Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pedalers Vilaine

Lock up your daughters and sons, here comes a new season of scary metrosexuals in spandex skinsuits on their sweaty bicycles. Ruddy, trim and wiry, they swiftly ply neighborhood lanes noting everything they encounter. Loose ends, raw nerves, silent witnesses, these terrorists spread fear among no-nothings and loathing among nimbys. Can’t allow any naughty, ugly p├ędalier of color or contrast to pillage and rape, can you? Propelling self does build testosterone and trigger libido. Podium lovelies air kiss winners, so never smudge their lipstick. Races are so spartan promoters will do anything to boost salacious interest.

Until the Middle Ages, procreation was imperative. Amidst general ignorance, penurious serfdom, rough conditions, rotating plagues, sketchy remedies, and wars between city states that never seemed to end, lives only lasted a few decades. Half of infants died, 35 years was average, and 40 years a ripe old age. Planet's entire population hadn't yet exceed five hundred million, below seven percent of current total. Societies required bodies. Kings coveted military meat. Teen girls were treated as if livestock. Souls were damned if they engaged in pleasures that didn't inseminate. Courtly love impressed manners upon knights and lords which masked their selfish ravishes. Although it persisted for over a millennium, the Holy Roman Empire did nothing to quell roaming hands or warring allegiances, and was no form of governance. The dead were grateful to be free of religious delusion and remorseless rule.

Until The Renaissance, sex was a chore among countless others, since you yourself had to make everything you needed by hand, including tools required to produce, or suffer deprivation or hunger. This was true for everyone except royalty, who forcibly extracted taxes and never had to serve own needs. Courtiers grew soft, indulged their whims, and tested mismatching slots or tabs. Contemporary plays, one of the few amusements then available, featured men in women's parts. A bawdy era, took centuries to formalize roles and hide attractions under bloomers, corsets and layers. Lace and mystery just added allure. Virgin queens inspired Victorian cults full of high minded manners, moral hangups, and other such hokum. Then came horrifying wars to end all war that nevertheless saw unabated population escalation.

After WWII, each affluent American began to plan for a lifespan of 70 years or more. As consequences of a century of science and war, medicines improved, middle class emerged, and public mostly lost its will to participate in senseless aggression. Attitudes changed toward child bearing and marriage vows. No longer a duty demanded by merciless despots, lovemaking could be mutually satisfying and sooner recreational. Baby making boomed. Pornography and prostitution mushroomed, proliferated, rocketed though they always existed alongside civilization since the beginning. By the 1960’s, with condoms and pills widely available, birth control begat free love. But AIDS and STDs stifled gratuitous orgies. Alternative erotica, renewed monogamy, and same-sex marriage were survival responses. In the process, bond normalcy had been completely redefined.

By 2000 most were aware that homosexuality was not a perverse compulsion but possibly a result of breeding, hormones, nature, nurture, and whatever society permits. Nobody knows for sure what attracts individuals. Gender identity occurs despite celibacy. Lanes run in both directions. If men don't happen to have a lot of testosterone, they won't appear bearded or muscular. Humans fill a spectrum from asexually androgynous to demurely feminine to ultra machismo, even change by decades, go from firm to flabby, then sag embarrassingly. Furthermore, this reveals nothing about what Kama Sutra poses they prefer with whom. One must be fit to engage in any position beyond missionary, but assorted forms of foreplay appeal to obese majority. One's body mass, joint flexibility, personal grooming, and other attributes attract particular partners. One seeks whatever best suits. Chances to copulate are commonplace; couples sleep together; indulgence happens constantly. Human rights entitle individual choices, force no restrictions, and grant lawful protections.

Some bigots find these facts painfully unbearable. Their values don’t permit any deviation from prejudiced templates. Men are supposed to appear hard, carry own weight, enjoy NASCAR and NFL, man up, and supply brute force when not swilling beer. Women are supposed to be curvy, silly, unavailable, and unreliable; if they aren’t pretty, then they better be able to clean and cook, although men are not supposed to expect anything at all from them. Well, that leaves out 95% of humanity, who don’t consider these puerile stereotypes rules, rather what those in power prefer because it fulfills their cravings for domination and wealth. Majority values tolerance. Any code of conduct that doesn’t is both cretinous and ludicrous.

Feminine, masculine, or something else, all are just labels anyway. Name calling, the crudest of disagreements, sets up dichotomies that monsters exploit. Legbiters seem to feel they have to fight for recognition, when really everyone must struggle for a share in whatever resources exist. Don’t let yourself be labeled, marginalized, or reduced to a letter designation, LGBTQ. Be more tolerant in general; bigotry backfires; don’t alienate allies.

Any group made to feel as if they don't belong will gaily stand apart and unify with pride. Should they not march for acceptance? Why do you care? Got to wonder about those who can't stomach what others do out of obvious affection, possibly love, for each other, excepting gross behaviors in public places. Get a room. Jealousy and stupidity usually drive such hateful imbecility. Just how creepy or demented is a third of nation who voted willfully to crown Pere Ubu as king? And is that asking a 'pataphysical or rhetorical question? Beauty and truth cause trouble and wars. Lies and ugliness go with rude flow.

The time to rid Congress of these vultures was during the last election cycle. After obstructing president for 8 years, conservatives drove government agencies to the brink of closure, forestalled any substantive service improvements, and neglected infrastructure maintenance. In short, they suppressed anything that might detract from their transfer of $50 trillion from public treasury into private hands. Voter resentment resulted in replacing a figurehead, not those who created problems with which real contributors must deal.

Other affiliations one can’t condone are domestic terrorists, historical revisionists, moslem jihadists, neo-nazi homophobes, predatory parasites, religious fanatics, right wingers, and white supremacists, who don’t know how to share, rather watch you die, and want it ALL for themselves. All of what? Profits directly billow from billions working cooperatively, the more participants the stronger reciprocity ensues, something around which they can’t wrap their inadequate IQs. Pits a 75% majority against a 25% cadre of squares who’ll stop at nothing including crusades and genocide to honor pretend oaths to atheist, christian, jewish or moslem conceited bulls and neutered edicts. America’s Pledge of Allegiance concludes, “With liberty and justice for all.” Maybe they’d be happier elsewhere under an autocracy. Leave it or love this diverse melting pot of tempest tossed flotsam, who found a way to become the greatest country on earth through unprecedented autonomy. Yet freedom remains a frangible ideal, tenuous despite widespread espousal, vulnerable to bullies and thugs who egos are insulted. Rather let pass a solitary cyclist with a filthy ass than kiss up to any ruthless sadist in an office or suit.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Psychic Naine

Found Bike&Chain and started reading? Got the impression you’re eavesdropping on an ongoing argument between an emotional giant and intellectual midget? How does that differ from latest presidential tweet? Yes, posts are mostly colloquial convo, seldom coercive essays or forensic analyses full of arm twisting and bullying detail. Do allude to crucial news, but usually how it relates to bicycling. Since basic motility defines being alive, both bicyclists and unicellular amoebas self propel, and everything affects a bicyclist’s use of shared space, what topic can ever be exempt? In other words, prepare for another rant. Looking back, like posts have been somewhat prescient. Reliable prophecies are worth more than gold, a shiny element with limited uses, mostly decorative though practical for non-corrosive electronic connections.

Everything in the universe is connected, even dust that eventually forms stars. Many things exert influence, some more than others despite lack of proximity. But causality exists on a continuum: Dominant > appreciable > inconsequential > negligible. Consider the sun, or some federal edicts: Full spectrum. Without sun, earth would fly out of orbit, everybody would freeze to death, and sky would be solid ice; solar radiation absorbed by plants produces, among many things, feed for livestock, food for people, and rubber for pneumatic tires; vitamins for survival come directly and indirectly from sunshine. While stuck in some cubicle, however, outdoor daylight and Oval Office skullduggery seem unimportant. In fact, you may not notice what you don’t directly experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you now or years hence. Society’s wellbeing brings forth whatever makes life bearable. Most underestimate how much all are interdependent. Desperation drags everyone down. Obsession with loss puts families at odds. Toxicity, whether physical or relational, ruins lives.

Generalities appeal; specifics bore. Eagles don’t hunt flies, an old adage goes. De minimis trifles are dwarfed by one’s inner universe. Everyday life could be dramatically altered by an original idea imagined aloud. Explains why a dunce badly wielding power would denounce factual news as fake. Politics depend on daily pronouncements and weekly results. Impeachment recommendations and treason accusations seem extreme yet justified. Elected officials can be recalled by constituents, should they ever decide to organize into a quorum. Don’t hold your breath. One dimensional populace never considers progress. Four dimensional beings are so rare you may never meet one. Though inherent in a bicyclist's DNA, no mental midget or psychic naine has any foresight whatever.

Impatient rubes hate to listen to a comprehensive debate. Corporations warn against BLOB presentations with lots of details that detract from conclusion on bottom, prefer BLOT (bottom line on top) so as to ignore rest. Compliance leads to wild claims of document importance. Labann likes to dig right into root causes, too, dispense with steps already taken to derive, expose mechanisms, but never make false conclusions. Nobody prefers to be ignored when they go through the motions of expressing and sharing. Yet structure doesn’t demonstrate sanity. Proof requires successful application. Every standpoint may have merit if it matches current circumstances. “Tough on crime” must be balanced with mercy. “Making great” must weigh “at what expense”, what “great” means, who loses, who wins. “Great for whom?” you might ask. Exactly what year do you want to visit again? For some that's when bullies could get away with atrocities no longer allowed. Nothing that Washington wants will be great for you, just more bankruptcies to brood, beatings to absorb, and bruises to heal. Due to increases in accidents, cardiopulmonary diseases, and obesity, American life expectancy flattened in 2010 and is headed down, despite better cancer treatment and risk management. Those who deny knowledge amassed by science and made available over internet should've expected it, though facts can be buried in bullshit. You’d think medical focus would be on prevention, but too few pay any attention to evidence and trends.

Instead, companies are desperate to get staff to interact well. Hiring is based equally on 2 criteria: social and task skills. They don’t hire minions, who mastered only the latter, or politicians, who practice only the former. Only sociopaths want to assume leadership roles. After all, what is continuous improvement? Not a destination but a process, anyone who buys in creates an untenable career for her/himself. Neither computers nor humans are exceptional at performing flawlessly. Fooling yourself that you're controlling processes really means tolerating what workers do demotivated and hung over, and so is best described by overseeing oppositional defiance and quiet disorder. While surveys are supposed to suggest a desire for customer satisfaction, they smack of distrust in how their staff fulfilled tasks. It's not managing requests, rather policing ranks.

Any outsider who heard corporate technologists would find their explanations incomprehensible. You must have familiarity with fabric and threads they weave with abbreviations and buzz words. You can’t decipher without knowing histories and issues, must sort what's important to you from what's not. Most of it need not be said, only exists because someone thinks it should, either out of duty, ego or fear. Employees learn in 5 stages: identifying, recognizing, reapplying repeatedly, mastering totally, and teaching others. Ability to successfully pass along duties relies not only upon own competence but pupil receptivity and whether facts still carry significance as personnel and situations change. You can never become complaisant, must stay on top of sea changes, or suffer consequences.

How businesses are managed and staffed matters. Takes diligence to fulfill customer needs. However, inventory taxes cause factories to limit production. Lean retailing means you can’t find a pair of shoes that fits, something you have to try on to decide. You can order online, but then a truck must bring and/or return when it doesn’t fit. Shoes are essential for motility, though some survivalists who never visit cities disagree. Prices don’t guarantee quality. Bludgeoned buyers hang onto worn out shoes rather than undergo horror of finding replacements. Because of state policy, your comfort, convenience, and satisfaction no longer matter.

Despite countless excellent transactions, fundamental trust in products and services, and no reason to suspect anything but good will, your faith will be shaken to its very core by one cretin devoted to evil. Creates a climate of mistrust for everyone. Worse, you will be associated with, held responsible for, and persecuted alongside your enemies. Entire German nation was condemned for Hitler’s heinous unilateral decisions. Einstein renounced all national citizenship. Majority without logic or patience can't distinguish between criminals and their victims. Your sole role may be to distance yourself from them.

Why should things be so complex? Can you survive complexity? Could it be you're incapable of learning, or is obscurantism intentional? Instead of automating drudgery and improving efficiency, computers complicate life and frustrate users. Expert systems supposedly transfer knowledge from author to functionary. But it only works when button pushers choose right interface and perform tasks within parameters. Authors themselves are stymied by software rigidity. Consequently, expert systems don't exist to simplify work, rather unify approaches, which leads to conformity, mediocrity, and potentially no improvements. While some hail restraint as a source of creativity, putting artists on a pedestal based on what they’ve overcome seems hostile and inept. You actually don't do the same tasks repetitively, but continuously adapt, learn anew, step into unfamiliar roles. Human adaptability preserves species but reaps few accolades.

All this results in anger, craving, delusion and guilt. One could simplify, but then feel dissatisfied and empty. Corporations profit from barriers to competition. Like it or not, computers do allow more functions to occur and standardize things that ought to be. But operating among diverse systems polarizes users into camps defending their own flawed construct so as to avoid having to relearn. Many corporations settle for 10-year-old operating systems, thus removing educational barriers, but then introduce proprietary applications that unduly challenge and wantonly get replaced. In such an esoteric maelstrom employees struggle to survive.

When you've always operated within a paradigm driven by scientific principles, the degree to which today’s rabble disregards them disgusts and horrifies. Without logic and order, chaos rules and mayhem ensues. Civilization hangs by a hair over oblivion while technology runs amuck beyond democratic command. DataBots are mapping mankind’s thoughts and will soon rule your life. Human blogs should be about organic subtleties—creation cusps, godlike awe, great notions, noble ideals, passionate touches, and reasons to live—everything beyond capacities of artificial intelligence. Intimates swap dreams, fungi, germs, saliva, semen, sweat and things wet. Computers are dry, infantile, sterile and viral; they infect each other but neither create nor procreate, still have trouble making sense of patterns, and suddenly go haywire. Brains of homo sapiens outperform the most complex computers by a quantum measure, yet most men are deemed too stupid to manage own lives, so require governance by equally incompetent egomaniacs who program even duller tools. Protect your language? When computers force you to speak in ways they can use against you, you’re already dead.

Incomprehensible nonsense and inefficient methods rankle circuit cyborgs and control freaks. Since Gilgamesh, authors have hid behind fictional masks and figures of speech that substituted for damning details. Bulgakov himself and contemporary Russian novelists threw finished novels on the fire because publishing them under Stalin’s regime would have meant writing their own death sentences. Today’s terrorists keep blogs that tip heinous acts before they occur, though they are only identified in hindsight. Surely there are better ways to be heard than committing or instigating crimes against the innocent.

If you publicly alleviate guilt and exonerate those responsible for social injustice and worthy of indictment for crimes against humanity, you will find fiscal favor, especially if you put a string of abbreviations—DSc, MBA, MD, PhD—after your name. They toss you a bone for barking at passing strangers, or turn a blind eye while you scream and starve. The privileged few seem amused by this but sincerely threatened by anyone who discloses from where their wealth was plundered, powerless majority. Lust for control, money or power can be listed as a symptom of mental disorder. Anger, resentment, and suspicion are normal reactions to antisocial abuse.

Nature resists human domination. Lawns don't have to be flawlessly manicured. Creatures including humans normally seek fulfillment in food, rest, sleep, touch and warmth. Fear that nature suddenly won't provide drives greedy amassment, but wealth won't save you once environment fails. Money looses all value when there's nothing to buy. Worse, possessing whatever might sustain slaps a target on your back. Sensible solutions? Clean up country, create jobs that commit community, and invest in clean energy.

A cohort of Republican congressmen just don't get this, want to deny climate issue and exit Paris Accord. After a weekend of world class motor sports, zero carbon footprint may be the last thing that occurs to them. Cities and states, not congress, make 75% of decisions that affect environmental destruction or preservation. World knows better, so won't look to America to set agenda anymore. Unless foreign aid still flows, USA forfeits influence, slumps globally, and transmits vulnerability to enemies.

You don't need abbreviations to say what's true. Don't mean to be repetitive, either, but same revelations reoccur to those forced to continually re-evaluate which actions best serve changing scenarios. Well timed messages might get heard, but not when suffocated by nonsense and propaganda. No matter how hard you try, past cannot be revived, but you can plan for a future, though that would require assurance one exists and you can rely on society to work together on what would most affect it. If you've read this far, can you deny having had many of these same thoughts?

Small sentence fragments pop into head, as if thinking in complete sentences was too much to bear. You schizophrenically begin to notice how your brain is being rewired by considering ideas that make little sense. In times like these writer's block thins the herd, so to speak. It most affects people who have nothing worth saying. The cure is to do stuff that might interest readers. How-to writers get overwhelmed while compiling facts, there are so many. But nobody reads how-tos, or how you feel today, particularly irrelevant social media content. What vexes you after being downtrodden and oppressed hardly counts since reactionary conservatives gained control over government decades ago, grabbed everything, and impoverished everyone else. There’s no point having a free press if nobody questions such inequity. Only creative leaps of enlightened minds and organized plans of revolutionary intelligentsia rate as worthwhile reading. Yet authors and journalists run risks of arrest, death, ostracizing, poverty and short lives. Never committing one word to print could assist survival, though it never helped prophets, who were only ever orators. Gave their evangelists plenty to write about, though they too were treated horribly by the ignorantsia. Hear no, see no, speak no evil? Only forgives, neglects, and suggests decline has already begun.

Spring supposedly rejuvenates. Youth have no recollection of how things once were. Those who’ve been around for more than a half century tend to contrast. The phrase Third World arose during Cold War when commentators separated Communist Bloc (second) from NATO Allies (first); rest were gathered into a third bin characterized by lack of modern development. Entire world has begun to resemble the latter, sunk to the lowest level. Joblessness, pavement beat to rubble, survival tactics, and widespread want already approximate a post-apocalyptic wasteland. That’s what happens when you let conservative lawmakers transfer $50 trillion from US treasury into a few private hands. You don’t have to drop weapons to achieve mass destruction. This would not have been possible when things were less global; citizens knew where taxes went. Unions resisted whenever corporations took advantage of workers, that is, until Reagan busted most of them. Your last watchdogs are under attack; vicious dictators lurk around the corner. History favors victors standing upon a mound of massacre. Time cloaks crime and dispels blame. So, no blazing phoenix awaits a bitter nation who won't assume responsibilities.

I see the Four-fold Man, The Humanity in deadly sleep
And its fallen Emanation, the Spectre and its cruel Shadow…
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic
Moving by compulsion each other, not as those in Eden, which…
in freedom revolve in harmony and peace.
—William Blake

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Speed Chain

Blogs don't have to be useful compendiums of knowledge, especially bike blogs, since you learn all you need to know by simply riding or keep on suffering, whichever you prefer. Nobody really explains how to drive automobiles better or safer. That's probably why car accidents are a key scourge, kill more people than gun violence, infectious diseases, or international wars. Scofflaw motorists should be severely sanctioned. The fastest way to increase safety would be deny, revoke and suspend more licenses. But automotive greed, carnage profits, and lazy habits won't ever allow. It's the American Way to promote stupidity.

Known for spending tens of thousands of hours astride a steel steed, Labann gets asked how to bike better. A glib reply, "Read the book!" Mostly, though, they mean, "How can I to go faster?" Honest answer, "Lose weight!” Any decent roadie is already two thirds lighter than a cheap Flying Pigeon or 1970's Schwinn ten-speed. But all are within 30 pounds of each other. You yourself must jettison ballast. Every extra 5 lbs of flab acts as if you’ve tossed a grocery bag of sugar in a knapsack, maybe a couple of 2 liter bottles of soda, to lug around. Condition yourself to mount latrine before you embark. Simplify diet. Eat no more each meal than what you can fit in your closed fists plus all the undressed salad and veggies you can stomach. Yeah, a drizzle of dressing has far more calories than a pile of greens. Fill up on fruits for dessert. Hydrate religiously; it takes a gallon of water to metabolize a pound of fat, and water lubricates muscles. Body mass will disappear faster than you can shop for new clothes.

However, consider this: Anything faster than 12 mph means you're forced to focus on road and miss scenery. Velocity is no blessing. Haste causes waste. A quick pace does mean more ground covered, possibly rivals durations of automotive trips, and suggests fewer gym visits. But attaining 35 mph or more can be life threatening and nerve-racking. At 65, most bikes vibrate so badly they seem almost liquid, like a Dali watch or overcooked spaghetti. Adopt a steady pace. Get used to quadrupling distance in miles to derive your ETA in minutes. All bicyclists collectively average only 12 mph. Twice that wins world class races. Not many watts separate ordinary from remarkable output.

Beyond dragging weight, other WET blankets to scorching include, in order of severity: 1) Wind in your kisser, 2) Equipment insufficiencies and ergonomic issues with bike fit, and 3) Terrain problems such as poor surfaces, steep hills, and unfriendly roads.

In a tempest drafting in echelon or paceline works, but only in a group. Alone, you could choose routes protected by buildings or trees. Climbing a hill may shield you from gale that prevails. Reasonably fit cyclists can climb a routine slope at double digit speed but slow to single digits on open flats into steady wind. Sometimes it almost feels like you're pedaling in place. Gripping handlebars drops sets you in a low, more streamlined, position. Racers further straddle top tube to optimize downhill speed. Oiled chains, shaved legs, and smooth hubs probably only psychologically hasten.

Racers and weekend warriors all know how to charge hills; they ramp up right before a climb to build momentum that carries them up. This shaves seconds off time to finish. Shifting into the right gear to maintain highest crank cadence does prove faster than slowly grinding. Muscle tone and personal anatomy determine whether you can exploit longer crank arms or triple crank arrays. Professionals among several sports speak of repetitive speed chains as performance enhancers. Turns out, latest research reported in the New York Times proves interval training best increases endurance. Extended sessions and regular effort will earn you the right to outdistance any bike path challenger whose self esteem depends upon passing whomever they see ahead. Preparing to surpass you, some spent entire winter in spin classes where nobody moves relative to another. Maddening, but does mimic peloton, after all. It’s cruel to let them think they are winning their unannounced races only to leave them in your dust. The old saying holds true, “It never gets any easier, you just go farther faster.”

Dozens of things regarding how bike doesn't suit its rider might decrease efficiency. Fat, low pressure tires increase rolling resistance. Frame could be too small to harness rider's strengths. Not wearing stiff cleats clipped into pedals sacrifices leverage. Saddle could be too far back or low to maximize thrust. Pays in time saved to have an expert fitting in the apparel and cleats you'd actually wear. When properly set, knees don't flail outward but thighs push down directly and efficiently on pedals. What you wear also matters; clingy spandex frees moving body parts and wicks away sweat; padded shorts reduce discomfort that distracts from diligent effort. If you leave your bike unlocked, you might spend an inordinate amount of time chasing, replacing, or walking.

Surfaces and terrains can be chosen, but you must deal with whatever you find. Plan routes to take advantage of easy grades and light traffic. Racers sprint toward hills to train on, because best climbers and sprinters are those who repeatedly stand atop podiums. Steer around gravel, holes and sand. Bumps hurt butt less when you stand. Smooth surfaces are always preferable. You might notice an ideal line where wheels of cars and trucks have worn a smooth groove. Then again, at intersections shoulders may be smoother than travel lanes buckled from braking trucks.

Traffic planners seldom realize that bicyclists exist. Detours due to planner neglect could amount to hours. Sometimes you may have to cut through a parking lot or take a sidewalk to traverse a street one-way against you. Consequently, signs on roads are mostly to control motorists, not you. Bicyclists might as well treat red lights as if they were yield signs, or take advantage of lulls between changes to cross in pedestrian lanes. If you ride a bike as if it’s a motor vehicle, you’re just as prone as a motorist to getting plowed into, and likely spoil fun. If shoulder space allows, you can charge a red light far ahead, which may turn green before you get to it; if already green, better slow down, because you’ll have to unclip and put down a foot, which takes more time than continually hovering and slowly rolling.

Only when you combine all these tips do you significantly reduce overall time. Ironically, the more you get around using an apparently slow conveyance the more time you ultimately save. Just don't expect to be winning stages of a major tour without years of practice handling bike and everything else you'll encounter. Ignore what everyone else expects. Be comfortable with how you perform. Every trip by bike celebrates your continued vitality.