Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Mail: The pasty calves of Spring are here!

If you are anything like me, there are times as a cyclist when you are overcome with such joy and happiness that you feel like you could just pucker your butt cheeks together and whistle "Flight of the Bumblebee" out your ass.  With the weather that has descended upon us this week, I feel just this way.  Although I know we are bound for more winter weather sometime before Spring arrives in earnest, it was the sight of more than a few pasty calves on the roads last evening that reminds me that cycling life springs eternal, and there is the promise of more frequent sunny, warmer days ahead.  But while this brief spell of amazing weather is here now, I say Carpe Diem!  Get out there and enjoy it even if it means lying and skipping out on your daytime responsibilities.  To assist in this manner, I've assembled some tips in how to ditch class or your job.

1)  Going with illness is fine - but don't try the "common cold" route.  Colds linger too long, and when you show back up at your job on Monday (when it's cold and rainy) and you aren't coughing - everyone will know the score.  No - the sickness you lead with today needs to be volatile and ugly.  Profuse, watery diarrhea.  No one wants you around and such bouts of colonic eruption tend to be short-lived.

2) Deaths in the family are risky - but could yield big.  On the downside - this can be dangerous if you believe in karma, but on the upside, you may score some prepared dinners which means more time on the bike!  I recommend your significant other's cousin.  That way no one is surprised when you aren't looking sad, but NOT attending the funeral is going to leave you in the doghouse - so you've got to go.

3) If you've got kids, it's a no-brainer.  Don't make it something too serious - whatever happened to the little squirt has got to be rectifiable, but time-consuming.  I would go with a Lego-man's head getting stuck up one of their nostrils.  Definitely a trip to the ER and some muck-around time there.  I've also got experience with this one as my Mom had to miss half a day of work in 1979 because of a similar incident that I'd rather not discuss.

Best of luck!  And with that - let's get into some mail.

Dear PooBah,
I have three questions for you:
1) What makes being a fat, weak, and broke motorist driving a car powered with foreign oil seem "manly and American" while bicycling is something viewed as un-American.
2) How can bicycling become "manly and American?"
3) Can you singlehandedly prove that bicycling is American before the next Federal Transportation Bill is debated and passed? I hope your answer involves large breasts and American flags but also some sincere insight.
You're the best and frankly, our only hope.

Thanks for the letter:  I've tried to answer your questions in order:

1) Why is cycling viewed of as un-American?  One word: sex.  Although some German dude named Benz invented the car, Americans invented the muscle car.....heavy, powerful, un-economic and certainly not earth-friendly, but a whole lotta fun, especially if you were cranking some Immigrant Song by Zeppelin, wearing your Levi's and sipping on some cold Genesee on your way out to the bonfire on the levee where you were hoping to get some action.   I'm guessing that riding a 16lb carbon bicycle in spandex to the coffee shop that is playing Belle and Sebastian while serving your latte so you can talk to your friends about what chamois creme you prefer is the very antithesis of what most individuals who have historically travelled our motorways have come to consider as "American."  That's why many of us grew up looking at advertisments like this:

Instead of this:
You do the math....

But in the end I say this, "Patience, young grasshopper...."  Things get better every day.  But unless someone can put a back seat on a Pinarello big enough to get laid in, we might always be playing second fiddle.

2) How can bicycling become "manly and American?" 

Well, less of this might help for starters.
Every ride one does is not epic and doesn't need to be plastered all over Facebook like it's the first flipping time anyone ever rode a bicycle when there was snow on the ground.  This shit just makes us look like a bunch of weenies.  Just because you feel special doesn't mean you are, and certainly doesn't mean anyone else gives a shit that you rode 44.2 miles today.

3) Can I singlehandedly prove that bicycling is American involving breasts and American flags?  You bet!
Does this work for you?

Dear PooBah,
How many hipsters does it take to ride a beach cruiser?

Three.  Two skinny ones to ride the bike, and a third, fully-bearded fat one to run behind and carry their wallets and to tell them how cool they look.

Dear PooBah,
This is the first year that I'm going to try time trialing.  I don't have a time trial bike yet, but have ordered one.  It should be here soon, I hope.  In the meantime, I've been looking for other ways to practice my aero positionining.  This is the best method I've come up with so far.  Maybe your readers will find this useful?

Thanks for the suggestion.  Honestly, the last time I tried a time trial, I was so miserable that I would have rather been doggy-styling a wild animal, so this training may be particularly appropriate.

Dear PooBah,
With these warmer temperatures we've been having, I really want to start to commute to work on my bike again.  But I'm nervous about riding home in the dark.  The days are still pretty short!  Is there anything you can recommend that may help me get over my fear?
Thank you!

I'm putting a t-shirt in the mail to you that should help give you the confidence you need.  Never understimate the power of the Hoff.

Dear PooBah,
I found this old photo that I wanted to share with you.
PooBah, do you believe in time travel?  I want to be this dude.  Look at the bike.  Look at the girl! Can you help me out?  Can I travel back in time?

That's a tall order.  But I have heard rumors that the suspender's of Santini's women's bib shorts are designed in the configuration of a flux capacitor, and that if you stare at them for 88 minutes straight, you begin to feel like you have gone back in time to when you were young enough to actually ask the model out.  Does this help?

Have a greet weekend, everyone. Ride safe.


  1. Poobah,
    I can't stop looking at the stars and stripes. I did ride today. Wasn't epic but was enjoyable. 19.25 miles

  2. Poobah, this is one of the rare exceptions that I disagree with you.

    Every bike ride IS epic and everyone is special (or at least in theory).

    I did enjoy the Knight Rider T-shirt very much.

    Perhaps we can start a t-shirt company. For my entry I would suggest an image of Floyd Landis's face, all in a pink hue.

  3. RCT: Yes - the red, white and blue can be dressed up quite nicely! Glad you are getting some good miles in!

    DH: I think you are right about everyone being special, actually! Thanks. And I will put together some Pink Floyd T-shirt ideas for you to get your opinion. GREAT idea!

  4. I hate to say I didn't get the "Pink Floyd" reference until Poobah mentioned it. Lame, I know.

    Oh well, now to attempt time travel per above method...

  5. Generally I just visit blogs and retrieve my required information but this time the useful information that you posted in this post compelled me to reply here and appreciate your good work.
    Coffee Pot

  6. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

  7. All of the gears are contained inside the rear hub, making shifting smooth and easyHermosa Beach.

  8. The fenders really highlight the whitewall tires as well, yet another feature that makes it one of the flashiest and fun-looking cruisers around Affordable Cruiser Bicycle.
    cruiser bike

  9. Now a bike shop is no longer the only place to find a great bike, you can find one online and have it shipped to your door and assembled in under ten minutes.
    bike lock

  10. Far too often, people file for bankruptcy unaware of what may happen and how bankruptcy will affect their debts and assets. Don’t fall into that trap.
    illionis bankruptcy

  11. Best of all, you will know that you can get extra money, every month, any time you want, just by completing surveys and offers for free.

    what to do to make money