Friday, April 28, 2006

Random Ramblings

I don't ride nearly as much as I'd like to. At least, I don't ride at the times I'd like to. Meaning: I'm sitting at my desk when I should be riding. And I should be sleeping when I'm riding. Don't get me wrong, starting out the day on my bike is fantastic. I only wish I didn't need to start out my day that early.

I don't sleep nearly as much as I'd like to. As it turns out, the amount of sleep I get is inversely proportional to the amount of riding I do. See "Time" above.

Bicycle Maintenance
I don't clean my bike nearly as often as I ought to. My headset squeaks. (At least I got all the dried worms off. Did I say I wasn't going to mention that again? I hope not.) Actually, I don't even work on my bike as much as I need to. I still need to bleed my brakes on my Jekyll.

I don't have enough bib shorts. In this case, the marketing is actually working. I find that the more I look at bibs in the various mail-order catalogs I get, the more I think $100 isn't that bad for a bit of lycra with some fancy foam sewn in.

Although I get paid enough for my day/desk job, I don't get paid at all for riding my bike, so it evens out. My wife would be quick to point out, however, that even though I get paid nothing for riding my bike, it also costs a lot. Perhaps things aren't that even after all

LOTOJA Training
The hardest part about training for a long ride like LOTOJA, is getting in the long rides. I find it not too difficult to spend some time on my bike every day. If I count time on the trainer, I can spend at least an hour on my bike every weekday. (I'm sure the trainer doesn't count as miles, but surely it ought to count as time.) Even the long rides on the weekends are getting harder to do as my list of yardwork/home improvement projects continues to back up.

I recently read this article about Ben Jacques-Maynes' Nevada Merckx. The article seemed to look down it's nose at the fact that Ben uses Crank Brothers 4Ti Eggbeaters pedals. This, to me, begs the question: How does having more than one entry/release point make this pedal bad for road cycling? (Actually Speedplay's road pedals have two, so maybe I should say "more than two.") It isn't weight, because these things are really light. I know those on the pro tour like things expensive, but last I checked, these were some of the most expensive money could by. (This is off the point, but did I mention I ride with Eggbeaters on my road bike? I love the mechanism/feel of them.)

Children's Bikes
I finally saw a kid actually riding one of those cool chopper-style bikes down the road. He was weaving all over the place. His little sister, however, was riding a standard bmx-style pink kids bike--she was much more stable. Suddenly it occurred to me: When a kid is learning to ride--and hopefully learning to love--bikes, the last thing they need is for the marketing department to get involved. Here's my idea of a perfect kids bike:
  1. Smooth-ish tires with enough air volume to take the edge of small bumps, but not so big it is hard to pedal.
  2. Easy to mid-range gear. Again, this will make pedaling easy, even when they have to ride back up your driveway to put the bike away.
  3. Make the bike somewhat upright, but not laid-back. You want comfort, but you also want efficient. You want children to feel the rush of speed and the wind in their hair with very little effort.
  4. Make the sizing more adjustable. This one is for the parents. Give the seat about 12" of vertical adjustment, and about 6 of fore-aft adjustment. Okay, that might look freaky with really long rails, but at least do the vertical.
  5. Listen carefully to this one: GENDER NEUTRAL COLORS/DESIGN! So, I got my oldest (a girl) a purple Specialized. Of course, I needed to buy my son a blue one. I'm going to end up with 15 PAIR of bikes, because I need to keep swapping sizes, and I can't bring myself to put my son on a pink bike. What's wrong with silver or white? Yellow?
Of course, my bike wouldn't sell, so then I'd call back in the marketing team and they'd tell me to sell what they're already selling.

Off Topic
The most random of all: Visual Studio .Net 2003 breaks the website everytime I have to open a page in design view. Sometimes I hate this thing. (Sorry that this one is so extremely off topic. I'll do better. I mean, I have yet to mention that SQL Server Managment Studio 2005 is the slowest program Microsoft has ever produced. Oops, I did it again.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like your ideas for bicycle manufacturers. It would save us
some money, that's for sure. Of course, their whole agenda involves
COSTING us lots of money, not saving us any. So it would never fly.