92 miles at 72 degrees at 100% Humidity

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It was supposed to rain all day yesterday. It hardly rained anywhere I was, but I was pretty wet all day. 72 feels like 88 in December. Especially when it is 100% humidity. And that 100% humidity was the reason that I was wet all day. I started sweating from the first pedal stroke and didn’t stop for 5 + hours. They are really in a severe drought here, so they really do need some rain.

I wanted to get a few long rides in and 92 is longish, at least longish enough. Hopefully the forecast will be wrong again tomorrow and I’ll get in a few more hours. I rode mainly west, through the Hill Country. I did Lost Creek a couple times and then Barton Creek a couple times, across the dam and back. It was a lot of nearly retracing my route, but I didn’t mind.

I met up with Robbie Robinette later in the afternoon and got a good extended ride in. Robbie owes a company that trades some incredible percent of Nasdaq’s daily volume, maybe close to 10%. And a bunch of other commodities too. Whatever it is, it is mind boggling. I’ve had him explain it to me a few times in layman’s terms and still don’t get it. I know he hired something like 50 Phd’s in something, this past couple years to “tweek” his algorithm or whatever his program is called. Maybe USAC should hire him to get this ranking system figured out a little better? It would probably take him a short afternoon to make it run smoothly.

I got back just about dark. I stopped by Austin Bikes and got a spoke I’ve needed for a Shimano wheel for a couple months. (Someone stuck their pedal into my wheel training.) They had to order it. It was $15. Man, that is the most expensive spoke I’ve ever bought. I actually haven’t really bought any spokes for quite a while, but that seemed pretty crazy expensive all the same. I’m not blaming the guys at the shop, I’m sure the spokes are very unreasonably priced even at a wholesale cost.

I’m trying to decide if I’m going to race this weekend. The promoter from the Texas State Cross Championships told me about his race in Houston this Saturday. My hamstring feels better, but not perfect, or even close, but it might not ever feel perfect. I’m leaning towards going right now, but probably won’t decide until after the ride tomorrow.

It is weird having the air conditioner turn on the week before Christmas. The humidity is so high, that it is so sticky trying to sleep. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain again all day. If it is the same rain as today, let it pour. But, the temperatures are supposed to drop all day too, bottoming out in the upper 50’s in the afternoon. Burrrrr.

Stupid expensive spoke.

Lake Travis is so low that there are islands in the middle that you can walk to from the shore.

10 thoughts on “92 miles at 72 degrees at 100% Humidity

  1. Joe Doyle

    Steve –

    We just met on your way out to ride from Austin Bikes. Nice to chat with you about CX and cycling in Austin.

    It would be great to see you in the mix with the main group at States in Houston this weekend. Your friend Fawley will be there.

    Also, if you could consider some mention of Austin for the CX Natz in 14-15 on your blog, that would be tops. We’ve started a twitter hashtag: #CXNatsInATX, and the main blog for CX racing in Texas is http://www.TexasCX.com.

    Hope to see you this weekend.


  2. Jim

    Whatever the percentage of NASDAQ volume Robbie’s company has influence it’s too much. Too much programmable algorithmic logic has taken investing out of the small players’ hands and given it to computers and those who own the software.

    Just another example of how the divide between haves and nots is growing wider.

    I suppose the goal of even the 1% is to make enough and get out before the computers can do everything.

  3. JimW

    Proprietary wheels systems always have pricey spokes that are hardly ever in stock at the LBS.

    Just the way of things these days Steve.
    For a guy who has raced his bicycle for such a long time I’m always surprised by how out of touch you are with the equipment cost and availability.

    No rep job for you after retirement! ; )

  4. tilford97 Post author

    Jim-I don’t really know anything about how Robbie’s business is run, but I do know that his trading “strategy” is to try to not influence the movement of the stocks he is trading. It is to recognize the momentum of the stock and get in and out of a trade quickly, just taking a small amount each trade. I don’t think this influences the market as much as some computer trading, but I may be completely wrong on this.

  5. tilford97 Post author

    Jim W. – I readily admit that I am behind the curve on the retail cost of most bicycle equipment, but come on, $15 for one spoke. I’ve never bought a Shimano spoke because I don’t really break any. When I break a spoke, the rim and the rest of the wheel are usually casualties too, thus the replacement of the whole wheel.

    “Just the wy of things these days.” Yeah, everything seems kind of expensive nowadays except fast food and coke.

  6. Jim

    All those PhDs will have figured out a way to do it that we have no clue about. Buying and selling at that volume necessarily means some built-in stabilizing force has to be in place for the price not to move, something the smart guys have figured out how to do.

    That’s kinda my point. It’s a free market game that is now run by a few. Yeah they take their huge cut, pocket some and reward investors handsomely, but it’s not that noble is it?

    Anyway, the rich play by different rules.

  7. DonP

    Hey hope you can make it to Houston. We would love to show you Mason Park our favorite CX park in Houston.

  8. H Luce

    Steve, if your friend makes tons of money trading like he does, then the counterparties to the trades lose tons of money – it may be that there are thousands of counterparties losing a few pennies per trade, but in the stock market there is a zero-sum game – if someone gains, their counterparties lose. The big spikes you see in share prices at around 9am and 3pm are from these guys, and because these spikes are actually a second or two in length, they have an imperceptible effect on the long-term value of the shares. Maybe. But there are counterparties who lose, and if you’re selling your shares at the time their trades go through, you may be on the losing end of the deal – maybe you get a penny less per share than you otherwise would have got, $10.00 on a thousand shares. If there are a thousand guys like you or ten thousand guys like you, that’s $10,000 or $100,000 – and if something really screws up and your friend takes a dollar out of what you get instead of pennies, then *that* can send a strong price signal and get trading in that stock halted, like what happened a year ago: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1695041&rec=1&srcabs=1686004

    Is it unfair to the individual investor? Sure, it’s unfair, high volume traders can distort the market at will, it’s as fair as Internet gambling was until it was outlawed. Individuals who are outsiders aren’t going to be able to make good decisions on which stocks are good bets; the efficient market hypothesis no longer is true.


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