by Wade H. Nelson
Originally published in the Proceedings, Institute of Paranormal Cycling Studies
Everything that goes up must come down, we are taught. While lawn darts and arrows shot straight up by twelve year olds may bear this theory out, everyday bicycling offers equal and opposite proof to the contrary. For example, have you ever encountered a bi-directional opposing headwind (BDOH)? This is a 12-18 knot gale which is in your face on the ride out, and also on the ride back.
Such a wind is contrary to Newton's obscure and seldom mentioned 4th law, which deals with weather and crop circles. Yet cyclists encounter BDOH's with regularity. Fortunately, bi-directional headwinds and other cycling phenomena can be described quite readily using Cyclo-Math.
Cyclo-Math is an obscure branch of mathematics which describes phenomena which defy all known axioms of Newtonian Physics, and Relativistic Bicycle Mechanics. Cyclo-Math accurately describes paranormal phenomena cyclists encounter almost every ride.
Meteorologists have no explanation for the bi-directional opposing headwind, nor can physicists explain the double-ramped hill, or DRH. This is a road which poses a slight uphill climb in either direction, and cannot be coasted back down from either. Some double-ramped hills are actually man-made phenomena. DRH's can be created by highway crews who really don't like cyclists, using a special high friction asphalt coating. Motorists never notice the slight drag and simply press the accelerator a little harder.
Other DRH's are merely optical illusions, such as a less steep piece of road followed by major steep. The first section can look like a gentle downhill compared to the 7% grade which follows. Yet other DRH's are simply flat stretches of road experiencing a prevailing BDOH.
True DRH's exist, however, and have been documented on virtually every major training route in the Western US. Scientists have proposed that a real DRH is a macro manifestation of an inverted quantum tunneling effect.
A subset of Cyclo-Math is Training Group Theory. What TGT says, in so many words, is that no matter how hard you train, when it comes time to perform, someone who has trained longer and harder shall appear -- usually from out of town. This is kind of like Newton's 3rd law -- equal and opposites -- except, in TGT, it will always be a stronger and faster rider opposing you.
Another branch of Cyclo-Math has to do with tools, pumps, valves, and is called Accesso-Algebra. Like Chaos theory, Accesso-Algebra insists that if someone with Presta valves has a flat, the only rider in the group carrying a pump will have a Schraeder pump. Adapters provide the matrix-relaxation equivalent hardware for Accesso-Algebra, allowing solution of at least one of the equations. Don't leave home without one.
Accesso-Algebra has been used to proven that if you break something in the boonies, there's a 97.8% chance you won't have the right tool or spare to fix it, no matter WHAT you carry with you. By carrying an entire spare bicycle with you, you can only reduce that metric down to 92%. The moral? Give up. Carry nothing and say an ohhhhm to the Gods of cycling prior to departure.
Bike shops use Cyclo-Math in figuring out what repairs your bike needs. You know, you go in for a broken spoke, and come out with a new freewheel, a repacked headset, and a RockShock Judy. The ability to convert $2 worth of spokes into $200 worth of service and parts is why bike shop owners dearly love Cyclo-Math.
For spoke length and gearing calculations, Cyclo-Math says it all. No matter what beautiful and fantastic lacing pattern you come up with, spokes of the necessary length do not exist. You'll have to cut them. For any desired gearing arrangement -- half step, misstep, or Texas two-step -- Cyclomath ensures the cogs you'll need to make it happen will not be available, at least not at your local bike shop. Crossing a time zone can flatten the Cyclo-Math matrix, meaning mail order cogs will be available which will meet your needs.
Motorists use Cyclo-Math when choosing how and when to unsafely pass a cyclist. If there's a car back, and a car up, there's a 99% chance they will BOTH adjust their trajectories to cross paths at exactly at the point in the road where you are cycling, no matter what speed they were traveling at previously. These are the same people who can't solve the train going 40 mph problems in 7th grade, but Cyclo-Math provides such intuitive solutions to intercept trajectories even Iraqi test pilots use it.
Any chain-suck your bike has recently experienced can be amplified by the Cyclo-Math matrix to suck a 4000 pound passing pickup truck over to where their rear view mirror will pass within inches of you. It's like a pinhead-sized black hole sucking in a 4AU neutron star. Logic, math, and chain suck are all warped in Cyclo-Math-space. Grok it, and you can cyclo-tour the universe.
Potholes, road debris, gravel, glass, and dogs have been strategically located along preferred cycling routes using a Cyclo-Math computer program at the DOT for years. The orange trucks now have GPS receivers to tell them, within plus or minus three feet, where to lay down a major crack in the asphalt or to place a shovel-full of gravel. This is the same exact spot where Billy Bob will finish his Pabst Blue Ribbon and throw the empty out the window, completely unaware he's caught up in the Cyclo-Math web of influence. This illustrates the cohesive power of a unified cycling field at work.
Cyclists can also be found using Cyclo-Math. Instead of pedaling ten pounds of lard off their butts, and in the process getting in great shape, they'll spend an extra $1000 on a titanium bike that's ten pounds lighter. The Cyclo-Math here has to do with fractions and proportions. For example, if a titanium road bike costs $175 per pound saved, and a Double-Whopper with cheese, large fries, apple pie and a shake costs $5.63 and will put exactly two and a half pounds of lard on your ass, how many whoppers do you have to eat to justify buying that Clark Kent frame? Its easy! Just use Cyclo-Math!
If you've encountered any other paranormal situations where Cyclo-Math based phenomena appeared to be occurring, please contact the author. Your name will be kept anonymous while our team of experts wearing the appropriate safety gear will cycle out and investigate.
© Wade H. Nelson
Recumbent UK, Spring 1998