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BRUTALesque EPICosity

EPIC Insurance Solutions

Back in September, I closed out one of my posts by saying that

These days, the descriptor “epic” gets thrown around pretty casually, but “epic” is a very fitting word for the ride that demands everything a cyclist has got.

Six weeks later, cycling newscasters GCN got in on the act by releasing a video entitled “How To Make Every Ride EPIC”. Their clip begins by also observing that “‘Epic’ is one of the most overused words in cycling.”

That got me curious about my own use of the term. After all, I’ve been sharing my cycling exploits for fifteen years and written 375 blogposts. And we all know I’m a devilishly wordy sonofabitch.

So here’s a quick summary of my use of the term EPIC:

For my first seven years of writing (2003-2009), I never used the term at all. Yay!

Its first ap »more

Is It In You?

Gatorade Pro formula

It’s been five years, so it’s probably safe to tell the long-suppressed tale of my Gatorade Escapade.

Prior to 2012, I could walk to some shop like GNC and find two-pound tubs of Gatorade’s special Pro Endurance Formula powder/mix in my preferred flavor (orange). It worked out nicely, because one of those tubs would last nearly one full season/year.

Then GNC stopped carrying it. It was kinda a specialized thing, and I couldn’t find it stocked anywhere. So I did what any normal bitnaut would do: I went directly to Gatorade’s online store.

Figuring I’d save on shipping costs, I ordered a two-year supply: two of those two-pound packs. That’d be perfect, right?

However, someone in Gatorade’s fulfillment department didn’t look at the “quantity” field when picking and packing my order, so »more

Dirty DNS

2016 Dirty Dozen jersey

For cyclists, the acronym DNS stands for “Did Not Start”. That’s the result they publish if you are registered for an event but unable to participate. And for me, that’s how my 2016 season ended.

On October 2 I participated in the first of seven group training rides leading up to Pittsburgh’s Dirty Dozen race. I had already crawled up eleven of those infamous thirteen hills for a total of twenty ascents, and I was planning on seven more weeks of hard, focused training followed by a memorable event.

Four days after that first training ride, I flew to Maine to care for my 90 year-old mother, who had been hospitalized. With one very short exception, that’s where I’ve been ever since, and where I’ll remain for the immediate future.

I’ve only managed one easy ride in the past six weeks, a »more

Site News: PIT Cycling Calendar

Added links to my calendar of annual cycling events in Pittsburgh. Look for it under the Cycling nav drop-down, on my main cycling page, and in the cycling section footer.


Having plenty of time for back-burnered projects is one of the few benefits of spending ten hours a day in an out-of-state hospital room for three weeks at a time.

In this case, I’ve taken the time to go through my entire cycling blog, adding descriptive index tags to all 366 entries. This will allow anyone to search my blog for articles by major topics such as training, best practices, maintenance, centuries, or climbing.

So now when you’re reading one of my articles, you’ll be able to view my posts on the same topic by clicking on the tag list that appears at the bottom of the page.

In addition, here are the top 32 tags that I’ve written about most frequently:

ride report
pan-mass challenge
club rides
best »more

More Than One Slippery Slope

Slope chart

Ornoth’s been playing with data visualizations again, and as usual the results are pretty cool.

Climbing hills is how cyclists measure themselves. We roam around the countryside, testing ourselves against short, steep hills; long, steady hills; and especially ones that are both steep and long.

Ascending each hill dozens of times, we become intimately familiar with every detail, having discovered where the slope increases, where the opportunities to recover are, and whether a rider should attack it aggressively or work his way to the top more slowly and conservatively.

When cyclists get together, hills are a natural topic of conversation: complaining about them, reminiscing about them, and comparing them to one another. This hill is longer, but that one’s steeper. But the first one is »more

Site news:

Site News: PIT Cycling Calendar
Added links to my calendar of annual cycling events in Pittsburgh. Look for it under the Cycling nav drop-down, on my main cycling page, and in the cycling section footer.
Posted Sat Nov 12th 2016