February 26, 2007

Rocky mtn high

No bikes.

Just backpacks, snowshoes, bad headaches, gasping for breath, beautiful scenery, a sweet log cabin, good friends, and good times.

Four days at 9,000 to 12,000 feet totally kicked my ass...and I loved it.

How do you know when you need new hiking boots? When your heels still look like this 4 days after hiking, it's a pretty good sign that new boots would be a good idea:

February 15, 2007

Doping in NASCAR?

Fuel Doping that is.

NASCAR actually has quite the inspection process to bust cheaters...and unlike cycling, it's not a "random" test, or a test just for those who are getting good results...every car is tested before and after every race.

February 14, 2007

Is this the future of competitive cycling?

Would you be willing to go through this to help the fight against doping in cycling?

February 12, 2007

GTB Product Props #1

This cold weather is making me stir crazy. Yet I just can't motivate myself to leave the house and go to the gym, so I've opted to stay in, watch tv or dvds, drink wine, and blog a little more. Last weekend Pete and I headed to the family cabin for some R & R, and I decided to pack only my most comfortable, warm, cozy clothes. So I started thinking about all of my favorite clothes, shoes, and chick products. And so begins my first installment of "Got the Bonk Product Props"...giving props to all of those products that have generally made my life more comfortable. In most cases, these will be products I've come across after trying similar products that I didn't like.

Since most of the people reading this blog are cyclists, it only seems appropriate for my first props to go to a cycling product...and that product is Craft clothing. I don't know what I ever did before I discovered Craft base layers. I had heard about Craft clothing, but when I looked into buying some, I realized it was pretty expensive, so I put it off. Then one day a few years ago, I went to Hoigaard's only to discover they were having a big sale, including a sale on Craft base layers. So I bought a Pro Zero Zip Mock base layer, and my cycling life has never been the same. Once I tried my zip mock, I wanted more - I did some Internet research, and found discounted Craft clothing online at Sierra Trading Post, so I loaded up. Craft base layers keep you warm when it's cold and cool when it's warm...they're amazing. And, I love my Craft winter wind tights too...Pete gave them to me for my birthday a few years ago, and that was the first winter that I was able to ride outside...my legs never get cold with those things on!

Here's a quick bonus product prop: after trying a plethora of saddle bags, I finally found the perfect one for my needs - the Pedro's Micro Blowout Bag - it only holds the bare essentials, and stays out of the way...I love it.

Possible future product props:
  • Cycling: shoes, sunglasses, chamois cream, sunscreen, helmet, shaving cream & razor, etc
  • Chick stuff: moisturizers, makeup, shampoo, clothes, shoes, undergarments, etc
  • Home: kitchen utensils/appliances, vacuum cleaners, coffee, alcohol, etc
It's getting to be a long winter and I'm bored, so if you have a favorite product you think I should try out, send me an e-mail: gotthebonk@gmail.com. But be prepared for me to blog about it whether I like it or not.

I hope it warms up soon...before this blog goes to complete shit.


February 10, 2007

From the comments section

Lynne posted a comment on my last post (which was about waif-like models) that I think is worth following-up on, because I agree, it is a serious issue. She says:

Serious issue here. Come on, you can't tell me that you didn't grow up with the pressure to be so thin that your bones protrude? All the fashion magazines I remember as a teenager emphasized this image. That has an impact. There must be other women out there who were exposed to that (80's and early 90's) and have a hard time accepting it's not a good look? How many of us have checked to see if our hipbones stick out further than our stomachs? How many of us have felt better about ourselves if we looked in the mirror and saw our clavicles without shoving our shoulders forward? How many of us permanently now stand with shoulders hunched forward from practicing that as a teenager to get "The Look"? If you can say that you weren't and aren't influenced by that, I think you are in the minority. Really, would you look at a realistic nude photo of a woman which shows her real cottage cheese thighs and/or cottage cheese butt and think it looks better than the woman who's so thin that doesn't happen? I'm just being honest here; I think people right now want to jump on the righteous bandwagon, but it's not necessarily the look they would prize for themselves (I'm not saying you are one, I'm speaking more of the fashion industry right now).

I understand that Lynne isn't referring solely to my opinions, but I thought I'd share my experiences on this topic. First, let me clarify a few things about my teenage years. I can only speak for myself here, but I wasn't really exposed to many fashion magazines as a teenager, and we didn't even have cable t.v so I wasn't exposed to any of those fashion shows on MTV and the like. Don't get me wrong, I knew that being thin was much more fashionable than being a "healthy" midwesterner...I wasn't that naive, but generally speaking, fashion was not something I knew much about. Plus, as a pre-teen, I was one of those sporty, lanky, skinny kids - so while I may have been teased for wearing my Lee jeans from Fleet Farm instead of the much more cool/fashionable Guess or Esprit jeans from the store formerly known as Dayton's, I was never teased about my weight (which I know can be traumatic and life-changing for some kids). But once I hit puberty, I started getting all kinds of curves that I wasn't comfortable with, and I added quite a bit of poundage. But I can honestly say that I've never looked in a mirror to see if my hip bones stuck out further than my stomach (although now I will!) - again, don't get me wrong, I was certainly self-conscious about my new curves, my new ponch and my new weight as a teenager (and as an adult), but I guess I never knew about the hip bone/stomach relationship. Nor did I ever once pay attention to my clavicles. I recognize that teenagers are much different now - it's clear they have much more pressure on them to be thin and fashionable. And perhaps I was in the minority as a teenager - if so, I give all the credit to my parents and my friends during those years. My parents never pressured me to be thin, but my family was very active and there wasn't any time of the year that I wasn't heavily involved in sports. And all of my friends were the same way. We didn't spend much time (if any?) looking at fashion magazines or shopping for tube tops, mostly because we never had time - we went to school, went to volleyball/basketball/soccer/softball/etc practice, traveled for games and tournaments, and a lot of us had jobs (I started working when I was 16). And for the record, when I was in high school, I weighed 20 - 25 pounds more than I do now...same goes for a lot of my friends from junior high/high school. In fact, the nights we had away-games during basketball season, we'd go to Subway before we got on the bus to travel, and we'd each buy a "meal deal" - foot-long sub, chips, cookie and a soda - dinner #1. Then we'd play our game, and go out to eat at a fast-food joint on our way home, so we'd eat dinner #2...and ice cream. So long-story short, no, I did not grow up with the pressure to be so thin that my bones protruded. And I'm extremely thankful for that. That kind of pressure came later in life for me...the college years...although I still don't recall ever wanting my bones to protrude. I lost a lot of weight during those years, but those were the unhealthiest years of my life.

And yes, while I hate to admit it, it's true that I'd rather see a nude photo of a thin, non-cottage-cheesy woman than an average/normal woman with some hail damage. It sucks that I feel that way, and it sucks that woman expect men to think differently as well, but it's the truth. But here's the thing - I'd much rather see a nude photo of a fit, muscular female cyclist (or other athlete) than of any thin model with zero muscle-tone. And I'm going to guess that even most of the men reading this blog would agree. (e.g. Do you see the photos that Skibby posts on his blog? He's always posting pictures of hot women, but rarely are they uber-thin and waif-like.)

It's true that there is a lot of pressure for women to be thin - I don't think anyone, male or female, would argue that. And yes, that pressure can sometimes be devastating for women, especially teenagers. But I think there's a huge difference between being healthy-thin, and model-thin. My point for posting that article was that the women in those pictures looked sickly-thin/emaciated, and it's hard for me to fathom that some clothing designers and fashion magazines actually find that attractive and desireable. So I give props to anyone in the fashion industry, a la the aforementioned Spaniards, that are trying to take relatively small steps to make that industry more healthy (e.g. requiring a BMI higher than 18).

I'm curious what kind of "pressures-to-be-thin" other women have experienced. Anyone care to share?

And then there's the obesity epidemic in our country...an even bigger problem...but I'll save that for another day.


February 09, 2007

Bring it

I'm sure all of my loyal blog readers are relieved that NASCAR season is finally upon us. Yes, that's right, this weekend is the Bud Shootout, a pre-season race for all of last year's pole winners (plus previous Bud Shootout champions), and guess who's on the pole? DJ in his Prius, er, Camry. So it's time to see how the controversial Toyotas will fare in their NASCAR debut. Not sure how I feel about DJ's paint scheme for this race - although it is kind of LGResque with the crazy bright-colored numbers. There are only 21 drivers in the Shootout (as opposed to 43 drivers in a normal race), and both of "my guys" are in it. So are Dis's guy, SR's guy, Kongsley's guy, and Petey Pablo's guy. And I think it's safe to say we'll all be rooting for the Little Guy, the man with the best hair in NASCAR, Boris Said. (Note: I knew Dis was a Said-Head, but I didn't know he had taken it this far last year.)

Shake and Bake.

On a different note (which couldn't be any more different than NASCAR), I read an interesting article today titled "Why Skinny Models Could Be Making Us Fat" - as you can probably guess, the article is about all of those waifs you see on runways and in fashion magazines. There were also some photos associated with this article (click on the link to "Photos: Dangerously Thin Models") - if you don't have the time or interest to read the article, just look at the pictures because they say more than the article. I've never seen so many protruding clavicles - and I've seen my fair share of broken ones after bike crashes (including my own). The article says that models weigh about 23% less than the average woman. I did some follow-up research after reading this article, and read that many models are about 5'10" tall, and weigh about 110 lbs. Holy shit, that's crazy. I also read that when they want to lose weight fast, they go on Diet Coke and lettuce diets. Are you kidding me? The Spaniards were on to something last fall when they decided to ban models with BMI's of less than 18 (i.e. if a model is 5'9", she must weigh more than 123 lbs).

I wonder what Pat's BMI is? He was just telling me last night that he's getting fat. Maybe he meant "phat".

I gotta go eat...three heads of lettuce and 3 diet cokes may start to fill me up. Sounds like a good recipe for a big 'ol bonk.