Hand-me-ups

February 16, 2019 § 1 Comment

I’m not sure why women generally have worse bike equipment in men, but they do. It may be because they don’t see the value in spending a lot of extra money for things that have little or no added value. And women seem to ride their stuff for a lot longer. I know serious women cyclists who are riding bikes six or seven years old.

That’s a Stone Age bike to the average guy enthusiast.

When I got my wife her bike it was a pretty basic deal. Carbon frame, Shimano 105, and aluminum rims.

The first thing I upgraded were the wheels; a nice set of super light FastForward carbon climbing wheels. Why? Because wheels make a huge difference, but also because I ride the same wheels and they are very nice.

Why shouldn’t she have the same things I have, especially at upgrade time?

After a while the Shimano 105 thing wasn’t working out so well. She could shift okay but actually she couldn’t, and I quit trying to explain it. Part of it was because those levers aren’t easy to move.

A month or so ago I scraped up all the spare change I had, sold everything I never used, and got her e-Tap. She loved it and it made riding so much easier. For both of us.

Then the other day, Baby Seal was riding with her. “Hey,” he said, surprised. “Are you riding e-Tap?”

“What’s that?”

“Your shifters. Are they electronic?”

“I think so. Seth had them put on. They are really easy to use.”

“Oh, he got a new set?”

“Yes.”

“And he just put his old stuff on your bike and the new stuff on his?”

“No, this is the new thing. He has the old thing.”

Later on, Baby Seal and I were riding together. “Dude,” he said. “You bought your Freddie wife e-Tap and kept the old stuff on your bike? You didn’t give her the old stuff and put the new group on your bike? It’s the NEW generation e-Tap, man!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Everybody does that,” he said. “Everybody.”

________________

END

Meet the Candidates, Part 4

February 15, 2019 § 6 Comments

We had to get up extra early to fit into the crazy busy schedule of Victoria Lozzi, Palos Verdes Estates treasurer and city council candidate in the upcoming PV Estates election. But it was worth it!!

CitSB: So what’s the one thing you want voters to take away from this interview?

VL: I’m not Mexican.

CitSB: Excuse me?

VL: You heard me. I’m not Mexican.

CitSB: Uh, could you explain?

VL: My maiden name is McDonald, Scottish, very white. Lozzi is Italian, which a lot of people think isn’t white, but actually it mostly is, Caesar was very white, but anyway it doesn’t matter because I’m white, not Mexican.

CitSB: So this is a major issue for your candidacy?

VL: Of course it is. I used this photo on the PVRRG web site and suddenly everyone on NextDoor is asking if I’m a Mexican just because I have black hair and olive skin. I’m white and I speak ENGLISH ONLY. I can’t speak Mexican, not even three words, not to my maids, my gardener, the contractor’s work crews, the janitorial staff at city hall, English only in this white girl’s house.

CitSB: Gotcha. Let’s move on to some of the other issues if that’s okay? For example, we heard from Michael Kemps about how he fell in love with money, and that is a pretty strong selling point for the voters. How do you position yourself on this issue?

VL: I hate to dis my opponent, I’m sure he’s a nice fellow, but when it comes to loving money there are only two candidates in this election, and I’m one of them. I think about money from the moment I awake til bedtime. You know why?

CitSB: Why?

VL: Because I work at a bank, silly. I’m a banker. And I’m the city treasurer. Money for me is everything. If we want our great city to remain a great city, we have to get control of its finances. Without money there is no city. No art. No literature. No deed restrictions against colored people. No dolphins. Take away money and what do you have? Filthy people living in grass huts mating with their cousins, almost as bad as Torrance. But with money, you know what you have?

CitSB: What?

VL: Sub-Zero. Wolf. Prada. Clever bond trades, sub-prime mortgages, and of course Club Med, not to mention The Four Seasons.

CitSB: By Vivaldi?

VL: What?

CitSB: Nothing. Okay, so with money …

VL: You get to move out of Torrance.

CitSB: Check. Moving on, let’s talk about some of the issues that your opponents have raised, for example Ms. King’s 20-year marriage. How long have you been married?

VL: What does that have to do with anything?

CitSB: And she went to Stanford, whereas you went to Berkeley. I think most people would agree that Berkeley is pretty much third-fiddle to Stanford, and why should the voters go with a candidate who went to school with merely smart people when they could go with a candidate who went to school with people who were smart AND rich AND white?

VL: Well, the rest of my opponents went to schools like Cal State Fullerton, or Mr. McCarthy, who’s from New Jersey where they don’t even go to school as far as I know. So on balance, when you look at how much I love money, I think it puts me on a level with Ms. King, and way above the other candidates.

CitSB: I guess the other big issue is how long you’ve lived in PVE. Everyone who’s ever been subjected to a city council meeting knows that the first thing the angry citizens do is dodder up to the microphone and say, “I moved here in 1827 …” as if that validates the irrational, crazy, bizarre, and batshit crazy statement they’re about to make. That’s really a big deal here. How do you plan to deal with your novelty? Ten years in PVE? That’s like … nothing.

VL: I’d like to point out that even though I have only lived here ten years and money, I really love it here money. It is a wonderful community and money. My children went to high school and money here …

CitSB: But they went to junior high and elementary somewhere else, right?

VL: So? BIG FUCKING DEAL. They went to high school at PV Estates. PV High. Munnnnnny. Munnnnnnnnnnnny!! They are Poseidons through and through!

CitSB: Where did they go to junior high?

VL: None of your business. This interview is so stupid.

CitSB: Torrance?

VL: (Shrieks in a purple rage) Listen here you deadbeat blogger weirdo freak! You call me a Torrancer again and I’ll knock your teeth down your throat!

CitSB: Sorry; that was uncalled for. One last major issue question?

VL: WHAT?

CitSB: 600 Via Gorrion.

VL: (Relaxes) I think that is a non-issue. That house is not the ugliest house in PVE. There are at least three others just as ugly, and one that is uglier. So let’s not pick on those kind Astroturf salesman-type laborers.

CitSB: And of course I have to ask you about the Big Orange biker gang that has been terrorizing the local unicorns.

VL: It’s a complex issue but basically we should kill them.

CitSB: Thank you.

VL: You’re welcome.

___________________________________

END

Absenteeism

February 14, 2019 § 5 Comments

The most important thing about being a cyclist is not showing up. But you can’t just not show up, you have do it properly, and to do it properly you have to set the stage beforehand.

The most boring people in the world are like Major Bob, who always shows up when he says he will, where he says he will, and then does the ride he promised to do. Borrrrinnnnggg.

Exciting cyclists know that leaving everyone to wonder whether you will appear at the last minute is the most awesome thing ever. Best is when they wait around five or ten minutes, or send frenzied text messages. “You comin’ bro?” “Where are you now?”

Etc.

Here is how you keep ’em guessing and hopefully leave ’em disappointed.

  1. Tell your friends after a ride that you are for sure in next week. Don’t show.
  2. Resuscitate a ride like the Wheatgrass. Make it fun and exciting. Never come again.
  3. Get several people to agree to do a special ride with you. Don’t show.
  4. Text the night before, “See you at 6:00 AM pointy-sharp!” Don’t show.
  5. Go on Facebook and talk smack about how you gonna shred. Don’t show.
  6. Don’t text. Don’t call. Don’t show.
  7. Promise you are gonna do the ride, but never do. For six or seven weeks in a row.
  8. Tell everyone how awesome the ride is, it’s your favorite. Don’t show.
  9. Text five minutes before the ride and say you’re on your way. Go radio silent. Don’t show.
  10. Show, but then peel off and do a different ride.

Master these ten tricks and you will be owning everyone, if not every ride.

________________________

END

Meet the Candidates, Part 3

February 13, 2019 § 2 Comments

After speaking with white city council candidate Michael Kemps, CitSB was privileged to speak to perhaps the most accomplished white member of the city council, former mayor Jennifer King. Finishing up her first term, King was eager to sit down in our tattered living room couch studio and discuss the challenges of an election year stamped by an electorate eager to “throw the bums out and put some new bums in.”

CitSB: First let’s talk about your core values.

JK: Service. I’m about service. We accomplished so much in the first four years, but there’s still so much to do. Together we can make PV Estates the place we all want it to be: Secure, a great place for white families, an area where money can feel safe and grow, but most of all a place …

CitSB: Uh, hate to cut you off, but you said something on your web site that caught my eye. “PVE residents have a great tradition of active participation in City affairs, often expressed through a diversity of viewpoints and strong opinions.” What exactly does that vague non-statement mean?

JK: I think it’s pretty obvious for a non-statement. Our community is white and dedicated to money, but we have a diversity of viewpoints and strong opinions.

CitSB: Could you break that down for me?

JK: This city is rife with spoiled assholes.

CitSB: That’s what I thought you were trying to say. Okay, next, this doozy: “I want to speak for those residents who are interested in preserving and protecting our community instead of dismantling it.” How does one dismantle the community?

JK: Well, there has been a lot of dismantling going on if you had been paying attention.

CitSB: Like what?

JK: They dismantled the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch secret stone treehouse. That was a historic structure. There was a lot of white history there.

CitSB: So in the last PV Estates election, two incumbents got the boot and one has just retired. People seem pretty angry and it must feel like your head is on the chopping block. How are you going to weather this?

JK: It’s important to remember the issue here is money. For example, pensions. Our challenge is to figure out how we can pay paltry salaries while simultaneously working people to death and not having to raise taxes to cover their pensions. It’s a problem faced by white cities everywhere.

CitSB: What’s standing in the way?

JK: State law on one hand, and our residents who really cannot afford to spend any more of their hard-inherited capital gains on retirement for mere police officers and the like.

CitSB: What’s your solution?

JK: We know that if white rich people work together they will always find a way to screw the little guy. Why should this be any different?

CitSB: Good point. I noted that you listed as one of your “background and qualifications” that you’ve been married to Steve Cox for 20 years. Why is that important?

JK: PVE residents need to know I’m not a single working mom, shuttling to some job in Torrance as I try to drop the brats off at school. I’ve been married to Steve for 20 years, and voters want to know that. It has been a loving marriage too, I might add, filled with love.

CitSB: That’s awesome. But do you think the single mom thing is really a big minus here in PVE?

JK: Oh, absolutely. One thing we know about single moms in PVE is that they’re either in too big a hurry to get their makeup on right, or they got a cougar divorce and half of a honking fortune so they are immaculately attired and tearing up the yoga mats at Equinox with the butt floss and the Band-Aid exercise bras. PVE voters need to know that neither one of those women is me, certainly not during the work week.

CitSB: Moving on to your education. You went to Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, and Stanford. Is it fair to say you have strong ties to Stanford?

JK: I think so. The university we attend says everything about us. For example I went to Stanford so I am smart. You went to … ?

CitSB: University of Texas.

JK: So you are dumb. Sorry, make that very dumb.

CitSB: You have a point.

JK: I know. Stanford, remember? Anyway, with my Stanford credentials I am a wildly successful founding partner of the appellate law firm King, Queen, Prince & Dunce. We make money, lots of it, every time we blink. It’s nothing like, for example, being a low-rent ambulance chaser who picks over the bones of injured cyclists, kind of like a jackal or a vulture, only nastier.

CitSB: Hmmm. Let me think about that.

JK: Take your time.

CitSB: So you have taken a stance on the community’s building permit process, you feel that it works?

JK: Nothing is perfect. We will always have those stone-and-wood abortions like that dogforsaken monstrosity at 600 Via Gorrion. But those people were originally from Torrance, and it’s not fair to penalize them for their bad taste. Some people are born without legs and we accommodate them. Some people are born without taste, but with lots of money. We need to accommodate them, too. Just because those folks want to decorate the inside of their home with Astroturf, why judge them? Astroturf is green, like money, and the hash marks are white, like white people. So it kind of fits.

CitSB: One last question. Big Orange biker gang?

JK: I think every agrees that they should be eliminated, we just have differing opinions on how. Some favor execution, of course, and I get that, but I think we could be more humane.

CitSB: How?

JK: Involuntary sterilization program followed by euthanasia if they keep riding. It’s only a matter of time before that Croissant Ride or whatever they call it kills another unicorn.

CitSB: Good luck in fending off the challengers.

JK: Thank you.

CitSB: You’re gonna need it.

_____________________________________

END

Meet the Candidates, Part 2

February 12, 2019 § 5 Comments

Today we got to interview Michael Kemps, Palos Verdes Estates city council candidate and CEO/founder of a major tech firm that has changed the way America buys pencils. Michael took a moment out of his hectic campaign schedule to brief us on the key issues in this watershed PV Estates election.

CitSB: So, Michael, your core values are?

MK: Money. Money and whiteness.

CitSB: Okay, well you appear to be well qualified on both counts. Can you tell us a little about your love of money, how you came to love it, why it’s your guiding passion, that kind of thing?

MK: Sure. From my earliest memories I loved money. The way it smells. The way the coins jingle in your pockets. And of course I was born here in PVE.

CitSB: I didn’t know they had a hospital here.

MK: I wasn’t born in a hospital. My parents were so devoted to PVE that they insisted I be born on the kitchen table, delivered right along with the Hamburger Helper and the Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. And I was.

CitSB: I see. And that’s how you came to love money so much?

MK: And whiteness. I have it in my blood, in my bones. So it was natural that I went on to found one of the most important tech startups in America.

CitSB: And that is?

MK: Pencils ‘R Us.

CitSB: Okay. Pencils. Sounds, well, not too glamorous, but inventive, I guess, sort of. A little. And how has Pencils ‘R Us prepared you for the city council?

MK: As you can imagine, I’ve been ridiculed all my adult life for being an online purveyor of pencils. The jokes are endless and mean, and I believe that well-deserved ridicule is a core part of this city’s political life. But I’ve persevered, and I believe that my love of whiteness and money has prepared me well for making sure that the PVE city council will be better provisioned with pencils than any municipal government in America. And we handle erasers, too.

CitSB: Okay, so in your positioning statement you say, “Preserving the character, culture and charm of our neighborhoods is vital.” What does this mean?

MK: It means whiteness. We are a white community with a very white character. And that is being lost. Second, our white culture. Threats from the outside are threatening this white culture. Remember that our city’s original grant deeds limited ownership to whites only. Think about that. “Whites only.” Doesn’t mean browns, tans, or octoroons. Means white. Finally, the charm of PVE. What is our charm? It’s the city’s whiteness. Whiteness is charming and we need to keep that.

CitSB: How is the city’s whiteness being challenged?

MK: Oh, you see it everywhere, every day. I’m not naming names, but we currently have a non-white mayor. That’s a first, and hopefully a last.

CitSB: Got it. So you make a lot out of the fact that you were born here, spent your whole life here, are PVE through and through. How does that help you in this PVE election compared to your opponents?

MK: Well, it means I’m more narrow-minded than an already very, very narrow-minded pool of candidates. Imagine if I’d ever had to learn a second language, or read a poem, or had lived in a third world country like Torrance. It has taken a lifetime for me to develop this insularity. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were these blinders.

CitSB: I suppose the most impressive thing on your resume is where you say you are experienced at “coordinating multiple home and business remodel and construction projects.” Can you elaborate?

MK: Oh, sure. We’ve remodeled our kitchen four times, and you know what?

CitSB: What?

MK: Each time it has been better, bigger, and more brushed-steel Subzero than the last time. Any man who can coordinate a kitchen remodel is a man who can do anything. And the voters in PVE, aside from respecting whiteness and money, respect kitchen remodels. It’s the PVE trifecta. Add facelifts fourfecta, five if you count boob jobs.

CitSB: So you and your wife like to cook?

MK: Oh, please. We just use the microwave. The kitchen’s a showpiece, but sometimes we let the maid use it.

CitSB: Moving on, what are your thoughts about the Big Orange cycling gang that is killing the local unicorns by running all the stop signs?

MK: This is our city’s single biggest issue. We need more police patrols. More traffic stops. Body armor. Arrests. That kind of thing. We need a Broken Windows type of policing policy towards these vicious hooligans. The moment they run a stop sign, bam! Cuff, stuff, life without parole.

CitSB: That’s a lot more gentle than your failed opponent, who advocated summary execution and a border wall.

MK: Those things should be on the table, too. I’m just talking about life in prison as a first step.

CitSB: I see. First life, and then the death penalty?

MK: Yes. Right before you die. Rot in prison for 75 years and then as you’re coughing up blood, drag ’em out to the firing squad or hook ’em up to Old Sparky. I’m not opposed to collective guilt, either, and that includes Big O cycling gangsters who don’t even ride in PV. And their families. And don’t tell me our prisons are full. Build more.

CitSB: I guess that naturally leads to a question about where you stand regarding Shrimpy McScampi, PVE’s most notorious crank, Internet troll, and criminal defendant.

MK: Shrimpy? He is white, isn’t he?

CitSB: I think so.

MK: And rich, right?

CitSB: He says he is.

MK: Then you can lay off him. Would I want him to marry my wife? Probably not yet. But does he have all the rights that go along with being white and having money? Absolutely.

CitSB: One last question.

MK: Shoot.

CitSB: You’ve gone on record as saying “We need to effectively balance private home remodel growth with the overzealous development efforts of those seeking large, looming structures that destroy views and violate the spirit of our Neighborhood Compatibility Ordinance (NCO).” Did you have any particular home in mind?

MK: Well, we could start with that eyesore on 600 Via Gorrion. Ugliest monstrosity since Stonehenge. I mean, why didn’t they just dump a 100-foot-high stack of boards and rocks in a pile, spray paint it, and call it “home”?

CitSB: Well, white people with money have a right to live in huge dumpsters designed by expensive architects, don’t they? Isn’t that part of white culture?

MK: Yes, but that oblong port-a-potty takes the cake. And as council member I’ll make sure that festering blights like that never get approved unless there is some exceptional whiteness and money demonstrated in the permit application.

CitSB: Anything you’d like to add?

MK: My wife is white. So are my kids. And we intend to stay that way.

CitSB: Thanks, Michael.

MK: You’re welcome.

____________________________________________

END

Meet the Candidates, Part 1

February 11, 2019 § 2 Comments

With the upcoming municipal elections in Palos Verdes Estates, Cycling in the South Bay embarked on an extensive candidate review process that culminated in personal interviews with each of the candidates. Over the next several days we will run full transcripts of those interviews so that voters can best decide who shall lead this magical city of unicorns, as these mythical creatures fart rainbows upon the less fortunate denizens of (yecccchh!) Rancho Palos Verdes and (puke!) Torrance, a/k/a Pre-V.

JEFF GROVES, noted notary public

CitSB: Welcome to our show, Jeff.

JG: Thank you. A bit embarrassing, actually.

CitsB: Just wait. Now our first question has to do with your failed candidacy. You appear to have withdrawn before the actual election?

JG: I get nervous speaking in public. No one told me I was gonna have to speak in public. It gives me sweaty bowels. This Palos Verdes Estates election thing is waaaay stressful.

CitSB: I see from your candidate positioning statement that you believe strongly in …

JG: Money. I believe strongly in money. The business of PVE is money, and the money of PVE is everyone’s business.

CitSB: To quote from your positioning statement, “In the past issues the City faced were mired in self-interest and reluctance to enforce rules and regulations already in place. It’s time for the City’s government to financially and in deed, act like a city.” Can you explain what you mean? And what’s with the missing comma?

JG: Sure. In the past the city didn’t act like a city. Also, I’m a money guy not a grammarian. The 2019 PVE election is about money, not whether I’m literate.

CitSB: What did the city act like, if not a city?

JG: A donkey.

CitSB: Excuse me?

JG: It acted like a fuggin’ donkey.

CitSB: Could you explain?

JG: Sure. PVE is all about money. I’m all about money. Where do you live?

CitSB: Rancho PV.

JG: So you’re not all about money, then.

CitsB: What am I about?

JG: Wishing you lived in PVE. Ergo, wishing you had money. But you don’t. So, sucks to be you.

CitSB: Okay, so back to the donkey. Can you flesh that out for me?

JG: Have you ever been to Tijuana?

CitSB: No.

JG: Then you won’t understand.

CitSB: I’d like to ask you about some of the issues facing the city that you would have had to address as a candidate if you hadn’t quit due to the sweaty bowels thing.

JG: Fire away.

CitSB: What is your position on the bicycle gangs, especially the Big Orange hooligans that are destroying your city’s lovely tranquility?

JG: You mean the bastards that ran that stop sign that time and ran over one of our unicorns? Kill them.

CitSB: I see. Any concerns with due process?

JG: What’s that?

CitSB: How will you differentiate between, say, bikers from Torrance and bikers from PVE?

JG: We need to have a wall. PVE cyclists will be given biometric scans and allowed to exit and enter. Immigrants from Torrance and Redondo, we’ll just shoot them. Seems pretty easy to me.

CitSB: Okay. So in addition to money, donkeys, a wall, and summary execution of cyclists, what is your position on the city’s most notorious crank, Shrimpy McScampi?

JG: That creep?

CitSB: I didn’t call him a “creep.”

JG: Isn’t he a criminal defendant in some case in downtown LA?

CitSB: What is your position on him? Some residents claim that he is a divisive, sociopathic individual from Mars who is spoiling the amazingly perfect tranquility of the snowflake city on the hill.

JG: He’s rich, isn’t he?

CitSB: I don’t know.

JG: Look, I’m all about money. Shrimpy’s all about money. I don’t care if he’s squat, bald, miserable, friendless, and spends his time peppering the Internet with anonymous hate mail. He’s rich. End of story. Money.

CitSB: Good luck in your non-election campaign.

JG: Thank you.

_______________________________

END

The 6-year cycling cycle

February 10, 2019 § 16 Comments

Of the numerous crackpot theories I espouse, my favorite is the 6-year cycling cycle. This law says that most people will quit cycling after six years. For some it will be five, for some seven, and a few will dangle out at the decade mark, but for the most part six years is the lifespan of a cycling enthusiast.

Here’s how it works:

Year 1: Amazing progress. Faster, stronger, leaner, Strava-er.

Year 2: Solid progress on the Stravver, huge progress with the equipment. Carbon, e-Tap, more carbon. Carbon flakes for your oatmeal. Make a few friends.

Year 3: Progress not so much but still notable thanks to Praise From Coach. Friendships and cycling social life go crazy. What a great bunch of people! Wow! This community is amazing!

Year 4: Plateau on the Stravver. Garage and bedroom now full. Okay, not everyone is so wonderful. But there are certain groups that are ME. And, cyclocross.

Year 5: Work got busy. Kiddie soccer suddenly became a thing. S/O not quite as interested in the group ride stories any more or those office park crits. Cyclists are pretty much dicks.

Year 6: Tennis/golf/surfing/pilates. Amazing progress. Faster, stronger, better, funner.

_______________

END