One half of Historic SKID is leaving Telluride for someplace called “Boulder.” I will be covering cycling for Velo magazine and Velonews.com (which, really, is still insane to think about). Boulder, decidedly, doesn’t party like Telluride, so I came to the hard decision that, yes, I should sell my Pugsley. Dammit. It stings. I’d rather get a bikini wax.
So I set about selling the bike. I had a buyer, in spite of my friend/mechanic putting one of his RISD paint jobs on it. (A series of spots that look like bike Herpes). Things were looking up. And then, I got a litany of questions from the would-be buyer. Testing the bike’s Karma. Wanting to Know Things. Shit.
Honestly, this happened two hours ago. Enjoy the Q and A.
1. What is its name?
The bike has no name worth noting but has commonly been referred to as “Pugz,” or “Fatbike,” though mostly I just yell for it and it makes its way, at its own pace, back to me.
2. Why did you ask this bike into your life?
The bike was asked into my life because it snows here, and I didn’t want to stop riding due to that snow. I had the intention of bike touring on the Pugz as well, though that hasn’t come to fruition yet.
3. Has it lived up to your expectations?
Yes. I fear, however, I’ve not lived up to its expectations for me.
4. Has your bike been a part of any conflicts?
The only conflict the bicycle has been part of is a simple joke gone wrong. I asked a fellow cyclist if the woman he was dating’s daughter had begun calling him “dad.” He then hit the brakes and I went careening fabulously through the air. The bike was unharmed
5. Has it ever been in a BUI?
6. Does it have any weaknesses?
Its only true weakness is the rider.
7. Will the red pocks it’s experiencing spread? Are they contagious to others? Any other known afflictions?
There is no reason to think the red pocks will spread. It seems most other bikes (and people) have been vaccinated against the mechanic/artist responsible for its distress.
8. Has it had any serious operations?
The Pugz has no record of surgery. I changed a tire a few times. All this went smoothly and required no pain management.
9. What is its favorite pit stop?
Preferred pit stops: Bar, any; coffee shop, any; donut shops; the valley between the East Fork and Wasatch trails, Eider Creek meadows.
10. What music suits it for hill climbs? Long descents? Meandering paths?
Musical inclinations: Tiffany, “I think we’re alone now”; Michael Jackson, “Beat It” and “The Way You Make Me Feel”; any song by Jewel; “Shorty Wanna Be a Thug,” 2PAC.
11. Does it brag about being picked over other bikes?
The Puggle does not brag or boast. The only thing it ever did say, come to think if it, was an obscure Rumi passage in the middle of the night during a 24-hour race: “What you seek is seeking you.”
12. What are its hopes and dreams? What are your hopes and dreams for it?
The bicycle’s dreams, I believe, are to beautifully channel the dreams of its cyclist. Therefore, the dreams of the machine itself change as yours change. Today, if I had to guess, it just wants to be ridden.
13. Have you saved for its education?
I spent its college fund on a Thomson seat post. I will not apologize for that.
14. On a scale of 1-10, how sad are you to pass on this bike? How excited are you to pass it on to me?
I am not saddened to pass on this bike. It deserves to be among its people, which I highly doubt live in Boulder, Colo., where I am soon to move for professional reasons. I am, therefore, excited to bequeath it to you for a reasonable fee.
15. Will you take $1,000 for your beauty?
If you throw in a six-pack of your choosing, so I can drink to the bike, that’s a deal. I’d rather sell it to you than some bro who asks me all sorts of inane questions online. The bottle cages must come off, along with the flaskholder. These things are dear to me. The money must be unmarked bills. I plan on using it for EPO.
A proper winter training bundle looks like this. It doesn’t include: Knee warmers, a jacket or even socks. See story below for more fat-kid cycling wisdom and how to stay motivated this winter. [MCB]
[The good people at Rapha think this is what winter training looks like, cycling around on the ski resort’s dry roads, or, in this case, riding what appears to be the moon.]
It seems like everywhere the Skid looks, we see websites, blogs, assorted bullshit, devoted to something called Winter Training. I read somewhere recently that “races are won in the winter.” Wait. We were supposed to train for this
racing biking thing? In the winter?
HistoricSKID is based at like 14,000 for all intents and purposes related to cycling; winter training here is called “skiing,” a word true cyclists seem allergic to. They’d be shocked to know all the mountains the skinny punks ride up in Le Tour are actually for Le Ski. But I’m one for a fad. So I decided I’d put together a Winter Training Bible. Behold.
• Think about coffee. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Ride townie to gondola station to commute to work. Cadence: Survival in the icy alleys. Duration: 2 minutes, three if holding said coffee.
• Drink more coffee. Look at Velo News again.
• Ride home, often stopping at liquor store on corner. Four minutes at about 3 rpm, heart not to exceed 70 bpm.
• Open beer, think about riding trainer.
• Open another beer.
• Make coffee. Repeat Monday.
• Adorn something called “skis” if lucky. Google new Chris King line of bikes, stare at steel framed roadie for at least one hour
[More often than not, winter training actually looks like this]
•Weekly Pugz ride to the Brewery. Ride home is much more difficult than ride out. Not training at all.
• Repeat Monday. Surely out of beer by now. Buy more. Drink beer. Skim assorted “cycling” publications. Contemplate Rouleur subscription but decide to pay power bill instead.
• Sit on couch. Think about riding. Read about winter training, think about ordering warmer clothes and a new road bike. Wish dog could take herself out. Miss Iron Horse registration
thank god again. Settle on cross country skiing but at least think about cycling.
• Drink coffee. Drink beer. Talk about cycling with anyone who will listen.
• If temperature is above 35, toy with driving to Paradox Valley to ride but ultimately decide to stay in bed and drink coffee. If temperature is below 35, wander around the house lost. Drink coffee, contemplate new Tour route silently, while staring out window at snow.
• Repeat Monday, but watch the Denver Broncos and scream at TV, not thinking about cycling at all and eating ice cream instead.
[A winter training bundle]
I meekly asked about the status of the singlespeed start. I was informed it had happened “a while ago.” See story below. [photo courtesy of SMJ Media]
Hey, what’s the only thing more fun than riding your bike through mud and hail? Paying money to do it. That’s right: Bleeding U.S., American dollars to ride a bicycle through a thunderstorm even Norse gods would be afraid of. Here at Historic Skid, we’re serious men. Serious about not working. Serious about bikes. Serious about drinking two too many before race day. Serious men with serious futures. So serious, in fact, about bike racing that one of us missed his start for his most recent race. By at least five minutes. But perhaps closer to ten.
To make matters worse, it was a hometown race and one he — that would be me, Matthew — has competed in before. I was, inappropriately, taking a piss near the start/finish of the Full Tilt in Telluride Race course and noticed that everyone below, aside from my two other teammates, had gears on their bicycles. I felt a distinct tinge of whatthefuck pulse through my veins. Being the sharp young man — is 28 still young? — that I am, I remembered seeing at least a few other idiots on one-gear bikes hovering around the race course start. One had tattoos and looked super tough. I, however, had on a fancy new race kit thanks to the local shop Paragon Bootdoctors that makes me look like a banana, as it’s mostly yellow.
I meekly asked about the status of the singlespeed start. I was informed it had happened “a while ago.” When you’re dealing with the breed of cyclist known as a “racer,” “a while” can mean 37 seconds. I’m guessing we were five and change removed from the action. Still, I thought I could do well. I always think I can do well, and I think this is part of my gift and curse. But note: it’s hard to do well when one misses the start of the race. Not to be cheated of my $75 entry fee — No, seriously, why don’t you just take a goddamn kidney from me? — myself and two others, Max and Dave, also looking like bananas, parted the sea of cross-country dorks lining up for their starts — on time! — and took to the course.
Off we rode together and in hot pursuit of the more punctual
(lame?) riders. For a few glorious moments we were racing together, the three best friends that anyone could have. Then Dave, who has appeared on this blog before as “Don’t Worry about Dave” shredded the road climb and was not to be seen again. Max drifted away from me like smoke from a cigarette. Road suffering. Singletrack suffering. Fire road suffering. Descending too fast suffering. Lap one in the books. I see Max in the distance on the climb above. I muster a throaty “Maaaaaaax!” as if I am a child left behind his mother on a crowded beach. Shortly after this, I almost went ass over teakettle on an uphill.
Singletrack climbing. No strength. Pro woman catches me. Wants to chat. People always say how “amazing” it is to ride a singlespeed and wonder just how I do it. I don’t, really, I think, choose this. I’m cheap and can’t part with the 4k for a fast hardtail. I usually just smile, which is more accurately a grimace, and say they’re just behind the next person in the race, even if they’re 10 minutes out.
It is this moment that lightning creases the sky and illuminates the horrid fire-road climb ahead. It hails. Then rains. The trail is now an awful mudhole tangled with slippery wet roots. Atop the climb, I breathe. I’ve only caught one of the singlespeeders. I haven’t even heard the singlespeed mating call, which is an AHHHHHGHHHH! scream through the woods. I’m toast. Again.
[Editor’s note. I was debating if I should include the following paragraph. Clearly, you can see where I fell on that: the realness. This isn’t a blog trying to pick up chicks.]
And then, something goes bad. My stomach is all kinds of wrong. We’re talking don’t-hit-that-bump-too-hard wrong. I weigh my options; I’m in unknown territory. I come to a switchback and Carl-Lewis-sprint from my bike into the woods. People in the Tour de France have been calling this moment a natural break. It happens. Deal with it. I know I had to. I jump back on the bike and hammer to the finish line. “Hammer,” in this case, means pedaling my 22-tooth-spinning brains out — Imagine a gerbil on a wheel but with better teeth. I see people who finished like an hour before me, smile and skid. I yelled at the racer next to me to sprint me to the line and FINISH THIS! And then let him knick me on the line. He was annoyed at the moment but later had the look of a little boy who’d just sprinted home for dinner.
And that, as they say, was that.
PUGZ ALERT. Single Stash mashes his way up a class 3 rapid on Ingram falls. [bk photo]
Mark Zitelli—Moab, Utah. [bk photo]
Katie K shreds Eider Creek’s Lolipop as the summer shag comes to life. —Telluride, Colo. [bk photo]
"Riding a single speed is like being in an abusive relationship. It keeps making me its bitch and I come back for more."
Mark [meat closet] Zitelli
Single Stash cools down in the mist below Bridal Veil Falls. [bk photo]