Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hot new bar

The Sweet & Salty is teh hotness in granola bars in 2006. I hear and hear about how tasty they are, and every time I go to the store they are sold out. I see people eating them, talking about them on the subway, but I can't get my hands on one. Project for tonight : Procure a sweet & salty granola bar.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ass Wedding

Last Saturday I went to a wedding, this time for a family friends. Nowdays these are just humiliating and trying ordeals. This was my mood for the whole night :

Even the magic words "open bar" didn't do much to elevate my mood.

Ominously I was sitting at Table 13. The only other people sitting there was a couple with two babies and they LEFT after an hour, it was just me at the table. The least they could've done is put me with some other peeps so I could pound G&Ts and Stella and mock some hapless douches.

My uncle though was rockin' this white suit. It was like something from the Sartorialist. He's always been a snappy dresser, with a real personal style. I became obsessed with the white suit and the entire outfit complete with white shoes and made it my mission to document it for faithful Assbike Mag readers.

Where does one even get a white suit with a Nehru collar ? The Mugatu Collection ? Not Tip Top that's for sure.

This last pic is my art fashion picture:


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Interval Training

After my shitty ride last Wednesday I was pretty bummed, but I think I was suffering from dehydration, combined with too much beer and chicken the night before. I was bloated and slow.

Friday I did my first interval session, followed by another on Sunday -- in an attempt to pick up my fitness. I do them out by the docks on Commissoner St. where there is a 6.5 km loop.

The good thing is it's a quick and dirty workout, good if you are strapped for time. Warm-up on the ride out, three laps at time-trial pace (about 25 mins) and ride home. One hour, but it's draining. You can only handle this twice a week.

The good thing is that you see a boost in fitness almost immediately, the bad thing is you can't do too many hours of this, so it's not a good way to say lose weight or waste time.

Also the sad reality is that to enjoy biking you have to be decently fit, and to get fit you have to kind of watch what you eat/drink. Not so much that that you can't eat or drink stuff that's supposedly bad for you, but you have to watch for things like dehydration or having a heavy meal at the wrong time.

So instead of trying to down a bunch of coffee and water and breakfast before a ride I have a tall glass of gatorade, and a little sumpin' like a piece of bread or a bagel. Then I sip gatorade and (salted) water on the ride. You might feel kinda hungry, but it'll keep you firing.

With the interval training and better feeding, even today, just a week after my abyssmal collapse - I cruised for three hours and still felt fresh.

Asscheap Livin'

I came across this article a few days ago. To summarize:

What the Naïve Consumers Don’t Know, Can Help You
The two economics professors — Mr. Laibson at Harvard and Mr. Gabaix at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton — have looked at how companies hide fees and costs. They found that sophisticated consumers have somehow learned how to game the system by having enough naïve consumers around to subsidize them.

The smartest strategy, they say, is for the sophisticated consumer to choose the service with the most hidden charges and highest add-on prices, but then avoid paying those added costs. “The sophisticated consumer takes advantage of that,” Mr. Gabaix said. “The naïve pay all the fees.”

No shit sherlock. You don't have to be a Harvard Professor to know that, you just have to be a cheap mofo. In fairness though -- the study claims that businesses don't expose their competitors hidden fees, because they would teach customers how to avoid the fees and lose them to the competitor. I guess some academic fraternity somewhere gives a rats.

I already know this when I'm standing in line at Loblaws behind the yuppie couple while they rings up $240 (and puts it on a credit card!); and on things like a twig of basil for $2.40 and chicken breasts for $10/lb. (Honkies will pay anything to avoid handling a bone). But who cares! it's cos of them I can get half price sushi every night after 9:00.

Another shifty scam is Happy Hour at Big Daddy's Crabshack. The food deals look awesome (because they are), but they nail you with $7 drinks (hose).

The Assbike way, get lubed up beforehand and then enjoy the $3.49 plate of mussels that the hard drinkin' cougars at the next table are paying for. Booyah.


Saturday, July 22, 2006


I saw B13 a little while ago. It is the parkour movie, and stars the "inventor" of parkour, David Belle.

Parkour is the sport of free-running and according to Belle:
"the spirit of parkour is guided in part by the notions of "escape" and "reach", that is, the idea of using physical agility and quick thinking to get out of difficult situations, and to be able to go anywhere that one desires."
As if one is trying to outrun chasers in an obstacle filled environment. The name comes from parcours de combattant, and evolved from the obstacle course training of French soldiers.

Needless to say B13 is filled with crazy impressive chase scenes through French ghettos and mostly plays like a muric video (though the storyline is like something from a Steven Segal stinker).

I've always had something for the idea of escape. That is captured in many sports I like, like football and biking. And it is glamorized in movies like "Smokey and the Bandit", "Catch me if you Can" and "the Fugitive", so I'm not the only one.

Real Parkour is just way to hard for any schmoe to try, but if you want to give it a shot there is a whole series on parkour instruction on WikiHow:

How to get started in Parkour
How to run up and over a wall
How to run up a wall and flip

Friday, July 21, 2006

New Project

I've been missing the Pinn, and wish I had a good little bike to boot around the city. I'm reminded of it everytime I see a nice fixie like this pic I found on Flickr.

I happened to run into my friend Marshall on my way home and he just GAVE me this great old Marinoni frame.

Marinoni, out of Montreal is the most well known Canadian custom bike builder. Judging by the rear triangle spacing this one is a mid-80s (or older) model, though the paint is newer.

When I was a kid all the local hotshots had custom steel bikes like this.

I really dig the outlined logos and 80s fade paint-job. I'm not nuts about lugged frames and whatnot, but the flat crowned fork with the cast in maple leafs is a work of art. And look at those reinforcing strips along the inside.

It has one big problem though. The downtube has a chunk ripped out of it :

and to top it off, I dropped the fork while carrying it home and dinged the steerer:

So I'll have to figure out how to deal with those two things. Then the question is how should it be built up ? Fixie or full-on orad bike and how much should I spend.

Interestingly, I saw this car in Kensington whihch has the same paintjob:

So it is possible to get a matching asscar.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Heat Advisory = Bike Ride!

If you bike a lot you have three overriding concerns : food, fatigue and laundry. That's mainly what I've been up to the last few weeks.

I did rides Sat. and Sun. in 35 degree heat, because, What better way to celebrate a heat wave than with a bike ride ? Usually I can tough it out in the heat, but Sun. I really was too hot. To top it off I had a flat (which I fixed) and but then another slow leak -- becaus ethe tire was fucked -- luckily i was riding in Scarbourough and the Sheppard subway was just a short bus ride away.

I didn't realize the toll four hot days in a row took .... until yesterday, I went out with a buddy and had nothing. It was easily the worst ride of the year. I had to just crawl, I can't explain it. Looking back it must've been dehydration. Or lack of vitamin C.

It's not enough to drink water, my secret is to add a bit of salt to it, which I've been forgetting.

My solution : Lemonade with salt. Apparently the recipe for Margaritas was no accident.

I remember a day last year whe I discovered this. I didn't sleep all night, and went to the Vesta Lunch at like 5 am, had French Toast with syrup, then added salt to my water bottles and went on the ride.

I felt nauseated and thirsty from drinking seawater, but I was I was pulling like a freight train, riding like I was trying to rip my bike in half and climbing up hills like a spider monkey.

Sure I was ready to kill for a sip of cold plain water, but the salt (and syrup ?) did the trick.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Assbike Style

Sartorialist always has street photos of stylin' bikers, like this dude in Milan :

..but not all the fashion you see in Italy is great...

Alpe d'Huez

Tommorrow is the day. It hasn't happened since 2004. A stage of the Tour de France finishes at Alpe d'Huez. Fourteen kilometers and 21 hairpin turns to the top. The official record is 36:50 set by the late Marco Pantani.

It will be a chaotic scene. One million fans will line the road.

Most likely the winner of the Tour de France will be decided tommorrow. No matter what happens though, it will be historic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Where to go out

Last night I went out to Sneak's for Tues. Night fajitas, with the DJA, it will be his last trip to the "unspeakable" for while since he's relocationg to Israel. Kind of a shitty time since Lebanese rockets are also relocating there.

As usual we were faced with the same problem we always face tying to think of a place to eat/drink. It boils down to a fundamental choice between two alternatives.

"The Homefield Advantage" or "Change of Scenery"

We tried to try out some new places, but almost all of them were closed. Places were either closing up early or they were just totally gone.

Walking around TO on a typical night it seems a lot of bars are open but empty. I think we're gonna see a lot of places close down after this summer.

My theory : Places to go out out in TO have a simple life cycle :

1. seedy/scary/dirty. These are places/areas you would never go to, or feel totally uneasy being in or near.

2. hip This is when some cool cats take over a formerly dicey place, now you don't have to feel so scared.

3. popular It's still good, but you can't get a friggen seat anymore.

4. lame/ass The place looks like a KoRn concert now, all tubby dudes with goatees. Lowbrows from places like Hamilton or Waterloo hang out here when they come to the city.

A "new" place I did check out is the Rhino, in Parkdale. I think it's a refurbished dive. Good food and beer and cheap prices, but it was mostly empty the times I was there. We'll see how this develops.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Assbike Drink ?

I found out about a drink called a Radler; which literaly means cyclist in German.

According to the Wikipedia entry:
A Radler is an alcoholic beverage consisting of equal parts of lager beer and lemonade. ... Radler was invented by the Munich gastronomer Franz Xaver Kugler when in September 1922 approximately 13,000 cyclists visited his tavern. On this particular day his beer started to run out, so he mixed the remaining beer with lemonade and pretended he created the Radler especially for the cyclists so that they could drive home without the risk of falling off their bicycles.

The one I'm having now is equal parts Molson Export and Snapple Lemonade. The effect is pretty similar to a weisse beer with a slice of lemon. I don't generaly go for sweet drinks, but this is pretty good.

In other news, graduation feels as far away as ever, somehow I need to get my mojo back and get some work done before the fall rolls around. Fuck how time flies.