September 26, 2014 § 45 Comments
I thought I was the only person with a droopy sack until I saw my buddy Pablo post about the same problem on Facebag. It is quite embarrassing when your bag doesn’t hang tight against your post and sort of droops and sags. Like Pablo’s, at times mine droops so low I have to reach down with both hands to haul it back up. Maybe because of age or overuse, no matter how often I grab my sack and pull it up, after a while it sags back down.
There are lots of cyclists out there with droopy sacks, and it’s a big problem. For one, your sack is where you keep your multi-tool, and it can be a big headache when you’re trying to get to your tool but your sack is just dangling around. Part of the reason my sack dangles is because it’s mostly empty. This makes it flop from side to side. Back in the day when I was young, my sack was always snug up against the post, and it was always full. I think having a full sack made it more stable.
Unfortunately, none of the things I’ve tried have worked. My first attempt involved grabbing my sack with one hand and then with the other tightening a strap around it. Too much pressure on the sack makes it bulge, though. My second attempt was to just shift it over a bit, but it seems like the sack itself is unbalanced, as one side of the sack hangs down lower than the other. I think that may be because of the contents of the sack.
Some riders have done away with their sack entirely, and they just stuff their tool in their jersey. I’ve tried it, but with your tool in your jersey pocket it sometimes pokes you in the back, which is uncomfortable. Plus, the tool itself is quite hard and can rip through the jersey fabric. Still other riders have actually replaced their sack with a smaller one. I can’t imagine jamming all that stuff into a tiny bag.
Anyway, I’ve had this sack for a long time and it has served me well. For now the best solution is simply to reach down and grab my bag when it dangles too low, shove it back up and readjust the way I’m sitting to keep my thighs from batting it to and fro. It can get whacked pretty hard if you bat your sack with your thighs by mistake, but generally this seems to work fine. If anyone out there on the Internet has any good ideas about how to handle a really droopy sack, let me know. My current sack is a medium-sized Serfas, with two zippers and a clip-on belt for a light or rear reflector, and it easily holds two tubes and cartridges, as well as my tool.
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January 15, 2014 § 81 Comments
I was pedaling along Anza. This lady passed me so close I could smell her moist panties even though the windows to her SUV were shut tight.
“Fuck,” I thought, wondering if Sherri Foxworthy would be angry because it had taken two full sentences to launch the f-bomb. “That was closer than a porn star’s razor.”
The real problem, aside from being insane-as-proven-by-the-decision-to-ride-a-bike-to-work, was clear. How can I keep the murderers and negligent-homiciders from plowing me under?
Hundreds of commutes had given me the knowledge to classify cagers as follows:
- Scumfucks who intentionally want to kill me.
- Dumbfucks who don’t know I’m there.
- Law enforcement.
- Babes who think I’m hot.
The fact is that Scumfucks Who Intentionally Want to Kill Me have the upper hand and can’t be denied. So when my number is up, I hope you’ll attend my funeral and NOT say anything sappy like “He died doing what he loved.” Instead, I hope you’ll be profoundly drunk and barf on the curb, apologizing for your bad manners. Law Enforcement are similarly irrelevant. They have guns and handcuffs and radios. Whatever they do, even if it involves murdering innocent homeless people in Fullerton, gets a pass. Babes Who Think I’m Hot currently number approximately one, and that’s a generous estimate.
So that leaves us with Dumbfucks Who Don’t Know I’m There.
“Yo, Dumbfucks Who Don’t Know I’m There!” I thought. How can I let you know I’m there?
The answer, like full frontal nudity, was right in front of me: Lights!
The guinea pig is me
I once had pet guinea pigs, Uncle Albert and Admiral Halsey. They were awesome and smart and cuddly and they squeaked for dinner. They also pooped little oblong guinea pig poops, which didn’t stink and were easily cleaned. Anyone who would experiment on these harmless and loving creatures is a complete fucking douchebag. When it comes to cycling, however, I decided to try a new technique to ward off the Dumbfucks Who Don’t Know I’m There. How? By running my front Serfas 500 on “blinky” mode, and my rear Serfas taillight on “blinky” mode DURING THE DAY.
Guess what, wankers? When the average cager is faced with blinking lights … he/she backs off!
That’s right. If you run your front blinky during the day you will find that cagers hesitate before darting out in front of you, give you the right of way, and if you’re not too big of an asshole to smile and wave, they will smile and wave back. Then, the rear-approaching cagers, upon seeing your rear taillight, will give you a wide berth or, because they know how to drive, will buzz the shit out of you but do it consciously — you’re in no danger because they see you and know the dimensions of their cage and aren’t about to run you over.
In short, run your fuggin’ headlamp and taillight during the day. The morons will see you and give you a wide berth when they pass, or they will buzz the shit out of you BUT WILL HAVE SEEN YOU AND KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING.
Keep the lights on. Really. It will save your life, or at least get you to the next cold beer.
This PSA brought to you by Port Brewing’s Wipeout IPA. And me.
January 25, 2013 § 26 Comments
A lot of the time I write about things that never happened outside the four corners of my skull. Rarely do I write about things that really did happen, just as they happened. “Rarely” as in “Never.”
The other day, though, I posted a rant about night lights. The object of my derision was Nite Rider and the cost of replacing the power pack, which was more than the entire unit. I switched to Serfas for my headlight, as I’d had such great results with my Serfas taillight.
Naturally, a few days after getting the new headlight, the Serfas 500, and being very pleased with it, I became very displeased with it. It had the dangerous and terrifying defect of shutting off every time I went over a bump.
“Well,” said one useless biker friend, “quit going over bumps.”
It also shut off at high speeds from road vibrations. Same friend: “You shouldn’t be going fast at night.”
So I went off for a bit on Serfas in a blog post, never expecting that Serfas would get in touch with me to remedy the problem.
And they didn’t.
However, a day or so after excoriating the product, my phone rang, or my email rang. I can’t remember which.
“Hi, Seth. This is Bob down at Bike Palace.”
“You know that Serfas light you’re having trouble with?”
“Do I ever.” For a few seconds I wondered why he was calling about the light. To complain, maybe, about my rash treatment? After all, I’d bought the light from the PV Bicycle Center, which was now shuttered.
“Why don’t you bring it down to the shop and let me swap it out for you?”
“Yeah, we’ve got several in stock. Just drop it off and we’ll give you a new one. They’re great lights and it sounds like you got a dud. Glad to put you onto a new one.”
“Wow, Bob,” I said. “Thanks.”
“You bet,” he said.
A few days later I was down at the Bike Palace in San Pedro, where Bob and owner Tony Jabuka took back the light they had never sold me, and put a new one in my trembling little hands. “Ride safe,” said Bob.
“Thanks, man. I will.”
When’s the last time that happened with a bike shop that you only patronize on the Internet? Right. Me, either.
January 18, 2013 § 11 Comments
As of today I’m free at last, free at last, thank Dog almighty I’m free at last. “Why?” you ask. Because henceforth when I get asked The Question(s) about The Cyclist I get to say, after thoughtfully furrowing my brow, this: “Well, it’s a good question. I suggest you go out and ride your bicycle in order to answer it.”
Elbow testing: Junkyard thwacked his rebuilt elbow yesterday at the start of the NPR, right where the electronic circuitry connected to the shoulder bone, which was connected to the brain bone, which was connected to the new PV Kit bone, which got shredded and tore a hole bigger than Dallas. The ‘bow, however, is rock solid minus a touch of cosmetic road wear. They DID build him better than he was before.
Bellyflop: Neumann/aka Hockeystick/now known as “Belly” did a track stand at the turnaround on the NPR, had his wheel chopped, and tumbled off his bicycle. No harm done, and he was quickly helped by Rahsaan. He did, however, bounce when he hit. I’ve never seen that before. Belly, time to try the South Bay Wanker Diet. It’s painful, but it works and it’s free. PS: Track stands in the middle of swirling roadie packs = Numbskullish.
First blood: Charon Smith scored his first win of the year at Ontario last week, finishing so far ahead of the field that he had time to completely recover from his sprint effort and shave his head by the time he crossed the line. The finish photo shows everyone with teeth gritted, faces twisted, bodies hunched over the bars looking like they’re running from a zombie army, and Charon with arms raised, mouth closed, and no visible signs of exertion as he cruises to the win. I’m pretty sure there were some intense post-race team huddles at MRI/Monster Media, and they went like this:
“Don’t ever let it finish in a bunch sprint again, dogdammit!”
“I told you we’re going to have to break away to win! Only way to outsprint Charon is by making him do the 1/2 races, where he belongs.”
“We can’t have him in a break, ever!”
“At CBR we’ll attack the entire race until we get away!”
“If we work together with the other 99 riders in the race, we might have a chance!”
By the way, good luck with that plan!
Get ready for CBR: The first South Bay crit of the year happens on Sunday when Chris Lotts puts on the Dominguez Hills Anger Crit Thingy. Please show up to support local road racing in SoCal. Yes, you’ll be pack meat, just like last year. So what?
Winter’s over: The South Bay endured seven (some say eight) days of brutal winter this month, where early temperatures got down to 39, and the highs never crested 65. Thankfully, the bitter temperatures are over, and we’re slowly returning to lows in the high 40’s, highs in the high 70’s. Don’t put away your heavy winter clothing yet, but for sure rotate it to the back of the closet.
Bad wind news: G$ is in Scottsdale testing his bike position in a wind tunnel. Great. A faster G$. Just what those of us in the Elderly Fellows category need.
Gitcher waffle on: The Belgian Waffle Ride is set for April 7, 2013. It will be the hardest one-day ride of the year, where chicken tactics, wheelsucking, and letting others do all the work will earn you nothing more than infamy and a purple card. This will be first and foremost a contest between you and the road. Finish it and you’ll know satisfaction!
Mad props to Dorothy: The 2012 cyclocross season has ended in SoCal, and it couldn’t have gone better or been done without the extraordinary efforts and work and innovation and enthusiasm of Dorothy Wong. I bailed after about ten races. That shit is hard. Next year, which I suppose would be this year, I’ll be in for the whole season now that I know what I’m in for. Thanks to Dorothy for making ‘cross such a success.
Equipment flail: After dissing on my Night Rider lighting system and replacing it with the tube-shaped Serfas light, I can happily report that the Serfas is far superior except that it shuts off every time I hit a bump, and after about four or five bumps it won’t restart without a 1-minute pause or longer. That’s a long-ass time when you’re bombing down VdM on Bull’s wheel at dark-thirty. For $150.00 you’d almost expect something that would work, but then you remember, “It’s an elite cycling product, so of course it’s a pile of shit unless you spend at least $500.00.”
Smooth looking skin: Since incorporating kimchi into my diet, Mrs. Wankmeister has advised me that my skin is softer, more lustrous, and gradually shedding the leathery, scaly, rough, scabbed-over look that comes with road cycling. Though I don’t give a rat’s ass about the beauty aspect, I do believe that healthier skin will stave off the skin cancer in my future for at least a year or two, and Professor Google confirms that kimchi is the wonderfood for healthy skin. The downside of course are the kimchi farts. Those things are vicious, however, they too have a beneficial effect on skin, as anyone on your wheel gets an instant facial dermal peel when one of those suckers rips into their face. You have to be careful, though, because they can also melt the polarizing slits on your expensive cycling glasses.