Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Above photo found on Flickr. It's someone's costume.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Go Further

I just finished watching Woody Harrelson's Go Further, an independent documentary about Harrleson's speaking tour/clean-living initiative.

I was a bit surprised that Harrelson and his cohorts spent so much road cycling time sans helmets. I've ridden Route 1 in California, and I wouldn't dream of riding without styrafoam and plastic around my cranium.

On a non-cycling note, I thought the movie lacked focus, but as I watched more of the movie, more of a storyline emerged, and it became more clear that one doesn't have to be a biologist or any other -ist professional to have an understanding about responsible living.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fox and hound

Saw this on my local Craigslist: Someone wants to start a Fox and hound bicycle game in my city.

I love my little blue Cannondale and I've had some wonderful times on bikes, but reading this particular post made me long for the days when riding to me meant horses.

I've been on a foxhunt before - the kind with horses and doggies, er, hounds and MFHs (masters of the fox hunts) and whip (or, to the green, whipper-ins) and it was way fun.

I was a young Pony Clubber at the time, but to ride in the hunt as an adult is a whole different ball of wax. The adults get to drink afterwards. They have flasks! And now that I'm an adult I ride my bike.

Sorry to say, but the horse version of "Fox and hound" is more exciting to me than the bike version. I have no choice. I don't have a horse anymore. My custom chaps - embroidered with my initials, and with fringe!, custom tall boots, helmet, Tailored Sportsman breeches, hunt coats, spurs, draw reins, bell boots, splint boots, bridles, oiled shipping halter with brass nameplate and real lambswool, polo wraps, hairnets - for showing, martingales, curry combs, scrims, turn-out blankets, tack trunks, a saddle, and every other piece of high-end, overpriced gear that my parents bought for me -- bless them, I had so much fun -- are packed away in my parents' basement. I haven't even transferred the gear to my own, as in we own a house, I have a little girl of my own now, basement.

I should, someday, tally the list above, though that list isn't exhaustive. That list doesn't cover the monthly board that at one time topped $1,000 a month, the purchase price of several horses, the monthly vet bills - the one horse needed corrective shoeing, which is $150 (cash) per month. I don't even spend that much on my own shoes. Then there's lessons, private lessons of course. There's the show weekends, which included $30 a day for a professional braider (I do not make this crap up) to braid the horse's mane and tail for a polished look in the ring. There's the other expenses at a show - the trainer's daily expense, the rental of the stall at the show, the bedding for the rental stall, the trailer that takes all the horses from the barn, the tip to the grooms who scoop the poop from your horse's stall and polish your horse's feet with shellack before you (I) go into the show ring only to totally bomb the course that one time or get moody for no reason other than every other kid is a snob and you figure you should be one, too. Sure, there were wins, too, but if you are (I'm ) thinking back on all of this now that you're (I'm) a parent, you realize how good your parents were to you and how much opportunity they gave you.

There's good reason why, when I had outgrown my banana seat two-wheeler and it was time to get a 10-speed, my father took me to the expensive bike shop several Saturdays in a row and patiently let me try every bike there was, offering to buy me a high-end bike. Yet I opted for horses and he didn't complain except to joke about the hayburner.

Let's hope my daughter takes her father up on his offer to buy the sweetest custom ride ever, but if she goes for horses, too, I won't complain. Often.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bike hate

I'm sitting on the bed, laptop on lap, baby sleeping away next to me. There's only one thing missing from this idyllic situation: the husband.

He's still out judging some moot court competition. Come home, already! We can both stare at the baby at the same time! Come on!

So, to pass the time, aside from writing this fabulous blog post, staring at my beautiful baby, eating Kashi GOOD FRIENDS (how do they know, exactly?) with some brown sugar thrown in for good measure, listening to some PBS special, giving the baby a bath, reading my favorite parenting blogs - Dooce.com and Shenuts.com...I also participated in a favorite timewaster of the 2000's: Googling random terms.

Tonight's random search: bike hate

Winner of top ranking in Google (Dude! You must enter that #1 ranking into the Guinness Book of World Records!!!! Seriously, who reads that piece of crap book except for 5th graders who are attempting to grow their "own" libraries (that was me, in case you couldn't tell) and dorks who like to look at the photos of the dwarves, extra-long fingernails, and super-tall guy (really? that was me, too!)?) for the term "bike hate":

SITE #1:

A Spate Of Bike Hate - This is a boring post where a person recalls the jeers the anti-cyclists spewed forth at him.

What would be cooler is if someone compiled a list of bike hate quotes. My husband gets "F'in homo!" quite a bit because he can't be hetero since AND wear Lycra, and because he insists on taking the Whisky Tango route all the time - the one where the classy folks yell at passerbys from their rockin' chairs.

SITE #2: Bad Case of Bike Hate - This is an essay in a bike zine. I thought the story was on the boring side.

SITE #3: BIKE HATE CREW - This is the bees knees. A DIRT JUMP DOWNHILL FOURCROSS FREERIDE TEAM. Shit, I didn't even know DIRT JUMP DOWNHILL FOURCROSS FREERIDE TEAMs existed, did you? It's not in English, which explains why the stylish English language title doesn't actually mean anything. Pretty pictures on this site.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Funny as hell: Derny racing

Before this week I'd neither seen or heard of derny racing, and man does it look like a hoot! I must find my way to one of these races so I can watch in person. Unfortunately, the only people odd enough to enjoy this sport seem to be European.

If you're not familiar, here's how it works: An out of shape (see image above) or old guy (see image below) on a funny looking moped thing paces a pro cyclist. The key for the pro cyclist is to tuck in behind their derny.

Dernys (dernies?) are also used in Kerin racing, a Japanese pasttime that seems as exciting as speed skating or biting off one's own nipples.

For a more detailed look into Derny racing -- like, did you know that Derny is the last name of the original maker of these pace "bikes" -- check out this site from the UK.

Here's a link to a good gallery of derny racing photos.

Here is a link
to some boring British derny photos.

Or, perhaps you'd prefer a YouTube video on the topic?

And, finally, here's a video of some gangmaker/derny driver/pacecar training:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bus riding today

I took the bus to work today. Since I started off from my child's daycare (we had breakfast with my husband down the street from the daycare), I took a different bus. I had to transfer once, and it wasn't too bad.

The major drawback was that it was beautiful outside and rather temperate. I should have ridden! It would have cost me $1 and I would have gotten to work quicker.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ride report

Miles when I got to work: I'm not sure. My bike's not with me at the moment.

About the commute: This will be one of the last 70 degree days of the year, no doubt about it. The leaves are starting to change. We'll soon have to (pay someone to) clean out the gutters on our first house. It's just a few weeks until we fall back, gaining that precious extra hour of sleep daily. Let's just hope the baby feels the same way about that extra hour.

The commute was lovely. I didn't need a jacket or my cycling tights. Sun was sunny but not opressively bright. Nice.