Thursday, July 31, 2008

Modern Day Prophecies

Who would have thought that M*A*S*H and Calvin and Hobbes could pull off such Nostradamus-type prophecies.

Prophecy #1: From M*A*S*H "The Novocaine Mutiny" (1976)
I was watching this little gem where Frank was trying to get Hawkeye a court martial. While on the stand Frank had the most prophetic quote for our current "administration":

"Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns


I nearly fell out of my chair in laughter. Then I nearly cried because it's sadly true.

Prophecy #2: Calvin and Hobbes cartoon from April 28, 1993. This has been hanging on my office door for at least a couple years now. The price isn't *quite* $8 a gallon, but give'em time.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Critical Mass Rides - Brilliant or Stupid?

Oh boy! A controversial post! Living in small town South Dakota, I still try to keep up and appreciate all things in the bicycle world. One thing I've struggled with since I very first read about it is Critical Mass rides.

Critical Mass (CM) rides have slowly become more confrontational. The big news of the week came from a video in New York where a cop took out one of the cyclists in a CM ride with an unnecessary show of force. IN NO WAY DO I CONDONE WHAT THE OFFICER DID so you can get off that high horse right now, but I do feel like there is more to the story. It sure seemed like THAT cop was looking for THAT particular individual. According to a NEWS ARTICLE the "The New York Police Department said the officer was placed on modified duty as a result of an investigation by Internal Affairs."





I believe that Critical Mass rides started out with the greatest of intentions. Even reading the top of their WEB PAGE sounds innocent enough:

Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists' right to the road. The idea started in San Francisco in September 1992 and quickly spread to cities all over the world. This site attempts to be the most complete guide to all Critical Mass rides around the globe.

Critical Mass has a different flavor from city to city -- there's a big variety in size, respect of traffic laws (or lack thereof), interaction with motorists, and intervention by police. So if you want to know more about Critical Mass, you'll really need to find out what your local ride is like. For those who must know more right now, here's a link to Chicago CM, which I suppose is a "typical" CM ride, if there is such a thing.

Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization licenses rides. In every city that has a CM ride, some locals simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicized it, and thus the ride was born.

CM is an idea and an event, not an organization. You can't write to "Critical Mass" -- certainly not by writing to me.

CM is intended to be a celebration, not an opportunity to cause trouble. Those who want to try to tie up traffic as much as possible and be confrontational with motorists are missing the point. We can assert our right to the road without being rude about it. Focus on the ride, not on the cars that also happen to be on the road.


The problem I see, is that bicyclists ARE missing the point. Rides like this do not bring out the right kind of people or the right kind of attention for bicycling. By admissions of many stories I've read, it has become a rolling party, not bicycling advocacy or a share the road campaign. The tension between drivers and bicyclists are getting higher with these rides and altercations are taking place with increasing frequency. This is NOT helping the advocacy of bicycling in America. Quite the opposite, I feel it is setting back the movement. In my humble opinion, CM rides need to go away. The sooner the better.

If I haven't said it enough lately, I love rural living.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Apologies Mr. Novak

What started out as more of a "bicycle vigilante" story of a cyclist running down a motorist who pulled a hit and run on a pedestrian, turned a little more grim today. After I threw the B.S. flag about him "not knowing" that he hit somebody (who was said to have bounced off his windshield), comes the story that he has a brain tumor.

So now I go from irate that a public figure gets away with a $50 fine for a hit and run to feeling sorry for the guy. It is possible that his vision was messed up and that he didn't notice the guy he hit. I never would wish a brain tumor on anyone. Even though I don't necessarily like your reporting, I wish you well in your recovery Mr. Novak.

Full story HERE.

Turning Five

Carson turned five yesterday and it was a long, tiring, but very fun day. It was a day that included church, party at the park, disc golf, games and swimming.

My favorite memory of the whole day was when Marissa planned a scavenger hunt for Carson after church, mainly because there was no way she was going to wait until the party to give him his present.

I believe it was about the third clue in, and Marissa read this clue to Carson: "Twinkle twinkle little star, you'll find the next clue under the C-A-R. Carson do you know what C-A-R spells?" Carson quite loudly and confidently yelled: "SANDWICH!!"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tagged

Tagged
Unlike Happy Rider, I ignored the "Fat Cyclist" plea of tagging everybody who reads his blog. But then Happy Rider called me out. To which I say: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
I'm still partial to Giant bikes as they are all I know as our local dealer is a Giant Rep. I'd have to go with the Giant TCR Advanced Team at a mere $6000 msrp.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
Do I have a Giant TCR Advanced Team? NO. But I do have a Giant TCR0 that I love very much and has done me very well for nearly 20,000 miles now. Right now I am not working towards a new road bike. I am more concerned with getting my kids through school right now!

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why? If I lived there, I would choose the Spearfish Canyon/Terry Peak/Deadwood/Mt. Roosevelt loop. I love riding that loop when I'm in the Black Hills. Fifty mile loop with some decent climbs for this flat lander. BUT, I'd get bored riding the same thing over and over. It's just not me.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life?
Exactly. Variety is the spice of life!

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow-minded? I ride both with a preference towards road riding. I do like getting on some single track and trails occasionally, and like taking off on some offshoot gravel roads here and there.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent. I have, because it was there and offered to me. If my back ever gets to the point where riding an upright is too painful, I'd consider getting one. My wife has mentioned the possibility of purchasing a tandem recumbent someday. You know that eventually she'll win. She always does.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? Yes, back in the late 80's and I think my last one was possibly 1990. Nothing big and I was more of a runner back then than anything else.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why? I could easily do without ice cream. It's not a major desire of mine. Doesn't mean I don't like some now and then, but I can live without it.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it. What is my favorite thing about cycling? The peacefulness of being on the country roads and the freedom of not having to drive places. I also love getting others involved in bicycling. There is something about the inner peace I receive when I encourage somebody to ride.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do? Pray that I'm on a downhill and see what the bear has in the tank. After I survive I stop and clean my shorts.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.
Ride Vermillion
Cycling Cathy
Bald N Surly
If anybody else wants to play...consider yourself tagged as well.

Bicyclist Runs Down Driver Guilty of Hitting a Pedestrian

Of course the plot thickens politically when it's a right-wing political reporter. How do you NOT KNOW you hit somebody? Oh wait, he's familiar with politics. I can see it now: "I do not recollect hitting that pedestrian".

Friday, July 25, 2008

Single Bike Rack on the Cheap

I did a quick Google search on making your own bike rack and I found THIS easy to build rack out of PVC pipe. Grand total was probably about $10 of material. If you are in a bigger city, I'm sure you will probably do it cheaper.

Materials you will need:

1 - 10' 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe
6 - 3/4" Tees
6 - 3/4" Elbows

Cut the PVC into the following:
2 - Wheel Upright Pieces - 22 3/4"
2 - Wheel base Pieces - 12 1/2"
4 - Base Pieces - 7"
5 - Small Splice Pieces - 1 1/4"

You will need PVC Glue to glue it together. I had some leftover floor patch cement that I mixed up and put in the base elements to weigh it down more. I tested the tandem on it before the cement and it didn't have enough weight to keep it upright. After the cement it's a solid unit.

I tried to extend this out to be a longer unit to hold more bikes, but it would take a few extra stabilizers to make it sturdy. I was mainly interested in the single anyway and I must say that it is a pretty awesome little stand. I would highly recommend the cement fill for the bottom weight though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Pavlovian Experiment

In the spirit of Ivan Pavlov I will soon be embarking on an important scientific journey: To see if I can make Cactus-Eyed Joe go postal on an upcoming ride by simply "dinging" the simple bell you see below. It was purchased online last night and is on its way to my house as we speak.



The story behind the bell:

It must be back in 2001 that this took place, but it makes me laugh and Joe cuss at the same time. Therefore, it's relevance is still there.

Siouxland Cyclists club from Sioux City used to host a ride that started at the Buffalo Run Winery here in Vermillion before our club was really up and running well, and before any of us were as strong a cyclist as we are now. We helped them plan a fifty mile route that looped to Burbank and then over the new Vermillion/Newcastle bridge to Newcastle. We really encouraged a bunch of our club to join in and that we would look after them. One happened to be my neighbor. This is where the story begins.

The reason we did a loop around Burbank and then to Newcastle is that it would offer a shorter ride (16ish miles) for those who were not ready for fifty. My neighbor was one of those not ready. Although she would race walk marathons, biking wasn't necessarily her forte. When we left Vermillion, the pace was moderate to strong, so some of our cyclists fell off the back. A few miles from Burbank Joe noticed that my neighbor was nowhere to be seen. He circled back to check up on her. Keeping the story short, he almost went all the way back to Vermillion as she decided to just turn around and go back to the coffee shop!

Needless to say, the pace was pretty strong up front and it was headed most of the time by two guys on a tandem (the original Man Tandem). They had a bell like the one in the picture above. Every time they decided to pick up the pace, they would ding the bell a couple times: "ding ding, ding ding" followed by an increase in speed of 2-4 mph at least. I held on to the pack and made it to Newcastle where we took an extended break there, somewhere in the area of a half hour.

Joe came pulling in, telling of his plight of looking for my neighbor and then busting butt trying to catch up to us. Unfortunately his rest in Newcastle was going to be short lived as everybody started to mount up for the last 15 miles back to Vermillion. Joe decided to stay with us so he mounted up too.

When you leave Newcastle for Vermillion, you start climbing right away. About 3/4 up the hill the tandem started the Pavlovian experiment for Joe: "ding ding, ding ding"...ZOOM. Joe fell off the back end almost immediately as he was tired from riding hard solo to Newcastle. Joe rode hard enough to catch up to the back of the pack. Of course, he caught up just in time to hear "ding ding, ding ding" and away we went again, leaving Joe to solo the rest of the way back to Vermillion. Joe cussed that tandem for a long time to come.

The ongoing joke from then on was always a spoken "ding ding, ding ding" when we were going to pick up the pace on a ride. This was always following by grumbling, and an occasional cuss word, and a hearty "I hate you guys" from Joe.

In the spirit of keeping the experiment alive, how could I NOT put a bell on the tandem? I may have to be careful of the timing of my use of the bell around Joe as he could become slightly volatile if the bell is used improperly or in a taunting mode. However, if you see Joe on the road and have a bell, by all means "ding away" and smile and say hello. After all, it's for science...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tandem Breaks Speed Record

That title should add a few blog hits on Google search engines. The BBT averaged 18.1 for 30 miles which is the first time we have averaged over 18 for a ride of that distance. CDV and Cactus-Eyed Joe rode with Laura and I to Elk Point so on a couple of occasions we did get to do a little drafting so that helped a little.



Joe, you will be interested in an upcoming post. I'll give you a hint, one that is a blast from your past: "Ding-ding, ding-ding"...ZOOM! Yeah, that's right. You know what I'm talking about. The rest of you will have to wait in anticipation. It's worth it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

When Handed Lemons

The day started with a great 50 mile bike ride on the tandem with Laura and CDV tagged along. In Elk Point we picked up Dave H. and Kathy R. who came up from North Sioux/Dakota Dunes area. It was breezy on the way down but we held our own. For the whole ride we averaged 17.7 which is pretty darn good for the Big Blue Tandem at this point. It's a great 50 mile loop as it is flat as a pancake as you can see below.



Part two of the day was supposed to be the fun with the family portion of the day. After a round of disc golf in the park we came home and had a mid-afternoon chow down. We set up the "be good and you will have a surprise" rules for the afternoon. The surprise was going to Wild Water West with the kids. Right before we left I checked the weather and it looked rough up that way so I called up to Wild Water West. The girl that answered said that the weather was pretty rough but usually they open up about a half hour after the storm goes through so we started to venture north.

As we got closer to Lennox the storm warnings were further to the East but the tail end of the rain was coming down, still pretty heavy. Shortly after getting through Lennox, it was evident the amount of rain that had gone through as it was standing in the fields and small creeks were overflowing their banks. As we neared Wild Water West, there was a fire truck on the side of the road with it's lights flashing. It became evident why it was there. A HUGE tree was covering 3/4 of the road. Another tree was down and across the road a house had lost a significant portion of its roof. It was evident that Wild Water West took a significant blunt of the storm as well. We parked and went closer but it was a mess. They were closed. All this way and we were shut out. **Late edit** We just watched KSFY news and the Ford Deathstar was caught driving around the big tree on the road. Even the van got its 5 seconds of fame.



Mr. Murphy: Why must your law follow me so. What to do? We've come all this way. I'm not just going home. Lemons. Damnable lemons. I decided to turn towards Sioux Falls as I didn't want to go back through the same mess we just drove though. As I drove to Sioux Falls we decided to go to eat our lunches we had packed and then we went to Chuck E Cheese to play games to at least make a little "lemonade" out of the lemons handed to us. The kids all had fun and nobody complained about the trade off.

After playing games and eating at Taco Bell on Louise, we headed for home and picked up a couple movies to chill out with. Interesting day to say the least, but still was a good time. I'm thinking about NOT leaving the house tomorrow though!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Riding by Spirit Mound

There was a storm a brewin' right when we were supposed to leave on a group ride Thursday night. It actually started right on top of us as it didn't even show up radar initially. It was probably good it started here as it became stronger as it worked it's way Southeast.

After it left, Laura and I took the BBT out for a ride. We did an out an back north on Highway 19 for 22 miles. As we went by Spirit Mound I had Laura take a few pictures which can be seen HERE. Some are of the storm that moved out of the area and built stronger as well.



Spirit Mound is part of the Lewis and Clark History. For quite some time there was a farm on this site, but it has been reclaimed as a natural prairie. If you get a chance stop by and walk up to the top on the trail and see why it was so special to Lewis and Clark (something I need to do with the kids soon).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Le Tour de EPO

Bye Bye Beltran, DueƱas, and Ricco (and the rest of Sauniur Duval). EPO-up all you want now.

That brings to mind...a song. I have no idea what they are saying, but I get the message just fine.



Lyrics translation I poached from another site:

Hi, dom Pedro
Si ?
What is your secret for being so fast ?
You would really like to know, wouldn’t you ?
It is an “especial” potion.
Let me tell you about it ….

1,2,3
EPO te quiero (EPO I love you)
Thanks to you , I’ll be “numero uno” (number 1)
EPO te quiero
Thanks to you, I’ll have the most beautiful of the jerseys.

On the roads of France,
I take advantage of the beautiful day.
I musn’t make too much effort
If I want to win the Tour.
I ride along on my bicycle
Without effort or complexity.
Far ahead of the peloton,
I’m humming this song.

EPO te quiero
Thanks to you , I’ll be “numero uno”
EPO te quiero
Thanks to you, I’m going faster than ? (a tornado or Don Lado).

When I have a little pump strike (I feel drained)
On my bike
I stop beside a field
Of poppies
So I extract from my flask
EPO
An good old medicine

And when comes the end of the stage,
I’m hailed as a hero.
Bravo, Bravo
The champagne, I don’t give a damn about it.
I prefer my EPO.

EPO te quiero
Thanks to you , I’ll be “numero uno”
EPO te quiero
Thanks to you, I’ll have the most beautiful of the jerseys.

Your attention ! Everyone into the saddles!
Each morning, with EPO, get a leg up.
A product of ours the whole world envies.
For you and your bicycle, EPO is what you need.
Thanks to you my EPO.

EPO te quiero
Thanks to you , I’ll be “numero uno”
EPO te quiero
Thanks to you, I’ll have the most beautiful of the jerseys.

I’ll be cuter than Laurent Fignon,
Stronger than Poulidor
And far crazier than Virenque,
And more handsome than Bernard Hinault.
Thanks to you, my EPO.

My PP, my PO, my PP, my EPO,
My PP, my PO, my PP, my EPO,
EPOooooooooooo

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Picnic Lunch With The Kids

Marissa sent me a message that she was bored this morning so I asked if she wanted to make sandwiches and meet me for a picnic. She was excited to do so and all three of my kids came for lunch. We met in Shakespeare Garden here on campus for a quick lunch as I only have thirty minutes this summer for lunch.

The kids had a good time with all the birds and flowers. It was quite peaceful and was a nice break from the office.

This Cardinal spent quite a bit of time in the garden while we were there.



The Brady Clan:



Thanks to my kiddos for coming by on their bikes and having lunch with Dad. Marissa, thanks for making me a GREAT PBJ sandwich!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Night "Follow the Big Blue Tandem" Ride

For the past two weeks I've been trying to get people out to "follow the big blue tandem" on the road. I think the possibility of a storm that was "close" when we started the ride may have hurt numbers.

Laura and I met up with Cindy L. at Bike Plus (our LBS) and rode to Elk Point and back. It was a great ride at a 'decent' pace and we felt the ever-so-slight sprinkles from the storm that was on the Nebraska side of the river. The storm stayed on that side of the river (as well as many nasty looking radar blips) so we were golden.

It was a low attendance ride, but we had fun without others. So there.

Cindy L. in action




The tail end of the storm on the Nebraska side of the river.




Weird clouds from outside our house after our return. Didn't amount to anything, but they were kind of bizarre.

The Truth About Hyperion?

Not sure how long this CNN Video will be out there, but everyone should see it.

HYPERION VIDEO

Will the REAL Hyperion please stand up?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bringing Rides to Life

The Hooterville Mayor always has the coolest pictures with all his posts, so I'm going to try to step up to the plate and start taking a few pictures on rides. This was a big pain up to this point due to the fact that I had a Canon SLR camera and it's a bit bulky for cycling purposes. So, thanks to a few Amazon.com gift certificates, I decided to break down and buy a Canon PowerShot SD750 Digital Elph. It came today and between Laura and myself on the tandem, we took a few test shots as we did a short 15 mile ride to the river and back. This is usually a good wildlife loop, but it was a little dry tonight and we didn't zoom in very well, but it was a good test.

Here are a few test shots.

Here is a photo of the nice wide shoulder we have between Hwy 50 and the Vermillion/Newcastle bridge. We also have this shoulder going north out of Vermillion on Hwy 19 between Vermillion and Centerville which makes for a nice safe out and back ride



There is a turkey in the middle of this picture. There are still quite a few wild turkeys out by the river, but the numbers seem to be fewer than before the road and bridge were built.



We think this was the same turkey on the way back. He had just went into the opposite ditch and I was trying to get a close up and he took off in flight. Unfortunately I caught the very tail end of his flight. I cropped the photo a little but it still doesn't do the long wing span of this bird justice.



Next on the agenda is to play with the video function of the camera.

Rules to a Happy Tandem Marriage (Part 2)

Part two of Rules to a Happy Tandem Marriage:

5. No Snot Rockets from the Captain. This is a tough one for me. Although I supposedly have no allergies, I have been diagnosed with "chronic rhinitis". I call it the "we can't figure out what you are allergic to, so we will come up with this fancy name to make you feel better" allergy. When I'm cycling, my nose runs quite often. This now requires more of a snuffleupagus approach than it used to.



6. Always clip in / clip out (for those of you with clip less pedals) starting on the same foot to avoid confusion. We have decided that will always be the right foot first.

7. After taking "butt breaks", in other words standing while riding to get some blood flow back in the cheeks, allow the stoker to start the pedaling again. It is a bad feeling when the captain starts and he feels a real jerk on that first pedal stroke. Failure to allow stoker to re-start the pedaling may result in sleeping on the couch for the evening. Not that it happened to me. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

MS Training Ride

We hosted a MS Training Ride today and we only had twelve people show up. Even some who RSVP'd didn't show which was a tad disappointing, but there was another MS Training Ride in Sioux Falls which surely hurt our numbers. No matter what the case it was a fun ride for all.

This was Laura's first ever 50 mile ride. We averaged a 16.7 over the whole course which is pretty good for us, especially with a couple decent sized hills on the route. The Garmin stats only show the organized ride, but we also rode to and from Hy-Vee which adds another four miles on. She did AWESOME! I think that she realizes that if we can get off the bike for a bit every 10-15 miles, that she can go for a long distance. I am glad we had quite a few 20-30 mile rides in to get her confidence up. Hope we can get 30 or so in tomorrow to get a little "back to back" ride feeling in for her.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rough Draft of the Margarita Ride VII T-Shirt

Well done Ham(m)er! Check out the initial drawing HERE and mark your calendars for September 13th. Margaritas, Mexican buffet, a great ride and awesome fellowship of riders. Be there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rules to a Happy Tandem Marriage

Now that we have a considerable amount of mileage under our belts, I offer you the rules to a happy tandem marriage.

Rule #1: Communicate If you are used to riding many miles on your own bike, you have to learn to say most of the things you are about to do instead of just doing them. You will get used to saying things like: braking, slowing/stopping, turning left/right, shifting (especially between chain rings), unclipping right/left, stop pedaling, and standing. I mentioned in an earlier post that I HIGHLY recommend the Tandem-com for communications between the captain and the stoker. It saves a lot of neck strain on the behalf of the captain always having to turn to be heard.

Rule #2: Swallow Your Pride If you are used to being at the front of the pack as a solo rider and your wife is new to tandem cycling, your going to have to swallow your pride and accept the fact you will get passed. Think of yourself as the loaded U-Haul on the interstate. It's not pretty, but you'll get to your destination. Your retribution will come when your stoker gets stronger and you can blow by them in a couple years.

Rule #3: Love thy Stoker There will be times when your stoker, especially one new to longer distance cycling, will not have much left in their legs. It is at this point that you have two choices: Slow down or suck it up and do the lion share of the pedaling. Still having issues? See Rule #2.

Rule #4: Have a good marriage to start with! A fellow tandem rider shared this prophetic statement when I started riding with Laura: "Whether your marriage is going good or going bad, a tandem will get you there faster." Hard to improve on that statement.

Amen


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Following "Big Blue"

We had a group ride last night and the conditions couldn't have been much nicer. For all the brutal conditions that we had earlier in the spring, Mother Nature must have decided to make up for that with some perfect days as of late.

We met at the LBS at 5:18 -- the duly appointed time by myself -- and away we went on a 30ish mile jaunt on the Meckling Loop. Cycling Cathy joined us she commuted to work from Wakonda and we escorted her for the first fifteen miles of her journey home. Also along was CDV (Ride Vermillion), Cactus-Eyed Joe, Cindy L., and Caitlin C.

I warned in my email that the Big Blue was only averaging about 16 mph with the Brady's on board, so naturally the group pretty much rode us in the ground with the perfect conditions. I haven't downloaded the Garmin stats yet, but I'm pretty sure we were over 17 for an average on the ride last night. It was a pretty good push for the rookie tandem crew.

In other news, I had some gift certificates to Amazon.com so I burned some up buying a Canon Digital Elph camera. It should be arriving soon so Laura can play co-pilot and picture taker when out on the tandem.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Addicted to the Tandem

I didn't realize this until I checked my Motionbased account, but I haven't been on my road bike since June 21st. My whole focus as of late is making sure that Laura gets in the miles and the confidence on the "Big Blue" tandem. She's been doing great and I have to admit that I'm thoroughly enjoying having Laura around on all the rides.

With the crazy weather we had early in the year and knowing I needed to get out with Laura on the tandem, I now realize how nearly impossible it would have been to train for the Gut Check (with or without Team Man Tandem). Trying to do that on top of all family duties and there is just no way it could have happened.

I don't have near the miles I did last year, but I'm having twice as much fun. I love the tandem! Laura loves the looks we get when we are out on it.

This in no way means that the Gut Check isn't in the back of my mind. I will be back. With a vengeance.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Two Truths and a Lie

It's been a different week so let's play a little game called two truths and a lie. Below will be three answers, two of which are true. Do your best not to cheat. Answers at the end.

Question 1: This week in Bicycling
This week I rode the following bikes:

a. My Specialized Rockhopper Mountain Bike
b. My Giant TCR0 Road bike
c. My Cannondale Tandem


Question 2: This week in Work
This week I worked the following:

a. As a funeral director's assistant
b. As a lay speaker giving a sermon at church
c. A 40 hour work week at the University

Question 3: This week in Birthday's
My oldest had a birthday on the 4th of July. The ages of my children are:

a. 12
b. 10
c. 5





ANSWERS:

Question 1: B If you answered B, you are are as shocked as me, but you are correct. Obviously I ride my Rockhopper nearly daily for commuting/errands and as of late the complete focus is on getting Laura ready for her first ever MS bike ride which will more than likely also be her first two seventy-five (75) mile rides.

Question 2: C I helped out a funeral director who needed assistance at a funeral this week and I also gave the sermon and prepared most of the service for today. Between taking off time for funeral and not having to work on the 4th (Friday) I did not work a 40 hour week at the University.

Question 3: C My youngest is still four until the 27th of July. He will turn five on the anniversary of Lance Armstrong's fifth straight Tour de France victory.

So, honestly, how did you do?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Walking Your Dog Via Bike

I was hoping to back this post up with evidence from a quick Google search, but unfortunately I could find very little. In fact, I found evidence of manufacturers who make attachments for bikes to "walk" your dog. I struggle with this from a safety standpoint.

I don't care how well behaved your dog is. If your dog gets spooked, sees an animal that it decides to chase, gets in anyway distracted, it could take you out if you are on a bike. Still, I see all to often here in Vermillion, people who "walk" (for lack of a better term) their dog by bike.

Why does it bother me? Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe nothing will happen. Then again, maybe Darwinism will take over. I know of at least three people who have broken collarbones while "walking" their dog while on bikes and been taken out. It is just one of those "duh" moments in my opinion.

Outside of the inherent laziness of walking your dog this way, am I the only person who sees this happen? Am I the only one who sees this as stupid/dangerous? Has anybody seen these bike attachments for walking your dog in action?

Who's Your Daddy?