Watching cross worlds

I was thinking to myself today, “I wonder how much Universal Sports/NBC/Comcast/Xfinity paid for the rights to UCI CX? And I wonder how much the UCI would make if they charged everyone in the US $5 per race to watch it?”

I think I actually thought this out loud, while reading Twitter. Or something.

Because if you’re a fan of cyclocross in the US, you have probably discovered the wonder of installing Hola in Chrome, pretending to be another country where Jack Donaghy didn’t win the rights to broadcast CX worlds, and going to the UCI YouTube channel, and watching the race in normal definition (WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE we had pixelated crap feeds on steephill.tv AND WE LIKED IT) on your laptop or TV.

The situation in the US is so ugly that Tim Johnson is tweeting out VPN solutions.

ANYWAY, I was thinking all of this (and, as usual, Cosmo has a great post/rant about this), and thought I had a GREAT IDEA in the “charging $5/race”, until I realized that in all of the countries I pretend to be via Hola, the race is broadcast for free on YouTube.

Except in the US, where the UCI found a network willing to give them some money to “broadcast it” to it’s “subscribers” (and yes, I tried cycling.tv, but it was terrible, and they kept billing me after I cancelled my subscription).

So anyway. Someone in the UCI Media Rights Sales Department (gotta be a thing, right?) managed to discover a way to get some cash money from Xfinity International Sports, and we’ll never be able to watch UCI CX in a non-janky fashion again.

But thank you, Hola.

Answering my own question

(Updated with info on veteran racers)

Sunday morning, I shouted this out into the void of Twitter:

And with the magic of pyquery and putting additional loads on the road-results servers, I have somewhat of an answer!

I looked at the 2013 edition of the race. I basically grabbed the rider profile URL, and then grabbed the rider’s race history by year, and dumped that into a .csv file. It looked something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.42.41 AM

I wanted to see how many people were first time riders at Battenkill in 2013, and how many of them went on to race in 2013 and/or 2014.

(alternate version of the sentence above: A CYCLIST WHO LIKES EXCEL CHECKED OUT THE RACE HISTORY FOR THE TOUR OF THE BATTENKILL. WHAT HE DID NEXT WILL MAKE A FRIGGIN RAINBOW LAUNCH OUT OF YOUR SKULL)

I didn’t look at who upgraded, because that might take more time? Or something. But I guess I could. I was primarily focused with what first-time racers did in the rest of 2013 and in 2014. I looked at race results as far back as 2008 to determine who was “new” to bike racing.

2013 New Cat 5s:

  • Total Cat 5s: 584
  • Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 212 (36% of total)

What those new 2013 Cat 5s did afterwards:

  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 89 (15% of total, 42% of new riders)
  • Only raced Battenkill :  123 (21% of total, 58% of new riders)
  • Raced something in 2014: 107 (18% of total, 50% of new riders)
  • Only did Battenkill in 2014:  69 (11% of total, 32% of new riders, 64% of those who only did Battenkill in 2013) (GIANT FRIGGIN ASTERISK – it’s early April, so I’ll check back later and see what happens with this)

What about “veteran” Cat 5s (people who had raced once before) in 2013?

Requested by “someone”

  • Veteran racers: 372 (64% of total)
  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 244 (42% of total, 66% of vets)
  • Only raced Battenkill: 128 (22% of total, 34% of vets)
  • Raced in 2014: 190 (33% of total, 51% of vets)

Veterans + Noobs in 2013:

  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 333 (57% of total)
  • Only raced Battenkill: 251 (43% of total)
  • Raced in 2014: 297 (51% of total)

2014 Cat 5s:

  • Total Cat 5s: 602
  • Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 223 (37% of total)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN???

For 58% of the new Cat 5s in the 2013 race, Battenkill was their only race of the year (or, at least, the only race of the year that was on road-results, which is  kind enough to include most things that have results posted – training races, gran fondos, that sort of thing. So lots o’ events).

In 2013, that’s 123 Cat 5s that did one event and then hung up their license for the rest of the year. If were promoting an event and I wanted a ton of Cat 5s – or at least one race-field worth – I’d figure out how to reach out to those 123 dudes that didn’t race again. Get a booth in the expo area, have an airplane flying over the course towing a banner…something.

On the other side of the coin, maybe it’s good that 42% of first-timers went on to another race in 2013? I don’t know what the attrition rate of newcomers to cycling is, and where this falls in comparison to that.

Also, even though the 2014 cycling season is still very young in the Northeast, 50% of those people who were new to racing went on to do some race in 2014 – and it wasn’t limited to just Battenkill (64% just did Battenkill). Though it is clearly a majority.

It’s also interesting how close the percentages of new Cat 5s are between 2013 and 2014.

And over a third of the Cat 5 field was totally new to bike racing! That’s pretty cool, actually. Battenkill is an interesting event that scratches an itch that a lot of people have, and apparently it’s compelling enough to get so many new people out racing their bike.

So, to answer my question – roughly 50% of Cat 5s do other races.

UPDATE!!!!!!

I was asked to look at non-newbies who raced (which you’ll see the data on above).

More veteran riders did a non-Battenkill race in 2013 than new riders (66% vs 42%), and adding veterans into the mix certainly raised the percentage of riders who did a non-Battenkill event in 2013 (57%).

Even still, in 2013, there were 128 veteran racers who only raced Battenkill! So, yeah, spending money on that airplane towing a banner for your team isn’t that terrible of an idea.

Ten Years

Ten years ago today, I did my first road bike race – which I consider to be the first race I did, despite the two terrible mountain bike races I did in the fall of 2003.

I missed out on the first ECCC weekend at Rutgers, so my first race was at Penn State. This was also when I first developed my general hatred for Pennsylvania, a hatred that would only grow stronger as I spent several weekends driving a billion friggin hours to and from bike races in the land of Erica Allar.

Anyway, at my first road race ever, it was really cold (and, as we were going to Florida next, my idiot 18 year old brain only packed for warm Florida – not frigid Pennsylvania). The hillclimb TT was shortened because there was too much snow at the top. I don’t remember anything about the crit.

I do, though, vividly remember the circut race. Matt Piotrowski, then a junior (I think?), and now a coworker of mine, gave me a congratulatory pat on the back towards the end of the race. What he didn’t realize, though, was that I was on the brink of exploding.

Right after he patted me on the back, I got dropped.

So, with that, let’s look at what my first road racing weekend was like! Maybe later in this here post I’ll wax nostalgic about all the great things that cycling has done for me in the last ten years – or I’ll just go off on a tangent about dicks.

Thanks to the wonder of archive.org, here are the results.

ITT

Men D                               31 Starters       4.8 Miles, 1100'ITT Pts.
1       686 Zach        Via         UNH               21:31.18        11
2       633 Edward      Naughton    UNH               22:44.88        9
3       654 David       Maitlin     Penn State        23:17.92        7
4       684 Joshua      Kissinger   UNH               24:29.33        6
5       634 Drew        Szeliga     UNH               24:43.91        5
6       682 Matt        Piotrowski  UNH               24:46.97        4
7       630 Nathaniel   Brahms      Harvard           24:57.36        3
8       607 Stewart     Ellis       Harvard           24:59.05        2
9       679 Ander       Kazmerski   Rochester         25:06.55        1
10      627 Nathaniel   Craig       Harvard           25:13.62
11      683 Gerald      Obey        UNH               25:21.13
12      687 Ryan        Kelly       UNH               25:26.22
13      672 Max         Rietmann    Cornell           25:29.85
14      631 Jonathan    Tan         Yale              26:01.96
15      677 Peter       Nix         Rochester         26:06.27
16      632 Blake       Holt        UNH               26:14.68
17      660 Mike        Garvey      Penn State        26:16.29
18      656 Heinz JurgenPunge       Rutgers           26:26.30
19      619 Stephen     Maxwell     Harvard           26:28.83
20      655 David       Miller      Cornell           26:34.18
21      601 Pieter      Van Lieu    UMass             26:36.95
22      635 Ricky       Silver      Skidmore          27:05.24
23      661 John        Cawthorne   Penn State        27:11.22
24      662 Aaron       Nathan      Cornell           27:18.26
25      678 Brian       Anderson    Rochester         27:19.36
26      623 Nicholas    Qiang       MIT               27:40.60
27      689 James       Miller      Cornell           27:44.43
28      690 Ryan        van Hoff    Dartmouth         27:54.41
29      681 Jonathan    Rupp        Cornell           28:09.10
30      688 John        St. Onge    UNH               28:59.74
31      680 Andrew      Potter      Cornell           30:38.18

(full results)

A fun thing to do here is guess “Who won a collegiate hill climb TT in 2004?” SPOILER: Mike Barton. It was Mike Barton. Duh.

Another  fun thing to play is a game of “Who is still racing?” Nice to see Cosmo turning in a SOLID mid-field finish in the Bs.

Crit

Men D                           38 Starters       Crit PoiSprint Points
1   686 Zach        Via         UNH               12      8
2   682 Matt        Piotrowski  UNH               9       5
3   619 Stephen     Maxwell     Harvard           7       1
4   683 Gerald      Obey        UNH               6
5   607 Stewart     Ellis       Harvard           5       1
6   691 Regi        EndriukaitisDrexel            4       2
7   611 Justin      Kline       Drexel            3
8   630 Nathaniel   Brahms      Harvard           2       5
9   653 Eric        Miller      Penn State        1
10  621 Abe         Gissen      Tufts
11  633 Edward      Naughton    UNH
12  634 Drew        Szeliga     UNH
13  687 Ryan        Kelly       UNH
14  662 Aaron       Nathan      Cornell
15  672 Max         Rietmann    Cornell
16  692 Richard     Katz        Columbia
17  679 Ander       Kazmerski   Rochester
18  641 Jon         Menzin      Columbia          pulled & placed
19  623 Nicholas    Qiang       MIT
20  620 Matt        Dysart      Tufts
21  660 Mike        Garvey      Penn State
22  677 Peter       Nix         Rochester
23  678 Brian       Anderson    Rochester
24  689 James       Miller      Cornell
25  690 Ryan        van Hoff    Dartmouth
26  694 Noah        Ashbaugh    Penn State
27  601 Pieter      Van Lieu    UMass
28  654 David       Maitlin     Penn State
29  684 Joshua      Kissinger   UNH
30  635 Ricky       Silver      Skidmore
31  658 Karan       Gill        Penn State
32  631 Jonathan    Tan         Yale
33  661 John        Cawthorne   Penn State
34  610 Michael     Ondik       Drexel
35  671 Timothy     Reissman    Cornell
dnf 627 Nathaniel   Craig       Harvard
dnf 688 John        St. Onge    UNH
dnf 693 Steven      Place       Drexel

(full results)

I didn’t get pulled NOR DID I CRASH in my first crit. I got that going for me.

Hey, who won the Men’s A crit? (Mike Barton. It was Mike Barton). Also featured in the Men’s A crit was Joe Kopena.

And Cosmo was in a break that lapped the field in the B race.

Circuit Race

Men D                           42 Starters       18 Miles  RR Pts.
1   686 Zach        Via         UNH               51:28     20
2   653 Eric        Miller      Penn State        at 1:20   16
3   654 David       Maitlin     Penn State                  12
4   611 Justin      Kline       Drexel            1:23      8
5   692 Richard     Katz        Columbia                    5
6   691 Regi        EndriukaitisDrexel                      4
7   696 Keith       Kirkwood    Delaware          1:30      3
8   683 Gerald      Obey        UNH                         2
9   697 John        Kirkwood    Delaware                    1
10  630 Nathaniel   Brahms      Harvard
11  621 Abe         Gissen      Tufts
12  619 Stephen     Maxwell     Harvard
13  682 Matt        Piotrowski  UNH               1:45
14  687 Ryan        Kelly       UNH               1:50
15  607 Stewart     Ellis       Harvard           2:00
16  631 Jonathan    Tan         Yale              3:00
17  634 Drew        Szeliga     UNH               3:10
18  695 Adam        Cohen       Skidmore
19  633 Edward      Naughton    UNH               pulled & placed
20  620 Matt        Dysart      Tufts
21  684 Joshua      Kissinger   UNH
22  658 Karan       Gill        Penn State
23  645 Andrew      Webster     Delaware
24  677 Peter       Nix         Rochester
25  656 Heinz JurgenPunge       Rutgers
26  635 Ricky       Silver      Skidmore
27  671 Timothy     Reissman    Cornell
28  641 Jon         Menzin      Columbia
29  693 Steven      Place       Drexel
30  694 Noah        Ashbaugh    Penn State
31  601 Pieter      Van Lieu    UMass
32  679 Ander       Kazmerski   Rochester
33  690 Ryan        van Hoff    Dartmouth
34  610 Michael     Ondik       Drexel
35  678 Brian       Anderson    Rochester
36  688 John        St. Onge    UNH
37  655 David       Miller      Cornell
38  627 Nathaniel   Craig       Harvard
dnf 623 Nicholas    Qiang       MIT
dnf 643 Steven      Anton       Delaware
dnf 660 Mike        Garvey      Penn State
dnf 661 John        Cawthorne   Penn State

(full results)

Hrm. I finished ONE MINUTE AND FIFTY SECONDS DOWN in an EIGHTEEN MILE CIRCUIT RACE. WHAT. If I remember correctly, there was some sort of wall-ish climb there or something. I have no idea what the course was. Because it was 10 years ago. And I got dropped. In my third race ever.

Who won the Men’s A race?

It was Mike Barton.

Anyway. That was the first race. Then I went to Florida, crashed and broke my frame (which I found out later and raced Beanpot and UVM on a borrowed cross bike), and gave myself a knee wound that is still a nasty scar to this day because I continued to crash on it, never letting it heal.

You may also notice in the results is one Drew Szeliga, co-founder of the Drew and Ryan Announcing Experience. We’re still BEST FRIENDS.

Bike racing has brought me MANY BEST FRIENDS. Oddly enough, Cosmo and I could have had several more years of BEST FRIENDSHIP had we hung out at Penn State that first weekend, but, it was not to be.

Bike racing (and riding, which is required for the continuation of my mediocre results) has brought me/led me to/enabled the following things (that I am thinking of off the top of my head):

  • Fitness, and an ass that just won’t quit.
    • Possible immortality, due to fitness.
  • From collegiate cycling, an ability to race on little sleep and junk calories (Pop Tarts).
  • My wife and our currently unborn child (as we met at a UNH cycling team potluck that I went to, with no food, when I was one year out of college).
    • This child will LITERALLY owe it’s existence to cycling.
  • One internship at a trade magazine publisher in Oxford, CT (as I met the owner on a group ride. I did not drop him.)
    • Tip, kids – don’t always try to drop everyone, as they may end up offering you an internship.
  • My career (tipped to me via Josh Austin/John Healy, both of whom I knew through cycling).
  • Most of my friends (as noted above).
    • As a result, the improvement of my job skillz (thanks Colin).
  • Caffeine addiction.
  • The development and refinement of thousands of complicated dick/poop jokes.
  • Probably skin cancer on my nose.
  • Ownership of one car for quite a while, thus enabling me to be a pompous dick about carbon footprints.
    • Yes, I understand the carbon footprint of a supply chain that brings me a bike and components from China. Shut up.

I could really dig deep into this list (bike racing led to my job which led to destroying my eyes from looking at a computer screen which led to me getting glasses and thus looking sexier), but you get the idea.

Bike racing may seem like a totally silly hobby (silly by some metrics, but those are the same metrics that consider golf to be a totally reasonable hobby), but bike racing is like some sort of parasite that infects your body and directs you down a path towards health and awesome decisions and, if you’re lucky, an uncanny ability to find a dick joke in every sentence.

2013 BICYCLE RIDING SUMMARY!

Go figure, I rode my bike a bunch in 2013. This post is inherently conceited, and there’s not really anyway around that when writing a blog post talking about how much bicycle riding one did in a calendar year.

Anyway.

COMMUTING!

One number that is interesting to me and, PERHAPS, interesting to other people: miles commuted, and miles commuted’s best friend – dollars saved. This is interesting because bicycle riding and racing is an expensive hobby, and I try to “offset” this expense by riding to work and continuing our adventure as a one-car household. If I wasn’t riding to work, we’d have to have a second car, and that would cost valuable dollars. Also I hate cars.

In all honesty, my primary motivation for bike commuting is not to save money. It’s just an added benefit, and one that I can use in finance negotiations with Amanda to argue for #carbonwheels (hahaha j/k #aluminumwheelsforever).

5482 miles commuted. I rode my bike to/from work 145 times, and rode to or from work (one direction) 33 times. This is also why my Strava page is boring as hell.

I calculate my milage at $.55/mile, and along with tolls, I “saved” (saved is in quotes because it’s not like money fell out of my butt every time I completed a bike commute) $3,152. Which actually more than offset my bicycle riding/racing expenses for 2013!

So, if you are trying to motivate yourself to ride to work, consider this fact.

GENERAL BIKE RIDING!

I rode my bicycle over 10,000 miles (550 hours) for the first time ever (10,093 miles, actually). This was something I was actually trying to do (sort of), because we have a base 10 counting system so 10,000 miles is somehow important in my brain.

Also I probably won’t get a chance to ride this much once there is a small human living in my house, requiring attention and additional financial resources.

THAT’S REALLY IT.

Yeah, that’s about it. Hooray.

ANNOUNCING REPORT: Ice Weasels 2013

Yes, an announcing report. My absence from bike racing has been so long that I am now writing ANNOUNCING REPORTS. But, it’s about Ice Weasels, which is the greatest race ever so screw you.

SO. My involvement with the race started on Thursday night, when Colin and I ran errands (which included returning the crappy stakes I bought (in JD we trust)), and continued into Friday when I finalized the playlist and helped staple numbers. And Christin is allergic to dogs. Good thing I have two of them and I don’t vacuum regularly!

I did not put my nether regions on any of the numbers. Adulthood is stupid.

Also, Colin got stuck in the turnaround of my driveway (which, honestly, we both saw coming), but it was a great chance to remind him that he should probably own a Lancer Evolution.

Thankfully, the PA fit in Colin’s Fit (hahahahaha…get it???????) when we packed it up on Friday night, so Saturday morning we were out the door at 6:30 a.m.

It was cold. HOW COLD, YOU ASK? Cold enough that the lock to the gates at Grand View Farm was frozen. The property owner said he had to get the “master key”, which was obviously a pair of bolt cutters. OH, FARMER HUMOR! I should get on this, considering I have a barn. I will start referring to everything as the “master key”, which will certainly make for some silly bedroom antics!!!!

Anyway.

When we got there at 7, there was ALREADY A RACER THERE (Apparently he got his start time wrong, thankfully in the “too early” direction), and he was super friendly and actually helped set up. He was also riding some old road bike that may have been his dad’s (at one point), with downtube shifters and flat pedals, and I’m sure he probably beat some beginner men who were on $2,000 carbon dealies with Di2.

The gate got cut open, I got to setting up the sound system (and, most importantly, the generator so that the tent heater would work). I’d like to note that my arm is STILL (it is now Sunday evening) sore from pull-starting the generator.

Before all that “work”, though, I was the first person to poop in those portopotties. Have you ever put your butt on a portopotty seat when it’s 13º F out? Not pleasant. I was also wearing bib tights under my jeans, which required me to basically strip down to use the bathroom. GOOD THINKING, RYAN.

I thought it would be a good idea to pre-ride the course, so I borrowed Chris McKernan’s bike, which I managed to flat the rear tire of about 1/3 of the way through the course. Whoops!

The ground was totally frozen,  and sections of the course were that really fun frozen washboard business that happens on the side of a dirt hill. A significant portion of the course was off-camber (or, according to Tom, “the entire course is off-camber, except for that damn run-up”).

I never actually saw the run-up, but I heard (from the promoter, duh) that it was awesome and long and would probably be a great place to spectate from if it were not 500 meters away from the fire pit and beer tent.

So, things were set up, jams were pumping, and the racing started with Beginner men. Because Colin is a “cool dude”, he decided to give all the categories totally WACKY names (well, not that wacky. Just beginner/Killer B/Jedi), and since I’m really used to talking about categories/Elite fields, I kept saying the wrong thing and I felt like a big dummy. Odds are none of you noticed, but here I am, handing you my failures on a silver platter.

The business ends of all the races were pretty exciting to watch, and unlike past Weasel editions I could actually see what was happening on much of the course. Though, I didn’t have a useful start list (COLIN), so I did a lot of the following:
– See rider number(s) as they went through the barriers.
– Take gloves off (ugh) so I could find their number(s) on the spreadsheet on my computer.
– Hope that my fingers didn’t fall off in the short time that they were exposed.
However, worse things have happened and it wasn’t a big deal, I just want to start passing off blame for any mistakes I may have made.

I mentioned the fire pit before, and it was awesome, especially when the wireless mic was working correctly, as I would go stand there and announce/interview random people standing around.

SIDENOTE: I saw a lot of my friends, where by “saw” I mean “glanced at with my eyes but didn’t talk to or say ‘hi’ to, I’m sorry, I’ll see you later.” A lot of this happened at the fire pit, and I was there trying to stay warm and not super interested in casual conversation.

The Peter Goguen/Brendan Rhim battle for the win of the Jedi/Elite/Whatever race was exciting to watch, especially Peter’s aggressive inside line after the final barriers, and of course the fact that Brendan broke the rule of “Never take a Gogeun to the line.” Brendan broke that rule AND HE PAID DEARLY (he lost).

I also enjoyed making jokes about how Mike Rowell needed to win money so he could afford improvements to his cabin in Vermont.

If you post something of interest on the Internet, I will do my best to make it into a dumb joke while announcing.

Also, people, buy stock in Melissa Seib. Or pay her off to quit cycling forever, because she is on track to be crushing all of you in a short amount of time. I should also remember how to pronounce her name correctly, as her family members are probably tired of correcting me while I botch it on the PA (“seeb”? “sib”? I’ll get it.)

Mike Rowell crushed the singlespeed men’s race (HAHA MIKE NO PRIZE MONEY IN THIS ONE BUDDY), and Melissa Seib won the women’s race. Though there was an issue with A PRETENDER TO THE THRONE in the women’s race who won, but didn’t have a number on (!!!), so didn’t get scored, c’mon people you should know this by now.

Oh, the giraffe was there. Also, dildos. Of course, being the PROFESSIONAL THAT I AM, I did not know about the dildos until one was thrown at me at the end of the race. As far as I know, dildos are not super cheap (NOTE: do not check Amazon for dildo prices, because it will totally skew your Amazon browsing history, and then Amazon will always show you dildos until the end of time so when you’re at work and you check something on Amazon and your coworker is there they think you’re some sort of crazy dildo fiend), so I appreciate someone being dedicated enough to the joke to buy a pile o’ dildos.

Here is a nice rundown, and you can see me trying to eat a waffle while also announcing.

At the end of the day, it started snowing, the promoting party went into “WE GOTTA CLEAN UP THESE STAKES NOW” mode, and they went into garbage cans which now sit in the basement of my barn (you wanna rent stakes? Talk to me.) along with the barriers.

Then we burned the results.

http://burning-paper-cross-results.com

A stupid thing that Excel was doing and how I fixed it.

You probably don’t want to read this. But it’s here, on the off-chance that I forget how to fix it and some day stumble across the solution on my own blog.

I use Excel all day, every day, 24/7, because that is how businesses run.

Anyway, when I work from home it is real crashy. I thought it had to do with VPNs, but after reading the Internet and trying things, I discovered IT WAS NOT related to VPNs. It was related to monitors, or rather, the lack of my external monitor (please note this was not discovered in error logs, just by a lucky guess).

When I opened up the VBA editor on just my MacBook, the VBA editor would have a bunch of title bars and things off-screen. At work I have the VBA editor on my external monitor, and Excel itself on my MBP display. When the VBA editor went from big-ass monitor to not big-ass laptop display, it got funky with placement of title bars and windows and such.

Once in the VBA editor, I’d try to move things, or just try to deal with it and start writing things. After a few minutes, it would always crash with this error report:

Microsoft Error Reporting log version: 2.0
Error Signature:
Exception: EXC_BAD_ACCESS
Date/Time: 2013-12-06 16:41:17 +0000
Application Name: Microsoft Excel
Application Bundle ID: com.microsoft.Excel
Application Signature: XCEL
Application Version: 14.3.9.131030
Crashed Module Name: libobjc.A.dylib
Crashed Module Version: unknown
Crashed Module Offset: 0x00006d4b
Blame Module Name: MicrosoftComponentPlugin
Blame Module Version: 14.3.9.131030
Blame Module Offset: 0x00045370
Application LCID: 1033
Extra app info: Reg=en Loc=0x0409
Crashed thread: 0

SO. After some Googling and I had a feeling that it may have had to do with VBA being sad about the screen real estate. No one had this exact problem, but similar problems with Word.

I opened Excel, opened the VBA editor, and then quickly changed my screen resolution, which forced all VBA editor elements to actually be on-screen, instead of off in the ether.

AND THAT FIXED IT.

HOORAY NO ONE CARES!

A thing about pooping at work.

At work there is a bathroom right off of the locker room.

After I ride in, I go to the locker room with my things. I put my things in a locker, then I go to the bathroom and poop.

The toilet is maybe ten feet from the locker room and the shower, where I will be washing myself.

After I poop, I push the door between the bathroom and the locker room with my foot, without washing my hands. This is because merely two minutes after leaving the stall, I will be taking a shower, where I will wash my hands (and my entire body).

Sometimes there are people in the bathroom when I leave it, and they see me not washing my hands. I feel like they’re judging me as “Ryan Kelly the gross dude who takes dumps and then doesn’t wash his hands”. But washing my hands there would be like cleaning the door handle of my car right before I go to a carwash.

I think about this every morning in the stall, hoping there’s no one in the bathroom when I pass through so they don’t judge me as a gross dude. I also fear that one day I will lose it and explain this to a person standing in the bathroom and they will look at me and go “Um…okay… I didn’t really notice.” Or I’ll send a company-wide email about this.

Roller movie: Pacific Rim

(There might be spoilers in here, though I tried to avoid it. But are you really concerned about spoilers for this movie? It’s friggin’ GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING MONSTERS, this isn’t The Sixth Sense.)

This isn’t going to be a movie review, just an alert that says “hey I watched this on the rollers and I didn’t want to quit riding after twenty minutes, here are some things about it”. Anyway.

I missed this movie when it was in theaters, because I am a cheapskate and because I would rather do something other than watch a movie in a theater. So, I guess I shouldn’t say I “missed” it – as that would imply that I tried to “catch” it.

I did watch it on a 13-inch laptop. I bet if you were riding rollers in a theater or in front of sizable display and weren’t watching a stream of questionable legality, it could look really awesome.

But that doesn’t really matter. I’m trying to distract my brain from how boring riding inside is, and a pixelated series of moving images works just fine.

So the movie? Perfect roller movie. Well, that is if you can do the following:

  • Forget anything and everything you know about science and inter-dimensional portals.
  • …including what the underground of a world-city like Hong Kong is like (hint: probably has a lot of infrastructure that would collapse for 100 feet under the weight of a mecha/kaiju fight)
  • Not be concerned about the likely millions of movie-people who died when the Jagers are “defending the city”
  • Try to call out what will happen next, because you’re probably right (as the movie is really formulaic), and you will feel good about yourself as a film expert
  • Probably some other things.

Despite going into this movie knowing that I should forget what science is, I did find myself screaming at the screen in two instances.

First, when the main character guy, Raleigh (how little was I actually paying attention to the characters? I just finished watching this movie, and had to look up the main character’s name on Wikipedia), declares that his robot is safe from an EMP because it’s not digital, it’s analog. And then says something about it being nuclear.

It didn’t make sense on so many levels that PERHAPS it escaped normal logic and makes sense on some other plane that I don’t know exists.

Yelling at the screen at this point, with my arms above my head, full of anger, also helped test my balance on the rollers.

The second time I screamed at the screen is when Raleigh’s fighty robot unleashed a sword mid-battle, which APPARENTLY Raleigh FORGOT EXISTED.

YOU MEAN TO SAY YOU’VE BEEN FIGHTING MONSTERS FOR YEARS IN THIS THING AND YOU DIDN’T KNOW IT HAD A SWORD?

There was a long period of yelling at that.

Actually, I’m glad I didn’t see it in the theaters, because I would have been screaming at the screen during both of those scenes.

As I think about it, there many are other elements of the movie that I laughed at the absurdity of, but let pass by. If I can believe that monster-destroying robots exist, I should be okay letting go of my understanding of how underwater nuclear blasts work.

So, despite these moments that broke me out of “the zone” (“the zone” is when I forgot I was riding the rollers inside a barn), this was a perfect roller movie. I only got off my bike once (halfway through to get more water), as opposed to a usual roller ride where I’d find excuses to stop, eventually giving up after thirty minutes. The time actually flew by – as my eyes were focused on the screen and not staring at my bike computer waiting for the seconds to tick by.

As a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I was pleasantly surprised that Charlie Day was in the movie (having no idea beforehand), though he is not very “Paddy’s Charlie”. There are moments, though, where his character’s enthusiastic verbal explosions made me think about burning trash to make stars.

I was generally engrossed in the movie, which is the goal of a roller movie. It also reminded me that movies about giant robots are generally awesome, so this might be something I explore further as the weather gets uglier.

Aaaaaanyway, this is a movie you should watch on the rollers or trainer or Noridctrack or whatever.

Tour de Awesome RECAP

DO YOU GUYS LIKE LOTS OF TEXT?????? OH MAN then this blog post is FOR YOU. Because I’ve had a busy 10 days.And I guess I’ll write about all of it in one blog post because screw you.

STAGE 1A:

The inaugural (and likely final, because oh man that was way too much awesome in too little time) Tour de Awesome kicked off with the Boston Mayor’s Cup, where I raced the 2/3 race, because I’m a mediocre bike racer and thus will languish as a Cat 2 until I quit racing.

It was a weird race, as expected, because it was a cat 2/3 race and there were no parents and thus there were no rules. As I hadn’t raced since Salem (two months ago?), I expected my legs to be sort of shitty – but they went above and beyond and were real shitty!

I found myself in some promising moves, especially early with Steve Francisco, teammate Andrew, that lanky-ass dude from Grinta and Josh Lehmann, but I felt like ass and was soon left behind. But haha joke was on THEM as they eventually came back, too, and I spent most of the rest of the race covering some things and hoping that Andrew/Ben/Landen could do something against the fifteen Green Line guys that were in the field.

But, my fever dream came true, and AJ Moran won, with teammates in 2nd and 3rd, so there was an all-Green Line podium. So that was that.

Thomson Riley crashed (again) and broke his fork (again).

I would post photos of me, but just picture me sitting in the field or dangling off the back of the group, and we’ll all save bandwidth.

The race was also a fun adventure in mass transit, as I rode from my house to the Haverhill commuter rail station, took the train to the race, raced, quickly jumped on the train to get home (missing out on using my BEER TICKETS), and then rode home.

STAGE 1B:

This was supposed to be me taking delivery of a Spy Hunter arcade cabinet but the dude I was getting from has been flaky. So, instead, I sat on the couch and watched episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Not that epic, I know.

STAGE 2:

The next day, the 22nd was the new Hartford Crit (not to be confused with the old one, that went around Bushnell Park, and was sort of boring). This was an eight corner, 50-something lap affair in beautiful and devoid-of-spectators Downtown Hartford.

I’m pretty sure if you wanted to film a movie in Downtown Hartford, you could do it on a Sunday afternoon without any pedestrians absent-mindedly walking into your shot.

That criticism aside, the race and course were mostly awesome and everyone should do it next year.

Anywho, my legs felt slightly less shitty, which was good, considering that the race was roughly twice as long as the one I did the day before. The course had a Beanpot-esque number of manholes, man holes, potholes, cracks, storm drains and this weird grate thingy. It made racing feel a bit like a trench run, as you tried to follow wheels to stay out of the wind AND avoid various things that wanted to shove your seat up your butt.

There was also a WALL of wind that smacked you in the face as you took the final turn, which would make you go from feeling like a LASER ROBOT to a PILE OF USELESS CRAP in a matter of meters.

We got down to business, and Tim Mitchell, Ben Wolfe, Isaac Howe, some Hincapie dude and hungover Sam Rosenholtz got off the front (Sam later joined us back in the field).

Mike Chauner (swoon) was in the race, too, (I talked to him about a place to get coffee beforehand (swoon)), and he was sad that he wasn’t off the front, so he spent several laps just kicking all of us in the face trying to get away. He eventually got a gap, a CRCA guy (and, again, probably a few others (not me! nope, no way, screw that)) joined him in their adventures off the front.

CRCA put the brakes on and the Mitchell Party lapped us. Surprisingly, Tim and Ben didn’t go to the front and start slaying it to keep the next group from lapping us, so it was only a matter of time before we saw Chauner again.

Then the pace sort of went up? Maybe? I don’t know. I just was pretty dizzy from turning so much and was trying to avoid getting killed by the Bethel junior with the Air Attack.

I flatted, found a friend’s wheel in the pit, and then rode gingerly on the expensive wheel that I didn’t own for the last six laps.

And then I finished and had a cheeseburger and drove home.

I also tried to find a photo of me from this race where I didn’t look like a wreck, but I couldn’t. You’ll have to find them yourselves.

REST DAY 1:

I went to work.

#tourdeawesome rest day 1 is all about coffee and Tom Selleck clocks and making stupid PDFs.

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

STAGE 3:

LET’S RIDE 150 OR SO MILES TO MAINE OKAY?

Sure why not. Day one of #300noton100, because Ted and Tim’s schedule is complicated so this is the ride that we figured out that we could.

We met at D Squared Java in downtown Exeter at 5:15 a.m. for a 6 a.m. roll out…which meant I got on the road with Seth at 4:15 from fantastic Heav’nly Donuts in Plaistow.

We got to D Squared and there were a ton of people (for a time when the coffee shop is not usually open. Thanks Dan and Paige for accommodating us!)

COFFEEEEEEEEEEE

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

Drew unleashed some fantastic 300noton100-inspired mom jokes, I met new people (including Andy, who rolled deep and brought his support crew) and caught up with other people (including Travis, who would be joining us for the entire ride) and bragged about how boned Ted and Tim were because riding before the sun comes up is MY GAME.

We were also planning on riding by my office so I constantly threatened that we’d go in for an Excel challenge at which point they would FEAR ME.

Here is a shitty Instagram photo of us leaving Exeter in the darkness.

Early departure in Exeter. #300noton100

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

It eventually became light, and as the sun rose over the Atlantic while we zipped up 1A my loins swelled with appreciation of the colossal beauty of nature. So of course I wasted moments of viewing it with my own eyes and attempted to capture it with a collection of rare-earth metals that were violently ripped out of the ground and processed in a smoke-belching factory.

Ted profile with ocean. #art #300noton100

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

We continued rolling at a good pace, and then I finally had my FIRST RIDE OVER THE NEW BRIDGE!!!!!!!!

BRIDGES!!!!!

After we passed into Maine, the pace picked up because WE HAVE A FERRY TO CATCH and because the roads we were on were quite narrow, so it was wiser to be single file.

At one point my K-Edge Garmin mount rattled loose so I shouted up to Ted and Tim that was pulling over to fix it (or so I thought). After tightening it, I got on the bike and HIT IT to catch up with Ted and Tim.

LITTLE DID I KNOW that they did not hear me say “Hey guys I’m gonna go fix my bike, can you not go 27 mph for a few minutes here?”, so I was totally drilling it (with Andy on my wheel for a bit as he was catching back on after getting a tire change) for about 10 miles up 1A, through York, and along Shore Road to Ogunquit. I had an assist from the Duvine Mobile (with Andy yelling out the window that he was going to leave me behind) before I finally caught the group.

Aaaaand I was smoked. I guess that is how you learn to make sure that the engines of the ride know you want them to chill for a minute.

By that point a lot of the people that were riding with us pulled off, and we had a smaller group as we wound through York and onto the Eastern Trail somewhere in Kennebunk.

We pretty much took the Eastern Trail all the way from Kennebunk to South Portland, where there was the obvious stop at Scratch Baking Co for coffee and bagels and coffee and pizza. And picking up a group of fresh legs to help us navigate our way out of Portland and onward.

Picking up some fresh legs after Scratch, and a junior with an Air Attack. #300noton100

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

More rolling, more happy pace, and then I started to have some sadness somewhere south of Bath.

I think my ten miles of chasing, and my general shittyness, made me tired. The real indicator of me being tired (aside from me becoming suddenly quiet) is when my pulls go from a respectable 7 minute/27 mph effort to a 5 minute/20 mph effort.

Then I had a Red Bull Powered By Tim Jimmy Jazz Johnson, and I felt A LOT BETTER for a while. Then I felt sad again. THEN I HAD ANOTHER RED BULL.

Then we were in the home stretch and cruising in the drizzly and overcast 50-degree world we found ourself in, and made it to the ferry in time. And then I drank a bunch of beers and ate a lot.

STAGE 4:

RETURN TRIP.

I woke up and didn’t feel like total ass (yay) and ate several Scratch bagels. Before, obviously, we ferried over and got coffee.

Day two coffee. #300noton100

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

Rolling out was myself, Ted, Tim, Travis and Andy. Andy’s goal today was to join us for 100 miles – he did ~75 or so the day before, and wanted to get in enough miles to make a good story for any dates he had coming up in the near future.

Aside from a fantastic tail wind and an aggressive pace, the ride until Portland was uneventful (we went over bridges, that was awesome).

My primary goal for the ride was to stop at Duck Fat in Portland (ATTENTION OWNERS OF DUCK FAT: I am available for a personal sponsorship. Or a team sponsorship. Whatever.) and we DID and it was glorious. We had five plates of poutine, and I think I had one entirely to myself.

#poutinesohard

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

After that, we rolled for .4 mile to another coffee shop. And THEN the pace returned to being real.

I spent time trying to tweet out our location to various interested parties, but Ted just kept changing the route as he saw fit so it was a bit challenging to keep people up with where we were.

REGARDLESS I totally won the sprint into New Hampshire, and entertained everyone with fun facts about Dover and UNH as we rode through.

We decided we’d (fittingly) end the ride on the Watsonburg, and as we approached it I waited for Tim to unleash his final “Screw you, Ryan” attack – but it didn’t come.

DAMNIT I totally missed an opportunity to blow his doors off and thus make myself feel better for like five minutes.

Then we got to Exeter Cycles and I took a poop before gathering my things and joining everyone plus Arlon and Greg for burritos at Las Olas.

When I got home there was no dog poop. It was a win!

REST DAY 2:

I worked from home a bit, and made the terrible mistake of laying around my house, which meant that my body was incredibly tight and sore for almost the entire day. Once I loosened up I stacked a cord of wood.

STAGE 5a:

Setting up the course for Gloucester!

I was responsible for painting the wavy start grid so you’re welcome, I guess.

I talked to Elle Anderson and then she won both days so, you know, if you want to win both days of Gloucester you should chat with me while I’m helping set up the course for the race on Friday.

STAGE 5b:

I went to Steve’s and took a shower and hung out.

Then I went to see Electric Six! Which I’ve wanted to do for like ten years! And they sucked! So I went home. That was disappointing.

STAGE 6:

Teammate Andrew Gardner planned this glorious bicycle ride up in Vermont. It was supposed to be six gaps, but then it got shortened to four gaps, and then it got shortened still while we were out on the road and realized that there was a keg at Andrew’s and, um, we wanted to drink it.

Before we decided to end the ride early, I had a mid-ride cheeseburger, deviled eggs and soda. Because off season.

Mid ride cheeseburger.

A photo posted by Andrew Gardner (@thingsagsees) on

But seriously, Lincoln Gap? Man my arms were killing me after humping my bike up that road. The foliage was beautiful, but it was difficult to see as my body’s main goal at that point was getting my bicycle up that damn hill. Then we went down the hill and it was all sorts of terrifying. I’d rather ride up it twice than ride up it and down it.

Then I went to Andrew’s and drank his beer and it was good.

Um, so, those are the things that I did last week. I’m sorry that this is not very awe-inspiring. I lack the skill to inspire awe.

Also I do not recommend doing a large number of awesome things in one week because you’ll be really tired.