Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sorry about being so cross

So the last couple of weeks, my posts have been really bitchy.  They're all like "I dislike motorists" and stuff.  Well even though that's true, so what?  Who cares?  I find myself now at the end of Thanksgiving day without having given any thought to this post.

One thing that happens when I think about these posts is that they can be a bit long-winded.  No worries about that tonight.  Everybody wins.

So sometimes when I'm writing these, I think - wouldn't it be funny if I use the "F" word?

Anyway - about 30 minutes ago, I solidified something that I've been trying to shape up for the last 2 weeks or so.  I'm racing cross on Saturday.  There are races on both Saturday and Sunday, but I have to rake leaves on one of those days.

Earlier in the week, Saturday looked to be the only nice day of the weekend.  I had to reserve that for raking the fucking leaves (tell me that's not funny).  I hadn't noticed that Sunday looks about the same as Saturday.

On a jra session today - Brady said "rake on Sunday."  Thanks Brady.

Now the dilemma is whether to race "Cat 4" or "Masters 40+".

Cat 4 starts at noon.  Masters starts at 11 AM.  Masters would be stiffer competition and perhaps slightly out of reach for my current skill level.  Who am I kidding - so is Cat 4.  But I can sleep in an hour later if I do that one.

When you go to USACycling and register for a race, they have this nifty little thing called  a "race predictor".

It does some magic with all of the entrants and their racing history and assigns this mysterious number that somehow estimates the strength of that rider.  The race predictor orders the entrants from lowest number (best) to highest.

After I enter, I will be able to see what my number is.  The current entrants of the Cat 4 race are:
1Lance MoranCentral Plains CyclingSioux Falls, SD401.10
2TODD RAMSEYThe Bike Way RacingOmaha, NE414.89
3Ben CorkJefferson, SD501.35

If I join this race, I expect to see something like: Fred Cube   505.91

But if I join the Masters:

1Randall CristGreenstreet Velo ClubOmaha, NE278.42
2Brent LinnPowerade - Independent FabricationSioux City, IA337.29
3Harry FortneyDMOS Racing TeamKelley, IA379.77
4Kevin VanderlindenSioux City VeloSioux City, IA557.08

Oh looky there.  Last time I looked, Kevin Vanderlindenhoser wasn't signed up.  Well, let's see what happens ...

Ok well - I am still predicted to be in last place.  Damn.  It came out to Fred Cube 561.25

That's close enough to Kevin Hemoglobin as far as I'm concerned.  Look out Lederhosen, here I come.  And by the way - Ben Cork - Even though you have that impressive 501.35, I wouldn't get too comfy,  I'll be coming at you with one more race under my belt since I'm racing Masters, then Cat 4 on Saturday.  Oh snap.  Yes I did.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to start training for the cross races that are taking place 36 hours hence.

And I'll say - Good day sir!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanks but no Thanks.

You know how sometimes people want to be nice?  No?  Well it's true.  Sometimes people want to be nice.

I don't know why this happens, but it does.  Sometimes when someone decides to slightly inconvenience themselves to help another person out, everything goes according to plan.  The helper successfully helps the helpee and receives due thanks.

I know from personal experience that the half dozen or so times in my life I've gone out of my way to "do someone a solid,"  the gratitude I've received has literally warmed my heart.

Seriously.  Some woman with a bag of groceries in one hand and a baby in the other drops her keys trying to open the back of her minivan, I scoop up the keys and press the unlock dealy and I feel like a big huge hero.  Her warm "Thank you" brightens my mood for several hours until the shots of scotch do the work they're intended for.

But what if she wasn't thankful?  How would I feel if instead of letting me help, she was all, "What are you doing?  Give me my keys or I'll call the police?"

Well yeah - helpful becomes harder at that point.  I'd turn from hero into guy who dropped the keys back on the ground.  Then I'm pretty sure I'd kick them several feet under the minivan.

The reason?  I'm not a nice person.  And neither is anybody.  If I were a nice person in the situation above, the woman's reaction one way or another would have no effect on my mood (until the scotch kicked in).  I would be helping only because I saw a person in need and it was nothing for me to make life slightly easier.  Maybe.  I don't really know what my motivation would be because I don't suffer from any sort of altruistic condition.

My point is this:  If someone does not want the help you offer, do not get mad about it.  If you do, you prove that your motivation was selfish.

Yeah but cube, what are you getting at?  Nobody here is accusing you of being some sort of Mother Teresa or anything.

First of all, don't get me started on Mother Teresa.  And secondly, I'm glad you asked.

I'm talking about traffic.

Sometimes, when people are driving in their cars, they get nice all of the sudden.  I'm not talking about safe cautious driving.  I am a huge fan of the aware focused motorist.  I absolutely despise the aggressive angry motorist, but if s/he is alert and not speeding too much, no real harm or danger is present.

The worst is the person who is not paying attention.  Whether it's texting or goofing with some control on the panel or just a bad or drunk driver.  These people are a danger and potentially lethal to motorists and especially to cyclists.

The second worst is the "helper."  I can't stand these people whether I'm in a car or on a bike.

These are people who disrupt the flow of traffic by either bending the rules or doing something unexpected to "help" either another motorist or cyclist.

One of my favorites is when you are waiting to turn left across two lanes of busy traffic.  For some reason, the person in the outside lane of oncoming traffic decides to stop in front of you and block those behind so you can get through.  Um - thanks, but you're an idiot.

Did you think I only needed your lane to be clear before I could make my turn?  I bet if you were a Boy Scout, you'd help a little old lady to the middle of the street, then just go back or something.

The one exception is when traffic is backed up to the intersection.  Then you're an idiot if you block the intersection and don't let people turn, but anyway ...

This next one is a little advanced, so don't feel too bad [sic] if you don't know it.  I mean, it's in the driver's manual and stuff, but that's ok.

Four way stops.  Strictly speaking if you get to a 4-way stop at "about the same time" as another car, and you are not facing each other, the one on the right goes first.  I assume that if there are 4-way stops in England, it's the other way around.

This makes sense if you think about it.  And that causes a great deal of problems for most motorists (thinking about stuff).

This happens to me often.  I arrive on the left.  By the way, follow me here for a second.  If you look to your right and that's where the person is, you are on the left.  If you look to your left and that is where the person is, you are on the right.

Anyway - I'm on the left.  Other motorist is on the right.  I'm looking at other motorist, waiting for them to go and they wave for me to go ahead because they have no idea what to do.

These days, when this happens - I just go.  Throughout my driving history - I used to:

1980-1991: Just go.
1992: No car.
1993-1997: Stare at them until they gave up and went.
1997-2001: Just go, but flip them off as I went by (because I thought it was funny to flip off someone who thought they were being nice, but was really just dicking up the flow).
2002-2008:  Hold up an enlarged page of the driver's manual page with the related information.*
2008-present: Just  go.

In a way, I get when people drive in an unpredictable way around cyclists.  I understand that when a motorist sees a cyclist, s/he thinks it's a little kid (or I guess - a really, really big kid in my case) who knows nothing about traffic.  So there is extra caution.  Stopping or pausing when you don't need to, confusing everyone with the slightly ironic consequence of making the road a little more dangerous.

The longer I ride, the more I learn to ride in a way that makes me more visible and is ultimately safer for me.  For example - I think it was just this year that I started drifting over to the left side of a lane when I'm going straight across a busy intersection.  This is so that any oncoming traffic can see me better before turning into or onto my path.  I know the law says something about staying as far right as is practicable, and I think practicable means "the ability to practice,"  but I'd rather go with "be safe."  Just me.

Another one -  I learned from a comment Julie Harris made about "trackstanding" at stops.  To a car, when you are trackstanding, it looks like you are going to go.  It made total sense once I thought about it.  I still trackstand as much as I can, but I understand why it can cause confusion.  And that's half the battle or something.

There's a spot downtown when I'm going east on Burt Street where this one thing always happens:  For some reason as I slow to stop for cross traffic, which the sign below the stop sign clearly states "does not stop,"  somebody driving northbound stops and looks at me.  This person has no stop sign.  I do.  Then the person waves for me to go on ahead.  Then I shake my head and wave for them to go.  Then I look at the westbound motorist facing me at his stop sign and we both shrug at each other.  Then we both wave for dumbass to go.  Then another person gets behind that guy and starts honking.

This happens every single time I get to that stop sign.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because I'm trackstanding.

Today's topic is inspired by an incident that happened yesterday.  I was on my way home from work.  Actually, I was on my way to an ATM in Benson, but that's a different story.  Anyway, I usually go through Memorial park (on the trail) north to Underwood.  There's a light there for pedestrians because Underwood is usually fast, heavy traffic right there.  The light is always green for the Underwood traffic.  J.E. George, which spills onto Underwood from the north there, ends in a STOP sign.

If you push the button on the light post, the light immediately changes and allows pedestrians to cross.  This lasts for roughly 7 minutes.  Ok, maybe not that long, but as George W. Bush would say, it's "apple time" to get across the street.

Usually, when I get there on my bike, I don't have the heart to stop all of these motorists.  I decide to be nice.  Oops.  Anyway.  I just wait for an opening and cross.  I'm rarely ever there for more than 30 seconds.  If I push that button, the cars I stop will be there for much longer.

So last night, it was (as always) pretty busy.  Then a minivan coming from the West stopped.  I thought she was waiting to turn left onto J.E. George Blvd.  She had no signal on, but like that matters.  Anyway, there was a bunch of traffic coming from the East, so she had to wait.  After a while, there was a break in the westbound action and she had enough time to turn.  She didn't.  Cars began honking.  They were really lining up.

That's when I realized she wasn't turning.  She was being nice.  She was letting me go.

Except, my intention was to go all the way across the street.  Without someone being "nice" on the other side, I couldn't cross.  Even if that did happen, I couldn't be sure someone wouldn't swerve around the stopped car.

So the next time the westbound lane cleared, I knew what she was doing.

But I just looked at her all 1993-1997 style while she frantically gestured for me to cross the street.  This was way more entertaining for me than going to the ATM.

Traffic would clear.  She'd wave hysterically for me to go.  I'd look around making sure the coast was clear.  Cars were honking.  Then I'd give her a "thumbs up"  and sit back on my top tube all casually deliberate.

After about three or four openings, making a whole bunch of honking enemies, and getting the "thumbs up" sign from me, she gave up.  She continued on her way with possibly a great story about some idiot cyclist by memorial park.  You're welcome, stupid lady.

As she went by me, she threw both hands in the air (look ma, no hands) in disgust at how clueless I am.  Oh yeah, she was shaking her head pretty vigorously, I can tell you.


You try to be nice and look what it gets you.  Stupid cyclists not taking you up on your offer to help them get safely across at least half of the street.  That why I yelled "breeder" at that stupid sonofabutch [sic] just standing there giving me the "thumbs up" sign all casually deliberate and everything.  Also, he was very slender.

*Not really.  2002-2008 I just blew through all 4-way stops.  Fuck 'em.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Lady Doth Protest Dothen't She?

My skills of prognostication are just now being realized.  Also, that one thing they always used to complain about  in high school about using the passive voice in writing?  Yeah, it's not listened to here at Fredcube.

In the words of a dear friend, "What the hell is cube talking about?'

Yesterday (Wednesday), I talked about the new information Iron Mike Tyson is revealing about his drug use.  This was closely related to my Friday post.  What a coincidence.

Back in May of 2012, I wrote a report on the lasting effect of Lance Armstrong's accomplishments on the psyche of the stupid fat lazy greasy smoking driving public (A.K.A. Motorists).

It boiled down to the fact that this pack of morbidly obese undisciplined gooey slob matter known as "The American Public" had moved from shouting "faggot" at me (or any cyclist) to the slightly less offensive "Lance."

I had also taken note that I was hearing the "L" word less in 2012 than in it's heyday in say, 2006 or so.  I surmised (what a faggy word) that people were forgetting about Lance and that soon we'd just be back to "faggot."  I was not looking forward to it, because, well, I don't like it.  Not because I give a shit whether or not somebody thinks I'm gay.  More because it is a dangerous example of unwarranted hostility toward a person on a bicycle from a person of less than average intelligence who has been allowed to drive a car.

Well that post/prediction was 18 months ago and today, for the first time since Lance Armstrong became famous, it happened.  I was not called "Lance."

First, I'm going to tell my side of the story.  It's my blog and my right to tell things as I see them.  But because I want to be fair, I am going to tell the other side of the story too.  I realize that the person who yelled at me  has just as much right as I do to express his opinions but I have no way of finding his blog.  I would like to hear his side of the story, so I'm going to tell it after I get done telling mine.  You're welcome, guy in the minivan this morning.

For a while, I thought maybe people don't shout "faggot" anymore.  It would make sense.  As a derogatory term for homosexual, it says more about the person using it than anyone else.

A couple of weeks ago, a guy called me "Asshat" because I was not using the sidewalk through Elmwood.  I was not happy about being called Asshat.  It really bugged me that someone would feel the need to "set me straight (literally)."  So, as I've mentioned, I stopped and talked with this young student about his opinion.
I told him I had every right to be on the street and I didn't want to ride on the trail.  I have my reasons.  There is a lot of dog, foot and slow bike traffic on the trail and I'm commuting, not touring.  Anyway, he said "That's why you're an Asshat."

For the sake of staying on task, I did not address the obvious cause/effect error the young student had made.  I knew what he meant.  He did not mean that I am an Asshat as a result of my riding in the street.  He meant that I am an Asshat (cause unknown) and my riding in the street was evidence of that fact.  I ignored this little error and stuck to the main argument:  "And you're a fucking loudmouth pussy who won't do anything about it."  I then dropped my bike and stalked toward him as he ran to his car.  It's a good thing too, because I was bluffing.  I'm actually just a loudmouth pussy who wouldn't actually do anything about it.

But the thing is, even though I don't really understand what an "Asshat" is supposed to be, it doesn't seem in any way like a compliment.  It is some sort of dig.  But it is an enlightened way to call someone a name.  I personally would never use it because it sounds kind of douchy, but it is a harmless, general sort of slur, independent of race or sexuality or any other outdated mode of aspersion.

So - even though I'd like to punch that guy who called me asshat in his stupid face, I can respect his choice of words (even if it does sound douchy).

So anyway.  Yeah - this morning.

On my morning commute, I ride through Elmwood park to Pacific.  I take the high road because there are less intersections/traffic.  I turn on to Pacific and immediately get over to the left to go through Aksarben.

This morning I was in that turn lane at about 6:30.  I was stopped at a red light.  To my right was a grey minivan.  It was going straight (literally) and also stopped at the light.

Once the light turned green, I had to wait a moment for the oncoming traffic to clear.  Oddly, the minivan did not move forward.  The driver had the green light (literally), but was hesitating for some reason.  I didn't think anything of it.  Eventually, I was clear to turn, and as I got going, the driver of the minivan yelled "faggot," and took off down the street.

Oh, that's why he was waiting.  He wanted to make sure I was well on my way before he boldly shouted his insult through frosting/gravy stained taut pink cheeks and multiple sticky, sweaty chins.  Surely, the folds of skin haphazardly lodged between his chin and clavicle region are home to weeks of various pastry items and bits of fried food.

I can't be sure, but It seems like right after this incident, his cell phone rang.  Struggling to reach a flabby arm into his XXXL parka for big and tall fatasses, he answered the phone on the fourth ring, a trickle of sweat forming on his brow.

"Hello," he gasped, a little winded from the effort of shouting, answering the phone, and putting the electric window back up.

"What's wrong Marvin?"  asked the caller, "you sound more winded than normal."

"Oh, I just ... hang on, faggot,"  said Marvin, clutching at his throat to loosen his collar.

"I'm going to have to call you back, faggot," Marvin finally wheezed as he intelligently pulled the minivan over to take a rest.  I gotta get into shape, he thought, and as he remembered the cyclist he had just yelled at, something stirred deep in his loins.

Oh no, he thought.  Here it comes again.  Think about volleyball.  But it was too late.  Marvin had spent too much energy shouting and had looked at the cyclist for a little too long.  With the blood rushing to his loins Marvin realized to his horror that he had left his glycerin pills at home.  As the shooting pains went through his left arm, what looked like a brilliant white fireworks show was obscuring his view of the road ahead.  "Stupid faggot." were his final words.  Sniff.

Marvin was 42 and he left behind an imaginary girlfriend who would not find out until later that night that he would not be returning to his bachelor pad in his parents' basement.

So that kind of pissed me off.  Normally, I don't get that irritated when people yell stuff, but I was literally never in this guy's way or anything.  In a way, I'm kind of glad he's dead.  I know that sounds terrible, but really, we could use a few less homophobes in the world.

Once I got to Papillion, I stopped at ChicK-fil-A for one of their delicious spicy chicken breakfast burritos.  I don't like going into places in my bike clothes, but there is never anyone inside at this time of the morning and I get the burrito to go.

Besides, the folks at Chick-fil-A have repeatedly told me that they are happy to serve me, though judging from the way I dress they cannot in good conscience, support my "lifestyle choices" as a cyclist.  They are god-fearing Christians and everything, after all.

Ok - that was nice.  Now, as promised, the other side:

Hey, Marvin here.  How's it going?

What a morning.  Boy I'll tell you.  You'll never guess in a million years what I saw again today.  Alright, that's not fair.  I'll give you a hint.  It is something I hate very much.  It rides a bike around in the street and it rhymes with "maggot".

I thought that once we got into November, I wouldn't have to see these guys.  A lot of you have expressed sympathy for my plight, but I'm afraid you're missing the point.

It's not that these cyclists are in my way or slowing me down or anything.  It's the clothes they wear. They leave little to the imagination.  You can totally see the shape of their muscular legs and toned glutes and ...

Hang on.  I gotta slow down.  Volleyball.  Volleyball.  Breathe.

At church we learned that if you see a person that is the same sex as you and you feel sexually attracted to them, that means that person is a homosexual (faggot).

That's how I know all cyclists are faggots and the best thing to do is to call them out.  That way, they understand that I'm wise to their scheme of turning me on.  Hold on.  There's a really loud knocking at my chest.

Kaboom!  Oh ouch.  My heart just exploded because I'm such a big fat waste of human.  Damn.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Extra: Why You should be reading Fredcube

I try to stay several days ahead of the news.  Today, it's all over the news that Mike Tyson has a new book coming out.  I mentioned Tyson on Friday as an example of someone not making excuses after a loss.

I also talked about his crazy post-savarese rant where he said he would very much like to eat Lennox Lewis' children.

Turns out that now, not only has he written a book full of what appear to be excuses for his bizarre behavior, but he claims that when he fought Savarese he was all coked up and stoned on marijuana.

The news article describes his brilliant method of fooling the testers using a fake dick that the guys used to pass around or something.  Um.  Yuck.

So if somebody said "Hey Tyson, why did you compare yourself to Alexander, Liston and Dempsey,"  instead of the answer that I'd like to hear ("I say stupid stuff"), It would be more like, "Oh, I'm actually an intellectual giant, but I was under the influence of lots of drugs and someone else's penis."

Oh well.  As long as Steve Spurrier doesn't write a book, I'll still have one "no excuse" role model in the world.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday Extra: Oh Craigslist

Below is a Craigslist message from somebody saying he's looking for a guitar.  At first I thought it was a joke.  Someone trying to be funny.  The problem is that it is only funny if the writer is making fun of one of his buddies or something.  That's an easy way to get a cheap laugh.  Pretend to be somebody else and say absurd things.  Unfortunately - none of the Craigslist reader people are in on the stunt.  But that's what I think it is, because ...

First Act Guitar - these are sold at Toys R Us for about $100.  They are crap.  When I was looking for a guitar for Jack, the guy at Toys R Us said - "Oh don't buy one of these.  Go up to Russo's"

"I currently can play all the power chords on the first two strings" - here - he means the fifth and sixth strings and what he's talking about would take about 3 minutes to learn.  If that long.

The best thing (and it would only be funny if it was someone giving crap to his friend trying to learn guitar) is all the stuff about Jon [sic] Mayer.  I kind of thought this was a serious - but stupid - post until then.

So he want's to upgrade from a toy to an American Standard Stratocaster and his reason is Jon [sic] Mayer.  Forget about Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour or a thousand other better guitarists.

In conclusion: Bravo, some guy punking his friend.  You had me there for a second.

~~~~~~~~~~~ [?] 
Posted: 2013-11-07, 12:33PM CST

Hello Omaha music community and fellow musicians! I'm new to Omaha and am
an aspiring musician looking to buy a quality American Stratocaster for around $300.00.
I currently can play all the power chords on the first two strings using my trusty First Act
and now am ready to make the leap to an American Stratocaster so I can be
the next Jon Mayer!

I know I'm asking a lot since new American Strats go for around $900-$1000.
I am currently unemployed at the moment so any help or if anyone knows of any
entitlement programs that could help a struggling artist out please let me know. 

The reason I want an American Strat is because JM plays them and they can make
anyone sound better. I want to be the next voice of a generation and when I make it
to the big time, I will gladly buy you a brand new American Strat in the same color.
Thank you kindly and bless you all!

Location: Omaha
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Posting ID: 4177481672

Posted: 2013-11-07, 12:33PM CST

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Promises Promises. i.e. No Excuses Part 2 of 2

Man I hate it when people make excuses.

And I'm one of the worst there is.  But I'm trying (see - there I go again).  It's just that I (oops - I was about to make an excuse for why I make so many excuses)

I generally hate all excuses, but the ones I hate the most are what I hear from the loser of some athletic competition.

Whatever the reason for the loss (and there are often valid ones), it smacks of poor sportsmanship to complain about something that happened or some mistake that you made.  The implication is that you are better than all of the people who just defeated you and if that one little thing would not have happened, you would have won.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  It doesn't matter.  If you are truly better, the win will happen.  Everybody has to overcome something.

The first time I noticed how much I hated hearing excuses was when I heard a counterexample.  It was after the 1996 Feista Bowl.  Florida against Nebraska who was a 3 point favorite.  It figured to be a close game.  Florida got embarrassed.  It ended up 62-24.  By the way - I had to look all this up.  Unlike everyone else in my family, I don't remember these things too well.  What I do remember is what Steve Spurrier said after the game.  It floored me.  It was so rare in sport that it stood out.  He was asked what happened.  He said, "They whooped us."

That's how you do it.  A lot of people don't like Spurrier for whatever reason, but I've always respected him after that.  He knew he had a good team.  He didn't have to make excuses.  He just told the plain simple truth.

In 2002, Lennox Lewis finally got his chance to fight Mike Tyson after waiting for years.  I think Tyson was in prison for raping someone or something.

Boxing is one of those sports where there seems to be more excuses for a loss than any other.  It's common for a loser to say - after a fight - "Well yeah, I broke my hand earlier this week in training so that was hindering me."

You what?  Broke your punching thing that you use to punch people with at your job of punching people?  You didn't think that's something the bettors would want to know about?  Idiot.

I'm not bitter.

Anyway - Tyson was not in his prime when he fought Lewis.  I don't know that anyone other than the greats of the late 60's early 70's would have had a chance against Tyson at his best.

On Tyson's path to Lewis, he had to fight Lou Savarese.  Thirty-eight seconds later, he was being interviewed where he rambled on incoherently about his religion and burying relatives.  Then an amazing shit storm of words came to him.  It seemed at the time like some spirit with a vocabulary had just entered the otherwise muttering goofball known as Mike Tyson.  It was poetic, weird and scary:

"I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious, the most ruthless champion there has ever been. No one can stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No! I'm Alexander! He's no Alexander! I'm the best ever. There’s never been anyone as ruthless as me. I'm Sonny Liston. I'm Jack Dempsey. There's no one like me. I'm from their cloth. There is no one who can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want his heart! I want to eat his children! Praise be to Allah!"

Always the logician, Lennox Lewis was at once disturbed and confused by Tyson's stated intentions.  It seems that he took Tyson's charming rant to heart.  I was listening to a radio interview where Lewis was saying that it was hurtful what Tyson said and anyway, Lewis didn't have any children, so.

Now - I don't think taking Tyson's word literally is too smart.  Lewis may as well have said "How can he be Alexander, Sonny Liston and Jack Dempsey?"  On the other hand, Tyson had tried to eat Evander Holyfield's ear a few years before that, so maybe ...

But much like Alexander, Sonny Liston and Jack Dempsey before him, Tyson got knocked out by Lewis in the eighth round.

Because of the crazy shit Tyson says, I was eager to hear his nutty take on his defeat.  This was several years after the Spurrier incident, so my extreme distaste for excuse making was in full swing.

Interviewer guy:  What happened?

Oh here it comes, I thought.  I expected something about how Allah tripped Tyson or something.

Tyson: He beat me up.

And there it was.  The smartest thing Mike Tyson ever said.  And I got to see it live!

What's really weird is that no matter how goofy (very) Tyson is, I'll always respect him for that one time he accepted defeat gracefully.

The Saturday morning group ride.  One of my favorites.  You never know when it's going to come, but it will.  It could be as early as departure from the coffee shop or as late as the mellow few miles back into town.  It might be after a brutal climb, but it's coming.  At some point, someone is going to tell nobody in particular how late they stayed up drinking however many beers they had and how little sleep they got as a result.

I believe this is meant as an excuse for any potential inability to hang with the group that day.  But I'm not sure.  I hear it from people who then proceed to drop the group, so maybe it's one of those lies that cyclists tell.  Like "I'm on recovery today, so I won't be going hard at all."

Besides, I usually ride really well when I'm hungover, so ...

Anyvomit, I started thinking about all of this because I recently realized that the post-loss excuse is usually preceded by the pre-game promise.  I don't know if Spurrier made any sort of claims about the outcome of the Fiesta bowl.  But Tyson compared himself to Alexander The Great.  Then got beat by a guy from Canada (Something that never happened to Alexander the great).

November is my favorite time of year in terms of cycling.  The off-season.  A.K.A. Promise season.  It’s time for all of us to come out and make all kinds of promises about training and next year’s results.  It’s so easy.  It requires almost no work.   You only need to state your intentions.  If you’re smart, you will just do this with your voice and not write it down somewhere where everyone can reference it later.  Not that anyone will because, well, nobody gives a shit about your training plan.  Well, unless you win all the time.  Then they will ask you about it.  You won't have to write it down anywhere.  At least, that's what I hear.

I can't tell you how often this has happened (but I bet you can make a pretty close guess):

Hey Cube, you've never won a race or anything.  Could you tell me about your training plan, please?

You know what? Screw this post.  I'm tired.  Dammit, there I go again.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Tuesday Extra: True story (In your dreams)

I was riding in the Tour De France.  It was stage 10.  It wasn't the Tourist L'Etape, but the actual Stage.  I don't know why they allowed me to ride, but it seemed natural at the time.  I was in the lead group of 10 as we hit the final climb.  I was being dropped as we approached the summit.  There were 8 ahead as Fabian Cancellera and I reached the summit, him about 50 yards in front of me.  But now came the descent.  I knew that I would catch Fabian and he had the skill to catch the rest of them.

As we got to the bottom though, I hadn't closed the gap to Cancellara.  Oh also, we were not on bikes anymore.  We were lying on the street, sliding down the hill like some sort of lycra-clad otters.

Anyway, I never did catch up to Fabian Cancellera, but with no one at all behind me and about a quarter mile to go, I was content to finish in the top 10.  Then I realized I had taken a wrong turn.

I had to backtrack and find the right road.  I found it, but didn't know if anyone had gotten ahead of me while I was looking for it.  Then I saw a woman in front of me.  She was racing as well.  Tenth may have already been gone, but I didn't know for sure.  I had to beat her if I wanted any chance at what I felt I deserved.

Unfortunately for me, the very last section of the race went over a swimming pool.  We had to swim the width (not the length).  In the middle of the pool, there was a couple concrete barriers.   I had to climb over those and get back in the water to cross the finish line.  I never even came close to catching the girl.  I ended up 11th place and in my mind - a complete and utter failure.  Not because I beat 180 Pro cyclists, but because Shim was at the finish line, pointing and mocking, saying, "You got beat by a girl!"