November 30, 2009

Training Day

Yesterday I decided to go out on one of Jen's training rides to see what the the hype was all about. My new shades prevented any bugs from going in my eyes - or hitting pretty much my entire body.

Since not many people own cars here in Costa Rica, you tend to pass a lot of them walking to town or wherever they are going. They always have some sort of words of encouragement for bikers, usually "duro" (strong) of just "buenas" (good day). Since you know that these people probably do not speak English you can add a little fun to your ride by messing with them. For instance, when I'm climbing a big hill and pass somebody walking and they say "duro! duro!" I like to say stuff like " thanks douche bag" or "how's it going butt wipe" or something like that. They will just smile.
You can't say stuff like "Hi asshole" or "how's it going fuck face" because most people know all the cuss words.....just like I know all the cuss words in Spanish.

Taco Review #17 - The Hillbilly Taco, Knoxville

On a recent trip to Hillbilly Country (Eastern Tennessee) Jen and I scoured the deep, sweaty, nasty,underbelly of the southeast in search of the ultimate Hillbilly Taco. Like the ones Mexicans eat at NASCAR tailgate parties. Well, I'm not sure what we were expecting to find like maybe a chitlin taco with Cheese Whiz sprinkled with some Copenhagen served up in a Dolly Parton boob-shaped platter? (Hmmmmm....boobies.....). Well, what we didn't expect to find was a couple of the most bad-ass tacos ever.
After stumbling around in Knoxville on a Sunday night we came across a place called "Soccer Taco". We almost passed the place just because of the incredibly dumb name........glad we didn't. We walk in and it's like a sports bar/taco stand place with all kinds of soccer shit hanging from the walls, big TV's, beer and TACOS. There is a football game on (REAL football) so we sit at the bar and I order it carne asada and one al pastor. Bring it on Senior Billy Bob and none of that special "chaw" sauce!
This is one of those deals where you order some food even though you are not really hungry. We had just drank a bunch of beer and and ate a bunch of fried pickles (ya, no shit) down the road - so, really, the last thing I needed was tacos. Like when you're camping in the backcoutry or something - EVERYTHING tastes good. Hamburger Helper that was made without the hamburger and butter and then burned to the bottom of the pan......that shit is GOOD in the backcountry. Just the opposite for me that night, when you are already full and then a taco is staring you in the face.....chances are it's not going to be as good as if you came in just starving. Soccer Taco is doomed for a bad taco review.
Well Jethro, I gots one thing to say.....yee-fuckin'-haw!! Dems was da bes tacos I done had in many a long spell, prawlee da bes in Tennessee!
Homemade corn torts doubled and off-set up topped with the most kick ass tenderest meat ever. The veggie stuff was left in a little bowl on the side for casual application as needed - cilantro, onion, lime and salsa. The meats, both carne asasda and the pastor, were simply amazing. The torts were fresh and also amazing. There were no jalepenos to be seen - I could have asked but to make this dish perfect there would already be one there on the plate. After fried pickles, numerous beers and now two awesome tacos I was totally stuffed.....but still could have eaten more of those tacos.
The Review:
Carne: 4.8/5.0 (amazing)
Torts: 4.8/5.0 (amazing tambien)
Sides: 4.3/5.0 (could have used a jalepeno)
Total Sabor: 4.6/5.0
Atmospherico: 3.5/5.0 (really dumb name scares people away)
Total Score: 4.4/5.0 Gooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllll!

November Random 10

Nick Drake - Voices
Tanya Donelly - Acrobat
Elvis Costello - King Horse
Mazzy Star - Ride it On
The Dandy Warhols - Champ
Nortec Collective - Tengo la Voz
New Young Pony Club - Get Lucky
Los Tres Diamantes - Carta Fatal
Tom Waits - Old Shoes
Wild Sweet Orange - House of Regret

November 15, 2009

Living in a Land of Shitty Beer - Cerveza Imperial

The Beer Advocate review of our national beer here in Costa Rica. The score of a "C" really is pretty generous. This is a fine beer after a long hot ride (the first one actually goes down pretty good), but after 3 of them a film starts to develop in your mouth and it's usually necessary to dissolve it with a shot of Guaro........then you're good to go for another 2 or 3. Unfortunately, not a single hop molecule is used when making this beer. The sad thing is, Costa Ricans are proud of it!

Cerveza Imperial

Beer Advocate OVERALL SCORE......"C" (mediocre)

Style ABV Light Lager

4.60% ABV

Drinkability - "If one can overlook the lack of taste, smell, and texture, this is the beer to drink. The absence of carbonation allows for easy drinking".

"I won't be seeking this beer".

"This is almost budwiser without the beachwood aging, this is just nasty, thank god it was 1.50 i would have felt cheated if i payed more. This beer poured a week golden color and no head, it's smell was corn and not much else, it was weak all around, i would avoid this one at all cost"

Are you Ridin'?.....or are you Hidin'?

It's been raining for two days straight now but I'm not sweatin' it because it's Sunday and it will give me a great excuse to stay inside, drink beer and watch football all day. Jen is having none of that and continues her quest to ride and get in shape for her first century ride. I try to convince her to wait until later, when it's not raining but she's like "dude, if you wanna run with the big dogs, you gotta get a little muddy"......I'm like, "whatever"......crack (sound of beer being opened).

Biking Old School

One of my favorite old bikes is this Bowden Spacelander. I saw one for sale on line recently for only $17,000, a tad higher than the original price of $89.50. Anyway, here's the lo-down:

Benjamin J. Bowden (American, born England, 1907–1998) designed the Spacelander in 1946, which was eventually manufactured in 1960. The entire frame is fiberglass (no steel skeleton), which made it a pretty lightweight rig for the time....only 50 lbs!

The aluminum prototype of this futuristic bicycle was handmade by the MG Auto Company in England in 1946 and incorporated an ingenious dynamo that stored the downhill energy and released it on uphill runs. It was prohibitively expensive for consumer production, but in 1960 Bowden contracted with Bomard Industries in Michigan, to produce a more mechanically conventional, one-speed version of the dynamic, organic design in fiberglass, a new design material. Ultimately the endeavor was too costly for Bomard Industries, as well, and the firm went out of business having manufactured only 522 examples.

If you have one of these collecting dust in your garage, I'll be glad to take it off your hands.
Photo stolen from the Brooklyn Museum