Sunday, December 30, 2012

A little bit of work

Did a little bit of maintainence work on BOB yesterday. I cleaned up the frame and took off the christmas lights I had on the frame. I like the idea of riding around with the lights on. I enjoyed the people noticing the lights and waving. I also liked the idea of the added visibility. Still the tape I had used to secure the lights was beginning to fall apart.  I also cleaned things up and lubed the chain. I have tried several different lubes for the chain and for me I have decided that I like Rock-n-Roll Gold the "King of Lubes". I only know that this lube makes my chain quieter than anything else I have used. I plan on writing a review of this lube in the near futuer. i.e. it has made it to the list of articles that need to be written.

I also added a new cyclometer. The Sigma BC1609 with a reader that allows me to connect it to my computer. I did not realize this when I started to install the cyclometer but it also came with a cadence reader. For those of you who do not know, a cadence reader is a sensor that tells me just how slowly I'm pedalling. I am hoping to see how well this works on the icycle bicycle ride on the first of the year. I understand that there is a good chance of snow and cold. Usually I'm not to excited about riding around in the cold and the snow but it has been a few weeks since I have had a good ride. Besides it is time to pull a Number nine. This will give me a good chance to try out my new tires, gloves, and cyclometer.

All in all a ride that I am looking forward to. now I just have to break out the winter gear.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Premium Rush

Last night I stopped at Redbox and what do I find but that the movie Premium Rush is in. Now I didn't go to see this when it came out for various reasons. One of the main reasons what that I really didn't trust the makers of the movie to create a bike positive movie. I was partly right. I was also partly wrong. They showed why some people hate cyclists they also showed some positive sides as well.

I can live with that.

What the makers of the film did is create a story that was both fun to watch and thrilling to watch at the same time. I loved the story and didn't let the few plot holes I saw get in my way. I loved the chase scenes (which make up the lion's share of the movie) I also found myself enjoying all the non-bike parts of the story (the main plot) I enjoyed the ending even if I felt it was a little bit contrived. Most importantly I found that when the movie was over I wanted to get out and go riding. (since I watched this christmas eve morning and had many plans for the day I was left unfulfilled.)

The movie did not leave me unfullfilled however. This will go into the Pick up list of movies that I want to own. Take that for what you will but at 1.20$ in redbox picking this up is a no-brainer.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012

Resolution - Goals

Tis the season, so I'm told. Christmas marks the end of the year and the chance to start over. This is, of course, the time of the New Years Resolutions. I started thinking about the things in myself that I want to improve in myself. After the depression subsided I made the list you see above. For those who can't see the photo I'll give you the list.

  • Ride Bike More
  • Fix Myself
  • Icicle Bicycle 
  • Pedal Pittsburgh
  • Ride more than 1000 Miles
  • Write more
  • Ride up 18th St
  • Go on 7 flock rides
  • Organize my own ride

As you can see most of these resolutions are cycling based and the reason for that is pretty simple. I view the act of cycling as being the answer to many of the problems I face, at least I view the act of cycling as being the one thing that can change me and make me a better me.

I want to talk about a few of the items (goal on my list specifically)

Ride more than 1000 miles
I added this one because I don't know that I have ridden more than 1000 miles this year. I very well might have. I did do quite a bit of riding this year. So I guess the big thing is that I want to know how far I have ridden and that means getting a cyclometer (or 2) and using it to keep track of how far I have ridden. When the last one I had broke I purposely didn't replace it because I found that I was spending too much time worrying about how far and how fast I was riding. Not sure how I can do both but I'm going to try.

Ride Up 18th
On the south side of Pittsburgh there is 18th street. a long sort of steep hill. (well long and steep for me) and last year I made a promise to ride up 18th. well it is December 21st so I don't think Ill make it before the end of the year.

Flock Rides
By Flock rides I am talking about the monthly Flock of Cycles Rides (if you're in Pittsburgh you really need to check them out) this ride is a slow paced, party ride that includes music and (weather permitting) a potluck picnic. Since this is a monthly event I have 12 chances to go on a flock ride. I am hoping to make it to more than half of them (if flock puts on a ride every month)

I also want to talk about what isn't on my list.

Weight loss
I have fought with one all of my life. I have tried to lose weight and I have lost weight, I have gained weight. I have let the idea of what I look like rule over me to to long. I will not allow what I weigh steal my joy, happiness and peace. I have decided instead to judge things on how I feel, not how I look or how much I weigh. I have noticed that more I ride the better I feel, so I'm gonna ride more and not worry about something as insubstantial as what I weigh.

This is another one of those things I have struggled with my whole life, and once again I have found that I let my worries about money to steal away my happiness and leave me sleepless and sick. No More. I have over the past year learned to live a simpler life. This I plan on continuing.

So that is my list of resolutions/goals for the year of 2013 and I hope you will find it interesting and I hope that you make and keep your own set of resolutions. I for one am going to try to post my progress on these goals right here.


UPDATE 1-1-13
I rode on the icycle bicycle ride and had a great time. You can view that post here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Soupaneuring week 1

Tomato soup and grilled cheese at Otb. this is for week one of the Soupaneuring Challange.

Infini Wukong Light - Review

Last night I stopped at Thick Bikes on the Southside (My Local Bike Shop). My goal was to say hi and get some air in my tires (they felt a little soft) and as I was talking with them I saw them unpacking a bunch of these little lights. When I saw that they had one in orange I knew it was destiny. What I found out after buying one was that it was also a heck of a handy light, but first the details.

Wukong light made by Infini
Model - I-203R
Cost - 12.99

Size - 100×64×14 mm
Weight - 9.5gm (without batteries)
Run Time - 120 hours constant 240 hours flashing
Battery - CR2032 X 2

The body is made of a pliable silicon that allows to easily mount the light just about anywhere, and just as easily remove it. The lights are very bright and come in white (front) and red (rear). While this light falls into the "Be Seen" camp it was bright enough that I would feel ok using it as my only headlight in a pinch. After I mounted it on my handlebars I realized that what it was perfect for. I had my main headlight on constant and the little Wukong set on flashing.  I have never liked setting my only front light to flashing but having one set on constant and one set on flashing worked well for me.

Later in the evening when I was faced with a 3 mile ride from the bus stop to my house in the rain on a dark road. I pointed the Wukong down directly in front of my tire and put it on constant as well. this allowed me to see what right in front of me as well as what was coming up.

Overall I am very impressed with little light. What I had picked up because I wanted a new orange trinket on my bike has turned into something I keep on my bike.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bike Zone

I have been lucky enough to live in a city that is actually serious about bike lanes and sharrows. All that being said I have had far too many run-ins with cars, motorcycles and trucks while riding after dark. Even with my lights, reflectors, and fiks stickers. So having something like this that will project onto the street a meter out letting car-holes know you are there.
The Bike zone also acts like turn signals. This is something that I think every bike should own, however since I can't find pricing and it involves two laser projectors, I can only imagine what the price is going to be.

Edit - I was informed that I forgot to put up the link to Yanko Designs. The group that came up with this rather cool idea so I added it. Sorry about that.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Zen Thoughts

I found an article over at Urban Velo about Zen Cycling. Which was actually about an article called "Zen Cycling" written by Anthony Golding over at Resurgence. I Didn't really expect to much out of this article, all to often I find the use of the word Zen to be either overdone or used in some supernatural 'be the bike' kind of way.

This article was neither. The article (which I recommend that you go and read after you have finished here) lists eight ideas of zen cycling and goes on to expound on them. I am going to list the 8 ideals here but you will need to go read the Resurgence article to see what each one means. Some are simple to understand while others will be food for thought for some time.

1. There must be no sense of urgency
2. Leave the radio, music players, cell-phones and (if you can) your watch at home
3. Staying silent during parts of the day
4. Responding to and befriending your surroundings
5. Recognizing and handling fear
6. Handling competition
7. On being assertive
8. Have an adventure by yourself

I am going to post a little of what Anthony said about Ideal 6 - Handling Competition
This is a strange one as we are so brainwashed into achieving. Questions like: "How many miles have you done today?” "How long did it take to get up the mountain – did you walk?" or "What! You put the bike on a train!" "I must have the state-of-the-art machine and equipment."
This has been on my long standing pet peeves. It is also one of my long standing weaknesses. I constantly struggle with feelings of "I should be riding more" and "I should be riding up that hill" Some of this is good. To challenge yourself to do more and push yourself to improve is a good thing. The problem I have and the problem I struggle with is when this challenge become the only thing.

I have noticed that it is when that side of me is winning that cycling becomes more of a chore than a joy.

So head on over to Resurgence and give Zen Cycling a read. The next time you find yourself riding and either rushing to get somewhere or competing with yourself remember to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Good News

I just saw this over at the Bike Pittsburgh blog. Yet another tasty place to eat has been upgraded with a kick ass bike corral. This is the second Bike Corral to be placed in Pittsburgh, the first one is in front of OTB bicycle cafe in the Southside (My favorite place to eat). This corral serves double duty since it  takes over what used to be a no parking zone that was frequently ignored. So when car-holes complain about losing parking spaces in Shadyside (a place well known for to little parking) you can point out that if you parked there you were breaking the law.

Mini Rant Begin
You know kind of like the way car-holes complain about cyclists going through stop signs and the way that cyclist slow them down and keep them from ignoring the speed limit signs on the road. 
Mini Rant End

Still this is a great thing to see going into Shadyside. We need the infrastructure more than ever. The popularity of cycling is growing and more people are taking to their bikes as an option to their cars. The only way that people will continue to do this is if we can make it easy and convenient for them to do this. I am not talking about the hardcore fixie riding twenty something who doesn't own a car or see a reason to own a car. I'm talking about the people who just want to go out for a evening grab some food and maybe a drink or two and don't want to have to use a car, find parking, and pay for parking.

Remember these are the people who could be in that car behind you tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wheel Mill

I got this photo from the facebook page of The Wheel Mill, an indoor biking facility that I hope opens soon. I am really looking forward to trying my non existent skills and thrashing my bike and body this winter (on the beginner areas)

I have been invited many times to the casual friday mountian bike ride in frick park but have yet to make it to one of the rides. (partly because it is difficult to get from work to frick park in time and partly because I'm just a little afraid of hurting myself.) Having something like the wheel mill that I can go ride at and gain some confidence in working my way through different degrees of difficulty seems like the perfect solution to me.

Now if they would just open.

Chrome Subfloor Circut

found over at Urban Velo and loved what I saw.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving, - family - otherstuff

Thanksgiving was yesterday here in the States and as usual I got together with my Family (most of them) and had the requisite Turkey, Stuffing, Wine, and Pie.It was all tasty and I am thankful that I could spend that time with my Family (most of them). But as you can , no doubt, tell from the first couple sentences I miss the members of my family that couldn't make it. A comedy of errors and a little bit of mis-communication on my part led to me not getting to see my daughters yesterday, as well as some hurt feelings. So while I did have a good time the night was, for me at least, bitter-sweet. 

It would have been easy for me to allow this to ruin my thanksgiving. I am thankful that wasn't the case. Something happened that refocused me away from feeling sorry for myself and back to being thankful. A friend of mine whom I have gotten to know through Flock of Cycles and Bike Pittsburgh posted on face book (and had been posting on Facebook all month that she was cooking a huge thanksgiving meal and anyone who didn't have family to share thanksgiving with were welcome to come over and join her for thanksgiving.

Yes this made me appreciate my family even more
Yes it took some of the sting out of not being able to see my daughters.

I also wished I could have been there as well. I didn't exactly want to ditch my family but the idea of sharing a meal with what would of been the friends I have found through cycling was tempting.I found that this made me remember yet another group of people in my life that I needed to be thankful for, and a little ashamed that I had forgotten them

So dear readers, for you I am also very thankful for, I hope you will take a moment now that turkey,stuffing,pie, and wine have passed and think of those you may have forgotten. We all are guilty of this and so we are all forgiven as well. 

Thank you.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

thinner vs fitter

This is Ernest. When he started to ride his bike he weight 570 pounds. You can follow him on his blog at and I hope you do check it out. Like myself Ernest's bike became his Health plan. He has lost over 200 pounds and competed in his first cyclocross race.

I cannot say what this means to me to find out I'm not the only fat guy on a bike. When I read about him on my local bicycling advocate forums (bike-PGH) the story started a conversation about cycling and health. This is something I have spent far to many hours thinking about. I have lost some weight over the past couple of years, 50-60 pounds. While I am still a big guy 350 pounds is not little no matter how you think of it. I discovered (or perhaps realized is better) that while I wasn't much thinner I am fitter.

I am able to do so many things now that I couldn't do before (like walk up a flight of steps) I realized that my bike rides became things I enjoyed instead of endured.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Food for thought

 It doesn't matter what kind of bike you have, get ride it and have fun!

found over at Urban Velo.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


it is strange. I don't usually feel like this. but now that I am around people I feel more alone than when I am actually alone. even when I am with my cycling friends I feel out of place. an older guy hanging out with younger people.

The other night was the flock of cycles ride and a bunch of us rode around. We ended up at point park for a potluck picnic and it was a great time that was had by all. even me. I still felt out of place, being one of the old guys trying to hang out with the young people.

sometimes being me is rough

Friday, September 21, 2012

Insane Driver

Warning don't watch the video unless you want to be upset

Just found this video linked from Bike PGH forums. and watching it was enough to really piss me off. After doing a little searching I found out that the guy honking the horn in the car was caught and arrested by the police. (Full Link) all I got to say is karma is a bitch!

"Seventy-five year old James Ernst, 75, of Erie, Colorado, was cited for improper use of his horn, two counts of harassment, and — this is the most delightfully schadenfreudenistic part — impeding traffic."

Monday, September 17, 2012

How not to lock a bike up

Look close the bike locked up by just the wheel. By a huge U-Lock. Sorry but you really deserve to have your bike stolen!

Yes the front tire has a quick release!

The bad part is, I've seen worse

Monday, September 10, 2012


This is Colin's neck. He had it slashed for no particular reason by a man who waited for him to get off his bike then followed him up a long flight of concrete steps. He stabbed him, slashed his throat, threw his bike over the steps and drove away. People are already starting to wonder what Colin did on his bike to cause this.

Do I really need to repeat that last sentence? I felt a bit inbred just typing it the first time.

I have been trying to keep to the high ground since this had happened. But the high ground is slipping. I believe it is slipping for a lot of us here in the Burgh. Eventually we are going to be pushed a little to far. Someone is going to step out of their 2000 cruise missile and end up on the receiving end of a u-lock. And after what happened to Colin you will forgive me if I beat you senseless then ask questions!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Multi-modal in biking terms means taking your bike for part of the trip, and public transportation for the other part. I for one have always been a big supporter of this. I still am, but i am noticing that while i am on the bus -- especially in traffic -- i can't help but wonder if i couldn't get there faster on my bike.

Just about the only place i can't get to is home from town. But all the other places it seems that it takes me longer to get there by bus.than it would bike.

Friday, August 31, 2012

People For Bikes

People for Bikes put out this video which makes a lot of sense. The more I have been riding, it seems the angrier I get at people on the road. I think we all need to slow down and take a breath.

Monday, August 27, 2012

D-bag drivers

Maybe its just my time. Maybe i lost a bet with God, but this mornings ride into town was filled with the worst drivers i have ever seen.

I would read on the forums about the jerks on the road but for the most part my encounters with them have been few and far between.  It seems karma is a spiteful little bitch who decided to collect, in full for several years of peaceful streets.

It seems i was wearing a target on my back only visible by the lowest common denominator of drivers.  The clueless ones. I was buzzed, right hooked,  and yelled at. All on a 10 block stretch of penn in the strip.

I wad seething by the time i got into town.  I think I'm gonna get a basket for my handlebars so i can fill it with rocks to throw at the cars.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Found this article over at It talks about congestion and gives some interesting data that I found surprising in that this problem comes from the cycling holy land Copenhagen. Here is some of the data that I found so interesting.

About 15 years back, a majority in the Copenhagen City Council agreed that car traffic had surpassed any reasonable level and decided that car traffic must be forced to remain at 1996 levels - at the most.

When I tell you that...
Today, 8% of Danes die a premature death due to car accidents, car noise and air pollution.
Cars occupy 5-20 times as much infrastructure capacity as any other commuter modality we know in Copenhagen, so if you want to fight congestion, you need to change modal share from cars to other modes of transportation.
Car infrastructure is ten to 25 times as expensive as bike infrastructure and, in most cases, research from Aalborg University shows, almost never returns reasonably on investment, due to induced traffic. 
Oh, yes, and the noise and air pollution decreases property values and workforce productivity. 
... it's easy to understand why car growth had to be stopped.
 When you really think about it you understand just how expensive the car infrastructure really is and how many hidden costs there are. As I think about it I begin to see just how important it is that we increase the number of people who aren't using a private car as their main form of transportation.

Please read the entire article here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bike theft

London cyclist has a good article about bike theft  (link to article) and I have always felt lucky that when I did ride to work I was always able to bring my bike into the office and store it in one of the empty cubes. Still there have been plenty of times that I locked up my bike outside of  a store or restaurant and I always worried about it until I had it in my sight.

The article over at London cyclist listed some interesting statistics the most interesting was that 2/3 of people give up cycling after their bike was stolen. That seem like a very large number. I don't know what I would do if BOB got stolen but I hope the answer to that question isn't stop riding.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grow Your Own

The Idea of a Bamboo bike was one that has always interested me. I am not sure how a frame like this would react to someone my size but the idea of it is tempting. I found an article on Bike Hacks that talks about this very subject from the topic of sustainability and the idea of using locally grown bamboo.

You can read the whole article here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bikefest Party

Happy 10th birthday Bike Pittsburgh

Last night was the bikefest party held at Pittsburgh Opera. This was a special party on several fronts. This year marked the 10th birthday of the organization Bike PGH. It was also special in that it was my first year that I actually got to go to the party.

It was a blast

I still feel a little out of place in a room full of young people, but I had such a good time that I was able to get over it. As I have said before on here I am constantly surprised by just how accepted I have been by the biking community. I mixed, I mingled, I almost danced. I stopped myself before that happened, much to the relief of those around me. Even with the close call with everlasting embarrassment I still managed to enjoy myself more than I thought I would.

The Drinks helped.

Penn Brewery was there and they made things easy on everyone by listing their beers as Light, Dark, Hoppy and HOPPY. The Hoppy was excellent, and the HOPPY was even better. The highlight of the night, drink wise was the Red Star Kombucha. A locally made fermented green tea. I look forward to getting a growler or two of this wonderful drink and trying my hand at making my own.

The night was topped when I actually met friends I knew there and had a great time hanging out with them. We talked and I realized that I really need to change the way I think about my bike as transportation. I need to learn to rely on my bike more and the bus less. I had to leave the party early because I was unwilling to ride my bike back home that late at night. I need to learn to depend on my bike even more.

This was my view as I rode from the strip district back to town to get my bus home. I enjoyed the night, the drinks, and the people. especially the people. Bike people really are some of the best people around.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bike Counter in Oregon

Cycle Oregon co-founder (and VP of Communications for ODS Health) Jonathan Nicholas. 

"From now on, people crossing the Hawthorne Bridge by bike will count. Literally. A new bike counter (a.k.a. the bicycle barometer) — the first of its kind in the United States — went live at midnight last night and at this morning's press conference the number was already well over 2,000."

You can read the whole article over at

I would love to see something like this in Pittsburgh but at 20 grand a pop it could get a little pricey in a city full of bridges.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Three Stories about Sex and Bicycles

Found this today in my Reader. Thanks to Miss Violet for posting about it' I hope you enjoy

Share the Road

From Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Bob Rogers writesPittsburgh has been steadily moving toward being a “bike-friendly” city for decades. Unfortunately, recent tragedies involving cyclists and automobiles has left some thinking we are not as “friendly” as we should be.

Found this on the Bike PGH blog and I am sorry to say that this is probably more truth than satire these days. I don't get to ride near as much as many others but even I have been getting harassed when I ride and even when I'm walking. maybe it is the fact that I have been sensitized to the problem and thus noticing it more and more. However with the recent spate of cyclists getting hurt and killed, and the high percentage of these being from hit and run drivers I can't help but feel like we are being targeted.

It's a feeling I don't really like.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Ink

So this is my new tattoo. I got it last night at a tattoo shop in Brentwood. This is easily the most painful tattoo I have gotten but it is so worth it. While I have been stuck out here in the wilds of Brentwood I have been pondering over the book "Just Ride" by Grant Petersen.

You can read my review of the book here Book Review - Just Ride

I didn't like the book very much, in fact the book really rubbed me the wrong way. I have been thinking that a book like this is a good idea but the book that Mr. Petersen wrote isn't that good idea. So i have decided to try my hand at it' So im now announcing 

Fatguy's guide to cycling

I will be posting the chapters here and I hope you enjoy them. They will labeled under fatguy. Topics to include 
getting started - you can do it
picking the right bike
fitting your bike
riding for fun 
training rides (yes they are hard)
fun rides

Topics to be added as I make them up.
if you have any ideas for topics just let me know.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pedal PGH

Today was my first Pedal PGH and of course halfway thru the ride it started to rain. You know that nice light rain that takes the edge off the heat and humidity. This wasnt that kind of rain. This was the kind of rain that gets people building big boats in their backyards. yeah that kind of rain. Still it was a great day and I got to try out my new helmet cam, until the rain go to the point that I had to put it away to keep it dry. I will be posting the footage here so look forward to that. I also have some thing that just getting into the planning stages. keep your eyes and ears peeled for something coming.

Until then I hope you get out there and ride, and enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Tribe


When I began riding my bike all those years ago, I did it for a simple reason. I didn’t really want to die. Like many I rode my bike for the health benefits that regular exercise offers to everyone. Especially to one of my size. I never expected to become a member of a tribe.

But that is what happened.

After riding for several years with various friends and by myself I began to hang out with some of the bike people here in pittsburgh. Bike PGH runs a biking forum and it was on there I got to know many of the people before I got to meet them face to face. When I did get to meet them, and ride with them it felt like I was meeting people I already knew. People who were glad that I was along for the ride. even if I was the fat guy in the back of the line slowing everyone down. I was accepted and encouraged. They welcomed me into their group. I became part of the flock, so to speak. We watched out for each other, laughed with other, and teased each other. Ww rejoiced together with each new mile of bike lanes and sharrows. We mourned with each other when one of us was hurt, injured or killed. We are a tribe. Helmet or not, it doesn’t matter. Mountain, Road, or Fixie it doesn’t matter. We are a tribe. I know that this is the reason I am still riding today. I was welcomed into the tribe. I know this isn’t something that only bike people do, but it is something that bike people did for me.

Photo Credit: Rob de la Cretaz

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review - Just Ride

A radically practical guide to riding your bike
By Grant Petersen
Founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works

The other day when I got home I found this book waiting for me in my mail box. I wasn’t surprised, I had ordered the book and I was anxious to start reading. Like many of you I had heard “things” about this book. Some things were good, some things were bad. I hoped that if nothing else the book would be “interesting”. I can honestly say that interesting is a valid description of the book.

Grant Petersen has no trouble saying what he believes in. In the Introduction of the book he states “In real life I’m not as mean (or Judgmental) as I sound in this book, and it makes me uncomfortable to write a book that will be so predictably panned...

In real life he may not be mean or judgmental but that is exactly how he comes off in the book. Even when I agree with what he has to say (which is about half the time)  I find myself embarrassed to admit it for the reason to that he comes off in such a negative, mean, and judgmental way. This book is filled with negativity from front cover to back. He even refers to riders who ride the way he does as “Unracers” as if there are two ways to ride, like a racer or like him.

The book itself is broken into 8 parts
Part 1 - Riding i.e. You are riding wrong
Part 2 - Suiting up i.e. You are Dressing Wrong
Part 3 - Safety i.e. Helmets are bad
Part 4 - Health and Fittness i.e. Your bike makes you fat
Part 5 - Accesories i.e. You bought the wrong stuff
Part 6 - Upkeep i.e. You are fixing it wrong
Part 7 - Technicalities i.e. Look how smart I am
Part 8 - Velosphy i.e. Think Like I do.

As I reached the end of the book I was ready to pan the book just as Mr. Petersen talked about in the introduction. There are somethings in the book I agreed with. For the most part  none of us are racers. I am not a racer, but I refuse to be defined by what I don’t do. There are lots of things I don’t do. I eat meat but does that make me an “UnVegetarian” The whole idea that you have to be either one or another is ludicrous. The one section of the book I can say that I nejoyed the most was Part 8 Velosphy, it was in this section, 177 pages into the book, that I found something positive in this book. This is the part of the book where he talks about getting your kids to ride with you, doing charity rides the right way and his dislike of Critical mass. Something I have disliked since I first encountered one.

I still find this book difficult to recommend and I would NOT recommend this book to a new rider. Not because I disagree with him on this point or that. I don’t like the book because of the negativity that runs throughout this book. If Mr Petersen would have spent more time writing about the things he loves and is passionate about and less time talking about those things he dislikes, then I feel that this book would of been life-changing. As it is I can only give this book two and half gears out of five. Sorry Grant, you’ll just have to pedal faster.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Ride

The book Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike arrived on my door step last night and since I was busy building the Ghost bike for the Hit and Run here close to home I have only been able to read thru about half of it. You can expect a more complete review in the future. Here however are some thoughts I have on this book.

1. Grant Petersen comes across as preachy, arrogant, and elitist.
2. The things I agree with him I really agree with.
3. The things I disagree with him, I REALLY disagree with.

I understand what he is trying to say, The idea of the "Unracer" and the idea that modern bicycle racing has affected how we view bikes. This is true, however the book goes in the exact opposite direction, discarding most if not all that is "Racer" in an attempt to define "Unracer" This is something I just don't agree with. I am by no means a racer, My bikes are not racing bikes, and I have desire to be part of the peleton. I do find that there are many things I can gain from the modern bike tech that has made it's way down from the rarefied air of the high tech, super light racing circuit.

He argues in his book that when we drive cars (which I don't do) we don't drive racing cars around but he fails to realize that many of the advancements in our cars which make them more efficient, safer, and better handling came from those very race cars.

That being said, I am really enjoying the book and have learned several things from it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


looks like I'll be building my first Ghost bike

My heart goes out the man's family.

I find this very upsetting, it shouldn't be like this.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Im calling this one a WIN

The Bike Pgh blog recently posted about the increase in bike parking in downtown Pittsburgh (Read whole post here) I'm very excited to see all the things that are happening here in Pittsburgh. from the Bike Racks on busses (which I use all the time) to the increase in bike lanes and sharrows. I really think we are approaching a tipping point of popularity where cyclists began to be noticed as something more than a bothersome nuisance.

We are starting to be noticed as a valid group instead of

Out the ordinary
Hippy freaks
Law breakers
Unruly kids

This is a very good thing, for the most part. There are some negative aspects of this that I will, no doubt, talk about later. But for now, I'm calling this one a WIN!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Well, all week I've been riding everyday (still not as much as i would.wish) and eating less. I find that I am always hungry. I also find that what I used to think of as my normal amount of food has already become what I think of as too large a portion. It is surprising how quickly my view of food has changed after only a few weeks

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Wall

Everyone has heard of the wall, of hitting the wall, pushing through the wall, climbing over the wall. Its not an unknown idea to any of us. Still I have to wonder how many of us have actually hit the wall, or really even caught sight of it?

Ill be the first to confess here, I haven't. I've never pushed myself to the point where I thought I was at “The Wall” and I'm kind of ashamed to admit it. Of course one doesn't get to be a Fat Guy on an Orange Bike by getting comfortable with the territory surrounding the wall. I had a good workout today and I am getting stronger even if I feel like my numbers are so much lower than someone who has been riding as long as I have. 

7-3-12 - 4.18 Miles 26:18
7-4-12 - 4.59 Miles 19:30
7-6-12 - 5.30 Miles 31:33
7-7-12 – 12.38 Miles 65:00 
7-9-12 - 7.00 Miles 36:30

I can tell myself that these are good numbers for someone my age, my size, blah blah blah. But the truth is that what these numbers show me is that the reason I'm still this size and this slow is that I don't push myself. I'm afraid to really push myself, to see what would happen if I really tried, if I really went all out, if I did stupid things and rode stupid rides I didn't think I could finish. I'm scared to get out of my comfort zone. I'm scared to face that wall and find out what it will show me about myself.

I don't like the idea of living in fear. But I'm not sure what to do about it.

I want to say I'm gonna go out there and push myself twice as hard.
I want to say I'm gonna stare down that wall and make it my bitch.
I want to say I'm gonna stare into a mirror and shout “Rule 5!!!” until it shatters.

But if History is any guide, I don't know if I'll manage any of that.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Bike day one

I just got home from first ride on my new single speed bike (yet unnamed) and i have learned a couple of things.

1. This is bike is just out of my class, skillwise and strength. I noticed that while the bike itself is simpler it takes a different skill set. A skill set I do not possess. The bike also demands stronger legs also something I Dont possess.

2. The seat will take a little getting used to but ive decided to stick with it and not buy a fatass saddle

3. The bike is a lot of fun and i hope to become worthy of it instead of feeling like ive borrowed someone elses bike. And they are far better at cycling than i am.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New ride photo

Picked up my new bike at thick bikes it is a sweet single speed with fixed gear flip flop hub. Rode it home tonight. The hills were a bit difficult but my bike, she flies.

New Ride

So Im buying a new bike and will be picking it up this week. I also have several things going on that I will be adding here soon.

Here is a quick list of things
1. I got a new set of bike shoes
2. I bought a new bike
3. I signed up for Pedal Pittsburgh

plus a few more. I am hoping to bring this blog back to life soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Napowrimo day 12

I should be used to it
I should embrace it
I never will
Detest is what comes to mind
I'm alone
Never good enough
Never worth it
To much a friend
For my own good
I find myself
Knowing better
Yet blindly pretending
Believing the lies
I tell myself
To get myself thru
Another day
I can believe them
no more

Monday, April 9, 2012

Napowrimo day 9

I could live
Within your smile
Or die
without it
your smile
A sunrise
Baby's laughter
The melody
Of your smile

I hear it
And I know you're close
I smile in return
a feeble reflection
A faded memory
Of scratch and dent
Hopes and dreams
Still I smile

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Napowrimo day 7 "Broken"

I feel broken
Like something missing
Like you're missing
But that's not it
You're not missing
I'm broken
There's a difference
I've made my choice
I chose you
Choosing broke me
I knew it would
I remain unchanged
Your friend
Love you

Friday, April 6, 2012

Napowrimo day 6 "attached"

Attached can be
Over rated
Can be
Can be
A pain in the ass

Can be
So I've heard
Never seen it

Only the wreckage
Twisted forms
Broken hearts
Tears and sullen smiles
And lies

Lies like
"No, I'm fine"
"Its all for the best"
"I love you"

Like I said
Attached is overrated

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Napowrimo day 5 "I'm sorry"

"I'm sorry"
I feel like this
What I know
What I feel
Battle within me
I'm sorry
I need to figure
Where I stand
I'm sorry
Still I remain
Doing the best I can
I'm sorry

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Napowrimo #4 Hope

Hope is
a suckers bet
God's punchline
That thing I feel
Only when its gone
I try not to gave them
But they find me anyway
They lift me up
So they can throw me down
Heal my wounds
To rip them open again
Bring me peace
To show me what it is
I can't have

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Napowrimo day 1 Willing Fool

"Willing Fool"
Call me your fool
I wear that name with pride
I'm your willing fool
I must be a fool
To do this
To say this
To court this kind of pain
Call me your fool
A fool who
Holds you without condition
Loves you without question
Kisses you without remorse
I am that fool
Your fool
I open my heart
To you
Without fear

Napowrimo day 3 - in your eyes

"Your eyes"
I could be cliche
Speaking of deep pools
Stars and midnight
But that wouldn't do

I could be poetic
And tell you how
I get lost in your eyes
Forgetting myself
In their wonder
And beauty

But that wouldn't do

I'm not lost in your eyes
But found
It is there
In their shadow I find
Myself more myself
Than ever

Not lost but I live
In tour eyes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New sticker

I picked up a new sticker at thick bikes. And if im doing it right you just might get to see a pic of it

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ummm.. Yeah

Got this sent to me from the website of Violet Blue, a blogger for whom I have a growing respect and more than a slight internet crush. I am not going to post the video the NSFW Bike Pron (a bike rental commercial!) but feel free to click thru to just remember you were warned.

Awesome Bike Racks

Was just over at when I came across this article. Titled "Plastic Fantastic Bike Racks" and as you can see from the picture above (also from the article) that his really is a great idea. I have got to wonder how long they would last in a place like here in Pittsburgh (probably longer than in other places) and the idea of not worrying about riding home on a wet seat is well, plastic fantastic!

Red Wood Bike

Urban Tree to Bicycle from Spots Unknown on Vimeo.