Tag Archives: news

magic engine killer rays…

… on a tangential search, I found a News-Gazette article describing Champaign’s decision to up the fee for getting a car out of impound. Prob’ly not so many SUVs or trucks, since more expensive vehicles are somewhat mroe likely to be driven by people who coudl afford the extra.

Notable quote, tho’ at least from an attorney, whose job it is to spin reality so hard it skewers itself:

“You’re taking somebody’s home when you take somebody’s car,” Dobrovolny said.”

Do what now?

Riding the folder today because it begged me to.  The completely nasty pavement is so nice and bouncy 🙂 Made me ponder studding those tires, tho’ the *big* drawback is that man, the Gazelle is so encapsulated that I don’t have to do cleanup after every ride, even in execrable conditions.  Still, I feel nekkid and vulnerable without a horn or at least a bell… but I can holler real good.

This news is  from Asheville NC about an off-duty firefighter, “concerned” about a dad riding on a busy road with his toddler on the bike behind him, shot him in the head… the helmet deflected the bullet so there was no injury.  It sets stereotypes of Southern Good Ol’ Boys etched too deeply, especially when the comments reveal that there was a similar smelling incident very recently involving a deputy sheriff.    However, the fact that there were no more than the normal “cyclists are pigs” comments speaks well of said southern culture and, in general, there were more than the usual number of untrolly comments.

Rabbit, Rabbit!

…no, not that superstitious incantation to begin the month, but what you call the white-haired guy in kit on the nice bike who blows past you as you’re easing ’round the loop and figuring you can get in one extra lap and still get home before dark (tho’ the lights are working).  Still wouldn’t have been much more than the one minute “okay, don’t let him gain any ground” push, ‘specially since he was only goin’ 16 up the little hill where the radar machine is and I was doing 15 backing off a tad.  Then he turned up the bus loop… no idea why (maybe ’cause it’s a little hill? maybe so he could chase me?)  and came back down behind me.  He looped past the Bradley exit as I did and I pondered slowing down… naw, I … welp, hammered *really* isn’t the right word, but I was hoping he couldn’t hear my breathing 🙂  He pulled off at the Duncan exit, which is I think where he came in, so he only did one loop.

27 mile day, since I took the long way in.  I am thinking that tomorrow I’ll drop by the LBS and get a speedometer for this bike… and a new seat.  This one has hardened up or something, and chunks of it have broken off.  Yea, it was a $20 Bontrager, but I didn’t realize it wouldn’t last very long (I think I got it last year, tho’ of course the time warp factor says it could have been 2 or three).  The ten dollar “century” saddles I got lasted lots longer (but they were serious markdowns).

Baltimore Sun has a column about “obnoxious cyclists” and then goes on to say that we *should* pass a 3- foot law there, just because it is the right thing to do.  It’s a pretty good article – okay, a very good article.  It really does include cyclists’ perspectives.

However (you knew there’d be a however, didn’t you), he found a cyclist spokesperson who is a gutter bunny. “Even though” he hugs that white line, drivers buzz him “on purpose.”   The column is delightfully tongue in cheek when it talks about obnoxious cyclists who  want to lecture you about your carbon footprint … but if more drivers and columnists understood that I”m “out there” becuase that *is* where I should be, then they’d impose less ill will on me (and cyclists less on them because they’d be passing with more room – not because of a law, but because of hte perceptual changes that happen when a rider isn’t hugging the line and therefore creating the illusion that there’s enough room to squeeze past).

Of course, sometimes the lane really is wide enough (like COuntry Fair :)) – and it’s hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s to the right I go.I’m quite willing to gamble a power bar or three that Mr. Line-Hugger is not in that situation.

When someone took the columnist to task (see the comments here ) for saying riders should be as close as possible instead of as close as practicable, as the law says, Michael Dresser (the columnist) answered that that was splitting hairs, and that “possible” and “practicable” were really not different enough to matter.  In fact, it was that comment that led me to read the article, because I was going to *ask* the columnist if he knew where riders should be… but then realized that he didn’t – because his spokesperson didn’t.

I emailed him that while I agreed that hair-splitting should be left to lawyers, I had this wild dream that some writers might care about word choice (Unlike the spelling-and-grammar-impaired New Zealand teacher-bloggers, but that’s another story), and fruitless as I’m sure it is, explained lane position and even how I came to be a believer in scooting a bit away from the white line.  I hold no real hope that he’ll consider it worth investigating but I couldn’t let it go unchallenged.

After all, if more people grokked that cyclists *are* traffic and shouldn’t be cowering in the gutter  then they might be less inclined to want to ride too closely… close enough to ‘nudge’ them and knock them down, as the writer of the commute-tips link to that article was.  “Yokota Fritz,” I’m really really glad it was “just a nudge,” and I *hope* the runaway culprit lives to regret the choice to “nudge” you off the road.  (When I put up my teensy little blog about cycling, I was astounded that I had a comment within 24 hours.  It was “Cycle-licious.” )

“winter cycling” press

I like this article about “Frosty Cyclists” – not a lot of creative (mis)interpretation of our breed; simple reporting.   It’s about winter commuter cyclists in Ohio – the reporter found several different genres- the 50-something research scientist (“professor type”), the 24-year old who’s thinking green… the 41-year=old new dad who wants to be healthy enough to see his new daughter graduate…

Nobody else came to ride at the Darwin ride, so I just did the out and back.  Body really, really wants more riding.  It’s 12 degrees (okay, less by now)… was going to go to a concert and frankly, if it were 10 miles away instead of 2 I might ’cause I’d be warm (and would get the Real Ride in)… but there’s a list of Stuff to Get Done on the Weekend, ya know…

Got Gazelle’s chain on… the chain guard isn’t snapping into place and I can’t help but think it would be more willing if it weren’t so cold.  Might just turn the heat up for that… and/or take it down to the coop tomorrow for a hoist to the rack and second opinion.  Must remember to practice hoisting *it* so that if it snows I can get it on the bus racks, adn so I can develop BICEPS 😛 😛

Must be a big deal!

There are two wide-screen TV’s in our food service area.  Usually one’s on CNN or some news thingy (and too often when I walk by it’s adulterated drivel about a celebrity or some tacky aspect of consumerized uncivilization), and the other MTV.

Today, CNN and ABC.  MTV takes a back seat.

More just in

The NY times says it’s okay to buy something nice, even if times are hard.  Most of the article’s justifying a dad buying a boat, but then, to folks who couldn’t afford that:

“If you make much less and have much less, you may be wondering what all this has to do with you. But not every investment of this sort needs to have a four- or five-figure price tag to be significant.

Perhaps it’s buying a better bicycle and taking daylong rides with others (or commuting to work to get in shape and save money on gas). Or it’s the fanciest paella pan or pizza stone you can find, which keeps you out of expensive restaurants and at home with friends and family who will appreciate your new skills, the free meal and the conversation.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/18/business/yourmoney/18money2.html?em

See?  Cycling is normal, cycling is normal – *and* bicycle commuting can be, too 🙂  (No, it doesn’t mean you and I are 😛 )