Friday, May 15, 2009

Rite of Spring/J-Church

Yeesh, my legs are still tired a month after McN. Tired legs on the trail and a spring tradition.

Sunshine, seventy and no humidity dictated that I just had to get out to Farmdale the other afternoon for a few miles. It's the heat, stupid. It wasn't that hot, yet those first few long runs in warmer temps require the body to adjust. This means drink, drink, drink, hydrate, hydrate. I know this, same routine every spring, and yet I didn't drink enough. First two hours were great, hour three honestly sucked. My legs suddenly went south, I knew I was dehydrated. Ran into Dexter toward the end of my run and from 20 yards out thought he was Mike Klop. Was shot for the rest of the day. Still, you know, they say two outta three ain't bad. I'll take two good hours and one crappy one on the trails over no trails at all any day.

Oh, I made up for it last night with an awesome midnight run in the cool air and J-Church on the Ipod.

Speaking of J-Church...if you like pop punk, these guys are oen of my favorites. Be warned, very politically tinged stuff, but in a situationist, personal way, not dogmatic. Lance Hanh's songs are like reading journal entries. Really great, catchy stuff. J-Church was also one of the most prolific rock bands of all time.


I nearly went broke in the mid 90's trying to keep with collecting all of their 7" vinyl singles. If you're interested, I'd rate their studio albums in descending order of greatness as follows (but they're all really, really good):

The Drama of Alienation
Camels, Spilled Corona and the Sound of Mariachi Bands
Arbor Vitae
One Mississippi
Society is a Carniverous Flower
also, Nostalgic for Nothing is a great singles collection.

One of the best live shows I ever did see.

RIP Lance

PS: Oh how I wish I was doing Berryman this weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Laurent Fignon

Screw Lance Armstrong. Laurent Fignon is my guy. My memory of cycling goes back into the 80's when Professor Fignon was dueling with Greg Lemond on summer afternoons on network tv. We'd immediately head out on our weighty ten speeds and have tour de neighborhood. Is it weird to admit that I still sometimes fantasize about being the Prof. when pedaling up a grueling hill on a "BIKE RIDE?" Ok, that is kind of weird.

Which brings me to me my point.

I just don't get the whole "CYCLING" thing. Last week I cracked out the bike while nursing a slightly tweaked toe. Still needing some sort of physical activity, figured I'd CYCLE for a bit. My bike needs an "I'd rather be frickin' running" fender sticker.

Before I took off I told myself I'd: A. keep it in the highest gear B. never take my butt off the seat C. Take the route around E-town with the most hilly sort of things.

So I did that for an hour and you know what? I still didn't feel it was a workout. It was a nice BIKE RIDE, a way to break a slight sweat and see the world a bit differently for an hour, but it wasn't much in terms of CYCLING or what felt to me like exercise. Why? Here's what I can come up with:

-My bike is old and heavy. A 10 year old Specialized hybrid bike. I like it, but it's a bit clunky, sits upright, and I'm sure it's not a real CYCLING bike. The whole gear head CYCLIST/Triathlete scene just isn't for me. If I had 2 g to drop on a bike, maybe I'd feel more Lance-ish.

-Hills. Yeah, they go up, great, my quads feel it a bit, but what about down? Coasting ain't a workout it's...coasting. You can pedal all you want to give the illusion of exercise, but coasting is coasting and it's easy. Pfft.

-Spandex. I don't wear it unless it's Under Armour under da' shorts on a long run. You can't be a real CYCLIST without spandex. Science and God both say so.

-Gears. They make CYCLING easy. It's like cheating, and I'm not down with that.

My heart may still be with Laruent-- he's forever cooler than that corporate ho, Lance--and I'll still invoke his name while grinding my way up that quarter mile climb on 117 (Woodford Alps), but bet your $5000 tri bike it will be on a BIKE RIDE and not while CYCLING.