Monday, December 29, 2008

Xtracycle vs. Trailer Cagematch

I'm a huge fan of all things bicycle. When it comes to doing all things that I can on the bike, I'm totally there. That being said, I haven't made the jump to the Xtracycle (yet). I love the concept and always have, but every time I weigh the pros and cons, my Burley Flatbed (aka "The Grocery Getter") wins.



Advantages:

1. I can haul so much more with the Burley Flatbed, especially since the "upgrade" to the 45 gallon Rubbermaid container from the "weenie" 30 gallon one.

2. It disconnects easily allowing me to put it on almost any bike. My son often uses it to pull his tenor sax to school which is way cool by me.

Disadvantages:

1. Two extra tires to worry about about.

2. Only a 100 pound load limit (supposedly).

I want to hear from you Xtracycle people about your great love of your bike as a cargo carrier or if you think that maybe my choice is spot on. I'm not here to say that either choice is better. I'm just here to continue the conversation that the voices in my head have on occasion.

In case you were wondering, if I was to go the Xtracycle route, I do dream in Surly Big Dummy green.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still Not Cold Enough


There was little to no wind this morning, so this seemed somewhat "balmy". I even had a Cactus-Eyed Joe bicycle spotting on my way in today. It's not cold enough for him either.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Levels of Insanity

I no longer need to prove my insanity as I believe that fact has been established for years. The only thing left to prove is the severity of it. This weekend may have proven it's in the latter stages of the disease.

Example one: Went to work on a computer about a mile and a half away yesterday at zero degrees with 20 mph wind. I was layered okay, but I will say that it was brisk.

Example two: Went to work at the basketball game at -1 degrees with a sustained 28 mph wind with gusts of 40. On the way there, I was right into the teeth of the wind, very uncovered towards the end. Quite possibly the coldest mile and a half I've ever ridden because of the wind.

To make matters worse I cut across campus like I always do on my way to the game and the sidewalks were drifting pretty good from the blowing snow. I looked at this with boyish glee and started going as fast as I possibly could so I could do some drift busting. Worst. Idea. Ever. Seems that all the drifting snow was not light and fluffy, it was hard, packed and crunchy. The only saving grace was that I hit the semi hard stuff before the really hard stuff. I went from about 17 mph to 8 mph to 0 mph in about half a second. My Chris King headset was like a catcher's mitt for my cajones, minus the nice soft leather part. I found an alternate route to the dome that was less snow packed and less painful for "the boys".

At the game, I was asked: "What is the temperature that you simply will not ride". I had seriously not pondered that before. After brief thought I said, "I guess I haven't found it yet".

I did however ride with the family to church toady and to the kids pageant tonight. I now take more crap when I do catch a ride than when I don't. I'm okay with that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vote for Change: Bicycling


Happy BIG ONE Cathy Jo

Sorry Cathy Jo, I couldn't let THIS birthday slide by! Everyone get over to CYCLING CATHY and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bike vs. Car Report: Dec 1 - Dec 15

Almost unblemished save for driving to the IT Christmas gathering with Laura.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mean People Suck

It's too cold to leave for lunch today so I thought that I'd eat at my desk and share a little rant/pet peeve. My rant/pet peeve for the day: People who continuously try to cut you down to build themselves up. Before I continue, I can be a smart ass with the best of them. After all, my wife made sure that I obtained professional status in that area last year. That being said, I try to the utmost of my ability to be obviously funny and not hurtful or crass.

This last weekend my pet-peeve-o-meter was set off on a couple of occasions by different people. One by somebody who seems to have a personal cob up their butt for me as of late. Of course, this same person will talk about anybody at any time so it shouldn't be totally shocking to me or anyone. It is kind of funny because now that I have started taking this person to task more, the attacks seem to have become more relentless. I'm trying my best to not communicate except when necessary with that person, which is probably playing into exactly what they want.

The other person doesn't necessarily say as much to me as my wife, and my wife used to just deal with it and be hurt by the comments. Now she's getting stronger and letting the person know that it was uncalled for. When she did that this weekend, the person backed off saying "geez, don't you know humor. You take me too serious!". Unfortunately, this person is unlikely to change either.

In both cases, it seems to be the best way they know how to make themselves feel better. In both cases, it's really sad. There is much about each person to be liked. It's too bad that too often gets overshadowed by their nasty, hurtful sides. In other words, mean people suck.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Brady Christmas Rhyme '08


It should shock no one that knows us that our wishes our late,
but we have been extremely busy in two thousand and eight.
Our calendar seems to have never a clear date to pick,
even if we do, we always fill it right quick.
Laura expanded her massage clinic hours to include Monday night,
keeping up with the demand of her customers and treat them just right.
This year she became quite the bicyclist usually on tandem with me,
although late in the year she secured a nice used celeste-colored Bianchi.
Next year the rides may be more solo than pair,
as long as she’s riding I have not a care!
Her accomplishments this year on the bike continue to bring me great smiles,
from riding the MS Bike Tour to covering one thousand plus miles!
Austin is now twelve and enjoys playing the sax like his Dad,
We’ve even performed in church together and it makes others glad.
In the past year his maturity and stature has really grown up,
he’s nearly as tall as his mother, no longer a pup.
Marissa is now ten and is a real busy bee,
playing softball and soccer bring her great glee.
She’s showing quite an interest in cycling too,
When it comes to being active, there isn’t much she won’t do.
Carson is now five and Mom thinks it’s way cool,
that all three of our children now are in school.
To have a quarter of his energy we’d all be set for life,
To turn it off at bedtime is the dream of my wife.
Most days of the year the kids follow a bike to school plan,
As we do our best to be an anti-car clan.
We see it as a way of life and it keeps us healthy and fit,
we try to encourage others, but most don’t get it.
In March of this year we went from two to one car,
and traded our van from a Wind to Free-Star.
Most people laugh and say we’ll buy another when kids are of teen age,
We say they can buy their own when they make their own wage.
In closing our Christmas letter we want you to know we are all fine,
Here’s hoping for you and yours, a GREAT two-thousand-nine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chip Off The Old Block(Head)

I haven't given much thought to hooking up the Trail-a-Bike and taking Carson to school since the snow has started flying. However Laura (aka Mrs. Biking Brady) told me that he was VERY upset when I left Wednesday morning that he didn't get to ride with me. Thursday he was just too pokey and it was sloppy from new wet snow so I told him I'd take him Friday (today). He was very motivated (for him) in getting ready this morning so he could ride with me. He chatted my ear off all the way to school. He made sure to tell me that he wanted me to pick him up after school too.

For better or worse--I'm going with better--my bicycle-over-car attitude is rubbing off on my children to one degree or another. So, to those of you who like to question HOW I can ride ALL the time, my kids already get it. Guess that makes you feel kind of dumb now doesn't it?!?!?

The Biking Brady's -- reducing their carbon footprint one bike ride at a time.

Below is the updated route I have usually take when taking Carson to school and then back to my office.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Studs vs. Chains

As I wandered over to Slagle Hall for a meeting today, I noticed a co-worker had chains on his back tire. Upon further questioning he said he got the idea HERE. Have any of you ever tried chains? It sure looks a lot cheaper than studs. What are some of the plus/minus of chains vs studs?

Regardless of the results, I'd like to give props to Randy for riding this winter. He's been pretty steady on the commuting to work front as of late!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Studded Tyres ON


It was time for new studs so the LBS is very happy and I'm much lighter in the pocketbook. However, once I got them on and headed out into the snow with (as usual in South Dakota) the bottom layer of frozen rain to make it incredibly slippery. They held like champs around curves and turns.

After our church band played for the Coffee Loft Campus Ministry I took the long way home--okay EXTREMELY long way home---to have some fun and test out the tyres. I think part of the reason I went further than planned is that the streets were for the most part not disturbed as of yet. They were slick, but it's so much fun busting through fresh snow, including drifts on the edge of town. It definitely helped me out of my funk of hating the cold weather. It actually rejuvenated me to get on the cranks more often now.

What are the tyres? They are the Nokian Mount and Ground. Great tyres and I highly suggest them!!

Early Sunday Ride After a Light Snow Dusting

I had to be at church a little early to go over a few songs so I rode my bike--yeah, I would have rode anyway, but that's not the point. The point is that there was a real light dusting of snow from Saturday night. Not much, but enough to cover the entire streets.

As I rolled out there was no wind and although it was chilly, it was a beautiful morning. The undisturbed snow on the side streets made a wonderful sound crunching lightly under my wheels. My one mile trip to the church turned out to be a 3.5 mile excursion as I rode around listening to the snow make it's own version of music. I would have rode longer, but I was already a little later getting to church than I wanted to be.

I could just leave this as a beautiful morning story, but the down side was that by the time I went to the USD Women's Basketball game the roads were a sloppy mess...and I forgot to clip my fender on. I was a speckled-back-mud-skipper by the time I got home from the dome. Damn I hate that! It was still worth it to enjoy the beautiful morning. I am starting to appreciate the cold weather riding. Still looking forward to spring already, but it was nice.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Important Public Service Announcment

Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

We apologize for any inconvenience

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Late Bike vs. Car Edit

I can't believe the faithful bloggers (especially those who were AT the PIT in Wakonda on the 22nd) missed my glaring omission of being a passenger on the 22nd. So, my original post for the last half has been updated to include the 22nd.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bike vs. Car Report: Nov 16 - Nov 30

Boring is good. On the 17th the family went out to dinner together and on the 19th Laura picked me up for lunch. Other than that, there was no driving involved in the latter part of November. I somehow forgot about the awesome trip to the PIT in Wakonda where a bunch of the cycling bloggers and friends gathered on the 22nd so that trip has been added late. I don't know how I could forget such a great time!