Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh dear

I've just been informed that one of my favorite artists, Iron and Wine, has a song that appears in the new teenie-vamp movie Twilight. In a prom scene.

I'm glad I got a chance to see them play the Grog Shop several years ago, because I suspect the days of seeing them at a venue that charges less than $30 to see a show may be over.

I also suspect that Sam Beam (the bearded force behind Iron and Wine) will be having a financially sound 2009 (and beyond) as a result of this movie soundtrack inclusion. It couldn't have happened to a better artist, although he will likely tire of seeing the average age at his shows drop by a good 10-15 years, as well as seeing half (or more) of the crowd clamoring for "that song from Twilight" while talking over the rest of the set. Especially the new songs.

The art vs. commerce debate rages, doesn't it now?

Here is Iron and Wine playing with southwestern-centric band Calexico at an Austin television station:

And here is a live version of the song that would later be included in Twilight:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


From the last five days:

8.5 - total hours on the road bike

2 - dogs that chased me on the road (both were moderate to lame chases...they didn't have a chance)

1 - car that passed me (today) that had a bunch of people in it smoking weed

57 - number of seconds we made it into our ride on Monday from Canal Road before we were honked at and told by a self-righteous motorist to get on the towpath

71 - degrees Fahrenheit during my Saturday ride in southeastern Ohio

Long live unseasonably warm and dry days!! Oh wait, it looks like winter's respite is over. Now I can crawl back into my hole for the next month.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Got a few seconds?

Anyone who complains about the lack of mountain bike trails in Northeast Ohio will hereby be banned from such complaining if they do not take the time to go here and submit comments to the National Park Service regarding the proposed rule changes relating to mountain biking in National Parks. The passage of these new rules will hopefully make it easier to gain access to the CVNP.

If you are feeling especially frisky, you can go to the link from that IMBA page above and submit your comments directly to the government, which is probably more persuasive than simply having IMBA send in your comments for you. I just did that a few minutes ago. You should too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


...are good. Now I have my first one for 2009: Tour of the Battenkill on April 18. Registration has been open for all of a few hours and there are already over 100 people in my field.

It's now time to start worrying about getting back into road racing shape. That will begin promptly, right after the wind chill around here rises above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Bailout

Click here for the Big Three's take.

Along those same lines, this excerpt from a Yahoo news story today needs no comment:

HILO, Hawaii – A Hilo Chevrolet dealer who tried to crush his Asian auto competition found the stunt a little harder to pull off than expected. Island Chevrolet general sales manager James Severtson arranged for a Chevrolet Suburban SUV outfitted with massive tires costing $5,000 apiece to drive over a Honda Accord.

On the first attempt Friday, the monster truck blew a hydraulic hose and leaked vital fluid while the Honda remained intact and ready for more.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yes, it's that good

I finally made it to Bar Cento tonight. Everyone I know who has been there loves it. I now concur.

I have heard the place described before as something like a burgers and beer place for the foodie crowd. That's a pretty accurate description, if you're into using the term "foodie" without irony.

Ben and Sarah have a pretty good writeup of it here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That one house

There is a house on a corner in a semi-rural area that I frequently pass on winter bike rides. The last two times I have ridden past this house, I noticed large amounts of clothes hanging on clotheslines in the yard. I would say that there are at least 20-30 pieces of clothes out there drying, mostly tops and pants, and all of them are either 100% red or 100% white. Is this a holiday decoration? A cult? A Target employee? (No, because I think they sport tan pants). What is the deal?

It kind of creeps me out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

38 races in 2008. 11 Cyclocross, 5 trips to Westlake, 3 time trials, and the rest were road races and crits. At an average of $20 a pop, that's a lot of money in entry fees, but still less than the price of one single high end rear wheel.

I never thought about it that way before.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1998 wants its music back

I am a music snob.

I used to be a college radio dj. I haven't listened to anything other than NPR and college radio in over 10 years. Yes, that is extremely pretentious.

I have no clue what's going on in area commercial radio. There could be a station that plays transvestite polka 24/7, and I probably wouldn't know about it.

Imagine my surprise when I entered John Carroll's weight room today and was greeted by Bush's Glycerine. Followed by the Beastie Boys' Intergalactic. Then I heard the station jingle talk about playing 90's alternative rock. So now, not only does the weight room look the same at it did 10 years, and not only do the JCU students have the same haircuts and style as they did 10 years ago, but now the same music is played in the weight room as it was 10 years ago. Except tonight I also heard a song by Sonic Youth, which nearly caused me to fall off the weight bench. Also heard: 4 Non Blondes, Foo Fighters, etc. etc.

I suppose the bean counters have decided that people who dug that music back in the day now have a bunch of disposable income to spend on advertisers, so why not have a station with a 90's nostalgia format. Or something like that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Boughton Farm cx Videos

Start of the Women's race:

Start of the Men's "B" race:

Robert winning the "C" race:

Thanks again to the Team Lake Effect and Bike Authority people for sponsoring and organizing this race series. It pretty much rules.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Old school workout

Truly old school, as in at my old school. This week I broke down and bought a winter membership to the rec center at ye ole' college alma mater. Now I can be one of those creepy old guys who work out alongside all of the youngsters.

Actually, I enjoy weight training there because I feel like a puny little nerd compared to the hulking football players and hardcore weightlifters who frequent the place. At 6'0" and 190-some pounds, I spend the majority of the year looking freakishly large compared to all of the bike racers with whom I ride and race (and try to keep up with). It's pretty funny then to be the smallest guy in the room, searching for the smallest dumbbells on the rack while the other guys are throwing around a couple hundred pounds without batting an eye.

Now I just need to find my racquet and take advantage of those sweet racquetball courts that called my name as I walked by them the other day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


A little over a week ago, Katie and I checked out the band Wilderness at the Beachland Tavern. Having known little about the band, I didn't know what to expect. Well, it would have been pretty hard to anticipate the intensity of the singer and the volume of the show. I may be deaf now by the time I'm 40, but at least I've been to some good concerts.

A friend of mine checked out the merch table and reported back that the band was only selling their music on vinyl. Nice.

Here's a clip of them playing a newish song:

Category Upgrade

For me? Yea, right. No, for Reuben.

Last week we entered another agility trial and he earned another title in the Jumper's class. He is now in the "elite" class, which is analogous to getting a Cat 2 upgrade for all of the bike racers reading this. Not only did he earn the title, but he took first place out of about 6 dogs in the run below, most of which were herding dogs who are supposed to beat big smelly coonhounds. Oh the irony.

Monday, December 01, 2008

That didn't last long

I usually lose the love for road riding right around September. This year was no exception. After returning home from the Vermont stage race and a subsequent vacation, I had no desire to ride the road bike. When I did, a 90 minute solo ride seemed insufferably long. The prospect of a 2+ hour group ride was odious. I was all about cyclocross riding and racing, running, and some mountain biking.

I'm back now. In love with road riding, that is. A 2+ hour group ride in the cold on Friday was a blast. A 2+ hour solo ride on Saturday was equally good.

I'm still completely looking forward to the last cyclocross race of the season this weekend. But, when it's over, I will get back to obsessively checking the weather forecast to find days when it will be tolerable to venture outside on the road in this frozen tundra of a region in which we live.