Archive for March, 2007


In addition to living a car-free lifestyle I am also very anti-television. At a xc ski race I did in Vermont years ago I saw a bumper sticker on a ski case that said “Turn Off Your TV And Turn On Your Life” and it struck me as a very fine and worthwhile saying so I use it from time to time. Not too often as I am not a huge fan of bumper stickers, either, but from time to time is appropriate, as I said. Instead of watching TV I ride bikes, watch movies of my choosing, work on my house, spend time with Cody, pet cats and read books and comics.

One of my favorite books is 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If you have not read it, please do and then come back and finish reading this post, the book is much better, I assure you! I only just today read that on March 6th he turned 80! I have been happy to see his name popping up in magazines and newspapers recently and was delighted to see a good old fashioned gossip column about him in the NYT today.

Here he is with a black eye (Photos courtesy of Rodrigo Moya and the NYT) he received at the fist of a Peruvian author in 1976 at the premier of ALIVE, the movie about the plane crashed soccer team that was forced into cannibalism to survive. What a story!

Okay, I also recently finished reading I Love Led Zeppelin (Panty-Dropping Comics) by Ellen Forney and it was also a wonderful book/comic/graphic novel collection filled with advice about how to drag race a car or tip your waiter or smoke pot and stay out of jail or sew a severed finger back on (not a diy section so much as just an explanation) or even how to survive the coming chaos! Her drawing style is fabulous and the story about the girl who had Tom Waits pour her a bourbon made me laugh and laugh and, well, laugh.

In other news, my rest week continues after the brutal 24 mile effort on Sunday so I hit the lovable “B” ride last night and did not do much work, just sat near the back and talked with some folks I have not seen much of lately. Good times…


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My Day, In Brief Detail

Cody and I were up with the chickens this morning and had the laundry done and the cats fed and Frontline(d) before they knew what had hit em! Traumatic the monthly Frontline(ing) for them and us but we manage. I had a dandy day at work, ran a backpack full of grocery bags back to the store for recycling for my midday break/ride and handled the NYT crossword easily. I know, its just Monday. Back home I finished reading The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd which was enormously entertaining and then I worked on my flickr photo posting skills.

Here is GIANT Cody in the loft

Here are our kitties enjoying their new hideaway

And here are Cody and I at a Bike To Work Week event last year

Oh alright and here is one more, snowy day loaded up and ready to ride to ski

You have to look close but the skis are sticking out of a pvc pipe hose clamped to my rack. This system is pretty empowering to the car-free skier.

Later on…

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Road Finds

Riding to work today I did spy a gleam of metal in the road so I hit the brakes and what was it but a brand spanking run over Park Tool hex key set! My Nashbar catalog tells me that this is a $12 mail order value. I love road finds! My tool box if full of them and some of them have proven quite handy over the years. So many reasons to ride…

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Lose/Win Situations

I have been away for awhile (not really, I spent hours yesteday sprucing up the TIVO story in the upper right corner) and much has happened. Lets look at my days out of order, shall we?

Today was the annual rite of spring, the Kent Park Semi-Classic and I got myself a license and took the start with 130 other folks or so. This is a mass start (sort of, categories are started at small intervals) event with lots of hills and, in general, a few people who have been travelling to races and doing intervals in their basements and stuff for months already and they usually kick butt. I am not one of those people and it showed. I did okay and was mostly happy with the way I rode for the fitness I have. A few trips into the ditch in the crosswind did me no favors and I ultimatly rode in for 36th place, I hear, but I also was the first rider registered 30+ to finish and thus I still won a case of beer that I did not pick up because I had already left. Oh yeah, I rode out to the race with some friends and that was nice. This was the warmest Kent Park in my memory and I am glad I went.

Thursday night then, I went on the group ride (Sugar Bottom-Tiffin loop) after work and it was hard. I turned in early with a group after a long effort that saw me victorious on the Pepsi Challenge and second in the first sprint. I almost got dropped on the way to North Liberty but I found the motivation to stay on. Probably a 2 hour ride.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a warm and rainy day here in Iowa’s Old Capital and I celebrated by staying inside and working on my blog. I also dug my AT journals out of the basement as I am going to try and start posting some of the pages here and it was some fun reading. Cody and I had a coffee date in the afternoon after the rain had moved on and then I had a meeting with Michael at the Broken Spoke about my coming summer employment. After that I got out for a quick ride on my singlespeed (Fuji) for an hour to loosen my legs before racing Sunday morning.

Friday was a good day! I had a fine and dandy time at work and did some contract negotiating for next year that resulted in my being able to leave at 4pm on Fridays for the rest of the year! Yeah! Cody and I went to see the artist Dread Scott at a lecture he was giving at the Old Capital. I had not been in the Old Cap since its remodel and fire so it was good to see it and Dread Scott was a very intelligent and interesting speaker with a mohawk. He was very approachable and made plans to meet folks out for drinks later in the evening. This is the kind of thing that makes Iowa City such a great place to live, but I do think the community could use more discussions like these.

Today, Sunday, I opened the rental bench at the BL again and it was hopping! No paying guests, but lots of wrenching going on and we listened to The Monkees. I did an upright conversion on a sweet Austro-Daimler by Puch that is almost ready for some lucky person to take it off some sweet jumps. Lucky. Home for an art video with Cody and that is all.

later on…

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Photo Extravaganza! (Thanks, Cody)

Car Free Liver!

Winter Project

Turn Left For Justice!

Our Captors:

I have lots of exciting news to report but it must wait until tomorrow, g’night!

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Plastic Utopia

Today was a relaxation day! Work was easy as I had already made the lunch “entree” before leaving yesterday. Dinner was easy too due to the wonders of “kitchen science” which is responsible for things like “mystery meat” and the very real and really scary “Corn Dog“.

I got away for a library visit and a delicious coffee beverage and croissant. It was a warm and stormy day and it was good to get out in it.

After work I took my single speed mountain bike out for its first ride since Tom Teesdale put in the horizantal drops. It was a joy, quiet and smooth like I always dreamed it would be. It had stopped raining earlier so there were lots of folks out running and walking and I even saw some smooching! Oh-la-la! I rode easy for about an hour and kept mostly to the Iowa City Bike Path System. I am not a fan of bicycle paths (okay, multi-use paths) as I feel bicycles belong on the roads and in the streets but that does not mean I don’t use them. After all, they are there and it is nice to ride and not be hassled every once in a while. I am not a fan of taxes either but I still pay them and don’t get me started about Texas! I had a good stretch after the ride and am feeling good in general about my fitness and form at this time of year.


Cody is having a rough day, send her your positive thoughts!

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Running On The Sun

Last night I watched a movie from the library about the Badwater 135 which is an ultra-run held in California. It starts in Death Valley and follows paved roads over a couple or few mountains and finishes on Mt Whitney. Only 40 people are invited each year and they must finish within 60 hours. It was 115 F at the 8am start in the movie. It is, as you might imagine, an intense event. The scenes where folks show their training secrets are hilariously sad if you know what I mean and the guy who had his toenails surgically removed so they would not hinder his performance is inspirational in his own way, I suppose. There is lots of vomiting and an extended scene of different competitors dealing with their blistered feet for those of you that like realism. Lots of heartwarming scenes, too as folks overcome their demons and all the tortures of the event to claim their finishers belt buckle. Not my thing, but a good documentary.

BADwater 135

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