31 January 2008

Infrequently asked questions

Awhile back I posted answers to some infrequently asked questions. And because knowledge is power and we all want to register big wattage on the SRM of life, I've gone ahead and answered a few more below. So read and be misinformed. If you've still got any questions once you're done, check in with Fat Cyclist, since he may have some answers for you too:

What is a “century?”

A century is a word people who ride Serottas and Cervelos equipped with mountain bike pedals and compact cranks use to describe what the rest of us just call a long ride. There’s also something called a “metric century.” Riders use the same type of bicycles, but a metric century is shorter and probably involves more camelbaks and helmets with visors on them.

What is a “training ride?”

This is how roadies describe what the rest of us just call a ride. It can be long, short, fast, or slow. It can also be intermittently fast and slow, which is called “intervals.” Roadies call rides “training rides” so people know that they race. In fact, roadies only do two kinds of rides: training rides, and races. Any other type of riding is considered “garbage miles,” or “junk miles.” Garbage miles include any miles ridden offroad, any miles ridden for purposes of commuting or transportation, any miles not ridden in full team kit, and any miles during which the rider has any fun.

What is a “session?”

A session is a word fixed-gear freestylers, freeriders, and BMXers use to describe riding around in circles doing tricks. The term “session” is also used in relation to the Senate, therapy, and band recording. All of these sessions share in common the fact that they are generally self-indulgent, boring to watch, and in the end go nowhere.

How do I know if it’s time to replace my frame?

Inspect your frame closely for URLs. If your frame has any URLs on it, it means it is too new to be considered “vintage,” yet too old to be considered up-to-date. URLs on bikes went out in the late 90s and early Oughts, when manufacturers finally realized that even the dumbest person can figure out how to find a website without seeing a “www” and “.com” around the name.

Which is better, threaded or threadless steering setups?


As a cyclist, should I obey all traffic signals?

Absolutely not. The surest way to disaster is mindless adherence to rules, routine, and procedure, because they do not account for the unexpected—or, as I prefer to call it, the stupidity factor. Take pedestrians, for example. When you have the green, pedestrians will not think twice about crossing against the light, right in front of you. They will also usually look near you but not at you, as though they’re following Jerry Seinfeld’s procedure for admiring a woman’s breasts without being caught. Conversely, when they do have the light and you have a red, they’ll generally stop dead and look at you as though you’re about to run them down. When you’re dealing with this sort of stupidity, all bets are off. If you don’t believe me, go outside right now and stand at a busy corner. Wait until a large vehicle is approaching, and then run across the street. I guarantee at least five people will follow you to almost certain death. These bovine are simply too stupid to live, and if you blindly follow traffic rules they will take you right down with them.

More aggressively stupid are drivers. If you wait at a red light and then proceed when it turns green, you’re virtually assured death by yellow-miscalculating idiot.

Rules are not designed to protect you. They are designed to trap and kill you. Rely only on your wits, because that’s the only thing that will keep you alive.

Can I purchase a fixed-gear-specific hooded sweatshirt that is inspired by a Huey Lewis and the News Song?

You absolutely can! A reader just forwarded me the "Dissizit" hoodie. (Just wait for the chorus to find the Huey inspiration—if you can bear it.)

from Bike Snob NYC


DJ said...

sessios = indeterminate period of time spent drinking alcoholic beverages (preferably warm, flat beer) in company. A "good session" requires about 8 pints (4 litres-ish for the continental metric heads) and a cosy detachment from reality. An important part of any serious training regime ;-)

DJ said...

oops! thats 'session'