walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Which Your Humble Blogger Does Something Rash

How often, it seems, the voices of Reason (by which I mean 'our mothers and/or significant others and/or older siblings') advise us, "Now, don't do anything rash."

How often they try to pluck out the tender shoots of flighty impulse and plant in its place such humdrum replacements as 'impulse control' and 'delayed gratifcation.'

How often they advise us to look before leaping, or to 'sleep on it.'

But no more!  Today, I make my stand against all the forces of common sense, of delayed gratification, of 'reason' and 'maturity' -- today I...


Today, I cut my hair.

Actually, this wasn't terribly rash.  As you may have noticed, I've been debating on and off how much longer I could stand to leave it alone.  The answer?

Only, it appears, until we have two straight weeks of blood-boiling July weather.

Yesterday, when I took Hg out for a spin, it was a balmy 95 degrees Fahrenheit -- before, of course, adding in the heat index, which rolled things up to a swampy 105F.  In the hour that I spent out in the world, the temperature and heat index crept up a little higher, topping out at a soupy 110F.  By the time I got home, Nashbar SPD sandals sounded like the best thing ever and I had all but vowed to shave my head (but I look stupid without hair -- trust me on this one -- so I opted for the less-drastic 'stand in a cold shower for ten minutes' option).

Monday and Tuesday were a repeat of last week -- blistering hot, humid as the changing room in a high-school natatorium (aside: Blogger doesn't recognise the word 'natatorium,' and suggests that I substitute 'sanatorium' ... and now I have Cliff Burton-era Metallica crunching through my head ... sweet!).  Today, it looks like we're due for another blood-boiler.  Likewise, today is one of those days that I couldn't even avoid riding the bike if I wanted to (well ... I guess I could take the bus).  I have a bunch of errands to run.

Likewise, tomorrow evening marks our annual summer pilgrimage to Chicago (long ago, DD told his friends E&L that he would visit every year during Chicago's 'one week of summer' -- and ever since then, no matter which week of summer DD schedules, it's always the hottest week of the year).  Last year, we hoped to escape the demoralizing Louisville heat for a few days; instead, it followed us North, laughing all the way (ha! ha! ha! -- only there were no bells on bobtails; in fact, I didn't see any horses, bob-tailed or otherwise, the whole time).

Moreover, 'cross season is but two short months away, and ... well, honestly, that really has nothing to do with it.

So today, the startlingly-curly locks that a lady at church on Sunday described as 'awesome' came off.

And I feel about ten pounds lighter.

As usual, the bizarre cowlicks that, er, lend shape to my coiffure have resulted in some unexpected behaviors now that my hair is dry.  Sadly, looking like Dennis the Menace is a normal function of my hair being freshly cut (the only truly successful haircut I've ever had was from a barber in Syracuse, and I am so not riding my bike all the way to Syracuse, NY in this crap just to get my hair cut, especially since -- on the way -- my brain would boil in my skull and I would die).  Sometimes it takes an 'adjustment' trim to get everything sorted.  This may be one of those times.  We shall see.

Beside that whole 'not dying of heat stroke' thing, the haircut offers the distinct benefit of rendering my neck highly visible.  This is a good thing A) because my neck is one of the my most reliable guages of overall fatness (pathetic, I know) and B) because my neck is so pasty it will serve as an extra reflector when I head out today.

And, that said, it's about time to depart.

Pictures forthcoming, most likely.

Update: So my normal Thursday appointment commute (7.97 miles) was commuted to Wednesday this week due to our imminent departure for points north ... and I rode it in 24 minutes, for an average speed of 19.93 miles per hour (I got there, glanced at the time, and thought, "Holy crap, that can't be right!")

Clearly, this increase in speed is directly related to my haircut.  Of course it has nothing to do with, say, the ceramic bottom bracket -- which does feel just as smooth as fresh butter now -- or time I've been putting in acclimating myself to the ridiculous heat, riding hills, etc.

Also, according to both DD and my therapist (whose initials, curiously, also are 'DD,' so I'll have to find some other way to refer to her), my haircut makes me look about 13.  So at least now if I'm not feeling confident come September I can just sandbag in the juniors.

Wait, no.  Never mind.  Who can forget Spencer the Spencerian, who neatly handed my entire field its collective behind at King's Cross last year?  No way in heck I'm riding against actual 13 year olds.  They're way too fast.

Also, as promised, pictures:

The best actual picture.  Sadly, it's in my bathroom, and blurry.

Can you say 'Nerdy?'

Don't go into the light.
Not even while chewing on your bottom lip.

This is my personal favorite.  I look like a refugee from the Pan-Eurasian cycling team posing for a 'Save the Cyclists' poster.  Look into my huge, endearing eyes: how could you not want to send me just $0.88 a day, less than the cost of a single Hammer gel?

That's right, for like 1/1800 of the cost of a new SRAM Red group each day, you too can help a chunky, slightly out-of-shape wannabe bike racer have a better life: better jerseys (this one was $2 at the DAV store -- score!); better bottom brackets -- a better shot at sucking a little less during 'cross season this year.

Please.  Think of the cyclists.

(Sidebar: Those who have met me will probably attest to the fact that I don't look quite this Slavic in real life, though whenever I play the 'guess my ethnicity' game with anyone, 'Slavic' is usually high on the list of potential ethnicities to which I am assigned.  In fact, I am pretty solidly French -- at least, the greatest percentage of me is French.  That percentage includes my nose.)

I look all weirdly masculine in this one.  I think it's all about the tendons in my neck.  I just happened to have my head turned at a funny angle, but it makes me look strong, strong like bull.  I'm not.  In fact, in real life, my neck is kinda scrawny. 

Also, I love the look on my face totally says, "That's not funny, guys.  Do it again and I'ma come over there and slap the ninjitsu outta y'all."

And if you're wondering why most of my self-portraits, here,were shot in my bathroom, it's because (sadly) the bathroom has the best light in the whole house (as evidenced by my Save-The-Cyclists poster shot, which was taken in my living room).


  1. Damn. That was some great hair. Sarah really loved it, by the way. I can't blame you though, I always feel much lighter after even a minor haircut. This must have been a revelation. Definitely post some photos, when you get a chance.

  2. I hope you puton plenty of sunscreen. Otherwise, pasty may well turn lobstery..

  3. @ Apertome: Thanks! (And tell Sarah thanks, too!) I think I will miss my hair, but I do feel about six bazillion times better in this weather now.

    @Jon: Well said! I bought some more while I was out, just to make sure I don't become an Instant Redneck :D