short time...very short time.

At one point I figured out that it was nearly mathematically impossible to prep all the bikes in time. Luckily I'm bad at math and worse at sleeping.

We delivered the first 28 bikes Friday, we'll be delivering thirty or so tomorrow, and another forty or so Tuesday. The kids were stoked Friday, I can't wait to get back down there tomorrow.

Picking up IBC Elite MTBer Kevin in the AM to head back to the trenches, more later.

5:30AM Addendum

Wow, that is perhaps the driest most lifeless thing I have ever written.

Signs that I may be on the brink of total collapse:

  1. Waking up this morning to visions of huge chunks of an iceberg breaking off into the ocean, complete with bone-rumbling surround sound.
  2. Bending over quickly to pick up my shoes last night and slamming the center of my forehead directly into the back of a very firm wooden chair, which was completely stationary. The blow was hard enough to knock me backwards onto the floor. It was dark, but the chair was exactly where it has always been, it wasn't the chair that had moved it was my brain cells which had moved...to a dark corner of my brain where they have told me they will be camping out until I get more than five hours of sleep.
  3. Walking into work yesterday and thinking that I had to go buy socks, realizing that I had socks and stating, loud enough for my coworker Bryan to hear "Oh, I am wearing socks".
    In my defense, I often ride into work, get wet on the way in, have to buy dry socks or I drive in wearing flip flops, have to change into my work shoes and realize that I have to buy new socks. Not buying it huh? Oh well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes

No really, I have interests outside cycling, I do, I swear. I like movies. I watched this movie the other night called Taken starring Liam Neeson. While I've still got you here, (I see your eyes glazing over because I'm not talking about single speediness) there's a prize at the bottom of the post for those that make it that far, or you could just save yourself and skip down there now.

Liam Neeson is a nearly sixty year old retired Super-Assassin-Agent of some sort who's daughter gets kidnapped, drugged , and sold by Albanians into the white sex slave trade. Liam goes around for an hour and forty minutes or whatever kicking dudes in the nuts and smashing people's faces in until he ultimately frees her. That wasn't a spoiler, this is a Hollywood film that actually got made. They don't produce a whole lot of films about girls being kidnapped by Albanians, drugged , and sold into the white sex slave trade where the girl's dad dies horribly while trying to find her because he didn't go to Super-Assassin-Agent school, he went to Babson for his MBA and he's more adept at crunching numbers than people's nuts with his shoe, and the girl lives horribly ever after as a white sex slave to fat Sheiks.

Before he finds his daughter he happens upon her BFF who she'd gone to Paris with. She had died of an O.D. while they were in the process of addicting her to drugs so she would be a willing white sex slave. Liam is totally freaked out.

So he kills everybody and their Lhasa Apsos, shoots his friend's wife, frees his daughter, and they return to the U.S. where he promptly takes her to meet her favorite Popstar for vocal lessons (he'd earned a favor when he saved her life while working security for one of her shows). She is super-stoked! This is all like ten minutes after they left Europe where the body of his daughter's BFF was still warm.

Two thumb's up!

Except they were both up the director's ass while he was shooting the film.

I'm just being a dick, it was actually quite entertaining for the most part. I'm not going to get a job doing movie reviews am I?

I can also speak on the subject of music. Real timely stuff too. In the LL Cool J song "Mama Said Knock You Out" he claims that his "Nine is easy to load". I always thought that was funny. Does he own a special model of Nine Millimeter which is designed for arthritics and amputees? Whatever the case, it sounded lame to my ears. If you read that line in the context of the song, particularly the verse below, it sounds totally alright.

Shotgun blasts are heard
When I rip and kill, at WILL
The man of the hour, tower of power, I'll devour
I'm gonna tie you up and let you understand
that I'm not your average man
when I got a jammy in my hand
DAAAAAM!!!!! Oooooohh!!
Listen to the way I slaaaaay, your crew
Damage (UHH) damage (UHH) damage (UHH) damage
Destruction, terror, and mayhem
Pass me a sissy so suckas I'll slay him
Farmers (What!!!) Farmers (What!!!)
I'm ready (we're ready!!!)
I think I'm gonna bomb a town (get down!!)
Don't u neva, eva, pull my lever
Cuz I explode
And my nine is easy to load
I gotta thank God
Cuz he gave me the strength to rock
HARD!! knock you out, mama said knock you out

Farmers (What!!!)...my sentiments exactly.

Astonishingly enough I have more crazy crap to say on the subject of music but I have to go do my Jane Fonda PT exercises and get five hours of sleep.

Since I'm temporarily retired from racing, Monday we're going to talk about my new Bontrager tires and a the revised list of things I'm thinking of doing with an addendum listing the things I'm thinking of not doing.

Oh ya, just so you didn't come down here for nothing today...
check out Squirt Gun Show's argument for why the current upgrade process from Cat 1 to Pro for Mountain Bikers is flawed, then forward it to your friends. Hopefully, eventually Mark Abramson and Gully see it and go "Huh, y'know, the kid is makin' a lot of sense", and impose some changes going into next year.

Basically the fact that Kevin can't get an upgrade is insane. He's one of the consistently fastest Cat 1's in the region, and I personally have been calling him a sandbagger for not upgrading since I've known him. So USAC, do something so that I don't have to hear this "All I wanted was an upgrade, just one upgrade and they wouldn't give it to me!" crap going into next year.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Not too many words to go with the pretty picture above (which is by far the best part of this post). Began the path to to recovery today. Saw Sara Bresnick-Zocchi of Pedal Power Coaching this afternoon. She worked with me for over two hours trying to figure out why I am a pretzel of a man who pedals a bicycle like a crippled fiddler crab. She scrutinized my entire body, trying to get to the bottom of the twisted mystery that it is. In the end my cleat position was changed, the lift in my left shoe was gone, my saddle was leveled, a huge muscular strength discrepancy was discovered, and I was given a list of exercises for my core and glutes. She is a bicycle fitter with a background in Physical Therapy. She's sees the whole picture. I'm confident that I'm going to see changes soon. For the better.

I will leave you with one last, un-bike related thought. Then I really must sleep.

Glen Beck. He can't be for real. Stephen Colbert takes the piss out of him regularly. Most people realize that Colbert is a put on. Like most people know that Sacha Baron Cohen is a put on. What if Glen Beck is really getting over on all of us, including Colbert? He is out Colberting Colbert. If he is, it would be a grand stunt, more along the lines of Andy Kaufman's work. No one will ever know how much of Kaufman's stuff was a put on. What was reality and what was staged for effect. Maybe Beck will go to his grave never letting on that his whole shtick was a big gag all along.

I really hope it's an act anyway, and that his fans, who are by all appearances drooling imbeciles (like John Voight, who was probably never that bright to begin with but has now gone senile as well) are actually much smarter than I am and are all in on the joke.

Far less frightening than the truth.

I may have slept three hours last night if I was lucky. It doesn't feel like I was lucky. I have a sinking suspicion that this post will make no sense at all when I wake up tomorrow. Maybe I'll wake up from this "Glen Beck is real" nightmare though, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Without Bike Racing
I'm Really Just An Angry Bike Mechanic

With Nothing Nice To Say At All

Hey Cyclingnews, your new look sucks. I'm going back to Velonews. Or maybe I'll just get all my Dopingnews, uh, I mean news about cycling and Veloing through the filter of Cosmo. It's much funnier that way. OK Cyclingnews, your new look really just sucks the same as the old one, in a different way. It's as totally cluttered and illegible as always. Did you guys go back in time again and find that web designer from 1996 who designed the original site? Sweet.

See, aren't I so mean? Grr, ruf! Ow, I think I sprained something.

More snarky bike mechaniciness. People come into bike shops all the time with their kid's bike. The bike's rear wheel is destroyed, sometimes the rear triangle is squashed too. They ask if it can be fixed. "No, no I'm sorry it can't, what happened?". "I backed over it with the car". "Ya, that's probably gonna run you about thirty or forty bucks". "Really? I'm surprised it broke...just like that".

Yes, it's fucking amazing that you broke a child's bicycle wheel backing over it with a fucking car.

I'm going to give you the same sentence with a blank space where the word "Bike" should be, you fill it in with any other item you own and tell me if the end result would be any different or less expensive.

I backed over my ___ with the car.

Be glad you didn't back over your kid, you clown, you inept cretin.
Although, if you think about it (let me know what that's like), if you totally smoosh the kid, replacement cost is zero. Making kids costs nothing. It's the interment of the old one or dealing with repairing a kid you only partially smooshed that'll cost ya.

Then they buy a new wheel, put the bike on the hitch rack on their massive SUV and proceed to back into the telephone pole in front of the shop. "This is ridiculous, you people should do something about that...get it moved!".

But of course, we will get the town of ___ which won't maintain a crosswalk or decent sidewalks on ____ St. right over here to move a telephone pole because you are too oblivious not to back your car into an inanimate object which is about the width of a human being and about five times as tall.

Maybe I'm not being hard enough on people.

I actually have several non-bike related snarky things to say, but I'm scared I will truly have nothing to talk about tomorrow, so I will save it until then.

If you want something decent to read today, check out Colin's write up on how to ride a mountain bike, not like an idiot. Or This interview With John "Fuzzy" Mylne on how to ride a Single Speed. Good stuff.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chain-L Chain Lube
Half-Assed Product Review

I'm going to do this quick product review then get on to talking briefly about poop and socks and douche bags who annoy me.

The other day at The Shop one of our reps dropped by a sample of a new chain lube from New York, Chain-L "Huile De Chaine". The packaging was simple and austere. It smelled...different, looked different too. Their philosophy is simple as well, and to the point:

Chain-L satisfies what we think are the three most important requirements
of a chain lubricant:

  • Lubrication
  • Lubrication
  • and Lubrication

They push durability and prevention of bearing wear over cleanliness. Right up my alley.

I followed their application instructions to a T. I have never applied chain lube like that before. I laid the thoroughly de-greased chain out on some cardboard and lubed it liberally, letting it soak in for ten minutes or so. The stuff is more viscous than anything I've used, it did, in fact, take a while to soak in.

I wiped the chain down lightly before installation on the bike. The chain felt different too. When I did have it installed I spun the cranks it seemed smoother than usual. Not that I normally scrutinize my drivetrain after lubing my chain. But it was smooth...damn smooth.

To put Chain-L to the test I put the bike on the car and drove for two hours in the rain up to The Pinnacle (to suck it big time) then raced for two hours in the rain and the mud then put the bike back on the car for two more hours in the rain. When I got home I took the bike out back to wash it (my least favorite part of race day). I scrubbed the bike down with hot water and dish detergent, cleaning the crank, cog, and chain thoroughly. At that point I would have normally re-lubed my chain, but in this case I wanted to see what this stuff was made of. They claim no re-lubrication for 1,000 miles at 20MPH (or 20 miles at 1,000MPH) . Might be a while before I hit those kind of numbers on the race bike, so I'll have to get back to you on that. All I know is most lubes would have left the chain squeaking like a sumbitch by the end of a day like that, not this stuff. I was impressed.

Socks. Yesterday before the race, I went to put my lucky awesome socks on. As I pulled the left one on, it tore all to hell at the heel. I was in such an uncharacteristically positive mind-set that I shrugged it off. "Oh, today's gonna be great, never you mind that!" I thought. And that was the first time I was ever wrong in my entire life.

Poop. It was five O'clock yesterday before I was able to "Do My Work". Doing a climby race with something the size of Rich Dillen (even at climbing weight) percolating inside of you is not ideal.

Douche Bags. This one is for Meg A, who shared the link for this article about endangered jerky bike mechanics. Something all bike mechanics have dealt with at some point (I'm sure this one isn't just typical of bike shop customers) is the "I just had my bike in for thing A which is obviously the cause of problem B". To the mechanic it is incredibly obvious that it is absolutely impossible that the two are related. It makes it all the more ridiculous when the accuser uses their own insane and made up vernacular to describe what's going on.

"Um, hi. I just had my bike in to have the pedal bar replaced an now my...speed thingy isn't working". As I cleaned the contacts with emery cloth and checked the proximity of the wheel magnet and the speed sensor (which did the trick), I asked "So what did you have replaced again?" (because I just had to know what a "Pedal Bar" was). "That thing", points to crankarm. "Oh, of course". I politely explained why his computer wasn't working, smiling all the while and sent him on his way.

"Oh, boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!".

I think Ralph Wiggum said that.

"Oh boy blogging! That's where I'm still a snarky-ass-jerk-bike-mechanic!"

I said that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Pinnacle EFTA NECS #3

It's 5:26 AM, I've been up for an hour, I have no idea why. Things got kind of twisted up and turned upside down over the past few days. The plan was to hit The Stoopid 50, that was before my back sprung. Actually , for a while there, the plan was still The Stoopid 50, but after consulting with a few experts it seemed that the reason why my back was screwed up to begin with was due to hard races, long car rides, and little to no recovery. It hurt like hell, but I had to pull the plug on the PA trip, it was too dumb of a thing to do, even for me.

After missing two and a half days of work because I couldn't even throw my leg over my saddle, (in over three years at the shop, I have never been in a situation where I couldn't ride my bike to work and I have no contingency plan) spending countless hours on the couch with a heating pad and ice packs, finally going to the doctor, getting put on muscle relaxants (which made me feel like a jellyfish on a pier), I decided to take up a friend's offer of acupuncture. Saturday morning , after an hour and a half of the Acupuncture/Massage combo I was seriously a new man. My back was out of spasm and I could move normally again, it was incredible.

So now the plan is to head up The EFTA Pinnacle race in Newport New Hampshire, we'll see how that goes.

5:16 PM
I'm back from The Pinnacle and all I can say is, I'm glad I chose to drive two hours to suck it big time in New Hampshire rather than driving eight hours to suck it big time in Pennsylvania. There was a point, as my legs were not cooperating going up the Pinnacle climb where I thought, "Jesus, it would suck if I were sucking this bad on some climb down in State College, trying to turn over a bigger gear with these crap legs just 15 miles into a 50 mile race". In a way I made a really good decision, in not making a really-immensely-horribly-stupid decision. OK, maybe we drop the really and the immensely and end up with just horribly stupid.

Here's one of the funny things...
After bagging on the PA trip I had no real intention of racing this weekend. Then I decided to race, one problem, Miriam had taken the car with all my tools and my vast array of cogs to Rhode Island. I had a 34 X 18 on the Superfly, The Pinnacle course is kinda climby, I wanted something lower. My first take on the situation was "Shit, I'm doing something so dumb, running a way too big gear is the least of my worries". Then I realized that I probably had a worn 32t chainring in the basement. I didn't have a chainring bolt backing nut spanner, which made life slightly difficult as I had to use a clapped out pair of needle nose pliers to keep the wee buggers from spinning. So with my 32 X 18 successfully installed I could sleep easy.

Not quite.

The rain started coming down. It had been a gorgeous day, I had no idea it was supposed to rain. I got out of bed and checked the weather for Newport, NH. It was raining then and the forecast was for more of the same. I shuffled lethargically down to the basement to try to put a mud tire on the front. I failed to set it up tubeless, threw up my hands, and went back to bed. In the AM, with a slightly clearer mind set I realized I could bring the tire with a tube and use it if absolutely necessary.

When I woke up at 4:30 I made coffee and crossed my fingers, hoping that my neighbor and ride to the race Mo, would bag out and leave me to spend the day loathing myself indoors. No such luck. It rained the whole way there, yet surprisingly the course wasn't a bog. I've definitely done muddier versions of this race. I kept the XDX in the front, glad that I had the Mud-X to dig in on the steep, greasy climbs. I actually came up with a wicked, wicked sound theory during the race (my cognitive powers were at an all time high, as I demonstrated by, for the first time ever, forgetting to put my race number on). With the Mud-X on the rear I could dig in, but while standing and climbing on the single speed, you put a whole lot of weight on the front wheel, I think that having a big, balloony tire on the front helps keep the front from digging in and bogging down. This is a good thing.

The Elite field was massive, no less than six 29er Crew guys out there, including eventual winner Andrew Freye. I was dropped from the hole shot. I have a tendency to start slow, but this was just parody. As the main climb bit I clawed past a few guys, but wound up in a bad position going into the singletrack. I was behind technical, single-speedin' wizard, Paul Simoes, but we were in heavy traffic and he was more aggressive than I in making passes, making a daring pass on Johnny Bold and quickly shutting the door. I did eventually get around Bold so I could open it up, I actually closed back down on Paul because he was stuck behind a few guys.

I dug around and found something like some fire inside me and began to separate myself from the group I was with going into lap two. Not sure who was there besides Paul and Mike Lorranty from I.F.. (I do recall Ricky taking off up the climb) but as I came out of the first singletrack part of the climb onto the steep fire road, something happened, my bike stopped and I went flying. My RWS skewer had slipped for the first time ever. I futzed with it for a minute as maybe five or six riders went past. I got going but somewhere during that period when I was sidelined my legs had shut down. "Sorry dude, you said we weren't racing, you tricked us, caught us by surprise, now we know what's up and we're freakin' outta here!". After that the RWS Skewer held fast. Perhaps I didn't torque it quite enough during my late night tinkering.

From there on out it was strictly no man's land. The only other riders I saw were lapped riders. I was down and out but the course was motivation enough to keep going. I liked this course in its previous incarnations, back then it was a sadistic suckfest. Now it is dialed. Nasty climbs into really beautifully cut flowing, semi-technical traverse, then into a bunch of twisty, slick-root riddled corners through the trees, then just fun and sweetness and sickness, finishing up with the Pinnacle Plummet, which always puts your nuts in your ears.

Thanks to Brian Currier and the guys that put this thing on, you do good work.

Not to put a damper on what was an overwhelmingly positive and purple fuzzy bunny race report, but I do believe I am going to be taking a little break. My body is all out of whack, time to hit the reset button and get to back to work. Need to stay fresh if I'm going to race into October and beyond. Looking at about four or five weeks without racing, capped with a wedding - my own.

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology"

Mo said that the Pro way to take an ice bath was with a winter hat on
and a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up...I mean tea.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Redirection Bookend

I started off the week redirecting you to the 29er Crew Site and I will now end the week redirecting you to the IBC blog, to check out a little how to video I made on log hopping. I am currently submitting material to no less than four blogs (don't worry, I won't be redirecting you to our wedding blog any time soon) so once in a while I must employ the tactic I am using today.

Making videos is probably the worst use of my computer time. No one watches those things. This one is different though, it has a voice over. When I met Georges of Mega Bottle Ride at The Singlespeed-A-Palooza a few weeks ago, he was taken aback by my, according to him, very adult, almost professorial voice which didn't sync up with all the goofy stuff I say over here on The Big Bikes. I don't know if that's the voice that comes across in the video, I seem to sound oddly western. It definitely isn't an intentional affect. Maybe next time I'll do the voice over as Christopher Walken or Phil Hartman doing Charleton Heston.

Oh, I am pulling the plug on The Stoopid 50. My back is Stoopid F-ed up. I'm on muscle relaxants and I can't even get on my bike to ride to work. I've got two weeks of physical therapy to look forward to and then an attempt to restart my season. I'm wicked psyched. You should be psyched to, you get to look forward to a Monday morning post about nothing.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Damage Control

I am paying for neglect. Neglect of my body. Last season I spent a lot of time working on core strength, doing push ups, pull ups, all that good stuff. After my little bicep tendon severing incident I lost impetus, push ups were out, so my pull up and sit up babies went out with the push up bathwater. Now I am weak and flabby and my core resembles the core of a twinkie. I wouldn't be whining about this but the lack of core stability has lead to some acute back pain. Could be other factors but I'd rather blame my doughy center. I made race weight and lost it. My flat may have slowed me down in NYC but the fat helped too.

As we were driving home from NYC Sunday, we pulled off at a rest stop so I could pee, which was highly abnormal. When I got out of the car my back seized, just lit right up like a Xmas tree doused in kerosene. I spent a couple days pounding the Ibuprofen, started feeling better, but still as if my lower vertebrae were pulverized and lying in a jagged heap just above my pelvis. Then I rode the Superfly into work today, planning to lead the group ride. Everything seemed alright until I went pull a wheel onto a bike, something sprung. Like I'd wound up a jack in the box then swallowed it, and it reached the end of its song before it reached the end of my digestive track, and POP GOES THE WEASEL its demonically smiling head burst through my lower back.

I hobbled around for a little while making myself useless then called in medivac. It was straight home to ingest some Omega 3s in the form of Sardines, slam more Ibuprofen, and get in an ice bath. The ice bath is something I have been neglecting to do as well. No more. Ice baths after every race or even hard training ride.

The Plan is still to hit The Stoopid 50 Sunday down in State College, PA. How can I pass up a race that has my middle name in the title? The spelling is different. If I have to get a massive Cortizone shot in my lower back, snort a bunch of Percocet, and stash eight balls in my drop bags, so be it. I know Chris Scott won't be drug testing (why do you think Floyd came out to The SMT100?).

Rolling down with Greg "The Leg" Montello, Harry Precourt, and Rob Stine from Rhode Island. Meeting up at a camp site with Tomi, Elk, Buck Keich, and others. Should be pretty entertaining, can't wait.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fort Apache - The Upper West Side of Manhattan

This is astonishing, Magellan over here didn't actually know exactly where he was racing Sunday. MBR pointed out that Highbridge Park is not technically in The Bronx. When I told people where I was racing, they told me "Oh, that's way up in The Bronx, sounded good to me. There's a reason why the film wasn't called "Fort Apache - The Upper West Side of Manhattan". We were almost in The Bronx, and like the senile old saying goes "Almost is only close enough for counting if you're playing jazz with horeshoes and hand grenades".

And yes, I know that the above photo is of Snake Plissken (or Snake Plarssons as the case may be) which has nearly nothing to do with Fort Apache The Bronx. That may be some bad photoshopping for another day. If you know one thing, you know something.

Speaking of senile and old. I get very nervous when I'm riding along and I see a car peaking out of a side street, inching forward, the driver staring at me through their coke bottle glasses under a helmet of blue hair, grimacing at me (or maybe right past me) with a pained expression on their face. If the act of driving causes you that much physical pain, if you are actually exerting yourself while doing it, is high time to hang up your keys.

I was trying to take a photo of a crazy, ghetto as all hell sink arrangement in a restroom, what I got was this self-portrait, I am a total failure. I love the NYC bikes, all taped up and (have I already used the term "ghetto as all hell" in this photo caption?).
Wilfie & Nell's. Superfly playing at being a city bike,
I'd need a bike this light if I lived in an apartment building in New York.

I heard something on that British radio station, The BBCBGB or whatever, that the U.S. is in a recession. As a result, this Trog is going to be experiencing cut backs, unless I get laid off, and find myself with a surplus of free time, which is not going to happen. I will still try to put something up here every day, it may just not be as meanderingly yammery as you are used to. So sad for you.

I have no idea why I am suddenly five pounds over race weight

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

There's Nothing To See Here

Please move along and read my
NYCMTB All-City XC MTB At Highbridge Park

report over on the 29er Crew blog

It's all there, except for the part about some neighborhood kids from The Bronx cheering me on using "The N Word". As in "Go get 'im N Word". Only they used the real word, because they can, and I can't but because that would just be weird. Or maybe worse than weird. That never happens when I'm racing my bike in New Hampshire. I have no idea why.

Monday, June 08, 2009

NYCMTB All-City XC MTB At Highbridge Park

Time is short, lots to tell, we'll see how this goes, may be another cliffhanger. At least I got my photos edited.

As a kid from (The) Boston (Area) I had that whole Boston/New York inferiority thing going. I've made many feeble attempts over the years to get new york "dialed", finally just giving up and accepting the fact I would never quite get New York. And not really caring if I did. What I didn't realize is that to derive any kind of enjoyment from New York I had to experience it as a bike race venue.

The drive down sucked, it always does. You fool yourself that you're making great time (that although you left late, you will still be able to meet your brother at his art show in the village) but then, inevitable you get incredibly screwed in traffic. Then you get stuck in gridlocked traffic as soon as you get off the highway - and you have to pee, really, really bad (of course). And that sucks more. Then you sit at a green light, with traffic stopped on the other side, knowing that if you block the intersection, you will get a massive ticket, and some mean looking dude in a blinged out SUV, yells something in Spanish which probably isn't very nice as he peals around you, honking right under a sign that says "No Honking $250 fine". Being from (The) Boston (Area), sometimes when I drive other places I feel like I'm a wolf amongst the sheep, in New York I feel pretty sheepish...er, sheepy. Welcome to New York.

Things got better. M and I met up with her brother Ben and rushed over to catch my brother's show, which was very cool. My brother is a deeply talented, hard-working, and prolific ceramic sculptor. From there we walked around looking for a dinner spot, settling on Westville, which was amazing. Healthy and excellent. Beforehand we hit Wilfie and Nell's for summery cocktails, Gin Rickeys and Pomegranate Martinis. Afterward we sat outside a some random bar, drank a few Stellas, and people watched for a while, finishing off the evening with some slices from Joe's.

Before dinner at Westville, as we waited outside, we ordered a bottle of wine, they poured it into paper coffee cups so we could drink it on the sidewalk, very civilized, maybe New York is alright. These dudes were rockin' out on their bikes (note the stereo) , the guy in the foreground was telling the other dude about how he was "shredding an embankment" earlier. Stellas. Pizza, just for the record, you can get slices this good in Boston, you just have to know where to look. Falafel though, no chance, the closest decent Falafel to Boston is a four hour drive minimum.

Speaking of feeble attempts, that is all I have time for today. Race report tomorrow, probably going to post it over on the 29er Crew blog, I'll let you know.


Friday, June 05, 2009

What in The Wild, Wild World of Animals is Going on Here?

I'm not sure why I'm even going to say this but...
I am going to try to keep this one short (famous first words of what will now likely be an epic novel) I need to find more time to sleep, or try to sleep at least and I can't see myself retiring my blog any time soon. Since Whittingham (that's the guy I linked to back there) isn't going to be talking about himself on the inner-tubes for a while (I hope he'll be back) I will talk about him for a minute.

Jeff has a garage which smells of wood and gasoline and is full of manly tools.

Isn't that a good story?

But wait - there's more!

Sort of.

When I was a kid I always thought I'd grow up and find myself in a house attached to a garage full of manly tools too. It hasn't worked out that way. Jeff has chainsaws and axes and lawn mowers and all sorts of other crap I have no idea how to use. I live in a house without a garage, I have bike tools and a pair of hedge clippers which I have used exactly once. I might have a glue gun in a milk crate in the basement. For crafts.

And no, I do not have a point.

I was inspired by Tomi's post this AM to go out and put up my first Fells NEMBA MTB loop time of the year. The original plan for the day was to do an all business hilly road road ride. Good thing I'm a fucking idiot. I forgot my road bike at work last night. It's a long story. It was a longer 11 mile walk home in my helmet and Lycra. Took me two miles to realize I was missing something. So I had to ride one of my mountain bikes and get something like a decent workout in. According to my moronic interpretation of the Joe Friel bible I was supposed to be doing either Lactate Tolerance Reps or Criss Cross Threshold, whatever that is. I decided to split the workout, do the fun MTB TT thing then the puke and die uphill sprints.

The TT was fun as all hell. Near race pace makes riding tired trails way more fun, you take different lines, things look totally different. I missed a turn on a downhill, went off the loop for a probably close to a minute, had to backtrack but still came through faster than I did it last year...I think, but I suck at keeping records. So here's my record for next time.


done in a clockwise direction starting at the juncture down the way from Governor's Ave.

Bike: Superfly
Gear: 34 X 18
Tires: XDX 2.1 run at about 25Psi (Front)
Xr1 1.9 run at about 28Psi (rear)
Time (not accounting for going off course, we pay for our mistakes here on The Big Bikes):

Then I rode up a hill (Wright's Tower) twelve times, which takes a little over 30 seconds.

The Snake.
This is really what I came down here to talk about today. When I was spinning around warming up for my TT, heading up a washed out fire-road I saw a serpent up ahead. Its head was all flattened out, for a second I thought it was a viper of some kind which would have been really surprising, but no. It was a huge Garter snake with its mouth wrapped around a toad the size of my fist. All it had a hold of was the head, the rest of the toad's body was still writhing and kicking.
No way, I thought, is that little snake going to get that thing down its throat, no way in hell. It looked like an Elephant trying to get in a Smart Car.

I cursed up and down that I had opted not to bring my real camera, "Oh, I'm just doing a workout, no blog-fodder-shenanigans will happen out there today". Thing is, you don't choose when blog-fodder-shenanigans will occur. Oh blog-fodder-shenanigans, you are a wily and capricious mistress.

After the TT I returned, not knowing what macabre scene I would find waiting for me. At first I couldn't find the snake at all, I thought, perhaps he and the toad had decided to go their separate ways. "I'm sorry big guy, you are much too large for me to eat, my bad". "No problem chief, I wasn't that into being eaten alive anyway, see you around".

The two of them had actually shuffled off to the side, under some dry leaves. By then the snake had all but the legs down - and the legs were still twitching. The toad was no longer the size of my fist, at least not volume-wise, he was all kind of elongated and smooshed down the snake's throat/body (not sure how a snake works anatomically, exactly) and there was blood kind of oozing out around where the snake's mouth was locked on.

My proximity made the snake a little nervous I guess, so it sped things up, and as I stood there taking a crappy photo with my phone he pretty much finished up the job. He's probably going to have to sleep that one off for a few weeks.


My day was a whole lot better than that toad's day.

Highbridge report Monday!


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Make a Change

Heading into another fun, nothing to lose (but my teeth) race this weekend. The NYCMTB All-City XC MTB At Highbridge Park. The idea every season is to do some different stuff, and this qualifies as completely different. It's in the heart of Manhattan, apparently you ride over broken glass and discarded hypodermic needles while neighborhood kids spit at you and throw shit. Sounds awesome doesn't it?

In anticipation of the event, I made some changes to my tire set up. Thus far this season I've gone with a bring a Bazooka to every type fight mentality. When I showed up to fight those quadriplegic care bears, they were totally freaked out. What I mean by that in reality is that I've run the Mud Xs almost exclusively, regardless of conditions. After watching the preview video below, I decided to make some changes.

It looks pretty dusty, dry, hard-packed, and kinda shockingly gnarly. Decided to swap the tires out to a full-size 2.1 XDX in the front. Looks and rides a lot bigger than most 2.1s I've met. Threw a wee lil' XR1 in the rear. Went out for the Wednesday Cutler ride to check the set up out. Noticed right off the bat that they roll better on the pavement, and once I was in the woods I was liking the big (to me) front tire and really noticing how fast the rear wheel spun up to speed. For Cutler's dry, hard trails they worked great, but pretty sure they would not be the thing for anything loose or muddy. We'll see, perhaps I will keep them on until The Stoopid 50.

My silly bar ends. Yes I use bar ends. I prefer Singletrack Solutions ST Lites (below) but since they are unavailable from QBP at the moment I had to go with their big, lame brothers, the "Pro" model. They are more expensive, heavier, and more ergonomic (maybe for Lobster Boy). I run them backwards so that while standing and climbing my center of gravity is farther back over the rear wheel. That and I can more seamlessly transition between my the bar ends and my normal riding position.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Bad Roadie

Or maybe "Bad Photo-shopper". I posses neither the skills nor the time to hold myself to the standards of The Dicky. I think what I did accomplish was actually adding significant creepiness to an already creepy box cover. If you've done one thing, you've done something.

After committing last minute to supporting a bike to work thingy out in Natick for Mathworks, which will have me waking up at 5:30AM, which is going to suck. I decided that it would be totally appropriate for me to duck out of the work and go see what the Tuesday Night Championships of The Universe or whatever the hell it's called is all about. Hey wait a second...what's that peanut gallery? 5:30Am isn't that early? You get up every day at that time? That's just dandy, but what time do you get home from work? I got home a 9:15 tonight. Last night I got home at 10PM. When do you get home? Wait, don't answer, just sit there and sip on a tall, cool, glass of shut the fuck up.

Anyway, the thing, the road ride, the fast guy thing they do on the Tuesday nights that I'd never been to. It starts about a five minute ride from the shop, I realized that I could duck out, about ten minutes before go time, I suited up like an emaciated Clark Kent with an oddly doughy mid-section and stomped over to Nahanton Park...where I found no one. So I called up my favorite Jon Bruno and asked him if he was going to the big, fast, ride thingy. "Ya, I'm there now?". "Where's there? Obviously not here". "We meet up on the other side of the highway, get up here, hurry, we're about to take off".

Stomp some more, up over the overpass, got there in time, barely. I felt like I was kind of standing out in the midst of all the Dura Ace and 1000 gram wheelsets. Dudes was like "Whoah, check out that Shimano 600 9 speed, slam-min! Yo is that a Centaur front brake with a Shimano lever? Damn son! And I am feelin' the bald Pro race 3 in the front and the Conti Gatorskin in the rear".

The pace was pretty reasonable from the gun, I thought I'd just work on my leg speed, spin a wicked high cadence, and get a good aerobic workout without all the mashy mashy of the riding the single speed all the time. Half way through the ride things went Mr. Hyde all of a sudden. A split formed then a chasm, I was on the wrong side of it. My goal was to hang with the front group even if I couldn't pull through. I had work to do. I bridged across, tacked back on and looked behind me, I had dragged no one across. I had made the selection, sweetness.

Being a bad roadie you effectively get a much better workout in. You pull through, spend too long on the front, upping the pace too much, then you pull off and backslide, timing your re-entry to the pace line all wrong, then have to chase back on, and when you do finally get back on, gasping and sputtering, you aren't ever really in the pocket because you're a mountain biker and you couldn't catch a draft on top of Mt. Washington in a Hurricane.

The true badness occurred as we were coming back into Dover center, there was a car in our lane turning left at the light, it was causing a total screenshot for oncoming traffic, I threw a hand behind my back to indicate that I was slowing, then I saw that a car which was approaching the intersection in the opposite direction was indeed turning although it had no blinker on, I let out a shout at the car, which is something I do, but which also caused some panic behind me. "Don't yell! That's the worst thing you can do!". OK, next time I'll quietly allow a car to T-Bone all twenty of us. Not sure what the appropriate etiquette in that situation really is. End result, I looked to be the ass.

After that I was sitting in second wheel when the guy in front of me slammed into a pothole or something, I nailed it as well. The guy behind barked "Hey! You could call some of this shit out!". "Sorry I was too busy hitting it myself". Not sure why the dude in front, who is the only person who can actually see where he's going wouldn't call it out, or steer the pace line around it if it's so bad. This whole roadie thing is still kind of a mystery to me. People don't yell at each other on mountain bike rides. Unless I'm riding with Colin, in that case we yell "You suck!" at each other a lot.

I hadn't done an aggro group ride during rush hour in a while. It served to remind me that people suck. I don't know if they got together to work this one out but I heard at least three people yell out of car windows "You're not a car!". Thank freakin' god. And there was the woman who buzzed us while we were probably at or above the posted speed limit. At a light she said "what am I supposed to do? You should be riding single file". I, in an uncannily calm manner informed her that she needed to get on the RMV site and review the laws regarding cyclists. But then there were the kids who yelled "hi bikers!". That was nice. Maybe I will give this ride another go sometime, and I will try not to be such a Bad Roadie.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

This Is What I'm Doing Sunday

Stupid things people have said to me throughout the course of my short,
half-forgotten already life:

In a discussion about being strapped for time due to work and other obligations (in the speaker's case school, in my case bike racing):

"Ya, but you choose to race your bike"

Right, and someone forces you to go to school. I'm pretty sure that was a big problem under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, women being forced to go to school.

Stupid things people do only when in a bike shop:

Man walks up to service counter at bike shop, asks when he can get his bike back, he is told that it can be ready for him in four days.

Man: "Hmm, that's not going to work for me"

SW (Service Writer): "Sorry, that's the best I can do"

Man: "Well, I'll have to take my business elsewhere"

SW: "Wish I could do something for you"

I like to use the Strarbucks model when trying to convey how fucking absurd people act when they come into a bike shop. Mainly because people act like enormous assholes when they're at Starbucks and I only wished they showed a modicum of the same etiquette while in a bike shop. Using the Starbucks model in this case, imagine a man walking into a Starbucks with a line out the door, he screams from the back of the line "I want my coffee now! If you do not give it to me now, I will take my business elsewhere!".

In that case It is obvious that he has about as much leverage as a 15mm Cone wrench on a seized pedal (bad bike shop analogy). Sorry sir but the reason we can't work on your bike right now is because we have so many bikes to work on, comma ("comma" implies the word "asshole" after it. Borrowed from Partners in Health founder Paul Farmer).

That's it for today. Must break cycle of anger and sleepiness.

And yes, I am doing that NYC Race Sunday, for real-Zs.