i’m an easy target

March 5, 2009

I’ve had some jokes played on me. I mean, I can make people laugh just by running into walls or falling down stairs, or off of treadmills. But sometimes people go out of their way to make me funny.

A long time ago, the core team used to gather at Gary’s house in Alpine, and ride Hog Hollow. We’d wander from Gary’s house through Alpine, until we got to the dirt, the base of the climb, and then pause, breathe, drink, pee, joke, and then go like bats out of hell up the 3 mile Hog Hollow climb to the saddle.

I used to be first to the saddle as often as not in those days. Those halcyon days. Those wonderful, heady, youthful years. Okay, sorry, I realize you didn’t mean to stumble into the nursing home to listen to me reminisce. There is a point.

The point is, one day, as I climbed so fast my eyes were bleeding, I didn’t feel so hot, and not from the bleeding eyes. I felt sluggish, clumsy. Slow.

“How you feelin?” Scott said, as he passed me, something that never happened.

“Like smeared dog shit.”

I couldn’t understand it. Because earlier in the day, I had stopped by Gourmet Bicycles in Provo, and picked up my new rear wheel. A wheel so fancy, so expensive, I had FIANANCED it. Just the wheel. I made monthly payments at like 20% interest for a YEAR for that wheel, with its super light rim, with its rattlesnake sounding Hugi hub.

Greg had built it up just for me, and when I picked it up that afternoon, I put it on the rack, and gave it a spin. It stopped pretty fast, and when I look questioningly at Greg, he just said “yeah, the grease is settling in. Spin it again.”

I didn’t bother.

But when I reached the Hog Hollow saddle in decidedly NOT first place, and laid down to throw up, I was aware that not ALL the deafening sound in my head was rushing blood.

No, most of the sound was everybody laughing their asses off. Laughing and pointing.

Turns out, while Greg put the finishing touches on my super wheel, Jeremy patiently filled the tube as much as possible with water, mouthful by mouthful, through the pista valve. And when he had put as much water in as he could, he topped it off with actual air.

I don’t know by how much the water increased the actual weight of my wheel. Or how much it increased rolling resistance. Or gave the wheel a herky jerky movement.

But I know THIS: I wasn’t the last one to the top.

13 Responses to “i’m an easy target”

  1. Rick S. Says:

    Is the wheel finally paid off? Did the tube get financed too? I bought a bike many years ago and financed it on my RC Wiley account. It’s what we do so we can ride.

    You’re still the alpha male when the trail points down.

  2. mark Says:

    What I don’t get is how, when you gave this new wheel a spin, you didn’t notice its weight. But then again, I guess you said you’re an easy target.

  3. steveA Says:

    That is classic!! I still would have been last up the hill if you had two wheels full of water and someone had put a rope around your saddle peg (or whatever you bikers call it) but I would have been laughing inside until my breath came back and I could see again. Though, the shepherd may want to “lose” a few of those cowboys a time or two.

  4. VA Biker Says:

    I’m sorry, that’s just wrong.

    (Laughing while typing, which is also wrong, but what can you do, eh? And, hey, I WON’T be telling my friends about that one.)

  5. bikemike Says:

    revenge is a dish best served cold.

  6. ricky Says:

    good times.

  7. zeph Says:

    weren’t you curious why the fancy wheel you financed was twice as heavy as the wheel you replaced? more money means lighter…right?

    did you inflate the tube to like 200 psi to watch it esplode?

    • dug Says:

      zeph, i was walking on air, weightless with anticipation, and by definition, anything i was carrying was also weightless. better than weightless.

      in short, no, no i didn’t notice.

  8. gbrown Says:

    Dug,
    Good memories. Great times. I remember more about you riding so hard that you wretched than I do about the water in the tire. But that’s because I was typically the last one to the top. That’s me you’re subtly calling out, right?

  9. jruss Says:

    ’twas the very same bicycle repair shop where we drilled a small hole in the end of Alex’s (por favor guys) seat post, attached 6″ of fishing line, and then dangled a penny that would rattle inside of his seat tube. It took him several months to figure out where the rattle was coming from.
    C’mon. You have got to remember Alex. The guy whose wife decided for him that it was time for him to give up childish things like riding bicycles? Thought so.

  10. dug Says:

    john, i remember alex. little blond guy, and very fast on a road bike if i remember.

    i also remember him working in the shop strictly as a sales guy. once i saw him pick up a spoke wrench and start turning a spoke on a bike in the stand. we just sat and stared at him, while he turned that wrench like 50 times.

    greg came over and wapped him on the head and took the wrench away.

  11. jruss Says:

    just for giggles:

    Approximate Cross-Sectional Area of your tire = pi*r^2 = 3.14*(2.25/2)^2 = 4 in.^2

    Circumference of 26″ tire = pi*Diameter = 3.14*26 = 81.68 in.

    Volume of 26″ Tire = 4*81.68 = 326.72 in^3 = 0.19 ft^3

    Density of Water at 70 Degrees Fahrenheit = 62.30 lb/ft^3

    Approximate Weight of Water (assuming the tube was completely full) = 0.19*62.30 = 11.84 lb.

    I love calculations.

  12. Grumpy Says:

    Sofa King Funny.

    I never tire of retelling this story. It’s one of those rare ones that requires no exaggeration.


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