Archive for January, 2011

Public Indecency

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30th, 2011 by Griz – Be the first to comment

Three things that I absolutely love are fast food, booze, and long bike rides.   Now, the first two go together like peas in a pod.   Try and add the first two with the last one and that’s when things start to get a little sticky, pun intended.   One thing I always try to do before a long ride is take a massive dump.  My ultimate goal is a shit so big that it feels like if you were to blow air over my asshole and it would sound like an empty beer bottle.    As for taking a piss, who cares?   You can do that wherever.   There are enough trees and bridges around to facilitate a quality urination situation.   Plus, standing outside pissing on a breezy sunny day just might be one of the untold joys of life.  It’s kind of like finally seeing the sun after a whole week of clouds and rain.   One of the horrible coincidences of cycling is that the weekends are made for long rides, but they are also made for drinking too.   I’m never one to pass up a beer, a slice, or a long ride.  So sit back and enjoy this little story.

Damn that looks tasty

After drinking a bunch of beers people tend to get a little hungry, I know I do.   Unfortunately, one of the few places around here that will deliver late on a Friday night is a nationwide chain pizza restaurant.   It’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, but when that pizza showed up it was a fucking feeding frenzy.   Well, Saturday morning rolls around and wouldn’t you know it, sunny and warm.   Gotta ride, son.   Just too nice of a day to pass up.   So I’m getting ready putting all my stuff on and a genius revelation hits me.   I should take some baby wipes along, just in case.   Goddamn, I’m fucking smart……until in my haste to get out the door and on the bike I left them sitting on the counter.   At mile 25 it felt like a clown was making balloon animals with my intestines.   At mile 50 it felt like two squirrels were fight fucking in my gut.   Then amazingly at mile 70 I started to feel better.   Come to find out that was the calm before the mile 75 storm which felt like an Italian soccer team was trying to kick its way out of me.

It definitely didn’t feel like that.

Now, let me expound for a second here.   Usually pulling up to piss is a piece of cake for a guy.   Yank down the front of your bib shorts, whip out your crank, let fly, shake, put back in, and get back on the bike.   Laying cable, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game.   Jersey has to come off, bib shorts have to come down almost all the way, and you hope you can find a tree to lean up against that doesn’t have rough bark.   That’s why when I set out for a long ride I always make sure I’m at least a couple miles from a convenience store, fast food joint, or any place that has public bathrooms.   Well, this baby wasn’t waiting for a McD’s toilet because it felt like a Siamese twin breech birth.   To the left and right of me I’m surrounded, but not by trees.   I’m fucking enveloped by pricker bushes and general bramble.   No where to go, it’s like a wall on each side.   Needless to say I’m starting to freak out a bit, and you all know what happens when you have to lay cable but can’t find a place to go, that’s right, it expedites the process.

As I start to come around a corner I notice a small break in the “wall” to my right.   The closer I get to it the more it looks like a dirt driveway.   But, jackpot, it’s the entrance to a corn field.   This is where it’s getting left.  As I’m rolling up to the field I’m already pulling off my jersey so I can get my bib shorts down quick.   I jump off the bike, throw my jersey down, unzip my saddlebag and look inside to grab the baby…wipes…fuckwherearethey?  SHIT!!!!!   I left them at home!!!   No time to spare what do I do?!?!

This was going to be one of those that you know 100% without a doubt has to be wiped.   So I start looking around for anything to use.   About 10 feet away from my bike I noticed a pile of what looked like old baby clothes and some toys that were illegally disposed of.   I kicked them around a bit, but decided to try my luck with the tractor that was parked in the field.   I ran as fast as I could to the tractor hoping to find napkins, tissues, even a rag.   Nothing.   Behind the tractor, maybe a tool box?   Nothing.   Something told me to look up, and there it was flapping in the breeze in all of its soft cloth glory; ol’ red, white, ‘n’ blue, the American flag.   Uh oh, t-minus 10 seconds till blast off.   I turned from the tractor quickly and bolted for the woods by my bike.

Man, I’ve got to tell you, I got there just in time.   The beer and pizza, the clown and his balloons, the squirrels, the Italian soccer team, and the breech Siamese twins all came out.   Holy shit did I feel better, like I could ride all day now.   That was just what I needed.   Alas, my moment of joy was quickly dashed away by the realization that I still had to wipe.   So I did it.   I reached right on back there and wiped away……with one of the shirts off the ground.

Yeah, that’s right.   I used a motherfucking shirt off the ground.   What do you think I am a fucking terrorist?   Wipe my ass with the American flag?   I’d punch a baby before I did that, and if you think I made the wrong choice go move to Iran.

P.S.  I put the flag back up on the tractor.

-griz-

Who is Griz?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28th, 2011 by Griz – Be the first to comment

I think the level of strippers at a strip club on a record snow fall day is like comparing a Continental team to U.S. Postal when they were “juiced”.

Blue Monday

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21st, 2011 by Angry Bike Guys – Be the first to comment

Sometime between January 18 and 24th of 2011 is supposed to be the most depressed day of the year. As fate would have it today is the average of those two dates provided to us by infallible science. For me January is usually a month of 16-hour work days, little sleep, no weekends and a bad attitude. It is when I make a great deal of money and care about little else. In recent years my winter riding has been decimated by weather and work but while the snow keeps piling up work is definitely slower than normal. The economy has a much smaller impact on what I do for a living compared to many others but I’ve definitely noticed a change over the last seven months. The timing couldn’t have been worse having just bought a new house and car, with my monthly expenditures soaring. But in other ways the timing couldn’t be better. I have more time to work out which I do without fail four or five days a week. I have more time to spend with my pets. My attitude is the best I can remember. I don’t need drugs to stay motivated or push long hours. I’m eating better, sleeping better, living better. The hindsight of my situation is a conflicting image. I can’t say if I would have been better off taking this work-less-workout-more path five years ago or if the struggle, sacrifice and abuse of those times were necessary to get me to where I am now. Finding the right balance can be hard for someone that likes to dwell in extremes but as I get older I’m realizing how critical this is. Sometimes the balance point isn’t always in the center of the scale, either.

-Buck

Today’s Bullshit Headline

Posted in Uncategorized on January 17th, 2011 by Griz – Be the first to comment

BREAKING NEWS:

Michael Ball and the now defunct Rock Racing were found guilty of illegally using GTL (gym, tan, laundry), HGH enhanced self tanner, and black market hair gel for performance enhancing purposes.

More to follow.

-griz-

You know you want it, and you know you want me to give it to you

Posted in Rants on January 15th, 2011 by Griz – Be the first to comment

Let me go on record as saying that I’m not going to write about what my new years resolution(s) is(are) because I know you don’t care, and I already started on mine when the cycling season ended.   Nope, this is not about me.   This is all about you, because, “Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” (Thank-you Fight Club)   I’m going to tell you what your resolutions should be.   If you ride a bike and have already made resolutions, throw ’em out the fucking window……aaaaaaand away we go!!!

1. You resolve to lift some fucking weights.

– So what if you can go up the hills fast if you break a sweat lifting your bike to mount it on your bike rack.

I bet he's pretty light going up hills too.

2. You resolve to learn to fucking shift properly.

– You can’t shift properly under a load.   That’s why you drop your chain more than a white trash meth head drops to her knees.

This could be you.

3. You resolve to incorporate some fucking training rides.

– “But I don’t have a fancy bike computer that will stop time at a finish line,” you say.   Buy a dirt cheap bike comp, find a telephone pole to finish at, and press stop when you get there.

This doesnt count, this is one step above disco bowling.

4. You resolve to stop making pussy ass excuses.

–  “But my training times won’t be right because there’s stop signs and stop lights that I’ll hit along the way,” you say.   Those are called handicaps, you know, like in golf or bowling.   Don’t be handicapped, be handicapable, crybaby.

These guys aren't complaining, think of that next time you dont ride.

5. You resolve to acknowledge that your lack of performance isn’t due to too little gel/electrolyte/protein intake.

– You don’t need to eat anything when you’re going 20 miles @ 17 mph.  Shit, you barely need to drink.

If you need this to complete a shop ride, stop riding.

6. You resolve to economize your time.

– Do you really need to watch more reality TV, the shitty predictable sitcom, or that movie you’ve seen 5 times already?  Train, eat, relax, and get more sleep.

Carbo-loading and above knee jean shorts are unswole.

7. You resolve to not be middle ground.

– Tops of the B-group don’t mean shit.   You might not be the best climber anymore once you’re in the A-group, but you might be able to drop a little pain on ’em in the flats.   But how the fuck would you know, you’re to afraid to step up.

These guys are stepping up...behind each other, but stepping up none the less.

8. You resolve to experience pain.

– There are soldiers in Afghanistan fighting in 100+ degree weather.  Aron Ralston cut his arm off to stay alive (go see 127 Hours).  Lindsey Lohan is going sober (maybe that doesn’t count).  The little bit of lactic acid burn in your legs doesn’t mean shit.  Fight through it.

Jens Voigt, the toughest mofo out there, knows pain.

9. You resolve to listen to heavy metal or any of its many sub-genres (as long as it’s up tempo).

– Your college alt rock ain’t cutting it because you have the aggression of a fucking Care Bear.

Weak.

10. You resolve to not please everyone.

– Me first, you second.   That’s your new motherfucking mantra.   That person might be faster than you, but don’t give it to ’em.   Make ’em hurt for every mile you can, and smile the whole time.

Fuck Heath Ledger.

Now go run with it.

-griz-

Top of the Shop? WTF Does That Mean?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14th, 2011 by Angry Bike Guys – Be the first to comment

If achieving goals were simple then New Year’s resolutions wouldn’t be necessary; you could define a goal at any point in time and the desired outcome would be guaranteed. We know for the majority that this isn’t true. January 1st offers that sudden surge of motivation, “I can do this; this time I mean it.”

But then why is it always the same?

  • Your friend stopped his P90x routine 6 days into the month.
  • Friday rolled around and your girlfriend felt entitled to a night out. After working 5 straight days tapping away at a computer, she deserved that bottle of wine and entire pizza. She earned it after all.
The problem? You’re doing it wrong!

Defining the Goal

How can you measure the abstract? What does “top of the shop” mean? Define your goals in concrete & measurable terms.

Wrong:
Come spring I’m going to be top of the shop.

Right:
For the shop rides starting in April, I’m going to ride with the A group, sprint the climbs, and finish in the top 5 every Tuesday.

Wrong:
I’m going to lose weight before the first ride of the year.

Right:
I’m going to lose 15lbs by April 1st, 2011.

Wrong:
I’m going to get swole before summer.

Right:
I’m going to improve my 5×5 squat by 70lbs by June 15th.

Don’t Forget

With the constant influx of information we process everyday it can be easy to lose sight of the goal. Write it down. Post it somewhere you can see it everyday: on your computer screen, dashboard of your car, the wallpaper of your cellphone. This is the first, and most important, rule of achieving any goal. Stop reading and do this now.

Tell Your Friends, Tell Everybody

Want to drop 15lbs? Add weight to your squat & deadlift? Tell your friends, family or post your intentions on a forum. Not only will these people most likely support your efforts, but more importantly, you’ll look like a real idiot (…and failure) if you don’t come through. Pride is a strong motivator. Don’t embarrass yourself.

Progress Must be Measurable, and It Must Be Measured

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Measure your progress day-by-day. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Losing Weight:

Take progress photos every Saturday morning. Given the gradual nature of weight loss you won’t notice changes day-to-day or even week-to-week; it becomes easy to abandon a diet that doesn’t seem to be working. But collect several weeks of photos and scroll through them like a flip-book. The scale may have not changed, but muscles you haven’t seen in years will suddenly start to appear — one pixel at a time. This is real motivation.

Just the same, take measurements. Subtle changes between weeks may not be detected from your morning glance in the mirror. But small increments add up to real change given enough time.

Getting Strong:

Keep a written log of your workouts. Adding just a pound to the bar each session doesn’t seem like much, but it is progress nonetheless. Over several months these small increases in weight can add up to real strength.

It’s real easy to give up on a goal when it seems like progress isn’t being made. But you need to start recording your efforts: take photos, keep notes, write in a logbook.

Start From the Finish

Consider the goal, “I want to cut down to 7% body-fat.” How will you get there? One technique I like is to put yourself in the frame of mind of someone who has already achieved it. Ask yourself:

Q: “Would someone with 7% body-fat eat that pizza?”
A: Absolutely not.

Q: “Would someone with 7% body-fat go out and drink beers with the boys on Friday after hitting the gym?”
A: No, they would lift the weights, eat a balanced dinner and get plenty of sleep.

The answers come easily — there is very little thought, debate or internal conflict involved. Faced with a tough situation, answer as if you’ve already achieved the goal.

Flipped around and approached from the traditional point of view, it becomes obvious how easy it is to lose focus:

Q: “Should I eat that pizza?”
A: Yeah, it’s okay. I worked out really hard today which is more than I did last week. One slice won’t hurt.

Q: “Should I go out and drink beers with the boys on Friday after hitting the gym?”
A: It was a long week and I got all of my workouts in. I deserve a night out. I used to go out every Friday before I started going to the gym, so at least I got something in. I’m doing more than I used to.

TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read

Achieving your goals is easy as long as you do it right. Having trouble making real change in your life? Try these simple steps instead of doing whatever it is you’re doing now (…and has never worked). So you want to be “top of the shop?” Define what that really means and get to work.

The Types of Bike Shops – Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized on January 9th, 2011 by Angry Bike Guys – Be the first to comment

Making the leap from department store to a real bicycle dealer means having to choose a shop. During my sixteen years on a real bike I’ve had experiences with all the local players and have never found one that doesn’t come with baggage. From attitude to incompetence I present to you the types of local bike stores you may encounter as you test the waters.

The Mom & Pop Shop

A family-friendly approach to selling bicycles is actually a pretty smart idea. Since a shop pays its bills selling low-end bikes it makes sense to cater to new and growing families. The customer usually won’t have a great knowledge of what they’re buying and lucky for them the owners usually don’t have a great knowledge of what they’re selling. A mid-life career crisis and the burn of the American Dream can drive even the most mild-mannered mid-40s-something couple to risk it all and buy a bike shop. They can then hire an equally incompetent yet super excited staff, design a logo that looks like refrigerator art from the nearby daycare and charge $12 for an inner tube. They probably mean well but the inexperience shines bright when directional tires are installed backwards and brake rotors are cleaned with chain lube.

The Big Guys Shop

Proudly sporting consecutive Top-100 Bicycle Retailer stickers at every turn, these guys usually know their stuff. Unlike the Mom & Pop Shop they can afford to stock high-end parts and if you have a real problem they have real answers. However, even these shops make money by turnover and can botch an overhaul just as quickly as the next guy. Spoiler Alert: No shop will actually overhaul your bike properly. Learn to do it yourself or pay the best mechanic in your riding group to do it for you. The owners can be found wandering the sales floor preaching the gospel on why you need more inches in your suspension or why your brand just doesn’t cut it. If you bark back you may earn a little respect and your future visits will be rife with playful jabs at your respective part and trail preferences. This shop is your best bet.

The Multisport Shop

In a world where we’re all so busy who wouldn’t want a shop that sells not only bicycles but skis, snowboards, kayaks, canoes, triathlon gear and salted soft pretzels? This guy. There is already far too much to know about the bike industry that any proprietor who thinks he can keep tabs on all of it and six other sports is living a pipe dream. With almost two decades of bicycle knowledge crammed into my head I am smarter than any bicycle shop employee I have ever come across. If it is upgrade season I can likely recite the weight of parts down to the hundredth of a gram. I know racing. I know gear. I know history. Yet with all this focus I still don’t know it all. Keep that in mind the next time a powder junkie snowboarder is installing new bearings in your full suspension frame or the white water rafting guide is truing your $1000 wheelset.