Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week 7 training results

Week Weight Avg HR Elevation Gain Minutes on Bike Mileage on Bike
10/12/2008 – 10/18/2008 230 139 1641 141 28.44
10/19/2008 – 10/25/2008 230 139 1127 83 8.73
10/26/2008 – 11/1/2008 230 122 3741 413 71.2
11/2/2008 – 11/8/2008 227.8 139.7 2493 262 40.12
11/9/2008 – 11/15/2008 223.6 111.5 3931 207 31.87
11/16/2008 – 11/22/2008 224.2 142 4648 339 56.89
11/23/2008 – 11/29/2008 222.6 140 4354 502 98.61

The weight loss slowed down but given that this was Thanksgiving week and my Father-in-law was here I am not unhappy. I did eat out a lot more this week and that always plays havoc on any diet. I broke 100 miles/week though which is nice. Overall a successful week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Passe'

The recent black Friday stupidity and tragedies as well as reading about more car vs bike violence has me fed up. I am so [expletive deleted] tired of willful stupidity and selfishness.

So I decided to make a list of crap that is so Over in Southern California speak.
  1. French Bashing - without the French the US would not have become a country and democracy as a whole would not really exist. Really it is the height of stupidity to bash the French as a form of patriotism. The people who like to do this are the anti-intellectuals and ignoramuses of the world. Piss on them, they aren't worth anyone's time. And for anyone who think the French are not tough, remember Napoleon, remember Charlemagne. Study some history.
  2. Anti-intellectual Science deniers - This is the group of idiots who think global warming is fake. There were 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles on global climate change published between 1993 and 2003, every one supported the core belief of global warming caused by mankind. These are the kind of people who quote the Cato institute and say that driving a car is more efficient than mass transit (it isn't btw). The same kind of idiots who believe that the average UAW auto worker makes over $70/hour. Really you have to be pretty credulous to take this crap at face value. Do you really think auto workers in an assembly line are pulling down $140,000 per year? I don't make that kind of money as a system engineer/software engineer with 15 years of experience. When you see stupid crap on TV or in Car and Driver, stop and think, does this make sense. Run the numbers for a second, does it pass the smell test? Here is an example: Someone on CNN dismissed wind power as 15th century technology. A commentator on the web said: Anyone who would belittle a 15th Century technology that's still in use today doesn't understand technology. Which is a good point, the wheel is a stone age technology, and we use it everywhere. What kind of morons do we allow on TV nowadays?
  3. The Car is king crowd - These are the [expletive deleted] idiots who think that cars are the only way to get around, that parking is the most important thing and that pedestrians, motorcycles and bicycles should all get out of their way. I am done with trying to find sympathy for people like the man who runs down 10 cyclists at the Tour de Tuscon, gets out of his car to inspect the damage, then drives away. Five people are hospitalized and some are in critical condition. I don't have any sympathy for this guy. NONE. The guy who almost runs me over today then rolls down his window and says "I am sorry, but why do you have to make such a face at me" from his F250 with one passenger and nothing in the bed. WTF, are you kidding me. Let me make this simple. I support congestion pricing, I support transit oriented development (do you know that houses in Denver near rail stations didn't lose value during this slump but gained value). I support bikeways and Copenhagen style bicycle integration. I support electric cars. I support recycling, wind power, solar power and think oil and natural gas are resources to be conserved and used only where there are no alternatives.
  4. The Taxes are bad selfish pigs and the Fair Tax idiots, actually the entire Government is bad meme - really, come on now. Don't you realize just how much you do every day that you couldn't do without the government intervention that enabled it. The 40 hour work week, any health care at all, our interstate system, the remains of our rail system, public schools and Universities, Water rights, sewers, bridges, libraries, etc. Get your head out of the sand, stop thinking Reagan is god and remember that corporations will screw you every chance they get. Taxes are how we pay for all of this. You don't go 10 minutes without gaining some benefit from our government. You can breath the air, drink the water and your children can get an education. Quit whining. Private enterprise took over a good portion of our prisons, total disaster. Our hospitals have gone to crap under private management. We allowed privatization of our trolley and rail systems in the US under Eisenhower to destroy that infrastructure all in the name of helping corporations. Stop parroting very rich right wing idiots. They are happy to take advantage of you to make more money. Lets make this country a place where the 99% of us can enjoy it and forget about that rich 1% or the ultra-rich 0.5% who might actually have to make due with their $3 million/year incomes. I don't have any sympathy for them, they certainly don't for me.


What issues push you over the edge? Are you fed up with anything? Let me know. Beware if you are a right wing idiot and decide to spam my comment section, I will happily delete your crap.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Kristin, Tony (my father-in-law) and myself will join some of our friends at Salty's in Seattle for Thanksgiving. So no leftovers for us. I wish you all a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Encouraging signs


During yesterday’s press conference with President-elect Obama, the journalists was divided into a White Sox section and a Cubs section. The pool reporter lamented that he — “a genuine White Sox fan” — was assigned to the Cubs section. During today’s press conference, Obama apologized to the reporter and took a shot at the Bush administration’s unwillingness to admit error:
I understand that as a life-long White Sox fan, you were placed in the Cubs section yesterday. And I want to apologize for that. This is also part of the new way of doing business: When we make mistakes, we admit them.

(from Thinkprogress)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 6 training results

Week Weight Avg HR Elevation Gain Minutes on Bike Mileage on Bike
10/12/2008 – 10/18/2008 230 139 1641 141 28.44
10/19/2008 – 10/25/2008 230 139 1127 83 8.73
10/26/2008 – 11/1/2008 230 122 3741 413 71.2
11/2/2008 – 11/8/2008 227.8 139.7 2493 262 40.12
11/9/2008 – 11/15/2008 223.6 111.5 3931 207 31.87
11/16/2008 – 11/22/2008 224.2 142 4648 339 56.89


Not bad, it is obvious I went off the diet. I did work in my new morning/commute route which is adding elevation and miles to my week. I will recover this week hopefully though Thanksgiving is likely to give me trouble.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A good idea

I like this idea of a gas tax. I know people freak out about stuff like this but give it a read.

Father-in-Law

My Father-in-Law is in town. This means my posts will be limited as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully I won't slack off entirely on riding. No riding today though and it was a beautiful day in Kirkland, sunny and slightly cold. I did manage to take the time to clean my bike, oil the chain and lower the seat by two pegs. I need to see how this affects my riding and the recumbutt experience.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cycling update


With today's commute being my new 26 mile round trip option (23 miles to work, 3 miles home) I feel like I am on the right track. My adjustment for my cleats finally seems to have dialed in the fit. My panniers and seat bag works great. I will soon have my proper lighting setup with dynohub and LED light. I also want to recline my seat a bit more. I ordered new tires too, conti gp 4000 with black chili compound. But I feel much more confident and strong on the bike and I feel it is the right platform to continue.

I seem to be averaging a cadence of 62rpm. Not horrible when it involves almost 2000ft of climbing. I need to work on it, and as I shed pounds it will be easier to bump up that number. My goal is to keep up the training, keep mixing up the rides, bump up the miles/week, bump up the climbing/week. I don't have any issues on the flats so climbs are my weak point. In general your weakest area is where you can get the largest improvements for the smallest effort. It also has the side effect of being one of the best things I can do for fitness. The hills are a cheap form of interval training.

I also like these long rides since once you get going you are committed. I was 4 miles out today on the ride to work, and feeling the hills but there really was no other option other than keep on going. And it was fine, easy even. I am careful not to put myself in impossible situations but I don't mind pushing myself to do big rides. I am feeling strong and see myself getting stronger. The riding is compensating for my crappy diet skills. I don't limit myself well. I had soda today, and that is verboten. But overall even the diet is going well. Bringing leftovers to work has been great for my diet and the quality of my food I eat.

If I keep this work up I will be fit in no time. I don't anticipate any trouble in March and my first real brevet.

Roadside assistance for cyclists


This is awesome, Pedal Secure provides a roadside assistance program similar to AAA.

Pedal Secure Membership Benefits Includes:
  • Transportation to Bicycle Repair Center Or ...
  • Transportation to Nearest Return Location (Car, home, work)
  • Repair or Replacement of Flat Tire(s)
  • Repair or Replacement of Broken Chains
  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Spokes
  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Pedals
  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Cables
  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Wheels
  • Four Service Plans So We Can Accommodate Everyone
  • We Guarantee to Get You Back On The Road Again!



This is pretty cool, especially considering I had a flat this morning. Now sure I dealt with it, but there will be times I call my wife for help. This could give me other options. I like this idea and am glad to see it is available nationwide. All from a company based in Beaverton, OR, which is cool since I used to live there.

New Commute/Training Premier




Today was the first day I tried the full 23 mile commute. It was a rousing success. I started at 6:30am and got to work at 8:45am. I did have small issues with a slow flat on my rear tire. I saw numerous bike commuters on the Burke Gilman. The wildlife was also out, I saw an osprey dive into the river after a fish and miss, it screamed in rage and flew up to a tree. I also had to ring my bell to get some geese and ducks to let me pass. It is a beautiful route and almost all of it is very safe. The grades weren't bad and I just spinned through the climbing. I love my Corsa and love my Q-Rings.

I would happily do this route 2-3 days a week. I will work it in slowly so as not to over train. I have next week off since my Father-in-law is visiting for Thanksgiving. We pick him up tonight.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Commute tomorrow




Tomorrow morning looks Sunny until 10am. Since I slacked off today I think I will ride the 23 mile long route. Worse case I walk up Old Redmond Rd. I will leave bright and early at 6am so as to avoid as much traffic as possible. David may join me, which will be cool, I need a bit of practice riding with others anyway.

Should be good exercise and a fun ride. There is only two left turns the entire route, it really is a simple ride from a cycling skill point of view, regardless of the distance and climbing for a commute/training ride.

Waxman wins

Waxman beat out John Dingell for chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee by 15 votes.

This is great news. Dingell was always a problem and didn't address global warming at all. Dingell was considered the front runner for a while because of his bluster. It appears Waxman's quite command of the votes won out. I am glad that he won for two reasons. First, I care about global warming. Second, I think it is important to have someone in the position who can work the system and muster the votes he needs to get stuff done.

Updated: Interesting quote from Steve Benen
I honestly expected Dingell to prevail. He's been in the House for 27 terms, made a lot of friends, and had organized a large whip team to help him keep his gavel. Giving the gavel to Waxman, Dingell kept reminding us, would represent a shift to the left on energy policy.

Good. Just as Daschle and Baucus have made reform of the healthcare system more likely, Waxman's new committee chairmanship makes a meaningful energy bill more likely.

No bike commute today

I received a wakeup call from the NOC at my office so I rushed in rather than riding. I feel sad but it is raining today. I will do some investigative work on tires for my Corsa. I am thinking of Conti GP 4000 with Black Chili compound. Very grippy and durable. Which are the attributes I am looking for.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Commute/Training Route




I used Bikely to plot my new commute training route for use once or twice a week. I need to run this on Saturday to see how bad the Old Redmond Way hills are. They look steeper than my commute route.

This should help me a ton on getting into shape and losing weight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Commute

I rode into today. Another beautiful fall day. I wish I rode in yesterday as it was so bright and sunny. I feel more confident on the Corsa. I had no issues riding up and over the tracks today. I also did better on the 100th St Ped bridge, I coasted to the street intersection before putting my feet up in the pedals. It worked much better, I was daydreaming on the bridge crossing, so it was just my subconscious at work.

View Larger Map
My commute time is nice and short now, I will keep pushing the training on the weekend for fitness. Next week I will tackle Old Redmond Road as seen here. If I can make it up that hill I will have a mid week training ride by going Juanita Dr to Burke Gilman, to Old Redmond Rd, to Digeo, 25 miles and almost 2000ft of climbing.

Pirates Seize Oil Tanker

From the NY Times

Not a joke, it appears Somali Pirates have seized the 1,080-foot supertanker, the Sirius Star. I hope the 25 man crew is returned safely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

George Will gets schooled


It is nice to see Paul Krugman on TV. He really schools George Will here. I hope we see more of this type of commentary. Informative, accurate, facts based, rather than the right wing talking points that seem to pass as information on most news media.

Rachel Maddow didn't forget Katrina


But it appears Leiberman's staff did.

Update: and so did the Senate Leadership

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Juanita Hill to RTC ride


View Larger Map
I rode 20 miles today on Kiley the Corsa and climbed 1353ft. The stats from Motionbased are here:

(click on image for larger)

I am very pleased with this ride. I wanted to do a street based ride as I need to build confidence on the Corsa and improve my cycling skills on a high racer. I also wanted to see how bad Juanita hill was. It turns out Juanita hill isn't bad at all. There are sections of 10% grade but overall it is an easier climb than the one I do to work. If I can connect from the Sammamish River Trail to my office by climbing Old Redmond Way, then I will have an excellent 25 mile commute option for training. Next weekend I will try to Old Redmond Way.

The hose hack for my water bladder was perfect. I was able to access the water without having to strap a tube to me. My mobility getting on and off the bike was unimpaired. I did have some right foot pain, I will adjust my cleats again and I picked up some superfeet inserts for my cycling shoes. I took it easy on the Sammamish river trail as there was a lot of ped traffic and my foot hurt. There were wet leaves for the first mile as well and since I fell leaves Thursday, I figured I should be easy on Kiley. She doesn't need another fall. I just had her rear wheel trued yesterday.

I was looking at hooking up a water bottle as I did my bladder using a Camelbak hands-free bottle adapter and a Camelbak performance bottle. I can use that as my hydration supplement delivery system. All in all a good day and there was a reason I was singing "I love my bike" on the ride. The Corsa is a wonderful bike.

Week 5 progress

Week Weight Avg HR Elevation Gain Minutes on Bike Mileage on Bike
10/12/2008 – 10/18/2008 230 139 1641 141 28.44
10/19/2008 – 10/25/2008 230 139 1127 83 8.73
10/26/2008 – 11/1/2008 230 122 3741 413 71.2
11/2/2008 – 11/8/2008 227.8 139.7 2493 262 40.12
11/9/2008 – 11/15/2008 223.6 111.5 3931 207 31.87

Not bad, I am happy about the 4lbs. My milage needs to go up but I had a rash of mechanicals this week and rescheduled my larger ride for Sunday vs Saturday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bladder Hack on Corsa

From BladderHack

I was getting annoyed by clipping my bladder hose to my shirt/jacket. Being attached to my Corsa is much more annoying than it was on the trike. Every light or stop sign stressed the connection and I had trouble if I needed to get off. I was inspired by Jim's VK2 blog and the way he routed his water bottle hoses and bladder hoses. I used one of those office badge holders that has a spring loaded extension on a clip. I zipped it to my bottle holder as a test and took it for a test ride.


As you can see from the slideshow, the hose fits nicely next to my seat and doesn't catch on anything. It is easy to grab and drink, and when I release it snaps back into place. I can probably get something a little stronger but this works for now. I am thinking of doing something similar to my water bottles. If I can get hose assemblies that fit on the water bottle I can then route the hose similarly. By using tubes that feel and look different I can tell the water tube apart from a water bottle tube with NUNN or some form of liquid nutrition. That would work well for long rides.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ride in

I rode in today. The adjustments I made to my cleat position helped a ton, I felt more confident and was able to unclip easily. The adjustments to my shifting are ok but still need a bit of love. I will get out my maintenance book and spend more time on this Saturday in the sun. On the bright side I didn't have to walk the tracks today, I was able to power straight up the hill without too much pain. Though I was huffing like a lifetime smoker. I really need to develop my hi-racer legs. I am surprised how different the BB height makes. I have more power on the trike and the vivo. Both have lower BBs and I thought it would transfer. Though to be honest I am so slow on the trike it is hard to say I have more power there.

I am very pleased with my bike repair stand (Ultimate Elite Pro). It really makes working on Kiley the Corsa a pleasure. Now if I can only work out my issues with locking my bike up at work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stimulus - better too big than too small

I recommend reading Krugman. In particular I found these two articles regarding stimulus packages interesting.
1- Sizing of the stimulus
2- FDR references

Both are good pieces and informative. I hope our President-Elect heeds the advice.

Minor Mechanical issues


Riding home last night I popped the chain off the big ring up front. After fixing the chain I managed to pop it off the lower ring. Quite annoying. I put everything back and rode home in the middle ring.

When I got home I put the Corsa up on my bike stand and shifted back and forth, I wasn't able to pop the chain off so I attributed it to my aggressive shifting under stress. Then this morning I was getting underway and popped the chain off the big ring while in the driveway. I then had a nice low speed fall since I didn't unclip properly. So I didn't ride in today and the Corsa is in the garage waiting for me to get home and play with the limit screws. It is almost as if someone screwed with my limit screws while the bike was at work yesterday. Either way I will adjust it. I may move the front derailleur a bit as well since there is some contact with the derailleur when shifted in the small ring. Time to use Zinn's bike book again.

Wanker of the day

Michael Barone
(h/t to the other Duncan -Atrios)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Organizing

I want to get more organized about tracking my weight, cycling mileage, etc. So I am going to keep it all in a spreadsheet and summarize my progress. I think I will use something like this format.

Exercise and Weight loss log
















Week Weight Avg HR Elevation Gain Minutes on Bike Mileage on Bike
10/12/2008 – 10/18/2008 230 139 1641 141 28.44
10/19/2008 – 10/25/2008 230 139 1127 83 8.73
10/26/2008 – 11/1/2008 230 122 3741 413 71.2
11/2/2008 – 11/8/2008 227.8 139.7 2493 262 40.12


The differences in mileage between this and the post below is due to how the gps statistics are read by motionbased and the garmin fitness tools.

Health update


Today I weighed in at 227.8, which is 12.2 lbs down from my high point. The commuting has helped. I checked out my milage totals since I started using the gps as well.
weekmilage
10/12 - 10/1828.36
10/19 - 10/2517.40
10/26 - 11/178.87
11/2 - 11/839.93

It is creeping upward and I just need that number to go up. There were a few days where I didn't commute in there as I was running errands after work in the city. If I push up that mileage I believe I can also work on my weight loss.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lucy

From Sunday Dog Park


I realized that I hadn't posted any dog pictures for a while. So I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of Lucy.

elevation!

So I was looking at my ride to work and I feel better.
GradeAverage (%)Maximum (%)
Overall Grade0.0--
Ascent Grade4.515.4
Descent Grade-3.9-29.2


An average grade of 4.5 is pretty respectable and topping out at 15% as well. I feel better about having some difficulty on my route. I will soon be handling it with more style and confidence. Then I can extend my commute with the longer route.

Best XKCD ever

Best XKCD ever

I love the mouseover text.

First Real Commute on the Corsa


Today was the first real commute on the Kiley the Corsa. My speed to work is 50% faster than on the trike. My heart rate was up 15% or so. I walked the railroad tracks that coincide with the highest grade climb of the route, 14% grade to crest the tracks. The road narrows there too. That was the only point I feel nervous on my ride.

I got to work nice and early. Locking up the bike was OK, I may look at putting my bike in my cubicle, it is a pain to lock up a recumbent. Rolling the bike into the office would reduce my pack and unpack time as I wouldn't have to remove the panniers and seat bag.

I will weigh myself Friday morning if I remember, to check my progress. At the moment I am about 11 lbs down from my peak weight of 240. Every day brings a new reason to lose more. My target weight is about 180, I would love to be 165 lbs. Fitness will be my main technique to shed weight. Though I have been working on my diet. Mostly my plan has been to not consume fried foods, soda and alcohol. I have been reducing portions and eating breakfast. I substituted low-fat yogurt and jello for snacks. I don't eat lunch out now, and instead have a sandwich, soup or a burrito. We bought a crockpot and I am working on recipes that we will use, I can take the left overs to work. With my Panniers + Seatbag solution I have a ton of room on the bike.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Errands


Kristin used to try to get me to clean the garage. I am a slacker and didn't do it for years at a time. Now with the bikes and the work area I go and do it for myself. Luckily Kristin is happy that it is cleaned and not bitter my years of slackerdom.

We bought a lot of bins and labeled and binned a most of the garage a few weeks ago. What I did today was clean off the work desk, rack the tools, clean off a table, and move all the bikes around to save space. This created a work area for the new bicycle stand (Ultimate pro elite repair stand). I threw an old sheet down for the work area since we have an infestation of drywall dust in our garage. I mop and sweep and it never goes away.

I used the opportunity to add reflective tape and stickers to the Corsa (Kiley). She is all bright now, it will make a difference commuting and randonneuring. I am also putting reflective tape on my helmet.

Kristin also got me to repair the broken drawer in her bathroom and hang a picture in the Living room. We also tested a new dog seat for Lucy to cut down on her whining and did a lot of grocery shopping.

All in all a good night and a productive weekend.

Corsa Pictures


Here are some nice pictures of Kiley in action.

Corsa test Commute


I took Kiley (the Corsa) on a test commute today. I rode to the office, went inside, read some email, worked on a problem or two and rode home. Some of the statistics:
  • my moving speed was 32% faster than my previous best commute on the trike.
  • I shaved 12 minutes off my total commute time.
  • My heart rate was 11% higher on average (141 vs 126)
  • My climbing speed was around 5mph on the hill rather than 2mph on the trike.
  • I was a little unstable on the climb but that will be corrected by time and practice.
  • I need practice unclipping and downshifting.
  • Kiley is awesome. So fast, so much fun.
I took it pretty easy on the downhills so I can improve my time. I don't see any problems using Kiley for commutes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Corsa and first ride


Here is the Corsa, Kiley. I didn't take a picture with full kit on her. When I rode this morning it was raining pretty hard. Now of course it is sunny and nice. Silly weather.

I am still waiting on the lighting system but my current setup is good enough to commute with. Kiley is a sweet ride. I had a small fall at 10 miles, scraped my left brake handle and shifter. Superficial damage only. The water bottles, panniers and seat bag are wonderful. I have calibrated my cycle computer so I will have an accurate odometer for her as well.

My ride was 20 miles at an average of 13.7 mph. The average speed doesn't tell the full tale. I took it really easy on the way back after the fall. The leaves and the fall really sapped my confidence. I was cruising at 18mph for a good bit on the trail. An upright passed me and I automatically followed. It felt good, I kept it up for 2 miles and then stopped to adjust the seat. My ride on the Burke Gilman was just a break in ride so I expected it to be slow. Once I get used to Kiley she will be like the wind.

I also rode to work, at least all the uphill portions of that ride. Kiley makes me work on the hills but I can do it. My speed on the hills is 30-50% better than my trike. I didn't wear the heart rate monitor but I suspect my HR was up. I was nervous and working. I will commute with Kiley, so this hill will soon become routine. I don't care if I have to walk her up, I will make it through the hills. I will continue to commute at 7am to keep the traffic down.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Corsa arrives and helmet mount hack

From HelmetMount


I picked up my Corsa today. The Schmidt dynohub wasn't yet built into a wheel and the Edulux light hadn't arrived so I bought it without those parts. Once the parts arrive Dale said he would deliver them to me. I think I will take him up on the offer, Kristin is getting annoyed at traveling over to Seatac. I will take better pictures of the bike tomorrow. Since this picture I got the panniers on and made a ton of adjustments.

One of the things I want is a backup light attached to my helmet. I bought a cheap cateye LED light just for this purpose. Today I zip tie mounted it to my helmet. Here are the results:
From HelmetMount


I think it turned out well and the light is feather light and the mount weighs nothing. It will be a welcome addition to my night riding as well as useful for reading my instruments (gps and bike computer) in the dark. I am getting a lot of satisfaction from doing various mechanical bits for my bikes. Simple things like adjusting derailleurs, brakes and making my own helmet mounts make my bikes very personal. I also feel more confident riding when I know I can adjust and fix my bike on the road. I helped a guy (Austin) with a flat on Sunday's 30 mile ride. It felt good to handle that without any issues.

Tomorrow I will be giving the Corsa a shakedown ride on the Burke Gilman. 30 or so miles should let me find any issues and get my confidence up. She rides differently than the Vivo and the Trike. I am working on a name for her. Kristin vetoed Fiona, so I believe she will be Kiley, which means graceful or good looking. It is of Irish descent.

Umbra Fisk on bike commuting


[via Grist]
(h/t ecovelo)

Cool video and reasonable advice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blog direction

So with the election over this blog will be more about cycling and transit and less about politics. There will be political posts but not 6-9 per day.

Overall the post count will drop but I will still be posting a reasonable amount. I will be working on better photos as well, since visual imagery is so potent.

Today I am sitting on the edge of my seat as Dale is supposed to call regarding whether my bike will be ready today or not. I hope so but Dale tends to slip his schedule. He does good work so I can wait though I am very eager to get the bike. I have a ride scheduled on Sunday with SIR so I want it ASAP to test it out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's first appointment - Rahm Emanuel


Rahm Emanuel accepts Chief of Staff position.

This is excellent news. Rahm is a bulldog, he will keep the party in line and smack down any in-fighting. Holy Joe Lieberman is toast, say good bye to your committees. Clinton had issues with in-fighting in Congress. Rahm will keep them all in line. Additionally we will see the party make the Republican's come to them rather then trying to appease the minority party. Rahm Emanuel is a bulldog and not a bipartisan hands across the aisle kind of guy. This is good news for progressives.

UPDATE: "A report that Emanuel had accepted an Obama offer for White House chief of staff has been retracted, but other reports have said the congressman is "agonizing" over whether to accept the position."

It is now official one day later - politico

from Atrios (the other Duncan)

Atrios relates this unattributed quote (ah, from here):
Imagine it's 2001. George Bush has just been selected by the Supreme Court. You really don't like George Bush. Then some guy claiming to be from the future shows up and tells you that George Bush is going to fuck things up so badly that the next president is going to be a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama. You probably don't believe him.
This resonates with me. I just am glad that Obama looks like the right man to get us out of this mess.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Wins!


Obama Wins!

Corsa update

From Corsa Test Ride

I called Dale@angle lake. The rim for my new front wheel came in so he will be lacing it up Wednesday. He says the bike should be ready for Thursday. WOOT! I am pretty excited so I will continue to push him a bit to make sure. Since it is fall he has the time to work on it, it should be ready. I am pretty excited.

STP Plans

So in an effort to avoid watching the election like a hawk I focused on cycling today. I discovered a number of other cyclists in the office who may be interested in the STP. I would really like to do a work group for the STP. Maybe we could get custom jerseys from Portland Cyclewear. It would be cool to have a Digeo jersey.

So far Sudha, Jim B, David S, Leo and myself all seem interested so that looks good. Five is a reasonable group and we can train together as well. Lets hope it all comes together. In any case I will be doing the STP.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SUPERBARAK


This is a classic. I love it.

A mistake


I made the mistake of looking up various chain cleaning techniques and trying to decide what I should be doing to my chain. With my new Q-Rings I don't want to introduce any wear on them, so I want to keep my chain in good condition. There are huge numbers of options on lubes, etc. I believe I will just move to the lube every weekend and wipe my chain off nightly technique. The trick is picking a product. I will be buying a Park Tool CC-2 Chain Checker because a new chain is much cheaper than new Q-Rings and rear cassette. I will probably go with prolink chain lube for the lube. It seems pretty good and I read of many with good experiences with it.

Cycling update - personal goals

From Corsa Test Ride

With the new Corsa getting built for me at Angle Lake Cyclery I have been preparing for 2009 cycling with it. One of my major goals is long distance cycling. Club and charity rides like the STP are one way to rack up long distance rides but I also want to do smaller, more self-supported rides. So I am joining Seattle International Randonneurs and Randonneurs USA. This provides me access to all the rides that SIR runs which is quite a bit. I also joined Cascade Cycle Club, which is good for the STP.

I will send the RUSA paperwork out today and wait for the SIR paperwork as SIR uses calendar years for their membership duration and I want to get it for 2009. Once I get this done I can do brevets to qualify for the awards and potentially the PBP. I believe I will attempt the Super Randonneur award, which involves doing at least one of the 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k brevets. The 600k looks like it will be a stretch but hey, that is what goals are for.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cycle videos

I watch videos on youtube looking for fun stuff about riding recumbents. One of the products of that searching is the realization of how much bad video there is out there. And secondly, how difficult it is to do good video production work.

There is one guy who's videos I like to watch NMERider on youtube. He also is a poster on BROL. His videos are well composed, have decent sound, interesting views and have other people in them too. His most recent riding video is an excellent example and very fine work. Take a look. BTW he is riding a Velokraft VK2

Cheney Endorsed McCain (Ad)



Classic. I like the light-hearted music. It also shows the Obama campaigns mastery of the snark. For more snarky Obama moments, check out Steve Benen

Still afraid Obama won't win?

A lot of people are making false equivalences to Kerry 2004. They say Kerry was ahead in 2004 in the polls, he wasn't. They say Kerry was ahead in early election results too, he wasn't. They say Republican's always do better on Election day compared to early elections, they don't. Check out Chris Bowers post on this subject for the real dirt.

But check out this chart of the polls in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Obama is doing so much better than Kerry did and much better than Gore did as well.


I am not trying to dampen your enthusiasm for Obama, I want you to still donate and volunteer. But stop being so defeatist, it is counter productive. Feel the joy of being ahead, revel in the fact that history is being made, in a good way. We will have a black president elected on his merits and because people think he can chart a way out of the morass the Republicans got us into.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Working on new route to work


View Larger Map
I am working to find a longer route to work for better training opportunities. Kristin and I drove this section from our house to the Burke Gilman trail in Kenmore. I brought the GPS to plot the map and get the elevation. The grade doesn't get above 8 degrees but averages to about 2.9. An average grade of 2.9 isn't bad. I can live with that. Here is the elevation profile:

My plan is to follow this route to the Burke Gilman trail, then take that East and South along the West Sammamish river trail until I get to the crossing of rt 908. I will then go up NE Old Redmond Rd to 132nd Ave NE. From there I go to 80th St. Then 80th St to 122nd Ave NE, and 122nd Ave NE to my office. All in all this should be roughly 25 miles with around 1200 ft of climbing. Once I get the Corsa I will test ride this route in sections. Then I will see if I can connect the sections and do it in one go. The first test will be Juanita hill to Burke Gilman as pictured above. The second test will be Old Redmond Rd to my office. Then I can connect the whole thing.

If I can manage this entire route it will be great training and I can work it into my commute starting once a week and gradually increase its frequency over the coming months. I expect this to only be my to work route, I see no need to take it home. I can use my existing 3.5 mile route home.

Trike Ride today

From September photostream

I road 30 miles this morning on the trike. It was a great ride though I did suffer from acid reflux the entire way. I ran into 3 recumbents. The break down is 2 Bacchetta Stradas and a Trice Q (see image to left). The Trice rider and I stopped and chatted for a while. Eugene and I will probably get together again to ride. It is nice to meet people on the trail. I also stopped and helped a guy with a flat, he was 10 miles from home so it would have been a sad walk for him. A sharp rock had pierced his tire straight into his tube.

The garmin estimates 2400 cal spent, which is nice. My weekly totals today are:
71.2 miles, 3741 ft of elevation gain, 6:52 hours of riding. Since my idler on the Vivo is still missing a nut, I rode the trike mostly this week.

I love how riding is a social activity even if you start out solo. I ran into a lot of people and waved, nodded, and chatted over my 3 hour ride. The fall colors were amazing too but I was a slacker and didn't bring my camera.

Great line from the New Yorker

David Sedaris at the NYer
I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Hilarious, and true. It is nice to see mainstream press owning up to the utter disparity between the candidates.

Morning Ride

From September photostream

I am going to ride the trike today. It looks like rain but I need the miles and training so I will do 2-3 hours on the trike give or take. The Vivo is out of commission since the idle fell apart on my last ride. I am putting off repairing it as I don't want to invest in the parts when the Corsa should be ready by Nov 8th. There was a delay on the parts for the Corsa so I have to wait a bit.