If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
Stupid *%^in’ question. That's like starting a theological question with the premise, "Okay, first, let's assume the Pope isn't Catholic." Of course I'm not limited to one bike, and if I was, I'd start stealing other people's bikes until I had more than one.
Besides, as any serious roadie can tell you, it really doesn’t matter which frame you ride, as long as you start with a good wheelset. So my dream bike is a pair of Zipp 404 Clydesdales. I think I’ll opt for a front and rear wheel, rather than a pair of front wheels, for example.
The rest of the dream bike doesn’t matter much, because it's the wheel that matters. So I think I'll put the Zipps on a classic velocipede, which should score me huge points with Sheldon Brown's Ghost.
My Dream Bike
For a gruppo, I'll have to go with SRAM Red, of course, because it’s wicked light. It might be tough to find an integrated Front Wheel Hub / Crankset for that boneshaker, but I’m sure SRAM has one, and if they don’t maybe Truvativ does, or maybe Zipp would be willing to fabricate one up out of carbon fiber, which will work really, really well on the cast iron frame. Also, you'll notice in the picture the bike has some Ritchey Riser Bars on it. I'm going to ditch them and throw on some Jones H Bars, for sure. On the down side, the bike may be a bit heavy. On the upside, it will be pretty stout in crits.
Failing that I'd just get an Independent Fabrications Crown Jewel or a cross bike with extra wide stays and fork, so I could fit on fatter tires and still ride a little dirt on it.
Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
Hey, what the hell, where did you learn to ask questions in that disorderly fashion? Bad Television Lawyer Law School? Anyhow,
Yeah I’m working toward it. My wife is getting a new HVAC system, new floors, new windows, new bathrooms and a new kitchen. Plus I'm hardly ever drunk to the bejeezus and passed out on the bathroom floor any more. If that’s not working for it, I don’t know what is.
If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I’d want to ride Scenic Route 40 between Hancock, MD and Cumberland. It’s hilly and doesn’t suit my style but would keep me in good shape, but more importantly the scenery is soul-nourishing. It has the most beautiful views this side of Monument Valley, but it’s much better riding. I haven’t ridden it yet but I’m going to before the end of the summer. Ever had actual lust to ride a road? Yeah, it’s weird.
Hey, anybody up for skipping work one day and knocking out around 100 miles, with about 12,000 feet of climbing, maybe on some Thursday in the next several weeks? Drop me a line, let me know.
What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?
I don’t know. Marty Nothstein? Seems to me that's the very definition of track racing.
Henri Desgrange used to do that in the TdF, and riders would have to stop on the side of the road in blacksmiths’ shops to fix busted forks and frames, any deviation at all from the course was punishable by disqualification. That got him called “murderer!” and “assassin!” by some of the competitors. Rumor has it Desgrange had to hide between two cars to evade their rage. Or maybe it’s that diminutive prick Ricardo Ricco I’m thinking of.
Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I love both. What the hell is wrong with you – what kind of mental defect permits you to see the cycling world as having “both kinds” of bike? It’s like when the Blues Brothers find out that Bob’s Country Bunker has both kinds of music – country and western.
“Both” kinds of riding are totally different, and inside of each ”type” of riding are dozens of different styles. That question is like asking a Frenchman, “which is better, wife, mistress, or an exquisite bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape?” There’s simply no way to choose. Plus, this question doesn't even take into account hard-to-quantify kinds of riding, like track racing, BMX, cyclocross and other neither-fish-nor-fowl types of riding.
Oh wait. You asked a question, didn't you?
I like mountain biking because the scenery is always good. Even if your workout sucks for some reason, you can have fun being distracted, going slow, trying little stunts and what not, and MTB racing is an awful lot of fun. It’s just bein’ out in the woods, only faster. I love cross country and think I like endurance racing, but can see how folks love downhill, progressive riding, or short track.
On the other hand road riding is an extremely distinctive pleasure. Training on the road has an amazing purity of purpose and suffering, it is the bike ride stripped down to bare essentials of turning the pedals and suffering, and feeling the speed. There are moments of pleasure but it's like the day you allow yourself an ice cold beer, mid-diet; the little pleasures are better only because the pain tends to be omnipresent. Roadracing is fun, sitting inside a psychotic dogpack running on a treadmill where you can’t get off and somebody keeps hitting the Speed + button over and over again ‘til you can’t take it has its own charm, in a Nurse Ratched sort of way. Then there are group rides where you make good friends, see character revealed and go so far beyond your limits that you don’t recognize the pre-ride self. There’s also charity rides and commuting, and my favorite, Bike & Brew rides.
Each has its place.
Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
Dude, that question is so wrong it’s unbelievable. It’s like asking, “hey, you’re between girlfriends… ever think about banging guys until things pick up on the girl front?”
The answer of course is hells no. Not even once in college. "Not my bag, man," in the words of the immortal Austin Powers.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
The other things preventing me from riding a recumbent are (1) My facial hair only grows about halfway up my cheek, not up to my lower eyelid, as is mandatory for the bent-ers (I see my brilliant, super-educated scientist friend Jon I eventually gravitating towards bents only because of this facial hair thing); (2) my glasses do not have thin wire rims; (3) I could never manage to smoke a pipe while I ride; (4) I don't have an advanced engineering degree; and, (5) I have a sense of humor about people who ride recumbents and their 'bikes.'
Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
A) Yes, I used to do sprint tris including this one ‘adventure’ tri that featured a paddling section in lieu of the swim. B) No, but I hear it’s preferable to squeezing into a wet suit to swim in the Hudson / The River of a Million Stinging Jellyfish, as it's known to the Manhattan Indians.
Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
I’d give up ice cream simply because if I gave up bikes I’d only put the bike budget money into ice cream, and do you have any idea how fat I’d be if I ate the ice cream equivalent of the Gross National Product of Liberia each year? Yeah, I’d be a gross national product alright.
So bikes are the better choice to hang onto for health reasons. That, and if I need ice cream, local ice cream junky Jon Seibold is sure to have some stashed in his freezer. He’s like a tweaker when it comes to Cherry Garcia, I hear.Plus it's frickin' hard to ride to work on two scoops of Cold Stone Creamery Vanilla Bean, unless you work very directly beneath your house, which is situated on a steep hill.
Please note that you only asked about giving up ice cream. Proper gelato - sometimes pejoratively described as Italian Ice Cream - is not ice cream in any meaningful sense of the term. I'd probably rather die than give up the gelato. If you doubt me, you've never had proper gelato. I wish I was joking about this. It's like heroin, but it makes you fat instead. Plus it tastes better.
What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
Q: Why is road cycling such a frickin’ hopeless sausage fest?
A: Because we’re oblivious to the fact that we’re hopelessly out of touch nerds, as evidenced by this most recent recycling of the “You’re Tagged” meme which, last time I checked, died in 2003. The coolest cyclist in the world is still just the alpha geek among all people in funny looking lycra. We worship Tom Boonen and Cipo, both of whom, without racing, would have trouble passing the coolness test an ordinary hipster can pass even after 21 PBRs and a fistful of X. I’m okay with that; freakish people like me with barely adequate social skills and mutant-level VO2 abilities need somewhere to go, and this is it.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
I throw him my two bottles bottles of Accellerade. I’ve found that among those who try it, 50% instantly love it and find that it makes them faster and stronger. The other 50% immediately get bad gas and debilitating stomach cramps from the gobs of protein in the stuff.
Assuming the bear gets the cramps and gas, I’ll be golden. He’ll be utterly immobilized, and afterwards he'll be telling the other bears that he's overtrained, shouldn't have done intervals yesterday, hasn't been able to shit in the woods properly lately, he's focusing on hibernation season this year, whatever...
If he likes the Accellerade, you’re probably thinking that it will only enhance his ability to run fast and catch me. That’s true, but you neglect the fact that I don’t have to be faster than the bear, I only need to be faster than at least one of the people I’m riding with.
Hey, wanna go riding with me in the Adirondacks next weekend? I hear you've put on a few pounds.
The other part of the tagged meme is to pass it on. I can't pass it to a gazillion people but I can find four people who would probably give entertaining answers: Kyle, Burt Friggin Hoovis, Fat Marc, and Gay Racer. Don't let me down, boys, and when you're done, pass it on to some other people.