I first met my cycling buddy, travel partner, and fellow New Hampshire lover Julia Lowd on the cross-country ski trails around Ithaca. Actually, I think our proper first meeting took place in the dingy Cornell Outdoor Education basement, but the cross-country ski trails sound like a more auspicious setting, and it's true that this context foreshadowed many of the events that would occur in our years of friendship (e.g. me crashing spectacularly on skis while Julia obliviously skied on and continued our conversation ---> me stumbling into, and resignedly walking along, a rouge road drainage ditch while Julia and I hiked from Amboise to Chenonceaux, our conversation unabated). Luckily for me, Julia is now my UWS neighbor, and so we can continue to talk past each other while we circle the Central Park loop on our bikes on early weekday mornings. Who better, then, to interview in this month of bike cleaning and daffodil blooming?
This is how we do it in La Drôme ProvenceCGC: Why is "Granite State of Mind" such a brilliant parody?
JFL: "Everybody pump your fists and yell 'live free or die! Live free or die!'" That about sums it up. Jay-Z couldn't have said it better himself.
CGC: Which of the following do you find most terrifying: French washer/dryer combo machines, looking for an apartment in NYC, or people who have never ridden bicycles?
JFL: Oh gosh, that's a tough one. I think the French washer/dryer combo machines are going to have to win out here. There is absolutely nothing worse that having damp, wrinkley clothes... every time you do your laundry. There's also something just a little off about the same tiny, tiny machine both washing and drying your clothes.
CGC: In what ways are the novels of Marguerite Duras superior to those of Dan Brown?
JFL: I can't believe I just spent 10 minutes thinking about all the ways I could answer this. Is this a trick question?! Dan Brown's ability to write a sentence makes me cringe.
CGC: Which two individuals deserve the titles of "greatest male alpine skier of all time" and "greatest female alpine skier of all time"?
JFL: For men, it has to be Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish superstar of the eighties. He's won more races than any other skier, and he really rocked those eighties outfits. If we're going for the most game-changing skier, though, I'd have to say Bode Miller. I know he's a cliche these days, but he totally revolutionized the slalom turn. For women, I'm putting in my vote for Janica Kostelic, the once unknown country girl from Croatia. She's tough as nails and if she sat on you, you'd probably end up with a few broken bones. She's also won 6 Olympic medals and is one of only two females to have won world cup titles in all 5 disciplines in a single year.
CGC: If Fabian Cancellara called you tomorrow and told you that you were the love of his life, what would you say?
JFL: Ohh, he's pretty dreamy. I might go weak in the knees for a minute. Then I'd ask him if I could ride in his team car during the Tour. Then I'd see if he could hook me up with Andy Schleck.