Friday, July 27, 2012

Back in the saddle again again

Well now, between all those things that happen to you when you get to the point in life where your running low on future and then having this project and that project take over, I've been a bad blogger.

The old age aches and pains just won't seem to go away. Problem is they be turning to more than aches and pains and let me tell ya they're proving to be a real pain. But stiff upper lip what? (What the hail does that even mean?)

So I've also been involved in this music project that has finally completed, couple of months overdue, and a good year plus worth of work. And I'm happy to say you can now even buy the darn thing on iTunes.

the group is Nora and One Left and the name of the album is

Yep, there's songs about biking here and a few other ditties.

Now, about my part. Let me just say that on one song you'll hear some of the best whistling that's ever been recorded. Not since those spaghetti westerns has such fine whistling been available to the general listening public.

So if you get in the mood head on over to iTunes and give it a listen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Saints behold

After returning from a ride I noticed a couple of blokes moseying on up to the door with bikes by their side. As I was not expecting company because I never expect company and company never comes I figured they were selling something and I pondered not answering the door but my curiosity got the best of me.

Turns out there were selling saving. Specifically they seemed real intent on selling me the way to saving my lost soul. Now my soul has been lost a good long while and I wasn't sure a couple of young men rolling about on fixies were going to be much help. But being a nice guy, and it being kinda muggy out, I did ask them if they needed some water or something.

So I got them a couple of glasses of ice water and they were real nice blokes and they seemed intent on me listening to their pitch. Problem is I've heard the pitch. My sister is a Mormon and these were good Mormon lads out doing their soul saving best. So I politely told them that I was well aware of the offerings but there would be no saving today.  I was however curious how they came to be on fixies and turns out the church furnishes them for the lads. That's kinda clever of the church. If you're going to send them out into the day trying to convince people to throw away all logic and reason at least have them do it on something that will keep them ever so close to their maker. Take away the brakes and send them on their way. If that don't put the fear of God in ya nothing will.

There's even a place that sells bikes just for these blokes. "Helping you carry the message". Catchy.

The Mormons have this belief that when someone dies you can still save their damned soul by baptising them in the church. My sister once asked me if she could do that when I'm dead and gone. Well sure. I may be all skeptical and stuff but there's always the chance I'm wrong and she's telling me, no worries, she'll take care of it. All I gotta do is die. Since I'm gonna die anyway, what the hell. In fact if anyone knows of any other religions out there that offer a similar service let me know. I can go about living my hedonistic life and still cover all the eternal salvation bases. This is all upside. Yep, sign me up for all of them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Not so fast there pardner...

Getting old sucks. It seriously sucks.

After a few months of taking care of a shoulder problem I finally get back in the saddle... for about 8 days. Then shoulder problem returns. Now once again I'm off and pedaling with hopes of making it at least through the spring.

Which of course finds me on my favorite trail to hate, the Capital Crescent one. There's always something to make a cranky person crankier on the CCT. The endless number of bikers that whiz by with no warning. The CAT 0's who bomb the middle. The runners doing u turns without even thinking that someone may be behind them. But today was a new one.

I'm coming from Bethesda home to DC and I pass a teenage girl. Within 30 yards theres a bunch of walkers coming both ways. I slow and wait for the opening, move out to pass the walkers and head back over to the right when I almost collide with teenage girl. Apparently that whole slowing thing didn't sit well with her so she passed the walkers on the right in the dirt while I was passing on the left.

Soon enough I've slowed for walkers again and this time I watch as she bombs them on the right again. One of the walkers was so alarmed she actually let out a bit of a screech.

Well, her being a teenage girl and me being all manly I soon pass her again and mention that that was pretty rude of her. She, being a teenage girl, tells me where to put it.

God how I've missed this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back in the saddle again

See, now that's the thing about getting old. Your mind may say that you're still out and about and kickin it but your body will eventually win. Your mind has to come to terms with it.

For the last couple of months I've had shoulder problems. Now - being man and all - I normally pay no mind to these nagging little pains here and there. So I kept biking and playing tennis and what not and the shoulder kept getting worse and finally one day I couldn't bike or play tennis or what not. Turns out got me a bit of that arthritis in it and it don't take kindly to being ignored.

So after some time doing stupid exercises and not doing the things I want to be doing it turns out that sometimes those doctors know what they're up to. Who knew? After that last visit I swore them off but apparently not all of them want to don some rubber gloves and go pokin' around in places that weren't meant for pokin'.

There for awhile I was wondering if I'd be doing much riding anymore and I wasn't happy about it. Just when I'm working part time and have lots of time to bike the body betrays me. But long story short I'm back riding and the weather is good and the sun is shining.

Now that I know I'll be biking again it's time to consider my spring/summer wardrobe.

For many a year my wardrobe consisted of ratty t-shirts, well worn bike pants, a pair of shorts over them ('cause I'm old school and tight bike pants on an old guy, well, best not try picturing it) and Keens. I had no idea one could assemble a new ensemble all the time. You can even do seasonal ensembling.

So now that I've found my lifestyle I'm eager to complete Me 2.0.

For this summer I'm thinking of starting with this little number:

The Lightning Vest is a hand-netted, highly visible safety vest made from a custom developed 3M reflective material. It can be worn all year, day or night and layered over jackets or t-shirts. Neck opening is wide enough to pass over your helmet and netting is large enough for your hand to access your pockets. The Lightning Vest is very strong, lightweight and compact enough to fit in your pocket without ever getting tangled.

At only $95 too. I'm sure the spring collections are just starting to appear and I hope to soon to be able to show off some of the new Me 2.0.

Yes, it's good to be back in the saddle again. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New York City

Ah, New York City.
Years and years (and years) ago I lived in Manhattan for about 18 months. At the time I rode a motorcycle and was young and stupid, meaning I did stupid things on that motorcycle. Things I wouldn't dream of doing today. Anyway, I took the dreaded car up because I was going to be going back and forth between Manhattan and Williamsburg for a few days with passengers on board.

Before arriving I was sure I would observe bikers doing stupid thing all through New York City. I was sure I'd be annoyed that they just don't see that they're total and complete tools. And I was sure I going to write about it.

But I'm not. What I'm going to write about is the ungodly amount of cars going in every which way as fast as they can while pretty much acting like you ain't there and if you are there and that is where they wanna be in a second or two then you'd best be moving along.

Now, I've been known to get "vocal" at times. Pretty much every day presents a situation where I can call out a tool and I'm not one to let these situations go without some quality "vocal" time. But New York City. The last time I was this "vocal" was when I picked up a rental car in Paris a few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe at rush hour. Within minutes the window was down, the finger was out and the language was colorful.

You think of red light runners and you think of a car running a light after it's clearly turned red. In New York City the only time they stop running a red light is when the cars with the green light fill up the intersection. It's not one or two, it's as many as can get out there before the green lighters hold them back.

No sooner have you figured out how to be aggressive and assertive then you find yourself slamming on your brakes because yet another stupid pedestrian has emerged between parked cars and is going to cross the street in front of you. And best not to take any turns to tight 'cause the pedestrians ain't standing on the sidewalk, they're out in the road waiting for the light to turn cause they gotta be like the first ones to cross the street. Does everyone in New York City have tattoo's?

After 3 days of this zaniness I was simply flabbergasted that anyone could possibly be upset at the way a biker, any biker, behaves in New York City.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Those folks over at Momentum magazine, that same site that helped me find my "lifestyle" have an article on Greenville South Carolina. New home of the center of the bicycle universe. Yep, these good folks want to rename their city Bikeville.

Cities are often naming themselves after this or that. I come from a little place that named itself after prehistoric circular earthworks. It hasn't changed much since those long forgotten days. Sometimes they just steal the name of another place and put "New" in front of it. I guess the founders were too lazy to come up with something on their own.  Countries will change their name after independence or civil war and then go about changing the names of their cities. I don't think one often hears of a little place changing it's name because of a mode of transportation. Usually a nickname will suffice. Detroit, the motor city, things like that.

They have the first bike shop just for women in the country and a few trails, one that is 13 miles, and biking is arguably the most popular sport in the area and there are beaucoup de arts and culture. 

However I am a bit concerned. There is no mention of a tattoo parlor. They do mention that it's the home of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge but that ain't exactly screaming out a big welcome to the fadsters. You can't go calling yourself Bikeville without catering to all the CAT-0's (Costumed And Tattooed). Gourmet chefs and upscale boutique's do not a Bikeville make. You need to provide for the tools on fixie's who have a side to them that can only be expressed through a tattoo.. 

This also raises the question of who will own the road. If you're living in Bikeville can a car yell at you for being on the road? Will bikers really own the road AND the multi-use trails? Yes yes yes, they already think that they do, but if you live in Bikeville then is their claim more legitimate? Will cars be ostracized? Will every car that runs a red light be debated in forums ad nauseum? Will cars be allowed rolling stops?

I don't know how that will all play out but I reckon that there will still be lots of confrontations. Being cranky and all I often find myself yelling at some tool, whether they be bike or car tool, and sometimes those things can escalate. What I need is some proper training in the technique of bike combat:

For $2 American dollars you can take that thousands of American dollar state of the art two wheeled wonder and kick some royal behind. I don't know about you but I've always felt that if I only knew how to wield my bike as a weapon that any gun toting thug would soon find himself on the wrong side of the whatfer. 

I haven't been to Greenville Bikeville, it's, uh, in the south, but if I could rule the roads and the pathways and take a few names it may be the ideal place to retire.