Thursday, June 25, 2009

Critical Mass 1885

courtesy of

(No, I did not make up the title. It is by the author of the comic. I am not nearly that funny.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I could drive to Cincinnati and Columbus this weekend and race around in circles with a bunch of guys on Saturday and Sunday.

Or I could drive under three hours to do a 2 lap, 50 mile hilly road race Saturday and a hilly, 30 mile mountain bike race on Sunday.

That's not even really a decision. Raccoon Rally, here we come.

Because it makes total sense for a nearly 200 pound person to want to do a hilly road race instead of a flat crit.

(note that the elevation chart for each lap is in meters, not feet)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dirty Three

The coolest guys in the room. Always.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Katie likes to remind me how one difference between her hobbies and my main hobby is that her hobbies generally do not include an element of danger along the lines of falling off your bike at high speeds in a tight pack of riders.

Point taken:

State Road Race Mishap from ohio cycling on Vimeo.

It is with great excitement, however, that I can now say that she is becoming involved in a hobby with at least some element of danger: sheep herding.

We recently decided that we don't participate in enough fringe sports, so sheep herding became the obvious choice. And because we figured Spencer would really like it.

We tried it today with him, and he had a blast (we think). Katie just needs to watch out for fast moving sheep while walking in the middle of the herd and directing the dog. I hear you can get pretty messed up in a sheep collision accident while participating in this sport. Who knew?

Monday, June 15, 2009


Sunday was the state road race. Here are some stats from it:

1: suicidal cop who decided it would be a good idea to stand on the yellow line on the road onto which we turned while yelling at us (a field of 80 starters) to stay in the right lane on turn one.

2: number of times I was quite sure I was in the winning break. I wasn't.

6: number of times up that godforsaken hill, one of which was with my teammate making everyone's lives quite miserable.

3: number of times we went up the hill before I realized how sucky the last three times were going to be.

4: number of times I was at or very near the front on the sketchy descent. Did I mention that a guy yardsaled over the cable "guardrail" there on lap 1? Ouch.

9: number of seconds I had to soft pedal on the hill on lap six to allow the uncontrolled seizures in my right leg to stop.

13.5: number of hours I was gone from home to go race bikes clear on the other end of the state.

Bike racing is fun. Right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If only I had more time to ride, I'd probably go do something else

I often hear bike racers talk about how they wish they had more time to train. Count me as someone who does not share this feeling.

I'm pretty lucky with a flexible schedule and ample (in my opinion) time to ride. I probably average 10-14 hours a week on the bike during the spring and summer months, and that includes lots of road races. That usually amounts to 200 miles a week, give or take. I love riding, but honestly have no desire to do it any more than I already do.

Maybe it's because I have a number of other silly hobbies (can anyone say dog agility...playing in a trashy sounding band...reading way too many esoteric articles on politics and current events). Or maybe it's because I realize that I have drawn an average card in the gene pool and won't be dominating the local racing scene anytime soon, regardless of how much time I spend on my bike.

I have to admit, I'm pretty obsessed with riding, and the thought of decreasing my saddle time scares me. But so does the thought of increasing it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Get Phit

Some people are abuzz about the recently introduced Public Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act of 2009 (HR 2105), which proposes a tax credit of up to $1,000 per year for some people's “qualified sports and fitness expenses.”

The bill seems like a well-intentioned step in the right direction. It also looks like it needs some tweaking.

I read it to allow the entire $1,000 deduction for a single membership to a "fitness facility," but it only allows for a $250 deduction for the purchase of "any item of sports equipment (other than exercise equipment)..."

So where does a bike stand under this law? (Or a kayak, or cross country skis, or climbing equipment, or anything else appealing to someone who finds gyms and fitness centers rather unappealing?) Well, according to the press secretary of the Congressperson who sponsored the bill, up to $250 of the purchase of a new bicycle would qualify for the deduction.

Apparently that means that a bike is an item of "sports equipment," but not "exercise equipment" under the law, therefore limiting the credit for that purchase to $250. Lame.

What about new wheels? Or handlebars? Or a saddle? Is that deductible "sports equipment" under the law also?

So then what constitutes "exercise equipment?" BowFlex? NordicCross? A set of weights?

It also looks like runners get hosed in this deal, as it excludes "apparel or footwear." What else do runners buy, anyway?

In all fairness, though, I can understand the apparel and footwear exclusion because it prevents people from going to the local mall and getting tax credits for the purchase of a bunch of trendy exercise outfits and shoes to wear while shopping or going to Applebee's.

We'll see where this law goes, and what the final version will look like. And we can take take bets on whether Rep. Boehner will publicly mock it.