"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Mr. Saturday Night

Number One Advice: keeping a number of hobbies keeps life interesting. I started the day holding a line at 34mph. And ended it wearing eyeliner dancing to Michael Jackson.

It was the end of my first rest week since beginning my training program with Randy and it was well deserved. I had been on the bike 15, 16, 13, and 13 hours again the first four weeks of the plan. This week was only 8 hours, on paper. I had a bout with food poisoning on Monday that kept me out of commission until Thursday, so Saturday's ride up to Highland Park was my first real ride in a week. I'd been getting recovery rides to work everyday, but that wasn't much to speak of.

It was a fast pace up, with the colder weather thinning out the pretenders who want to come out and test their legs. We averaged about 22mph into a pretty stiff head wind. People we definitely taking shorter pulls off the front of the paceline. It was gray and blustery, but yellow, red and golden leaves blowing everywhere. I love the contrast of the leaves against the gray sky in fall. It reminded of my first ride back in April, when I spoke with team president Bob Willems about racing at Snake Alley. I smiled and remarked to myself yet again at how much has changed in less than a year.

I got my first flat on a team ride this year, hitting a pothole square on my rear wheel, pinching it. Kevin and Stocky came back to help out. I didn't have any levers with me (wtf?) and I had some pretty cheap chinchers on with a really tough bead. But we got the tire off in short order and replaced the tube. I was also converted to using CO2 in the future. It was so much quicker. Plus it was really cool to see all the ice form on the canister. What causes that, anyways? I got a B in chemistry.

After a hard final pull into the wind, we arrived in Highland Park a little before 10am, and finally saw that the Einstein's Bagels was closed. Good. I'd been using the independent coffee shop across the street for a few weeks anyways. It's only drawback is the single use restroom. Their espresso is ten times better, and you get it much faster. And with the rides starting an hour later for winter, the bike shop next door is open to by time we get there.

The plan was to head to Superdawg with Tami, my drummer from Shrieking Violet, upon returning back to Evanston. Most of the team headed out for a few extra miles, but Kevin, Erik, Jenn, and a few others, plus I, headed back. We had a few good sprints, especially since I'd had really planned on doing them. I was riding my vintage steel Cilo, with downtube shifters and squeaky SPD pedals. I've popped out of them before, plus the bike weighs a ton, so I was nervous about it. But coming into Glenview I found myself on Kevin's wheel after he'd been left out in the open when his draft cracked. I dropped the right shifter all the way to the tube and passed to the left, winning the sprint. Athough Kevin's just gotten back on the bike in the last month after recovering from a broken collarbone from Superweek. Had he been in better shape it would've been a different ending for sure.

We reached Evanston in about 20 minutes - the swift tail wind kept us above 25mph the entire way - and I called Tami. She was about ready to go and would meet me at The Italian Coffee Bar in 15 minutes. I sat and read the paper and ate some cookies with my coffee, as the Judson riders came in, and then Tami arrived. As we were ready to leave, the rest of the xXx-ers came through. We headed off west.

It was just a perfect fall day. A great day to be on a bike. We took Church Street out to Austin, and found the bike path. The new pavement is still immaculate, and the vivid color and cool damp air were absolutely invigorating. And how awesome was it that we were headed the unofficial trail head of the North Branch trail, Superdawg. The line was long, the kitchen was busy, and it was the perfect end to a morning fall ride. I must ride there more often.

We ate, warmed up with some coffee, and headed back. I was home by 1:30, in time to relax on the couch for a bit and watch Psycho before saddling up again to head to Logan Square and load out for our Halloween Show.

Every year for the last 11 Double Door has done a Halloween show. Local band dress up as famous groups and do a half-hour set of cover songs. Last year was a great show, with us (The Midnight Shows) doing Rod Stewart, as well as The Go-Go's, Daft Punk, and KISS on the bill. This year Local H (the previous producer of the last ten year's shows but declining to be a part this year), Pearl Jam, Misfits, MC5, Alice Cooper, and us, playing third, as Culture Club.

Not take anything away from anybody else, but the rest of the line up was a lot of gray, heavy, head-bobbing rock, and we absolutely livened-up the evening with a ton of color and a set of 6 six hits that everyone sang along and danced to. We opened with the lights off and Rudy singing the opening strains to "Do You Really Want to Hurt me" and then Bang-Bang - hit the brights and into the reggae heavy riff. Next was "Time (Clock of the Heart)", and then "Church of the Poison Mind".

The crowd was really moving by "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" and set up for a strike with my personal favorite "Miss Me Blind." When the opening riff of the number #1 hit "Karma Chameleon" began the place went absolutely ape, and all of us on stage had huge smiles on our faces as all of our hard work had truly paid off.

We went off into the night for several parties - keeping the dress up game going. I still had a bit of the eyeliner left for work the next morning. I think it gave me a look of sincerity, because I sold a ton of wine.

1 comment:

thephysicsbabe said...

Most of the paragraph about your flat tire was gibberish to me... but then you asked a science question! And, I'm assuming it wasn't rhetorical.

Maybe you remember the Ideal Gas Law from chemistry? It basically states that the product of pressure and volume is directly proportional to the temperature of a gas. PV = nRT (Pressure=P, Volume=V, Temperature=T, and nR is a constant so don't worry about it...). So, in the case of your can of CO2 gas, the volume of the can remains constant, but you decrease the pressure inside the can when you release some of the gas. Therefore the temperature of the gas in the can must decrease...so it gets cold. Voila! Ok, so that is the "math" answer. Here's an alternate explanation: The temperature of the CO2 gas in the can is really a measure of the motion energy of the CO2 molecules (ie, how fast they are moving around). When you release some of the gas, the decreased pressure in the can forces the CO2 molecules into motion as the gas expands to fill the volume of the can, and this motion takes energy. So, the net energy in your can goes down, resulting in a decreased temperature. Hope that makes sense... this is why we always fall back on the "math" explanations...