Monday, November 30, 2009

If the bike fits....

I was home for the holidays in Charlottesville, Virginia, and while there, thought I would take advantage of the pretty and hilly environs to rent a bike and go for a ride.  It was easy to find a local racing club that was riding on Saturday at a decent hour and a decent distance and the ride happened to leave from the parking lot of a local bike shop, so from there it was just an email or two and I had rented a Specialized Roubaix Elite for the day.  I went to pick it up the day before the ride and they were kind enough, as people in the south often are, to spend a great deal of time with me and give me a much more extensive fit than I had ever received.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am what I have heard referred to as a "monkeyer" or something like that.  I don't fully buy the hype around bike fit, or at least, believe more in trying to find little adjustments yourself.  I believe that is much more reliable than all the measurements in the world, not to mention that they charge absurd amounts.  I realize people don't agree with me on this, and those people probably beat me in bike races as well, but, as I told Chris, the man doing the measuring, I really am always pretty damn comfortable.  He asked about numbness or tingling, I said none, except (and his eyes lit up, I knew what was coming.."there should never be any...") except past the 80 mile point or so, and nothing that a little shaking my arms doesn't fixed.  He looked a bit forlorn and admitted that maybe that was acceptable.  I pedaled, he measured, etcetera, etcetera...  After he felt fairly comfortable about the setup he asked me to step off the bike and said he was curious about something and, then, mumbles, and "uh-huhs".. and "I thought so..." and he seemed very happy to tell me I was a freak.  This didn't come as a great shock to me since I have been suit shopping in NYC and had this experience repeatedly.  He felt that I had ridiculously narrow shoulders and fairly wide hips (my wife will be thrilled at the child bearing potential.)  His suggestion was that I use much narrower bars, and throw in a couple of pedal spacers.  He would also suggest double wrapping the bar tape to accommodate my larger hands, and mentioned that Boonen wraps a garden hose around his bars (hadn't heard this, but had heard that he double wraps his bars).  

The ride was very disappointing, probably mainly due to constant headwind and frozen toes.  I never got comfortable, and had a terrible mile long walk of shame dressed like a navy seal, in cleats, through a suburban mall parking lot, since my blackberry died in my jersey pocket.  (apparently, if they get the slightest bit damp, including sweat in a jersey pocket, the phone dies, over, end of story, people replace several a year, and somehow this is supposed to be acceptable.)

Knicks get pounded by the Suns tonight 121-101, and make D'Antoni weep for his lost lovers. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


A little Louis always helps


I've babbled before about being a fan of the book "Born to Run," and here is some more research into the correlation between stretching and running efficiency

Knicks continue the West Coast trip against a Sacramento Kings team that is supposedly beatable, but to me look like a better team than they are given credit for, and definitely better than the Knicks.  NY falls, 112-88.

Off to Charlottesville for a few days, trying to borrow or rent a road bike down there to join on the weekly Saturday ride.  Hills.  Hmm.  At least it is a more reasonable start time than local rides.  10 AM.  There are things to like about the south. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

blow by boy do these teams blow

Sharing my thoughts as I watch "the game" and get ready for a post suckfest bike ride to the great northern environs of "Nyack" or "Piermont" or some such exotic locale.  

Joined the game late after brunch, just about 4 minutes left in the first.  Devin Harris comes in and instantly the Nets look like a better team, better than they were and better than the Knicks. Timeout for D'Antoni to make defensive adjustments, in other words, to remind them that Harris is good and they should try checking him, and to put in Curry.  

(I didn't predict before the game, but since Knicks are up by 5 right now you should believe me when I say that I have been picking the Nets all along.)

2:09 pm
Knicks hold for final shot, don't get a good one, but close out a decent half up by 9.  Larry Hughes has 10 to lead all Knicks.  Nate got in trouble with increasingly testy D'Antoni for shooting at the wrong basket after the buzzer at the end of period 1, which is a pretty idiotic thing to do, especially since he seemed to be guilty of not trying to get a shot off in the .5 seconds he had.  Oh god, not the freaking Time Warner commercial with the world's most annoying guy again talking about "losers" in HD.  

Time to kit up slowly.  Where the hell is my coffee?  Where is my bib?  Gu?  

This was the post I started writing, and I had every intention of continuing the periodic updates, until....I fell asleep.  Yes, that was how bad the game was, and I am not just saying that since my prediction was wrong.  It was bad, really bad, and that is coming from someone who enjoys old school eastern conference scrums.  I used to sit on the couch with my Dad, and just love watching the Bullets ugly it up against an Eastern Conference opponent. But this just put me to sleep.  

Knicks won then lost in overtime the following day to the Boston Celtics, who had clearly enjoyed NYC the night before and were not enjoying the early Sunday start time.  Time for a West Coast Swing, look for the Lakers to demolish the Knicks tomorrow night, let's say 128-100.

Nyack was beautiful, I felt recharged, hadn't gone for a while, and felt new and fun all over again.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Knicks Win!!

Ok, not yet.  Call me crazy, but I'm going to take the Knicks to beat the Pacers on the road, 112-104.  We started their 5 game win streak, they haven't won 6 straight since the end of peach baskets, and, well, that's all, they must be primed for a letdown.  Plus, things are getting a bit tumultuous in NYC with D'Antoni perhaps finding his way to the hot seat, and discussions of whether or not to sign AI.  

Now, before I start ranting about the Knicks I must return to trying to figure out what the hell this really annoying click is on my bike.  Everything I adjust fixes it for pretty much exactly one ride, and then it returns.  On the top of my drive train side pedal stroke, usually only when torqued, but occasionally even when not.  Was sure it was derailleur related, and now sure it's not, and the list is getting narrower and narrower.  Bottom bracket maybe? Good use of my day at work though while listening to Wessell "Warmdaddy"Anderson "Live at the Village Vanguard."

Finally, here's a good review of Agassi's book:

About time, I was getting really sick of everyone fawning on him and asking people to leave him alone.  You want to be left alone?  Don't (ghost) write a book, go on a book tour, get paid millions for that book, crap on a lot of people for your personal gain, brag about lying and cheating.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Curry x2?

Knicks welcome the Warriors in what should be an extremely wide open scorefest, whoever gets to 120 first wins this one. (we'll say GSW 126-108) I'm going to take Golden State to push the Knicks over the top for the worst start in team history.  Should be fun to watch though and both Nate and, wait for it, wait for it.... Curry! may return to "action."

Would like to go to Mercer Cup this weekend, really gotta get on building up 
a cross bike and/or cheap single speed.  Should be nice and muddy with Ida remnants.  

Been on a Bond kick lately, watched Dr. No (the first Bond) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 6th (with Lazenby taking over for Connery, then Connery came back for one more).  Thoroughly enjoyable, very very different, both from each other, and from newer Bond movies. Kinda made me hate the new ones, seems like they stopped trying. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


A great piece on what a scumbag Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers is, and equally importantly, the lack of attention this is receiving.  

The always amusing Schmalz asking interesting questions to the always amusing DZ, among others, on an interesting topic.  Good stuff. 

Gothamist, Brownstoner, the Local, all have various reports of violence in Ft. Greene, most of which play up the distasteful (no pun intended) cheap wings angle.  

Knicks welcome the Hawks to the Garden this evening, and will probably continue to be gracious hosts, allowing teams to shoot ungodly high percentages.   Look for the trend to continue, and expect Crawford to get a win with his new team.  Hawks win 98-82.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's line

Knicks lose to an underachieving Utah Jazz (isn't it about time they and New Orleans just swapped names?), let's say 104 - 90.  Too much Boozer and Williams.  Who knows, Boozer could be a Knick next year, the "fans" probably won't be cheering him though, that disgusting display is reserved for King James. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

My romantic comedy treatment

 A friend emailed me these fateful words yesterday:

he's really been great this whole time, ___ almost makes me want to break the law. or at least sue someone

From there it was a no-brainer.  Picture Matthew Mcconahoweverthefuckyouspellhisname and Cameron Diaz as lawyer and criminal.  Either one can play either part.  For now, we we say he is the criminal and she is the lawyer, but it can be flipped.  Basically, the premise is simple, he keeps committing crimes for the sole purpose of spending more time with her.  (The tag line for the inevitable porn version is "he keeps coming back because she is so good at getting him off).  Yes, it's been done a billion times and will be awful, but that doesn't matter.  

We discussed different possibilities for the principal roles, perhaps Alicia Silverstone, or maybe someone more in the Geena Davis realm, or maybe Parker Posey, and Tilda Swinton came up, but that starts to veer into a whole different realm, namely respectable versus money.  
Maybe it's a small town, maybe there is a poker game with the sheriff? The first half is definitely full of madcap hijinx.  There is definitely a conversation with bars between them.  Perhaps she had to stay in the small town merely to defend him, her high school sweetheart, right as she was finally about to break free to the big city.  Clearly there is a happy ending.  Roll credits with Ella singing "My Romance, doesn't need a thing but you" and you've got yourself a movie.  A money maker, that was the point.  I didn't say a good movie, just one that would make money.  

The Knicks welcome Lebron to MSG tonight so everyone can analyze to their heart's content the odds of him calling NYC home next season (little to none).  But, in terms of this season, expect more of the same, no d from the Knicks mean that Lebron and Shaq make this a laugher early, subs come in, Knicks put a dent in the lead late but still fall big, 98-76.  

Looking forward to a nice, sunny weekend, full of long rides.  Enjoy. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NY marathon

This past Sunday, I was given the opportunity to be an escort for a wheelchair racer in the 40th NYC marathon.  I am extremely pleased that I was able to do this.  
Here is some minutiae from the day.  
Woke up early, but not early enough, 6 AM for a 6:50 meetup for the riders to roll over to the start together.  I met up with part of the group ride from Manhattan directly down the hill from my apartment, arriving at 4th ave and Garfield just in time to notice a bunch of familiar kits rolling by, so I hopped on and immediately saw one of my teammates.  Ride down 4th ave was fun, being in a group for a stretch that I am accustomed to doing solo was fun, but I was woefully underdressed and my toes were already getting numb on the cold and drizzly morning.  
Complimentary breakfast in a bag consisted of an apple, a couple of juices, a couple of breakfast bars and an odd bagel and cream cheese fused together into a bar kind of concoction. I am certainly not averse to lesser quality pastry, and am in fact eating a Boston Cream Chocolate Glazed Honey Bun at this very minute, but this was just a bit odd.  Good, but odd. Oh, and boxes upon boxes of coffee.  Not bad, fairly generous actually.  Then it was into the hospital waiting room for a restroom, where I mastered the art of peeing without full bib removal.  

I am totally sold on Fizik saddles and bib shorts.  First time using either, and was a little bit of heaven.

We were to meet our riders as they came off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, at speed.  Two riders were assigned to each racer, the idea being that we would be in front and to the side of the racer, one on each curb, and far enough in front to blow a whistle and make sure the path was clear.  My guy spent all day in a group of 4 (whittled down to 3 by the time we got to the Bronx), so we had 8 riders out front for almost the entirety of the ride.  We communicated well, had a moment early on where the racers caught us and that was a little wake up call, they can gun it pretty good on flats and descents and really catch up quick, which is to be avoided.  Other than that it was all seamless, and a nice ride through empty streets.  A little bit the opposite of what I was expecting in that crowds in the city were out pretty early and very vocal and supportive, but once we got to Central Park it was as if noone knew there was a race going on, and it became a bit of work to get people out of the way.  

My guy finished somewhere between 3rd and 6th, and needless to say, I was mightily impressed by the effort of them all, unbelievable is an understatement.  

And then I biked my very full bladder home, got stuck (ironically?) not being able to cross 4th ave to get to my place because of the marathon and needed a cop to remind me that I could cross the street underground. 

For marathon map and results, click here.

And, in other news:

The Knicks host the lowly Pacers tonight, who bring an anemic offense and a pretty poor defense to MSG tonight to try and gift the Knicks a second win against a bad team. (Yes, I know, technically NO isn't supposed to be bad, but they look terrible this season so far, and were suspect at the end of last season.)  Troy Murphy may sit this one out with a lower back injury, rookie ex-Tarheel Tyler Hansbrough is definitely out, as is Jeff Foster.  Granger is listed as day to day but will probably play.  For the Knicks, Nate is out, Jeffries is day to day (limiting their ability to have him foist more bad 3's and showcase his offensive incompetence), and Darko is day to day (limiting their ability to try and pretend that he "shores up the defense.")  I'll take the Knicks by a score of 111-101.  

I'll thankfully be spared watching the entire game and will catch it "in 60," just a great, great program that somehow makes Clyde even more entertaining.  I'll miss it because my own bball team will be in action, trying to improve on our 1-5 mark against the league's only unbeaten.  Now, I would never bet on the outcome of my own game, no way, that might keep me out of the hall, but if I were a betting man....I'm having a very Galinari type year, which has made me realize that while I may not believe in junk miles, I certainly do believe in junk baskets. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

I can't bear to watch

I didn't watch the game against Philly.  I swore off near the end of regulation against Charlotte, when Raymond Felton waltzed directly to the rim, not once, but twice, for a virtually uncontested layup, using barely any time off the clock, against Jeffries, who is supposedly the Knicks defensive stopper. 

The 76'ers shot SIXTY ONE FUCKING PERCENT against the Knicks.  Obviously, D'Antoni isn't known for coaching defense, but this is ridiculous.  His Suns team could actually get a stop once in a while, and definitely could when they had to.  

I did, however, nail exactly the number of points the Knicks would score against Charlotte, just got everything else wrong.  So, to keep my predictive streak alive, tonight the Knicks fall at home to New Orleans by  a score of 111-92.