Posted by: fizzhogg | June 16, 2010


We’re kicking it old school at the 2K in 2K10 Unfat Project today. “Voices” is an homage to Russ Ballard’s genius 80’s tune made famous by MIAMI VICE.

Voices is also the title of this post because we’re talking about voices today, or rather noises.

I rode 28.3 miles today. Some climbing, mostly TT type riding. A combo of on-street and levee trails. And about twelve miles into the ride, as I was cruising along the levee trail at a nice 18-19 mph cadence, I heard it.

A noise. Not the old noise – which was fixed, by the way, by tightening my pedals – but a new chirping sound. It was happening when I cranked and when I coasted. But it was intermittent. I would ride a ways and hear it several times, then I would hear nothing.

And then it went away. Thank God.

I continued on to the end of the levee trail, turned around and rode back. And then I heard the noise again. Intermittent, but definitely there. Every few seconds. A chirping sound coming from somewhere on the Unfat Machine. My brakes? My wheels? My cranks? Pedals again? No, this was a different type of sound.

Then I realized – because, those of you who are regular readers will remember that I am a dumbass – I realized that I was in the same area of the levee trail when I first heard the noise. And then, my keen eyes and razor-sharp cycling brain discovered the source of the noise:

The red winged blackbird. And not just one. Many. All around me. Making a chirping, your-bicycle-is-broken sound. As I watched the birds making this chirping sound, I would swear they were mocking me and my triple crank machine and large tuckus. I’ll have to do some Wikipedia research to see if in fact this particular type of creature tends to mock newbie cyclists.

In other news… let’s watch that sweet video again.

Okay, now here’s something I’ve noticed with my post-Tour de Cure cycling career… I want to go farther. Or longer. Prior to my June 5th ride of 51.5 miles, I would usually try and ride 16-20 miles. If I did more than 20, it was a great ride. 25+ rides were rarefied air. If I did less than 15 miles it felt like a small ride, depending on how much climbing.

But ever since the Tour de Cure, I want to, no, need to, ride farther. Or longer. A 16-20 mile ride now feels short, almost pointless. I feel like I need to log close to two hours – which is approximately 30 miles – for my rides to be worthy. Today was 28.3 miles, and it felt like one of my 18-mile rides of a month ago.

But why is this? I’m not any better rider than I was a month ago. Maybe microscopically better. And I don’t weight any less, at least not significantly less. So what is it?

I am convinced that a large part of cycling is psychological. Before the Tour de Cure, I didn’t think I could ride 50 miles. Now I know I can. I remember prior to my big climbing rides in Arizona – I didn’t think I could handle the Pyrenees (near my house) except on very special days. Now I start to roll up these formerly fear-inspiring hills and think, “I did twice this in Arizona,” and then roll right up what was before a difficult task.

So can I put this psychological mental manipulation toward my eating habits? Eat well for a period of time, and then realize that I can live without the Jabberwock’s whisperings? Can my Crockett mental discipline defeat the Calderone of bad eating? Wow, that was a horrible attempt at a… I don’t even know. I just know I love that song and episode!

Eat better.

Keep riding.

Lose the gut.

Fair winds and following seas, Willy


  1. The number of bugs and birds in the Northeast that sound exactly like wheel or drivetrain failure is proof that God exists and is a dick.

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