Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Bike Filler

I have a great post in the works that includes mammals and bugs and kids and human evolution and surprise twists and mysteries and all kinds of great stuff all packaged together in an amazing post that will educate you, broaden your perspective, expand your horizons and Fundamentally Change Your Life*.

*Well, it’ll kill 15 minutes at work, anyway.

But I didn’t quite finish it last night*. So it’ll be up tomorrow. So today I just have a little Monday bike-related filler. In the meantime, if you want a cool science post, check out the current edition of Berry-Go-Round over at Beetles in the Bush. Ted’s put together the best edition yet. (It’s even got tangents!)

*Because these big posts are hard. I have to do research** and stuff.

**Because I don’t just make this shit up, you know. Well, not most of it, anyway.

It’s Fall of course, and I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets cold I find that I slack off on the biking a bit, and before you know it the pounds start to add on. Oh, I put on a few every Fall and Winter like everyone else, but I really try to keep up some sort of exercise regimen so that I’m not in too bad a shape come Spring. Last week I emailed with some of the guys on the team and given that the weather forecast looked good, we decided to meet up Saturday for a team training ride.

seat ass big This was our team’s 4th annual Sumo-Halloween ride, expertly organized and provisioned by Teammate-Ken. We all had a great time riding around Sandy and Midvale, and next year we’re thinking of working a ‘cross race into the ride at Wheeler Farms.

Team rolling In the pre-ride group shot below, Salt Lake-area bikers familiar with my team may recognize something about the shop we’re posed in front of: it’s a different shop. A week ago our team switched shops, and this coming year we won’t be Spin Cycle Racing anymore, but Revolution Racing.

IMG_0497 I wasn’t party to the switch-over, so I’m still not 100% clear on who broke up with whom, but the switch isn’t a bad deal for me. I’ve been a semi-regular customer at Revolution for years, and pleased with their service, though over the last 2 years I’d patronized Spin a bit more, mainly for the team discounts and priority service. Both shops have treated me well, and I’ve no complaints with either*. But Revolution is a bit closer to my office and has been where I’ve always gone for wheel-builds and suspension work, so assuming the switch means discounts and priority service then it’ll probably work out well for me.

*With the possible minor exception of annoying Flash intro on Revolution’s website. Really, people are still doing that? That is so 2002…

Tangent: Except for suspension overhauls and wheel-builds, I do all my own mountain bike maintenance. I tend to use shops more for road bike maintenance, partly because a) I’ve less experience with road bikes, b) I got into road-bikes when I had more $ than when I got into mountain biking, and c) mountain bikes are way more maintenance-intensive, meaning that if I didn’t do the maintenance I’d be at the shop all the time, whereas road-bike maintenance is less frequent, more predictable and easier to plan around. Oddly, you’d think the fact that they were less maintenance-intensive would mean I’d be more likely to do more work myself on the road bike, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. OK this tangent’s going nowhere.

Anyway it was a fun day and hopefully the shop-switch will work out well for the team.

On a serious note, the day reminded me of one of the things I don’t like so much about road-riding. During the Sumo Ride, passing cars waved, honked and laughed. And they gave us wide berth and lots of courtesy, passing us with extra space, waiting for us at intersections, even pulling back a bit from stop signs to give us extra room. All of them were happy to see us.

IMG_0496After the ride, out of the sumo suit, I jumped back on the bike and started pedaling home, Within 5 minutes I was cut off by an SUV piloted by a driver chatting on a cell phone, oblivious to my presence. It was back to normal, and I thought the same thought I think about 100 times a year: Road riding would be so awesome if it weren’t for the damn cars.

Maybe I should just ride in the Sumo Suit all the time. It sure was warm.

Next Up: OK, seriously. Real science post tomorrow. Topic = a little bit gross, but good science. Get a good night’s sleep and drink a cup of coffee first so that you can attention.


Sally said...

But I thought riding kept you trim!?? At least, no divots in that outfit, I'm guessing.*

Still liking the beard...

*There is the risk of bouncing into oncoming traffic should you crash though.

Beetles in the Bush said...

That rear shot of the peloton is about the funniest thing I've ever seen!
p.s. thanks for the plug and for your excellent contributions.

KB said...

Believe it or not, there's actually some science/engineering hidden in this post. A big problem for obese people is finding bikes that fit them and can handle their weight. Some engineers are starting to think about how to design beefed-up and comfy bikes for them. It may be a big market because biking could help with weight loss without the injuries of weight-bearing exercise like walking or running.

I loved the photo of the team in costume!

I agree with you about the cars...

KanyonKris said...

Hey, wait, you're not a real sumo! Real sumo wrestlers don't have beards.

Looks like a fun ride. A little insanity is the best way to keep sane.

KristenT said...

Someone on another blog post likened road riding with running with the bulls.

And I will have to agree, sometimes, it seems like the only thing wrong with road riding is all the other people on the roads. :)

Lucy said...

Sweet group photo!
Welcome to Team Revolution.

Watcher said...

KB- I can imagine how weight would be a problem for obese riders, though of course we didn't experience it in our inflatable suits.

But we did experience another problem which obese riders might experience: clipping into road pedals is extremely disconcerting when you can't see the pedal (or your foot.) And then there was the bottle I managed to eject from its cage by sweeping it out with my "thigh"...

Enel said...

Y'all made Yahoo news most emailed photos.;_ylt=AiAz.TdQvm2_1GwER.aJlTADW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTE3cGNqb2E1BHBvcwM0BHNlYwN5bl9zbGlkZXNob3cEc2xrA3RlYW1tZW1iZXJzbw--

Watcher said...

And to think my mother said I would never amount to anything...