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One Mom's Perfect Imperfection: Guest Blogger - Alan Shepherd

One Mom's Perfect Imperfection

One mom's journey through life and her hodgepodge of hobbies.

04 March 2010

Guest Blogger - Alan Shepherd

Good morning! Before turning you over to my guest speaker (something a little different & new) I want to start off by welcoming two new followers that found me through the Moms Blog Network. If you're a mom and a blogger, this is a great network to get connected by finding other moms as well as fellow bloggers. There are great things going on over there. Go take a look! Since these women have shown me a little love I'd like to reciprocate by sharing their sites with you. Co Captain aka Mommy is just getting started with her blog, Tales from a Blue Minivan. Olahmomma has two sites with adorable handmade baby items (and we all know I love handmade), Olah Momma! and Tiddle Diddle Baby's Handmade Shoppe. I hope you'll go visit these ladies and show them a little encouragement.

You are now in for a treat. Alan and I have been friends for many years. He will actually give you all the backstory in his post so I won't bore you with it twice. Alan is a great writer, very entertaining indeed. If you find yourself wanting more Alan (and let's face it, what's not to want?) then you can hop on over to his blog, The Cyclist Muse. Though I will warn you, his posts can be a little deep at times. Even so, he's a great friend, a good man and a terrific father. So without further ado, I shall leave you in the hands of my good friend, Mr. Alan Shepherd....

Good Morning everyone, let me introduce myself. My name is Alan Shepherd and I am guest blogging for Courtney today. Let me tell you a bit about myself since we’ll be spending some time together today; that is if you don’t surf away the moment you read that a stranger is infiltrating the sanctum sanctorum of One Mom’s Perfect Imperfection. I am a regular middle-aged guy (This might shock some to know I, and that means collectively WE, are middle aged); I work as the Manufacturing Engineering Manager for a large multinational conglomerate who makes jet engines. I have two wonderful daughters who are growing faster than I can keep up with. I love anything relating to bicycles or cycling. I fervently support the American Diabetes Association and the Lance Armstrong Foundation and I secretly want to be a pirate.

Courtney and I have been friends; wait…would she consider me a friend? I think so…. Again, Courtney and I have been friends since about 1989 I would say. Ahh…the 80’s; A time when big hair and tight rolled jeans ruled the day. It all started in the hallowed halls of Madisonville North Hopkins High School, where all good things in the world originated. She is the band, and I with my comic books and skateboard. It was a natural friendship. As is often the case, when I graduated we lost touch. Thanks to the advent of technology and the World Wide Web (Kudos to Al Gore!!), we crossed paths again on Facebook and Twitter, which leads us to where we stand today.

Some of you may ask, “Why is this unknown guy guest writing for the internationally famous blogger, Courtney “The Coffee Connoisseur” Noffsinger.”? The answer, my friends (I use this term as I assume the readership of this blog are friends, plus it’s witty) is simple. She kicked my butt in an endurance race and I’m bellying up to the bar and making good on my indebtedness.

Let me preface the story for you. I follow “The Coffee Connoisseur” on Twitter, as I do allot of my friends and noticed that she had been riding a bike. Being an internationally famous bicycle aficionado (Figure 1), I was naturally interested in this factoid. As I inquired about her bike-riding foray, I learned that she was spinning the pedals on an indoor trainer, which is great for a Mom with kids. Great for a Mom with kids because of time management, ease of use, etc. and not the danger of fingers in chains, and greasy carpet, because we all know that fingerless kids are not a good thing, especially cute kids like “The Coffee Connoisseur’s”. I mean really, fingerless kids, that’s gotta be tough on a Mom what with all the cheerio feeding and such. But, I digress.

I had noticed on Twitter that she had noted she was lacking some motivation to ride, so being the finely tuned athlete, I suggested a tiny wager. I had been following her mileage and in an attempt to help motivate her to continue, I wagered that I would double the mileage she rode on her trainer in thirty minutes. I would ride on the road in the freezing temperatures, rain, sleet or snow that might come my way. I also said that I would post my ride course with stats, confirmed by GPS (Because I’m still a huge geek and have a Garmin Forerunner 405…google it, it’s awesome). The stakes you ask? Well, guest blogging for me of course if she won and a $25 dollar donation to the LAF if I won. Since you’re reading this, you can deduce who won the wager. She posted an amazing accomplishment of riding her trainer 10.4 miles over 30 minutes. That’s right, a 20.8 mph avg. folks, earning herself the new moniker, Courtney “The Hammer” Noffsinger. I seceded straight away as a 41.6 mph avg over 30 minutes is impossible for Lance Armstrong, let alone me (Downhill, with a tailwind doesn’t count). I already ride my bike three or four days a week, so I opted to soak my thoroughly spanked butt in a few beers instead of humiliate myself attempting to ride faster than Lance Armstrong. So, goal accomplished…she’s motivated; motivated to whip my butt!


(Figure 1)

(That’s me with the horns on my helmet…and that’s Father Bruce, A priest I ride with)
(He throws Holy Water on me when I’m bad and boy does it burn)

So now that you know the story of why I’m writing….on to the writing! I’m usually a very morose writer, blogging about all that’s wrong in my life, etc. I’m a huge crybaby and like for everyone to be as depressed as I am. Collective cynicism, in my opinion, is the answer to the world’s problems. But, I am taking this opportunity to expand my writing a bit and explore some of the more enjoyable things in life. Namely, bicycles!

So…about bicycles; the most beautifully pure mechanical invention every created. Most historians advocate that the bicycle was invented by a pair of Frenchmen in the 1860’s. There is even a sketch from Mr. DaVinci in the 1490’s that can thwart that assumption. I however, being the investigative genius that I am, have photographic evidence (figure 2) that suggests otherwise and I will reveal it here for the first time ever!


(figure 2)

As you can see, Cavemen rode bicycles; clearly earlier than the 1860’s or 1490’s. While this might appear to be a rather sloppily created photoshop falsehood. I assure you, MAVIC, the world renowned bicycle wheel builder stealthily confirmed my suspicion.

Now that we have established the origin of the velocipede, we can explore it’s history a bit. The mid 1800’s saw the revolution of the bicycle, and many evolutions therein. The first bicycle’s were foot powered; scooters if you will. You sat on them and pushed off with your feet in a very “Fred Flintstone” sort of manner. The development of the crank and sprocket in 1861 by Mr. Ernest Michaux brought in the era of the modern velocipede, and a new branch of medicine called plastic surgery, from reattaching small children’s digit’s of course.

Following the invention of the crank, and associated digit problems, a brilliant British Engineer named Mr. James Starley, developed the Penny Farthing (figure 3) in 1871. The revolution in bipedal transportation ushered in the era of medicine known as urology, as the mode of injury moved toward a more centralized location on the body.


(Figure 3)

Now that you are all thoroughly versed in the history of bicycles and their associated medical inventions. We’ll jump ahead to modern bicycles; machines of beauty built with the latest and greatest materials and techniques. Frames and fork sets that weigh less than 2 lbs. Ahhhhh…Did I say that outloud? Sorry. Back to the Story. I present for your review and associated astonishment, the greatest modern road bicycle available on the road today, the Pinarello Dogma (figure 4)….(heavenly hosts chime in here)

(figure 4)

The Pinarello Dogma is a hand built, all carbon fiber, piece of rolling sculpture. She weighs in at a whopping 5545 grams…that’s right. 5545 grams or 12.22 lbs. She is a piece of work, and a beauty for all to behold….just take a second and marvel at her beauty. (dramatic pause here)…Okay…Okay stop staring. Like the others, this evolution of the modern velocipede has also marked a spot in the medical field…It’s called Psychiatry. Psychiatry, because anyone who would pay $12,000 for this bicycle is crazy! That being said, I am one crazy individual, because I would own one of these beauties in a New York, or heck, A Western Kentucky minute. As soon as my fame as an internationally known cyclist pays off….Imma gonna get me onna them there bicycles!

So with all being said, congratulations “Hammer”! You’re one tough spin jockey. Bring it outside in the snow and we’ll race again! To “Hammers” readership; Happy Pedaling and make sure you take in the scenery my friends, life goes by to quick to see everything through a window. Grab a bike, don a helmet and see the world in the saddle.

Thanks for playing along,

Alan Shepherd

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  • At March 4, 2010 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm in love with Alan.....He's the worlds greatest cyclist. I wish I could ride with him and learn from his years of collective experience.

    Lance "Mellow Johhny" Armstrong

    (not's me; Alan!)I kid, I kid!


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