Mo’ Butt’r

In 2005, Anu, Jary, Nik, and I formed Team Numb Nutz and trained to ride the STP in July. Over several months, we built up our endurance, with the only two complaints being (a) the one that gave us our team name and (b) chafing. So, on the day of the ride, Jary introduced us to this amazing product called Chamois Butt’r. He had a set of individual packs like this that we divided among us.

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We each went into a pit stop porta potty and discretely applied one packet. Another 50 miles down the road we followed the same routine at a pit stop.

50 miles later, our wives met us along the way which is when we took this photo:

This was also the stop when Niyati surprised us with this:

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Gone was the discreteness. We applied with abandon. And joked about giving reapplications mid ride, “Lean forward and i’ll hit you up.” Just jokes, relax. But it did illustrate our newfound love for this saving cream.

To the point that at the end of the ride we renamed Team Numb Nutz to Team Mo’ Butt’r.

I was thinking of this story today when I rode, having just used my new bottle of butt’r for the first time. Out with the old, in with the huge:

I’m so pump’d!

43: Pretty Perfectly (Parroting Panos) “Pump’d”

Classic Conditioning

My “Retreat Bike” is a Specialized Allez, 2008. It is from the time before 28mm road tires, and I never considered upgrading from 23mm to 28mm (would require a new rim). This mattered on my last East Coast Retreat.

I lay out a 500+ mile route, with typically a century ride per day. Sometimes the days are shorter. Sometimes the days are longer. Obviously, the longer the route, the less room I have for route modification. So when I got to day 2 of my NC to PA trip, the longest day of the journey at 121 miles, I knew it was important to stick to the route and muscle through whatever I encountered.

I hit a gravel section of unknown length. I pedaled on. One mile later, I was back on pavement.

I hit a second gravel section. I pedaled. Three miles later, pavement.

When I reached a third gravel section, I actually accelerated. Four miles later, pavement.

It’s amazing what you’ll put up with when you have zero alternatives.


NC to PA, Day 2: Greensboro, NC to Lynchburg, VA

Whip Appeal

Yesterday I brought Whip back to life, after “lying in wait” for way too long for me to get around to fixing him. Between FeZ (road) and Havoc (MTB), I was feeling I had all the bases covered. Yes, I know, these are excuses. Anyhow, I finally got around to researching tubeless tire maintenance, bought all the necessary tools, and a couple of new valve stems (because somewhere along the way I managed to get gobs of sealant throughout the stem).

It always feels good to learn new aspects of bike maintenance, and now I have one less servicing/repair category to feel nervous about. It was great getting back on Whip after six months (I said I waited too long already).

Whip’s return to the SVT

Whip was named by my VT crew. Because it was “Hokie Orange,” I gave them first rights at naming. My crew quickly picked “Whip”, in reference to “Orange Whip”, John Candy’s drink of choice in Blues Brothers.

“Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips!”

VT was where I learned about bike maintenance. Being a starving college student, paying someone else to service my bike was a non-starter. So, over the course of a couple of years, I learned every aspect of the bike, including repacking hubs (remember when that was something we had to do?). Pre-internet and Pre-youtube, the learning was much more trial and error. But that college bike still runs, so clearly I eventually got it right.

30: Extended Excursion Enters Evening

Whip, Meet World

Cue the Walk-on Music

Today’s campus stroll came at sunset, thanks to an especially productive “in-flow” session at my desk. With all the remote work, our campus is pretty much a ghost town. But this made for a wonderful experience.

Combine motion-activated floodlights and empty parking lots and you get an “inflated head” feeling as you walk across a long parking lot and have spotlight after spotlight pop on to feature you.

Next time I’ll bring my headphones and cue up some

because that’s my current walk-on music of choice.

18: Soothing Sunset Stroll; Social Supper Soon | Walk | Strava

Deflated Inflatables

Nothing is sadder in the holiday season than seeing deflated inflatables littering the lawns. Inflated and lit, and sometimes playing music, they bring a smile to my face whenever I pedal by one. But then there are those mornings where I’ve clearly started my ride too early, and all i see is flat plastic. A melted Frosty. Rudolph in a wrinkled heap. Two-dimensional snow globes. It’s a deflating experience to say the least.

I think the solution is motion-detector inflatables. How awesome would that be to be riding down the street and seeing Christmas spring to life all around you?

17: Is a non-alliteration an illiteration? | Ride | Strava