Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Riding Styles – Intelligence Versus Vanity

It's not a hill - It's an adventure.

We’ve all done it.  Instead of riding sensibly at a pace beneficial to our collective health, we go out and crank it up to look good in front of friends and strangers.  I mean, slow is bad, and fast is good, right?  Well, it is all relative, and the sooner cycling figures that out the better for all involved.  Allow this mere mortal scribe to expound.

I have ridden with enough people to know the difference between Vanity and Intelligence.  In fact, vanity riding about killed me on a few occasions, before I got a perspective on what I was doing, and why I was riding in the first place.  I was (and still am) in it for the fitness and enjoyment.  I was not out to prove anything, and if I did need to be leader of the pack, ride above my abilities, and ignore traffic laws just to impress, then I was on the bike for the wrong, vain reasons.

When I use to associate with a certain collection of riders, the urge to impress was always upon the group.  The urge to be fast, or at least look fast, was always the focus of the moment.  In fact, it seemed to be the primary focus of their lives.  Ride hard, ride fast, show no weakness, and to all those around them, definitely show no mercy, let alone assistance to the struggling newbie’s.  No pace lining, no hand signals, no call-outs, and stop signs, well, those were for the weak.  Vrrooommm!!!! 

These were some of the situations I allowed myself to be lulled into which almost killed me on more than one occasion.  The initial reaction to the former may be rationalized by, “Why not just ride with people in your own ability range.” True, that is if these riders share your passion for Intelligent riding.  Otherwise, if one is not careful, the next group will do exactly the same thing.  The Vanity continues. The faces are just different. 

The Intelligent aspect of our sport focuses on the enjoyment, health benefits, safety, community and camaraderie of the sport (some people have even been known to make a friend or two).  Decorum and Rationality rules, kindness and assistance are the method, and enjoyment is the attainable Holy Grail of cycling.  And, everyone is welcome, even if you still ride with flat pedals or have a “Dork Disk.” 

When I was roadracing motorcycles back in the day, we used to describe those showing-off by going too-fast-too-soon as, “Riding Over Their Heads.”  Today, the term utilized is “Squid” (which I suppose is similar to those described as “Fred’s” in the cycling realm).  To be labeled a Squid, all one had to do was be vain, crash their brains out, or be all over the racetrack with no sense of lines, method, or a sense of safety for themselves, let alone others.  Well, cycling is no different.

So, to close this novella, I implore all to just look at why they got on a bike in the first place. 

The answer does indeed reside within ourselves.        

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shimano Set To Release Hydraulic Road Disc Brakes

The ST-R785 shifter and BR-R785 hydraulic disc brakeset

With all of the fervor of the Tour dying down until next year, some news did fly below the proverbial radar, and this bit of news should not have - Shimano Road Disc Brakes.

Note: Since the system was designed for Di2, the small, non-mechanical, electronic parts allow plenty of room for the master cylinder reservoir without a large hump on the hoods.

Release date and cost: November, and cost is unknown at this time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Have A Drinking Problem? Shimano Pro Carbon Bottle Cages Can Help You With That.

Are all bicycle bottle cages alike?  Yes and no.  Yes, they are all designed to bolt to your frame tubes and hold your drink of choice.  However, no, they are not all constructed alike, nor do they all perform alike.  From how they hold said drink, to how reliable and safe they are, these are chores all cages perform differently.

From a construction standpoint, cages can be made of alloy, plastic, or carbon.  From a performance standpoint, some hold big bottles, and some hold small ones.  From the reliability and safety standpoint, not all cages perform day-in and day-out, safely holding your bottle from a dangerous drop into your pedals and wheels.  Do bottles pop-out by themselves?  Can you actually pull-out a bottle on the go, and can it be put back in securely, all without having to pull over?  These are parameters that need to be considered when selecting a good, reliable, safe cage. 

Shimano's minimalist packaging

It works, looks great, and it is Carbon - All good things

I have used alloy and plastic cages from Bontrager with good results.  I have also been a big fan of Blackburn’s Camber carbon cages, with their excellent performance, light weight, excellent bottle holding properties, and killer looks.  Well, there is a new Sheriff in town.  Courtesy of the kind people at Tweaked Sports of Glendora, California, I was provided with one of Shimano’s Pro Carbon Cages to test out.  And, the results are in. 

This is one light, strong, easy to use, darn good looking cage.  Being I am a big fan of all things colored red, the black Pro Carbon cage looks rather stealthy on my trusty Trek 2.3 testbed (looks are a big plus for a cage).  Testing involved bouncing all over the battlefield grade asphalt of the greater Los Angeles area, and not once did a bottle even so much as rattle, let alone pop-out.  That is performance and reliability you want in a cage.  And, while the Pro Carbon is light, thin and flimsy looking, it is far from that.  Light and strong – What’s not to like?

The Stats:

  • Fits all diameter bottles
  • Durable and rigid clamping construction
  • Full, lightweight Uni-Directional Carbon construction
  • Weight: 24 grams
  • Standard two-bolt mounting
  • Retail $69.00 USD

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stiff Is As Stiff Does – Shimano Pro Vibe 7S Stem Review

For those whom only think of Shimano products as nothing more than group sets, well, you would be missing out on their fine line of accessories.  Shimano is now into computers, bars, saddles, seatposts, stems, cages, bottles, lights, bags, headsets, pumps, tools and apparel.  Yes, it is not just about Dura-Ace Di2, anymore.  Taking a plunge into Shimano’s Pro Series of goodies will not leave one disappointed.

So, I dived into the Pro Series Accessory pool courtesy of the fine folks at Tweaked Sports in Glendora, California.  I was provided with a gorgeous 120mm alloy Vibe 7S stem to put through its paces.  The alloy, black colored stem has two (2) steer tube bolts, and two (2) faceplate bolts with an ingenious “Puzzle Lock” feature which basically locks the plate, and thus, the bar, in place tightly with the two 4mm bolts.  And, it works very, very well.  As for the steer tube, only two bolts are necessary with a cut-out to reduce stresses on the tube.  Brilliant simplicity!

This Is One Stiff Stem!

While I have sung the praises of Ritchey stems (I had been using the 4-Axis and C260), I had no idea what a stiff, tied-together front end felt like until I tried the Vibe 7S.  Wow!  First, there was the simplicity of mounting, with only two bolts front and rear.  They are a larger 4mm, versus the Ritchey C260’s seven 3mm, and you do not need to unwrap the bar to mount it up, either (as you do with the C260).  Plus, with no rear-facing bolts, mounting is a breeze.

Environmentally friendly packaging

Hands down, this is the simplest mounting system on the market

Easy, two-bolt mounting, and a cutout for reduced stress on the steer tube

As for the ergonomics, I thought the Ritchey’s -6 degree angle was enough for me, but the Shimano’s -10 degree’s felt a whole lot better.  This surprised me, as we are constantly being bombarded with advice that a higher stem angle will be more comfortable for daily riding.  Well, not in my case.  In addition, I have never felt a front end more stable and planted on my trusty Trek 2.3 until I tried the Vibe.  I have bounced this thing over all of the roughest pavement I know here in the greater Los Angeles area, and the front end has never felt more solid and secure.  

The Stats:

  • Alloy 7000 series construction
  • Puzzle Clamp mounting plate for optimum stiffness (And, they were right! Editor.)
  • Triangular body for superior stiffness to weight ratio
  • +10/-10 degrees
  • 31.8mm clamp
  • Fits 1 1/8 steer tubes
  • Weight: Approximately 115 grams
  • Available in Black or White 
  • Anti-slip mounting paste included
  • Looks sexy, too!
  • Retail $109.99 USD

Sorry, Tweaked Sports.  You are not getting this stem back.  Ever!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

We Congratulate Chris Froome On Winning The 2013 Tour de France. Only Time Will Tell If Greg LeMond Comes To Regret This Photo.

Photo by Cor Vos

I have to admit as editor of Cycling Dynamics that I am not all prickles and stings.  While I have my doubts on the cleanliness of the sport, and have taken to ridiculing it for educational and entertainment purposes, when a person can outlast a host of Who's Who in the Pro Peleton to win the Tour de France, well, we say hats off to them.

Now, back to riding and product testing until the next Big One rolls around.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fool Us Once, Shame On You. Fool Us For 100-Years, And Shame On Us All.

You have to feel a little sorry for Chris Froome.  He is currently pounding his Tour de France competitors into minced Escargot, and yet he can't seem to catch a break.  No matter what he says or does, the majority of questions circle around the possibility of Team Sky not riding an honest race.  Yes, the issue of doping still hangs over the Tour, and rightfully so, at that. 

See, no matter what people think and feel, the issue of Performance Enhencing Drugs (PED's) did not start, nor is it likely to end, with Mr. Lance Armstrong.  Besides, Erythropoietin (EPO) is so yesterday.  Whatever is fueling the peleton today, and probably for the foreseeable future, will be genetic engineering, such as human growth hormones, stem cells, and only God knows what.  Remember, it is not just the performance advantage a team can gain, it is also paramount to avoid detection.  Genetic engineering will accomplish both goals.   

However, you cannot blame the fans and media from doubting what they are seeing on the long, convoluted trek to Paris.  Yes, no matter how hard the sport of cycling tries to "Clean" up its act, the urge for instant Fortune & Glory has proven to be too strong an allure for many.  They say time heals all.  It also shines light on the truth.  Let the clock start counting - Again!

So, sorry Chris, but you (and Team Sky) may or may not be riding clean, and you cannot blame the fans for a culture of dishonesty in the pro ranks. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Random Observations From The Passing Scene

Make sure your insurance is up to date.  It is not a matter of IF a vehicle will hit you.  Unfortunately, it is a matter of WHEN.

Never assume the Right-of-Way is yours – Even when it is.

A clean chain is a happy chain.  You’ll go faster, with less effort, too.

Our roads surfaces suck.  Negligent government agencies charged with keeping our roads in working order suck even more, because they are not doing their jobs.

Cooperation on group rides is a lot like trying to herd cats – Only, it is much more difficult.

Carbon wheels and racing tires for the street are a complete waste of money.

While the demise of a species is indeed tragic, why did the death of the Municipal Street Sweeper happen without even a whisper?

Cycling is full of a lot of sanctimonious snobs.  Screw ‘em.  Ride what you want, and wear what you want.  There is no such thing as a “Fred.”  We are all cyclists.

For the average rider on the average ride, two water bottles is overkill.  And, they are heavy, too.

25c and larger tires on a road bike are not a crime.

Wearing bib shorts for the first time is a lot like breathing air for the first time – Once you try it, you will want to keep on doing it.

The best ride food is the banana – Nature really knows what it is doing.

The Payday Bar – The unsung hero of ride food.  Pure protein and quick energy, all for about .50 cents a bar.

Just because the tire sidewall says “125 PSI Max,” does not mean that is what you should pump them up to.

Learn how to fix a flat.  You will be glad you did.

Do not fear color, whether it is your bike, components, accessories, or riding clothes.

Riding on your own will be one of the most liberating things you will ever do.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fed-Up With Ripped Carcasses, I am Shopping For New Tires To Love.

Bicycle tires.  So many choices.

The tires we put on our bikes are a very important piece of riding equipment which should be given a lot more thought than we tend do give them.  They are our official connection to the road.  They determine how well we roll, turn, brake, and how we deal with wet roads and debris.  Therefore, they make the difference between a good and bad riding experience.

To date, I had been having a fling with Michelin Pro Race 3’s.  I had really grown to like them, however, they just could not deliver anything remotely close to safety and reliability.  Prior to the Pro Race 3’s, I used a set of Hutchinson Atom Comp’s, and while they too were impressive like the Pro 3’s, reliability and longevity were not their forte, either.  The only other tires I have used were Bontrager’s excellent (sadly, now discontinued) Race-Lite’s.  While not billed as the fastest, or smoothest rolling, they delivered beautifully as an affordable, all-around-tire.  Bontrager really screwed up by dropping this tire from their line-up.    

Now to be fair, all of the above are marketed as lightweight clinchers, so everyday street use is really not their gig (save for the Bontrager’s).  I used them because I value lightweight and lots of traction in dry conditions.  This is where the trade-off comes into play: Durability versus traction.  In plain English, it is trade-off between thick, heavy, lower-traction tires, and the thin, light, and higher-traction tires. 

There has to be a good, decent middle-ground.

My experiences, while not a major knock of any of the aforementioned tires (OK, maybe the Pro 3’s), comes down to riding styles, road surfaces, tire pressures, and outright luck.  However, what I have grown “Tired” of, so to say, are flats and ripped tire carcasses.  I am 185 pounds, and ride mostly city streets.  The rest of my riding regimen is conducted on bike trails, and the latter tend to be a bit smoother and a bit freer of junk seeking to kill my tires and tubes.  I ride for fun and exercise, so a super light-weight tire is really not necessary.  Besides, the road surfaces here in Southern California suck so bad, a durable tire is a moral imperative.

So, I am currently searching for a happy medium between a durable, good traction, light tire and one which can possess theses same qualities while not weighing a ton.  I have heard good things about Continental Grand Prix 4000’s, Grand Prix 4000S, Grand Prix 4-Season, and GatorSkins.  I will also be looking at the Vittoria Rubino Pro’s, and the Schwalbe Durano’s to see what they are all about, too. 

I am also looking very hard at tubeless wheels and tires.  They may be the Holy-Grail I seek. 

Meanwhile, the search continues.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mark Cavendish: He Just Keeps Getting “Funnier” All The Time

Classless: Cavendish holding up the number 108, "Honoring" fallen rider Wouter Weylandt at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, a person he publically, and wrongfully, accused of plotting against him in sprint races.

Whether running his mouth, knocking people down, or getting urine dumped on him (and rightfully so), Mark Cavendish is one mean, obnoxious, dangerous, useless human-being.  And, I apologize to the other human beings on the plant for lumping him in with the rest of us.  While some call him the “Greatest Sprinter of All-Time,” he is actually the classic Passive-Aggressive time bomb. 

Hurt people and then apologize for it - Sorry, that won’t play, anymore.

If one follows professional cycling in even the smallest capacity, you have heard of Mr. Cavendish (The Manx Wanker) because the Organizers coddle him and push him on us like there is no tomorrow.  The only reason tour organizers tolerate this ass is because he brings publicity, and most importantly money, to their races.  It is the difference between talent and theatre.  And, cycling is not alone in this kind of deification of so-called “Stars.”  From NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick, to “Hollywood’s” Kardashian Family, to “Music’s” Justin Bieber, garbage is neatly packaged and sold to the public, ad nauseam.

In a strange interview today with Tour Doper, I mean Tour Leader, Chris Froome, Mr. Froome defended Mr. Cavendish’s behavior, and as expected, so did the Omega Pharma team.  Why?  Well, again if you have not been following Le Tour, you would not have seen Cavendish deliberately knock down, yes deliberately, Tom Veelers from Team Argos-Shimano.  Veelers led out eventually stage winner Marcel Kittel, and while Veelers was dropping back (as all lead-out men do), the Manx Wanker pushed Veelers out of the way.  Naturally, Le Tour organizers saw no culpability on Cavendish’s part.  Therefore, I am glad some of the fans took the matter into their own hands with some good ‘of fashion street justice, i.e., dumping urine on Mr. Cavendish during the Stage 11 Time Trial.

Cavendish supporters put this incident down solely to anger from the Veelers incident, however, fans are a lot smarter than that.  They see a person with a history of bad behavior, and the Veelers incident was just a shove too far for them to remain silent any longer.  Even Cavendish’s own team admits “…You have to leave Mark alone until he calms down.  He always apologizes later.”  Can you believe that rubbish?  Abusers always apologize to their victims AFTER the event and believe all is well again.  Except for their victims, all is not well again. 

Why did Cavendish attack Veelers, you ask?  See, in Cav’s world all that matters is himself and winning.  Anything, or in this case, anyone that gets in his way, is to be destroyed and discounted.  That is how the clinical narcissistic mindset operates.  And, after leaving a trail of broken bodies, relationships, and hopes, he apologizes to everyone (the passive-aggressive behavior) because to Mr. Cavendish, the ends do indeed justify the means.  While the other sprinters see races as just that, races, Cavendish views the whole affair as a war between himself and the world.  It is only a matter of time before he seriously, and permanently, injures someone before being called out for his dark, nasty behavior. 

The rest of the world survives by not being mean, self-centered, abusive, assholes, so why can’t Cavendish? 

When life is all said and done, there are true Champions, and there are Complete Assholes.  Mark Cavendish is a complete, and royal asshole.  People should never confuse the two.

Yeah, all-in-all, Mark Cavendish does indeed keep getting funnier.  Just not in a good way.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Michelin Road Tires Suck And Are Dangerous

There comes a time when we reach a point of diminishing returns on anything we humans encounter in life, be it other people, jobs, material things, and yes, even bicycle tires.  Bib & Company may make very fine automobile and motorcycle tires, but apparently over in the bicycle division they do not “Parlez-Vous Francias” very well.  Whatever the other divisions have learned, they need to get the boys in the bike division to adopt, and stat!  Let me explain. 

To date I have had four (4) catastrophic, instant deflation episodes while on Pro 3’s.  In all four cases the tread or sidewall (or both) were simply sliced open by unseen objects on perfectly flat, clean roads, save for one occasion, which occurred on a forty (40) MPH descent (I was able to catch the rear wheel when it stepped out violently on that particular failure).  Another occasion both front AND rear tires suffered ripped tread and sidewalls while on the same ride.  The latest failure I experienced (thankfully only one-mile from my home) the rear sidewall ripped upward towards the tread.  That rear tire only had about 300 miles on it.  Not real confidence inspiring stuff here, folks. 

The final straw - Never saw the debris, never felt it, but it sure destroyed the tire.
Large slice from another ride (scale in inches). White is the tire boot that got me home.

I cannot continue to afford to going through tires and tubes at this rate, and to date, I have had six Pro 3’s, and none of them were replaced due to normal wear.  All of the tires had carcass failures resulting in holes too large to continue usage.  I personally weight 185 pounds, and run the tires at 105 psi front and 110 psi at the rear.  I do not race on them, jump curbs, nor do I seek out rough, debris-strewn paths.  I simply get out for exercise and enjoyment.  However, on the Michelin’s, this has proven to be a more futile effort than not. 

Overall, it dawned on me why pro-peloton’s the world over shy away from Michelin products.  How can one concentrate on racing when in the back of the mind one is bracing for the inevitable blow-out?  I have not used other products in the line save for the Pro 3’s, however, after experiencing the dangerous performance of them, why in the world would I try anything else from their line-up such as the Lithion or Pro 4?

I must admit this is a new feeling for me.  I mean, prior to this I had written a positive review of the Michelin Pro 3 Race tires (Cycling Dynamics, 12-29-2012) I had been using for about a year and a half now.  Sure, there were troubles in the relationship, but I figured this was par for the course when you date a French cutie.  Wrong!

Michelin, I tried to like you a whole lot.  I did.  I really, really did.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America. Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death. Or Both.

Where it all began: Pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.

Where we are now: Cycling in the U.S.A. - And, we still have a responsibility to pledge all of our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to protect what they started.  LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cannondale Rider Ted King – The Reason Why Next Time A French Team, Or Rider, Comes To The United States, We Mess With Them.

Ted King fighting through the pain barrier.  Graham Watson photo

The French have always been weird creatures at best, and rude at their normal.  Well, after Stage Four of Le Tour de France, apparently not too much has changed.  Soldering on through pain, and in the spirit of the sport, Ted King got boned.

In case you have not been following the news out of Le Tour, Cannondale rider, American Ted King, was caught up in a big NASCAR style wreck on Stage One of the race.  He separated a shoulder, and was pretty scraped up and bruised.  In immense pain, King rode as part of Cannondale’s Team Time Trial effort, fell behind, and finished seven (7) seconds outside of the time-cut.  It was then the Tour Organizers showed their true, nationalistic bigotry. 

Per the malleable rules of Le Tour, King was informed he was disqualified from further competition.  I (and a host of others) call the rules malleable because other riders have in the past missed the time cut by margins way larger than King’s, yet were allowed to continue.  The only difference many see between the two instances is that King is an American domestique, and the others were big team, big name European riders.  If the “Rules are the rules” (as Team Cannondale was told) then why are they not enforced across-the-board on every rider and every team?  At least that answer would have carried some credibility, then.  The fact that this rule (and a host of others) has not been universally enforced shows the Organizers are full of shit, and the rule book is written in pencil.

So, here is the bottom line: The rules are enforced against an American rider on an American bicycle, but not against Europeans.  OK, fine.  Next time any of the Frogs come over here, I say we should give them a very unfriendly welcome and put ketchup in all of their food.

Meanwhile, the madness which is Le Tour continues.  Only God knows what stupid things the Organizers will do next. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kicking Off The Week: Tour de France Cheers & Jeers, The Heat, Cutting the Cable, And Flat Tires

Graham Watson photo

Yes, it is the beginning of another week here in Southern California.  The Tour de France is well under way, it is hot as a witch’s tit in a brass bra, I cut the cable television (TV) service off, and I had two flats on a ride yesterday.  Hey, what a way to start the week. 

Le Tour

First off, while the Tour is as unpredictable as it is overly long, there comes with it the customary cheers and jeers.  An unexpected cheer was Radioshack-Leopard-Trek’s Jan Bakelants’ earning the Yellow Jersey on Stage 2, and keeping it alive for another day.  Another cheer was watching Peter Sagan putting on the Green Jersey (which he will carry all the way to Paris).  Field sprint, up-hill, down-hill, there is no stopping this man.  And just when you think it cannot get any better, he has completely stomped media favorite Mark Cavendish so far on time, placement in the General Classification (GC), and ability to actually ride all stages of a Grand Tour, plus managing to actually place himself in position to win stages.  While the Manxman may have more outright Tour stage wins, he needs a flat course, and an army of lead-out people to even have a hope of winning.  Mr. Sagan just has so much more depth as a rider, and he is young and just getting started.  Expect great things from the Slovakian.

And now for a very unexpected cheer for a rider not usually worthy.  I give a big attaboy to the aforementioned Mark Cavendish for having the balls to try new things in competition, in particular, his decision to use SRAM hydraulic rim brakes for the 2013 Tour.  When the peloton finds out how good hydraulics are, the next no-brainer, disc brakes, will not be too far behind.

The jeers part of the week was watching Peter Sagan narrowly missing a Stage 3 win (next time, don’t do your throw so early, Peter), and not just that, but whom he lost to – That Pansy of the Peleton: Simon Gerrans.  Yes, this is the same little girl that wheel-sucked Spartacus to a Milan-San Remo “Win” in 2012, and then had the nerve to claim he earned it.

And now even more bad news: Orica-Greenedge won the Stage 4 Team Time Trial (TTT), and now Missy is wearing the Yellow Jersey.  Orica must have hired Team Sky’s doctor.  Nuff’ said.

Did I not write in an earlier article about the stupidity if TT’s in a stage race? 

The Heat

There is a reason I hate high pressure weather systems.  They suck!  And not just sucking in a clockwise direction (Northern Hemisphere), but here in Southern California, it means high-heat for extended periods of time.  And the result – We have had record temperatures here, and a gift from Mexico thrown in for good measure – High humidity.

When I was a kid summer time was the best time of the year.  School was out, and from sun up to sundown, I was out playing.  Not anymore.  Heat and their associated high pressure systems suck.  I hate them.  Gee, did I mention that, already?

Cutting The Cable

It is bad enough that the viewing public has to suffer through absolutely bad television programming, but to have to actually pay for cable access should be considered a crime.  I mean, when shitty programming is not on, there are commercials.  Lots and lots of commercials.  There was a time when three, maybe four, commercials interrupted our favorite TV programs.  Now that number is up to ten and counting.  And remember: We are paying for the product they are selling, and they are getting revenue from advertisers, too.  Talk about double-dipping!  

As for the crappy programming, since when did the “Reality Show” take over the tube?  When I tune to the Weather Channel, History Channel, and even the Discovery Channel, I want weather, history, and to actually discover something beyond a stupid reality show.  I don’t care who lives in a swamp, I don’t care for mountain men, gators, backyard oil, gold mining, and I don’t care how many wicked tuna’s some bonehead catches.  And, don’t even get me started on the “The Real Housewives From Hell,” or “Top Chef,” or “Cupcake Wars.”  Whatever happened to real stories, written by intelligent people, for intelligent people? 
Not to be outdone, we have “Speed.” Formally known as Speed Channel, this piece of crap masquerading as a “Racing Channel” is a complete joke.  In the old days one could tune in twenty-four hours a day and see a race of some kind, be it cars, motorcycles, airplanes, and even boats.  Now it is all reality shows.  I even wrote to the corporate headquarters and told them how much they sucked, and that their new motto ought to be” Speed – We don’t show racing. We talk about it.”  They wrote me back thanking me for being a viewer and gave me a t-shirt.  What clueless dicks, they are.

My only regret about cutting the cable was doing so at the beginning of Le Tour.  However, that is what the internet is for.   

Oh, and, a word to the wise: Avoid Time Warner Cable at all costs.  Because if you don’t, it will indeed cost you lots and lots of money.

Flat Tires

The roads we ride upon suck enough as it is, but must it also be a minefield of debris just seeking to destroy our tires and tubes when we ride?  I mean, it is bad enough to puncture the tires on our motor vehicles, but must we also suffer the indignities of flat bicycle tires, too?  While recently on one of my regular workout rides I suffered two flats.  And, the first one was not your run-of-the-mill flat, either.  Something completely slashed the tread and sidewall of my rear Michelin Pro 3 and ate the tube, as well.  Whatever got my second tube (I always carry two) I never saw, either.

What the public must deal with is a complete lack of responsibility from government agencies from Cities, to Counties, to the State level. First, the pavement conditions are atrocious.  There are Roman built roads thousands of years old which are still in better condition.  Also, do not any of these afore mentioned levels of government own a friggin’ street sweeper?  I can ride a host of roads for months on end and recognize the same debris week after week, month after month.  And yes, I stop to pick up the one’s I see, but as well all know – It is the one’s you don’t see that flatten your tires. 

With all of the money we pay in taxes, you would at least think that government workers would do what they are paid to do.  Tax money goes in, yet services and responsibilities are not fulfilled.  However, they get paid and receive great medical plans and pension, too.

Where can I get a government job?