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:
- 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.
- You’ve got to decide today.
- You’ve got to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org today, saying “I want in” in the subject line.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.