Saturday, May 29, 2010

Road Biking: A Hate-Hate Relationship

I hate road biking. This is not an essay. There will be no glitzy, eye catching introduction. No smoothing transitions, no clever thesis. I don’t want anybody to be remotely confused about the facts in this piece: namely, that I think road biking out and out sucks.

Now, some might think a guy such as myself who enjoys a little physical activity, the outdoors, and speed would be a road biking enthusiast. And this is where you would be dead wrong. From my perspective, there is literally no good reason to ever get on a road bike. It’s a pretty simple formula.

If you’re road biking to get in a workout, you have to go for twice as long, because it’s more difficult to get in Zone on the bike, because of the greater efficiency. Therefore you could get equal exercise by spending an hour in your running shoes, or two hours on the bike. What’s a better use of your time?

To those who argue that you can adventure farther and further on the bike then you can on foot. This is true, but if I want to go further than I could on foot, I would hop in my car and drive in comfort and safety, and careen around cool roads sitting on top of 1 ton of metal and plastic.

Some people would say that this misses out on the experience of the outdoors, the beautiful air, hard work and exercise, and the reward of getting somewhere yourself. All great goals, I admit – but not on your road bike. If I want all of those things, a good trail run, a hike, or a bouldering session will work just as well for me.

And this brings me to the most important part of why I hate road biking – the existence of other people. On 95% of road biking experiences, you are forced to deal with cars, driven by jerks like me, while negotiating roads which were not built for the purpose of your existence. You’re forced to share the road with people who have no interest sharing the road, and are in fact dead set on NOT sharing. Why would you want your exercise experience to be a battle for control?

And last but not least - professional cycling. I will readily admit that I know very little about pro cycling. But what little I do know involves a ton of doping. Floyd Landis won the Tour de France, and then got busted for doping. And then he spent a zillion dollars on defending the fact that he wasn't a doper, just a back woods Mennonite. And now he comes out and accepts the fact that he was just a doper. In fact, Landis now claims, not only is he a doper, but so is Lance Armstrong, and every other major cycling figure in the last X number of years.

The problem here lies with blasting Armstrong. I mean, in skiing, everyone knows Justyna Kowalcyzk is a EPO stuffed, ugly red and white suit wearing, FIS-insulting, terrorist-racist-sexist pile of cheating garbage, but she literally has NO redeeming qualities, so its pretty safe to hate her. Lance on the other hand, is a 7 time tour winner, or something like that, has survived cancer and made a comeback on the bike, has written several self-serving books, has a whole landfill full of yellow bracelets, and is widely considered to be somewhat of a good guy. Which makes things complicated, because I would love to hate him, but he's making it confusing. And that blurs the entire sport for me, because I am entirely uneducated, so Lance pretty much is pro cycling for me.

So, to wrap up, find a nice piece of less than well travelled road, and get down to business. Enjoy the outside, not get into a boxing match with it. Take your road bike, and huck it off the nearest cliff. Finally, if someone was holding a gun to my head and telling me to go road biking, I’d take the bullet.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blender To Live By

I have a friend who gets excited about high powered blenders. We're talking in the $500 range here. That's a serious blender.
Take the Blendtec for example.

Now, I don't think the video is all that funny, but as a demonstration tool for a serious blender, it works. Some people deem blenders in this style to be 'essential' item. Underwear, check, toothbrush, check, $500 blender, check.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I went on the internet this week and found this!

Check it out. The video will speak for itself in my opinion.


Today's awesome snack: 3 carrots, half a pepper, a sausage, and a piece of apple crumble. Sorry Mom and Dad, your food bill is going to triple now that I'm home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Norway: Petter Northuggery


Nations Cup Ranking:

1st (8826 pts)

Men: 1st (4812 pts)

Women: 1st (4014 pts)

Number of Skiers Scoring WC Points:

35 men, 15 women

What you may have missed last season:

The complete lack of Norwegian distance men after Petter Northug Jr.- in fact, they were downright awful. Northug dominated, everyone is pretty clear on that. But his success was the complete opposite of his friends on the distance team. These lads were a bunch of brutally awful let-downs, without being too harsh. After Petter, the next guy on the Distance list was Eldar Roenning, who finished 25th. Not to slag Eldar, but in Norway, having your second guy finish 25th on the World Cup Distance list is kind of like if Sidney Crosby scored 3 goals all season. Heads roll for that kind of thing. And it doesn’t get much better. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (the guy is all over the map) was 28th, Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Aviators himself) was 35th, and finally Ronny Andre Hafsaas, Mr-I’m-going-to-give-up-biathlon-because-I-won-one-race-so-I-can-kill-at-the-Olympics finished 37th on the back of his single 100 point start. Only 5 Norwegians scored over 100 Distance points, and none of them were young guns getting ready to step in and make a difference.

Who Killed It

Petter Northug Jr.

I hardly need to say this, but Northug was – for the first time in his career – the most dominant skier on the World Cup. He pretty much owned, aside from two notable races, one of which was at the Olympics. He killed everyone in every possible format – pursuit, sprint, mass start, individual start, underwater basket weaving, you name it, Petter Northug Jr. was probably at the top of the results list. He was so confident by the end of the season he opted to double-pole the city sprint in Stockholm, Sweden, and still ended up on the podium. He won the World Cup Overall, the Distance standings, and finished 2nd in the Sprint standings. He collected 1621 WCP, 4 Olympic Medals and a press shit storm after he came 41st in the 15 km. Apologies to the religious crowd, but this year he was Jesus on skis.

The Sprint Team

While Ola Vigen Hattestad dropped massively from his form last year, sprinting is notoriously fickle, and it is difficult to be as dominant as he was in 2008/2009. They packed 8 men into the top 30, kind of like every time there is a sprint on the World Cup. Other than Northug in 2nd, Hattestad was 5th, John Kristian Dahl 7th, Andres Gloeersen 9th, Erik Brandsdal 11th, Oeystein Pettersen 14th, Roenning 17th and Simen Oestensen 29th. Not too shabby.

Marit Bjoergen

Marit “Bear Women” Bjoergen as some have dubbed her had some serious skills this season. She finished 2nd in the Overall, collecting 1320 WCP tying her previous best. She didn’t race the Tour de Ski, but absolutely exploded in the latter half of the season collecting 5 medals at the Green Ring Show, including 3 gold. As well, following the Oympics she won 7 World Cups, a feat not even Justyna “EPO” Kowalczyk can match. She was without a doubt the best skier at the Olympics, and was one Tour de Ski away from being the best female skier in the world.

Who Didn’t

Kristin Stoermer Steira

It seems a bit unfair to label her as a bust, but she exemplifies what happens when you fail to nut up at the big races. Thanks to my fellow cross country ski bloggers over at the Nordic Commentary Project, we have learned that KSS loves to finish 4th, especially when it matters. Her run of fourteen 4th place finishes is epic, especially when four of them come at the Olympic Games. Not that 4th is bad, but when you kick as much tail as KSS does on a regular basis (6th Overall, 892 WCP), you have to show up at the Olympics. Which she didn’t.

Notable Retirements: None yet.

Watch out for:

Celine Brun-Lie

While Brun Lie did have an epic season, collecting 255 WCP on her way to 33rd Overall and and 17th on the Sprint list. She has been a rising star for the past few seasons, but with an improvement on her Classic sprinting, she will be ready to take some scalps on the big stage next year.

Also – Therese Johaug. Everyone knows why.

Therese Johaug,

Weekly Olympic Photo You Have Not Seen

Sprint day again... what can I say, it was a good time.

Kieran: I think we should stand there.
Aaron: I think that's a terrible idea.
Beans: Am I actually at the Olympics???

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Best Beer in The World

While I am in no way a beer expert, professional, connoisseur or official aficionado, I do enjoy drinking it on occasion. Especially if that occasion is all the time.

But in the world of beers, there are loads of different kinds. Light beer, cheap beer, foreign beer, dark beer, wheat beer, beer made from fruit, French beer, hipster beer, summer beer, soccer beer, hockey beer, beer from hats, homemade beer, and micro brewery beer, just to name a few types. This can obviously get confusing, as the consumer does not really understand what kind of beer they should buy, and what the beer they do buy says about them. While the second part of that statement is for a whole different blog post, I will clear up the first part very quickly.

Best All Around Beer
Sleeman's Silver Creek

Why? Because it's awesome. It's Canadian-made in Guelph, it has a beaver and a leaf on the bottle, and it is without a doubt the best tasting beer on the face of the planet. If they charged $100 a 12-pack, I would still buy it, but instead it's a reasonable $23ish. Comes in a green case that screams classy, and while Sleeman's may be better known for being your Dad's beer, Silver Creek is good enough to drink while being mocked. Especially because you won't be mocked for long, if you feel like being generous and enlightening your Neanderthal Molson Canadian or Coors Light drinking friend by lending him a Creek.

Best Summer Beer

Yes, I know Corona already has a headlock on this market, but it is for a reason. Corona really is an "everyone" beer in the summer. If you like beer, you drink Corona because it tastes good. Of you don't, just stuff enough limes down it, and it won't taste like beer. At 4.6% its not a 'light' beer, but its refreshing, smooth, and unreal on a hot summer day on the deck. Or the beach. Or in your lawn chair in your kiddie pool on your front lawn without a shirt on. You get the idea.

Best Overall Value
James Ready 5.5

Some people think it tastes like ass. They could be correct. But at the lowest legal price for a beer on the market, and an extra .5%, it is a steal. If you just keep reminding yourself that you got a deal, and that you can now afford another month of power, so long as you don't turn on too many lights this month, it will taste great. Another bonus of JR 5.5 is that there is no notable taste difference whether consumed cold or warm - for those who are buying beer with their power shut off, this is in fact a considerable attraction. James Ready is ostensibly for the student beer drinker who considers price above all else, and really wants to drink beer for one reason, and that sure as hell isn't the taste.

Please enjoy irresponsibly. Nine out of 10 studies have proven that irresponsible beer consumption actually tastes 10 to 45 times better than its lamer, weaker-sauced brother, responsibility.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


For those dozen people still paying attention to the show, "Lost" ends tonight. The whole 6 seasons finally wrapped up. Now, I'm not too sure about anyone else, but can't really remember much of the last 6 seasons because it's been such a gong show. I know they came to the island on a plane, I think they left, and a whole truckload of characters were killed off at random times for random reasons. One episode they introduced 2 new characters just to wack them by the end. What the hell is the point of that???
By this point, the creators are hoping that everyone is so massively and disgustingly confused that by the end of the two-hour finale tonight, nobody will remember if they answered all the questions. I'm sure that there are plot holes in the show so big you could drive a dump truck through, but at this point, I'm just looking forward to watching it and never having to talk about Lost again.
Just hope ABC doesn't create a spinoff.
Although a comedy based on the guy who can talk to dead people would be cool. Actually, both the guys who can talk to dead people - the fat rich dude and the skinny little Asian. One of them could also be gay, but secretly, to create some tension.

They dress the same, drink juice, and play some random games, all while speaking to dead people. You get the idea. It's at least as good of an idea as "Two and a Half Men", and that shit is golden.