Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Send In The Clowns!

For those of you who think that it's ok to drive or park in bike lanes watch your back. Roving bands of renegade clown bikers hell bent on, that's right...  SAFETY! This group of screwballs, God bless em' are rolling around NYC pestering those who show any oposition (passive or agressive) to newly installed bike lanes.

(Judy Ross)

They should go back to the circus and grab an elephant to assist in bike lane vehicle removal. Having an elephant push your car out of the bike lane would be a lesson you would only have to learn once.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Puzzler

It's like a puzzle wrapped in a conundrum pressed into an enigma then batter fried into a sudoku after a game of hangman and given to Matthew Lesko to pass along.

What did this sticker say that was so horrible?

Please post your answer.

As for the movie review underneath it, I would go see it in a second if that top line read "Killed Me With Unadulterated Joy!" but I doubt any movie reviewer could be that creative.

Happy Thursday

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December Crap Fest

After bike commuting for the last few years I have come to the conclusion that DC winters are not nearly cold enough. This realization usually rears its head during a phenomenon I dub “The December Crap Fest”. No it’s not an anti-consumerism holiday thing (although that would work too), it’s about the weather, the crappy crappy slushy slop weather.

In December things start to get cold and a young man's fancy turns to snow. Unfortunately for you young men and women who bike commute, its an annoying limbo where no matter what you wear you are going to be burning hot or freezing at some point riding to or from work. If it would just get 10 degrees colder I could wear some cold weather stuff and be comfy. It seems I will have to wait for January and hope.

I know I am complaining like a big sissy boy wuss bag but just look at this week’s outlook…

image stolen and photoshoped from nbc4

Really I am grateful for the opportunity to ride my bike every day of the week no matter what crap is flung at me. I will be looking forward to some fender deep snow to play in.

It looks like the crap fest is not a local phenomenon. Just ask Jill up in Alaska.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slacking And Riding

So I have been slacking this week (and last) in the blog department. A heavy workload and all the new responsibilities of new fatherdom have taken a toll on the "do whatever I want" portion of the day. Which is usually filled with thinking and bloging about the how kick ass bikes are. 

That said much about my last post is the same as todays. I am going to crush Rosaryville this weekend again. This trail (cut by WABA I believe) is a very fast non technical single track loop that spans about 10 miles. Lots of slaloms, burms, pumps and good drainage make is a pretty sweet ride no matter the temperature.  I guess the only difference between last weeks ride and this one is this week I will have this in my head...

That being in my head for an entire ride will make beer drinking a moral imperative. I already have my heart set on Bells Two Hearted Ale. If you haven't tried Bells go buy some and drink it.

This concludes the "do whatever I want" portion of the week.

Have a ridiculously good weekend...

Friday at lunch I got a flu chot which made fel like crap all weekend, thus ending my ride before it began. I should change the title of this post to just "Slacking".

Friday, November 21, 2008

Enter The Weekend

I am going to hit Rosaryville tomorrow and the whole time I will be thinking of this video...

Have a good weekend and remember, no one's ever gonna keep you down.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grievances: Chain Lube Delivery Systems

Reading Freeewheel's latest post about some wanker spewing the same old crap has got my chamois all in a bunch. To blow off some steam I am going to focus some of my freshly percolated aggression towards a subject that has vexed me for as long as I have been riding.

Chain Lube Containers:
Over the years I have sampled dozens of different brands of chain lube and have found that most of them have something in common, trouble keeping the product inside the container after use. An all too familiar slimy mess when I go for the bottle o' chain lube.

The first few uses of a new bottle are fine, no mess. After a short while the container gets covered in a thin layer of lube. Lube that soaks into the label and becomes a shiny slimy mess. I have adapted to this problem but wrapping a paper towel around the bottle and affixing it with rubber bands to create a safe zone where I can come in contact with the bottle and not come away slimed.

Sometimes I think, maybe I'm just a slob who lacks the basic motor skills required to unscrew a cap, apply lube, and replace the cap without spilling. On many occasions this is true. But there is some oozing and seepage going on when the bottle is at rest. I know this because my current lube of choice, (Pedros, which happens all enviro-happy) leaves a puddle whenever it has been sitting for a long period of time. So why is it so hard to keep the lube in the bottle? If anyone has had experience with a product that doesn't do this, please let me know.

Perhaps the worst offender of chain lube packaging deficiency is Rock "N" Roll. Not only is there an oozing factor but the plastic bottle is so thin that if dropped from less than 3 feet it breaks making the ultimate chain lube mess. I know this because it has happened to me twice, once in my workspace and again on my newly refinished hardwood floor. Yes I am clumsy, but this product is made for cyclists, to be used in basements, garages, workshops, the side of the trail/rode, back of the pickup etc. One (I) would expect a little structural fortitude out of a container aimed at a market known for product punishment. This bums me out because the lube seems to work pretty well.

Whew! Well I feel better.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Commuting Photos

These were taken this morning on the Capital Crecent Trail. Not a bad way to start the day.

Think your commute better than mine? Send me a photo to prove it.

My daughter slept for 8 hours last night.
I got a mention from Stevil in todays HTATBL.
So far, nothing about this day sucks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weakening Outrage

I felt something this morning that I haven't fell in a long time. Optimism. A crack in the armor I have built up over the last eight years. I couldn't quite figure out what the feeling was until it came to me on my ride in. I have harbored a general feeling of outrage for so long that I mistook it for the norm. This baggage has been a heavy burden that until now I couldn't  grasp the true weight of. 

I know Obama isn't going to solve all our problems. To me he is more of a symbol that reason, logic, and patience have returned to our country.
"The future is unwritten..."
                          - Joe Strummer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day, Custom Steel, and Halloween

This morning I joined a few hundred of my neighbors to stand in line for an hour and make small talk in exchange for the privilege of voting in today's presidential election. Having never biked to a presidential polling place, I thought it would be nice to take the Girvin along so it could see what all the excitement was about. I only had my camera phone on my so excuse the small resolution.

If your election last longer than 4 hours contact a doctor immediately.

The Girvin quickly got into the spirit and made small talk with one of my neighbor's brand new custom steel Palermo touring bike. This bike was beautiful, British racing green and cream with gold inlay on the lugs fitted with XT and Thompson components. Very elegant, and not something I see on the everyday commuting circuit.

After a stellar voting performance I spiked my helmet on the floor and did the
Truffle Shuffle before heading of to work. I went by way of the Capital Crescent trail to take in some fall colors. I also happened to take in some second hand ganja smoke from a dude burning one down while walking his dog. I did not take a picture of this because it just wouldn't be cool and he would have been justified in setting his dog after me.

Further along I spotted this dude taking a set of dishes into the house he worked at via burley trailer. This guy gets props for several reasons; first for transporting a set of dishes via mountain bike on a bumpy gravel trail. Second for recognizing the Girvin and still having one he blew out back in the day.

On to Halloween...
This is by far my favorite holiday. Most major holidays are family oriented and require travel and large meals and dishes and house cleaning and that is all well and good. But it's nice to have a day where none of that is expected, where the emphasis is on creativity, silliness and sexiness. Where the level of participation required to be socially acceptable is soley up to the participant. Plus everyone gets free candy and women suddenly have the urge to out slut each other! All that is missing is a declaration of federal holiday by the powers that be and this would be the best day of the year.

My Halloweens usually fluctuate from raging parties to quiet nights of candy dispersion. This Halloween landed somewhere just left of the middle of that scale. Having a 3 month old daughter made things pretty tame, which was just what I was in the mood for. Some neighbors came over with their little one and we went to a few houses before retreating back to our house to drink beer and eat candy.

Happy Holidays indeed.

For a costume I thought my 1993 White Zombie "Say You Love Satan" world tour shirt would be totally appropriate. To top it off I found the scariest mask I could find... children ran screaming, parents locked the doors and turned out the lights, and somewhere a copy of the constitution burst into flames... it was perfect!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Let There Be Lights

Fall is here. Tis the season of in between, where cyclists struggle to find that perfect combination of clothes that will keep us somewhere between freezing and roasting. The time of year when the air turns crisp and the leaves turn beautiful colors and fall to road where they get wet and become potentially life threatening.

The days are shorter and by next weekend most of us will be biking home in the dark. For me it's also time to make sure my Nite Rider still holds a charge. As well as a pension for misspelling (something I excel at) Nite Rider also makes some pretty ding darn good lights. I bought the NR extreme helmet light as well as the fancy Digital Pro to do the first 24 Hours of Snowshoe back in 2000. It uses a non LED bulb which bathes everything I see in the soft yellow glow of waste and inefficiency.

The helmet light has been more resilient than most things I own. Every year it comes back to life to help me get home through the winter and for that I have fallen deeply in Man/Gear love with it.

Ok so maybe that's a little creepy but as long as it works I don't care who knows. The battery doesn't hold as much of a charge so I charge it every day just to be safe thanks to an Outlook reminder.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tim and Cindy Back In The States

For almost 2 years I have been following the adventures of Tim and Cindy Travis who 7 years ago sold everything they had to live a cycling nomadic lifestyle. They have biked through Central and South America, China, South Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and after coming down the coast from Alaska they are back in the lower 48. 

They did a very indepth interview with KGNU in Bolder Colorado on everything from healthcare to the upcoming elections.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Waterfront Park, Tomatoes, and Sexyness

Last weekend I went to the taste of Georgetown and was pleasantly surprised to find the nearly completed Georgetown Waterfront Park. This seems like a nice way to enter the city via the Capital Crescent Trail. Instead of a crappy parking lot made famous by that movie with Cher you get this...

A great place for the GW kids to get baked!

Also a fine place to serve your master.

and this thing!

This is money well spent by the city. I am pumped to see the
finished product.

Afterward I did what any red blooded American cyclist would do... I ripped up all my tomato plants and made fried green tomatoes. Since the long summer days are over my tomatoes have been lacking in the yummy department. Not one to prolong the inevitable figured I would make do with what I had.

And lastly the nice people over at The Saftey is Sexy Campaign sent me some stickers to help me with my sexyness.

Wednesday OUT!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Brilliance Of Google Continues

This was lunch at Google NYC's cafeteria to celebrate the birthday of the head of the cafe staff...

I had one.
It was excellent.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Achieving The Impossible

Many have tried (probabaly not) to attach a front fender to a bike that rocks the Girvin CrossLink. So many have faltered with bloody knuckles and broken resolve to tackle the complexities brought on by a fork that puts the front tire miles away from the head tube. My friends the sun has returned and the long cold night is over. I present to you the Girvin with a newly installed front fender.

Actually it was pretty easy. I used the SpeedEZ ATB fenders from Planet Bike. It took about 20 minute to finagle the whoziewhatsis but after that is was a breeze.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow so we will see how it works.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Philosophies of any kind need to be scrutinized and this one is no different. That said there are some interesting points mixed into the goofiness. I know it's 2 hours long, I just put it on in the background at work.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biker Bonus In Bailout Billions

I don't pretend to know much about the complexities of our financial system. All I know is what I can piece together from headlines and sound bites. After the the first round bailout proposal was shit canned I decided to take a closer look when the second round came out. It has grown over 300 pages, most of which again I don't understand. There is one little gem that peaked my interest though, Section 211 - Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters (page 205). Basically it says that if you bike commute on a "regular" basis, your employer can write off $20 a month stipend for your commuting expenses.

At first I thought that it was a silly thing to include when we are in such a dire financial crisis. What the hell are they doing trying to cram unrelated garbage into this bill that we are apparently so desperate to pass. Then again, it would give a boost to bike commuting, the local economy and help me get that down low glow I always wanted for the Girvin. So hell yeah, I'm all for it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Hard Out There For A Pimp

This is what my RSS of Google News looked like this afternoon. Eight out of nine headlines refer to cyclists being killed, beaten, robbed, or assaulted in some fashion, sometimes more than once in the same day. Thank you Sam Whittingham for not only breaking the cycling land speed record (82.3mph) but for saving us from a perfect storm of cycling related tragedies.

Two Recent Assaults On The Capital Crescent Trail

The following went out yesterday on the Town of Chevy Chase's Towncrier listserv:

Sat September 27, 2008 4:28 pm (PDT)

Sgt. John D'Albora of the Montgomery County Police Second District informed the Town that two assaults occurred on the Hiker-Biker Trail. The first assault occurred around 2:00 pm on Thursday 9/25 on the Trail near the entrance to Elm Street Park.

At about 2:00 pm, a man was walking alone from under the tunnel (under the Air Rights Building) westbound in the direction of East/West Hwy bridge. When he got to the section where Elm Street Park opens, two suspects (described as African-American, juvenile males from 15-17 years old) ordered him to turn over his wallet. They forcibly took his cell phone and some cash then ran toward Woodmont Avenue through the tunnel. The suspects were not caught. The Second District Station (Bethesda) is handling the investigation.

Today a second assault occurred on the Trail. The incident occurred closer to the dead end of Pearl Street on the Georgetown Hiker-Biker Trail at about 1:30 pm. Everything seems to be the same as the first case, except there was one more suspect today. A single male walker was assaulted. The police will step up patrols and foot patrols in this section of the Trail for the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Dave Will Always Be Better Than Jay

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

High Fructose Love Syrup

This is the response I guess too all the douche baggery... Brilliant!

Road Wage

So on the way home yesterday I was cut off by someone, let's call them "Wanker", making a left turn onto the road I was traveling on. It wasn't terrible but I did have to apply the brakes as the car was very close when Wanker pulled out. We were close enough that I could see Wanker looking at me in the rear view mirror. I motioned to my eyes and pointed at Wanker to suggest that Wanker wasn't watching for traffic that had the right of way. I didn't yell or give the bird or throw feces . Then Wanker pointed at the path near the road... sigh.

I am so tired of this argument. It's the same damn thing over and over and over from those who harbor aggression towards cyclists. I am a guy who owns a bike. I have a right to ride that bike on roads where it is legal to do so. I also own a car and buy gas and pay taxes. I do not belong on the sidewalk or a path. I am not foot traffic and travel at speeds unsafe for the sidewalk. I also think about the routes I take and don't use high traffic roads that would be dangerous for everyone if I tried to ride a bike on, even though it would be leagal to do so.

Wanker, it's not my fault you cut me off. You own a car, not the road.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Geeking Out With My Canon G9

Somebody's Peugeot in front of the Bethesda post office.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Douche Baggery

This is a PSA from our friends over at the Corn Refiners Association. It turns our that HFCS is "fine in moderation". Outstanding! I think tomorrow morning I'll pour some over a heaping bowl of diabetes. I'll even have a large glass of that non descript red flavored "drink" on the side.

This video has all the elements of a political campaign ad; generalizations, misinformation, shit eating insincerity and bad acting. All that is missing is the message approval of an over photoshoped skeez bag in a suit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally A Movie About Movies Made For Me

Office Warning: Contains some nudity

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bacon Vodka Part Deux

Bacon Vodka Take Two:

After 3 weeks in the closet, freezing, and pouring the vodka through several coffee filters I was finally ready to test it out. The initial taste was "baconny" for sure but it quickly went away leaving me with vodka. Hoping to extend the "boconny" stage of the experience I added more bacon to the jar and will let it sit for a few more weeks. Perhaps I didn't use enough bacon the first time. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Dangers of Bike/Bus Commuting

Aren't you glad you rode your bike today rather than throwing it on the front bike rack of a RideOn bus? You just can't afford not to bike these days.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Great Combustible Hate Fest

I haven't been on a bike in almost 2 weeks. I have had to car commute all week as I am getting no sleep due to certain daughter being born a few weeks ago.

At first it was kind of novel. I was intrigued by this culture of ass sitting and horn honking. It was kind of neat to feel the closeness and unity that only comes from sitting in one place, waiting for millions of other people to get where they are going so I might have a chance to do the same.

This feeling quickly faded every time I saw a 2 wheeled brethren blissfully sailing along, breathing the air, feeling the breeze, moving their bodies. As the week went on my mood worsened. I had become easily annoyed by almost everything. I began to hate the other drivers on my route, hate the radio, hate that sound my car makes when I let out the clutch and so on. Arriving home last night after my commute combustible hate fest was over, I looked at my newborn girl.

I thought about what kind of father I would be if I brought this feeling home to her every night. I decided then that I would rather be tired and happy than alert and sad. So come sleep or not I will get back on the bike and commute.

This feeling remind me of a video the folks at New Belgium made that perfectly illustrates the difference between auto and bike commuting. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Catch Up: Irony, Sexy Safety, and A Little Jerk

I have been absent the last week or 3 as my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!

This past week I have been exploring the bounds of reality facilitated by an impressive lack of sleep and an abundance of poo. While staring into her eyes I ask the questions all fathers ask when confronted by a new offspring: Is she going to be happy? What forms of greatness will she achieve? Will she ride Campy or Shimano? What flavors of cycling culture will she embrace? Fixter? Free Rider? Roadie? Touring Junkie? All of the above I hope. Either way I am very proud and already planning my baby carrying SUB.

That out of the way I pose a question to you.
Yesterday while walking on the Georgetown Branch Trail I found this book forsaken by it's reader. Is this irony or a coincidence? Maybe a visual metaphor? Possibly a very subtle found art installation? I leave it to you.

Later I stumbled upon an old Dahon with a very interesting message and I couldn't agree more. This sticker comes from Safety Is Sexy and indeed it is!
you totally would...

Lastly, the latest retort in a philosophical battle that wages forth in plain view for all to consider.
A heavy concept that deserves to be pondered. After doing so I come away with a simple conclusion that in hindsight seems rather obvious. A really big fish could probably out swim a T-Rex so this particular argument seems flawed.

Stay tuned for the Bacon Vodka tasting as it should be ready this Friday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Bacon Challenge Accepted!

A few months back I bounced a post from McAuliflower detailing her venture into meat flavored alcohol. In a comment she dared me to make a batch myself and I admit for a few months there I was scared. Then a few months after that I was merely cautious, and for these last few months I have been pensive. Now, I am happy to say that I accept this dare and after 6 months and five days I have sprung into action like a hungry badger!

Per McAuliflower's directions:
1. Cut a hole in a box Cook some bacon.

2. Eat some of the bacon. (tee hee)
3. Put the rest of the bacon in a clean mason jar.
4. Fill jar with vodka.
5. Put the jar in a dark cabinet for 3 weeks.I also took her advice of throwing in a pinch of ground black pepper.

So now we wait... and daydream about the many possibilities of bacon flavored vodka. I think the first thing I will try is a mixed drink where I salt the rim of a highball glass with smoked salt. Maybe heating up some maple syrup to mix in as well.... yeesssssssssss.

Post your bacon vodka ideas and I will try out the best one.

Stay tuned and thanks again to
McAuliflower for the inspiration.

See Bacon Vodka Part Deux

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Set Stolen Bikes On Stun!

One of the more interesting ways to stop a bike thief comes from liseman, who rigged a mobile phone to a stun gun hidden in the bikes water bottle cage. When the phone is called it activates the stun gun.

This dude creeps me out a little.

My question is would the rider actually get shocked? Rubber grips, soles, and seat might insulate the rider from the charged bike frame. You might have to run a copper wire up the seat post onto the seat. That'll give em the ole "how's your father" right in the coin purse!

Thanks to Shryke for the link.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dupont Circle Gets A Ghost Bike


It's a sad thing that everyone needs to see.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Commuter Bonk

I have been riding to work consistently for a little over a year. My commute is 7 miles and it takes me around 25 min each way. With such a short ride I never gave much thought to the possibility of bonking. It's only 25 minutes and bonking is something that happens 2 hours into an epic ride or during a race with 8 miles left to go. Bonking is about being ill prepared, it's what happens when you don't think your ride through before you do it or forget to bring that extra cliff bar. Things that don't enter my mind before I head off to work.

This morning I bonked. I suffered almost all the way through my 7 little miles and now feel like I just did my 3 am lap at a 24 hour race. My regiment hadn't changed yesterday or this morning. I ate the same breakfast I have eaten for years (bowl of cereal with a cup of yogurt on top), and had nothing spectacular for dinner. So what is so special about this morning that in this 25 minutes I actually began to long for the comfort and ease of an automobile? WTF? Have I taken the blessing of bike commuting for granted? Was this the cycling god's way of telling me to stop and smell pavement? Or maybe I just had some bad chicken last night. Either way I think I will pay a little more attention to this my shortest of rides but perhaps my most significant.

Have you ever bonked on a short ride?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DC Commuter Killed

A 22 year old woman died this morning after being hit by a garbage truck just above Dupont Circle. There are no other details at the moment. This is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to her friends and family.

A letter WABA sent out this evening.

WABA's Response to the Death of a Cyclist in DC

As many of you may have heard, Alice Swanson, a 22-year old cyclist from Washington, DC, was struck and killed yesterday morning by a trash truck at the intersection of 20th and R Streets, NW in Washington, DC. This tragedy has hit the cycling community in the DC area hard, and serves as a reminder that much more work remains to be done to make the Washington area a place where anyone who wants to ride can do so safely.

In response, this evening starting at 6:30pm at the intersection of Connecticut Ave and R Street NW, WABA will be holding a press conference to call for a full investigation into the crash and to highlight the need for improved traffic enforcement, increased penalties for drivers who strike cyclists and pedestrians, and more safety public service announcements to encourage everyone to share the road safely. The event will also feature a "ghost bike" dedication to serve as a reminder of the tragedy and as a quiet statement in support of cyclists' right to safe travel. I hope that you will be able to join us.

On behalf of the staff and board of directors of WABA I want to thank you for all your support for better bicycling. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at waba@waba.org.

Please ride safely.


Eric Gilliland
Executive Director

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cycle Jerk In NYC

Over the weekend my wife and I took a trip up to the New York area to visit family and get a few things done in the city. In between "things", I found 2 hours to myself to ride in Manhattan. I was looking forward to this all week as biking in a different city is like having an affair without having to worry about lying or STDs. Before this however, my wife who is 8.5 months pregnant was determined to have a good New York deli experience for lunch (before my ride). Not one to argue with a pregnant woman I accompanied her to an establishment that only sold food items as big or bigger than a human head.

Not the ideal pre-ride meal

Not knowing the city very well and nursing a stomach full of pastrami and corned beef I drifted towards Central Park. I had never ridden in the park and was amazed at how easily I could move through it given the kagillions of folks who had joined me.

Saturday was a beautiful day, perfect for quiet repose, a pick up game of almost any sport, or watching senior citizens cavort around a bowling green.

Remember, the urban sombrero is only a viable accessory when observing affluent non physical "sporting" events that your are ashamed to been seen observing.

I ended my NYC day spotting this fancy "rickshaw of tomorrow". The future is bright indeed my friends, and filled with extraneous plastic parts.