For info on everything, including clever — but not necessarily informative or helpful — descriptions, click here. Or just go to my page on the Twin Six site if, for some reason, you don’t feel the need to read my finely-crafted text.
The pre-order ends today at 5:00pm CDT, at which point the Twin Six guys will collapse gratefully on a couch, and will probably add me to their Do Not Call list.
Preliminary Incontrovertible Truths
We are officially — because I hereby declare it, thus making it official — in the best part of the year for riding. It’s the best because we’re (yes, all of us) in the best shape we’re going to be for the year, but generally don’t have any more big races or events planned. So we get to use our fitness to actually go out and have some fun on our bikes.
It’s the best part of the year for riding because the days are still warm, but the heat doesn’t feel quite so brutal. As if the heat is no longer a malevolent force, bent on crushing your body and sucking out your soul. Now it’s a friendly heat. Like a blanket, or a warm omelette. Or a Sunday afternoon in Paris.
It occurs to me that I may be overselling this “not as hot” thing. Let’s move on.
It’s the best part of the year for riding because the trees are just starting to change colors. On yesterday’s ride, I saw three trees that had gone red. Which means that in the next two weeks, the Alpine Loop is going to explode into crazy colors, so bright that they grab your attention, bright reds you see from the corners of your eyes.
And in short, it’s a not-half-bad time to get on your bike. And so yesterday, I did. I rode the Alpine Loop, tacking on the Cascade Springs spur for good measure. A nice four-hour ride, with maybe 5,000 feet of climbing.
Oh, by the way, I was doing the ride on this:
But how I came to be in possession of the twin of the Orbea Orca (I’ll take mine in Fat Cyclist Orange, thanks) I gave away a couple weeks ago is a story for another day. A good story, but not the one I want to tell right now. (I will confess, however, to often going into the garage and just looking at it.)
OK, back to truth-telling.
With all that climbing, there’s bound to be some serious descending. Which I love. In fact, I recently posited to Dug that a good road descent — and the Alpine Loop is a very good road descent — is just as exciting as any mountain bike descent.
To my surprise, Dug agreed with me. “It’s like when you dream about flying, except the dream part,” said Dug.
And in short, I wonder if there is any more pure sensation of speed than descending a mountain pass on good pavement on a really well-made road bike. I can’t think of one.
Of course — and alas — cyclists are not the only ones on the road.
Incontrovertible Truths About Automobile Drivers Who Do Not Yield On Paved Mountain Descents
If you’re even moderately aggressive in your descending, you’re going to be faster than at least some cars and trucks, and especially faster than trucks pulling trailers.
When this happens, the feeling of disappointment is nearly insurmountable. “All that work — that endless, painful climb — and now there’s going to be no payoff,” I think to myself, because I have conditioned myself to assume the worst: that the vehicle I am trailing at approximately one quarter the speed I’d like to be going will not take the minimal, simple, courteous, two-second effort of slowing and pulling over to the side of the road, so that I can blow by and resume my rapturous descent.
But as I’m riding my brakes for twenty minutes, I have time to think. And to analyze. And thus, yesterday, behind a horse trailer for approximately half my life, I came to the following epiphanies about the kind of people who do not let me by as I descend on my road bike:
- It never even occurs to non-yielders that you might want to get by them. They think you’re right there because you find them — and their vehicle — attractive.
- Non-yielders never look in their rear view mirrors, except to check to see if their chewing tobacco is stuck between their teeth.
- Non-yielders are confident that 5/8 of the road belongs to them, and that oncoming traffic can make do with the other 3/8.
- Non-yielders were not breast-fed as children. They still harbor resentment of this fact and express it whenever they can.
- Non-yielders are full of malice and bile.
- Non-yielders are the same people who, when you were climbing, honked and yelled at you for making them veer two feet out of their way, potentially delaying them by up to three seconds.
- Non-yielders hate children and puppies.
- Non-yielders invented lint. And they wrote the screenplay for Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And those are the only two things non-yielders have ever produced.
- Non-yielders cut in line at the Chuck-O-Rama buffet, shouldering aside grandmas and grandpas to get to the baked potato bar before all the Bac-O-Bits are gone.
- Non-yielders feel thwarted somehow if I do manage to squeak around them.
Incontrovertible Truths About Automobile Drivers Who DO Yield On Paved Mountain Descents
Occasionally — and this did in fact happen to me yesterday — I’ll close in on a car. The familiar despondence will set in and I’ll begin to dream about the descent that might have been.
And then the car will slow down a little and pull over — not coming to a full stop, not pulling off the road, just pulling over enough to give me some room.
And then my heart will soar.
I have the following to say about people who yield to me in this manner:
- Yielders almost certainly have bikes of their own.
- Yielders are wise and kind. And very attractive physically, too.
- Yielders apply the Golden Rule as it was actually intended
- Yielders invented penicillin. And chocolate. And cheese.
- Yielders realize that it doesn’t actually cost them much in the way of time, effort, or dignity to let me by.
- Yielders not only have their rear-view mirrors aimed correctly, but are actually quite likely to use them from time to time.
- Yielders are 80% likely to remember to get mom something on Mother’s Day than non-yielders.
- In some cultures, Yielders are regarded as sacred, and there word is regarded as prophecy.
- Yielders earn, on average, 42% higher wages than non-yielders.
True facts, all of them. They must be, because you are reading them right now on a popular internet site, written by a beloved and award-winning cycling celebrity.
So feel free to share this information with your friends. Especially the ones who tend to drive trucks with horse trailers down mountain passes.