Sharpening a pencil

A moment before typing these words I was sharpening a pencil. It’s a classic yellow wood-barrel, #2 Dixon Ticonderoga. In the hand, the pencil is strangely light and stiff. In contrast, the brass sharpener (an M+R 602) pulls my hand down with an unexpected load. As I turn the pencil in the sharpener, I feel … Read more

Failure and camaraderie

Lately I’ve been reflecting on failure. It’s interesting to see how it’s handled quite differently in sport than in academics. I suspect that’s because failure in sport is manifest and public, while failure in academics is obscure and private. These features encourage camaraderie and other healthy coping strategies in sport. As to how to transfer these lessons into academics, I’m not sure, but it’s an interesting case study nonetheless.

Algorithmic human engineering

A month or two back it hit me that I haven’t been bored in years. As a child in the 90s boredom was a constant threat: nothing good on TV, no neighbourhood friends around to play, etc. VHS tapes, N64, and dial-up internet could only alleviate boredom to a certain extent. I could only watch the same dozen tapes so many times, Nintendo games get old, and the internet wasn’t the bottomless content well it is today — and, it was slow.

Why we ride: Finding purpose in training during COVID-19

Like everything else, organized sports have been cancelled due to COVID-19. This includes all the bike races sanctioned by Cycling Canada and USA Cycling. UCI World Tour races have been cancelled, and the Summer Olympics is also postponed. Those who were planning to race might find themselves wondering whether their training this winter had a point. They might also be struggling with motivation: why keep up the rigours of training with no racing in the foreseeable future?