Web-log entries from 2012


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... more


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... more


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... more


Now that the election’s over: Politics!

Couple thoughts I’ve been sitting on through this election.First: if ever there were an election where I could’ve been persuaded to vote Republican, this was... more


Race Report: Canby Cross-Word CX Challenge (#2), 11/3/2012

Better late than never. I was hoping for some photos — there were like five people with huge cameras on hand Saturday, and it was... more


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... more


Race Report: Blind Date at the Dairy #6, 10/24/2012

Excluding races where I had a medical, a mechanical or just plain DNF, this was my worst race ever. 40 of 61. It was pouring... more


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... more


Race Report: Cross Crusade #3 (PIR Heron Lakes), 10/21/2012

Photo: Amanda Erickson On the one hand: pretty much your standard-issue cyclocross race. Mud and gravel, running and crying. Days of rain = slippery and... more


Race Report: Blind Date at the Dairy #4, 10/18/2012

Not much to report. Thom rode SS, I had gears. We staged near the front but I had a sluggish start and lost a lot... more


Race Report: Cross Crusade #2 (Rainier HS), 10/14/2012

A flawless race. 12th of 160. I did some things right but a lot was just plain handed to me.Did right:Condition. Maintenance, no mechanicals. Competent... more


Race Report: Cross Crusade #1 (Alpenrose Dairy), 10/7/2012

This was my best worst race ever. With the Cross Crusade patented “Random callup” I was in the last group of 20 called up —... more


Race Report: Blind Date at the Dairy #3, 10/3/2012

I am way way waaaay out of my depth in Cat B. DNF.For later: lessons learned, excuses.  more


Race Report: Battle at Barlow, 9/30/2012

I remembered Barlow as one of my favorite races last year, also one of my bloodiest (two bad-ish crashes with lots of bike damage.) My... more


Race Report: Blind Date at the Dairy #2, 9/26/2012

Pretty much copy-and-paste repeat of last week’s Blind Date, except:Staged back dozen Didn’t crash, not even a little Missed the bell lap by literally seconds... more


Race Report: Grand Prix Tina Brubaker #4 (Zaandercross), 9/22/2012

And I thought Het Meer was bad. Zaandercross was twice as bad. Even where the ground wasn’t sand, it was sand. Under the grass: sand.... more


Race Report: Blind Date at the Dairy #1, 9/19/2012

Overview: Fast, dry, really dusty. I was spitting brown all race. Course mostly like last year with a longer straightaway than I recall, all the... more


Race Report: Grand Prix Tina Brubaker #2 (Het Meer), 9/9/2012

The theme for today is suffering. Even by the generous standards of cyclocross, Het Meer is about suffering. Long runups through deep beach sand, endos... more


Race Report: Grand Prix Tina Brubaker #1 (David Douglas Park), 9/1/2012

Briefly: a fantastic race, easily one of my strongest ever. Conditions about like last year: dry and dusty. First ’cross race on the Gunnar, which... more



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... more


Race Report: STMTB #8 (7/31/2012) and series recap

I started the last STMTB race of 2012 exhausted, underslept, and with legs completely tapped. I was sure I’d have one of those “in it... more


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... more


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... more


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... more

No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the sofa

Why we race: a manifesto

We can’t choose when to win, but we can choose when to quit. Racing is a metaphor. Bicycles are a metaphor. Losing is a metaphor.... more


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... more


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... more


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... more


Really Fun or Fun for All Riders?

I wrote this letter apropos of a discussion on the OBRA mailing list about the kind of scary rate of injury at the PIR Short... more


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... more


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... more


It must be summer because everyone’s asking for bike advice

Addendum 2016-02-23 Here the truest advice I have on this subject: If a bike shop thinks they are too cool to take your money, they’re... more


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... more


Making web things is like writing term papers

Did you go to college? Did you write term papers? Did you like it? When was the last time you wrote a term paper?I liked... more


Bodhisattva Vow (For Adam “MCA” Yauch)

Earlier this week, maybe Wednesday, “Bodhisattva Vow” popped up in my iTunes. I may have listened to it intentionally. Regardless, I hadn’t gone out of... more


People in cars on the Sylvan Overpass

Every day, on the Sylvan overpass, I pass a line of people in cars waiting to turn right off Scholls Ferry onto US-26. About four... more


Ten years ago, I took a bike ride...

…down the Oregon Coast. It took six days. I blogged about it and took pictures. Even at the time I knew I was engaged in... more


Five minute ride report: de Ronde van Oeste Portlandia

I’ve ridden this course 2.5 times in the last month, in addition to my usual summitting Council Crest twice a day. The route is (accurately)... more


Taxing bikes is like lassoing bumblebees

Treehugger just published The Terrible Catch-22 That Happens When Cities Choose BikesThe gist of which is: when more people ride bikes, revenues from the gas... more


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... more


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:... more


“Difficult” and “fun” are non-orthogonal variables

So on a recent BikePortland thread I came across these two comments: [my car has] A/C[,] … a stereo and cup holders, and still has... more


Do you remember life before Starbucks?

Do you remember life before Starbucks? I do and I never want to go back.When I lived in North Dakota (1993–94) I sometimes got my... more


Can You See Mt. Hood from Council Crest?

In my idiotic endeavor to climb 100,000 cumulative vertical feet before April 30, I will be summiting Council Crest park twice daily. Every time I... more


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... more


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... more


Epithets occasionally hurled at me by people in cars during my commute

While I’m on my bike, obviously.Idiot, moron: I suppose this is all relative, isn’t it? It’s true: I don’t remember anything at all from high... more


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... more


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... more


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,... 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,... more


Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood

As a non-profit fundraiser, Komen really gets my dander up. This has nothing to do with their decision to drop support for Planned Parenthood, which... more


My Commute Today

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



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... more