Friday, October 23, 2009

Dear PooBah

What the hell?

I'm not sure, but I think somehow, someone in COMO has seriously pissed off the weather Gods.  As I sit and write to you from COMO CYCO home base, I've got three buckets on the floor and two on my desk trying to catch the water that is leaking through the ceiling.  Still, the floor is becoming a swamp and I need some help keeping up with it.  I called a custodial service who sent a guy over, but good help is so hard to find these days.

And all this comotion around HQ is poorly timed as we have cycling stories coming in fast and furious.  First of all, Astana, among other teams, have failed to comply with an October 20 deadline to submit an application for registration, which may give disgruntled Alberto Contador his free ticket out of Vinokouroville for 2010.  Lance Armstrong was asked to comment on the possibility of AC getting to go to a much stronger and well-organized team.  He declined to comment but the expression on his face was difficult to read.

Vino was also asked how he felt about the possibility of losing what some say is the strongest man in the peloton from his Team Astana.

Interestingly, he has chosen to remain fairly reticent as well.

At any rate - it's Friday - and therefore time for reader mail.  Let's get to it.  Our first letter actually comes in the form of a Tweet from professional cyclist Bradley Wiggins who placed 4th in this year's Tour de France and is fresh off of an overall win at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour:

As you well know, many cyclists have a penchant for adopting nicknames.....It was popularized in the golden age of cycling with Eddy "The Cannibal" Merckx, and before him Fausto "Il Campionissimo" Coppi, but continued with Marco "Il Pirata" Pentani, and more recently with David "DZ Nuts" Zabriskie, and Danilo "The Killer" Di Luca.  As most amature cyclists like to emulate their heroes, they too want to take on nicknames, thus frequently write into cycling forums under a pseudonym.  But no one wants a boring name - like Bob "The Grassmower" Johnson, or Linda "The LunchLady" they come up with something more colorful as you have indicated in your Tweet.  You may be interested to know, that I too have experimented with derivatives of my name "PooBah" to come up with a more clever nickname.  At first I tried just a shortened version, "PooB" but it sounded too much like "pube" so I abandoned that in light of one of our previous discussions.  But a reader recently wrote to me and addressed the letter with a mispelled version of my name which kind of acurately describes the entire blog - so it just may stick:  "PooBag".

Next up are some comments from readers 'melalvai' and 'tina elizabeth' from a post this week that I thought were worthy of addressing.  In reference to the area highlighted in this photo which was originally posted earlier in the week,

they commented:

Melalvai and Ms. Elizabeth:
For the record - you are both correct.  I'm not sure how you figured it out, but I was in fact sitting in the pizza joint at the BikeMo ride to observe and cover the event.  I was amazed that you could somehow see me through the dark and dingy glass of the pizzeria windows.  Concerned that my true identity may have been compromised by my own stupidity in posting the photo initially, I sent the picture to some friends at a photoanalysis forensics lab to see just how much of my image is potentially visible in that photo.  What they returned was a highly magnified and digitally enhanced cropped area of the original photo, focusing on the window in question. 

Wow. That was a close one.  The image you both saw was NOT in fact me, but rather a young William Shatner, also wearing a fez.  I don't have an explanation for this, as I was in the pizzeria at the time, and did not see Bill there. I think I would have noticed him, as I was the only other person in the place wearing a fez, and as hats go, they seem to be a fairly good conversation starter.  Alas, we'll have to chalk this one up to some odd paranormal activity since we are getting close to Halloween.

Dear PooBah,
I rode my bike to WalMart the other day to to pick up a 40 of Olde English.  I locked it to a pole in the parking lot before I went in, but when I returned this is what I found.  Who would do such a thing?

Pimped out Pyrite

You've got a bigger problem on your hands than that English 40, my friend.  Are you familiar with the 1964 film "Goldfinger" starring Sean Connery as James Bond?  In the film, the evil Auric Goldfinger kills a woman who betrayed him through having an amorous encounter with Bond, by painting her naked body in gold paint....head to toe.  She died of the dreaded condition referred to as 'skin suffocation.'  Her golden corpse was left for Bond to find, as a kind of calling card and warning to back off of Mr. Goldfinger's affairs.

My guess is that you have crossed paths with a nefarious Bond-movie copycat villian, who is leaving you a warning sign.  It's interesting that he took the time to cover your bike seat with a plastic bag before rattle-canning on the gold paint JUST LIKE the unsuspecting Jill Masterson's rear was covered in a bikini bottom prior to her shalaquing.  This kind of re-creational accuracy only speaks to the depravity of this individual.  My advice?  Get the hell out of COMO, Mr. Pyrite, and don't look back, or the next thing you know, you're going to be on your back with a laser pointed at your twig and berries.

Dear Mr. PooBah:
I met a wonderful woman last week at the grocery store.  We went out for coffee a couple of times and really seemed to be hitting it off.  We're both avid cyclists and seem to be obsessed with our bikes.  Last Friday she asked me to come over to her apartment for a home made Italian dinner.  She told me that I could ride my bike over, and to lock it to the bike rack outside her building.  She then told me to check out her ride which she said was the only bike parked out there.  She really wanted to show it off to me, I think.  When I arrived to the bike rack outside her place, this is what I saw.

I was so perplexed by this, that I called her on my cell phone and told her I was sick and couldn't make it - to give me time to try to think if I want to pursue this further.  But she is starting to wonder what is going on and has asked me to come over again tonight!  What do I do?

Please help!

No need to call me Mister PooBah - that was my father!  Anyway - listen, first of all calm down.  You met a great lady who is 1) into you and 2) into cycling and 3) maybe can cook Italian food.  These are good things.  I admit - riding a unicycle is a little different, but choosing to lock it up to the bike rack with handcuffs is definitely fringe.  Let's analyze the situation:  First of all riding a unicycle is HARD - and it requires excellent balance and impressive core strength.  Secondly, the fact that she used handcuffs as a bike lock could mean any of a number of things.  Maybe her Kryptonite U-lock got bic-penned.  Or maybe she's just really into handcuffs.  Hang on....excellent balance + impressive core strength + into handcuffs + cooks Italian.  You know what Confuzed, why don't you email me her name and number, and let me check this one out for you.  I will do a little homework and get back with you....

Dear PooBah:
I have wanted a fixed-gear bike for so long, and just finished making one up for myself from some spare parts laying around my garage.  I'm a little worried about the chain ring I used though, because I have some hills I need to get up for my morning commute.  Can you take a look at this and tell me if you think it will work?

Mr. G. Masher

Mr. Masher:
Wow!  What's that chainring - like an 800t?  I've done some quick estimation of the gain ratio of this baby over at Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and think you must be running about a 66.4 on this bad-boy.  Impressive!  With respect to the hills - I don't think you have a thing to worry about.  But you may want to invest in some larger pants...because if you keep with it, you may end up looking like this guy.

P.S. Your seat's too low.

Happy Friday everyone.  Remember to get your costumes ready and get registered for the MidMO Bike Ride to Rocheport going down in one week!

As ever, thanks so much for reading and for all those who comment.  See you on the road or trail this weekend - be safe and Pedal On!

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