Friday, July 31, 2009

Life and Times of a Bottom Feeder

My senior year of high school I planned on going to Michigan State University. State is a fun school. A teacher insisted I apply to the University of Michigan. Through an apparent clerical error, I was accepted. U of M is a great school if you are smart. It is tough if you are very average. I struggled but the words of that teacher got me through: pay attention, work hard, and some day you will have the miens to buy a new Fox 32 F-Series fork, with FIT Remote. It was something like that. I was contemplating that tonight as I painted the vintage 1998 SID fork I got for $50 off the MMBA classifieds page, trying to make it look, I duno, less vintage. I was also contemplating the fatigue life of aluminum. It is an upgrade over what I have on my Felt anyway.

My bikes are an accumulation of used upper end parts that no one wants anymore. They are like rolling islands of misfit toys. I replace seals, bearings, etc. and try to squeeze a few more years out of them. I was replacing spokes after my wheel fiasco last week and I noticed I have about 26 different spoke/nipple combinations on the rear wheel. How crappy are my bikes you wonder? I put my single speed on the MMBA page at the end of last season for $250 OBO and got no bites. I then sold the frame on ebay for $40 and bought the Inglis frame to build up my current steed. I asked the guy I bought the frame from what year it was. He had no idea. The guy he bought it from had bought it used. My bike has been passed around more than a pit hussy. But that's OK, I love my bike as much as anyone loves their carbon fiber Gary Fisher Super Fly 29er. I just really want a Fox Forx.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Few More Gears

Sunday morning I planned on taking the kids to church. I woke up early to feed the dogs but instead of going back to bed, I decided to get my Inglis back up and running by converting the rear wheel from my Felt to a single speed. As I started to pull the wheel off my bike I had a change of heart; I put the Felt back together, washed off the mud from the Yankee Springs race in April, and let the kids sleep in so I could ride. Since God is omnipresent I figured what the hell.

This is the part of the story where a physiologist could have a field day: I was overcome with guilt for neglecting my Felt this summer, as if it rolled it eyes and sighed: "sure, screw up your single speed and come crawling back to me." I half expected it to launch me into a tree to make this point. It didn't. It worked fine. It was a good ride, but now my Inglis is upset with me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tori Amos VS the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

I am going to see Tori Amos at the Detroit Opera House on 8/8/09. I am excited. I bought tickets before I knew whom I was going with. Cin reluctantly agreed to go. We have different tastes in music. She asked me to go to the Detroit Hoe Down. I refused to go to that white trash cesspool of skank fest. I was hoping she would be more open-minded than me. The last concert we went to was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Magic Stick in Detroit. Cin is into NY art punk about as much as I am into all that achy breaky heart nonsense. Karen O looked right at me. That glance is burnt into my memory. It was an amazing concert. Not so much for Cin. I remember the baffled expression on her face when she came back from the bathroom: "Neil, there are girls kissing in there..."
I am not cool enough for NY punk. I am not cool enough to ride a fixie. A girl came up to me at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert and asked if I was with the band, apparently assuming I was their accountant because I clearly didn't belong in that crowd. That was the first time my complete and unapologetic lack of coolness has been an issue since high school, although, I do secretly want a fixie and a tattoo. I will fit in with the Tori Amos crowd much better, even if my wife is just a prop.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When it rains...

It's been a tough week. I wonder if being a GM employee now is what it felt like to be a Roman citizen in 476 AD. Yesterday I snuck in a ride at Maybury while my kids were at dance. Half way around the course I taco'd my beautiful Chris King/Bontriger Asymmetric Valiant wheel. Walking back to the truck it began to sprinkle, then rain, then down pour. When I picked up the kids from dance, Em asked if she could spend the night at a friends. I said sure, which set Allie off on a monologue (which lasted the better part of the night) on how unfair it was. Came home to find Daisy had gnawed through a leg on our kitchen table (frustrating yet somehow amazing). I have 9 hours of the TDF recorded but, in an effort to keep Allie (whom I love more than life itself) happy (no small task), I played Polly Pockets with her instead of catching up on the Tour. Polly Pockets are these little dolls, about the the size of your finger, you dress up. It takes less hand eye coordination to perform a circumcision than it does to dress these little figurines, and the whole time Allie is reminding me I have no fashion sense (which hurts because it is true).
I think my race season is shot but I better start riding more than I have been because I think I am getting a little bitter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Roller Coasters

Yesterday we went to Michigan Adventures, an amusement park on the West side of the state. We past the exit I would take to get to the beautiful trails in that area and I got a sick feeling. I wanted to ride my bike; I wanted to send my family on ahead so I could spend the day on the trails. Then I felt sick for even thinking that. Then, since there were no lines, we spent 8 hrs. on basically a perpetual roller coaster ride... sick again.