Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Bike Was Stolen...Until It Wasn't

I was downtown this evening, getting a replacement phone (I ran mine through the washer). I locked my bike to a bike rack near where I was going. When I finished and went bike. No lock. No nuthin'.

I had the adrenaline rush of panic. It's been a very long time since one of my bikes was stolen. Immediately, I started mentally tallying the damage. It was an old low-end Bianchi steel frame, well-scuffed. Cheap steel fork. Sora shifters (yes, Sora), old 105/Ultegra derailleurs, 105 Octalink crank & BB, Eggbeater 2 pedals, and basic (Tiagra hubs, Alex DM18 rims, Sapim straight spokes) self-built wheels. Durano Plus tires. All in all, not a staggering loss, monetarily.

Oh, but I loved this bike. This is the bike I used for the Passport to Pain. More than that, it just feels right, like it wants to be ridden. Cheap components, but they all work happily with each other. If this bike were a dog, it would be a chocolate Lab. Ever-ready, always happy.

As I stood there with these thoughts running through my head, I happened to glance inside the nearby Jimmy John's, and saw a bike by the counter. A large-framed bike. Minimal, aggressive, and rather cool-looking. My bike.

It turns out the guys at JJ's took my bike, along with the rack it was locked to, and carried it inside. I suppose maybe they did this because the rack was not a public rack, and this was a way of getting my attention. That, they did. But, no matter. I am just so happy the bike was not stolen. Because I love this bike!

I hope your day was as good as mine.

Monday, November 12, 2012

...For Something Completely Different...

This caught my eye in my neighborhood blog. Most of the bikes I see are road, commuting, or mountain, and are ridden by adults. Seeing the passion for BMX -- by a 5-year-old! -- that's eye-opening.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Passport 2 Pain

Awhile ago, I vowed two things: 1) I would stop blogging, and spend more time riding; 2) I would not tell anyone about what a great place Vashon Island is to ride. Today, I'm breaking both those vows.

First, the secret will soon be out about Vashon. I can no more keep Vashon a rider's paradise by not mentioning it than Sheriff Tate could keep Boo Radley an innocent by declaring that Bob Euell fell on his knife, suh, he fell on his knife!

Second, I just have to tell you about the Passport 2 Pain.

Imagine a mountain stage of the Tour de France, with perhaps 3,000 meters of climbing, spread over, say 120 miles. Now reduce that 120 miles to 75, with the concomitant loss of recovery miles, and you have the P2P.

Or, think about the US Pro Championship parcours in Philadelphia. One hundred fifty six miles, with ten climbs up the Manayunk Wall with its (shudder) 17% grade. Now take a few of those climbs, tilt that 17% so that it exceeds 20%, shrink the recovery time to half, and you have the P2P.

Fellers, let me tell you about P2P. It's a 75-mile course that takes in more than 18 of Vashon Island's steepest climbs. For those of you who have never been to Vashon, imagine this. Sea level, 500 ft. elevation, and not much in-between. And what is in-between? Is seriously tilted. For those of you who have been to Vashon and ridden the published routes: you know that long, long climb up from the ferry? That climb is not part of the route, and hills of that grade are not considered as part of the 18. They are sous-categorie. They are what get us from one of the 18 to the next.

Now, it would be awfully funny if, after all this, I had not actually ridden the P2P. But I did. Woo doggies!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's been a very, very long time since I've posted. That's deliberate. I've often had the impulse. But every time I've had the impulse, I've managed to remind myself: "if you're blogging or updating your Facebook status or tweeting, or expressing you current thought, you're not..." Most of the time, I've finished this sentence with "riding." I ride every day: longer, harder miles than I have in a decade. Maybe ever. Doesn't matter how, doesn't matter where, doesn't matter with whom, doesn't matter what I'm wearing or what I'm riding. Just that I do it. It is at the core of my being. Building frames, racing, joining teams, advocacy -- that's all a distraction. Enough said. Talk to you next year. Keep riding. I will.

bike vs car: cost in work hours

Urban Country recently calculated that Americans work on average two hours out of every day to pay for their cars. How much does a bicycle cost? Only 3.84 minutes.

Very conservatively, I've saved $75K over the past ten years and certainly have never felt better.

map: bike collisions in Seattle

What, the Seattle Times good for something other than the pick-up-the-dog-poo bag it comes in? (It looks like the map was done by Tableau, which would explain the lack of anti-cyclist sentiment.)

Hey, West Seattle: we look to be in pretty good stead--just stay away from the 7-11 on Harbor and a couple other places...