Tuesday, September 23, 2008

100 things 75-51

And the list continues...

75. I can't stand a noisy bike. The bike could work flawlessly other than a persistent creak and I won't ride it until the creak is gone. A temporary fix is to ride with my iPod, but even then, I know it is there and it bugs.

74. I bent the downtube on a Schwinn World that was the second bike that I ever owned. I never knew it until my dad noticed that the paint was flaking off at the bend. I was about 13 years old and I thought my Dad was going to kill me over wrecking the bike. He asked how it happened. I was too embarrassed to say that I wasn't looking where I was going and as I result I ran into a parked car while going about 15 miles per hour. Instead I made up some fanciful story about how I missed a turn and went off the road and into a ditch. I am not sure why I did that. I just seemed so stupid to have hit a parked car.

73. I have an old Chris King T-shirt that has a milk carton on it with one of those missing kid pictures on it. Instead of a picture of a kid though it has a drawing of a bottom bracket on it. As in the long rumored Chris King Bottom Bracket that until this year I never had seen the light of day. Of course the one was recently revealed can be found with using a google search, and it is one of those new-fangled external bottom brackets. Nevertheless, I think it is cool that I still have the t-shirt even though it is about 12 years old and thread-bare.

72. I think that guys that buy their significant others crap bikes should be smacked. It doesn't matter if it is a spouse or one of their children. I don't mean that it has to be some uber-bike. In particular I am calling out the guy that has a nice blingy bike or bikes and their kids ride Walmart bikes. You know who you are and shame on you. Spend just a hundred or two more and get them something safe and reliable. It is one thing if a parent or spouse doesn't know better--but to be willing buy something so inferior...that shows a real lack of respect and concern to those that should matter most.

71. I have never owned a bike with a campy drivetrain. I would like to, just to see what the fuss is about. But no 11 speed stuff please.

70. I never owned any bibs until about 2004. I quickly got rid of just about all of my lycra shorts. Bibs rule.

69. Buy a pair of Sidi shoes. Your feet will thank you. If not Sidis then something else of the same quality. It is amazing what a good pair of shoes will do for your riding enjoyment and comfort.

68. Skimp on the helmet. If you are spending $150+ on helmets then everything else you own should be totally blinged out. A helmet is the last place I would spend significant money.

67. Don't skimp on shorts or bibs. Seriously, you know what is being protected down there and you only want to spend $20-$30 on a pair of shorts? If you do this you must have a taint o' steel, because without a good short and chamois I am dying after a couple of hours. Either that or you just don't ride for more than 30 minutes.

68. I can ride a saddle with no padding at all if the shape is right. Padding on a saddle is not necessary if I am wearing a good pair of shorts. Thick or wide saddles do nothing for me at all. In particular all of the WTB saddles seem too wide in the middle as it nears the nose. I know others love their WTB's...just not me.

67. The three people people I would most like to go on a ride with, at least that I haven't ridden with already are Keith Bontrager, Gary Fisher, and Greg Herbold. I know that these folks are primarily from the mtb world, but that is my first love, mtb.

66. I met Evel Knievel at Interbike back in 1999 I think it was. He was at the Hoffman bikes booth. At this time he walked with a cane, but you could tell that he would still kick just about anyone's butt if you looked at him sideways. R.I.P Evel.

65. I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere if I am tired. I once fell asleep at a casino's cheap buffet restaurant which was adjacent to the slot machines. It was a pretty noise place. I guess I even snored. I never even had to put my head down. I just leaned back and folded my arms and that was that. I have also taken naps on a concrete floor with no padding during the days when I worked doing home remodeling. I think I used some cardboard as a pillow.

64. I really like riding with my wife. When we were doing triathlons together last year, we would occasionally get to ride at the same time. I loved it. What can be better than getting out together in the fresh air on a nice, or even not so nice day? Not much. I think we bonded a bit more last year than we would have otherwise.

63. My first mountain bike experiences came in Virginia and West Virginia. It was not very difficult stuff, but it was very pretty out there. As a result I have always appreciated the east coast mentality of riding. Lots of trees and roots with lots of twist and turns. I understood why there were so many custom frame builders there. Riding was different and the builders were great at building bikes for those areas. What is great about the whole 29er thing is that so many of these builders and other new builders have flowered again just like the early days of the mtb thing. I wonder how long it will last this time around?

62. I don't think that there is any "magic" frame material. I think that a wise person buys the bike that is best suited for his purpose. I like steel for cyclocross and for my 29er frames. Ti would be great too, but I don't have the $$$$ for that and I still wouldn't do a Ti cross frame. At least not unless I have more money than I have sense, which maybe someday I could achieve (I wouldn't mind have more money than sense--I have a lot of sense and thus being in such a position would mean that our family would be pretty well off). I like carbon frames for road, but I also like the feel of aluminum road bikes. A good aluminum road frame has a really racy feel with great power transfer. Anyway, you get the point...ride what you like, not what is cool.

61. Riding in a big group on the road makes me nervous. This is one of the big reasons why I have never raced on the road. I worry that I will make a mistake and cause someone to crash. I also don't really trust everyone in a large group ride either. When I am with just a few people communication is better and I don't worry as much. I should try and overcome this in the future though since I would like to be on a team should an opportunity to join one arise.

60. I like experimenting with different set ups. It seems like I am constantly swapping this and that on my bikes. I just can't seem to sit still. For instance, one example of one of my weird set ups is on my cross bike. Campy Record Brake Levers (no shifters, just the dropbar brake lever), one right Dura Ace Barend shifter hooked up to a Kelly Take Off, an XT Shadow rear derailleur, XT 11-32 9spd cassette, Campy Record Carbon cranks (older square taper style) with a 29t ring and a Chorus bb, and a chain guard in place of the outer ring. It works flawlessly and it is almost mud-proof and crash-proof. Well, lest I jinx myself I should state that it is at very least more of a durable set up that with normal Shimano/Sram/Campy road levers and it is cheaper too. I picked up the campy stuff on clearance and the XT stuff is not too spendy. And the shifter set is usable from at least as many positions as a normal road bike "brifter." I just like to try different things--sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

59. If you ride a bike you should know how to change a tube out. If you don't, then learn. Don't pay a shop to do it. If you do--and some do so often--you are a pansy. If you are OK with being a pansy, then I don't mind changing out your tube.

58. My father was not big on my skidding my bike tires as a kid. It wore out the tire needlessly in his opinion. This was a waste I guess in his eyes. But I encourage my boys to skid all they want. My oldest loves to see how long of a skid mark he can make. And is it really that wasteful? A new tire retails for about $10 for his bike. And do you know how many skids he can get with that tire? Probably a thousand it seems. So what is that--a penny a skid? Seems like a bargain to me in exchange for him learning to love his bike and getting outside and doing something other than watching TV. Skid away boys, skid away.

57. Oh, and on the topic off kids and bikes...If you kid is 4 years old or more, he or she should not be using training wheels unless there are impairment issues of some sort. My nieces didn't learn to ride a bike without training wheels until they were nearing 10 years old. They just had bikes with training wheels that were way too small for them. The youngest of these two is 10 years old currently and my 3 year old rides faster than her much of the time. My 5 year old gets bored waiting for her. Sad, so sad. I blame the parents for not giving a rip.

56. And still on the subject of kids and bikes...let your kids crash. It does them good to pick themselves up and deal with a little blood. It is hard to do as a parent. Sometimes you know it going to happen, and then very hard to watch when it does, but I promise it is good for them to know that a little blood and a loss of some skin is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Let them learn thier limits.

55. At least once everyone should have the experience of having a bike frame custom built for them. And if you have to wear a suit of work, the same thing goes for that too.

54. It is ok to be scared on a bike at times. In fact, I recommend the occasional scare. It doesn't matter what type of bike you are on...pushing your boundaries makes you a better rider. Just don't be stupid about it, we'd like to keep you around.

53. Despite what some people I have met think... riding on Leif Erickson road in Forest Park near Portland, Oregon does not count a mountain biking. The fact that it is a dirt path surrounded by trees does not mean that you are suddenly hardcore.

52. A person should ride more than they spend time looking at bike stuff on the computer--especially MTBR.com or Roadbikereview.com. And note to self: That goes for blogging too.

51. I struggle with knowing how high to shave up my legs.

Ok, I made it this far. I may have to get pretty creative to get down to #1.


Kristin said...

>51. I struggle with knowing how high to shave up my legs.

Just past your tan line.

Mr. Flynn said...

that was just too obvious. You are right.

The problem is that there seems to be a shaving line creep that happens as the season goes on. There are many times where I go up slighly too much on one pass and then because I have a slight case of OCD I have to make the shave line even. Then both legs shave lines have to be at the same level...thus my shave line varies. And some shorts are shorter than others, and swim shorts are slightly shorter than my bike shorts so I can't exactly rely on a tan line there either...

you get the point--I am rediculous.