Wednesday, 12 December 2007


First off, throw the lifeboats out, train wreck ahead. The markets all went way up after the Fed announced it was working with other central banks to inject liquidity into the markets. Then they came all the way back to essentially flat. Prior to yesterday, everyone had already "priced in" a half point rate cut, which is why the market traded up for a few days, but then the rate cut was only a quarter point, so the market corrected for that with yesterday's 300 point dive. I predict the wheels to come off even more. SO MANY people are trying to hold this together for a year end bonus, hiding bad news for as long as possible. If you got a bonus like some of these people get bonuses, you'd be tempted to do the same. The entire Chuckwagon readership's (both of us!) lifetime earnings would pale next to some of these bonuses. But now you have all this "yeah, it's actually a little worse than we said" bits coming out already. In the words of Kaiser Chiefs, "I predict a riot."

Did you ever get a word stuck in your head? Plasmotoxosis is that word for me this week. I assume it means toxic blood, I know it is what is blamed for wrecking Igor Astarloa's year this year. I also think that I have eaten enough caramel chocolate popcorn that I now have plasmotoxosis.

I got my first road bike when I was a senior in high school. It was a Raleigh Gran Prix and had 1st generation Shimano 105. With Biopace, thank you very much. Anyhow, I 've always had this luddite sense, drilled into me by my mom, that when your equipment exceeds your ability, you are a toolbag. Before getting the sweet Dunlop Black Max racquet that I wanted, I had to get to first singles in junior high tennis. So I did and I got the racquet. Cycling being an opportunity to geek out on gear at every moment, I am often torn between my aesthetic desire to ride everyone into the ground on an old janked up Schwinn Varsity with rat trap pedals and the sweet obligatory back rack that everyone had back in the day, and the lust for all the bits and bobbles. I like to think I have struck a good balance in my gear - stuff that allows me to perform well but doesn't inspire others to say "look at that douchnozzle poseur with all the randy looking kit."

My gear this year was pretty tried and true. The old Shimano cobbled together 9 speed gruppo, with D/A, Ultegra and even a 105 shifter in there, worked well. Not too much to talk about, which is a good thing. The only thoughts I have of changing that are since all the wheels in the wheel trucks are 10 speed, I might be really hosed if I get a flat and they have to spend 10 minutes looking for my 9 speed wheel.
Should I switch, Sram would get the nod. I built up a Sram bike for a friend recently and the stuff is money.

You know what a chubby I have for my Powertap. Greatest thing since sliced bread.

New frame this year, which has been sweet. My old frame was all banged up and had a terminal derailleur hanger thing going on, so I wound up with a Cannondale Six13, in sexy red Saeco livery. A lucky circumstance brought me that frame instead of the CAAD 9 frame I had planned on. The Six13 certainly does all that I could reasonably ask of it, including making me look at it and say "damn, that sure is a swell looking bike, let's go ride."

Easton wheels. Got a set of Circuits as race wheels to complement my prehistoric Mavic Cosmos wheels. The rear got wrecked in a race. Loved them until then, and still like the front.

These were replaced with Neuvations M28 Aeros. The Mavic rear decided to die pretty much simultaneously with the Easton getting wrecked, I needed wheels and decided not to spend a bunch of dough and just get through the year. They are great, doubly so when you factor in the $269 I paid for them. They aren't Zipp 404's, but they work plenty well - I have no fear to used them every day but also happily race on them.

This was my first year in team kit too. Voler stuff is great. Chamois pads are probably, in the global sense, probably as personal as anything out there but Voler's works for me. The jerseys fit well too, with particular props going to the zipper that works flawlessly with no effort. If only my standard unit of zipper pull did not put the zipper right at the level of my hr strap, where it flaps into it and makes me crap my pants thinking that some catastrophic breakage is imminent.

I also tried a new helmet but wound up going back to Bell, this time for the Ghisallo. Bell helmets just fit me really well and I love the dial-a-size dealy in the back. Between hat weather and haircuts I wind up using that sucker all the time.

Cycling can be done cheaply, I think I am a relative example of that, but it's still a lot of gear to own and maintain, and life is so freaking much better when you're crap is dialled in.

Off to do a particularly murderous workout.


mgithens said...

That would be toxoplasmosis- a parasitic infection caused by Toxoplasma gondii- normally asymptomatic in healthy individuals, but can cause serious disease in those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women... watch out for that raw meat and cat feces! (Sorry, couldn't student here doing everything possible not to be studying microbiology, but low and behold, it all comes full circle as I'm reading a cycling blog)

Chuck Wagon said...

yeah, that's the one. thanks for straightening that up.

mgithens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GamJams said...

And ex-English major noticing your metaphor generosity in the first paragraph:

Throw the lifeboats out
Train Wreck
Wheels come off

Dude, I don't know where you're headed. But you should walk.

Chuck Wagon said...

Once an English major always an English major. In my aspirations to become a famous rapper I'll mix 'em up from time to time.