In winter my natural inclination towards curmudgeonliness turns from its summer state of "goodly natured" to the more grumbly and sinister "Floridian". This means that I do what all good curmudgeons do—I complain. These complaints are usually filed with my wife, who listens to them and then bestows the proper amount of importance upon them—which means she lets them pass like a fart through a fan—loudly, noxiously and quickly. I, like all practiced complainers, am convinced that my condemnations are treasure maps to great nuggets of truth. I am sure that my past tirades against pleated shorts, henley shirts and Bruce Springsteen lyrics are cultural milestones. (For those who are curious, pleated shorts make you look like you have a ski belt of lard around your waist, henley shirts are preposterously pointless and Bruce needs to start making sense and lay off heading out to the "edge of town".)
A curmudgeon like myself tends to think that things were much better in the past. People were nicer, the weather was more interesting and the only crime was loving too much. This skewed manner of looking at the past is almost never accurate—most people just choose to feel a certain way about the past and remember anecdotes that support the way they want to remember things. I admit that I am guilty of having a similarly skewed view of the past, especially when it comes to training to be a pretend bike racer.
And there’s a lot for a grumbler like me to complain about these days when it comes to modern pretend bike racer winter training. It’s cold out, everyone’s got really nice equipment, everyone seems to have a coach, training camps in warm places, Strava, Jed Kornbluh… These are all wonderful topics to launch tirades against. I began riding my bike in the winter a long time ago, and in my day there were no coaches, no training camps, no power meters or carbon bikes, no one went to training camps, granted, there was Jed Kornbluh but thankfully no one knew about him. And you know what? Things back then were much worse than they are today. Almost everything about modern bikes has improved, there’s better equipment, more people to ride with and loads of information about almost everything. Yes, everything is getting better these days—except for me, I am not getting better—I’m just getting older.
And that’s really what I’m complaining about if I am to be honest.
And as if there wasn’t enough for me to complain about, my cold has been tenacious in its occupation of my mucous regions, denying me opportunities to display my mightiness on the open roads of Northern New Jersey, but I did ride yesterday and here is the evidence.
Roman’s Beer Corner
Roman is on a Russian Imperial Stout binge as of late. His recommendation this week is for my West Coast reader ( you know who you are). Roman recommends the Nectar Ales Black Xantus, an 11% concoction which I imagine that I will never have the opportunity to savor. Grumble, grrrr!