Barbie food

August 26, 2018 § 9 Comments

Once upon a time there was a mythical epoch in cycling called Back in the Day.

BITD everything was halcyon and good. Bikes were steel therefore real, rims were aluminum, tars were called sew-up because they were sewed up, people rode for the pure love of sport, no one ever doped, there were no computers or Stravver, a cell phone was called a mobile phone and weighed thirty pounds, and custom clothing meant your pants had a leather chamois that chafed your parts into blistering, oozing sores which you hardly minded, or, after 100,000 miles, transformed your undercarriage into a tough leathery hide suitable for making boots.

BITD the people were all Hard Men, especially the women, century meant a hundred Imperial miles, fondo was spelled with a “ue” at the end instead of an “o” and meant “melted cheese,” and everyone all the time rode in the harshest of conditions on primitive equipment which they enjoyed, cherished, and knew how to rebuild from the forge up. Helmets were worn by astronauts and it was more important to have a jaunty cotton cap than a full set of functioning brains.

And wool. BITD everyone wore wool, like sheep, only more colorful.

Indigestion

But what made BITD  riders truly different from the spoiled, whiny brats of today was the food. BITD people ate real food. It had common names like “banana” (50 miles or less), and “peanut butter sammich” (50 miles or more). There were other kinds of food, but you ate them at dinner seated in a chair with your family. Inside your water bottle was a special elixir that always combined, exactly, two hydrogen atoms for every oxygen atom. When it was all gone you filled it from a spigot or a hose.

It is true that there were convenience stores but they were inconvenient stores, never located anywhere near that point of 20 miles past your last drop of water and swallow of banana, i.e. “bonk.” When you had a 50-mile ride or longer, you packed your own food, that, is, a peanut butter sammich. Some people tried fancy things like rice crackers because they were on a cyclist diet, but they never did that more than once or twice because of bonk.

BITD people bonked all the fuggin’ time. Bonk was like the curse of the Hope diamond, following you around waiting to smite you dead the minute you miscalculated and ran out of sammich.

Some people carried large pieces of fruit like apples but never more than once or twice because of weight, the round bulge that pushed against your back, the difficulty of swallowing, and the unbearable painfulness of ridicule. BITD ride food was a careful and primary consideration. There was nothing you could scoop a handful of at the bike shop and jam into your water-bottle-shaped toolkit because no one had invented a water-bottle-shaped toolkit, second, and no one had invented Barbie food, first.

No one ever offered you any food when you bonked because that smushed up, sweat soaked, stinking lump of sammich was going to get them home, not you, and why should they be the one who bonked just because you were a poor planner? In the late phase of BITD was invented the granola bar, a revolution and the first true Barbie food but one that never caught on too much because it was expensive, about twenty cents a bar, for which you could make six PB sammiches, so why would you spend more to get less?

BITD, less didn’t only mean money although that is mostly what it did mean. BITD, less also referred to “not worth a shit.” The granola bar was less than the PB sammich because it evaporated in the metabolic furnace of your gut like straw in a steel smelter, whereas the pb sammich stayed around like a 200-lb. sandbag in the bottom of your outdoor burger grill. Why would you spend more money to get less energy?

That’s easy. BITD, you wouldn’t.

Enter the Barbie

I don’t know when Barbie food was invented, the proper kind that comes in a squeeze tube, jolts you for fifteen minutes, then leaves you on a jagged crying breakdown like a cruel ex-girlfriend who sends you photos of her and her new guy, but one day there wasn’t any Barbie food and the next day everyone was sucking it up with less thought and more eagerness than Internet news.

But I do remember who named it “Barbie food.”

That was Dan Seivert, a/k/a “Bull.” We were slogging along PCH one day, a hundred miles into a ride whose end was nowhere in sight.

“Fuck, I am hungry,” he said.

I reached into my back pocket and handed him a gel.

Bull shook his head. “Dude,” he said, “that Barbie food ain’t gonna do the trick.”

Shortly thereafter he bonked, and because he was a good friend I ate the gel and left him.

When I got home I went into my drawer and threw away all my Barbie food. It was like throwing away two hundred dollars, me, a guy who has never thrown away a dime except for that one time I bought a Felt whose front was aluminum and whose rear triangle was carbon. I still remember the sight of it bouncing along the shoulder of the freeway as I tossed it out going 85.

That probably makes me a litterbug. It probably also means that if we’re on a long ride and you run out of food, you can ask for a bite of my pb sammich. But you aren’t going to get any.

END

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1

Cuppa joe

August 22, 2018 § 4 Comments

A bicycle friend sent this blog rant over. It was a really enjoyable read, unfortunately.

Kind of like I don’t know much about the bread I bake, I don’t know much about the coffee I roast. I buy it in 50-lb. bags and cook it in a frying pan. Where is it sourced? From a tree. What is its flavor profile? It has caffeine and costs a couple bucks per pound.

My coffee friends cringe at my frying pan technique, which leaves some beans seared black and others lightly orange, like Trump. Friends who roast their own coffee on high-end, tabletop roasters shake their head as if to say, “Therapy. Boy needs therapy.” And of course getting the occasional cup at Starbucks marks me as dilettante + imperialist + bourgeois.

And the article was timely, because it wasn’t until last Thursday after the Flog that a rider informed me that a French press was not good.

For decades I’d been, you know, totally satisfied with frudge. But after a few decades using a press, why not splurge and buy one of those pour-over things? As he talked about coffee I realized that I really knew nothing.

Why the ignorance? Why the disdain of knowledge? Why the single-minded dedication to taking the tools of hipsterism and using them to create monstrosities such as bread-whose-baker’s-percentage-I-don’t-know?

The answer is simple and ugly. I’m real fucking cheap.

I’ve never tossed a pan of badly burned beans. I’ve never thrown out a frisbee brick of bread that you have chew like it was raw bison. And a bad cup of coffee? That’s defined as waking up and not having any.

But I am going to splurge on the pour-over filter thing. $43 for the thing, and ten cents a filter for the next hundred days, by which time I’ll still have enough green coffee beans to last me through the apocalypse. That’s the benefit of being old and having grandkids, though. You know how to let loose.

END

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1

The money is shown!

August 4, 2018 § 5 Comments

It’s not that easy to get several hundred crazed adults swinging a baseball bat at a stuffed seal trying to get free inner tubes. This kind of thing takes organization, but most of all, it takes volunteers and sponsors.

all_sponsors

The first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards and Seal Pinata Whack-a-thon is right around the corner (literally, it’s in Long Beach, and figuratively, it’s a week away). In the event that the state of California doesn’t burn up in the next seven days, the celebration is going to be intense and immense.

It couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors, and our one incredibly cheap, skinflint sponsor (that would be me). Here are the folks to whom we are indebted. Whether they will be indebted to us after the event is over is another story. With the exception of myself, all sponsors are listed randomly.

Law Office of Seth Davidson: This is me. Is it possible to be indebted to oneself? I doubt it.

BeachBody Performance: Protein powder and energize. The protein will grow your pros until they are hunky and smooth, and the tein will keep you feeling like you’re in your teens.

Race for RP: $2,000 cash donation in a world where cash isn’t simply king, it’s also the queen, prince, princess, nobility, and most of the serfs.

Big Orange Cycling: $1,000 cash donation in a world where bike racing clubs never support socially worthy causes unless there is a lot of beer involved. This event has beer.

Wend Wax: I have written about this stuff extensively. It makes your chain glide, and as they say in Brazil, “Man trim bush, get tall tree.” If you’re tired of filthy chain gunk that gets everywhere, Wend is for you. If you like filthy chain gunk that gets everywhere, why?

Hint Water: Hand crafted beverage in which each oxygen atom is lovingly paired with exactly two hydrogen atoms. NOT filling, tastes great! The first time I drank this stuff I thought, “Hmmm.” That’s because I’m used to overfake waterized drinks. After a couple of bottles, I grew to love it. The flavoring is super mild and it’s straight up water. Now I’m known to push down little kids and senior citizens to get theirs.

The Bike Palace: South Bay institution without the white jackets. The Bike Palace is donating this year’s sacrificial seal pinata as well as the seal stuffings, which happen to include  50+ 700×25-28 Specialized Inner Tubes in 48, 60 and 80mm valve lengths, retail @ $6.50 – $7.50/each, 30+) Skratch Labs Single Serving packets @ $2.00/each, 100+ different gels from Hammer, Untapped Maple and GU @ $1.75 – $2.50/each, 20+ Bonk Breaker Bars @ $3.99/ each, 20+ Pedro’s Tire Levers @ $3.99/each, and a pair of Wahoo  ELMNT MINI bike computers @ $99/each. All of this is another way of saying that they are giving away all of their eaches, so if you need a spare each, you should wait until the following Tuesday.

Evolution PT: One month passes, 45 min. recovery boot sessions, and 12 EPT trucker hats. The hats come in handy when you’re in a truckstop and you need a special rub in a special place and have run out of monthly passes.

Zwift: 2 Subscriptions and 2 Cycle Ops indoor trainers, valued at $2,400. When I saw this I was like, “WHOA! That’s some generous shit!” These are great for rainy days or in California, where it hasn’t rained since 2005, indoor fire days. Zwift has radically disrupted the most important part of cycling, which is making excuses. “Too cold out,” “Too hot out,” “I go to work early,” “I come home too late,” and my favorite, “I hate training alone,” were all taken out behind the house, stuffed in a bag, and drowned.

Velo Club La Grange: Never satisfied with just doing the right thing, the La Grange folks decided to do the right thing with a heaping of money on top. They donated $2,000 to this questionable event and I can only hope they aren’t asking for receipts to prove we didn’t spend the money on a new set of wheels. Because VCLG is extra boss, they did a write-up on their club blog and they’re offering up the gourmet BBQ skills of Patrick Barrett to compete as a grillmeister in the BBQ cookoff. Unfortunately, I’m one of the two judges and Patrick hasn’t sent any personal funds to my PayPal account yet.

Barry Israel DDS + Orthodontics: Teeth whitening treatments which are sorely needed among cyclists and especially me. All those bugs between your teeth take a toll. And if these treatments don’t involve a high pressure sand blaster then I’m giving mine to someone else.

Forte Sportswear / FFWD Wheels: The sportswear is not for your wheels, although the wheels will make your sportswear go waaaaay faster. Forte understands that physics are a real thing, so even when you can’t change the space/time parameter, you can look great not doing it. Forte’s aero line is especially awesome.

Gear Grinderz Coffee: If you’ve been racing your bike at all in SoCal, and goodness knows most licensed racers haven’t, you know Gear Grinderz from their incredibly delicious coffee that jump-starts you hard enough that you temporarily forget you’re about to race with 100 other idiots, going full bore so that you can maybe get 45th or crash out all your front teeth.

Phil Gaimon: Phil is a legend, an institution, a hero, a myth, okay, a crazy fast ex-pro biker dude with a cookie fetish. He is also the progenitor of Phil’s Cookie Fondo, the best grand fondue you will ever do without a bowl of melted cheese. But in addition to the fondo which I hope you will sign up for, Phil will also be at the Donut Ride on 8/11, so you’ll get a chance to test your legs against one of the best. At least until we leave the Starbucks, at which point you’ll prolly get shelled and just be testing your legs against the same old hackers you always do.

Red Bull: Everyone knows Red Bull, a/k/a elixir of life. This is what you have after hangovers, before hangovers, during hangovers, and most importantly, before bike races. My favorite combo? 12 espresso shots, 4 Red Bulls, and a ride in the ambulance.

JoJe Bars: If you’re tired of Barbie Food (so christened by Dan Seivert), you’ll really love sinking your teeth into JoJe bars. They are healthy, fresh, made with zero ingredients from Chernobyl, and unusually for bike food, taste awesome. Two of the reasons that JoJe bars are special are John Abate and Jess Cerra, the owners, who are both accomplished bike racers and well-familiar with the travails of eating out of your back pocket.

Muscle Monster: (Confession: I had to look this up online because I don’t have any muscles.) Here’s what it is: “Monster athletes do not win by accident; it takes years of hard work and determination to be a champion. Need a little motivation to meet your personal goals? Meet your new coach in a bottle, Muscle Monster Energy Shake.” I think in my case they could have put a period after the word “win.”

Methods to Winning: This is the bike team that has done so much to make the First Annual Sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards happen. The best way to get to know these men and women is to go to a bike race and watch them ride away from you. Then you can go hang out at their tent afterwards and chat.

Shift Mobile: Got a flat? Drop a chain? Need to overhaul your bottom bracket with three to go? Jason Morin at Shift Mobile has you covered, and for an extra surcharge he might even back his van out onto the course on the final turn to give you that separation from the field you weren’t able to get through bike handling and savvy positioning. All your bike needs, all the time, on the fly!

Topical Edge: If your you-know-whats ain’t feeling up to snuff, grab a tube of Topical Edge and in a matter of minutes you’ll be killing it. No, this isn’t a competitor for Viagra. Topical Edge is a cream for athletes that you rub on your legs which will, according to their web site, allow you to train harder, go longer, and recover quicker. Wait a minute …

Origin Clothing: If you think it’s easy to make quality cycling clothing, remember what a finicky, whiny, self-absorbed ninny the average cyclist is, and then imagine trying to make him/her happy with ANYTHING. Right. That’s what makes Origin unique. In addition to their DNA, which was brewed by Dr. Frankenstein right here in Los Angeles, it’s designed by bike racers for people who value comfort and style. Also for Stathis the Wily Greek and his beard.

Eliel Cycling Apparel: You know how it gets really hard to say something different over and over again? Well, that’s where I would be when it comes to Eliel except for this: I have three of their one-piece jersey/short speedsuits and although they haven’t made me any speedier, they are durable and comfortable beyond belief. However, dudes like Charon Smith, who is crazy speedy, also wears their stuff, so you know it is legit.

Velo Pasadena: Hrach Gevrikyan has been running VP for over thirty years in an industry where few last more than a couple of years. He’s generously donating a Velo Pasadena team kit and two pairs of Time pedals. A long time supporter of grass roots cycling, Velo Pasadena has been the preeminent shop in northern LA County forever. Hrach also knows the best Armenian place in Pasadena. Be nice to him and he might take you.

Play Again Now: This is a topical spray whose daily use, according to their web site, combats the soreness that occurs with intense physical activity, overuse, injury and age. If it also combats the soreness that occurs with being a worn out old shoe, I’ll take sixty cases, please.

Charity Pablove: This foundation is donating the kids’ games for the event. Pablove was founded to provide seed funding for pediatric cancer research. According to their web site, for every dollar the National Institutes of Health puts toward cancer, only four cents go to children’s cancer research. Pablove directly addresses this gross inequity, driving Powered by Pablove seed grants specifically to pediatric cancer researchers committed to finding treatments and cures. These $50,000 grants serve a very specific purpose—to give their recipients the data and evidence they need to qualify for larger grants, federal funding and go to clinical trial.

Folks I’ve Left Out: There are doubtless several worthy sponsors whose names and contributions I’ve omitted. It’s late Saturday afternoon, I have a monster 160-mile training ride to Ventura tomorrow, and as much as I love everyone, I figure the left-outs will hit me up with an email, I’ll add them in, and everyone will be happy. This only reaches four people anyway.

END

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Brazilian wax

July 2, 2018 § 11 Comments

I’ve long been telling people to ditch the lube and wax their chains, and not just because Ryan Dahl gives me free tubs of Wend chain wax, which he does. Nor is it mainly because wax has the least friction of any chain lubricant, or because it’s easy to apply, or because it smells good when you rub it on.

All of those reasons matter, but reason number one is that the chain is the bicycle equivalent of the sweaty, unshaven armpit. And what do we know about guys? We know that they can be taught personal hygiene up to a point, but no matter how fastidious the dude, there’s at least one part of his body that he doesn’t properly groom, whether it be toenails, ear holes, or the pocket of grease that grows on his back if he doesn’t scrub it with a wire brush. And if your guy doesn’t have at least one unmaintained problem spot, maybe it’s time ask yourself why you’re going out with him in the first place?

For the cyclist, whether male or female, the nasty nest is invariably the chain. Think about it.

Beauty and the beast

From its inception the traditional bike frame has been clean simplicity itself: Two triangles. Despite the slings and arrows of outrageous innovation, the bike frame always rebounds with a snap, like a released rubber band, towards simple design. The wires get tucked into tubes, then done away with altogether. The points where the tubes join become smoother and smoother until the seams are invisible not only to the eye but to the wind as well.

Bolts, extrusions of all kinds, anything that impedes the line of sight or the flow of wind gets smoothed, cleaned, buffed. Trending towards beautiful is even something that has always nudged bicycle clothing, never mind the ability of any 12-year-old with Photoshop to design a century ride jersey. Sleeves and leg cuffs are longer and tighter, collars are more flush, zippers recessed into their own mini-covers, sewn seams are flattened; even colors are becoming less jarring, designs more visually “aero,” if there is such a thing.

And none of this begins to touch on lids, boats, goggles, and mitts, all of which get smoother and more seamless and, like the look or not, prettier.

Except for the beast. The one place where filth, lumpishness, and unapologetic awkwardness reside, and have always resided: The chain.

The untouchable

Every modern or ancient society has its castes. For the bicycle, the untouchable is of course the chain. All who touch the chain become polluted, most typically the human calf. How many centuries, fondues, or even races have you joined where some proud cyclist, sleek and slim, every body hair carefully plucked, every carbon item made fully of carbon lovingly purchased and installed, Rapha-ized from stem to stern, sadly displays what Scott and Randy Dickson used to call “turkey marks,” those giant half-chain rings of grease tattooed on the right calf, or better yet, on the right calf and top of the formerly spotless white sock?

The chain ruins all beauty, all aero, all carbon effects, simply by its existence. Immune to color, attracted to the most horrible road gunk, and typically left to rot and gather filth until in a fit of despair the bike owner does a bi-monthly chain wipe or, in desperation, replaces the entire chain, it is this part of the bike alone that has always been the wayward sheep, the ugly duckling, the child headed for prison at age four.

This is why the Brazilian wax was invented, as a lady friend from Rio once explained it to me. “Man trim wild bush, get tall tree.”

Calling all beauty lovers

Cutting to that proverbial chase scene, Wend has solved the first of these first world problems by making chain wax. But then it went and did something more extraordinary by launching COLORED chain wax. You can now have the world’s cleanest chain always. The world’s lowest friction chain always. And finally, a chain that attains the Holy Grail of all cyclists everywhere: A chain color that matches your underwear clown suit.

All hail the mighty WEND!

END

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Not free wheeling

May 17, 2018 § 2 Comments

There are lots of good ways to self-test, you know, to see how bad the disease is. Number of times each day you check Strava, how well you know the inventory at Competitive Cyclist, and of course the old standby, how many bikes you have in the garage or, better yet, in the living room.

But there is no better diagnostic tool to determine how far the illness has spread than the number of wheels you own. Because let’s face it: A bike can’t really use more than about two. So when you find that you own, say, four sets of wheels, you have a problem. A spare wheelset is defined as more wheels than will fit on your bikes. So if you have two bikes, you should have no more than four wheels.

This time a couple of months ago I had two spare wheelsets. That’s exactly two sets too many. One reason you keep extra wheelsets is because WHAT IF ONE OF THEM BREAKS? This is a huge fear, that you will break a wheel and then not immediately have another one. If you don’t have a spare wheelset you might have to miss a day riding while you shop. Goodness knows you don’t know anyone who has an extra bike wheel you could borrow. No, sir.

Anyway, I had two spare wheelsets. One came with my ‘cross bike. I immediately yanked them off and replaced them with a set of FastForward disc F4’s, because for someone who doesn’t race ‘cross and who hardly ever rides off road, it’s crucial to have all carbon high-performance wheels for all the low-performance rides.

The other spare wheelset was, of course, ma racin’ wheelz. Cuz ever racerz gotta have racin’ wheelz. These were a gorgeous set of Fast Forward tubular F3’s. Light, lighter, lightest, and they handle like only sewups can handle. Problem was, not that there’s ever a problem with having crazy light race wheels, after three years they had less than 2k miles on them.

In other words, I never got to enjoy their awesomeness very much, only about fifteen times a year, to be exact. Also, the tubular tires meant I couldn’t really train on them. Also also, I had just gotten my wife a pair of FastForward clincher F3’s, which weren’t as light as mine, but could be ridden daily. This purchase also resulted in another set of spare wheels and an acute case of spousal carbon wheel envy.

So I worked out the biker math like this:

Sell the wife’s old wheels for $20 + Sell the Giant tubeless wheels for $20 + Sell my F3’s for $700 + Sell my F4’s for $600 = I wouldn’t have any wheels for my road bike.

However, when you add the above it comes out to just enough to buy a pair of NEW F3 clinchers, which like my F3 tubulars are all carbon and made of 100% carbon. In other words, sell four wheelsets in order to buy one.

This doesn’t sound very economical, but it is a huge space saver and plus now I have new wheels and not a single extra pair laying around anywhere. Not even in my living room.

END

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Two tongues

May 5, 2018 § 6 Comments

I am pretty sure that when you ride your bike abroad, the more languages you speak, the better off you are. During the ten years I rode in Japan, being able to make friends with local riders was the key to taking a great experience and making it unforgettable. Same for the year we lived in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. And it was thanks to German that, this past November, I was able to sniff out the hammer ride in Vienna, get hammered, and make a friend.

I am also pretty sure that almost everyone wants to learn another language. In the EU, 59% of students are learning two or more languages. This is sort of good news if you’re an American traveling in the EU, because 96% of those students are studying English. If they’re not already gone forever, they will be, those days when you could theoretically wind up somewhere in France and not be understood.

Still, everything in the first paragraph holds true. Bikers who speak the language in the country they’re in are going to have more fun than those who don’t. Show me someone who says they don’t want to be able to whip out a little Croatian when they order a sandwich and coffee en route to Crikvenica from Rijeka, and I’ll show you a liar.

But how? Learning languages is hard and takes time. Fake and overpriced programs abound. Charlatans and bad methodology are everywhere. Plus, you are soooo busy because, Facebook.

Here is a tip, if you haven’t heard it already: Try Duolingo. My friend Tara U. suggested it to me, but it took a couple of years for me to actually click on the link. Don’t let it take you that long.

Duolingo has lots of failings. So what? Welcome to life. They are:

  1. Computer AI pronunciation of the target language. Sorry, real German doesn’t sound like that when actual humans speak actual sentences.
  2. Passive learning. Duolingo can’t talk back. Yet …
  3. Sometimes questionable vocabulary. Do we need to learn how to say “The bears eat the potatoes?”
  4. Inordinate emphasis on rote repetition.

But guess what? Duolingo is also pretty awesome. Here’s why:

  1. Inordinate emphasis on rote repetition.
  2. Bite-sized lessons you can actually do day in, day out. I’m on a 29-day streak.
  3. Unimpeachable basic, useful vocabulary.
  4. No grammar clutter. If you have questions about a quiz, there are numerous explanations posted by users. All you do is click on the link.

The best think (letting that typo stand because it’s awesome) about Duolingo, aside from the fact that you will actually use it, is the quiz format. Everything is a problem to solve, and you solve the same problems over and over, which is precisely how you learn to respond to questions and formulate sentences without stumbling, saying “ah, um” or throwing your hands after the first attempt and reverting to English.

Ah, yes, and this one small, wholly insignificant, totally meaningless, completely irrelevant point: It is free.

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Blog-gevity

April 30, 2018 § 15 Comments

It’s a jungle out there, a blog-eat-blog world where only the strong survive. Over the years I have seen many come and go, and each day, frankly, is a new day over here at the California Division of Cycling in the South Bay. Were it not for my six paid subscribers, I’d have packed it in a long time ago.

What’s astonishing is how few long-running cycling blogs there actually are, depending, of course, on what you mean by “blog.” In their infancy, blogs were digital diaries written on a more-or-less daily basis by a sole author and directed at a relatively small audience. But what happened was predictable:

  1. Most died, unable to meet the crushing pressure of daily, or even weekly deadlines.
  2. Those that survived did so by becoming online magazines with multiple writers, photographers, and ad sales departments.

There are notable exceptions such as Bike Snob NYC, DC Rainmaker, and Dave Moulton’s Blog, but the single-grape varietal that gets picked, pressed, casked, vinted, bottled, and daily carried to market on a donkey cart seems pretty much over.

Cycling in the South Bay has been published continuously since 2011, with this issue being #1883. I’ve published a handful of guest posts, probably less than ten. The rest of the manure pile is mine, all mine. I didn’t know it when I started, but it turns out that my hero is Karl Kraus and his legendary publication record of Die Fackel, one man doing it all from 1899 to 1936, and even more incredibly, just as angry when he started as he was when he finished.

I had a conversation with a friend last night who asked me how I came up with topics.

“That’s easy,” I said. “I open a screen and start typing.”

Actually, I didn’t say that. I don’t remember exactly what I said as I was already on my fourth glass of craft water, but it was something like this: “Every day I wake up with the realization that I have to write something on that stupid fucking blog. So I try to pay attention during the day so that when something pops up I can nab it before it slips away, like one of Socrates’s fleeting words which always seemed to flit away just before he could nail down its meaning.” [I totally added in the Socrates part just now.]

And I guess the other two things, not so strangely, are reading and riding. The more I read and the more I ride, the easier it is to blog. Fortunately, I don’t have to read very much about cycling, and perhaps even more fortunately, I don’t have to cycle while reading.

What’s also interesting is that the blog format, which promised to be a free space where talented people could let loose with only the finest prose, unencumbered by page limits, nasty editors, rejection slips, publishing house politics, agents, and over-the-transom submissions, turned into a horrible 6′ x 9′ sunless room where people who thought they had something to say realized that they did, and once said, THAT WAS IT.

I’m one of them, I suppose. I just haven’t realized it yet.

END

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