Saturday, October 29, 2005

Critical Mass - October

For the second time this year, I made Critical Mass. Not to say that I made Critical Mass, as if my presence could create an event. I joined the group circling the Mill Street parking lot and went out and made our presence known. Resplendent in my Spot jersey, I was hardly the grandest tiger in the jungle. Michelle Kegley had sewn herself a Victorian or Suffragette style cycling outfit that she wore on her vintage Schwinn 5-Speed Mixte and there was a woman named Cory or Laurie who was wearing a vintage coat and tweed jacket. We're getting there but we're not a big city yet in Kansas City.

It was a fun ride. We cruised through Westport and the Plaza with Sarah's iPod blaring Beck and Radiohead. Definitely, someone needs to find some better bicycling music. And not Queen's Bicycle Race, it just reminds me how a once great rock band descended into Novelty. Luka Bloom recorded one, the title cut from The Acoustic Motorbike and Otis Taylor has one about Major Taylor on Double V.Anyone, anyone....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I finally took the Stella out for a long ride this weekend. I did the Metric Century at BikeMO, an event put on by the Missouri Bike Federation. Ordinarily, I don't do pay rides but I am married to the vice-president of the organization. Actually, I have done 2 pay rides this last month but I don't do a LOT of them. Anyway, I arose extremely early and drove halfway across the state for this ride. I hadn't ridden too much after fighting a cold for a week. (Thank God for Zicam!) Now, I'm healthy again.

It didn't prove to be much of a handicap. Here I am at one of the rest stops,resplendent in my attire from Rivendell. The long sleeve seersucker shirt kept me cool and the MUSA pants were ideal for a fall ride when you couldn't be certain what the weather would be and I liked walking into the coffee shop in Fulton, Missouri at lunch and not having my package out there for the world. What I had forgotten, though, was a change of underwear. Fortunately the start/finish area was at a shopping center which housed a Dollar General store where I ducked in afterward for a package of Fruit of the Loom boxers and a package of Junior Mints. For the record, I actually did ride the 62 mile route. I told someone that Monday morning would be the test for it, whether riding a fixie would hurt me and I was fine. I've learned that riders overestimate the advantage a derailleured bicycle gives them. I can climb about as well on Stella as I can on my Cannondale go-fast bike or my Panasonic granny-geared touring bike. And it's so much FUN!! Who could have thought that forcing myself to pedal all the time could be so enjoyable? After all, though I am a runner first and cyclist second or maybe I'm just an athlete.

The only thing that was missing was beer. I'm a believer in rewarding myself with a beer after strenuous exercise. I settled for a 24 ounce Busch from the gas station rather than the craft beer I would have loved. Of course, ideals only exist in heaven.

After the ride, the officers and organizers of the Missouri Bike Fed discussed the ride. Most riders thought it was a very good event. Levie, one of the officers, told Laurie, my wife that "some of the riders on the 32 mile did not seem like very experienced riders and one of them was YOUR HUSBAND!" Guess some people don't get the sensible rider look. I do ride in spandex, too and I can ride fast if I want, too.