Saturday, June 30, 2007


here at the orphanage, we work with all sorts of addicts.
my ministry is not restricted to just the two-wheeled variety.
growing up when i did, a child of the 60s and all that,
my peer group was on the cutting edge of all sorts of new things,
although not all of them turned out quite as expected.
a growing number of my old buddies have died or have done-
-some are still doing-
-hard time for their inability to know when to say when.
addictions and drug deaths are yet two more things that
the mostly reverend knows too well.
. . .
it was in this context that i ran into a couple of acquaintences recently.
one is a man who was just granted his last, second chance,
and another a man who got his last chance some years ago,
and who continues to make the most of it, helping others with theirs.
the first man had been sentenced to at least fifteen years in prison.
the best deal he could get was to admit being an habitual felon,
which was easy: he was.
his felony of choice was his drug of choice, meth.
but this last time, he was faced with more than a mandatory three years:
his "fifteen to discharge" could become a life sentence.
as a grim reminder of his reality, just this week, he saw a man
two years his junior die of a massive heart attack in the weight room.
like he needed another reminder of the error of his ways.
but during his last five months in prison,
he took advantage of some programs available to those who want the help.
he started working out, running, and taking care of his body.
he looks eight years yonger than when i first met him last september.
he got involved with a program, an interfaith program,
called "freedom house."
it's not really a drug rehab or treatment program,
but a place that teaches life values and living skills.
this man was a hard-core dope fiend:
his whole life was to get high.
freedom house volunteers meet with inmates and talk,
and get them to talk,
and share, and learn, from folks who have been there.
on the outside, they also offer a place to live, rides to and from work,
to and from treatment, and whatever else they might need.
it's not free, but self-sustaining.
they began by leasing one house, and charging residents an amount
which would cover the lease and utilities.
they now have seven houses in the metro area.
the success rate in this place is remarkably good.
. . .
it's one of those places that if the neighbors knew what was going on,
they'd freak:
"not in our back yard!"
here's what's going on:
these men are intensely monitored.
one slip, and they're back in prison for a long time.
but as long as they do what they're supposed to do,
they live in an environment that teaches them values that even
pete and i agree are essential to living in and contributing to society.
they just do it with a spiritual twist.
that's okay, because with the current political and social enviroment,
it's the only way a program like this will be tolerated in the system.
plus, it works.
the men learn to juggle all the things they've never had to juggle before:
getting and keeping a job, paying bills, being responsible,
interacting with their families, seeing their probation and parole officers,
going to classes and treatment, and all these and other things-
-while not getting high or otherwise breaking the law.
. . .
here's where the other acquaintance comes in.
he was in the same boat a few years ago.
maybe he wasn't as bad off, i can't say,
but he founded this program,
as his way to stay on top of his own things.
helping and keeping others straight
helps keep HIM straight.
it's his take on the "pay it forward" concept, although for these guys,
it's gonna be in "pay it back" mode, too,
for a long time.
i wish both these guys the absolute best.

Friday, June 29, 2007

symbol overcomes ddt, and this...

what does DDT do to vocal cords?

a new face at the orphanage

we've been blessed with an additional lost soul,
here at the church of the two-wheeled scam,
as the orphanage is officially known.
dmitri is about 10 weeks old,
which would put his birthdate somewhere around april 15.
he caught a ride up from georgia with some friends of mine,
arriving late yesterday afternoon.

his laid-back perspective will serve him well here.

he doesn't look at things the same way most folks do.

i think we'll get along just fine.

he is a mix of borzoi and scottish deerhound, which means he will likely be larger than boris.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

and now . . .

* * * * *
. . . for something completely different,
. . .
thanks, r.p.

guest sermonettes

. . . . .
a guest preacher in the pulpit delivering today's sermonette.
the topic precisely aligns with the basic philosophy
of this place:
"ride because you must,
and because you love it."
thanks, brother jason.
First Love
By Jason McCartney
In the late '80s I bought my first Italian racing bike-
-white, $150, with a bent head tube and Campy Nuovo Record-
-in hopes of becoming part of the roadie scene in Iowa City.
The locals were a legendary crew of characters:
Parman, Bananas, Blockhead, Lillig, Dogbait, Mez, Klemm, Lloyd, Rat,
Mongo and Kirlin (the last two, respectively,
the largest and smallest men to ever saddle up,
they would occasionally switch bikes midride for a laugh),
and a bunch of others who all had cool jerseys and looked smooth as silk.
The first time I rode with them, we headed north into the hills,
on Sugar Bottom Road. I was lost, so I had to hang on-
-streaming out into the country, flying along, no stoplights, no traffic,
the smooth rotating of the group,
all easy and relaxed for the first half hour,
then game on, hammering to the last sprint sign, Iowa City limits.
I was hooked.
That ride still goes off, every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m.,
from College Green Park.
As a pro for Discovery Channel, I've ridden all over the world,
with some of the best cyclists alive,
but that group ride--my first--is unforgettable.
. . . . .
[stolen from bicycling magazine. so sue me!]
. . . . .
and then there's this, from c.j., also in iowa city:
. . . . .
"dead spots in your commute"
You know what I mean.
It doesn't have to be your commute;
it can be your little urine trail to various group ride meeting points.
Every one of these treks--
-unless the meeting point happens to be in your driveway,
or, you only have to go to your mailbox to collect your unemployment benefits-
-has those spots where you know, as an experienced rider,
that you're likely to be either hit by a car,
or pulled into an altercation.
I have various little urine trails either to roads outside of town or to work.
In particular my ride to work I have about 4 branches I can take,
but, each one of them has drawbacks,
and each one of them has dead zones.
The route I primarily ride is straight down Benton street.
I've found that going through Heights on Melrose is no less friendly,
and because of the frequent improvements to the area,
lanes are blocked off, traffic is stupid and impatient,
and I'm probably more likely tobe crushed.
Benton has this odd little spot right at the crest of Benton Hill, Eastbound.
For the majority of the ride there is a bike lane.
Yes, a glass, muffler chunk, crap-filled, too narrow bike lane.
Except at that crest.
At the crest the road jogs in about 2',
pretty much the exact width of the bike lane.
Where does that leave me?
And by god I had better be in that god forsaken FPOS
[fucking piece of shit bike lane--the rev.]
for the entirety of my commute because
some stupid impatient-best part of him ran down his daddy's leg-idiot
is going to let me know about it.
I've had them roll down their windows and holler.
The more passive aggressive honk, and do the brush off.
Of course the burley trailer I pull has no real effect.
I'm not another human, I'm an obstacle.
I'm no longer a soft pink fleshy kin that, unfortunately,
shares a spot in the gene pool with these idiots.
I'm about as close as you can get to a squirrel or a dog
running out in front of them.
In fact, I know that they'd hit me while swerving
to miss a dog, cat, ground squirrel, mollusk.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that the *one* spot that every car
tries to hurry up and zip around me, is right at that spot
where the road narrows.
Right at the spot where they cannot see what is comingup the hill-
-I can-
and they cannot be bothered to realize that if they pass me,
they had better break the speed limit all the way down the hill
(there is an elementary school on it-20mph posted limit),
because I go 35-40. The burley tends to pickup lots of speed.
Where does that leave me?
That leaves me moving out of the worthless bikelane
that threatens to smother and crush me,
about 20yards or more before the hill top.
How fast am I going?
Why, the speed of traffic, the posted speed limit (20-25).
And what happens at least once a week?
So, I get the passive aggressive honk.
Then, the brush off *right at the road narrow bit*.
I wish I had the forethought to place earmuffs on the spawn before we left the house,
for the sheer stream ovitrolic filth that came from me
would have made your dead grandmother blush.
If I'd have had a tire iron,
I'd have beaten the window in and taken a swing at the guy's head.
He stares coolly ahead while I unload.
Obvious to how much of me is half on the curb,
half on the grass, half on the road.
I follow him all the way down the hill,
actually hoping he doesn't think to tap the breaks or slow to turn,
as I'd have bounced off his bumper.
He seems uncomfortable with my proximity. He rolls the red light.
He is obviously some sort of smelly, oily discharge
from a dying mammal caught in the flotsam of an oil tanker spill.
Why do I commute?
Mostly because I hate driving,
though, having a bit of smug (see South Park episode)
to carry around and lay on people is nice, too.
I'd rather just carry around a croquet mallet and hit them with it.
Had to vent.--CJ
. . . . .
thanks for writing, man.
stay cool, and good luck with the road rage croquet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


no, this is not a review of the latest michael moore documentary
on the american health care system.
instead, it is another condemnation of this twisted sister.
i don't know WHAT she has against john edwards,
but she has it for him bad.
[first a comment on ann herself. when searching for a photo, i'll just google the subject,
and take the first one that pops up. almost always, and i try to maintain consistency.
but with ann, the first SEVERAL are all photoshopped and pornographic in nature.
badly. clever, but badly done. plus, it wouldn't be fair to the true nature of this post.
her latest salvo involves how she'd like him to die.
previously, she called him a fag.
now, she wants him to die as a result of a terrorist assassination.
and she tried to get into a pissing contest with edwards's wife,
elizabeth, claiming she [ann] doesn't need to take advice from her.
well, read this, and perhaps you'll agree that she needs to
take advice from someone other than who she's currently using.
that chick is sick.
by the way, please note the delicate little cross on a chain around her neck
in the linked news story. tres christian.

from the department of 'it's about time!"

news from the city desk...

in a joint release this morning,
the city of des moines street department and
its department of parks and recreation
proudly announce an expedited approach to unveiling
their long-anticipated urban bike trail system.
an unnamed official was quoted as saying,
"we've dragged our feet too long on this, and as a result,
far too many cyclists have been killed and injured
due to the city's inaction.
of course, it's my personal opinion that one death,
or even one injured cyclist, is far too great a price to pay
to ensure that our city streets are safe for ALL who choose to use them.
because we build and maintain a system of streets, we [the city] are
legally and MORALLY obligated to make and keep them safe
for each and every person who chooses to use them,
for whatever purpose, and by whatever mode of transport.
we have failed miserably in our social compact
with our residents and guests.
for that, i am deeply and eternally sorry.
this expedited approach is but a small first step.
but trust me,
it won't be the last!
i hope and trust that the motoring public will cooperate
with our efforts to help create and maintain
a truly safe enviroment for bicyclists.
but personally, i doubt that there will be a smooth transition.
for the most part, those drivers are just a bunch of
lazy dumb-asses who can't see beyond the boundaries of their huge bellies."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

apostrophe catastrophe

up until the very moment i saw this jailhouse note,
i still harbored a secret desire, a wish,
that paris and i might, just might, hit it off.
well, it's OVER, dumb school drop-out.
. . .
man, when i think of all the grammar-perfect women
i've ignored during the past few years...
well, i'm BACK in the game!


vacancy at the graybar hilton!!
just a couple minor fashion observations:
2--where's her born-again cross?

discrimination against women?

i was checking the online iowa games cycling registration page,
and noticed that in the road race,
what's THAT about, randy?
i happen to think the women on our team are advanced.

it's time to re-instate the draft

show your support here.

it was 44 years ago today

one of john kennedy's most famous lines [he had a few] was spoken 44 years ago in berlin, at a time of extreme east-west tensions during the cold war. i was a little 10 year-old then, yet i was sucking all this stuff up.
listen to the entire speech. where have the political orators gone? jfk was compelling, articulate, and motivating. it's been a while.
"ich bin ein berliner"

Monday, June 25, 2007

lesbians and the devil: a brief history

g pickle, president and sole member
of the mostly reverend's fan club,
raised an interesting point of trivia in a recent comment.
[and if you think i'm going to reveal when and where, well then you don't understand the long and convoluted relationship mr pickle and i have with trivia and tangents. there are a number of rewards for being a loyal and thorough reader of "today's sermonette" and you've just been introduced to yet another of them.]
he makes reference to the "little fuckers."
i began an explanation in a reply comment to his comment,
but thought it important enough that it warranted
a post of its own.
it might not, but i make up many of the rules here, so read on...
back in the late 1960s and early 1970s,
this nation, this state, and even iowa city,
were all very different places than they are today.
dissent was widespread,
and voices were united in a common goal.
they were heard.
and respected.
more or less.
but tolerances were much greater then,
and reactions were more reasoned.
the presenting problem was this:
single mothers needed childcare
while they attended class or worked for the university.
the university of iowa did not respond to the pleas.
so a group of lesbians took over, occupied, if you will,
a university-owned house on north jefferson street
in downtown iowa city.
they did the noble, civilly disobedient thing:
they opened a daycare center.
restraint and calm heads prevailed,
and eventually the university capitulated,
and offered a house at the end of melrose avenue, across the river.
on a dead end, among a bunch of big, old two- and three-story houses that were being used to house faculty members.
they were neglected houses on a dead end.
"perfect for those lesbians and hippies," the officials thought.
if they only knew...
this is where i enter the story.
i lived in hillcrest dorm the first semester of my freshman year, 1971, and during october, i wandered across the street and began checking out these cool old houses.
i found a couple daycare centers.
i went into one.
the sign read "university parents childcare collective."
very cool. bunch of hippies and little kids running around.
i started volunteering there, and a couple years later,
when i had a little hippie child of my own, we took her there.
i learned the history of this place, upcc.
it was the first daycare, originally sanctioned and blessed by the u of i.
its original name?
Free Underground Childcare Kollective.
the kids all had t-shirts which read
"i'm a little fucker."
lesbians with a sense of humor.
that notion startled lots of people back then.
not me. i was enthralled.
[just an example of the stories that get told when someone says,
"kim, tell me a story" while on a long ride.]
? ? ? ? ?
by the way, i just noticed that the counter at the bottom of this place
just rolled over to 20,000+ visitors.
thanks a lot for visiting, reading, and commenting. and returning.
like gravity, i don't fully understand how it works.
but, like coffee in a cup, i'm glad we have it.


D.C. judge loses more than just pants!

you'll hear more about this than you care, but
i don't want to hear you say i didn't tell you
as soon as i could.
as a reminder to myself,
i've gotta take some pants to the cleaners.

student rights take a hit

this just in.
i bet it's a bummer.

where are they now?

what are those krazy kennedy kids up to now?
writing for rolling stone?!?
click here to find out why.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the long road trip

i've been to many funerals over the years.
family members included great aunts and uncles, grandparents,
mom, dad, cousins, friends, classmates, teammates.
as a church organist, i played the organ for many folks
while still in junior high and high school.
parents and relatives of friends,
old and expected, young and tragic.
i'm no stranger to death and grief.
but this trip to atlantic friday,
to the funeral of yet another cyclist who i knew only in death,
that i can only know through the words and emotions
of loved ones left behind, this one was different.
perhaps that it required extra planning,
although i never doubted that i would go,
threatening weather notwithstanding.
perhaps that it was so eerily similar to the accident
that nearly killed two cyclists whom i DO know.
i don't know.
but i do know that it changed me.
how remains to be seen.
david "judd" harris came from hard times.
he had two families,
one that hurt him and maybe didn't want him,
and another one that wanted him, loved him,
and made him who he became.
judd entered a foster home when he was less than a year old.
his foster family later adopted him.
his family of brothers and sisters grew over the years, some coming and going with time, but instilling in david a love for others that never left him. friends described him as the kind of guy who was almost always happy. "if judd ever got upset, it never lasted more than a couple seconds. then, he'd think of something happy about whatever had made him upset, and that was the end of that."
friends would seek him out when they were down,
knowing that he would help them get over it.
he was a tough kid, and got into wrestling in junior high because one of his adopted/foster brothers--his idol--was also a wrestler.
he loved being outdoors,
watching birds and other wildlife.
he got into motorcycles for a while, too.
he moved from atlantic to macedonia [his hometown, a little burg about ten miles away] when his biological mother became too ill to care for herself. he lived his life to take care of her. since her death in 2003, he told his close friend that he was looking forward to being with her again; that was what he wanted.
when life in macedonia became too costly, he moved back to atlantic, after being forced to sell his mother's home. he stayed with friends until he was able to secure housing of his own.
but when he became an insulin-dependent diabetic,
he decided it was time for a change.
he bought a bicycle.
he rode it every day, 365.
he lost fifty pounds.
he often would call an end to his activities with friends by announcing,
"well, i've gotta go ride my bike."
he upgraded his bikes from time to time,
and was always very excited to show his friends his latest set of wheels.
just like you and me, he loved the freedom that cycling allows. he loved nature, he loved being close to all that beauty.
i thought of that as i approached atlantic.
i've raced and ridden in that area a lot,
and travelled over many familiar roads friday.
yet i was experiencing them with a different purpose as i pedalled into a sunny headwind by myself the last 25-30 miles.
i tried to imagine that this guy i didn't know had ridden these roads. i drank them in as he most recently did, the lush, green rolling hills alive with abundance, and fertile with promise.
i imagined them as they appear in autumn, brown and gold, the fields giving up their bounty. the deep dark reds of the many oak trees that covered the hills. i've ridden these roads during these seasons. i saw them in winter, as judd must have, barren, solitary, the fields stripped of their crops. the animals tramping around
foraging for sustenance in missed grains.
i tried to enjoy them a year's worth on that day.
and it was difficult, very difficult.
because in so doing, i realized that what i was trying to do could only properly be done by judd, in a lifetime.
and that he would not be able to do that.
this was just on the way in to town, mind you.
when i got to atlantic, the second thing i wanted to do
--taking a piss was, appropriately, number one--
was get a battery for my heart monitor's chest strap.
the usual question of "where ya riding from?" was followed by
"oh, you're the one coming to the funeral of that cyclist?
that's so good of you."
folks started telling me about both judd,
and about the man who killed him.
"nicest guy. he'd never hurt a soul."
[what do you say? he killed a guy on a bike.]
i went to the funeral home, and was greeted by one of the directors, who welcomed me, and told me the family would like me to be the first vehicle behind the hearse.
i went in to view the body, and watch the little video presentation.
david was a mess, from what i could tell.
although they did what they could,
his hands and head clearly showed the results of a violent death.
i tried to imagine a smile and cheery disposition.
after a little lunch, i returned for the service.
the family was there, as were a number of friends.
it would be a small service.
i sat in an empty chair by the family, just to talk with them, to tell them why i came, and to learn about them and about judd. it was fun. these brothers and sisters, who initially found themselves in a family unit as a result of serendipitous social services intervention but who grew to love and share bonds as strong as the strongest blood affinity poured out story after story about growing up with david. they were uniformly straight-forward, no b.s. matter of fact, warts and all.
and they were straight from the heart.
these were good people, and they were saddened by his death,
and upset that nothing had been done as yet.
they told me that judd would be happy to know that his name, his memory, his death, might be used in an effort
to force a change in attitude.
that would be him finding something happy about
what had just earlier made him upset.
just a brief word about the trip to the cemetary:
it is located on a hill, at the east edge of town, on the way in,
and on my way back home.
maybe three miles.
as the procession moved on,
EVERYONE stopped as we approached.
cars, trucks, pedestrians, EVERYONE stopped in their tracks,
to pay repsects.
with all eyes on the procession,
i felt a very heavy burden being there on my bike.
i was proud, and on the constant verge of tears.
damn, that was a tough climb out of town.
. . . . .
the family thanked me for coming.
i reminded them, as i did in my note in the guest book, that i was there on behalf of all cyclists in iowa: racers, tourists, recreational riders, everyone who loves to bike was there in spirit.
. . . . .
here's a link to a story about my pending visit
from friday's edition of an area paper.
it's fairly accurate, and not terribly out of context.
. . . . .
quick note about the ride itself:
thanks to jeff, kirk, and robert.
special thanks to keith.
i got lucky with a strong tailwind that lasted from atlantic to just outside menlo, where it was replaced with a killer headwind and torrential rain.
you just gotta love cycling in iowa:
bottom of a hill, tailwind and 90 degrees.
top of the same hill, headwind and 65 degrees.
i'd like to thank my sram 11-tooth cog,
and mickey d's for the free coffee refills.
oh, and stu for saving my ass!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

story time

^ ^ ^ ^ ^
every time we ride together, my friend ralph invariably says,
"tell me a story, kim."
+ + + + +
it's our way of making the hours and the miles pass.
each of us has some pretty good stories to tell,
and since my ability to remember them sucks,
each time he tells me a story,
it's like hearing it for the first time all over again.
it's kind of like that with "gracie goat's big bike race."
but not entirely: this book is fresh, new, and very entertaining.
. . . . .
the folks at velo press are on to a good thing with this book,
the first in what i hope will be a vast series of tales involving
the "barnsville sports squad."
as the name suggests, the squad is
a gaggle of cleverly drawn barnyard animals,
all of whom have evolved enough to mimic human activities,
including speaking, hanging out in interspecies social groups,
and riding bicycles.
all of them, that is, except gracie goat.
not only does she not know how to ride a bike,
she's afraid to try to learn.
she possesses a wonderfully clever closet of bad things
that could happen to her if she were to ride a bike,
and it falls upon her more clever and seemingly fearless grandmother
to help gracie overcome this irrational fear.
but why is this an issue in the first place?
howard horse, one of gracie's pals, has a cousin,
helen, who is a professional bike racer,
and whose team is racing at the summer corn festival in town.
helen wants to sponsor a coed junior team in that event.
in the opening pages of this thoughtful book,
. . . . .

mirabella, a multi-time national champion on the track, creates just enough conflict to grab the younger reader without overwhelming, and introduces a balance of characters to help gracie overcome her anxieties in a way that allows gracie--and reader, alike--to grow and demonstrate growth by turning the tables of teacher-student with her grandmother.

i find this book extremely endearing on a number of levels. first, as a grandparent passing his love of life and bikes to a little nearly three year-old girl, it shows that it's cool for little boys and girls to race bikes. it acknowledges that it's normal to have fears and anxieties, and that a great way to deal with them is to talk to someone about them. gracie goes straight to her grandmother to confide, which the mostly reverend grandpa kim of course thinks is a good thing. that her grandmother is a woman who has climbed mountains, learned to fly and jump out of planes, and yet harbors a fear of her own provides gracie with the opportunity to reverse roles, and be the brave role model. but the little things mirabella does with her characters in this first effort are what make it such a big hit with me. that the professional cyclist is a woman--with strong legs--is good. that the little tough kid in the group, who bragged without basis that he could beat helen in the race, and upon meeting her realizes that he could NOT, is a lesson in modesty and humility from which some of my grown-up pals could benefit. there is a wonderful lesson in teamwork that takes place in the race itself that again shows the importance of teamwork not only in cycling, but in life itself. although she doesn't win, she finishes tenth, and is quite happy with having raced and having raced well.

the illustrations, familiarly done by lisa horstman, show refreshing attention to the kind of details that this bike fanatic lives for. the kids are shown tooling around--everywhere, by the way, to the bike shop, to the park, just riding bikes for fun--in their LITTLE rings, but racing in their BIG rings. the book discusses cycling jerseys, why there are pockets in BACK, why it's cool to have team jerseys. it even shows the kids carpooling to the race, in a STATION WAGON, not an suv, with a full rack of bikes on top, and more bikes on the back.

i have no fault with these illustrations.

the book closes with an explanation of the different types of cycling, there's a special note about the importance of hydration, and although the kids all wear helmets, not ONCE is that mentioned.

this book is not preachy.

it teaches by example, and isn't THAT refreshing?

buy this book. $15.95. i'm trying to arrange a visit to town by the author. she can come and ride with us, and autograph books at rasmussen's. how's that sound?

so buy this book. we can ride with a trackie.

while many of you, my regular readers, may know me as a bike racer, devil, orMINISTER WHO IS AVAILABLE TO DO WEDDINGS, what most of you do not know is that long ago, i was director of a cooperative daycare in iowa city. my undergrad degree was in elementary education, with certifications in, among other things, early childhood education and language arts & children's literature. i review books for a number of sources, and hope to continue to review books for velo press here on an ongoing basis. i am not paid for my reviews.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

HEY! i'm not just doing this for my health, you know?

i want you folks to leave information in the comments section
AFTER you have sent an actual PAPER letter to a media outlet.
this way, we all know who has been lettered, and how often.
public accountability, and all.
i want to be RELENTLESS on this, folks,
and i am expecting and counting on your help.
and so are collier and sergey and david harris and everyone else
who ever has or hopes safely to ride a bike in iowa again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

it's time to do something

i'm actually looking forward to my ride
to the funeral of david "judd" harris.
this has been a terribly hectic week, or two.
with friends getting run over and nearly killed,
one cyclist getting run off the road, knocked out,
and left for dead by a "buzz and run"
while another cyclist is run over and killed,
not one single charge has been filed.
the ONLY response from the collective consciousness
of iowa law enforcement
has been a cold, smug, corporate reply touting
the state patrol's affiliation with ragbrai.
ragbrai, for christ's sake.
they just don't get it.
this phrase has been employed to refer to george w for countless reasons,
any number of u.s. senators and others
who grope and otherwise offend women,
and many many others over the years.
but the topic is the slaughter of you and me, our friends, family members,
people who are doing nothing other than riding bikes.
i know there are many people who read this blog
[thanks to you all, by the way]
who read the des moines register.
why haven't you written letters?
why hasn't the des moines register taken
an official position on the deaths and torment of bicyclists?
why isn't the letters pages--not that insipid online comment shit--
FILLED with outrage and stories of abuse and neglect
aimed at cyclists and commited by motorists
and complacent law enforcement officials?
we've bitched ad nauseum on bikeiowa and elsewhere.
that's not enough.
tell your stories of being nearly killed,
and of trying to get law enforcement to do ANYthing.
dave? d corn? do i need to list you all?
and why hasn't the register itself championed this issue?
my gut feeling is that the gannett company doesn't see this as a sufficiently attractive issue.
so what about cityview?
aren't THEY always hurting for REAL topics?
why don't you flood THEM with letters?
THEY'LL cover it.
especially if you tell them that you went to them
because the register won't touch it.
it's time to stop bitching,
and to start DOING something.
call and send letters to the county attorney.
polk county attorney--criminal bureau
206 6th avenue, #200
des moines, iowa 50309
dallas county attorney
207 n. 9th street, #a
adel, iowa 50003
the des moines register
letters to the editor
p.o. box 957
des moines, iowa 50306
now write the damned letters.

Monday, June 18, 2007

universal laws . . .

. . . as seen from the front porch of the orphanage . . .
[in no particular order, and by no means in totality]
1--like the yin and the yang,
the ebbs and flows of life are constant, unpredictable,
inevitable, unstoppable, undesirable, envied,
good and bad, plus and minus,
for better or worse, more or less.
2--you can't have what you don't know,
and you can't know what you don't have.
3--sometimes things happen that just aren't right,
but they sometimes lead to just the right thing to do.
. . . . .
so, i'm riding my bike to this funeral friday in atlantic,
for yet another unknown cyclist,
run down,
killed by a 77 year-old motorist mid-day sunday,
a bright sunny day.
going the same direction,
run over from behind.
i've mentioned how i feel about this:
"investigation continues."
80 miles out, 80 back.
2:00 pm funeral.
sunrise 540 am; sunset 850 pm.
funny thing is that this is the longest day of the year.
somewhere i had noted that it will be celebrated
as "the happiest day of the year."
i had thus noted on my kitchen calendar for the blog topic du jour.
instead, i'll spend it riding by myself
to the funeral of someone i don't know
who was killed like seven or eight of my friends,
and i'll remember them,
and be happy for having known them.
i'll think of the many friends
--too many in just the past year--
who were struck and somehow survived.
and i'll be happy for knowing them,
and for having them around--alive.
i'll be riding alone, thinking of my many, many friends
who joined me on a whim, as a lark,
on sunday, on a hill in front of a stranger's house.
and of how we laughed, heckled, cajoled, encouraged friends
and strangers,
and made some feel like pros,
and made others feel full of energy,
and happy,
when moments before they were tired and drained.
we made them smile.
and i'll be happy for my many many friends,
and for the joy that they have given me,
and for the joy that they have helped me give to others.
as i ride to atlantic, and back, for this stranger's funeral,
i'll think of my pregnant daughter,
of her second child that is due hopefully after ragbrai
--this is the second time she's done this--
and i'll think of my little granddaughter, nyla,
and of my son-in-law, dwight,
and of all the joy they have given me over the years.
and i'll be happy.
happy as hell, actually.
i'll think of my dogs, boris and amelia,
and of the third one--shut up!--dmitri
that i'll have at the end of the month,
and i'll be happy.
. . . . .
and if i never have to do this again,
then it will have been the happiest day of my life.
. . . . .
by the way, i know that there is a group of cyclists
that leaves bike world west sometime early on fridays.
i know, because often i have cursed that they leave so damned early.
wanna ride west with me?
supposed to be wind out of the southwest,
and i could sure use a little help...
maybe you could meet me coming back in late friday, too.

things that get me worked up, part [what is it up to now?]

just when i think that all the crazy,
inhumane people in the world must live here in central iowa,
i read something like this, and see something like this,
and remember that this good old world is just like grandpa's pasture,
where the milk cows grazed:
there's shit everywhere.

who IS this guy?

as loyal readers know all too well,
the mostly reverend is
a painfully modest, humble man of the cloth.
alright, it's lycra/spandex and leather,
but just the same, grabbing the spotlight
is HARDLY the mostly reverend's "bag."
but he is in occasional legion with any number of sordid,
shady characters of questionable repute. . .
many of whom were by his side sunday on the hill, by the way.
one of them is shown below.

ya can't say enough about chris maharry,
especially his affinity for pink.
but the man does know his way around a long lens!
one of the best shots known to man or woman.

the devil is a bit of a publicity hound, on the other hand.

here, he shown at the turnaround of the men's run, right in the long and close-up shot of the nbc sports camera. how's it look, donny and greg? official triathlon photography, no less.

please note the special edition bg/hyvee trident!

if you have photos from sunday's triathlon action that you'd like to share, send them to the mostly reverend, here at the orphanage. he'll think of something uplifting to do with them!

THIS SHIT AIN'T RIGHT! [with comments]

Driver nearly hits officer directing triathlon traffic
[well, fuck me. NEARLY hits?--the rev.]
June 18, 2007
A Des Moines police officer reports
he had to jump out of the way
[ask collier and sergey if THEY had such a chance!--the rev]
to avoid being hit by a motorist during Sunday's Hy-Vee Triathlon.
[by the way, any charges filed related to the pedestrian
who entered the course and caused a cyclist to crash?--the rev.]
Officer Xavier Barron suffered a bruised right hand.
[what? no broken back?--the rev.]
Jennifer Adkins, 36, of Des Moines,
was arrested on a charge of assault with a motor vehicle.
[where the hell did they find THIS law?
a CAR? well, i'll be damned.--the rev.]
Barron said in a report that Adkins approached the intersection
of Sixth Avenue and Mulberry Street on Sunday afternoon
and was ordered to stop.
Barron told her Mulberry was closed for the triathlon
and she would have to take a different route.
She claimed another officer told her she could drive on Mulberry.
[gee. imagine THAT happening at the triathlon,
right jane, and a 100 other runners?--the rev.]
Barron said he told her twice that it was closed.
"She then accelerated her motor vehicle
attempting to drive around the squad car," the officer said in his report.
"I had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck by the car.
My right hand struck the windshield in the process."
[did the windshield break? did your watch get stuck in the grill?--the rev.]
Two customers of US Bank came to the officer's aid
and provided witness statements.
[and you took their statements?--the rev.]
Other officers stopped Adkins in the 600 block of SW MLK Jr., Parkway
and took her into custody.
[you can DO that for assault with a motor vehicle?
again, i'll be damned.--the rev.]
. . . . .
1--no "charges are pending?"
2--no "officers will be talking to the county attorney?"
3--no "investigation continues?"
4--no "condition of the injured has not been released?"
and tell me again why it's WRONG that i get pissed off
when this shit happens????
now, don't get me wrong:
i have NO issues with cops telling drivers to take another route,
and i am not condoning disobeying a lawful order.
i am not unsympathetic with the police
and the dangers they encounter on a daily basis.
my son-in-law is a cop, and i am QUITE cognizant of these dangers.
but this charging inconsistency is
blatant, outrageous BULLSHIT!
and the timing is just plained fucked up.
what bothers ME is
the spinelessness of prosecutors
when they are faced with charging MOTORISTS
who hit and/or kill bicyclists.
. . . . .
am i wrong?
am i alone?
can i get an amen?

Sunday, June 17, 2007


if only EVERY DAY could be like today!!
* * * * *
"dear the mostly reverend:
i'm sending you this email, because,
as with clark kent and superman,
i understand that you know how to contact the devil.
please pass along this message to him for me:
'Thanks for being on the big hill on Grand Avenue
and cheering all us triathletes on this morning.
It was very encouraging and gave me a sudden burst of energy!
What an awesome bike course to ride!!
Tell all your friends thanks for coming out and cheering us on.
I got a small taste of what Lance must feel like
when he's climbing on the Tour!' "
--C. M., Muscatine, IA
* * * * *
well, c.m., consider your message delievered,
since i know the devil checks the daily sermonette several times a day,
mostly to make notes on factual and spelling errors by those who respond.
but he's already told me this:
he WILL be back next year, and this will be his goal:
* * * * *
yep, that's right.
the devil wants to fill the hill with happy, noisy fans.
the devil wants to show des moines, and the rest of the WORLD,
that we not only know how to put on a world class event,
but we know how to enjoy it in a world class manner!
so mark your calendars now,
for whenever it is next year,
to help party with the devil.
. . . . .
let's fill the hill!!