Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is it now...

...or is it 1981?

I have just found a new timesuck.

(Original photo courtesy of C'est La Vie.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A completely unscientific observation

The other day I saw an Allstate insurance advertisement on the back of a magazine. It encouraged people to lobby their state legislature to further restrict teen driving. I really don't know what the research on this issue says, but the ad got me thinking about my experiences with teen drivers while cycling.

Then it occurred to me that I can't remember the last time I encountered a teen who purposely did something aggressive toward me while cycling. Sure, I'd say that teens are the most likely group of drivers to shout something harmless out of their window ("nice spandex," "hey Lance," etc.). But, in my experiences, they are not the ones who tailgate, purposely buzz, or shout profanities and tell me to "get the fuck off the road." Those acts are usually reserved for the more mature and responsible set of drivers between the ages of, I'd say, 25 and 65.

I'm curious if others have this same experience, or if I am an exception to the norm.

I would be encouraged if others feel the same way. That would mean a better world for cyclists in the future, which would not surprise me. There are all sorts of hateful and vile attitudes that decrease with every new generation -- racism, sexism, intolerance of gay people.

Let's hope that we can add road rage toward cyclists to this list.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A public policy question about the health care debate

At last week's cyclocross race, some guy handed me a free issue of Urban Velo magazine. Even at first glance, I knew I was out of my league with this publication. My skinny jean collection is pathetic, and I insist on wearing socks while riding. I was about to ask the guy if he knew of any magazines along the lines of Boring Inner Ring Suburb Velo, which would be more my speed.

The magazine is actually well done, and I love the Fear of a Bike Planet t-shirt they sell (if you don't get the Public Enemy reference, I guess I'll still let you read my blog).

It also has a long article about bike polo. Bike polo. I challenge you to name me a sport with a comparable risk factor that has a higher percentage of uninsured (or underinsured) participants.


And ATV "mudding" doesn't count.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday ritual

On Sunday afternoon, 80,000 people paid a lot of money to sit around at Browns Stadium and watch the Cleveland Browns painfully lose (again). At the same time, a few miles west along the lake, 147 people decided to race cyclocross at Wendy Park on Whiskey Island. They paid $20 each to race, and friends and family watched for free.

The participants in the race were everyday people who race for the love of it while maintaining busy "real" lives with jobs, kids, etc. The participants in the Browns game were athletes with salaries that are unfathomable to most Americans.

The Browns game existed for the sole sake of making obscene amounts of money for the team's owners, the vending companies, television sponsors, and networks.

The cyclocross race was put on by a bunch of generous people who, on a yearly basis, selflessly give up several weekends of their free time to organize, set up, and tear down these well-run events.

You can keep your remote controls, Brady Quinn jerseys, and luxury suites.

Just pass me my cowbell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Hawk and a Hacksaw

This Monday. At the Beachland Tavern.

When three dudes with guitars and a bass and a drummer gets stale.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

There are times when the first amendment doesn't seem so great

Like when your neighbor two doors down insists on blaring The Rush Limbaugh Show so loudly that the entire neighborhood is forced to hear every word of it.

Regardless of what type of political show you listen to, that is just rude and classless.

But then again, so is this neighbor.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sometimes commuting by bike is not a money saving enterprise

Not that saving money is the main reason to do it, but still. Today we rode across town to the Edgewater cyclocross training ride, and I burned through two tubes getting there due to a pesky stone that lodged in my tire and did not make itself known the first time I checked the tire after flatting. Since the spare I brought was also useless, I had to be "that guy" and bum two tubes from two separate people, and I still had to ride a flat for about six miles through downtown and to the park.

In other news, Katie has been predicting all year that I would buy a new cyclocross bike in 2009. My resolve to not cave in has been pretty steady, with a few perilous moments here and there. Those new Ridleys sure are nice though. On the other hand, I do enjoy giving the weight weenies who see my bike the creeps with its steel frame and steel fork. It is a guilty pleasure of mine with which I'm not sure I want to part.

Only time will tell.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Sunday was the last road race of the year. You know it's almost fall when Shawn shows up to a road race on a cyclocross bike.

40 miles, 6 hills, great weather, and a bunch of hill and sprint primes based on the honor system.

Having been on the wrong end of the field split in the past at this race, it was nice to hang on and contest the sprint with what was left of the shattered field.

Another crashless road racing season in the bag. Let's keep this streak alive.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Although I didn't stay for too long, it was neat to see all of the people relaxing and hanging out at WRUW's Studio-A-Rama on Saturday.

Old people, young people, kids, and dogs.

And loud music heard nowhere but on college radio.

And beer. Lots of it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Who would Jesus harass (WWJH)?

On the way to an enjoyable Thursday group ride tonight, some impatient motorist did not like the fact that I was riding a bike on the road, despite my being so far right I was hugging the curb. She got up real close and laid on her horn, then passed me, which allowed me to read her vanity license plate that said something about being Christian and how much she prayed.

Very Christian of her. Very Christian.