2nd coldest place on the planet?

November 23, 2010

Which means a pretty definitive end to the Alberta fair weather cycling season, and is all the more reason to be really looking forward to hitting Arizona just after Christmas. Once, when I was a younger and tougher man, I rode on both the hottest and coldest days of the year – and made a point of doing that just ’cause. Today? Nu-uh. Not a chance. Walking the 1.6km to work was enough for me. Bikeridr and work peer KH might throw a leg over a top tube, but he’s got more flint in his veins than I do. When you check it out, Alberta had 6 out of 10 on this Coldest Places on Earth list this morning. Represent!

When this is what you get:

This is what you get:

And thanks to cyclingtorrents.nl, I can do this while watching the latest Superprestige from Europe – albeit in Dutch, German or Czech – or go for one of the latest USGP of cyclocross races with the www.cyclingdirt.com coverage. I recently downloaded one of the www.thesufferfest.com videos, a 60 min ride that puts you in the peloton, but haven’t tried it out yet. Think I will tonight. Yeah, it sucks, but it’s not that bad and at least its dry.

The work situation is another thing. The heating on the third floor is on the fritz, and has been for a few days. So when you get near the coldest place on the planet, with an inoperative heating system that actually seemed to be blowing cold air, you get some disgruntled people. But in true style our employer, Critical Mass, made the rounds up here the other day handing out hot water bottles, blankets, Baileys and hot chocolate or rum toddies, and Snuggies. There is a table of Snuggies right outside the elevator yesterday. You get out, you get one on, and you walk around looking like Obi Wan. Plus Von Sass is playing the new Walkmen album, which helps as it’s very, very good.

In other news; Calgary kinda sucks

March 22, 2009

I don’t want to give in to pessimism, but honestly, Calgary, c’mon.

I got back from Austin pretty recharged, the sun and strength of the bike community there was a real kick in the ass.

And even when we got out of the airport and it was cloudy and around zero degrees I was cool with it, that’s just Alberta in the early spring. All good. But I got home. Cleaned up. Decided to catch up to some friends for a quick couple of beers and walked down to a local pub to do that. I got there at 9:30 to see a 50 person line to get in. Whaaaa?

And then it started to snow, a lot. So I waited around for about an hour, determined to stay the course and get inside to enjoy a pint and, specifically, some sweet potatoes cut and deep fried in the French manner, because they are delicious this way and because yams are where it’s at.

An hour long wait in the snow was a bit too much to handle for just havin’ a beer. What was worse was the company. I’m not too much of a prima donna, but, people, please. Every yahoo that was waiting out there was spitting and swearing and loud and obnoxious. It was a dramatic adjustment from the sun of Austin, Texas, where, somehow, the younger crowd can maintain a degree of dignity while they’re having a good time. What’s with the rise of the dickhead these days? Man.

Here’s a photo from my window. I think I’ll stay in today.


ZINGing on the road bike.

January 26, 2009

What is zing? Well, an old courier buddy, who stuck with the skinny tires and didnt venture off to play soccer like I did, used to always use the word ‘zing’ to describe riding his bike.

This guy, a 7 year bike messenger vet, CAT 2 roadie extraordinaire, and a former Alberta Provincial Road Race Champ, would do this thing to animate any story about messengering or riding.

He would hold his fists out in front of him, the bottoms parallel to the floor with the backs of his hands outward, and a slight 3 degree bend to his wrists, like he was holding the hoods of a road bike, and he’d rock his hands back and forth and go ‘zing-zing-zing-zing-zing’ to describe the sound of pedaling. He also kind of rocked his shoulders a bit. It was him, or this other courier I worked with, rode with, and raced the local Tuesday Night Crit scene with, long lost Big-Bri Blakely, that pioneered this around 12 years ago, and anyway, I always remembered it and imitated it myself for awhile.

So that’s ZING. Get yours on. I’m bringing it back.

Ridin’ vs the Hummerscalades

September 30, 2006

So, I rode my road bike today. It was a good thing, as good a thing as it always is. I pedalled around and did some hills and did some sprints and did some more hills and hyperventilated and gasped and wheezed and was kinda cold, but I totally fricken’ loved it.

And as I rode, I looked around at all the ginormous people in their ginormous trucks and marveled how mopey and sullen they all seemed. Just sittin’ there. Sit all day at work, sit all evening at home, sit all weekend in a truck. Lots of times they get mad when you zing-zing-zing by them, and they roar up to you and glare and say stuff, and shake their heads like I’m a criminal cause I ran a redlight so I wouldnt have to jokey for position on the road, or breath toxicity for a block or two. Meh. I guess no one likes to pay over 60k for some Hummerscalade, and pour $100 a week in dead dinosaurs into it, and then have some lycra clad dude on a bicycle fly by while they are stuck in traffic, going nowhere, time ticking away, life seeping outta them like sand into the expired part of the hourglass, dying one grain at a time like we all are. Seems like a bit of a waste. I mean, it’d all be cool with me – your life – if they didnt look so grumpy all the time. Its wack to be that way.


September 12, 2006

Oh yeah – I forgot. So I was out riding and just having a swell time. And to get from my place in the ‘Hood, to Kensington, it works best to just grab the bike path from Eau Claire area.

So that’s what I did. And on the way back I guess I blew by some ‘Dude’ a little too closely, cause I get to this red light just inside DT, and suddenly there’s this irate guy yelling at me, he was like a kinda surly construction worker from Jersey or something. Really.

‘You tryin’ to kill me?’
‘Huh?’ I take my earbuds out, ‘Sorry, what’s wrong?’
‘You tryin’ to kill me? You almost ran me over’
‘Uh, no, sorry, i didnt see you’
‘You almost ran me over. you tryin’ to kill me?’
‘Sorry, man, I dont remember being that close to you’
‘You almost ran me over’
‘Yeah, er, you said that. Hey, im sorry, ok, dude, really, I didnt mean to scare you. ok?’
‘No, it aint ok. You almost ‘ranned’ me over. You tryin’ kill me?’
‘No. Uh, no. Look, if I wanted to run you over, I would’ve run you over. Ok? Really. Let it go.’
‘I outta deck ya’
‘What? you outta – what?’
‘Deck ya. Knock ya on ya ass’
‘ok, great, yeah.’

and then the light turns green
and i start to pedal along,
and he starts to pedal along
and I turn to him and go:

‘you’re a nincompoop’
I just thought it would be funny to say to the car, just because the whole thing seemed pretty ridiculous.

and as I ride away, he furiously tries to stay even with me, and I look over at him one more time, as he is just cranking along, all mad and psycho looking and I go, just for good measure:


and all the lights on 3rd Street were green so I cranked away and left the nincompoop in the past. He was like Joey on Friends.

later on I felt bad for calling him a nincompoop. But then I couldn’t stop laughing about it.

Nincompoop. What a sweet word. I dont even know where it came from. It just popped in my head. Its my new favorite word.

Sneakin’ to go Ridin’

September 8, 2006

Harhar! Today I snuck outta work early. Yep. First time. A couple people went, “hey, you leavin’?” And I just went, ‘yeah’. I just booked myself an appointment. I figure if people can take 15 minutes to smoke, 4-5 times a day, then I hope its ok to duck out a little premature once a month or so – as long as all the work is done.

The best part of all this was, well, actually there were 3 best parts:

1) Sneakin’ outta work to have fun. I love doin’ this. And I’m gonna do it more often.
2) I found this super-cool Merino Wool jersey that I really liked on EBAY, if you can believe it. I’d never used the thing. But this jersey was only $40! Instead of $120. So I figured it out and now I spend all my time looking at, like, Gi Joes from the 50’s. Anyway, I wore my new jersey today and felt fast.
3) I went out for a little walk cause i wasnt feelin’ like goin’ out. And my legs had that soreness. i love that soreness. It means that something good’s goin’ on down there. So I walked around. oh yeah – I brought the 2 Coronas out of my fridge and drank them.

Uh. That’s all, Blog. I’m goin to bed. See ya tomorrow.

Them be thunderheads up yonder west.

August 20, 2006

Sat out on the porch. Watched one mother of a thunderstorm roll in outta west, over the Rockies. Sure picked up pace when it hit the foothills, rushin’ in, wind howlin’, forked lightin’, sheets a ice-cold rain poundin’ the streets empty and silver, knockin’ leaves down to grass. 

Sat out on the porch. Rain came down, drank Corona, ate beans and tortillas, listenin’ to the Ghost of Tom Joad, from when Springsteen was a young fella.

That rain sure did clean things up.

A-yup, sure did. ; )