Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shaved Legs, Long Hair: A recipe for ridicule

As a cyclist who likes metal i have come across a problem about ten people around the globe suffer from (judging from the amount of readers of Cycling Inquisition).
I am of course referring to the phenomena of having long 'epic' hair, while shaving one's legs. Both, ironically, are seen as totally bizarre and out there by people not from aforementioned sub-groups. However both habits stem from some of the more conservative elements of both groups. Metal fans and cyclists all have a 'uniform' to which one is expected to conform.
The general indigntiy of it stems from when these worlds clash. Metal heads reel in horror when they see my baby smooth legs, while cyclists of a certain type loose my wheel in contempt at the sight of my hair.
Basically, the basic truth of someone who straddles two idiotic subcultures is bound to come off accepted by neither. Sometimes i wonder whether i should end the charade and do what this man is doing:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cycling Caps and Concerts: An Exercise in Dissapointment

Last night i went to see Slayer and Megadeth. Megadeth were pretty darn good, but failed to ultimately excite me. I was so looking forward to Slayer, but the mediocre nature of reality came rushing forward when Tom announced he had lost his voice. He then went on to invite mad fans to sing instead. Suffice to say i was totally shattered. Most of the people there, as a result, looked like this:

Badly dressed, and incredibly sad, but unwilling to make a show of it. This was possibly the first gig that i was actually dissapointed by. Usually i come out of a concert overwhelmed with both sweat, body odour, and the sneaking feeling i made a wrong decision somewhere, but ultimately happy. Last night i just felt depressed. Hopefully they will come down again to make amends.

In cycling related thoughts, i have been giving some though toward cycling caps of this variety:

These caps make me simultaneously angry and happy at the same time. If someone similar to this gentleman is wearing one, it makes me happy. It's the people who wear Mapei hats, while simultanesouly not knowing who Mapei were, and making fun of guys in lycra on their expensive bikes. The fasion they they appropriate is straight from said people.
There's also the fact that these caps are so ridiculous. I really like them, and find it difficult to wear a helmet without one these days. But seriosuly. Look at them. It's just a piece of cloth with a bastardised cap. If i wanted to look like an idiot, I'd rollerblade. There is nothing more ridiculous than rocking up to a fixed gear 'event' to be inundated with young males in tight jeans and brand new caps, the origin of which they have no idea. This is not an attack, as i count myself amongst the prestigious folds of these gentleman. I just wish more people wore them like this:

Rather than this:

That just makes me angry. You can be sure he never OD'd in a lonely hotel room, alone, with his career up in smoke.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The crash: the wheels didn't keep their Integrity

It was with some surprise on Tuesday that i found myself ploughed into the side of a car. Other than some minor damage to me, and the car, and some substantial damage to my bike's wheels, i came of very well, considering the speed and general dangerous nature of the crash. This is roughly what i looked like:

The only difference was, lack of other cyclists, a car, a slightly different fall, and i was rocking a sweet sleeveless Exodus shirt. Also the bike was cheaper, and i wasn't wearing Time knicks, i was wearing jeans. This saved some skin.
What was really brought to bear though was the general indignity of crashing. All the cars watching you, either pitying or tut tuting you. The scew if nature of my ponytail. The ridiculous angle of my helmet. The blood on the Crumpler bag. The indignity went on and on. Luckily for me the driver was a decent man who was genuinely sorry and upset. That did not stop me from swearing and making an ass of my shaken and scared self.
What it does make one think about is a fact that one often forgets during the rigours of bike commuting: people on the road want to kill you. If they did, sure they would be upset, but they would most likely recover, but you would be dead, and your bike scrapped.
I don't say this to sound inexperienced. I've had my share of falls in packs, been doored, heckled, abused, had things thrown at me, done silly things which nearly ended badly. This i have done. What is interesting is that one forgets. Today i rode as if nothing had happened. I can't work out if this is a good or a bad thing. To ride with fear is dangerous. But am i being reckless? Is wearing an Exodus shirt overkill? (heh heh, the metal fans will see what i did there)
When all is said and done however, it makes me realise that, rather than riding fast in the city i should be doing this:

This gentleman clearly has the right idea. Not only is he rocking panniers, he is also wearing reflective and water resistant clothing. Urban, denim clad riders can suck it. I clearly did.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fixed Up, Cramped Up

Today i rode the Fix Up, Look Sharp Alleycat. The weather couldn't of been nicer, and a lot of people turned up which was great to see. My mistake, however, was going for a group ride on Beach Rd that morning.
To be frank, my legs were a bit sore from the start, and the alleycat course was not without its fair share of hills. Suffice to say i was fairly tired by the end.
My team mates Chaz and Jason did well. While Jason wasn't as fit as Chaz and I he bust a gut to keep up. Chaz got a puncture about a third of the way through but i used my sweet mechanic skills to fix that up fairly quickly.
We came in about ninthish, out of thirty two teams, which i was pleased by, given the flat tire and my tiredness on the day. Pip and his team, who we had been rididng with before the flat, got second, so perhaps next time we will have more luck.
All this aside it was a sweet day full of frolics and fun to be had by all. I was going to post some pics but none have been posted yet and clearly I'm too lazy too take my own.
Thanks to everyone who organised it. Also bad luck to the dude who bent his chainring IN HALF! Metal az.