Monday, September 30, 2013

The Slo'Bros Ride Again

Oh, I feel so much better today than I did yesterday!

Yesterday was a Slo’Bros ride.  Now, until yesterday, every single Slo’Bros ride I have ever been on has involved riding in a downpour.  (Granted, until yesterday, I had only been on one Slo’Bros ride, but that doesn’t make my statement any less accurate.)  Yesterday afternoon was, however, a nice day for a nice ride.

Well, it should have been.

But, you see, my lovely lovely decided that after the ride it would be too late to have supper, so we have to have it before the ride, which meant that I had to eat supper less than an hour before setting off.

It was an excellent supper, but having a full stomach does not make for an excellent ride.  The less said about that, the better.

I’m sure some stuff happened on that ride, but I didn’t notice a lot of it.  My attention was…um…elsewhere, let’s say.

We did, however, make a mistake.  It almost seems contrary to the Slo’Bros code.  We formed an honest to goodness paceline for a little while.  We’ll have to watch that stuff.

We also encountered a dog.

The first sign of trouble was when we heard some people yelling for a dog to “come here”.  That’s never a good sign, and sure enough, the dog hit the asphalt behind us at full speed.  We could hear his claws scrabbling on the road surface, and he was gaining on us.  We had to get our pace up to over 20 mph before we left him behind (no easy task for the Slo’Bros).

Other than that, it was just a pleasant, social ride.  My battle scars from my recent wreck were clearly visible, and this was the conversation:

“Did you tip over?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“Were you alone?”


“Didn’t happen.”

Right.  If nobody saw it, it didn’t happen.

Of course, I did sort of blog about it…

Well, maybe that particular post was completely fictional?  Yeah, we’ll go with that.

These are some of the unwritten rules of cycling, which I am now about to right down.

If you have an embarrassing incident on the bike and nobody else sees it, it didn’t happen.

This is a great saver of ego. Unless you go around telling people about it.

If your computer isn’t recording your miles, you don’t have any miles.

A well known rule that is only supported by people whose computers are working.

You can lie all you want to anybody about your miles or rides, but you may only write strict truth in your log.

Which may be a good reason not to let anybody else read your log…

Of course, if your computer isn’t working but you get the data off of someone else’s computer and record it in your log as the strict truth, don’t we have two rules which are then in conflict?  Isn’t that going to cause the universe to rip apart in some sort of dimensional vortex or something?  That seems to be the sort of thing that’s always happening in science fiction movies.

But I digress.

What I meant to say was that we had a great, easy ride.

Life is good.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Looney's Rules

Courtesy of the chief founding motherfather of the Slo'Bros, here is our new club logo.  It nicely sums up who we are (except that maybe the wheels* should be flat).  We are the Slo'Bros, and we are content with that.  Which reminds me...

I keep running into people who used to ride.  (Now, I used to used to ride, but now I ride again.)  Today, while out buying pizza, I ran into one more person who used to ride and who means to get back to it one of these days.  Once, long ago, in my halcyon days of youth, I said, "The only way to get more miles is to get more miles."  One of the guys I was riding with at the time looked thoughtful for a moment, but then his face cleared and he said, "I thought for a minute there that you said something profound."  I like to think that I did.  (I didn't, really, but I still like to think so.)  Now I have a corollary:  "The only way to get back on your bike is to get back on your bike."  (I seem to have stumbled across a system here...)  What I mean is, quit thinking about it.  Do it.

And, when you do, I know just the group for you to ride with...


Thursday, September 26, 2013


Well…….I wrecked.

How did that happen?

Well, see, there’s this really busy road that I ride on-

Wait, wait, wait, the wreck didn’t happen on that road.

Okay, so there are several not very busy roads that I ride on-

Nope.  Not there either.  What does that leave?


Okay, so it happened in the driveway.

Why did I wreck?  It was a culmination of bad decisions and general clumsiness.

So, I’m on the bike ready to go, and I look left and see a truck coming.  I know that truck.  The guy lives to the left of me, so he’ll never get to my driveway, and I’m going right, anyway, so I go.  Clearly, I am an idiot for making that assumption.  As it turned out, the guy was going past my house to the first house on the right of me to use their driveway to turn around and go back to his house.

Add to that the fact that, because my computer doesn’t work, I am holding a stopwatch in my left hand.  When I get going, I’ll start the watch and put it in my pocket, but, because it’s in my hand at the moment, I can’t use that hand for braking.

There is also that fact that, after being mostly off the bike for a couple of years, I haven’t had the bike tuned up yet.  Also, I didn’t lube the pivot points after riding in the rain a few days ago.

Where does that leave me?

I start to pedal.  I realize the truck isn’t stopping at his house, so I use my right hand to brake, but that brake lever sticks, and I’m not stopping, so, with my left hand full, I grab what I can of that brake lever, which isn’t much, and my bike slows and wobbles, and I unclip with the left foot, but my bike leans to the right and my right foot won’t unclip…and down I go.  As soon as I smack into the driveway, my right foot unclips beautifully, and I am sitting on the grass next to the driveway trying to look like I meant to do that as I watch the guy in the truck do his turning around maneuver.  I have blood on my knee and a patch of road rash (oh, alright, driveway rash) on my leg the size of my hand. 

Then I notice that the saddle has been knocked out of line.  First aid for the bike – fix the saddle, but don’t bother about first aid for the leg because it isn’t bad and I want to get going, so I get, carefully looking both ways and making sure that no other vehicles are coming.

So, I finally make it out of the driveway (hooray!) and am on my way.  I’m only doing 11 miles today, but I had decided to really push the pace, and, somehow, I actually do.  The only thing my computer will tell me is speed.  Time and distance do not exist for me, hence the stopwatch that contributed to my downfall.  After a couple of miles I realize that I am holding a speed that is definitely less slow than I was last week.  

Nice.  If I keep this up, I might actually get to try out that other chain ring on my bike.   

Well, let’s not get carried away.

At one point I am digging in an cruising down the road, and I see a pick-up truck poised at the end of its driveway waiting to pull out.  I slow up, because I have the feeling that this truck is going to pull out whether I slow up or not, and I've had enough pick-up related adventures for one day, thank you very much.
The truck does, indeed, pull out right in front me, as if he wants me to draft off him.

Mind you, there's no way I would draft off of a strange car.  It's tough enough when you and the driver both know what's going on.  Jan Ullrich, anyone?

Anyway, it was a really satisfying ride.  I did it in the time I had hoped and with a higher average speed than any ride since I got back in the saddle all of a week and a half ago. 

I think I'll get my bike tuned up now.