Monday, December 24, 2007

things to watch while on holiday vacation via youtube

Maybe you actually read this while not at work. If so, check out this entertainment.

GIRO 88: this is a link to some footage of the 88 Gavia stage. Watching some of the toughest men on earth cry is hard to do.

Best Commercial Ever? Who knew that Miller was run by Pinko's. This is seriously an amazing television commercial.

Robert Millar documentary from 1985 60 minutes long, documents a great cyclist's career. Pretty cool. This is the first of a bunch, the others are on the right of the screen.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Normal vs Abnormal

Friday night was another cab night. The cab has a computer screen that shows my fares, destinations and all kinds of jazz. Sometimes if there is a road closure or massive congestion, the machine will BEEEEEEEEP and it will flash the information. Friday night it just kept flashing "MANY DRUNK DRIVERS ON THE ROAD TONIGHT, BE VERY CAREFUL!" It is my opinion that there are always too many drunk drivers on the road at 2:30 AM or after a stillers game. Right now I am under the impression, by the number of people going to bars and clubs via their own car and then driving home, that drunk driving is totally normal and maybe even socially acceptable. I often get people in my cab that I would consider to be annoyingly drunk talking about how they didnt drink too much and should have driven. Weird.
Friday night/ Saturday morning at about 2 AM I came across two separate crashes that I would bet dollars to donuts involved drunk people. One had a car crashed into a median and the driver was in the back of a cop car by the time I drove past. No more than 5 miles away I passed another which had the tow truck army already out in full force.

Standing in 48 degree rain 2 hours and 30 minutes into a 4 hour ride while watching somebody fix a flat tire and talking about how "its really not that bad out." Not only saying it, but totally believing it and being happy that it is this warm while you are out for hours riding a bicycle around poop covered country roads all weekend.

Two totally unrelated things. If you do one, it is pretty normal and acceptable (not to mention all that goes with general bar culture.. getting up at noon, random sex, jockockracy, bar fights, etc). The other, people usually cant comprehend what it is and why you would do it. To me, riding 3 abreast on an empty road with 2 good friends is more fun than alcohol, drugs, bars and random hookups could ever be. Maybe Im missing out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My 300 dollar Italian shoes.

That is my buddy Matt's joke about his Sidi shoes. He is a total bum, much like me, but its funny that he owns a 300 dollar pair of Italian shoes.

But how about this, my buddy scoot from Bike Pittsburgh showed me: 373 dollar FAKE CYCLING SHOES. Yes they are just stylish "sneakers." So here you go if you are looking to "update your casual wardrobe." Maybe Ill get them when they have the boa mechanism like the Specialized shoes.

Friday was a 6 hour ride with The Chew Man. Tons of NEW ROADS. One of my favorite parts of riding with chew is that he will sit on you for 5 hours, then attack you while you are eating and climbing up a hill at mile 85. Not only that but it is a relentless attack for no reason other than to make you chase him as he crests the climb and gets into his damned aero bars. It seriously takes the guy like 80 miles to warm up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Geometry and orange pop.

In the past year the Somali's have decided that since I live across the street and have some college experience, that I must be able to tutor them in all high school subjects.

A few months ago, I had to call Dr. Stubna, the math professor, to help me with some Algebra 2 questions. This is after gary, amy and I couldnt figure it out. Stubbs explained it to me pretty easily.

Last night I found myself in a similar situation in their livingroom. Geometry homework. This is where my love for the Somali's comes in. I am always given some sort of orange beverage. This time it was an Orange flavored soda. They only drink orange pop, its like that scene in Joe vs the volcano. They have like 5 gallons of sunny delight on hand at all times. It is my honest belief that they think there are real oranges in it. I dont want to be the person to tell them the truth of it. I mean they all have giant oranges on the label and in the logo, how do you tell them that it is actually just flavored sugar?

Or maybe they wouldnt mind. Because I was also made a sandwich. I have been given the substance "hell ooo uh" before. It seems to consist of vegetable oil, sugar and cloves in a sort of jello consistency. Until last night, I have only seen it eaten as a desert, like a finger food. I was shocked / amazed upon finding out that it can also be put on bread and made into a sandwich. Imagine a jello sandwich.

This is all on top of finding out that it is like a mortal sin to turn down any amenities shown to you. It is considered insanely rude to turn things down. Until finding this out I would always say "no thanks" to things offered me, because they have like a million kids and a fixed income. Why am I going to snatch up Muya's orange crush? Then Amy and I were told that one mother thought we were being rude because we never take any food we are offered.

I wish there was a picture of me eating sugar/oil sandwiches on white bread.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bad Decisions

Ive made a few.
One was quitting college 80 credits from graduation. Another was stealing thousands of dollars worth of lumber at 4 in the morning when I was 14 years old and deciding to take the scenic route home and getting pulled over by the cops. These are all in the past. I would like to think that with maturity comes the ability to make better judgments. Until yesterday.

Writing a blog about a bike ride is a snoozer. "blah blah we were pedaling along and we are real fast or tough or it was awesome" or whatever. But yesterday was one for the books. My books anyway, it doesnt compare to Danny Chew riding home from Columbus OH in 40 degree rain wearing short sleeves, and numbing his hands for a month afterwards giving him what he claims to be the mental tenacity to win RAAM. No it takes less than that to get into my books.

Lifson and I headed out for a 3 hour ride on what seemed to be a pleasant day. 1.5 hours into the ride, it got really dark and started sprinkling. I was like "lets go right and add another 40 minutes cutting through Northmorland Park." Jake being smart (ask him any questions you might have about "toxic tort law"), says "maybe we should just head left and start towards home."

8 minutes later we are both realizing the severity of the situation. We are out of the county, it is 37 and raining and we are both kind of not dressed for it, because it was 40 and OK when we left.
The stages:
- at first it was comical. "man this sucks"
- 20 minutes later it was zen. "you have to know pain to know comfort" "you must know cold to understand warm"
- 1 hour into a headwind at 22 mph with freezing rain at 35 - 37 degrees it was "dude I think I might stop in at Trizilla and jump in their endless pool"
- 1.5 hours into this hell, I was on the verge of just quitting, I was starting to shake from cold and couldnt open my front door by myself.

Im not trying to be dramatic or sound macho, because it is like bragging about how tough you are after you shoot yourself in the foot, but the pain I felt when the feeling came back into my fingers almost made me vomit from nausea.

Moral of the story:
Sack up babik, krall and turner.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I bike PGH T-shirts.

Im posting this for the Amy. She enjoys doing crafts and making things. Together we made a few shirts the other year for the handmade arcade. The demand was greater than the supply, and it left a few people wanting more.

Well, this weekend is I made it which is a similar event. Amy is making more shirts and will have them available as well as other crafty stuff.

She will also have more up on her craft website

Blah blah American Apparel t shirts, no slave labor etc.... Money from each shirt will go to Bike Pittsburgh. Buttons and magnets also to be available.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Goodbye to you my friends.

Last weekend of the MAC series. Every year I tell myself not to register for Nationals unless I get UCI points. This weekend was my last shot at it, and the closest that I got was 11th. Talking with Minturn before the race, I predicted 14th or 15th, but enough people flatted to let me move up the ladder. I beat 1 person who I thought would beat me. Its pretty funny that you can look at the Preregistration and pretty much know what place you will get at some of these races.

So what now? Cross season was a whirlwind, racing each weekend for the last 8 or 10 weeks, including some local Mountain bike races and the Dirty Dozen. I guess now its time to sit in a taxi for the next 3 months to save up enough money to do it all again next year.

Cross season highlights.
- 2nd at the Hagarstown race. Nearly won, got out sprinted, good time
- Podium with fast guys at the Taccino cross race
- Awesome freaking team with tons of support. (
- Fast teammates that make people think that I, myself, might actually be fast
- Awesome road trips, lots of driving made fun
- Tons of awesome people in and around each race.
- On the line of each race when you hear the announcer say "On the line are the professional men, these are the best racers in the country!", it always makes me smile and laugh at myself

Cross season lowlights
- Crashing and getting lapped at the first GP in Kentucky
- Forgetting to register for the GP in New Jersey (yes that is the story)
- Never having a good race at Granogue
- Amy not making it to a race due to her part time weekend job.

Anybody who is looking for races the weekend before Nationals should do Bill's race (, which is right near Easton PA. My Dad is coming into town, and having not seen him since July, Im going to hang out in the Burgh and watch the Stillers vs New England.

Also, thank your promoter. I hung out/mooched off of Hebe this weekend during his promoting of the UCI race on Saturday. Even a seasoned vet like him was under a lot of stress and pressure, not just mental, but physical and financial. Everybody should go out of their way to thank promoters, or there might not be any more races.