Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday Musette

On coffee...

I just finished my afternoon cuppa to get me through the post-lunch doldrums.

"The voodoo priest and all his powders were as nothing compared to espresso, cappucino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhap stronger than the human soul itself."...Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case, 1995. (BRAIN quote of the day 20JAN2006)

I'll have to get a copy of this book from the library just on the basis of that quotation.

One lung or two?

A friend was diagnosed with emphyzema a few years ago. He continued smoking for two years afterward, until he needed supplemental oxygen. Last summer, he had a lung transplant. My friend was an active middle-aged guy with few bad habits other than smoking, but now he looks 20 years older.

Before the transplant, he was tethered to an oxygen generator all the time. But he tried something that may be of benefit to cyclists. He was using 'pressure breathing' - a technique that builds up air pressure in the lungs, forcing more oxygen into the bloodstream. I'd read about it in connection with high-altitude climbing. My mother-in-law started using this too, since she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.

The technique is very simple. Inhale normally, but when you exhale, purse your lips. If you narrow the opening enough, you have to forcefully expel the air, increasing the pressure in your lungs and increasing the O2 level in your bloodstream.

I've tried it, and it seems to help when I'm going up a long grade or into a strong headwind. On the other hand, since I'm concentrating a little more on my breathing, it just may be taking my mind off the suffering the rest of the body experiences!

One last thing - if you smoke - please stop. I know it's extremely hard to do since nicotine is so very addictive. But this affects everyone around you, just like any other addiction. The difference is that it simply takes longer to destroy a life.

Broken spoke.

I broke a spoke on my fixed gear sometime yesterday. Usually I hear a 'bang!' that announces the broken spoke, but I didn't hear one this time. It may have happened in the morning when my balaclava muffles some sound. Regardless, when I noticed the steady tick-tick-tick at wheel speed on the way home, I pulled over to take a look.

A left side spoke in the rear wheel broke just under the spoke head. I got it out of the wheel because I'm always afraid of an impalement hazard if I should fall. The wheel wobbled along nicely, not hitting the brake pads. I put the bike in the garage where I'll fix it this weekend.

I rode the Bianchi to work today. It's almost sinfully plush by comparison! The Brooks Professional saddle is like an old lounge chair, and the rise handlebar seems like it's WAY high. But I've been on the fixie so much that coasting seemed unnatural. Now unwelcome, mind you, just unnatural!

Maybe this is a sure sign that you've become a dedicated bicycle commuter. You have a regular commuting bike and a back-up commuting bike.

When I've spent a day wearing binocular magnifiers, poring through technical manuals, and poking at a computer's innards with an oscilloscope probe, a opportunity for a bike ride is very, very welcome!

Team Discovery

I was again overlooked for the team presentation by Discovery this year. Oh well, maybe next year. I've pointed out previously that it's a better use of advertising money to hire some...ahem...slightly pudgy racers because we provide much more advertising space than those skinny guys. Plus, we're slower so the fans have ample time to read all the logos and write down telephone numbers and web addresses. What's not to love?

...and speaking of money!

The advertisements on Cycledog have brought in a whopping...um...well, it's not exactly whopping. Let's just say that in another hundred and twenty years or so, I'll have enough for a full-Campy custom bike. I can't wait!

One local cyclist raised much, much more simply by panhandling. Still, I can't see myself sitting along the road somewhere with a tin cup and a sign that says "Need $200 for Easton EC70 handlebars!" - part of this month's Buycycling magazine's "Nip and Tuck Your Ride". Who in their right mind pays $200 for handlebars? On the other hand, there's the oh-so-affordable $180 jersey.

Maybe I have junk store values to go along with the junkyard dog mentality.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

Copyright -- everything you write automatically has a copyright unless you give it up. You don't want to do that. What you do want to do is give license for people to use your work in their newsletters. Google for "Creative Commons" for much more information.

Google Ads -- putting the ads out of the way over in the right sidebar doesn't work that well from a revenue standpoint. If you're not that interested in making money from the blog I would just remove the ads altogether. If you do want to make money, put the ads in with the posts like I do. It's a tradeoff between how intrusive and annoying you want the ads to be.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Meetzorp said...

The "pressure breathing" is something I do when I'm having an asthma attack, to control my spasmodic breathing and get more effect out of what little air I can suck in.

12:53 PM  

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