Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bicycling Magazine in Digital Format - Part 2

This is a follow-up to the previous post/rant about Bicycling Magazine not wanting to respond to me about plans about a full digital edition. Today, I received the following from their online editor:

Hi Kevin.

I think we have been in touch before but Im not sure so I'll start from scratch. Thinking and Going Green is very important to us here at Rodale and especially at Bicycling, a mode of transportation and recreation that is green in every sense of the word.

Currently, our magazine is not delivered electronically and I am still unsure when that is in the works. With the push of media towards the digital realm, something tells me sooner than later. However, we do republish almost all of our magazine content on our website Maybe reading our content on the web would be a suitable alternative in the mean time.

Please keep in touch and thank you again for the suggestions and feedback.


While I'm still not sure how soon it will potentially happen, it was nice to receive an email from not-just-somebody at Rodale, but the online editor. I was pretty impressed that he took the time to email me back. When I responded and thanked him for his time, he emailed yet again saying that he appreciates all feedback, especially well articulated email. Thus proving he probably never reads my blog!

The Dreaded Post

I don't usually apologize for not blogging, but in this case I will. I haven't blogged lately because I've been pouting and feeling sorry myself. Sometimes when you put pressure on yourself and you fall short, it hits you especially hard.

Most of you know that I was shooting for 10,000 miles this year. Cutting to the chase, it isn't going to happen. As a matter of fact, I'm shutting down rather drastically for a bit. I've been struggling for a while now with my back/neck issues and I just kept fighting (stubbornly) through chasing THE goal. Sometimes fighting through can be a good thing, but when it gets to the point where you get blurred vision, lose equilibrium, and can't sleep, it just might be a sign that you need to step back, heal, and go after it again. As a matter of fact, as I write this I'm hooked up to a TENS unit (electrical stimulation) trying to relieve some pain so I can function at work. I'm sitting at my desk, too pained to want to leave for lunch. I really screwed up by not listening to my body closer. Now I have to heal.

No more pity stories. After all, 9,000+ miles is still a pretty darn good consolation prize. On to the future. Next year resolutions will be:

* no logging miles (oh, I'm sure I'll have a *general* idea of my mileage)
* more time on the tandem with my wife and kids in an attempt to both spend more time with them and stimulate their interest in riding
* more time with wife and kids in general
* less worry about riding EVERY night and more focus on longer rides when I do ride
* more century-plus rides
* Gut Check 2008 (?) *Question Mark removed by gentle suggestion of Mr. Bite
* more bicycle advocacy
* more focus on our local bike club growth and structure
* using cycling for charitable purposes (MS Society, Big Friend/Little Friends, Ulcerative Colitis, etc)

See, I'm done pouting and now I'm looking forward to next year. There is therapy in blogging!

Ride on!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all friends, family, and fellow bloggers who have stumbled here. There are actually a few flurries of snow happening right now and I'm feeling the un-motivation that accompanies the mother of all eating holidays.

It's been a year to be thankful for in so many ways. The whole family has been healthy this year, a considerable amount of cycling has happened, and many friends (old and new) have been a part of our lives this year. I attribute some of that to getting in the car less and planning time with those who are a part of our lives.

As far as the kids, they are thankful that they finally got their cable tv back that left in June due to "couch potato-ness". They finally proved they can be responsible so Dad made them happy and allowed cable back in the house, with one small warning: It CAN go away again. They get the hint.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Friday, November 16, 2007

How People Get Here

As I'm on hold waiting for a Microsoft Support Person to come on line, I checked my blog stats and looked at what referral tracking has landed people to my site. I'm currently #2 on the list if you Google "Christmas Letter Rhyme". I'm #1 in Japan's Google should you decide to google "kota recycle tent" (why you would I have no idea). I even show up at the bottom of the page when somebody Googled "table of how much rain fell in the first 2 weeks of october 2007 in Sioux falls"

For some reason I'm linked from this site too: I'm not sure how I ended up on their blogroll! If anybody can translate the site, please enlighten me.

If you don't run stats on your site, you should. It's cheap entertainment figuring out how people get to your site. Why they keep coming back I have no idea, but getting them here the first time is always interesting.

How did YOU end up on my site for the first time?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bike vs. Car Report - Nov 1-15

As promised, this is the first installment of my Bike vs. Car bi-monthly report. It will hopefully serve as a motivational tool for others as well as myself. Current price of gas in Vermillion: $3.199. Just thought I'd throw that in as well.

11/1/07YesYesLaura picked me up for lunch
11/5/07YesYesStayed home with Carson (sick), took Austin's sax to school, lunch to Laura at work

Biking Miles November 1-15
Driving Miles~7

Bicycling Magazine in Digital Format

*WARNING - The following message is a personal advocacy rant - Reading this rant may infuriate you, make you impale yourself with sharp objects, or just make you think I'm crazy. Well, crazier than normal...

I have attempted to contact Rodale Press, the publishing company of Bicycling Magazine, Runners World, Men's Health, etc., on five different occasions both by phone and by email to get a straight answer as to a time line as to when they might go digital with their magazines. After all, I figured that a company that is into health and the great outdoors would be quick to adopt a way to reduce waste by not having to print all those magazines.

Sure, you can recycle a magazine, but what percentage of all their magazines actually make it to a recycling center? I would hope a great percentage, but the reality probably isn't as rosy as I'd like it to be.

So many of my tech (IT) magazines are in digital format and I absolutely love it. Not to mention that you can save them and refer back to them without having to have a special room in your house devoted to them!

My initial phone call to Bicycling Magazine was less than impressive. When I asked if they were going to put their magazine in Digital Format, I received a bland "no" answer. When I asked if they were planning on it in the future, I receive a bland "not to my knowledge". I pried a little further: "So, you're telling me that a magazine that promotes cycling and a natural way of life, isn't planning on a digital format to your magazine to try to reduce recycling and use of natural resources"? It was a bit longer pause, possibly due to the fact that he was contemplating if I was psychotic or not, I received a bit firmer; "Sir, as far as I know there are no intentions in the future to release Bicycling Magazine in a digital format". I thanked him for his answers but also told him that I was disappointed, so I tried the second angle: Email!

At this point, I've sent four emails that have gone unanswered in the last month or so. I'm VERY disappointed in the lack of answers. Since I can't seem to get an answer from them, I'm going to my personal sounding board in hopes of garnering support. I figured if I have enough people who like Digital Magazines and Bicycling Magazine to help make a push for this, maybe there will be enough strength in numbers to change their mind.

For those of you who think I'm crazy, well, I'm used to that too. You have to be a little crazy to stand up for what you believe in sometimes. Oh yeah, for those who are seriously interested in rattling some cages:

Bicycling Magazine Customer Service: 800-666-2806
Bicycling Magazine Editor:
All Customer Service for Rodale:,6597,8-116,00.html
All Editor Contacts:,6597,8-115,00.html

Monday, November 12, 2007

What I Do When I'm NOT Biking

As stated, due to football playoffs, a bad back, and general laziness, I didn't bike much this week. Maybe it's a bit of burn out.

I did get a chance to spend a little extra time with the kids on Sunday as Laura was called into work. It was a beautiful biking day that I gladly gave up to have a little fun. Alright, there was a little work involved to, but nothing that couldn't be turned into fun. Such as:

1. Turn raking the yard into a time of jumping in the leaf pile.

2. When Mittens the Cat shows an interest in the leaf pile, show your son a great game called "bury the cat"

3. Taking pride in a job well done (yes, the cat IS in the picture).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day and once again I didn't receive a single present from any of you. I'm a little more than disappointed here!

On a serious note, happy Veteran's Day to ALL Veteran's. As I've told many of you in person: Regardless of how you feel about the war, and many of you know my position, it's not the soldier who is to blame for what is going on. ALWAYS support your troops as they are following orders and doing as they are told. They are doing the best they can under the circumstances and deserve all the prayers and support we can give them.

God Speed and come home safe (and SOON!).

Last but not least, a shout out to all my fellow soldiers from the 730th Medical Company (Clr) Det. 1 who I served with in Desert Storm. We served in the name of the SD National Guard with pride and did one heck of a job. Here is hoping that those of my comrades who went back this time don't have to see another tour....ever..

I'm Football-ed Out

I admittedly haven't ridden much since Wednesday. I've been having a heck of a time with a sore back and I've been working all the football games that have been going on inside the Dakota Dome.

The South Dakota High School Football Playoffs were this weekend (Thurs-Saturday) and that meant working the Daktronics Pro-Ad board as well as certain sequences for the Pro Star board as well. High School is a little tougher than college as each play we try to put up the ball carrier and the tackler. It gets really busy. As if six high school games were not enough, I got called into the USD/UND college game as they were short camera operators. So, I was there to run the boards for that as well. Seven games is enough to burn anybody out on football.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sunrise, eh?

I was cruising my usual blogs and ran across Snakebite's blog that had a quiz on it. I must have been bored, because I actually did it. I definitely am not a "sunrise" today as my kids actually let me sleep in (with the help of Mom I'm sure) for the first time in quite some time. The muscle relaxer I took before going to be might also have aided my sleep time.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Evan Almighty

If it isn't a blatant kid film, I'm way behind on movie watching. I finally caught Evan Almighty on DVD and it was only mildly entertaining, even for somebody who usually just shuts their brain off and enjoys what a movie has to offer. That being said, I'd only give the movie 3.5/4 stars out of 10. Worth a watch, nice feel good message about it, so not a total waste of time.

The beauty that makes me appreciate it more was in the extras on the DVD. They talk about the "Almighty Green Set". They set it up so as much wood as possible from the set would be donated to Habitat for Humanity at the end of the movie along with windows/etc. The director from the movie also offered to buy bicycles for the cast and crew for those who were willing to ride between the sets instead of drive, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the film. He figured that a few people would end up taking him up on his offer, but 400 ended up doing so....and he bought 400 bikes. I thought that was pretty darn cool! They also figured out their total carbon footprint from travel and everything for the film, and planted enough trees to make up for it, making this a "zero carbon footprint" movie.

While this doesn't really make up for a so-so movie, it makes the message within the movie (be better stewards of the earth) a stronger one. I'm impressed with the thought process of what went on behind the scenes of the movie. Wonder if we will see any other movies willing to do such attempts to make "green movies". Many in the movie industry talk the talk, now to see if they will truly walk the walk.

Blog Readability

Apparently you have to be at least college edu-muh-cated to read my blog. Is this why my readership is so low?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Monthly Mileage Update

Can't we just say I hit my original goal of 7,500 and call it good? It is getting harder and harder to put in the miles outside and the thought of a little over 1,500 miles in the next two month, presumably at least HALF on the trainer is making me a little queasy in the stomach.

At any rate, I'm still on pace to break 10,000. That elusive goal that I've always wanted to accomplish, even if it kills me. Trust me, it's trying to.

At the end of October I currently have 8420.97 miles in for the year. That puts me at an average of 27.70 miles per day and on a pace to ride 10,110.70 miles. IF I get to 10,000, expect to see the number stop there. I don't know if I have the heart to keep trying to ride 27.70 miles per day if I hit 10,000. Another update at the end of November.

This month's new stat is going to be "Days that I have been in a vehicle/driven a vehicle".