Pat McQuaid Sent Me a Very Strange Letter

01.31.2012 | 12:49 pm

I got the strangest letter in the mail a few days ago. At first, I was confused. Then I was perplexed. Then I was dismayed. Then I assumed that someone had sent me a prank letter and set it aside.

Then, a few days later, I read this article in Bloomberg news:


Suddenly, it all made sense. When Pat McQuaid said they had “spoken to people of means” about investing in Global Cycling Promotion S.A. (the for-profit, race-promoting part of the non-profit UCI, which governs races and there is no conflict of interest here and please move along, there’s nothing to see here), he meant — among other people, I’m sure — me.

Thus reassured, I am now investigating becoming one of the benefactors of Global Cycling Promotion S.A. (GCPSA).

Although, to be honest, I still have reservations, and could use some advice on this matter. Please do me the favor of reading the letter I received, below, and letting me know whether you think this would be a good idea.

From the Desk of Patrick McQuaid

Dear The Fat Cyclist Nelson,

As you no doubt are aware, cycling is becoming an increasingly popular pastime throughout the world. With the recent economic difficulties throughout the world as well as increased interest in living a “green” lifestyle, more and more people are buying and riding bikes.

As a natural extension of this, bike racing is becoming more and more popular, especially races like The Tour de France.

Without question, there has never been a time quite like the present to become a part of the growing cycling community.

Well, what would you say, Mr. Cyclist Nelson, if I were to tell you that I represent both the world’s foremost cycling governing body and an up-and-coming cycling promotion organization, and can give you unprecedented access to both?!

Don’t answer yet!

Three Levels to Choose From!

What I’m offering you, Mr. Cyclist Nelson, is the opportunity to really be on the inside of the cycling world. In return for your investment in GCPSA, you’ll get instant and measurable return:

Silver-Level Investment

If you invest a minimum of USD$100,000.00 (payable in cash only, please), you’ll receive all of the following!

  • A Rule Named After You: Sometime during the next year, the UCI will create a rule that is guaranteed to get attention in the press. We will name that rule after you. Imagine the excitement when, each time the rule is mentioned in the cycling press, your name is included! Your Google juice will flow like never before!
  • An “I Put the “U” in “UCI” T-Shirt: Let people know that you are the driving force and (and partial owner) behind cycling’s governing body and premier race promotion agency (and trust me, once we make rules that effectively outlaw all other race promoters, we will be the premier race promotion agency)
  • One 4oz Indulgence For One Rider’s Bike, for One Stage of Any Race: You have a favorite cyclist, right? And you’d like to see that cyclist win, right? Well, we can’t guarantee anything (at least, not at this level), but for one stage of one race, a cyclist of your choosing will be allowed to race with a bike 4oz lighter than the UCI lower limit. Is that enough to make the difference between first and second place? It seems to us like it just might be.
  • An 8″ Bust of Me (Pat McQuaid), made of Pure Toblerone Chocolate. The real dilemma here is, should you eat it, or proudly display it on the mantle? (I recommend the latter!)

Gold-Level Investment

How strong is your commitment to cycling, Fat (I hope you don’t mind me calling you “Fat,” for I feel we are kindred spirits)? If it’s truly strong and you are able to show this strength in the form of a minimum investment of $500,000, you will receive everything in the Silver-Level Investment list, plus all of the following:

  • A Yellow Jersey
  • A laminated card that fits easily inside a jersey pocket, with the following text: “This card gives the bearer the right to wear a yellow jersey at any ride or race, at any time, regardless of the bearer’s actual position in the race, according to UCI Statute 3-UCI-18930.9b. Further, the bearer of this card shall not be given any crap whatsoever by smarthmouthed riders, lest they bring upon them the full wrath of the UCI. Signed, [Pat McQuaid Signature]
  • A signed, 8×10 glossy photo of Pat McQuaid (me), suitable for framing.
  • Three 4oz Indulgences, to be Used In Any Combination You Choose. Would you like to give a cyclist the right to ride an extra-light bike on three consecutive stages? Or give three riders on a team the right to each ride with an extra-light bike on one stage? Or let one rider ride one stage with a bike that is 12oz lighter than anyone else’s? It’s your call.
  • Your Name on one GCPSA Event: We’ll add “brought to you by” and your name as part of the event of your choosing. Many of our events are watched by literally hundreds of people, so this is quite likely worthe the investment all by itself!
  • Elimination of an Annoying Rule: Have you ever wondered why the UCI has so many ridiculous rules? Well, wonder no more! We created these rules to make you look brilliant and powerful when one of those rules is discarded! When you join the Gold-Level Investment club, we will release a statement saying that, due to your persuasive, level-headed thinking, we have reconsidered the wisdom of [whichever rule you don't care for], and have eliminated it, effective immediately. You will be a cycling hero!

Platinum-Level Investment

If cycling is more than a fleeting interest for you, Fat, you might want to consider the highest level of investment in the UCI / GCPSA: Platinum. Certainly, $1,000,000.00 is no trifling amount, but I think you’ll agree it’s well worth it. Because, in addition to all of the rewards in both the Silver- and Gold-Level Investments (see above), you’ll also receive the following:

  • One Season-Long 4oz Indulgence: Pick a rider. Any rider. That rider now gets to ride a bike that is four ounces lighter than the UCI limit, for the whole season. Now I’m not a betting man (as far as you know), but if I were, I might start making some wagers on that racer.
  • Create a Rule: Is there something that irks you about the world of cycling? Tell us what it is. We’ll create a rule that fixes the problem. (Not to give too much away, but do you think that we really felt last year that race radios needed to be eliminated?)
  • One Scale Malfunction: You know, technology doesn’t always work the way it ought. Sometimes, just for example, a scale might register a bike as being inordinately heavy. Or perhaps it might find a bike unusually light. Isn’t technology frustrating?

BFF-Level Investment

To learn about the BFF Investment Level, please contact us directly, using an unmarked envelope, sent from a location other than your house. We will be in touch after vetting you thoroughly and ensuring that you have no entanglements we might find inconvenient.

We cannot disclose here the amount required from you as a BFF-Level Investor, nor do we find it wise to disclose the perks. But we can assure you they are both quite substantial.

Intrigued? There’s More!

Is all of this interesting, but you still want more? Well, reply today and you’ll also — at no obligation to you — receive the following!

  • 2011 Tour of Beijing T-Shirt (one of each size)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Water Bottles
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing air filtration mask
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Balloons (500)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing snack packs (note: for display only; snack packs have expired)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Pens (as many as will fit in the box)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Leaders Jersey
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing notepads
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Superballs (9; do not touch, may contain lead)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Yo-yo
  • More Surprises! Quite possibly from the 2011 Tour of Beijing!

Mr. Cyclist Nelson, I’m sure a man of business such as yourself you can see the value in investing in GCPSA. Please support the next evolution in cycling promotion / regulation by becoming an investor. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Best Regards,


Pat McQuaid
President, UCI / Global Cycling Promotion S.A.


Three More Things Fatty Loves

01.30.2012 | 11:55 am

A “Hey, Come Run the Boston Marathon With the Hammer and Me” Note from Fatty: Hey, guess what? The Hammer and I are going to run The Boston Marathon this April. Yikes, I know. The cool thing is, I have a few (literally: 3) LiveStrong slots that have been made available to me. So if you want to run it with us, you can. But you’ve got to do three things, and you’ve got to do them now:

  1. Decide you’re going to do this run. No, you don’t have to have qualified for it. I didn’t. But you’ve got to decide you’re going to do the marathon, which is a big deal.
  2. You’ve got to decide today.
  3. You’ve got to email me at today, saying “I want in” in the subject line.
  4. You’ve got to raise $4000 for LiveStrong. That’s the price of admission for people who didn’t qualify (like me).

Email me right now if you’re interested. Not tomorrow. Today.

Last Thursday, I talked about a number of bike-related things I love. The thing is, though, by the time I had worked about halfway through the list I had on my Very Organized Post-It of Things to Write About (VOPITWA), I had a hunch.

“This post is getting long,” I thought to myself. “If I keep writing, it will take longer than the average toilet visit to read this post, and nobody will ever get to the end. At least half of the things I wanted to talk about will get short shrift. That wouldn’t be fair.”

So instead, I’m going to finish that list today.

ActionWipes single_pack_web_grande.png

Full disclosure: ActionWipes sent me a big box of ActionWipes for free. Once those are gone though, I’ll be restocking with my own money.

I’ve written about ActionWipes before, briefly. Specifically, I mentioned them in my “How I Got the Daisy” post, where The Hammer offered me her ActionWipe as ad-hoc toilet paper.

This was, frankly, a grave disservice to ActionWipes (and besides, one ActionWipe wouldn’t have sufficed for the scale of emergency I was experiencing at the moment). See, ActionWipes shouldn’t be thought of as foil-wrapped toilet paper.


ActionWipes should be thought of as a foil-wrapped shower.

The first thing you notice when you open an ActionWipe is that the wipe is pretty much the exact size of a washcloth.

The next thing you notice is that it smells good. Clean. Not like a baby wipe.

The third thing you notice is that the material is strong — like full-on cloth strong. One of these will pretty much take care of cleaning up the parts of you that really need cleaning up, post-ride.

Specifically, one of them will clean your face, legs, arms, pits and butt.

Yes, butt. In fact, especially butt. If you’re not going to get a shower really soon after a ride, cleaning up your butt with an ActionWipe (and then, if you’re going to be smart about it, with some antibacterial stuff everyone’s always rubbing on their hands) is a great way to keep yourself from getting saddle sores.

Back when I worked in an office setting (as opposed to my basement, where it’s totally cool for me to stink all the time), I kept some in a drawer (luckily I had an office with a locking door, so nobody got a surprise that would force them to blind themselves in an effort to drive the image out of their minds.

Now I keep a bunch in the BikeMobile, where they’re useful for cleaning up after a longish ride that’s going to require a longish drive before a shower. Seriously, these things are great.

201201301002.jpgBontrager Windproof Bib Tights

Full disclosure: I got no special deal on these tights.

Are these the very best windfront bib tights in the whole universe? I do not have any idea. The truth is, this is the only pair of windfront tights I’ve ever had, and since they’re doing such a good job for me, I don’t have any special need to replace them.

Basically, I’ve found that these tights keep my legs and chest remarkably warm, even on really cold, windy days. Last Saturday, for example, a bunch of us went out on a 100-mile road ride. The temperature never got above freezing. Thanks — at least in part — to these tights, I never got cold.

OK, my toes and fingers got cold, but it’s not like the tights can be held responsible for that.

Now, on last Saturday’s ride I wore a pair of bibshorts under these tights, because for that long of a ride I wanted a chamois. For three hour or less rides, though, I don’t wear additional shorts under these tights, and I still don’t get cold (and for that short of a ride, a chamois isn’t really necessary, in my very expert opinion).

Plus, that zippered chest on those tights keeps my winter layer of blubber from sloshing around, like ManSpanx.

Or something.

ride_cover.jpgRide: Short Fiction About Bicycles

Full disclosure: I got no special deal on this book, but I am friends with Paul Guyot and Kent Peterson, two of the authors in this book.

Before I ever read anything in Ride, I liked the idea of it: a book of short stories, all of which have cycling as part of the story.

When I found out that a couple of my friends — Paul Guyot, who has guest-posted here, and Kent Peterson, who took extraordinary care of my bikes back when I lived in Washington — were two of the authors in this book, I had to get a copy.

And the fact that the book is really inexpensive — just $3.99 for the Kindle version — made it an easy sale.

That said, even on its own I would have enjoyed this book. Not every story in this book, mind you, but that’s kind of the great thing about a book full of short stories by different people — you don’t expect that every story will suit your tastes. You go in, hoping that you’ll find something you’ll like.

And in the case of Ride, I personally found several stories that made the book worth the price of admission, several times over. Here are a few I liked:

  • I’m Bob Deerman” (by Paul Guyot): I’m already a fan of both Paul and Paul’s writing, so this was the least surprising thing for me to like. What was surprising, though, was how much I squirmed while reading this story, maybe because I could so easily see myself in the place of the rider — a guy who poaches a ride and then gets greedy.
  • The History of the Bi-Cycle” (by David A.V. Elver): As I read this one, I thought to myself, several times, “This is the guy I’d write like, if I were a better writer.” This story is pure absurd silliness, and made me laugh out loud several times.
  • Bob’s Bike Shop” (by Kent Peterson): I think it may be helpful, sometimes, to know the author when you’re reading something — I figure that’s why those of you who have been here for a while keep coming back; you know me. It kind of works the same way with “Bob’s Bike Shop,” which, because I know Kent, I couldn’t help but read with Kent’s voice in my head. Also, Kent’s personality — an uber-mechanic, as well as a really kind, friendly, super-knowledgable lover of bikes — shines through the story. Even if you don’t know Kent, though, his love of people, bikes, and bike shops shines through here.
  • “Night Ride” (by Keith Snyder): This is the most complex story of the bunch, as well as the most ominous, the saddest, and at one point most terrifying. I got completely immersed in this story; it feels like there’s a lot of “real” in here. Knowledge of the movie Breaking Away is prerequisite to really get what’s going on.

Those are my four favorites from the stories — chances are your favorites will overlap, but not perfectly, with mine. In any case, I imagine most cyclists will find something here they love. Click here for info on getting Ride in print, Nook, Kindle, and iBook formats.

Stuff Fatty Loves: Winter Edition

01.26.2012 | 9:51 am

I used to get a ton of stuff in the mail from companies who hoped I’d review their products. There was a problem with that, though: most of what I got was pretty good.

Wait. What? Why would there be a problem with “pretty good?” Well, there isn’t, not from a day-to-day usage point of view. In fact, most everything I own and use throughout the day would fall into that category. For example:

  • Pants I am currently wearing (jeans from The Gap): pretty good
  • Keyboard I am typing on (Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 6000): pretty good
  • Bar of soap I used to shower with (Lever 2000): pretty good

But it’s not like I’d actually want to write about any of those things. Because those would be short and dull reviews: “This item is ok. I found it does what it ought to do. I shall, however, not miss it when I lose it due to short term memory issues.”

The end.

202-ShimanoUltegraDi2-240x240.gifSo now, when people ask if they can send me stuff, my reply includes this snippet:

You should know that I don’t return things that are sent to me. Whether I like it or not, or whether I talk about it or not, or whether I review it or not, its mine. I’m just too lazy to send stuff back. So don’t send me anything you want me to keep for “a review period.”

More importantly, I only talk about stuff I really love, or really hate. If your product doesn’t make me want to write about it, I won’t.

Astonishingly, this has resulted in much less free stuff in the mail.

That said, once in a while I come across something I really love. Maybe someone sent it to me, maybe I bought it myself. Regardless, I find myself telling people about these things, because I have ridiculously high confidence that — like mine — their life will be better if they have this thing.

So here’s a list of a few new things I love. In the order they occurred to me when I decided to write a post about stuff I love today.

Shimano XTR Brakes

(Full Disclosure: Shimano has given me a set of XTR brakes, and I’m friends with Dustin Brady, the Marketing Guru at Shimano.)

So many of the guys in the core team have abandoned hydraulic disc brakes on their mountain bikes. Hydraulics were just too finicky, they rub, they have to constantly be tweaked and adjusted.

So they had gone to mechanical disc brakes.

I hadn’t, yet, but I was thinking about it.

And then the new Shimano XTR Brakes came out. Well, actually the whole new XTR came out, and honestly I love it all. But if there were one thing I had to pick about this new group, it’d be the brakes. There is nothing like them on the market. Not even close.

I get smooth, perfectly-modulated, true one-finger braking (I’m a middle-finger braker, by the way, but that’s a topic for another post) with the new XTR.

And I get it without constant tweaking and adjusting (which is crucial when you are a horrible mechanic).

Why are they so great? I don’t know. Technology stolen from alien spacecraft, probably. But these are — finally — the disc brakes that deliver on the promise of disc brakes (incredible power in any trail conditions), without the hassle I’ve come to associate with disc brakes.

They are expensive brakes, for sure. But they’re worth it. Worth it, in fact, to the extent that I am saving to buy and put these brakes on my Stumpy 29er, replacing the XX brakes currently on it.

They’re just that good.

Smartwool Microweight Tee and Phd Running Ultra Light Mini SW361-001-1-p.png

Full Disclosure: From time to time, Smartwool sends me stuff. But I also buy a ton of Smartwool stuff, and I can never remember what I bought and what I was comped.)

I’ve made it clear, many times over I think, that I’m a big fan of the comfort and fit of Smartwool. There are a couple products, though, that I’m lately wearing pretty much every day.

First, the Microweight Tee. Smartwool comped me one, and I loved it so much I’ve bought two more. Honestly, it’s a rarity that I don’t have one on. I wear one under my jersey as a base layer when I’m biking in the winter. I wear one under my running shirt when I’m running in the winter. I wear one either by itself, with a jacket, or under another at home and work (same place for me).

They’re super light, super thin, super soft, and make everything just a little bit warmer and more comfortable.

From Fall through Spring, I pretty much always have one (all of them black, because I have color coordination issues) on.

Next, the Smartwool PhD Running Ultra Light Mini. I love these for two very easy reasons: I can run in them without my feet blistering up, and I don’t wear holes in the toes nearly as often as I do with other socks.

It’s that second reason that’s actually crucial. For whatever reason — I don’t know what it is — most socks don’t last even a single run for me. I wear a hole through the front toe by the end of ten miles. (For those of you about to tell me it’s because my shoes are too small or I need to trim my toenails, I’ve already thought of that.)

Yurbuds focus_2.png

Full Disclosure: I have no relationship with Yurbuds and get no special deal on them.

If you’re anti-iPod when biking, you can skip this one. If your existing earbuds fit just fine and don’t constantly fall out, you can skip this one.

If, on the other hand, you like listening to music while you ride and your earbuds either fall out all the time, you should look into Yurbuds. They’re little silicone tips that fit over regular iPod-type buds, but when you put them in and then twist about a sixteenth of a turn forward, they lock into place.

And they just stay there. For the whole ride, or run, or whatever. Nice and comfortably, and without being too isolating.

I like to always keep one ear free when I ride (and yeah, run), partly so I can hear what’s going on around me, and partly because I like to be able to still have a conversation. So I have a set of headphones where I just went ahead and cut the second bud off right where the cable splits; that way I don’t have a loose earbud dangling around.

More Next Week

This is actually only half the list of stuff I wanted to write about; I have three more things I wanted to talk about; I’ll post them on Monday.

Meanwhile, add to the list. What bike-related thing do you love enough you find yourself telling others about?


01.25.2012 | 11:47 am

A Note from Fatty: Today, I’m starting work on my next book: Fight Like Susan. It will tell the story of Susan’s battle with cancer. From time to time (honestly, I don’t know how often I’ll be able to pull the energy together for this kind of post) I’ll be writing posts that fill in the gaps of the story I’ve already told — stuff that happened before I started this blog, and stuff that was too difficult to talk about at the time.

Eventually, I hope to have a complete story. Something my kids will be able to read someday and better understand what was going on around them while they grew up.

I may not write in chronological order, and I may not do these posts very often. Or maybe I’ll start doing them nonstop ’til I’m done. Honestly, I don’t know. One way or another, eventually I’ll finish this book.

In any case, thanks for sticking with me while I write this.

It was December 2003. Life wasn’t exactly easy right then. The twins had just turned two, and while they were pretty much the most adorable little girls you could imagine, keeping up with them was no easy task. “Soon,” Susan and I would tell each other, “They’ll be out of diapers. Then things will get easier. And cheaper.”

“Cheaper” was important. I was working as the editor-in-chief for asp.netPRO magazine, and — like with a lot of tech magazines — there was some serious belt-tightening going on at the company.

A Job Offer

There had been two layoffs. And with each layoff, those of us who remained took a pay cut. Which meant that I was taking home about 60% of the salary I had been hired at.

We were not making ends meet, but we faked it by closing the gap with credit cards. Obviously, that wasn’t a great long term solution.

So I started looking around for a job. Luckily, my job had given me a thick contact list, and I started reaching out to companies. Within a couple of weeks, there were two interested companies: one of them was a development house based in New Jersey. The other was Microsoft.

Either way, we’d definitely have to move.

I interviewed with Microsoft. The result was, “We’re interested in hiring you, but not for the position you interviewed for. Let’s talk again.”

I interviewed with the company in NJ. They made a verbal job offer. I accepted. We were going to be moving East.


And then, doing a routine breast self-exam, Susan felt a lump.

Wow. I had a hard time writing that.

The thing is, that moment was the moment that changed everything for us, but I totally downplayed it. “I bet it’s nothing,” I said. “I bet you anything that it’s something like this ganglion cyst I’ve got.”

That was my style. It still is, really: assume that everything is going to work out for the best. Because if it does, then you spent less time worrying. And if it doesn’t, what good did the worrying do?

But I was still worried, and Susan was too.

OK, “worried” is the wrong word. “Scared” is better, but I acted like I wasn’t.


She went to the doctor. They did a mammogram — Susan’s first, since she was only 37. The doctor said that depending on the results, they might need to do a biopsy.

Susan came back, and we worried. But I stayed positive, and kept telling her that it would not be a problem. Everything would be fine.

Then, on December 23 — two days before Christmas — we got a call. Susan got the phone. It was the doctor. Not the nurse or the doctor’s admin, the doctor. He asked if both of us could get on the phone.

Those two things — the doctor calling himself, and his wanting to talk to both of us at the same time — told us the bad news, before he ever confirmed it.

“You have breast cancer.”

I remember I looked for a way out. “You mean she needs to come in for a biopsy, right?”

“No, it’s very obvious. Can you come in tomorrow so we can start making a plan?”

The doctor wanted us to come in on Christmas Eve. Yes, we could come in.

He had already asked an oncologist to come to the meeting. We appreciated it.

We started calling family and friends, telling them the news, or what little we understood of it.

And I called the company in NJ, telling them I’d likely need to start my new job working from Utah until we had things figured out. They told me not to worry about it and to take care of my wife.

The Plan

The meeting was businesslike, which I think both Susan and I wanted. They could do a lumpectomy, although this lump was big enough that this might be too conservative an approach.

Then chemotherapy.

After that, we’d see if we needed to do radiation, too.

“I don’t want to do a lumpectomy,” Susan said, with perhaps the most certainty I had seen in her to that point. “Take the whole thing. I don’t want it anymore.”

In an instant, that breast had become her enemy. She wanted nothing to do with it; wanted it gone as quickly as possible.

I didn’t argue; I trusted her instincts. We scheduled the surgery.

Another Call

I don’t remember Christmas from that year. I really have no recollection of it at all. But I do remember a phone call that came a couple days later. It was the guy who would be my manager at the company in NJ. I assumed it was to see how Susan was doing.

I was wrong.

“I’m sorry, but we need to retract that job offer,” he said. “I hope you understand.”

Yeah. I understood.

3 (More) Terms All Cyclists Must Know

01.23.2012 | 12:13 pm

A “I Found Myself Unable to Shut Up” Note from Fatty: Last night I was the second guest on TourChats (the first guest was Tara McCormick, the 16-yo woman who just went pro w/ team Exergy Twenty12). My part starts about twenty minutes into the show, and then goes for more than an hour. While talking, I — several times — found myself going on and on and on, and I’d be thinking to myself, “You’ve answered the question! Shut up now!” But I didn’t. I just kept going, often answering the question twice more, with slightly different wording.

And with that recommendation, how could you not want to go listen to — and watch — the exciting replay?


Bicycle technology and culture are evolving at a breakneck pace. Sadly, the English language has not kept up.

Today, I do my small part to rectify this problem. Or rather, I continue to do my now less-small (but still small) part to rectify this problem

Let’s begin. Already.


[tite-uh-noi-uh] (noun) – A mental condition prevalent among home mechanics, and becoming increasingly prevalent with the widespread adoption of carbon frames and components among cycing enthusiasts.

Tightenoia is the condition of having the two following contradictory beliefs, simultaneously:

  • If I DO NOT tighten this bolt a little bit more, it will not be tight enough, the component (e.g., a seatpost clamp, brake lever, stem) will slip when I ride, and the results will be catastrophic.
  • If I DO tighten this bolt any more, it will be overtightened. The bolt will shear, the component I am tightening will crack, and I will be forced to go to the bike shop and make up yet another story about how this happened due to something other than my own incompetence.

Tightenoia is unique among phobias in that one of your simultaneous, mutually-exclusive fears is almost always correct, and the one that is correct is always the one that you think is incorrect.

And don’t go trying to solve the problem by doing the thing (i.e., tightening vs. not tightening) you think you shouldn’t do, because that means you’ve changed your mind and now the thing you thought you shouldn’t do is now the thing you think you should do, which means the thing you thought you should do but now think you shouldn’t do is the thing that you should do.

And so forth.


[ess-see-eye] (acronym, noun) – SCI is an acronym for Soiled Chamois Index, a 1 – 10 scale indicating how frightening the event you just now avoided was, with 1 representing “just frightening enough that your sphincter clenched up” and 10 representing “so incredibly frightening that your sphincter clenched, unclenched, your bowels evacuated, you re-clenched, you passed out, woke up briefly, pooped again, and then re-fainted.”

Do not use number 10 lightly.

Sample events and their location on the SCI scale include:

  • SCI Level 1: While descending a fast, twisty piece of singletrack, you come around a bend to discover you are about to hit a hiker coming up the other direction. You brake hard, swerve, and successfully avoid the hiker, and even manage to say “Have a good hike” after you get around him or her.
  • SCI Level 5: Your downtube breaks as you descend a road at approximately 40mph. You manage to stop, but you are shaking so hard you cannot stand for several minutes, and you very nearly throw up.
  • SCI Level 10: Honestly, I have no experience with SCI Level 10 events, and I hope not to. If you’ve got one, please describe it in the comments.


[ess-ess-dee] (acronym, noun) – SSD is an acronym for Seasonal Stupidity Disorder (not Solid State Drives, nor Social Security Disability). This mental condition manifests itself throughout the year in people affected by this disorder through constant complaining about the current season, and always wishing it were some other season. Typically, the symptomatic complaints will be as follows:

  • During Winter: “I am so sick of riding on the rollers, and bundling up for an outside ride generates tons of laundry. Plus, with all those layers of clothes, you pretty much have none of the sense of freedom I usually associate with riding a bike. I wish it were spring.”
  • During Spring: “I swear, if it’s not raining, it’s muddy. Or if you go out on the road, there’s still all that sand on the shoulder and your bike gets all gritty and coated with worms and crud. And then you go out and it’s all cold and wet, but then halfway through the ride the sun comes out and you’ve got way too much on. And then once you shed all your clothes, it gets cold and windy and rainy again. I wish summer would get here.”
  • During Summer: “It’s too hot to ride today. Really, Autumn is the best time of year to ride is Autumn. The days are cooler, there’s still plenty of light, and the leaves are so beautiful.”
  • During Autumn: “I’m so burned out on riding. Honestly, I’m looking forward to just doing some spinning on the rollers and catching up with my NetFlix queue.”

This disorder should not be confused with CAWD (Complaining About Winter Disorder) which is actually not a disorder at all, but is a sign of being a normal person.

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