Do you Di2?

I don't believe my normal t.c reader will relate to this post much, but all the more reason to read just a little bit more - aren't you curious? I've recently built (yet) another bike. It was time to put together a decent road bike for the 6 weeks of summer weather here in MN, and boy howdy, did I ever get lucky!

What is pictured below is a carbon fiber road bike frame from Ridley (Belgians no less). It is also equipped with shifting bits, wheels, and bar/stem from the world's largest bicycle components maker (and fishing reel maker) - Shimano. The whole bike weighs in at a "portly" 16.5lbs, which makes me feel even more out of shape than I may be.

What's unique about the shifting equipment is that it's electronic. It's a realtively new shifting system known as "Di2", which stands for "digital integrated intelligence". The shifters do not use steel cables, like normal bikes, rather all shifts are done electronically, from shifter to derailleur through wires. This allows for very fast, powerful shifts thanks in no small part to the electronics and servo motors (located inside each derailleur). The rest of the parts on the bike are pretty standard road bike items; brakes, seat, tires, wheels, etc.

I've put a small amount of time on the bike and Di2 so far and it's been very interesting, performs well, and adds a new level of fun to riding. And yes, it works very well in wet weather too.

["pretty little maids all in a row"]

[this shifting system uses a normal bike chain and cassette ("gears"), but has a powerful electronic motor within the rear derailleur - zurt, zurt]

[you can see the somewhat larger front derailleur (which requires an even more powerful servo motor than the rear derailleur) and the tiny lithium ion battery just below the forward water bottle cage]


Results, Poll #66, Cubs vs. Sox

Well, this is a landslide - at least for the 9 people that read t.c. I'm not even going to do my normal poll results format - all 9 respondents chose the Cubs. That's the way it should be - thank you. Now, let's get some wins!!!

10,000 lakes = 1 billion gnats


A new weekend idea.

Maybe I'll try this for a bit next weekend... wait, no, I can't I'll be out of town.


Have a Coronary Weekend.

If you're like me, you often wonder how you'll fill the time on the weekends. You could get some exercise in, you could take care of some projects around the house, you could hit the mega-mall or outlet mall for some things you don't need, or you could visit friends in the city you're in or in a state you don't get to often.

But, if you feel like you've done enough of that (or finished all of those by the time Sunday rolls around)... here's something to consider for next weekend. Why not try to eat yourself into a small, really minor, probably-won't-even-hurt-much, almost rejuvenating, heart attack!?!? Think of all the free time you'll have in your hospital bed, all the people that will get in touch with you again (on Facebook), and how good of an excuse you'll have not to go into work on Monday morning.

Here's what the menu looks like... just off the top of my head:

Have you heard of these already? The food scientists at Doritos have figured out how to take "real beef flavor" and all the other flavors of a McDonald's cheeseburger and place that seasoning cocktail onto a chip. (I have not found this spice blend in the McCormick section though)

I have to say - they nailed it! If you don't smile when you bite into the first one, I'll eat another half bag as punishment. And that's only because the chips, beginning around 15 to 20, start tasting a bit off... and then you throw the bag away before finishing. But, you have to finish this bag if you want the rest of the plan to pay off. With this, approximately 2oz bag, you'll get over 300 calories and a bunch of fat, plus that real beef flavor.

Ok, the snacks over. Now it's time for the main course. Did you already beat me to the (gut) punch on this one too? This is KFC's new Double Down. There's so much fried goodness and nitrates on this badboy that they didn't have room for a bun. You can grab one for each hand and then have a chicken breast AND a slice of bacon to clog each chamber of your heart. (that's both four chicken breasts and four slices of bacon - yes!!!).

Coincidentally, KFC's new strategy to differentiate themselves from other fast food competitors by sourcing all their new menu item ideas from drunk college kids is really paying off. It's been greenlighted in a college town near you - Cheers!

Did you think I would forget those with a sweet tooth (guilty!) - Finish off your coronary masterpiece (pun intended) with this super-frosty Cinnabon CinnaPretzel. And don't forget to dip each bite in the extra shotglass of frosting. Uhhh, yum!!! Oh how the German bakers from the old country are turning over in their graves.

Grab one of each...or heck, as many as you can actually grab, down them as fast as possible, and you could be dead by morning! But by-golly, it'll be an All-American death (and these menu items will provide a modicum of preservation for your body).


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