Friday, September 26, 2008

The Missing Link

Wow...apparently even the occasional petroleum executive is able to link demand for gasoline to its consumption, "A petroleum executive suggested Thursday that Gov. Sonny Perdue should cancel Saturday's football game between Georgia and Alabama."

Sort of reminds me of a conversation I had once about the LifeLight Festival. The question was - how can we make it green? The correct answer is cancel it - because no amount of effort will erase the carbon footprint of all those people driving that far. There are some compromise answers too but that's for another day.

The destruction of the economy used to always come up in conversations about global warming and cutting carbon. That's starting to seem quaint.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ever So Close

I attended a meeting this afternoon. I arrived at my destination and began to scan for bike parking. I was coasting and slowing and BAM! - I encountered a rather substantial and wholly unexpected speed bump.

My hands bounced off the handlebar into the air. As they came back down they missed the handlebar, the bridge of my nose caught the stem and I landed in a heap of blood and metal on the parking lot asphalt...


my hands landed back on the hoods and I was thankfully left with a reminder to pay more attention.

I am so lucky the latter is what actually happened.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Strange Sort Of Timing

Much has been said about the rift, gap, schism, separation, disagreement, incongruity, discord, conflict, division between science and religion. Much more will be said, perhaps even here after I post this.

I found something in common between the two today. It’s a sweet sort of timing given my recent post about the common religious belief that the earth will burn up and some will be whisked away to a better place.

I listened to Peter Diamandis’ TED Talk today. He’s the CEO/Chairman of the X-prize. The prize most well known for being awarded to the first private sector manned spaceflight.

It turns out that he wants to be whisked away too:
"...everything we hold of value on this planet: metals and minerals and real estate and energy is in infinite quantities in space. In fact the earth is a crumb in a supermarket filled with resources."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Miniature Earth

Dining With Strangers

We went walking Sunday. It was windy but quite nice. It’s fun being in a part this time of year seeing the people struggle with how to dress - sweaters, jackets, 83 degrees and sunny.

Saturday The Wife declared she’d really like to drag The Boy 6 around the MUP in the daylight since last time it was a bit on the dark side. So the four of us did; those 20 miles put me at 169.9 miles for the week. Can I take the miles in excess of 150, apply it to last week and declare I made my goal last week?

This week I put 25 miles on my car when The Boy 11 and I visited the orthodontist. Ahh…my orthodontist experience. One of the reasons it’s amazing my parents survived me. I was this close (picture me holding my thumb and index finger closely together) to getting The Boy 11 out of school early enough to ride the tandem but couldn’t quite justify a lesson in transportation over a lesson in math.

We saw signs of fall.

I like to play with the idea of time travel – but not in the traditional sense. I like to imagine that time travel is already here in the form of our current motorized transportation. I can never get my thoughts together enough to make a complete post but check this quote out that I saw on the It’s Just A Ride Blog – When You Treat People Like Idiots, They’ll Behave Like Idiots:
“Monderman was interested in this notion that the car changed time and space…The implications are clear to any modern driver. Commute times are precisely that—times—with distance obliterated, as if we were driving across the face of a clock. Cities have essentially expanded in size to the extent that new transportation means have arisen to keep commuting times more or less stable. Pedestrians, on the other hand, who possess a more intimate knowledge of the geography they are traversing (and must provide the actual power to do so), tend to think in terms of distance.”
We also saw signs of the fall. I’m guessing this is some of the damage from Friday night’s storm. Didn’t know it stormed? I think it was a Category 3 Adolescent.

I understand there’s a certain segment of the population that believes the planet’s not worth saving because it’s going to burn up in the end anyway. I understand that a certain segment of that population believes this because they read in a book once that
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar: the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
The MinusCar Project hit the road this week when I had lunch with a guy that could name the exact place in that book of this verse. He mentioned that he’s been starting to entertain the idea that instead of the fire destroying the planet the fire cleanses it.

Seems to me that sort of thinking might cause millions of people to believe the planet has unsurpassable worth. Wouldn’t that be uhh…dare I say – cool?

I think it's also safe to say he'd never before had lunch in a nice resturant with a sweaty guy wearing a helmet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Play. Seriously.

I began the day riding to work listening to Dr Stuart Brown director of the National Institute for Play. He’s saying this…
“…our capacity as a species to adapt, whether we're in the Arctic or the tropics, the desert or a rain forest, appears to me to be related significantly to our capacity and, as developing creatures, to play.

And then if you look more closely at the human being, you find that the human being really is designed biologically to play throughout the life cycle. And that, and from my standpoint as a clinician, when one really doesn't play at all or very little in adulthood, there are consequences: rigidities, depression, lack of adaptability, no irony — you know, things that are pretty important, that enable us to cope in a world of many demands.”
…and I’m thinking it explains a lot. Read the transcript or download the whole program at this Speaking of Faith radio show website.

At lunch I headed out with The Owner for a reenactment of a ride we used to do regularly. I thought to myself at least once on the ride that I really need new tires for the mountain bike. Toward the end of the ride the sidewall ripped out and the tube blew with a bang.

I put a far to small patch over the hole, we wrapped the tube with a garbage salvaged potato chip bag to hold it all together and I limped to his store ultimately riding six or seven blocks completely flat.

I have new tires now - and lunch – was long - but hey, I had vehicle trouble.

Later that evening I joined a biggish group at the now nationally renowned Monk’s House of Ale Repute. I had one very nice bbq pizza. We headed over to a high school for the FAB Starlight Ride and found our group would be 26 in size for the evening. Wow, that’s a lot of red blinky lights.

One lap around the 20 mile MUP, one more quick stop at Monks, the ride home and I ended the day with 61.9 miles.

To put icing on this already beautiful cake of a day I discovered The MinusCar Project has been written about in a language that is not my own. Ciudad Ciclista writes El proceso personal de abandonar el automóvil. To that I respond - yeah, I think I do.

Google Translate says City Cycling says:
“Our goal is to convert the bike into the dominant vehicle in the city. To achieve this we must promote a culture of cycling as an integral (and integrated) of urban mobility as a vehicle driven by responsible users who have the same duties and same rights as any other vehicle drivers in urban areas, and not as juguetito locked in an apartheid of segregated roads, also called ‘bicycle lanes.’”
I appreciate the mention and I appreciate that similar efforts are occurring in your localities. Thank you.

Ciudad Cicista: No vamos a esperar a nada para usar nuestras bicis indeed.

City Cycling: We will not wait for anything to use our bikes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anatomy Of Progress

Warning – on roadway bicycle facility celebration that may seem to contradict other things I’ve written follows.

The City has a community bicycle committee. Some official document somewhere requires it. The bicycle committee exists in part to provide opportunity for citizen input to The City. One of the ways the bicycle committee does this is by participating every five years in the process of updating the master bicycle plan for The City.

Over the past few years the committee has participated in the creation and adoption of a new master bicycle plan. Within the last six months the appropriate governing and citizen bodies have reviewed the new plan and approved of its use.

Part of the updated plan involves the creation of roadway bicycle facilities. The City’s plan is to introduce a variety of these facilities around town and receive feedback to help determine their usefulness and acceptance and whatnot.

In May The City striped three longish sections of roadway with a single stripe. These sections were considered shared bike/car parking “lanes.” There are no signs. Drivers mostly use them to determine where to park, cyclists presumably would use them as bike lanes where there aren’t parked autos blocking. Remarkably I first discovered these facilities in The City on Bike to Work Day. They striped a road I commonly use. I use these facilities a few days a week.

Today a new press release arrived. The City striped a new roadway and next week will place bicycle insignias in the lanes. Here they are, the first dedicated bike lanes in The City (excepting whatever that thing on Teem Drive tries to be).

Also next week The City will place sharrows on three sections of roadway. I expect these will be my favorite facility because they don’t imply separation between road lanes and cycle lanes.

So here’s a recipe I think helped to bring this sort of activity out of The City –
1. A local bicycling community that is arguably stronger now than it’s ever been.

2. At least one city transportation planner that recognizes that department’s responsibility to facilitate a variety of transportation methods.

3. A good relationship between the two. One supports the other. The Planner provides the procedures and methods for The Community to communicate to The City. The Community participates in the procedures and methods and supports The Planner with feedback and use.
That’s the way I see it. Surely there are some finer points I'm missing and I could be altogether wrong. Maybe it’s just some bike shop owner in a smoke filled room telling Vito to get the job done.

Drive Less

I got this off the MinusCar wire...

No Impact Man Meets NY State Senator

Today's post is on a different blog and written by somebody else. No Impact Man writes:
RE: My request, as a member of the board of Transportation Alternatives, to meet with you to discuss transportation policy as it relates to bicycle safety, carbon emissions, the cultivation of New York City quality of life, breathable air, and traffic congestion.

Though you may not know my name, you may recall that you and I met today under rather unpleasant circumstances on New York City's Broadway, just north of City Hall. You were driving your black Mercedes. I was riding a small folding bicycle and wearing a purple helmet.
Read the rest - "An open letter to NY State Senator Jeff Klein, who yesterday called me a f---ing assh-le after nearly hitting me with his Mercedes."

Good times.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It Doesn’t Hurt To Ask

I failed to reach 150 miles last week. I had 110 miles going into the weekend and Saturday’s cold and wet shut me down.

Sunday I awoke behind schedule to attend my appointment on The MUP to participate in the FAB helmet use survey. It worked to my advantage to be late – I didn’t have time to check the weather. As I sat in position the misting began.

After 30 minutes (and no riders) I picked a route. Off to Falls Park, through downtown, and stop for breakfast at Caribou. As I departed there another cyclist entered. I thought he was crazy to be out riding in the cold and wet.

By the time I arrived home I had 22 more miles giving me 132 for the week.

My loaded car went to the breast cancer ride. It had 13 miles for the week.

One family trip in The Wife’s car meant I was in a car twice.


This week I’m not chasing a goal – but I’m still going to blog about Monday. I took another noon ride for lunch. Falls overlook café. I look a longer way home because I had to fully appreciate what I’m calling The Mayor’s Detour.

A big section of The MUP is being reconstructed. Not satisfied with the loose gravel and rock detour provided around the fairgrounds The Hooterville Mayor contacted the President/CEO of the fairgrounds requesting that the fairgrounds be opened so cyclists can ride through on pavement. He approved the request. In addition to orange detour markings, the fairgrounds placed a marquee at the south gate indicating it’s open for the bike trail detour.

My bicycle has never felt more welcome on public property.

Thanks Mayor. Thanks fairgrounds CEO/President!

29 miles for the day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Defending Forester

I've written a lot recently about writing about reasons why I posted the John Forester article a week or two ago. Instead of a post about it - I've instead responded at length to the challenging comments that were left for me.

The relavant posts and comments are here and here.

Pink Think

Saturday morning I volunteered to help FAB in its efforts to assist Sanford’s Biking for Breast Cancer ride. FAB designed and supported the 50 mile road ride route.

For the third time this week Russell the Muscle gets mention in this blog. He was there – being as well liked as he is tall.

This is simultaneously a photo of thE kErnEl, the producer of A Cycling Statistic – a stunning, very good local video encouraging helmet use - and a piece of art on the side of a guys head.

Let the festivities begin. It was ret and wainy.

CycleSD, The Owner and I setup our rest stop 18 miles into the route. We found a nice shady spot to get out of the bright sun and its low fifty degree heat, or not.

Here’s CycleSD doing some of the more difficult work involved with bike ride rest stop managment. It's hard to tell but I'm pretty sure he's holding up that third bike with his hip. Remarkable.

I can't make a photo blog about a bike ride without another picture of people riding bicycles. The tail end of the ride came through our stop. We loaded up the bikes and bodies of four very cold and wet riders and headed back into town.

Central Plains Cycling's Marty Sterzinger won this year's Biking For Breast Cancer ride. CPS's Director Sportif Dustin Bakker was rumored to be seen with hairy legs on the bike trail route with his wife.

This last one – it’s a bubble sculpture inside Sanford’s emergency room, conveniently located across the street from the ride's festivities. One of FAB’s own broke his collar bone when he apparently leaned over to get a better measure of moisture content on some wet railroad tracks.


My ride for the day? None. Zero. Nada. There are only so many cold and wet people I can look at before I decide I’m not in the mood to be one myself.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Like a lot of conservatives say, we shouldn’t waste our time and money countering global warming. We should be putting our efforts toward helping people adapt to it.

Ike might not be global warming – but adapting to global warming looks an awful lot like adapting to Ike.

So go ahead.

Be helpful.

Counter global warming.

Adapt to global warming.

Go ride your bike. Texas needs your gas to get home.

And they might need your gas money too.

Dude, Where’s My Bike Ride?

The Dad e-mailed me today. He’s at 85 miles for the week. I think he meant, “That’s me in your rearview. You’d better keep going.”


I was having such an exceptional day at work I just couldn’t leave over noon to ride my bike – or eat for that matter. I had two peaches and a banana off my desk. I’ve been keeping it a secret – peaches are excellent right now. Go get one. Seriously.

When I finally left work at 6pm I headed for Caribou Coffee where we trained some additional volunteer help with the local helmet usage survey Club FAB is engaged in.

I saw and talked with Russell the Muscle in a big box parking lot. He offered his approval of my performance the other day at Tuthill Park. He was one of the cross bike dudes.

I went a few more blocks and encountered Snakebite on the roadway followed closely by his S(ignificant) O(ther). No time for pleasantries, waves were exchanged.

We had a room full of people at Caribou. I put together the schedule and Chainring Chronicler - Bill The Scientist trained the new volunteers. We’re ready to roll (as it were) for Sunday.

I did a terrible job of planning for this evening. I frantically called Caribou yesterday evening to finally reserve the room only to find it already reserved…by me. Phew. Ultimately my poor planning manifested itself negatively by me riding home in the dark without lights. I stopped off at The Dad’s to deliver his survey packet and he had a spare red blinky to add a small amount of confidence to my ride.

Nonetheless - night ride!

On the way home I listened to Krista Tippett interview Eckhart Tolle on her Speaking of Faith radio show. I learned that Eckhart is the one who is famous for his New Earth book which Oprah Winfrey has very publicly embraced and some conservative Christians have declared a bit too new age-ish. I found him a bit new age-ish too.

I don’t know from Tolle but I do know I appreciated the truthiness of this:
…anybody who embodies this shift in consciousness and many people are going through it now on the planet — not the majority yet, it's still a minority, but they are — they cannot not have an influence on the world around them. They influence not by wanting to influence; it just happens. And then many people will be called upon to do things in this world, to be active. But it comes from a much more peaceful place within, not from an angry conflict-ridden state of consciousness. And very great power comes through you then. But the primary thing is not changing the outer world; the primary is going through the change within. And then you cannot not change the outer once that has happened.

Ms. Tippett: Wasn't it Gandhi who said, "I can't change the world but I can change myself"?

Yes. And ultimately, you see, that's where true change happens.
15.9 miles today – 40.2 with two days remaining.


Did you see The Owner supporting the community? Providing bicycles to the local college (take a moment to appreciate them for not changing their name to university…yet, I suppose) so they can start a Green Bike Program. I have some very cool friends!


I was reading chiggins – It’s Just A Ride (like I do) and really enjoyed his description of his long ride home Thursday. Here’s the money:

“… [it] meanders along the parkway past the entrance to the C&O Canal Towpath in Georgetown, and finally follows the Potomac all the way down to the Arlington Memorial Bridge. From there, I turned back towards the Washington Monument, then headed north to Downtown.”

There’s no mistake, I love my city, but wow! What landmarks! I never thought I’d be dreaming of living in Wasington DC on September 11 of all days. Thanks for the vicarious ride home! I’m happy to say I’ve ridden the C&O Canal Towpath. It was the day after the Marine Corps Marathon. There were plenty of partially used GU packets available for the brave and starved.

Don’t miss the green xtra-cycle with the white tires at the bottom of his post.


I received my homework for the Metropolitan Planning Organization. This weekend I might be reading the “Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan.”

…because when you see a problem you might as well become part of it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Day

I was in a car last Saturday - had to drive stuff to the FAB Helmet Hut. I’ll be in a car this Saturday - have to take stuff to the Sanford Biking For Breast Cancer Ride and sit at a rest stop. That 50 mile ride would get me a long way toward my 150 goal for the week.

Ironic – the more I try to do with groups of bicyclists the more I drive. Oh well.

The Weather Channel Dot Com Hourly Forecast nailed this morning’s weather. Rain much of the night stopping around 6 or 7am. Perfect. Moist pavement begging to give me a flat, but I wasn’t going to get drenched. The most wet I got was riding through sprinklers at Lowe’s. I sure love it when big box retail inappropriately waters the lawn.

The Weather Channel didn’t quite have the afternoon hours correct but conditions weren’t any worse.

Previously I’ve been reluctant to ride over lunch because it doubles the amount of time I spend in a bathroom stall changing clothes and walking through the building looking like a bike messenger - or an alien. Besides I worry someone might get the wrong idea. I have a wide stance.

But I’ve got a goal this week.


The skies were constipated.

I had some FAB funds to deliver to the bank so I selected a branch a decent distance away. I started on the west side bike trail to get one last ride there before they shut it down for much needed reconstruction. I never worry more about pinch flats than I do on that stretch.

I took the Madison Ave cutoff, stopped off at the bank and proceded into downtown for dining. I had a tough time deciding between Mama’s Ladas, the Phillips Ave Diner and Chef Amy’s Café 334, formerly known as Kristina’s Café 334.

Café 334 narrowly won – mostly because I wanted to be able to say I ate lunch under the Snakepit. I had lunch under the Snakepit. I had Bibb, Bacon and Bleu – except they were out of bibb lettuce, is spinach ok? And tomato bisque soup. I was happy to find they kept some of Kristina’s best items on the menu.

It’s funny they were out of bibb lettuce because it reminds me of an embarrassing conversation I had with my local veggie grower this summer. First, as I waited for my order I wondered how far the lettuce travelled to get here. I learned recently that bibb lettuce doesn’t grow in this area after a couple weeks into June.

I’d gotten accustomed to CSA bibb lettuce for lunch – and then they stopped having it. So I asked – is there every going to be more lettuce? No. Lettuce doesn’t do well in the summer heat, come back next year. Going in to this CSA deal I thought I knew a little bit about eating in season foods. I LEARNED a little bit about eating in season foods from that conversation.

I had naughty dessert too.

On my way out I watched a guy retrieve his bike and knock mine over. I greeted him as he was picking it up. He was very apologetic. I told him it’s ok, but that I was still going to blog about him tonight.

The skies remained constipated.

24.9 miles today – 93.9 miles for the week with 3 days to go for 150.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Flying Hoods

I managed 24 miles today. I left for lunch and revisited yesterday's ride to Tuthill. This time instead of Qdoba I enjoyed a roast beef unwich at Jimmy John's. During the leg from Riverdale Park to JJ's I remembered that I was following the low traffic route presented to me a little less than 30 years ago by The Mom and The Dad to get from the middle of town to the bike trail.

Sheesh I'm old.

On my way home I stopped off for a half gallon of soymilk and a half gallon of cow's milk. That puts a strain on the messenger bag. Near the grocery store a pickup truck on the road lost its hood. The wind caught it and flipped it in the air. It didn't happen very close to me but I was the first vehicle to maneuver around it. Perhaps I should have helped him fetch it but I didn't.

Rain is expected the next few days but at this very moment the forecast is much more favorable than it was a few hours ago.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brought To You By The Letter G

I got 25 more miles toward this week's 150 goal. I left work to ride all the dirt between Yankton Trail and Tuthill Park. At the very beginning of the ride I discovered Gregg followed closely by Greg. That's a basketball team worth of G's by my count.

I did the Tuthill climb three times. At the top I found two cyclocross bikes plus a mountain bike. I knew and talked with two of the bike's riders - seems some locals have a hankering to ride some cross races. Hopefully they'll be able to find some races nearby.

I went on to Riverdale and rolled through town to Qdoba stopping briefly to chat with The Mom & The Dad who were easily accessible in front of their home. Naked Fajita Ranchera with a side of rice and black beans for me. Please.

On to the FAB board meeting then home. Except for one more thing. The sun is setting earlier these days. That can only mean one thing for any evening post meeting rides home.


Lot's of rain between now and Sunday. That's not helpful.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Base To Base X

I got out for a lunchtime ride today. The bank (deposits), The Owner’s LBS (awaiting helmet), grocery store (stamps), another LBS (Knog Frogs), the ink cartridge recycler (duh), Radio Shack (TV antenna) and back to work. It took me about an hour.

The TV antenna pushed the limits of the messenger bag but a quick rearrange and maxing out the straps worked great.

Made for a 20 mile day which is good – I’m hoping for a 150 mile week...

...and no flats.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Girls w/ Basses

I spent much of the weekend enjoying LifeLight. Roughly 34 bands in 36 hours. For some folks it no doubt seemed like work. For me...well, I did have some pretty good seats.

Wind may have been a factor.

Friday night was my favorite night. There was evidence of As I Lay Dying.

Showbread kicked off the night.

Followed by Children 18:3. I may have been starstruck.

There were setlists.

Buttons and knobs.

Cases and amps.

Hair and 15-year-old drummers.



MxPx closed out the event. They arrived on The Black Pearl but I didn't have a camera big enough...

...and Yuri may have woken up screaming.