Sunday, November 9, 2008

...You might be a roadie

Now that daylight savings time is over and "daylight wasting time" has arrived, I've had a good chance to think back on the season of riding. It's been a good year, and most importantly, I'm not sick of riding at all.

With the season winding down, I started to get curious about the number of miles I've ridden this year. I have a bike odometer that has a first setting for my mountain bike and a second for my road bike which accounts for the different tire sizes.

I checked out the cumulative mileage the other day, and I have to admit that I was pretty proud about what I saw. Not because of the cumulative mileage I logged, because it really wasn't all that impressive. No, instead I was proud of the fact that I logged significantly more miles on my mountain bike this year than on my road bike.

This is despite the fact that I logged quite a few road miles during our never-ending spring (snowing in JUNE!?!?) while the trails were covered in multiple feet of snow. This is despite the fact that road miles are at least twice as easy to pile up as mountain bike miles. This is also despite the fact that I threw in quite a few trips around the Alpine loop this summer on the road bike.

And the difference between road and mountain miles wasn't very close, and it would have been even greater if I had bothered to hook the odometer up to the Superfly I've been riding for the past month-and-a-half, during which time I haven't even touched my road bike.

So it got me thinking. I know a few self-proclaimed "mountain bikers" who seem to be on their road bikes nearly every time they go on a ride. I'm issuing a word of caution that this is a very slippery slope to find yourself on. I'd even go as far to say that if you live close to the mountains like those of us here in Utah do, and you log more miles on your road bike over the course of a season than on your mountain bike, then you need to seriously consider the possibility that you may not be a mountain biker at all. And you know what the alternative is, and it is not good. That's right, you might be a roadie.

By the way, miles logged while commuting to and from work do not count toward becoming a roadie.

All this talk about being a roadie gave me a great idea for a new book. It's called "You might be a roadie" (c). Here are a few sample entries:

1) if you log more miles on your road bike than on your mountain bike... you might be a roadie.
2) if you wear spandex to a casual mountain bike ride with friends... you might be a roadie.
3) if you wear a full team kit during a casual mountain bike ride with friends... you REALLY might be a roadie.
4) if your yearly road race schedule consists of more than an occasional hill climb, you might be a roadie.
5) if you wear an HRM on casual mountain bike rides with friends... you might be a roadie.
6) if you even own a power meter... you might be a roadie.
7) if you tear off the visor immediately after purchasing a new helmet... you might be a roadie.
8) if you shave your legs... you might be a roadie.
9) if you shave your legs more than twice a week... you REALLY might be a roadie.
10) if you meet up with friends for a ride and utter the words "I have to go slow because it's a recovery day"... you might be a roadie.
11) if you own a set of aero bars... you might be a roadie.
12) if you own an actual time-trial bike... then forget about it.
13) if you ride the trainer more than once per week during the winter... you might be a roadie.
14) if you EVER ride the trainer during the summer... you are definitely a roadie
15) if you talk about pedaling circles/squares/triangles in a non-joking manner... you might be a roadie.
16) if you cause a pileup because you can't clip into your pedals... you might be a roadie.
For the record, I've been guilty of violating quite a few of the above items, so don't feel like you need to defend yourselves. Shoot, if my former self (3-4 years ago) knew how often I currently wear spandex, my former self would probably light my current self on fire. This list could go on forever, so feel free to add the Nth entry for the "you might be a roadie" in the comments.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The best medicine

Lately work and life in general has gotten pretty busy. For a while there, I started to question a lot of things, include whether my job really was the best job imaginable for a hack like me. I was grumpy around the family. Not coincidentally, I hadn't been riding much at all this past month. Fortunately I made it out on a lunch ride just before the snow started to fly. I got back to the office and soon realized that life was good again. It was suddenly apparent that I did indeed have an awesome job for a hack like me. It's no wonder so many people hate their jobs. I'd probably hate my job too if I didn't get out on my bike every now and then.

As much as I love everything about riding, I'm getting really excited for winter. The sight of the snow has me itching to dust off the skate skis, the snowboard, the snowshoes, etc. It's no wonder so many people hate the winter. I'd probably hate winter too if I didn't have these activities to look forward to. I'm starting to see recurring theme here.

I'm heading to Calgary for work in a few weeks (just after Wesla and I get back from another work trip to the Bahamas - it's tough, but somebody's gotta do it). I think my packing list for Calgary will include: 1 change of clothes, laptop, snowbibs, jacket, snowboard. Banff is calling my name.