Saturday, July 30, 2011


Betty just has more get-up-and-go than...than...Aunt Lorraine, here! I blurted out, as I topped the hill. It had been a rainy few days and we grabbed the bikes with fenders and racks—the Long Haul Truckers—for our Saturday breakfast ride, and I forgot.

* sigh *

I forgot that I wasn’t riding Betty. Climbing? The LHT can’t be persuaded to get all excited about it. She’ll take me places and haul things that Betty won’t touch, but she won’t be something she’s not...and she’s just not racy.

You know an Aunt Lorraine. She can’t be hurried. Around her, life is relaxed and comfortable, but underneath all that deliberateness there’s potential for adventure.

Lorraine likes a good beer, three squares a day, and a gin tonic on summer nights during poker games. She’s a sturdy woman...not fat, mind you, but tall and solid. Fifty years ago she’d have been called a spinster. Now she’s simply a grown-up tomboy, independent as hell, who has her own way moving through the world.

Aunt Lorraine’s got a past, and when she’s in the right mood you’ll hear about some of it. She’ll trail off and smile, then offer you some more iced tea before the two of you head off in the truck...that old Sorrenson place just outside town is waiting to be explored.

Lorraine makes you see parts of yourself in a different way. Things that are neither good nor bad she simply paints in new colors, and you find yourself hmmmm-ing and nodding. She helps you realize there’s more to life than the block you live on, and there’s more about time than the here and now.

The way it’s always been?

There just may be another way.

- Old Bag learning new tricks

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Gentleman

And what about you? says he.

Me? Well... says I.

Would you be interested? says he.

Interested, sure. I love the idea, but the reality of 100 gravel miles? I don’t know, says I.

Nice thing is there’s time enough for dedicated training, says he.

Who else’ve you talked to? says I.

Well, there’s Wheel, here...Jerry’s interested...Dan, but logistics are tough being 10 hrs away...rides like this really aren’t Tim’s thing.... says he.

I’d be the slow one, says I.

Time is called when the fourth one rolls through. The three others
of the fourth. That’s why it’s called a gentleman’s ride, says he.

Hmm, says I. My brows scrunch together.

What about Jimmy? Have you talked to Jimmy? says the other.

What...and have him nurse MY ass along all day!?! says he.

- tob * I guess it's gotta be mine *

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adolescent Nightmare

It had been a hot, sticky morning commute.

I was at my desk hoping to cool down before changing, but the library was warm and still...

don’t they turn on the AC in this place during the summer? is there a fan ANYWHERE?

My distress growing, I grabbed my bag and headed off to the nearest restroom

where I stripped off my cycling clothes, leaned on the door, and stared at the floor tiles

and smiled at the irony

of being in a junior high bathroom stall wearing nothing but flowered anklets and black shoes

and feeling relief.

-OB is this living the dream?

Saturday, July 02, 2011


I would have been just flinging my penis around I said in response to Wheel’s question. He’d asked why I hadn’t mentioned my racing background while on a ride with another couple.

We were riding with the local tandem club, and this couple was one we hadn’t ridden with before. The ride was 72 hilly miles around a wide spot of the Mississippi...about 2000 feet of climbing and descending.

The man, in particular, seemed surprised that they couldn’t keep up with us on the downhills, and he latched onto the obvious: our size must have been our downhill advantage. We had 55-60 pounds on them, which is significant on descents. However, with your size you’re also going to take more wind.... The scenario wasn’t seeming to make sense to him. We must have gapped them more than he expected.

Later in the ride, Wheel and I waited in the shade by the side of the road so we could ride into town with the group. We’d had a good energy spurt after lunch and had put quite a gap on our new friends. As the couple arrived, Tandem Man again mentioned the obvious. You guys just rode away from us! Then to me, I’ve noticed on the downhills that you go aero...I’ve never seen a stoker do that. The statement seemed odd to me, but I said simply that it’s automatic. I also mentioned that I grab the top tube with my knees. He didn’t pursue that point, however.

Had he pursued it, he could have learned that grabbing the top tube with the knees reduces frame wobble and prevents forward momentum from being wasted on side-to-side motion -- it also increases safety and handing. He may have reasoned that it helps to distribute that weight at a point between the seat and the top tube (without actually moving forward on the seat and compromising safe positioning) and it gets the knees out of the wind. Had he asked, we may have talked about weight that’s forward pulling the bicycle forward--consider a fishing line and sinker. He would also have learned that being in the drops, pulling-in the elbows and positioning the crank arms parallel to the ground contribute to a faster yet safer descent as well. And a faster descent is a great setup for the next hill. He could have had a few miles to practice with his stoker and feel the effects.

But instead, the chit chat moved onto some bicycle component.

Earlier in the ride there had been brief talk between Tandem Man and Wheel about men and their penises in the context of cycling. I commented that both men AND women have testosterone surges. Tandem Man laughed and agreed, but added that women manifest it with much more grace and subtlety during a ride than what men seem to muster.

The conversation drifted onto other things: choice of fork, how we liked the disc brakes, what other tandems we’d ridden, their other tandem was a mountain tandem, their wheels are lighter than....

I used to race mountain bikes, said Tandem Man.

So, when Wheel later asked why I hadn’t brought up that I used to race, I told him that most people hear racing and think speed. What I learned from racing was how to use everything I can to my advantage, that subtle positioning affects performance in profound ways. Those concepts would’ve been lost. In the end, bringing up my racing would have been nothing more than me swingin’ muh penis around, I told him.

So instead, we buried them on the hills...

...grace and subtlety, my ass.

- The O testosterone? me?? B