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Velominatus: Paul Gissing

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@Paul Gissing's activity:

Those of you in the PacNW have likely heard of the (in)famous “Seattle to Portland” ride, or “STP.” It is produced by a large local bike club and sponsored by a large corporate health care entity. I’ve ridden it several times over the years, and it has its charms. But going for a bike ride with 10,000 of my closest fri...

@Paul Gissing's posts:

  1. Ride the Cascades with the Velominati

    Those of you in the PacNW have likely heard of the (in)famous “Seattle to Portland” ride, or “STP.” It is produced by a large local bike club and sponsored by a large corporate health care entity. I’ve ridden it several times over the years, and it has its charms. But going for a bike ride with 10,000 of my closest friends has gotten…tiresome and cloying. When I first starting riding bikes a few years ago, STP was something of a challenge. A double century over two days seemed to be something epic, something life changing. At the time, it was something to aim for, and I’m glad I did it a few times with Mrs/Dr Eightzero.

    Last year was the last time I’m doing that ride. Oh, it was fun. Nothing Bad happened. The weather was perfect. We had a good time. But…if I hear “on your left” or “CAR BACK!” one more time, I’m gonna frame pump someone. Yes, I ride casually deliberately. Yes, I know there are cars on the road. But just stop it. I Obey Rule #59, so I don’t give a shit if you’re on my left. And actually, I do own the road. I ride as far to the right as is safe, and always actually look over my shoulder if I change lines. Thus, I am obeying not only the Rules, but the law in this state as well.

    The bike club wants $100 for this “fun” and while I understand it is a fund raiser for their various advocacy efforts, for $100 I get little in return. Some cheap-ass Costco snacks and bag transport. 10,000 people at a finish line “festival” means I wait in line for 20 minutes for a $5 beer, then there’s no where to sit to enjoy it.

    So, rather than go all eveyln STeVens further, I’ve decided a Cogal is just the antidote. Cogals lack everything I just described. Velominati are particularly good bike handlers. There’s no yelling on a Cogal, only V, V, and more V. When we recover, we fill the table with empty beer bottles in a comfy corner of a local brewery. Hence, the STV Summer Cogal in Arlington WA on July 12, 2014. If you plan on doing STP, well, have fun. STV is on that weekend, so you can’t do both. I hope you have a $100 worth of fun. STV, OTOH, adheres to the Keepers’ Cogal Principles: Open to all; Free to all. And Epic. Way Epic.

    As is the tradition with the Settle Summer Cogal, we start and end at a Brewery. In this case, the Skookum Brewery near the Arlington Airport. A short spur away from our loop into the North Cascades, we are taking the route listed as one of the 75 Classic Washington State rides.

    We plan casually deliberate, and will have a periodic regrouping at a couple of the small “towns” as there are several places to refuel and rewater along the route. It is my experience that for long, epic rides like this, company to chat with during the ride is much desired (just not 10,000 people that think that going for a 100 mile ride is life changing, and thus all have stern looks of concentration like they think a freeway overpass is the Fucking Stelvio.) Still, I expect the occasional double-pacelines to form, and we can hammer along a bit, but comraderie is best served on the road.

    We need an early start: V past 8am PDT, and the ride starts on time. Start/End: Skookum Brewery, (360) 652-4917.

    Route Directions are here.

    We may make a few detours to get supplies. The best roads are a little off the beaten commercial highways where there are stores, supplies. Note this is route is Grand Fondo distance – longer than a (Imperial) Century. As a loop, there is no turning back – you’re committed, so bring supplies and a plan. IOW: Epic.

    Casually Deliberate, but multiple groups may form. Take particular note of distances and opportunities for refuel/ rewater. This is not an urban ride. It is spectacularly scenic, and while it is long, it is not overly vertical, and therefore very doable for those us that are always Too Fat to Climb.

    VLVV -Eightzero.

    Event Details

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    Date - July 12, 2014
    8:05 AM - 9:00 PM

    Skookum Brewery

    Cogal Details
    Route Details

    Ride Classification

It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of bicycles were made by hand, from raw materials, in places that aren’t China or Taiwan. While some of these artisans are still around, their wares are increasingly harder to come by, and to procure an example of their work means an outlay of time and money which is more than most are willing to...

@Paul Gissing's posts:

  1. I have a Ridley and a Kona, which probably fall into the category of “mass produced” CX bikes. H’ever, my heart sings when I ride my Naked Loonie SS MTB and my Naked Team X CX bike. Just something about custom and steel which makes my ride just a bit bett… »

Cycling has been suffering a crisis every since the use of a helmet became compulsory. This crisis is rooted in the simple fact that cycling peaked aesthetically with the cycling cap perched casually deliberate atop a sweaty cranium. It was only after mandatory helmet dictum spread its tentacles into all UCI-sanctioned races in 2003 that helmet man...

@Paul Gissing's posts:

  1. No helmet will touch my fuzzy head unless it rests upon a cycling cap, brim forward to shield my eyes from the sun or the many droplets of water that we experience in the great PacNW… »

Cycling and crashing are the kinds of things that come together whenever you liberally combine Newtonian Physics, skill, and overconfidence. In other words, I’ve been falling off my bike for nearly as long as I’ve been climbing on it.One of the more memorable crashes of my youth involved the commute home from my high school and a lady...

@Paul Gissing's posts:

  1. @Frank, I know exactly of which corner you speak. Last year I made it through all those corners just fine. However, there was one corner at Fort Stilly… Let’s just say the only one I took out was myself and since I had gapped my pursuers you can imagine… »

The recent headlines being made in the cycling world have honestly not garnered a whole lot of attention at V-HQ, at least where a certain COTHO is concerned. Yes, The Keepers have added to the usual discussions on the topic here, read the news, and given it some thought. But we really don’t feel the need to take any sort of official position...

@Paul Gissing's posts:

  1. Tip of the hat…. Greg was, is, and will always be the real deal. »