Friday, November 25, 2011

The Thankful Cyclist

I am thankful for...
Eddy Merckx for being Eddy Merckx

Tullio Campagnolo for quick release skewers, and the derailleur

Johan Museeuw for being the Lion of Flanders

Gino Bartali for battling Coppi and creating what we know as epic

Bernard Hinault for being the Badger and his rivalry with LeMond

Laurent Fignon for being the Professor and elevating the sport

Greg LeMond for getting back on the bike after getting shot -and winning

Jacques Anquetil first to count to five using his Tour victories
Miguel Indurain for five straight

La Madonna del Ghisallo for her protection

Jens Voigt for showing us the art of the breakaway and being 10 x harder than diamonds

Andy Hampsten for his being a bdass climber and winning on le Alpe D'Huez

Mario Cipollini for more style than any human is capable

Stuart O'Grady HTFU

*all photos poached off the interweb sorry for not crediting*

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Being Thankful

Many moons ago when I was a wee lad we made turkeys out of a tracing of our hand.  Dressed up an outline of a Pilgrim with a big hat and buckles on his shoes.  We put feathers on a native American (formerly known as Indian).  We learned how thankful and sharing everyone was back in the day, and then we had time off to eat turkey with our families.  We got to travel to relatives who would say "the last time I saw you, you were this tall".  Ok, so now that I am not such a wee lad, we know that Columbus was not a Pilgrim, extorted money from the Spanish for a boat ride -because he was just a crazy drunk sailor.  He most likely did not even set foot in what we consider the good ole USofA.  Vikings, not the ones from Minnesota, probably discovered this here place, but just did not like being away from home -so they left.  Of course the "Indians" (native Americans) were already here and had been for sometime.  They just did things differently, so we took over.  We all know that the aliens were here long ago -saw it on the History channel, has to be true.

As Robert said "Ramble On".  I am not sure any of us can be certain what or how Thanksgiving came about, nor do we really care.  Turns out that thanksgiving is a time of rest and nourishment for the upcoming battle to be waged on the following Black Friday.  We all watch TV, eat and store up as many calories humanly possible and try to rest and relax.  We know the following day that we will not have time to eat for fear of missing that big deal, we will need our strength to fight for a parking space.  We need our rest to make that midnight opening, or if you are weak that 4 o'clock doorbuster.  [yes, spellchecker doorbuster is a word, take your little red squiggly line and shove it] 

That's right Col. Kurtz "The horror...the horror".  What have we done?  What have we done with our time of thanksgiving?  Black Friday is turning into a black hole and it is going to suck Thanksgiving down with it.  Say no, spend your time wisely, do something you like to do...if it happens to be shopping then good on ya.  Seriously spend your time like it is all you have.  Time. 

Be thankful for what you are thankful for.  What does that mean?  It means stop taking everything for granted, like life is owed to you.  It is not.  Life is not owed, life is given.  Like a present, take it and be thankful for it, be thankful for every moment that you draw breath.  The good book says that "life is but a vapor".  It is here today and gone tomorrow.  No matter where you are in your life you have something to be thankful.  I like to talk about perspective, and this is where perspective comes into play. 

The Real Voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having NEW EYES ~Mary Engelbreit

To be cheesy I would like to list all the things that I am Thankful, but I will spare you.  I am very thankful and I will try not to take life for granted.  After reading this think of something that you consider insignificant and be thankful for it in your life.

I'm thankful that one of you read this...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pulling the trigger

It was just a short while ago that I was forced into a life altering career move.  Seems like forever, but it really has not been that long.  April.  I guess it is a long time if you are stuck on a desert island.  Not to be confused with deserted island which might not be a bad thing.  Now desert island sounds like it might not be very fun.  Dessert island sounds like a good ole time to me, 450lbs later.  Time is as time does.  The time for me is now, at least it feels like the time is now.  Crape Diem, Right?  Seize the day?  Life is too short not to take a risk or two.  Life is wasted when dreams become regrets.  Yes, I am trying to squeeze as many cliches into this paragraph before I become nauseous.  Ok I'm done.

I have been given the opportunity to do something I have always wanted.  I have been handed the keys to a lifestyle that I was born for.  It is not without it's drawbacks, but the Pro's column outweighs the Con's.  In my opinion, yeah but what do I know?  I know what I like, and I am going to do what I like because I am a spoiled brat.  There I said it.  Life should be an adventure, and adventure is not safe, so therefor I chose to not be safe (really kids you should wear your helmets) in life.  I can't stop writing cheesy lines tonight, don't know what my problem is?  Oh well, probably should stop while I still have my two readers out there.

Anyway the whole idea was to "blog" about what is going on and what is in store for my future, and quite possibly your future if you happen to ride bikes in the Greater Tulsa area.  Is your interest peaked?  Most of you probably know what my new endeavor is going to be, but some of you may not know.  So, stay tuned to this here interweb of knowledge, follow me on twitter, and if you must hit me up on the fb.  If you have not guessed, it involves me (no kidding) and bikes (double no kidding).  How cool is that?  If you like bikes and you can tolerate me you just might get to see me in person -professionally speaking of course!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm too sexy...

When I say "style" what comes to mind?

Fashion right? 

Maybe, but I think of style as the aspect of how one carries oneself in life.  It is how you live, how you handle yourself.  There are many styles of life and livin' but it is sometimes easy to pigeonhole people into categories, doing this is the absence of style.  True style has no name no label.  I am writing this thinking of my "Style role models".  No! I don't look to the magazines for my input, I look to the people in my life who make me who/what I am.  Real people, and I mean Real, not just flesh and blood, but Real.  And if I must define Real for you then just stop reading now.  I have a hammer for you, just send a S.A.S.E. to the belllap.

I can't help but think of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club while writing.  Style is deeper than what we see on the surface, "you are not your job, you are not the contents of your wallet, you are not your f______ khakis".  I'm going to point fingers now, but there are so many people who live their jobs, cars, houses, and contents of their wallets.  They may be "high fashion" but they are low on style.  Get real, be real.  "Is that what a real man looks like?"  This is of course my opinion and not a guide to live your life.

Here it comes, the point in the program where I tie this into riding bikes.  Cycling is Vogue.  It is "high fashion".  We are all guilty and should go to the Madonna del Ghisallo and ask for forgiveness.  We judge.  We berate.  We ostracize.  We are as bad as an Opra book club.  "Did you see his bartape?  It didn't match his saddle!"  No, but really?  This is not the point that I want to make, although it is a big part of what we do.  Style on the bike and off the bike relates to life.  Art imitates life and life imitates Art.  How one handles oneself on the bike is a true reflection of the person, even during the heat of battle in a race. 

The bike is a window into ones soul.  It has the ability to strip one down to their core no matter the ability or status.  The butcher, baker, and candlestick maker can all ride side-by-side with the doctor, lawyer and accountant.  Ones style is dictated by who you are on the bike, how you handle yourself on the bike, and how you treat your fellow cyclists.  Style is a lost Art, but it is not dead.  You can't buy it, but you can earn it and learn it.  Next group ride you are on, look for the style.  It will be there, it has always been there, style is timeless.

My goal in cycling is not to win races, but to bare the torch for future generations to follow.  I would like to thank my Roll Models that are Real.  I hope to one day turn the crank with 1/2 as much style as you.