Camp Far West

I took a long and lovely bike ride today, but it got off to a rough start. While pulling my bike out of my bike shed the chain somehow slid off, which somehow caused the clipless pedal to fly around and smack me in the knee-cap. I grumbled, put the chain back on and started riding. I decided to head towards Camp Far West, about 20 miles S.E. of me on quiet roads. About 5 miles in a dog that acts a dog chased me briefly but gave up when I sped away. I continued on and less than a mile later, two bigger, faster and more persistant dogs took chase as their owner looked on in amusement from her lawn-mower. The dogs had the advantage as they had seen me coming and started before I reached them. I yelled at them, and their owner and prepared myself to kick the nearest one in the face, but he saw it coming and slowed down. I took the opportunity to speed up again and rode on, shaking my head in discust for the owner to see. Aside from running out of water halfway back the rest of the ride was uneventful, but there was some very pretty farmland and what appeared to be a small vineyard along the way. I also passed a historical point of interest; the Overland Emigrant Trail. This is where the rescue party that went after the Donner Party met up. Incidentaly, Marysville is named after Mary Donner of Donner Party fame.


Einstein was a cyclist. Nuff said.

"Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep moving."

andrew bird on wednesday

I'm going to seeAndrew Bird in Sacramento on Wednesday. Woohoo!


naked druggies

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Ha. I work across the street from a shady motel. We have windows facing that motel so we often pine away the hours making up stories about the druggies and ne'er-do-wells that occupy the place. There's one gal in particular that we often comment on; she is sickly thin, has platinum blonde, dirty, short hair that sticks up in every direction and has several looks: biker, skater, slut, and druggie. Oh, and a GIANT TATTOO ON HER FOREHEAD. She rocks it too, doesn't try to cover it with her hair. Though no one has been close enough to read it, we think it says, "Billy", so that's what we call her. When I got to work I was debriefed and learned that Billy was picked up at the hotel this morning by an ambulance. Later in the day a customer mentioned that she'd seen a naked woman down the road, pointing towards the hospital a few blocks away. I walked to the window and looked in the direction she indicated and seconds later Billy came walking down the street, naked as the day she was born, cool, calm and collected. She proceeded to the stoplight and pushed the walk button and waited casually for the light to turn while a woman who was also at the corner grabbed her small child by the hand and jogged in the other direction. Billy then proceeded the cross the road several times nearly causing numerous traffic accidents (it was rush hour on the busiest street in Marysville) until I called the police and they showed up to take her away. The moral of the story.... don't do drugs. Bikes are my anti-drug.

bicycle commuter act

bikingbis.com has a story about how you can help the bicycle commuter act. If you're not familiar with this piece of legislation go familiarize yourself with it. If you enjoy bikinggo support it. If you don't support bicycling than go kick rocks.

of rides and wonderbikes

I went on a long and rambliing bike ride east on Earl Rd. and into a number of the new subdivisions in that area. While I realize it's kind of silly to ride around in a bunch of houses, there is a method to my madness. First, I've ridden everywhere else in the area, so cut me some slack. Second, the roads are all brand new and shiny, and much of the area is still being built, meaning there isn't much traffic. And C, shut up. What struck me aside from how similiar (read: similiarly atrocious) all the houses looked in any given neighborhood, was that the developers didn't even bother to help fix up or buyout the broken down slums and shacks they're building next to. In some areas they were litterally building five and six bedroom McMansions across the street from upside-down cars and decepit apartments. It was a nice ride though and at one point I got cat-called by a construction worker, so that's hot.

On another note, I joined the Team Wonderbike today. Team Wonderbike is New Belgium Brewing Company's bike commuter club. Check it out.


the dudes

Okay, caption contest time. What should the caption be for this picture?

The Landlord--Will Ferrell

I used to have a land-lord just like this!



There is something so beautiful and poetic about artichokes. And they're so delicious too. I've wanted one for about a month so I finally caved and made them tonight. Don't be so jealous.

Possum living

Last night I found a link (don't remember where I found it, so sorry if I'm not giving due credit) to an online book about "Possum Living" or homesteading. The book was written in papered format in the 1970s by a 19 year-old named Dolly Freed who lived on half an acre in Pennyslvania. In the book she describes how she and her father lived off the land, raising and slaughtering rabbits and chickens and picking vegetables from their garden. Highlights include recipes for snapper turtles and other interesting eats. Frugal Zealot, eat your heart out; these people live on a few hundred dollars a year, including taxes.
Want to read it? Click here


Budapest bike ride 50,000 strong

A 9-mile bike ride in Budapest, Hungary celebrating Earth Day on Sunday attracted more than 50,000 riders. Event organizers claim this is the biggest organized bicycling event in the world, and I believe them. The organizers planned the bike ride to promote the use of bicycles as a viable means of transportation. More info at caboodle.hu

pics on flickr.com


baiku - 30 mph headwind=bad

black bike in the shed
hiding from the wind and rain
wants to hit the road



real short movie review - Fast Food Nation

A watered down version of the book that lacked polish, pacing and oomph but if this is the way to reach the myspace generation than so be it. B-

enjoy your organic coffee while you can...

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly released a ruling that alarmed organic certifiers and groups who work with third-world farmers. The decision tightens organic certification requirements to such a degree that it could sharply curtail the ability of small grower co-ops to produce organic coffee -- not to mention organic bananas, cocoa, sugar and even spices. Kimberly Easson, director of strategic relationships for TransFair USA, the fair trade certification group, puts it bluntly: "This ruling could wipe out the organic coffee market in the U.S."
read the complete story at salon.com No comments:


I went fishing yesterday for the first time in a few years. I actually had a very good time for 8 hours despite losing two fishing poles with reels, breaking another rod, losing $40 worth of lures and not catching a single fish. Well, I had one all the way up to the shore, but it got away as I tried to pull it over some rocks because we had no net. I think my high times might have been dampered had it been my gear that we lost, but luckily it was all Brian's so no harm done. We started out at Lake Oroville, thrity minutes from Brian's house and fished off of steep, crumbly, narrow rock ledges that we had to walk along with our arms full of fishing shwag and pets; yes, Brian brought his dog along and the dog needed to be carried the whole time. Brian had his arms full (two poles and a 64oz. soda which he refilled thrice over the course of the day) so I had to carry the dog and the tackle box. There were several points where we had to pass the dog around corners of rock that jutted out over the lake 20 feet below us so that we could cling onto the rock as we passed. We ended up doing much more hiking than fishing at Oroville and after getting not so much as a bite from a fish in 2 hours we decided to do it all in reverse and head to a stream that feeds Collins Lake, which is right by Brian's house. Once we got to the stream we walked to the trunk to retrieve the fishing poles only to realize we'd left them at Oroville in front of the car. So we jumped back in the car and Brian zoomed (I had to ask him to slow down several times because Brian is a terrible driver and I don't like riding in cars in the first place) back to Oroville where the poles had already been stolen. We made the drive a fourth time, slower this time, and headed back to the stream. There we fished, and lost lures, and had a couple bites and the afore-mentioned almost catch for about six hours until it was too dark. Tucker the dog ran away several times and I had to go get him because Brian was perpetually back at the car changing his clothes (you have to know Brian to understand). Aside from fetching the dog occasionally it was a very relaxing time and I think I finally understand the appeal. For several hours I just listened to the water rushing past and let random thought about nothing but casting my spinner and reeling it back in. It was meditation but better than the traditional sort as I was meditating with the chance of catching a fish for my efforts. When it got dark and Brian said we should go I made one final cast, effectively launching the furthest section of the 4 piece fishing pole into the middle of the stream. I tried to reel it back in but it sank too quickly as I lost the my fourth lure and that section of the rod when it snagged on a bush and my line broke. The fish that got away wasn't anything too impressive, but the poles that got away were pretty nice.


school shooting

As I'm sure everyone knows there was a shooting at Virginia Tech this morning that left 29 people dead and at least 21 wounded. This is one of those occasions that people should take to realize that life is short and delicate, and we shouldn't waste our time bickering over insignificant matters and details, but use our time to the fullest. If you think of it, take some time today to remember what you have to be happy about, and if you pray, pray for the students at VT and the families of the killed and injured.


Don Imus

I don't typically chime in on matters of pop-culture as I eschew the notion that famous people are important and therefor I find no reason to waste my time speculating about their personal lives: that said, Don Imus is such a huge figure in the political-talk world and his recent comments have caused (or encouraged, maybe) so much controversy that I think it's worth discussing, expecially because of the racial context and racism is a subject that demands everyones' attention. So here the best opinion piece that I've read on the subject from Jason Whitlock at Kansascity.com

Imus isn’t the real bad guy
Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.


Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I’m no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn’t do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should’ve been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it’s only the beginning. It’s an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.

But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to jwhitlock@kcstar.com. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com"


Back in town and back to business as usual. Last night around 7pm I was at a certain behemoth coffee franchise that shall remain nameless drinking an iced coffee on the patio when a woman who had been sitting behind me grabbed my shoulder and said, "I could use your help." I looked up at her just as she turned her back to me and said frantically, "Please get this bat off my back!", revealing a large grey BAT, hanging upside-down in the middle of her back which was now directly in my face. I jumped up startled, saying something to the effect of "oh my!" I swatted at the bat with my book for a moment while the woman jumped up and down and covered her head. When that didn't work I attempted to pry the bat off her back with my bookmark, all the while holding her shirt away from her back so the bat couldn't bite her. She started screaming that she was going to take her shirt off, so I ramped up my efforts and managed to pry the bat off of her, just as she litterally ripped her shirt off, sending the bat, and all of her buttons flying and leaving her in her bra, dancing around in front of about 20 people. Seeing that the bat was off of her shirt I quickly held it up for her to cover herself but it took some convincing for her to believe that the bat was no longer on it. People began insisting that I catch the bat, in case it had rabies, so I used my book to nudge it against the wall until someone offered me a cup. I corralled the bat under the cup and held it there with a rock while someone got me the number for the local police department. An officer eventually showed up, insisting that animal control wasn't available on weekends. He was clueless so I got a big paper bag and had him scoop the cup into. He asked, "should I kill it or let it go?" I stated the obvious, that it probably had rabies so no, he shouldn't let it go and he agreed. Then he started collecting the woman's information (she had been hiding in her car until we got the bat contained), and she thanked me for "saving her life", so I said no problem and left, as I was supposed to be meeting Zack & Co. for dinner and drinks at Casa Carlos.


Fort Bragg yo! II

Still here, still not bored of the ocean. Today we went to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and read about it's history and remodel. We went down to the harbor for a lunch of fish and chips (when in Rome), and then saw "Reign Over Me" at the local theatre which was a good movie made better by the surprisingly comfortable seats. When we got out of the theatre it had stopped raining and turned into a beatiful day. We're debating our dinner options but it's all a ruse because we're almost definitely going to Piaci again ;)


Fort Bragg yo!

Fort Bragg is treating us well so far. Last night we went to our favorite eatery/beer drinkery in the world, Piaci Pub & Pizzaria. Featuring dozens of local beers and wines and the most delicious gourmet pizza in the universe, Piaci is always our first stop in Fort Bragg and often our last as well. Today we went to MacKerricher State Park and walked through the trees and to the beach for some good old fashioned tide-pooling and anenomie poking. For lunch we had Salmon/Chicken terijaki bowls at Taka's and tried mushroom ice-cream at Cowlick's Handmade before settling on Ginger Chunk (the shroom tasted like pralines, good but too sweet). Now we're relaxing on our balcony, overlooking the harbor. So far so good.

Google Earth Maps Darfur Attrocities

find out everything you ever wanted to know about darfur. good job google. click here



this week

Going to be in Fort Bragg all week, super stoked.


blind man drives, kills cyclist, goes home.

In case you've ever refrained from killing a cyclist because you don't want to go to jail, don't worry about it.

from bikingbis.com

"Family members of a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a legally blind motorist in central Pennsylvania are livid that prosecutors are only seeking home confinement for the driver.

The CentreDaily reports that the Boalsburg man had filed medical disability forms beginning in the mid 1980s stating he was legally blind. He pleaded guilty this week to homicide by vehicle.

His sentence of nine months of home confinement and five years of probation is scheduled to be heard in court on May 22. Dorota Smith, daughter of the Penn State professor who was struck and killed, said the family will contest the plea bargain.

"He killed a man. It's not a straightforward case and would require some work. It's an unprecedented case. It's not often you hear of a blind person getting behind the wheel and driving for 20 years. I think (the prosecutor) is too quick to give up. He took the easiest way out."

The issue once again raises the question of whether vehicular homicide laws are just too weak or prosecutors don't take these cases seriously.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira told the newspaper that he might not be able to prove to a jury that the motorist's decision to drive, despite his poor eyesight, caused the death of bicyclist Bohdan Kulakowski, a Penn State professor.

"The key to this is -- and we have struggled over this -- can we tie his eye condition to the accident, to the death? That's what the law requires. It can't just look like that. These cases are very difficult to show the causal connection."

The motorist said he struck Kulakowski when he reached for a soda bottle on the floor of his van and it veered off the road and hit the bicyclist.

The motorist's eye doctor had testified earlier that he had 20/200 vision in his left eye, and 3/200 vision in his right eye."

bikes rule, cars drool

from treehugger

"..recently the WorldWatch Institute published some intriguing figures on cycling. Comparing energy used per passenger-mile (calories), they found that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended a whopping 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between, and walking still took 3 times as many calories as riding a bike the same distance. They also looked at a measurement called: ‘Persons per hour that one meter-width-equivalent right-of-way can carry’. In this case Rail scored tops with 4,000 persons, but ‘autos in mixed traffic’ still managed the worse rating with only 170 people. Bikes did pretty well, relative to cars, achieving 1,500 persons per hour. This is the sort of impact that Critical Mass rides around the planet try to demonstrate on a regular basis. The stats also inferred that cycling contributes to a nation’s health. For example, they found that only 1% of urban travel in the US was by bicycle, a country with 30.6% of adults considered obese. This contrasted with the Netherlands where 28% of urban travel was via a bike, and only 10% were obese..."

The moral being that cars consume more calories and release more gas than Oprah.


Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha...

The Flying Scotsman - Official Trailer

The guy from "Hackers" + Bikes = Good movie potential.



wheatland - land of wheat

Yesterday Max and I rode into Yuba City; he on his uber-heavy, full-suspension rig and and me on my ill-fitting but otherwise road-worthy Giant. Our total miles logged were 21 with a break on the way home for tacos. Today he wanted to ride again so we rode down to Wheatland and back, stopping only once for peanut-butter milkshakes, totaling exactly thirty miles in just over two hours. Not bad for a 12 year-old on a 50 pound clunker. He really needs a better bike *hint*. Maybe the family should combine their resources for his birthday *hint, hint*. Actually I slightly envied his suspended rig at times because the roads weren't great; there were some areas where we had to ride in the middle of the road to avoid falling into foot deep pot-holes. At one point a ladybug, landed on my arm and rode for a mile or so before flying away. She was probably tired of all the bumps. That's all.


1984 Transamerica bike tour

I have a bad habit of reading when I should be sleeping. I just finished reading the published (online) journals of a couple of guys on their 1984 eastward trip across the US. It was a fun read and fanned the flames of my wanderlust. You can find it here. I would really like to take a quick trip down the coast.


bike commuting - fun

You know, despite what one might assume due to my fairly frequent bitching, I really enjoy my ride to and from work. There are many days when my riding keeps me sane. Today was one of those days. When life hands you lemons, ride your bike. I once had a discussion with some fellow cyclists about all the various reasons why people should ride bikes. I wrote down the best answers and they are as follows, as stated by my friends:

Because I have better things to spend my money on than gasoline!
Because the sweat on my shirt looks like a Rorschach ink-blot test.
I don't have to pay for a gym membership.
because it's fun.
Because they're sitting in traffic on Lake Shore Drive, and I'm doing 20 up the Lakeside bike path :)
Because for just an hour or two I can completely separate myself from all the crazy thoughts in my head and think about nothing but turning the pedals.
because fixing a broken spoke is a whole lot cheaper than fixing a broken axle.
reply to this post
because dusting a bus on a 5% grade hill really gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
because i love it more than anything else ever.
Because a bell is much cuter than a horn.
Because a car in bright blue with chrome and white detail would most likely look absurd.
Because my calves look awesome.
Because my curly hair doesn't get the same windblown/ridiculous effect from the a/c.
Because gas is going up to $4 this summer.
Because making conversation while riding separate bikes is much easier than making conversation while driving separate cars.
Because biker chicks are hottestest!
because this morning on my way to work, i had the unique opportunity to play chicken with a chicken.
in response to: Re: Why I ride: A list
I ride becuase I know quiet places(road biking) where I can get away from it all.
Nothing like clippin along at 23MPH on my carbon/aluminum Crotch Rocket,knowing the only "fuel" I'm burning is my own energy!
Bicycling is also a FAR more efficient way to travel
1. Beacause I don't half to wait for a once-an-hour bus.
Parking is always free and easy to find
(did someone already say this?)

Why I ride bike. Well, why not?

- To save money on gasoline

- to be ecologically and socially responsible for not
- emitting toxins
- supporting the exploitation of natural resources
- supporting the internationally chaotic oil industry

- great for physical health

- great for mental and spiritual health

- to immerse myself in my environment

- to have a hobby that makes my day more interesting

- to challenge myself to go farther/longer

the list goes on and on........
I ride because it is good for the environment, cheap, and makes my ass look great! oh ya - and I love the wind through the hair, fresh air, single track trails and hot bike mechanics.
1. because even after a 9 hr work day of welding and then 3 hrs of welding school I can get on my bike and go as fast and as hard as I can and still have the energy to try and go faster and harder.
2. because there is no joke, but it makes me giggle sometimes.
3. because if everybody rode for an hour a day the world would be a TOTALLY different place. Once my wife asked, sort of in an argument, (we dont really argue) "What, you think the worlds problems would be solved if everybody would ride bikes!?" and it took me by surprise cause I didn't think I was making that point, but I had to stop and think for a second and my answer was "Yes."
4. cause I may be 6' 2" and 165 but I'm still just a kid on a bannana seat schwinn takin sweet jumps made out of plywood and cinderblocks.........................inside.
5. I feel sexy in my pedal pushers.
It keeps me young and thin ;)
because livin life is easier at my bikes rpm's rather than at the rpm's of the internal combustion engine...
SO that my kids have strong, healthy parents to look up to.
All the above! And almost 50% of the US Trade Deficit is due to imported oil.
1) I'm car-free and loving every minute of it! All the money NOT spent on gasoline, insurance, and upkeep CAN be spent on more important things in life, like pizza, chocolate, and more bike stuff.

2) Riding syncronizes my mind, body, and spirit. I want to live forever!

3) I dig the natural killer buzz I get after a solid ride.

Aaaaaahhhhh ... the FREEDOM!!

no schedules, no connections, no traffic jams, no gas pumps...

and it keeps me grounded - I have to be just aware enough of my surroundings that I'm relaxed but not spaced out.

and I get to meet other cool cyclists.

It's cheap and efficient.

It's a conveyance that you can learn how to repair with just one book!

You can carry a bicycle. And you can have all your tools with you when there is a problem.

It's good for the health.

The adventures.

The thrill.
because cars suck.

It's good for my heart
It's good for my waist
It's good for my wallet
It's good for my planet
It's good for my head

Because you see things that you would otherwise miss if you were stuck inside a metal box.


Somebody really should warn you that at some point you're going to have to figure out what you want to do with your life. A simple, "oh hey, by the way" type of warning would suffice...

Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow, whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die. - Tao Te Ching...