Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ANTs on parade

why go to critical mass?

ok, I know I'm about a week late with this...
BUT! it's been one of THOSE weekends,
and yes, I'll go into it later.
But first...

now, I always wonder if it's worth taking work off
(because I never get out early enough), to go to
Critical Mass.
Sometimes a handfull show up,
Sometimes it's a halfass route,
and sometimes you feel like one of those Shriners,
in a parade, in a little car,
driving in circles while wearing a pez.

But what's this?
The orange droptube bike to the left?

And a so very tasty one at that!
Color matched rims.
It's Laceys'. And I'm sure you can find some pics of it online.
And, another ANT?
Well, that would be Randys'.

Just bizarre.
While poking around the Handmade Show links looking for builders
in the East, both these bikes have been featured. I had no idea.
Until I got to Critical Mass.
So there's a reason right there,
You never know who will show up,
and what they'll be riding.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I entered the Pedal Room.
I don't know what to make of it yet.
Is it the Facebook for bikes?

Legislature 2009

While at the Legislature Breakfast/ride I realised Yehuda Moon was attending. No one told me. Come on! Advertise people, bet three more would have shown up just for him. No, I didn't get an autograph. I just observed what I'm likely to become in twenty something years.

second row, third in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

can't ride on sidewalks?

so every time someone yells 'get out of the street!',
they really just want me to get a beatdown?

not even there yet:

pulled from my favorite (along with Bicycle Times) UrbanVelo:
Portland Considering “Idaho Stop” Law
The city of Portland is considering adopting “Idaho Stop” legislature. The laws would allow bicyclists to treat stop lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs. The legislature has worked remarkably well in the state of Idaho since 1982, hence the name. However not everyone in Portland is in favor of such laws. In fact, the whole thing has raised quite a bit of controversy, including some rather biased and decidedly unpleasant media coverage. Still, Portland’s bicycle advocacy groups remain hopeful. For more information, visit www.bikeportland.org.

we have yet to lengthen the one mile of bike lane in this town.

lights and tunnels

a good thing no one asked how the weekend went.
Friday was the day of suck.
Everyone already hates the banking situation,
AND the auto industry.
It's a good thing they fly by private jet,
if I ever end up sitting next to one of the punks in a suit.
I will end up working out a plea bargin with the local DA.

Take Friday off.
And right before the family truckster goes in for the
inspection, the check engine light comes on.
Now this thing only has 63,000 miles.
So, off it goes to the mechanic.
Every visit seems to add up to $500 plus,
but it's not a Porsche or a BMW.
So it turns out Ford issued a tech bulletin,
meaning they know there's a problem.
Yeah, but it's still gonna cost me $500 to fix it.
Because they couldn't build it right the first time.
You can take that fake American auto pride & shove it.
Makes me sick that I own it.

So this leaves me with my Gunnar.
It's American made, but I'm just proud it doesn't let me down.
So, I grab the Gunnar and head out to pick up the van.
On Friday, in rush hour, on the main street,
and a half hour to do it.
FACT: bike beats bus.
I actually thought about loading the bike,
especially with such a headwind.
But I beat that bus,
As for rush hour drivers?
Trying to merge through me to get on the highway?
At somepoint, someone WILL get pulled from their car.

Get to the mechanics.
Pay the $80 to verify that I did indeed buy a POS.
Thanks UAW, Quality is job one! I know!

Now it's a hurry back home.
Oh, because we have an appointment with the vet @ 5:30.
Because Beau, the little white dog, is being put to sleep.
Awesome day.
Beau was a rescue dog. He spent a good five or six years with us.
A little Bichon, that toughed it out with kids & dogs,
and cats that could beat him up.
He was now at least fifteen years old (or older).
His original owner had died of cancer,
and her husband wanted nothing to do with him (Beau).
He was going to just drop him off to be put to sleep.
So we took him.
I really need a license to hunt assholes.
But first I need more time.

On a lighter note,
Abby, the mange covered baby Pitbull,
is recovering and adjusting well.
She looks like a Chiwawa on steroids.
And after today, no more fires.
Word is the East Coast will warm up, finally.
I think there IS a light at the end of my tunnel.

And that sums up the weekend.
I know you really wanted to know....
Now back to the bike stuff.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Loose Threads show!

"skin of my teeth"
Whatever the hell it means,
I barely made the show.
Loosing focus...
and next month is the BIG show for me,
haven't even started getting things together for that one.
but, there's two in here...

fighting addiction...

ebay addiction.
actually ebay is my dealer.
for my bike addiction, that I am always fighting.

first up for consideration is a chrome lugged Toma:
maybe Campy Veloce or Chorus,
lots of chrome & polished.
We'll have to see where it ends.....
a big maybe.

Custom CX.
IF fork in other auction.
Single up front,
something different and simple for the set up.

Now this!
I'm a fan of the new Masi style.
If this were only the CX, for canti's.
Would still make an awesome commuter.
Would eliminate buying one just to strip down.
Love the rootbeer brown.
put on my extra set of wheels,
1x10 with campy & bar end shifters.
of course a Brooks, or the San Marco with rivets.
THIS may be the next build....

I actually use to own this bike,
got it from the rep.
KHS Fleetwood,
that must have been '97?
It saw zero miles, just sat in my room.
I switched between the two hardtails for every ride.
Fianlly sold it when I moved East,
three bikes is easier than six, I guess.
NOW I wish I'ld kept it.
Aluminum frame, Nexus 8 hub, canti's.
If you ever find one in Large..
Ultimate gallery, bar, corner store bike...

well, besides the Indy Fab one that I'll NEVER,
EVER be able to afford.

back to ebay!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

walking the line

More like riding the line of self preservation
and total dorkiness.

I don't know what my aversion is to the standard

When you can't (or don't want to) coordinate, the
simple choice is black. Then I end up compensating
for it with about ten blinking lights. Maybe it's
due to associating yellow jackets with mustaches
and recumbent bikes. I have yet to figure that out.

Really though, this is more for your planning of May.
May is Bike Week.
And really BIKE MONTH. Actually every month is Bike Month.
But know what is happening in your town that month,

One more person on a bike is one LESS person driving past you.
If your town doesn't have much of a scene,
then it's up to YOU to make it what you want it to be.

puppies and pet peeves

well let's just get the peeves out of the way.

- Bluetooths. you just look like an idiot. walking around
with something stuck to your ear. you're not talking.
just waiting. waiting for someone to need you that bad.
until then you're just a tool walking around with some
thing stuck to your ear.

- Sunglasses inside. They're called SUNglasses for a reason.
You're not famous. And I don't see any photographers waiting
for you. Take them off you idiot.

- Hummers and other obnoxiously large vehicles. Do you live in
a cabin with a dirt road? Has it ever been off road? Could you
get by with an economical sedan? Actually, maybe they do need
to exist, just like crappy label manufactured 'POP' music.
and crappy music. Just don't whine when people make fun of you.

The other stuff:
People: One, think things out. Two, own up to your shit.

Through Out of the Pits, we're fostering Abby,
a fourteen week old pitbull.
Found wandering the street covered in mange.
Someone just didn't want to deal with her,
so out she went. She's great with the kids AND
the cats. Crappy owners raise crappy dogs that
give the breed a bad reputation. I would easily
take a dog like Abby than a small nervous dog that 'nips'
at anyone & everything. That's another story.

People who spend obnoxious amounts of money, on a dog (or cat).
Yeah, I don't care that you went to a breeder instead of the
petstore. Bella, the white Bulldog. She was a breeder dog.
She sat in a yard.
Only to be breed and have litters of pups.
Pups were then sold.
Breed again.
Sell the pups.
For five years.
Then she ended up in a shelter, to be put down if not adopted.
She was rescued, put in a van that came from the south (GA.).
And now has a good home thanks to Peppertree Rescue.

But the fact that some ass, I mean breeder, made 40-50 thousand
selling her pups, then drops her at a shelter kills me.

You paid for your dog? What do you contribute too?
Who's walking around cleaning up after you?

And now there's a rash of dogs needing homes.
Due to what? The economy! I guess it plays out like:

"Sorry Timmy, we have to get rid of the dog, even though
we've had him for seven (SEVEN!) years. He'll be ok,
and you'll get over it. We just can't afford the ten
dollars a week to feed him."

Yeah, I know the economy AND life are hard right now,
but really? Dumping your dog of seven years?
I bet you kept the Hummer though.

Alot of times I feel like being the Karma Police and delivering
a little Nancy Kerrigan beating some of you. So, by chance, some
guy on a bike delivers a beatdown to you. Just take it. That was
your karma coming back.

Well, enough of that.
Just give a little thought of where you put your money.
A little thought of what you can do. This goes for cycling too.
And basically everything in life. The neighborhood you live in.
Your art community. I'm kind of tired of the 'ME' generation and
it's ways & lack of principles. It's 'WE'.
Not even 'US' and 'THEM'.

where have I been?

I have realized that 'The Office' will never be
on my watch list.
with a boss who must have A.D.D. and be bipolar,
why would I watch a show that can resemble the
mindlessness of my own work?

Three days into the week,
and I'm almost at forty hours.
But I don't get paid by the hour.
Someone's benefiting from the crappy job market,
and it's not me.
Nothing better than free labor.

There's a new foster dog.
There's more work for an upcoming show.
There's all the planning for bike month.
There's the advocacy work.

So I leave you with:
coffee, that gets me through the day.
and a view of what it looks like when you walk out the door,
at 5:30 in the morning.
God I love working 6 am to 6 pm.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

ECOVELO photo contest!

From Bikes and the City I found out that ECO VELO is running a photo contest.

So, simply put...

My photos are here!

Thanks Bikes and the City, and Eco Velo!

Friday, March 13, 2009

somehow it's all connected...

One of my favorite daily stops is Gwadzilla.
It's not the daily training blog.
It's not the bicycle product review blog.
It is: photos of a cycling scene I wish I had.
links to sites I'ld never find.
mentions of the best music.
and simply someone I can easily identify with.
who's job & title does not define him,
but he defines his own life.
Each day is different. Each day has a gem (or two).

One day was a bitter pill.
The cyclist was Kevin Black.
I didn't know Kevin, I could only relate to him,
by being a cyclist and a father, and a commuter.
Jockeying for a foot of pavement with 4,000 pounds of steel,
shows that a motorist has no concern for your life,
and those that depend on you to come home safely.

The surreal part was I have been on that street.
I had a beer, well a couple, in The Viking.
The bar that marks where he was hit.
I live in New York.
I've been to Seattle more times than I can recall.
I've only been to Ballard once.
That was to meet my brother.
All those times I've been to Seattle - we've never crossed paths.
Granted it is a big city. But all those times when someone says
"there's someone who looks just like you".
Well, there is. Until two years ago, I never knew.
He picked me up at SeaTac, and we went out for drinks.
To catch up on thirty years.
As we walked up to The Viking, two drunk girls were debating.
It doesn't matter what it was, I'm sure they didn't even know.
In mid sentance they turned to us an asked,
"are you two, brothers?"
That was akward. I've only spent thirty minutes with him.

We drank and shared stories of growing up.
Then headed back to his apartment on that same street.
The next morning we walked around Ballard.
Got something to eat at a local place.
His order: Cheese omlet, no condiments, white toast, coffee.
My order? Omlet with cheese, toast and coffee.
"and any condiments?", "no", "white or wheat", "white".
For a second there's an pause, a glance and shrug.
After breakfast, we walk across the street for more coffee.
"your order?"
"soy chai extra large"
"and for you?"
"extra large soy chai"
a glance is flashed between us.
ok, that's just weird.
Again, maybe there's more to genetics than to environment.
Nature more than nurture.

The articles on Kevin brings back my day in Ballard.
It also fuels the rage I have as a commuter.
And the fears I have as a father,
who wants to be around for his kids.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

aknowledging life, and things

totally not bike related.
Or maybe so, since it's what I'm about.
Things happen for a reason, I assume.
And they happen at a given time.
Changing that time, will have an effect on the results.
Often I retrace my path through life.
(that phrase right there allows you to punch me)

Anyways, simply put it's like the Talking Heads...
"how did I get here?"

Springs have been pretty heavy emotionally lately.
Three years ago:
The approaching birth of our third child.
The approaching third birthday of our daughter.
The possiblity that I may have cancer,
enough so that after ten years I finally stop smoking.
And I get back on the bike after five years.
That spring I did ok. No cancer. No bad habit except the
bike kind. And the kids are healthy and happy.

Two years ago:
Being adopted at birth, I was never able to give the Doctors
any useful information regarding our kids. So I search online.
Strange how much online has evolved from 2000 to 2006.
You could write a book about the effects of adoption.
Even now, I still don't know where I truely stand on the issue.
I always wondered. And never knew.
Couldn't even tell you, why I look like I do,
or do the things I do, or like
So I believed in nurture not nature.
It's not genetics, it's HOW you're raised.
This was the start of finding out how wrong I was.

I have two moms.
Two separate families.
In some ways it seems, two different lives.
And two dads.
This is the spring I find my birthmom.
And my sister. And now I'm an Uncle.
And my brother.
And that right there is enough for a movie script.

This is also the spring that I loose my dad to diabetes.
I feel lucky that I was able to get to Denver to see him,
and his brother just weeks before.
We watched the SuperBowl. The only time I've ever watched it.
We geeked out watching the Discovery channel.
And learned alot about each other that weekend.
Something a father and son should've done years ago.

On Valentine's Day there was a blizzard.
I got out of work early and hungout with the kids.
I didn't call my dad, I don't like talking on the phone.
Two days later I got the call,
he had passed a couple days ago, they just found him.
That hurt.

That summer I met my birthmom.
Alot of things started fitting into place.
That fall I would travel to Seattle.
To meet my brother and sister.
To discover who I was.
Where I came from.

That summer was also life changing in other ways.
My friend Marty was hit.
Not just hit.
But INTENTIONALLY RUN OVER, and left for dead.
Marty was a guy who remained a friend after I left,
where we both worked.
But I also checked out after loosing a friend that fell
while hiking.
Marty would stop by after work to ride with his dog.
That act against Marty shook me to the core.
That act would then be followed by Diva.
Diva owned my wife's favorite boutique.
She always had a smile, and her little dog.

Everyday I would drive past her Ghost Bike.
Everyday I would check for posts on Marty's progress.
I sent him my copies of Breaking Away & American Flyers.
Anything I could do for him.
I hated the car priority culture.
The denoting of second class to cyclists.
I hated the thought that if someone hit my kid,
they wouldn't even be charged with anything.
People don't even loose their licenses.

Then Joel.
I didn't know Joel.
But I ride with people who did.
And I've ridden that stretch of road plenty of times.
The last straw was a spineless DA who gave the driver 6 months.
It was an insult. Because someone is a cyclist,
somehow their life is automatically worth less.

That winter I went to my first bicycle coalition meeting.
I wanted to help.
I wanted to change things.
They NEEDED to change.

I helped with Bike Month.
I saw the other advocates.
Met the commuters who rode year round.
I found my place.
And I knew who I was.
That summer I sold my car.

And every day I ride past Diva's bike.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Liberty! @ NAHBS pt2

who needs to actually fly there?
just wait 'til it's over,
and spend a couple hours poking around.
and this is what you find:

home town favorite, more so than Serotta
Vicious Cycles
a glow in the dark Slider for me please!

in a beautiful orange steel road frame,
Della Santa

and a weak spot for all steel 'cross bikes...
Curt Goodrich
but at $2800, it may be awhile before I ride with that crowd.

if Vicious doesn't paint my rig when it's worn,
it'll be this guy, awesome colors, awesome.
Keith Anderson
there, all that money and time saved on things I'll never own.

Liberty! at the NAHBS

ok, maybe this was the random google search
for technicolorhipsterfreakshow or
this wreck!


I really wasn't prepared.
It's like the first time you saw a recumbent.

like a fixed gear landed on a bmx bike.
oh hell.

hipster cocoon

sometimes it sounds like a good idea.
or in theory there's nothing wrong with it.
but then you read the comments section.
the comments section is like a cross section of the populace.
but I hope not.
I can't even finish any news stories because I know I'll see
some of those comments.
Those comments that make me just shake my head.
Go to this.
Note the fresh (still scabbed) forearm outline.
Looks like a beautiful hipster half out of the cocoon.

*now the date shows 2006. I wish there was a
'where are they now' link.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


stumbled across this:

which made me think of these guys:
Vicious Cycle down in New Paltz.
I always wanted a Slider, with custom glow in the dark Zebra paint.
Aaaaaaaaaaaah.... some!
When my Gunnar finally needs to be cleaned up,
it's off to Vicious.
go to Vicious Cycles and look around.

The main question is. If they can make glow in the dark grips,
where's the bar tape?

VEER the Movie...Soon!

short trailer:

Spring is here.
VEER is out in limited cities.
You're warned.
Don't miss it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to Ride a Bike Forever


How To Ride A Bike Forever

1. Ride When You Like.

Don’t ride out of guilt over last night’s meal. Don’t be a slave to your bike, or else you’ll resent it, and feel guilty whenever you think about it or look at it. Soon you’ll be avoiding it altogether. If all your rides are like a swimmer’s workout, you’ll burn out on bikes as fast as swimmers burnout on laps. Ride when you want to ride.

2. Go Slowly.

Don’t push yourself too hard, physically or mentally. Don’t ride with racers or obsessive aerobicizers. (If you’re a racer, don’t race with riders; let them be.) Learn to relax on your bike. Of course your bike can be a tremendous tool to build cardiovascular fitness, but why let that get in the way? Unless you race, you can rely on something else, like running, to get fit and lose weight. Running is more efficient for this anyway.

3. Go Short.

A ten-minute ride is always worth it, even though it won’t elevate your heart rate to your “target training level” and keep it there for twelve minutes. (Or is it supposed to be eleven? Or fourteen?)

4. Don’t Keep Track.

If you never use an on-board computer or a heart rate monitor, you can ride with us any time. Avoid “logs.” Forget the graphs and the home computer programs. Keep your bicycle free of extraneous wires and LEDs. You don’t need them.

5. Own More Than One Bike.

This is not a commercial message! Runners have learned that nothing improves a run as much as a new pair of shoes, or shorts, or socks, or something. Bikes, unfortunately, cost a lot more, but the effect is the same. Make your bicycles so different that your experience on one is unlike the other — a mountain bike and a road bike, a multispeed and a single speed, or a clunker, or a recumbent. For some people, even different handlebars are enough of a change. It’s worth a try.

6. Learn How To Fix Your Bike.

Learn to fix a flat. Learn how to install a wheel. Learn how to adjust derailleurs. It’s all easy, and you’ll never feel at ease on a bike if you’re at its mercy. Being able to fix your bike will give you enormous confidence and satisfaction, not to mention self-sufficiency.

7. Don’t Chase Technology.

You will never catch it, and if you pursue it year after year it will break your wallet in half. Some wonderful things have happened to bicycles in the last fifteen years, but so have a lot of dumb things. You don’t need a fancy machine with the latest equipment to enjoy something that is so joyous and simple. A simple, reliable bike will do.

respect to Sheldon Brown.

March 6th was good

I have bad luck, usually.
And I accept the increase chances when commuting by bike.
The two make me nervous, sometimes.
It's Friday. It's finally warm (50ish).
I normally commute late at night on Fridays, so my only
'run-ins' are with drunk college kids, and by now I've
worked my route down to a science depending on the odds
with time, events, and weather.
This Friday was different.

I was supposed to leave before rush hour.
I have a show this night, and had to stop at the house
for the appetizers & camera.
And it's my birthday. So I felt the odds, if on any day,
were against me on Friday.

The boss kept me around longer, why? Who knows.
So the commute started in the dark, in full rush
hour, and I'm LATE. Gallery is already open as I'm
clipping in. This leaves me taking the quick way
home. Putting me in the position to seriously
jockey my way through traffic. At one point
having to jockey a lane due to someone riding my
back tire and not giving me room. That nonsense
escalates with horns and edging each other across
the line with me finally swooping inand taking the
whole lane. Are you kidding me? Denny's doesn't give
free meals for your birthday, can't you just give me
a 'don't kill me on the way home' today?

"sorry kids, I HAD to kill your dad. I was in a hurry
to get to the red light."

That was my excitement for the day.
A mile and a half of lane fighting.
Sorry, there was no wreck. No one got pulled from
their car and beaten (close though).

Home. Load a gallon of homemade salsa and four bags of
chips. Stop twice to readjust load. Twenty seconds spent
considering the benefit of an xtracycle. But flicking my
bike through the downtown crowd and that thought is quickly

Four way stop. Prius on my left. Another Prius to the far
left. Who's going? No, you go. No, you, I insist. They
start flashing thier lights at each other. Fucking christ.
Take two passive do-gooders, and a stop sign and the whole
world comes to a stop. Now this is playing out as I'm at
the top of the hill. Normally no one is at this stop and
I blow through it to keep speed to get up the hill after
it. So that's my fustration that for the entire time I'm
barreling down this hill, they can't decide who's yeilding
to who. They must be blowing kisses to each other via
headlights. Maybe it's some Prius owner thing I'm not
privy to. I stop, look at them both, and pedal through,
just then the Prius to the far left starts through. Are you
kidding me you dumbass? You can wait for me. My bike is
'greener' than your Prius.

And we're at the gallery. Full house. It was like Frogger
trying to navigate that place. I just people surfed my
way around. Really good work, and a really good turnout.
I headed back out for the uneventful ride back home.
Felt soooo good to ride without thermals and all the
winter gear. With that said, Friday was a good day.

Buffalo street scenes

just some bike shots from the last trip.
a tasty well riden & rusty steel

love the bars, question that drop

i never see these

Thursday, March 5, 2009

what the hell and kitchen duty

So the missus fosters dogs in what free time there is.
The other day as I headed out to work, she mentioned there
was a dog that needed to be picked up. In the middle of a
quick run down of whatever events lead to whatever dog
needing a foster home, I heard 'young lab'.

I was also in the middle of looking for gloves, shoes,
my helmet and an extra tube. I followed with a quick
'sometime after 6', and headed out.

That small horse in the kitchen is NOT a Lab.
That 'small' dog under the horse is 'Bella',
our 75 lb Old English Bulldog (the large kind).
Bella (sorry for the unkind shot) somehow thinks
she can actually play with this thing.

I love ironic. Yes, his name is Tiny.
Tiny ruined my dog.
I thought my dog was big.
Big like a cow. That's what I called her.
A deaf cow.
Now Bella is small, small like a purse dog.
(I'm not Paris)

On another 'what the hell' note.
No it's not Denver, and the 'Brown Cloud'.
That my friends is road salt. A road salt cloud.
I ride a steel bike ALL winter.
I always thought I'ld like to own a bike shop.
But I hate working on dirty bikes.

Tonight I destroyed the kitchen I just cleaned.
I cleaned the crap out of that bike.
Then I cleaned the kitchen.