Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Hate It When I Get This Way

Yeah, I'm afraid I'm about to get all cheerleady on you guys. You can only suppress your sentimental side so long. Because then some little thing happens that releases the latch on the pendulum. You can try to stop it and get clobbered, or just get out of the way.

As we were headed home tonight, we heard the sound of music from the park. We thought it was another one of the summertime music big events that happen there. Turns out, it's this FABULOUS brass quartet that shows up unannounced to play for no one in particular. Except for a dozen or two of the luckiest SOB's on the planet that happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Spokane has been through a lot of rough years. But I feel like there's some pretty magical shit going on right now. Life here is good and I'm feeling really fortunate to be here and to be a part of it. (I just involuntarily threw my pom-pom-laden arms up, jumped into the air and came down into the splitz, tearing every muscle in my groin. No more of these kinds of of posts for quite some time, I promise.)

Oh yeah. If your cousin calls from San Jose to ask how you like it here, please tell him that there's no way to earn a living and it's wall-to-wall with murderous meth-heads. Which, if you have high morals, is more of a stretch, than an out-and-out lie.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fueling Up With Premium

If you wanna be able to ride like your hair's on fire, you'd better be willing to splurge on some octane. Internal combustion engines run better on the good stuff, and that applies especially to the human body. The last thing you wanna hear in the middle of a ride is a bunch of pinging and knocking coming from your nether regions.

Don't get the idea that I'm food-holy. I've crammed a bunch of Big Macs into my pie hole. But Patty and I have put a lot of effort into eating healthier, especially over the last couple of years, and the one thing that's clear to us is that a diet centered around fruit and vegetables is where it's at. And we all have to start thinking local. Your views may vary, but we're fully convinced.

So anyway, we were pretty jacked about our first Fresh Abundance delivery on Friday. There's way better information at their website, so go there. But in layman's terms, FA is all about local, organic food. They have walk-in stores, but they also have this rad program whereby they put together a "produce box" and deliver it to your house. Every week, or every other week, or on-demand . . . your choice. We knew about FA, but never jumped. What took us so long I will never know. Here's the cornucopia that landed on our front porch:

Carrots, cauliflower, bananas, squash, onions, nectarines, strawberries, peaches, lettuce, tangerines, beans, snap peas cherries . . . all in the perfect (anti-Costco) sized portions.

I'm dating myself, but when I was growing up, I'd visit my sister Mary in Moscow and we'd go to the local drugstore and get 'grab bags' during "Moscow Days". It was the highest form of adventure. You'd pay 10 or 50 cents and get this brown paper bag and it was usually stuff they wanted to get rid of, but sometimes, you'd score.

The FA produce box is like a grab bag where you score every time.

Your piston-like legs could use a dose of fuel injection.

And with that, I'll mercifully conclude the gas engine metaphors.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lemons & Lemonade

I'm way behind at work, so I had to go in today. Lemons.

Since no one was gonna be there, I didn't have to worry about being a sweaty mess, so I was able to ride there and back. (Including a couple of detours.) Lemonade.

On the way there, I was sorry to see that a fire had blackened the wooded area above the switchbacks just off the Ben Burr trail at Pittsburgh.

As we all know, Sundays are for constuction riding, and I had to check up on Wellesley, between Evergreen and Sullivan. Pleasant construction riding, although a bit hard to hold your camera steady through the chuck holes.
Detour? Afraid NOT.

As I was crossing Trent on Flora, I noticed a bunch of emergency vehicles on Trent, to the west. Thought I bettter ride down the railroad right-of-way and check it out. (Get to work or check out the wreck? Procrastination rules again.)

Several cars were involved, but this guy appears to be the biggest loser. Sorry dude, hope you're alright. Serious lemons.

Naturally, my rubbernecking excursion resulted in further delay. More welcome (out of my control) procrastination.
At work, finally. Oy, the drudgery! Lemons.
Since I was already out in the valley anyway, the return trip home provided the opportunity for a detour through some construction zones that I hadn't had a chance to ride yet. Lemondade.

First, the Barker Bridge.

Please. Nice try.

Then, Appleway, between Sprague and Broadway.

Baby's-bottom compacted gravel surface on my way east (in the westbound lanes). Yes, I had the road to myself.

And here's the new bike-ped trail on the south side of Appleway. It's a little over a mile long. Sweet, new, smooth blacktop.

I ran into another unexpected construction zone on Flora, just south of I-90, but trust me. It was nothing to rave about.

When I got home, I found this flyer:
Dominick and Alex live down the street and ride by our house all the time. They are two of the cutest kids you will ever meet. Apparently, they had their bikes stolen by some low-life. Lemonny Lemons.

If you didn't happen to notice, there's a $$$$$REWARD$$$$$.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tag, I'm It

Jason tagged me a couple-a days ago. The fatcyclist bike meme. I'm normally the place where anything "chain" goes to die. But it's been gnawing at me. Somehow, I'm compelled to respond. What can I say?

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

The day that I had to choose only one bike would be the day that I would fall into serious depression and hopefully, not go so far as to be suicidal.

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?

I have that coveted dream bike. It's everything I hoped it would be. I love it, but I'm increasingly bored with it because the dreams keep coming. Sexy, bike wanderlust dreams. The bible says you're not supposed to covet your neighbor's wife, which is cool. I'm not seeing anything about his bike, though.

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?

The day that I had to choose one route for the rest of my life would be the day that I would fall into serious depression and hopefully, not go so far as to be suicidal.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?

Probably someone who had been sitting in a car too long. Cause that's what cars do to you . . . same drudgery, every day. On a bike, it's just natural to go exploring and mix it up.

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 narrowminded?

I ride both. Because the technology is so cool and provides so much freedom.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

I will try a bent when hell freezes over. Or until my back gives out, whichever comes first. Pretty sure I know how that one will play out, since my back hurts all the time and hell shows no sign of freezing over.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

The thought of suffering through a swim and a run just so I can take a ride seems kind of ludicrous to me. I would rather do all my suffering by bike.

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?

The day that I had to choose between bikes and ice cream is the day that I would fall into serious depression and hopefully, not go so far as to be suicidal. But seriously, ice cream. Giving up bikes isn't really an option.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.

Hmmm, where to start. How many and what kind of bikes are on your wish list? Do you own or know how to ride a unicycle? Do you think you have the balls to ride a tall bike? What is the coldest you have ever been on a ride? Have you ever ridden between the hours of 2 and 4 am? Have you ever ridden a fixie backwards? What is the duration of your longest trackstand? Do you dream about bikes? Do you like the smell of new inner tubes and hold them to your face when no one is looking? Does your imagination allow you to picture Dick Cheney on a bike? Is anything on or near your bike made of hemp? What is your million-dollar bike-realated invention idea? (I could easily go on and on . . .)

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?

Since this will never happen, I hereby proclaim that I would outrun the bastard with great ease, while laughing hysterically. (When it actually does happen, I will drop to the fetal position and pee on myself.)

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.

I've been trying to talk Crazy John into starting an Ironman blog. I'm going to tag him three times in the hope that this triple-dog-dare will get him to start blogging, lest triple leprosy befall him.

Crazy John

Not that Crazy John, this Crazy John:

I work with him and he rides, so we talk about bike stuff a lot. I went with him at lunch today to pick up his new tri bike at Fitness Fanatics. Like a couple thousand other lunatics, John has decided that the Cd'A Ironman sounds like a super happy fun time, and so he's going to attempt it for the first time next year at the age of 60. I've tried talking sense to him, but he's totally irrational.

If you're out riding this weekend and you see John coming down a hill behind you and he's down in his aero bars, I would advise you to pull over and take cover, because I can't possibly see how he could have any kind of control.

Anyway, enjoy your new bike, John. It looks like it goes real fast.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On the Subject of Frisbee Dogs and Cruisers

More convergence stuff, or maybe just wild ideas. Time will tell.

This is Brandy.

She's predominately Australian Shepherd. If you know the breed at all, they are 110% about their job. Since we don't have a ranch, her city-slicker job is chasing down anything that is launched from our hands or feet. I'm not talking about chasing it down as in getting it done sometime before coffee break. The future of civilization hangs in the balance, on every throw. She makes greased lightning look slow. This dog can scoot.

When our longtime family lab started to slow down, we intentionally went out looking for a smaller, auxiliary, back-up dog, that could learn the ropes and excellent manners from the main, heavy-duty dog. Brandy was a respectful student and picked up all kinds of great traits from the old girl. The other thing we intentionally went after was some energy. The kind that keeps your metabolism up. The kind that keeps you from sitting on your ass when you get home from work because you feel guilty that she has been waiting for you all day and her whole life revolves around you and nothing short of a drool-spewing workout will do. The kind that gets you out in all kinds of weather because it's just so flat-out fun to go hang out in the park with your pal and share the joy of gettin' after that damn ball!

Jasmine went to dog heaven a few weeks ago, and Brandy is a different dog. She's no longer auxiliary, and it's a hard adjustment when you've had an older sister that handles all the tough situations. But she's stepping up. And she's more focused than ever on her job.

So we're down to the park almost every day, like we've been every day since she came home with us. We walk sometimes, but mostly we bike, because she sleeps at the speed I walk. So we ride. And we pack the essential gear, as dictated by the conditions:

Ball "chucker"
Nylabone (daylight) frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Large LED lighted frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Small LED lighted frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Plastic bag for picking up poop (I'm usually "plastic" on the "paper or plastic?" question)
Optional master's hydration for those extra-hard workouts

I threw the the blue and orange thing in there. It's called the 'flying squirrel'. Lame. If you have a really slow dog, it's yours. (As you can tell, I've been living with a slow dog for years and am now drunk with fast-dog arrogance.)

LED frisbees? Yeah, we get 'em at REI. Greatest invention EVER. We love summer, but we love the winter even more, because we have the whole place to ourselves and we turn it into a glow-in-the-dark playground. Sometimes we freak people out in a UFO-kind-of-way. People have immense immaginations in the dark. (Myself included.)

The AquaVelva's been a blessing, because now I can carry all the stuff I need in the baskets.

Yup, that's a bud light stashed under the (empty) poop-sack in the front basket. Good eye. Anyway, no more slobbery frisbees (er, um, flying discs) stuffed into my backpack. No more plastic bags of poop stinking up the side pocket.

But the other night, as I was hydrating between demanding, athletic tosses, I had a vision. It had to do with some cruiser stuff that's been happening lately.

First, I went to get my hair cut the other night. Ed cuts my hair. He's the reason I look so awesome. (Not buying it? Whatever, bite me.) Anyway, Ed has this new, totally awesome, head-turning, screams-cool Electra cruiser that he's commuting on. I got there early and I'm checking it out, and Ed says that I better take it for a spin while I'm waiting. Twist my arm. And it turns out to be way more fun than way fun. People are yelling at me about how cool my bike is. It's not my bike, but the secret is safe. At my age, I'll take all the attention I can get.

Then, over this past weekend, Patty, Jacque and I went out of town for a family wedding and had an opportunity to rent some cruisers in our spare time one afternoon. We were diggin' it! Just one of those "in the moment" deals.

I've always thought cruisers were cool. Someone else's cruisers, though. Never could figure out what to do with one, myself. But all of a sudden, with a brilliant flash of LED light, I'm thinking about how cool it would be to take a cruiser and turn it into a dedicated run-dog-run-dog-bike. Something like this:

Is this legit, or have I finally lost it?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This Is Personal

The other day, I posted a sort of generic, euphoric note of thanks. I needed to get something out there just to say thanks in a kind of a lame way, because I knew it would take some time and perspective to put something together that was befitting of the energy and emotions of this event. I'm slowly getting the perspective. If I live to be 5000 years old, I'll never have the writing skills to express my gratitude. But none of us have that kind of time, so here goes . . .

Everyone who worked with great energy behind the scenes to organize and make this happen, everyone who showed up and gladly handed their money over at the door, everyone who filled up their tank at to drive from another state or the opposite side of this one, everyone who couldn't be there but figured out another way to contribute, everyone who took time out of their day to figure out what what they could donate to the dinner or auction, everyone who stayed up late or got up early to work on their donations, everyone who went out of their way to spread the word, everyone who emailed or called to ask what they could do, everyone who paid a lot more for auction items than they were worth, everyone who heard about Jacque and was moved and decided to get involved . . . to all you 'everyones', you're who I'm thinking about as I write this.

On the Saturday day-before, I was riding around on my bike, doing errands for the event. I picked up a helmet at REI, because it was a no-brainer (pardon the sick pun) that Jacque's parents should donate a safety item for this auction. I rode back downtown and dropped it off at the Wild Sage. There weren't open yet, but Tom was there, and I talked to him for a bit, and there was this really weird anticipatory aura there. It was totally relaxed and totally poised for something big. The calm before the storm. Like he had a big secret about how great this was gonna be. Patty had noticed the same thing in her conversations and visits with Tom. I saddled up and headed off to my next stop - Staples on Ruby and Buckeye.

I was headed there to pick up a digital voice recorder. The grand idea I had was that I was gonna use it to help me remember the names of everyone that showed up on Sunday. See, I have the most terrible, embarassing memory for names, and I wanted to change that, just this once, and be able to somehow be able to list and publicly thank everyone who showed up. Unfortunately, we weren't five minutes into the event when I realized what a dramatically flawed plan I had conceived. I can make you a fantastic deal on a voice recorder, if you are interested.

Next stop was my folks. MAD (Mom And Dad). They're in their 80's. My mom has MS and because that wasn't enough, she had a stroke. Every day is some sort of challenge for them and they're on the one-day-at-a-time plan. But they cope. And a lot of times they do it with a great sense of humor, like on this occasion: There's no way they could possibly, physically, attend an event like this. Mom asks about the donation. I tell her $25 a person at the door. She gives him the eye, and Dad pulls out his wallet and hands me $25. Mom says, "That only covers one person." Homebody Dad says, "I was planning to send you by yourself!" Then, after the laugh, they provide another $100 so that Jacque can have some spending money when we travel to a cousin's wedding next weekend. This kind of generosity is not "special-occasion" for them. It's how they live their lives.

It's getting awfully sappy in here, especially for the guys. It all needs to be said, but I realize it's hard on you and I appreciate that you are hanging in there. I promise to overcompensate and write only goofy drivel for the next week. Maybe something about monster trucks or hunting. But for now, bear with me . . .

To Tom and David and Gary and the crew at the Wild Sage:

There is absolutely, positively, no way this could have happened without your resources and energy. Or to say it another way, no one else could have pulled this off. You know it and I want you to know that I know it. But not only did you pull it off, you pulled it off EXQUISITELY! I know you're not in the business of packing your restaurant to the standing-room-only gills, or running silent auctions, but you guys are all about the customer experience, whether it's 15 or 150, and you do it better than anyone else. 'Thank you' doesn't even come close, but 'thank you'. Patty is also extremely grateful and wanted me to forward this message:

"Chef Alexa, Tom and the Wild Sage crew and company, we are truely grateful to you for creating such a wonderful space where so many Jacque fans showed their love. The auction and buffet were run beautifully! The guest list was amazingly vibrant and we felt honored to greet so many generous folks. Friends and family, Please enjoy the photos from one of the most memorable evenings ever! We thank you for being a part of this community effort and especially for your relationship with Jacque and all that you give her. Many Thanks and Blessings. Patty"

To all the guests and donors:

You'd be listed here, on an honor roll, if only my sad voice recorder plan hadn't hopelessly failed me. But the numbers were just too overwhelming. And it was obviously destined to be something more than just a bunch of individuals filling a room (or list). It morphed into a higher-order human experience. The idea that this diverse assembled bunch of people were there because of their common desire to help Jacque struck us really hard and so I'd like to list the independent groups that came together and then united into one Jacque-mass:

Family & friends, on Patty's side
Family & friends, on Pat Sweet's (dad) side
Family & friends, on Pat Sprute's (step-dad) side
Wild Sage owners, managers, and co-workers
Other Spokane restaurants and workers (most of them being previous employers)
Shriners friends of Patty's
Deaconess friends of Pat Sweet's
Spokane bicycle friends
Those who didn't have a connection but were moved by her story and became involved

It's really hard to describe what you feel as a parent when you see so many people stop everything they are doing to make the trip into downtown to honor and support your daughter. We are so very, very overwhelmed and grateful!

And now, at long last, the moment you've been waiting for - the one where I stop talking!

I leave you with the following message from Jacque:

"The power of people is truly amazing. I am almost left speechless from the success of the ‘Fix Jacque’s Face Feed’ last Sunday at the Wild Sage. My feeling can be best described as ‘high on life’ literally from the energy I encapsulated from all of the people who have stepped up and showed so much compassion to my current situation. I am honored and blessed to have so many beautiful family and friends, friends of family and friends of friends! The chain reaction of love proven on that Sunday was one that blew me away and changed my life forever. Thank you to everyone who shared such genuine acts of kindness towards my benefit and may you be surrounded by the same grace during personal times of need."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dopey Boy

I love cable ties and tape of all kinds (I prefer duct and electrical and strapping, but all tape is good). Always have, always will. Because cable ties and tape solve a lot of problems, even if only temporarily.

Trouble is, if you're not even qualified to use them, they can create a lot of problems, even if only temporarily.

Case in point?

The AV came with an aluminum stay protector that I thought was cool, in a doting, motherly way. It was falling off, so I secured it with a couple of cable ties until I could do a better fix. Naturally. Then the cable ties started working their way down the tapered stay, so I put a couple wraps of electrical tape around the cable ties until I could do a better fix. Naturally.

The dang trouble are, if you's to tape up the cable, the blasted SOB don't shift too good no more. (That was my best attempt at a down-south accent, sorry).

It's obviously time to do some sort of personal evaluation, but I think instead I'll just take the 'glass is half full' aproach on this one. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country today will realize significant performance improvements to their cars after spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars at repair shops. My improvement will be significanter, and won't cost a dime.

Monday, July 14, 2008

THANK YOU! From the Bottom of Our Hearts!

I'll start off with this: Jacque stopped by the Wild Sage today. Everybody was all smiles as she walked through the door. The immediate question they had for her was, "any guess?" She knew what they were talking about. "Five thousand?", was her reply.

The grins got bigger and without a word, they held up nine fingers.

Ninety-two-hundred-dollars! And counting!!!

I'm sleep deprived and emotionally fried. I have a bunch more pictures and words and people to specifically thank, but not tonight. I just have this thought . . .

The dollar amount is really important right now, because bills and debt are scary and real, and the people that took care of her need to be taken care of. We are so incredibly thankful for their compassion and care.

We are also so incredibly grateful for your contribution.

But this event, this movement, is not just about money, it's a testament to communtity and friends and love. And if you don't feel good enough about what you've done already, you need to know that you've made a profound impact on her life and that whatever you've given her will be multiplied many times and passed on. Bold talk, but I just know that it's true.

Jacque and her grandpa. Totally real.

We sincerely mean it when we say "thanks".

Pat & Patty

Deals via Bike Wheels

If you're like me, you've thought about cruising yard sales on your bike, but wondered how you'd be able to pull it off. Well, here's your chance to find out. Jacque (not "Jackie", but "Jack", of Fresh Abundance fame) has organized a yard sale ride for this coming Friday, and he's got a plan.

Here's the lowdown.

It sounds like a lot of fun and I wish I could join in. If you go, pick up a couple of extra things you never knew you needed for me!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Corsa della Luna Mezza Preview

There's a Twilight Series criterium coming up this week that I'm really excited about. Baddlands has done a great job of putting it together and it's shaping up to be a super fun event, whether you're a racer or spectator. Here's the race flyer.

I've been mostly MIA on the SRV ride scene this year, so it was fun to join the guys on a preview ride of the course this morning.

For the most part, the course in on fresh pavement in a portion of a new housing development where there are no houses yet. This is the right turn from the half moon onto Indiana. As you would guess, the pavement is very smooth and fast.

This is the entrance to the roundabout. It's narrows up there, so it's gonna be really tight, fast and white knuckle.

The semi-hairpin left turn onto the half moon is wide and fast - it'll be a blast. Can't believe I didn't get a picture, but here's the half moon just after the turn, as you're headed to the start/finish.

To the untrained eye, it might look like there is a lot of BS'ing going on here, especially considering who's right in the middle of it. Let me assure you that the sole topic of conversation was race strategy. Right. ;-)

Can't wait. This race is gonna be a way fun.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fridays are the Best

I'm running on the ragged edge. My batteries are low and I need some re-charging. I got re-charged tonight.

Jacque ("Jackie") was gonna come over last night, so that we could get her bike back in shape and I wanted to stop by Fresh Abundance! with her, which she knows all about, but which has only been on my radar. Things got nuts at work so we put it off 'til today.

Weird that over the last 24 hours, Jacque ("Jack") has been in touch with a donation for Jacque's ("Jackie's") fundraiser. Things have gotten downright personal. They're on 25th. We're on 25th. We (Pat, Patty & "Jackie") rode down there tonight without turning :-) Now we know, amazing stuff going on at FA. (There's also some truly amazing other stuff going on that's making all this happen, but not to get too heavy.)

After the FA visit, Patty had to head off to another obligation and so the Jax and I had some Norman Rockwellesque father-daughter bike-maintenance-time, that we never get anymore, in the driveway. It was sweet.

The bike was a little raggedy and now it's not. She's so back in her tuned-up saddle and ready to roll. Safe travels, Jacque!

And then, after she left, a dream come ture . . . some Tour time.

If only every day could be Friday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fixing Jacque

Jacque (pronounced "Jackie") is my step-daughter. I married her mom when Jacque was 10, and helped raise her. We've been through a lot together and we respect each other a lot. She's 26 now, and out on her own. She lives in Browne's Addition, works at the Wild Sage downtown, and goes to school at the Falls. She's got a bachelor's degree from Western and is now working on prereqs so that she can get into a nursing program. She'd like to do that in Seattle and was just getting ready to move there later this summer. She's a beautiful, vibrant, capable, independent young lady who's loads of fun to be around. She's cares a lot about people and is going to make a difference in a lot of lives before she is done. We're seriously proud of her.

She's made a conscious decision to not own a car, and travels by bike and longboard, mainly. Unfortunately, as she was riding that very bike, her life did a 180 on Sunday, June 1. We were already in bed when we got a call at 10:30 pm letting us know that she had been in a serious accident downtown. That's the worst kind of phone call you can get as a parent, and a moment you will never forget.

A super-fun night at the Deaconess ER was followed by an even super-funnner next day of surgery to remove all the teeth that were broken off, along with fragments of bone from her shattered jaw. Oh, dont' forget to sew the upper lip back together. From a couple of comments the doctor made, I think there was a period of time during surgery that he wasn't sure he was going to be able to put her back together right, but he did, and he did an awesome job. Thank you, Dr. Higuchi.

She did a full-on face plant into the asphalt on 1st Ave, just outside of Dempsey's. Sarah and Crystal, thanks for taking such good care of your friend . . . you guys did everthing right. And there was a guy who stopped to help and I will never know who you are or get to say this in person, but "Thank You".

Here's the full damage report:

Concussion (out cold for about 30 seconds)
Eight front teeth lost
Broken upper and lower jaw
Broken nose
Upper lip lacerated completely through
Impressive facial road rash

She has no health insurance and so in a period of less than 24 hours, she was instantly tens of thousands of dollars in debt, out of a job, and her dream of moving to Seattle vanished. Not to mention the serious hit to her looks and love life. That's a lot of loss to deal with at once.

But guess what? If you take a close look, there's fabulous Mom-and-Dad news here: No brain injury and no spinal injury. I say a little prayer of thanksgiving every day.

It's been five weeks and she's made tremendous progress. Her jaw's been wired shut the whole time, but she lives a super-healthy lifestyle and I think that's made a huge difference in her recovery. (You wouldn't believe how fast her face healed.) That and her positive attitude, which has blown me away. Not that she doesn't have her moments, as you would expect.

As for me, I'm not doing so well. Thousands of dollars of orthodonture work, down the drain. I cry a lot, sometimes at the most awkward moments.

Check out this smile:

I know you want to know what happened. Me too. I talked to her friends, who were riding ahead of her and didn't see the crash. I had to take a trip downtown to see where it happened, to get clues, to piece it all together, to try and make some sense of it. I saw a lot of dried blood in the street where she crashed and more on the curb where she ended up after her friends helped her get out of the street. But there was no smoking-gun-of-a-rut in the street, no car involved, no one to blame things on. She was riding her bike, maybe got a bit too careless, a bit too complacent about all that potential energy that you generate when you're riding down the street, maybe taking the mystery of staying upright on two skinny wheels a bit too "for-granted". She doesn't remember anything, but something happened that affected her balance and changed everything in a split second. In my mind I've reconciled it as a freak accident. Unfortunately, shit does happen. And apparently, sometimes it happens to really good people.

There's some great news here, though. The Wild Sage has stepped up in a big way and organized a fundraiser for Jacque. A bunch of other people and establishments have jumped on board and it's grown from a low-key buffet dinner to a gala event complete with silent auction. Terrific people that totally restore my faith in humanity have stepped forward to donate auction items and find out what they can do to help. I'm especially grateful to Tom at the Wild Sage for organizing this event. It's gonna be quite a party. You're invited and we don't have any expectations, but we would be most honored and grateful if you were to happen to show up.

Here are the details: Help Fix Jacque. We would be delighted if you could join us in celebrating Jacque's recovery.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Busy Times, Good Times

The AquaVelva's been out of commission for a little over a week. A rear bearing problem that forced me to seek nearby professional help.

It's been killing me . . . I've only had the bike what, about three weeks, and my happiness is totally dependent on it. I picked up the wheel and a cuppa jo from Joe this morning. I'm jacked to get this bike back on the road and hyped up on caffeine. Good wired times.

Brandy, the "take-me-to-Manito-and-let-me-chase-anything" dog, is slightly more excited than I am. Good dog times.

Last night my club hosted the Double Trouble Twilight Race. I'm pretty involved with that and so it's been a couple of super-hectic days of running around town, moving a lot of equipment from here to there. We had 48 racers turn out. Things went well.

I want to write more about the process of organizing a race in a separate post. It's pretty interesting stuff. Today I returned the last of the equipment, so I'm free to park the truck and ride again! Good times.

Just prior to all the race business, we were camping in the Twisp neighborhood over the holiday weekend. We were there with non-bikey relatives, but we managed to get out for a couple of rides. The first was from our camp at 2800' up to Blackpine lake, at about 4000', over a distance of about 3 miles. That was enough climbing for Patty for one vacation. But she'd have to admit she had a good time on the way down.

The next day I snuck away on my own and pedalled up to Buttermilk Butte (is that a cool name, or what) at 5600'. Two hours going up (at one point I was busting ass to do 3.3 mph), and half an hour coming down. Spectacular scenery and 9 miles of super-fast double-track windey all-downhill fun. Super good times.

These showers in downtown Twisp are the total bomb. I emerged lean, mean and clean. Well, clean at least. Real good times.

The geniune (non-TG) Parelas came in last week and then sat there in a box all weekend. If I'm gonna check out John's supple tire theory, I need to do it right.

The half-ass TG thing was leaving me to wonder. I finally managed to get 'em mounted late Monday night.

I won't get to do any real testing for a couple of days, but I concocted a lame excuse to get out on them for at least a couple of miles (a bill that had to be paid and deliverd to the PO on Grand immediately).

Couldn't tell much about the tires, but I did pass a guy on 29th riding with no lights or reflectors. I'm all about the thrill of taking risks, but dude, you're an organ donor. I hope the next guy treats them better than you. Yeah, so I sound like a grandma, whatever. But I also have some experience of having to go through, and watching other people go through, a lot of reconstruction. That whole experience totally sucks and you should at least do what can to reasonably increase your odds of survival. Riding with zero lights or reflectors isn't it. That dipshit pissed me off for a minute, but then I let it go and it was good times again.

Haven't had time to catch one minute of TdF television coverage. I've just followed via some crappy, boring blogs. Now that things are slowing down just a bit, I'm looking for some places to watch. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Best $2 I've spent in a long time.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nice Rack!

Hey! HEY!!! Get your mind out of the gutter. Please, grow up a little.

Anyway, if you can't be functional, you might as well be stylin'. Here's a couple of racks I noticed in the rootin-tootin Methow Valley this past weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

Last night I got all wound up and wrote a diatribe that I posted and then woke up early this morning thinking about and retracted because it was all wrong. The absolute last thing I want to be is angry blog guy.

But I still need to say something and it's all about the fact that from Madison Ave down to every small time operator, the whole country has scammed onto 'green' overnight and it's now so diluted and corrupted. It was a cool word and I'll miss it. Long live "green".

But whatever has happened to the word doesn't matter. The ideal is unaffected and the smart, forward-thinking people that are all about the environment and sustainability are the people that I admire and pay attention to and endeavor to align myself with. They are so far out in front of the pop culture curve that it's not even funny.

We have some profoundly serious challenges, but I'm adopting Kermit's approach . . . a happy song about a not-so-great problem.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

David Blaine

I was sorry to learn that David Blaine is out of the GDR. Best wishes for a quick recovery, David. I really enjoyed following your progress and hope that we will have a chance to hear more about your experience.