Thursday, March 20, 2008

Which superhero are you?

Wandering links from everyday blogs to unknown ones brings up this:

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's big bike day... the Strib! Our local fishwrap has a two-wheeled fit today it seems.

See our man Big Dummy.

Also, our man Large Fella gets a profile.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I suck less

Rode the Red Menace (the wobbly Schwinn) to Weight Watchers and then to my sister-in-law's house to drop off some 80s music for her. Going up the hills from 66th to 46th on Lyndale sucked, but less than it used to. I think that Me Darlin' Mrs is right about the getting better part.

Today's ride was nothing like the one last week with Scott, i.e., it wasn't warm, sunny or pleasant. But I'm happy to say, that the Bleriot rides like a dream and I look forward to riding it when the roads are better. Until then, I'm pushing the cruddy bike. It's good training though.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Could the Gub'ment get it?

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D OR) along with Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) introduce H. Con. Res 305: Recognizing the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation.

Recognizing the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation.

Whereas a national transportation system conducive to bicycling produces enriched health, reduced traffic congestion and air pollution, economic vitality, and an overall improved quality of living is valuable for the Nation;

Whereas by dramatically increasing levels of bicycling in United States cities tangible and intangible benefits to the quality of life for cities and towns across the country will be realized;

Whereas we now live in a Nation with 300 million people, and that number is expected to grow to 365 million by 2030 and to 420 million by 2050 with the vast majority of that growth occurring in urban areas with limited ability to accommodate increased motor vehicle travel;

Whereas since 1980, the number of miles Americans drive has grown 3 times faster than the United States population, and almost twice as fast as vehicle registrations;

Whereas one-third of the current population does not drive due to age, disability, ineligibility, economic circumstances, or personal choice;

Whereas the United States is challenged by an obesity epidemic, 65 percent of United States adults are either overweight or obese, and 13 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, due in large part to a lack of regular activity;

Whereas the Center for Disease Control estimates that if all physically inactive Americans became active, we would save $77 billion in annual medical costs;

Read the whole thing. Ride yer bike.

Don't be this guy.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Momentum magazine covers the Minneapolis bike scene

Stolen from Momentum Magazine

Momentum magazine, the Canadian cycling magazine from Vancouver, has a new issue out and one of the articles talks to 5 Minneapolitans about cycling here.

Check it out. Also showing up as a dead tree version at a LBS near you sometime soon.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A newly minted junior wheelsmith

I dragged my sorry carcass to HCHQ for the wheel building class on the wobbly Schwinn. I just rode out there without knowing the temperature and that is the way to do it. Just go, don't think about it. If I had known that it was FIVE FREAKIN' BELOW, I wouldn't have bothered. I would have eaten breakfast and driven instead.

But, I left the house after a banana and hustled to class. Five others and I learned the dark secrets of bicycles wheels from High Priest Jim. I didn't know that the tools of the smithy were rum, cigars and chickens, but that's how it is.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sheldon Brown in my Copilot

Or at least ground crew chief.

I finally got around to rebuilding the wheel that potato chipped on me back in January. No, I haven't been riding, I'm a sad and weak man. But I did build my own wheel for the first time and I used the guide from Sheldon's site. What a great guide it is, too. I followed the instructions and, sure as shootin', I had a wheel. I have a truing stand but I needed to find a dish stick (gauge, tool, whatever) and the fine and always helpful folks at the HCHQ lent me one. Thanks guys.

It's still not dished properly, but I sorta like it this way. It made me jigger the rear brakes, but I have a pretty good chainline and it does work. I think I feel a wobble, but I can't find it by using a truing stand so I suspect that it is complaining about my sizeable hinder and I need to check the spoke tension I think -- I'm still new at this whole building wheels thing. This is why I am also attending HCHQ's wheel building class this Saturday. I hope to learn how to do this from master wheelsmithys Jim and Kevin. Perhaps I'll see ya there. According to their blog the class is full. Nice to see.

So, anyways, I took the wheel, along with the rest of the bike, for a spin to see how it rides. Again, I noticed a bit of a wobble, but I really noticed that I suck right now at riding. I've got the the bike as a single speed with 46/18 and the climb up 54th to Lyndale damn near killed me. I was riding on the middle chainring previously, so this gearing took me by surprise. I wheezed my way up it and continued on the Parkway and around Harriet and back.

Man, I suck. I could complain about big, studded tires not rolling well. Or that the snow makes it harder to pedal. Or the gearing. That's whining. I just suck. Me darlin' Mrs assures me that it will come back and that I'll be back in less time than it took to get into that shape the first time.

I don't feel like waiting a year...

But, to quote Eddy Merckx: "Ride your bike. Lots." Or Scott: "Keep Ridin'...Always." So, I will.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

End of an era

Saturday was my last shift at the liquor store. I had a good run and I enjoyed the work (mostly), but I need my weekends more than I need the 50 bucks I'd make. Things are busy at my day job and I've been feeling burnt out. My vacation awakened me, refreshed me and allowed me to see that there is more than just working.

I've had fun and it is fun to introduce people to something other than the same old same old. Having someone come back and say that they enjoyed a suggestion is satisfying. I worked with good people and I'll miss them. Sorta. I'll still shop there since Eric is working to get really interesting beers in there every week and I have to see what he manages to bring in. If you like beer, go and look over the selection -- it's not huge, he doesn't get much room to work with -- but it's a fun collection. I don't think he stocks enough Pilsners, but he's not a Pilsner drinker and it's his choice. If you like Belgians and hearty ales (Porters and Stouts), you should check it out.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more riding time, camping time, canoeing time, dog park time and grilling time. More me time. And, now that I'm not working Friday nights, I can join the HC rides Saturday mornings.

Now I just have to get my lungs and legs back. I know I left 'em around here, somewhere. Maybe they're next to OB's fresh legs...