Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Resolutions...

Ya gotta do 'em.

This year I'm not too motivated to change much personally. Minor tweaking, including...

1) - No more wimping out on the commutes. I feel pretty good about the number of times a week I ride to work, and the area isn't exactly perfect for bike commuting, but I could do better and infrastructure is a lame excuse. SO, unless it's raining or colder than 50 when I leave, or there's some meeting or baby issue that means I have to have a car downtown, I'm on the bike.

2) - Hate them before and during and love them after. I got some pretty good advice for promoting my aggression on road rides. Goes like this...Pick something I hate about an individual who's faster than me, even something as mundane as his/her handlebar tape, and kill them for it. Never let them break on me. Suck their wheel until I vomit. No exceptions. After the battle, approach them and compliment something that I specifically liked about their day's work, or their equipment, or hair or whatever. Be genuine, if there's nothing to compliment, then just say something pleasant and sweep away the karma from the day. I don't need to be the friendliest guy on a ride, that's for the 'organizer', and I don't need to be the one to take one for the team and dump off the back to sit in with slower riders to help. I do not need to limit my own development by serving as domestique to the weak. Conversely, I do not want others to be mine. Focus on promoting my own development as a rider, not as a group rider.

3) - Personal weight goals, 185-190 lbs. After dumping off some 40+ pounds over the last two years, I waffle around 195 or so, although I'm at 2 bills with the holidays. 185 would be ideal, and I think I can easily get back there by...

4) - No beer, no soda, no fast food! - Sounds drastic, but let me elaborate... No beer means no beer at home, and no shit beer when eating out or on occasion. If I'm going to have a beer, it's because it's the beer I want and not the beer that's convenient. No Heineken at Dad's house. No Bud Light at the burrito joint on the corner. My 'Mr Beer' home brewing kit Christmas present, however, will get a workout! No soda means no soda, it aint hard to do and I'm not a big 'pop' guzzler anyway. No fast food means no fast food. Again, I'm not a big burger guy, so it aint hard to do, and you'd be surprised how many calories you avoid by just not going to Whataburger with the fellas.

5) and finally Be more optimistic. I put this one every year it seems, and my protestant upbringing means its next to impossible to follow through with it, but I am a grump and not everyone needs to live their life through my pouting.

My professional list is simple...but more drastic to be sure, than my personal list. I've been toying for a long time about changing careers, and it's time to shit or get off the pot. My three possibilities are seemingly completely unrelated, but to those who know me, you'll understand. Those that don't, no giggling. Clearly, some of these are not compatible with others, and I know that, so there! Bitches.

1) - Welding classes at the community college. I working in a shop years ago that fabricated bike parts and other items in metal and I'd like to do more of it. Might lead to a new career, certainly more than watching "Deadliest Catch" will.

2) - Get active in the cycling industry again. Might mean as little as taking one of the local shops up on working one day a week, might mean putting up a website and peddling something (no pun intended) on the Internet. Might mean opening my own business of some type, brick and mortar maybe, web based maybe, both maybe. Might mean using my skills in the industry in another way. But Lets face it, I can sell anything, fix anything, build anything and I know more than many of the local hacks and I'm wasting that knowledge, and I'm brooding more than I should about my lack of involvement in the industry. Change it. Change it or close the door on it forever and be a happy customer in the cycling world rather than a critic of it

3) - LSAT - The big one... I took it about 6 years ago and scored very, very well with little to no preparation, and I was hung over from a night of 'impressing' the ladies, and I was doing that 'impressing' way too much at the time, because I'd met one that I was very much trying to impress. Well, we're married now, and she still somehow wants to hang around even though she knows all the bad habits, so clearly I don't need to be impressive anymore! Besides, I think she'd be most impressed if I started eating better, drinking less, pouting less, and focusing on m my personal development more.

There! Personal list, simple and easy. Professional list, simple and drastic. The new optimist in me points out that 'simple' is in the description of both.

Interesting Idea...

I especially like the idea of using a quality but not necessarily valuable Japanese lugged frame for the project. Make something pretty nice into something very nice!

On an entirely unrelated note, the JSO (police) have cordoned off all the roads in town today, and they are escorting the football teams (Clemson and Nebraska) for the Gator Bowl to the stadium right now, sirens screaming. Nothing like cops with freshly polished equipment strutting their authority through completely abandoned downtown streets. "Time to earn our overtime 'racketeering fee', boys! Arm up and put out the cones!"
It is after all, the 31st...And I'm sure there's NOTHING more relevant that they could possibly be doing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Morris Bridge, Tampa FL

I met up with Matt, who was in neighboring Orlando for the holidays while I was down in Tampa, and we rode the old stomping grounds, Morris Bridge. Part of the Wilderness Park system in eastern Hillsborough county out near the USF campus, Morris Bridge is comprised of mostly of low lying rooty trails surrounded by the flood plains of the upper Hillsborough River. These trails were the first that I rode some 20 or so years ago, and while the climbing is nonexistent, the technical nature of some of the lowest trails is still a pretty good test of skill. I rode the trails last year over the holidays too, and I remember then thinking that I was surprised by how much of the trail features that I remembered, considering that I hadn't been on the trails for 10 years. Well, the familiarity was still there this time around, and Matt commented on the same experience, that he felt the familiarity of the trails even though he'd not been there since he left USF over ten years before.
Matt brought his orange EWR, and I had my blue. His Turner had a broken derailleur hanger, so he was without his latest passion, and my white EWR single speed, which has been my most favorite bike recently, has a broken eyelet on the front rim which will force me to rebuild the wheel, so I was without the services of the old girl for the trip. It was a convenient excuse for both of us to have our new EWR's in the same place. The newest bikes we owned, in a park that was the first for both of us, two riders who started riding together way back in the day. A neat juxtaposition all around.

Matt's EWR is a wee bit different than mine, other than the orange color, he's also much less dialed in to the retro scene, so his bike features much more modern components and weighs about two pounds or so less than my 27 pounder. He's running the Maveric SC32 fork, an Industry Nine rear hub (with the proprietary Maverick hub up front), and some funky little gold Dangerboy levers. The levers were pretty snappy for newer stuff, but I'll stick to the good old Alteks, thanks. His wheels, however, got me motivated to build a more modern wheelset to take advantage of some of the more proven advancements in wheel technology. My current 217 and 6 bolt Deore XT hubs weigh a ton! I only sampled the Maverick front end in the parking lot of the Communications Building on campus later in the day (read on!), so I can't say too much about the fork. Matt's very impressed with it though, and his aggressive style is not too easy on suspension.
Matt and I also hit the campus for a little scoot-around, just to take a look at the place. There have to be at least 10 new buildings on campus built in the last 10 years. And the dorms look completely different, with a bunch of new dorm buildings parked in the old parking lots, with parking decks all around to take up the slack from the lost surface lots. The wildest part, though, is that the original University Center (Marshall Center) is completely gone! Replaced by new HUGE structure that is roughly 90% completed! Wow!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Syncros and Mavic 217 Sunsets

There's a pretty entertaining thread over on Retrobike regarding's my 2 cents...

Too many younger folks don't have a familiarity or an understanding of the quality of the original Canadian Syncros parts. Original Syncros parts were very well made and thought out. At a time when aftermarket parts had begun to earn a bad rep for durability (or lack thereof, i.e. Kooka) Syncros came into the fray and offered great parts and an understated look that said all business. Syncros was never the same after they were purchased in the late 90s by one of the evil empires of the cycling world, and they later folded, only to be reorganized into the bastard junk vendor that currently hocks complete crap. Were it not for the molesting of the Syncros name by the crap components being labeled by the brand today, we retrobikers would be paying an arm and a leg to get our hands on some of the best mountain components ever made. THAT is why folks in the know go ape for the original Syncros parts. For many, there is no other.

Syncros was then what Thomson is today. You meet a guy on the trail today with a Thomson stem or post and you know that he's solved that component question on his build for good, and he's got no reason to defend his purchase up and above just saying, "Hey, it's a Thomson." Back in the early 90s, "Hey, it's Syncros" meant the same thing. Owning either Syncros (or Thomson today) means no justification needed here, can keep your red KORE crap post or your flexy Ringle Moby with it's myriad of recalls, or your purple Hershey 'naked' hubs or your Nuke Proof garbage. Syncros was all you needed. Hammer and Cycle.

Very few companies to me represent the image of dependable aftermarket components better than Syncros. Race Face, Cook Bros, Syncros, WTB, IRD...none of them dicked around with CNC derailleurs or little floppy brake levers made out of dry spaghetti noodles. They were the real deal.

Then there are some comments regarding Answer ATAC and Control Tech USA stuff, but to me those brands were quality for sure, but not the kind of romanticized quality that Syncros and the others listed above were.

In other totally unrelated news. I picked up a pair of Mavis 217 Sunset rims from the old fleabay today. The pic left is ganked from the auction, (I'm guessing the seller won't mind, as he's sitting pretty happy!) I have one NOS left, and a pair built up on Kristen's mountain bike, so another set will be fun to build for something. Maybe the blue EWR. OR, since earlier today I pulled out an eyelet on the Rhyno Lite on the front of the white EWR, maybe I'll put some Sunsets back on that sucker. That's where the set currently on Kristen's bike started out back in the day. Built that wheeleset in 1996, and it's still going strong.

Riverside Holiday Lights Tour

This evening was the annual Riverside Lights Ride, where every person with a bike essentially, throws a slew of lights on their ride and hits the road over in the Riverside neighborhood in west Jacksonville. Its nice to see so many different bicyclists come out and ride the route. Lots of holiday decorations, and the neighborhood residents all seem to have their parties on the same evening. There were people everywhere and most folks seemed to really have a good time. Kristen and the baby were with me, and we met up with Travis and his little girl, and a few fellas from the Orange Park shop, and their families. A good time. Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Road Ride

Met up with Travis and the folks from About Bikes for their Saturday morning ride. The sensor on my computer wandered a bit during the ride so my stats are a bit wonky for the day, but the pace was pretty good, easily at 22+ cruising speed and some forays up toward 30 when the terrain and tailwinds allowed, and the route is roughly 52 miles or so (not too long). There are a couple of sprints on the route too, so the pace cranked up past 30 for that as well. There were maybe 10 of us on the ride so the group was pretty large and diverse. The ride is advertised as a no drop ride, so there is typically someone around to assist you when you over-extend, and when you're strong you're expected on some level to provide support for the over-exerted. It was a beautiful day, cloudy and humid to start, but the sun came out and the arm warmers went away about halfway through the ride, and the day really turned into one of those days that makes North Florida a nice place to live.

Then I had to drive home through the sprawl of Orange Park, and you're reminded of why North Florida isn't exactly the best place to live after all. Roads near the mall, here on the weekend before Christmas, were nuts with shoppers. Shoot me now.

On the closing miles of the day, a grey Dodge pick-up with a man driving and a woman in the passenger seat, buzzed me pretty close. The woman hanging out the window and yelling "get off the road, faggot!" I'm pretty used to this sort of stupidity from the rednecks around here, and these turds never seem to be interested in commenting to me at the next signal, so you just let it roll off like water off a duck. The sad part, and this is really tragic, is that there was a young girl in the back of the truck, who watched me from the rear window as her parents drove away. I could swear she had a very befuddled look on her face that said either, "why are my parents treating you so bad", or maybe, "Sir, I'd like to apologize for the behavior of my idiot parents. You see, once upon a time in a shack decorated with deer antlers out in the swamp, my grandmother and her father got all freaky and as a result my mother is a little intellectually challenged. Please do not hold this against me, as I am really trying to be a human being amongst this inbred and dimwitted crew."

People, you can hate me because I'm bald, or because I'm on a bike and you're in a terrible hurry, or even because you want to classify me as gay (I guess because of the shorts? original!), but please, think of the lesson you are passing on to your kids when you act like a total idiot in front of them. I know my 2 year old little girl would ask me a barrage of questions if I acted like that, including all sorts of stuff that would lead to a conversation (the 'talk') that she doesn't need to be introduced to for years to come. What do you say when they ask why you acted the way you did? "What's a faggot?" "What's sex?" "Why do you care, mom?" How do you make your explanations sound even remotely logical? Do you drool on your shirt when you're talking? Can you even spell the word Drool?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eating and No Riding.

Today was a day off the bike. I had an office breakfast that I made grits and sausage links for, and obviously I couldn't ride the bike with a crock pot filled with hot grits on my back. You may have other theories on the matter, but it's my back...and my grits. Yesterday, however...WAS a bike day. More of the weird weather pattern we're in right now here in North Florida...warmer than usual and foggy and swampy feeling in the early AM. Almost seems to be raining out of the trees. You have to watch Jacksonville drivers in this weather. It's not easy to eat an Egg-McMuffin, text your girlfriend, AND avoid cyclists when the road is dry and nearly impossible when wet. Cold dry weather is coming though...get us back to a season other than 'Tropical Swamp'. About time...

The breakfast was a success. I'm having a hard time maintaining the weight in this season of fats and goodies. Still holding at below 200, but its a struggle. I like to eat. I like to drink too, but that's not a holiday specific affliction.

Picked up a set of replacement Syncros decals for the Revolution cranks from the ole Fleabay. Bike Snob would make fun of me for talking about all the dorky crud I buy, but then again...the word SNOB is in the name of the blog (of course, DOG is in the name of mine!) Picked up a spare set of Race Face Turbines too. Why? Dunno. I'll violate all Snob ethics and toss a pic up on the blog later. Watch out, old ladies in hybrid Civics.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ON the commute!

Rode in again today, same 5.5, same time trial style, same wacky looking bald man running balls out in a big gear on a knobbied 30lb all-mountain hardtail. I am an odd, odd man. No fat old women in Civcs giving me the business today though, just a little bit of fog in the am, and some cooler temps. It was one of those strange days in North Florida where being in the shade means freezing your nipples off and being in the sun means construction worker future-stench! Get the baby wipes, its time for shower in a bag.

For lunch I had Whataburger. For dinner, cheap Chianti. Right juice and sour cream and onion chips. What can I say...athletes eat weird stuff.

Not that I would know!

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the commute...

On the ride home, which again is a very manageable 5.5 miles (I normally ride the commute on a mountain bike with knobbies, and treat is as an individual time trial...push it!), I had a woman in a Honda Civic Hybrid blow her horn at me in anger! I had pulled off the main drag and was tooling through the San Marco neighborhood on the south bank, an area where I lived before we bought the house, and I heard the woman pull up behind me and then...honk!! Then I got the hand! WTF lady, you're in a hybrid! Aren't we somehow supposed to be on the same side?!? Maybe you're tweaked that the cost of gas has gone back down the toilet and suddenly made your overpriced Civic much less of a bargain than you'd planned?

Who knows. What I do know, is that we were in a very residential neighborhood, with many parallel parked cars, and it wasn't hard at all for me to catch up and send the look of panic across her face. Not that I'd have done anything to her...I'm not retaliatory toward rude drivers...and it's not her fault that she's an arrogant idiot, but I just knew that if I could catch her, that maybe, just maybe, she'd feel a little less in-the-car brave about roughing up a cyclist the next time the opportunity presents itself. People are frequently surprised by how not-past a bike you are when you're in a car in the city. I'm right there, lady. 23-25mph. Smile and be nice and I'll accommodate you too. Be a creep, and I'll be happy to point out, ever so politely, that you're really not moving that much faster than me.

Syncros Revolution cranks

Pic loader was taking a goober earlier and couldn't process this one lonely picture. A post clean-up shot of the Syncros Revolution cranks. They cleaned up nicely. I'm quite pleased. Remember that the last set, which came on a Cannondale Super-V that I picked up to chop for eBay, were cracked. These cranks are pretty tough to come by, especially the compact versions like these.

Sunday at Hanna Park

Travis and I ventured to Hanna early Sunday morning to get some trail time under our belts. The weather was a little brisk in the early hours, as we started at about 8am, but it warmed up nicely and the low-hanging cloud-cover burned off to reveal a beautiful winter day on the First Coast. The rainy weather from late the week before did alot to pack the sandy trails and keep the dust down, which was nice. I rode the white EWR with the new (recycled from the wife's bike) Marzochi ECR, or EPX, or DOA or POS or whatever the hell the acronym name is that the thing. Fork has a bit of a clunk to it, but I think that comes from not preloading the spring so that when the fork unloads the springs are just in there flopping around. I've never read the instructions for the fork, as it was on somebody elses bike, and she's at least as able to read a manual as me. Let her fugure it out! At least until I put it on my bike, now I've got to do it. Get to work punk! She's now 100% rigid, which I think will better suit her needs for a bike at the monemt. Make it nice and light, and it has a 2.3 tire on the front for a bit of give if she joins me on the trail. That Marzocchi was a horrible idea for her bike.

We spent about 3 hours on the trails, which were nicely underpopulated due to the day's early cold temperatures. I love it when the urban trail parks have few visitors, especially if it means I don't need to burn a leave day to get time alone on the trail without driving to BF Egypt.

I also put a set of Saint M800 cranks on the EWR, swapping the RF Atlas Gold bearings over to the white bike, and then running the Shimano Saint bearings on the blue. They are interchangeable, according to my quick interpretation of the fit lists for the new Chris King bearings. The gold stuff loked like ass on the blue EWR...had to get that off of there. The Saint cranks are super stiff and look pretty mean to boot. If I was all about intimidation, they'd be the shit, but I'm mostly all about fear and wimpiness, so pose on! Ha! Actually, hopping around on some logs after one of the trails, waiting for Travis to come out, they felt great.

I spent the afternoon cleaning a set of Syncros Revolution cranks I picked up on the fleabay for a decent BIN price. They are pretty clean, with only a minor bit of scratching and an (undisclosed) minor dent in the non-drive arm. I need to chop down some seat bolts to replace the proprietary Syncros inner chainring-spider bolts, as the original alloy hardware is nearly spent. Overall the cranks will work nicely for VRC purposes. Yummy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Night Ride!

Thursday night ride, Dec 11.

In keeping with the local crew's new scheduled full moon night rides, we ventured out to Westside Regional Park for the monthly ride.

The weather for the day was supposed to be pretty bleak, with 30% chance of storms ahead of the expected cold front. It started out a little shady, but the front ( the same that dropped 3" of snow on New Orleans!) blew through and the sky cleared at around 5pm, 2 hours ahead of kick-off. I grabbed the white EWR, fresh from her weekend overhaul and inspection, and went to meet the fellas.

There were 7 of us this time, and the trails were nicely dampened from the day's rain, with just a few puddles and some mud to deal with but not enough to 'dampen' spirits! (sorry!) The group mainly consisted of transplanted roadie fellas from About Bikes in Orange Park. The Open Road regulars were detained by shop related holiday obligations of some type.

It was a good ride, some minor slip and falls by the guys not so used to off-road work. I'd say at about 60% of my max pace was the group speed for this run, so brisk enough to count as exercise, but I wasn't dying, at least not like when I ride with the same guys on the road. The EWR did great. Still single speed, only now sporting the gold Race Face Atlas BB and Shimano Saint cranks, and the transplanted little-used Marzocchi from my wife's bike. The fork has a bit of a clunk to it, so I'll have to sort that, and it's not quite as adjustable as the newer forks on the market, being 4-5 years old or so and a mid-grade model to boot. The Stella 200L is a great lamp. I'm very happy with the choice.

Next ride, Saturday and the group ride from About Bikes...

Altek BL Levers

From the glory days of the side-pull brake. These beauties are my favorite levers, and are the pinnacle of late 1990's CNC swank. Yummy. The floor of my shop provides the background.

Shadows and Light

I mentioned it earlier in the blog, that my brother had decided to suspend his longtime blog effort, Shadows and Light. I think that I understand his issues with blogging as a pressure inducing endeavor. You feel like you NEED to blog, because there may be people (or in my case, maybe not!) who are somehow waiting for your next update, and the sense of being compelled to give everyone the next 'heads up' sort of lets the smile out of the blog process.

Along the lines of that observation, and in some way because of his decision, I've decided to streamline my approach to the whole blog thing...

First! I can't really get too involved in the planning-speak thing here on my blog, because many of the issues I'd mention here fall into the category of conflict of interest, and I'm not about to lose my job over a comment on my blog! SO...Planning and modern architecture are OUT.

Second! I've been strongly considering selling the VW, and I'm not active at the moment in the Land Rover group here locally at the current time, so the Land Rover is just an appliance right now. Therefore, The Land Rover and VW thing is OUT!

Finally...I've never gotten comfortable with having my daughter's image brandied about on the web in a blog, so I'm removing mention of the family, at least as a title subject of the blog.

And last...I'm going to face lift the blog in the coming weeks. Look for a renewed emphasis on my cycling and training. There will be other things poking up now and again...but the original web-page started as a site about camping and biking with friends, and the current blog will get back to that. The face lift will help to make that point. Also, it may keep me interested...

So, for those of you who possibly lament the passing of Shadows and Light, I offer my tongue-in -cheek tribute to the artsy. I hope my changes to the blog do a better job of focusing on the point of what I really want to do here, and in that, will keep Utahdog! from following Shadows and Light into the sunset...


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Artificial Owl!

If you haven't seen this blog-page...check it out. Urban Exploration with a Google Maps twist. I love it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

San Felasco

Returned to San Felasco on Sunday, a trip put together by one of the fellas from Open Road in Mandarin. Beautiful Day for a trail ride. Clear skies, bright sun. About a 20 degree differential between riding in the shade and not. Wonderful.

I picked up Travis at about 7:30 and we wheeled in to San Felasco in Alachua at about 8:45. Start time was to be 9, but we held the fellas up for about 10 minutes as we dressed for the ride at the trail head in the cold November air. Start the ride, and we're off. San Felasco has a nice high speed twisty entrance trail that's a nice warm up, but then dumps into this high grassy open type stuff that is best described as lumpy and no fun. A quick push through the sun, and Travis was sucking a little wind. I told the other 8 to go ahead and waited for Travis and then we hit the shady technical trails. For a bit I got some good work in on the bike by dropping back to Travis, then sprinting back up to the fast group, then dropping back to Travis, etc... Did that about 6 times until Travis and I slowed to a pace a little more manageable for the poor FNG...after the sprints at 10-10ths I was pretty wasted too, so a dialed back pace was appreciated by me too. We would intermittently catch up to the larger group throughout the day, and at one point a third guy joined or group of two and we hit the fast pine upland sweeper trails with a pretty good amount of speed. Fun stuff!

I didn't get to ride too much with the fast guys, as I stayed with Travis who was riding at about 8-10ths the pace of the others. He's always waiting for my dragging-ass on road rides, so I was up for the turn-about. He did great though, considering it was his 3rd or 4th trail ride. He did make the observation that it is a totally different experience than road riding. Give the man a few more rides and some clipless pedals and proper shoes and he'll be a demon!

This was the first of what the Open Road folks want to make a regularly monthly group outing. I think next time we'll be in Santos down near Ocala. I haven't been there since maybe 2005, certainly pre-baby.

Christmas break is coming up opportunity to chase down some of the SWAMP group riders in Morris Bridge. They gave me garbage about riding the "hard" trails on my rigid titanium bike last winter, (keeping up wasn't too much of a challenge), maybe this year I'll take the single speed rigid. I'm sure they'll have some senseless editorial comments about that bike for sure...something about my choice of brake pads or some such lunacy. Old guy hunting. Weee!

Winter in gotta love it!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Opportunity Offender! My Karma is a little out of balance, so here's a little Gaffigan!

"I normally don't have a burger, a brat, and a steak's the 4th of July. And I need the energy if I'm gonna start blowing crap up. It's what the founding fathers would want."
- Jim Gaffigan

Achmed the Dead Terrorist

This is just not right...


Yup...I am a woman.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

More RIP

OK, nobody or nothing died this time, at least not suddenly, but there surely has been a death of a trend...or at least a revision of sorts which changes everything in the Vintage-Retro-Classic bike world. Been evolving lately, but now it's official.

EBay is a bust for VRC parts.


The last few auctions I've attempted to win went for insane money. Same for a few I've been watching just out of curiosity.

The word is out.

The trend in popularity of VRC parts in mountain biking is well established, in many ways to the detriment of the newer soul-less alternatives. Predictable result...prices are through the roof on most things, rather than just the holy grailer type parts like Cook Bros cranks and Klein Adroits.

Obviously, the popularity of bikes is a good thing. The popularity of VRC is good at least from the perspective of saving the once neglected shwank parts from back in the day. There will still be garage finds, and some pawn shop fun, maybe a bankrupt shop liquidation or two...but eBay deals will be tough to find. Of course, eBay on the whole is much different from the animal it was a few years ago...bad policies, less individuals and more businesses, and less and less bargains. Too bad really...the sunsetting of an era.


Big Weenie

RIP Shadows and Light.


Just kidding.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to WORK!

The family and I all trudged down to Tampa to see the grandparents this weekend. Half the grandparents's just too complicated to organize a quick trip and see everybody, so we've been splitting the trips instead. So far (only three trips I think over the last year) this has worked out OK, but I think that this weekend is going to blow that plan clean out of the water.

Last Thursday I went for a night ride in the Westside Regional park here in town. Quick little 8 mile set of trails affords the urbanite cyclist and the drunken axe murderer the opportunity to commune with nature. I have purchased a new light, a Stella 200L from Light and Motion. The little sucker works pretty damn good, even if the battery pack and charger are made in China. The unit is advertised as made in USA, and the folks at L&M will say "made in USA" when asked (I did) but I guess the correct question would have been " is any bit of that thing made in a country with completely substandard environmental practices?" to which the answer surely would have been different...


Positive traits of the Stella 200L light though...good beam pattern, small and light weight, quick charge time, 5 hour burn time, and the low setting is powerful enough to use, without blinding the hapless plebs with substandard lights. I'd recommend it...if you can stomach the $260 cost and the 50% China contents of the box.

Was I able to keep up with the group on my first ride back in the woods? At night? I'll answer it with a quote...It was a piece of cake...

..."Like a Bald Eagle catching a Chihuahua in a shoebox!"
'Joes Diner'
NFL Network

Thursday, November 6, 2008

3** - 14* ?? Who decides?!

Ever notice that the electoral numbers never add up? Estimates of margin of victory are all over the place... Why is it so hard to figure out, I mean sure, there are swing states, but the total number should never change, right?

I blame the hanging chads! HA!

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Big-O!! 349-147! WOW!

Final election thoughts...then I'm-a moving on! January 20th can't get here fast enough...

I was on the fence until about July or so...when the strategists began to screw up McCain...and then the whole Palin thing pushed me solidly into the Obama camp, so I was greatly relieved that O pulled it off. At the same time, I felt really bad for McCain. By allowing strategists to pollute his reputation and control his message (and select his running-mate) he really missed out on an opportunity. Probably an opportunity only to make a better showing, as Obama did win in very convincing fashion, but still. Only in the final speech of his campaign did McCain actually begin to sound like McCain again.

Obama's victory speech was very, very well crafted. Masterful. Even in crazy-conservative Jacksonville, people were whooping it up in the streets, and this morning the water cooler talk was almost nearly universally positive. Today is a good day.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Klein Pics

I am a geek for Deore DX! Pure Business! This sucker will be for light duty trail work. Tsali type stuff. Note the Sakae Ninja chainring. Yummy.

Weekend Business...a wide assortment!

Saturday I was going to get up and meet Travis down in Orange Park for the Saturday training ride with the About Bikes crew, but the weather was rainy and gross, and a little windy to boot. Travis called me to say he wasn't jazzed about the prospect of 60 miles in the rain, and I couldn't have agreed with him more, so we bagged the ride. Al would later tell Travis that it was a miserable day on the road, so I guess we made the right decision.

So Big Moma and the Baby and I all ran some errands together in the morning. We ran by Home Depot so I could snag a new faucet for the kitchen sink. The crappy little one-arm-bandit faucet leaks like an old British car, so we're going to toss it in favor of a conventional two-twistie-handle model. Grabbed some water supply lines and a 25lb bag of winter rye seed for the lawn and we were off to Target for a few warmer baby clothes items. Tough to find stuff not made in China these days, but we did, and now the baby will be warm and I'm not supporting the looming Asian environmental disaster. Job well done!

Got home and put the baby in bed for a nap and hit the shop for a little tinkering on the Klein. Mounted up the cranks and derailleurs, seat and brakes, and a few other little doo-dads. I'm closer to getting that bike done than I thought, and I don't really want to have it built and taking up room, but what can I say...the anticipation of getting back on a Rascal is driving me to do it!

Sunday morning Travis and I took the mountain bikes to Hanna Park and did about 10 miles on the trails. We're still shaking some mild bugs from Travis' bike, and I did the trails on the white single speed EWR, so the time-distance issue became a factor, otherwise we may have done more. The single speed work really worked my legs. I felt a little sluggish in places where I knew I was capable of going much faster, so I'll need to re-motivate and hit it harder next time. I also swapped out the stem on the EWR with one of a lower angle of rise, and that was a mistake...have to switch that back.

Then, after lunch with Big Moma and the Baby at Dick's Wings (Moma's choice! I swear!) I went on over to Emery's place to help him move to a new apartment. He lives downtown in one of the luxury high-rise buildings on the south bank, but since the management has begun to feel the financial pinch like the rest of us, they've dialed back his amenities but not his rent, so he bagged the place for a more affordable downtown apartment on the north bank. We got everything moved OK, but for the sofa. Poor Emery. He's got this HUGE comfy man-couch that wouldn't fit in the new building at all. We couldn't get it in the elevators, we tried the stairs. We moved it all over trying to get it in the joint with no luck. Poor man had tears in his eyes with frustration. Nothing like moving to a cheaper apartment to save money and then having to get rid of your sofa and buy another one to replace it. I think his plan is to put it on Craig's List and get some cash for it, and then go smaller.

Went home, and collapsed in bed! Weekend!? HA!

Happy Birthday, Steverino

My brother's birthday was yesterday, and Although I didn't get a chance to wish him well on the phone yesterday, I'll do it here. He is, after all, my biggest (only?) Blog Fan!


A fitting quote...also ganked from Toby Young's book...

"I have no respect for writers. They never make money. They're like poor people looking in the windows."

-Peggy Siegal


Happy Halloween!

Now that the weekend is over and the dust has settled I can finally, peacefully wish everyone a good holiday. Maybe I should start now with the Thanksgiving well-wishes!
The Baby celebrated Halloween on Wednesday at the day-care, dressing up in her dragon costume and trick-or-treating from class to class. We were a home-body bunch on Friday night, though. Baby still to young, I think...and I'm sort of pessimistic about the holiday more than maybe I Should be, so getting out on the road on a holiday evening with a bunch of drunk loonies all over just seemed to be a bad idea. So we stayed in and passed out candy, and played with the baby, and after she went to bed, I enjoyed a few Rogue Dead Guy Ales to celebrate. Seemed the fitting beer of choice for the season!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wrenching again, for no pay even!

For the first time in over 10 years I was in a shop with somebody else's tools working on somebody else's bike.

On Wednesday evening, I went over to City Cycle with my Klein Rascal frame to have Drew take a look at the bottom bracket spindle and chain alignment before I started any real assembly of the bike. Drew gave the seal of approval to the bottom bracket, which is a bit out of line but should do fine so I'll roll with it. While I was there he asked me if I was going to stay for the bike building party. I said "huh?"

Drew is supporting a local non-profit called Jax Recycles, which collects abandoned bikes from all over, like apartment complexes and even curbside garbage, and then works with Drew's shop and volunteers which donate time and space to helping get the bikes back on the road so they can be redistributed by JR to folks who can't afford a bike...someone in a local shelter program or what have you.

We ate pizza, and wrenched on some old department store bikes and cruisers and such, cleaning them down and getting as many as possible back on the road. It was a good time! I haven't worked on Huffys and Murrays in forever, and it's always a blast to remember those days years ago when I had to do that to earn enough dough to eat my frozen peas and pasta. The younger bike crowd was in heavy attendance, with their fixies and skinny jeans and affinity for that Yuengling swill...funny bunch.

I guess there was some pay...there were three wheels that had either rims or a hub that I thought had value even after they were deemed irreparable. What goes in the garbage is up for grabs! Two Ritchey Vantage Cross Sport rims and an old UG Shimano Ultegra hub/Mavic MA40 wheel with a bunch of busted spokes. Maybe my work to reintroduce these wheel parts back into the rolling community will find them back in some similar volunteer program sometime 10 or so years from now.

Good times!

"Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."
Gore Vidal


The bathroom is functionally back together...although now Big Momma has determined that the off-colored toilet needs to go. Ugh! The sink is a Decolav unit from Home Depot...made in China, which I'm not too happy about. The workmanship on the sink is nonexistent too...all warped and malformed, straight from the box. You can't see it while using it, and only I seem, to notice that kind of stuff, but the lines of the sink that are supposed to be straight aren't anywhere near it, and the curves are irregular. Again, a minor quibble for a sink costing less that 100 bucks and originating in China, but still...I wish you could get decent stuff easier....Damn Lowe's.
"Cost is what you pay, value is what you get."
-Warren Buffet

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008



are you tired of these yet?

From three fortune cookie fortunes that I have stuck on my monitors at work...

"Focus on the Journey, not the destination."

"A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist."

"'Remind yourself, the lion while hunting doesn't roar."

There...Now go be a better person, Dammit.

VooDoo HooDoo!

My friend Travis has been a load of help in our many recent home repair projects. He helped me with my bathroom walls, with the demolition of the back porch, with the contractor for the replacement porch, and in general with just about every stupid question I could come up with! To repay him, I bought him a VooDoo HooDoo mountain bike frame from ebay, and then hooked him up with about 900 bucks work of components for cheap. Barter System, baby!

We had mounted the fork a while back, and this week I loaned him some bottom bracket tools (because really, the bottom bracket and headset are the only parts of a bicycle that require specialized tools to build) and he did the rest. The final product looks great, and most of the parts are new,and the ones that aren't are from the Cannondale Rush that I dismantled and sold, so they have maybe 200 miles on them. The Bike has Sram XO drive train, Avid BB7 discs, Race Face headset and a nice SDG seat. I'd value the bike new from a shop floor at somewhere around $1400-1500 or so, considering the components and frame and such. (we've got maybe $950 total in it...about $700 of that from Travis' pocket, $300 to me for parts and 200 for the fork and 200 for wheels and other ancillaries.) At that price point, only the suspension fork, a Rock Shox Tora (usually spec'd on bikes in the $1100-1200 range) could be considered the weak link. That's not very fair to the Tora though, because it is a fully adjustable coil sprung and dampened fork only hampered weight wise by steel stanchions instead of the lighter alloys found in the Recon, the next fork up in the RS line. Hardly anything to cry about, and something that you'll never feel on the trail. Actually, considering that my Revelation is such a noodle with its alloy stanchions, the Tora may actually feel more accurate and direct on the trail! (I'll be bummed if my Rev feels like a floppy puddle of snot in comparison, and Travis will probably never let me live it down.)
Travis is already talking smack about dusting me on the trails...We shall see...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Build Your Own Candidate!

If you can't find a suitable Maverick...Make One!

Just tragic.

QUOTE! Proverb day!

"Let him bear the Palm, he who has earned it."
-Roman Proverb

"If it stinks, put a lid on it!"
-Japanese Proverb

"In good times, decentralize and deregulate so I can stuff my britches with your hard earned cash when you aint lookin'. In bad times, bail it out with 700 Billion so I can keep my summer home in the Hamptons...on your dime!"
-Republican Proverb

From an email

My wife's grandfather, who lives on a farm of about 200 or so acres in central Michigan, sends us these funny emails every once in a while. He's a character about using the computer and going online and sending emails and stuff, pretty technologically astute for someone who's supposed to be "generationally challenged" when it comes to such things. People always assume that older folks have an idea of how things work and function up to a certain point in their lives and then I guess they're expected to just turn off their ability to assimilate and adapt. I say Hogwash! My mother, who's 20 years my grandfather-in-law's junior, is a similar animal. She always acts like she can't figure stuff out, but mostly I think she does that to either; A)...get a "Stupid Senior Citizen Discount" as she calls it, or B)...get either my brother or me to do it for her, or C)...ignore the decision until it's moot!..."Calculated Neglect"!

Anyway, Grandpa sent this along, and I think you guys will like it...both of you.

Fifty Dollars is FIFTY DOLLARS!

Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, 'Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter.'
Esther always replied, 'I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.'
One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, 'Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.'
To this, Esther replied, 'Morris that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.'
The pilot overheard the couple and said, 'Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's fifty dollars.'
Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.
When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, 'By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!'
Morris replied, 'Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, fifty dollars is fifty dollars!'


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tsali!...and a QUOTE!

We're back home from our camping trip with the baby and things went very well. Baby slept like a rock on Friday and Saturday nights, and only stuttered a bit on Thursday night, when I think her little internal clock was all kerflooey from the drive. She would display similar wackiness on Sunday night when we were driving home, and then trying to get her in bed later that night. 10 hours in a car is enough to make anyone nutty, but when you're a dinky little kid stuck in a safety seat, crazy is just below the surface...

Trails in the campground were great! It rained just a bit on Friday morning, just enough to keep the dust down, and we got in three laps, Right, Left and then Right again (3rd lap was solo for me), for a total of about 36 miles or so. A good day's work. Saturday we did Thompson, Mouse, Thompson back to back to back before lunch, then I ate lunch, drank a Sweetwater 420, and hit the trail for another Thompson. Can't get enough of the Thompson downhill at Tsali, that and the Left loop are the nicest trails in the park. It's a fun place to visit with the bikes, and it's a much more recreational place than Pisgah, difficulty-wise, but then again, you'd be nuts to drink beer and ride Bennett Gap, whereas Tsali on beers is the way to go!

Fall leaves too! WHEEEEE!
"I don't know if I prefer Astroturf to grass...I've never smoked Astroturf!"
-Joe Namath


Walls done! Actually, the parts of the walls where Travis and I completely replastered and sanded the surface are better than the 50+ year old plaster elsewhere in the room!

Next up...sink!


Under-cabinet lighting that I got for Big Momma and didn't install because of the potential addition contemplation consideration...thing. Worked pretty well. I wouldn't use this simple plug-in halogen system in an expensive remodel, but for a little walk-thru kitchen like ours, where overhead lighting casts a bunch of shadows, and where the primary cook (me) favors a 10" Henckel chef as his chopper-of-choice, the light helps greatly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby to the woods...and a QUOTE!

We'll be heading to NC for a bit of cycling and camping this weekend. First time Baby sleeps in the tent. This may be a very rewarding experience, or we may all wind up pulling out hair out and chopping ourselves into bits! We'll be in Tsali again, which while not the most challenging trail network in the area, truly is the social off-road cycling destination in the southeast. The picture is from last October's trip, and we hope to see fall colors similar to those in the pic.

"My heart and soul are firmly in the dirt"

- Dave Weins
Pro Cyclist...on dirt.

Monday, October 13, 2008

done been readin' again...and a QUOTE!

"To use a baseball analogy, America's most successful citizens were born on third and think they've hit a triple."

-Toby Young
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Yup...I finally got around to reading that book...the one mentioned above, the one I bought on a whim from a bargain bin because it seemed so connected to my own personal experience, as a joke anyway. I've always been a bit short tempered and crass, and my friends are typically pillars of patience for dealing with me, so when I saw that someone had actually written a book with a title that we had joked about as applying to me, you know I had to buy it. It sat on my desk in bookends for 3 years until I saw the movie preview, with Simon Pegg (who was bad ass in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


"Never Fear being vulgar, just boring, middle class or dull."

-Diana Vreeland
Fashion Columnist and Editor

See! All my life people kept telling me to shape up and not be such a iconoclastic pig. Who knew Vulgar was chic? HA!

Friday, October 10, 2008


"Get him out of here and get me another quarterback!!"

- Jon Gruden, Head Coach
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

City Cycle visit

Drew at City Cycle sent an email to our mayor asking for additional resources to be put toward bicycle network construction and a general increased promotion of bikes in these times of high gas prices. Even Jacksonville has seen an increase in the number of commuters who use bikes to get to their destination, an almost unheard of turn of events in a town in love with its King Ranch F350 Powerstrokes.

I took it upon myself to stop by to talk to Drew personally about the state of Bike Ped stuff. Drew had a couple very good ideas, and we brandied them about over vintage Deore LX cantilevers and old chain rings for about an hour and a half, and I think we can work some of his ideas and current efforts as a shop owner into the evolving grand scheme for Jacksonville's bike future. I let him know some of the things that I see as the next big steps for Jacksonville in our quest to truly become more bike friendly.

We need consolidation of effort from the stakeholders in the policy decision process. Each agency related to transportation and development seems to have their own master plan or model, and I'm not sure that the individual arms and legs of this beast know what the other limbs are doing. Teamwork in Policy is a good thing. Good work is all around, and we need to tell each other about it.

We need to recognize our strengths and successes and feel rejuvenated in our efforts to get to what we as cyclists would like or city to be. Jacksonville has a bit of an inferiority complex. We have a hard time getting past the nasty intersections that sit right at the start of our own commutes, and seeing the successes around our city and metropolitan area that are very real. Multiple Recreation paths coming on line in the last 5 or so years, additional links on the board for the near future, and policies in effect for requiring additional bike lanes to be added to new road projects and reconstruction projects where right-of-way changes are necessary. I think we get distracted by the 840 square miles and miss the seemingly diluted successes which are so much more readily apparent to cities not working under the designs of consolidated government.

We need people. Jacksonville has a good many cyclists, and there is a reasonably big bike club, but the inactivity of the residents in the processes of government as a whole (admittedly, an issue in many communities across the country) is a liability to promoting increased bike use and facility construction. At our Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, we've struggled for the 8 years I've been involved in the organization, to get and keep people interested in assisting in general manpower issues related to initiatives for improvement. Folks just can't seem to get to a meeting after work. Much like my mom who struggled when I was a kid to get me to little league on time on a work night...people who work for a living have a hard time finding the time to volunteer. I get it, and I know its real, but people have to get more involved, and they need to stay involved for a period of a few years to keep the ball of change rolling. Volunteers expect to have an opportunity to change the city in a meeting or two, but real change takes two years or more of pressing an issue, not two months.

From an existing facility perspective, we as Planners need to understand our city better. The data sets for existing sidewalks and bike lanes need to be more accurate, such that they can be used to truly project and identify immediate needs for additional pedestrian links. We've had the mandatory bike lane policy on the books for a good long time, and now its time to get an accurate picture of where the existing is, and where the future connections need to be.

That's it! Seems simple enough. Now I'm off to clone myself 3 times and petition God to add an 8th and 9th day to the week. Whew! Get busy people!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Curious George and the Bathroom Break!

The walls of the bathroom are finished, and I've spent the last three evenings priming and painting. They look pretty good, especially considering I have no formal experience in the art of drywall! Thanks to my friend Travis, it will look pretty good, I think, when finished. There are some spots that look a little rookie. I forgot to sand one spot where I buttered a screw head. The seam on the ceiling where it butts against the old ceiling isn't perfect, and I did a bad job of ensuring that the screw heads are all filled with mud, so every once in a while you see a small little pit. I think I can fill those a bit before final paint and that will fix it up, but otherwise I'm calling this project done. I have to remind myself that I'm not a pro, that this is a DIY project, and that I'm risking making it worse by monkeying with it.

Speaking of Monkeys...the baby has a new favorite book...Curious George and the Dinosaur. Funny kid.

Ebay 'Muppets'

The Retrobike guys call Ebay traders who manipulate the auction process for their own benefit, either through complete deception or just plain stupidity, as 'Muppets'. I love the term, and although I've gone nearly 4 years and almost 400 transactions with nothing but happy sellers and happy customers leaving me feedback, I think that is all about to grind to a halt.

I clearly have a bike addiction, anyone reading this blog can tell that. What that means is that I've got a hankerin' for everything that I don't have, and a need to dump everything that I do. Something is always on its way to me via the little man in the brown truck, or I've always got something that I need to drop at the shipper. In the last month I've done more than 30 transactions, all mostly sales.

The boondoggle concerns a seatpost that I recently sold. An early 90s vintage IRD (Interloc) post, which has been used for almost 10 years. I described it as "Good" and "straight" and as having "flaking powder coating" in the rail areas of the head, and as showing "cloudy white stains" on the shaft from where the raw aluminum is oxidizing in the atmosphere. My buyer asked me if the post was "Decent" which it is, and if it had been "sanded" which it has not, and if it had "gouges" in it, which there are none. He seemed pleased with my answers and bid accordingly.

Now, after getting the post, he has declared that he is unhappy with my "misleading" description of the post, and that it is unfit for his "Top Notch" bike restoration. What?! How did a "decent" seatpost with "flaking" and "cloudy white residue" from oxidation get even the faintest consideration for a "Top Notch Restoration"?!

His solution, which borders on petty extortion, I think, is to request a partial refund as he can only use the post for "parts", and that he'll have to have the head of the post re-powder coated anyway. What?!? Is this real? No thanks, pal.

Picture attached...picture from the be the judge.



"When a man's character is not clear to you, look to his friends."

-Japanese Proverb

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

from my inbox...

The Heaviest Element Known to Science

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

- H. L. Mencken

Monday, October 6, 2008

Klein Rascal, the triumverate is complete!


I’ve been mountain biking since 1989, and I've had over 20 bikes over the years. Some were just awful (Purple GT Zaskar, Jamis Diablo 853) and some were mild let downs (Bridgestone MB-2, Rock Lobster Expert Taiwan POS) and some were just mass produced boring junk (Giant ATX-770, Stumpjumper M4).

Over the years I’ve had three bikes that really seemed to fit my style. I’m a guy that likes tight trails and I never, ever get air, unless it’s unintentional and closely followed by a trip into the weeds (last October, Left Loop, Gary calling out "What the hell were you trying to do?!?") For one reason or another, I’ve managed to sell off all three in a vain attempt at modernizing, or evolving, or maybe just as a means to exercise my urge to build new bikes up and sell off old stuff…who knows.

Well, I’ve managed to get all three of them back, in some form or another…The ’94 EWR back from Matt, My ’93 Viper Red Beast of the East M800 (although my old ’92 Beast was Orchid Blue), and Finally…my new Klein Rascal.

My old Rascal was a ’92, and the lettering was reverse taped into the paint, and the final color was a classic two color fade, charcoal to maroon, front to back. I wiped out on campus (getting air…I should have known better!) and badly damaged the seat stay on the drive side, and shortly thereafter traded the frame to Lou’s Bike Shop in St Pete (who would later sell me the Beast via ebay!...small world!) for a Manitou 4 for the white EWR. Then Trek came into the picture and I slit my wrists.

The Rascal was always the perfect Klein in my eyes, because it was the same frame as the Attitude with a 1" head tube and not the bizarre Klein MC stuff up front. Same big fat horizontal dropouts, oversized downtube and most importantly, the same geometry as both the Attitude and the Adroit! (which had very thin-walled tubes and was better suited to wall art duty) Rascal...different enough to be a Klein, but normal enough to get parts!

The new Rascal (which is actually used, but in better shape than even my Beast), a ’90 with the extended seat tube, is a one color paint job Klein, and the lettering is transfer decal under the clear, and a solid color, but the depth of the metallic finish is amazing. The bike has some chips around the rear drops, and the fork blades, and just a tiny amount of chain suck, but otherwise it’s perfect! Even has the internal cable guides in place…and as a final touch, I have someplace to put my Paul’s Blue Balls seat bolt! (I can hear you all sniggering...all 4 of you)

I've got a friend who is contemplating selling his first generation, Duralcan made, Specialized S-Works M2, a contemporary on many Bay Area rides to first my old Beast and then the Rascal. Gary, I still think you should keep your M2…and the 4 year search for a decent Rascal, in the right size for me, with something other that day-glow puke paint, is the reason. You have the means…keep it. If you want to sell it, then sell me the Cook Bros cranks first!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote of the Day...

"Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them"

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, September 29, 2008

GA Aquarium

Baby loved her trip to see the fishes. I'm not a fan of posting pictures of her on the web, but I did get a few that are pretty cute in that they show her enthusiasm for the exhibits without showing her. The aquarium was very nice. Well maintained and with some amazing specimens, including 2 Beluga whales and 4 Whale Sharks!

Gotta keep the kids pics off the web! Too many wackos!


Anyone who wants to know why the McCain/Palin ticket isn't an option...

it's just too painful....too foolishly painful...

For Sale!

Got the Rush ready for the block, headed to Fleabay tonight. Gotta sell it before all the banks fail so I can have money for canned beans to feed the baby..It's all George Bush's fault, firing off all them rockets...
On a more serious note. I came in to work today and found out that a co-worker has passed away from apparently drowning in a hot tub. Such an awful thing. He was a fellow cyclist, and we had discussed doing a distance mountain bike tour called the Tour De Felasco together. We are all pretty stunned and saddened here in the office, sort of in that zombie state where we all plod from room to room and dwell on mortality more than actually get work done. He was a good guy and a smart hire and the department will be different in many unfortunate ways, some yet apparent to us, with him gone.


Have I been on a bike? Nope. Have I sold a bike? Nope, although tonight I hope to change that. Have I bought a new bike? Yup. OOPS! So much for progress! hell with that, baby! I HAVE made progress! Just not with the bikes. You may remember the roof story, and the porch story, and I may have actually eluded to the bathroom ceiling story related to the roof story...
Progress! We have a bathroom ceiling! Of course, there's a lot more sanding to be done, and I have some work to do with the 12" knife and another 3 gallons of so of joint compound, but anyway...A CEILING! WOOHOO! I deserve yet another bike!