Archive for August, 2009

10 Years Later…

atfinish001Today it is 10 years since I stood atop Mt Katahdin with a shot of Jack Daniels in one hand and a beer in the other and finished my Appalachian Trail thru-hike.  Even though it was a pain in the ass I am glad I did it!

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Wintry Mix

It is cold here.  I had to wear knee warmers this morning for my ride.  It is supposed to be even colder tonight, tomorrow I might have to bust out the leg warmers!  I don’t mind, take it as it comes is the only way to fly.  Then complain about it as it happens if you don’t like it, I guess.

I had a good ride, did a tour of local bike paths.  The Clear Creek trail over in Coralville is flooded in a couple of places, muddy in more, and is stinky.  I saw a crawdad scuttling along at one point.  North to Liberty is better, but there is still some standing water in places.  Nice ride, though, happy as ever to get out was I.

While I rode I was thinking about the oft-spewed angry motorist sentiment that bikes should get off the roads because:

  1. Physics.  Car versus bike, bike loses.
  2. Taxes.  Cars pay them, bikes don’t.
  3. Commerce.  Cars are moving about for work purposes, bikes are out for fun.
  4. Bike paths.  Built for bikes, so use them and get off the roads.

Call it the Tyranny of the Road manifesto or something.  There are more, of course, but this whole might makes right malarky defies simple logic and any attempts whatsoever at complex reasoning or constructive debate.  Does not the tractor trailer still have to abide the laws of the roadway?  Can a big Heartland Trucking semi just plow through a row of small cars to deliver its goods because it is bigger?  And does it matter that a truck is working and the folks in the cars are going to the mall to see a movie?  Interstate 80 could get much more product delivered much quicker if all them stinking cars were not in the way, merging, exiting, texting, crashing, gawking…  It is all one big system, my bike parts get made and shipped here, they create jobs and keep people working.  Tourism is an industry for a reason.  If all travel were work related it would be a boring world indeed!  The taxation idea is always a stunner.  I still have not got my tax free because I cycle card in the mail.  I pay taxes, so give it a rest.  I saw a quote from Will Rogers in my Adventure Cycling newsletter about keeping all cars off the roads unless they are paid for.  A nice idea.  Subsidies and tax breaks to the oil and auto companies come straight from my tax dollars.  I own part of the car that almost hits me and I pay for some of the gas that makes it go, too.  Cold comfort.  The other day I was riding my bike home and trying to cross a busy 2 lane, 1 way street.  There was a lull in the traffic but I could not cross because on the other side, running on the sidewalk, was a cross country team from one of the local schools.  It was a huge group and I wound up waiting for some while for them to pass.  Kinda ruined my day.  Shouldn’t they be running only on their school track?  It was built for running after all so outta my way!

Kind of run-on, rambling, disjointed, biased and such, but it is what I thought about for a while on my ride, and it feels good to write about these things sometimes.  Maybe I will polish it up and send it to the local paper.

Tomorrow morning I am going to meet some friends for a few hours of pedaling.  Might even get a coffee.

Share the road, please, for all of our sakes.

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Just Do It

I have been waiting for some sort of free time or whatever it is called to get this blog updated proper again.  Here goes.  Cody and I are still making a go of 30th Century Bicycle.  It is pretty great.  We have been open for 4 months now, do that 90 more times or so and it is retirement party time!

STP82457

The tree that was all broken up in the yard is down, we had a tree service come in and take care of it.  It was quite a show, as promised.  Now we are shopping for a chainsaw so we can be real homesteaders, possibly with scars and even missing limbs!  From trees, of course…

I have been getting out and riding, it has been a great deal of fun to be able to stay at it, even if I am slower than I prefer.  Group rides have switched to gravel and I had a blast on Tuesday, looking forward to more.

withnail

We have been watching lots of Withnail and I, I highly recommend it to you, just take a taste and you will see.

Got in an overnight tour last weekend (finally!) and hoping to do a bit more of that this year.  This was the last tour ever for the Touring Townie in its moustache bar configuration, I ordered a Northroad and am going to give that a try, with some of them backwards brake levers and some Paul Thumbies so I can keep my bar end shifters in service.  I have all the parts but for the Thumbies (oops) so look for photos of the new look soon.  Here is a bonus photo from the trip, a big white bird in the misty morning hunting the pond while we ate our meager breakfast.

STP82482

The Ira still hangs, but I have a plan!  Lots of Nitto stuff, a wheel I built myself, and provacative bar tape.  Stay tuned.

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Why?

Riding home at midnight under a half moon is enough.

Seeing a shooting star overhead is just an intergalactic bonus.

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