Wednesday, 22 October 2008
After much delay, butt scratching, fundamentamalizing and philosophitizing, I finally got my act together and laced up my new wheels. DT 240 hubs, DT competition spokes and some old rims from a set of Mavic wheels whose hubs were shot. The front, a 24 hole radial affair, was wicked easy to put together and I rode it on Sunday. The rear, with a 28 spoke 2 cross pattern, took me a little longer. I was going to use a different rim, the shop got me black spokes instead of silver (but I wound up with half a zillion extras so I can't complain), blah blah blah, but then I got down to it and made it happen.
First off, the things are so freaking light it's insane. The front wheel weighs less than the old back hub and the new rear wheel weighs less than the old front wheel. The whole shooting match is easily a pound lighter than what was replaced. Second, I spun the back wheel just to give 'er the old "let's see how long it spins" test. Well, it kept on spinning but I had to get to sleep, so I rested the bike's seat up on a chair so the thing could keep spinning. People who've hung out with me know that I'm pretty much a crusty bastard when it comes to equipment, but these things may have shone me a whole new, much brighter light.
The other cool thing is the sound that the ratchet makes. When you coast, the soundtrack from the orgy scene of "Debbie Does Dallas"(1) plays from the rear hub. It's the oddest thing in the world, but if there is a musical score that embodies raw, pure, carnal lust - that's it. And the fine folks at DT figured out how to make a hub play that noise. Genius! It is a little odd when you wake up to and get your coffee in the morning and that music's still playing, though.
Even though the rear black spokes look a little dopey, the things are sexy beasts and the bike looks wicked cool dressed up like this. The 11-23 cassette looks mean too. With the compact cranks it's all I'll really need. Except for at the Tour of Lost River.
Speaking of the Tour of Lost River, I have notes on a post (yes, I am a big enough dork that I actually throw down notes on things I want to write about) that I want to do about collaborative versus dictatorial design. I also have a whopper about the American automotive industry, and another about the fallacy of propping up housing prices. I keep hearing this politico speak about how housing prices have to go back up to where they were, and it keeps being wrong and it keeps pissing me off.
Do stairclimber and elliptical machines and such make people fat? From a very narrow set of observations (going to one gym at a similar time several days a week), it would appear that they do. The people who go to my gym, as they have been at every other gym I've been to repeatedly, are generally unimpressive physical structures. You see all of these people hanging out there, day in and day out, doing the same routines, looking exactly the same. Which is probably about 15 pounds away from how they want to look. I think machines really encourage the kind of "too hard for recovery and too soft to do anything" kind of effort level that plagues a lot of cyclists, too. Also, the harder a machine is, the less likely it is to be used. There's a new one that's like speed skating, although I wish the stride were longer. It's hard, and always open. Ditto the mountain on a stick and the rowing machines. Always open. Coincidentally enough, the aforementioned machines also have no TVs attached to them. Hmmm.
The people in the free weights section are generally a much more athletic looking bunch. Far more muscle tone and generally significantly leaner. There are still some doughy looking schlubs in there, but not nearly as many. I had kind of a personal breakthrough with weights recently. Some basic musculature is actually starting to creep into my program. It's cool. I'm channeling Thor Hushovd as my spirit guide. He'd kick ass around here.
(1) I've actually never seen "Debbie Does Dallas" and have no idea if there's an orgy scene in it. There has to be, right? I'd also imagine that the soundtrack is pretty awesome in that big hairy pimped out "bawmp-chicka-bawmp" 70's way.