2008 Felt Cafe 8

The Felt Cafe 8 - seen at Eurobike via cyclingnews.com

Don't drink and ride.

San Andreas, CA -- Driving under the influence is a common occurence in the Mother Lode these days but usually those are individuals who are driving a car, a truck or a motorcycle.

So this story is a bit unique in that 52 year old Gary Creekmore of Valley Springs was arrested by the CHP late Wed. afternoon for riding his bike while under-the-influence. Riding on Gwin Mine Rd. south of the Amador County line, Creekmore failed to negotiate a turn due to his extreme state of intoxication. His bike left the roadway and vaulted down a thirty foot drainage.

Creekmore was life flighted to Doctor's Hospital in Modesto with minor injuries. He was then promptly arrested by the CHP.

from mymotherlode.com


I'm not a rebel: redux

Several people have commented on my rebel speech. Kiril the cycling dude mentioned it. And Da'Square Wheelman of bicycle-diaries fame added his voice to my rant about being mislabeled. Several others left comments. The thing is, I wrote this "piece" quickly one night without thinking much of it, and so I want to revisit it to clarify a few things. For instance:
-When I say that we're in a war whose most obvious benefit will be protecting our access to middle-eastern oil, what I actually meant was the most obvious immediate benefit... I have no doubt that there will be others, as well as plenty of fall-out. No pun. Frankly I don't have information, wisdom, or precognition required to say with any certainty that we should or should not have invaded Iraq, and neither do you.
-When I specify that I am not a "faggot". I am using that word in the context that it has been directed at me. I wouldn't normally refer to homosexuals using that word.
-When I'm called these names, I usually just wearing normal clothes and riding legally in the bike lane. I'm not riding a tall-bike in a Critical Mass or decked out in neon lycra, riding a recumbent 40mph through school-zones.
-In truth, I am kind of a rebel. I ran into one of my former junior high teachers at a dinner party tonight; she informed me that in 6th grade, when I didn't like a certain substitute teacher, I staged a walk-out and then collected 100 signatures from students on a petition to have the substitute banned from my school. So...
-I don't just ride my bike to save the world, it's not that selfless. First and foremost I ride my bike because it makes me happy. Diane Ackerman says it best:
When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart.

Happiness is: unfettered access to high speed internet.

Well, for better or for worse, I have high speed again. Here's what I've been thinking about since last time:
Don't drink bottled water. It's stupid and bad for the environment.
Guys in Denmark are lucky.
Eurobike starts tomorrow.
Also, I lost my frog.
I love tea and coffee, but I don't want to bathe in it. Unless the alternative is paying to swim with flesh eating fish!
And I guess cycling isn't the closest thing to flying without a plane.


That's the lesson 300 teaches us.

"What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living."
~Doug Larson aka Anonymous

Technical Difficulties

I'm in Oakland now, but technical difficulties have prohibited me from blogging. I worked around some of the issues but I'm still quite limited in my abilities to post or view blogs, including my own. In the mean time, do check out the '08 Masi bikes @ cyclelicio.us. I like the cruiser a lot, and if it's less than or around 25 pounds I might have to buy one when they're available.


Oakland or bust.

Taking Amtrak down to Oakland at 10 tomorrow morning to scope things out. If all goes as planned, I won't be coming back (well okay, I might come back for my stuff). Wish me luck.


'08 Gary Fisher Commuter

via arsbars

UPDATE: Arsbars talks about the bike here.

Rivendell's new site.

Rivendell has a new site, and though I can't afford their bikes, I dig 'em.
"If you do something good, enjoy it, repeat it, and allow it to become a way of life."

I'm not a rebel.

I'm listening to talk radio yesterday and I hear something that drives me nuts every time. I'm sure you've all heard the argument - having our cars is what makes us American. It's a popular right-wing notion, so much so that even in the middle of a war who's most obvious benefit will be protecting our access to middle-eastern oil, people still say it without irony. And, those of us that choose not to utilize cars, be it for their gas-guzzling, or greenhouse-gas-belching, because they're too expensive or just because riding in cars is boring and anti-social; we're routinely classified as unAmerican, rebellious, or simply faggots. And while I'm sure this note will do no more than ring true to a few sympathetic ears and fall on the deaf ears of the masses, it must be said: I'm not a faggot. I'm not particularly rebellious. And I love apple pie. Heck, that's one of the reasons I ride a bike. At the end of the day when I'm pulling my bike into my garage and wiping the sweat from my brow, I can rest comfortably knowing that my trip to-and-from work didn't contribute to global warming. And the soldiers that are dying in Iraq are not doing so to protect MY ability to drive a hummer without having to shell out $7.00 a gallon for gas. Sure I use electricity that comes from oil - but as soon as I have a feasible alternative I'm there. Yeah, this is the country that cars built. It's also fattest country on the planet. Coincidence? North America also claims the highest cancer rates in the world. Could it be??? Here's the kicker: I don't care if you drive your car. Frankly I'm not expecting much to change in my lifetime. But what I would like to be able to do is ride my bike without you telling me I'm an unAmerican, faggot, rebel. Oh yeah, and get off your phone, put down the make-up and pay attention! I'm a person. I have a family. I don't want to die just so that you can read the newspaper while you drive.


Ugh - back to the grind.

Well we're back in stink-town all too soon. We had a blast: aquariums, walks on the beach, great food and good beer and always excellent company. I'll post more about it when I retrieve the pictures from Zack and Amanda's cameras to accompany the story. In other news, I might be moving to Oakland...


Mini Vacation

Zack, Amanda and I are coast-bound tomorrow for a few days of eating, drinking, and cycling: probably in that order. It should be a load of fun and I hope to have lots of pictures and stories to share when I return. So be patient, it's virtuous.

Release the zombies on: Mary Peters

Last night on PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told News Hour that up to 20 percent of the federal gasoline tax is earmarked for non-transportation projects, specifically mentioning bicycling facilities as an example of inappropriate, non-transportation use of the federal gasoline tax. via Cyclelicious


Tour De Organics - Santa Cruz

Is anyone doing the Tour de Organics in Santa Cruz on the 26th? I'd like to go and would love company; who's with me?


Bicycle Vending Machine

Let's see, do I want skittles, a nutty bar or a bicycle? Something to think about when you're standing in line at the bicycle vending machine. via cyclelicious

Two Weeks Notice

I gave my two weeks notice at work today. The thought is a little nerve wracking as I've not yet found anything to replace the income, but it was the right thing to do and it's about time I did it. Stay tuned, as things are likely to get interesting.


One thing that Bush and I agree on:

Find rare songs.

If you'd like to find some obscure or rare songs performed by a band you like, try copying the following into google:

intitle:index.of "mp3" +"Grateful Dead" -htm -html -php -asp "Last Modified"

but replace Grateful Dead with the band you're interested in.



So I got pulled over last night while riding home. It was 10:30pm and I was on a stretch of road that sees about 3 cars an hour yet has 6 stop signs within a mile. By the last stop sign I wasn't looking forward to losing all my momentum again so I just slowed, looked both ways, checked behind me for cops, and cruised through. About 30 seconds later I saw flashing lights behind me and said, "aw shit" out loud. I pulled well over on the shoulder and took off my helmet, in doing so I popped out my earbuds so he wouldn't ticket me for that too (can't have earphones in both ears while driving or biking). He cautiously approached me with his flashlight scanning.
"You've been blowing through stop signs bud!"
"Uh... yeah. I slowed enough to check for cars, but.."
"Yeah, but you got to stop all the way like we do! Got your license?"
At this point I thought, dude, cops never make complete stops! But I remained silent and handed over my license. He calls my name into his radio, pauses and looks over my bike, noticing the lights, panniers, etc.
"You look like you ride a lot?"
"Yeah, I.."
His radio barks back at him and he hands me back my ID.
"Well you're not what we're after. I'm not gonna give you a ticket, just stop at all of 'em from now on."
"Definitely. Thank you very much, I will. Thanks."
I put on my helmet and start riding, he passes me, drives up to the next stop sign, slows down some, then runs it, eventually disappearing around the next bend.


Behind this slow moving fellow on the bridge yesterday, and wondering: what's with the plunger?

R.I.P. Alex Zuckermann

Alex Zuckermann, who 35 years ago founded the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and continued to be a tireless bicycling advocate as he rode thousands of miles each year into his early 80s, has died. full story


Why go to all the trouble of cooking at your house?

Three words: Left Oh Verz

In this case: salmon tacos with fresh mango salsa which I made last night for my visiting aunt, and which I'll be enjoying at least through tomorrow. In case anyone is interested in the salsa recipe:
2 mangos, cubed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
juice of 2-3 small limes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste

News clip about bicycle robbery


Another production Utility bike?...

The Kona Ute. Seen @ kona.cz via bikehugger. She's a beaut'. Cross your fingers that we'll see it here in for '08!


Another predictably unpredictable commute.

So I didn't think the wind I experienced on my way to work was "squall" like per se, but it was quite windy and to my advantage no less. I smashed my previous commute time by at least a minute or two, averaging about 22 mph on the way there. I'm starting to think that crazies enjoy wacky weather though because I'll tell you; they were out in full force today. I had not one, not two, but three bearded-wierdos mumble indecipherably at me as I cruised past them; one of them made a half-assed attempt at swatting me. So that was good. The ride home was fun too. Pretty fierce headwind to start; I'm prone to ear-aches and I'm suffering a mild one right now as a result of forgetting my ipod at home. I normally have it with me even when I'm not listening to it; the earbuds keep wind out of my ears and deter passers-by from harassing me, at least in theory. Actually, maybe I always get mumbled at like I did today, I just don't hear it. In any case I was yelled at on the ride home as well. First I was cruising over the bridge (it's dark mind you, 9:45pm) and all of a sudden I was surrounded by BATS!!! They swarmed at me from their haunt under the bridge and one hit the top of my helmet. He clung on for a moment then retreated to his buddies where they all laughed and clinked beers. I almost swerved into traffic but managed to get control just in time to pass an oncoming rider who yelled, "f***ing bastard!" Or at least I thought he did, until I suddenly found myself 10 feet away from a decrepit mattress which was blocking the entire bike lane. I did an emergency stop and pulled my front wheel off the ground; my back wheel caught and I lurched forward, almost losing a testi in the process. After checking for damage I moseyed on. I think he might have actually yelled "f***ing mattress!" Anther part of my ride takes me over an overpass. On the way down I reach about 25-30mph before hooking a quick left onto a short bike trail. Well tonight there was a family of skunks waiting for me at the head of the trail and I had to do another fast stop which left me staring down the barrel of one of their stinkers. Fortunately I had already been slowing down for a gate ahead or I might have run right over one or two of them. The family let their tails hang in the air just long enough to assert their supremacy of the trail before scurrying into a drainpipe, leaving me slightly twitchy but otherwise okay. Other than that, same old bike ride.

Summer Squall

squall 2 (skw├┤l)
1. A brief sudden violent windstorm, often accompanied by rain or snow.
2. Informal A brief commotion.
intr.v. squalled, squall·ing, squalls
To blow strongly for a brief period.
[Probably of Scandinavian origin.]

This is a screenshot from my weather thingie on my blog. And I'm getting ready to ride to work. SW winds at 50 mph and I'm headed north. Sweet!
natalie dee


it's a family affair.

John and Priscilla Alden who arrived in America on the Mayflower are my great great great great great great great great great great grand-parents.

more bread

Made the bread substituting whole wheat flour + a quarter cup of honey and it came out very nice; not as light as the white but not as colon-blocking either. Also made a loaf with the addition of cracked peppercorns. That one was very tasty.

Flight of the Conchords Ep 7 'Too Many Mother Uckers'


no-knead bread

I followed Jim Lahey's recipe for no knead bread after finding it online last night. Check out my results:

It's the best loaf I've ever made; thick and crusty outside, chewy and moist in. This is a traditional french bread recipe. Just flour, salt, yeast. Or more precisely:
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1 5/8 cups water
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

You can find the full recipe by searching for Jim Lahey or no-knead bread.


the dream.

I had a dream last night that I was stuck at the top of a very tall tree. I remember thinking it must be at least 50 feet tall. I had a rope that was tied to the tree, but it was thin and I was afraid I might not be able to hold on to it were I to swing from my perch and attempt to climb down. My friends were at the base of the tree, and they were calling to me to hurry down, but I just made a few false starts, got more scared and just sat there in the relative safety of the tree thinking about the best way to get down. One by one my friends got tired of waiting and wandered away...

Basically, this dream is a spot-on metaphor for my life right now. I'm in a position (professionally and personally) that is pretty comfy, but not at all sustainable (think: really bad healthcare, LOW salary, monogamous but not engaged or married, etc.). I've looked into MANY options that are available to me such as more schooling, trade jobs, military (ugh), and even more risky paths such as entrepreneurship and prostitution (no healthcare either way), but somehow nothing has fit well enough for me to drop it all and make it happen. My friends and family have been patient over all, but I know that many of them are wondering when I'm going to get my shit together. I'm sure my long-term girlfriend would like a ring and babies some day and I know my parents wouldn't mind getting a return on their investment (kids cost like a million buck growing up don't they?). So here's the thing: starting tomorrow, I'm getting serious. This might mean lags in blogging, but it should also mean that the posts I do make will chronicle my rise to greatness, or at the very least, rise from mediocrity. Should be good so stay tuned.