Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Bikey Break From The Fungus

... in which your humble narrator wimps out not once, but twice.

As I passed the new bank on my ride to work yesterday morning (locals: southwest corner of Woodland and MLK), the temp read 14 degrees (international readers: Fahrenheit), but I swore it felt colder. Brutal.

After work, I saddled up, and something felt rotten in Denmark. Flat front tire. Crap.

I dug out my cell phone (no easy feat in full-bore winterwear) to tell Carla that I would be a little late getting home since I had a flat to fix. Check that -- those were the words in my head. What came out of my mouth was, "Can you come pick me up?" Pansy.

Today, the temps felt a little better, and while I didn't intend to do the local Cranksgiving alleycat (see footnote), I figured I could at least go turn the cranks outside for 45 minutes or so. Then, big fluffy snowflakes started falling, my bionic leg started aching, and the irresistible pull of couch/football games proved to be too much. Does reading Nashbar and Performance catalogs on the couch count for anything?

I did, however, fix my flat, in the heated comfort of my own home. Mini-product endorsement for a mini-product: I really, really, really like the Topeak Mini-Morph pump that arrived this week as a birthday present from my third set of grandparents, the Fischbeins -- hi, Bernice and Jerry! This is the tiniest one with no gauge, but I was able to hit a reasonably rideable 50psi (in a 700x32) with very little strain. In the field, it wouldn't have taken much more work to hit my usual 60psi, but with a full-size floor pump sitting behind me, I figured it wasn't worth the bother.

FOOTNOTE (as promised): Do all alleycats lump "fixed gear with brake" into the "singlespeed" category instead of letting them compete against other fixed gear riders? Last I checked, the term "fixed gear" referred to one's drivetrain. Sounds to me like a tacit admission that a brakeless fixed gear can't hang with those whose common sense has trumped their need for the "pure, Zen-like essence of the unadorned bike", or whatever the current line of crap is these days on Fixed Gear Gallery.

Bitter, table for one!

Sounds like I need to go back to tending my mushrooms, enjoying the pure, Zen-like essence of the unadorned farm in a cardboard box...

SHEEPISH ADMISSION, INSERTED TWO DAYS AFTER ORIGINAL POST: Blowing the cobwebs off my memory of the one Cranksgiving I raced, I seem to recall that despite my "methinks he doth protest too much" kvetching about the fixie-with-brake-equals-singlespeed taxonomy, I managed to get my arse soundly whupped by every one of those brakeless fixie guys. So, perhaps the old adage is true, that a brake only slows you down. Or the slightly less old adage, guys who blog more than they ride are really slow.

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

You should have come to Mars, had a doppio, and watched the football scores come in via wifi on your laptop, and hung with us trendy hipsters. ;) Note: Their Pumpkin Chai rocks. :)

Related to your question regarding bike categorization, should the rider who wins the overall title also be allowed to win their individual category? Discuss.