Wednesday, December 31, 2014

RIP Tom Palermo

The DC area lost a good one.

Thomas Palermo, a senior Johns Hopkins Hospital software engineer recalled as a master bike frame builder, died Saturday after he was struck by a vehicle while cycling in the 5700 block of Roland Ave. He was 41 and lived in the Baltimore County community of Anneslie.

Read the Baltimore Sun Article here

Read the Baltimore Magazine article here.

There will be a memorial ride for Tom Tomorrow at 3:30 at 3636 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21218. Details Here.

I met Tom at NAHBS 2010 and was as impressed with his character as I was with his bikes. He built my neighbor's touring bike which is a masterpiece. He was a true craftsman.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thank You Sprocket Man!

My daughter just attended a safety demonstration put on by Montgomery County. I have to give the county props, they sent a ladder truck and an ambulance to show off to six little girls. Way to go big MC. As fun as it was for the girls I think the real gem hear is the 1975 safety comic classic "Sprocket Man" she brought home. A comic book hero hell bent on bike safety education. What government warehouse has this been hiding in all my life?

Let's break this down:

  • He rides a bitchin 10 speed. (steel)
  • Head to toe spandex and an unvented helmet which means he too bad ass to worry about overheating
  • His weapon of choice (besides awesomely delivered bike safety fundamentals) is a giant cassette he keeps on his wrist (varies from 4 to 5 speed).
Please take a moment to consider the implied gore and carnage of the following scene. KA-BLOOM indeed. The woman has clearly been chopped in half and Gene Simmons in the wife beater is loosing that leg and probably some intestines for sure.

Main take away: The 70's were awesome and no time to be a bike thief.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Smell The Glove

I just saw this on Instructables and am all a flutter. I'm not very experienced with making electronic gadgets but this seems pretty easy to do and extremely useful. Yellow LEDS on the back of this index seems like a nice ways to say "Hey friends, I'm headed in that direction. Please don't run me over". After some thought I believe a separate conductive pad could be used to put red LEDs on the back of my middle finger. This would give me a nice way to say, "Hey friends, I hope a pack of ██████ gets loose in your ████ and just goes to town on your ██████ ███ while your dog ███████ your ██████, you ██████ ███ █ ██████!"

Just a thought.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What I Do In Whistler

This video is pretty good. I've never been to Whistler but I imagine my trip being a mix of the first and last segments. Bonus Girvin sighting!

What I Do In Whistler from on Vimeo.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Road Bike Road Rage: Happy Ending

This morning I woke up in the middle of a shitty dream. Not a nightmare mind you but a real pile of shit. This was not a good way to set the day in motion. I was in a crappy mood at breakfast. I had less than the usual amount of patients with my girls, (Who are freakin' awesome.) which made me feel even shittier. I hopped on the road bike and headed to work with my shitty crappy attitude in tow. After a mile or so I was doing swell; fresh air, bike, etc. Then someone honked at me and the shittyness of the morning came on like garbage truck, dropped off the Empire State Building. My mind swirled with the fictional altercation that would ensue. The perfectly dispatched justice the honker would receive via my mouth and fists. In the middle of the swirl of anger my rational side would intersect words of calm. "You are really spinning on this. Take it down a notch."  Slowly my mind stepped back from the edge and I let the bike ride consume me. Thinking about nothing I crested a hill at a busy intersection with no light. An Escalade pulled up behind me. With no chance to cross I circled back around to let the big guy get in front so he could make a right turn. As I passed his window he rolled it down and said in a loud voice...

"You know, it really annoys the shit out of me..."
I'll stop the quote there. It was at this point that the bear woke again. This is going to be the culmination of my mornings shit pile. This mother fucker has no idea what he's about to open up. It may result in some jail time but this fuck stick is about to get the business end of a beat down!
"You know, it really annoys the shit out of me how fast you got up that hill! I just started biking. It's changed my life! I've been doing my best but god dammit!"
In that instant the several things happened:

  1. I got happy. I'm not going to jail!
  2. I got really happy. My previously mentioned bear was now on a tire swing made out of marshmallow dandelions, blowing kisses at squirrels and bunnies.
  3. I got pride. This dude found biking.
  4. I got gratitude. I was grateful this guy took away my rage and replaced it with some deep introspection to chew on.     
"If it helps you I kinda feel like I'm gonna throw up a little bit" I said. An with a belly laugh he exclaimed "Bless you!" and sped off.

I don't often feel that kind of anger, but today I did and was lucky enough to have someone come along and extinguish it, and for that I am grateful. 

I should say this is not a car vs. bike thing, it's just where the two of us happened to be this morning. 

The Big Question: What Kind Of Bike Should I Get?

I think I have an average amount of friends, family and acquaintances. I'm not going to count them because I don't care and you sure as hell don't. It's probably a fair amount of people. I thought about this number just now to illustrate the point that a very high percentage of those friends,  family members, coworkers etc. have asked me the same question which is usually is the beginning of the same conversation.

Person - Hey man,(son, bro, pal, coworker, handsome, dipshit...) I want to get a bike, what kind should I get?

Me - What do you want to do with it?

Person - Well I'm looking for a pro-level all mountain big dropping race ready road bike to do cyclocross centuries on while I pick up the kids from the downtown grocery store on my way to do a two night bike tour with the rotary club.  

Me - Awesome! How much do you want to spend?

Person - $250

Me - No.

Person - Huh?

Me - NO! Spend more money on bikes. You'll be happier. 

Person - No.

Me - Huh?

Most if the time this is where the conversation ends. If prodded I usually  recommend a Surly of some shape and size. I've had two Surlys, I love them, and they are a good bang for the buck. The problem is my idea of a good deal doesn't jive with most civilians.  To me, $1100-ish for a bike that will never quit you seems like a pretty good deal. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

I'm A Sucker For A Good Infographic

or two...