Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Did you ever see that commercial that had this actor who used to be on one of those hospital shows? It was from some pharmaceutical company, and the actor would start by saying, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Then he would go ahead and tell you why you should take this pill that cured male pattern baldness, or excess stomach acid, or fear of iguanas (also known as “reptile dysfunction”). Just because this guy didn't even take inorganic chemistry is no reason that we should not listen to his advice regarding the alleviation of our persistent dyspepsia.
This is the long answer for why I usually shave my legs. I’m not a bicycle racer, and I don’t play one on TV, but I like to at least look fast when I'm standing around in bike shorts.
Sure, I’ve used the other reasons. “When you crash, it’s easier to clean the wound if you don’t have to work around the leg hair.” I haven’t had a crash that resulted in any kind of road rash (knock wood) for the past three years, and the worst of that was on my right hip – which I don’t shave.
(I do shave the left hip, but that’s for theological reasons that I don’t think are appropriate in this venue. If you’ll carefully read the lost Psalms of Bob, which were cut from the King Bruce version in order to make the NFL player limits, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
Anyway, if I was a racer that crashed a lot, then I would change my name to Stuart O’Grady (just kidding, dude … “Harden the F--- Up” right?). No, if I was Stuart I would shave everything. Actually, I would have my soigneur shave everything. I would also have him (the randowife tore up the resume of Ilsa, the retired
Speaking of soigneurs (Ilsa: Call me), another reason given for shaving your legs is that it makes for a better massage. Everyone knows that a good, post-ride massage is critical to break up the lactic acid pooling in your legs. You should also elevate the legs for at least half an hour after a ride, and wear special socks that facilitate better blood flow. And the massage should use special oils for aromatherapy rejuvenation. And don’t forget the embrocations that you must apply during the pre-ride massage.
Can you imagine having to do all of this crap with a bunch of stinking hair all over your legs? It would soak up those expensive oils, and your soigneur would have to have very delicate hands to avoid ripping hairs out daily. A hairy leg massage from Ilsa's callused hands would have been a de facto waxing. Come to think of it, Ilsa's hands were kind of big … and she had an Adam’s apple, too. Doesn’t
Here’s a better reason to shave your legs: “It keeps the leg/knee warmers up.”
Okay, stick with me now because there’s some science here, and some of you may have only studied acting with Ivana Chubbuck instead of Physics with Dr. Landt. Basically, you know the little bit of exposed rubber band stuff at the top of leg- and knee-warmers? Well, that stuff is designed to grab onto your skin to keep the warmers up. Smooth skin has more surface tension than hair, which is round and tends to roll. If you shave your legs, the rubbery stuff has a smoother, more-sure surface to grab, and your leg- and knee-warmers stay up better.
And this was the reason that I used to shave my legs throughout the winter, because you could usually count on one or two days a month when the temperature would hit 70 and you would need to expose at least some of your legs. But we haven’t had any of those days in six weeks now in Tennessee, so my legs are unshorn and, as a result, hideous. And I now live in fear of a warm spell, for it means that I will either need to ride with my tights on and overheat, or pop a new head on my Schick Intuition and start scraping. And razor cuts hurt … especially when the soapy water hits them.
Still, I hope it warms soon. And when it does I will go ahead and shave, and take the pain like a man. Pretend that I’m a tough guy like Stuart O’Grady. Or Ilsa.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Some day, someone is going to follow these rules -- thereafter, we will all be in thrall to an evil master. The jury is still out as to whether this would be a better world. Some of us think it has already come to pass.
Be that as it may, the Randowife and the Randodaughter and I were watching TV the other night and decided that there needs to be a set of rules for intelligent heroes, because most of the doofuses (doofi?) that save the world in books, movies, and TV today are total morons. Such a hero would have no chance against an evil overlord armed with Peter's List.
So, this is the start of our list of tips for successful heroes. Feel free to post more rules as you think of them -- good guys need all the help they can get.
(Parenthetical Remark (hence the parentheses): Yes, this has nothing to do with cycling, much less long-distance cycling. As Lance tells us, It is not always about the bike.)
- After I have defeated the inordinately tough chief henchman and he sits dazed before me, I will take a couple of extra seconds and kill him before moving on to confront the evil overlord. If I am a "good" hero, I may only shoot him in the knee.
- As soon as I defeat the evil overlord in the Temple, thwarting him in his effort to procure the Artifact that will enable him to control the Universe, I will grab the girl and head for the door. This is necessary because the Temple always explodes at this point. If possible, I will also grab some gold and jewels on the way out, since this hero gig does not pay well.
- I will not drink a toast with my enemy. I don't care if it hurts his/her feelings.
- If I am a cop acting on a tip that the bad guy is hiding out somewhere, I will not go there by myself to "check it out." That's what SWAT teams are for.
- If I fail to abide by the above rule, I will tell everyone where I am going and when to expect me back.
- When someone that I suspect is a bad guy hands me a gun, I will consider that it may not have any bullets. Rather than try to shoot the bad guy with the unloaded gun, I will immediately hit him/her over the head with it. If the gun goes off at this time, I will apologize later.
- When I find my best friend near death after being caught sneaking into the enemy headquarters to learn the enemy's secrets, I will not tell him, "Don't try to talk. An ambulance/medic/Gandalf is coming." If he's going to die, then it ought to count, so he better talk. If he wants to talk about how he's sorry for this or that or how much he really loves my girlfriend, I will slap him to keep him on topic.
- I will not sleep after sex.
- I will not have any romantic moments at inappropriate times. Actually, just cut out all of the romantic crap -- that's better left to chick flicks.
- When bad guys are better armed than I am, I will upgrade as soon as possible. There is no reason that I cannot take the submachine gun from them after I kill them with a stick.
- When I burst into the evil overlord's stronghold with my newly acquired submachine gun, if the evil overlord launches into a long windy speech as he moves towards the control panel, I will shoot him. He should only be allowed to make long windy speeches while I am tied up on the laser table, thus giving me time to slip my bonds and save the day.
- I will not put the evidence that will prove my innocence on a videotape or floppy disk or thumb drive, but will put it on YouTube and label it "Naked Women."
I'm sure that I've missed some, but it's not my job to save the universe. Think of some yourself and post them, or be prepared to greet your new evil masters.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This past weekend was the first weekend in December, and I'm going for another R-12. If you don't know what that is, it's an award that Randonneurs USA offers to members who ride 12 consecutive months of brevets. I did an R-12 in 2007, and will win another if I can ride at least one brevet a month thru April of 2009.
The key to the R-12 is to try and get your monthly brevet in as soon as possible. Basically, if it ain't snowing really hard and/or the roads are covered in black ice, do it the first weekend of the month, because it will probably be worse weather every remaining weekend.
So, Sunday we did Alan Gosart's Natchez Trace Northern Terminus 200K Permanent. It is one of the simplest permanents around, since you basically just take the Trace down to Hohenwald and back. It's also pretty and has fairly little traffic, since that part of the Trace is way out in the country.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Danish news sources are not reporting the identity of the victim, who was hospitalised and received 25 stitches. Bagger flew to Dubai the day following the assault."