May 5th, 2010

mud guards and clean bikes

Did you all know mud guards save you from cleaning your bike after every ride in the rain? I didn't! I had my first rainy ride home from work on the new bike last Friday night, and was dreading having to wheel the Velorbis out onto the grass the next day with soap bucket and brushes etc.. But when I looked and saw it had not a blemish, beneath the down tube, bottom bracket, or anywhere, I laughed.

I said goodbye to my dragster's rattly mudguards just before I got my BMX bike in 1980. The nearest I have edged toward the extraneous gentility I thought they existed to symbolize, were the detachable plastic rear fenders I bought for my road bikes. Even they were a revelation. I had no idea the water up my arse had been coming from my rear tire all of those years. Full fenders raise the bar yet again, saving not only your bottom, but your whole bike, from needing a wipe.

On reflection, my attachment to some image of myself racing, at times when I was actually riding, was locking me into a narrow, repetitive, ritualistic cycling experience, that came at the cost of much bike cleaning and laundry. That said, I still have an axe to grind with Velorbis, about the way they're attaching their coat guards. We'll save that for a future post though, when I provide my critical review of the Velorbis, the only critical review of this sacred cow you will find on the web!      

Autumnal thoughts about losing

I got dropped from the peloton Saturday, but worse still, mistimed a sprint Sunday. After the race on Sunday, Cannonball and I were both licking our wounds, telling each other we were the fastest sprinters on the day, and by rights should have won. But we didn't. We mistimed our efforts. Cannonball, by doing too much too early. Me, by waiting too late to release my last kick. Three three guys who beat us, were fast, and they read the road better than we did. They won. We lost.

Now, I could get all philosophical with the try-try-again talk, but I would rather try to express how I feel: flat. I spent two hours this afternoon rooting around with the Velorbis, just taking the back wheel off to try to do something to stop those coat guards coming off. I'm putting off writing an important letter for work. I took Quinby for a bodysurf yesterday afternoon, and the weed was revolting. I'm not training. This evening Za Bear and I rode through a big pile of brown leaves.