Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Continued Neglect

So I wrote a post a little while back about how I've changed my bike punishing ways. Oozing with hubris; the post was all about how enlightened I've become and that I see the value of preventative bike maintenance. This morning I must call "Bullshit" on myself.

After completing my morning rituals I went to grab the LHT (yeah you know me) and head for the door. I noticed my back wheel wasn't spinning when I lifted it off the stand. First thought was that the pads were rubbing but that wasn't the case. In all my "hot shitness" I neglected to pay any attention to my bearings which had failed and were crushing into each other under the pressure of the skewer.

Rightfully feeling like a complete dickhead I yanked my Bianchi EV3 out of obscurity and got it ready to ride. I hadn't ridden my road bike in over a year, (a different type of neglect) and had grown very comfortable on the LHT. The first few miles of the commute felt like I was ridding in on a broom handle. Once we got reacquainted, the Bianchi and I were cranking and I got to work faster than I had in a while.

Just to show how enlightened I am, I'll post anything that ends in (Death Metal Version) here is a little joy via (AHTBM)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Small Talk Paradox: "How Was Your Commute?"

Office small talk; it's something we all take part in whether we like it or not. Being a bike commuter makes you an easy target in these sometimes awkward moments. When you're in the elevator or at the water cooler or any other pocket of the office where you are forced to be in the company of others, the silence can be deafening. You and your unintended companion are left glancing around grasping for an icebreaker of some kind. It's in this moment when you, the bike commuter are most vulnerable.

"Weren't you freezing out there?"
"Weren't you burning up out there?"
"How far do you ride again?"
"What time of year do you stop riding?"
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" (ok I made that one up)

Most of the time coworkers take the path of least resistance and go for the simple "So! How was the ride?", followed by "You're crazy man!" after my response. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice gesture and I do appreciate the thought. This person wants to hear how cool my commute was, and that's cool. However, the question is asked of me so often I started giving it right back to the source.

"My ride was awesome! How was your drive in?"

This is met with a wide spectrum of responses; anywhere from detailed counter traffic strategies, "Well this morning they were stacked up all they way to the blah blah so I took the parkway to the blah blah..." to head shaking and guttural noises, "nnnmmmuuurrrph."

Most of the time though the question is met with a slight grimace as if to say "You know it sucked, why the hell would you ask me that? It's cruel to fuck with me this early in the morning?"

This led me to ponder the trend... it seems to be a common assumption that being a bike commuter, my daily ride in is always great and that any commute by car is always shitty. If that assumption is both true and common why aren't people more open minded about bike commuting?

The same person who complains about the traffic every day gets to work with two assumptions, that my ride in was awesome and that I'm crazy for doing it.

My assumption is that a good percentage of these people live an easily rideable distance from the office.

I apologize, that was way too many assumptions for one post.

PSA: If you or anyone you know in the DC area has a coworker like this direct them to this website immediately.

It's gonna be a humpalicious Wednseday, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Urban Downhill: Chilean Bad Ass

This came via The Pedal Pushers Club. DC has neither the hills or the hipness to pull something like this off.

This one is even more insane,