Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shattering the Intellectual World

Penny and I shipped our wine the other day as we continue our preparations for our move back to the US. The wine shipper traveled across Germany from west to east, only to walk into what had to look like an American drug den. There are air mattresses on the floor, Penny had dried remnants of a white mud mask around her nostrils giving the impression she likes to party with the big kids, and all of our liquor was piled up inside a closet. Nevertheless, the shipper was very nice and refused to pass public judgement of our living conditions.

Speaking of the air mattresses, mine suffered a puncture which I quickly patched up with a spare tube patch I had. Unfortunately, all this did was delay the inevitable deflation and rude awakening with my spine separated from the hardwood floor by a few millimeters of plastic.

In his guest blog for Universal Sports, BSNYC attributes HTC's stage wins in the Giro with Matt Goss and the ATOC with Mark Cavendish to chaos theory. Here today, I am taking it one step further and attributing Garmin's stage wins in the Giro with Farrar and the ATOC with Dave Z to BSNYC's writing about chaos theory. I wonder if there is a name for the idea that writing about a theory can cause an event to occur?

Two stage wins for Fairah.  Go Argyle!It was a pretty lead out by the boys in orange and blue.

In DB news; it only took 10 stages, but Greipel got in the action with a top 10 finish. Perhaps HTC should be looking at the line-up of Greipel, Goss, Renshaw, and Cavendish as the train during the TdF - you know, putting the slower guys in front of the faster ones.

In the sunshine state, Dave Z joined the break with Levi and Mick Rogers over the Bonny Doon climb and held them off over the final meters to claim the stage victory and slip into the yellow leader's jersey. I'm not sure how many sunglasses he beat Rogers by at the line, but it looks to me to be about one beer can in the finish line photo.

Maybe not a full can's length, but perhaps the size of a Red Stripe bottle.Though it wouldn't have won him the stage, Zabriskie made sure that if his tire didn't cross the line first, at least his hand would. For his efforts, Zabriskie was awarded an absolutely beautiful, worthless surfboard:

Take this crap back and finish it!It doesn't have any fins. How is he supposed to stabilize himself and maneuver the board without fins? That's like having a bike with no handle bars, which seems to be the dangerous direction some fixie-hipsters are heading.

Dropped the bike off for a tune-up yesterday, so to kill time before I could pick it up I did what any reasonable man would do - I drank some beer. The first stop was Brauerei Schlenkerla.

The traditional brewery signs are called ausleger, which means arms or outrigger.The specialty beer at Schlenkerla, and the beer that Bamberg is famous for, is the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, or smoked beer. At first, many describe the flavor as one of bacon, but the more you drink of it (either during one sitting or over time) the less it tastes of bacon. It is a dark beer that is an acquired taste, but once you acquire it not any smoked beer will do.

A meal in a glass.Penny and I were visiting the San Juan Islands in Washington State and stumbled upon the San Juan Brewing Company. They brewed a handful of great beers that served them in a little pub with a wonderful atmosphere. The only problem was that they tried a smoked beer, which they actually named their bacon beer, that was no comparison to Schlenkerla. I would still recommend the SJBC though if you find yourself in their neck of the woods.

After finishing off my beer at Schlenkerla, I made my way next door to the baby brewery in Bamberg, Ambräusianum.

No ausleger for the new kid in town.Many Americans refer to Ambräusianum as ambrosia, which is unintentionally ironic since the signature beer is the Hell (which means light). In Germany, when a beer is called light it is simply in reference to the color and not the calorie count, since Germans don't care about that. The beer is a golden color with a sweet, honey-flavored taste that goes down extremely smooth.

I had the brewery all to myself.We'll end today with an unusual rear suspension setup that I ran across/into after my aforementioned beer consumption:

I love how all it takes to secure a bike in Europe is a lock through the rear spokes.Here is a closer look:

I don't get it.I guess it would work, but it seems that the angles don't really match up. Perhaps the owner has trouble parallel parking his bike and has been known to bend a rear rim or two. Hopefully he wears his helmet.

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