September 12, 2016 § 14 Comments
If you have been cycling for a long time, then you have a lot of cycling clothes. And if you ride four or five times a week, laundry tends to come in clumps. Suddenly you’re staring at a big mound of bike stuff that has to be sorted, put away in drawers, or hung. It’s kind of a pain, but you do it.
After decades of this I’ve got a routine. As soon as the clean laundry lump magically appears from Mrs. WM’s hamper, then mysteriously migrates over to the couch in a giant mound, I take out the pieces, match them somewhat, and put them on hangers. Then it’s all out of sight, out of mind.
I wish Mrs. WM would exercise the same discipline with her underwear because for years now the preferred place for clean panties is hanging on the doorknob to the bedroom. I know what you’re thinking. “Wow! That ol’ WM is a one-man action movie! Things get hot and heavy and pretty soon there’s underwear flying all over the room, hanging from the rafters and even from the doorknobs! Stud! Go get ’em, WM!”
But no. Wanky is a worn out old shoe who has the vigor of a flat tire with multiple blowouts in the sidewall. You’re not looking at the remains of a wild night, but simply a convenient hanging place for undies.
Why there? What is it about the doorknob that makes any person want to put their underwear there? “Well, I have an armful of panties, might as well hang them on the door.” Really?
Or are they a hint? Is it like waving a red flag in front of a bull, this waving of green cotton granny shorts with daffodils that is supposed to awake the slumbering old shoe? If that’s the goal, lemme tellya. That ship hasn’t sailed, it’s sunk. The only thing that rouses the WM from a deep sleep is his prostate, and the only thing that delays him from sleep once his head hits the pillow is NOTHING.
Or maybe there’s a rotation system that I haven’t figured out yet, like the closet rotation system of my bike clothes, which is this: Far left for long-sleeved stuff, then newest clean stuff, with the next-in-line-to-wear things on the far right. If Mrs. WM has a panty rotation system, maybe the doorknob is for the undies that are about to be retired as old bike chain rags, or as canvas for stretching across a barn door.
Plus, the doorknob doesn’t seem that sanitary. That’s where you put your hand after changing a grandbaby diaper, or picking your nose, or scratching your sack. If you’ve gone to the trouble to clean those spinnakers, mightn’t it be a good idea to put them in a drawer? I’m just brainstorming here.
At least nowadays she hangs them on the doorknob inside the bedroom. They used to be on the outside, until one time a guest came over for dinner and remarked, “Interesting doorknob covers.”
I suppose it could be worse. I’m just not sure how.
September 11, 2016 § 25 Comments
My first cycling gaol was to get cycling legs and that’s going to take a while.
My second gaol came as a sort of happenstance, thanks to my Chinese teacher who lives in Shanghai. Her name is Merry Song.
I had been hanging out at Wikipedia the night before my lesson, hoping to come up with some idle chatter I could kill the time with and thereby avoid having to do the lesson I hadn’t studied for and review the kanji I hadn’t memorized.
“Do you speak Shanghai dialect?” I asked.
“No, but I understand it. My husband is from Shanghai.”
“Is it hard to learn?”
“No harder than Mandarin,” she said, meaning, “I’m Chinese and have lived in Shanghai for twenty years and my husband is from here and I still can’t speak it so, for you, impossible times a billion.”
“Oh. Do you speak any other dialects?”
“I can understand and speak Yunnan because that’s where my mother is from and that’s where I grew up.”
“Wow. That’s a long way from Shanghai, isn’t it.”
“Yes, it’s very far.”
“Do you still have family there?”
“Yes, I go back every year.”
I looked at the map. “How long does that take?”
“By plane it’s only a few hours. But by train it’s two days, about.”
“So you always fly?”
“No, I never fly. I always go by train.”
“Gambling. You sit in the train and meet many new people and chat and each time you go through a different area the food is different and play cards and gamble. Also there are different flavors of cigarettes in each region and you can smell them richly in the train compartment. Do you like to gamble?”
“No,” I said. “I’m extremely risk-averse.”
“You should take the train from Shanghai to Kunming some day. It’s very fun.”
“Yes. It’s a little expensive, slightly cheaper if you take the regular train.”
“How much is that?”
“About fifty US dollars.”
“For a two-day train trip across China?”
“Yes. But high prices can’t be avoided nowadays. I had a student who once came here and did this.”
“Did he like it?”
“It was wonderful. He learned so much about Chinese culture.”
“About gambling. He learned gambling and hospitals. They had to take him off the train one day because he ate bad food and got very sick. The taxi driver took him to the hospital and stole his suitcase and wallet and passport. It was very amusing to hear him tell the story about trying to get help in a rural village high in the mountains of Szechuan.”
“Oh yes, he had many funny stories. He had studied Chinese like you, but like you he really couldn’t speak or read or understand anything, like a small baby, very helpless. And they gave him some traditional medicine in the hospital and he got much sicker so they suggested cutting a hole in his skull to relieve the pressure and drain the fluid, but at the last minute there was an earthquake and all the power in the hospital went out. Many people died, but he did not.”
“He was taken back to Beijing and arrested because he had no passport in a disaster zone. Soon it was all straightened out.”
“Let’s see. He arrived in March and was back home by October.”
“Then what happened?”
“I’m not sure. I think he lost his job and the illness was bad for a while but eventually he recovered and can walk again.”
“Sounds like a great trip.”
“Yes, it was very memorable. I tell all my students about how exciting it can be when you are off the normal path and adventurous things happen.”
“What’s the best time to do this trip?”
“I would recommend March.”
“Are there bicycle rentals in Kunming?”
“I don’t know.”
So that’s my 2017 cycling gaol: Find out if there are rental bikes in Kunming after I arrive there from Shanghai by train.
September 10, 2016 § 15 Comments
Since the off-season week is finished I went out on the Donut Ride today and got dropped. Then I quit, and after that I bonked.
As I was crawling on my hands and knees to the wine-and-liquor mart across from the Miraleste fire station (great location for booze), Destroyer helped me buy some Pop-Tarts Cycling Recovery Nutrition and a bottle of Starbucks Frappucino Milk and Coffee Cycling Recovery Nutrition Drink Supplement.
“Have you ever considered putting anything in your water bottle besides water for 55-mile, race-intensity beatdowns?” he asked.
“Nah,” I said. “Science is overrated.”
He sighed. “So what are your cycling goals for 2017?” he asked as I tore through the Pop-Tarts wrapper and wolfed down the precious recovery nutrition items including the crumbs.
“I have three cycling gaols this year,” I said. “Gaol Number One is to get legs.”
“Yeah. Cycling legs.”
“What do you mean?”
I showed him a picture. “These are my legs. The are muscle-free and have the definition of an old black-and-white t.v.”
He nodded glumly. “Yeah. I know.”
“And they don’t work worth a damn. So in 2017 I’m going to get some cycling legs. Like Michael’s.” I showed him this picture.
“That’s my gaol.”
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September 9, 2016 § 50 Comments
Something that bothers me about cyclists also bothers a lot of cagers, but it bothers us for different reasons. Because this is a family blog, and in addition to false dichotomies, vulgarity is also eschewed here, I will politely refer to this problems as “biker dicks.”
What is a biker dick? To certain cagers, a biker dick is someone on a bicycle. Simply riding makes you a candidate for punishment. To these folks, a biker dick is someone who takes the lane, slows them down, wears colorful underwear, imagines that each pedal stroke saves a baby whale, and of course threatens our American Way of Life and Making Donald Drumpf Again by running stop signs.
I’m not concerned about those biker dicks, because they’re not dicks. They’re moms, dads, prison releasees, kids, hipsters, bums, employed people, and other ordinary humans going about their business, just going about it on a bike. Carry on, you angels of awesomeness.
The biker dicks that bother me don’t really happen much in traffic, although plenty of cyclists get irate and do things that you won’t find approved of here, and use language and gestures that you won’t find approved of here. They also salmon, don’t wear helmets, and blah blah blah. Hey, if you’re dumb enough to seek death like that, seek away.
The biker dicks that bother me are much worse than those who go off on cagers or who scofflaw through traffic control devices at 6:00 AM with no one present.
I’m talking about the biker dicks who are abusive, threatening, and, yes, even injurious to vulnerable road users. When bikes are the vulnerable road user, the cagers who have the ability to crush them get zero slack in my book. Your car is bigger, heavier, deadlier, and your risk is close to zero. So slow the fuck down and show some respect for human life. If you can’t chuckle when some tweezly wanker shows you the middle finger and calls you something you normally giggle at when Bill Maher says it, take a breath or a bong hit or whatever.
But what about when the shoe’s on the other foot or, more aptly, when the wheels are on the bike path? I’ll tell you what. There is a whole slew of assholes on bikes who treats vulnerable road users, and by that I mean pedestrian meatbags, moms with strollers, old people taking a walk, kids on skateboards, and small people learning to ride tiny bikes with training wheels, with the same contempt and disregard for safety that many cagers treat us with when we’re cycling in the roadway.
How many walkers, hugging the right side of the bike path, going in a straight line, not bothering one single human being, have been accosted at the last second by some screaming, snot-blowing, wannabe jerk on a bike with the immortal shriek, “On your left!”
I wish I had a nickel for every skidmark that’s been created by these biker dick war hollers.
What’s worse, some nasty, aggressive, and potentially violent cyclists seem to have an affinity for being especially abusive to women. A friend who is a cyclist and a runner (we forgive you your jogging transgressions, DP), was on the bike path a few days ago with a cop friend. Cop had big quads and looked coppish as they jogged. Bikes gave them room and said squat even though they were two abreast. This reminds me exactly of how cagers behave when there’s a pack of cyclists. STFU and keep moving.
As soon as the cop jogged off, though, my friend, an Asian woman now jogging alone, became the target of endless last minute “On your left!” screams and even of a vile racist insult by one passing biker dick.
What is wrong with you assholes? When you are on the bike path it isn’t the autobahn, and every fool with tri-bars or a TT rig who’s trying to set the land speed record on a multi-use path with pedestrian meatbags is by definition an asshole. The same thing that cars have to do when there’s nothing but your underwear between you and two tons of steel is the same thing you have to do when you’ve got 200 lbs. of mass going 23 mph hurtling towards a 120 lb., slow moving meatbag: SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.
And don’t tell me that the meatbags don’t belong on the bike path or that they’re unpredictable or kicking a ball or walking a dog. Who cares? They’re there and you know they’re there and if you hit them you’re going to do horrible damage. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. And once you’ve gotten off your Strava pace you won’t have to shriek at the last second, scaring the crap out of the walker and possibly causing them to veer into you.
At bottom, the irrational hate and disrespectful treatment shown by cagers to bikers on the streets is the same narcissistic, selfish nastiness that lurks at the bottom of the cycling psychopathletes who terrorize helpless bike path meatbags. Meatbags are people too, so SLOW THE FUCK DOWN, and don’t get me started on “Why are you even on the bike path to begin with, especially on the weekend or at other high-use times?” The bike path is sandy (bad for carbon), packed with erratic meatbags (causes carbon to break when slammed into), slow (takes away the millisecond benefits of carbon), badly paved (makes carbon ride uncomfy), and no more safe than the surface streets.
Empathy doesn’t grow in a vacuum or, apparently, when you’re racing along the bike path to get to work, make a group ride, or set some stupid PR on some stupid Strava segment. Put yourself in the meatbag’s shoes, even though they’re jogging shoes and even though your colorful underwear is way sexier. Get out of your rush mode, quit yelling like a jerk, and treat the vulnerable meatbags the same way that you want to be treated when they finish their jog, hop into their SUV, and, boiling with rage at your bad manners and dangerous habits, see you again when you’re off the path and pedaling down the street.
Because the victim you abused a few minutes ago is now a cager with a grudge and you’re the biker dick in the crosshairs. Is that really what you want?
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September 8, 2016 § 41 Comments
Before the race we all pinned on each others’ numbers, which looked like this:
The ref blew the whistle but before we could get going they had to neutralize the race. A gaggle of ancient retirees, all of whom had lived in Palos Verdes Estates since 1978 and were still wearing the same shoes, did a parade lap around the course.
Each angry resident did a mini-ragesprunt, where they harangued about parking. Elbows were thrown, headbutts lodged into ribcages, and one old codger whipped out GoPro footage of *CARS RUNNING STOP SIGNS* and *GASPY GASP GASP* a white vehicle that REGULARLY PARKS TOO CLOSE TO THE STOP SIGN NEAR THE INTERSECTION ON THE STREET THAT GETS 183 WHOLE CARS A DAY.
Fortunately, the parking club riders were not as fit as the SoCal Allstar Race Team, so after they ran out of electrolytes and Depends, the parking club riders shunted off to the side and wrote nasty emails to each other on NextDoor.
The whistle blew and the race was on. Dashing into the first corner was Jay “BMUFL” Yoshizumi, who attacked hard up the gutter, battering into the wind while pointing out that safety was paramount. He swung over just in time for G3 “Data Boy” Seyranian, who unleashed a flurry of softening-up punches over the short cobbled section, stringing out the peloton, making the watt meters crackle, and pointing out to statistical data points that validated the BMUFL signage.
One of the riders on Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, Doper McWanksalot, got caught up against the curb, threw a chain, and dropped his fake petition with 83 bogus signatures just as Michael “Call Me Claw” Barraclough came up hot and inside to set a course record for the first lap. Claw also let the refs know that if the Allstars didn’t sweep the podium with BMUFL signage, they would continue to show up to every subsequent race and stack the field until justice was done.
Shrimpy McShrinksabunch, team leader and designated sprunter for Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, roared briefly to the front and sputtered on about delaying BMUFL signage until the year 2082, when all of the ramifications and data and GPS coordinates could be algorithmized, logarithmized, digitized, and mesmerized, but was quickly chopped hard by Kristie “All Aces” Fox, who blew him up against the barriers with a hard-charging citation to traffic counts related to Terranea and The Donald Drumpf Golf Club.
Now the Allstars were warmed up and a series of brutal attacks began, headed up by Pete “Older Than Dirt” Richardson and followed by Jon “Same Shit Sounds Smarter In British English” Phillips, who hit it hard at the bottom of the small cobbled climb that had been slickened by the snot, spittle, and Internet ugliness dribbled out by the NextDoor Wankers On The Bay Boys’ Moms’ Couches.
One Lunada Bay Boy on Mom’s Couch slid out in the turn and caught his monosyllables on his poor syntax, making a fool out of himself and going hard into the hay bales, where he was forced to pay rent and get a job sacking groceries at Von’s.
Suddenly the weather turned nasty and a foul gale blew in. Our heroes, who had been driving it at the front with relentless accelerations by Victor “Don’t Fuck With Me” Cooper, Delia “These Are The Facts And They Will Hurt You” Park, Doug “The Motor” Toland, and a vicious move that split the field by Tom “One-Handed” Duong, the peloton began to crumble.
A breakaway formed with Claw, Park, Fox, G3, “Gizzards” Jim Hannon, and “Bronx Bomber” Julian Katz, as the Allstars back in the field sat up to block the weak, ineffectual, incoherent, and disorganized attempts to bridge by Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch Who Mostly Complain on the Internet but Don’t Have the Balls to Show Up.
Just when it looked like the break would go clear, Norm “Video Production” Zarifsky of Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU made a daring move out of the field and, stuck in no man’s land, seemed set to bridge. However, he began to huff and puff as he spouted anger at cyclists, reviled bikers who ran stop signs, and declared that all PVE stop signs should be removed, buried, and shot as his FTP of 12.2 watts was immediately exceeded now that he was out in the wind and unable to suck anonymous Internet wheel.
Moreover, he had failed to notice that Dave “Video Allthetime” Brinton had latched onto his wheel, and as Norm began flicking his elbow, drooling in desperation, and begging everyone to condemn that terrible pro bono lawyer blogger dude who is in cahoots with the cops and judges to get bikers out of citations, Brinton came around, dropped Norm like a big turd from a tall horse, and bridged to the break.
One by one the tired, unfit, tactically incompetent, and strategically defective members of Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU came off the back while, back in the peloton, the shrewd, handsome, beautiful, fit, happy, and cagey members of the Allstars took turns pounding the BMUFL haters into paste. John Cayon, Joann Zwagermann, Larry Lem, Dave Terrell, Joey Cooney, Don Wolfe, Jaycee Carey, Wendy Watson, John Wike, Mark Maxson, Michelle Landes, Brent Davis, Allison Vought, Les Borean, Gary Cziko, Andrew Nuckles, Craig Eggers, Sam Gengo, Tara Unversagt, Sherri Foxworthy, Kevin Salk, and Brian Gee set a blistering pace that Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU couldn’t begin to follow until, at the bell lap, there was no one left but the Allstars and five BMUFL signs which will be co-located with existing “3-Feet It’s The Law” signage.
The traffic safety committee voted 4-0 in favor of the Allstars when, post-race, a challenge was made due to alleged irregular sprinting by Wike, but the commissars concluded that not only had Wike won the field sprint clean, but that the complaining wankers who lodged the protest would, as punishment, be grounded until next Thursday and limited to $150 in gas charges on mom’s credit card for the rest of September.
After the race, the Allstars modeled their sexy BMUFL signage and prepared for the final race of the season. The next race in the series is the finale, the PVE City Council BMUFL Grand Prix. Be there!
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September 7, 2016 § 40 Comments
Test your South Bay knowledge by matching the quote to the person!
- “He’s the real deal.”
- “Do you even race?” [to Josh Alverson]
- “At this point in our careers, Rahsaan and I are equal.”
- “If I only made half a million dollars a year I’d kill myself.”
- “I think I broke my elbow.”
- “Right on.”
- “Watch this!”
- “You should try cryotherapy.”
- “Fair enough.”
- “You’ll love it, it’s easy.”
- “We have to take a picture first.”
- “Sittin’ in is for suckers.”
- “This is a coffee ride!” [to cyclist already going so slow he’s about to fall over]
- “I broke my femur stretching.”
- “I love this shit.”
- “It’s going to be harder than last year.”
- “So there’s that.”
- “Fuck, dude.”
- “From now until December we’re noodling.”
- “I’m racing tomorrow.” [swings over and gaps you out]
- “Listen, if you have to pay $395 to go all the way to the middle of the fucking desert to get naked, do drugs, tell ‘the man’ to get bent and bang strangers while burning wooden structures, you might not be as ‘free’ as you claim. You also clearly have never been camping with me.”
- “He’s a $12k dreamer.”
- “Work together!”
- “No kooks.”
- “You’re a cupcake, dude.” [to the homicide detective who’s been in 392 fistfights and only lost one]
- “It’s a 55.”
- “Yeah, but I’ll beat you on the downhill.”
- “I plead guilty, your Honor.”
Shirtless Keith, Joanne Zwagermann, Roger Worthington, Amanda Marie, Elijah Shabazz, Cameron Khoury, Greg Leibert, David Wells, Jack Daugherty, Miles Irish, Charon Smith, Gregg Stern, Jay LaPlante, Russell DeBarbieris, Suzanne Sonye, Tony Manzella, Patrick Brady, David Perez, Robert Frank, Joe Yule, Kevin Phillips, Noel O’Malley, David Jaeger, Thorfinn Sassquatch, Michael Marckx, Gus Bayle, Shon Holderbaum, James Doyle, Greg Seyranian
September 6, 2016 § 22 Comments
There will be a traffic safety committee meeting at the Palos Verdes Estates city hall tomorrow at 7:30 PM. The traffic safety committee has recommended that the city install six signs that say “Bikes May Use Full Lane.” The full agenda is here; the address is 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274.
Sounds like glacial change that couldn’t possibly be controversial.
However, a handful of NIMBYs think that this is outrageous and will spoil the peninsula. So, in typical NIMBY fashion, they have cobbled together a petition that urges the city to delay putting up Bikes May Use Full Lane signage even though such signage has been approved by the city’s traffic safety commission and is completely legal. I’ve heard but can’t confirm that there is also a petition to limit cyclist usage of certain sections of public roads. This isn’t on the agenda, but we’ll see at the meeting if that’s in fact what some of the NIMBYs are advocating. I won’t urge you to show up and make your voice heard. Everyone has their own to-do list. Families, kids, jobs, fantasy football, and the all-important rest time for the next big group ride. I get it.
But for those who think that democracy only happens when people show up, please take a few hours out of your lives to help the traffic safety committee do what it already knows is the right thing to do.
And the right thing to do, as a very first step, is to install signage that will encourage motorists not to behave like this 14-carat asshole driving in Palos Verdes Estates who almost killed one cyclist and almost injured many more yesterday:
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