Monday, November 29, 2010


I Want

I try to live an un-materialistic lifestyle, I really do. I have always preferred function over fashion. That may change if Moab's Earth Studio keeps tempting me with tasty treats like what you see above.  This Laser Cut metal ornament is but one of the many bike related treats you will find on their website and please feel free to buy them. (click to read article on and see the other photos.)

just remember to send me one.


Locking Your Bike

Found over at

A Great Video (and rather humorous) on how to lock up your bike.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vegetarian Thoughts

Photo Credit: Chotda

Well I have been trying out the whole Idea of either not eating meat or eating very little meat (I haven't really decided). While I did eat meat on Thanksgiving it was the only meat I have eaten for quite while. Now let say first and foremost that this is not some animal rights / environmental / political thing. Cause it is none of those things.

I think meat is delicious and deserves to be eaten.
I Don't have political leaning (at all)
I doubt anything I eat or don't eat will have any effect on the environment

It was just time for a change, time for a chance for me to look outside my comfort zone and try to something I have never tried before. Over the past couple of weeks I have learned some things.

1. This is difficult
2. No regular reseraunt has any idea what no meat means
3. At home I have a surprisingly large number of options.
4. Not all Vegetarian meals are healthy
5. Some People are really cool about it
6. Some People - not so much.

I expected some of my friends to tease me (and I am happy to say they did not let me down) The photos of meat pizzas and steaks I got on my phone were what I expected and had less of an effect than I thought they would.

You see I love eating meat. I thought I would have a really hard time giving up meat but so far I haven't gone through the withdrawal that I thought I would. So things are looking up and the lunch I had today was crazy tasty.

Vegetable Broth
Canned Vegetables

add salt pepper and garlic powder and you are good to go. I think the whole thing cost me like 4 bucks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

little bitty kiddy 'bent

Found on Make Magazine

so this showed up in my reader today and I have to wonder just one thing... You think her dad would be to upset if kicked her off the bike and took it for my very own.

Kiddy sized Recumbent on Make magazine.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review - Spin Doctor Essential Repair Stand

I picked up this bike stand at Performance Bikes today was planning on doing a review.

Notice the word Planning

When I went to put it together none of the bolts needed to assemble the bike were in the box.

I know that I may just be the unlucky one who ended up getting screwed but I just can't recommend something when I can't even put it together without a trip to the hardware store.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vegetarian attempt Day #3

Photo Credit: ME

This is Hard.

For those of you who know me and are wondering "WHAT!!" and looking up in the sky for Jesus to return since this must be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. Ill just say "Don't go running into the bomb shelter just yet. I don't expect it to be a lifestyle change. Instead I have decided to try and go meat free until thanksgiving. Partly to see if I can do it and in part to see what kind of lifestyle changes I would need to make. I have several friends who are vegetarians and I wanted a look into what they live with.

It has been an interesting few days.

Tuesday night at Wendy's with a friend of mine was the last time I had any meat. I have learned that this is a lifestyle you can't just decide to do easily as my snack last night was a cucumber sandwich. My kitchen and food supplies just aren't focused on the idea of 'No Meat'. Likewise my prospects for lunch at work are looking a little slim. veggie hoagie from subway - cheese Pizza from little Ceasers or salad from Get Go.

I should of done more research before blindly deciding to give this a try on Wednesday morning. I am however loving the looks I am getting from people who know me. I am wondering what changes (if any) I will see in the 8 days until Thanksgiving. (that is assuming I don't snap and kill and eat some small child.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making change is hard

Photo Credit: MKSavage

I had a conversation with a friend of mine last night that has really given somethings to think about.  We are both the same age and are both Larger people (I am far larger than he). We were talking about just how hard it is make a change for the better, and how seemingly easy it is to make a change for the worse.  To make things worse we both seemed to be surrounded by people who seem to think the answer is to just say;

“It’s easy just don’t eat so much.”
“Why don’t you just get more exercise?”

To me, that is like telling an alcoholic, “Just don’t drink.” or a smoker to “Just don’t smoke.” Having been a smoker and having struggled to quit I can tell you that those words ring hollow. When I hear things like that I just want to tell the person;

“No really, it’s easy, just don’t be a dick anymore.”

While I have never had the guts to actually say that, there were times when those words danced on the tip of my tongue. We talked for quite awhile and while we talked I knew this conversation would cling to me. I knew I would be carrying parts of this conversation for a long time after I had hung up the phone. We talked about needing to make a change in our lives and having to find a way to do more than just talk about making a change.

This is a difficult thing.

I have long preached about the evils of ‘I Can’t!’ and it is true, I believe that I can make a change. I also believe that making that change is going to be hard and if I have learned anything in the years I have lived it is that I will fail over and over again. I’m thinking I need to change the meaning of ‘Fail’ and ‘Succeed’.

This is also a difficult thing.

I’m not sure I have any answers, which makes me really uncomfortable. I’m a guy, we are all about having the answers, and making sure you know it.

I look at the idea of ‘Change’ and ‘Fail’ and ‘Succeed’ and I see how I need to change the meanings of those words in light of what I am struggling with. I need to stop looking at the forest and start looking at the trees (yeah I went there, reverse cliche) I end up overwhelmed thinking

“I’m old”
“I’m fat”
“I’m lazy”

When I really should be thinking

“I’m alive”

Each Moment is new, each moment is a chance to make a better choice. I have to find a way to forget about all the choices made before the eternal NOW. I can’t change them and worrying about them is going to me more harm than good. Now every moment can be a chance to make a better choice, rather than a time to regret the past.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Incredible Video of Danny MacAskill

Thanks to Jason over at Bike Pgh Forums

Shimon Schocken's Rides of Hope

From TEDx Tel Aviv, Computer science professor Shimon Schocken is also an avid mountain biker. To share the life lessons he learned while riding, he began an outdoor program with Israel's juvenile inmates and was touched by both their intense difficulties and profound successes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DIY Truing Stand - Bike Hacks

Photo Credit: Reader Rob from Melbourne, Australia

Found this DIY truing stand over at Bike Hacks read on for complete article. I am going to have to give this one a try. I will try to document my progress.

Full Article

Monday, November 15, 2010

This is why I ride

Photo Credit: Hugger Industries

That would be Sarah Rodgers, Austin Artist and Roller Girl.

Some thoughts about Cycling

Photo Credit: The Colour Blue

I have noticed some things this weekend. These aren't earth shaking revelations and to be honest they are things I realized before but have been brought into a clearer focus for me as I have them repeated. I have been house-sitting for a friend in Brentwood and I have been enjoying cycling to work in the mornings and being walking distance to several shops (including Giant Eagle, Liquor store, and Caribou Coffee)

View Larger Map

The Idea of becoming less car dependent has been brewing in the back of my mind for several months. This is just a little ironic since I don't have a driver's License so I am by my very nature very car independent. Still I have seen that there are many things that go into making a neighborhood more, or less, Pedestrian/Cyclist friendly. I have always known that I live in a Very Pedestrian/Cyclist unfriendly township (Penn Hills).

I ride my Bicycle in Penn Hills, I visit my family, go to the store, and sometimes (not often enough) I go to the gym. I am not afraid to ride my bike in Penn Hills but I admit I feel out of place riding my bike in Penn Hills. The roads are narrow, the shoulders are worse, and the drivers seem to have no idea what to do with me. So these last few days have been something like a Bicycle Heaven for me.

Now granted we are much closer to the city where I am staying and I know this is part of the reason for it. I also know that I am lucky in that even in this neighborhood I am on the main ridge and close to shopping area. even a few blocks away from the main road and you are facing some rather daunting hills. What I am saying is that I begin to see what a neighborhood built around the idea of a Pedestrian/Cyclist being the main form of transport would look like. I also see just how far we are from ever achieving that.

and that is a very sad thing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Somedays are Better

Photo Credit: ME

Today isn't one of them, well it kind of is. I got to Ride into work today and it went well.. for the most part. Last night I threw my bike in my friends van, taking the front tire off  to make it fit in the back. This morning when I headed into town the first thing I did was head down the hill. Halfway down I realized I never re-attached my front brake. My only brake. As you can see from the picture above I did manage to stop, at the price of my shoe. 

Other than that it was a wonderful if chilly ride into town.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peer Pressure

Photo Credit: ME (click for flickr album of Reverse Keg Ride)

As I sit here with the last of the Snow Melt growler from East End Brewing  in the glass and look back over the weekend I see that things have changed. I know that I have talked about this before but it seems that I keep learning just how much I have changed. Since I began riding with all the cool people from Bike Pgh I have felt like cycling has taken on a whole new life. So here is the story of Peer Pressure - The Good Kind.

Saturday Morning dawned clear and rather cold, colder than I would normally even think of going for a ride. Still a ride was just what I had planned, and not just any ride and not just one of my solo rides that I would take to get away from everyone. Saturday morning was the Reverse Keg Ride this was a charity ride and the charity in question for the Reverse Keg Ride was Southwinds a non-profit agency which provides quality residential care and life skills training for adults with developmental challenges through out Allegheny County. (Confession I had to look up the charity on the website) 

The ride started out good with a quick ride across the Hot Metal bridge and into panther Hollow. This is where I hit the spot I knew I was going to end up in. Lets face it folks the name of the Blog isn’t  Fat Guy on an Orange Bike because I think it is a catchy title, but because it is an accurate title. The hill from Panther Hollow up into Oakland made me want to die. In the end I had to get off the bike and walk up part of the hill. Once again I was the one at the back making everyone wait for me. (Can’t say i like that feeling)

Here is where the whole peer pressure thing starts. As I huffed and puffed and felt like I was going end up with an aneurysm (or well I was hoping I would get one just to get out of going up the hill.) During all of this I wasn’t alone. Several of the riders who I know could of blown up that hill but instead hung back and encouraged me to keep on going. Even when I got up to the top of the hill, I was ready to turn around and head back to town, throw the bike on a bus and go home and feel sorry for myself.  (one of the things I have gotten good at over the years) Still this group of riders kept on encouraging me until I got back on the bike and rode on to the brewery.

I made it, and the ride made the beer taste that much better. As we all hung out behind the Brewery and enjoyed the glass of Snow Melt (a wonderfully hoppy dark beer) and at 7% ABV the beer did have a kick that snuck up on you. We drank, talked, laughed and for once I didn't feel like the odd man out.

Sometimes Peer Pressure is a good thing