Sunday, March 30, 2008

The sting of shame

Most people that know me will tell you that I have little shame. I will, with gusto, regale you with tales of how I have unequivocally screwed things up in a grand manner. I try not to be too serious about anything and poking fun at my self is an easy way to live out that mantra.
So Yesterday morning Big Al and I decided that rather than drive to Landahl for the spoke pony extravaganza we would save some money (and face) by going to clinton instead to ride with Brian Snyder after his crit race. We slept in from the night before, and I was feeling kinda rough from Tylers B-day party. Well we are throwing bikes on the car and getting ready, to roll, and I see that the car is low on fuel. I scrutinize it for a moment and detirmine that we should get fuel on the way. We jump in and head outa manhattan. As we are rollin outa town Al asks if we are gonna get fuel. I frown at the inflated gas prices in manhattan and say "nah, we will get fuel on I70".
Those are famous last words in the state of KS.
There are no gas stations on I70 between Ft. Riley and Maple hill (15 miles west of topeka). Well there are but they all appear to have gone outa business in the past decade. It blows my mind how a gas station on the side of a major US interstate can not be profitable. only in KS.
We ran out of gas about a mile from the 24/7 quickstop at maple hill.
The sting of shame came in the form of getting pelted with sand and pebbles as one spins furiously down the side of the interstate on a bike geared 32-20 as trucks whip by.
My chagrin was met with further indignation when the ladies at the gas station laughed and said the had never seen anyone come off the exit ramp on a bike. It probably did not help that I looked like a Iowa hog farmer as I was wearing bib overalls. I failed to share their mirth. In my mind I imagined myself leaping across the counter and throttling this woman, but I could also see the headlines in the newspaper (CRAZED HOG FARMER ON BICYCLE MAULS FILLING STATION ATTENDENT)
So after I paid like $9 for a 1Gal gas can and 3.19 for gas (which was no cheaper than in Manhattan) I turn to see my car driving towards me.
Turns out the car ran out of fuel as we were coming down a hill on 70. The car stopped on a flat section so as the fuel settled back to the tank it was again able to reach the intake.
This seemed to amuse the cashier ladies even more, but they did give me a refund on the gas can so their lives were spared.
We went on the ride at clinton and had a smashing time, and on our return west we had dinner at puffys icehouse (its worth the 2 mile drive off the interstate).
So all in all its a situation that I can laugh about....Now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

its all for me grog

I heard this tune on a KPR radio program about liberal opinions and temperance. I was not amused, but it did have a catchy tune.
the tune

The lyrics

Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
It's all for me beer and tobacco
For I spent all me tin with the lassies drinking gin
Far across the western ocean I must wander

Where are me boots, me noggin', noggin' boots?
They're all gone for beer and tobacco
For the heels they are worn out and the toes are kicked about
And the soles are looking out for better weather

Where is me shirt, my noggin', noggin' shirt?
It's all gone for beer and tobacco
For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn
And the tail is looking out for better weather

I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed
Since first I came ashore with me slumber
For I spent all me dough on the lassies movin' slow
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander

Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
It's all for me beer and tobacco
I spent all me loot in a house of ill repute
And I think I'll have to go back there tomorrow

Its pretty amazing the things you can learn listening to NPR!

flocculated soil, excess trail moisture, and the burrito assault

I took Big Al to Landahl this weekend since she has never had the opportunity to ride there since we have moved here almost 10 months ago. I had a revelation somewhere on wills wanderer that finally the concept of dispersion of soil caused by physical forces and chemical forces made sense. This really does me little good as I had a my midterm on this subject 10 days ago. Dispersion is a term used to describe soils that have no structure(compacted,crusted, salt affected). Think of it like this.
Have you ever ridden a newly built trail that has not been packed out by lots of traffic, then ridden a heavily used trail that has been in service for some time. You will no doubt realize that the new trail is much softer and tougher going than a older trail. this is because a older trail has had lots of physical traffic and agitation to disperse the soil particles. the newer trail has not had sufficient agitation to destroy the flocculated soil particles(the process of dispersion).
By this point you are no doubt wondering why I wasted a paragraph of your life on dirt particles?
Well dispersed soils hold water much longer than flocculated soils.....SO...old trails stay wet longer.This would be apparent to anyone that ride that new trail at landahl, Greissedieck
the newer trail was much drier that a older trail on the other side of the creek. I will entertain on comments on soil structure for further conversation. soils can also be dispersed with sodium.
I told you that story to tell you this one. Dispersed soil really sticks to your wheels and makes you feel really slow. but I digress.
Al really liked landahl though. I even got her to ride Mickeys tantrum and rim job, and she did it like a champ.
We ended up riding for about 3 1/2 hours, and had a great time. Its a shame that landahl is so far away. On the way home we stopped at Chipotle for burritos.
I was famished and got a pig burrito.....yes pig.....well I proceeded to destroy this little lump of hispanic goodness in the span of about 90 seconds. Al commented that people in the immediate vicinity of my burrito vanquishing may have lost their appetites, and then commented that if I made any unwarranted advances towards her burrito I would be in a perilous situation and might get stabbed with a shank fashioned from plasticware. I consoled and restrained myself with chips and corona.
All in all it was a grand time and we are waiting for our next foray to western MO with bated breath. perhaps spoke ponying?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A knife at the gun fight

That pretty much sums up what happened today when I went on a ride with larry, Charley gillum, and Kyle Arnold. In true hobo style I show up for the road ride with the singlespeed rolling on cross tires. I started to realize the error of my ways when I see that Charley is astride a all carbon Scott Plasma TT bike on zipp 202's. this will not be a lackadaisical jaunt to the country and back. The thought flashes through my mind....I could still run over to the pathfinder and get a 16 tooth cog (currently geared 42:18). Nah......I need to work on raising my cadence I tell myself. I can spin that gearing out at around23 mph. And make no mistake I did a lot of spinning. Hamsters dont spin like I did. We did the loop out to wamego and back, and I will be honest I hate that ride. Its flat its in the wind, and it is comprised entire of asphalt. There is not even a sweet little gavel section where the sand and stones dance at you feet. No you just get sandblasted by gravel trucks doing 70mph while trying to maintain a cadence of 140rpms so I can try to keep in the pace line with Larry yelling at me to go faster. I will say that Larry pulled me a long way today and alway made sure that when I got dropped I would manage to catch back be dropped again. I think that the gravel roads will be sufficiently dry by Thursday. trails should be rideable Saturday. this road thing is for the birds.
In the mean time I will be sharpening my knife.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Views of the discerning hobo's

Well I never really thought that I would do one of these blog thingamajobbies but crawling from the bowels of a kansas winter has left me with a lot of time to gaze introspectively into the lifestyle that we lead.
So here is how we (big Al and I) roll:
We are from rural southern appalachia (you know, moonshine, inbreeding, incest, nascar..etc)
We have lived in the back of the truck,and should the need arise we will buy a bus to live in.
I am in the pursuit of higher education.....sort of...I know dirt.
Dirt has taken me to Kansas.
Kansas is flat
There are no trees in KS
There is lots of dirt in KS.
These shortcomings are compensated for by the fact that everybody out here is really awesome to be around and we have made so many friends since arriving here almost a year ago.
I tend to overlook details.
Big Al does not overlook details.
I have really bad ADD.
I believe that underwear is totally overrated.
We ride bikes.
We run.
Most health insurance companies have a picture of me tacked onto the high liability posterboard.
I really like doing things that make other people cringe
I have gotten where I am today by being willing to do things that other will not do.
Nobody ties on the feed bag like we do...nobody.
We have a love affair with the sweet potato.
Big Al can set on fire just by looking at you.
She will also forcefully try to apply deodorant to you if you stink....resistance is futile.
I have a resting HR of 38bpm.
my knowledge of the kings english is tempered by my ignorance of proper grammar (hillbilly, moonshine etc etc)
There will be more to follow stay tuned