Web-log

Web-log entries from 2012

2012-12-08

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 week Orion wanted to pick it up again. I started... more

2012-11-20

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 has just released two lines of LoTR and Hobbit models,... more

2012-11-19

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 year doing KC, heck the only race I’ve done three... more

2012-11-07

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 it. I’m more conservative than I once was, and vaguely... more

2012-11-05

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 a very photogenic race, all trees and mud — but... more

2012-11-02

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 turned blue and swelled up and it hurt(s) to walk.... more

2012-10-26

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 rain, 42°F, and the lights kept cutting out. I had... more

2012-10-22

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 minute but (spoiler!) you’ll hate it. Everyone does.Firstly though, I... more

2012-10-22

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 gooey but no rain on race day = misery from... more

2012-10-18

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 of places. I spent all race slowly inching up on... more

2012-10-15

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 handling, no crashes. Pit bike (didn’t need it, though.) Warm... more

2012-10-08

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 — out of 220+ racers. (Footnote: this entails group callups based... more

2012-10-04

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

2012-09-30

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 memory was accurate — this is an awesome course. Lots... more

2012-09-27

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 Finished 54th of 110ish (preliminary result) Got the last two... more

2012-09-23

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. The climbs: sandbanks. The singletrack: sand. Sand, colored occasionally by... more

2012-09-20

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 way to Shattuck, and a full lap on the velodrome.... more

2012-09-09

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 into the sand, long gravel straightaways that reward wattage, dust... more

2012-09-01

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 acquitted itself OK (more on this later). With prereg callups... more

2012-08-29

Lance

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 minds, and they are, briefly:if Lance were doping, prolly safe... more

2012-07-31

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 to finish” races. But I surprised myself: I finished this... more

2012-07-27

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 actual accident spiked my heartrate to 160+ bpm, but as... more

2012-07-26

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 kind of accident never happens to me. I know to... more

2012-07-03

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 this morning I and two nice old ladies walking a... more

2012-06-25

Why we race: a manifesto

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

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. Quitting is for fucking quitters. Pros DNF all the time.... more

2012-06-19

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 hot the whole time, played cat-and-mouse with a Beermongers rider... more

2012-06-15

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 busted collarbone. Mat Barton, a pro/elite racer, seriously injured his... more

2012-06-14

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 tallest tree in Nebraska (my home state)” is 115' tall.  more

2012-06-13

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 Track MTB races this year: I’m one of the riders... more

2012-06-12

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 else, that I wouldn’t do many things differently.But if I... more

2012-06-06

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 a.m. and then again after my events (for Cat 1s).Crashed... more

2012-06-01

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 right. — rhymes with chowders (@axoplasm) February 23, 2016 So... more

2012-05-28

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 about recursion. See also “GNU’s Not Unix”)Anyway, I spent a... more

2012-05-25

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 writing term papers. I was pretty good at it. I... more

2012-05-05

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 my way to listen to a Beastie Boys song in... more

2012-05-01

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 miles from downtown, all downhill.About these people: they are mostly... more

2012-04-28

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 a transformative experience. I had never (before or since) done... more

2012-04-23

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) marked with the Lion of Flanders and arrows, although pay... more

2012-04-19

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 tax go down, and there’s less money for roads. Which... more

2012-04-15

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 rarer. I remember, as a child, being bored. I grew... more

2012-04-13

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: Ian Lockwood, a transportation engineer based in Florida, makes the... more

2012-04-06

“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 room for four supermodels and it can carry my bike... more

2012-04-02

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 coffee at the gas station at the edge of town.... more

2012-03-21

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 do I’ll take a picture of Mt. Hood. Or, failing... more

2012-03-19

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 feet (Yay!) which leaves me “only” 101,156'. My life being... more

2012-03-09

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 $6000 a year with one less car.) Um, because it’s... more

2012-03-01

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 school calculus. OTOH I have observed in non-traffic-related interactions that... more

2012-02-27

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 26th century B.C.I’m with Shuruppak about half the time:... more

2012-02-21

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 University of Nebraska. As we approached Lincoln they spent... more

2012-02-19

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, or on a person they love. Neuroscientists at Stanford measure... more

2012-02-03

Wannabe

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, at rush hour) as a “wannabe.” The first type are... more

2012-02-01

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 is actually an obvious move given their fundraising strategy, at... more

2012-01-19

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 is that I have to use “wet” lube which attracts... more

2012-01-18

DeClouding

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 cloud and disconnected most of the digital noise that distracts... more