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 cutting about a third of 


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, and we read (and re-read) 


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 disappointed in My Guy. If 


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. Pedaling might make it worse. 


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 love that Portlanders are so 



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 to assume everyone is doping 


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 soon as both the driver 


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 watch for it. I log 


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 poodle (the big kind, like 


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. They live to fight another 


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 spine and will likely suffer 


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.  


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 Chris was talking about below. 


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 could do one thing differently, 


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 little while thinking about my 


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 actually published some of them. 


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 a long time. So Adam 


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 alone in their cars. Sometimes 


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 anything so large by myself; 


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 close attention to the lap 


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 inevitably leads some well-meaning people 


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 up in a particularly boring 


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 point that the moment in 


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. It was OK in the 


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 that, the vague grayish place 


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 the way it is, I’ll 


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 fun?  It’s good exercise.  (My 


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: You should not loiter about 


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 a good 5-10 minutes making 


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 activity in certain brain areas 


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 least as I understand it.Komen 


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 debris. That and my glasses 




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 me.Let me back up a