Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yesterday here in Madison was the Cronometro Bike Swap at the Alliant Energy Center, which is conveniently a straight shot down the bike path (which starts right in front of my building). The weather was very nice for January in Madison (30 F and dry, with some sun) so I opted to ride my bike there, seeing as it was a bike swap and all. Of the amount of bikes locked up outside an enormous majority were fixed gear or track bikes -- I also witnessed something that wouldn't last more than 2 seconds in Chicago : A trek 5200 locked to a pole in the parking lot with a small cable around its top tube. I chuckled a said a small prayer for the person that is either a complete fool (with extra money apparently) or a foolish opimist. I know its Wisconsin, but geez.

The show was completely full because everybody apprently had the idea I had -- get there when it opens for the best deals. If you wanted to get some vintage campy parts to finish that restoration, you came to the right place. Cheap clothing, you bet. Lots of stuff discounted 10% below its store price, unfortunately plenty of that as well. I bought a nice cap from Jonny Cycles which was excellent mainly because it fits my big head, but also because its cool to support a local frame builder. My score of the day was almost too good to believe. I'm not that cute so it must have been the smalltalk that got me the big deal of the day. A dealer/team was getting rid of some old shorts for $10 and team jerseys for $20 -- I'm guessing because certain sponsors are no longer on the team. I was hemming and hawing because its tough to guess your size in European numbers at times so the girl at the table just told me that she'd give me a deal. I think she knew I would clean her out and it would essentially amount to less product to drive home. Ergo, 4 pair of shorts and 1 pair of bibs for $5 a piece, and the jersey went for $15 on its own. The quality of the clothing is much better than Performance's, and I don't mind dropping $20 on their shorts, so I pretty much made out like a bandit.

I stopped on the way home with my bag of swag at the comic shop and aside from picking up my weekly books, I grabbed the A History of Violence graphic novel. I have not seen the movie but I've heard its excellent, although drastically different in the 2nd and 3rd acts. I absolutely loved The Road to Perdition in written form as well as its cinematic offspring, though I felt they took out an important level of depth when they removed the Catholicism from the film. Dennis Lehane said something to the effect of approving a film adaptation of his work (or an abridged version of his novel for an audio version) : whatever they want to send me to approve I say yes to without listening to it or reading it -- since my work is not complete the damage is all ready done. Anyway, I found The History of Violence very interesting and as crisp of a noir as one could hope for, but found the ending not hard boiled enough for my taste. Assuming hollywood generally tones down most nihilistic endings, I wonder how the flick ended. I would very much recommend the book, and my interest is now even higher in seeing the movie. Towards the end of the book I was pretty convinced that while the writing was excellent it would have been wiser to have a crisper penciler. (Wow, I used 'crisp' twice).

As Madison warmed to a balmy 35 in the afternoon I dusted (literally) off the Orbea for an 18 mile loop through town via the Capital City Trail. I wasn't sucking air, but then again I wasn't pushing too hard. The Orbea, as always, makes riding a true joy. I went out today for a 20 miler before giving up on a second loop due to the wind -- it was brutal today, and thats coming from a Chicago boy.


Ahh, the Bears. Give em some confidence and they'll break you're heart. They were in the game, which is the kind of thing you build on as playoff experience for next year. Thats the thing to take away. I'm not too destroyed because the White Sox won the world series, proving that the Cubs still suck. For years I dreaded the possibility that the Cubs would end their drought before the Sox, but thankfully life is kind at times. Piss on the Cubs and their yuppy beer garden.


The picture at the top is me coming up to the finish line (not last!) at the Tour Da Chicago last weekend (taken by Arielle Bielak)

This coming weekend's stage is a time trial so I think I may race the Orbea to have the benefit of gears against the clock.

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