Sunday, June 29, 2008

not that it hadn't occurred to me...

are you a sarah jessica parker fan? no? you might want to check here and see what you and i have missed. [click the photo, too]

big changes at the orphanage

my old camper, the 77 sportmobile--

the official vw camper of ragby; the official bus of cardinal sin;

the official vehicle of the orphange, and of the church of the two-wheeled scam, and the grocery getter of sister nun, of the above;
the icon and home-base for the many thousands of orphans far-flung and nearby for so many years, where stories of discipline and clean-living were told by both sister non, of the above, and later by the mostly reverend, whose divine example all little orphans strive to attain in their daily lives, the official bus of the note-worthy nativity scene of the orphanage, has been sold. as i write this, it is rolling down I-35 toward its new home just north of kansas city. it will begin its new life with a new young family, and although i speak for us all by saying that we will miss it, we wish its new owners all the very best that it has given so many over the fourteen years that it has served us so well.

bye bye, bus.


coming soon: the jack and the magic bean bus--the final chapter

Friday, June 27, 2008

sent by a friend

unlike any conversation in which i might ever participate, by the way.
what words could YOU change to make it fit you?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

dallas county board of supervisors meeting

watch as they discuss a proposal of the iowa state association of counties to require any group ride of as few as ten cyclists to register, get a permit, carry signed waivers of liability, AND show proof of a MINIMUM of $1,000,000 liability insurance for the ride. you'll learn that the dallas county engineer is PRESIDENT of the group that developed this model ordinance, and be further dazzled by the fact that the dallas county attorney is the current president of the state county attorney association. [anyone ever read "the peter principle"?]
there will be eleven of this clips. at present, i have eight completed and posted; the other three will be linked here as the slow process continues.
enjoy, and then write to the board of supervisors and give them your opinion.
please watch these, leave comments either here or on the youtube pages, and them contact the dallas county board of supervisors to give your opinion on this proposal.
remember, as a matter of fact,
you DO own the road.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

is it really possible?

...that 23% of americans STILL support bush?

how to contact the dallas county board of supervisors

you may express your opinion on the board's decision to consider this idiotic proposal to these fine young men [brad golightly, mark hanson, bob ockerman] at this address.

she's baaaaaaaaaack!

yes, it's sister nun, of the above, shown here in this undated photo from the orphanage archives. the sista is shown emerging from the orphanage's vw camper on one of her many ragbies, where she tried valiently to instill and maintain a sense of civility, decorum, and dignity to her charges, many of whom, to her credit, never were arrested while on ragby.
"the good lord knows she tired her best"
will most likely serve as the sista's epitaph.
rumor has it that the good sister will be doing another ragby this year, in honor of the mostly reverend's golden ragby, marking his 50th trek across the state.
by the way, we here at today's sermonette are still searching not only for more photos of the good sister nun, of the above, we would also love to have any photos of her twin, sister olive the above.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

jack and the magic bean bus

chapter 41 -- wink is as good as a nod to a beer czar

Jack had laid out the terms for the lopsided bet with the Beer Czar and the Czar accepted. The wager was whether or not Jack would accept any price the Beer Czar offered for the supposedly magic Ragbrai beans Jack was trying to sell for $500. The stakes were the Czar’s spare bus tire against then entire Short Bus and all its contents.
They begrudgingly shook hands
with each other and then while everyone waited, Jack made one last arrangement. “Bring your spare bus tire and set it right out here between us and I’ll set the keys to the Short Bus right next to it for everyone to see.”
The Czar motioned for his crew to oblige while Jack turned to Kelby and held out his hand for the keys. Kelby refused at first, but Jack had such a blaze of fire in his eyes that finally, Kelby reached into his pocket and reluctantly dropped the bus keys into Jack’s hand.
When both prizes were placed on the ground between Jack and the Czar, Jack said, “Well, sir. I advertised the beans at $500. Make your offer.”
A single beer ticket for the entire bag,” came the offer. The Czar pulled a red ticket from his pocket and held it up for all to see.
Jack hesitated for just a moment and stared hard at the beans as a hush ran through the crowd. Then he looked back at the Czar and after another long pause, finally said, “Sold!”
The thugs standing behind the Czar gave a rowdy cheer while Jack’s friends let out a collective moan. The Czar was very pleased with himself and reached out a greedy hand to take the bag of beans from Jack. In exchange, he dropped the beer ticket at Jack’s feet.
“Thank you, sir,” said Jack while tipping the spare bus tire upright. “We’ll just take our spare and be going.”
“What?!” roared the Czar.
“Those were the terms of the bet,” answered Jack as he rolled the tire back toward the eager hands in his group. “We bet whether or not I’d accept any price you offered me for the beans. You offered one beer ticket and I accepted.” Jack bent down a second time and picked up the keys to the Short Bus, tossing them to
The Czar turned a bright shade of red and clenched his fists. He turned to his thugs as if to order them into battle, but they were laughing so hard they could barely stand.
Jack could hear the sounds of friends rolling the tire away toward Kelby’s bus, but he kept his eyes on the Czar, who had managed to regain his composure. “There is still one more matter to settle,” said the Czar. “According to our computer audit, you have $120 that belongs the Des Moines Register, and for that, I’ll have you arrested.”
“Actually, sir,” a smallish, bookish voice sounded from inside the bus. Jack and the Czar turned to see an accountant, complete with a bow tie and an adding machine, leaning through the door of the command center bus. “I’ve been going over the figures in this most recent computer printout of the Register’s audit. The $120 that supposedly went to Jack Piper has somehow been cancelled out.”
“How can that be?!” roared the Czar in a new fit of rage.
The accountant turned to Jack and asked, “Evidently, Mr. Piper, you delivered the Des Moines Register newspaper to a customer in Colorado last winter. Is that true?”
Jack was caught completely off guard. “Uh, yes, I did. But I only made four deliveries.”
“This was billed to the Register’s customer service with their approval at $25 per delivery,” said the accountant.
“But I thought Mr. Karras was only joking when he said that paperboys would charge that much,” stammered Jack.
The accountant shook his head. “No, that was the going rate.”
“But that only adds up to $100!” shouted the Czar. “What about the other $20?”
The accountant took one last look a the printout and said, “Evidently, Mr. Karras added a $5 tip for each delivery. That adds up to $120, which Mr. Piper was never paid. It exactly cancels out the previous discrepancy. There is no more reason to pursue Mr. Piper.”
At these words, the Beer Czar let out such
a blood-curdling yell that the thugs standing behind him stopped laughing and nervously filed back onto the bus. The Czar was quaking with rage as he turned to Jack and hissed, “You haven’t won yet.” He jumped to the first step of his bus and screamed, “I’ve got an entire raccoon army on board, crazed by an addicting mix of hops, barley, and newspaper ink. I’m going to feed them your magic coffee beans and turn them loose. When they find you they’ll tear you to pieces.”
The door to the bus slammed shut and Jack remained frozen in place. Behind him, he could hear Mahk’s familiar South African accent saying, “Let’s go Jack. We’ve got the spare installed and we’re ready to leave.” But Jack didn’t move. His eyes remained fixed on
the black command center bus in front of him.
Strange howls and yelps were starting to come from the Czar’s bus. The growls and yelps were getting louder moment by moment as the bus began to shake and tremble. The tinted windows were impossible to see through, but the cries of the men on the bus started to blend in with the screeches of the raccoons until they were impossible to tell apart.
Mahk said one more time, “Come on Jack, it’s time to go,” but just as he finished his sentence, the engine of the Czar’s bus roared to life. The sounds of grinding gears were mixed with the sounds of carnage, and the bus suddenly jolted forward, charging out of the parking lot and onto the lonely county road that ran past the parking lot of
the abandoned gas station. The bus careened wildly to the left and right as it shot down the road and out of sight, with the sounds of yelling and gnashing teeth fading away into the distance, hopefully never to be seen again.
Jack blinked and turned to Mahk, as if waking from a trance. “Yeah,” he said, “It’s time to go.”

to be continued...[a serial by little orphan dbax]


i'm training to ruin a marathon

When I set my mind to something, there's no turning back, no slowing down, and no excuses. So when I heard about the upcoming 17th Annual Richland County Marathon, I started training immediately. For the last four months, I have been pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion to prepare my mind and body for the ultimate physical challenge: ruining a marathon.
I'm going to ruin the whole thing.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Sure, everyone would like to ruin a marathon, but who among us has the discipline and energy to get up at the crack of dawn morning after morning, through rain, sleet, and snow, and practice handing out cups of vinegar to the frontrunners? Me, that's who. Yes, there are some mornings when it's darn near impossible to keep going—when you feel like you just can't chip one more pothole in the course with a pickax. But endurance ruining is all about pushing through the pain. And when the big day comes, and you make it over that final hurdle, dodge the cops, and shove an old guy into the bushes, you'll know all that training was worth it.
Granted, I've never taken on anything of this magnitude before. Oh, I used to ruin cross-country meets back in high school. And there was that father-son fun ruin I did back in '06, of course, but that was just for charity. If I'm going to needlessly sabotage a full 26.2 miles of road, I have to make sure I'm at the top of my game. No ifs, ands, or buts.
That's why I like to start off my training day bright and early with a full breakfast of espresso, some diet pills, and a small bag of rock candy. It keeps me edgy and volatile when I'm in the thick of disrupting a tight race. Also—and I can't stress this enough—it's very important to stretch properly before and after yelling derogatory remarks at Kenyans. You don't want your legs cramping up on the way to the escape route.
Training rituals like this may seem tiresome and pointless now, but trust me: When you're two hours into terrorizing a highly anticipated marathon, they make all the difference in the world.
After you've been ruining a marathon for a couple hours, your body will just take over and you won't even realize that you're spoiling the day for everyone. I call that getting in the "ruiner's zone." It's like my arms and legs could just keep dumping buckets of cooking oil off a highway overpass forever. When you get there, more than ever, it's important to keep focused and not let your mind wander. You've got a lot of race to wreck, and you've got to keep your mind sharp for what's coming up ahead.
It's good to make a checklist in my mind, so I don't get distracted on race day. Are there any cables or streamers around that I can use as trip wires? Is this a good time to call the fire department to report a massive four-alarm blaze at the 12-mile mark? Do I hip-check the guy in front of me or stop abruptly and trip up the three people behind?
If I make all the right decisions, and really push myself, I could ruin this marathon in record time.
The biggest thing I've learned about training to thwart a marathon is that you have to set small, manageable goals for yourself, and then gradually work up to bigger, more challenging goals. Try starting off with something simple, like printing out "Marathon Continues to the Right" signs and pasting them up by the on-ramp to the interstate. Once you're comfortable with that, you can work your way up to a larger goal, like breaking beer bottles into a sack and dumping them out in front of the wheelchair racers, or loading up on carbs and dairy so you can vomit all over the finish line.
As the day of the marathon approaches, it's easy to psych yourself out by thinking of all the tiny things that could go wrong. The hornets could all die en route to the starting line, or I might forget to slash the tires of the first-aid trucks that follow the runners. But when you're ruining a marathon, you have to push all those little what-ifs out of your head and just go out there and try your hardest.
Sure, you might not end up ruining every inch of the marathon, but just imagine the looks on their faces when 300-plus people fail to cross that finish line.
Race day's tomorrow. No more excuses. No more letting my own fears, or my wife's sobbing pleas, or the combined efforts of city and state law enforcement agencies get in the way of me accomplishing my goal. No, sir. Not this time.
I've trained too hard for that.
--the onion [by the way, the fella shown is NOT snowdog]
by the way, snowdog seems to have sold the now-famous "snowdog" pickup truck. his wheels nowadays is an early-90s mustang [NOT the cool new retro-styled ones, but the boxy version] with vanity plate "FIVER."

Monday, June 23, 2008

waiting for FEMA reading this and this.
[i'll keep you posted. recall that i applied on-line early june 17th, when the media was announcing they were responding "in about 24 hours." "i'll be in your neighborhood between 700 and 900 am," i was told last night.]
UPDATE: caylor copeland, of somewhere in texas was here. very cordial, although quite business-like. been in iowa two days: cedar rapids, now here. "seven to ten days you'll hear something."
in the afternoon mail, i got THREE large envelopes.

bye, george

shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits?
“Scratch any cynic,” carlin said, “and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.”

Friday, June 20, 2008

tuesday's mass ride to dallas county board of supervisors meeting

a reminder:
we will be LEAVING from the west side of
the iowa state capitol building
tuesday, june 24, at 800 AM SHARP!!!
There will be media coverage at the ride.
If we want to make a true statement, we need to be there in numbers. Please email me if you are planning on riding; I have some logistical stuff to do depending on the numbers. Let's not let Dallas County start what we can't afford for the rest of the counties to finish!
Jeff Mertz 515-710-3163

FLASH!!! hy-vee triathlon update!!!

for immediate release:
. . . . .
hey, i'm having fun messing with all the do-gooders, ya know?
so what's the deal NOW?
let me tell you:
heckler's row will be located on
south jordan creek parkway,
south of stagecoach drive,
so that we can watch you going out,
and cause you torment coming back up the 2.0 kilometer-long hill.
i really wasn't going to park it so early in the bike leg; nooooooo.
i'm doing my best to give you a strong northerly headwind, too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

fill the hill is BACK!!

this just in: in yet ANOTHER route change, this one for the better, we DO have a devil-worthy heckler's hill for this sunday's hy-vee triathlon.
while it's NOT the strategically-placed grand avenue leg-buster from last year, it is much better than the dualthlon route which had caused me to threaten to recommend hammocks along the route. while they won't admit it, i suspect that promise was enough for race officials to fudge the bacteria test results down into acceptable levels.
in any event, a map of the revised-revised bike route is included:
i suggest that plenty of cold beverages should be included in your heckler's pack. we will be on fuller road, just west of its intersection with 35th street.
i suggest you bone up on water-borne bacteria, as i'm certain that the bikers will be covered with it. a little mass-contagion hysteria never hurt anyone.

be there early this sunday--

the first wave of amateurs hits the petri dishes at 600 am.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

jack and the magic bean bus

chapter 40 - beginner's luck or gambler's conceit?
The sinister-looking command center bus crossed from the end of the exit ramp toward the abandoned gas station. The silence of the hot summer afternoon was broken by the sharp sounds of the bus’s wheels slowly grinding stray rocks and weeds into the concrete as it rolled across the old parking lot toward Jack and the rest of the group.
The dark bus lurched to a halt and sat idling for a minute before the motor cut off and the bus doors swung open. Jack and the others watched as
a stout, pompous man strutted down the steps and onto the concrete. He stood with his hands on his hips and a sneer on his face like a warden in a bad mood. He wore sunglasses and a baseball cap with “Beer Czar” embroidered across the front. When he yanked off his sunglasses his eyes darted from one person to the next until they settled on Jack.
“Orphan Jack Piper,” said the Czar, spitting the words out as if they were rotten watermelon seeds. “Predictable, pitiful Piper. The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. We lost you in Iowa City last fall, but I knew we would only have to wait until the next Ragbrai.” Then, as if to add force to his words, several other people stepped down from the bus,
a gang of young men who ran the gamut from mischievous gremlins to dangerous thugs. Some wore Miller and Budweiser delivery shirts and caps. All of them looked like frat boys who had just found out that spring break was cancelled.
Muscles in the Czar’s jaw twitched as he continued. “And now you are up to your old tricks again? The price seems a little high for coffee beans, don’t you think?” The crew behind the Czar laughed. He was referring to the plywood sign Jack had set up on the interstate, advertising magic Ragbrai beans for $500.
“Not at all,” answered Jack, surprised at the calmness in his own voice. He met the Czar’s glare with steady eyes and held up the small SIDI cleat bag with the beans. “If they were regular coffee beans, I’d be selling them at five dollars a bag. But these are
special magic Ragbrai coffee beans.”
The Czar broke into a mean laugh and turned to his gang of ruffians saying, “As special as the kids who ride your bus? So special I never heard of such a thing!”
Jack replied with patience. “I’d be surprised if you had heard of them. These beans were grown in soil enriched with
Chris Cake’s pancake batter, seasoned with spices from
the Pork Chop man’s grill, and watered with
beer straight from the keg.”
“They look like plain coffee beans to me,” scowled the Czar.
“Sure, they do,” continued Jack, warming up to the sales pitch. “But the roots of the coffee plants that produced these beans have been feeding on the same stuff that makes KYBO fertilizer so rich. Mark my words, a single bean properly roasted and ground could make you a pot of coffee so dark, so powerful, that it would satisfy your entire army of Ragbrai beer garden volunteers for the full week.”
“Hogwash!” scoffed the Czar. “Don’t you think I can
recognize regular coffee beans when I see them?”
Jack paused thoughtfully, scratched his chin, and said, “I see you’re a man who likes to drive a hard bargain. I’d like to sell you these beans. Make an offer.”
“We don’t need ‘em. I’ve got all the coffee we’ll need for the entire week already,” snorted the Czar.
“Sir,” said Jack drawing himself up straight and looking the Czar squarely in the eyes, “I’ll make a bet with you that I’ll accept any price you offer for the entire bag of magic Ragbrai coffee beans.”
“Any price?” said the Czar, with renewed interest?
“That’s what I said and I’ll stand by it. Any price,” said Jack.
The Czar rubbed his hands together while turning and smirking at the thugs standing behind him and asked, “I’m going to enjoy humiliating you before I have you arrested. How much do you want to bet?”
“No money,” said Jack. “As you can see, we have a bus with a flat tire and no spare. I’ll bet our entire Short Bus and all the contents against your spare bus tire that I’ll accept any price you offer. If you win the bet, you’ll have our bus and

you’ll have ruined Ragbrai for everyone here. If we win the bet, we’ll keep your spare tire.”
The terms of the bet that Jack laid out were so lopsided that he Czar couldn’t pass up the opportunity and the thugs standing behind the Czar made it impossible for him to back down from the bet in front of them.
to be continued...[a serial by little orphan dbax]

our new mission at the orphanage

from the staff of the orphanage,
"where we specialize in the spiritual repair of the soul.
have you checked your foundation for leaks lately?"


we will be meeting at the west side of the iowa state capitol building tuesday morning, june 24, between 730 and 800 am, for an 800 am departure for the ride to adel. to underscore that roads ARE designed and built to be safe for bicycle traffic, we will ride en masse via hickman road and us highway 6 through west des moines, waukee and on into adel:
route details: distance--24 miles. 16mph average = 1.5 hours
--leave the capitol, and head down grand past the governor's mansion up to 42nd;
--north on 42d to University, jog east to 41st, then north on 41st to Hickman;
--west on hickman/highway 6 to adel.

if we fail to act, this could be one of the last rides we can lawfully do like this. don't get me started on what i think about THAT. [million dollar liability coverage...]

WHO: Dallas County Board of Supervisors
WHAT: Proposed Bicycle Event Ordinance
WHY: To show support for bicyclists and learn more about this ordinance
WHEN: June 24th at 9:30 am
WHERE: Adel City Hall, 301 S. 10th Street Adel, IA 50003 (
HOW: Just be there. Drive or ride your bike if you have the time

clear your schedules, and plan to ride with us. you can join us anywhere along the route: hickman and highway 6. cue the "convoy" song... [wince]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

i'm voting republican!

lou, pete, pig--you were right, after all

iowa: home of bike friendly communities?

does anyone REALLY wonder why des moines was denied "bike friendly community" status?
two words: DALLAS COUNTY
this slime is spreading faster than herpes at an orgy.
coralville? johnston? you're next.
can't they spray to prevent this crap?

ghost bike tributes

click here to read a beautifully written tribute to a fallen cyclist in denver, penned by my old pal and misplaced riding buddy, garrett.

jack and the magic bean bus

chapter 39 – the empire strikes back

Jack scrambled back onto the bus and pulled his duffle bag out from under the seat. He dug in and found the bag of magic beans at the bottom. Then, Jack grabbed a magic marker and jumped back off the bus. He found a piece of plywood leaning against the old boarded up gas station and wrote these words:

Magic Ragbrai Beans $500
Exit Here

Without taking time to explain, Jack asked Kelby to help him, and they ran with the sign up the steep embankment to the interstate and propped it up on the bridge railing so that traffic could see it.
As Jack and Kelby turned to climb back down the embankment, they heard a horn honking and saw a pickup towing a camper flash by on the highway. The driver hit the brakes hard and pulled onto the exit ramp just in time while Jack and Kelby made their way down to the abandoned gas station parking lot

where Kelby’s stranded Short Bus passengers waited.
At first, Jack wasn’t sure what to make of the pickup truck and camper rolling slowly toward them in the parking lot. He saw the Texas license plate on the truck and could barely see past the glare on the windshield to make out the Texas-sized grin on the driver’s face, but Kelby was already laughing and shaking his head.
The truck came to a stop, and a young man wearing black horn-rimmed glasses and a child’s straw cowboy hat stepped out onto the running board proclaiming,

“I’m Mayor Dean G. L. Berry, mayor of Ragbee! Vote for me … I did! Welcome to Iowa. Here’s your ham!” He went on like this for a while longer as others climbed out of the truck behind him.
Based on the hugs and backslaps, Jack could see that everyone in Kelby’s group seemed to already know the new arrivals, and eventually, Jack was introduced to

Bowlingball, his wife Trixie, Roger, Choi, and Mike.
Roger said, “We saw two hooligans putting up a sign about magic beans and then at the last second, we recognized Kelby. We had to stop to see what you guys were up to.”
“We were going way too fast for that exit ramp,” added Trixie. “We almost went into the ditch.”
“I had it under control the whole time!” exclaimed Bowlingball. “I’m thinking about taking the rig back up there to try it again a little faster. Trixie, get my blindfold!”
Then, there was a pause as all eyes shifted to the other vehicle in the parking lot. “Nice bus,” said Bowlingball. “Why are you parked here? Ragbee’s that-a-way.”
“We’ve got a flat and no spare,” said Kelby. “We don’t even have the tools to change it.”
“Well, I’ve got the tools, but our spares won’t fit your bus,” said Bowlingball.

Roger stepped forward. “We’re just a few miles from Missouri Valley. I used to live there, and I know where we can get it fixed. We can use Bowlingball’s tools to take off the flat, and we’ll drive it up to town and get it fixed. Then we’ll bring it back and you’ll be set.”
“That sounds like a plan,” said Kelby, and within minutes they were breaking the lug nuts loose and jacking up the bus. A few minutes more was all it took for the flat tire to be taken off of the bus and loaded into the camper.
Everything was going smoothly, but before Bowlingball and his group got in the truck to leave, Jack noticed a sinister-looking full-sized school bus making its way down the exit ramp toward the parking lot.

The bus was painted black and had tinted windows that hid what was inside. Words in imposing capital letters were etched across the side of the bus.


to be continued...[a serial by little orphan dbax]

glen wicks collection: moving day

[photos by chris maharry]
i spent saturday moving some bikes on behalf of the bike kollective.
during his lifetime, glen wicks gathered even more bicycles than i have.
mrs. wicks [crystal] and i talk about her late husband's dreams and wishes for his collection. i think they've gone to the right place. look for these kool old bikes to be hitting the streets soon. want one for yourself? then volunteer to help us rebuild bikes. leave a comment, or stop by the des moines bike kollective any saturday from 900 am until noon. we're located at 617 grand avenue, downtown.
[click on those first two photos for drool time.]

Monday, June 16, 2008

dallas county to all bicyclists:

huh huh. huh huh huh.
On June 24th at 9:30 am the Dallas County Board of Supervisors will meet
at the Adel City Hall, 301 S. 10th Street Adel, IA 50003, to discuss the attached ordinance.
It is imperative that we have as many people as possible to attend the meeting and speak to the Board. If this passes in Dallas it is on to the next County.
This is not a Dallas vs Polk vs Warren County issue, this is an Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) vs Bicyclist issue! If this ordinance passes it is coming to your county next, with the intent that Cities will enact the next level of blocking your rights.
The highlights of the ordinance:
* Based on discussion with county engineer, the number of riders participating could be as low as 10-20, that means any group ride of 10-20 cyclist would require a $1,000,000 insurance rider listing Dallas County as additional insured.
* One of the criteria is if the event is advertised, the language includes internet, that means if it is posted on Bike Iowa, that would be considered advertising, therefore about any ride in Dallas County would be included.
* The ordinance includes all County Roads, but on the trails you must cross County Roads, therefore even a trail ride would include this insurance requirement.
Reasons this is wrong:
* What difference does it make how many riders there are, 1 rider can hit a pothole and become injured, why would 15, 20, or 5,000 make any difference? The policy does not solve the Counties perceived problem.
* The Crawford County issue was so much more than a simple bike accident that the insurance required would have provided no protection from the accident. The County had negligence, therefore the lawsuit was legally valid, and that is why they paid, not because of road design, but because of negligence by the County in its actions. It is unfortunate that this did not go to court and sort out the real issues at hand!
* Iowa state law protect the rights of riders to the level that we have the same rules and rights to the road. How can the county set aside State law?
* The County does not require the same insurance for other group events such as tractor rides or classic car rally¢s, thus preventing equal access.
* Roads not designed for bikes, this is too long of a subject to address in this email. I can argue this with two hands tied behind my back.
* This would require many small fundraising rides to not happen due to the cost of insurance.
Other problems: The Iowa Association of Counties is pushing all counties in Iowa to pass this ordinance. Yet with all of the problems with the ordinance they think this is a good move. If an ordinance is bad, it should not pass, after a ordinance is drafted that makes sences, then lets debate the merit of the item being considered, but to debate poor language and badly written law, that is a waste of the time of all of us.
I will warn you, Bob Ockerman denied me the right to speak in a public session at the last meeting, as the newest member of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors he is doing a fine job of keeping the people in the process.
As a former elected official, while not required by law, I always allowed the public to speak.
I was amazed that after seeing me sit in a meeting for two hours he would not allow any comments that would help the board make an educated decision. I hope he is more open minded on June 14th. From the Iowa Bicycle Coalition: ·
This ordinance is unnecessary.
--There is no legal precedent since the Crawford County case was settled out of court.
--There has only been one bicycle lawsuit of this nature in 36 years. This is not a frequent legal problem for the counties. A wayward Illinois Supreme Court decision that produced a uniquely increased liability situation has produce no additional lawsuits or increases in insurance rates over the past 10 years. ·
Counties have legal protection under Iowa law in common law.
--Bicyclists are required to keep a proper lookout to avoid hazards. With the bicycles lower speed and higher maneuverability bicycles can easily avoid hazards.
--Counties must foresee the issue that could cause damage and have time to act.
--Bicycle facilities are protected from negligence under 670.4(14) & (15). ·
This ordinance could infringe on freedoms protected in the Iowa Constitution.
--Iowans have the right to freely travel.
--Iowans have the right to associate.
--Iowans have the right to assemble.
As gas our price rises, as our climate warms, and as our children are suffering from obesity related diabetes and high blood pressure, we need to make sure exercise and physical activity are freely allowed in our communities. We need to make sure our transportation system has options for those who cannot afford to travel by car. We need to make sure people may ride their bicycles and not be excluded. --jeff mertz
seems like a great time for a
. . . . .
what do you say:
leave des moines around 800 am?
can you believe we have to go through this shit,
just to ride our fucking bikes?

Friday, June 13, 2008


via text from syd brown: "I'm the no 1 cat 2. There was a mistake.
They are looking for a leader's jersey for me." 526 pm 6/13/08

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

big brother, or big help?

it is claimed you can find your partner or significant other with just a cell phone number. they say this works, but since i don't have a partner, there's no reason for me to try it. let me know if it works.