Sufferlandria Day 2 was a mad rush to get the time in before I have to leave for a week for work. I got home and had to hop back on for another ten minutes to make up for yesterday. The gray rolled back in and it felt like Washington again. Sufferlandria Population: 7. Roads were empty. 


fairweatherfred:

800 calories burned deserves a #soylatte and #vegan #glutenfree #donut, right? #sufferlandia #coffeedoping (at Olympia Coffee Roasting - Capitol Boulevard)

Flanking my shoulders are the steel chariots of road warriors, the beasts of their engines growling in unfed hunger. The red light stays steadfast and I stare at it until my eyes glow with fire. Rain taps its impatient fingers on their hoods and steam floats up behind me. The moisture kisses my hands and the sounds of the streets whisper in my ear: Go. Faster.

Breath is only halfway into my lungs when everything changes. The green glow highlighting the side of my face blinks to a harsh yellow and I see the steady stream of traffic increase towards the intersection. Their wave crests and breaks right in front of me and I prepare to catch my own. My leg pulls up on the right pedal and pushes down. I hear the metal of the other toe cage scrape the concrete on its way up to meet my left foot.

I’m halfway across when I smell the rubber burning; they’ve released their waiting hounds. My chest drops along with my hands as they grip the lower portion of the bars. I pick up the pace and try to inhale, but gasoline smothers the scent of wet air as they continue their assault.

It’s less than a minute before the ocean clears and I’m alone, watching the cruise ships sailing away, carrying their sad passengers. Their voyages take them to the same ports year after year where they fall in to the same traps, mouths open, wallets emptied, stomachs overfull. I stand at my shoreline and smile, wishing them well; wishing I could tell them about my island where I am almost always alone. My bicycle island, where the tides are as clear as the moon and the sun is so beautiful when she sets without their haze covering her rays.

Sometimes I meet other sailors, always with faster sloops. Mine is made of hand-twisted steel; theirs, of factory-perfected aluminum and carbon fiber. I cast off when I fancy, they must consult charts and time tables and wear sleek spandex uniforms emblazoned with sponsorships. Together we race the machines towards the horizon, and I am glad for the company. Once we climbed towards the stars at night and upon reaching the peak, watched fireworks light up the sky. They make me feel less alone; that there are others who shun convenience in favor of something more real, that they also do not wish to die within a wheeled coffin. But we are not quite equals. I see them look at me like I am wrapped in paper: to them I am something to eat.

Never do I see enough creatures like me: beautiful and wild, honest in her struggle, clad in denim and soaked with sweat, red-faced and unromantic; a cyclist who never fulfilled the prerequisites.

A captain alone with her boat, setting off to the cadence of the winds and her whims. A woman free.


Today was day one of Sufferlandia, which was also my first Strava challenge. Ride four hours in two days. That’s it. I came in five minutes short and my GPS crapped out so I think only nine miles were recorded for the challenge but I got my time in. I stuck to the flat paved trails and took it easy in preparation for tackling Zangle tomorrow morning. 


I realize it’s July rn but this is the raddest bike shop. Shout out to Joy Ride and the best crew. 


fairweatherfred:

So with my fancy new phone I can finally use the @stravacycling app, and it’s amazing. I’ve always felt particularly weak on this tiny climb (& have gotten dropped), so i’m stoked to see that I’m actually in the 50th percentile! #cycling #stravaoritdidnthappen


Perfect.


So it was another Founder’s Family only Moon Cycle tonight. So sad. The weather was so beautiful! Went downtown early for the Bike n Bike alley cat & scavenger hunt fundraiser, which was also ill-attended. I opted out of the actual race but had a blast cruising around downtown looking for the insanely hard items on the manifest. This definitely needs to be repeated with a bigger crowd.

Scott and I rode up Capitol in the twilight, no moon in sight. My favorite part of these rides is waiting for the moon to show up; it’s magical. Right when you start to forget about it, it completely surprises you with it’s beauty and light. Tonight it was in the cemetery, through thick trees, low and round with a yellow glow. I photographed what I could but it never does it justice. 

On the final stretch home, a baby deer - a tiny fawn - walked right in front of my bicycle. It couldn’t have been more than a few feet away; it was the closest I’ve ever been to a deer since this one hasn’t yet learned to fear us. It seemed like a sign, on this Buck Moon, to keep bicycling, keep Moon Cycling, and keep the things that are important to us ever close and present.

— K.I.

One of the best articles I’ve read on cycling perceptions. 


Chicago’s fastest, rudest bicyclists were called “scorchers.” They hunched over their handlebars as they raced in the streets.

They were “selfish, reckless, impudent transgressors of the law and trespassers upon the rights of others,” the Tribune harrumphed. The newspaper described scorchers as cyclists “who delight to whirl around corners without warning and sweep down upon the unwary on a crossing, with a laugh at the alarm they cause and only a very slight fear of the police.”

Bit of cycling trivia for you: the phrase “critical mass” came from Ted White’s 1992 bicycling documentary “Return of the Scorcher,” a reference to these rad pioneers from a century past.