Sunday, March 29, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. Obama, who took a few minutes on a day when he was setting a new course for the war in Afghanistan to express appreciation for, among other things, Mr. Biden’s willingness to speak his mind.
“There’s, I think, an institutional barrier sometimes to truth-telling in front of the president,” Mr. Obama said. “Joe is very good about sometimes articulating what’s on other people’s minds, or things that they’ve said in private conversations that people have been less willing to say in public. Joe, in that sense, can help stir the pot.”
NOW do you understand why i love joe biden?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
my friends g pickle and cody [that's just two folks, not three] are just weeks away from opening "30th century bicycle," their brand new bike shop in iowa city. located at 310 east prentiss, this small, unassuming shop is located in the heart of the blinky light district in iowa city, just behind the vine on south gilbert. steve and cody are hoping to be open by old capitol weekend, and the way they do things, i bet they will. i am just excited and happy as hell not only for steve and cody, but for the entire iowa city and iowa cycling population. why? because of steve and cody. they are cyclists at heart; they live it.
they GET it.
both have been instrumental to the success of the iowa city bike library, both are long-time bike mechanics and sales people [in a good way--recall the BL connection], both have labored years in other are bike shops [so they know and have seen good and bad, right and wrong], and not only is steve an eagle scout, he was also the undisputed winner of a major 30+ cycling race event AND the very first person EVERY to be awarded [after much non-ado] the cup o' dirt for completing 12 one-hundred mile GRAVEL centuries in a calendar year a couple years ago.
cody is an incredibly talented artist and is a pretty damned good cyclist in her own right, and i suspect a bit too smart to get hooked by the racing thing.
go here to learn more about 30 cent bikes, and to follow their progress. we at the orphanage [g pickle painted it purple a few years ago] wish them nothing but the best of luck.
oh, and is my bike done yet?
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
the secret to a long life--a fulfilling life--as a competitive cyclist is finding something that gives you pleasure, and allows expression of your non-competitive side. i have, and i want to share my passion with you now, at the aptly named "kimwestfanclub.com"
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
friday 3/13: 46F, ssw @ 7
saturday 3/14: 48F, s @ 7 all9yards gravel race #2
sunday 3/15: 49F, ese @ 6
monday 3/16: 48F, ne @ 8
tuesday 3/17: 52F, nw @ 9 saint patty's day ride?
wednesday 3/18: 51F, wnw @ 10
thursday 3/19: 54F, e @ 8
friday 3/20: 53F, n @ 10
please put your rollers away and come out and play!!
hey, where we gonna meet once it IS nice enough for the rest of you to join us? someone mentioned the bike kollective, at 617 grand. they have a bathroom, a pump, tubes and GU, and a nice central location... i'm just thinking out loud, you see.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
3.10.09, 1043 am: This is from two of my riding buddies in Manhattan, KS., Kyle Arnold and Dr. Charlie Gillum. This incident happened about 1 mile east of Wabaunsee where both the Jag E-Type and Healey had undergone engine work. Kick-boxer Charlie is also the source of many entertaining e-mails. --scott
3.10.09, 634 am: Kyle is actually being generous to this guy. We all noted after the incident; it WAS NOT a no passing zone, as he was yelling. He had a long straight away and nar –a-car-in-sight. And he knew that. His intentions were to screw with us. All the time Kyle was very calmly (smiling) waving him around…he just kept leaning on the horn and cussing us. We were all over hugging the ditch. He could have gone by easily at any time.
When he sped up and swerved right in front of Kyle and slammed breaks on, there was no way anyone could have avoided the crash. He was obviously intending to hurt Kyle.
When the big dumb ox jumped out of the car letting us know he intended to kick our ass, we were all suppose to take one look at him and then cower down and apologize for being on his road in the first place. Once he realized we were more than happy to oblige his request for fist-ta-cuffs, he quickly showed his true colors….yellow. Grizzly cowered back into the car and drove off.
And if you guys took the time to read..”bikers fashion weekly” you would have noted that my mismatched, miss colored, missed style bike gloves went perfectly with my taped up tri-bars and taped up shoes. It is not easy for one to stay on the fashion edge…but, I try. --Charlie
3.09.09, 602 pm: Most of you missed out on the now famous "Saturday Breakfast Ride" to Wamego so here is the recap story chronicling the kind of epic excitement we experience on such rides. I hope that as the weather continues to improve this spring, we will see many of you out enjoying this beautiful ride.
It was a balmy 63 degrees when we departed the mall parking lot near Whiskey Creek around 7:34 am. It was just Charlie, Trey, David and myself this week and we were slightly worried about the chance for rain. We established a fast pace, especially for such an early season ride. We each took long pulls keeping the tempo high through Zeandale and on into Wabaunsee County. We were making good time; our fear of rain had diminished. We made the gentle left and right turns and approached the cemetery just a mile or so before Hwy 99. (For those of you that remember: this is the exact area where I lost major amounts of skin last year when I collided into Larry at 30+mph.) I was in the front, pulling us up the gradual hill toward the cemetery. Charlie had said pull to the top of the hill and then he would take over. There was a head and cross wind and it had gotten colder, so I was out in the middle of our lane making sure the riders behind me were not being guttered.
I then heard the call "car back!".
As usual, I moved over and we went to pure single file. I looked up the road, all clear, and then motioned to the driver that it was safe to pass. After a short while I looked back again and the white truck was still behind us, so I motioned again. The white truck started to pass but then pulled up beside us and the window came down. I got ready....... The driver from the truck yelled: "It's a fucking no passing zone......a fucking no passing zone....." I said calmly, "I'm just letting you know it's safe to pass us, you don't have to pass" All the while thinking, gosh it was one thing passing in a no passing zone, but pulling up beside us to yell is a bit more unsafe....
For those of you that don't know me, know that I've been biking seriously for many years now. I seen a lot, been buzzed many times and have probably had the F word yelled my way 20+ times while on my bike. I've also hit birds while biking and had the other bird flown toward me many times more. So this was absolutely nothing new.... I've learned and still believe that the best thing we (bikers) can do is just waive back at these asses as if they are our best friends. So this is the approach I take.
Now back to the story....I was already a bit tired from pulling hard up the hill, so what happened next is a bit blurry.... The truck accelerated very quickly and I figured that was the end of it. Then the truck swerved hard in front of us and his break lights came on. I remember seeing the break lights and thinking, this guy is just being a jerk and is tapping the breaks to freak us out. All of a sudden I realized he was actually breaking HARD and stopping right in front of us. I yelled to the guys behind and laid on my breaks as hard as possible, yet at that moment I knew I was going down and was likely going to be hitting this truck. I locked up my rear break, leaned and fishtailed my back end around before smacking into the truck. I flipped and rolled into the ditch yet again!!!! Yet unlike last time, I was mostly unharmed.
The next thing I remember is this large 6'5 300++ pound 55 year old Grizzly Adams dude jumping out of his white truck yelling "I'm going to kick some ass!!!" He was spouting off something about bikers should not be on his road blah blah blah... And then there was 5'10 160 pound (race weight) spandex clad Charlie Gillium flipping his biking shoes off, yelling back: "Bring it on!!!! We'll see who's ass gets kicked!!!!!!" (Charlie was a competitive kick boxer in his earlier years!) I'm now totally beyond shock, and in disbelief!!!
Grizzly has a lady friend in his truck so I try to talk to her, hoping she may be rational and understanding. I say, you know we can't just stop that fast. I just ran into the back of your truck and my bike is messed up and it may cost money to repair. She spouts back: "We've had problems with you bikers before!!!"
I decide this is hopeless, I yell to David and Trey to get the license plate and I pull out the phone and dial 911. Charlie is waiting for Mr. Grizzly to make the first move. I get the 911 dispatch lady on the phone and start explaining about the road rage and my messed up bike. I remember yelling the tag number and telling the dispatch lady to send help.
The next thing I know Grizzly dude and the white truck are speeding away!!!
I guess Charlie with fists in the air and the two different biking gloves (one long fingered, one short) scared him off!!! Yeah Charlie!!!! (side note: I am 100% certain Charlie really would have kicked his ass had it gone that far!!)
So I have to get to work now, but I'm still talking to the police and am expecting a call tomorrow. My rear Power Tap wheel is messed up, and I'm sure Mr. Grizzly is not going to enjoy those higher insurance premiums after buying me a new wheel and having a road rage report on his record! I'm thankful that no one use injured and still in shock from the ordeal!
More to follow. Stay safe out there! --Kyle
gee, if only they had a 5 foot safety bubble in kansas!! --me
Sunday, March 08, 2009
the route maps were released today by the register.
although they do show the roads to be ridden this year,
they fail to reveal what is likely to happen this year: ragby 2009 coincides with the annual iowa observance of the world naked bike ride, which kicked off yesterday in australia and south africa, and will continue in the southern hemisphere through march, and begin in the northern hemisphere in june.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
i sent her several links, including this one, showing susan, derek, warren, and the whole band doing a knock-out cover of "the weight" [only thing finer is adding the memphis horns].
so enjoy this one, and put the load right on me.
there are some things i understand, some things that i don't fully understand, and some things that just aren't worth trying to understand.
"i have a radio show" is a perfect example.
"rush limbaugh is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the republican party" is another.
"rush and kim have radio shows on the clear channel radio network."
it's a big old crazy mixed-up world.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
upon close examination, rather than ENHANCE the rights of bicycle riders, this proposal REDUCES or ELIMINATES the status of bicyclists legally, while doing much more immeasurable harm to us even before the bill is approved--if it gets approved. the bill faces an uncertain future at best in the statehouse.
i've included a link to the text of the bill.
read it carefully, and you'll be as pissed off as i am about it. just scan it, or ignore it, and you'll believe, as its author and chief lobbyist for the iowa bike coalition mark wyatt does, that it's the best thing to happen to iowa bicyclists since indoor plumbing.
1-1, section 1--i'm cool with this one, which asserts the bicyclist's right to operate on the streets or highways.
1-9, section 2--diminishes a bicycle's right to use a narrow lane. in other words, if the lane is narrow, the car can squeeze us out, rather than be prohibited from passing us. BULLSHIT.
1-19, section 3--passing a bike, the infamous 5' bubble. this new language takes away our right to occupy the ENTIRE lane. BULLSHIT.
2-3, section 4--following too closely. the language "reasonable" and "prudent" "with due regard to traffic and speed" provides enough language to fit conveniently up our asses. guess who wins THIS argument, kiddies?
2-13, section 5--please don't honk at me. gee, i couldn't find the penalty provision for this one.
2-21, section 6--hand and arm signals. guess what, our bill of rights guarantees our right to signal with our right arms. praise mark from whom all blessings flow. of all the things i've been hassled by cops about over the years, i've NEVER been given THIS shit. i don't think even the cops knew about this one. get real.
2-35, section 7--when crossing sidewalk or trail, drivers must yield, unless there is a sign posted. translation: watch for a blossoming of "trail users must stop" signs.
3-27, section 8--an open door policy? "darwin at work," or "dumb and dumber?"
4-1, section 9--kill a biker, only 1G.
4-15, section 10--a special simple misdemeanor fine reduced from $150 or more to just $25, or . . .
4-21, section 11-- . . . $35 for the open door thing. hey, bikies: STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM AN OPEN CAR DOOR. even better, ride with care as you pass a parked car. DON'T be a dumbass.
this bill has NO provisions for public awareness for the motoring public, nor does it mention the need to education law enforcement. city police, county deputies, and state patrol officers, as well as city and county attorneys would ALL benefit greatly from several hours of training about the currently available laws as they relate to the legal operation of bicycles in iowa.
i've said it before, i'm saying it now, and i'll KEEP saying it: this bill is WRONG. that mark wyatt is its daddy is further proof that he doesn't understand the needs of ALL bicyclists, and that the iowa bike coalition could be much better served with someone else at the helm. saying that is like saying that anyone would be better than dubya in the white house, isn't it? couldn't do worse, right?