Monthly Archives: October 2007

Angry buffalo!

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I’m ANGRY! Angry because

  • Some idiot decided to revive one of the most awful songs of the ’70s, “Rock Me Gently,” for a car commercial.
  • Not only do I still remember every awful word and chord change of this piece of tripe in the space in my brain that should be reserved for remembering my mother’s birthday, but I even still remember who sang it, a one-hit wonder named Andy Kim. (Note: If you’re going to have two first names, make them both decidedly butch.)
  • This song became so stuck in my head during today’s otherwise wonderful bike ride to North Chatham that only a determined double-shot wall of sound from The Crystals, “He’s a Rebel” and “Da Doo Ron Ron,” could possibly keep it out.
  • Until something even worse got lodged in there — probably inexplicable if you’re not a Howard Stern listener: The Bleeding Deacons’ version of I’m A Gay Papa. If you click the link, I’m not responsible.
For the record, Angry Buffalo is the stuffed animal responsible for getting my younger daughter out of bed on mornings when she’d prefer not to. He does this through a lot of stomping and shorting and grunting out “Angry Buffalo!” and then he charges and pulls her covers off. Sometimes if she’s being tricky, he’ll find out she’s already dressed and just wanted to tease the buffalo.

Autumn rides

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The drought cost us color and the extended warmth cost us the feeling of fall, so Thursday was the first bike ride that really felt like fall at all — a bright, sunny day with lots of leaves on the ground, the smell of rot beginning to fill the air (and waiting for today’s rains to really set things in motion). It was the kind of day where you’re quite comfortable out in the sun and freezing the moment you ride into a shady canopy. The difference between the 60s in summer and the 60s in fall is that in fall, you can feel the heat leaving the earth. That some weird angle of the earth could produce these incredibly different seasons just seems so strange sometimes.

The oddness of this riding season, my longer rides are coming now, at the end of it. (To the extent that it ends; last season, the only month I didn’t ride was February.) The new bike has not made me faster or given me the time to take longer rides, but it is vastly easier to handle and lets me come home from a ride twice as long as my average without being completely exhausted. At this point, though, a century sure looks a long way away, unless I find the flattest century around. My average speed in the hills around here is what feels like a respectable 25.6kph, which is almost 16mph — which feels fine and plenty fast when I’m doing it, but would mean more than a 6 hour century, if I could even keep the pace that long. So I’ve either gotta get faster, find a one-way downhill century, or give up this ridiculous dream. So of course I’m gonna have to get faster.

Pork Loki

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A thick slab of pork is refusing to come up to temperature on the grill.

  • Me: The pork just isn’t willing to cook.
  • High School Daughter (HSD): Maybe it’s a sign from God.
  • Me: Based on my very limited knowledge of the Bible, that wouldn’t be the first sign from God involving pork.
  • HSD: Maybe it’s some other deity, from some other mythology. Maybe it’s some Norse god.
  • Me: Possibly. Though I don’t remember anything about Loki and pork. Though “Pork Loki” would be a good name for a song:

    singing:

    Pork Loki! Pork Loki is not your friend!
    Pork Loki! He’ll be there at the end!
    Ragnarok and roll! Ragnarok and roll!

  • HSD: [walks away]

Lessons from a season of biking

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The thoughts that run through my head all through the long season of road biking, in no particular order:

  • I want a jersey that says “Hang Up and Drive!” on the back, big and bold. Spouse counsels against this idea.
  • Cars will do just about anything to help you out on the road, including moving dangerously far over into the other lane without being able to see what’s ahead, except for one thing: they will NEVER slow down. Please, folks, give me a little room, and think about whether slowing down will help the situation.
  • This season, I had people yell “Lance!” at me many more times than I had people yell “fag!” at me. I’m not sure what response they expect to either one, but I’m able to fool myself that they don’t mean “Lance!” ironically.
  • Most common stuff on the shoulders of the road: not so many bottles, and not as much fast food litter as I used to see, either. But lots of bungie cords. Occasional toys, the lone sneaker, socks and shirts, that sort of thing. For some reason this year, LOTS of washcloths. Lots of them. And more glass than you could possibly imagine.
  • I don’t need you to ride alongside me and yell at me how fast I’m going. For one thing, my computer is a lot more accurate than your car speedometer. For another, I measure in kilometers, dude. Like a man.
  • I lie to myself a lot. I get myself out when it’s windy or I’m tired or a little sick by saying I’ll just take a nice easy ride. And then I go at the same pace I always go at, pushing just as hard on the hills and squeezing as much speed out as possible. (Which is not to say I’m a fast rider; I’m just not.)
  • Driving to a bike route starting point still feels slightly sinful, but it gets me to some places I just can’t reach from home, like the Helderberg escarpment and the lands beyond Altamont. But it still feels wrong to burn gas to get in a bike ride.
  • The bike path is generally the slowest way to get anywhere, although I still enjoy the stretch in Niskayuna. I avoid the Cohoes section, however, because of an interrelated combination of errant teenagers and broken glass. Besides, the hill out of Cohoes up to Route 9 is quite pleasant.
  • My hometown, the sweet little village of Scotia, where we used to spend entire summer days riding our bikes without hardly leaving the village limits? Well, we must have moved at about half a mile an hour, because I tear up the entire village in about 10 minutes at my current pace, and the tight little streets and endless stop signs take a lot of the fun out of it (being one of those law-abiding bike rider types). But outside of town, the Glenville hills are still a fun ride.
  • Cemeteries are a cyclist’s best friend, nature-break-wise.
  • I lurve my new bike.