Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tired of Sharing...

There is an idiot out there who has a blog called "Tired of Sharing". This guy goes on in his posts about wanting to attack cyclists and what to do if you are confronted by an angry cyclist (which usually only happens after the driver of the vehicle did something really stupid/dangerous).

Here is my reply to some of his comments:

I cannot believe this is real. If you are really telling people to attack cyclists, then you are possibly one of the biggest idiots I have ever heard of.

And to comment on other posts...  I ride about 300 miles per month, while I drive/have been driven around 50 (last months numbers).  Not everyone falls into your stereotypical statement that "No one rides as much as they drive/are driven".

"It is essentially impossible to compare two activities that share nothing in common" Um, what about the fact that driving (for you), and cycling  (for me) are primary means of transportation?

"If you drive on a road occupied by people on bicycles it is likely you have attacked or wanted to attack the cyclist." Not if you have any common human decency. The simple urge to attack someone because they engage in an activity that you are not fond of is ludicrous. I don't enjoy skiing. Should I go drive a snowmobille up the slopes and try to run them over?

"Get off my roads and stick to the shoulder." YOU don't own the roads, chum. If you look in the lawbooks, you will even find legislation that gives cyclists the right to use them. If you don't like cyclists on the road, then stick to the freeways or stay home.  We're here to stay, and we're growing in numbers.  Deal with it.

There is only one place where we agree. "Share the road share the rules.  Just like if I am seen doing something “wrong” I can be accounted for by my license plates.  Yes, I think bikes that are allowed to ride the roads should be accounted for like motorized vehicles."  I have no problem with that. I think that we cyclists should be held to the laws just like any other motorist.

Now, let's just see if you're too big of a coward to post this comment. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Under The Knife

Well, it's been months since I injured my knee, and it's not getting much better.  I have a tear in the lateral (outside edge) meniscus (cartillage pad in the knee joint). I have surgery scheduled on Jan 27th (the day before closing night for Shadow of the King).  Crazy as it is, I plan on doing that show on crutches. Should make dancing and sword fighting interesting!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Group: Utah Cycling

I have started a group on MapMyRide.com for all cyclists in Utah.  It is for anyone who rides a bike, any level of experience, any type of riding.  It's a place to share experiences, routes and encouragement.

View our Training Group

Come join!

-PB

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wimped out again...

When I got up this morning to get dressed for my ride in to work, I saw that it was eleven degrees outside, and wimped out big time! 

I am getting cold easier since I've started losing weight, and the thought of 11 degrees just shut down all enthusiasm for a nice bike ride this morning.

Now, it's a beautiful afternoon, and I'm wishing I had my bike here to ride home. 

Oh, well. I will have to get off my lazy duff and ride tomorrow!!! 

Shiny!

-PB

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Cycling Stats for the Year (so far)

Even having taken a month and a half off from my cycling because of knee injury, I am almost to my goal of 1000 miles before Jan 1st.  Here are my logged stats on Map My Ride:

Member Since: 07/23/2010
Total Distance: 748.14 mi
Total Burned: 38,050 (kcal)

Green Stats: 
Distance Traveled: 748.14 mi
Gas Saved: 41.56 gallons
Carbon Offset: 804.7 lbs of CO2


It's kind of fun seeing how far I've already come!  I am working toward the Salt Lake Century ride in May (a 100 mile race), and I am really interested in seeing how many miles I can rack up throughout 2011!

-PB

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unreal!!!

This is a re-posting of a story that drew my attention:

The Explainer: Is having a Mercedes an affirmative defense?

Dear readers,
It’s been a while since we’ve done much but talk about cycling’s 800-pound gorilla of a story, namely that of Alberto Contador’s run-in with a bad cut of meat.
monopoly-man ...and justice for all. | Parker Brothers
Putting all of that aside, for now, we have something else to talk about. Ever since Vail Daily reporter Randy Wyrick wrote about a pending criminal matter in Eagle County, Colorado, the cycling community – indeed much of the country – has been abuzz with allegations of special treatment being afforded an apparently wealthy defendant.
For those who have not seen it, Wyrick’s story alerted his community to the fact that Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert had negotiated a plea deal with an alleged hit-and-run driver for reasons that, at least on their face, seem to run counter to every principle of equal justice.
The driver, 52-year-old investment banker Martin Joel Erzinger, was comfortably ensconced in his 2010 Mercedes while driving along a local road near Avon. For whatever reason, Erzinger then struck Steven Milo from behind as the 34-year-old New York anesthesiologist was riding a rented bike along the far right hand side of the same road.
Well, despite then hitting a culvert, Mr. Erzinger actually continued on his merry way, through town past the Interstate, pulled into a local Pizza Hut parking lot and then – only then – stopped to make a call for emergency assistance. Did he call an ambulance? Not really. Did he call the cops? Nuhh uhh… He called Mercedes, after he discovered he had some damage to his passenger side mirror and his rear bumper. The guy has his priorities and those damned mirrors are expensive.
Mounting what might charitably called the “Mr. Magoo defense,” Erzinger claimed not to have realized that he struck anyone, blaming the vehicular damage on the culvert. (They do, after all, say that a Mercedes offers a comfortable and – above all – quiet ride.)
Be that as it may, Erzinger was arrested and charged with violating Colorado Statute 42-4-1601, which makes it a crime to leave the scene of any accident that has resulted in “injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death of any person.” He was also charged with careless driving and a failure to report an accident, both of which are misdemeanors.
And back at the scene of the crime, Dr. Milo had – by any definition – suffered serious bodily injury. According to the original charging document in the case, Milo suffered from a spinal cord injury, bleeding from the brain and damage to his knee and scapula.
According to his attorney, Harold Haddon, Milo has been experiencing debilitating headaches, is expected to undergo further surgeries and is facing “serious challenges” in his efforts to resume his career as an anesthesiologist, who works as part of a liver transplant team in New York.
All of that evidence could be introduced at trial to underscore the fact that Milo did, indeed, suffer “serious bodily injury” in that accident. And therein lays the rub.
Say what you will about the Colorado Legislature, but whoever crafted this statute didn’t leave a lot of room for interpreting legislative intent when they wrote and amended 42-4-1601. Have a look for yourselves. The statute first describes what leaving the scene of an accident means and then goes on to say that
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits:
(a) A class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense if the accident resulted in injury to any person;
(b) A class 5 felony if the accident resulted in serious bodily injury to any person;
(c) A class 4 felony if the accident resulted in the death of any person.

Then if any question remains, the statute goes on to define what “injury” and “serious bodily injury” actually mean.
(a) “Injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical or mental condition.
(b) “Serious bodily injury” means injury that involves, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.

So, we’re good to go. Milo’s injuries are serious. Erzinger caused those injuries with his car. He split the scene. So, he’s ready to be charged with a class 5 felony under Colorado law. Right? Well, not so fast.

Prosecutorial discombobulation

Last week, Hurlbert notified Milo’s attorney via fax that he had decided to waive the felony and charge Erzinger only with the two misdemeanor violations.
In what has to be the most boneheaded public comment made by a prosecutor in recent history, Hurlbert noted that “felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into” his decision.
Excuse my French, but WTF?!?!
Erzinger manages a wealth fund valued at more than $1 billion for the investment firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He’s a prominent fixture in the Colorado investment community and there are a host of gushy articles written about his character, his commitment to charity and his investment prowess still out there on the Web. One of them interestingly asks Erzinger to complete the sentence “I never leave home without …” to which Erzinger adds “Blackberry and wallet.” (Man, I sure hope someone pulled his phone records for the day of the accident.) And yes, he could lose his securities license because of a felony conviction. Even if he doesn’t, under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, he will have to notify each and every one of his clients that he’s a convicted felon. Man, oh man, that could put a serious dent in a guy’s bottom line.
magoo Rich, blind and doesn't notice the havoc that he's wrought. Have we seen that before? | UPA animation
So?
Now lest you think that Hurlbert is one of those bleedin’ heart liberal types who goes easy on dangerous criminals, I direct your attention to a case in which he did file felony charges earlier this year.
Katie Brazelton was lucky enough to draw an entry into last year’s Leadville 100, but was injured before she could take advantage of the rare spot. Instead, she gave her entry and license to her friend, Wendy Lyall. Now Brazelton, at 40, was entered in the women’s 40 to 49 category. Her friend, Lyall, was just 36. So, it should not have come as a surprise that the new “Brazelton” did quite well in the category and finished second. That raised eyebrows. Folks objected. The two confessed and returned the award. Then Hurlbert charged them both with felony criminal-impersonation, a statute originally designed to protect the public against things like identity theft.
Brazelton, by the way, lost her job as a private school teacher in Vail as a direct result of the case.
Well, aside from some justifiably pissed-off mountain-bike racers, the impact of the Brazelton/Lyall conspiracy was pretty limited, but Hurlbert went after them anyway.
As far as Erzinger goes, Hurlbert has strenuously argued that Erzinger may ultimately spend more time behind bars because of the two misdemeanor charges than he would have with a first time conviction of a class five felony. Indeed, under Colorado law (18-1.3-401), the minimum sentence for a Class 5 felony is a fine ranging from $1000 to $100,000. The maximum sentence is a term of imprisonment ranging from one to four years.

Which is harsher?

The likely outcome of a conviction on the felony count would be a deferred sentence and, if he behaved himself, it would be wiped from his record in a few years. Hurlbert says that each of the two misdemeanor charges could put him behind bars for a year.
Hurlbert may actually be right on this one. Milo and his attorney have already expressed a willingness to see a deferred sentence in the event of a guilty plea to the felony charge. Erzinger might just end up spending more time in an orange jumpsuit because of the misdemeanor convictions than if he gets nailed with the felony. Hurlbert, however, completely blew the point, when he even alluded to the possibility that the long-term job impact was a factor here.
Mr. Erzinger’s job prospects not withstanding, the suggestion of more generous treatment for wealthier defendants goes against everything we’ve all been taught since fourth grade social studies. Of course, the actual disparate treatment of defendants based on socio-economic standing also goes against what we’ve been taught. Just ask Ms. Brazelton.
One thing Hurlbert has apparently not taken into consideration, though, is the request of the victim that Erzinger be charged with a felony.
Through his attorney, Milo notified the court that Hurlbert’s argument that the consequences of a felony conviction have “pretty serious job implications” was specious and one that the court shouldn’t consider.
“Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,” Milo wrote. “Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.”

Dr. Milo’s lawyer weighs in

Milo has hired Haddon to act as his representative in the upcoming criminal matter. Haddon has filed a motion asking the court to review the District Attorney’s decision. Haddon, (who was part of Kobe Bryant’s defense team in another Hurlbert prosecution) told VeloNews that he’s “confident” that his motion for a hearing on the matter will be granted and that he can convince the court to take a careful look at “the propriety of that plea agreement.”
There’s a good chance that the court will throw out the agreement and Mr. Erzinger will face charges on all three counts. Even if not, we have to assume that the sentencing hearing will give Dr. Milo an opportunity to describe to the court what impact Erzinger’s actions have had on him. We can only hope that the court takes that impact into consideration.
Haddon said both he and Milo have been surprised at the attention the case has received.
“Neither Stephen nor I wanted to fan the story and get this much attention,” he said.
While some attorneys’ professed fear of the limelight might be met with a grain of salt, Haddon appears to be genuinely surprised that a story, which gained traction in a relatively small local paper, has “gone viral” since the Vail Daily story was published last Thursday.
“Steven has received invitations to appear on the national networks, like the Today Show and others, but he’s not interested in that,” Haddon said. “He wants to see the case handled fairly and he’s not out to portray himself as anything but someone who wants to get his life back in order.”

Fortunately, it’s a civil matter, too

No matter what the outcome, Milo has other options. With or without a felony conviction and whether Erzinger loses his trading license or not, we’d suspect that there will be a civil suit to follow.
Haddon said he’s on board only to represent Milo in relation to the current charges against Erzinger. “I’m a criminal specialist and I won’t be working on any civil case. That’s not my area.”
No matter who represents Milo, Erzinger could most certainly be viewed — at least from the plaintiff’s side — as the perfect defendant in a civil case: No credible defense and seriously deep pockets.
Let’s hope those pockets are on an orange jumpsuit and end up a little emptier than they were on the day Erzinger got behind the wheel of his car.
Charles

I'm Back!

My doctor said I have a small tear in the lateral aspect of my meniscus (torn cartillage in my knee on the outside), as well as degenerative changes. He isn't quite sure why the medial (inner) side of my knee hurts so much, as nothing shows on the x-rays or MRI, but he doesn't feel the need for surgery at this time.

He shot my knee full of cortisone (OUCH), and it has helped a little.  He also said I should aggressively get back into cycling, and train for the Salt Lake Century ride in May.  From what he sees on imaging, it may be painful, but I won't be doing any damage to the knee, and it should get better over time.

I will see him again in a month for a follow-up, and we'll see how it goes.  I hope to have a good 200-300 miles in before I see him again so I can see how well it is doing.

On that note, I got 18 miles in yesterday... and I hurt today.  :-)  Oh, well.  It sure felt good to get back on the bike!!!!

'... I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like...'

Oh, and during the last month and a half (since the injury, and I wasn't riding), I gained about 7 pounds back, so I'm back to 256.7 as of this morning.  Time to see those numbers drop again!!!

-PB

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

RIP Allison Bowers

From "Urban Velo":   
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of 11-year-old Allison Bowers, who was killed while riding her bicycle Tuesday night. The driver, a teenage male, attempted to pass a stopped vehicle who was letting the rest of the Bowers family cross the street safely. Police say the driver was not at fault.

It's truly sad that such a young child was killed in such a meaningless way.  I would love to know what the mitigating circumstances were that made the police say the driver was not at fault.  Am I wrong?  I am pretty sure that if you are passing a vehicle that is stopped and letting pedestrians (or cyclists) cross the street, and you strike them... you are at fault.

Is this another showing of the old "it was a person on a bike, they must be at fault" mentality?  I've seen it time and again where the police seem to think that the cyclist is at fault in an accident simply because he/she is on a bike!

Okay, I'm raving again.  I'll stop.

RIP Allison.  May God bless your famliy in this trying time.

-PB

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Story From NYC

I'm still out of the running on my cycling because of my knee injury, so I don't have anything to report about weight loss or miles ridden.  I did, however read an article in Urban Velo that was interesting.  quote:

"The New York Police Department plans to step up enforcement of bicycle safety in parts of the city that have seen a disproportionately higher rate of collisions involving bicyclists, city officials said Thursday.

The initiative, which would be aimed at common cycling infractions like running red lights or riding on the sidewalk, comes after numerous complaints about two-wheeled scofflaws and recent protests against new bicycle lanes added to streets in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan.

“We’ve installed 250 miles of lane over the last four years and thousands of new bike racks,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said at a news conference. “We have been friendly to cyclists. Now it’s time for cyclists to be friendlier to the city.”

Ms. Sadik-Khan, a cyclist herself, has led the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to siphon off city road space from automobiles in favor of pedestrians and bicyclists, an effort that officials say creates a more balanced use of the city’s streets. Critics charge that City Hall has placed a stigma on car ownership and unilaterally removed traffic lanes for the use of a small minority of residents.

The result has been that bicycling, once a niche, even antiauthoritarian, mode of transport, has entered the New York mainstream, and cyclists and pedestrians alike are trying to adjust.

The city has issued 26,000 moving violations against cyclists so far this year, still a fraction of the 800,000 violations issued against motor vehicles, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. But on the Upper East Side, Mr. Browne said, the most frequent complaints heard from residents had to do with bicyclists. "

First off, I find it amazing that so far this year NYC has issued 800,000 violations against motorists.  Holy cow!  As far as the 26,000 violations against cyclists... good for them!  I am whole-heartedly in favor of the police force holding us cyclists accountable!  It's time that cyclists who use the road learn to follow the laws as well!  Every time a cyclist cuts off a motorist, runs a red light, or rides on the sidewalks - endangering the pedestrians there - it makes the rest of us who follow the rules look bad! 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... A cyclist is considered a vehicle on the road, and MUST follow the same rules for safety! 

Let's ride safe, ok?
-PB

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not Happy

While choreographing the sword fight for the upcoming play "Shadow of the King", I simply squatted down and it sounded like I was crinkling cellophane.  Talk about pain!  I swear, my knee has not been the same since I injured it a month ago at work!  The constant limping is hurting my back, and I can't do yoga, martial arts, or heavy cycling.

I was cycling 250 to 300 miles per month before this injury, and now I can barely go 5 miles before I am hurting, and can't do any heavy climbs like I was before.

I saw the Employee Health doctor at work yesterday, and he agreed to send me to an Orthopedic Surgeon to see what they have to say about it.

I really hope I can get this resolved quickly, because my brother-in-law Jeff and I are planning on doing the Salt Lake Century ride next spring!

Here's hoping...

-PB

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back on the WW Wagon

I have been bad.  From Jan until July or so, I was following Weight Watchers in combination with my cycling, and I lost  40 lbs. I was keeping it off, but not losing more from July on, because I quit being so stringent with my diet, but kept up the miles on my bike.

Then, I hurt my knee.

And didn't watch what I ate.

And gained back 6 lbs in 3 weeks.


So, as of this morning, I'm back on the WW Wagon!!! 


I started out slowly on the bike yesterday, and did a total of 9 miles for the day. This morning, my knee was really sore, but I did the 5 miles before work, and I will do 4 more after for 9 today.

I will take Thursday off as a rest day, and get a ride in on Friday, trying to work my way back up to the nice, long 20+ milers.  Along with Weight Watchers, I hope to see the pounds start coming back off.

Wish me luck!

-PB

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back on two wheels!

After 3 weeks healing of a severely bruised patella, I got back on the bike this morning for my ride to work.

By mile 3 I was getting pretty sore, and by mile 4 I was thinking I shouldn't have gone so far the first day back!  When I got to the train station, I did some minor stretches, and kept on my feet to keep the knee from cooling down too much.  The last .8 of a mile from the train to work wasn't too bad.

I am THRILLED with my new wind-resistant bibs!  My legs stayed totally warm, and I didn't feel the bite of the wind through them at all.  I think as it gets colder, I will need to break down and get some shoe covers, though. My ankles were a bit chilled where there is a gap between the bibs and my shoes.

All-in-all, I am just happy to be back on two wheels!

-PB

Friday, October 8, 2010

Luftguitar

Okay, someone in Germany put an ad on eBay selling a "luftguitar"  (air guitar)

 

EP LTD EX-401 BLACK LUFTGUITAR


Artikelzustand: Condition: Gebraucht Used
Restzeit: Time: 15 Std. 55 Min. 0 Sek. (09. Okt. 2010 15:34:08 MESZ) 15 hrs 55 min 0 sec (09 October 2010 15:34:08 GMT)
Gebotsübersicht: Bid History:
0 Gebote [ Übersicht der Geboteaktualisieren ] 0 bids [ bid: Chart ]
Startpreis: Starting bid: EUR 1,00 EUR 1.00
EUR EUR
Bieten Offer  Bieten Offer
(Geben Sie mindestens EUR 1,00 ein.) (Enter EUR 1.00 or.)
Auf die Beobachtungsliste On the Watch List
Für weitere Listen einloggen Please login to other lists
Ende des Eingabefelds End of the input field

Beginn des Layers Beginning of the Layers
Bitte geben Sie einen gültigen Namen ein Please enter a valid name

(Trennen Sie unterschiedliche Listennamen durch Kommas.) (Separate different list of names with commas.)
Anklicken, um zu schließen Click to close to
Ende des Layers End of the Layers
Versand: Shipping:

  I hope someone bought it, and paid in Monopoly money!

-PB

Borrowed A Post From Jill

The following is a reprint of a post from "Jill Outside".  It gives me new respect for those off-road single speed riders!

As if cycling wasn't hard enough

I was finally able to go for my first "run" since the Bear 100 — about an hour, mellow page, on smooth dirt singletrack. The plan was to test my right foot for impact pain, but I was too busy focused on complaints from other body parts to really make an honest assessment. Tired quads. Aching shoulders. Shredded abs and hip flexors. All common maladies of a brand new singlespeeder.

I can't say I completely understand the appeal yet, but I will say I have a whole new respect for singlespeed mountain biking. It demands nothing less than full attack mode on uphills and hip-flexor-tearing RPMs upon descent. More experienced singlespeeders tell me one-gear Zen requires patience more than power, but whenever I set my feet to my rapidly spinning platform pedals, all I can see is red. It doesn't help that the Karate Monkey is the only bike I've ridden this week, and some of those rides were really ambitious — climbing 5,000 vertical feet on Lolo mountain, for example. No wonder my abs hurt.

I decided to take a break from it all with a mellow road ride after work on my commuter, which is a fixed-gear bike. That bike's single gear is quite a bit taller than my mountain bike, but I've only ever ridden it on the meandering bike path into downtown, and a few roads here and there, and once on a gravel rail trail, so I never had any real comprehension of how my fixie could be more work to operate than any other bike I own. I spun easy toward Hellgate Canyon and started cranking harder as the grade turned slightly higher than flat. Missoula's endless availability of quality off-pavement riding has spoiled me to the point that I find riding with traffic to be completely intolerable, so I took the first opportunity I saw to turn off the main road — Marshall Canyon.

The road grade shot skyward and I stood in the saddle, pressing hard on my sore quads and straining my aching abs for the torque I needed to continue moving forward. It was hard singlespeed work again, but it felt really good, moving up a steady grade on a smooth surface. I worked harder. Sweat poured down my neck and drenched my jeans. When it came time to turn back, I took a break to catch my ragged breath and look with satisfaction far down the canyon and all the elevation I had gained. And then I started downhill.

At first, the road grade favored my desired speed, but the descent quickly took a turn for the steeper. The pedals churned faster and I touched the front brake ever so lightly, loathe to resist any free distance that gravity was perfectly willing to provide. The bike simply responded by charging faster, yanking my knees up and down with revelry as I strained my oh-so-sore quads against the pedals' care-free spin. I squeezed on the brake harder and braced my leg muscles more rigidly, but momentum was winning. My hip flexors responded angrily ... "We thought you were done with this nonsense." "It's not my fault," I muttered feebly. I fought an urge to take my feet off the pedals — fixie coasting — but resisted because I had no idea what lie around the next canyon bend and how fast I'd have to brake to avoid hitting it. So I just gripped the front brake, ducked in, and let the pedals rip my legs to little shreds all the way down to the relative peace of Hellgate Canyon.

I have GOT to get at least one of my geared bikes repaired.

On the bright side, I really think my foot is well on the mend. I am looking forward to running again, which will probably feel easy in comparison.
Just a few (thousand) miles north

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harry Dresden

Okay, I absolutely love the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  If you haven't read his work, you really should. 

Harry Dresden is a modern-day wizard living in Chicago. He has to deal with all of the things that go BUMP in the night, all the while trying to deal with the people around him who think he is a crack-pot, and trying to keep his friends out of harm's way.

Fun fantasy, and a great escape!

-PB

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love It!

I just have to take a moment to rave about my Kindle.

I bought one for my wife for Christmas last year, and then I started borrowing it from her.  A little here, a little there...  Can you see where this is going?

Well that wonderful woman bought me my own Kindle for our anniversary, and I LOVE IT!

It is so great being able to carry my entire library around with me wherever I am!  Plus, I am able to take a text document of my script for the play I am currently in, and using a third-party software, convert it to MOBI format and voila... I have my script on my Kindle!  SWEET!

If you love reading, you will love the Kindle.  I really think you should check one out! (and I'm not even being paid to say that!)

-PB

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Plea For Sanity

via Dave Moulton's Bike Blog by Dave Moulton on 9/27/10

Checking on cycling related articles this weekend; I came across two that did not show cyclists in a good light, in fact I found them downright embarrassing.
These were “Opinion” type articles that were not the usual anti-cyclist rants; in both cases the writers expressed that they were all for cycling and an active lifestyle.
Rebecca Farrow who lives in the Murfreesboro are of Tennessee, wrote a piece titled “Cyclists must learn to share the road, too.”
The lady was driving to work when she says she was nearly run off the road by a pack of cyclists riding towards her, four and five abreast. Not only were they taking up the entire opposite lane, but some were over the yellow line and riding in her lane as she approached.
Rebecca estimates there were over 100 riders; even if this is an exaggeration and there were half that number, in my opinion that is too many to be riding in a pack without an official escort. She then stated:
“I was surprised when bicyclists started using hand gestures to tell me to slow down and move over. I was driving 10 mph under the posted speed limit well within my lane and no bicycles were traveling the same direction as I was.
I continued to get hand gestures and dirty looks from bicyclists and started hearing people shouting at me in my vehicle to "slow down," "move over," and remember "three feet." I would have given the bicyclists three feet of clearance had they stayed at least two feet from the center yellow lines.”
I am sorry but I have to take the side of Rebecca Farrow in this instant. If the approaching pack of cyclists were taking only half the lane as they should have been, then traffic within the opposing lane that is driving at a reasonable speed should be of no concern.
It  does not warrant signals to slow down and move over.  WTF, it is the cyclists who should be moving over.
The second article in the Philadelphia Enquirer, by Robert Kelley, tells a story from a pedestrian’s viewpoint.
As with the previous article the writer is sympathetic to the cyclists plight, having previously ridden bicycles and motorcycles himself; now forced to be a pedestrian because of vision impairment.
Robert’s beef is with cyclists running red lights at a high rate of speed, and he states:
“When it comes to bicyclists or motor vehicles, we're not all able to react as quickly as we'd like. In my case, I lost much of my peripheral vision and all of my depth perception because of a head injury, and I can't drive at night.
When I cross Center City on foot to my night job, I can see cars but must try hard to read the flow of other pedestrians. And I will often miss bicyclists running against the light.”
I urge you to read these two articles and tell me if you agree that these two people are being reasonable and have a legitimate complaint against the cyclist’s behavior.
I make no apologies for always bitching about cyclists’ poor judgment and actions. It is pointless for me to complain about bad driving by operators of automobiles, that is not my reading audience.
However, I am hopeful that I can make an appeal for sanity to a few intelligent thinking cyclists who might happen to read this.

Start sharing the road and maybe others will be willing to do the same

Thanks, Dave!
-PB

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shadow of the King

I have been cast as the wizard in the upcoming Poison Ivy Mysteries production of "Shadow of the King", written and directed by Annelise Murphy.

I love doing interactive murder mystery theater, and I am thrilled to be back with Poison Ivy Mysteries.

We open November 12th at the Jordanelle Reception Center at 2295 West Sugar Factory Road
West Jordan. 

Come see it!!!

-PB

OUCH!!!!!!!

Walking into a dark patient room with an armload of supplies on Sept 21st, I rammed my knee straight into an open cabinet door.  The doctor here at work was worried that I broke the patella (knee cap), but - thankfully - it was just a severe bruise.  "Just". 

Freaking ouch!

Needless to say, I will not be back on my bike for a few days while it heals.

-PB

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Won!

On one of the cycling-related blogs I read (http://www.bikehacks.com/), they asked for submissions to a "name the photo" contest.

I won!

I will be recieving a DVD called "Nebraska Supersonic".  The story of this film centers around three recent college graduates who majored in French.  They are all slackers to some extent (they don't appear to be able to speak French even though they majored in it) and the plot centers around them trying to find jobs in Nebraska post graduation. 

The three at first go to a temp agency to find jobs and go their separate ways as far as trying to establish an income.  They all fail and later unite and decide to start a bicycle delivery company.  The genre of the film is definitely comedy and the film attempts comedic angles on everything from the jobs they start with, the bikes they ride, the types of products they deliver and who they deliver them to, and the ridiculously low rate charged, even for 120 mile round trip deliveries

It's probably not geared towards my age bracket, but I never win anything, so I am psyched to get it and check it out!  I will post a review here after I see it.

-PB

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cyclists Ticketed

Borrowed from Dave Moulton's Bike Blog:



Here is something you don’t see too often; 25 cyclists on a recreational ride stopped and ticketed for running a stop sign. It happened on August 28th in Woodside, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I'll admit I roll through stop signs all the time, especially in quiet rural or residential areas where there is not another person or vehicle in sight.

However, I do not “Blow” through at 20 or 25 mph, I slow to a speed where I could stop if I had to, but I don’t see the point of unclipping and putting my foot to the ground if there is no one else there.
On the other hand, if there are other cars or pedestrians there at the same time, I will unclip and come to a complete stop. I do this out of common decency. If I go to a movie theater I don’t push to the front of the line, I wait my turn. Why should I behave any differently on my bike?

Red lights are a different matter for me; I will not roll though a red light whether there is someone there or not. If it is early in the morning and there is not another car in sight, and I could be waiting a long time for the light to change, I will probably then move on. But never without coming to a complete stop and waiting at least a short period of time.

Cyclists will always argue that drivers of automobiles roll though stop signs, and run red lights all the time, and that no motorist was ever killed by a cyclist. 

Motorists for the most part will do exactly the same as a cyclist at a stop sign; if there is no one there, roll through. But if there are others already stopped, usually most will stop and wait their turn.

The same with traffic lights, motorists will push the “Orange” light to the limit and often going through after it turns red. But you will rarely see a motorist pull up to a red light and on seeing no one coming, go on through.
There are of course exceptions to motorist’s behavior in both these scenarios, but what pisses off the average person is when they pass a cyclist, then at the next stop sign or traffic light, he rides past the line of waiting traffic and through the intersection without appearing to slow down. I view this kind of behavior as extreme rudeness.

There are any number of bad motorists out there, but please, do me and yourself a favor. Stop using that as an excuse for behaving badly. Pointing the finger at others and saying, "Well he did it too," is something we all should have left in kindergarten.

If you run every stop sign and red light regardless of the circumstances of other traffic waiting there, this is a pattern of behavior you might want to think about adjusting.

Maybe the riders in the Woodside group deserved a ticket, maybe not. But when cyclists just blow though a stop sign without appearing to slow, it just plain looks bad.

I agree whole-heartedly.  I wish more cyclists would take responsibility for their actions, and obey the laws... just like every other person on the road is expected to do!

-PB

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Starting Over

Well, due to time constraints with the play, I wasn't able to ride as much as I'd hoped for Aug.  I missed my 300 mile goal by about 60 miles.

I am starting again (starting yesterday) with the 300 miles in 30 days challange.  I started with this ride:



I dropped my wife's car off in Magna at a transmission shop, and rode from there, out past Saltaire, and on to home. A nice 25 mile ride to start the month.

And, awaaay we go!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweet New Ride

I am so happy!  I got a new ride today!  It's a Mongoose Impasse 29er.  I recieved it as a belated birthday gift, and I took it for a nice break-in ride.  I went 20 miles and it rides like a dream.  LOVE IT!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Frustration

Okay time to rant...

Bike lanes are just that... BIKE lanes!  They are not parking lots. They are not loading/unloading zones. They are not sidewalks for pedestrians. THEY ARE NOT TURN LANES FOR CARS!

I ride more than 200 miles a month for my commute to and from work, and it frustrates me to no end to see the above misuses of bike lanes!  Those are put there for the CYCLIST's protection, giving us a "safe" place to ride on a busy road.  When they are misused like this, we are forced to join into the flow of traffic, increasing our chance of an incident with a car, and generally making both the cyclist (me, in this case) and the drivers of the cars who - mistakenly - believe bikes don't belong on the road, frustrated.

A frustrated driver and a cyclist are a bad combination.

The other side of this rant is aimed at those idiots on bikes who seem to think that laws don't apply to them.  If we, as cyclists, want other drivers to accept our presence, and give us the rights and respect we deserve, WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES TOO!

Every single time a cyclist blows through a red light, it makes us ALL look bad.

Come on, people.  Let's all work together to make cycling a SAFE, ENJOYABLE way to commute!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Update on Cycling Goal

Well, it's been most of a month. I have ridden over 200 miles so far, but am still about 60 miles shy of my 300 mile goal for the month.

It has been WINDY!!!  It has made the rides so much harder, and I have had to take a few days off from riding due to my knee ( I tweaked a muscle ), but I'm back in the saddle again! 

I need to repair or replace my bike. It has been slipping gears, and the chain keeps coming off. It really hurts when that happens during a climb!  Oh, well.  We'll get there.

I found out my endurance has ramped up quite a bit when I was wrestling with a friend on Saturday.  He is heavier than me, and almost got me pinned a couple of times, but then he "ran out of gas", and I won.  I was barely breathing hard, and felt like I could have gone on a lot longer!  I love that!!!

Well, I will pull another 20miles tonight before Tai Chi, on my way to 300 for the month.

Keep on pedaling!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hit and Run!

Just after I crossed 2700 W. on 4100 S. on my commute home last night, an RC Willey delivery truck passed me.  He didn't give me the 3' clearance required by law, and in fact the side panel of his truck struck my elbow, causing me to lose control of my bike and end up in the gutter. 

I was able to keep from a total wreck, but I wrenched my back pretty good in the process, and I have a small abrasion on my left elbow where the truck bumped me.

I couldn't reach RC Willey corporate offices, but I was able to get the truck number, and filed a report with the West Valley Police.  I am going after that driver, and pressing charges for failure to give adequate passing distance, and hit and run.



I was in a LOT of pain this morning when I woke up, and considered calling in, but I thought "No. I'm not letting this beat me!", and got back on the bike for a quick 5 miles before work.

I am about 10% of my goal of 300 miles in 30 days.  I WILL get there!

-PB

Monday, August 2, 2010

Update

I've been working hard on losing weight the past few months by watching what I eat, and increasing my exercise.  I've been cycling to the train in the morning, then 20 miles after work most days to get 25 miles every day that I work.  I was able to cycle a total of 250.2 miles for the month of July!

I have signed up for the 300 miles in 30 days challenge at http://www.mapmyride.com/ and I started off this morning with 5 miles.  I will try to keep this blog updated with my rides and such.

Oh, and I have lost 34# so far!

-Papa Bear

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bubbles

My daughter was outside playing with bubbles this afternoon, and I grabbed my macro lens.  Fun stuff!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dragon Fly

I caught this dragonfly at a fishing pond last year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Faded Rose

One of my roses.  I faded all of the color from the picture, and added film grain to "age" it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adam Hansen

I took these pictures of my Grandson Adam last night, and I loved them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's been a couple of weeks

Wow.  You get busy, and totally forget to update the blog.  Ah, well.  I am currently acting in a musical murder mystery called Death, The Final Frontier: May The Corpse Be With You I play Klaa'tokie, a warrior from the planet Argon III.

Here is a picture of me in makeup (without the costume, and the lenses are photoshopped in because I am still waiting for delivery):


And here is a picture of the cast during rehersal:


It will be a great play, and I am having a ball!

Anyway, here is today's installment of my own photography...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Caitlin and Tulips

This is one of my favorite photos that I have taken with a person as the main subject.  I used Paint Shop Pro and Google's Picasa to remove the color from the image except the flowers, which I washed out so they weren't overpowering.

Unfortunately, I lost the settings info during processing, so I am unable to share the f/stop, ISO, exposure time, etc...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gone Fishing

A day at the lake with my family last year.


f/10; exposure 1/500 sec; ISO 250; focal length 300mm

Monday, February 22, 2010

This Old House

I saw this old house while driving up Provo canyon, headed toward Wallsburg.  There are some lovely old places up that way, if you are into old buildings.  I am!  (This picture has a soft focus)

f/5.6, exposure 1/400 sec, ISO 400, focal length 300mm.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Dandelion

I shot this with my Canon EOS Rebel XTi, f/14; exposure 1/160 sec; ISO 100; focal length 55mm with my Macro lens.  There is no post-processing on this shot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Good Beginning

I will start off with one of my photographs that I love the most. It is a barn located near Park City, Utah.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Blog

Well, I am going to try this again.

I used to have a personal blog up, but there were some issues with it, so it is no more.  I will be posting things here that strike my fancy; poetry, photograpy, music, and progress on my attempt to lose weight, etc...

Here's hoping I do better at keeping this up!

-Papa Bear