Sunday, March 1, 2009


...the Hobo-Flex's long lost sibling, found.

So I was cruising through craigslist this morning (actually it was five in the afternoon, but that consitutes "morning" for me), when I came across an interesting post in the Bikes section.

[I know that it's very BikeSnob of me to do the "hey, look at this interesting thing I found on craigslist," thing, but I couldn't help it on this occasion. You'll soon see why.]

Exercise bike - $15

The text reads:

Selling a Sears exercise bicycle. Call Bob at [Deleted]. Get started on your New Year's resolutions.

This photo came to me as a shock.

Could this be it? Have I finally found the sole remaining hobo-flex?!

For those of you not yet familiar with Hobo-Flex mythology, let me fill you in:

Hobo-Flex Mythology

In the beginning, there was the Hobo-Flex. It created the heavens and the earth, blah blah--I think that's how it goes.

So, now you can see how important this is to me! If I were to acquire this second Hobo-Flex, and bring the two into close proximity--that is, after I've found the amulet of T'lax'n'or and spoken the forbidden verses from the Cyclonomicron--the product of this forbidden union would be an awkward and impractical exercise bike of such power....well, I shouldn't think about that. And of course, my newfound power would be overwhelming, but I would be only a pawn to the Hobo-Flexes' will.

Besides, the amulet of T'lax'n'or is, like, 500 bucks, and I really just don't have the cash for that right now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A few things

...that don't deserve individual posts.

I made my vegan curry again tonight. The good news: I think I'm very close to getting it to the point of non-nasty (the point at which I'm no longer ashamed to be eating it). I'm not sure what I did differently, maybe adjusted the curry powder to cayenne ratio, more soymilk, and um....oh yeah, duh, the PCP. I laced it with PCP, that's it.

Speaking of things that are nasty, let's talk about old people. The other day, I was cycling back from school, fighting the southern wind (and my new PCP addiction), when I witnessed an older couple, slowly pedaling down the road, on what I assumed to be the bicycle equivalent of a stroll. Let me tell you, it was a-dor-ah-bleh. And, in that fleeting moment, I considered what it meant to age, and wondered whether or not I would find someone with whom I could cruise the blocks (on cruiser bikes, even), until that inevitable day when one of us would die, leaving the other to be concomitantly buried alive in a final gesture of committment.

But, in the next fleeting moment, I was cut off by a sorostitute in a Tahoe (because you can't spell Tahoe without a...), and soon returned to muttering expletives under the breath of the wind.

What a nice day that was.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Curse of the Aztecs

...pure evil. Manifest in a flat tire.

This curse, which stewed maliciously for hundreds of years, began with Abraham Lincoln.

More specifically, it began with today's Thinkin' Lincoln. A simple webcomic? I think not. Rather, I found that it was a harbinger of doom, or more specifically, a harbinger of sharp objects embedded in bike tires.

I got a flat, is what I'm trying to say.

Surely you know what it feels like to get ready for school, eagerly shoving books into your backpack/satchel, whistling a happy tune, eager for the learning which will soon take place, only to find that your only mode of transportation (other than the bus...or my car, I suppose) has been cruelly struck down by a wimpy, flaccid tire.

As you've probably guessed, I found myself in this very situation today. Investigating further, I found that the reason for the air-pressure-deficit was none other than two unnaturally sharp bits of rock.

Coincidence?! I think not!

Sure, the rocks weren't exactly obsidian, and probably not Aztec in origin. Also I wasn't decapitated, as I surely would have been, had the rocks been any more cursed.

So I replaced the tube, but not before making several human sacrifices upon it to the god of bicycles.

Yes, alright, I killed a couple of people, what was I supposed to do? Animal sacrifices are so immoral...

Sunday, February 15, 2009


...I haz it.

So I came across an interesting graphic today; and because I love to shove statistics in your eager little faces, I'll share it with you.

Here it is. [Click here for the actual link, with full-sized image.]

Now, what I get out of the graph is this:

The bicycle, basically, is the most efficient form of transportation. EVAR. And though it might not be the fastest, apparently it would only cost me about 16 whoppers to travel 350 miles.

Wait a sec, let's figure this out. These numbers are based on the whopper with cheese, a fat-bomb which will provide you with about 770 calories of energy (and more, if you're into mayo, but you're reading a vegan blog, so I'll assume not). Now, I'm not going to be eating the whopper; if anything, I'll be chowing down on the infamous BK veggie (which I'm pretty sure isn't completely vegan, even sans fromage). But anyway. The Veg only has about 420 Cals, which means that I'm going to have to eat about 29-30 of them on my 350 mile journey.

The question I'm eventually going to ask is, is this worth it?

Given that the BK veggie retails at about $2.99, the total cost of the trip would come to about $87.61, which doesn't sound too bad, but let's compare that with the car.

On your drive, assuming that you don't stop (at a friendly neighborhood Burger King!) to eat, the cost of the trip is going to be about the price of 13 gallons of gas. At an average of $2.00 a gallon, that comes out to be $26....$61 dollars less than riding a bike...

Gasp! What have I done?!

Curses, I meant to rig the math so that it turned out that the bike truly is the best of all possible worlds. But nay, dear reader, it seems that gasoline is once again cheaper than junk food.

I guess the moral of this story would have to be that bikes are still far more practical for short trips. And even though the car is more cost and time efficient over long drives, it's still to be avoided at all costs for those spurious trips about town. Also, for health reasons, you probably shouldn't eat at Burger King, even though they do have a pretty slick website.

EDIT: Wait! Wait! I've done it! Alright, here we go. If you repeat that calculation, but this time using ramen noodle packets (the oriental is the only flavor that's vegan and appealing, btw), it turns out that you'd only have to eat 65 packets at about 12 cents apiece. Bringing you, my hungry hungry cyclist, to a grand total of only $7.78 for the entire 350 miles. Haha! We win again!

EDIT: Apparently my favorite brand of Oriental Ramen Noodles are no longer vegan'll have to find another food to power your vegan-biking adventures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The AHT show

...or how I singlehandedly revived the art of the drum circle.

We live in exciting times, and myself especially so. These last few weeks have been a constant whirlwind of tremendous and noteworthy events--events which have been, that, if I were to blog them, your heads would instantly implode under the extreme mass of the awesomeness. Your brains, upon reading of my deeds, would literally collapse into the infamous "Singularity of Overwhelming Excitedness."

Oh well, let's risk it, here's what I've been doing:

  • Saved nine kittens from four separate burning buildings.
  • Disarmed a nuclear warhead using only a teabag and some wax-paper.
  • Formulated the grand unified theory, in my head.
  • Misplaced my pen, subsequently forgetting the aforementioned theory.
  • Attempted the Ramen Challenge, only to fail miserably.
  • Went to a local AHT show, put on by the local AHTist coalition.

It's the last of these items I wish to discuss with you today. If only because it happens to be the most recent in my memory. The rest, I'm afraid, are smothered in too much of an adrenaline-induced haze to be recollected clearly.

Anyway, AHT show.

It's theme was that of Tainted Love (not necessarily the song, although it would make good mood music for this post), and featured angst-riddled tributes to lost love in the form of poetry, paintings, and poi. Oh, and formal cat portraits.

I wish I had more to show, but yet again my camera failed me by dying at the least opportune moment. Of all of the fabulous examples of artistic creation there that night, the only photo--THE ONLY PHOTO--was the blurry example featured above. But I guess that, in a way, it shows the transient nature of the art scene.

It will all be forgotten tomorrow.

Or not, some of it was pretty good. We'll see.

Oh, and they had free wine (classy), though it was from a jug and served in plastic cups (not so much).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vegan Recipe of the Day: A hastily thrown together curry recipe!

...because the roads are icy and I've been riding the bus!

Yeah, I know, I've let you all down. I'm not the ultra badass biker I make myself out to be. The thing is, though, that I don't want to die--which would surely happen if Lucy and I ventured out onto ice-slick streets.

So I've decided to do some cooking! And to present to you, my first, fully original, vegan recipe of the day! Mind you, if you're considering making this for yourself, that I had no idea what I was doing when I conceived of this dish. In other words, don't blame me when it (inevitably) turns out nasty.

Hastily Thrown Together Curry

A lovely, poorly-focused image of the carnage which is to ensue

Serves: two (or one, if you eat like I do)

As you probably remember, I alluded to this day in my last recipe, in which I stated that I was determined to do something with my mistakenly purchased curry powder. This, my friends, is the fruition of that dream: a slightly spicy curry which is probably nowhere near the real thing.

Here we go.

  • (1/2) yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • (1/2) bag stirfry mix (it's what I had, okay? back off. Also, feel free to substitute real vegetables for this one)
  • 1 tspn yellow curry powder
  • 1 tspn powdered cayenne pepper
  • (1/4) cup water
  • (1/4) cup soy or coconut milk
  • 1 tspn vegetable oil
First off, throw your roughly chopped onion, finely minced garlic, water, and oil into a pan to saute. (the oil is especially important, since the oily components of the garlic, supposedly very good for you, will not dissolve properly into water) When the house is filled with that distinctive vampire-killing aroma, you're going to add in the spices and the rest of the veg. Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne to your liking, but for now, make it a bit spicier that you'd normally take it, since the soy/coconut milk we're adding in later will dilute a bit of that. Once the veg mixture is happy, mix in the soy milk, reduce heat, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat. When this step is done, bring it back up to the piping-hot serving temperature (by now your kitchen may be smelling like an indian brothel, this is a good sign) and serve the mixture over steamed rice (I added salt/pepper/paprika to my rice for a bit more flavor/color).

Now, before you taste it once, gag, and throw it out, remember that we made this adventure together, and it's probably your fault if it's nasty.

Thanks, and bon appetit.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bike-on-bike action!

...and by "action," I don't mean bike-pr0n (yeah, I know what you sick people come here for)

I meant, dear readers, that my bike, Lucy, and I were involved in a collision today. And yes, don't worry. Be assured that both bikes were unscathed (or at the very least, very lightly scathed). And so, the tale begins...

It was early morning, with the chill of the dawn laying heavily upon the air...when suddenly, disaster struck. (dum dum dummmm <--dramatic minor or augmented chord)

Nope, hold on. I don't think I'm properly conveying the intended tone of this post. If you need some mood music, open this in a tab whilst reading. (Or if you're feeling like something a bit more whimsical, try this)

Have you gotten it going? Good, let's continue.

So, I hit a dude with my bike.

As usual, I was barreling through campus with little to no regard for the safety of pedestrians, when ahead, streaking across the clearly-marked-"no bike"-crosswalk, another safety disregarding, barreling cyclist crossed my path. Now, I say "crossed my path," in the sense that, Lucy's front tire jammed into [as of yet unnamed bike's] front wheel, at which point both riders and their concomitant bicycles fell to the ground.

Before I continue, I'd like to take this moment to note that I did have time to react. My cat-like reflexes kicked in just in time, allowing me the wherewithal to shout, "whoa, whoa, WHOA!" before impact. However, my apparently sloth-like motor skills did not kick in, since I was spending that precious second between the realization and impact shouting in terror, i.e. NOT BRAKING.

Anyway, we're on the ground...but I spring up quickly, preparing (bravely) for the imminent pummeling, and turn to face my rival. "What? :o" I think, inserting an incredulous emoticon at the end of my thought-sentence, "an old dude? Oh great, it's not going to look good, at all, when he pummels me." Actually, let me rephrase. I shouldn't say "old," he was pretty spry for a guy looking fifty, especially when he jumped up and started to chuckle (at our situation, not in a maniacal way). When I soon realized that the pummeling situation was (hopefully) diffused, we exchanged the usual, "Are you all right? / Naw, it was totally my fault / I was just headed to class / How's the bike?" convo. Turns out everything was okay.

Then came the fifty-year-old guy, swooping in with a bro-hug.

And there I stood, amidst the crowds of students rushing to class, in the street, being embraced by a man I had met seconds before. It was a bit weird, but certainly better than the no-holds-barred, you-bent-my-bianchi, hipster beatdown I was expecting.

And, I guess that's about it. I straightened my front wheel and biked the rest of the way to class. Though I will say, for my first major accident involving a second party, it wasn't really that bad. Sure there was a bit of awkwardness involved, and I could have broken a guy's hip today, but I think that it's more important that we pay attention to the moral of the story:

Don't hit people with your bicycle, it leads to awkward moments.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remember when movies used to be good?

...the high water mark in bicycle boogie.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lucy's lost some weight

...(alternate, more pervy title: Lucy's been stripped down)

About a week ago, I noticed that on my many death-defying adventures about town, I was feeling a bit bogged down. First I thought to blame my level of PHYSICAL FITNESS, which probably isn't the greatest, considering the lack of time spent on the bike in these few winter months. But when my egoistic instincts kicked in, I felt that the blame needed to be placed elsewhere. I looked to my bike, Lucy, instead.

I found that I had fallen into the treacherous and self-perpetuating trap which befalls many cyclist - triathletes, most notably. Namely, this: I had too much crap on my bike.

Now I'm (hopefully) not going to become one of those guys who cares about weight over style or function, nor am I going to start measuring my burden in tenths of grams. However, I took it upon myself to do a little bit of weight management, taking everything unnecessary off of the bike.

When I finished I found a pile at my feet, comprised of all of those things which fall into the "well, that might someday be useful" category. As you can see in the following photo, these are the things which have been, at some point, strapped, bolted, or duct-taped to my bike.

The list includes: Steel/Teflon cable lock, LED head/tail light set, emergency flat repair kit, spare reflectors (front, rear, and wheel-mounted), adjustable bottle holder, high-PSI hand-pump, multitool, spare tube, handlebar-mounted horn (for comedic effect), and, that's right, a GPS speedometer/navigation system.

Granted, all of these things are useful for their purposes. But the trap to which I previously alluded was the fallacious thinking that I needed all of them for every ride. For example, if I'm just popping down to the coffee shop at midday, I only need exactly one of these items - and not even that if I'm taking my bike into the shop with me. So I've simply done away with them until I know I'll be requiring their services. Now, Lucy is looking slimmer than ever, riding very well after a bit of a tune-up and some new chain oil, and we're off to the races (figuratively).

Simplify, simplify, simplify. That's my motto. (also Thoreau, coincidentally, who I can only presume got it from me)


The punchline to this particular story, and also the take-home message is this. Check the basic functioning of the bike before you start forcibly removing items from your bike. It turns out, that the underlying reason for Lucy's sluggish responsiveness was nothing more than a maladjusted rear brake set, which had picked up some tension and was (apparently) constantly rubbing the back rim. I was, in effect, pedaling and braking at the same time, all the time.

So there you have it. Simplify. But also, don't be dumb.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back from the abyss here's a post about a raccoon.

Well, as you all know, I've just returned from an unplanned and unannounced hiatus from the blogging life. Since school's just begun again, I've needed to take some time to catch up on some all-important video gaming. But I'm back now, with some very exciting news.

I have a new friend. His(?) name is Rasputin.

In order to properly introduce my new animal companion, I need to begin with a tale of horror and redemption, which I will call: The tale of Horror and Redemption.

It all started last week, on a dark, moonlit night. I was taking out a bit of trash when I heard a strange rustling in the bin. Living in a college town, as I do, I thought nothing of it. To make myself heard, I inquired, " somebody dumpster diving in there?"

I received no reply.

As I inched closer to the trash bins, the noise abruptly stopped. Whoever, or whatever, was in the trash was aware of my presence. In a fit of bravery, I tossed the bag in and scurried (bravely) back to the apartment.

I soon finished crying (bravely) and set out once again with a flashlight, intent on discovering the true nature of this strange occurrence. I obtained this photo.

Okay, fine...I cowered in fear before taking a proper shot. The thing was growling at me, what was I supposed to do? So for the second shot, I waited out the length of the flash, ducked behind the wall of the enclosure (valiantly protecting myself from the imminent dose of rabies) and stuck my camera over the fence.

I knew the face of my enemy. I thought that the ordeal was over. I was wrong.

On a second night, I returned to the trash bins and heard the tell-tale rustling once again. This time, knowing exactly what I was dealing with, I tossed my trash in and scurried back to the apartment. A bit more crying, a search for my camera, and back I went, this time with peace offering in hand.

I tossed in an apple, (because I am a friend to all animals, and also aware of what a diet of leftover hot-n-ready's will do to your health) and again took a photo from behind the enclosure.

I once again found the raccoon, which, as previously alluded, is now named Rasputin, hungrily chomping on the bit of fresh fruit. The deed was done.

Rasputin and I are now BFF, even though I have yet to see him again, and if I were to see him again, he'd probably waste not a thought about gleefully giving me some kind of disease. We'll see how this friendship works out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Training for the Oklahoma Freewheel that the week-long ride doesn't murder me.

Every summer, around mid-June, over 1,000 crazy people line up at the southern border of Oklahoma, and prepare themselves to trek northward across the state. This is a 7-day affair, which means that you're pulling 50-70 miles per day. Rough.

So I've gotten up the nerve to try this, which means that I need to be in PRIME PHYSICAL CONDITION when I attempt this ride. It's the tour de oklahoma, if you will, and I need to be able to finish without dying.

So yesterday I went running. That's right, I had the gall to leave Lucy at home and exercise without her. Down at the local park/running trail/lake, I ran an easy 2.5 miles. Which brings up an important question:

When did running get so hard?!

I guess that I'm used to being on the bike, but, holy crap do my legs hurt today. I really don't get it. I can go 60 miles on a bike and be tired the next day, yes. But I try and go 2.5 - that's less than a 5k, mind you - and it seems that the fires of hell have taken up residence in my quads.

This tells me two things:

1.) That the bicycle is a wonder of human achievement and a marvelous example of efficiency.

2.) I'm out of shape.

That's all for today. I'm going to ice my calves for a while, maybe do some yoga. My hamstrings are also obviously very angry with me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gonna get me a leather hat!

...because I'm the kind of guy who wears leather hats.

Since new years I've been really bummed out, man. I mean, I had to pawn the wedding rings from my first and second marriages to pay the rent, my new girl, Jocelyn, dumped me, and I'm beginning to get a real strange rash. I'm startin to see why january is the month with the most suicides, cuz one of those is looken pretty good right now.

But just when I was feeling worst, I get this in the mail.

Holy crap. This is what I need.

You can see from the ad that (the guy who looks like) Vince Vaughn looks pretty sad, but that--on the inside--he knows that he's superbadass in his new leather hat. Check it out, man, they come in FOUR DIFFERENT STYLES. Ima get me one for every day of the week, brother!

Look at how cheap them shits are, too!

This is it. I'm writing the check, right now, and I'm gonna get to starting my brand new life. You know why I love leather so much? Because somebody hadta kill somethin for me to get it. Badass. When I get these in, I'm gonna go down to the mall with my wolf shirt on, throw on one of my many leather hats, and start reeling in the chicks in no-time. Whoo!

Gotta go, I can't send in my check and/or money order at the same time I'm typing!


The guy who loves leather hats.

Seriously, I got this in the mail. Now, no offense to those of you who like leather hats--wait, yes. Yes, offense to you leather hat likers. Do you know who else likes to wear leather? Cows.

btw, if you haven't already, click on the wolf shirt link and read the comments. It's the best product ever invented.