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.
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!
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 husband?
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.
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!
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. THEN IT RAINS! 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.
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! So IT WILL BE PINK IN PHILLY! 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.
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 life?
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.
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.
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 FAILS TO EVOLVE AND ADAPT TO SUCCEED AS A BUSINESS.
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 responsibility.
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.
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.
Stoked 3. March 2011
Injustice for All. UAG, March 2011
Dead Presidents Lounge. January 2011
Last Call. Marketplace Gallery, December 2010
Send2 Show. UAG, November 2010
The Wine Bar & Bistro. November 2010
Dead Presidents Lounge. November 2010
Townsend Cafe. October 2010
unDead. UAG, October 2010
Townsend Cafe. September 2010
Members Only. UAG, August 2010
Danger!. UAG, July 2010
People's Choice. UAG, June 2010
Marketplace Gallery Fundraiser. May 2010
The Yellow Show. UAG, May 2010
ConTEXT. UAG, April 2010
Rosen Gallery. April 2010
SLICK. UAG, March 2010
Infinity & Beyond. UAG, Febuary 2010
ARTributes. UAG, January 2010
Small Works. UAG, December 2009
Art for Animals. Spencertown Academy, November 2009
Fresh Produce. UAG, November 2009
Myth Conceptions. UAG, October 2009
Tag! UAG, September 2009
Utopia. UAG, August 2009
Off the Wall. UAG, July 2009
People's Choice. UAG, June 2009
Vacant Artist Project. TNO, May 2009
Grand Tour. UAG, May 2009
Loose Threads. UAG, April 2009
Issues. UAG, March 2009
The Blue Show. UAG, Febuary 2009
New Beginnings. UAG, January 2009
Stokes Gallery Show, December 2008
50/50. UAG, December 2008
Futura. UAG, November 2008
Buried City. UAG, October 2008
Dream Wheels. UAG, May 2008
Dirt Rag/Rays MTB Park
-photo contest finalist
I sold my car. I ride my bike where
I need to go. I take pictures. I say dumb things when I manage to get one of my big feet out of my mouth. I'm
about 3 cases of beer shy of entering in the clydesdale class. Technology
challenged, a retro-grouch. Bad luck
follows me everywhere. Don't ride close, you might flat after me.
libertyonbikes (at) aol.com
This next year?
I swear I'll:
A. drop some weight
B. make a few more races
C. offend another ten percent
D. keep putting my feet in my mouth.
E. find a jersey that fits properly