Author Archives: "Sal Ruibal"
I was reading the New York Times today about how internet proliferation was going to destroy the ionosphere when my new iPhone5 made a noise that sounded like a whale fart. “Whale fart” is a real ringtone and when I hear it I know my old friend Brownie is calling…..
I’ve been a bit stymied in my attempt to ride my bike for an hour a day instead of watching the Tour de France at the crack of dawn. Almost every dawn since the race began, cold rain has been pouring down. For some sick reason, showers reappear about every four hours.
This year I may get up early or stay up late and watch the Tour. But I will also ride my own bikes at least one hour every day the race is on. I owe it to the sport to turn my own pedals not in anger, but in the joy of moving on the surface of this beautiful planet under my own power…. The dopers may have cheated the sport, but they haven’t killed it.
There are monuments to just about every shooting war you can think of and statues of generals who ran those wars. There is a Jimmy Carter Peace Institute but I’ve never seen anyone in there. The military dead are across the Potomac in Virginia, where the tens of thousands of silent grave markers won’t disturb your vacation. But there is no statue of a bicycle.
I managed to get in a lot of riding all over this greasy planet without being able to loft a wheel and knock out a few pedal strokes. I could get it up enough to get over rocks and log-piles but never recovered the grace to see that angled front wheel spinning slowly in front of my face for one-two-three pedal strokes. Until last weekend. After some 50 years, I got my wheelie mojo back.
I’m a bit torn about the whole electric bike thing. It is a “motor bike,” but with a catch. That catch is called “pedal-assist.” The bike won’t go forward if you don’t push on the pedals. But even a tiny push will make the Stromer twitch like a thoroughbred stallion that has smelled a mare in heat.
May is National Bike Month, but every day is National Automobile Day, Hour, Minute, Second. You can’t avoid it. I live across a little-used street from the Cardinal Forest, but I can hear the rumble and buzz from I-66 and I-95 more than a mile away all day and into the night.
Today should be a national holiday because Sky liberated us from boring, utilitarian cycling and gave us fun-but-purposeful cycling. She broke down barriers in a hidebound industry that said “No girls allowed” and tore up marketing memos that advocated a fake representation of what riding a bike is really all about.
Sunday, muddy, Sunday. It just turns out that way. Paris-Roubaix is probably the toughest one-day race on the UCI road calendar…. The course itself is mostly flat, but because much of the race goes through agricultural lands, the terrain is quite muddy on rainy days and a sea of huge dirt clods the rest of the time.
What really rankles my cankles is that earlier this year, this mini-monster banned North Korean women from riding bikes, overriding a freedom even his now-deceased twisted gargoyle of a father allowed.
Alas, my name will never have a cool sound as I ride my bike. Salrooble-salrooble-salrooble is the sound a flat back tire makes as you try to make it home before the whole she-bang peels off the rim.
Spring is coming soon and all those times you said you were going to put your bike on the indoor trainer and spin a few hours never happened. You went to the bike shop and bought a dozen flavors of energy gel but ended up eating them all while watching “Zero Dark Thirty” at the Endoplex Cinema. It isn’t your fault. It is your bike’s fault.
In the chill, I felt the acid in my throbbing thighs from a previous day’s mission in which my drop-seatpost failed, forcing me to pedal like a duck up a steep hill while rude children mocked my awkward position. If I had not been wearing mittens, I would have shown them a middle digit.
There are too many Ghost Bikes out there now and a great athlete and human being is dead.
Sal let’s the world in on Bike’s big secrets–the free ferrari’s, the Keebler Elves, the correct use and spelling of “gnarly”–the whole shebang. You heard it here first.
You don’t have to believe that Jesus was God or even existed at all to appreciate the connection we have at this very moment. We have everything, we just have to look around and see it, even in the darkest moments and especially on a bike.