Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Isn't it just awesome when self-evident truths are confirmed through rigorous application of the scientific method?

I just (tried to) read a 2014 study from Royal Society Publishing titled "A relationship between attractiveness and performance in professional cyclists." About half way through the introduction my eyes glazed over and I skimmed to the findings to find that "the top 10 percent of cyclists is about 25 percent more attractive than the lowest 10 percent." Now for the ten people reading this blog post right now, this is fantastic news for one of you and not so great news for another one of you.

However the nine of you who are feeling varying degrees of disappointment may find some comfort in another study - this one conducted by scientists at Mindlab - that found "cyclists are considered to be 13 per cent more intelligent and ‘cooler’ than other people." Now this sounds like something we can all get behind, especially since the research was focused solely on roadies so a conservative 25% adjustment (3.25 percentage points) would raise that to just over 16% for mountain bikers. Who can argue with that adjustment? Certainly neither of these two roadies having an apparent argument during the 1995 Vuelta Espana:

Below are links to the two studies. Actually one appears to be a study and the other is just a self-promoting article from a British website and a picture of Bradley Wiggins sitting on a throne.

I will sleep well tonight.


"Chicks dig the dirty ones"
     -- Unknown


Sunday was Evansburg State Park, a rugged "executive nine" of mountain bike trails near Collegeville. "Executive nine" because it is a short 5 miles (10 miles if you ride it forward and backward according to Mike, his math seams reasonable to me). Rugged because it hasn't been dumbed-down like more popular trail systems in our area. Log-overs, rock gardens, a couple of rough cut ramps and causeways, tight twisty obstructed-view single track, and an ample supply of death cookies on the punchy uphills and one particularly puckery downhill.

Duff hosted the post-ride debrief on his back deck, pouring some fine session ales while Carlos licked the blood and sweat off our legs (he was busy).

I was reminded how awesome it is to ride somewhere for the first time. It forces you to deal with what is coming at you. It forces you to react instead of prepare and it makes you a better rider. I see more road trips in our future.


“Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts that attract a superior category of people” 
     -- Chip Brown

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Classic

Long shot of the peloton racing down Main Street. 
A parking spot on Main Street, breakfast outside at Winnie's Le Bus, and all the excitement of a professional cycling race rushing by table side. Twenty-minute laps left just enough time to do some people watching and hit the local bike shops before the peloton and the ridiculous parade of support vehicles races through town again. 

There is nothing quite like the spectacle of a cycling event. Yes, even a "roadie" event like the 2014 Philly Cycling Classic

Next year maybe I'll enter the morning amateur race with my fat bike. Turn a few heads grinding up The Wall.