I BLAME THE BIKE.
Ancient Hawaiian mythology attributes “pohaku” or a “life force” to certain larger rocks – some say lava rocks – and bad luck befalls those who disturb them. The Brady Bunch bastardized this myth in the famous, 3-part “tabu” episodes, but that’s all I’ll say about that.
We, as cyclists, attribute some life force to our bikes. Why do we feel guilty when we neglect our old bike when we get a new one? Why do we feel genuine happiness for them when we give them a nice tune up? Why? Pohaku, that’s why.
Well I was on the other, more vengeful side of said life force this past week in Hawaii. See, I knew I was going to be off the bikes and on Maui for a week so I lent my Niner to a friend who wanted to try singlespeed. The result is illustrated up there – a costochondral separation. Or a separated rib, in layman’s terms. My Niner clearly didn’t like me abandoning her and pimping her out so she struck back. And now I’ll be off the bike for a few weeks.
(cursing the sky with both fists) Pohaku!!
Come to think of it, maybe bodysurfing for 3 straight hours like I used to do when I was 18 while eating fried food and rum may have had something to do with it…
No. That’s just crazy.
Definitely has to be the angered spirit of my bicycle.
It’s a simple little thing, and one that made me smile.
I recently did a beautiful solo ride in Utah. The area is called Red Rock Canyon, and the trail was called Thunder Mountain.
The trail was indeed red, and during the ride there was a thunder storm.
I caught myself saying ‘thankyou’.
HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
And if you’re in London, specifically for the Olympic cycling events, ride it fast.
Mick Glimmer here looks as if, with a bit of training, he’d have done quite well on two wheels back in the day.
A song for the day. Expected? Sure. But still.
And in closing…spice.
THANK YOU, GEORGE.
Thank you for the years and years of great cycling.
Thank you for being a gentleman within the peloton.
Thank you for giving us someone to root for in Paris Roubaix.
Thank you for shrugging off all the falls and coming back stronger.
Thank you for being such a fine representative of the United States.
Enjoy your retirement. Cycling will miss you.
NEVER PLAY TENNIS DURING WIMBLEDON
I used to be fairly competitive at tennis from youth tournament play through high school. Needless to say I spent a good percentage of my young life down at the local courts (Perris Hill Park in smoggy ol’ San Bernardino, California). There was, however, one time of the year that we would give ourselves a break to recover.
That’s when every well-meaning person with a racquet in their closet would dust off the ol’ Jack Kramer and hit the courts. It was good for the sport but bad for those who didn’t enjoy long wait times and stray balls flying at your tender, no-no special place.
Sure, there were some guys who relished this time as an occasion to alpha-male the new, under-qualified competition. I think we called them d-bags even back then. Which brings us to cycling.
Le Tour brings out the cyclist in a lot of folks. Long-flattened tires get pumped up, helmets get dusted off and they hit the roads, inspired by the musical lilt of Sir Liggett’s voice. And although it’s tempting to avoid the more heavily-trafficked cycling areas, I take a different approach.
I try to use this time to be an ambassador of cycling. Modeling good behavior out there and sharing the joys of cycling.
Okay, all that sounds like I go out proselytizing as if cycling was a religion. I don’t. I just try to be welcoming, not a competitive d-bag. It’s not as if that’s my style anyway, but still.
So now Le Tour is over and, as far as the general public is concerned, the sport is put into deep storage until next year. But for those folks I met out there on the road and trail, I hope the enjoyment lingers and they keep heading out.
I hope I see you on the courts and the roads and the trails.
BIKE GUY NON-BIKE LUST ITEM
Working up in San Francisco this last week, I spotted this thing that was causing many middle-aged-men-escapist-fantasy-erections.
But all roads lead back to this.
And all the roads it makes us fantasize about driving down.
THE HUB 2.0
I know that I’m supposed to like getting up into the mountains for the natural benefits. To get away from it all. Away from man-made structures.
But I like this.
“The Hub” in the Santa Monica Mountains is, for you non Los Angelino Mountain Biker-os, is a popular destination/rest stop. It is, as its name suggests, a central spot from which several other trails begin.
It is also exposed to heat and sunlight. Until now.
It’s not an oasis with an espresso machine and tiki bar but it’s still a nice improvement.
There’s enough nature out there. I’ll take this.
MY NEW FAVORITE CYCLING CAP
Ever discovered some little insignificant something that makes you so happy but you know that nobody else will understand? What am I saying, of course you have – you’re cyclists. It happens to us a dozen times a day.
Then you may understand how I feel about this cap.
See, even though the variety of available casquette styles is at an all time high lately, most of them suck. Hard.
Let me elaborate. They look great if you want to wear them as a fashion accessory, but their function leaves much to be desired. Plus, one wash and they either disintegrate or the bill wrinkles up like a piece of bacon.
Then I stumbled upon this one. Already ordering some stuff online, I decided to tack a couple of these on at the end. The online bike order equivalent of tossing a pack of gum onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store.
It may not have the Silverlake coffee shop appeal, but it’s legit. See, cycling caps really matter to me when I ride. I use and depend on them for reals.
They are the smallest, cheapest thing that makes the biggest impact on my cycling wardrobe, personally.
Let’s talk about what a nice job Pace has done with the build of this chapeau.
The bill is just long enough and slopes down at the perfect angle as to keep the sun off my face but not obstruct my view. And the sweat mopping properties are off the charts – and coming from me, that’s saying something. I’ve been a lifelong facial-flop-sweater.
As for the appearance, the world champ stripes framed in black are timeless and elegant. And if I’m gonna be flying the logo of any brand, I’m really okay representing Mr. Tom Ritchey. I’m a loyal customer and admirer.
I’ve had (and still have) the hipster-fave cycling caps and I always feel like they’re trying too hard. I’m over that. This thing is legit and flattering. Real. So real that I felt the urge to go buy 20 of them so I’d always have one.
The fact that Pace did such a nice job proves that somebody else out there cares about cycling caps as much as me.
I didn’t think anybody was that crazy.
When it comes to the merging of art and bicycles, it’s hard to top Monseur Duchamp’s “Bicycle Wheel.”
Not only was it the first of his “Readymades” but it’s said to be the first kinetic sculpture.
Yeah, it’s just a bike fork and front wheel mounted upside-down on a wooden stool. But I love it.
And so did he. One day in 1913 he mounted the wheel on the stool and would occasionally sit there and spin it, staring at it for a little amusement and mental break.
“I enjoyed looking at it,” he said. “Just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in the fireplace.”
Any one of us should understand. Who among us hasn’t gone to the garage (or wherever we fiddle with our bikes) to do some maintenance and, after everything’s put back together, given the wheel a nice spin just to watch it? Feels like all is right when that thing spins smoothly, around and around.
So I got this miniature model and put it on the mantel. Because one can never get too much of that simple, primal, wheel-spinning-around joy.