My Photo

My Business

  • Velo Communications Inc.
    I offer freelance writing and editing services to a number of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Lean more about what I can offer and view samples of my work.

My Other Blog

  • Sara's Best
    A freelance writer works on her first novel.

« Track 101 | Main | Shaking Off the Cobwebs »

April 01, 2008


Paula Kirsch

Hey Sara, my birthday is in April too, on the 5th. Seems we Aries girls love cycling huh? For a great "April Fools" read go to TBV and click on Rant, it's very funny. Later....



I'm not sure which site I'm laughing at more with the stuff today. I found the TTT pretty funny but I love that movie. The Phinney one was good. The restriction of team names and of course the Landis one. I love April 1st!

Here's my entry for today and it's far from a joke. I love my argyle guys!!! If you aren't sure who they are or if they're worth the hype, take a look. The team was on a roll last year and got a good boost and are having a great start in '08!


Nice post to open a new month Sara! Happy April Fools Day to all! (I also LOVE this day...have been a prankster my entire life it seems...why just last night on our little 'group ride', my friend Gary carried an entire bag of 3/8" lock washers for the entire 34 mile ride in his little bento-bag...the look on his face AFTER the ride when he discovers them was PRICELESS!) However I have GREG to thank for the 'stuff in the Bento-bag' trick...still have those rocks from Solvang, that was just TOO FUNNY!) Sara, no WONDER you haven't been riding much. Yes, it's TOTALLY more fun/interesting to ride with others. I like to mix it rides, solo rides. A time and a place for each (and the old saying: 'Misery loves company' is never more true than on a bike...even horrid weather is MUCH better in a group). I will be checking out all the other cycling blogs/sites later for the April Foolery stuff (kind'a busy right now).

But before I go, a quick shout out to Susie...sorry about your lady Turtles. Stanford looked pretty sharp last night...and could go all the way to the final in my book.


You gotta luv the April Fool's Day posts - Sara I must admit I too was caught by an O'Grady article in VN 3-4 years ago. I think it was the one where he was fired....I got sucked in hook, line and sinker. Even wrote a letter to editor complaining. Like I've said before - I'm not too smart...

Nikki, nice to see your posts! I have to disagree with your enthusiasm for Slipstream. I like DZ, CVV, TD, and Magnus but JV and DM have definite attitudes. IMO, they project the attitude that their shit don't stink as they are so darn clean they squeak. Some Bonnie Ford articles definitely conveyed that message from some Slipstream ppl. They need to tone down their "we're good,we're clean, and nobody else is" rhetoric.

Sara, it seems like winter is too long where you live when you haven't been on the road and its April. I live in AZ so riding is year-round but I must admit that I whine when I have to ride on mornings it is 40 degrees on a ride. On the other hand, in two months the 6 am temp will be 90 degrees and at 9 am it will be over 100! Its hard to carry more than 3 water bottles!

Sara & Matt, you've touched on one of my pet peeves - group riding. I did the group ride scene for years but I stopped and ride strictly solo as the group riders don't abide by the traffic rules - which aggravates me as an auto driver. Running stop signs, riding 3 or 4 abreast, plugging up traffic on two lane roads, etc. My list is long. I just feel strongly that as cyclists we have an obligation to abide by traffic rules - even more so than autos to set an example in order to gain more credibility and respect. I do ride charity events to get my social fix.

I look at my solo ride as my time - thinking, stress relief, some good pain, the peace of early morning rides, time to enjoy the scenery of the route, and just good old 'head' time. Don't get that chance very often.

So Sara, as you experience group rides, think about stop signs, traffic lights, ride etiquette, and never ride more than two abreast. Matt, I'm sense you are a very experienced rider - what is your take on following the rules of the road?


Yo Joe..I HATE It when cyclists DON'T follow the rules...(mtn and road)...only a handfull of riders give ALL a bad name! (just this weekend on the MTB, I stopped on a climb to allow 3 ladies on horses to come on down..they were amazed! And so VERY nice and thanked me for stopping...I ALWAYS stop for horses, kids, dogs, and am VERY kind/respectful to all others on the trail! I'm the ambassador of kindness on the trail, and I've never had any probs!) We do MOST of our group rides here on Vandenberg AFB (109,000 acres of land/roads) low speed limits, almost NO traffic...we do ride abreast but quickly go single-file for any cars. And off base, strict rule-follower. And even so, enough bikers have NOT obeyed the rules that many drivers already hate me...had a FEW brush-backs by truck mirrors (how close they can get their passenger mirror to my HEAD!) Very scary...and dangerous...and most of that is brought on by BAD riders. But the car driver is to blame for HIS behavior too. We DO run stop signs (on base), tho only if there are no cars. If there are, we stop and take our turn like cars. Goodwill ambassadors everywhere I go...thats my philosophy (just look out for that extra half-pound of hardware hidden in your bike bag!)


Matt - I'm envious you have all those acres to play!! That would be great. I agree that one or two 'bad' riders really ruin it for everybody. We had an interesting situation here a few months ago. A group ride would typically do this portion of a route that was essentially 5 miles of a long slope uphill on residential streets - ending in a subdivision at a large cul de sac. It was common for the group to stop at the top of the hill in the cul de sac - to chat, eat, and take a piss. Of course that ticked off all the residents - many guys pissing in an empty lot and leaving food wrappers, banana peels, etc. The local newspaper did a story on it as the subdivision wanted to ban cyclists from the street. There ended up being ~60 pages of comments (around 600 commenters) - many were very negative to cyclists. I was stunned how negative the comments were - often pointing out that cyclists run red lights, don't stop at stop signs and hog the road. Pretty sad - but the behavior of some of the cyclists was ruining it for others. I think it was resolved by a meeting and the cyclists agreed to police themselves.

So keep up the goodwill.

BTW - the bag of lock washers in the seat bag was pretty good! Many years ago on a backpacking trip, each night I would hide a 1 pound rock in my buddies backpack - he discovered it in the end! He didn't have a sense of humor though! :)


Ahhhh the Ol' rock in the pack trick! A few years back, Greg and I (and our other brother) were up at Mt. Whitney preparing for a night-summit hike. We got there early in the afternoon, and planned on getting a few hours shuteye at the portal campground, and start the hike around 7 or 8pm (full moon night). Anyway, somehow HUGE rocks kept materializing underneath the sleeping bag of anybody who was foolish enough to leave it's sight, even for a moment. Man that was a good time! Greg & I are hoping to do some backpacking in the Sierra's again this fall..hmm...will keep that 'rock trick' handy (and will be checking MY pack often for uninvited hitch-hikers).


Do enjoy your ride amongst the wildflowers, Sara!

As for April Fools no one beats Google's "Virgle" a proposed joint venture between Virgin and Google to colonize Mars over the next hundred years! They're recruiting "pioneers" today!


Thanks for the link, Nikki! I agree with JoeB that Slipstream needs to dial back the holier-than-thou attitude a bit, but I'm a fan of the team and really enjoy watching them race. They are always aggressive and right in the mix of things. Of course I love the colorful personalities that have been brought together, too :)

I'd forgotten about your post last April 1st, Sara. That was a classic ;) I haven't been able to ride here yet either, but we are down to our last of the snow (I hope!), though we had 4 inches last week so you never know at this time of year. My husband bought his new Trek road bike today and is just ITCHIN to get that out! Good luck with those pedals -- it will be his first clipless pedal experience as well.

So Matt, it now becomes clear that you were very deserving of the old "rocks in the bag" trick ;)


I thought of a good article to write today, but decided it probably wouldn't be welcomed by some of my higher ups....but it was an article called "Let the Bikes Decide" and called for a three-day stage race between Astana and ASO: a mtn stage, a tt and a sprint. I came up with a whole list of "special" rules, but bottom line was whomever wins the race gets to decide who rides le Tour! ASO could pick anyone from their staff to ride, OR any previous TdF winner.....if anyone beside Hinault would even consider it! Oh, and if ASO lost, then OP was to be permanently closed and total amnesty for all the other doping cases....start fresh, no more digging in the past. AND Floyd gets his win back. PLUS Basso can come back too cause he's pleasing on the eyes, and oozes charm. Hey! You wanna play with the big dogs, ya gotta come off the porch!


Oh Sara, how can you not like April Fools?! Read this gem from my pal Bruce Hildenbrand:

I laughed hard at this one. Oh! And he's the only remaining columnist at Active that writes about cycling! Well, actually he was the only one that ever REALLY did and now the first one is gone!


Cathy - I think you should post that article here as it sounds like a great read!


CMehl - I agree with Nikki - post your April Fool's article on here...share the pointed joking about ASO.

It sounds like your article is dead on about the 'dreams' of us Astana fans these days. Post it anonymously.

Of course, your wanting Basso back in the peleton for aesthetic reasons only is typically the lustful comments some of you make on the 'men' of cycling, I'm surprised some of you Sara groupies haven't volunteered for the WADA urine collection job at races so you could go into the team buses and observe....

BTW - reading your USCR plea for some reporting help - I gotta think Mr. Matt (of the Sara groupies) would be ideal - he's in CA to cover all the great cycling in his neck of the woods. Entice him to try.


Oh, it's so nice to read chatty comments and a great post from Sara! We are doing a computer conversion at work; and yesterday was NOT the day for April fool's jokes, no one was in the mood and you pretty well would have gotten stoned! We were all happily miserable together!

I ride solo all week; and do the charity rides for my social interaction too. But I ride about 11am, since I 'm at work by 3pm. I love it. This year I'm going to try to vary my routes a little. JoeB, I'm amazed at your story of the group riders. We live at the edge of rural MO, and you can get away with that out by someone's field, but in a subdivision???? How irresponsible! I getting to be a better rider, so I can balance at stop know actually stop, but not put my feet down! But not in town when I'm riding with lots of traffic!

I have to read all the links that Nikki and Cathy posted.
I will say I love SS...besides having some of my favorite riders, I got to know the team when Brad was on it. And met all the guys at Downer's Grove and Tour of MO. But, I'm getting more into our teams here at home. Has anyone paid any attention to Team Type 1?? That's where Ed Beamon went!!

susie b

Hey, did you all look at the Bicycling issue with McDreamy on the cover? Couple things. There were 2 or 3 DOUBLE-PAGE ads for Slipstream in the mag. On one, they listed their sponsors at the bottom & Bicycling magazine was one of them. How does that work exactly? I knew they were doing extensive coverage of the team this year but didn't realize they were a SPONSOR. How will they keep the personal from the professional?

Also on that one ad, there were some tag lines & one called the team "courageous" or something & I thought that was a teensy bit much. And then also - "America's Team". With a capital "T". You know what this reminds me of? If an attractive person admits they're hot, they come off sounding like an arrogant ass. You need OTHERS to say it for you. And you need to be or at least pretend to be 'aw shucks, humble' & trot out the "but I felt very unattractive as a child" response. Which makes people the world over hate you even more. ;)

And speaking of asses, my favorite thing in the entire magazine (I bought because of the interview with Andy Hampsten & it was great AND was written by Bruce H!) was another ad. For Pearl Izumi. There was a photo of a donkey standing in front of this huge 3ft blowing fan. The caption said -

"A dry ass is a happy ass"

Man, I howled when I saw that! Love it! Wonder if you can get it as a poster. I'd get two. One for myself & one as a, uh, gift. ;)

susie b

Oooh, couple more things. Thanks Matt, for the sympathy on the lady Terps. I guess I should'nt speak for Waddy, but I need to develop more of a "hard shell" (;) so as not to let such things get me down. I think it's partly my fault as I was already envisioning them beating UConn. Never look ahead! Take it one game at a time! Oh, well. At least you & I are still on schedule for "our rematch". Your pick - UCLA vs mine - Carolina.

And Jessica, I've been so crazed the past month with my move, etc that I didn't have time to read everyone's comments & I'm still catching up. I just clicked on your link from last Friday. I MISSED Earth Hour! I didn't even know about it! They won't do another one for a year? I have to be honest, without planning ahead I don't know if I would have turned off all my lights (& TV!) for an hour Saturday night, but I would have tried for at least part. Actually, the lights wouldn't have been a problem, but after working all day, I just wanted to watch some TV. I do try doing environmentally friendly things & have since I was a kid & they had Earth Day. Do any of you remember that? Which was a little before "Earth Shoes" were all the rage if I'm remembering correctly. And which I was astounded to see making a comeback on HSN the other night! :) Talk about a flashback. Yes, yes, I had a pair. I also had Wallabees. Loved those shoes. The Wallabees more than the "Earth Shoes".

Speaking of shoes, I have a pair of made-just-for-me leather shoes from an artisan company called "Those Shoes". The last time I wore them was to the MCI (now Verizon) Center in Washington & at least 50 women came up to oooh & ahhh & ask "where did you get THOSE SHOES?" Which of course led to a little "Who's on 1st" shenanigans. :) I have to tell you though, after about the 10th person, I just wanted to give out a business card that stated "They're called Those Shoes & here's the shoemaker's phone#". I don't know HOW famous people stand it!

Anyway, (goodness, I kinda veered off track!) thanks for the info Jessica & I'm sorry I missed it. Did anybody else here observe? And just so you know, Jessica, I now have that song by The Penguins in my head, slightly revised - "Earth Hour, Earth Hour.." :)


I also clicked on the link that Jes posted on Friday, then thanked Nikki for it; yup, just in case you were wondering why I haven't blundered lately. Been covering better, posting less....

My mom had an Earth Hour party (I kept calling it World Hour, I think because they wanted to do it around the world this time-started last year in New Zealand). She said it was a great success. Everyone brought a dessert. they had candle light, a roaring fire, and quiet chatter. It would have been romantic, well it was I guess, but the average age was about 45 or so. Wait, what am I saying?? We are still romantic, just forget how to do it sometimes. That can happen after 20 or so years of marriage.

Damn susie, what ARE you taking????? Different water at the new digs? I guess you are over the exhaustion of moving. I'm exhausted just reading your post!

Cathy, you HAVE to post that story. What a riot!!! Would Sara let you be a Queen Host for a day? Cummon, you've been finagling to get some folks here to write for you; can we whine and plead a little to get you to write? Perhaps as JoeB suggested, anonymously? Hmmmmm?

I want a dry ass too. Humptyhump...


I found the Happy Ass!!

(Damn, don't I have life to get back to?)


A very appropriate post Sara - my mom tried to trick me by leaving a breathy, hurried voicemail on my cell, telling me that her husband had just called and told her he'd won the lotto and she'd get back to me asap when she knew more. Riiiight. She sounded incredibly convincing but I just knew. I'll have to check those links ya'll provided. A good 2nd-day-of-April laugh is in order!

Yea, that Earth Hour thing was neat to participate in but I figure, you do what you can. At least that's what I told myself as I turned off all the lights and unplugged things but.....left ON the TV!!! I would have pedaled a bike for power if it meant I could keep watching the John Adams series on HBO! (yes, its my one splurge, HBO. thanks to the Sopranos).

That party sounds fun Cat. And Susie, I would've never told on you - Sat. is tv day during the winter!


ok, wait, am I ON the tv or is the tv ON?? Terrible grammar - tee hee =)


For those of you (in Chicagoland) that would like to see how turning off your lights makes a difference, here's a small tidbit from our news release...

CHICAGO (March 31, 2008) – According to an updated report from ComEd, customers turning off lights and other appliances during World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour reduced electricity use by 7 percent both in the City of Chicago and throughout its Northern Illinois service territory. The Earth Hour reduction in electricity usage of 818 megawatt hours is the equivalent of:
o Reducing nearly 1.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions
o Taking more than 1 million cars off the road for one hour
o Taking two 400-megawatt coal plants offline for one hour
o More than 72,000 gallons of gasoline consumed
o About 158 acres of trees planted


Wow Nikki! Those are pretty amazing stats!


I discovered something new and important last night: if you tivo AI on Tuesday and Wednesday but then watch it on Wednesday back to back you can save about 45 minutes of time by skipping all the commercials and recaps. You don't need the recaps because you just watched the performances, natch. It cuts down on all that wasted time just to get to the results. Sara, I'm thinking of you here! Plus you are watching while everyone else is too, so you don't hear who won or anything. I think after Kristy Lee goes home next week it's going to be brutal each week, but the two or three true champions will emerge. Michael Johns was amazing last night, as were many others. But the bottom three was correct...Brooke hasn't really done anything special since Let It Be. And stepping up each week is part of the competition. David Cook--wow, little David--wow, altho I don't think he's primed to handle fame yet. He always looks like he's going to pass out as soon as he finishes his song! And I love Carly. She does dress bad but it's a singing competition so who gives a rat's ass. It's not like she'd be dressing herself if she won, Simon!

Who is everyone loving now? Matt, I know you were watching!


P.S. Forgot to say, my husband now asks "Are we watching Dancing with the Idols?" when we sit down to watch! Hold up the numbers!!!


Holy cats, a lot of posts to catch up on (busy day yesterday, didn't get to 'tune in'). Lots happening, thanks for all the links everybody! (I ALSO want a dry ass!)

AI...I FINALLY got the wife to watch (now that it's down to 1 hour thankfully...2 was way too much, even w/ tivo). I think the boyz rule this year. David n David n Michael..there's your top 3. I agree Cathy..Brooke just REALLY needs to find HER songs...she has talent (as they all do)...but as Simon always choice. My wife likes Michael..and I'm torn between the 3 guys...all awesome talent. I still think DC is prob the MOST talented...such a wide range, very imaginative, looks very comfy in front of the crowd...I figure the record companies will be looking for him no matter how the voting goes over the final weeks. And little David...something about him...besides his awesome voice...he's like the kid next door...happy, smiling, just oozes likability or something. Carly, I just don't rave on her for some unknown reason...she has a great voice, maybe it's the arm full of tattos that turn me off, or the Tammy Fae Baker black mascara, or just her outfits..I don't know...something just doesn't grab me for some reason. And whats the dude w/ the dreads (Jason?)...he really has a nice groove w/ the crowd, but not nearly as talented as the other guyz...not sure how long he will last either. N the girl who did the Whitney song...(can't remember her name either)...I raised her stock a few points last (Tues) night...she did a pretty credible job on a very hard song. I didn't even watch last night so don't know who went home...will have to check the AI site. And now it's back to work for me...things happening...have a great Thurs!

The comments to this entry are closed.