Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wanna Race?

Earlier today on BikeForums I posted a reply to someone who commented about racing on the bike commute. Those of us who've been riding at least one season know the drill. It's an unwritten law, but a law all the same. It's universal across language barriers, and as such is more of a concept than a law with hard and fast rules. I interpret it, translated into English thustly:

...if two cyclists are going the same direction and they aren't part of the same group, they are racing.
I further gave three examples to emphasize my point, given experiences I've had with my convoy and various other times I've been among a cadre of cyclists:

Me [riding] with my commuting buddies... Not Racing. [... usually ;) ]

My group stumbles across someone and passes them? They ALWAYS chase us.

Someone passes me or my group? Chase time.
Indeed. It's universal. It cannot be avoided. It's built into our DNA.

No sooner did I post that and it was nearing time to head home. I was then taught the harsh lesson of racing on the commute. I was first passed by a pair of trash-truck-drafting lycra superhero roadies piloting their full carbon, deep-v-equipped precision racing contraptions. Despondent but not ready to get spit out the back of their peloton without a gross display of cadence and cajones, I hammered it up to 37 miles per hour and I stayed there.

For like 8 seconds. Then I started wheesing and needed to slow down.

Bad idea. I hadn't even eaten lunch. This was a recipe for The Bonk Of Despair. No, thanks.

I was feeling pretty good, making alright time. Then I hit the MUP where I found a water fountain. I needed a refill. After that, I take off again, and I'm just cruising along. I don't even know how fast (and by fast, I mean slow) I was traveling. Probably 12-14 MPH. And then... THEN!!!

That's right, I got passed by an oldster on a flat-bar comfort hybrid of some sort... and he was even wearing a FANNY PACK of all things. Boy, I failed at the commuter racing today.

I've been seeing a whole lot of twisted metal lately. More than usual. 75th street was all kinds of backed up. I had to go check it out. Cars-R-Coffins?

Looks like the front of that car got run over by the tractor/trailer rig up the road from the blockage. Whoops.

On a nerdy note, I'll wrap this up with a picture I took of a few geeky things adorning my cubicle. The Paper Enigma Machine actually works, by the way, although it only functionally represents the simplest of Enigmas ever made, the three-wheel, no-plugboard type without an automated rotor stepper. Hey, it's just paper! Mad props (and geeky bragging rights) if you can answer ALL of these quandaries about the photo (high res version here):
  1. What does that "nohup" banner mean?
  2. What website did the stick-figure comic come from?
  3. What kind of exploit has the mother effectively leveraged by giving her son that bizarre name?

Random Tunage:
De Nuit - All That Mattered
Hardfloor - Acperience


Anonymous said...

What's really funny? I have that exact same comic hanging outside my cube, next to the "You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue" warning sign. SQL injection for the win! (But I think my script would probably be rather than :-> )

Anonymous said...

What's really funny? I have that exact same comic hanging outside my cube, next to the "You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue" warning sign. SQL injection for the win! (But I think my script would probably be rather than :-> )

Anonymous said...

I took 3 good swings at your questions only to be called "OUT". I'm going to the bench now to look for my self respect.

Noah said...

Never got into Perl. I can do it, but I'd rather not. My job requires lots of one-liners in the shell. For everything else, there's C++ or something.

Zork, however, is a different story. The room is dimly lit. :)

Noah said...

John, don't fret too much. Believe it or not, there are actually sub-castes within geekdom, and while I personally think the three questions are somewhat basic, anyone who can answer them is without question a geek. Most people are probably not here because of my geek prowess. In that case, just keep enjoying it for the bikey goodness.

Apertome said...

1. Run the script, ignoring hangup signals, then exit. I guess the idea is to perform all work functions uninterrupted, then leave.
3. sql injection

Noah said...

Amertome: actually, do my work in the background (&), while leaving and doing something more productive :P But yep.

Apertome said...

Oops, I read it as && which would do the exit part once the work is done.

Anonymous said...

I read this a while ago and didn't have time to comment. I always thought racer types were jerks. Several times commuters have passed me without even saying hi. I'm glad it made their day to be faster than someone. But here we are, going the same way, on the same route, doing the same thing, and they can't even bother to be friendly. Once a guy did it to me on the pouring rain when I was thrilled to see another person out in it.

Whenever I pass someone, I slow down to their speed and talk to them for as long as I can. From doing this, I know where to get free beer in North Kansas City, how to cross the train bridge, how much a fake carbon fiber bike costs at Wal-mart, several good routing options, and what riding in Phoenix is like. You might be missing out on a lot.

Noah said...

I hear ya, Corinna. I'll always exchange greetings with someone, whether I'm the one getting passed or the one that's trying to catch up. Sometimes I get into some good conversations. It seems most of the Southwest Boulevard riders, however, are more interested in dropping you, even if they're clearly outclassed and slow down after they finally get in front.

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