Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Johnny Cash

I love punk music from the 1970s.
People often ask - who started punk?
Iggy? MC5? Television? May be?
I say Johnny Cash.
That man was pissed off for sure.
As I was driving to school tonight, I heard a punk rock version of "Ring of Fire". I'm not sure who the band was, but it rocked.
This confirmed my belief that Mr. Cash was the founder of punk.
And plus, Johnny wore all black way before Lou Reed did.
ps: here's the link to the song by Social Distortion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i2ESgR0FUM

Monday, April 07, 2008

Speed & Relative Velocity

"I like to go fast, and use my brakes as little as possible." - Frank McCormack (national cx champion 1996)

I think most cyclists feel the need for speed. I do. First, there's the physical effort to get there, and once you are there, it takes work to maintain that speed.

Oh, but the joy is worth it.

However, for me, time trials (TT) are not really my bag of tricks.

You would think otherwise, right? I mean, TT is about speed.

The thing is, I like speed relative to objects.

What the heck is Roman Holiday talking about?

TT are all about the open road (most of the time); no one is really around you. So, it's difficult to get that sensation of moving fast and plus, there's not much to occupy your mind except pedal hard and keep your head down.

I like flying through tight traffic, with other bikes all around me. You see, blowing by stationary objects puts speed into perspective. You feel like you're going faster. Also, your brain is processing tons of YES/NO decisions along the way, which all adds up to the "speed blur". The same is true for flying through the woods on a mt bike.

I guess its like skiing on a narrow, tree-lined trail as opposed to skiing a big open bowl. Don't you feel faster in the trees?

In physics, this is known as "Relative Velocity". I'm not sure if it was Newton or Einstein that first described this.

In a nutshell, the velocity of a body, like it's position, must be described with reference to the origin of a coordinate system. The origin is fixed.

So, the velocity (i.e., speed) of the bike is relative to the traffic, other bikes, buildings, etc.

Either way, enjoy the rush.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nova Scotia (New Scotland)

Years ago when index shifters on the DOWNTUBE were hot and the US $ was worth something in Canada, I & 3 buddies headed North by Northeast towards Nova Scotia. We caught the ferry in Bar Harbour, Maine & 6 hours & a few beers later we landed in Yarmouth.

During the next few days, we rode from Yarmouth to Shelburne, hung a left at Liverpool, traveled across the interior past the Kajimkujik National Park, then hung another left at Digby & rode back towards Yarmouth in a strong headwind. Once in Yarmouth, we hopped on the ferry again and steamed our way back to Maine.

When I wasn't looking at someone's rear wheel, I remember great views of the countryside & relatively quiet roads to bike on. Also, I remember meeting super friendly & easy going people along the way. And of course, there's Schooner Beer.

If you have a few free days this summer, I highly recommend a bike trip to Nova Scotia.