Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Did anyone else get hit by this dark cloud this morning?
Friday, November 18, 2011
I love the Internet. Any place where beauty and depravity are sewn so tightly together holds a special place in my heart. As a cyclist the Internet is a great place to find really good deals on gear and connect and share ideas and knowledge with other cyclists.
Having said that, there are things the Internet won't do. The Internet won't help you diagnose a technical on the side of the trail on a cold night. The Internet won't answer your random tech questions while trying to get you back on the trail. The Internet sure as hell won't replace faulty parts while performing the previous two functions.
Ok, so I'll get to it.
Last Tuesday I was riding the LHT (yeah you know me) home from Bethesda on the Capital Crescent Trail. I hadn't been on the LHT all season. I decided that this past summer was going to be all about the road bike. Well summer is over and I have been looking forward to getting back on the big rig. Upon doing so I immediately felt very slow and very weak. After a mile or so I realized I couldn't possibly be this out of shape and that something was wrong with my rear hub (XT m770). I pulled into the CityBikes off the trail at Connecticut Ave. to borrow a cone wrench thinking maybe things were too tight on the bearings.
I went to the back of the store and proceeded to remove the rear wheel. I was startled when I grabbed the cassette as it was burning hot, the whole hub was and so were the spokes. I gave the wheel to Brian, one of the mechanics on duty, and he started to monkey. To make a long story short he tried for about 10 minutes to get the hub apart which was locked up tighter than a duck's ass. When he finally did and removed the freehub bearings he saw that one of the rings had cracked causing all sorts of mayhem. While this was going on he replaced my Serfas True 250 which was having a battery issue.
The kicker is he did all this without being douchie, charging me an arm and a leg, or putting on airs like some some bike mechanics feel the need to do. We've all encountered one or a combination of these elements at one time or another when having bike work done. This was not the case last Tuesday night.
The moral of the story is this; no amount of Internet connectivity can compare to a friendly knowledgeable face when the shit hits the fan.
If you're wondering, the freehub was toast and I had to get a ride from a friend. I ordered a new complete hub and am planning on swapping out the guts of the old one with the new one as the old hub body is fine. However, if this proves to be beyond my technical abilities I'll know where to go.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
On November 6th I went to see Anthrax Testament and Death Angel at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. I did this for a few reasons: I haven't seen Anthrax since the early 90's, I was able to stop by and purchase the tickets from my bike on the commute home, and they were playing less than a mile from my house.
This show was also a good opportunity to test out my GoPro Hero in a new environment. I've tested it is rain, snow, and even Pennsyltucky but until now I never knew how well it could stand the skull pounding fury of heavy metal.
To illustrate how times have changed I didn't have to stow the gopro in my ass to get it into the show. Since most people have nicer cameras on their phones most venues disregard little awesome cameras like mine.
The sound quality was ok which is much better than I expected. The first video is sans case and it sounds much more tinny than the next one which has the case on. You be the judge on which sounds better. Without the case the sound is very tinny but with the case it's a little muffled. At any rate it sounds pretty good for a little tiny mic on a little tiny camera.
I think I like the wide angle better in this experiment. I thought the regular view would give me better picture quality but it doesn't seem to be the case.
In any case the camera worked pretty well and Anthrax was awesome, even though they only played one song off their most successful album...
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
In other news there was a trucker sighting at the Whole Foods last week. That is a crazy set up with a monstrous front rack.
In other other news this graphic from Lunchbreath found it's way across my desk.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This is a copy of an e-mail I just got from Bethesda Transportation Solutions
The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission has been working to “enhance efficiencies” for U.S. military bases and operations by closing and combining military facilities across the country.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been slated for closure on September 15, 2011. However, starting as early as mid-August, its operations and patients will be relocated to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
This will affect Bethesda commuters.
It has been estimated that an additional 4,300 daily commuters will be coming in to the Bethesda area as a result of BRAC. The staff at Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS) has been working closely with the BRAC Implementation Committee (BIC), the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County, and the State of Maryland to provide commuters with the most accurate and up-to-date information about roadway improvements, sidewalk construction and changes in traffic patterns. Watch the BTS website, www.bethesdatransit.org for BRAC-related construction and how it will affect your commute. Changes to roadways, sidewalks, and transit will occur often throughout this transition and may take several years. Commercial and private development projects also may affect traffic and transit operations. If you have a particular safety concern, issue or question please feel free to contact the Director of BTS, Kristen Blackmon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is BTS?
Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS) is a division of the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP), which is a non-profit organization, operating under a contract with Montgomery County, Maryland. BTS works to reduce traffic congestion in Bethesda. BTS is a FREE resource available to commuters and employers in Bethesda's business district who are looking for "another way" to get to work.
How can BTS help?
BTS staff can help commuters find another, better way to work. Explore the extensive BTS website to find information about carpooling, transit, biking, teleworking, and more! For more personal assistance, BTS will come to your office for FREE consulting services. BTS hosts Commuter Information Days in office buildings around the downtown area, and will even come to your office for an in-depth presentation.
Find Better Ways to Work!
Leaving the car at home isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Did you know that if you take transit, carpool, bicycle or walk to work, you are eligible for an emergency ride through the Guaranteed Ride Home program? If you have to leave work or stay late for any unexpected emergency or unplanned overtime, you can call 1-800-745-RIDE and they will send a taxi to your office (the average wait time is 5 minutes) to take you to your destination. And it’s FREE!
Did you know that the Bethesda Urban Partnership provides a FREE shuttle service starting at the Bethesda Metro Station with 20 stops around downtown Bethesda? The Bethesda Circulator runs every 10 minutes and will take you anywhere you want to go!
Don’t be caught off guard. The time to plan is now!
All of our services are FREE, so please e-mail, call or just stop by our office!
Employer Outreach Employer Outreach
301-656-0868 Ext. 118
301-656-0868 Ext. 129
Commuter Information Days BTS Director
301-656-0868 Ext. 121
301-656-0868 Ext. 119
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Statistically your pretty safe biking to work on roads heavily traveled by automobiles but that doesn't mean things can't go wrong. See the video below of a perfect example of how a group of fellow cyclist, biking to work, were taken out by an driver no doubt engaged in various types of electronic communications.
HANGUP AND DRIVE BUDDY!
Friday, July 8, 2011
Easton rims, full dura ace, look carbon fork... ibert child seat? With the LHT still in disorder I was faced with the burning question from my little girl, "Daddy, can we go for a bike ride in my seat?" I've always thought of my road bike as a sacred thing that I would only attach light fast things to, however one look from my daughter and I my philosophy went out the window. This is a bike and my little girl wants to go for a ride on a bike. I'll draw the line at tassels... if she wants them she'll have to find some in celeste.
Friday, July 1, 2011
I don't have the strongest resolve. If you saw my will power walking down the street you would probably be tempted to call it a sissy and break it's glasses. People make the mistake thinking that I am a pretty structured individual because I bike to work every day all year round. This daily structure comes pretty easy to me when the alternative is riding the bus which makes me motion sick.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE bike commuting, and I absolutely hate driving a car or riding a bus to work, that said I often would wonder if I would bike twice a day every day if I didn't need to. What would happen If I didn't have a commute at all? Would I still bike as much? Would I bike more?
That question was answered over the last month or so as I have been working from home every day. Aside from the occasional bike ride with my daughter, the bikes were parked. I did jog a few times which I'm finding out can be pretty fun as well as a good way to offset bone density loss often attributed with cycling (or so "they" say).
So I didn't have a commute and I didn't bike every day. I just didn't think about it much, which is awful. Soon I will return to the office but only for 3 days a week. For the other two I am going to give myself a ride schedule that demands I do certain rides on those days I work from home. What makes me think that a ride schedule can demand anything you ask? The gut that is forming holds a lot of weight (punny) and has started making the exercise demands... and I am listening.
I am looking forward to these new rides as they will be purely recreational and will have no destination. You know, just bike rides. Being a father of a three year old and one more on the way has made the recreational ride a distant thought as of late.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I watched this 5 times already. I'm going to bed now and expect to watch it several more over breakfast.
Does that mean if you want to take your bike into a building you have to carry your bike from the bike like to the door or just hope there is something heavy to lock it to in the bike lane.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I think BZA really captured his "ChuckBrownness" in this piece. Check it out at Busboys and Poets, 6/13/2011, 6:00 to 8:00pm.
For those of you not familiar with the DC icon Chuck Brown see below.
Well now I'm feeling all funky...
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
WTOP has an article out today detailing how Betheseda, Maryland is about to get royally BRAC'd. Basically, by way of Base Realignment and Closure the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is going to be absorbed into the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. This is unfortunate as the NNMC is right across the street from the NIH which as we all know employs roughly 115% of DC area residents.
"Today, you have about 500,000 visits to the Bethesda campus," says Phil Alperson, the BRAC point man in Montgomery County. "After BRAC is fully implemented, you'll have about a million visits per year."
"You currently have 3,000 people crossing the street from the Metro station to the Navy (Medical Center). By September, that number will double to 7,000."To put that increase more clearly...
Let me get this straight, the amount of visits to the BRACosphere will double and every one of these people is going to want to cross the street? This is a total BRACtastrophe!
Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner was quoted in the article.
"You take gridlock and you multiply it by two and you have OMG!"
I've obtained some raw video of the interview which can be seen here.
It seems that the only hope for achieving Bractopia is bike commuting.
"There also will be a campaign to get people out of their cars and onto bikes -- a popular concept across the street at National Institute of Health.I'm curious to see how this will effect my commute into Bethesda. A large number of commuters I talk to work at NIH which has fostered a healthy bike commuting environment. For my sake and all those who frequent BRACthesda I hope the Capital Crescent Trail is "bumper to bumper" come September.
Joe Cox, employee transportation coordinator at NIH, counts more than 600 members in the bike commuter club there.
Even when the weather is bad, we have some die-hard commuters. Their motto is they're 'non-polluter commuters.'"
Monday, May 9, 2011
After that I measured how many Danzigs it would take to fill up my water bottle.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I feel exceedingly fortunate while I'm bike commuting. I feel this way when I see traffic backing up or people slumped behind the wheel fighting to gain a few more feet. Rain or shine my mind is racing; one side of my brain is having fun riding the bike while the other side wanders happily from one thought to the next.
This is what happens during the ride.
Before the ride things are different. I am busy getting ready; the usual three S's, make lunch, let daughter help make lunch, find my bike clothes, play with daughter, get daughter and wife out the door, find the rest of my bike clothes... etc. It's in this frantic pace that I sometimes forget how fortunate I am, especially on a crappy day like today. I have already acclimated to the warmer days and this 40 degree rainy shitfest isn't very inspiring. I bitch and moan to myself and sheepishly ask my wife for a ride into the office, she calls me a pussy... point taken.
After they leave, I bitch and moan some more... I'm gonna get soaked and cold and when I get to the office I'll be soaked even more so. I'll have to set up the shanty town, ring out my socks in the parking garage and hope everything dries for the ride home... there's nothing worse than putting cold wet bike clothes back on, etc.
I finally get ready and force myself to push off from the front porch. One side of my brain immediately started having fun while the other thought about pollen, then bees, then if Hesher is going to be any good and if Osama was wearing shoes when they got him and when will chanterelles come back and so on and it seemed my craptastic commute ended the moment I started pedaling.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
After unpacking the jersey it was off to the patented Cycle Jerk Centrifuge where any particles or wiffs of sackage will be removed before it's ready to wear.
Friday, April 8, 2011
My first and only rule on how to impress coworkers in to occasionally take your work shoes home and forget them the next day.
Nothing says "I'm a take charge kind of guy" like wearing Specialized mountain bike shoes around the office.
Also, turning your office space into a shanty town doesn't hurt either.
Yep the next few rungs on the ole' corporate ladder just got a little closer.
Friday and I have not reached an agreement but will continue to negotiate.
Friday, April 1, 2011
In my last post I mentioned that the LHT was out of commission and I would be commuting on my road bike for the time being. I've put thousands of miles on my road bike and have never come close to falling off... until this week.
I was waiting to cross over Georgia Ave. on Forest Glen and if timed right I can get across before traffic from the oncoming turning lane entered the intersection. When the opportunity arose I mashed down putting all my force into the pedals. I hadn't gotten past walking speed when on my second stroke the chain slipped off the ring and I was sent over the bars and onto my back in the middle of Georgia Ave. I was stunned, in less than two strokes I had managed to launch myself out of the saddle and over the bars. WTF?!
Happy Friday mother fuckers!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So I wrote a post a little while back about how I've changed my bike punishing ways. Oozing with hubris; the post was all about how enlightened I've become and that I see the value of preventative bike maintenance. This morning I must call "Bullshit" on myself.
After completing my morning rituals I went to grab the LHT (yeah you know me) and head for the door. I noticed my back wheel wasn't spinning when I lifted it off the stand. First thought was that the pads were rubbing but that wasn't the case. In all my "hot shitness" I neglected to pay any attention to my bearings which had failed and were crushing into each other under the pressure of the skewer.
Rightfully feeling like a complete dickhead I yanked my Bianchi EV3 out of obscurity and got it ready to ride. I hadn't ridden my road bike in over a year, (a different type of neglect) and had grown very comfortable on the LHT. The first few miles of the commute felt like I was ridding in on a broom handle. Once we got reacquainted, the Bianchi and I were cranking and I got to work faster than I had in a while.
Just to show how enlightened I am, I'll post anything that ends in (Death Metal Version) here is a little joy via (AHTBM)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Office small talk; it's something we all take part in whether we like it or not. Being a bike commuter makes you an easy target in these sometimes awkward moments. When you're in the elevator or at the water cooler or any other pocket of the office where you are forced to be in the company of others, the silence can be deafening. You and your unintended companion are left glancing around grasping for an icebreaker of some kind. It's in this moment when you, the bike commuter are most vulnerable.
"Weren't you freezing out there?"
"Weren't you burning up out there?"
"How far do you ride again?"
"What time of year do you stop riding?"
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" (ok I made that one up)
Most of the time coworkers take the path of least resistance and go for the simple "So! How was the ride?", followed by "You're crazy man!" after my response. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice gesture and I do appreciate the thought. This person wants to hear how cool my commute was, and that's cool. However, the question is asked of me so often I started giving it right back to the source.
"My ride was awesome! How was your drive in?"
This is met with a wide spectrum of responses; anywhere from detailed counter traffic strategies, "Well this morning they were stacked up all they way to the blah blah so I took the parkway to the blah blah..." to head shaking and guttural noises, "nnnmmmuuurrrph."
Most of the time though the question is met with a slight grimace as if to say "You know it sucked, why the hell would you ask me that? It's cruel to fuck with me this early in the morning?"
This led me to ponder the trend... it seems to be a common assumption that being a bike commuter, my daily ride in is always great and that any commute by car is always shitty. If that assumption is both true and common why aren't people more open minded about bike commuting?
The same person who complains about the traffic every day gets to work with two assumptions, that my ride in was awesome and that I'm crazy for doing it.
My assumption is that a good percentage of these people live an easily rideable distance from the office.
I apologize, that was way too many assumptions for one post.
PSA: If you or anyone you know in the DC area has a coworker like this direct them to this website immediately.
It's gonna be a humpalicious Wednseday, enjoy!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Pedal Pushers Club is throwing what looks looks to be a pretty good one on the hill. It's gotta be good, they've got a poster and everything!
Mark your calendar....
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The trail is looking a lot better than it did a few days ago but there are still rough patches. This is video of the stretch between Jones Mill Rd. and Connecticut Ave.
This was the roughest part of the trail north of Bethesda. Aside from a few icy patches the rest of the trail is ready to ride.
Friday, February 4, 2011
If you commuters out there are wondering how the Capital Crescent is doing and if it's ok to ride again; here are today's conditions.
The Montgomery County Parks Department needs to invest in a zamboni. The trail is still mostly covered in very hard bumpy ice. The ice tires help a lot on the LHT but dammit I wish they were fatter. I'm tempted to ride my mountain bike to cushion the ride.
Hope this helps.
I got a care package yesterday from Lisa over at Clif Bar. I'm trying not to be such a whore but I love the crap out of their bars and am looking forward to trying out all the other crap they make.
Feel free to share your experiences with anything pictured above.
Friday, you magnificent bastard...
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Last Wednesday morning I installed some Innova Tundra Wolf studded snow tires on the LHT(yeah you know me). I did this just in time as Wednesday night became one of the worst DC traffic snarls in recent history. Most everyone I know had stories of anywhere from 5 to 11 hour commutes home. I on the other hand was delighted to be one of the very few people in the DC area who was moving, partly due to my new studded snow tires.
So far they have performed admirably. The studs offer quite a grip and allow for a quick recovery when my tires slide out. Besides the expected noise they do just fine on the 2 miles of pavement I ride each way. I know this will wear them out prematurely but it is what it is. They aren't the top of the line but they perform well and are half the price of most competitors.
I took a video this morning of the Innovas in action.
This is hard packed ices frozen in the shape of thousands of footsteps. The steel frame of the LHT was getting a good rogering as was my skeletal system. It took almost twice as long to get to work but I got there dammit.
Funny thing is, last night I dropped my hat on the trail. I didn't realize it was missing until I rode past it this morning. You can see it come up on the right at the very end of the video. The Great Trail Cycle continues.
Bottom line: Highly Recommended. In DC, might not need them all the time but for at least several weeks a year they're a life saver.
Buy Them If you brag about commuting all year long and you live above the Mason-Dixon Line.
Don't Buy Them If You need an excuse not to ride in the snow.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
I shot some video on Wednesday of the my morning commute on the Capital Crescent Trail. What little snow there was, was (was was) sticky so I didn't have any problems on my touring tires (like I did last year).
When I got to work I found a deal on some Innova studded 700x35s.