Friday, March 30, 2007

we'll be ready for ragbrai--will you?

nothing says springtime in the rockies
like a little bit of motorpacing
and a little bit of syrah.
who needs an ice bath,
when you can have this?
my friend "not walt" sent me this photo.
it seems that the storm closed interstates 40 and 70,
re-routing travelers up the mountain past their home.
he further claims that, less than five minutes into their bottle,
young women were stopping by, asking for a glass.
THIS is how we train for the ragby,
but some folks would never understand.
[and we DON'T have to raise a $1000 to do it!!]

epic? nope; memorable. [and that's good]

Kim, just thought I'd pass along an event from today's ride.
"Luggs" [not his real name] and I headed out of town south
and ended up on R63 just west of Indianola.
Just before the corner what had been a foggy ride
with an east wind turned into a drizzle
and then a full-blown downpour.
Big drops of rain that were bouncing on pavement
and hurting the face.
Close to some kind of hail.
Visibility that had been 1/2 a mile was down to less than 1/4.
I hesitated putting my foot down at the corner
as the flat pavement appeared to be covered
with an inch or two of water.
I'm really beginning to wonder at my sanity
and was about to confer with "Luggs" as to our next step.
We both figured as long as we were in it we might as well press on.
Some gent pulls up in a pickum up truck
and asks if we're getting wet.
Apparently it was dry in the truck or something.
Asks if he could give us a ride somewheres.
I swim over and tell him "it isn't a ride unless it's memorable".
Or so says the reverend.
(You don't have a copyright on that, do you?)
If'n I knew you were free Thursdays you could come along.
I think Fridays work for you though.
Cheerio, Keith [not his real name]
* * * * *
note the use of memorable, not epic.
nicely done, "keith."
there's WAAAAAAY too much of this "epic" shit,
and most of them aren't, anyway.
as i've always said, if you're having epic rides,
you're not riding enough.
strive for memorable.
that's pretty damned good,
as "keith" and "luggs" can attest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

who's on first, redux

ahhh, springtime:
the crack of the bat!
the smell of hot dogs!
the sight of a fat, blind umpire yelling
"yerrrrrrrrr OUT!"

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. How may I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den,
and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to
write proposals, track expenses and run my business.
What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows!
OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer
and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue"W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w"
if you don't start with some straight answers.
What about financial bookkeeping?
You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START" . . .

political humor

to further provide evidence of my true nature,
i offer this cheap shot at former president bill clinton.
it's one of the few jokes involving his name that i find funny.
but that's just me. i'm just a shallow s.o.b.

Back when Bill Clinton and Hillary got married Bill told her, "There's one thing I want you to know. There's a box under my bed and I don't want you to look in it until I die." Hillary agreed to this but, over the years, the curiosity got the better of her and she finally looked in it. She found three beer cans and 1.5 million dollars in cash. When she asked Bill what the beer cans were for, he replied, "Well, those are for all the times I've cheated on you." Hillary said, "Well, that's not bad after all these years and you being a politician and traveling and all." She was about to leave, but then she said, "Hey, Bill, what about the 1.5 million dollars?" Bill replied, "That's for all the times the box got full and I had to cash the cans in."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

monday bike riding

i went for a bike ride
with little richard monday afternoon.

he's a senior at roosevelt; good kid.
loves the idea of bike riding and racing.
he's going to tcu this fall,
and he visited the campus over his spring break
to meet the other guys on the college cycling team.
he's even living in the athlete's dormitory.
i wonder what the big old football players will think
when they see this little kid running around
with his tight pants and cleated shoes and his bicycle.
[college students can be so mean, you know.]
~ ~ ~ ~
mondays are always recovery days; the theory being that
you've raced on saturday and sunday,
and need a day of "active recovery" before getting down to
another week of intense training.
lots of people don't really understand the concept of active recovery.
it's simple: it's that riding that is so easy
that you feel guilty about doing it.
that's why some folks can't do it.
they treat cycling like it's a job; a job that they hate.
makes no sense to me.
most professional cyclists, whose job really IS riding a bike,
LIKE their jobs. no, most of them LOVE their jobs.
michael fatka, of michael's cyclery in ames
[back in the day: early 70s through mid to late 90s?]
used to be the director of one of THE cycling teams of the day,
the raleigh team, which featured some of the best riders of that era,
including some who are still racing today.
but that's another post; today, we're talking about monday rides.
anyway, michael always said to keep it 80/20:
20% hard cycling, and 80% easy.
that's why i have a basement full of old bicycles--
just for fun.
i've got multiple stingrays, many cruisers,
a couple old tandems, my bmx bikes,
my flamed-out 20" specialized, &
my classic looking gt 24" cruiser class gt.
these bikes are great.
i can't help but have fun riding those damned things.
and i pull out one or the other on a regular basis.
it helps me remember why i ride bikes,
and why and how much i love riding.
you've seen the pictures of me during the gravel races,
covered with all kinds of shit, head to toe.
and happy as a clam.
christ, i have a racing age of 54.
i'm out there sloggin around with guys 18 to 40,
holding my own, bitching and cussing,
and having fun.
i don't know that little richard ever had been on
such a ride as we had monday:
50 miles, three hours, some gravel, some easy rolling hills.
and absolutely NO pressure.
we left town with dave lippold,
who is a strict adherent to the notion of easy mondays,
and we met up with dave cornelison,
still getting over his anxiety since getting
pegged by some asshole kid in a pickup last may.
lippold had to turn back early [imagine THAT!],
so the three of us just rolled along:
east side of des moines, avon lake, carlisle, banner state park,
gravel to just outside norwalk,
and back into des moines on s.w. 9th.
just west of carlise, we met norah, dave's wife,
and the four of us rolled for a while.
none of this "hurry hustle gotta kick it" bullshit.
little ring riding. chatting.
passing along cycling knowledge
and racing and training insights.
i've been lucky enough to have several friends
who rode with me like this over the years.
valuable nuggets. we talked about
headwinds [gotta love them; they make you strong],
hills [gotta love them; they make you strong],
heat and humidity [gotta love it; it will make you strong].
it's this kind of riding that makes the rest of it so nice.
i hope little richard gets more serious,
but that he keeps it in perspective;
he's got a long time to enjoy it.
and it really IS worth it.

the human cost of illegal immigration

i thought i knew quite a bit about
the pros and cons of immigration,
but i must admit that this report really opened my eyes
to a side of illegal immigration
that i just couldn't have imagined.
you might shed a tear or two yourself.

a tour of the orphanage

i am expecting guests--bicycle racers from nebraska, i believe--and as they have never visited the orphanage before, i thought i'd post this clip, to better prepare them for their weekend.
and to my friends and orphans, it will serve a pleasant reminder of days gone by.
we'll save a room for YOU!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

odds and ends

spring cleaning hits the orphanage...
or, at least the email box
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
i'm important!
famous people are asking me for money.
and i complied!! shouldn't you?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
y'all like to ride fixies, don't you?
do you like it THIS much?
i don't.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
faithful readers
will remember my recent post about building
the skywalk over the grand canyon.
well, these canadians use the same brand of welder
check them out.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
i used to spend time reading about death,
and i learned to be a little detached about it.
but that doesn't make it less interesting.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
our president...
he's never been afraid to help set parameters,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
and finally,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
and really finally:
dave won the trivia contest [cn tower], and
chad won the winter beard contest.
thanks for all who played and particpated.

this is sick shit--i love it!

it's gotta be true, or they couldn't print it, right?
it is the internets, after all, and they have standards!

* * * * *

hey--i'm no three-trick pony!

"artist's" rendition of the grand canyon skywalk

to silence critics who claim that i think about nothing but cycling, politics and religion, i thought i'd share some of the many issues and topics that have captured my interest for years, but that i have not shared knowledge of my love for them with my usual circle of friends.
to learn more about the making of this magical enclosure of otherwise open space, read here. it's really quite fascinating, actually.
and for another hidden passion, read this.
many people don't know of my skills with this relaxing activity.
perhaps most surprising is my fondness for this.
now, you know me a little better!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

i was robbed!!

what's the controversy?
read the post which lies below this one,
then come back and study these very telling photographs.
any fool can see the mostly reverend, on the racers's far left, of course, is centimeters ahead of the rider to lippold's right. collusion is suspected.

the traditional podium shot, clearly showing the mostly reverend in the center, the hallowed location of the stage winner. the RIDERS knew. but the fix was in.

but i'll get you, my pretty!


this is why i race...

...the joy of playing in mud that matches my facial hair.
@ # $ % ^ & * +
the results of the third gravel road race,
sponsored by,
are clouded in a controversy as tumultuous as the weather that gave birth to the day on which it was held.
as this week's many competitors braved the lightning and thunder to put it on the line, it all boiled down to this pitched dual: the mostly reverend, long a highly regarded and deeply respected competitor both locally and nationally, and on the comeback trail since a severe back injury sidelined him for years, and more recently hampered by a nearly fatal injury sustained in a cyclocross race in october, was poised to claim second place in the series, after recording consistently high finishes in the prior two editions of this gravel classic. his teammate, lane anderson, had the overall win sewn up, needing only to finish today's race, no easy task, in and of itself. a young upstart, dave lippold, a former triathlete who recently switched to cycling, comfortably had third in the series in his hip pocket, not bad, considering that conditions were to adverse for him during the first race, when the muddy conditions forced him to abandon at the midway point of the race. all9yards managed to establish a break of five riders, including anderson, lippold, and the mostly reverend, plus two new members of their team, ben and jarod, both experiencing their first road race ever. the quick pace held throughout the entire rain-swept 30 mile first lap; the pace stayed the same for the second lap, as well, as the rain gave way to gradually rising temperatures. despite the rain overnight and during the first lap, the gravel portions of the course were in the finest condition of the series, and last week's fresh gravel on the mile-long forest "avenue" climb actually yielded a rideable track or two. final placing calculations revealed that if lippold were to finish more than one place ahead of the mostly reverend, who, by the way, is some 20 years older than lippold, the punk, lippold could steal 2d place in the series, by virute of a higher placing in THIS race, despite being tied in series points.
well, as luck would have it, the view of the venerated race official, dirty dick thompson, was obscured at the finish line, and lippold was declared to have finished second, while the mostly reverend--ever the gentle competitor, he declined to out-sprint lippold, though he easily could have--rolled in on his wheel. and the disrespectful young pup failed to admit that, in fact, the mostly reverend DID finish on his wheel,
where he had been all day.
the shame of it all.
my sources tell my photographic evidence exists PROVING the veracity of the mostly reverend's claim to second place in the overall series, and when it becomes available, you'll see it here first!
but, really, it's beneath the mostly reverend to be involved in such a squabble, but he IS not only a man of the cloth,
he is also very highly principled.
and there you have it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

christ--where has the week gone?

i guess, somehow, between racing, riding, out-of-town day trips,
oh, and a wrestling awards dinner, and crap like that,
i've managed to go since sunday without a post.
i really am sorry.
that makes me almost as lame as some of the other bloggers
here in capitol city, and that makes me cringe.
the good news is:
skinsuit weather has arrived!
or, at least it was here today.
it's been a good week for me, personally. riding every day,
although i'm not going to get the 21.5 hours
my program called for this week.
no biggie.
threat of rain scared away the little kids on tuesday,
and a lot of riders still haven't set their clocks ahead
for daylight savings time, i guess. new bikes are cropping up,
like the perennials in my various gardens. always a pleasant surprise,
and great to see the abundance of winter bearing fruit with
the coming of the new season. i was able to see, and lift,
lippold's new titanium bike--
yes, the red and yellow beast is retired for now.
that new bike is SO light! dang.
i try not to be a bike geek--i'm riding a 1995 ralph,
for god's sake, with 1992 dura ace and ultegra components,
including 8-speed down-tube shifters with a 9-speed cassette.
in fact, i've gone through maybe six or more flats this spring.
my shit is NOT new.
but dave insists his bike is light because of those
snazzy hed bastogne wheels he has--and that the team has
the chance to get from andy at hed in the twin cities.
1400 grams for the PAIR!
but, alas, i'm forced to be philosophical again.
it's been a fairly good winter and early spring thus far.
now, granted, i haven't gone anywhere exotic or mountainous
to test my mettle. and, frankly, when the weather DID get nice enough
this week to shed the tights and knee warmers,
i was immediately reminded of my scandanavian heritage.
june cleaver would have sold her soul
for bedding as white as my legs!
so, i'll try to cover a few things in this post.
the news: why the fuck does bush make telling the truth
seem like a bad thing?
what the hell IS he hiding?
i am so fucking sick of this administration's stance on good and evil.
today, after the house finally found its spine passed a funding bill
tied to a september, 2008 pull-out date,
bush quickly arranges a photo op
with military personnel and their families,
and accuses house democrats of playing politics???
with a straight face?
he's a mean, twisted, demented, lying little ...
either that, or, like poor pinocchio,
dubya really IS controlled by the evil mr. cheney.
and recall, all this bullshit about the war funding bill is just the latest smoke screen to hide the mess with his attorney general, who should have been booted months ago, but there is SO much un-checked corruption going on that, seriously, a program would be helpful. every body says "all presidents fire u.s. attorneys." yes, they do--AT THE START OF THEIR PRESIDENCY. but they DON'T do it when these supposedly independent prosecutors are fired because they either DO prosecute republicans, or DON'T prosecute democrats, despite phone calls from republican senators!! and karl rove is still around? and notice how nobody is talking about scooter libby and his pending pardon? and notice how nobody is paying attention to, well, ANYTHING to do with funding health care, or education, or, hmm, what about dubya's dismal trip to central america. reminded me of vice president nixon's trip to the same part of the world in the late 50s.
the best clip of the week:
bush standing at a podium, saying that "so-and-so doesn't know his left hand [raising and looking at his RIGHT hand] from his right [raising and looking at his LEFT hand]."
and steve who? left the state of iowa?
i just can't wait to race tomorrow. and sunday.
let's see, the weather for saturday:
two weeks ago, the gravel course was muddy but sunny.
last week, it was snowy with fresh gravel.
tomorrow? 1-2 INCHES of rain is forecast.
sunday? 78 and thunderstorms.
f*cking SWEET!!!
140 riders at kent park?
f*cking EXCELLENT!!!
for someone who has not experienced a full season of racing for a number of years, nothing says racing like a whole bunch of nervous, apprehensive, gotta-show-my-shit iowa bike racers like a mass-start cluster fuck 830 am on a sunday morning cuz we gotta be gone by 1100 24 mile marathon.
it won't be five days until my next post, be assured!
and thanks for reading.
heavens, we've passed 10,000 just like that!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

the race season has begun

you'd never know just buy looking at these photos
[well, the discerning eye could tell: note that chad and i are wearing helmets],
but the cycling season has begun here in central iowa.
and i couldn't be happier about it.
i know: we had a delightful winter, and i was able to ride thousands of outdoors miles without heavy winter clothing after my little stint in the hospital. but there's just something about those long, dreary days--outside riding notwithstanding--that sucks.
for me, it's seasonal affective disorder, and it's getting progressively worse. sad, combined with my chronic narcolepsy [which includes a healthy dose of add and dyslexia, to boot], would be enough to make me a hypochondriac, if they were imaginery disorders.
thankfully, they're not [i'm not crazy].
and thankfully, they're not particularly dibilitating.
more of a pain in the ass.
but i wonder if i can get a handicap parking tag?
i could fall asleep walking from my car to the whatever.
i have fallen asleep riding my bike before.
but that's another story.
i'm here to write about cycling, and racing, in particular.

chad vandelune, in action in the first gravel road race, march 10.

the mostly reverend, cutting through a sloppy corner, ahead of longtime cyclist scott campbell, of oskaloosa, also during the march 10 gravel and slop race. it only looks like i'm moving slow.

the team, and lane anderson in particular, has put together another great program of races this season. and i'm really happy to be riding for this bunch of folks, again. the team is sponsoring races--road and off-road--from march through, what, october, november? and LOTS of them. it features almost everything bike races should have: 1] lots of them; 2] nearby; 3] tough courses, no pussy-footing shit; 4] low-key production; 5] really top-notch competition; 6] free beer [not all of them, but enough of them]; 7] all season long [none of this "i'm taking a month off" shit]; 8] scenic venues. what are they lacking? big cash prizes. but you know what? after racing, and not racing, during times when the races held are these stupid 20 to 40 minute four-corner crits that cost $20-40 for the privilege, or road races are 20 miles long, these 60 mile grinders in mud and snow [what will next week hold? who cares! everyone who has done them agree they are killer fucking races, and just what are needed] and the up-coming 80 mile march road race the 31st, followed by a hilly criterium at the state fairgrounds which WILL become as notorious as snake alley [if they let us hold it long enough] is just what is needed to repair central iowa's reputation as a hot bed of REAL bicycle racing. it used to be, you know. every weekend, it seemed, there was a road race and a criterium somewhere in iowa. and all9yards is working to bring that back.

the wise bike racer will do as many of these races as possible.

so will the really good ones, too.

i hope to see many of you there.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

the men of snowy mountain

the second in a series of gravel road races was held today,
northeast of mitchellville. unlike last week's race,
which was held on a spongy, muddy course,
today's racers encountered a late spring surprise:

dirty dick thompson, local cycling icon and race official,
has presided over the series, and is shown here giving
pre-race instructions to the excited field of regional racers.

paul jensen, all9yards staff photographer, snapped this artsy-fartsy photo of expensive racing machines, just moments before the lemans-style start. hard to recognize the glitzy masi from the stylish lemond from the all-terrain ralph, isn't it?

kind of embarassing, but this photo shows the mostly reverend at the start of his bold move off the front, early in the first lap.

the podium girls, resplendent as ever.

the peloton, shown here during the second lap, begins to close in on the mostly reverend and his gopher state break companion. series leader lane anderson, in his pink leader's kit, sits fourth wheel. eventually, anderson and another team masi rider bridged up to the mostly reverend, who graciously moved aside. the mostly reverend, a seasoned racer, knows who butters HIS daily bread!

don't forget: the series finale is next week, saturday, march 24, at 1100 a.m. for all details, check out, including exciting news about the first tandem road race of the year, or something.

Friday, March 16, 2007

ish it shaint patrich's dazhe already?

i was shopping at the ingerdahl's tonight,
where i swear i observed the following:
the woman in line ahead of me had selected: a half-gallon of skim milk,
a carton of eggs, a half-gallon of orange juice, a head of romaine lettuce,
a 1 lb. bag of coffee, and a 1 lb. package of bacon.
as she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out,
a fellow was standing at the end of the checkout line
watching her every move.
while the cashier was ringing up the purchases,
the slightly inebriated man calmly stated, "you must be single."
the woman was a bit startled by this proclamation,
but i was intrigued by the derelict's intuition,
since i, too, am single, and frankly,
i began looking over MY selections as well.
the woman looked at the six items on the belt
and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections
that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status.
curiosity was obviously getting the better of her, and she said,
"well, you know what? you're absolutely right.
but how on earth did you know that?"
the man replied, "'cause you're ugly."
* * * *
happy saint paddy's day, y'all!

wholly crap!!

sorry. i guess i've been pretty busy lately.
? ? ? ? ?
i can't believe i haven't posted anything all week.
i certainly hope i have a lot to show for it.
i've tried to be productive and such,
but sometimes days just slip away.
but do not fear, there ARE some good things on the horizon.
and, as always, thanks for reading,
and thanks for letting me know you've missed me.
[insert favorite sally fields quote here]

Sunday, March 11, 2007

settle in for some great viewing

dialogue with depth?
you betcha.
hidden meaning?
oh, man, keep digging.
the best movie of all time?
who needs "it's a beautiful life"!
enjoy one of the sharpest cuts ever. this version cuts away fat and meat, leaving only bone.
and then ride your bike.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

race report - playing in the mud #1

the race season began in iowa today.
beautiful sunny skies,
which made each mile warmer than the last,
also made for some challenging gravel climbs.
the high pace set by riders kurt hantelman,
chad vandelune, and dave lippold helped tear the pack apart,
but created a little chaos at the bottom of the forest street hill.

riders try to make sense out of the aftermath of
the rocket-like attack of's lane anderson
on lap one. rider the mostly reverend
is all smiles following what he termed
"another show of force for team robinson" after he learned
that intrasquad teammate lane anderson took the win from
mercy rider paul denninger.

sporting their new kits, teammates kurt hantelman & the mostly reverend deftly negotiate the sometimes-sloppy corners, while ably controlling the rest of the race.

yes, the 2007 road season was kicked off in fine fashion today, with the inaugural running of the "chad vandelune gravel road series," held on county roads north and west and east of mitchellville, iowa. two laps of a gruelling 30 mile course were ridden. the charming aspect of this route is that fully half of the course is run over good, old iowa country gravel roads. hills, potholes, washboards, snowmelt-filled bottoms, and angry dogs awaited a field of nearly 50 riders from the upper midwest. mike, a racer from the twin cities, noted "i've never ridden anything like this before. this was the hardest road race i've ever done. i'm definitely coming back next week, and i'm not coming alone." officiated by the legendary former nebraska district rep dirty dick thompson, the race came off without a hitch. light winds [a high was sitting over central iowa] allowed racers to be challenged by the series of hills--unending hills, by all accounts. this was not a race for the weak or feeble. it should be noted that pig was not there. after a neutral roll-out from the spacious staging area, the pack headed off in a fairly friendly mood, which lasted some seven or eight miles, until the long, concrete hills through and beyond valeria. after several hills in four miles, the course turned south--literally and figuratively. the gravel was nigh. at times the gravel was good, at other times it was bad, and at other times, it down-right sucked--your tires in to about two or three inches of sloppy muck. it was really quite hard to maintain any momentum, to say the least. climbing was best done in a 39-19, 21, 23. heartrate was 170+ much of the time. notes: the first angry dog, a large, menacing great pyrenees, was sporting a dark, muddy, shoe-shaped spot on the top of its head on the second lap. we counted at least eight angry farm dogs, and only one set of owners who tried to control their pet. anarchy prevails in the canine world. most riders chose 23c or 25c road tires. there were maybe three or four cyclocross bikes. 28c tires were roundly declared "too wide." the course improved by the second lap. more riders would be welcomed next week. this is good shit. even though the route will be the same next week, the race will be completely different, because it will be even dryer, which should make it much faster. our time was 3 hours 43 minutes. sweet!

sneak preview

you won't believe the quality of this vintage footage;
and it proves the veracity of the lead photo in the following post.
PLEASE don't watch this video until
you read the post about jesus.
it's like reading revelations BEFORE genesis.
i WARNED you!

Friday, March 09, 2007

jesus, and clocks

this may surprise many readers to learn this,
but i belong to an email group,
by virtue of my membership in a bicycle racing team.
this "list" is generally pretty quiet,
talking about gear ratios and batteries.
but recently, the question was asked,
"what kind of bike would jesus ride?"
i set off to do some research, and learned the following:
1--bike, or bicycle, is not mentioned in the bible.
i haven't considered the eternal consequences of this.
2--jesus wears sandals, presumably shimano spd.
3--He can, and does, ride with one hand.
4--He doesn't wear a helmet.
5--His preferred bike is an old cruiser, without a rack.
this shoots down a theory by lane, wherein
He helped lane finish a tuesday night ride by hoisting lane onto His rack.
6--He does not use a heartrate monitor,
nor does He use an srm or powertap.

He equally enjoys little kids who roller skate and ride bmx.

He is a fan of starbucks small hot beverages.

and there is a theory out on the internet wherein
He died in a grizzly bike accident,
or so this chicago sculptor believes.
but it still doesn't disclose what brand of bike He would ride.
i think he'd ride a mercier.
and you? let us know in the comments.
oh, don't forget to set your clocks AND computers for
daylight savings time tomorrow night.
and if the world ends, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

i hate doctors. i hate lawyers. i like roller skaters.

Doctor Sues Child Roller Skater
March 1, 2007
-- A bicycling doctor is suing a roller-skating child neighbor
for pain and suffering, claiming the youngster caused a collision
that left the doctor with a broken collar bone.
It happened on a Chester Township street in October 2003.
Dr. Alexander Dlugi, a prominent endocrinologist,
approached Lauren Ellis, then 11, from behind, shouted "watch out"
and rang his bicycle bell.
As the girl turned around on her in-line skates,
the two collided,
and the doctor tumbled from his bike.
This week, a seven-member jury in the civil trial is hearing
the doctor's claim that the girl was negligent
and reacted unreasonably when he approached.
Dlugi's lawyer, Thomas Jardim, said the doctor's injury
did not heal properly and he had to have surgery in February 2004,
losing a significant amount of time at work and income.
Dlugi, now 54, has lost mobility in the shoulder
and is no longer able to enjoy biking and tennis
and has trouble sleeping, Jardim said.
Ellis was knocked to the ground in the collision and bruised,
but her parents have not filed a countersuit.
"It may seem an odd thing," Jardim told the Daily Record of Parsippany
of the lawsuit against the child,
"but people are responsible for their actions."
Wednesday's defense testimony featured
an accident reconstruction specialist,
who used diagrams and photographs to analyze the encounter.
The witness, John Desch, concluded that the girl was trying
to get out of the way and did nothing wrong.
Dlugi could have avoided the collision by braking
or riding around her, he said.
Jardim sought to discredit the testimony by noting that
Desch had never investigated a collision between a bicyclist and a skater
and misidentified on his diagram the actual point of the crash.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
just some observations:
doctors are bad, mmkay?
first doctor was riding a bike with a bell, and that's bad, mmkay?
second doctor botched the surgery, and that's bad, mmkay?
first doctor complained to a lawyer, and that's bad, mmkay?
lawyer sued the kid, and that's bad, mmkay?
why? kids don't have money!!!
[they cover that in the really good law schools.]
March 7, 2007
A New Jersey jury has sided with a rolling skating girl
in a lawsuit brought by a bike-riding doctor.
The doctor blamed the girl for their October 2003 collision
on a street near their homes in Chester Township.
He said his broken collarbone never properly healed after they collided.
The doctor, who's now 54, sought damages for pain and suffering.
But a jury rejected his claim that the girl,
who was eleven at the time of the accident, was responsible.
The jury deliberated just 15 minutes before reaching its verdict.
* * * *
some additional observations:
juries are good, mmkay?
this one spent just enough time to laugh
at this asshole doctor and his weasel lawyer,
tell some jokes about lawyers and doctors,
then choose a foreperson,
and send the note to the court attendant
saying they'd reached a verdict.
without voting.
a verdict in such short time is very embarassing to a lawyer.
it means you have totally failed to do your job;
that you haven't generated ANY doubt in the minds of ANY of the jurors.
i trust the lawyer got a huge fee in advance.

bio/cyber feedback

i want to live a long time; i always have.
i had a couple of old great aunts, sadie and odessa, twins i believe, who lived in a big old house a few blocks from my home, and riding my bike to visit them was always a scary trip. it was like having the addams family at my disposal, although they lacked lurch, uncle fester, gomez, morticia, wednesday and pugsley, thing and cousin itt. and they really didn't fit grand-mama, either. but the house was the same, in a small town sense.
the lasting impression they had on me was the value of a long life, lived well. they were happy, and so far as i knew or could tell,
they did as they wished.
and why not? they were in their 90s when i first started dropping by.
i had a great uncle who worked for ford motor company. i never really knew how he got started there, but when i became aware of him, he was photographer and travel editor for a little magazine they put out, called "ford times." it was a small, monthly or quarterly thing, like a little "national geographic" that featrured trips to exotic places with ford vehicles. uncle bill and aunt ethel traveled all over the world. they were both really great folks, open, loving, and had maybe five kids. and a bunch of grandkids. and for the most part, they were all really cool folks--hippies, liberals, a token republican [who later saw the error of his ways], a minister, and such. they lived in webster city, and we always had the best of times on their big old farm, west of town.
aunt ethel lived to her early 90s;
uncle bill lived on, still generally quite happy and spry,
into his early 100s.
when he died, to my knowledge, there was not a tear shed.
everyone was delighted at the life he led.
in my close, immediate family tree, the branches have not recently been that long. mom died of a heart attack at 58, my father lived longer, living to 71, but still endured a heart attack and stroke along the way. mom's folks died of cancer and a heart attack in their 50s.
dad's folks both had heart attacks in their 70s.
doesn't necessarily bode well, does it?
for these, and other reasons [see the first line of this story], i have chosen to take a radically different approach to living my life. and for assistance, from time to time i check out places like this now that i'm 50+,
or this place, before i turned 50.
i know, i konw. many of you will say,
"that's stupid, they don't know you," or whatever.
true, but they also can give you some pretty helpful little tips.
like this morning, when i learned that it's time for me to start taking a small aspirin with my daily vitamin and supplement regimine.
and to add 1500 mg of calcium.
okay, i will.
they tell me that this will add 1.5 years
to my 104 year life expectancy.
they also said that eliminating caffeinated coffee [+1.0 year]
and adding a "life partner" [+0.5 year] would help.
well, they didn't ask me about dogs, and i'm willing to further reduce my coffee consumption, but...
i'd have to think long and hard about that additional half year. you may recall that i celebrated the silver anniversary of my only divorce last march. i'd hate to ruin that run!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

warning: political content!!

In a message dated 3/6/2007 8:34:51 AM Central Standard Time, writes:
Those of us who are “proudly” (???) represented by
the Honorable Geri Huser (Altoona, Boundurant, EDSM, Pleasant Hill et al) need to make her aware of the silliness of this bill. She is a member of the subcommittee that now has the bill. On the upside, thankfully, the Iowa Legislature does not meet year around. Once the members’ per diem runs out in the spring, they scurry out of the state capitol back to their jobs at the local Kum n Go, where they can do less damage.

my thoughts? perhaps the solution would be legislation
requiring all legislators be equipped with a fluorescent orange safety flag
at least 6x9 in size and dis played at least 60 inches above the ground.
that way cyclists can veer toward THEM!
but that's just me, and sometimes i get a little silly.

feeling the love?

i know i am!
it's been pretty quiet and normal around the orphanage lately,
shoveling snow, feeding the nuthatches and loons,
and hoping for spring.
to fight the doldrums, and to share some of the warm feelings
i've had lately,
i thought i'd share some nuggets of wisdom i've gathered.
the really good thing is knowing that i'm not the only one who has felt
the warmth that comes from winter's naturally nurturing effect.
take this loving couple, who drove to las vegas to tie the knot.
maybe they should have taken a bus!
or this fun couple:
she's so lucky to have a fella who just can't stay away from their love nest.
here are some handy tips.
by the way, when they say "you should stay away from this,"
or "it's toxic and might kill you,"
i think what they REALLY mean is that "it's really effective,
and we don't want you to know about it."
like epo and stuff.
but what do i do?
just hang with my friends.
c'mon, spring!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

everybody stand up and bow your heads

the totally reverend james ross will put you in a prayerful mood.

[i'm asking for a few gratuitous regroups on tuesdays! amen.]

here's one for my conservative friends: bush sings!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

ira hits the big time!

i mentioned ira's appearance in the hand made bike show this weekend;
hopefully, you noticed. did!
very cool, ira. they are just damned sweet bikes.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

another appalling snippet

of course her comment is disgusting, but check out the reaction from the crowd.

this election cycle is headed down the sewer and taking us all with it. i shudder to think what the mood of the country will be if and when we emerge on the other side of november, 2008.

the hand made bike show

i've commented several times in this place about my friend ira ryan,
the only winner of trans iowa,
and the builder of some of the sweetest-looking bikes in portland.
i've posted links to photos of his work many times, his bikes as works of art in progress.
he is on his way to the hand made bike show in san jose this weekend,
and, again, i am absolutely in awe of his work.
if you have enjoyed photos of his bikes in the past,
click here for a report of day one of the hand made bike show.
if you've ignored my suggestions in the past,
here's one more opportunity to show your ignorance, or better yet,
to check them out, and marvel at the beauty and practicality of these custom bikes.
g pickle has asked who will be the second person in iowa to own one of these bikes;
ira's mother is the first.
but the cost of being the most shallow s.o.b. around keeps skyrocketing.
i might have to ask the government for help.