Friday, February 22, 2013

Rattle Cans

Painting stuff is fun—not to mention satisfying. (There’s something startling about the complete cosmetic makeover a splash of paint confers.) But painting stuff with spray paint? Now that’s an absolute blast. 

Messy? Of course, as with many fun activities, but that’s part of the thrill. Bad for you? Oh, yeah. Those fumes are nasty, even with full Darth Vader-style ventilator mask on. These days, what with everyone all bully on the ozone layer, we just don’t get to spray much of anything, except for the odd squirt of whip cream, air freshener, or insulation foam. The ozone layer’s well being aside, this is a shame.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Fugue State

Went out for bananas the other day and somehow ended up at the bike store.

Not sure exactly how this happened. I have no distinct memory of deciding to stop at Revolution Cycle on my way to Safeway. It just sort of occurred. One minute I’m pulling out of my garage with fruit on my mind, and the next thing I know, I’m snapping out of a reverie in the bike store, standing there on the shop floor, fondling the Large Marges of a Surly Moonlander.

Here’s my theory: Some kind of February enchantment drew me there.

Monday, February 11, 2013

An Expensive Ride

It's February again, and anyone who knows me also knows that it's time for my annual pilgrimage down to Arizona for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.  This is, historically, an expensive race for me--now even moreso because I'm coming from Canada. That I am gouged by both airline and government every time I cross the border is obvious to anyone who has taken a similar trip.  But racing the 24 has always cost me a lot of coin, even when I lived close enough to ride my bike to the venue. Nevertheless, my bags are already packed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Cycling and cross-country skiing are the two sides of the same shiny coin, mirror sports of sister seasons. One’s classic summer, the other perfect winter, but the two activities share a sensibility. In their purest forms, they embody a fluid, graceful state of efficient, self-propelled motion. Simple technologies—no motors, few sounds—enable impressive speeds with relatively little energy output.

You can spend a lot of money on expensive gear for these pursuits, but in both cases, anyone, regardless of skill and with even the crappiest gear, can still enjoy the essential experience. I’ve routinely seen the same idiot grins on the faces of cyclists and skiers alike, of all ages and abilities, ecstatic just to be out breezing through the world.