Monday, February 28, 2011

Natalie Portman and Peeps

Don Powers clicked in our registration for 9 Hours of Cranky Monkey. Along with the Mohican 100, that brings the 100% official race schedule up to two. To prepare for the pain of those races, I went to see Black Swan with Colleen.

As much as I love irrational women, dancing and watching someone clip their finger nails, I couldn't get into the movie. I won't say it was terrible, but I will say that I hated it.

After watching Nataile Portman cry and vomit for two hours, I needed something to cheer me up. So we went to a drug store and looked at Peeps.

Ah. Much happier.

We were in Slippery Rock all weekend visiting some friends, and I hoped to get out to Moraine, but it seemed like the trails would be too snowy. A shady arcade/ bowling ally seemed like a reasonable alternative. It was worth it when Colleen was crushed mistaken for a teenager and hit on by some sweaty pre-teen in Dance Dance Revolution.

(Had I been brave enough to face him, that sweaty pre-teen would have crushed me even worse. He was a damn fine dancer. And more fun to watch than Natalie Portman.)

The next day we drove back down the spine of Pennsylvania to the Ohiopyle Metropolitan area. Given my gay little convertible's status as the happiest car in the world, I've decided to name it The Toot. I'd rather be on a bike, but when I can't be, this is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

mohican gallahand

I spent another weekend in the state that can't decide if it's Middle America, Middle Earth, or the Middle East.

While Colleen was waiting all day for her chance to run 25 laps on a carpet oval, I went to Mohican State Park. The trails were great, the sun was out, and my feet were sweating in my winter riding shoes. That place incredible when it's dry. I rolled about 20 miles of single track before I had to go watch the aforementioned oval running.

After the meet, I witnessed an adult tricycle carrying a load of freshly pressed dress shirts.

After witnessing freshly pressed dress shirts on an adult tricycle, we drove back to the annual Winter Galaland (which I pronounced like a Scottish name, but everyone else insisted was gala land.) I was instructed to dress nice, so I put on my finest Canadian Tuxedo:

At the Galaland, my faith in a higher power was restored. Colleen wanted me to dance to that horrible horrible Journey song that everyone loves, and as she grabbed my hand to drag me to the dance floor, she turned and cracked her head into a pole.

It wasn't a lightning bolt, but there's no doubt in my mind that something intervened to save me from the devil music.

And I won't be getting that frame that I thought I was going to get. This year I'll be racing on something very similar to what I've always raced on.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

otters and pictures of don powers

See that?

That's the sun. I took a picture because living in Western PA sometimes I forget what it looks like.

It's been nice for a few days, so Rob and I are going to hit some trails today. It should be awesome and muddy.

And to get to those trails, I'll be cruising with the top down:

Driving such a feminine little car, I expect a certain degree of ribbing.

Mahokey wants to borrow the car so he can try to get a little action at a truck stop.

Don Powers keeps sending me this picture of himself and Aaron:

(I'm still not sure what his point is.)

And Team Dicklover called me gay. This is the same man who spent three days talking about dildos, and the creator of the "wind up hopping penis" video.

Then to prove his superior oldness, he compared me to a movie that was released nine years before my birth. (I had no idea what he was talking about before some intensive googling.)

The basis for his claim was that I hated otters because I didn't pay the DMV extra for a wildlife plate. Which is funny, because but the Department of Motor Vehicles isn't the first organization that pops into my head when I think "otter conservation."

Driving a car with a wildlife plate is kind of like wearing a Jan Sport fanny pack with embroidery that says "I <3 high fashion!!!"

But in any case, I love otters. They're like the aquatic version of viking cats.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I wasn't born on the peach truck yesterday

I put my Niner on Craigslist, and I got some quick responses. From Robert Lee.

Robert LeeHello

I will like to know if this item still up for sale?

Get back to me as soon as possible.


I was a little disturbed by the premonition (I will like to know) and the forgotten "is" (if this item still up for sale), but hey, it's internets. I screw stuff up all the time on here. So I replied.

Me: Yep. It's still for sale. 

Robert LeeHello,i am highly interested in buying your item listed on CL from you, I will like you to give me the Price . As for the shipping, I have a reliable shipper that takes goods care of all my shipping and he will be picking it up after you get the payment and cashed it.Cashier Check is my payment method. So please email me back so that we can conclude about it. and also i will like you to feed me out with all of this information so i can send payment down...
Name on check...
Zip code.......
Phone#......(both cell and home number)
I await your this information so that i can fax it down to my client that will send you the i will like you to keep off all other buyer as i will be buying it from email me back a.s.a.p....

He changed the font of his email to Comic Sans. When I looked at that first curvy hello, I knew it was a scam. Does he really think that a little round font all it takes to gain people's trust? Needless to say, I didn't "feed him out with all this information." 

But maybe he was really going to "send payment down" from his castle in the clouds. If he was genuine, I'm sorry. Fortunately there are plenty of other prospective buyers out there:

 I really appreciate your response and i want you to consider the item
has been sold,i promise to add extra $100 for you to take the advert
down completely....  so i will be rest assured am in hand of the
item..,anyway i should have come down to come and look at it but I
don't have time to come over to take a look due to my Business
transactions that makes me busy

Damn those Business transactions that makes him busy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

the glamorous side of bike racing

Racing is hard on equipment, and eventually everything breaks. But some things start to go out way before their time.

Like my shoes:

I need to get at least two seasons out of a pair of shoes. I bought these last July, and they're already starting to come apart. I do have a ton miles on them, but carbon fiber clicky-buckle shoes are way to expensive to throw away every 6 months.

So I've gotta fix them. I tried stitching them back together, but I couldn't get the needle in (partly because the leather is hard, and partly because I'm a crappy seamstress.)

Then I tried silicone sealant:

Meant for cars, not shoes. Big fail. I did succeed in covering my fingers in black shit.

The only other glue I had sitting around was good old Elmer's Wood Glue:

Wood is porous, fabric is porous, therefore wood glue must work on fabric. At least I hope it does. It seems like it's holding, and if I smother the seams in the silicone they should be good for another couple of months.

Next season is coming up fast, and I might be riding a new frame. The new frame will be almost twice the weight of my old frame. And that's all I'm gonna say at the moment.

But to make room for the new, I've gotta sell some stuff:
Niner One9
Surly Cross Check
Specalized S-Works Helmet

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the new transport machine

It took some craigslist work, but I was eventually able to sell the Grumbler for two grand, which is the same price I paid for it. Considering I put 40,000 miles and three years on it, that's alright.

I was planning on buying a VW Golf. Before the weekend I checked craigslist one more time, and found what I wasn't looking for. A rust free Cabrio. I instantly decided that I wanted a convertible Golf anyway and bought it.

Eat your heart out Dahn Powers. I bought the only vehicle gayer than a Miata. (not a hatch-back Miata, which is like a Miata's homophobic bro, making it even lamer than a true Miata, and thus lamer than a Cabrio)

Relatedly, I pushed a Miata out of the snow this weekend. It was stuck in a flat parking lot. Cool car.

Back to my very awesome Cabrio. It rocks. Cheaper insurance, almost twice as fuel efficient as the Grumbler, and it's so much more fun to drive. It's a lot smaller than the Jeep was (I could probably fit the Cabrio in the Jeep), but I can still cram all my stuff inside.

Once I get a hitch and put on my Yakmia Doubledown (not to be confused with a KFC Doubledown), I should be able to carry everything I need to live over the summer. And I can cruise with the top down. Very sweet.

This car has forced me to conclude that big SUVs are silly. I really liked the Grumbler, but even living in the woods for half the year I never found a situation where I actually need four wheel drive. I had to go hunt for places to use the transfer case. Kinda fun, but not practical.

The huge amount of space in the Jeep was cool but I never used all of it. Even with the back seat out, it was about 6 inches too short to sleep in comfortably. Better setting up a tent.

When I got the Cabrio, it was pretty far out of alignment but the tires were still good. I convinced myself that it would be fine, and put 600 miles on the car over the weekend. I really wanted to go see Colleen's dirty Ohio floor:

And I paid for those floor Cheese-itz:

Good thing 14" car tires are the same price as bicycle tires.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

good news from the great beady-eyed rat

In other news related to worthless mammals, it looks like my cats have figured out where the magic food comes from.

They can knock the bag over and spill the food, but they can't eat it until it's in their bowl. When I came home the fuzzy one attacked me like he hadn't eaten in days. I picked food up off the floor, put it in his dish, and he munched away happily.

In other other news related to even bigger and more worthless mammals, I'm continuing the quest to make my Cross Check as stupid and pointless as possible.

Behold, the Gnar Check v2:

I got bored of the 29er fork and fixed gear, so I put the original fork back on. Then I threw on some 26 inch wheels and a coaster brake.

Nothing makes a bike suck quite like a coaster brake. There's a ton of drag, the bike can't stop, and when I ride off a curb the back wheel locks up and sends me over the bars. I think drop bars, gears and road tires are the only things that could make this bike worse.