Where men will be boys and sheep fear the dark


HPG Velo Cycling safety survey results



Since Damon asked about fatalities per million hours for WTM clients, he whatsapped me that on a per client basis, none of his clients are yet 114 years old (1M hours = 114 years). Since dying before then would exclude them from the database and ensuing analysis, none of his clients are considered dead by this British standard.

In addition, Willie cannot emphasize enough that he cannot remember if Serena, Venus or Simone were his clients after he became overheated and dehydrated, which then triggered selective amnesia. Similar to Lance and his backdated cortisone prescription, Willie has a prescription to treat this condition but is planning to say no more about this or any of the other athletes the Russians have outed or will out. Russians are such ingrates given all that Willie did for them in Rio.


On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 4:56 PM, Damon Bates <damonbates1> wrote:

Interesting…particularly the “living all causes” number…which I feel is slightly understated.

One of the benefits of working for a highly rated life insurance company is that we get to do cutting edge research. Well we’ve done that research and (surprise) we learned that everyone dies.

Now Im not an actuary (I only play one in cyberspace) but I believe all the activities listed should result in a lower probability of death than “living all causes” which should have an expected value of 1.0 …or significantly more per million hours than shown …no?

Might be interesting to know too, how many deaths per million hrs Willie has observed in his WTMB clients??

On Sep 14, 2016, at 1:01 PM, thomas snow <tgsnow> wrote:

Interesting article on bicycling safety based on data from UK.
Cycling is safer than Living per this survey…

Risk by time (US)

Fatalities per million hours
Less safe Sky diving 128.71
General aviation 15.58
On-road motorcycling 8.80
Scuba diving 1.98
Living (all causes of death) 1.53
Swimming 1.07
Snowmobiling 0.88
Passenger cars 0.47
Water skiing 0.28
Bicycling 0.26
Safer Flying (scheduled domestic airlines) 0.15
Hunting 0.08
Cosmic radiation from transcontinental flights 0.035
Home living (active) 0.027
Traveling in a school bus 0.022
Passenger car post-collision fire 0.017
Home living (including sleeping) 0.014
Residential fire 0.003

HPG Velo Saturday ride reinforces HPG Rules of Disorder

HPGers –

The ride this morning, once we got to Concord, exemplified and serves to reinforce the four fundamental HPG Rules of Disorder (ROD as in “Spare the ROD and spoil the cyclist”):

  1. RULE ONE: There shall be no agreement on where we shall meet for the ride start
  • Most of us agreed to meet at Peet’s at 8am
  • But for reasons known only to Giuseppe, he and he alone wanted to meet at Weston center
  • Ergo – the 14 Peet’s originated cyclists detoured to meet solo Giuseppe with no complaints or bickering

RULE TWO: There shall be no agreement on where we are going once we do not agree on where we shall meet for the ride start

  • Some wanted to go to to Hollis
  • Some were going to Carlisle
  • Some were going to do Carlisle ‘expanded’

RULE THREE: There shall be no agreement on who is going where once do not agree on where we are going and where we shall meet for the ride start

  • With three routes in mind, we all went up Monument together
  • Which was good until we got on Rt. 225
  • Then some of us turned right for Carlisle ‘expanded’
  • Some went straight to continue to Fern’s to go to Hollis
  • Some went straight even though they had meant to turn right

RULE FOUR: There shall be no agreement on how to reorganize once there is no agreement on who is going where and where we are going and where we shall meet for the ride start

  • Some who turned right decided to turn around and chase down to bring back those whom they thought meant to turn right but had not
  • Some stopped to wait – thinking we would regroup by default
  • Some continued on to the beaver dam to wait there with no plan in mind
  • Minutes ticked by. Then more minutes.

RULES OF DISORDER OUTCOME: With no agreement on how to reorganize once there is no agreement on who is going where and where we are going and where we shall meet for the ride start, everything will work according to the plan which we didn’t make in the first place

  • Steve, Thom and I bailed out and went to Fern’s to have a coffee.
  • As we were about to leave, figuring everyone would eventually get back to Peet’s on their own or in small groups, the entire Carlisle group had somehow reassembled and rode by.
  • Thom and Steve joined them, and I went back to Cambridge on 225.

Rides like this are invaluable since they serve to reinforce the fundamental HPG Rules of Disorder. Great ride!


Audrey the Rock Star

As you may know, Audrey and I rode 6 Gap yesterday with a group of 42 other riders. If you have not ridden it before, it’s about 136mi and 13,000ft of climbing. It’s pretty brutal. It’s my 7th or so time doing it and Audrey’s first. The route was Lincoln gap, App Gap, Roxbury, Rochester (with long lunch and lots of parking lot circles), Brandon gap, and Middlebury- then 15 miles back to the car.

After flatting on Middlebury gap i chased my group. Just to punctuate how well she’s riding, Audrey’s time on the same Middlebury climb of the day was faster than mine. This is a very tough ride and Audrey is even tougher. Dang!

Congrats to Audrey for a super day and for absolutely crushing one of the hardest rides around.

I’ve attached the profile if interested..

HPG Velo Quabin Ride Recap

Complements of Eric:

I’ll do a quick recap here and others can add to it. I can never finish reading the long ones so I’ll assume same here. Yesterday was Jon McNeill’s B2B option and it didn’t disappoint. Compatible riders, great weather, and a really nice route. Prior to the ride Jon sent out an email detailing some basic rules of the road and something about riding easy when it’s hard and easy when it’s not. At least that was my plan for the first 125 miles. The route was clockwise out to the Quabbin, north to watchusett at mile 130, climb and head home. I didn’t realize we were doing watchusett until the night before when I texted G to confirm. >

> My son Ari and Eric Poch’s daughter, Geneva, did a nice job sagging the ride. No one ever neded anything but food and water. No mechanicals and no biological bonks to necessitate any additional support. Not a single flat or anything. >
> There was a god sized group for the first leg until the first stop at 42.5 miles. Tom, Thomas, Lewis, Audrey, Mikey, Andy K, G, Rob- about 20 ish ppl total. all turned back home except 8 of us. We took it easy through he next stop at about mile 78. Easy day so far. How great is it to Kessler back on the bike and riding so well. Love him. The 8 on the full ride were Jon, mike Moran, Lebo, Rob, me, G, Eric Poch, Alan. >
> The course was great and scenic. Through the quabbin, up to the fire tower ( complete with imminent wedding)’ and plenty of quiet country roads. Giuseppe was riding like a little puppy dog and at one point said to me “I’m going to do whatever you do.” Ie ride conservatively. That lasted for about 3 mins. He felt good until the watchusett climb at mile 130. I could see his smile slowly disappearing. Just like mine did 30 miles earlier. Rob- he just kept going like it was just another Sunday ride. >
> I started to feel a little sick and got a wicked headache between 100-115 and wondered if I could make the climb. I took on some water, electrolytes and switched to cafienated gel. Rob all the while showed no signs of being tired, ever. At the mile115 rest stop, I wasn’t circling to leave and G knew something was wrong… >
> Approaching the long climb from the south to watchusett I could see G and 4 others way ahead. There was no way I was going to let them drop me on the climb. The gel had kicked in and I caught and passed the group and only steve Lebo could stay with me. He and I finished with steve about 20m ahead of me. I had my second wind that lasted the rest of the day. Everyone did well on the climb and the decent. At the last stop on 117 near 495, my favorite section to pull long and hard, Jon asked we ride at a pace to keep everyone together. Darn. 19 to go. >
> Amazingly by the end, everyone was strong and felt good. No one was toast or feeling spent. Since we all rode smartly and had well timed stops, the ride didn’t kill us. I’m sure everyone had there own little issues they were dealing with, but everyone worked hard to get through them and finish really stong. I don’t know about the others, but 12 hours later, I’m still 6lbs down from my starting weight… >
> Total for me from Weston Ctr 175.6 and 11,100 ft of climbing. I’m glad G convinced me to put on my 27. >

HPG Sox Arrive at Peet’s…I feel faster already…

Well, they made it.  Finally.  They will make us all faster I’m sure.  Kudos to Eric for putting up with all of us.  No good deed goes unpunished.   Nothing like a little Peet’s Coffee to make your sox small better.

_DSF0589 _DSF0590 _DSF0594 _DSF0599 _DSF0604 _DSF0606 _DSF0610 _DSF0612 _DSF0613

2014 “Pulled Pork” Dover Team Time Trial

The HPG fielded 2 teams this year and, in classic HPG for as of this writing both teams were disqualified for only sending 5 riders each off the line… Aside from that however a grand time was had by all.    Douglas and his bride out did themselves with a phenomenal after party.  Looking forward to next year already.

                        Overall results
Team Time Place Delta
Goldman 0:30:01 1 0:00:00
McNeil 0:30:15 2 0:00:14
Snow 0:30:52 3 0:00:51
Chrystal 0:31:46 4 0:01:45
HPG2 0:31:58 5 0:01:57
HPG1 0:32:10 6 0:02:09
MEMC 1 0:32:15 7 0:02:14
Blue Ginger 0:32:28 8 0:02:27
MEMC 2 0:33:21 9 0:03:20
MEMC 3 0:34:28 10 0:04:27

Walter Haywood Returns!

It’s always a pleasure when Walter returns.  Since moving to Florida almost a decade ago we only see him on special occasions.  Thanks to Steve and Nancy for hosting our reunion!

Assos…They Just Do Some Things Better

For some reason this exchange from a few years back, particularly John’s inspired list of potential causes of chamois wear, inspiringly funny…

On 9/22/09 2:45 PM, “Damon Bates” wrote:


All of you inbox challenged folk may delete this now.

First , Tom D., congrats on your brand spankin new bionic knee, hope you are feeling better and back in the saddle soon.

Second, I thought Id share my first experience w/ Assos customer service dept.  Sept 1st ish I sent back 2 pair of Roubaix Knickers Ive had for 3+ years.  They see heavy use (and diligent care) 9 mos of the year and are the most frequently worn items I have.  The chamois had come unstitched on the sides and needed to be resewn and their website provides instructions on how to return etc

I got them back yesterday , individually shrink wrapped and packaged the way only the Swiss can.  BUT, they didn’t just sew on the chamois, the replaced theentire pad.  And they do all this for free.  Note that this is not warrantee service, they just do it.

In a world of often miserable customer service and ridiculous fees from banks, airlines, et al,  It’s nice to know that some companies are still  committed to excellence

It was a small inspirational moment I thought worth passing along.

I wore a pair this morning and of course got dropped like stone on Farm.  But I was happy and comfy.

From: John Whisnant
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 9:29 PM

Damon –

What a great company.  I am sending back my Assos for repair immediately as soon as you send me their mailing address.  If it were my company, I would at least ask what was the cause of the knickers chamois wear so that I could use this information to improve an already great product.  For example, Assos could have asked the following:

Damon, please check the appropriate box to let us know what caused your chamois to need repair:

1.  Fire in the hole after a particularly tasty burrito with extra hot sauce the night before.
2.  Trying to impress the Crack o’ Dawn more feminine riders  with an extra cucumber that stretched the fabric to the breaking point.
3.  Using a wire brush to try to ‘erase’ chamois skid marks.
4.  Using the knickers as a Depends substitute during a company performance review.
5.  Thinking that wearing your knickers over your head while drinking Belgium beer can only add to how incredibly funny you are and the holiday-like festivities.
6.  Forgetting to apply Assos crème (yes you need to use the correct European spelling) prior to a Saturday Carlisle ride.
7.  Not scheduling your next Brazilian Bikini waxing in time and having resulting pubic stubble abrade the chamois, especially around the anus (the Swiss are very precise in their questions).
8.  Fire in the hole after a particularly tasty low fat poppy seed muffin at Peet’s.
9.  You don’t know since you are actually sending in Oscar Lazaro’s Assos knickers for repair, which he got from Giuseppe after he emailed the HPG asking if anyone had a pair of large Assos knickers they weren’t using for the next two months.
10. All of the above.


From: Bates, Damon 
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 6:19 PM

Asking for the cause of the damage is a great idea….for Plebian American Capitalist Entrepreneurial New World Gringo Peasant Religious Radical types like us.

But, these are the Swiss we’re dealing with here….Italian Swiss to be specific.  They ALREADY KNOW what the causes are and they even tell you about them on their website…and offer to repair it for free, if humanly possibly,  because life happens

Check it out:  http://www.assos.com/en/24/default.aspx

From: Bates, Damon 
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 11:32 AM

So I sent a Assos an inspired thank you note for exceeding my expectations wrt the aforementioned Roubaix Knickers repair and I receive a a personal note from the GM and a box today w/ an Assos “Fan Pack”  consisting of a very attractive coffee mug and a towel creatively (and efficiently of course…) packaged in a nice box about the size of a champagne bottle  gift box.

Love this company.  Maybe we can buy it?  LBO?  Wait it’s Swiss…perhaps we could just make their espresso?



The Sun Always Shines in Wellesley…

HPG Kit Debut Ride

…but pedal ones way out of town on a saturday morning in late spring and all bets are off.   Today’s debut ride for the spanking new HPG kits planned for Hollis turned into an aborted Carlisle mission when the rubber side went up.  All got home safe and sound though and lived to fight another day….oh and the sun was still shining in Wellesley sans pluie

2008 B2B – Eric Cohen

Waiting for those ride reports. From what I could see, we had a strong showing with riders looking strong up to the point I left at mile 63 atop the hill in Ridge, NH.

The day got off to a confused start when some of us decided to ride with Sean who realized that he was the Captain of the 17mph group, and not the 18. So before we left with Sean, we made a frantic search for Steve Cutter and Rich Benner. Couldn¹t find either, but we left anyways. Nice, huh?

Steve figured it out and chased us down. I never did see Rich again. Giuseppewas itching to ride hard, and most of us resisted. So we got dropped around mile 59. I could see Giuseppe¹s red outfit off in the distance when I turned around. I had a great ride, making it home by 1:45p in plenty of time for my daughters recitals. I¹m glad I was home for them. 125miles even.

I realized how amazing beneficial it is to drink plain water at the end and pour some of it on the back of your head and neck. It cooled me right down and let me cruise in the last 20 miles feeling like new (well, not totally new). Why haven¹t I ever done this before. It was amazing. My low point was mile 90-105. Starting to overheat.