Thursday, February 15, 2018

Black Wednesday

So where were you when the Great Strava Blackout Of '18 hit?

That's right, yesterday afternoon the Fredliverse reeled as the world's foremost digital wank bank was, for a tortuous stretch of time, "temporarily unavailable".  Even if you weren't a Strava user you knew something was amiss, as Freds and Fredericas all over the world suddenly dismounted and stood there like automatons seeking a Wi-Fi signal, uncertain as to what to do next:

Oh sure, they could have continued riding while Strava was down, but to what end?  To the true roadie, the unrecorded pedal stroke is not worth turning, and churning away as potential data vanishes into the void is like pouring fine champagne down the storm drain, or like a prize stallion spilling his thoroughbred seed upon the parched earth instead of into a fertile mare.

I'll never forget where I was: clomping back upstairs after a Fred ride when, to my chagrin, my ride was taking longer to upload than usual.  How I longed to retrace the contours of the ride, to see my feeble output quantified...  But no!  The activity simply failed to materialize, and I wondered if I'd even ridden my bicycle in the first place.

Would I have to do it all over again?  Without digital confirmation that I'd done something, how could I know???

Such is the conundrum of 21st century life.  What's the point of bon mots if we don't tweet them?  Why ingest a delicious meal if you're not going to Instagram it?  Why hoist yourself upon the bowl if you're not going to log the results into a poop tracker?

Track your bowel movements with this simple poop log app. Ever wonder what your bowel movements mean and how they affect your health? Curious to find out how frequently you suffer from bowel conditions like constipation, diarrhea, or bloody stool? Do you know if your diet is causing you constipation or diarrhea? Well now tracking your bowel movements is easier than ever. 

It's good to know there are other Stool Freds out there.

Oh sure, there was a time when I eschewed Strava, and when I mocked it for being the cycling equivalent of this:

And now that I'm using it I know this to be true, and that the sad, captive, pud-pulling ape above is me.

Though when you think about it, isn't he all of us?

Given my tendency to eventually succumb to that which I mock, my greatest fear is now that I start using Zwift.  I like to think that this will never happen, for the simple reason that I have no place for a stationary Fred setup like this one:

Is there anything sadder than a half-dressed Fred grinding away on half a bicycle?  I don't know, but the power of Zwift to remove bicycles from the road rattles me to my core:

But here is the somewhat baleful truth about why I wasn’t riding outside: I just didn’t feel like it. (Note: If you’ve read this far without knowing what Zwift is, you need to get inside more.) This is a hard thing to say, one that I fear may see me exiled permanently from the cycling tribe, but there are times when I actually prefer Zwift—when I even hope for some Nor’easter to blow into town so I can maintain a shred of self-respect while crawling into my pain cave. Shame about the weather, heh, guess I’ll have to get on the trainer.

None of this is to say I don't understand.  I totally do.  In an attempt to feed both your cycling addition and your data feed it's easy to see how doing so in this manner may be tempting.  However, I do have one advantage, and that's geography:

But I am beginning to shake these feelings. For one, I enjoy an epic ride as much as the next cyclist, when I have time. Living in Brooklyn, New York, means I have, basically, two major ride options. The best choice is through Manhattan, across the George Washington Bridge, and up toward one of the Hudson River towns. But this is at least a four-hour ride, two hours of which are “junk miles” to get to and from the actual ride (a typically judgmental cyclist opinion—some might fail to see how riding through the world’s greatest city could be junk). This usually leaves laps around Brooklyn’s Prospect Park’s undulating oval. It is a beautiful ride, but one that I have done so many times I no longer actually see it. Since I’m already riding in a simulacrum, why not simply Zwift?

I know what he's talking about.  I used to live here:

And like 90% of the good riding is here:

Now I live here:

And I congratulate myself for my brilliant choice every single day.

Indeed, had I stayed in Brooklyn that very well could have been me toiling away in front of the Zwifting box.  Instead I'm just a Strava-addled doofus on a $10,000 wooden bicycle and deep in the throes of a midlife Fred crisis:

Speaking of which, yes, I'm still riding the Renovo, and yes, I'm still greatly enjoying it.  I haven't even had to charge the Di2 yet.  Indeed, I'm enjoying it so much I've made arrangements to keep it into the summer, which is when the real testing will begin.

Just stay away from me with your damn magnifying glasses.


Anonymous said...

Holy Crap! Top of the heap!

Anonymous said...

Does that poop tracker allow you to take pictures of it for analysis? (or anal-isys?)

Watch and Camera Guy said...


Anonymous said...

Any ride outside is better than a ride on a trainer. I finally gave mine away about 5 years ago. And if it's too cold or snowy or rainy to ride outside you can either enjoy the break or hit the gym or break out some snow shoes or something. If you're looking for excuses to "Zwift" you are one sick pud.

ken e. said...

over-share poop emoji!

Anonymous said...

Second shall do for now

theEel said...


Anonymous said...

Problem with the zwift setup is the guy has no cooler full of beer in reach. He would have stop and get off to fetch a cold one. When I have a cold sixpack at arms reach I'm good for 60 miles on the stationary. Man has to have a reward besides just suffering.

dancesonpedals said...

Strava? Recording runs in VCP? We could be witnesses to the gestation of a trigeek. The slippery slope was trod upon when you logged that first PR

dnk said...

To clear the air:


I have used my own funds to facilitate a $130,000 payment to the actress, Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Neither the Bike Snob nor Bike Snob Hands Across America Campaign reimbursed me for the payment. The payment was legal. I cannot say what the payment was for, because I admit no wrongdoing on behalf of my client.

Let's please now put all of that behind us.

And Mr. Bike Snob, stop fretting about being a Strava-addled doofus on a $10,000 wooden bicycle and deep in the throes of a midlife Fred crisis, and make cycling great again.

Spokey said...

i think i looked at strava once

being an old ante-deluvian pedaller, i don't need no stinkin' electronics to tell me i suck

Spokey said...


and maybe silver & bronze?

wit all this bloggy meditation, who can tell podi spots until they showsy?

Anonymous said...

Numero dos!

Anonymous said...

Numero tres

wle said...

"you need to get inside more."

"That's GOLD, Jerry, GOLD!!" --- K. Bania

"Bania: Why do they call it Ovaltine?

The mug is round; the jar is round...

they should call it Roundtine.

(pauses) That's gold, Jerry! Gold! "


Tooch said...

Hey - with that poo tracker app - does have functionality to photograph it for later analysis?

John said...

Snobby - When you tire of all the social features of Zwift, you can distill pure Fredliness in The Sufferfest. Video driven wanking requiring a full toolbox of electronica and no social interaction at all. It is Fredly Nirvana topped with lava snow

uncle joe said...

We don't need no stinking poop tracker. In the old days, we just ate corn on the cob, and Bobsyouruncle, you got your GI transit time

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Stormy Daniels, prurient curiosity led me to Pornhub, which features a 22 minute compilation video made up of nothing but random guys blowing their loads on her face.

That's kinda impressive, you got to admit.

HDEB said...

The most exciting on-road cycling in America is in NYC! No suburban or rural road can match the thrill of speeding through small gaps in traffic.

N/A said...

"Toilet Log"

Long Island said...

No good roads to cycle east of Brooklyn? I don't know, i'm just asking.

leroy said...

My dog claims he was tracking his poop before poop tracking was cool.

I too have inadvertently tracked his poop around the manse.

I complained, of course, but he insisted the rug was a small sacrifice for science.

McFly said...

I thought that cyclist had a pretty nice rudder actually.

janinedm said...

I have to agree with HDEB; there's a lot you can say against cycling in NYC. It being boring is not one of them. Also, to each his or her own, but to cycle without whooshing forward is like (I'm going to stay on topic) pooping without ever eating. Also, is there a reason that a Brooklynite hoping to get epic might not mash directly towards the closet shore, follow, the greenway around then cross over to the Rockaways on that bridge by Ft. Tilden, come back over by Broad Channel and make a B line back to the start? That seems like, you know, some miles if you want to ride in a circle. And there are 2 bridges involved.

Bristol S. Scale said...

I'm usually a 3 or a 4, but the last couple of days have been verging on 5.

I may have intestinal problems, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I track my stools manually, with a tape measure and postal scale.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Long Island,

Much harder to get to the good riding on LI from Brooklyn than it is to head up to the GWB.


I used to do more or less that route fairly often but it's flat and often windy and no fun in winter. Unless the weather's nice and you're also going to enjoy some beach time it's not the greatest riding.

--Wildcat Etc.

Beck said...

Spent a week visiting in Brooklyn with a bike this last summer. I found NYC great for riding, all over the city. I probably got lost on every ride I took. Some high points for me : Putting the pedals to it on the Ocean Parkway from Coney Island to Prospect Park was pretty fast and zesty, second only to riding the midtown avenues (without the bike lanes) during rush hour.

Due to the inevitable onset of curmudgeonly retro-grouch, however, I now consider the computerized archiving of my rides an act of self-important indulgence I no longer want any part of, and as such have no Strava tracks, GPS, or other records to placate my monkey's edification complex.


Olle Nilsson said...

Q. "Is there anything sadder than a half-dressed Fred grinding away on half a bicycle?"

A. Having to read your book in the splatter zone of your sweaty, stinky dad on his half-bike.

bad boy of the south said...

So,that's the straight poop?

BamaPhred said...

“Masturbating” is so 5 minutes ago. Now it’s all about lingham massage.

Poop Emoji said...

Bristol S. Scale —

Chop it up, don’t stop it up. I’m pretty sure you can get an artisanal poop chopper from Rivendell Bike & Hatchet.

JLRB said...

Olle Nelson for COD

I should have done the Zwift this winter - instead I did very little for exercise - yesterday being my first day back on the bike after about 8 weeks (except for a short ride on one of the new crappy stand alone bike share bikes that litter our sidewalks)- I was hoping for the usual first ride back soul-lift - the "ahhhh so good to be back doing what I love..." instead it just felt awkward and I sucked more than usual.

N/A said...

Diary Of A Poop, Feb 16, 2018. A.M. edition.

Stools were gigantic, and had no more odor than a hot biscuit.

leroy said...

Ride safe all!

Paul Heckbert said...

"Terrorists have been using “explosive-packed bicycles” to kill dozens of people, says a security expert who believes we are “sleepwalking towards a catastrophe” by allowing so many share-bikes on our streets." New ideas from New South Wales.

Anonymous said...

That rider does not look rudderless. Her rudder looks just fine.