Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hydration, Thanksgiving, and Bike Farts.

A few things this time around:

One: It’s getting cold, folks, so, remember to hydrate while you’re out there pedaling about. Keep the engine fueled. You might think you’re not sweating, and you feel absolutely fine, but your body is still doing it’s expel moisture to cool you thing, so make sure it doesn’t freak out when it realizes nature’s lubricant tank is all empty.
You can use this:
Look at how happy and hydrated they are!

or this:

Who's a good boy?

Personally, that’s your choice, just remember that each has side effects. One leads to this:

And the other leads to this:

But either way, make sure you’re drinking. It should be more of the former, but who am I to preach? I really love beer (PBR doesn't count, hipsters). Like San Francisco was built on rock n roll, this city was built on alcoholic beverages. I truly believe that one day, when the city has stopped sinking, we will go far below the water table, and what will rise will be that funky liquid they make Hand Grenades (the drink, not the weapon) from.

Just remember, President Camacho was right when he endorsed Brawndo. Like plants, you crave this shit.

Also, this week is Thanksgiving. In honor of this wonderful holiday, I thought I’d comprise a Top Ten of things cyclists are thankful for:
  1. Their bikes
  2. Their Bikes
  3. Still their bikes
  4. Bikes. No mention of family yet
  5. Family? Nope. The basket or carrying utensil they utilize on their bike
  6. Lights for their bikes
  7. Bike shorts
  8. Did I mention bikes?
  9. Cup holders for their bikes
  10. Things that are not their bikes (family finally included).

Just remember: what you eat on Thursday, you’re going to pay for on Saturday.

Finally, the main crux of this post.

Let’s talk about a curious occurrence I’m sure all of you have been afflicted with at some point, or if you’re like me, every time you get on the bike. I’m sure you’ve all suffered, or enjoyed through all the moments when you have a sudden, and usually noisy bout of this delightfully awkward social interaction:

The Bike Fart.

I get them. I get them often. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s a guarantee that during any ride I engage in, I will add to the environment my own intestine cooked and prepared with love contribution to noise and air pollution. If you’re ever near me in a ride, I suggest two things:
  1. Don't draft me, bro. Despite the fact I'm the human equivalent of a brick wall.
  2.   If you do decide to ride near me, prepare yourself for the haunting yet swingy tunes such as the old favorites, ‘I had Taco Bell last night,’ or the brand new top ten Billboard hit, ‘Kale stinks as horrible as it tastes.’

But first, let’s answer the age old question, just so we both have a shared point of reference, what is a fart?

"That's what I think of your bible!"

According to the most trusted, completely accurate news source on the planet, Wikipedia describes a fart as:
"flatus expelled through the anus, or the quality or state of being flatulent, which is defined in turn as "marked by" or affected with gases generated in the intestine or stomach, likely to cause digestive flatulence."
First off, I don’t know what a ‘flatus’ is, except I think I ate it last week at my favorite Mexican restaurant. It was tasty, but had I known it was contributing to me bicycle flatulence, I might have chosen the quesadilla instead.

Luckily, I read the next sentence, and it explained it for me.
         "The root of these words is from the Latin flatus - "a blowing, a breaking wind."

Keep that in mind the next time you’re choosing items off the menu at a Greek restaurant.

Anyway, back to my farts. Mostly, they don’t smell, but then again, how would I know? Maybe you should survey the people trapped behind my explosive butt. I’m sure they might see me as some foul smelling Krampus come to ruin their bicycling Christmas.

I told you not to get behind me.

I’ve also wondered if there’s actually any benefit to this phenomenon (besides keeping wheel suckers off my six) so once again, I consulted the magic google box, and while there really isn’t much information on the positive links between farting and recreational cycling, I did find this (created by NASA, no less):

Knowing is half the battle.

There you have it, folks.

So no, I don’t know why we bike fart. If it’s the result of some pressure war going on between my comfy saddle, my butt, and my small intestine, or because I ate way too many beefy 5 layer burritos the night before? I don’t know, but I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not knowing. Sometimes, not knowing is a good thing.

I’m sure there’s a life lesson somewhere in that.

Most of you now think this blog has completely gone south, and it’ll be interesting to see how many people read the next post after suffering through a chat about farts, but let me be honest, I think I’m building a bridge here. I think there are more of you out there, who suffer from this affliction, and might be embarrassed to admit your dealings with it, like some are afraid to admit their affections for Justin Beiber, wearing socks with crocs, or trusting in Jessica Simpson's knowledge of canned tuna.

Don’t be embarrassed! Proclaim the virtues of your butt trumpets! Embrace the fact that there’s probably a reason why you fart when you bike, and that reason is infinitely better than the person who’s just sitting on their couch and farting. You’re out there doing, being active! They’re just sitting, and being passive. Passive farting. Be proud of those bike farts. It means you’re doing something! You’re improving yourself!

That’s right. I just turned this into a motivational moment based on flatulence. See what I did there?

Anyway, enjoy the holidays. Eat well. Hug someone you love. Hug someone you don’t. Be thankful. Ride your bike. Ride off the pounds. I’m thankful for everyone who has stopped by this blog and read these posts, and I’m thankful for all of you who made it to the end of this one.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gotta Hit 'em All!

Allow me to step outside my normal cycling bubble of self-centered obsession over average speed and wattage to address an issue that seems to be creeping up in occurrence, and that is one in which the general death machine operating public inadvertently has started playing its own version of Pokemon Go, only with cyclists.

Lately, from social media, to news outlets, we’re getting more and more reports of drivers acting in ways, where the only logical conclusion is that their brains have short circuited from cell phone over stimulation, and they’ve decided they’ve ‘gotta catch them all,’ but not with the traditional digital creatures. No, that would be too easy and obvious. They need a more suitable target for the Pokemon catching obsession, and that would be something that actually moves, thinks, possibly wears lycra, and puts all sorts of beautiful little lights on their favored mode of transportation: the New Orleans Cyclist.

And we're much easier to catch. I’ve tried Pokemon go, and I swear I’m too spastic to swipe a little digital ball up a tiny phone screen, at some little dancing imp, in order to secure them in my trap. I throw my balls all over the place (I know how that sounds) in hopes of catching the sprite, and I miss, and I run out of balls, and that FUCKING LITTLE CREATURE MOCKS ME THE ENTIRE TIME!

In comparison, we bike at set speeds, mostly stay in straight lines, and because we're keeping our eyes on the road, WILL NEVER SEE YOUR AMBUSH COMING!

Nope, there’s obviously an easier, and more rewarding game of Pokemon Go going on here, and it doesn't involve little cute monsters with unreadable names. It involves a city full or cyclists that are just as varied in appearance and challenge!

Because why try swiping a stupid ball, when you can just do this:

See, as a cyclist, this is how it feels on the roads of New Orleans at times. You learn to keep your head on a swivel, because you never know when someone decides to take five minutes off from being a responsible motorist, so they can snap chat a duck face, generously apply mascara, swipe left on Tinder, check to see if their dick pics got any upvotes on Reddit, or whatever other distraction that has no business being in a car, has addled their brain to the point that they MUST ABSOLUTELY DO THIS TASK RIGHT NOW, INSTEAD OF SAFELY OPERATING THE FIVE TON DEATH MACHINE.

Remember, Peggy Peddler, you’re competing for attention with ALL of those wonderful things, and you're most likely going to lose that battle!

It’s sickening, even more so when you read about the hit and run murder of a New Orleans man just trying to get home from work a few nights back, whom, from all accounts, was wearing a helmet, and had illumination on his bike. You also read that the car identified in the accident was stolen, which opens up yet another whole can of worms about the problems this city faces.

It breaks my heart that this guy was just trying to get home. He was probably exhausted, tired, whatever, and was obeying the rules of the road, when some asshole came and took everything beautiful away from him. It’s fucking disgusting.

But unfortunately, it doesn't stop there.

You could also wonder about the woman who decided to catch them all last week, to the tune of rolling over a handful of tourists taking a cycling tour of the city. Welcome to New Orleans, mother fuckers. Allow me to roll right over your shit, because once again, I can’t be bothered to pay attention to human life over some bullshit app on my phone. Too bad for you. Hope you come back. Or don’t.

And yet, it keeps going...

What about the small clips, the brush by, the nudges, dirty looks, screaming rants, and an assortment of various other awful behaviors people display against cyclists? Some are violent and large enough to get reported. Some are 'small' in the eyes of the perpetrator, or the law, and are pushed aside as minor inconveniences. Nothing to see here, folks.

What about the complete picture?

This city has a problem, and it definitely starts with education, enforcement, advocacy, and adherence. Slapping bike lanes on roads and promising to get a bike share before the sun burns out isn’t going to amount to shit if the majority of the city still thinks it’s open season on cyclists. There is a pervasive ignorance in this city surrounding cycling laws, and the designed intent of road sharing programs, and it’s only going to be the empowerment of the correct knowledge, either through any of the means listed above, that transforms the landscape of this city from Thunderdome to something slightly less threatening than Thunderdome.

Don’t cheer and high five just yet, because we’re not completely without blame. If we’re to expect the mouth breathers, who think Duck Dynasty is the greatest show on TV since the Bible Family Hour of 1963, to turn over a new leaf and comply with the rules of the road, then we, as cyclists, also have to do our part. No riding against traffic. No erratic swerving. Lights. Obeying traffic signals.

We have to be better as well. We have to set the example, because this is where turning the other cheek is the best solution. Screaming at all the ignorant folk isn’t going to banish forever their grave ignorance, it’s just simply going to reinforce what they’ve thought all along: that we’re a bunch of self-obsessed, entitled, obnoxious assholes who obviously belong on the fucking sidewalk.

So, let’s all make better efforts on our end as well. Let’s educate. Let’s lead by example. Let’s inform Boudreaux that the road cyclist on the Cervelo with the matching jersey and shorts isn’t the rarest Pokemon out there worth catching.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just Shut Up and Go Ride Your Bike

Well, Election 2016. Who saw that coming?

I'm not going to get on a soapbox about who won or lost, and why, and how it makes me feel, and what's going to happen to the world, or if this truly is the beginning of a new Camelot, or a cruel apocalypse.

I'm not here for that. I'm here for THE BIKE, and even through all this craziness, THE BIKE still demands Its tribute.

Besides, if you want opinions and articles, and talking heads, you have a much better outlet for that sort of media saturation than this blog could ever provide.

It's called Facebook, and it will give you all the validation, in either direction, that you need.

Look, I know some of you feel like this right now...

And I know there are others who feel like this right now:

But regardless, of where you stand, let's take a step back and remember a few definite things we can all take comfort in:

1. The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar, and everything is going to be alright.

2. 50 Shades of Gray is still the shittiest book in the history of the written word.

You know how much I hate that book? I didn't even bother to go back and correct the 'gray' when I realized it was the wrong spelling. Nope. Fuck it. Take that, Stephanie Mayers (see what I did there?)

So, please, do this not for me, but for your sanity:

1. Close the facebook app and put the fucking phone down.

2. Go get your bike.

3. Get on it.

4. Pedal somewhere, and be happy.

5. If it's Wednesday, go to Parkway bakery and Tavern and eat a Thanksgiving Po'boy. That sandwich is the truth.

Just get on your bike and do something. If there's a social ride, take part, if you ride with your significant other, do that, if you prefer to ride solo, go ahead. Any type of riding you prefer, or enjoy, just go do it and remind yourself that life is still good, and people are not all total and complete pieces of shit just because of how they voted. You wouldn't want to be classified by one such factor, especially as a preference to the sum of your parts, so please don't over-simplify others.

At the end of the day, keep in mind that most of us want the same thing. We just want to be happy. We want friends. We want a social life. We want to feel safe. We want our families to have opportunities, and we want to live life with hope, and believe that tomorrow can be better than today.

We all fundamentally want the same things.

Except for the people who are fucked up, but this post isn't about them.

So, before you blast someone for how they voted, or something they've said, maybe offer a handshake, maybe a hug, maybe invite them on a ride. Do something.

Go ride. Go find the magic you love on your bike. Make the day better. Pedal hard or easy, fast or slow, long distance or short. Do what you love.

Regardless of our differences, we all have to get through this together. Not as two parties screaming at each other over who has the better flavor of ice cream. Not as fanatics with myopic views of how everything in this world works, refusing to open the field of vision to the greater picture. Don't be any of those crazy things. Be the better person. Do something that makes you happy.

So, go ride. That weird piece of metal with the two circular rubber things sitting in your house or garage is notorious for pulling joy out of the strangest places. Make use of it.

Find some happiness. And share it.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Cranksgiving 2016

Apparently, this is a thing.

It happens all across the country. In cities big and small. Folks hop on their bikes and engage in something resembling what would happen if a food drive had a weird drunken threesome with a scavenger hunt and a road race.

Teams form up, they are given a list, and then they pedal their asses around town, cycling from grocery to grocery, in order to buy/collect food, which will then be donated to charity, and of course, used to brighten the Thanksgiving of those less fortunate.

No, I'm not making a homeless joke at the expense of a great event.

Because, I think this is definitely a great event, and I think folks should get off their asses and do it. We ride countless miles day after day, week after week, and month after month, and the majority of the time, we ride for ourselves, or our friends. We either turn our cycling into a personal exercise, or a social one.

Perhaps we can also remind ourselves, that sometimes we can even turn our rides into charitable ones.

Now, I know there are all manners of cyclists, with all manners of differing opinions, on riding, on life, on everything, and one of the beautiful things about this world is that all of these differing opinions don't have to gel, and these styles don't have to mesh, and nothing on nothing about nothing has to be similar at all. All of these differing factors don't have to shape up and coalesce in any manner at all, but that still won't stop us from being friends, or from banding together and doing something decent in this world.

Because as crappy as the overall social environment seems at the moment due to this election nonsense, we can still be friends, and be social, and ride around town, and carry on, and remind ourselves that regardless of whoever is sitting in the oval office, and however elated or doomed we might feel at that developement, we can give a big fuck you to all that, and do something worthwhile and awesome for folks who are going through pretty difficult times.

So, on Nov 13, in New Orleans, starting at noon, and beginning at their bike shop (which you should visit) the lovely ladies of Dashing Bicycles will be hosting Cranksgiving 2016. My beautiful Wookie Life Mate and myself will be taking part in the event, and I hope whoever reads this blog, or learns about the event, or catches it on facebook, will come along and chase canned foods around the city. There will be an after party at one of the best pizza places in town, and prizes awarded to teams for various accomplishments throughout the ride.


It's going to be fun, and besides, you shouldn't upset our National Bird.

Turkey will judge you.

Find a Cranskgiving in your area by going here:

Cranksgiving 2016

Or, if you're local, by getting all the details here:

Cranksgiving NOLA on Book of the Face.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see everyone out there.

And thanks for letting me climb up on my soapbox.


Friday, November 4, 2016

I want to be old, so I can kill people.

I want to give the six people who read this blog something to look forward to when they get old. This is a very important and pertinent gift, because it illustrates the power of growing old, and the godlike control you'll have over life and death in relation to those upstart, foolish, younger idiots that will plague your life with their endless screams of 'stop driving in the left lane' and 'you'll love this assisted living facility I've picked out for you.'

You see, I'm giving you the gift of murder, but the one catch is you can only kill cyclists, because obviously, as you've noticed in the numerous roads across America, we rank right below possums in 'things you feel slightly bad about running over while operating a motor vehicle.'

We might even rank below vultures.

So, I've learned of this super power the elderly now possess through this article:

Old Person Uses Cyclist For Speedbump; Doesn't Go to Jail.

In case you don't feel like clicking, to summarize, an 88 year old man hit a cyclist, left the scene, the cyclist died, and he's not getting any jail time for it. The driver, not the cyclist. I'm sure had the cyclist survived, they would've found a way to cite him for 'improper imitation of a road obstruction.'

The kicker in all this is the DA said this entire case wouldn't be an issue if the driver hadn't fled the scene. I'm just going to let that thought sit there. No joke attached.

If the driver didn't flee the scene, nothing would have happened. Okay, that's false. Something would've happened. I can imagine the driver and the cops standing around high five'ing each other and taking selfies with their trophy kill. Put him on your car and drive him back to your house. He'll look good over the fireplace.

There's plenty of arguments to be had about this issue, both for and against harsher punishment. I would say 'discussions' but let's face it, no one discusses anything anymore. Facebook has taught us that the only way to debate differing opinions is through screaming and ALL CAPS. And then unfriending and blocking. Because that's what responsible and reasonable adults do.

But forget all that! That's neither here nor there! I'M GIVING YOU A GIFT (see how I used all caps?)


See, I can imagine there's been a few different reactions when reading this article or hearing about the incident.

The first, from cyclists:


The second from the general populace:


And finally, from the elderly:



I know I'm coming off as extremely callous and insensitive about a pretty serious issue, but that's exactly how I imagine the general public reacting in relation to cycling issues.

We're the weird people taking up the roads with out tight clothing, and our snooty bikes, and our lighted wheels and our generally happy attitude. Who do we think we are? Just let them hit us and shut up.

Advocacy is an important issue, and it's improving slowly in its ability to inform and educate regarding proper etiquette in regards to peacefully co-existing between those who pedal, and those who don't. There's quite a few groups making wonderful strides in changing the prevailing attitudes, and modifying the social dynamic that isn't always positive when it comes to cars and bicycles.

Ultimately, the whole point is that one day, when you're old, eating dinner at 330, going to bed at 5. and fighting the urge to proclaim Lawrence Welk as the greatest musician ever, you might hit that cyclist. You will be arrested, tried, and face sufficient punishment should you be found at fault. You will remember that it was me who gave you the green light to play bicycle pinball and you'll look to the heavens and curse my name.

Because I want you think that I was wrong. That it isn't okay to be so inattentive while operating something so dangerous, and in the process, killing someone through that negligence.

Old, or young. We need to be more considerate of everyone on the road, and maybe a little less selfish, not just in driving, but in life in general.

Everyone, except me. Screw you, guys. When I get old, I'm turning every street into a scene from Mad Max.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

N + 1

This will be quick.

I feel like this…


That is, I’ve taken a huge step forward into getting into cyclocross (and being a roadie). I’ve ordered a bike (N+1) that can be used for such purposes.


I said, 'purposes.'

 Now, I still love my Marlin. I would say it’s my first child, but I can’t (thanks Specialized and Cannondale) but it is the first new bike I’ve owned this decade. I love my little red beast, and I have no intention of retiring it. It will just serve a different purpose.

But there will be a new machine, and it is this beauty:

Now, yes, I realize it is an adventure or gravel or flying sausage footy powered transport machine, or whatever new classification bike companies slap on things to make us think we’re buying something new, but two things led me to grab this:

1) It’s in my price range, and it can function not only as a CX bike, but a road bike as well,

And more importantly…

2) The bike folks are fairly certain this bike can hold up to the abuse I can toss onto it without suffering a pinch flat, broken fork, or whatever unfortunate event might befall me the moment I lower my Clydesdale sized ass onto it.

And it ain’t the best, or the shiniest, or the finest, but it will be mine, and it makes me feel like this when I think of riding it:


My girlfriend, whom I love more than anything, especially since she sees me through these blinding moments of indescribable obsessive compulsive behaviors I get into when I fall in love with something new and shiny, in which I go all in, acquire all the things, do all the events, get all the excitements, and scream all the enthusiastic rage, only to fall out of love when my perfect perception ultimately doesn’t match the reality (I’m looking at you, Star Wars Costuming group), didn’t exactly get why I had to buy this new thing, but she understands me. She supports me nonetheless, and always, she provides a logical, thoughtful, intelligent discussion on why I should exercise some prudence before I go absolutely apeshit. I listen, I consider, and in this case, go completely blind to what she said and call the bike shop and tell them to order THE THING THAT MUST BE OWNED!

Now, this doesn’t always end poorly. Some passions are still followed (I’m looking at you, Hockey) and as I’ve biked on and off for the better part of 20 years now (holy shit, I just realized it’s been that long) and loved every minute of it, I’m hopeful this joins the ranks of hockey and not the ranks of do I really want to dress up like Darth Vader just to hang out with a bunch of assholes (actually, the majority of these folks are really awesome, nice people whom I adore. Unfortunately, it’s ruined by Death Star Magnitude assholes).

There’s a local CX track I look forward to checking out once I get this beast, and as soon as I pedal onto the dirt, I will then look forward to the section of it that makes me fall straight on my ass.

So, shall we get down to business and get this whole CX thing going?


All hail THE BIKE.

(Apologies for all the GIFs)


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

And while I’m at it, F**K You, too, Wasp.

You can kiss my ass, little winged asshole of hate.

Lesson one, kiddos: If you’re going to wear lace up tennis for riding, tuck the goddamn laces in. I hit the pedal hard on the downstroke, it caught my lace, and loosened it enough where I thought, “Gee, that could be a problem. Maybe I should tie that, soon.”

Lesson Two: This is the important part of the lesson, so pay close attention. If you’re going to stop and tie the laces, get off the bike and do it. Don’t try and be fancy and all impressed with yourself and think, “I’ll just pull up next to that light post and rest my foot on the cement block and tie up. I won’t have to get off the bike! I’m so smart! Look at how awesome I am!”

Because you know what happens when you do that? You pull up, and the base of the light post itself is slightly rusted, and a bit loose, and you know what lives in that base? You know what’s waiting for you should you happen to bump it accidently while tying up your cool red and yellow blend laces?


It took a moment for Brain to realize what was happening. What are these things? What are they doing?

Then the Brain realized, and I started to pedal. And these little bastards realized I had interrupted their nightly session of bee torture, ant devourment, or whatever the hell wasps do when they’re not terrorizing humans, and they gave chase.

I thought I’d escaped. I thought I’d cleared the hate cloud of stingy.

You see, my Clydesdale form betrayed me, because the energy required to get up to escape velocity is great, and forward motion doesn’t happen immediately, and one particularly lucky little shit head caught me. He nabbed the prize. He enacted cold, hateful revenge on the chubby human.

He got me right on the back, right next to the little backpack that holds my gear, right on a spot of back that is just out of the reach of my arms. A spot I couldn’t reach, couldn’t scratch, couldn’t anything. It was a perfect spot. He was the Robin Hood of wasps by splitting the apple and putting his little arrow of hate right on the money.

I thought I’d escaped, and then I felt it, and this is exactly what it felt like:


And I was less than five minutes into my ride.

But I kept going. I can’t say if that was the smart option.

This wouldn’t be the first obstacle of the night, because it was Halloween. The roads were full of careless cars, joyous, exuberant dogs looking to chase something, and oblivious small kids dressed as Harley Quinn and Disney Princesses looking to get high off sugar and scary pumpkins, and in that search for blissful candy utopia, they’d run headlong into the street, unaware of anything that might cause collision or concern.

I dealt with them all, but it was the wasp that truly put a stamp on the night. The wasp, and all his evil, malevolent kind, will forever be branded into my memory, and the two little lessons I learned will always hang in my brain on the carvings that contain the commandments I follow on a daily basis.

All things considered, it was still a good ride, because as you know, any time on the bike is just about better than the majority of other things you’ll do during the day.

And to reiterate, wasps can kiss my ass.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

You Ruined My Ride, You Bitch.

I just wanted one thing, and you took it from me.

My hand was killing me, my legs were on fire, and all I wanted to do was sprint down this one stretch of road, this final stretch, same as I do every time I ride, to pedal hard, hit my ‘finish line,’ and call it a day. I didn’t feel like riding, but I had to, because that’s what I do, and all I wanted, all I needed, was my final sprint, and everything would be cool. Just let me push my big, hurting, tired ass through that finish mark, as hard as I could pedal, and it would be all worth it. I was Pavlov’s Dog, and this was my stimulus to get me to my favored reaction. That was the price, and I was ready to pay. Pedal Hard. Circles, not squares. Breathe. Close it out.

I know you saw me. I was in your field of view. I was right there. The pause you slightly made in your obnoxious SUV, one which you can clearly not operate efficiently. That pause, when you started backing out of your driveway, when you knew I was there, did the awkward brake lurch, and then decided FUCK IT, I’M JUST GOING TO GO INSTEAD! HE’S ON A BIKE. I’M IN A FOUR TON HATE MACHINE. I WIN THIS BATTLE.

And you did. You backed out like the fucking Titanic being pushed by slow ass tugboats away from a dock. You backed out so slowly I swear you made that Sloth from Zootopia look like the Flash. Saying you inched out is an insult to propulsion.

You inched out. And I had to brake.


Less than forty feet from my finish line, and you just had to be in front of the cyclist. You just couldn’t wait a handful of seconds.

I know I’m not alone in this. I know there’s an innumerable amount of cyclists who have dealt with this, had some mouth breather in a car just totally ignore your presence and do something ignorant and selfish. I know you feel my pain. I know you commiserate. I know you understand.

That woman in the SUV. She’ll never get it. She’ll never know, but then again, how many motorists actually do know? To them, cars rule the road, and we’re the remora fish in the wake of your great white rolly machines.

Whoever you are, fuck you. I hope you caught a flat.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nobody reads this, but here's my social dooty awareness for the day.

If you read that blurb 'about me' thing over there in the sidebar, you'll realize I live in the great state of Louisiana, in the New Orleans area, which is famously and incorrectly known though TV for its abundance of horrible Cajun accents (the only people with Cajun accents in New Orleans are the out of towners who visit solely to get fucked up on Bourbon street when celebrating or commiserating LSU football) and that it's obviously Mardi Gras EVERY SINGLE DAY (it isn't).

You also might know, through the wonders of cable news networks, that we currently have an ex-wizard of the KKK running for some public office. I can't be bothered to remember which, but it doesn't matter, because whatever position he's running for, I'll vote for someone else.

Which brings me to my point: Early voting starts today, so go and exercise your right as an American. Or exercise your right and don't. Whatever.

But this is just a reminder for the seven people (if that) who read this blog: early voting is happening now.

Go and ride your bike to the nearest polling place, and proceed to crisscross across the choices, randomly selecting who you wish to win.

And tell The Brain it's going to be an easy ride.


Monday, October 24, 2016

My Brain is an A$$hole.

My brain is an asshole, and myself hates myself

I know that’s probably murdering the English language in some shape or form, but allow me the error to get this brief thought off my chest.

When it comes to riding, I obviously hate myself, and my brain completely finds delight in being a complete asshole to my body.

You see, every now and again, my brain originally says to my body, “hey body, you’ve rode this week. Let’s take an easy day to putter around, keep the engines attached to your hips running, and just enjoy a nice, easy ride on this wonderfully pleasant day! Doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Just the beauty of being on THE BIKE.”

And my body says, in response because it is polite, and it loves to ride, “why yes, brain! You’re right! We deserve an easy ride! Let’s do just that thing!”

And I kit up. And I get the bike. And I get on the road. And it starts. And the ride is feeling great. 
Wow, my legs feel great. THE BIKE feels great. What a wonderful day! It’s beautiful weather! Look at that bird! Look at that lovely cloud…

And after a few minutes, it starts. The Brain.

“Hey, I know I said this was going to be an easy day, and not to sound like a jerk, but wow, we’re really pedaling slow. Are we moving in reverse?"

Look at that wonderful puppy frolicking in the field! Did I mention those clouds are beautiful? I think that one looks like Eddie Merckx is chasing Wayne Gretzky.

“Psst. Did you hear me? Look, okay, fine. I know. You want this to be an easy ride. Like we agreed upon.”

Wow! These people driving these four ton death machines are really cooperating today! Everyone is perfect! What a great ride! Those clouds kick ass!

“Hey. HEY! Listen. Listen! I know you feel it. I know you think you’re going too slow. I know. Why don’t you just spin a little faster. You can still enjoy the ride. You can. You know I’m right.”

Okay. Maybe. You have a point. Maybe a bit faster. Just to keep the speed up and the legs loose.

“Great. Wonderful. You’re doing an awesome job. This ride is just great.”

And so I pedal a bit faster. Oh, look, things are still beautiful. What an awesome day. My legs are great. This wind is perfect…

“Look, I know we agreed on this pace, but don’t you feel this is still just a bit too slow? Really? I mean, come on, your legs aren’t even hurting. You know it isn’t an official ride unless you’re legs are screaming.”

But, I thought today was going to be an easy, enjoyable ride. Just the beauty on being on the bike?

“Who said that? Really? Nah, come on. You know the only beauty is when your legs are screaming. Just a little. Just a little misery. Come on. Cycling isn’t about pleasant rides. It only counts when you’re in abject pain and misery. That’s cycling! Now, go faster.”



I’m going faster.

“No, you aren’t. Go really faster. Stop screwing around.”
Okay, I’ll pedal.

 “Pedal faster.”



I’m going.

“That’s not fast enough.”

It’s plenty fast for an easy ride…


And I do. And my legs scream. And I ruin my easy ride. And I push until my eyelids are floating and my hands are screaming and my legs are like California wild fires, and I’m hoping the numbers on my strava give me the only validation I care about: average speed. Forget easy. There is only THE TOUR DE RYAN and I’m hammering like US Postal on a cocktail mix of EPO and arrogance.
And finally, my bike is on its side and I’m sprawled on the grass and I don’t give an absolute shit about clouds. Clouds can kiss my ass.

And I hear it in my head. I hear the victory roar.


And my brain laughs. Maniacally. And it plots, because it knows there will be a next time. There’s always a next time. There will always be one more easy ride.

There’s always one more chance to be an asshole to my body.

And it will happen, again and again. Ad infinitum.

There is only joy in the pain. There is only happiness in the misery. You are only content when you are one with THE BIKE, and THE BIKE is punishing your legs like Pinhead tortures wayward Christians.

That’s riding a bike.

That’s one of the reasons why we love it so.

That’s the tyranny of cycling.

And we’re all assholes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

As Simple as Two Wheels and Pedals.

I was going to post about hills, but decided against it. I was going to sit down and wax poetic about how much I hate hills. I hate hills the way many small children hate having to eat a green vegetable at dinner. Hills turn my tree trunk sized thighs into screaming painful factories of misery, and make my body cry in protest for having my mind force it to conquer something through the use of leg power that could’ve easily been handled by that huge, black, four wheeled speed machine back at the house.

Instead, I’m going to speak briefly about the bike, and why I do this again and again, over and over.

Why do I ride?

Why do I wear tight shorts and funny helmets and silly gloves and gear up and get on a narrow hunk of metal, with only two wheels, and go blasting through the neighborhood, or along a trail, road, path, wherever?

Why do I do any of this?

It’s actually pretty simple.

When I’m on THE BIKE, I’m free.

I’m quick and graceful and nimble. I am faster than I have ever been on foot. I am swift. I do not feel hindered by this large human shell that I call 'a body.' When on my bike, I can glide. I can fly. I can cut close turns and tight corners. I can balance perfectly while the bike inches forward. I can hop and jump and traverse obstacles. I can power this engine to a velocity a thousand times faster than anything I will ever know on foot. I will watch the world zip by, as the wind tickles my ears and the sound of my ticking heart fills my consciousness.

THE BIKE will free me from a physical frame not designed to do the very things IT allows me to do.

In return for Its grace, I will push myself until I can’t see straight, until every fiber of my body wants to stop, and I will master my body's screams by beating it into submission, by refusing to halt the cycle of stroke after stroke to travel inch after inch.

I will push through my wall. I will find the dark cave where my body doesn’t want me to go, and I will extend its limitations. I will live in that spot. I will get better. I will get faster, and yet, I know it will never stop hurting.

And I’m okay with that. I'm okay with pain. 

The bike will remind me that within the universe, as I once was, I still am a child, and I should always observe with the wonder of a child.

I will remember the joy the bike gave me in my youth, and empower the joy it gives me today. I will explore. I will go distances I previously hesitated to tackle. I will expand my visible horizon one driving pedal push at a time.

THE BIKE will take me up and down, through hot and cold, wet and dry, whatever Mother Nature feels like sharing.

It will remind me of the beauty of  Mother Nature, that no matter how crappy this world can be, or how disgusting we can be to one another, every one of us, every person, like this world, can be absolutely beautiful in spirit and act, especially when you least expect it.

THE BIKE will test me.

I will become a better person by these tests. I will understand the power of two wheels, not just what it does for me physically, but mentally, as well. I will understand this perfect tool.

I will meet new people and make new friends. I will expand my social circle. I will learn. I will enjoy. I won't even mind it when they give me a nickname, as everyone does, because of my size.

So, there you go. Like I said, the reason is pretty simple.

THE BIKE is happiness, even when it sucks.

Just like life.

But I still hate hills.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Always a Clydesdale, Never a Clyde...

Welcome to ‘The Sophisticated Clydesdale.’ Thanks for stopping by. I do hope everyone sticks around, because I’m going to try and do my best to provide content that you enjoy reading, or at least, I’m going to try and provide something that doesn’t drive you to openly shun me, report to all your friends that this blog is complete shit, and then wind up banishing me to the no click zone, where my page views never break 100 and I constantly pine for the good ol’ days where I thought getting 8 hits validated me as a human being.

This is the very cliché and proper moment in any start up endeavor, when I suppose I post my MISSION STATEMENT, and let the dear readers, many of whom (but not all, mind you) I hope enjoy getting on two self-propelled wheels and dodging 4 ton gas powered idiot boxes and genetically enhanced, fear detecting, cyclist devouring four legged fur beasts, understand just why I am doing this extremely vain act of self-validation.

It is because:
  1.   I'm  chunky style, and I’m trying to lose weight. A lot of it. I need an outlet to help me process this act, keep the motivation up, and enjoy the ride. I’m a true Clydesdale, and you could possibly call me a pachyderm, but let’s be honest, ‘The Sophisticated Pachyderm’ just doesn’t have the right zing to it.
  2.  I’m doing this by utilizing The Little Trek That Could, the love and support of my partner (I won’t call her girlfriend, because that sounds completely juvenile, and we don’t get the tax breaks to rate the term ‘wife’) and dieting. This will help me share my thoughts with her, and one day, when my bike is old enough to read, it can look back on these posts and see what daddy thought of it in those first blissful and crazy moments.
  3.  Hopefully, this will also help me understand, discover, and chat about the NOLA biking community, what opportunities there exists out there for friendship, camaraderie, fun or competitive rides, and what free beer is attached to those fun or competitive rides.
  4. I’m a writer, so I write, and right now, I feel like writing about THE BIKE, people who love to ride THE BIKE, and the amazing and completely stupid things that happen in this city while dealing with THE BIKE and all Its wonderful idiosyncrasies.
Just to be clear, when I type THE BIKE, I’m not referencing one bike, or all of our bikes in specific. No, I’m referring to our benevolent, yet chaotic two wheeled god. Yes, Christians have Jesus, Jews have Yahweh, and now we have THE BIKE. Every god needs a name. Ours is no different. Otherwise, how would he/she get our prayer mails? Prayers with the incorrect address get sent back to the prayer post office, and once that happens, chances are your missive of devotion will get kicked out of heaven or whatever afterlife night club you ascribe to. Everyone knows this.

So, hop on your bike, strap on whatever kit you wear, make sure your water bottle is full and turn on your Strava. It’s an easy pace, and we’ll be stopping often. I hope you come along for the ride.

All hail THE BIKE!

Next up: The hills have eyes, and I hate them.