August 19, 2005



"This is the dimension I am most drawn to, most interested in - what happens in that no-man's land, when the start is long behind you but you can't visualize the finish yet."

It strikes me, as I'm sure it's struck you, what a parallel there is here to novel-writing.


Damn, that's an impressive schedule. Are you using clipless pedals?

How did Gary become your coach?


Go for the shaved legs. My brother-in-law does many triathalons with my sister and he has been shaving his legs for at least a year. They look great and I think he feels he is saving a 1/100th of a second in the water when he swims. As a swimmer myself, I used to shave my arms and legs both (not that I'm that hairy) Point being, every little bit helps!

Good for you Mark! Keep up the hard work. It does say a lot about someone when it comes to physical endurance and will.

Let your rides speak for you!:)


CAAF - dead on. And that's EXACTLY where I am, bookwise ... no man's land.

Mapletree, yes clipless. I'm set up with Look hardware on my bike, which matches the spinners at the studio.

And Angela, I'm definitely leaning towards ... ;)

Jamie Paredes

You're one tough BASTARD! I don't know how you do it but keep it up! See you at spin!


Jamie Paredes

Can riding in the nude increase your time?

Jamie Paredes

Can riding in the nude increase your time?

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."