Monthly Archives: May 2011

Meat Sweat

Tommy (not his real name) stopped by today and was telling me all about his woman across town and his woman out of town. These would be Steak-and-Shake on Capital Circle and Wendy’s in Valdosta respectively. Living in a primarily vegetarian household he doesn’t eat a lot of flesh on a regular basis, especially not beef. Now, after many years of getting his meat on the side, he says that he actually begins to perspire while eating it, as though his body is increasing its metabolism just to process the huge caloric load associated with a Royale Steakburger and fries. Have you ever heard of this? Do you get the meat sweats? Does eating meat make you sweat? Is it possible that he is actually exhibiting some kind of meat lust instead? I hope we can have a mature and safe dialogue about beef-related perspiration.

On other matters- Some fool on the internet was trying to say that cycling burns more calories than any other exercise and I’m saying that it is 100% grade A bullshit. I have taken pride for many years in my ability to ride dozens of miles while expending more energy complaining about the ride than actually pedaling my bike. Even if putting forth an honest effort, going all out, you are still enjoying the benefits of a weight supporting apparatus, coasting, and mechanical advantages such as 24 gears and sealed bearings. I submit that cycling falls far short of such activities as running, racquetball, or picking tomatoes (commercially.) I tell you, the internet is full of crazies, you have to watch it out there. I will be glad when the internet runs its course and we can go back to getting our information the right way- from Encyclopedias, grandparents, and watching television after midnight.

And another thing, this repetitive use injury? I’m not enjoying it at all. Not being able to ride my bike for significant portions of every day, or prepare or recover from doing so, exposes some big weaknesses in my overall life strategy. I need to diversify. You take the bike away and all I’ve got is a job, a cat, and some friends. That doesn’t make me a pauper by any means, but it is going to get real boring in the later years if I don’t change my ways. I need to get serious about recruiting a Juanchette around here, or maybe start doing crossword puzzles.

meat sweats?


Patience is what hurts you

Hell is waiting.

I ignored the tenderness in my left heel for the past week, riding hurt about 4 times, most of those rides at a nuclear pace. I could stagger to the bike dragging my maimed left foot, clip in and forget about it. Once the blood started flowing it felt fine. The pain would subside and by the end of the ride I could walk almost normal. I figured riding was good for it. When it got stiff as the day went on I took it to yoga class and stretched it out with a little Adho Mukha Svanasana, thinking that ought to straighten things out.

This would prove to be a stupid treatment plan. For want of a nail the shoe was lost, and the horse, the soldier, the war. Now I have spent this long and lovely weekend back in the healing place, living the shut-in’s schedule. Now that I have acknowledged the injury, and given it due respect, I can feel it getting better. Crutches, ice, heat, ibuprofen, epsom salts, and a whole lot of pushing my bottom lip out as far as it will go.

Waiting is hard work, and one must train for it as with any other discipline. I have experience now, and I know what must be done. Nothing. Rest means rest. No more staggering around dragging my lame hoof behind me. When physical expression is hampered, I retreat to the life of the mind. I could practice guitar, paint a picture, write on my blog, edit the manifesto, file my files, or make the cat a new costume (I’m thinking a Lebron James jersey?) I could do those things, but instead I choose to watch the clock, afraid that if I take my eyes from it time will stop, and my foot will never heal.

As Wrecking Ball would say, “That ain’t shit. Call me when you have a real problem.”



I stopped in at ZONE 5 bikes and coffee (and beer) today to see what all the hype was about. The hype is quite justified when a new shop opens up sporting 5 beers on tap, an espresso machine, a Euro lunch menu, and an Ellsworth dealership. While he had me in the spell of his shock and awe campaign he showed off the 2011-12 BikeChain Posse cycling kit. Kit is a word cyclists use to describe their clothing, a term I have never accepted. I prefer bike stuff, or manotard. Anyway, while displaying both a strong present and an attractive future, he asks me an innocent question.

Where’s your crew been?

I have to say, that is a damn good question. I can only account for Mystery, who is on temporary medical leave. The rest of this hypothetical (hypotenusical?) crew is enjoying a prolonged hiatus. Sure the reservists rearing babies account for their one weekend a month, but the former full-timers are pretty much AWOL.

One robot is running above average and quickly moving towards earning his non-robot name back, but one robot does not an army make.

BC’s got a clubhouse, and BRC ain’t even got a club.


Time Out

Last Friday I rode with the Dogboy and I pedaled so hard I yanked my cleat sideways and rode like that for a while, so my left Achilles tendon is all jacked up. On Sunday I rode with Mystery the Untameable Stallion crashed out hard on the brown ice, now I have a stitch in the middle of my back and a big knot on my right knee. On Monday I rode with the Wrecking Ball and that didn’t bother me one bit, but I just thought I would mention it.

I read something last night about people who continue to train or exercise even when they are injured. The jackass writing the book implied that this is a sign of obsessive compulsion and these people are being driven by an irrational force, and I thought, no shit man, that’s the whole point. Let the demons take the wheel for a change, I’m tired of driving all of the time.

Still, I admit he is right. A little rest is not the end of the world. The injuries help give structure to my day. Ice, rest, and elevate. Hydrate, stretch, and meditate. I read this book soaking in an Epsom salts bath while eating Ibuprofen which put me in a weak position to argue against his hypotenuse.

By tomorrow I think all of these issues will have sorted themselves out and I will be 110% so who wants a shot at the title?


MunsON mONday

Ninety-five degrees in drought conditions used to guarantee a man some peace if he was brave enough to ride the Munson Hills trail. All you had to do was deflate your tires to 8 lbs and get to suffering. Now that it has been reduced to every trail USA status and paved over like a pitcher’s mound it is a straight-up race track. I pulled into the parking lot bumping that new Lady Gaga and crowds of riders receded like the tide. There had to be 100 of them, or at least 30. The Wrecking Ball was there, grinning like Timothy Leary and I knew it was so, so on.

We rolled out a first lap at a sporting, but conversational pace and I began to doubt the on-ness of the evening. Maybe a nice, friendly ride was in order after all tonight? We finished that first lap in the same Soviet-style form in which we began, wheel to wheel, no gaps, no passing.

The second lap thinned the herd a bit and all doubt of the on-factor fell away. The dust was thick towards the back of the pack and WB’s and my commenting tapered off with the rising of the pace. Swoosh! Riders were blowing up now, yanking out of the way in desperation, gasping on the dust. Many fell victim to the brown ice and crashed out. I could hear WB’s asthmatic rumble pumping like the bellows, but you could not fit a sheet of paper between his wheel and the one in front of him. During a discrepancy in the trees I made a quick move using my superior handling skills and edged him out of the way with a little gentle elbow contact. He countered moments later using what I am certain is an unauthorized line. It all seems a blur now, but at some point WB was no longer in front of me, but laying down off the trail in a swirling cloud of dirt. I flashed him the whites of my eyes and focused on the next wheel ahead of me.

From that point on I knew only pain and hypoxic dreams. I wasn’t on my bike anymore I was 10 years-old and playing in the hose in the front yard. I wasn’t on the bike, I was taking the GRE the day after Halloween in 1997. I wasn’t on the bike I was an old hound dog sleeping under the porch. In truth, and you probably figured this out already, I was on the bike- and getting dropped.

Still proud,


It Gets Harder

Too much has happened for me to pick up the thread and tell the story of my travels. I think it is best if I detach this blog from time and space and just pick things up from my last ride, which was yesterday. New Orleans, Miami, and many stops in between, and I wrote some truly beautiful stuff in my mind and swore I would remember it for these pages, but it is all gone. Remembering stuff gets harder.

The temp was up over 90 when I got to Mystery’s house. His baby girl was guarding the door, chewing on one of his old loafers and looking up at me, waiting for some nugget of wiseness. “It all gets tougher than this kid, so pace yourself” I told her. Mystery and me, we both started in with the poor mouth routine. My corns hurt, oh the sciatica, it would be nice to just spin for a bit, and all that palaveric nonsense. We hit the Miccosukee Greenway rolling about 20 mph. My nostrils filled with the scent of his blood and the protective nictitating membrane covered my eyes. I took King and Kong off their leashes.

Leaning deep into a dusty left-turn I washed it out and slid across the gravel-pocked trail like I was playing that game with the leather hand-baskets that takes all day. Mystery came to a stop and watched me untangle from the bike. He asked if I was all right and as I rolled to my hands and knees I told him, “It gets harder every time” and he nodded.

We rode the rest of the greenway in a quiet fury, puncturing each other in soft flanks with shiv and shank, smiling and occasionally exchanging pleasant non sequiturs like, “Lovely pace” and “Nice day for a ride.” I raised the heel of my boot and tried to line it up with his chin, but he bobbed and weaved just out of my range. “How’s work” he asked. “It’s getting harder” I said. “The road is a lonely place and a man can’t be too careful.”

Everything gets harder, and that’s why you have to get stronger.


Sea Legs

I am back at the BRC bridge and ready to get to work. I am a little wobbly after such a long break, but throw off the lines and weigh the anchor, we are going to take this blog to sea once again.

I missed an incredible week of comely weather here in Tallahassee and what seems like a year’s worth of riding events. It is a good thing I don’t participate in riding events or else I would be really disappointed. Instead, I am excited about clippping in and pointing in some random direction tomorrow and reacquainting myself with the Titus.

This doesn’t count as much of a “post” but at least I used some bloggy quotation marks.


Accounts Payable

I can’t really update until I earn some more blogger tokens so that’s what I am doing right now. I do want to congratulate the ZONE 5/ Bike Chain Service and Social Krewe on their successful event yesterday, The Red Bug Challenge. Who won? More importantly, who did not?

You can expect a surge of quality blogging when I get home this weekend, but until then you’re going to have to rely on some of the other fine sources of facts and information available on the internet.


2 Wheeled Love

I was leaving the air-conditioned comfort of the gym yesterday when I saw two figures roll by on heavily laden touring bikes. They were covered completely from the sun, so I could not even see their faces. The temperature was close to 100 and they were crawling up the hill in front of the mall. My spirit burst forth from my body in a wash of admiration. I hurried to the corner store and bought two cold bottles of Zephyrhills spring water and then I rushed to the intersection at the top of the hill (Blairstone and the Parkway.) There, as they slowly approached, I began to clap and shout “Allez! Allez!” as they pulled up to the red light. Pulling down their scarves I was greeted by two broad grins.

They were on their way to Miami, from Iowa, by way of Guadalajara. They gave me a photo of themselves, a post-wedding picture? She smiling in a frilly pink dress, he triumphant and lifting her in his arms. They accepted my gift graciously and away they rolled under the hot afternoon sun.

Here is a link to their site, in case you can read Taiwanese.