Thursday, April 30, 2009

screaming for change

"we have waited for quite a while for a plan,
let alone actual lanes (which is another debate).
i totally agree with marking the road
with a green bicycle outline and a PR campaign that
informs drivers AND cyclists the rights to the road/lane.
If Jennings ISN'T able to endorse THAT,
then maybe one of the other canidates for mayor WILL.
it's another topic for the meeting tonight,
there needs to be some strong arming done with city hall that's obvious.
since there's stimulus money being spent on illconcieved ideas already.
the police? that's another one for sure-
taking the lane is an approach alot of inexperienced cyclists
are not comfortable with it seems.
there are ALOT of people who would love to ride our streets and commute,
but don't feel safe.
especially with agressive drivers thinking cyclists by law
are supposed to be on the sidewalks.
maybe every cyclist should get some lane marking paint.
can we agree on a color & symbol?
of course i'm not advocating vandalism, i'm just sayin'.....
when & how's it gonna change?
what are you willing to do to make it happen?
i'm gonna lobby city hall,
buy some paint (maybe),
and take the lane.
and i'll be at the meeting tonight,
and i'll try to be at every possible bike event, all the time.
see YOU tonight!"

Yeah, I said it.
I'm really tired of all the talking heads.
Even if it's the yammering I agree with.
All I hear is talk.

...and when I quit smoking,
I thought,
"hell, I should be able to spend the money
I saved from not smoking on bike stuff..."
that hasn't happened.

and when my basement flooded
because the city can't clean the storm drains
I thought....
"well, I'll file a claim and they'll pay it".
NO, I paid for the water heater and dryer
and took the loss on ALL the stuff thrown out.

and because I ride my bike to work -
one less car in traffic,
one less vehicle creating waste,
I should get some respect for it,
All I want is a little respect!
how about just some respect.

My boss refers to me as Lance
and always has some half assed remark.
Some mom in a minivan is gonna make my
kids grow up without a father,
so she can get to the next red light
thirty seconds sooner....

And everyone wants a bike lane everywhere they go....

If you're not willing to roll up your sleeves,
and commit your so precious time,
then it must not be worth your time to comment on.
Or so you would think.
So when I go to the bicycle coalition meeting tonight,
will it be three people,
or fourteen?
or twentyfive people, each willing to take on one task,
for the purpose of making cycling better for many?
The cynical skeptic says...
I'll be there by myself.
The optomist hopes for twenty people with a desire to
change something, and take action.
But it's so easy to sit at home and complain online,
without a face,
or responsiblity.

Bike Month is every month.
Commuting is year round.
Cycling is almost as much fun as when you were ten,
just that life has gotten more serious.
Take off the computer and ENJOY the ride.
Ride in the rain.
Ride late at night,
in the snow.
You can't expect others to do,
what you will not commit to doing yourself.
Basically ....
action, not words.

off to the meeting,
to see how many people actually will 'DO',
versus 'expect'.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

low man on the totem pole

That's what I said as I got buzzed
while in the bike lane,
by a Moped!
I felt like some recreation cyclist,
getting passed by a time trialist,
without even an obnoxious

I was pissed!
You have a FUCKING plate.
YOU stay out of the bike lane!

But as the road inclined,
I started closing the gap.
now that's sad.
You should just get a bike.
If you're motor can't pull you to 20 mph,
forget it.

And then came that akward moment at the light.
So I snapped away,
as he just looked in the mirror.
Still on the right with bikes.
What really sucked was the upcoming incline,
and getting cock-blocked through the intersection.
I had to ride his tire for a block,
until the road leveled out,
and he could get to 20 mph.
By the end I could only laugh.
He was just fast enough that I couldn't
'ON YOUR LEFT' him within a block.
Next time.

weekend wierdness

First off.
If it's nice, I'm PROBABLY working.
On my day off, it rains.
I know everyone was out this weekend,
gotta get those miles in. I know.
I'll save my disdain for rides out in the country
for another post.

This particular weekend just accumulated
into random wierdness.
Each day as I ride hme I think about what to post,
thinking anyone actually reads this.
But lately life or that beast known as
has consumed all of my time.
And the next thing you know,
no posts for a week.....
so here's your weekend review:

I have a habit of inserting foot in mouth.
So when the man in brown stops by
and makes some joke about how he may have the swine flu,
you can't open that door without me making
some observation about his resemblance to pigs.
I mean, I left his mom out of it.
He got out easy. Still he's mad.
Called for backup.
Told them I've never seen so much brown circling,
since that morning after Beer & Taco Hell,
funny, it smelled the same too....
man, he hates me.

Craigs List Killer.
And four degrees of separation.
So the kid that rides this bike
has a roommate.
Big deal.
But his roommate used to be roommates
with the Boston nut job,
Craigs List Killer.
But he didn't really hang out with the guy.
Still the Today show interviewed him,
along with a host of other shows,
he spent the whole morning drinking,
doesn't remember what he said,
didn't matter.
They edited the interview to sound like
they were best friends.
Awesome. Gotta turn of that 'news'.

I'm inadvertantly training for the Commuter Contest
in two weeks by rock/rub/runnin the cross knobbies.
Actually for the life of me I couldn't get my tires,
any of them,
to properly seat on my Mavics.
I had THE WORST hop on both wheels.
Spent hours mounting tires,
finally broke down and went to the local shop.
Nothing like being told:
'to take off your panties & air them up'.
Twenty extra pounds of pressure = fixed.
Man, that pink might actually be making me a little soft.
That or the pizza/beer/ice cream diet I've been able
to maintain for the last couple of weeks.
My Spinergys threw a spoke,
and I'm SURE it has NOTHING to do with my diet,
or lack thereof.
So lazy me, I'll just ride the knobbies,
then the day before, I'll frantically
try to mount the slicks,
I won't get the pressure,
so I'll race with hopping wheels.
Because I AM that guy.
Hoping to set class records for oldest and heaviest.
(that's pizza in the wrapper,
and a race to get home before there's grease in the bag).

Nothing for ya here.
Just a rainbow on the way home.
Oh! And people coming through when you think
'this sucks, why bother?'.
So I went to put the deposit down on the theatre,
and I all of a sudden:
couldn't get the theatre size discussed,
only one about half the size,
which means half the people.
And I couldn't get the time discussed,
I could have too early for some,
or too late for most.
And I'm standing there with cash in hand,
looking like a kid who's gone to pick up
his prom date,
and she's left with someone else.

Well, the OTHER theatre came through!
With a lower price, which guarentees no
money out of MY pocket,
and the bicycle coalition may ACTUALLY
make some money? Sweet!
AND we get TWO show times for the lower price!
I was stressing on that one.
Now it's just getting the flyers out!
The next peron who complains about the
'lack of a scene' is gonna get the Breaking Away
pump through the front wheel from me.
This shit is a pain.
Enjoy your rainbow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

building your scene...

I suck.
I suck at posting, at managing multiple projects, and from
not taking on too many obligations.
But I offer in my defense why there has been nothing,
nothing at all for almost a week.

1. I work full time. But my boss has this fun game of maybe
I work nine hours, or maybe it's twelve, or ten. I still
get paid for eight regardless. I love the 'just be lucky
you have a job in this economy' attitude.

2. Three kids. One not in school yet. That should be enough
right there....

3. A dog, two cats (which never take any time, I'm just trying
to make this a big list). But add two foster puppies that
are like Thing 1 and Thing 2.

4. An old house that always has twenty things to work on.

5. A personal goal to submit to every show this year (photos).
Which leaves two weeks inbetween shows to focus, and again
time management is an issue of mine.

6. Bikes....

7. Incorporating the local bike coalition. Which is done now.
But there's bylaws, officers, bank account, 501c3's, and a
bunch of stuff that all falls in behind. I just got our
stickers in! One more thing done.

8. Working the system. I never realized how hidden the local
government is. It's a maze of favors, connections, and barriers
put up to keep the average citizen from accomplishing ANYTHING!
For the last year I've also been working on trying to close the
main park from car traffic on at least one Saturday a month.
I formed the proposal, met with the neighborhood association,
and now I'm trying to get a meeting with the Mayor. It's like
walking downtown blind. Bumping into people and getting bounced
around, with no direction. The goal was to have this done in time
for Bike Month (one week away).

9. Somewhere along the line I figured "I don't have enough to do"
"let's host a bike movie, in a real theatre, that's easy!".
But in exactly three weeks I'll be doing just that.
Thanks to the guys at VEER!
Five hundred to rent the theatre.
Enough local sponsors that believe in supporting such an event.
(and to help offset the cost of the theatre).
The great guys, Jeff & Brad at UrbanVelo,
for providing the biggest box of product ever!
And countless hours of calling, emailing, and stopping
in on people to get the support.
Maybe twenty people show up, maybe we sell out all 130 seats!
I'll find out in exactly three weeks and nine hours.

So, that's what I've been up to. Not alot.
But it really makes me think when people comment that there's
not much going on with their cycling scene. Or, that somebody should
do 'this', or somebody should do 'that'.

Well, that 'somebody' is YOU.
There's plenty of idea-people out there,
just not enough doers.

And a big part of the reason I do what I do is this:

the obscene fact that I live fourteen houses away from the
elementary school, yet my kids can't ride their bikes to school.
-when you put someone behind the wheel, they become a narcissistic ass.
-it's ok to speed down someone else's street, just not yours.
-there's no bike racks at school. really? so with this 'obese kids'
problem, you're not encouraging them to walk or ride bikes to school.
or giving them a safe place to do so.
-cyclists are treated as second class citizens, especially in auto/bike
accidents, which I strongly disagree are 'accidents'
when it's negligence.
-if someone hits my kid, they will still be driving.
there's no REAL punishment.

Now go contribute to your own scene.

Friday, April 17, 2009

musical friday

a lazy Friday post,
just one of my favorite band(s).
Descendents or All.

then across the pond

a great song, just a bad copy.

and for something California:
Face to Face,
well written and never 'made it big'.

and always a favorite:
Bouncing Souls

and what set it in motion for me
Bad Religion:

each is a bookmark in my life.
All & Descendents pretty much mark any bad relationship,
they're good that way.
Face to Face was through the early 90's snowboarding,
and going to shows out west. Same with Snuff, and a million other bands.
Bad Religion was college for me. Discovering music that really made
you think. And opened the door for all the other bands I grew to love.
The Bouncing Souls are everyday, every album, East Coast,
even the kids sing 'here we go, here we go, here we gooooo...'.
They all still define and mark parts of my life.
When my dad died, it was NOFX's Death of John Smith that still
sticks with me. What you don't want to be and what you aspire
to become...

eh, sorry for a cut and paste YouTube post,
pretty lame I know,
but I've got a nasty cold,
a really nice day to ride
-to work, so I can look out the window until evening.
'life is like sacharin sweet and sour'
again music defines...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

one year

One year ago I did my first submission for a show.
Submitted five,
three were accepted.
The show was 'Dream Wheels'
The featured artist was Taliah Lempert.
Which was a big honor to be part of.

I sold one photo.
Shortly after I sold my car.
I pursued photography, taking my camera everywhere.
I also committed to commuting through out the winter.
I submitted to several more shows,
and was accepted in each one.
Always, there was at least one bicycle themed photo.
Now it's come full circle.
It's the Grand Tour show.
It's expected now to be all bicycle photos.

As always I did my submissions last minute,
a ton of changes.
What was planned,
never happened.
I've been working on hand colored over black & white photos.
Obviously it's still a work in progress.
Then, on the last day,
I changed everything.
People expected bicycles.
They get some abstract cycle culture,
but mostly it was skateboarding, boats,
and old school bmx.
It can't be predictable.

I just got my acceptance notice.
Five in this show, the max. allowed.
This will be a busy month,
a hectic summer,
and I think this year will fly by.
Before the frames are hung,
the next show is being planned.

And this blog has now reached a year,
and to think,
I really only signed onto blogger to comment on
And I only submitted some bike photos,
because I liked taking pictures of what I really liked,
on with the day.

puppy love...

ok, I'm sure I had a puppy.
Maybe when I was two and don't remember.
Every dog since has been an adult rescue dog,
that we adopted or fostered.
Now we have two puppies at the same time,
which is like babysitting your neighbors kids,
after they ate thier Halloween candy.

Poor little white puppy was kept in a small kennel,
so his legs are underdeveloped. He randomly falls over.
I would say maybe it's the beer,
since he has discovered shaking and biting into the
beer cans in the pantry,
but he's been tipsy before the beer incident.
For now he's known as Monkey.
"Cheeky little monkey!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

where you come from

Jim C.,
if Mark Gonzales rode a bike,
it would look like this:

and he's in NY.
opened a shop, Sunday.
something I look forward to checking out each time I'm in Buffalo.
and runs his company,
Sunday! bikes, so now he's never caught hanging out in the shop.

and right around the corner is
Campus Wheelworks,
if the skate and 20 inch is something you can't relate to.

Swobo sold here! when do you ever see racks of Swobo?
Oh, I'm sure your shop always has it, plus some.
But for here in the pizza, beer, SUV state,
it's nice to see (and rare).

ok, here's some more... thanks YouTube!
Jim C. again.

and a little Matt Beringer..

now take that computer off your bike,
ride through puddles,
jump curbs,
don't train,
training is like homework,
it's not fun.
ride until you enjoy it,
then keep riding.

And don't take yourself so serious,
it's just a bike.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy little eggs filled with candy day

or good luck dressing up little monsters
and taking them to church.
Cold muddy cyclocross alleycat was cancelled today.
so no cowbells, suck.
I leave you with todays carnage:

and since this song has been stuck in my head for a couple of days,
I leave you this to make your day a little more
than it already wasn't.

Kenny Anderson is smooth.
Kenny Anderson is a very nice guy,
and somehow even being surrounded by TEAM CHEESE,
for years in Vegas,
has never 'payed the fiddler',
or so he says.
maybe it's just shame....
or the truth.

Choices are yours...

despite many opinions, I do stop for lights.
Sometimes even stop signs.
The other day as I stopped for a light,
a conversation started with a couple,
waiting to cross.
He was interested in getting a bike,
his son just bought one,
he had been checking out online shops.

My advice was simple.
Go to every shop,
get to know them,
ask questions.
It's like finding a good auto mechanic,
or a doctor, or local bar/bartender.
You vote with your dollar.
It can be a lasting relationship.

'Support your local bike shop' reason 103.

As I got to work,
I was checking my back wheel,
to make sure it was in straight.
As I started to close the lever, "SNAP!"
the quick release just snapped in half.
That's not good.
I now have no way home,
besides a long bus ride,
followed by a long walk.

After some thinking,
I picked up the phone and called my local shop.

'Yo Jon, I snapped my rear quick release.
I'm at work and can't go anywhere...'

'Your cross bike? So 130 rear?'

'Yep. Anything you can do would be cool.
I can give you my card number, whatever,
I'll make it up to you!'

'No, that's cool. I'm sure we have something
laying around. If it's anything more, we'll just
catch you the next time you're in. I'll swing by
after the shop closes.'

And that right there is why you support your local shop!
That's why you shouldn't be an ass to (most) people.
Delivered to my work, one rear Salsa skewer, no charge.
No bus ride home with sketchy people.
No long walk home after the long bus ride.

Granted I was probably three or four miles from the shop,
not across town, but it was just proof of why you support
a local business for years.

I cannot tell you how bummed I was when that snapped.
And I hesitated even calling the shop to ask that.
But the fact that I was set to ride home that night...
awesome! Thanks guys!

Friday, April 10, 2009

bike season, again...

warm weather brings out the majority of cyclists,
so it 'becomes' bike season.
But what I implied was more
'bike hunting season'.
And I got no notice that the season officially opened yesterday.
So there was a little shock to the routine commute.
But it wasn't the fact of it happening,
it was the multitude of incidents.
And the 'types' of vehicles and drivers.

Now this (depending on where you live),
would be the stereotype of driver/vehicle combo
that you would almost expect to be a problem:

Yesterday, this was not the case.
In these times of being 'green' and 'living responsibly',
drivers have sold the monster trucks and SUVs,
and replaced them with hybrids and other 'non-threatening' vehicles.
This I belive has left them in a position to become
'overly aggressive' to compensate for the lack of machinery.
Kind of like an 'Automobile Napoleon Complex'.

On the way to work I got buzzed by a mini van.
So I buzzed the van as he was stopped at a light,
only for him to buzz me again.
Followed by someone buzzing me to merge INTO
the bike lane, and continue on for two blocks.
I guess smaller cars also entitle drivers to use bike lanes.
This continued for the entire commute.

Now if this is how it's gonna be,
can we just make cars like rolling bean bags?
Since the auto industry will be owned by the government soon...

The freaks had retired by the evening.
A warm night, with no traffic.
I followed the rich burning smell of an old Nova rumbling along,
and the distinct smell of pipe smoke from a generic sedan
right behind him.

Looks like this summer it won't be the Hummer hunting me,
more like a Prius.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Urkelizing your bike.
fenders don't fit with the knobbies,
so on go the slicks.
Trek coffee cup finishes it off nicely.
There is absolutely nothing cool about this set up.
But with slicks I can push the big ring the whole ride.
Granted it's a 'cross 46t, not a 50 or 53.

Rain pants,
and booties,
and you have one rolling dork

Loose Threads show

May as well be freakin' Seattle.
Rain, followed by more rain!
So enjoy some images of Friday night.
I only had two works in this show.
Still ventured out into the rain,
after commuting all day in the rain,
but I did finish the day with pizza,
so not too bad.
Now it's prep for the next show.

craigslisting around

CL is an easy way to kill oh,
half a day.
of course there's the usual trolling
for bike deals -there's never any.
so then I search for Vespas,
(like I'll ever find an old VB cheap).
but I found this........
"Brand New "Hello Kitty" Pink Vespa S150 Custom Paint Job $6150,
sold from Vespa Schenectady with 1 year unlimited mile warranty.

OK, let me start off by saying this Vespa is only available for
purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was
possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow,
this Vespa would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that
adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It
wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No,
that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of Vehicle you're
looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I
mean it. Just stop.

This machine was designed by Italy's finest artists and engineers to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost),
a heated leather seat (real men don't let anything warm near their butt),
or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super
action junkies need. It has an engine made to outrun the cops.
It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid
kit under the seat. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of
whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite
down on when you're operating on yourself. The Vespa also has an
automatic transmission (CVT) so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists,
you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun and
drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

Its a two seater, which means it has room for you and that hottie you've had your eye on at
the gym. A tow hitch can be installed if you find the need to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban,
self cooling machine gun. You can also put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $6150, but I'll
entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up
and tell me you'll give me $500 for it. That's liable to earn you a
Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered
eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the
prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 001 miles on this two-wheeled hellcat from Planet
Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will
carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged,
no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double,
then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just
chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do,
we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen
to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer
pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular
pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Pictures attached. "

actually makes me want to buy it,
just for the pants alone.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

alleycat nonsense...

and general randomness.

soz gets an internal on the fixed,
smooth sram setup,
very stealth.

ahhhhh... the suburbs

I can't stand them.
the stupid distance between,
Even people are distant.
The glassy eyed script induced moms,
the vast sprawl.
A blanket of misery.

But I needed cowbells.

Now Bella's not quite a cow,
but she did get her own bell.

Next Sunday is Easter,
the kids will look for little plastic eggs filled with sugar,
then they'll stand in what will probably be mud,
ringing cowbells for the next ummm....
almost alleycat?

I still hated my excursion out to the suberbia life,
but I love the cowbells.

the old heavyset guy tries

The funniest thing was,
at the start,
myself and two others did the route reverse,
to avoid the hills and line up the stops in a row.
no backtracking.
Really thought I was a genius when we saw no other riders,
even while heading back for the second route.
Pull up,
'are we the first through?'
almost laughter,
'no, there's only one other person behind you'
stupid no map owning and no iphone owning person that I am.
coming back on the last run,
almost got rear ended at speed by some dumb college kid.
all I heard was the screeching of tires
and the sense of a bumper by my rear tire.
three blinkies and a bike lane still won't save you from a
sideways white hat wearing jackass in a Jeep.

Pretty much last.
but, being the heaviest guy.
and the oldest guy there.
a few minutes behind the lead group,
I'll take it.
and a beer, thanks!