Sunday, November 30, 2008


sorry for all the YouTube pastes, but maybe you remember
this..... it's worth it.

song of the day for riding.

Global Plan Initaitive

CHANGE is now they over used word, but it applies here.

stop & listen for a minute, then take a little action.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

play it again!

I really didn't plan it out (an often repeated comment I make).
When you have kids, you sometimes get tired of the Sesame
Street clothes and just break down and buy them a shirt of
your favorite band (for the price of an adult T?).

Through osmosis I guess. Everyone loves stories of my daughter,
and not because I'm one of those parents running around saying
"guess what they just did!". It's because I live with Wednesday
Addams, and every story is just crazy. There's the woman at work
who asks every time for a story. Here's her handy work, after
listening to the Ramones, and then I mention you can see the
video on YouTube. She comes to me with this.

The Passenger

every ride there's a song stuck in your head.
here's today's..... thanks IGGY!

it's done!!!

It came out just perfect. Used parts plus a couple needed
to finish it off.

The fit seems right. Cables are a little stiff, and there's
a little breaking in to do.

Thanks to Jeff for the timely finishing, and working the
cables perfectly under the wrap. I love it when everything
just goes together, and WORKS!

And yes, I do walk past it all the time while I'm at work,
just itching to ride it. That is what a bike should do:
ignite that excitement you had as a kid, when you KNEW
you WERE getting that really cool bike you kept looking at
in the local shop. Counting the days until you could ride
it...... IT'S BIKE LOVE!

critical mass a bust?

Well, I was scheduled to work until 4pm, the meet up time
for critical mass is 5:15, with a plan to leave at 5:30.
I knew I'ld get pulled into an extra hour of work, then
it looked like another hour. Are you kidding me? Twelve
hours with a fifteen minute break? No, I'm out after
eleven hours of this BS.

Great, by the time I'm "suited up", and a couple of crappy
remarks from the boss and coworkers - I'm out! Now I have
fifteen minutes to make the 20-25 minutes ride to the meeting
spot. And I get holiday traffic on top of it. The irony I
realise is the most hostile drivers are moms in mini vans.
Funny lady, what would YOU do if someone ran down YOUR

So somehow I make it to the park at 5:35, but I see blinkies!!
Two out of towners who heard about CM and actually pulled
themselves away from family to ride into town. Awesome. But
where are the locals? So we just chatted while the park set
up for the drive through Festival of Lights. So great ideas
of being car free, the differences of CM in other cities,
urban planning, and the potential in this city for commuting
(and HOW FEW commuters there are). God! It sounds boring, like
a bunch of IT guys talking work at a bar. But that's what bike
geeks do....

We decided to ride through the festival. You can't charge
cyclists, only cars. But, you can just kick cyclists out I
guess. The guy came across as a straight up redneck with his
cohort son, and I didn't even bother questioning his logic
or authority. Just head up the hill and cut into the path,
problem solved. I'll definately come back with less traffic
and especially when it snows.....

I took our guests through a loop of downtown and then out to
the coffee shop where CM usually ends, but no riders there?
So we left one at the coffee shop, and headed back into town
with a slower guided tour of the main street and some places
to drink and eat, then back to the park. That guy and his
son were pretty annoyed on my fourth pass by as I headed
home, sorry.... BUT IT IS A PUBLIC PARK!

I don't know what happened to critical mass this month...
but every day is a critical mass of one. So we're good.
And two people got to see the town. Thanks guys.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

giving thanks?

Simply put, I'm Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge for ALL holidays,
except Halloween, or dia de los Muertos, which is not now.

I've worked retail for more than half my life. It's not
something I planned on doing, well actually when I was
in highschool my business class project was owning a skate
shop (I was managing a shop then) at presentation, my
business did not generate enough money, and well, I failed
that project. But that's another story. Since college I
wanted to teach art, or socio-political highschool classes.
But the western states don't pay teachers much, so I dropped
out of the University and took a job managing a mall based
'ski/skate/bike shop'. And I've been a MALL RAT ever since.
That being said, you learn to dread "Black Friday", the
holiday traffic, the rudeness and grossness of pure
consumerism. So this time of year really doesn't cause any
reflection of thankfulness with me, until this year, or
actually today. After going through the roll call of cycling
blogs (ALMOST everyone is still on vacation) I ended up on
FATTIES' -fatcyclist-. Reading Elden's words and those of the
commenters, made me inventory my life. I decided not to
post a comment, instead I made some coffee, emptied the whip
cream on an entire pumpkin pie and had breakfast (and lunch)
while watching crappy TV and cleaning my neglected bike.
That leaves plenty of time to ponder life.

I'm like a rescue dog, maybe. Besides being fat & lazy like Bella.....

I have incredibly bad luck, often. But in retrospect I have
good luck (and friends & family).

I was a dork all through school & afterwards, but I married
the popular girl. How did that work? Ask her optometrist,
I think her vision is in question. And she's stayed with me
through all my crazy doings.

I have three healthy, happy, and thriving kids. Each a unique
person, funny in their own way, all that I'm so proud of.

I know my birth family, and so many questions while growing up
are now answered, like a tree finding it's roots.

My aunt beat her breast cancer, and right now it doesn't have
it's vicious claws in anyone in our family.

We have a house without a ridiculous mortgage payment, we sold
my car, and the family truckster seems to run fine, for now.

That I have friends who truely define friends. Two months or
ten years, you pick up the phone and they're there for you.

For now I have a job, for lack of a better description, that
pays some of the bills.

So much for ranting and silly postings, I'm a sentimental old
softy........ later I'll give you 20 posts to waste 20 minutes
of your time. Tomorrow after critical mass (and Black Friday
at the mall) - be nice people!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

empire video

Empire from Empire on Vimeo.

just something to warm you up. so cold out from riding tonight
that i'm still frozen after two hot cups!


it appears that winter has arrived. Time to order some winter
commuting tires and clothes. As it gets colder I realize I'm
missing one more piece of important clothing, I have yet to
figure out what works.

The long sleeve wool jersey. A cap under the helmet. Head band
to cover the ears. Thicker knit socks. Full finger gloves, then
'lobster mitt' gloves with liners. Cycling tights that lean a
little to close to the 'fat guy in a little jacket' look.
Ok, now rain gear. Two days to dry out the shoes. The smartest
thing was packing freezer bags in the bag to protect the camera,
phone & papers. Rain pants to double duty with thermals for
slushy days. Then booties for the shoes. Every morning you find
one more thing that's been over looked. My need to simplify
has taken a couple steps backwards now with winter commuting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

taking shape....

Who knew it would take so long to simplify your life?

It's been over a year since I was flying back from
Seattle after meeting my new/old family and I started
taking inventory of my life, where I was, and the
material things that OWNED me. The major decision was
selling off all the old school bmx & freestyle bikes I had
been collecting for years, getting rid of as many things
as possible (I tend to be an big pack rat), and picking
up the camera after many years. The elimination of stress
from getting rid of clutter is filled with fighting the
urge to accumulate more 'stuff'. More on all of that
later.... point is, as I was slowly putting the new bike
together, and debating on selling the single speed and
shipping off parts I sold.... I found myself planning AND
looking for another bike. The hell is my problem?

This morning, as I was putting the Gunnar together,
I think I finally found peace, because there
is no better bike than the new one! It's subtle,
beautiful, and seemingly perfect in every way. A second
bike will just be a second best bike, a second choice.
The rest can all go now, and I need to stop tooling
around on ebay. At least I know I have a sickness...

And for FATTY, and everyone else fighting the fight...
turns out Jagwire offers some colors in cable sets!
I'm secure enough to rock pink, it'll get some
crappy comments, but I get enough of those just
riding to work, what's a few more?
So it's off to the shop to get wired up, because I
will admit I CANNOT wrap bars or adjust derailuers
for crap! Hopefully we'll be set for the weekend.

and yes, it even has a subtle reminder...

Friday, November 14, 2008

livestrong challenge again

maybe it's just something roadies do: FUNd-raisers!

Since I was new to the lycra set a couple of years ago,
it just seemed natural. I started off with the ADA diabetes
ride (still do) since my dad had diabetes and eventually
passed due to complications of. This last year I brought
my son along, he raised his own money and rode on one of
the hottest and humid days ever. I'll still do that ride
since it's well supported and easy to do.

I eventually did the BTS (Brain Tumor Society) ride in
support of a local family, and then of course, just as
roadies geek out on all things light & technical AND
LANCE! Every lycra clad geek wishes to ride along side
Lance, in Texas, in the big FUNd-raiser. Yes, I held
onto that dream for a year. Then they announced a multi
location 'Challenge', and the only East Coast event was
PHILLY! I actually counted down to register, I think my
number was 110 out of 2500+. I was like a tenth grader
getting ready for the big prom! Silly.

I worked the night before, drove over night, slept in the
the family truckster in some hotel parking lot since the
college was a bust. But it was really awe inspiring when
I rolled up to the starting point. The fact that so many
showed up and had beat, were still fighting,or knew some
one affected by cancer. I posted photos of some lost loved
ones on the wall of hope, and took my place.

Luckily I met Tom who was a local, and was keeping the same
pace. So for the next 72 miles I got the guided tour. Philly
is one of my favorite cities after that ride.

Who knew that a close family member would be diagnosed with
breast cancer shortly after that. It became even more personal
as I look at my wife and daughter. Will it be a part of their

I didn't make the next event, and the fund raising has taken
more off a back seat since family members and people at work
start getting annoyed when you're on your fourth or fifth event.

And as a cyclist, I feel like I've 'matured' for lack of a better
word. I don't own a computer for my bike, don't count miles, don't
train. Actually I sold my car, bolt on fenders when it rains,
memorize routes, and battle daily for my piece of the road. And
really try to follow the rules of the road (within time constraints).
I didn't quite see the differance until a new guy came to the
local bike coalition group. He was endless in talk of century club
rides, fund raisers, club ride, and more fund raisers. Yet he had
driven to the meeting, and was planning on driving to the critical
mass ride. I was a little dumbfounded, ok, ALOT. But I kept my
mouth shut and shrugged it off as, "well, at least he showed up here,
and he rides a bike", I guess.

I don't think about Lance much these days, if I'm curious, I'll just
grab the Star or Enquirer, and see what he's up to or dating.

But now Fatty has created Team Fatty for the '09 Livestrong Challenge.
And that little spark has started. At least it's not $500 min. to ride
like the first year (and you had to back it up with your credit card
if you fell short of $500). But we're gonna go for $1000 this time.
So, if you're gonna ride, sign up for Fatty, and help him reach his
goal. I think pink will be the new black.

sick days...

i've posted this before, but damn, it just makes me
feel soooooo good. especially since i'm putting my
new (old parts) bike together. it's been rainy & cold
and now the aches have set in along with the
projectile coughing fits. not so awesome. i love
riding to work, but when you ache AND it's cold and
wet out, life just sucks then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Supporting failure

The other bailout. They created an inferior product.
Fought the government on MPG mandates. Got Bush and
the GOP to get tax breaks for businesses that purchase
Hummers (but not hybrids). AND didn't learn anything
from the hard lessons in the 70's and 80's. Producing
16 MPG SUV's as a status symbol versus logical and
responsible compacts and subcompacts. So the government
needs to bailout all businesses that are fueled by
greed, mass consumption, and steered by stuborn incompetancy?

Can the government bailout the makers of cassette tapes?
How about makers of coal locomotives and tube televisions?
Maybe they, I mean WE (since we are the government), maybe
WE can finance the Backstreet Boys, and anything else that

Tell GM to start making mass transit vehicles, trolleys,
and light rail systems along with hybrids, THEN they can
stay in business. Otherwise they can go the way of acid
washed jeans. Detroit killed mass transit, drove the increase
in our highway system, created urban sprawl, fought saftey
and MPG increases, and now they're whinning that they've
become the archaic dinosaur that must die (or evolve).
At some point the junkie needs to aknowledge the habit, make
the decision to change their actions, and accept

Bella the broken bulldog

for someone who has a life filled with flat tires,
why would my dog be any different? Bella suffers
the doggy equivelant of a flat after 20 feet....
but this happens every time. Lazy dog.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall images

Remind myself I love the fall,

It could have been a number of things, the constant election
beating me across the head, the holidays approaching and all
the talk of a crappy economy, and the rain and gloom that sets
the perfect backdrop of a miserable existance. But I opened
the door the other day to a neighborhood blanketed in leaves.

I may pay a TON in taxes, have a city that provides me nothing
in return, get humidity in the summer and ice storms in the
winter, and have to list Jersey as a neighbor.

But then there are those days where you're almost surrounded
by beauty. The changing of leaves snuck up on me, then they
just dumped on us. Kind of like the first snow storm that brings
out the kid in you. Five minutes late to work because I was
busting through piles..... worth it.

It's bike love...again.

The last week has been insane, and more than the usual.
I listed a large part of my two wheel collection, and
cashed out and spent the rest of the week packing bikes
into boxes. And in the middle of it all I got what I hope
"IS THE LAST BIKE I NEED TO BUY", but we all know that's
not true, just wishful thinking we always tell ourselves
to justify the bike craze.

Here's the new baby, a Gunnar Crosshair, in all her steel
glory..... just waiting for her home.