I've Been Tagged!

Remember how, when you were a kid, from time to time a friend would send you a chain letter, telling you a story about someone who got this letter, forwarded it, and now has received untold riches? And then — by way of contrast — there was another guy who received this letter, didn’t forward it, and — the following day — got leprosy, a swollen goiter, and a severe case of halitosis?

Well, blogs have something like that, but instead of “chain letters,” they’re called “Tagging.” Generally, the chain letter tag directions instructs you to describe five random facts about you nobody else knows, and then to link to five other (usually topically similar) bloggers, who must do the same thing.

How unimaginative.

First of all, the assigned task — 5 random things about me — asks me to reveal too much all at once. If you want to know five random things about me, just read my blog for five days. Don’t go asking me to give up a week’s worth of material in one post.

Second of all, the assignment is just too darned lazy. It’s like the guy who started the chain just phoned it in. Instead of asking a bunch of pointed questions that would force people to think and respond imaginatively, he took a swig of whiskey, looked at his blank screen, and said, “Well, I need to post something today, but I have no idea what. Wait, I know. I’ll ask other people to write something instead! Now, what should the questions be? Hmmm, that’s a poser. I know! I’ll make them make up their own questions! I’m brilliant!”

And then he fell asleep, drooling into his keyboard, while the keys left a QWERTY impression in his corpulent, veined cheeks.

I may be ranting a bit here.

My point is, the questions could at least be topical — you know, since I blog about biking, the questions could be about bikes.

Third — and finally — the Tag meme should carry a promise of reward and corresponding threat of infamy, financial ruin, and probable dismemberment if you brake the chain.

Here. I’ll show you what I mean.

You’ve Been Tagged!
Congratulations! Your blogging friend at [YOUR BLOG URL HERE] has tagged you! You must now — within the next 24 hours — answer the below questions as a post in your blog, and then tag three other biking bloggers.

Please, even if you know what you were going to write about today or tomorrow, put those ideas aside. This is much more important. For example, Elden Nelson answered these questions and tagged , and he won a Bloggie, confirming that he is the most awesome sports-related blogger in the whole freaking world!

In contrast, Bob Bringhurst failed to answer these questions, after which he developed a serious case of ennui, and his hair grew out to become an unruly mess.

You don’t want this to happen to you, do you?

Fine, then. Answer these ten (fun, easy, and interesting) questions already.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
It would be my WaltWorks. I love the way that bike looks and rides, and I can’t imagine ever loving another bike more. Seriously, it’s my favorite bike ever. But that’s still a cheater answer, since my WaltWorks — currently set up as a fully rigid SS — can also be set up as a geared bike with a front suspension. And skinny tires combined with the big wheels could make it a serviceable (though not great) bike for getting around on the road.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
Yes, I do already have that dream bike, and it’s actually more than I hoped it would be. I’d like to point out, though, that one of the things I love about bikes is that even the most expensive, elegant, beautiful bike in the world still costs less than a Honda Civic. Bikes are one of the very few obsessions in the world where a normal — i.e., not fantastically rich — person can conceivably own the very best incarnation of his dream ride, without breaking the bank.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I would choose Tibble Fork, and I would do so without hesitation. It is really my very favorite ride in the world, and I think I could do it happily every day for the rest of my life. I explain why it’s my favorite ride here.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life?
Yeah, totally. That’s evil on a movie villain scale.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I ride both, because I am a well-balanced and intelligent person, who sees the good in most things. I prefer mountain bikes, though I have definitely hurt myself much more often riding MTB than road. I am suddenly concerned about what this says about me. Still, I like riding MTB better because it’s more fun for me. I am at a loss as to why this is true, but it is.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
I have never ridden a recumbent. In order for me to acquiesce to riding a recumbent, I would have to be out of town, where nobody I know could possibly see me. Also, I would have to have a good reason, like somebody offering to let me ride their recumbent.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
I have raced one triathlon. It was an Xterra event. The swim nearly killed me. I harbor a desire to go and do an IronMan some day, but I’d want to do it without training for it, just so I could casually mention, “Yeah, I pulled an Ironman off, once. It was no big deal. Kind of tedious.”

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
I would claim to give up ice cream, but would sneak it when nobody was around. Impossible to sneak bicycle riding. Too much physical evidence laying around.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
“How did you get to be so unbelievably handsome?” would be my question, to which my answer would be a modest, “Oh, go on. I’m nothing special.”

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
I’m fairly confident I soil myself. Next, I offer the bear my bike, in exchange for which I get to keep my life. From what I understand, bears like bikes. At least, the one I saw at the circus seemed to.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.
I hereby tag the following bloggers, of which there are more than three, because I want to get this thing really rolling. And also, because I suspect that most of them won’t do it.

Oh, and if I didn’t tag you, but you wish I had, by all means please consider yourself tagged.

Or you’ll get leprosy.

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