I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The dirty, dirty

On my way to Georgia for the much anticipated Jeff & Kate wedding.

I can count on one hand--two fingers really--how many times I've been below the Mason-Dixon Line (central and southern Florida don't count). It's a foreign land, really.

I realized that everything I know about the south comes from history books, The Daily Show, Outkast, and the Drive By Truckers.

So, like cramming for a final exam, I've got all of the DBT records on shuffle in an effort to bone up on southern culture.

Monday, May 22, 2006

LIST!: Why I'm a terrible adult

I consume blended iced beverages (Slurpees, Frappucinos, milk shakes) quickly enough to get a brain freeze.

I still drink Slurpees, Frappucinos and milk shakes. All too often.

I like to get lost on my bike and find my way home.

My diet consists mainly of water, pizza, pasta, and jujy fruits, which, oddly enough, are not part of the fruits and vegetables group.

If it's after 11pm, I'll probably take my time flipping past "Skinimax."

Related: my vocabulary is very strong when it comes to slang synonyms for "breasts."

I don't participate in office politics and wear my disgust for them visibly.

I spend all of my money. Foolishly.

I'm afraid of the doctor's office.

I'm currently reading a book recommended to me by my brother. He's nine.

Thursday, I'm headed to a screening of several episodes of Get a Life, the ultimate story of avoiding adulthood.

Right now, I'd rather be: riding my bike, playing MLB on PS2, laying in bed, skiing, playing with dogs. Or, really, doing just about anything else.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

You stay classy, Yankee Stadium

Last night, standing in line to use the men's room. It's a very crowded, unorganized approach to the idea of a queue. Lots of jostling and aggressive alpha-dog-style eye contact.

Big, giant, thick-necked, tattooed fat man turns to me: "I'm gonna piss on your head. Right there on your head. And your hair will grow back. Like a Chia Pet. I'm gonna piss on your head and you're gonna grow a head full of grass."

And that was before he found out that I was a Red Sox fan.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Memo to my siblings Lisa and Patrick

Give up now. I win. Or, at least, I will.

So says MSN and CareerBuilder, anyway.

Interestingly enough, I'm heading home this weekend for my sister's college graduation. I'm considering printing this story and giving it as her grad gift.

Otherwise... How 'bout last night's Sox/Yanks game? (If you can call it a game!) Boston.com has a great photo essay of the whole affair.

I wouldn't mind a similar outcome for tonight's game, though I'm not expecting it. Unlike the struggling Johnson, the Yanks will pitch Mussina, who has been on fire so far this season. Luckily, so has Schilling, who will be throwing for the Sox. Look for me... I'll be at tonight's game being yelled at by the supporters of the Bronx Bums.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Five Boro Bike Disaster

Beware, this is a long one.
Sunday was the Five Boro Bike Tour, an event I've really been looking forward to. It features 42 miles of traffic-free cycling (as well as a lot of walking and standing around) and 35,000 folks from all over the place.

It was a cool event and despite all the waiting around, I'd do it again. However, I was about as unlucky as one could be.

It's very easy to lose your cycling compadres, especially early on and especially-especially when heading into and coming out of Central Park. I was in a group of six friends and co-workers. Coming out of Central Park, I got left behind thanks to a poorly timed decision to let the cars cross Central Park North. No worries, I think, I'll just hurry and catch up. In doing so, I get my first of three flats on the tour. (THREE! THREE MOFO FLATS! This spring, I've put 400 miles on my bike, bent two fenders and still HADN'T gotten a flat... I got three on the bike tour.)

Between my complete lack of mechanical know-how and opting not to bring a small pump (as 4 of the 6 in our group were carrying one), I did a lot of walking. On the first blow-out, I walked about 14 blocks into Harlem and a volunteer helped me. Then, in a desperate rush to make up time, I got on the bike and hustled. The ride goes through Harlem into the Bronx very briefly, and back down into Manhattan onto the FDR highway. I bypassed the first rest area--—with a legitimate repair station--—in an effort to continue gaining back ground. This was a mistake.

After riding past, I sensed my tire going flat again. I stopped at the 92nd Street off-ramp (because we're literally riding on a closed highway), and borrowed a pump from the volunteer there. It wouldn't hold air and because the tube didn't actually blow out this time, I suspected there may be an issue with the actual tire and not just the tube. The volunteer recommended I walk back to the last repair station via York Street...
How far?, I ask.
Oh, I dunno, quarter-mile, he says.

Nope. It was a mile-and-a-half. I walked, pissed, while the whole back end of the tour rode by me. Finally reaching the rest stop and repair station--AND THIS IS WHERE IT GETS DOWN-RIGHT FICTIONAL--and notice that it's clearing out. People are yelling and screaming and the support vehicle is rolling by. I decide that I am pretty well screwed and am not destined to finish the ride, but, ask to get my tire repaired anyway. There was some glass, or something, left in the tire.

As the repair dude was finishing up, another guy comes up beside me, surveying the now ghost-town rest area and speaking loudly into a walkie talkie:
Yeah, I got the last one right here.
Looks like he missed the support vehicle.
Yeah, I'll take him.
Should be good to open up the highway to traffic again in a minute.

He tells me I'm going with him in his van, which means that if I get back on course, I wouldn't have ridden the whole thing. Lame. Perhaps he senses my frustration, because he stops short and asks:
How fast can you ride?
Er, I dunno, pretty fast, I guess.
, he says. I'm gonna let you get back on the FDR, but you see this van [points to van]? I'm driving this van and if I pass you, you have to get off the highway or get the hell in it. Understand?
I nod, not understanding anything, except that I have to urinate like you read about and don't have time to do so.

In the words of Warren G, "I hops on my Schwinn and tell my homeys 'aight then,'" except it's a Fuji and my homeys are 20-plus miles ahead of me. Instead, all I'm met with when returning onto the FDR is a hurried case of surrealism and lonliness. Why? Because it's pretty strange to be riding a bike on a highway even with lots of other cyclists; it's about 900 times more bizarre to be the only cyclist on the highway and share the road with slow-moving ambulances, squad cars and bike tour support vehicles. Also, to add to the fiction of it all, it's at this point that I realize I am literally the last of 35,000 cyclists--not even a tour volunteer on bike lay behind me.

I start peddling my ass off, or at least my legs. Breathing heavy and wet with sweat. Hoping the tire will hold. Passing the odd bike tour vehicle. Then, the van rolled up on my left. Shit, I think, the gig is up. I have to get off the highway and head home, defeated.

Not the case. He shouts from across the van, You're doing great. As long as you can keep up this pace, you'll be fine!
(Note: I have a cheap cycling computer on my handlebars. It measures distance and speed. Also note: I generally ride flat terrain at about 14MPH or so. Back to the story...)

I glance down at the computer. It reads 23MPH! I am not heading downhill. Damn, I think, I cannot keep this up. Of course, I had to lie, and, unable to speak from breathing so heavy, I just flashed him and 80s-style-thumbs up.

Finally, I start passing the confused volunteer cyclists who had been certain that they were bringing up the rear. I make my way up the Queensboro bridge and begin passing regular riders. And so on. I passed so many. I continued to ride quickly (though nowhere near 23MPH). I made up so much ground!

Then, climbing the Verrazzano Bridge, the last bridge, the final climb, the tire blows out again. Ugh. It takes 40 minutes to get things straightened-out this go-around and I watch lots of obese people pass me. Sigh.

In the end, I finished. Long after my friends of course, but I finished nonetheless. My rear tire actually has a hole in it.

two hours

Well, that's two hours I'll never get back.

Man, it's a good thing I was only half-watching that shit with a computer sitting on my lap.

For a great blow-by-blow account (or breath-by-breath, I suppose) of the David Blaine failure, head over to disinterest and ennui.

Otherwise, tonight is the start of the second (sort-of) Red Sox/Yankees series this season. I'll be heading to tomorrow night's game. Definitely some pretty interesting pitching match-ups for all three games...

Also, in other news, my Creative Hotlist profile (make sure you're pop-up blocker is off) has been updated some. Lemme know of any glaring badness.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

NYC 2, my bike 0

With a big weekend of riding planned, I opted to take a few days off from the bike and re-join the ranks of the underground commuters.

Before doing so though, I swung by the bike shop to have 'em give it the once over for the weekend.

"Dude, your back rim's bent to hell."

That makes two rims--front and back--that the City has beaten up on.

This weekend's plans:


The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative presents The Future Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Tour. It's an easy 10-miler through the proposed Greenway.

Finally, the Five Boro Bike Tour! It's 42 traffic-free miles across five bridges and each of the NYC boros. The highlight: crossing the majestic Verrazano Bridge--the one day of the year that cyclists have access to it!

See you at both? PLUS, to cap off this bike post, it's Bike Month.