Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mustache Wednesday

I thought I would post some mustache media, just get my head in the right place for this Halloween.

"id be a lot cooler if you did..."

There, I feel better already.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Commuting

So what if it's Monday, I had a great ride in.

Pardon the low quality, my Canon G9 is on the fritz so I am left with my cell phone.

Monday ain't got nothin' on me...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Old Timey Friday

Presenting the Haverford Cycle circa 1919.

Yes it's always happy hour over at the Haverford Cycle Shop... You'll be greeted with a smile and... well maybe not. Come to think of it, this does remind me of the welcome some of the more douchie local bike stores offer. I wonder if these are turn of the century hipster douche bags? Nah, they were probably pretty cool, for some reason everyone looked like they had a stick up their asses back then.

This shop was located at 522 10th St. N.W. Washington, DC. The building is gone and is a now defunct Waffle Shop which looks to be considerably shorter and much more art deco. It was a few doors up from Fords Theater (where Lincoln was shot), which makes me think, could John Wilkes Booth have ridden a bike with a broken ankle?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Product Review: The Incredibell

This has been sitting on my blog post back burner for a while now. Thanks to Fergie on the LHTCC owners group for bringing up the topic.

I was originally in the market for a big brass headset spacer bell from Velo Orange; however the placement of a bell on the headset would mean I couldn't use my IBert child seat which attaches around the headset spacers. This left the Incredibell. I got it a few months ago from my LBS mainly because it was so much cheaper than the other bells. Also, for such a little bell it was pretty loud.

I was happy to learn that because of it's size I had more placement options I hadn't considered in the past. After some experimentation I found the perfect place for the bell. Right above my hand position when in the drops. This way the bell was out of the way while easily accessible from most hand positions. Also, if I just used my index finger to break I could ring the bell with my middle finger at the same time. It took a little practice but is now second nature.

The only con I have is that I didn't know there was a brass version when I bought it.

Bottom line: Highly Recommended.
Buy it if you want a relatively loud bell without compromising space.
Don't buy it if you want the big brass retro look.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That New Pavement Feel

I had the day off yesterday so I didn't notice until this morning's commute that the county had resurfaced Sligo Creek Parkway. Ahh there is nothing like that new pavement feel.

There are 3 elements that comprise what a ride feels like: the environment, your body, and your bike. Any time you remove most of the friction from the environment you are left with more bandwidth to experience the other elements. I equate it to the theory of a blind person having an increased awareness of their other senses. As long as your bike is behaving the other senses are usually pretty darn good.

Road vibration isn't something I'm really conscience of until someone takes it away. Now all of the sudden I'm more aware of the smell of the autumn, the wind through my mustache, and how comfy my handlebars are. Not that I wasn't before, it's just that I have become slightly more aware, and it's this awareness that can quickly lead to gratitude.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Then You Get De Power: 14 Months Of Batteries

There are many ways to keep a house somewhat green when a new baby arrives. Cloth diapers and glass bottles come to mind. I am surrounded by daily reminders of how "ungreen" having a baby in modern society is. Just about everything that comes near a baby is either rubber or plastic of some kind. We try to get as many used toys as we can. I just don't like the idea of giant toy sets and exersaucers made of thick non recyclable plastic being used by one child then thrown away where they will eventually end up in the ground or the ocean where they will stay for EVER. If I can get a toy that has been used by at least one other baby and pass it on when I am done with it, I won't feel like the factory made a piece of indestructible garbage just for me.

The other area of guilt is battery consumption. All these little toys, bouncy chairs, fake cell phones, and swings need batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. The first idea is naturally to use rechargeable batteries to lessen the environmental blow. The problem with rechargeable batteries is they cost money. I know regular batteries cost more in the long run but more money up front is a huge factor when the check out folks at Buy Buy Baby know me by name.

Knowing I had all new reasons for battery use I decided I would collect all the used batteries and at some point find a place that recycles them. This would allow me an accurate idea of how many batteries a newborn would use in a little over a years time. Also, I wouldn't be slowly adding them to my local land fill.

Our daughter was borne 14 months ago and since then I have not thrown away a single battery.
Some of these batteries were used for flashlights and cycling computers but the majority were used for baby stuff.

So in that time we have used:

7 - D batteries
34 - C batteries
26 - AA batteries
30 - AAA batteries
9 - 2032 batteries (mostly for bike lights and computer)
2 - N batteries (for bike lights)
1 - 9V battery

I didn't record the cost of these batteries but I would imagine it's much more than a set of rechargeables that would do the job of most of these.

With children, most of the things you can do to curb their environmental impact seem small on their own, but a bunch of small things will hopefully add up. Looking at the big picture, the most beneficial thing to come out of these small steps will be to create positive examples for my daughter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Beer Review: Anchor Porter

A few days ago a good friend reminded me that it's braising season. Time to get out the dutch oven and slow cook some goodness. I started off with a recipe from Cooking Light for beer braised beef stew since it covered the two major food groups in the title. It called for root veggies; carrots, onions, garlic, and turnips, some beef broth and 1 dark beer. I headed off to my LBS (local beer store) and was delighted to find Anchor's Porter. I hadn't tried their porter but I am a big fan of their seasonal Christmas Ale so I grabbed a sixer.

Let me say that I love a good dark beer. To make it creamy, rich, and thick while going down light and smooth is an art form. A good porter has that mix of hoppy bitter and chocolaty sweetness that makes you want to poor it on ice cream. I was not disappointed by the Anchor Porter, not overly sweet with just the right amount of hops made this a perfect beer for braising, and drinking for that matter.

As the weather turns cold grab some and drink it slowly, you won't regret it. It's even good at room temperature.

Bottom line: Highly Recommended.
Buy it if you like good beer with complexity and you have a bowl of stew in front of you.
Don't buy it if you don't like porter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Redneck And His Balls

I came upon the horror of this sight yesterday and it shook me to the core. Somewhere out there, a redneck... who may not even know it yet, has lost his identity, his reason to live, his truck's giant plastic genitalia. Scoff if you will people, but this is no laughing matter. For what is a big stupid redneck without a giant nasty looking ball sack hanging from under his bumper for all to behold.

We've all been there, stuck in traffic behind that F350 quad cab that's 4 feet off the ground forced to ponder the giant plastic ball sack displayed conveniently at eye level. What is it about the man in the driver's seat that compels him to show his love for balls to the world? That's how he defines himself? With nuts? Maybe he wants to leave that lasting impression on people as he drives away.

Now there goes a real man... who loves balls.

I wonder how they would look on the LHT?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Product Review: Clubman Mustache Wax

All my talk about tweed rides have got me anticipating the eventual invite to a newly formed DC Tweed Ride. When this happens I will be ready. I recently procured a tube of Clubman's Moustache Wax from the interwebs.

The directions say to use the brush that come with the tube to apply the wax. I found it easier to soften it up between my thumb and index finger and apply it directly to the mustache. Being my first time it took me about 10 minutes of twirling and reapplying to get a good curl. I couldn't tell if it made a difference which direction I curled the hair so I went counter clockwise, I will need to do some research on this. I also used the wax on my mustache when not curling and it made a big difference. It was very well behaved and no wild hairs going every direction. Had this been an actual Tweed Ride I would have shaved my chin to get the full effect.

Now all I need is a monocle and a Hendricks gin and tonic in a flask.

Bottom line: Recommended.
Buy it if you have a flavor savor or are an old Russian woman.
Don't buy it neither of the above apply to you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Video: Thoughts On My Bike

I saw this on Bike Commuters.

Very cute. Good message.