Monday, March 29, 2010

Riding Fast: Know when to hold em, know when to chill the fuck out.

If you want to ride socially, you're going to have to go on a few group rides.  Here is how most of them work:  A bunch of guys all ride somewhere and then all hell breaks loose and somebody wins.  Today's rule involves the "all ride somewhere" part.  If you show up to a group ride for the first time and a bunch of guys are talking to each other about their favorite brand of taint cream, or how many calories they're allowed to eat on this ride, that isn't your cue to go to the front and hammer your fat argyle clad ass off.  We are NOT impressed with how strong you are.  We ARE all pissed that you've strung us out single file on a busy city street where we can no longer talk about our favorite flavor of nair and instead have to ruin our fun conversational warmup ride to chase you around.  This is only made awesomer when we get to the real part of the ride and you get dropped like a plinko chip with a helmet mirror.  Then we spend the rest of the ride complaining about the fatty that had to show off on the ride to the ride.

Moral of the story:  If you're new to a group ride, don't show off.  Especially don't show off if you don't know when you should be going fast.  ESPECIALLY don't show off if in the first 10 miles of an 80 mile ride.

That's all.  Thanks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Helmet Visors: We aren't savages

I really need to get quicker with the camera.  I spotted a guy on Lookout this thursday riding a Ridley (newer, don't know which model) with Reynolds deep carbon wheels and a helmet with a VISOR, yes a visor.

I know you're fat and slow, but if you were fast, you'd know that you can't wear a helmet visor while riding in the drops because you need to look up through the space that the visor is taking up.   Since you are trying to give the appearance that you are fast, you need to remove the visor.

Helmet visors are for mountain bikers.  We are NOT mountain bikers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carbon Wheels: I don't want to see them.

I think the most common faux pax to happen on the bike path is when some guy with more money than skill decides to buy fancy wheels, that he then decides to train on.

Here's the deal:  Carbon wheels are light, fragile, and awesome.  The purpose of them is to make you a very small percent more aerodynamic, and thus faster at speed.  The only time you need to be 1% faster is in a race, so you DO NOT NEED THEM while riding on the path, or going up lookout about as fast as one of those paragliders comes down.  Riding ridiculously expensive wheels when you aren't racing is really just a big red flag that tells us all that you aren't fast, and like to waste your money trying to impress us.

Don't tell me about how "it's your money" or you'll "ride what you like."  A better use of your money would have been a powertap and decent training wheels, or better yet, a cycling vacation so you'd actually BE fast, and not just be a tool who thinks they look fast.  The ONLY reason to ride deep carbon wheels on the bike path is so that others will see you on them.  You want to impress us, not give us fodder for ridicule, so leave the zipps and reynolds at home, until you're actually ready to race.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick frustrated note

I don't care how "sexy" your bike is.  If it has a squeaky, grinding drivetrain, that trumps it all and makes your bike worthless to me.  The same thing goes double for fixed gears.  Just because you only have one cog doesn't mean you don't have to keep your chain clean.  The intermittent squeak of a poorly kept fixed drivetrain is very distinctive, and just thinking about it creeps me out. 

Silence in a drivetrain is nirvana. 

Just trust me and clean your bike every now and then.  If you have a rediculously expensive or "customized" whip, then pay someone else to do it.  I don't care, I just don't want to hear you from 3 blocks away.

On Modesty, Part 2: Equipment

Anybody who has taken music lessons at some point should be familiar with the phrase: "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach."  In cycling, those who can't, buy.  And buy we do.    If you can't impress your friends by destroying them up hills at races, you can always impress them with cool shit, and here's how you do it:

It's important to have a complete package.  I'm talking about that guy in boulder with the Trek Madone whatever.0 with Di-2, full assos kit, and no helmet.  I see that and I think anybody who can buy a $900 rear derailluer really should invest in a decent helmet.  Similarly, an awesome bike can be ruined aesthetically by having one yellow tire or dirty bar tape.  Just be mindful.

There's sort of a tipping point with bikes after which they become "dentist" bikes.  Serottas and newer orbeas are like this.  I don't care if it cost $7000.  If the head tube is 2 feet long and nobody in the pro peleton rides one, it's going to be hard to impress the group.  Cervelo is quickly going this way too, especially since they are so loved by triathletes, and the rich fat guy spillover has been forthcoming.

Newest and greatest is always good, but mix it up.   Campy can come off as pretentious, especially if it's written on clothing, and not on shifters.

The goal is go get stuff that people will recognize as awesome, but not as overdone.  This can be a moving target, so be careful.   Look, BMC and Time are pretty cool, but Pinarello and especially Colnago are too dentisty.  It's hard to get away with anything american, so avoid Trek, bontrager etc.  Specialized has managed to lose some of the american stigma by sponsoring every team under the sun, but Cannondale still reeks of NFL and NASCAR.  Somehow, high end carbon wheels are okay, Zipp, Hed, and Edge are all cool.  I don't quite get why, but that's how it is.  Somehow Giant bikes are allowed too, especially the newer ones with the gigantic downtubes.

There are a few bikes out there made by companies that specialize in Tri bikes that are NOT allowed.  Guru, Quintana Roo, and Argon 18 just aren't going to fly with road cyclists.  They may make a decent frame but we just don't care.