Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Police Department responded to the complaint and determined that police action was not necessary.

Well, Halloween is over, which means we're passing under the flame rouge and on the final run-in to the holiday season.  This means it's time to enjoy food and drink with friends and family--or, if you're a Fred or Frederica, to obsess over your weight and indulge your body dysmorphic disorder:

It may seem strange clicking on a story about holiday weight gain before you've even made Thanksgiving plans.

But consider this: The average American starts putting on weight in October, and the pounds you gain between Halloween and Christmas can take five months to lose, according to recent Cornell University research.

Chances are you’ll snack on some bite-sized candy bars this week—and keep munching all the way to New Year’s Day.

You're goddamn right I will.  Taking food advice from Bicycling is like taking sex tips from Catholic Digest.  See, we're genetically predisposed to store fat in winter, and it's a survival mechanism that's way older than your favorite "10 Steps to Rock-Hard Abs!" glossy fitness magazine:

While common throughout the animal kingdom, adipose tissue is a particularly useful strategy of metabolic thrift for humans. Adipose tissue provided an energy buffer against abrupt changes in food resources as our species left Africa 60,000–120,000 years ago to colonize virtually every habitat on the globe.14,15 In addition, humans have relatively long gestation and neonatal maturation periods as well as large brains that require a constant supply of glucose. Adipose tissue mass as a percentage of body weight is highest during the neonatal period, when brain growth is most rapid, in order to protect against the detrimental effects of malnutrition on the developing brain. Adipose tissue continues to exert a strong influence on reproductive fitness in adulthood, as human females are infertile in the absence of sufficient adipose tissue stores. The maintenance of adequate adipose tissue reserves is thus essential for the perpetuation of our species, and as such, powerful systems have evolved to defend these reserves. Collectively these systems comprise the so-called adipostat, the sum of all metabolic processes that act to maintain adipose tissue mass.

Which is why dieting doesn't really work:

Obesity is considered by many to be a consequence of inadequate self-discipline or “willpower”. As such, individual diet and exercise have been historical mainstays of treatment. But vast evidence demonstrates failure of such efforts in almost all cases. The reasons for this failure are based in the tightly regulated systems that control body weight and energy metabolism. The neural networks that regulate these systems are rooted not in the frontal cortex, the seat of human cognition and conscious “willpower”, but rather deep in the hypothalamus of the midbrain, an area of the brain that long predates humans. We often believe we can consciously control how much and how frequently we eat, but in fact this control is much less than we perceive. While we are capable of limiting our food intake for short periods of time, the control mechanisms for long-term regulation of body weight are well beyond our conscious control. As a result, individual dietary efforts are almost universally followed by weight regain. Obesity is highly persistent. Obese people cannot simply choose to eat less

I mean sure, our ancient ancestors didn't have fridges full of food twelve months out of the year, but I doubt you can thwart millennia of genetic programming with "cheat days:"

(When you're a pro cyclist evey day is a "cheat day.")

Or with pre-treat "burpees:"

I just assumed a burpee was a sugary drink from 7-11, but it's actually an exercise:

1. Begin in a standing position.
2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
3. Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended. (count 2)
4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. (count 3)
5. Jump up from the squat position (count 4)

Just for fun, offer a Fred or Frederica a cookie and watch them break into a frantic burpee session like a puppy begging for a Milk Bone.

Anyway, it seems to me a much more sensible approach is not to freak out over a little winter weight gain, and rest assured that you'll burn it off in spring when you're riding more and your body is no longer compensating for that vestigial winter food scarcity.

You know, work with your body, not against it.

Unfortunately, athletic endeavor has little to do with physical health.  On the amateur level it's mostly about turning you into a teenage girl with an eating disorder, and on the professional level it's about destroying your sense of independence and self-worth in a militaristic fashion:

"I saw Shane and Iain and asked if I could have some of the information. They couldn't give it to me and said I'd been on the programme too long, that I was too old at the age of 25. Shane said that I should just move on and go and have a baby.

"Don't get me wrong, the boys don't get it easy, but I can't imagine him saying something to one of the men about their body shape or telling them to go off and have a baby."

I can totally imagine a coach telling a male athlete to "go off and have a baby," or at the very least to "get off the rag."  Because nothing scares male athletes more than being compared to women and homosexuals.

Aside from the comments in that particular incident, Varnish says she has "a list as long as my arm about comments I've had about my figure" in the past.

"After 2012 I was told that, 'with an ass like mine I couldn't change position within the team sprint'," she said. "I see things that are right and wrong and have done since I was in reception class and there are things going on in British Cycling that are wrong.

Hey, if this whole presidency thing doesn't work out for Trump then maybe he could become the head of British Cycling.

Then you've got super-duper-extra-ultra-ultra-ultra endurance events, which aren't sporting events so much as they are gatherings for people with self-defeating personality disorder:

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — Crushed by exhaustion, you may dream of a competitor’s head morphing into a Pokémon-like demon — and then open your eyes and still see it. The next day you will quit the race.

To fill your queasy stomach during your third 112-mile bike ride, you will discover the best way to eat a sausage-and-egg sandwich: shove it in your mouth and let it slowly dissolve.

After 500 miles on a bike, 10 in the water and more than 100 on foot, it will make perfect sense to grab a branch and a broomstick in a desperate bid to propel yourself — like a giant mutant insect — the last 31 miles. It will not be enough. You will collapse on the road.

Jesus, just take a fucking hallucinogen already.

The sores from chafing are so bad you will think nothing of tugging open your shorts and squirting in ointment in full view of strangers. There is no modesty here; they seem to understand.


Actually, no. They don’t really understand. They are not competing in this race. And nobody not competing in this race understands.

Uh, no, it's exactly the opposite.  Everybody but the people competing in this race understands that this behavior is completely untenable:

David Jepson was unable to hold up his head during the 560-mile bike leg. Despite injuries, including a blister the size of a golf ball, he was able to complete the 131-mile run and win his division.

560-mile bike leg?  Can't even keep his head up?

Is he sure that golf ball-sized blister isn't just his brain?

And at least in ridiculous event like RAAM you actually go someplace, whereas in this Anvil thing you just ride around in circles for like a week:

All the legs were done in confined loops (30 laps in a section of the lake, 101 laps of a more-than-five-mile course for the bike and 75 laps of a nearly two-mile course for the run) at Lake Anna State Park, earning the course the moniker “the squirrel cage.”

And here's the universal excuse for stupid behavior:

Some of those family members came to watch their loved ones destroy their bodies, if not their minds, for nearly a week because … because … why? “If you have to ask,” more than a few racers replied, “you will never know.”

That's pretty much the same answer a teenager gives when asked to explain why they've been cutting their forearms up with a razor blade.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of these events is that people view them as accomplishments, whereas they're actually just a new way to compensate for the fact that you suck.  Think about it: if you can't win at a normal-length event then all you have to do is suck longer than everybody else and by default you "win."  However, the fact is that once a sporting event exceeds a certain length skill and tactical savvy are no longer in the picture and it's simply all about how much boredom and discomfort you can endure, at which point you might as well watch a "Police Academy" movie marathon for three weeks while sitting on a sharp rock.  I mean, come on, it's no longer a race if you have to stop for fucking naps in the trunk of an SUV:

("Fuck it, I'm sleeping in a Hyundai.")

It's basically just having the flu, and the only thing you're accomplishing is not dying:

“With this kind of test,” he wrote, “these athletes were not racing for money or fame but purely to discover what is possible in terms of endurance limits.”

How did it go?

“I was hit by a car three times,” Kurtz said in an interview. “It was a zoo. We’re lucky nobody died.”


It also ravages your heart and is worse for you than sitting on your ass and eating Cheetos:

Ultra-endurance athletes appear to have an increased rate of cardiac arrhythmias, or unusual heart beats, most likely because of scarring of the heart known as fibrosis. But what, if any, danger that poses has been hard to pin down, Hoffman said.

“Exactly why the fibrosis occurs probably isn’t understood, but seems to be an adaptive response to this sort of exercise,” he said.

Yet even doctors manage to rationalize it:

“I know this is not good for my body,” said Jay Lonsway, a urologist who completed the quintuple. “But it is good for my soul.”

Don't you have to go to medical school to be a urologist?  Didn't they explain to you in school that you don't have a soul?  Where did he get his degree, a storefront church?

And it won't surprise you to learn that some of the participants in a "sporting event" based on the triathlon format don't even know how to ride bikes:

To qualify, a competitor must have finished at least a double Ironman-length race, yet here was Jerome Libecki, 46, doing his first-ever triathlon. He had sort of slipped into the race — although he had done other endurance events, he needed a friend to persuade Kirby to let him in.

His triathlon inexperience showed: About 300 miles into the bike leg, after a friend took a harder look at his bike, he realized he needed to shift into a higher gear.

“I was just pedaling,” Libecki said.

And here's the most tri-dorkulous bike crash account I've ever heard:

Steve Hendricks, who had coughed up blood and had the nightmare and hallucination of the Pokémon character, earned gasps when he told the gathering he had broken a rib on the third day. He fell off his bike while fumbling with a cookie and his odometer, and the lingering effects made finishing the race impossible.

Nicely done.

Lastly, speaking of hallucinations, I got an email from a PR person informing met that the blunt has now gone artisanal:

I wanted to let you know about these new amazing, high-end marijuana blunts produced by Honest Marijuana.
Honest Marijuana’s “Honest Blunts” are unlike anything else on the market. They aren’t rolled with tobacco, but instead come in two varieties: an organic hemp roll and an organic mint rolled sugar leaf.
Honest Blunts contain probiotically-grown cannabis, which is free of pesticides and chemicals. The plants were hand-watered and hand-trimmed for the best user experience possible.

They should give those out along the course of the Quintuple Anvil Triathlon.


Anonymous said...

Yes we can!

Unknown said...

185. As for the negative consequences of eliminating industrial society—well, you can’t eat your cake and have it too. To gain one thing you have to sacrifice another.

T. Macleod said...

podium? is that still a thing?

dancesonpedals said...

All Saints Scranus

N/A said...

I assume that the Honest Marijuana is going to sell at Whole Foods.

Synonymous said...

Could have made the podium, but had to finish my Snickers.

dancesonpedals said...

I think the apotheosis of stupidity could be reached by adding a free dive portion to the event (you know, those divers who see how deep they can go holding their breath....and sometimes die)....or have the race as a climb up Everest

Jon Webb said...

Wow. This was like the "Saw" of BSNYC posts. Thanks.

N/A said...

In order to prevent the cardiac arrhythmias, I do not move for >23 hours a day. I ain't takin' no chances!

Anonymous said...

ten? see you saturday mr. wildcat

Anonymous said...

Bike throw for eleventh

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...


Chazu said...

Too early.

Grump said...

These Ultra-endurance events are quite like "World Records" for "longest time skipping rope", or "Longest distance walking on your hands".
A 45 minute Criterium is more than enough of an "Ultra" event for me.

BamaPhred said...

Nicely done.

leroy said...

My dog wants to know how far someone has to ride before he sees me. He says he's asking for a friend.

Sometimes I think he asks strange stuff just to see if I'm listening.

Of course I hear him, but that doesn't mean I'm always going to listen.

That would be crazy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with BamaPhred.

Please try writing political satire and/or political commentary beyond the realm of cycling.

Drock said...

Blunts, awesome

Vote Early and Vote Often said...

"...our species left Africa 60,000–120,000 years ago to colonize virtually every habitat on the globe."

Don't tell that to The Donald!

Black Coffee, No Room said...

"When you're a pro cyclist evey day is a "cheat day."

Coffee out of the nostrils time.

USMC said...

"1. Begin in a standing position.
2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
3. Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended. (count 2)
4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. (count 3)
5. Jump up from the squat position (count 4)"

Boot Camp, Parris Island, South Carolina, the DI's called these "Bends and Mother F'ers". They would announce doing them by saying "Bends and Mother F'ers until you die."

Swedish Krona's said...

"Hey, if this whole presidency thing doesn't work out for Trump then maybe he could become the head of British Cycling."

Pure Gold

Anonymous said...

Good one Snob!
I've book marked and forwarded it already.

Anonymous said...

I like today's post very much.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

I thought a burpee was like trying to do air burps or something.
Citibike charges me extra due to increased adipose tissue.
I walked so fast to the office this morning, Leroy's dog spoke to me, and my phone was off.
When we left Africa 60,000–120,000 years ago, we were migrants, not immigrants Trump told me to say. Eddie Izzard asked if we had a flag ...


N/A said...

Well, great, now I've got this earworm going on 'cause of you guys.

I'll share:

It's gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

P. Bateman said...

perfect timed breakaway to take the vaunted #27 spot!

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

And in for the coveted (baby poo) brown jersey again...

I just complained to the police about this early posting. They replied that "The Police Department responded to the complaint and determined that police action was not necessary." Oh well...

Now I have Toto in my head and it won't stop...

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africaaaaaaa
I bless the rains down in Africaaaaaaa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africaaaaaaa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africaaaaaaa
I bless the rains down in Africaaaaaaa
(Ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

I've always like Toto, but prefer Judy Garland.

Anonymous said...

I've got a better Crash-Dork Story!

Saturday night, attempting to disrobe.
Get tangled in my Xtra Skinny Jeans.
Fall over. Land on top of my fork (bike is on "display" in NYC studio).
Currently suffering a cracked rib AND sternum.


Sax Huret said...

Sorry Snob, I'm still riding PBP someday.

Anonymous said...

Get a writing job with Colbert, Oliver, Sam Bee, or that guy who is not Jon Stewart?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Burpee? If I did that move, it would most likely result in aFartee!

"Taking food advice from Bicycling is like taking sex tips from Catholic Digest." This is way better than GOLD! It is Flawless Diamond encrusted 24 kt Holy Grail GOLD!

Olle Nilsson said...

Where's Kenny Banya when you need him?

Gold Snobby, Gold!

JLRB said...

Whew - I was ashamed that I brought our leftover kitkats and almond joys to dump in the office plastic pumpkin, and ate the lot of them instead. Now I know the season is the reason.

My heart and soul says this was a finely curated post

JLRB said...

AND today's post made me look up reception class. I was expecting something to do with answering phones

1904 Cadardi said...

Two kit-kats, a Reese's and ZERO burpees (although I did go bikecycle-cycling a lunch) and I feel fine about life.

Freddy Murcks said...

100 pre-treat burpees would probably result in pre-treat pukees. On the plus side, at least as far as the editors of Bikecycling Magazine are concerned, I'd probably develop an aversion response to candy and I'd be well on my way to developing an eating disorder (probably bulimia).

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Which is going to make m put a bullet in my own head....Doing 150 laps of a closed circuit for 560 miles, then rumming another 100 miles around a 2 mile loop OR...

watching ultra marathoners slather bag Balm on scranal ulcers...

At least I know why I am a fat old fuck.

bad boy of the north said...

great post.a keeper for sure,but I thought burpees were seeds,a blunts message...ahem,blunt message.

Dooth said...

'with an ass like mine I couldn't change position within the team sprint'," she said. "

What does that mean? It kinda turns me on.

Carlos Danger said...

You can plan your cheat days but it is more difficult to plan your get caught days

bad boy of the north said...

It's the urban saloon in Philly for the pb burger...my bad.happy Wednesday

McFly said...

Jenn Varnish looks pretty aerodynamic to me.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

McFly, I agree with you about Jenn's aerodynamics, but I'd like to see her on the Bird of Prey biekscycle just to confirm it.

Anonymous said...

Cat 6 Idiots riding in circles and sexist British assholes riding in circles, life is full circle... And what the hell is it about her body that isn't "track cyclist"? I think they are jealous. http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Jessica+Varnish+British+Cycling+Portrait+Session+CJb8PXdoom4l.jpg

N/A said...

I think we can all agree about the wonderful effect biekcycling has on the physique.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Hard to pinpoint where cycling ends and PEDs begin.

--Wildcat Etc.

JLRB said...

Carbon footprint offset from this mornings commute? Who cares, as long as it offsets the 4 mini candy bars that followed. (Are Reese's PEDs?)

Anonymous said...

ain't nothin' wrong with that

N/A said...

It was the "ends" that I was referring to, I was just trying to keep it clean.

N/A said...

I like watching the lady cyclists ride away from me, if you catch my drift.

BikingBill said...

Having dropped over 140lbs twenty years ago (and have kept almost all of it off) via cycling and diet I have some opinions:

1. Suffering isn't an option. You will be hungry. For the rest of your life.

2. You can't eat the calories you supposedly burned off on that 200km ride. Your body has become a calorie conservation machine, because it thinks you're living thru some kind of famine.

3. Losing weight is very hard. Maintaining a significant weight loss for 5, 10, 20 years? Play the lottery, the odds are better.

4. Tracking what you eat is a good tactic.

In my case I also went veg, which helps somewhat ... but still the rules apply.

McFly said...

I've noticed some of the 18 wheelers on the interstate have those wide flowing panels coming off the back of their rigs for increased efficiency.

Same diff.

dancesonpedals said...

I'm impressed that snob is linking to articles from the national library of medicine (HHS, NCBI, etc)

In the 80's you had to go to your library and pay 50 bucks for a research librarian to structure a Medline search for you (mesh terms, and/or language, time limits etc). By the nineties you could go online and pay a service like ovid take care of that. In the late nineties there was a shift. Instead of companies making money off a government resource, the NIH opened the library to the public, with free search engines, 'Grateful Med' and 'Pub Med'. Pub Med survives, and sometimes a search on google will bring you there

bad boy of the north said...

Dances.. thanks for link.just in case I need to read my meds

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