You don't Look this Fantastic by being sensible all the time.

Of Course, But Maybe

Of Course, But Maybe

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I’m a naturally loud and weird person who expresses excitement through volume. Also, alcohol is supposed to be a depressant, but it doesn’t appear to work for me; all it does is make me happier (and louder) – until I have a little too much at which point I get weirder (a too-happy, too-loud kind of weird). But being a happy person also means you must be a little bit stupid; if you’re smart and paying attention you should be a bit pissed off at something.

Happiness is easier to find if you don’t sweat the nuances of your convictions, something most religious people have already discovered. As soon as you start peeling back the onion on your principles, you’re just going to find things that don’t line up; things that don’t line up invariably lead to questions, questions lead to thinking and suddenly what started off as a simple belief is starting to look an awful lot like work. From this perspective, atheists have it easy; there are no layers when the answer to every question is, “Life’s not fair, deal with it.”

On the other hand, its a lot of fun trying to find balance within contradictions, which is true for my chosen religion, Rule Holism. Some of The Rules build on each other, while others appear to be in conflict. But The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them all into your life as a Velominatus is a never-ending struggle waged between form and function as we continue along The Path towards transcension.

These struggles are characterized by those things we know are right and those things we want to be true, something dubbed Of Course, but Maybe by Louis C.K. Here are a handful of examples that I regularly flirt with.

  1. It is very important to watch our diet over the holiday season. Of course. Weight is much easier gained than lost, an effect amplified with age. Of course, we should use restraint and not eat and drink too much over Christmas, especially as we enter the winter months and our inclination is to put on weight like a hibernating bear. Of course. But maybe gaining weight just before we start preparing in earnest for next year is a great way to gain fitness, using gravity assisted resistance training to build strength. Of course, putting enough weight on in December to cause adult-onset diabetes is a stupidly dangerous idea. Of course. But maybe its the only way to really get strong for next year.
  2. Whenever we go out riding, we should bring plenty of food and water to make sure we don’t get dehydrated or suffer la fringale. Of course. But maybe, becoming severely dehydrated effectively raises your hematocrit and being malnourished is a great way to lose weight – both of which would make us better climbers. Of course its dangerous and counter-productive to lose weight this way and we should really improve our climbing by training and dieting properly. But maybe not eating or drinking on one ride is easier than changing dietary habits and eating sensibly.
  3. Cycling is a lifelong undertaking, the practice of which is extended immeasurably by retaining the function of your knees. It therefore follows that to ride a compact is to spare your knees and will extend your ability to ride into old age. Of course – of course; it is reasonable to try and save the knees. But maybe boasting about scaling the neighborhood leg breaker in the 53×17 will intimidate your foes into submission and forever cast you into local legend as The Big Ring Badass. Risking your knees for bragging rights would be foolhardy. But maybe entering the local folklore is worth it.
  4. Whenever we are riding in dark or otherwise dangerous conditions, we should wear high-visibility clothing and employ the use of flashers and lights to make us stand out more to surrounding traffic. Of course; it would be foolish to risk our lives for the sake of fashion. But maybe all that hi-vis clothing just makes you more of a target. Maybe wearing something yellow awakens an ancient impulse in drivers to crowd anything offensively ugly. Of course, we should make ourselves as visible as possible, but maybe getting hit wearing a YJA is just a Traffic Fashion Nudge.
  5. We should always ride wearing a helmet. Of course. Riding without a helmet is foolish and flies in the face of reason. But maybe riding without a helmet, with the wind in your hair (assuming you have hair) or a cycling cap rakishly perched atop your head as you power up a brutal climb is worth the risk of a brain injury. Of course that would be reckless, but maybe we’re not really using our brains anyway.

It goes without saying that with the exception of the Helmet bullet, the Maybe invariably wins out.

// Breaking The Rules // Etiquette // Folklore // La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Tradition

  1. @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up.  Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks  immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold.  Symptoms are as follows;  nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

  2. @The Pressure lol, I can’t remember which one it is in, but there is a scene where Elizabeth turns up and Jack says quickly, “Hide the rum”. Superb movies.

  3. @VeloSix

    @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up. Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold. Symptoms are as follows; nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

    Otherwise defined as the moment when perception moves from long distance road cycling to track cycling.

  4. @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence.  But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it?   I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

  5. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Fuck me, looks like I picked a bad week to start reading the articles.

    Awesome pic, though! big Mig is just perfect there.

    Those cranks? 182.5mm. I shit you not.

    Fuckin’ BigMig … that Dude can roll, man.

  6. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence. But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it? I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

    You are correct; that is a Pro photo. This is the photo I took that poor ol’ Ron got confused with.

  7. Fantastic article as usual. Of course. Maybe.

  8. @Teocalli

    @VeloSix

    @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up. Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold. Symptoms are as follows; nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

    Otherwise defined as the moment when perception moves from long distance road cycling to track cycling.

    Of course, everything is going around in circles, but maybe….. I’ve just exceeded my K-C2H6O Max

  9. @meursault “…problems arose, ensued, were overcome”

  10. God that was a good post. Frank you’re a rare talent.

  11. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence. But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it? I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

    You are correct; that is a Pro photo. This is the photo I took that poor ol’ Ron got confused with.

    Holy fuck! I better start payin’ attention ’round here before I fuck it up worse.

    I like both photos, PRO or NeoPRO! Makes me wanna toss a Bidon across the room.

  12. @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    I think chemically speaking booze is a depressant and it is physically impossible that it gives you more energy – even though I feel the same way.

    I am guessing that with ultra high-energy people, we have learned to amp our energy down a bit, but the alcohol lowers our inhibitions so we forget to play it as cool as we normally do – resulting in a net gain in energy. But its still less energy than if we’d let ourselves rock as hard as we want to all the time.

  13. @The Pressure

    @meursault ”…problems arose, ensued, were overcome”

    +1!

    @James

    God that was a good post. Frank you’re a rare talent.

    That’s a terrifying thought, but on the other hand, I’m not sure it would be good if there were like me around. Those in close contact with me would agree. Anyway, thanks for the compliment.

  14. @frank Yeah, or the calories they pack into the booze to make it taste good, like the sugars that are still in beer, a lot of the crap in the flavoured drinks to make them look good, the fact you’re sitting on your arse talking shit and rehydrating.

  15. @minion Living in Australia has made you a mean little man.

  16. This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

  17. @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Is that Froomie’s Stava avatar?

  18. Late to the article. Not only is it a great piece, but quite timely. I awoke to celebrate the solstice. Back to hibernating now.

  19. @frank

    I am guessing that with ultra high-energy people, we have learned to amp our energy down a bit, but the alcohol lowers our inhibitions so we forget to play it as cool as we normally do – resulting in a net gain in energy. But its still less energy than if we’d let ourselves rock as hard as we want to all the time.

    Indeed, inebriation starts at the higher order thought processes and works its way down the various systems of the body, from the complex/behavioural to the simple/automatic. As you suggest, the first to alter will be the thought or habits managing your behaviour,  so as you say you lose your inhibitions and get louder. You could say you actually become more like yourself, as you are less reserved and more likely to act from the heart, rather than the brain. Intoxication gradually works its way down, interrupting the smooth operation of simple activities like walking, looking straight, or talking. Until you get to the base systems, lose conciousness and shit yourself, which I have known several people to do on occassion…

  20. @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Wasted 10mins of my time watching some famous online US Trainer opine that his strava didn’t run properly and so he is sure he would have got a KOM, but missed out. Boo fucking hoo, and proof that Stravaphrenic riders are not isolated to any particular country..

  21. @VeloSix

    @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Is that Froomie’s Stava avatar?

    I thought an avatar didn’t have to a selfie?

  22. I’ve been away from digital devices for two weeks. Did I miss anything?

  23. Not too much, Uran has gone to OPQS, I only saw this on his Instagram.

  24. @marko

    Yikes. I almost pulled the trigger on two of these as my brain didn’t process three places in front of the decimal.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-COCA-COLA-TOUR-DE-FRANCE-LARGE-WATER-BOTTLE-BIDON-MADE-BY-TA-IN-FRANCE-/271317657221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2bcae685

    I was thinking that someone would have to be doing coke to knowingly, intentionally purchase a bidon for $130.00… and then I noticed that is a “sale” price, and it is regularly $150!  I’m glad the reality sunk in before you pulled the trigger!

  25. @Ron

    I like both photos, PRO or NeoPRO! Makes me wanna toss a Bidon across the room.

    Ron = Tom Steels’ pseudonym?

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