Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Trash and Treasure

There's a guy who goes through the trash outside of Revolution in Georgetown a couple of mornings a week. On Monday, it looked like he'd found some pretty good stuff - a new-looking Easton rim and some other stuff. Mostly it looks like he pulls out a lot of shot tires and spent cassettes. Maybe he gets enough serviceable cogs to rebuild usable cassettes out of them. I don't know what he does with all those tires, or what he does with all the cassettes. He's a bike guy for sure, in that earnest, utilitarian way. What's worth putting on some rubber gloves and going through the morning trash a couple or three times a week I just don't know, but it must float his boat.

I've been pretty regular at the Tuesday Conte's Arlington ride the last few weeks. My liabilities as a rider exist to the left side of the critical power curve, which this ride exposes continually throughout its duration. Last week, I was having somewhat psychotic fun cranking up to however fast I could get going and seeing who could take off from my wheel and at what speed. You might think that going mid 20s up those rise on Military would obviate the possibility that someone could blow by you at neck-snapping speed differential, but you'd be wrong.

The heat was kicking my ass last night. I'd get going and think it was all good and put in a big dig and then, in an instant, go completely flat. This happened on the prologue, and then again on the first and second laps. The third lap was pretty fun. The guy in the Mock Orange jersey took off from the go, I bridged, two others came with, and it was on. Between the bridge, which was a minute of going balls fast, and leading us off of Military and over the first several bumps, I shot my wad and lost contact with the two remaining dudes on the last long hill. The group came by soon after, and then caught the other two dudes right away. And then everyone blew up. I think I wound up fourth to the finish. Strange.

The last loop, I got dropped on the downhill. That was a proud moment, oh yeah. There were a couple of guys away on the first part of the first long hill, and I led the charge to get them. When we caught them, a couple of guys behind me really turned the screws, and I gave what was there to stay with them to the top, but didn't have the three or four extra pedal strokes to get on for the downhill. WTF, man? We were really far off the front by then so no one came through, but that's the kind of shit I really need to get on terms with. The improvements that I've made in the last several weeks of doing the ride have been encouraging, so it's no longer a case of me just dismissing the short efforts as something I'll always suck at. Who'd a thunk it - you work hard on something, and you get better at it?

I'm no leftie, but is it truly possible that anyone in the world gives a furry rat's ass about anything that Sarah Palin says? It's gone on too long. Get her off the f-ing stage.


Jim said...

I heard a rumor that the guy digging through the trash is Bryan Vaughn, looking for (1) half a box of thumbtacks allegedly left behind by DC Velo; (2) proof of a conspiracy involving Trek, a well known Bulgarian fork steerer maker, Lance Armstrong and Dr. Ferrari; and, (3) the real killer.

Jim said...

BTW, just FWIW, I lean right but don't particularly groove on Sarah. I like who she is - she's my people, with the pickemup trucks and snowmobile in the front yard - but I find populism of all stripes pretty half baked and normally lacking in intellectual underpinnings. Doesn't really matter whether it's left or right populism; it doesn't do it for me. Glen Beck's recent fascination with Hayek is an interesting development... populism + libertarianism might be attractive. But mostly populism is bottom-up pitchfork waving, an outside-the-beltway version of the screeching that the cable talking heads do, and although I'd bet it feels good, it doesn't really offer any good policy prescriptions nor does it ever lead to long term political change.