Sunday, August 31, 2008

i'm helping the republicans!!

i'll be picking up the slack: while they pretend to be concerned about the gustav victims who suffered from their lack of compassion and effective action three years ago, i'll carry on traditional republican activities.

it's the least i can do.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

get to know "miss just-a-heartbeat-away"

[thanks, wonkette]
as a former miss congeniality, it's clear that sarah hasn't lost her ability to laugh at others.
that will help her fit in well with her boss.

[um, this even creeps ME out]
but this makes me feel just fine:
“She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long,” said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain’s top advisers, making light of concerns about Mr. McCain’s health, which Mr. McCain’s doctors reported as excellent in May.

meet sarah palin

how charming is that--the straight shot express?
and this enlightening commentary

Friday, August 29, 2008

one of the differences between riding in iowa city and des moines

my friend g pickle told me about the latest iowa city tuesday night ride. i asked him to write a story about it, because it's the kind of ride that folks in des moines are afraid to try, while i think we should...
"This week the college green A rides switched to gravel. Tuesday was a fairly tame romp around but Thursday saw a different sort of energy. It had rained proper in the morning and things were wet. Cochran showed up with some slick skinnies on his cross bike and I laughed that he would be fine after we got through the B roads. The general consesus seemed to be that we would not be riding any B roads so he would be fine for the whole ride. 8 miles later, [read more] "

hardin county today, and iowa tomorrow

"Yes, kuddos to Mark [wyatt, of the iowa bicycle coalition--kim] and all for their efforts leading to Hardin County's repeal of this ordinance."

i, along with all other bicyclists in iowa, will be QUITE interested to learn JUST HOW the announcements of thursday came to pass: who were the active parties--and what roles did they play--in securing the anticipated repeal and withdrawl by hardin county officials and by david vestal.
until then, i can say this: i greatly appreciate the massive efforts by jeff goodman and his legal eagles, the belated apparent wisdom of the hardin county board of supervisors and the ultimate recognition by david vestal of the handwriting on the wall.

on another note, I STILL PLAN TO MEET IN GARDEN CITY MONDAY MORNING AT 800 AM for our little spontaneous labor day cruise around hardin county.
it is more important than EVER to demonstrate our political, physical, and economic clout to all iowans. i would ask that anyone who plans to attend this ride request and keep all receipts for money spent going to, during, and returning home from this ride so that i can gather this information for publication and dissemination.
the very fact that this whole thing has come up should continue to serve as a chilling reminder of how the political and motoring masses feel about us, and just how far we MUST go to secure our rights to ride ANYWHERE in iowa.


what this whole ugly chapter demonstrates to ME is that bicyclists continue to be thought of AT BEST as second class citizens, and that iowa is FAR FAR AWAY from truly being a bicycle friendly environment.

i'll see you in garden city at and before 800 am monday morning!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

what listeners are saying about "the kim west radio cycling show"

I found your show through a search on itunes. . . .
I really like your show because while you have the racing background, you really understand that racing is only one facet of cycling. We need the trails, and the bike lanes and we need to be able to share the road because we have riders with different levels of expertise, and reasons to ride.
You get it.
We all need to be advocates for all forms of cycling and support each other as it grows from a sport or a form of recreation, to a lifestyle.
Steve Sexton
Louisville, Kentucky

wearing my support on my ... WHAT?

guess what i'm wearing as i type this!

TOUR OF MISSOURI -- click and win

hey, folks--

less than two weeks until the kick-off of the 2008
Tour of Missouri.

this year's edition runs from september 8 through the 14th, and the
kim west radio cycling show, in partnership with the missouri department of tourism and drury hotels [official hotel of the tour of missouri], is doing it up right.

sunday, september 7, i'll be doing
the kim west radio cycling show LIVE from the lobby of the drury hotel in beautiful kansas city, missouri. i'll spend the entire time talking live with riders, team officials and tour folks about this exciting finale to the american professional cycling season.
and YOU can be there, too. we're giving away a whole slew of sweet prizes, including VIP passes to the finish of monday's stage one in kansas city, a bissel vacuum [remember, bissell is a team sponsor!], a felt bicycle, tour of missouri t-shirts and caps, and more!
AND THE BIGGIE IS A "MEET ME IN MISSOURI" PRIZE PACKAGE that includes accomodations for two at the kansas city drury hotel, passes to the team presentations, VIP passes and such for the finish of stage one, and more!!

"but kim, how can i win these fabulous prizes?"
i love this: all you have to do is go to
the kim west radio cycling show website, my personality pages, scroll down just a tad to the "TOUR OF MISSOURI" LINK, and see where it says "click here to win with kim west!"?
CLICK! just follow the simple directions, and you'll be in the drawing to be held and announced tuesday, september 2, 2008. you might win a felt bicycle, a bissell vacuum, tour of missouri caps or t-shirts, VIP passes to the stage one finish in kansas city, or

man, free stuff, and i can't even win it--i'm giving it away. how amazing is THAT?

click RIGHT NOW. i might see you at the finish line in kansas city.

and by the way, you KNOW you can watch the entire tour of missouri live and in-person for FREE, don't you? you don't need no stinking badges to enjoy close-up and roadside some of the finest cyclists in the world racing on beautiful, lush rolling midwestern roads.


and thanks for listening to
the kim west radio cycling show, bringing you only the best, free every week.

rainy day random thoughts

1--a dis-organized tour of hardin county, monday september 1. here is a map of garden city. you should be there by 800 am, and ready to roll. this is not a race, by the way. someone asked about whether to spend $$ in hardin county, and i am of two minds. the simple mind says spend what we need, collect receipts, and we'll submit the totals to the board of supervisors to let them know how much money they stand to lose from such an impromptu bike ride. we could also tell the merchants that because of their elected officials, they will not see our "green bucks" again. the more complicated, high-minded thought would be to pack and carry our own food from non-hardin county merchants and businesses. i'd rather do the simple way just this once, to prove a point. i don't really know what the point might be; it might just depend on the turnout and how the day develops. bring your still and video cameras, eh?
2--what's up with mark wyatt, anyway? suppose HE'LL show up and ride? will the IBC spokesperson ever do anything about this?
3--do you suppose we should start to worry about THIS in iowa?
4--i hope the rain ends soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

i think i want to ride around hardin county again

you know, it's been a while since i've ridden the lovely, quiet roads in hardin county: pine lake, the iowa river valley and cliffs, little steamboat rock, the gently rolling hills from alden into radcliffe, and the undulations going east into union along D65...
whatd'ya say? want to go for a little ride with me and maybe 20 friends on labor day? this is what i'm thinking:
meet in garden city. it's a quiet little town in southwest hardin county, about eight miles east of I-35 at the randall exit. we can roll east on D65 about 18 miles to union, and head north on S62. we take that north through the mighty burg of gifford and along some gently climbing hills into eldora [where they'll actually have some open stores for food and sustenance, and then continue north past the beautiful iowa river on the west side and pine lake on the east, and on into steamboat rock [little tree-covered town] and north nearly up to ackley, where we head west to iowa falls [more food and drink] and on into alden. we head south, more gentle rollers, past the ghost of buckeye, and the inviting little rollers that welcome you to radcliffe. just a few more wind-swept miles, and we're back to garden city.
our dream tour of hardin county is over, we've covered a little over 80 miles, and we've proven that an advertised ride of over 20 cyclists CAN travel hardin county roads with no casualties, and hopefully no one will get arrested.
any takers?
[p.s. is this the action of a patient and understanding cyclist? i hope it doesn't appear that way.]

mark wyatt

i learned about 30 minutes ago that hardin county enacted--quietly or in full public view i don't know--the exact same ordinance considered and tabled by dallas county after a lengthy and well-attended public hearing at which 30 to 40 cyclists and dallas county residents were given an opportunity to address the board and air their concerns, questions, and comments about the legality of the proposal.

among those in attendance was mark wyatt, lobbyist and paid employee of the iowa bike coalition, who spoke against the not-yet-completely-dead brain-child of attorney david vestal, who is circulating this poison-penned proposal on behalf of the iowa association of counties.
when we left that day, the feeling was one of cautious concern, not celebration, knowing that this battle might need to be waged in as many as 97 more counties in iowa, notwithstanding the fact that the same suggestion previously had been rejected by the iowa legislature, who realized the many fatal flaws in vestal's flimsy efforts to help the counties avoid liability for failing to do what counties quite simply have to do--maintain safe roadways within their county limits.

we all agreed the need for vigilance was paramount.

wyatt, as the hired gun for the IBC, seemed to be best-poised to oversee his fragile fiefdom, the highways and byways, and streets and trails of iowa; the rightful yet threatened sovereign domain of any and all bicyclists who might seek to enjoy the roads, trails, streets and more--the bounty of iowa--by bike.

so what happened? hardin county enacted the EXACT SAME ORDINANCE [requiring that any "organized" ride of ten or more riders need a permit, minimum $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy or face a $750 fine--$1,000 for second offense] that was soundly "set aside for the time being" by the wisened or intimidated board ofsupervisors in dallas county.

yet who informed us, the iowa bike coalition's constituency, the bicyclists of iowa, of the pending action in hardin county?
who rallied the troops with a call to arms?
who covered ALL media outlets with press releases decrying the outrageous efforts by these backward-looking governmental officials?
who saw to it that the hardin county supervisors meeting room was packed to the gills and more with angry and indignant bicyclists of all stripes AND statewide media?

not mark wyatt.


not word one have we heard from this guy, whose JOB it is to do just that.

i have LONG been biting my tongue about mark, hoping beyond hope that mark would get off his ass and prove me wrong; to show me that he really DOES care about the interests for which he is paid to represent and for which he is expected to fight to preserve and maintain. [some might even suggest he is paid to EXPAND these rights, but christ...]

it WOULDN'T be tough to make me think i am wrong. hell, i'd love to meet him JUST ONCE out on a bike ride. but i don't even think he rides! [recall: if i don't SEE it, i'm not likely to believe it. that's why i didn't believe in flying saucers for so long, and why i tend not to believe in bigfoot.]

but mark wyatt absolutely has lost his right to speak on MY behalf about the rights and interests of bicyclists and bicycling in iowa. he has been losing it for his failure to act on behalf of the MANY dead cyclists this past year, and for his failure to follow-up on behalf of the too many dead cyclists from last year [remember all the trips i made to funerals last year? where is evidence of mark's follow-ups on all those?]

nope, by his total lack of meaningful and active leadership, mark wyatt is steering the iowa bike coaliton right off the roads, streets,paths, and trails right back into the garages and basements where--in his mind--all bikes should be stored, the patient and understanding little cyclists that we are.

this guy's GOTTA go, before all we have left are roller races.

mark: i BEG you to respond. do SOMETHING, for christ's sake. show the bicyclists of iowa that you DO REALLY REALLY care about riding bikes, not just raising money and feathering your nest. i am NOT better off than i was [how many years ago?] when you started at the IBC.
it is time for you to go. let us have a REAL spokesperson. we deserve it.


. . . . .
hardin county passed the exact same ordinance that dallas county was considering.
it passed unanimously.
looks like another group of towns that won't be seeing
ragby roll down their roads.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

do you suppose he approves of THIS message?

and by the way, what junior high school "is not"--"is too" class is doing mcsame's ads these days?
does he REALLY approve of that shit?

meet joe biden

Saturday, August 23, 2008

i heard it through the grapevine

"i mean, you got the first mainstream yippie-american who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," biden said.
"who, me?" west asked.
--is west on joe's wish list?
--will the orphanage be heading east in january?
--will the kim west radio cycling show soon be heard in the nation's capital?
watch this site for updates.

Friday, August 22, 2008

you've GOTTA love this stuff!

so it seems that time does NOT heal all wounds. read this little snippet from the recent tour of utah, and you'll think you're reading about bike racing in iowa, for heaven's sake. makes you yearn for the days of scott mercer and jeff fields, doesn't it?

missing a bicycle? this is just bizarre...

In a Cyclist-Friendly City,
a Black Hole for Bikes
TORONTO--What exactly was he planning to do with 2,865 bicycles?
That is just one of many questions the police and others have been puzzling over since the arrest last month of Igor Kenk, the owner of a used-bike shop here.
Mr. Kenk’s legacy now fills a former police garage with a leaky roof. Organized by brand name and mostly resting on their handlebars, wheels pointed upward, are 2,396 of the bicycles that police say Mr. Kenk either stole or arranged to have stolen.
The jumbled collection of bicycles suggests that Mr. Kenk is the unofficial world champion of bicycle thieves. But as he awaits trial next month on 58 charges related to theft and drug possession, the biggest mysteries of all are Mr. Kenk’s motives and his ultimate plan for the armada of steel, rubber and aluminum he amassed.
“He’s easily the most hated man in Toronto,” said Alex Jansen, a filmmaker who has been working on a documentary about Mr. Kenk for more than a year as part of a study of his rundown neighborhood’s transition to hipsterdom. “But I just found that it’s not as black and white as I originally thought.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

good for what ails ya

there are some things, some days, some situations, that only a good healthy dose of frank zappa will cure, or at least make better. it's not like a shot of penicillin or cortisone; no, a course of zappa treatment is much better and much more effective than those. but zappa is also great preventive medicine.
you've been advised; it's not my fault if you don't take it.
today's course: joe's garage.
you'll thank me after you listen to the entire song.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

are you a heelot?

i'm not!

am i?


here's an interesting bike...

the two-wheeled justice

des moines just got a whole lot more bicycle friendly!

Des Moines, August 13, 2008—Governor Culver has appointed Des Moines attorney Richard H. Doyle, Des Moines, to the Iowa Court of Appeals. Doyle, 58, will fill the vacancy that will occur when Judge Van Zimmer retires September 4, 2008.
Doyle has worked in the private practice of law since 1977. Prior to working in private practice he served as Assistant Attorney General for the Iowa Department of Justice in the Criminal Appeals Division.
He earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Drake University in 1971. He received his law degree from Drake University Law School in 1976. He served as staff member of the Drake Law Review.

. . . . .

yeah, yeah, yeah; that's all fine; but press releases never tell you what REALLY matters, but today's sermonette always does!

rick and his wife, debbie, are the parents of two kids, kerry [who lives in oregon] and her brother [who lives in chicago and whose name i never can remember]. i first met the doyles when i worked at zanzibar's with kerry. debbie was a morning regular [2% iced latte to go], and she and rick would often come in evenings. debbie is a huge elvis fan, and rick has always been an enormous cycling enthusiast. we talked about bikes and racing and all subjects bicycles on a regular basis, rick and i. while kerry and i were working together, she found a mixte frame bike, i recall, and fixed it up. she rode that found bike all over [she was hooked]. when she moved to oregon, she got into the fixed gear scene, and started riding all over, including seattle to portland, as i recollect. a 200-mile ride on a fixie. truly nuts.

her folks were supportive and skeptical, but rick, i detected, was really quite thrilled and proud of her. so as she took off and started getting more and more into it, and riding bikes all over the northwest, rick spoke with me about his old blue schwinn [seen above, rick bought it new], and about buying a new road bike. i told him to go for it, but by all means to keep this bike, and think about converting it to a single speed or a fixed gear bike.

he did, and after having both new road bike and new old singlespeed to ride, like the kid he is, he confessed that he has more fun riding the old bike.

and that's how it ought to be.

since the word got out about the formation and opening of the des moines bike kollective, rick has been as enthusiastic AND actively participating supporter of the place as there can be. he has personally been responsible for bringing approaching, what, rick, maybe a couple dozen bikes to the shop? he was the first to adopt a bike shop--rassmussen's on grand--BEFORE i made the request to have folks adopt a bike shop. he regularly stops by, checking to see what bikes are there for donation, and he brings them down. he pounds the pavement and buzzes the phone lines shaking down his neighborhood association and others for their unridden bikes. additionally, rick is regularly out on the trail, under the poorly-designed and constructed bridge under grand avenue at 1st/63d street, cleaning the mud, sand, and muck away after floods. he has lobbied the city to do more on a regular basis to maintain its trail system. i would be remiss if i failed to mention that he and debbie are regular listeners of the kim west radio cycling show sunday nights on kxno AM1460.

rick not only talks the talk, but he rides the ride. rick doyle gets it. he understands the need for both bike trails AND integrated bicycle traffic on public streets. he does something about it.

. . . . .

the city of des moines is struggling to have itself declared as a "bike friendly community." it has been told repeatedly that while building bike trails and painting bike lanes is laudible, until there is descernible and lasting institutional change, it will not be truly bike friendly. we need role models in high and public places who not only lavish praise and support upon bicycle riders, but who TRULY EMBRACE bicycles and bicycle riding as a significant and respectible lifestyle, who see bicycles as a viable and NECESSARY component of a vibrant urban environment, AND who are sufficiently committed to that end to influence OTHERS to do likewise.

for example, suppose des moines chief of police judy bradshaw issued a directive that "ALL city of des moines police officers shall recognize bicyclists as rightful users of city streets, and shall enforce reckless driving laws against motorists who use their motor vehicles in such a way to intimidate or harass a bicyclist."

wouldn't THAT be grand? THAT would be a big step toward des moines becoming a bike friendly community.

. . . . .

i have no idea what kind of justice rick doyle will be on the iowa court of appeals; we have not, in our many hours of conversation talked about the hot-button legal topics of the day. but i DO know this: for the first time EVER, the state of iowa will have a high court member who knows how to convert an old ten-speed to a singlespeed bike, and knows how to enjoy riding it. we are likely for the first time ever to have a court of appeals justice to commutes to work on a regular basis on an old single speed schwinn--even in winter!

and THAT is what will help make des moines a bike friendly community. i could not be more proud of, and happy for, rick and debbie doyle, and delighted for the state of iowa.

we will have one of us sitting up there in a black robe.

congratulations, rick!

Monday, August 18, 2008

snowdog has moved to los angeles?

this shocking video demonstrates the importance of police reports and persistence.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

he may have left the house

but he'll always be down at the end of lonely street

Friday, August 15, 2008


OVER THE NEXT THREE WEEKS, in cooperation with the tour of missouri,
the kim west radio cycling show will be GIVING AWAY
absolutely free
one FELT cruiser bicycle,
one yakima bicycle car rack,
one bissell healthy home vacuum,
five VIP passes to the stage one finish in kansas city,
five tour of missouri t-shirts,
five tour of missouri caps, and
five jelly belly gift packs.

A "MEET IN MISSOURI PACKAGE, with hotels, meals,
and VIP hospitality at the tour's stage one finish in kansas city.

all you have to do to win is this:
1--go to the kim west radio cycling show website
2--listen LIVE to the kim west radio cycling show sunday nights from 600 pm to 700 pm for your chance to call in
[515.284.5966 or 866.333.5966]
and win.
it really IS that easy. i'll ask from time to time during the show for listeners to call in and give me the answer to such and such a clue from the crossword puzzle.
you call in, and you win a prize.
we'll do it again NEXT sunday, august 24th,
and again august 31.
on the august 31st show, will draw from all the winners to award the grand prize of the MEET IN MISSOURI PACKAGE.

i'm telling you, i can't believe we're doing this! these are actually pretty cool prizes.
on the radio at 1460 AM, kxno,
or stream it live at

podcasters won't stand a chance. sorry.

so go to the website now
download the crossword puzzle now and do it,
and then keep it handy as you listen over the next three weeks.
somebodies are gonna win a whole bunch of cool, free stuff, JUST FOR LISTENING and CALLING THE SHOW.



friday: it's time for skateboard porn

Thursday, August 14, 2008

garbage grab? SWEET!

Annual Des Moines River Cleanup
saturday, august 16th
Volunteer clean-up reconnects community with the Des Moines River
(Des Moines)— Community groups and private citizens will join others in a united front to clean up the entire stretch of the Des Moines River as it runs through the Metro area as part of the 7th Annual River Run Garbage Grab Saturday, August 16.
"This year— especially given the recent flooding we've had— we are trying to get the community reconnected with their river. Our river is our lifeblood," said Robin Fortney, a co-organizer of the event. "This year's effort will focus on the stretch of the Des Moines River from Saylorville to Yellow Banks Park."
The event, which begins at 9 a.m., is a non-partisan effort to bring volunteers together for a day to clean up the riverside—cyclists, walkers and water enthusiasts are all welcome. This is an all-ages event free and open to everyone. The event is expected to draw hundreds of volunteers. Last year, 200 volunteers removed 24 tons of trash and debris from a 10-mile stretch of the Des Moines River.
Volunteers will be given wristbands and are invited to a celebration at the Simon Estes Amphitheater beginning at 6 p.m. Live music will be provided by the Des Moines Community Steel Drum Band, Plymouth Church Chancel Choir, and John Stravers with his eco-folk rock band "Big Blue Sky".
Wells Fargo Financial, Metro Waste Authority, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Polk County Conservation, City of Des Moines Parks & Recreation, City of Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation, Central Iowa Paddlers, Iowa Whitewater Coalition, Izaak Walton League-Des Moines Chapter, Sierra Club-Des Moines Chapter, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Des Moines Rowing Club, Principal Financial Group,
Iowa Outdoor Unlimited, and MidAmerican Energy.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q.: What will happen if it rains?
A.: This event will be held rain or shine. We recommend that you bring a rain jacket and hat in case it does rain.
In the event of a thunder storm, you will need to seek shelter. If you are on the river during a thunder storm, you will need to get off the river and seek shelter.

Q.: I've never participated in a river cleanup before. Do I need to have any experience?
A.: No experience is necessary, just a willingness and desire to help improve your community's rivers. Cleanup organizers will provide volunteers with information on safety and protocol on the day of the cleanup. Each volunteer is responsible for his or her own safety and should act within their own personal physical abilities and exercise due caution when participating in river cleanups.

Q.: What should I wear and bring to the cleanup?
A.: River cleanups can be messy and require hard work. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or even tattered. Work boots and work gloves are strongly recommended and, if you are going to be working in the water, dress appropriately. Long sleeve shirts and long pants are recommended despite the weather, for the protection they provide against the sun, poisonous or thorny plants and biting insects. Wearing a hat and eye protection is also recommended. You are likely to experience poison ivy, mosquitoes, sun and/or rain, so you are advised to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, hat and rain jacket. It's important to keep hydrated. Bring plenty of water and a snack to keep your energy up.
If you plan to volunteer on the river, we recommend you bring a sack lunch and plenty of drinking water.

Q.: Can children participate?
A.: Yes. Absolutely. River cleanups are a fun learning experience for kids. Just make sure they understand the importance of putting safety first. The safety of river cleanup participants under the age of 18 is the responsibility of parents or legal guardians.
Q.: How much time will it take?
A.: The event starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, 2008.
If you are volunteering on the river, your time commitment will be approximately:
•Cottonwood to Sycamore Access: 1-2 hours
•Sycamore Access to Prospect Park: 6-7 hours
•Prospect Park to Birdland Access: 1-2 hours
•Harriet Street Access to Pleasant Hill Access: 6-7 hours
•Pleasant Hill Access to Yellow Banks County Park: 2-4 hours
Note: If you are volunteering on a land trail, you may work an hour or two or more.

Q.: What can I expect?
A.: First you need to sign in. A host at each starting point will give you a wrist band and this will be your ticket to dinner on Saturday evening. Then you'll be given trash bags and a pair of gloves. If you are volunteering on the land, you can bring full trash bags back to the start or leave them beside the trail or road and the organizing crew will collect them later. If you are volunteering on the river, you will bring trash to the nearest boat ramp. Support crew in power boats will be available to accept trash from your canoe so you can continue collecting trash. Some items, such as tires, drums and appliances, may be encountered and you should use care when retrieving and moving them. It may be helpful to bring a shovel to help retrieve tires and larger items from the sand and gravel. Host personnel will segregate the trash (tires, appliances, metal, bottles, etc.) so we can recycle as much possible.

if des moines gets any MORE bike friendly...

...we'll all be riding bikes dressed like this:

read about jason--not horner--in NYT

read the story here.
see a video story here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my political observation of the morning

it's far better to dance and sing than to bomb and kill.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

public service time, boys and girls

i've taken a fair amount of guff--some good-natured ribbing, but some of it from true assholes [remember griffin tri-guy from last year?]--over the years because i choose not to wear a helmet when i ride my bicycle, unless forced to in races.
when folks ask me "where's your helmet, mostly reverend?" i almost always reply "at home, in a box on a shelf." and it's true. in my bedroom, like three feet from where i write these sermonettes, is a shelf with about, hell, i bet about nine or ten bike helmets, and a couple matching silver motorcycle helmets [true shortbussers will remember the silver cannonball from years ago]. what the hell does this mean? well, watch this video, and when alexyss k. tylor declares that "dick will make you slap somebody," you'll know why. and if you're smart, YOU'LL start keeping a bunch of cycling helmets in YOUR bedroom, too.
but watch this carefully, and learn...
you'll thank me next time YOU get slapped.

you KNOW how i love graphs!

well, THIS one actually MEANS something!

it's a rather interesting pair of graphs sent to me by a regular reader AND a regular stuff-hound [who finds and sends me all SORTS of interesting stuff--thnx, wx guy]...

send YOUR interesting graphs and stuff to me at

i stole this from tengrain: read this tease and then visit mock, paper, scissors

Courage and Duty

Posted by Tengrain August 5th, 2008

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., followed by his nice Caroline Kennedy, and others, enters the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 9, 2008, for the first time since his brain surgery. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Kennedy tapes a message for the Democratic Convention, you know, just in case

"A Kennedy spokeswoman said Monday that the Massachusetts senator taped a five-minute video over the weekend to air during the party gathering at the end of the month."

Ted Kennedy is not a saint, nor is he a perfect man. He has foibles and inner demons like the rest of us. Yes, he could have done better decades ago, and his weaknesses cost a life.
The GOP noise machine hates him and sees no redemption in his good deeds ever since that awful night. They want to cast him as the modern day Hester Prynne, which in some ways may be appropriate, as by the end of the book, you begin to wonder if the letter “A” stands for angel. Leave it to the GOP to not finish the reading assignment.
Teddy has been a remarkable figure, a phoenix.

. . . . .

to read this post in its entirety, go here. then go HERE and become familiar with the entire site. it is one of maybe four or five places--anywhere--to have on your "must visit daily" list.

and thanks, tengrain. you knock me out, several times a day.


lately, both on this blog and some others that i read, there are a few posters who choose not to identify themselves [for whatever reasons] who then go on to post fairly harsh and often though not always baseless comments or personal attacks. although i might not always agree with the content of anonymous posts, i have vigorously defended the right of these folks to post without identifying themselves. it's my nature to uphold free speech; always have, always will.

i have a television. there's a lot of stuff on [i stopped my dish service a couple years ago or so; i don't remember when]; most of it is crap at best. a lot of it is just plain stupid and offensive. it saddens me that it is on, saddens me even more that it is popular and likely to increase. at the expense of quality programming, this cheap-to-produce pablum improves the bottom line. no matter that it continues to stupify the already bushified masses.

my solution to the crap on tv? i turn it off. i choose not to make the absence of quality programming my battle. they can make and show what they want, but i just won't watch it.

but for these few asshole anonymous posters? i have tolerated and sometimes enjoyed the little venomous displays. my theory has been that so long as conversation is prompted, and discussion from which the opportunity for learning and growth is presented, then such anonymous comments should be allowed and tolerated.

when i left for ragbrai a couple weeks ago or so, i asked a few e-lists to suspend my active status. three of them are music-related [allman brothers band, gov't mule, and derek trucks band], and with those and another technical list, i receive as many as 250 emails a day. most of them i just delete. a few of them i read; even fewer i actually enjoy. i post every now and then. most of them are just stupid. every now and then, they become mean. deleting is a great relief. but when i returned, i chose not to reactivate these lists. that has been an even GREATER relief. i might choose to reactivate, but not for a while.

and so, for a while anyway, i'm going to change the status of comments on this blog. i am sorry to do it, but i just am tired and bored of the sniping nature of some of the anonymous posts. i know it's not fair to folks like chad, duffy, and others who regularly post without opting to go through the blogger-required bullshit of getting an identification and then posting. it sucks, and if i can get around that, i will. but i'm not going to monitor your comments. that's just stupid, too. i have enough dumb shit to do without holding the door for everyone who wants to leave a comment.

but i really am bored with this anonymous "warfare" crap [the humor has long-since evaporated], and disappointed that a handful of chickenshit little snipers have led me to this sad result. but please don't think that you've "won" or anything. this isn't a personal win-lose scenario. the only win-lose happening is to the freedom of comment on this blog. MY blog.

and so as with MY television, i am going to turn off a portion of MY blog for a while.

the portion that allows annoying little anonymous assholes in.

sorry, everyone else. i've gotta make some coffee and get productive.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

i like cats

but not as much as i like the person
who sent me this link.

the iowa bike coalition says we're patient and understanding


breakfast this morning was disturbed by a front-page article in the des moines register, which--TWO MONTHS AFTER THE FUCKING FLOODS--has an article about the "rocky road to repairing water-ravaged rec trails" and sub-titled "years to build, months to restore, washed away in a flash." there's a photo of a cyclist--who obviously has ignored the barricades and closed signage--riding down the great western trail south of des moines. poorly designed, shoddily constructed, and then ignored--instead of maintained by the departments who should be ever-mindful of their use and needs, these trails are truly the bastard children of the city, county, and state.

now mind you, this neglect knows no season, as it just happens that the obstacles now causing grief to users and would-be users of these bicycling main arteries were the result of heavy rains and floods IN FUCKING JUNE, but damage also occurs at other times as the result of wind storms, downed trees, snowfall, and general neglect and failure to properly build and maintain 12 months a year because officials don't get that these trails are NOT just recreational trails but bicycle highways for many.

the register gets non-passing grades for not noting this in their coverage, but the biggest offender [seen in the above photo in the center, in red] makes his appearance on page 6a, when "mark wyatt, a bicycle enthusiast from north liberty, said bikers are being patient and understanding about the problem. ... during the floods in iowa city, the bicycle became one of the main ways to get around town because traffic was backed up so much, said wyatt, executive director of the iowa bicycle coalition, a non-profit advocacy group."


jesus christ, mark, you are PAID to ADVOCATE for us. bikes haven't just RECENTLY become a main way to get around. god dammit, man, light a fucking fire, would you?

i, for one, am NOT patient and understanding. not with the officials who build these shitty little trails to get us off their precious roadways and then do NOT maintain them but let them fall into dangerous states of disrepair, but also with the elected officials [remember crawford county, dallas county, dickinson county, and now madison county?] who try to legislate us OFF their precious highways onto these same shitty little trails because their fucking roadways aren't safe for us.

having YOU, mark wyatt, speak for US--the people who actually RIDE bicycles a LOT--is like having dick cheney invite oil company executives into the white house to devise and set the nation's energy policies. this post has been brewing in my mind for months, and the article in this morning's register set it loose.

mark wyatt must go.

he is NOT the voice of iowa bicycling, and has totally failed to live up to the goals--even just the reasonable ones, not the lofty ones that all cyclists that i know would hope for--that the iowa bike coalition holds for itself. i'm a paid member of the group [i coughed up my $25 at the continuing behest of steve goetzelmann, FORMER board member, who finally convinced me to join so i could have a legitimate voice with which to opine about the coalition's failures], and i think my $25 deserves a better--nay, MUCH better--advocate on behalf of bicycling here in iowa.

it sickens me to read, hear, and see all these civic leaders--NONE of whom i would rate above "avid" cyclist at best [and if you know or read me, you KNOW how i disdain the self-described "avid cyclist" label--it's right below "snake shit"]--go ON and ON about making des moines--and all of iowa--bike friendly. just last night, i saw des moines mayor cownie crowing about the virtues of "complete streets." des moines now has one, cottage grove, that stretches about 700 metres from the drake area over i-235, ending at mlking drive, just across the complete bridge.


complete streets do NOT make for a bike friendly community, people. i suspect that to be really "bike friendly," the majority of des moines motorists would need electroconvulsive therapy for a quite a good while. mind you, i realize that a "bike ride of a thousand miles begins with the first pedal stroke," but i SERIOUSLY believe that, no matter now well mark reassures us that his heart is in the right place, his HEAD is not, and that for mark wyatt, HIS bike ride of a thousand miles would begin with a drive to the trail head.

that's NOT who i envision as MY bicycle advocate.

now, i know that folks are gonna jump on me, saying that [as mark once told me] "this is not the time or place for this discussion," and he suggested that such matters were not what mark wanted when he took the position of executive director of the IBC. well, you know what, if we had actually HAD this discussion a couple years ago [the topic then was the IBC response to bicyclist deaths and the failure of prosecutors aggressively to respond], then maybe we now would HAVE a spokesman who REALLY understands the needs of iowa bicyclists AND who is willing AND ABLE to really act as an effective advocate. [to me, that means you're gotta ruffle some feathers, mark.] folks are gonna tell me that, once again, i'm not making any friends this way, and guess what? once again, i'm gonna say "i don't care. i'm doing and saying what i think--really, truly believe--is in the best interests of ALL who ride or would like to ride bicycles in iowa in a safe and welcoming environment.

and THAT is something i have yet to see mark wyatt do.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

NOTE NEW DATE!! coming august 31 to the kim west radio cycling show: meet the man behind yehuda moon and the kickstand cyclery

[click to enlarge and enjoy]
[click to enlarge and enjoy]
[click to enlarge and enjoy]
i've told you before to read this comic strip, found at
if you read it once, you're likely to become a regular reader.
i am. i love the comments that are left by its fans.
they can be as insane as some of the action in the strip itself.
cartoonist rick smith has created a great core of characters in this four-panel daily, and we'll be talking live, sunday august 31, from 600 pm to 700 pm, central daylight time, on the kim west radio cycling show.
you're NOT going to want to miss THIS show. plan to call in and chat with rick.
sunday, august 31, on the kim west radio cycling show.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

you think YOU have a great sprint?

can you hold it--and accelerate--for nearly TWO minutes?

watch THIS athlete remained focused and take the win.

or this one, zipping past countless gazelles to catch just the right one.


madison county set to join the bike-hater club

County officials cite condition of roadways after flooding,
insurance liability concerns

The shared roadway signs denoting the various bicycle routes around Madison County may have to come down, at least temporarily, according to county officials. Reasons are two-fold. One is because of the recent flooding. Another is that of the county's insurance liability. About 70 shared roadway signs were purchased by the Madison County Cycle Club — the group that sponsors the annual BRAMCO (Bike Ride Around Madison County) — and installed by county officials. Four designated routes: There are basically four routes marked around the county. One is in northwest Madison County on the Earlham and Pitzer pavement areas; one is in northeast Madison County on county road G4R — known locally as the Cumming Road — while two are in southern Madison County. One of the southern routes covers the circuit from Winterset to St. Charles via the St. Charles Road and then south to Truro and back to Winterset through East Peru to old U.S. Highway 169 and north. The other shared roadway area is the Winterset to Macksburg area. Flooding damaged roads, shoulders County officials say the early June flooding caused a tremendous amount of damage to not only the roadways, but also the shoulders of the roads. And according to county engineer Todd Hagan, the roads aren't really safe until they can be fixed. He says keeping the signs in place may encourage cyclists to ride "because our roads are in perfect shape, and they're not." "Do we need to take the shared Roadway signs down? I think we do," Hagan told county supervisors last week. While Hagan's recommendation to perhaps temporarily remove — and the definition of the word "temporary" is highly subject to interpretation — the signs is "because of current condition of the roads" there's also the nagging issue of liability. When the signs were put up at the behest of the cycle club, some officials were adamant that perhaps the signs shouldn't be erected, because it would expose the county to certain liability issues if a cyclist is injured, or worse, traveling the county roads. "They probably need to come down," supervisor Steve Raymond reluctantly said. "I want to encourage them to ride," supervisor Bob Weeks said. "So do I," echoed supervisor Joan Acela.

[yeah, and i want money to come out of my ass. i'm telling ya, this stupid nonsense is worse than the creeping charlie in my front yard, and it's not going away on its own, either.--the mostly reverend]