Monday, December 18, 2006

Less Than Zero

Finally! I thought it would never happen but this morning winter has started for real. Zero degrees Celsius, that’s what the thermometer in the car said when I drove LL and V to school. This is the moment when all that isolating cycling gear you bought earlier in the season has to pass the real test. Well, let me tell you this, the cycling pants with the built in layer of wind stopper, the neoprene cycling jacket and my winter shoes passed the test glamorously, those gloves on the other hand (no pun intended) are a piece of sh*t; by the time I made it to work the tops of my fingers were like little ice cubes.
I guess commuting will now throw a new challenge at me; will I be able to find the daily motivation to haul my spandex clad ass through traffic while my fingers are freezing of?
So far it seems like I can handle it but then there hasn’t been any snow yet so I don’t want to get too optimistic yet, but it seems like I can keep warm in sub zero conditions (if I get a pair of real winter gloves).
I replaced my front brake pads as well over the weekend, it seems like I wear down at least two pairs of brake pads over a month that’s like 4 pads per 600 km. Those pads go at 10 Euros a pair so that makes these winter months extra expensive.
The genius colleagues think I’m crazy to pay 10 Euros for a set of brake pads but then again these Einsteins believe that you can buy a serious bike for 200 Euros. Honestly if I don’t buy brakes it will be even cheaper but you see I’m a bit odd like that; I'd rather be able to stop before I get under a car, and 10 Euros is a small price I’m very happy to pay.
But then again what do they know a bout riding a bicycle, for them riding a bicycle in the city sounds as odd as wrestling bunch of starving alligators. Actually by moments it feels like I’d rather wrestle an alligator or two; a lot of car drivers are still completely unaware of your presence despite the fact that the number of bikes are on the rise in the city.
The truck driver who opened his door on me this morning looked pretty shocked when I yelled at him. I did not call him names I just signaled that he should be aware of other people on the street. That is the main reason I haven’t been posting so often lately; it seem like I could write at least 3 posts a day complaining about stupid reckless driving and antisocial 4x4 but tat gets all a bit boring in the end.
Let’s see what winter brings perhaps I can get into some snow fight with some drivers who knows; temperatures start to go in the right direction anyway.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back to basics.

I know, it’s been a while since I posted something new, but then again nothing new has happened really; I rode my bike into work as usual, was 2 days sick like a dog, got the word form the doctor that my vitamin B levels are too low and that I must start eating meat again plus I need to take vitamin supplements. And last but not least I passed my black belt exam Kung Fu Dju Su Chan-Shaolim-Si, yay!

So what does this black belt mean? It basically means that I proved to grasp the basics of a martial arts system. Nothing more nothing less, black belts are not that glamorous, it’s really just another step in this never ending journey in mastering some martial art skill. Have I developed some awesome new skill? No, I can not fly nor vanish in thin air; honking your horn like a mad cow does not make me disappear, nor can I read your mind; It is really mandatory to use indicators before you cut my lane in order to park your car.
No fancy tricks then? well yes, but I can only show you those after you get out of your car after you tried to run me over on the roundabout or cut my priority because you can’t be arsed to wait like all the other cars in the traffic jam.

You see nothing has changed, I still ride my bike and traffic just gets worse, makes me wish I had a black belt bike riding. Or even better, I wish the car drivers all had a black belt driving, ‘cause a driver’s license is clearly no guarantee that you have grasped the basic skills to drive a car.