Category Archives: saTire / Humor

Because logic needs a day off, too.

Cycling Truths (Sort Of) – Part 1

There are many things that we hold true that have only anecdotal support at best, or is just stuff we were taught as kids that kinda stuck. Things like sitting too close to the TV will make you go blind (it won’t), or playing outside in the cold without a jacket will make you catch pneumonia (you won’t), or cutting your hair will make you look younger (really?).

So it is, that we cyclists – despite no supporting evidence, or even having countervailing evidence – hold some truths to be sacrosanct.

If not for that tiny spec of green on the saddle (which should obviously be red) he’d be 0.23% faster.

Matching Kit Makes You Faster: It’s a well-known fact that not only do you look awesome in a kit that matches from head to toe and coordinates with your gear, but it also makes you faster. That’s right. We already have a bond with our riding machines that some would call, um, disturbing. But when we take on the style of our trusty steeds, we deepen that connection ten-fold. The air, seeing the awe-inspiring beauty and power of this human/machine hybrid beast, will know: this is something to be feared, and I must move out of the way.

  • Anecdotal Evidence: Some. Though the colors and styling of your kit probably don’t make a physical difference – apart from say, a well-fitted race jersey or skin suit that is more aerodynamic – there’s a lot to be said about the positive effects of self-image. If you like your gear, you’ll enjoy your ride more. If you like your appearance, you’ll have a better outlook on your ride. These positive aspects on your psychology can translate to better performance.
  • Scientific Evidence: None.
If I drank pickle juice, I wouldn’t care about my cramps, because I’d be too busy throwing up.

Pickle Juice; For What Ails Ya: THE go-to cure for cramps. you just can’t beat a big batch o’ brine.  A wee bit of this miracle elixir, and you’ll be back on the road in no time. The water is good for you; the salt is good for you; the pickle is good for you. Heck, just seeing the jar when approaching a rest stop helps you fight cramps.

  • Anecdotal Evidence: Tons. Riders of all levels will gladly eat pickles at rest stops and down shots of pickle juice if it means not cramping. Athletic trainers for decades have handed out cups of the stuff to cramping athletes. And it does work, for the most part. Some riders have tried it to no avail. Most believe it’s the salty brine that replaces lost electrolytes.
  • Scientific Evidence: Some. Many, many studies have been done on cramping and its causes. Some researchers believed it was dehydration – coupled with the loss of sodium and potassium – that lead to cramping. But studies have shown there isn’t a direct correlation between dehydration and cramping. Moreover, the salts and majority of the liquid don’t have enough time to be absorbed and dispersed throughout the body fast enough to stop a cramp. That’s not to say it doesn’t work: studies have shown drinking pickle juice can help cramps resolve up to 45% faster than by drinking water. So what gives? Well, leading theories now link the vinegar (or any strong sour, acidic, or spicy foods) in the pickle juice to specific triggers in the mouth, throat, and stomach (transient receptor potential and acid sensing ion channels). Stimulating one part of the nervous system tends to reduce the activity of other parts. So what seems to be most likely happening is that by drinking pickle juice, you’re really distracting the body from the cramp.
The bike is there. It’s just so light you can’t see it.

The Lighter, the Better: My bike weighs less than a fart and I haven’t eaten in three days. Let’s go climb some hills!

  • Anecdotal Evidence: Tons. I’ve seen people pour out some water from a bottle before a race. I’ve heard of some pretty crazy diets. And I’ve seen cyclists that are pretty scary thin. Some of them perform well. Others, perform like any other non-scary-thin rider. And far too many have targeted “race weights”, many of which aren’t realistic or healthy.
  • Scientific Evidence: Counter-Indicative. It’s not just about weight. You can have the lightest bike and weigh 75 lbs soaking wet, but if you don’t have any power, you won’t get anywhere. More than just being light, cyclists need to balance both weight and power output in order to be effective. Now for the pros, this formula is skewed because they have specialists: sprinters tend to be hulks, and climbers tend to be scarecrows. But even they have limits. At some point, you don’t have any more fat your body can afford to lose. So the next step is you lose muscle. And when you lose muscle, you lose power. So you may be lighter, but you’re also weaker.

[Author’s Note: Eating disorders are far-too prevalent in the cycling community. If you’re trying to lose weight, please do it in a healthy, nutritional, doctor-approved manner.]

Cat 5 is More Dangerous Than Cat 4 is More Dangerous than Cat 3…: Cat 5 racer: “Dude! I’ve gotta get my ten races so I can upgrade. These entry level racers are crazy!” Cat 4 racer: “Man, I’m glad I catted up. But it’s like those dangerous Cat 5 guys came up with me. I need to get to Cat 3. It’ll be faster and harder, but safer.” Cat 3 racer: “Phew, I survived Cat 4, and trained hard so that I can race with the Cat 3s. But These guys are seriously fast, and when they crash, it’s like their bikes explode and their medical insurance is forfeit… maybe I’d be better off racing Masters?”

  • Anecdotal Evidence: Some. As we continue to do longer tour rides, or we do more races and upgrade to harder categories, you’ll have more experience, and those around you doing those longer tours and harder races will also have more experience. So you should all be safer for it. But the better we get, the more risks we tend to take, and so though our skills have gone up to make us safer, our risks have gone up as well. So the whole thing can be a wash.
  • Scientific Evidence: Some. The Dunning-Kruger effect is strong in cycling – a little experience leads to an abundance of overconfidence, which in turn leads to dangerous behavior. And it only takes a couple of racers for this to kick, making the lowest racing levels more likely the more dangerous ones (on average). But being in faster races is inherently more dangerous – a smaller mistake can lead to a much more disastrous outcome. And you’re riding for much longer at faster speeds, giving you even more chances for an error to occur.

Stay tuned for more cycling “truths”.

Car Totaled After Run-In With Steel Fixie – Rolling News

"Why would anyone make a bike out of steel?"
“Why would anyone make a bike out of steel?”

Rolling News. December 15th, 2015.

At approximately 7:42 AM, Stuart “Steely” Jones was riding east along Loston Rd. when he was struck from behind. The car – whose make and model are being suppressed by the auto manufacturer while the investigation into the crash continues – didn’t stand a chance.

“I was getting my morning miles in when I heard squealing, and then bam, I felt something hit my trusty steed,” said Jones. By “trusty steed,” Jones is referring to his 63 pound, steel framed, fixed gear bicycle that he rides to train in the off-season. “When I stopped and looked around, I saw this mangled wreckage, and a guy climbing out of what I guess used to be a car.”

Jones was uninjured by the collision, though his bike’s cargo rack was slightly dented.

We spoke with the driver of the 2015 [redacted by our layers] [also redacted by our lawyers] SL in his hospital room. “The sun was in my eyes as I was coming up to the bridge, and I just didn’t see him,” said the driver, 32 year old Bryan Sunger. “I thought I had hit an oncoming car! I mean, why would anyone make a bike out of steel?”

Mr. Sunger, having only recently purchased this vehicle, had chosen it because of it’s high fuel efficiency. A large part of that efficiency comes from extra-light aluminum, carbon fiber, and ceramic construction, as well as a (formerly) aerodynamic profile. “The salesman had me all convinced that this new carbon fiber body is a must-have,” said Sunger. “And it was twice as expensive as their [redacted] @#$% [redacted] model!”

When asked if he would be likely to purchase the same vehicle again, Sunger said, “You kidding me? I’m just going to start riding my bike to work. It’s safer.”

Esthetician Partners With Local Bike Shop – Rolling News

Forget the climb, THIS is where the pain begins...
Forget the climb, THIS is where the pain begins…

Rolling News. December 9th, 2014.

What started out as a casual conversation has turned into a profitable business model.

Will “The Wookie” Chambers was speaking with local esthetician Lila Marx while fixing her bicycle, and they got onto the subject of hair removal.

“I know cyclists that shave constantly, or have tried home solutions for hair removal with… shall we say, unfortunate results,” said Chambers. Chambers asked Marx about her hair removal services and the possibility of going into business together.

“I never really thought about it,” said Marx. “I mean, we’re always looking for new, stable customers. Never occurred to me what a great demographic it would be to target. One that’s already obsessed with how they look and continuously willing to spend gobs of cash? What a niche!”

When asked how his customers are responding to the new services, Chambers indicated that his clients have had only positive remarks. “Many male cyclists feel weird going into a beauty salon to setup a waxing appointment. But they’ll come into a bike shop, try on tight spandex shorts and skin suits. They just needed a place that they’d feel comfortable.”

FAA Halts Production of New Aero Bike – Rolling News

Rolling News. August 26th, 2014.

Project Icarus
Project Icarus

A new cycling company’s aspiration to build the worlds fastest, most aerodynamic bikes has been put indefinitely on hold by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Known as Project Icarus, this new, cutting edge bike company is the brainchild of several former Boeing and Lockheed Martin employees looking for new rolls in a downsized military economy.

“It was such a natural fit,” said lead designer and engineer James Jordon. “Bikes are using more and more aerospace technology: carbon fiber, titanium alloys, ceramics. We figured, who better to put these things to good use than us? We’ve been tinkering with this stuff for decades.”

“The first prototypes were outrageously fast,” claimed Lis Jentzon, project director. “Acceleration was off the charts. It was like having a motor in the crank, or the greatest tailwind following you wherever you went.”

As Project Icarus started to staff up their fabrication plant in preparation for full-scale production, the FAA decided that their first production bike – the Icarus SOL – no longer qualified as a bicycle. Instead, they claim it is essentially a pedal-powered jet.

Spokesman Eric Gradior of the FAA said, “Though we encourage innovation and hope that the materials and skills developed within the aeronautics industry can be applied to other pursuits, this is clearly an instance where you have to call a spade a spade.”

When asked why the FAA demanded that production be halted, Gradior stated, “It’s simple. You need a license to fly a plane. You need training to fly a plane. They’re building what’s essentially a plane. So, we need to figure out what kind of training and licensing it needs.”

“It’s a bike!” retorted Jentzon. “It’s got a handlebar; it’s got wheels! It’s a [redacted] bike! It just happens to be [redacted] fast and made by aerospace [redacted] engineers! [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]!”

Only time will tell if this new company’s production bike will ever get off the ground.

In related news, the head of the FAA announced her intention to step down from her post and run for a local congressional seat in her home district. Sources close to the campaign indicate a recent influx of funds from the automotive industry. We’ll report more on this story as it develops.

Cyclist Sues Strava for Riding into Brick Wall

Rolling News. August 19th, 2014.

Le Parkour
Le Parkour (“the course”)

While browsing through local Strava segments, a cyclist (who requested to remain anonymous – we’ll call him Joe) noticed a new segment next to his neighborhood. “The segment was pretty short. I figured if I got up enough speed coming out of my neighborhood, I could hit it quick and add another KOM to my list.” KOM stands for “King of the Mountain,” the top-spot on the leader board for a Strava segment.

Joe goes on KOM Hunts. He looks for segments that he can achieve first position on, travels to that location and then attempts to take the segment’s top spot. “I sometimes drive 30, 40, 50 minutes to segments. I warm up for 5-10 minutes, then I hammer the segment.”

Two months ago, Joe made his attempt to grab this segment’s KOM. “By the time I exited my neighborhood though this back road I’d never ridden, I had hit 32 mph, and I knew I was going to take this segment.” He says lowered his head and pushed harder.

What Joe hadn’t realized was that this particular segment was created on a popular local parkour course, connecting the two neighborhoods. The Strava record from which this segment was created was accidentally marked as a “ride”, allowing the segment to show up as a cycling segment. After a slight turn, the road ended in a 6′ high brick wall that abutted the back of the adjacent neighborhood.

Suzy Canowitz – walking home from the store – recounts what she witnessed. “I saw this cyclist going mach 2 down the street and thought that maybe he was going to hit his breaks and skid at the last minute or something. But he didn’t. I think he sped up! Next thing I see is he hits the curb and flies right into the wall, and his bike basically explodes. Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. I figured he’d be hurt, so I called 911.”

After nearly six weeks in the hospital, Joe is now filing suit against Strava, claiming the segment wasn’t properly marked as hazardous. Strava would not comment on the pending litigation.


[*** Disclaimer: This is satirical post. I have no clue whether Strava is used for Parkour, or whether some idiot would sue Strava for running into a brick wall. But tell me that doesn’t seem only too possible. :p ***]

Cyclists Discover Meta-Human Powers – Rolling News

Rolling News. August 12th, 2014.

Faster than a pedestrian. Stronger than a Mini Cooper. Able to leap large cracks in a single bunny-hop.
Faster than a pedestrian. Stronger than a Mini Cooper. Able to leap large cracks in a single bunny-hop.

Cyclists have long been known for their unusual feats – using more oxygen than the average human; eating more than small villages; travelling long distances in a single ride. But now, truly super human attributes are being documented among the cycling population. Scientists speculate that these abilities are manifesting themselves due to the convergence of several factors, including new cycling technologies, larger rider power output, and new supplements which claim to be “all natural.”

“It’s like a science-lab on wheels,” claims Prof. Leus d’Marco. “These cyclists push their bodies beyond anything in history, and we’re finding never-before seen proteins and molecules in their sweat and urine samples. Could be reactions between the embrocation creams, sunscreens, bug sprays, gel packets, electrolyte-infused drinks, and carbon fiber. But in our studies we’re only just scratching the surface of what putting all these random factors together in or on a human body might do.”

Cyclists are starting to take on pseudonyms and costumes to match their new-found abilities. “We’re already wearing spandex,” says one of the new super-cylists, “so it’s not like it’s a stretch. Get it?”

Some of the documented cases include:

Weather Rider: whenever he mounts his bike, mild weather becomes severe. Light clouds become a thunderstorm; a warm day flares up to over 120°; a slight breeze becomes a tornado.

Humidita: able to increase the relative humidity while she is pedaling to the point where the surrounding air becomes unbreathable.

Gradient Gal: the ability to increase the grade of a hill as she rides, turning the road into an impassable wall.

Blinder: this cyborg emits enough light to induce epileptic seizures and confuse local air traffic.

Crosswind Kid: the wind will always come from a direction perpendicular to his line of travel.

Cogito: when riding, Cogito’s IQ increases to immeasurable levels. His attention is turned towards the greater mysteries of the universe, leaving him vulnerable to heavy traffic and dogs.

Graviton: another cyborg, this cyclist carries so much gear on his bike and person as to generate a local gravity well, throwing off pace lines as he passes.

Chewtoy: a time trial specialist, the aerodynamics of his bike generate ultrasonic sound waves that irresistibly attract any dog within a 5 mile radius.

Only time will tell what new and fearful powers will develop as cycling continues to push the very limits of physics and biology.

Abducted Cyclist/Blogger Returned After No Ransom Is Paid – Rolling News

Rolling News. August 5th, 2014.

Tony, as he appeared after the Hilton Hill Climb Challenge in May.
Tony, as he appeared after the Hilton Hill Climb Challenge in May.

After over three months of captivity, cycling and blogging celebrity Tony D. was returned home, unharmed. Tony was taken back in June while changing a flat on an evening ride, and since then there has been only intermittent communications between the abductors and the authorities investigating the case.

Originally demanding $1 million dollars for his return, the kidnappers found that no one was willing to pay that much for a cyclist. “You know how much we’ve been saving on food?” said a family member on condition of anonymity. After three months, the ransom had dropped considerably to $5,000 and some gas money “to make up for all the trips to the grocery store.”

Tony was finally found tied to his bike and gagged, in his front yard with a note on his chest. Below is a copy of the note’s text:

To anyone thinking of abducting a cyclist for ransom: DON’T! We were hoping to make a quick buck, maybe sell off his bike and get some ransom money for his return. But no one would pay! Most of his friends assumed he was just on a really long ride! We tried to sell his bike, and even though it looks new, no one wanted to buy it because the “components were more than three weeks old” they said!

And you just couldn’t get him to shut up about cycling! “Can you put on the Tour?” “Is it time for another snack?” “Are these restraints carbon?” “Is it time to eat?” “How much do these chains weigh?” “Do you have a trainer I can ride?” “When are we going to eat?” “If you shave your head you’ll save 2.3s when running away from the cops.”

We couldn’t take it! NO ransom is worth that. In fact, it took us so much food just to keep him alive that we’ve lost money!

Don’t abduct a cyclist. Just don’t.

When asked for a statement regarding his abduction and subsequent return, Tony said, “I’m happy to be back, and will start blogging again soon. But can I give you a better statement later? I’m three months late for a training ride.”

Cyclist Placed Under Observation After Receiving Texts From Bike

Component Upgrade
Component Upgrade

Rolling News. October 1, 2013.

After several weeks of posting text messages reportedly sent by bikes on his Facebook account, the Tribunal of International Riding Enthusiasts have placed local cyclist and blogging celebrity Tony Diaz under a 72 hour psychiatric observation.

“We didn’t have much choice,” says tribunal elder Sam Jacobian. “To be a cyclist, you’ve already got to be on the edge of sane. Sharing the road with vehicles ten times your size and twenty times your weight. Flying at break-neck speeds wearing less clothing than a Victoria’s Secret model. But this… concerned us.”

When asked for a statement during visiting hours, Mr. Diaz stated, “Ha! If they think that’s crazy, just wait…”

Fearing a little for our safety, we indicated we would return for a follow-up interview, which remains unscheduled.