March 3, 2010
February 15, 2010
I usually avoid books about competitive cycling, but this was an awesome little read. I have come to learn that Tim Krabbe is a well known chess player, novelist, bicycle racer, journalist and over achiever. he managed to spice up the generally dry, sterile and boring bike racing genre. I think this is the first dutch thing Ive ever liked. rarely do I knowingly encounter things from the netherlands. it has to be the only country that fails to offer up a decent black metal band. Ive discovered lots of places I never knew about through black metal. like the faroe islands, (home of the greatest coat of arms known to man) and every country that shares a border with russia.
February 11, 2010
February 10, 2010
yesterday kicked off bike friendly fort worth's mission to make cowtown a nicer place to ride a bike. on the coldest day in recent memory, a dedicated gang of riders got to together to ride to city hall to show support for the new bike fort worth plan. I must confess. the turnout was really damn impressive.
for the first time in texas history, cyclists made the local news. nobody had to die, and lance armstrong was nowhere in sight. just a bunch of commuters and enthusiasts enjoying a leisurely ride, on the coldest damn day of the year.
there were lots of notable attendees. aside from the trinity bicycles crew, myself and bernie scheffler. lindsey akey, owner of spiral diner and queen of all things cruelty-free in tarrant county, rick from 1919 hemphill, jeremy schlacter from gallus cycles, and larry kemp dedicated commuter and beer expert all made it out. perhaps even more exciting, I did not recognize half of the riders there.
February 4, 2010
I just finished this book. it was ok. there are some great moments, but you have to wade through a lot of nonsense to get to it. actually, it starts out strong and ends strong, so just skip the middle. in highschool I tried really hard to like the talking heads, I even saw david byrne perform at bass hall, most of his music is really good, just not my thing. his movie, true stories, is great though. I suppose I have to give him credit for all his bike advocacy in new york.
Im so sick of the damn rain.
February 3, 2010
since you probably were not planning on going to church, or riding a bike anyways. I highly reccomend swinging by the great southwest bike swap. I plan on hanging out with gallus cycles and trinity bicycles all day.
January 28, 2010
so, nothing interesting has happened since the red river riot. it set the bar way too high. instead of trying to make my own life somewhat entertaining I decided to take advantage of my pal leo, who already has an interesting life. I think we met through our bands. he was in tyrannosaurus-x one of the better power-violence bands in texas. we ended up living in denton tx at the same time and were riding buddies until he left texas. in addition to having citizenship in at least three countries, he holds degrees in several branches of science that I havent even heard of. after travelling the world, and living in mexico he decided to become some sort of sciencey data librarian in seattle.
surly cyclist: do you own a car?
leo: Yes, but it hasn't moved in well over 4 months.
how many bikes do you own? what kind? what are they for?
- I own 2 bicycles. I have my ten-speed Ron Cooper with Campy components that was used for longer rides, and I have a Fuji Track Pro fixed that is what I mostly use for commuting here in Seattle.
why no surly?
- I've always thought about having a Steamroller, but I never got around to buying the frame. I have been fantasizing about a Cross-Check, though.
- Texas, Washington, Monterrey Mexico, Guadalajara Mexico
where is your favorite place to ride bikes?
- Monterrey was great, but I'm really starting to enjoy the hills here in Seattle. There are a few hills that really bust up my legs, but most of them are manageable and as much fun going up as they are going down.
how is "bike culture" different in mexico?
- I came across a lot of thirty to forty bikers, but very few younger ones. At least in Monterrey, there didn't seem to be much urban cycling solidarity outside of the professional arena. Bicycles as a form of transportation are used really often, but there are no Critical Masses, community bike shops, etc. There are, however, several large groups that do endurance rides out into the surrounding areas, but I didn't participate.
do you have goals as a cyclist?
- Not particularly. There are a few rides I would like to go on, but they're not sedimented enough for me to give details. I'm going to be doing a Seattle to Portland ride in the Spring, if that counts.
what do you miss most about denton?
- Cheap rent, cheap Thai food, inorganic and physical chemistry lecture, and my Ron Cooper.
whats the best music to ride to?
- I try to coordinate it with the weather. Doom/stoner metal gets the job pretty often, so does power violence and shoegaze.
is it "metal" to ride a bike?
- Fuck yeah. Nothing more metal.
I understand you are located near "mountains", what are those like, have you ridden a bike on one?
- I haven't yet, but I plan on making a few nature trips in the very near future. There is a giant park to the West that I need to go explore for a few weekends.
whats the dumbest thing you ever wore for the sake of riding a bike?
- A helmet.
has your badboy bike status ever scored you points with the ladies?
- Definitely. I don't know if it's the fact that the keep me active, give me something to get excited about, or if they just like that I have at least a little muscle on my legs.
please rate this interview on a scale from one to ten....
- Best interview I've ever been asked to complete. I give it a 9.
any final comments?
- You should come up to Seattle in the summer so we can go explore some of the islands
sure thing, I really owe you one for this interview.
January 24, 2010
the red river riot is a vicious man-eating butcher. my everything hurts. my endurance and overall fitness is a joke. I was in better shape in my pubcrawlin viking days. what gives? this time last year I was on top of my game. oh well. one day, I will be fast, oh yes, I will be fast. I will ponder these matters on todays recovery ride.
January 23, 2010
back at bar-h ranch, there were good burgers and some awesome beer from ska brewing. the ride had left huge void in my gut, so I topped off in muenster at one of its many texas-german diners. the schnitzel and bratwurst were top notch.
January 18, 2010
January 15, 2010
the grey skies kept my ride short today. uni-boy was out today, that was the highpoint of my ride. I said 'hello' but I could not make out what he muttered back. to supplement my sorry ass bike ride I decided to combine my love of arrogant bastard ale, black metal, law and order: criminal intent and 'cycling'.
January 14, 2010
January 13, 2010
this is jc. he is my friend. he is a substitute teacher. he rarely rides a bike. today was his lucky day. mostly because he got to ride my surly pugsley the dopest, fattest tired bike on earth. he doesnt know much about bikes, but I think that makes him a great candidate for my first interview.
surly cyclist: so, jc. how was your bike ride today?
jc: too long. too far. plus I almost died.
jc: you should sharpen your interviewing skills.
sc: ok. what feature of my awesome pugsley most blew your mind?
jc: the brakes.
sc: yeah, Im a big fan of avid's mechanical disc brake. do you have any fond bicycle related memories?
jc: there was that one time, when we lived in denton. we rode west out of town. vegan leo almost killed a dog with a rock. I had that junk schwinn. and that one time I rode a tall bike.
sc: wow. thanks jc. great interview. best of luck.
January 12, 2010
why the hell is nike making a major taylor shoe? Im confident that major never wore nikes. hopefully it raises major awareness in the collectible shoe and hat community.
January 11, 2010
first off. I want to retract my statement about longpants. there is no sense in owning something I only need once or twice a year. I gots hot legs. why hide them? actually, my legs are really short for my height. so any pair of pants I get have to be folded up. which makes me think about the fact that I have stumpy legs. something I prefer not to dwell on.
moving along. as if seeing a unicyclist wasnt exciting enough. I discovered the super secret north richland hills dirt jump. intense, huh? my mind is still blown. I thought those only existed in magazines and mountain dew ads.
please dont let my shortcomings as a photographer fool you. that launch has to be at least six inches high. no records were set, but the karate monkey caught some air. wicked awesome air. with loaded panniers. now that I think of it, maybe I set a record for jumping a loaded bike with drop bars. sick.
January 10, 2010
Sorry. I spent my day at band practice. I squeezed in a meager ride around the neighborhood. Im not proud of that. Our record release show is in a few days. Otherwise I would have busted out a double century. I promise, tomorrow, I'll ride super far.
January 9, 2010
there are few barriers that can come between me and beer. The lagunitas ipa is my favorite. complex, well balanced. there are plenty of hoppier, stronger beers, but this one I can enjoy all nite. more importantly, on my way to the store I saw a kid riding a unicycle. that kid gets five out of five stars.
January 8, 2010
January 7, 2010
This is about the coldest weather I have ever ridden in. I wear this outfit all the time. I have never thought to myself "I should get some long pants". I certainly never considered purchasing cycling-specific cold weather clothes. Holy shit, I was wrong. Could not be wronger. I may only need them five times in the next ten years but it will be worth the investment. I learned several things today:
1. Hooded Sweatshirts are not windproof.
2. Converse are the worst shoes money can buy.
3. Longpants may be more than just a fad.
This reminds of the time when I realized bike shorts served a practical function. Other than making us look stupid, that is. The salsa gloves were awesome. Too bad they dont make them anymore. Maybe surly can make some killer gloves to go with the pugsley?
January 6, 2010
My pal and local cycling celebrity Bernie Scheffler paid me a visit today. A few years back we went on our first bike tour together along with Chris Hasty, another Fort Worth cycling giant. Despite the awful weather, a good time was had by all. We planned on riding to Enchanted Rock and back but we were forced to take a day off due to a hail storm. My karate monkey was a 1x9 at the time but handled the hill country no problem. For a mountain bike, it makes one hell of a touring bike, nearly as capable as my long haul trucker(rip).
I think come march I better hit the road again. Im getting cabin fever. Ive never ridden east of the metroplex. Maybe the pineywoods? We'll see......
January 5, 2010
Ventured out into civilization today. Parked the bike and went for a walk. Nothing too interesting out there, but I did manage to find a decent cup of coffee. It takes a lot of guts to open a business like that adjacent to a starbucks. Most people dont think twice about where they spend their money. I hope Roots Coffeehouse does well.
Please support your local coffee shop. Support your local everything-else while you are at it.
January 4, 2010
This is as good as it gets. Fast, practical on all surfaces, comfortable over long distances, capable of substantial loads. It is a true pleasure to ride a quality bicycle. The Karate Monkey frameset is perhaps the most versatile in the surly line up. I have run it as a single speed, a cross monster, a commuter and a full on loaded touring bike. It can do a lot of things, and it does them well. With the current build, I can get the groceries, go camping, chew up singletrack and let skinny tire dudes draft off of me. If I had to own only one bike, this would be it.
....and this is my post-ride vice. When its cold enough, I look forward to even the worst cup of coffee. That is my favorite mug by the way. I use it all year.
January 3, 2010
I found this graph floating around the internet. Seems reasonable. This is car country. I wrote an email to the North Richland Hills' Parks and Recreation Department asking for some insight into the cycling infrastructure. Hopefully they can explain to me why a seven lane road is marked as a bike route. Bike routes are supposed to improve cycling conditions, right? Why go to all the trouble of establishing a network that fails to improve anything?
In brighter news. My "NightRider MiNewt Mini-USB" still amazes me. Just a few years ago, a light like this would have cost a whole paycheck, I picked this up for eighty bucks. I really appreciate the lack of features. Its getting harder to find a light with a simple on/off switch. I think this would make a great primay light source for most cyclists. It fills my needs, both utilitarian and recreational.
Sorry. My camera skills are pretty weak. I'll be sure and take a photographer next time I ride in the dark.