Saturday, March 26, 2011


From Wikipedia:
A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and oneself in a given time and place, including social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress.

It dawned on me that since I now own an iPad I should maybe think about getting one of these. So I took stock and compared with the above definition.

1. Social relations - the only thing I could come up with is yelling at bikers who are total tools. I don't know if short social relations count.

2. Consumption - I consume food and now I guess I'm consuming something on my iPad - it's a "consumption device" after all - but I'm not sure what as I still don't have a real good grasp of the thing.

3. Entertainment - I was bowling a couple of weeks ago and some really tall muscular fellow lost his footing and went sprawling across about 3 lanes, arms and legs everywhere. I thought that was pretty damn entertaining.

4. Dress - I don't have much more to say on this.

I can't speak for others but none of this makes sense to me.

Momentum magazine was kind enough to help people like me who are lost when it comes to the "lifestyle":

After studying the cover the second thought that entered my mind was why is this person riding down the middle of the road? I was worried that this was something I'd have to do as part of my new "lifestyle". I wasn't optimistic. 

According to the article the "lifestyle cyclist" can define his/her parameters by the "lifestyle radius" which means you can travel a maximum distance of 6 miles on a "low maintenance bike and ensemble". I wasn't sure how 6 miles came to be but my guess is it's the "ensemble" part that is limiting. You wouldn't want to put on your nicest pumps and head out for a 10 miler. 

Another requirement for the "lifestyle" cyclist is to own a bike that they like to ride. If you live within the "lifestyle radius" then you would be happiest on a "lifestyle radius" bike, whether a European import or an old Raleigh. That does not mean there is a "one bike fits all".  Riding the bike you like riding is the important thing, even if it's within the "lifestyle radius" and not a "lifestyle radius" bike.

Also there is no reason to be concerned that you'd have to give up your "fashion" in order to bike. This is not an requirement. Apparently you can wear almost anything and jump on a bike and start riding. I frequently wear almost anything and jump on a bike and start riding so after reading that I was feeling better about this "lifestyle" thing.

It's also not a requirement that the bike and attire match, another big plus for me. So one can still be a "lifestyle cyclist" looking like, well, the way I look. However, if one wants to enjoy a "more natural" experience and have more fun then they should look into some kind of matching ensemble.

Urban families can also find usefulness in owning a variety of bikes, each for a specific need, such as "cargo, utility and light bikes".

There are a few other points of interest but these are the ones to get me on my way to a "lifestyle".

To summarize, it doesn't matter what kind of bike I have as long as I like riding it.

It doesn't matter what I wear (it sure doesn't matter to me) and if I'm happy with not having the most fun and not being all natural then a new wardrobe that matches my bike is not required.

It also doesn't matter how I ride as long as I constrain my rides to the type of ride I'm riding.

And I can buy as many bikes as I like (again, no matching ensemble required!) as long as I decide they have a specific need. So, for example, if I was to buy that mini-velo I've been eyeing (I'm all about the mini-velo) then I all I need to say is it's because I need to add some zip to my life.

I started the day with no idea what a "lifestyle" is, but now I can see that I fit right in. I belong. And with the "cool" that comes from owning an iPad I'm now going to throw the iPad in my pannier and head on out, feeling mighty fine about myself.

The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to display my iPad and "lifestyle" while I'm riding.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I carry a lot of weight. This time of year is the worst because I start out and it's nippy and I come home and it's nice. So I'm carrying warm clothes and light clothes and two pairs of gloves and work clothes and because I ride a Trek Soho I've got extra tools to get that rear wheel off and a pump and a couple of other things I've convinced myself I always need to have with me. This time of year I use this:

I'm also hauling this 5lb monster:

This time of year it all totals to slightly over 15 lbs.

The Topeak bag slides and snaps in. The problem with the monster is that it's so small I can't get the bag off and on while it's locked to the kind of bike racks at work. So I put it half way on, remove the lock and then push the bag the rest of the way in. 

Today I go through my routine after work and I'm riding home and I'm attacking hills and I'm just frickin flying. I'm thinking, yeah, I still got it. I can hammer. I'm too cool. 

I get home all happy and stuff and lift the bike up to take up the stairs and it's light. It's really light. I look and no bag. I forgot to slide it the rest of the way in.

So I turn around and haul my assless behind back from whence I came. No bag. So I turn around and go home, worn out. 30 miles with 20 of them pushing it after 8 hours of work and 10 in the morning and I'm done. Old.


Then it hits me. I'm no longer cool! My iPad was in the bag! Imagine that you've gone decades with coolness being as far away from you as common sense is from a tool riding a fixie and then suddenly you're like all that and more because someone gave you an iPad and then it's gone. 

To hell with the tools, the clothes, the lock, the knick knacks, I want my coolness back!

A couple of hours of crying in my beer and a guy calls and says he has it. Works in the same place I do. He found it on the side of the road. Damn nice guy.

So tomorrow I'll be all cool again. I just have to figure out how to reduce my haul so I can frickin fly some more.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Get off that bike...

Apparently you can get a heart attack. When you ride you're exposing yourself to two of the biggest heart attackers out there - pollution and exercise.

In fact you're putting yourself at a greater risk than almost everyone else.

"LONDON: Doctors have for long said that cycling is good for health. But, now a new study has claimed it is literally one of the biggest triggers of heart attacks.
The study, which analysed 36 pieces of research , has revealed that the "final straw" in bringing on a heart attack is spending time in traffic as a driver, cyclist or commuter, the Lancet journal reported.
But of these, cyclists are in greatest danger because they are more heavily exposed to pollution and are subjecting themselves to another major heart attack trigger, exercise.
Traffic exposure was blamed for 7.4% of heart attacks, followed by physical exertion with 6.2%. Over-all air pollution triggered between 5% and 7% of heart attacks, while drinking alcohol accounted 5%.
Other risk factors included negative emotions (3.9%), anger (3.1%), eating a heavy meal (2.7%), positive emotions (2.4%) and sexual activity (2.2%). Cocaine was to blame for 0.9% of heart attacks, but this was because of limited exposure to the drug among the population."

I'm in a dither. 

I ride in traffic, I ride in pollution, I exercise, I'm filled with negative emotions and anger (cranky old man here… helloooo), I have all kinds of positive emotions (possibly a lie). The only good thing is I don't eat many heavy meals, use cocaine and my sexual activity is… well that's none of your damn business. But I can tell you at one time I was rockin it. That's right.

I was counting on biking to keep me going. I was hoping to transition from the young side of old to the old side of old with excellent health and clarity of thought. Now it looks like I'm just hurrying myself along to the dead side of old. 

I can't find this article on the Lancet journal site. So I can't look to see if there are some statistics in there that say 99.8 percent of the people that had heart attacks on bikes while riding in traffic and pollution were big fat slobs who just finished a big ol plate of gravy and fixins after having wild sex and snorting a bunch of cocaine and who were mightily pissed off at some tool in an SUV who cut them off as they waddled, er, peddled their fat asses along. 

Since I can't find that out then I'm going with this is just another damn nut trying to scare people into not biking. 

Old side of old, here I come. Even if it means switching to a 3 wheeler when I get over 100.

This ol boy has thought it out. Since falling over and not getting up is on the agenda (which is one of the laws of old) then it's best to do it on a bike and not in your apartment where nobody can see you and you hope you remembered to put that first alert around your neck. If you fall over out on your bike then some passer by is bound to say "Look at that old fool. I'd better give him a hand". 

And the dude ain't planning to give it up. Now that's an attitude. He's not setting there thinking, well, when I get to 105 maybe I'll stop riding.

This ol boy is rockin it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bang Bang

As we go through out little lives we observe how some people put things in perspective and others, not so much.

There's the issue of bike lanes, which has received quite a bit of a smackdown from people with little to no real brain power. I jest of course. I'm sure that they have lots of brain power. They've probably managed to muster up enough of it to arrange for people to regularly come in and water them and keep them facing the sun.

What surprises is the big ol' holes in some of their arguments. Logic seems to have take a leave of absence. Hail, even statistics don't seem to matter much. And many of them are elected officials.

Speaking of elected officials, the good governor of Utah, Gary Herbert (R) today signed legislation making the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol the state gun. I somehow feel I need to type that again. The good governor of Utah, Gary Herbert (R) today signed legislation making the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol the state gun.

Yes, the Mormon state, the Mormons being the good people that brought us Glenn Beck, now have a state gun. 

It beat out Arizona as the first state with a official state gun.

So along side of the American Seagull (state bird), Sego Lily (state flower), the honeybee (state insect) the Blue Spruce (state tree)  is the Browning M1911 semiautomatic, the state pistol. And of course, the state song, "Utah, we love thee". The good governor explains:

"There was more controversy than I anticipated, but it really passed with bipartisan support," Wimmer said. "One of the biggest comments from the critics was that we should not honor an implement of death. And my response to that has always been that this firearm does not represent an implement of death. It represents an implement of freedom -- just the mere fact that our soldiers have used this firearm to defend liberty and freedom around the world for the last 100 years."

Well, gee. The gun came about because a born and bred Utahian - Utahite - Utahomey - (what are those people called?) created it. A plaque honoring Mr. Browning wouldn't do? Making Mr. Browning the state inventor or state entrepreneur wouldn't do? But he's right of course. Nothing says freedom and liberty like a semiautomatic. 

I would really like to see them make a state bicycle. Something like this:

Actually I'd like to see something like this:

But I don't think that's going to happen.

Elected officials. Gotta love 'em. And Utah. Sing it with me...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back in the day

One of the reasons I am not fond of the late warning (the one where their front wheel is visible by the time it's offered) is because back in the day they would have played hell in trying to pass me. Most of them anyway. For sure some of them would have struggled. Definitely some of the older ones would never have gotten by me.

It also often scares the hell out of me. When you get old body parts start deciding that they've gone as far as they're going to go and a few years back my left ear decided it had heard enough and shut itself off.

So when some tool sneaks up on me and waits till he's close enough to go steady before offering his "you sorry sorry old man, I'm passing your lame ass self on the left!" I have to process that through my right ear which means my brain thinks it's coming from the right which means I have a moment of complete chaos rattling around in my brain before it all settles in and I know what's happening. Couple that with the tinnitus in my deaf ear (there's a constant little joie de vivre going on in there - it's awesome!) and you begin to see the problem.

Anyway, yesterday found me on the CCT again. There's a shortcut where I jump to it for about a mile or so and then off it again. So I'm moving along in no particular hurry but anxious to get off the CCT and I hear this DRRRRING DRRRRING DRRRRING. Then I hear it again and I'm thinking now here's someone who wants you to know they're coming! Well done dude!

Except dude was a wee lad about 11 or 12 years old and he was cookin with gas

I long ago gave up these unannounced "races" that happen on the trails. I figure they're just damn lucky it's not back in the day, by gawd. 

But this wee lad! Dang! My urge was to give the rascal a good what fer. I was all ready to yell out "It's Hammer Time!" when my exit came up. Next time kid.

The problem is next time puts me another day further away from back in the day. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Springtime and love is in the air

Every spring (and a lot of winter, summer and fall) my mind turns to buying a new bike. Usually I start looking at bikes I have no need of or are impractical or just plain stupid. I'm all about the stupid.

In the past I've purchased an A-bike (yes, it's true), a Strida (yes, it's true), belt drive, shaft drive, folder, clunkers, bikes too small and bikes too big.

This spring an old man's fancy has turned to the mini-velo. I'm all about the mini-velo. Specifically this mini-velo:

Dahon Bullhead

I've thought about this one but it only has 3 speeds and I'm too old for that:

Cannondale Hooligan

They do have an 8 speed but it's not an internal gear and I'm all about the internal gear. Besides it's called Hooligan. For me to ride something called Hooligan I'd have to shed about 5 decades and get a tattoo.  The Dahon is called Bullhead, like Bullhead Shark. I think when I'm riding it it will be more like the Bullhead catfish.

My reasoning behind this is that I love jumping on my Downtube folder when bombing around town. It's zippy. I'm all about the zippy. What I don't like is it gets a little wishy washy when hammering out of the seat and the long stem feels as solid as my girlfriend riding on gravel. 

And it's cool looking, which of course is subjective but I'm now officially pretty damn cool. I have one of these:

So you have to listen to me when I tell you that. It's one of the perks of being cool. 

This isn't impulse buying. Impulse buying is buying when you don't think about it. 

No, I give it lots of thoughts. So many thoughts that I often confuse myself and get really frustrated and don't know what the hail to do. I look at the pictures and try and find reviews and then ignore it for weeks on end and then get drawn back to it like a tattootool to the local parlor. I work myself up into such a way that the only peace of mind I'm going to get is to one day just buy it and be done with it. It really comes down to being able to breathe a sigh of relief.  

This is called stupid buying.

But the sigh of relief is short lived because then I have to worry about it and wonder why I did it and don't even know if I'll like the damned thing cause I've never ridden it and I don't need another bike anyway.

This is called stupid buyers remorse. 

I haven't bought it yet but I can tell I'm entering that phase where it will soon drive me nuts if I don't. 
I have issues. I'm all about the issues.