Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Atlanta Police stalk Critical Mass

This really bothers me (imagine that). Our southern neighbors in Atlanta must have solved all of the murders and arrested all the drug dealers and child molesters because it seems that their big priority now is harassing proactive cyclist. Damn those uppity cyclist conserving all those fossil fuels our boy are fightin' fer! Selfish jerks. I love how cyclist, cyclist (!), are singled out and stalked by the authorities who, if i remember correctly, are public servants whose job exists for the purpose of serving and protecting the public. If asked whether i wanted my tax dollars to go towards arresting drug dealers and thieves versus capturing those pesky hooligan bikers that inconvenienced me for two minutes on the way home from work one friday, which do you think I would choose? Screw it...Burger King doesnt even ask me how i want it anymore; i dont see why the state would either. Anyhow, here is the header and link:

After many months of peaceful coexistence, Atlanta police decided to pursue and ticket the monthly Critical Mass bike ride. While other cities have had much more confrontational episodes between...

Click the following link to view the full article:

June Critical Mass (lots of pics)

Critical Mass went really well this week. We had roughly 70 people ride and a really fun post-ride bike art showing and potluck at the Flying Monkey arts center. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen and thanks to everyone who participated. It was really hard to get photos of so many people while riding so most of my shots are from the party. I think it's safe to say that as the night went on, it got a little silly. Anyhow, if you want a copy of a photo or have more to post, please email me. Sorry the pics are displayed in reverse order - i don't feel like reloading all of them right now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Anti-cyclist putting on airs down under?

I read this and thought to myself, "this guy is unfortunately a clever writer with an opinion." I don't disagree with everything he says but feel he is coloring everything to make his point. The relationship between cyclist and motorist is not a clearly/easily defined black and white issue any more than trying to define the relationship between women and men or dogs and cats. Secondly, not all motorist are anti cyclist and vise versa. Maybe he should ask himself why cyclist tend to be angry towards cars and possibly self entitled. Maybe they are a little defensive. Wouldnt you be? Cyclist are legally required to occupy the same space as motorized vehicles and regardless of what they are doing, it is bound to anger motorist. I am sure most everyone reading this would agree that we would gladly occupy a bike lane if one was provided versus risking life and limb in an ocean of SUV whales. Until that comes to fruition, you have to share the road and deal with it. Thanks to Nolan for finally sending me something interesting: an editorial from the Sydney Morning Herald

June 26, 2008
Put bike riders in the recycling bin
Mitchell Lawlor

WHAT do cyclists have in their clipped-on water bottles that makes them all so insufferably self-righteous? Cycling is trumpeted as a panacea for all the world's ills from obesity to global warming.

The reality is arriving at work following a near-death experience, a lung full of exhaust, flustered, sweaty and needing a shower. I'll take my air bags, Eric Satie and climate control, thank you very much. Cycling to work is in the same league as barefoot water skiing and eating ultra hot chillies: it is done purely for masochistic reasons unfathomable to the broader community.

Much effort has been made to encourage people to ride to work, but it just doesn't work. The truth is people prefer driving. The cycling evangelists blame Government policy, but the reality is that 99 per cent of us aren't interested in being converted. Holland and Denmark are held up as shining lights of the cyclocracy; but none of the cheer squad has noticed that these countries are flat. Cyclists respond aggressively to any perceived threat to their space but form the largest group of unpunished law-breakers on the road. They are suddenly a pedestrian when the walk sign is green, and a vehicle when the traffic light gives the go-ahead. The apparent positive of being able to sail through the traffic is possible only because cyclists undertake at every traffic light.

I patiently move lanes to pass a cyclist only to find they have scooted up the inside to hold us all up yet again. They add to global warming by forcing cars to spend longer on the road.

Cyclists are fortunate to be a minority group that has managed to claim the moral high ground for their dangerous pursuits. They set out on rides with a high level of pre-emptive aggression; mere motorists are too scared to make a comment for fear of a hostile bicycle pump whacking the bonnet. And when cyclists roam in packs they have more testosterone than a Port Macquarie pub.

Motorists are rightly concerned about being lynched without any recourse to common justice. While a dented bonnet may cause temporary grief, spare a thought for pedestrians who are much more vulnerable to attack.

So, "fewer cyclist" is the call to arms. Let's force them to follow the same road rules as everyone else, or take their self-righteous padded bottoms straight to Centennial Park.

Macaframa Commercial

I have been waiting a year for this video, here is a little teaser.

Macaframa from MACAFRAMA on Vimeo.

Macaframa from MACAFRAMA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Can Alabama learn something from Oregon?

Alabama is far from being a shining example of a cycling-friendly state. Why is is so hard to get our local government to see the huge benefits of making our state bike friendly? Huntsville in particular seems to be making an atempt to become a smart, progressive, high tech city yet somehow fails miserably. In reality, were trying to portray Huntsville as being a very forward thinking and progressive city in an effort to attract more tech companies yet doing little to back it other than building more and more over-priced strip malls.

We have all these brilliant and talented people here but it seems the city is still very much controlled by the old guard who looks at bicycles as toys for children and are to be given up once we can drive. Wroking in a shop, I see three major divisions; (1) club riders and racers who are usually middle and upper middle class (2) families buying bikes for their kids (who will ride on sidewalks and grow up equally ignorant as their parents) and (3) borderline homeless people who ride on the wrong side of the road and have little to no regard for the rules of the road. Its very rare that I meet intelligent people in the 256 that see cycling as a viable and green transportation source. Its very rare that I meet someone who sees the countless health and environmental benefits of going by bike. I am far from being what we call "good with words." If anything, I would like to at least help provoke conversation or inspire others to speak out on behalf of the rest of us. In our favor; Critical Mass has been growing and making a presence. I love CM but I doubt its overall effectiveness. I do enjoy it as a coming-together of our modest but tight-knit and growing cycling community.

As many may or may not know, Oregon is a shining star in regards to how bike friendly it is. Portland in particular is about to be the next center of the bicycle industry in North America. North America! It has some of the most progressive and innovative cycling laws in the world (check out the video and be super jealous) and is the bicycle commuter capitol of the US. How did they do it? Isnt it too cold or too rainy? Apparently not. Their weather is miserable compared to us and yet they cant get enough. Studies show that cycling brings over $15 billion of industry to Oregon. Southerners however can't be pleased. In addition to no bike lanes (which is the number one concern i hear almost daily), its either too hot, too humid, or too cold. Weird how the southeast has the highest percent of obese adults in the nation. Its much easier to jump in the Hummer, crank the A/C, and drive two miles to the store. Now I''m pissed. Anyhow, please check out this link about Oregons new velodrome, do some browsing (there is soooo much good info here) and let me know what you think;

Monday, June 23, 2008

Road Bike Trials

We have said it before chainring stalls and bottom bracket grinds are great but have no practical place on a track frame. Well this guy is a nut in my book, but he has my respect.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And you thought you'd seen it all: Cycle Ball

Flaming Tandem Stoker

We need to build one of these!!!


Oh yes, you will be mine, you will be mine!

Daily Rant

I saw this the other day and holy crap did it bother me! Why the hell do fixed gears need bash guards? If you want to grind or do sprocket stalls on a track bike, don't! Just walk away man. Get a BMX like the other highschool dropouts. Milwaukee/Bens needs to be boycotted for making this horrible product. They are the Walmart of cycling...doing anything for the almighty dollar. By making this product, they are giving people the idea that track bikes were meant to do this sort of thing. I guess the math makes sense to the type of people who would buy it anyhow. Lets see, pay, i dont know, we'll say $50 for a bashguard to save a $40 chainring and ruin a $700 track frame. Have you seen my baseball?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Huntsville Alabama hates track people

This shit just got real. Today was a relatively normal day; went to work, sun was shining, called some friends, and then went for a vigorous night ride out to Madison and back. And then everything went to hell. We were less than two miles from my place heading east on Holmes Avenue. We took a shortcut down Dallas to connect to Church Street when we saw a bunch of people standing around the porch of a two story apartment building on our right. One of the guys from the group breaks away and starts walking toward the street holding his arms out and yelling at us. He runs at me, I quickly swerve left to dodge him when he lunges at Corey who does the same. Tyler who was running third didn't know what was going on when he lunges again and knocks him off his bike. Keep in mind we were going probably 20 mph and smiling having just about wrapped up a fun night ride when Tyler was blindsided. He violently swerved left then tried to correct and highsided going head/shoulder first into the pavement. We turn around to see Tyler stunned on the ground then staggering to his feet. We stop and a girls runs out to throw him a towel and to inform us her mom was the commissioner, whatever the fu#k that means. Thanks for the tidbit. I am instantly on the phone fearing Tyler had head trauma and the cops are there within maybe four minutes. Shit just gets better. The cops do their best to identify the suspect and for some reason, the twenty-something people in the yard have no idea who did what. Out of nowhere, a black officer rolls up and asks us what we were doing there anyhow. Apparently we need a reason to ride bicycles on public streets. Then he starts asking us about our lights which we thought were required while riding at night. He says he has been hiding in the bushes the whole time, didn't see anyone push Tyler and that he did see someone with blinky lights buying drugs. Good work officer. You missed an assault in the middle of a well lit street and you saw people who wanted to draw as much attention to themselves as possible buying drugs and did nothing about it. The funny thing was none of us had any money on us except Corey who had Euros from his recent trip to Ireland. I guess drug dealers are going international in Huntsville now. Even more interesting; none of us looked or acted high, nor would we test positive for anything except disgust. The one officer portrayed us as being at fault for riding our bikes at night. I thought we were law abiding citizens exercising and minding our own business. I thought we obeyed the traffic laws, had proper lighting, and did something other than burning fossil fuels while getting wasted. The system thus far has left me wondering how much good it is really doing. I am sure nothing will be done about the incident. I jokingly asked if we needed to wait around in case CSI was going to show up and the cops laughed telling us "shit, this is Alabama." That pretty much summed it up. All in all, it was a jacked up night. Here are some pics. By the way, two cops were very helpful and professional; it was the one officer that was acting really suspicious and unsympathetic. He also raises questions as to his true intentions, his lack of compassion and I would definitely say he smacked of a little bit of racism. He definitely took things from an assault to a black-n-white thing. I would also like to send out a big thanks to the HEMSI folks for following us home (since Tyler insisted on riding.)

Weds: pics of the day and ramblings

This week has been a mess and I have got virtually nothing completed. The blog is in its infancy and while I have high hopes for it, thus far, it has been more work than results. I'd like to think that I'm being too optimistic with what I can accomplish and that I'm stretching myself too thin but in reality, I think it has more to do with the phenomenon that once summer hits us, my beer intake suddenly rises in direct correlation with the pollen count, multiplied by miles ridden. It's a pretty complicated formula that I wont bother you with. Anyhow, I have a few posts in the works but in the mean time, I will satiate everyone's need for new content with a feature I like to call "picture/s of the day." Whats up with picture one? Who doesn't like bears and who doesn't like unicorns? Nobody I want to know, thats for sure.

In keeping with the bear theme:

Next week, I want to go into my most recent obsession; guys who carry tons of crap on a bike and the cargo bikes that love them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trip to Bham Part 2

bham trip part 2: HED, Bham Roubaix, Alkaline Trio tattoo, bassist, ribs.

Trip to Bham Part 1

photos from an impromptu trip to birmingham, al. sold a bike to fund my colorado trip. rode downtown bhm a lot. saw alkaline trio play a great show at a great new venue; matthews bar and grill birmingham.