Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nice morning

Beautiful day for a ride. On the way in, I biked with someone heading to work at QBP and we discussed wheels until I had to peel away to the office. Ride on, QBP guy, ride on.

Stole the quote on the title from Matt as it makes sense. This was Cheney before he was completely subsumed by the Dark Side, I guess. Just when he was a little bit evil.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another addition to the stable

Finally tuned up and shoed the third bike, a late 90s Specialized Expedition Elite. My goodness, it's a tiny bike compared to the couple I've been riding lately. It feels like a BMX and I'm not used to the geometry any more -- I spent a lot of the commute adjusting the saddle and trying to find a comfortable position.

One nice thing is that it's really quiet. I put on a new pair of Ritchey Tom Slicks on it and there is no rolling noise at all. It was kinda fun to sneak up on people walking their dogs and watch them jump as I passed. No that I was close, they just didn't have any idea that I was there.

As quiet as it is, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this bike; I don't think it's sturdy enough to be a full-fledged mountain bike and it's too small to be ridden any distance, but I've got fenders and a good rack on it, so I may use it as a commuter in crappy weather and a grocery-getter.

Has anyone ridden one of these off road? Am I wrong to assume it couldn't be a MTB? I may sell it if I can't find a use/get comfortable on it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

HC ride

Got up to do the HC ride today -- I had a late start and hustled so I wouldn't miss it. It helped to have the wind at my back. As I came down the hill to the shop, I began to think that I had missed everyone. Not a single bike in front of the store, nor was any biker visible in any direction.

I was too late. Pedalled around looking to see if I could spot a mass of riders when Jim popped out of the store. I didn't miss it. We hung around waiting for any other hearty souls -- and one other, Bob, rode up. Three is good.

We decided to ride into the wind so that it would be at our backs on the way home. We pushed out for Nokomis Beach coffee shop all the way out on 50th and 28th. Pastries and coffee were consumed. That place was hopping, but I don't think that people love the place for its brew -- it tasted burnt. We then forged on to the north and west to look at them take down the 46th street bridge and to another coffee stop on 33rd and Bryant, Urban Bean.

Coasted downhill with the wind at our backs towards the shop. Bob peeled off at the parkway and Jim and I carried on. We rode through throngs of runners. Nasty little beasties...

The ride home sucked as the wind had really picked up and I rode into the teeth of it. I kept a blistering 12mph pace and arrived home utterly spent and bonked. I should have had a pastry at Urban Bean after all...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bikin' to da bar (I could've biked all night edition)

Rode from work to Town Hall on an absolutely gorgeous evening. The wind decided to be nice and come from the south-southwest and it was quite a pleasant change from last week's against the wind there, against the wind back ride.

I typically ride up Oakland instead of Park since the lights are timed for cars and I usually manage to hit every red light along the way, making Park a less than desirable route. Oakland has stop signs every block, but who cares? This time, with the wind at my back I flew along quite nicely up to the Greenway and to Seven Corners. I feel that my legs and lungs are getting better because I felt strong on hills as well as the flats.

Tipped some nice beers; they've the Dortmunder back on full time, their Patio Pale Ale is nice but it's designed for the masses (aka Bud and Miller drinkers), and one of my faves is back on -- Broken Paddle ESB. So, a good ride on a nice day and to be greeted by new, yummy beers. What a day.

Me darlin' Mrs was at a board meeting on the West Bank and when that ended she and the other members stopped for drinks at the new Acadia. I joined her there and then we biked home. My goodness, what an evening. The wind shifted so now it was coming from the north, the sky was clear and the temp was just perfect. We went down the Light Rail trail to the Greenway to Nicollet. Actually it dumps you out behind the K-Mart near Blaisdell. Mrs Yam is getting stronger too since she complained that we could go faster if I held my line. She actually said "hold your line."

Wow. I love that lady.

Now, in my defense I was avoiding potholes and dorking around since I'm used to the old Mrs Yam that isn't as fast as the new Mrs Yam. Once I learned the errors of my ways, we sped home quite nicely. The conditions were such that we could have spun all night. What a good day, good beers, good rides and my sweetie by my side. I was in love with everything that Minneapolis had to offer last night. I hope there are more nights like that...

Hopefully, y'all have a night like that too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby steps

For first time in years, gasoline consumption is dropping

Yo, check it:

U.S. drivers are doing something they haven’t done for nearly two decades — consume less gasoline.

Gas consumption so far this year is down about 0.2 percent compared to last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. The federal agency is predicting that gasoline demand will be down 0.4 percent this summer and 0.3 percent for the year.

That may not sound like much, but it would be the first time since 1991 that there’s been a decline in annual gas consumption. And it would be only the eighth year since 1951 in which demand for gasoline has declined.

In a related item -- scored some Banjo Brothers Market Panniers for me Mrs. Biking to the Wedge will now make the entire experience completely Hippy-friendly...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fox News

I had to work at our off-site data center tonight and they are blessed with TVs blaring Fox News. As I was leaving, some gasbag was questioning the patriotism of Barak Obama. He's a freakin' Senator from Illinois! Where does the line stop? At president? Or only Republicans patriotic if thery're President?

If you are questioning Obama's patriotism, aren't you questioning the patriotism of those from the great state of Illinois? And if you are questioning the patriotism of Illinois, do I have to sic Ray on your ass? He would happily kick it from where ever you are to Chicago and then hand you over to whomever he feels needs to kick it further.

Or stomp it thinner. Or shred it. Not my call.

If you are questioning Senator Obama's patriotism, shouldn't you examine Senator McCain's patriotism? He was the one who spent years in loving arms of the Viet Cong. You want to talk about a Manchurian Candidate, look at the one that is the most possible candidate. I mean, he's the one that could have possibly been brainwashed by the Communists.

I'm not defending Obama nor am I questioning McCain, but I think that this line of questioning should be laughed off television and the fat bastard that brought it up beaten as he richly deserves. These are SENATORS OF THIS COUNTRY and their patriotism is beyond question.

God, I'm glad I don't have cable. I'd shoot people if I did. TV people.

Friday, April 18, 2008



Dump truck blocking my street

Dad and kids waiting for the bus

The bus

Driver waves me through intersection

Perfectly timed green light

3 waiting for the city bus

Bike commuter doesn't respond to "Good Morning" -- jerk

Run the STOP sign (times three)

Look at the flags pointing the way to work -- thanks!

Someone gets bacon this morning

Kids screaming happily in the park

Another perfectly timed green light

Swoop downhill

Bash uphill

Swoop down the other side.

See another bike commuter -- too far ahead to say anything

Couple raking leaves -- he makes very pregnant wife carry the bag

Good, fresh tar road -- no road noise

Wave at mom and daughter walking along the street

Wait for wad of traffic to pass

Pass the wad of traffic stopped at light

Big left into the parking lot

Stare at the big crane taking something off of the office building roof

Go inside to work

Good day to ride.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not manly enough for Jabba the Mook

Not that fighting a headwind wasn't enough, but I believe that my sexual orientation and/or manhood (as this is a general-purpose insult from this type, I can't be sure) has been called into question by a motorist.

What a way to start a morning.

Going block by block with traffic and meeting the same vehicles at each intersection, I stopped alongside a giant diesel pickup. I look at the driver -- a charming, 300 pound plus sack of mayonnaise -- as he's stuffing what looks to be by the wreckage on the dash, his second breakfast burrito into a hole in his doughy head. I give him a "Good morning." He looks as me and belches out a "Fag" amidst a shotgun blast of barely chewed tortilla, egg, cheese and sausage. He then stuffs his 60 ounce soft drink above his quivering chins and roars away.

Why is it that all of the epithets that hurled by passing motorists that I've heard, "Fag" is the most common? Is it easy to say? Are you mad at me for reminding you of your physical inabilities/inadequacies? Does my ability to keep up with traffic or his having to drive behind me frustrate you? Does he hate himself for getting hot because he's looking at my ass as I stay ahead of him and his oh-so-manly giant pickup? Is there some impression that bicycling is an exclusive activity of gay men? Did he think I was hitting on him? Was he mad that I wasn't?

It is sad I'll never get to ask him.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The cool kids

Rode with the HC krew yesterday and met some of my blogging heroes: Lunatic, Midway, Rigtenzin, Snakebite and Velocipete along with other riders who may or may not blog. They didn't even beat me up and take my lunch money, though it appears that they (Jim) saved his animosity for his mom whom he dropped on the first hill and never looked back.

I bet he yelled at her about being late to the shop too...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Don't be this guy (part the second)

Rep Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is at it again. Last we heard from Gomer, he was belittling bicycles. Now our intrepid hero is bad-mouthing security guards in the Green Zone in Iraq because they inconvenienced him.

I suppose we'll hear from him again after he runs down a disabled veteran in a crosswalk who was unfortunate enough to be there when Rep. McHenry wanted to turn right...

Don't be this guy.