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.


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?

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...


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!


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!


Friday, October 8, 2010


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



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
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!


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