Today is a good day to ride.

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

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I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I never use it, no matter how enthusiastic his visit is.

I love the hollow feeling you get just before his visits; it sharpens your senses and brings out an awareness that is hard to achieve with a sated belly. I’ve read that mountaineers experience euphoric hallucinations when they are on the verge of collapse, high up on some Merckx-forsaken snowy mountaintop. Similarly, La Volupté seems to make her appearances just prior to our own collapse, like a siren calling our ship to the rocks where her lover lies in wait with hammer lifted high.

The impulse is strong to avoid the dreaded bonk; we feel weak and if we’re riding in a group we will be unable to hold the wheel in front of us. It is not a pleasant experience. But when we continue riding in this state, the body will eventually adjust and find a way to carry on, albeit at a lower pace. Where prior to the collapse we felt a special awareness, afterwards there is a special numbness; a cloudy haze clings to us, insulating us from external stimuli. There is only us, the bike, and the road before us.

In these moments, the body becomes an automaton; the mind still works but its connection to the legs has been severed. The hands push the shifters and pull on the brakes as needed almost without influence from the head. This is for the simple reason that thinking is the least valuable thing one can do at times like this. Thinking will only lead one to become aware of the suffering. Thinking will only lead to wondering why we are putting ourselves through this. Thinking will only lead us to consider making a phone call to be collected in a heap at the roadside.

None of those thoughts will make us a better Cyclist.

I have had my espresso this morning; I am ready to ride. I look out the window and see the rain drawing its shifting patterns on the street outside my house. My phone tells me what the temperature is, but it does not tell me how cold it is. Only the ride will tell me how cold it is.

Today, I set out to meet my old friend once again; the rain will make his visit all the more brutal. Today is a good day to ride.

// Folklore // La Vie Velominatus // The Hardmen // The Rules // Tradition

  1. There’s “E”, and then there’s “out of gas”, usually there is quite a few miles in between. We as individual cyclist must know the difference and distance between the two. Setting out to meet the Man with the Hammer occasionally is just good training. Great read Frank.

  2. @Buck Rogers

    Holy FUCK, that lead photo is AMAZING! I need a shit-ton more details on that photo. What race? What year? What rider? (unless that is what @universe was talking about with his Franco Chioccioli comment). Not the Gavia in ’88, is it?

    Stage 14 of the Giro d”italia on Sunday, June 5th,1988: Chiesa Valmalenco – Bormio, 120 km. At the end of Stage 13, Franco Chioccioli (Del Tongo) was in pink leading Urs Zimmerman by 33 seconds. Andy Hampsten was 5th overall at 1:18.

    Stage 14 was the now legendary Gavia stage won by Erik Breukink by 7 seconds from Hampsten. By day’s end, Hampsten was in pink, Chioccioli was 3rd at 3:54! Hampsten was the beneficiary of smart planning by his coach who anticipated the weather and made sure his riders were as well dressed as possible with gloves and hats. No so for poor Franco whose DS had no hat, gloves or warm jersey for his rider. Result? an almost 5 minute loss on the stage and his Giro hopes destroyed.

  3. Great piece. Now that spring seems to be making an occasional appearance in WI, good rides are keenly anticipated (rather than the “I just need to get out and do something other than ride my trainer, no matter how cold it is.”) Saturday’s looking good for I’d say at least 80-90kms. We’ll see how far we can go on water . . .

  4. I’ve been working weekends for months now, so no long rides have been had.

    Last weekend rode for 3 hours total, 2 with my riding pal. There is nothing better than rising early, riding for a few hours, and being back home while half of the dummies in the neighborhood are sitting around in pajamas scratching their bed heads.

    Life is too short to sleep in!

    I commute on an empty stomach, but once I hit 2 hours of saddle time, I need intake or else I’m doomed.

  5. I find that when riding on the rivet, no matter how well trained or how well I think I am fueling my body, I exit the bike in a slight haze. There is no way that I can train in a fasted state (with my hypoglycemia) and have any resemblance of a quality effort. But, for those that are able to train while fasted, most do experience a marginal benefit. Recently, at their training camp, team Sky did a morning mountain climb while fasted.

  6. A key for me and my weak will power would be to follow a route devoid of cafés and déppaneurs, otherwise I fear I would cave. This fasting ride thing may appeal to @theEngine though, with his coach ordered 200+ km weekend training rides.

  7. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    Holy FUCK, that lead photo is AMAZING! I need a shit-ton more details on that photo. What race? What year? What rider? (unless that is what @universe was talking about with his Franco Chioccioli comment). Not the Gavia in ’88, is it?

    Stage 14 of the Giro d”italia on Sunday, June 5th,1988: Chiesa Valmalenco – Bormio, 120 km. At the end of Stage 13, Franco Chioccioli (Del Tongo) was in pink leading Urs Zimmerman by 33 seconds. Andy Hampsten was 5th overall at 1:18.

    Stage 14 was the now legendary Gavia stage won by Erik Breukink by 7 seconds from Hampsten. By day’s end, Hampsten was in pink, Chioccioli was 3rd at 3:54! Hampsten was the beneficiary of smart planning by his coach who anticipated the weather and made sure his riders were as well dressed as possible with gloves and hats. No so for poor Franco whose DS had no hat, gloves or warm jersey for his rider. Result? an almost 5 minute loss on the stage and his Giro hopes destroyed.

    (inspiring to me) Franco Chioccioli finishes the Giro d’Italia 5th overall that year 1988. 1989 finished 5th overall again. 1990 finished 6th overall. Finally in 1991 he finishes 1st – over all.

    Giro d’Italia, tappa 14, 1988 was a good day to ride.

  8. Making plans to meet Chioccioli at the Giro d’Italia 100˚ next year.

  9. Planning to ride Passo di Gavia in my lifetime, so why not 2017. Hoping to have pedale forchetta with me and all others willing to go.

  10. @Oli

    I like a good bonk in the morning.

    Nice one, Oli.

    Well yeah, if you’re not getting the occasional bonk, then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. No pun intended. Think it was Guy Martin said (in relation to motorcycle road racing): if you’re not crashing, you’re not going hard enough. Same kind of thing really. I’m no stranger to the man with the hammer, believe me, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet him.

    Thought the top photo looked recent at first glance, but then is that a delta rear brake? 89-90?

  11. @universo

    Making plans to meet Chioccioli at the Giro d’Italia 100˚ next year.

    Has he got seriously skinny arms or are those leg warmers?

  12. They’re the arms off a tryathlete wetsuit, by the looks of them.

    I wanna see more of that engraved Delta…

  13. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    Holy FUCK, that lead photo is AMAZING! I need a shit-ton more details on that photo. What race? What year? What rider? (unless that is what @universe was talking about with his Franco Chioccioli comment). Not the Gavia in ’88, is it?

    Stage 14 of the Giro d”italia on Sunday, June 5th,1988: Chiesa Valmalenco – Bormio, 120 km. At the end of Stage 13, Franco Chioccioli (Del Tongo) was in pink leading Urs Zimmerman by 33 seconds. Andy Hampsten was 5th overall at 1:18.

    Stage 14 was the now legendary Gavia stage won by Erik Breukink by 7 seconds from Hampsten. By day’s end, Hampsten was in pink, Chioccioli was 3rd at 3:54! Hampsten was the beneficiary of smart planning by his coach who anticipated the weather and made sure his riders were as well dressed as possible with gloves and hats. No so for poor Franco whose DS had no hat, gloves or warm jersey for his rider. Result? an almost 5 minute loss on the stage and his Giro hopes destroyed.

    I’ve also run across Chioccioli’s account that his own team was denying him the race that year. His support car went back to help another Del Tongo rider at the critical moments of this stage. Who knows, his directeur sportif may have stuffed a leg into those arm warmers before handing them to Chioccioli.

  14. @universo

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    Holy FUCK, that lead photo is AMAZING! I need a shit-ton more details on that photo. What race? What year? What rider? (unless that is what @universe was talking about with his Franco Chioccioli comment). Not the Gavia in ’88, is it?

    Stage 14 of the Giro d”italia on Sunday, June 5th,1988: Chiesa Valmalenco – Bormio, 120 km. At the end of Stage 13, Franco Chioccioli (Del Tongo) was in pink leading Urs Zimmerman by 33 seconds. Andy Hampsten was 5th overall at 1:18.

    Stage 14 was the now legendary Gavia stage won by Erik Breukink by 7 seconds from Hampsten. By day’s end, Hampsten was in pink, Chioccioli was 3rd at 3:54! Hampsten was the beneficiary of smart planning by his coach who anticipated the weather and made sure his riders were as well dressed as possible with gloves and hats. No so for poor Franco whose DS had no hat, gloves or warm jersey for his rider. Result? an almost 5 minute loss on the stage and his Giro hopes destroyed.

    I’ve also run across Chioccioli’s account that his own team was denying him the race that year. His support car went back to help another Del Tongo rider at the critical moments of this stage. Who knows, his directeur sportif may have stuffed a leg into those arm warmers before handing them to Chioccioli.

    Yeah, for some reason, despite having a man in pink, the Del Tongo DS was back with Flavio Giupponi (who eventually finished 4th overall) instead of being with their main man. Crazy! I could understand it if the rider in pink was non Italian, but he was Italian! Chioccioli said was was only 40 seconds down on Hampsten at the Gavia summit and that with proper support and gear he could have kept pink. Gotta love the Giro!

  15. @DavyMuur

    Thought the top photo looked recent at first glance, but then is that a delta rear brake? 89-90?

    Disregard. Just twigged the other photos/comments. Got to stop having these blonde moments!

  16. While new to cycling, I’m not sure I’ve ever really met The man with The hammer, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been in his neighborhood. Great read Frank, thanks!

  17. The man with the hammer 500 meter from top of mont ventoux could not push the pedal anymore……Nothing nice for me. MWTH not good news for me i need to stop and refueling.

    Great article

  18. @Ron

    tryathlete

    Oh fuck, that is funny! I have never seen that version before. Now I’ll quietly exit before setting of the “Swim, Bike, Run … We’re good at none” debates!

  19. @universo

    Planning to ride Passo di Gavia in my lifetime, so why not 2017. Hoping to have pedale forchetta with me and all others willing to go.

    I’m willing to go. Sponsorship anyone ?

  20. @Krames

    While new to cycling, I’m not sure I’ve ever really met The man with The hammer, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been in his neighborhood. Great read Frank, thanks!

    Oh, you will know when you meet him !

  21. @Barracuda

    @universo

    Planning to ride Passo di Gavia in my lifetime, so why not 2017. Hoping to have pedale forchetta with me and all others willing to go.

    I’m willing to go. Sponsorship anyone ?

    You might be eligible for a gruppo grant before March 2017 – for you to be inducted into a plan for those May events.

  22. A Gruppo grant is mystery money allocated towards the cost of cycling… to be specified at another time.

  23. I used to go on long rides back in college with just water in the bidons and maybe a piece of fruit in my back pocket. Looking back on this, I attributed my habits to stupidity. I haven’t bonked in years now that I eat differently on the bike, but I did weigh 5 kg’s less back then…

  24. If ever @Frank needed further proof that no one actually reads the details in the article, this is it. FFS people, he’s not prescribing a bonk seeking ride before work/other commitments!

    These are for the weekend days where the first half of the day can be dedicated to riding, the second half to cleaning up from the ride & then lying on the couch moaning about the guns…which is where having a fellow cyclist as your significant other, and a distinct lack of children comes in handy.

  25. For what it’s worth (possibly nothing), I’m an intermittent faster and winner of the 2015 “Most Glorious Failure” from Rapha/Festive 500. I stop eating at 7 PM and don’t eat again until Noon the following day. Doing this 360 days a year means I can ride without consideration of food and without bonking (I hope I didn’t just poke the Man with the Hammer in the eye).

    But I prolly don’t look as good as Frank doing it.

  26. @Barracuda

    @freddy

    @Barracuda

    Cogal – circa 2014. Met man with the SLEDGE hammer. I know that feeling all too well @frank

    Were you able to get your shorts clean after that?

    Yeah mate, they are Rapha ! Indestructable.

    I soaked them in Tequila and lemon and provided the salt for free.

    Ridiculous thing is that we weren’t short of food/drink on that day, it’s just that it was never going to be enough given the conditions!

  27. @Mikael Liddy

    @Barracuda

    @freddy

    @Barracuda

    Cogal – circa 2014. Met man with the SLEDGE hammer. I know that feeling all too well @frank

    Were you able to get your shorts clean after that?

    Yeah mate, they are Rapha ! Indestructable.

    I soaked them in Tequila and lemon and provided the salt for free.

    Ridiculous thing is that we weren’t short of food/drink on that day, it’s just that it was never going to be enough given the conditions!

    Ahhh, I was well short of sustenance, due to self imposed pressure of running the day and not eating properly the night before.

    Note to self – stop worrying about what others think / expect. It’ll be alright on the day.

  28. @Buck Rogers

    R.I.P. Jobst.

  29. @James

    @Buck Rogers

    R.I.P. Jobst.

    I did not know who it was, just that it was a super photo. I just looked him up and he sounds like he was an exceptional man who led an exceptional life. May we all ride as much and live life as fully as he did!

  30. @universo

    Planning to ride Passo di Gavia in my lifetime, so why not 2017. Hoping to have pedale forchetta with me and all others willing to go.

    I just received orders to move to Germany this August for the next 3-6 years!!! I might just be in for this trip on the Gavia. Cannot WAIT to be living in Germany full time for the next multiple years!!!

  31. @Buck Rogers

    Good. Let’s keep me accountable. Much is projected to happen this year, but this day on the Gavia will be the pay off.

  32. @Buck Rogers

    Where in Germany are you going to be based? I lived there for 8 yrs, am now based in Vienna, Austria. Looking forward to a cogal somewhere close.

  33. @1860

    @Buck Rogers

    Where in Germany are you going to be based? I lived there for 8 yrs, am now based in Vienna, Austria. Looking forward to a cogal somewhere close.

    I will be working at the Landstuhl Military Hospital right next to Kaiserslautern. And yes, a Cogal will be in order!!!

  34. @Buck Rogers

    @1860

    @Buck Rogers

    Where in Germany are you going to be based? I lived there for 8 yrs, am now based in Vienna, Austria. Looking forward to a cogal somewhere close.

    I will be working at the Landstuhl Military Hospital right next to Kaiserslautern. And yes, a Cogal will be in order!!!

    Holy shitballs, Batman. The European dream. So much goodness surrounds. A $100 flight or day’s drive could see you anywhere from the cobbles to the Pyrenees. No excuses now for Keepers’ Tour 17.

    I rode the Gavia last year. Its a beautiful symphony. It didn’t hurt me too badly. I also did the Mortirolo soon afterwards. If the Man with the Hammer has a basecamp, its on the Mortirolo. Highly recommended.

  35. There’s an interesting section in Michael Hutchinson’s book ‘Faster – The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists’ where he discusses the science behind the ‘fasted ride’, and that while you might be in fat-burning territory for a long time, you’re also probably in protein-burning, eating-your-own-legs territory as well. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a very interesting book. It also discusses at length something @Gianni wrote about in one of his articles dating back to 2012 (Choose Your Parents Wisely) that ultimately genetics will decide the difference between champions and those who come close. Hutchinson for example has an incredibly high VO2 Max figure, but his rate of blood lactate build-up is also high meaning he could never quite cut it with the best. Definitely recommended reading.

  36. Re the Fasting Ride. I fear the bonk as much as the next guy but could always afford to lose a kilo or 5. I remember reading The Secret Race and Domestique and being ready for the pro peloton doping stories but shocked by the eating disorders.

  37. @Harminator

    Definitely. I’ll be about 25 miles from the French border and about 2.5 hours from Liege. Spring Classics 2017, here I come!!!

  38. @Johnny Mac

    There’s an interesting section in Michael Hutchinson’s book ‘Faster – The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists’ where he discusses the science behind the ‘fasted ride’, and that while you might be in fat-burning territory for a long time, you’re also probably in protein-burning, eating-your-own-legs territory as well. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a very interesting book. It also discusses at length something @Gianni wrote about in one of his articles dating back to 2012 (Choose Your Parents Wisely) that ultimately genetics will decide the difference between champions and those who come close. Hutchinson for example has an incredibly high VO2 Max figure, but his rate of blood lactate build-up is also high meaning he could never quite cut it with the best. Definitely recommended reading.

    Yup, I got pretty far in my sport-of-choice as a youth. Worked very, very hard, had the attitude that I was just as good as the best. Now that I’m removed from it, and a bit older, I can watch the sport and see what separates the absolute best from the very good. While sometimes it can be hard work and repetition, there is definitely a genetic aspect to being on top. In team sports, if everyone is a bit taller, stronger, faster…well, that 2nd tier team is just overmatched.

    That said, there is nothing wrong with pursuing sporting to the highest level you can reach. It’s satisfying and though I’m not much for official competition these days, I’m still proud to call myself an athlete.

    And, as more and more folks take up lifetime sports…you can still spot the true athletes in the pack of people out engaging in sports. On or off the field, just something about how one carries themselves, their build, and their Casually Deliberate movements convey hours and years of training.

  39. @Ron

    And that little bit of the brain that ;its you do this to yourself…….

  40. @Buck Rogers

    @Harminator

    Definitely. I’ll be about 25 miles from the French border and about 2.5 hours from Liege. Spring Classics 2017, here I come!!!

    How about a malted recovery beverage based V-social taking in the Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent and whichever of the big Belgian cross events they hold on the same weekend?

  41. @Mikael Liddy

    If ever @Frank needed further proof that no one actually reads the details in the article, this is it. FFS people, he’s not prescribing a bonk seeking ride before work/other commitments!

    These are for the weekend days where the first half of the day can be dedicated to riding, the second half to cleaning up from the ride & then lying on the couch moaning about the guns…which is where having a fellow cyclist as your significant other, and a distinct lack of children comes in handy.

    I’m glad somebody got to it before me. It’s a dangerous dance with the Masturbation Principle to start posting along the lines of “Oh, I’d never do that because this one time, at band camp…”

  42. @Ron

    Whenever I see a pro (cyclist not streetwalker) I always think, Fuck, they are skinny. Fuck. they look young, Fuck, they look fit. Fuck, they look fantastic (unless they are in Astana kit.)

    I suspect that for a pro it’s more of a fasting life rather than the odd fasted ride.

  43. @Ron

    I understand what you’re saying. As a younger man I was a keen rower. Trained 7-days a week, was involved with crews who had Oarsmen in the GB Squad, was coached by an ex-Olympic Gold Medalist and GB Squad Coach, but ultimately didn’t have the size or weight to put out the power required to make it to the top (most high level Oarsmen are beasts); and having Asthma didn’t help. I often think there’s a correlation between the only sports I’ve ever been any good at, rowing & cycling – both are ultimately down to individual effort even though you might be part of a team, both take you a very long way into the Pain Cave, and both give you the ability to exhaust yourself beyond the point where other athletes would simply fall over, because your body weight is being supported by a seat. I guess cyclists are in some way all masochists at heart.

  44. @Johnny Mac

    @Ron

    I understand what you’re saying. As a younger man I was a keen rower. Trained 7-days a week, was involved with crews who had Oarsmen in the GB Squad, was coached by an ex-Olympic Gold Medalist and GB Squad Coach, but ultimately didn’t have the size or weight to put out the power required to make it to the top (most high level Oarsmen are beasts); and having Asthma didn’t help. I often think there’s a correlation between the only sports I’ve ever been any good at, rowing & cycling – both are ultimately down to individual effort even though you might be part of a team, both take you a very long way into the Pain Cave, and both give you the ability to exhaust yourself beyond the point where other athletes would simply fall over, because your body weight is being supported by a seat. I guess cyclists are in some way all masochists at heart.

    If you haven’t read Boys in the Boat, do so. You’ll appreciate it with your rowing background. It’s a ripping yarn to be sure and why it’s not been made into a movie yet is beyond me. Good Americans vs Bad Nazis, scrappy underdogs vs Ivy League, wrong side of tracks against top of the hill.

  45. Johnny Mac – yup, I think most folks can get pretty darn good through effort. But there is a ceiling that’s really, really hard to clear at some point. I can be comfortable in knowing I got everything out of my not-that-big, not-that-strong, not-that-fast body. As you know from being around the elites, they just have something else. In my final collegiate year I played against one of the best who has ever played. I’m both quick and fast but when I tried to catch that guy…no chance. That is what makes professionals a) incredible in their own right b) those who make the other pros look so-so truly a thing to behold.

    I played all ball/team sports. If you’d have told me I’d like cycling, I’d have told you that you were crazy. So much of what I did – lifting weights, crashing into other people, tugs and pulls, stepping on a foot to gain an advantage – is not present in cycling. Sure, there is trickery, but very little contact and the pain is inflicted without any contact.

    Still, I think if you learn to compete and learn to suffer while training, and in games, putting up with pain, weariness, injuries. Well, I think you can be good at most sports, with some time put in. Not wanting to lose is transferable across sports.

  46. Mikael – I have just about two months left for riding most of the day, lounging and Recovering with beverages the rest of the day. Then it is…newborn time. I know I’m in for some serious changes BUT the VMH is awesome about understanding that I need to get out of the house and exercise, even a bit, daily.

    eenies – I’m okay not being PRO skinny. The downside is that unless you are very slim, you always look like a lard ass in Lycra. The upside is that you can do things like use a shovel, swing a hammer, shovel snow.

  47. @Ron

    Mikael – I have just about two months left for riding most of the day, lounging and Recovering with beverages the rest of the day. Then it is…newborn time. I know I’m in for some serious changes BUT the VMH is awesome about understanding that I need to get out of the house and exercise, even a bit, daily.

    eenies – I’m okay not being PRO skinny. The downside is that unless you are very slim, you always look like a lard ass in Lycra. The upside is that you can do things like use a shovel, swing a hammer, shovel snow.

    Make the most of those two months, Ron. Have a six month old baby daughter, and although it doesn’t become impossible to get out, it does become significantly more difficult. Although you would have the advantage of the summer months upcoming. We had a pretty miserable winter with heavy flooding which didn’t help the cause greatly though.

    Congratulations and best wishes for the new arrival!

  48. @wiscot

    @Johnny Mac

    @Ron

    I understand what you’re saying. As a younger man I was a keen rower. Trained 7-days a week, was involved with crews who had Oarsmen in the GB Squad, was coached by an ex-Olympic Gold Medalist and GB Squad Coach, but ultimately didn’t have the size or weight to put out the power required to make it to the top (most high level Oarsmen are beasts); and having Asthma didn’t help. I often think there’s a correlation between the only sports I’ve ever been any good at, rowing & cycling – both are ultimately down to individual effort even though you might be part of a team, both take you a very long way into the Pain Cave, and both give you the ability to exhaust yourself beyond the point where other athletes would simply fall over, because your body weight is being supported by a seat. I guess cyclists are in some way all masochists at heart.

    If you haven’t read Boys in the Boat, do so. You’ll appreciate it with your rowing background. It’s a ripping yarn to be sure and why it’s not been made into a movie yet is beyond me. Good Americans vs Bad Nazis, scrappy underdogs vs Ivy League, wrong side of tracks against top of the hill.

    Thanks – I’ll give it a go. I guess good movies about rowing are even rarer than good ones about cycling.

  49. @DavyMuur

    @Ron

    Mikael – I have just about two months left for riding most of the day, lounging and Recovering with beverages the rest of the day. Then it is…newborn time. I know I’m in for some serious changes BUT the VMH is awesome about understanding that I need to get out of the house and exercise, even a bit, daily.

    eenies – I’m okay not being PRO skinny. The downside is that unless you are very slim, you always look like a lard ass in Lycra. The upside is that you can do things like use a shovel, swing a hammer, shovel snow.

    Make the most of those two months, Ron. Have a six month old baby daughter, and although it doesn’t become impossible to get out, it does become significantly more difficult. Although you would have the advantage of the summer months upcoming. We had a pretty miserable winter with heavy flooding which didn’t help the cause greatly though.

    Congratulations and best wishes for the new arrival!

    Congrats to both of you! Davy’s right about it not being impossible, but you’ll learn to love your lights. I’ve found the riding time that has the least impact at home tends to be before work, that is once you’ve perfected your ninja sneak to get out of the house without waking the bub (or bubs in my case).

  50. first time i met the man with the hammer was at work when i was 26. i had just moved to San Francisco from New Orleans, and my Guerciotti track bike was geared 52×16. being a bike messenger in SF is hard enough without riding a fix geared that stout. i kept the bike, changed the gear to a 46×18, and had the time of my life for a year!

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