Saturday, May 1, 2010

Damn, Two in a Row

Went for a nice ride yesterday. I planned on just going out and getting some miles in my legs, but like normal I can't stick to a plan. I looked down at my "cyclo-computer" and realized that I was riding at roughly 12 km/h and that I needed to slow down so that I wouldn't burn myself out. Anywho, blah, blah, blah, cadence, blah, grade, blah, horrible athlete. Below is a print out from my "cyclo-computer" displaying the results of my efforts:

I honestly wish that was just a poor attempt at self-deprecating humor and not a valid representation of my abilities. At least I was rocking my AHTBM socks (thanks to Stevil for offering those) so that each time a crosswind turned into a headwind I was able to hold back the tears by looking at my socks. Of course, that became dangerous after a while and I decided to focus my gaze at the road ahead of me.

After the ride, Penny and I went to Brauerei Spezial for a beer.

Spezial Bier, one of Bamberg's treasures.

Spezial brews a very mild Rauch (or smoke) beer in a Lager, Märzen, and wheat beer. Rauch beer is the beer that put Bamberg on the map. Not literally, as I'm sure it was some cartographer slowly slaving away at his passion. The story the new guys in town hear is that one of Bamberg's malt factories (there are a minimum of two) caught on fire centuries ago and instead of wasting all the malt and perhaps missing out on a brewing season, the breweries used the malt that was left. The fire imparted a smoky flavor to the malt unknown to the brewers at the time; and the rest as the say is history. While this isn't the true beginning, it makes for a unique fable.

I'm going to miss Bamberg. The beer is a nice amber color with only a mild smoke flavor. The smokiness is really more of an afterthought and compliments many meat dishes extremely well. It is quite delicious. Spezial also has a keller on the hillside above Bamberg that is open in the summer and offers inexpensive food, more great beer, and one of the best view of the city you can get while enjoying a beer.

Back to cycling quickly. Mark Cavendish gave the "Italian middle finger" upon crossing the finish line at the Tour de Romandie's second stage. Of course there has been a big to-do about it. Comments decry his finish line "antics" and argue that he has tarnished the sport of cycling. Whatever. He doesn't dope, he wins races, and he brings emotion to the pro peloton. Look at what Tiger Woods did for the game of golf (before the scandal). He won (a lot) and showed his emotions, both good and bad, on the course. For the last decade golf has been more popular in the US than it probably ever has. Cav is good for cycling, despite what all these "purists" who love the "soul" of cycling say.

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