Blog / 2012

Kiddos in front of the Forester, eating apples

Subaru Forester


Today we sold our Subaru Forester. We bought this car new five years ago, actually it replaced the previous Subaru (itself only a few months...

5200 miles


In 2012 I rode my bike(s) 5200 miles, which works out to 100mi/week. In my life, I’ve had plenty of weeks where I rode more...

The Hobbit


We tried reading The Hobbit a few months ago but got bogged down by all the words. We put it away for awhile, but this...


Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars


Lately Orion is all about Lord of the Rings. As a media-lite household we receive most of our pop culture through the Lego catalog. Lego...

Wet and muddy cyclocross bicycle racers cycling past blueberry bushes in a heavy rain

Race Report: Kruger’s Crossing, Nov. 17, 2012


For later: season recap, report on my less-than-spectacular DNS yesterday, and thoughts about Cross Crusade. For now: Saturday’s non-series–but–awesome Kruger’s Crossing. This is my third...

Drive to work


Yesterday I drove to work. Actually, before I drove to work I fell down the stairs and hurt my foot. OK, my toe.[1] The toe...

Extremely dark photo taken at Council Crest park in the snow, late at night. The headlight and tail light of a bicycle are visible

Be a dolphin, not a turtle


The rains have arrived, time for the ritual BikePortland “what do you wear on your winter commute” thread. We’ll get to my “advice” in a...

DNF: lessons and excuses


Is it better or worse to DNF or DNS? On Council Crest last night, freezing cold, tired legs, I thought: “I’d rather be home with...

Trail in a misty surrounded by mossy trees, early spring

Six Sprints


Since mid-July, at least twice a week I ride a thing I call “Six Sprints.” Inasmuch as I “train,” Six Sprints is it. I tried...




My pals Thom and Chris have some thoughts about Lance Armstrong. I started to reply via Facebook but it got unwieldy.I am also of two...

Outdoors, taken from a moving bicycle: a narrow empty highway along the seashore; a young woman on a road bicycle just ahead and moving our direction. Brilliant clear sunny weather

You don’t need a fast car…


A young friend just posted to Facebook: Three friends have gotten engaged in the past week. I'm 30 and single. I need a fast car,...


Sticks and stones


Last night I realized I was wearing my heart rate monitor during yesterday’s little adventure. Interesting to note the fight-or-flight stuff going on here. The...

Grasping a hot coal


First: I am fine, the bike is fine. Scrapes and bumps for both of us. I get worse than this almost every week racing.Second: this...



Because it’s late and I’m feeling thoughtful, I’m thinking of 1988, which was 24 years ago. 1988 was one of about five or so really...

Cars vs. Phones


Serious question: if you were forced to give up either 1) driving a car or 2) using an iphone/android/smartphone/cel phone/whatever…which would you choose?I ask because...


Race report: Short Track MTB #3


Not a lot to report. Pre-reg callups meant I staged near the front (second row). Finished 12th of 63. I didn’t crash. I rode very...

Mat Barton


I learned this morning through the OBRA mailing list that Monday’s injury at the Short Track Mountain Bike race was far worse than the usual...

Why I Live Here, Part 326


The arborists who trimmed our Doug Firs measured them at at least 165' apiece. I had guessed 100' and thought that guess a little high.The...

Two regrets about bicycles


I am a naturally regretful person. I regret almost every decision. Simultaneously I have such gratitude for my life, rich in love if not much...

Race Report: Short Track MTB #1


Sorry for the delay. Been busy. Can’t waste time with pronouns.First race of the season. First race for the Gunnar.Conditions tacky and dry. Rain early...


Programming is like an analogy


I have a one-liner I like to whip out whenever someone tries to explain what programming is “like.”Programming is like an analogy.(This is a joke...

Public artwork from Xiamen, Fujian: an old-style flatbottom boat on a grassy lawn, filled with blocks of stone painted bright colors; the boat appears to be capsizing and tipping these blocks onto the lawn



At the end of a business meeting in North America, someone will frequently say something like “OK, so what are our key takeaways from this...


Screens = booze


Clay Shirky, in an interview about e-books, says: The reading experience is so much more valuable now than it was ten years ago because it’s...

Closeup of white daffodils in the sunlight

The Gordian Knot of Lifestyle Happiness


I just finished reading Tom Vanderbilt’s excellent 4-part series “America’s Pedestrian Problem,” and he knocks it out of the park at the end with this:...


Don’t break the chain


I’m two weeks into the Strava Classic Challenge (climb a cumulative 100,000' feet from March 15 to April 30). So how am I doing? (Day...

One way or another I will regret this


I just joined the Classic Climbing Challenge from Specialized on Strava. Climb 105,312 vertical feet between March 15 and April 30. I’ve already climbed 4156...

Synchronicity: Three Things


Three things today that I have to get on paper. Er, electrons. For later.Thing One A healthy product company is, confusingly, one at odds with...

Why I ride


It’s fun.  The first thing my wife  ever said to me was “do you know any good bike rides?” It saves money.  (My family saves...

Real life vs. college


I’m trying to scrape up $70 for a copy of The Literature of Ancient Sumer. Jenny and I give ourselves $100 (each) every month for...

Closeup of head badge on a Soma Doublecross bicycle: Logo is a stylized “SF” in a sunburst, with “SOMA Fabrications” just below it

Letting Go


The garage is now three bikes lighter. Just this very afternoon I sold two bikes, including the 2007 Soma Double Cross that was my do-everything...

Ten Years Ago


I can’t reckon the exact date but it was more-or-less ten years ago this week that my ex-wife and I split for good. Or rather,...


The Instructions of Shuruppak


Well, I’m off to a strong start on The Stupidest Awesome Idea. I just finished The Instructions of Shuruppak, a collection of pithy wisdom from...

The trees are the right height


Once when flying into Nebraska (from Oregon) I was sitting behind some high school kids who were (kind of surmising here...) visiting a sibling/friend/cousin attending...

The Love Competition


I just watched this remarkable short film, The Love Competition. The film puts seven “contestants” in an MRI and asks them to meditate on love,...

Shiny new Gunnar Fastlane leaning against a large Douglas fir tree

I have wanted this bike for five years


Yesterday I took possession of my new bike, a 2012 quetzal green Gunnar Fastlane. It’s intended to replace the 2007 Soma Doublecross which became unrideable...

Casual portrait of a disheveled young man with a beard and sunglasses, wearing a dingy fleece jacket, holding a mason’s trowel. Taken on a sunny day on beach in the subarctic, with green cliffs across a narrow bay in the background

Addendum re: Dieting and Training


Ruminating on my previous post I realized I had taken a smug and braggy tone. “Gee I’m skinny without even trying.”The bragging I am totally...

Dieting and Training


I don’t “diet” and I don’t “train.” Neither do I “work out” or “watch what I eat.” I might be lucky in my genes (more...



Cyclist Stereotypes, by Bikeyface There are, to generalize, two kinds of people who will describe a cyclist (stereotypically: one in lycra, on a city street,...


My Commute Today


Painting: “Ride to Atlantis” by James Gurney I love riding my bike in warm, wet weather like this. Makes you feel good to be alive....



I suck at Resolutions (New Year’s or otherwise). I lack follow-through. So instead of resolving to do, I did. I took my life off the...