Friday, November 27, 2009

1st and 3rd

I did another agility trial with Reuben last week. We earned two qualifying scores out of four runs, which is pretty good considering that the venue for this trial is competitive. He took third place in the elite class on one run, and took first place in the novice class in the "gamblers" run.

In gamblers, we had 30 seconds to accumulate 15 points by successfully completing the course of our choice, with points assigned to each type of obstacle. Then, when the buzzer sounded, we had 15 seconds to complete the "gamble," a sequence of obstacles where the handler must direct the dog from a distance and stay behind the yellow line. Here's our gambler's run:

Monday, November 23, 2009

The race in their head

Bike racers have a reputation for being hyper competitive a-holes. The funny thing is that bike racers have nothing on many recreational cyclists who insist that every encounter with a fellow road rider is akin to a 19th Century duel on a dusty road.

A friend of mine told me that he recently witnessed a guy ride himself into a ditch (literally) while trying to maintain a gap on said friend while going up a hill out of the Chagrin River Valley. Friend was just riding his own mellow pace, while Ditch Guy thought he was doing battle up The Ventoux on stage 17 of the Tour. Then he crashed into the ditch on the side of the road because he was riding so hard.

Just last week I was riding easily in the valley when some guy in a gaudy jersey passed me with great fanfare and gusto, then nearly killed himself to maintain his small gap on me. I was content to let him have his fun, until he executed an unnecessarily dangerous maneuver in a country intersection while running a red light. Then I made a point to pass him on the hill while making casual conversation over his loud and uncontrolled breathing. Yes, I am a jerk, but he deserved it.

A few months ago, I passed a guy while riding moderately mellow uphill and said hello. He immediately started making a litany of excuses about his bike compared to mine, even though his bike was lighter and comparable in price. Um, sorry man, I didn't know we were racing.

These guys need to pin on a number and go do a few Citizen bike races this spring to let off some steam.

Just watch out for that ditch.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

These days

Weekends at the cabin...

Seem more appealing that weekends full of cyclocross.

(photo courtesy of's flickr)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Gay Games 2014 - Cleveland

To all of the bike racers who read this best plan on taking the week of 8-9 to 8-16, 2014 off.

Why? Because, assuming the cycling events are similar to the 2010 Cologne games, there will be a road race, crit, mountain bike race, time trial, and team time trial. All of which are open for the public to race.

Who can participate in the Gay Games?
Anyone can participate. The Gay Games welcomes all people without regard to their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief, physical ability, athletic/artistic ability, age or health status.

$50 to $80 million in estimated local economic impact and five races in a week.

I'm in.


The story of Sylvia Bingham sickens me. A Yale graduate who came to this area to make it better, work at a non profit, and get around by bike.

Now she is another tragic statistic.

From what I can piece together from the news articles, the truck that hit her made a right hand turn in front of her/into her. We will probably never know where she was in relation to the truck when it started turning right, and I don't really know enough about the incident right now to intelligently comment on the prosecutor's decision to file charges.

I do know that I am tired of reading about tragic statistics.

Be safe.
Sylvia Bingham – AmeriCorps Application, June 2009
Motivational Statement

My interest in social justice is deep-rooted and wide-ranging. In high school I organized students against the war in Iraq; in college I focused on sustainable food and vulnerable inner-city populations. My academic and extracurricular choices at Yale University reflect my dedication to imaging and creating a better world. As a sociology student, I have sought to understand the systemic causes, whether economic, political or social, of inequality. My senior thesis examined HOPE VI, the newest generation of public housing renewal, in light of the welfare reform zeitgeist, which I called the self-sufficiency doctrine. I conducted in-depth interviews with ten public housing residents, and came to conclusions about neighborly ties and public safety that contradicted mainstream academic and political discourse. Other field work has taken me to Mali, West Africa, where I interviewed food security experts about the 2008 World Food Crisis in light of the country’s past major famines; to Bordeaux, France, where I did participant observation at an urban garden program which trains the chronically unemployed.

In my extracurricular activities, too, I pursued my passion for social justice. I volunteered at National Student Partnerships (NSP) in New Haven, where students help vulnerable clients locate jobs, housing, government benefits and training. I translated and transcribed videos of Holocaust survivors, to ensure that such stories are permanently recorded and remembered. I worked as a volunteer and an employee for sustainable agriculture and ethical eating.

As a tutor for Yale Reading Corps, I tutored failing second-graders at a local school to bring them up to grade-level literacy. In the summer of 2007 I had the most formative work experience of my life, as an intern for New Haven nonprofit CitySeed. I received a summer fellowship from Yale Dwight Hall to support CitySeed’s efforts to make locally-grown food more affordable and accessible in the city of New Haven. I managed an independent project creating promotional materials for Food Stamp and WIC recipients across the state, while juggling various other responsibilities around the office, writing weekly newsletters, phone-banking to recruit partner farms and tabling at farmers’ markets. This internship with a growing grassroots organization reaffirmed my dedication to working in the nonprofit sector. It was inspiring to be surrounded by colleagues committed to environmental sustainability, economic justice, and health equality.

An AmeriCorps fellowship is an ideal opportunity for a college graduate to explore the non-profit sector and begin a career of public service. I hope to spend the next year amongst professionals dedicated to creating a better world. I would like to help improve individual lives, while also working towards systemic sustainability and justice.

Why Do I Volunteer

My most moving volunteer experience was working with underprivileged residents of New Haven through National Student Partnerships (NSP), which links college students to people in need. I helped people research jobs online, write resumes, and locate appropriate social services. NSP volunteers were always friendly, respectful and attentive, and clients often told us how much they appreciated our attitude. Although I had to give up NSP volunteering in order to take a work-study job, I always chose jobs that in some way served the community.

Originally posted on the Hard Hatted Women website