Friday, March 26, 2010

An Open Letter to Fatty -- Let me in, and I'll do two laps.

Dear Fatty,
Due to an administrative error (I forgot), I failed to sign up for the 100 miles to nowhere.  But, you see, I would still like to ride.  What can I do?  How about you let me in, and I'll do two laps?

Pretty please? 

For those of you living under a rock (the real world) you may have missed the call. Here.

"The 100 Miles of Nowhere is a race without a place. It’s an event in which hundreds of people participate . . . all by ourselves.

It’s a very strange thing where you pay $95 for the privilege of riding your rollers, trainer, or a very small course (like around the block) for 100 miles. And then the profits from your entry go to LiveStrong, to help them as they help people, worldwide, in their battles against cancer."

Besides, I will have my army of devoted  readers (two or three people) barrage you with e-mail asking for you to let me in.  

Friends, email and ask to "Let Joe Ride Nowhere!"  

Joe "Wanting To Ride Nowhere" P. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bellingham 200K

It was a beautiful spring day in the Pacific Northwest.  Fenders were left home once again.  A guy could forget where he lives if this keeps up.  We had a fantastic route with about 80 riders.  That's a pretty big gang given the chili feed was last weekend and there is a 300 next week.  I hear something about a big ride on the other side of the pond next year; I wonder if the turnout has something to so with that.

It started off much colder than I expected.  I think it was just at freezing when we rolled out.  Since we were starting at a grocery store, and I didn't have any booties, I stuffed a plastic shopping bag in each of my shoes; they worked really well, and they are light.  Rapha could print these up in pink and sell them for beaucoup bucks.

At the first control, Vinnie had a busted cable.  It turns out he busted the cable because his shifter was buggered.  We set him up with a two speeder, and he hung out for the rest of the ride.

I finished with the fastest guy today.  Thing is, he rode to the ride, finished, and then rode back twenty or so miles to ride back with us, so technically, I finished with him.  That's my story.

But really today was all about hanging out and being social. Being at the back of the pack gives one a chance to see the archeological evidence of the ride.  This pretty much sums it up.

Thanks guys for a most excellent day. 

Oh, and here are my two favorite shots from the chili feed.

Maggie says "talk to the hand!"
Now, let's play, That's Rando!

At first, I was pretty sure Dr. Codfish's busted water bottle would win.  Then, I was liking the subtly counterbalanced PBP / Bike Snob pins.  I thought it was game over.

Unfortunately for the Good Doctor, Noel figuratively threw his bike at the line for the win when he emerged from the penultimate control with this beautiful Bic lighter.  I'm not sure if he had some old inner tubes upon which he planned to vulcanize pre-WW2 patches or if he was planning a pig roast at the finish, but clearly, this belongs in everyone's kit.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weasels Ripped My Fleche


The Seattle International Randonneurs Fleche is all set for April 16th-17th.  Ralph and Carol have been herding cats, and they mentioned that some of you may not have signed up yet.  Are you kidding me?  Don't wait.  Order before midnight tonight. Carol will throw in free powder coated mini-donuts at exactly the right secret time.  I promise. 

Last year was my first fleche, and you just can't have more fun freezing, throwing up, emitting greenhouse gasses, and generally goofing off with your friends for 24 hours.  It's not possible.  Robert's ride report gives a fair summary of the Painted Fleche experience.  

Here's just a taste, an amuse bouche, if you will:

"Greg and Joe were harassing each other most of the way and everyone in the group seemed to have problems with gas. I suppose I should say that they didn’t have a problem letting it go. Honestly, this is the smelliest ride I have ever been a part of. That includes my trips through farm counties."

But wait.  There's more!  
After the finish, we camped out in a nice comfy hotel.  The next morning, we relived the whole thing while listening to live church revival singers.   I tried desperately to replenish the calorie deficit from the day before.  Bacon was involved.  Serious bacon.  There were eggs as well; I'm sure of it.  I may have seen a fruit. 

At brunch, everyone told lies stories about the ride.  Everyone from escargot to montagnards got medals.  I know!

So, if you are on the fence, sign up already.  You'll want to get a start on the planning; the only thing that takes longer than riding a fleche is planning a fleche.  

We hope to see you at the finish.  We will be out there, as will all the zombie truckers. 

Weasles Ripped My Fleche
(Greg, Bill, Don, Ken, Joe)
As the Wikipedia entry reports, quite nicely:

"Frank Zappa recruited artist Neon Park to create a subversive image based on a cover story from the September 1956 issue of Man's Life, a men's adventure magazine. After showing Neon a copy of the magazine, Zappa inquired, "This is it. What can you do that's worse than this?"   

Neon's answer was to craft a parody of an advertisement for Schick brand electric razor based on the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" theme.