Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Whitey, that is who owns and operates 95% of the RV's (recreational vehicles) in the US. Asians make up the other 5%. This little nugget of truth is something that my long-lost friend Toph Wedge discovered while driving from Illinois to Squamish, B.C. for some MTB madness.  While this might seem to have come from left field what follows is the chain of events that sparked this memory.

Up at 6:00 AM to ride.  Out the door by 6:15 into a balmy 26ºF dark Fall morning. This is cold enough to numb my brain to the point of thinking of odd things on the bike.  ~6:20 AM I am passed by a black man, driving a VW Vanagon.  While not an RV, it is probably the closest vehicle to an RV that I've ever seen an African-American drive.  If any of you smart asses say "bus", I'm talking about personal vehicles, you racist.

In other news, It is finally cold enough to say that "Winter" rides have begun.  Thus the coming months will be full of long rides and frozen extremities (including my brain).  In an effort to quantify these rides I'm introducing the "bourbometer". This simple metric distills (pun intended) the pain and mental anguish of Winter riding into an easy to interpret scale based on fifths of bourbon.

Here is the rundown, by no means in the bourbometer a fixed rule, rather it will adapt as time goes on:
One Fifth: Short ride,  not cold enough to freeze your bottles. No need to drink after this ride, but you still do for good measure.

Two Fifths: Cold enough to make your toes and naughty bits chilly.  A few nips of Makers should help thaw you out.

Three Fifths: Serious pain in feet and hands.  Drink until your feet are thawed enough to get into a hot shower without screaming, or you pass out on the couch.

Four Fifths: Temps below freezing with either wet roads or active precipitation. You can see the souls of past roadies trapped beneath the black  ice al la "The Divine Comedy". I recommend a hot toddy to thaw out, make a pot full instead of a mug full.
Five Fifths: 5 hours of being dragged around by Rick Norton in sub 20ºF weather, or 30 mins on the trainer. You'll need a gallon of booze to recover from this ride.


Alex said...

Reminds me of the time I went for a 2 hours ride in Wisconsin in the middle of the winter. I think it was literally 3 degrees out with the windchill. When I was done I stood in a scalding hot shower eating a bowl of oatmeal and shivering uncontrollably.

Mark Liversedge said...

Enjoyed that. On a relatively recent ride in freezing temperatures I wore some Cannondale shorts with the makers name emblazened down them in vinyl lettering.

After the ride of some 3 hours or so of *freezing* temeperatures, I got home and had a shower.

The shower was painfull as all the blood rushed to the surface of my legs.

My wife saw me coming out the shower and started laughing hysterically.

My legs were drawn and white with a bright red cannondate written down the side in 'surface blood ink'.

I don't wear those shorts on cold days now. :-)

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