Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back In Business

I've given birth. The P2P stork soft-landed a wheel into my waiting arms. Midwives John, Glen and Dave made sure there were no complications. I took it home and stared, unbelieving. How on earth could a dipshit like me have walked in with a pile of parts and then 2 hours later, walked out with a functioning wheel? Holy living hell.

Like any new dad, there was no sleeping. I wanted the best for my boy. The new wheel had the capability to generate electricity which meant that I needed to hack the rack . . .

A few pints of midnight oil later, the light was mounted . . .

My dog patiently waited for all the bullshit to end so that we could finally, uhh, RUN . . .

Which we did. Photographic proof that we kicked ass in the moonlight . . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I'm a sucker for the look. Maybe we could just wheelie down to the park.

Hand me another beer, would ya?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Separation Anxiety

I'm enrolled in next week's Pedals 2 People Wheelbuilding Class. My plan is to build a coupla low-budget dynohub wheels. I guess batteries are necessary in life but they suck and I love the concept of powering your lights with your feet.

Trouble with dynohub wheels is that it can run into the hundreds for a normal person to get one built. That's way more than most bikes are worth. While we're waiting for the whole bike industry/consumer demand deal to start driving generator hubs, it would rule to be able to take a common wheel off a common bike and put a reasonably-priced dynohub on it and tie a cheap, effective headlight to it and go.

I ordered a coupla very affordable dynohubs for the class - the one on the left is 40 bucks and the one on the right is 50. Neither one's gonna win the low-rolling-resistance award, but in the way I picture them being used, does anyone really care.

Fabulous theory, all fine and well, until I actually had to think about taking the front wheel off of the dogbike, thereby rendering it useless for the next several days. I should just say, that in the history of utility bikes, I'm not sure that one has ever been more utilized. I thought that at least we should go for a run first, so we did.

I'm breating into a paper bag. This is not easy. I can only trust that things will somehow work out.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Used To Ride

Now all I do is work on my damn shed.

Not that it's a bad shed. But I vaguely recall how much fun it was to ride. Shed-building, mmm, not so much. I hope I get to ride again someday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So It's Not Just Me

What follows is an email I got from a buddy tonight about an experience he had at a spo pizza place, also tonight. My re-publication is totally unauthorized, which is a good way to totally piss off a friend and also explains why I'm keeping him anonymous. (I'll ask forgiveness later.) But I'm also pretty sure he wouldn't mind a little assistance venting.

And I guess I'm more than a little motivated by the fact that I feel like there's something way wrong with the culture at some of our local joints. There are more great ones out there than bad ones and I'm overdue for the praise post. But tonight, for me, it's pretty simple . . . I sweat out a living every day and I'm not willing to just hand my money over to some douche that treats me like shit.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions . . .


Oh man, what a disaster. Long story short, don’t expect anything more than goon employees, incompetent owners, poor service, mediocre food, but yet good beer from any pizza joint in Spokane.

Early April: I call David’s to ask if they had a room that my professional society could have a meeting in. Sure, they say. We will reserve the room for you. How many people? About 20 people I say.

May 12th: I call David’s to confirm our “room reservation”. 25 people confirmed. 5 pizzas, salads, and water will be waiting for us.

May 13th, 12:50 PM: Call to David’s to confirm “room reservation”. Talk to the owner who has no idea my name is in the book (he didn’t bother to look in the book) But he did add, by the way, you need to be on one check and we can’t separate the checks. Okay, no problem I say.

May 13h, 5:30 PM: I get to David’s and check out the room. Not bad…all to ourselves.
6:00 PM, the David’s employees proceed to seat other people in the room we have reserved.
6:15 PM, the pizza’s come out, but no water, no service, and still a room full of loud people
4x6 screen set up and Power Point and projector at the ready. Speakers waiting to start.
6:20 PM the continuing education lecture starts with about 15 other people in the room yelling away, like nothing was going
on. WTF???
6:40 PM, [Pie-Holers] behind us still chit chatting away, actually yelling over our speaker.
7:00 PM [Pie-Holers] get pizza and start [vigorously stuffing pie into said holes]. Volume in the room goes down in time for our second speaker to start his presentation.
7:30 PM: second speaker is finished
7:40 PM: I settle the tab for the 25 of us…$90 in pizza + $8 tax. Not bad until I get to the register and here: “You did hear about our reservation policy when you called didn’t you?” Me, “ah, no?”. “We do one check and add a %15 room use charge to the bill”. I proceed to tell the goons that they are fucking idiots, and normally when I reserve a room, I expect to have it to myself. Some discussion ensues. I say something to the effect of, “I know it’s not your fault, but when a group reserves a room for a meeting, it usually means they get it to themselves. We will never come here again”. Apologies.

And the owner is a tool, but he was gone and I haven’t had any more discussion with him.

And they ask me what I drink? Man…you just can’t win around here. I think next month we’ll have our society meeting at a radiator shop on Division. At least we’ll get some piece and quite.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Boise Bike Scene Snap Assessment

But first, this:

Tonight, like most, we cruised Manito, you should recognize the backdrop. But something was different . . .

No mention of what the risk actually is, but apparently from a liability standpoint, the sign somehow covers it. We're both risk-takers, so we proceeded. I have to say that I do feel a little dumber, but it's hard to tell if it's the pesticides or the beer. Whatever, we had a great time. Hope they kill whatever they're trying to kill.

Anyway, on to the headline story.

I had to dash down to Boise today, on business. Between the end of business and my flight home, I ended up with a little time on my hands, so I did what any self-respecting bike freak would do and assessed the state of cyling in Boise. My conclusion: "Build it and they won't come." or maybe they will. eventually. hopefully.

Translation? Boise has amazing bike infrastructure, but nobody's using it. Well, not nobody, but not near enough.

How did I arrive at my lame, unscientific conclusion?

I started off by googling boise bike shops and the one that was by far the most interesting to me was Velomech.

So I dropped in and as it turns out, it's a small shop in a business park, away from the downtown core.

Super-cool, performance-oriented shop. (Sorry, but no pics from inside. It would have been screamin intrusive.) But it's a one-man operation (Alan) who has lived a buncha places, so has good perspective, and does really good work and has carved out a bike niche in what must be a hard place to carve a bike niche in. I told him I was from spo and in town for the day and he filled me in on what was going on with mtb racing, road racing, commuting, and bike activism in B-town. He told me some really interesting stuff that is way too long for this post, but the major impact he made with me was when he said that he doesn't think there exists yet a sub-culture of transportation cyclists . . . that most of those commuting are cycling sport enthusiasts that commute on the side. Super interesting, and it resonated with what I saw afterwards.

The burbs are sprawly and mall-y and I didn't see much bike-action but I knew there had to be a cool core and then I hit it.

Infrastructure up the butt, lotsa parked bikes, coolest sidewalks anywhere, but hardly anyone riding. And of the few that were, most were on the sidewalk. It was weird. And yeah, I know, it was mid-day Tuesday. But still. It wasn't right.

So yup, I spent a coupla hours, in a car, formulating an opinion on the cycling culture in a city I don't know jack about. If you know the town, that should give you all the ammunition you need to blast me to smitherenes.

All that said. I came away with a strong sense that there's way more to the Boise Bike Scene than meets the eye and I love being part of shit that hasn't caught on yet or is in the process of catching on, and that's probably why I would dig spending some more time there and checking it out.

But talk is cheap, this pic pretty much says it all . . .

And I came up short on how to work in this flippin cool pic of the capital building so I'm just gonna park it here at the end.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tube Repair Tip

If you ever need to find a slow leak and you sorta havta pee, you should pee first. Otherwise, you'll soon find that the immersion somehow stimulates your bladder and while you are still looking for the leak, your need to pee will go off-scale. Which sucks. Glad I could help.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playground In My Backyard

In the history of construction rides, this could be the greatest thing since they tore the hell outta the streets right the eff next to my house in NW spo when I was growing up and dug these massive trenches and me and my buddy Scott Mankin lived like kings on our bmx's.

Bestest way up n down the hill right now or maybe ever is Lincoln. You should expect and enjoy getting a little mud on your tires.

This is pretty much unrelated, but in the epic battle over clipped in vs not, the pendulum is currently at the apex of not. I've come to accept that there is no right answer. And that at some point I will crash while trying to pull up on a platform.