Monday, December 28, 2009


Friday, October 9, 2009


I Like cyclocross, and I like my Madsen. I hadn't ever thought to combine the two. I did once see pictures of a guy riding Cross on a Surly Big Dummy (without the Xtracycle stuff) but this is a whole new level of insanity!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Clipless for Commuting: Overrated?

I have been using clipless pedals and shoes on my commuting bike for most of the last two years. I originally liked it a lot, but now I question it a bit. Perhaps I am just bitter because I accidentally unclipped on my way home Friday and the bike beat me up for it. I have had a little trouble getting unclipped recently as well, so it may be a matter of maintenance.

I have spent a great deal of time on the Madsen including a time of commuting with a heavy load of tools and a cooler for a distance of about four miles. It has platform pedals. I can ride in any shoes, the pedal is substantial under my feet when I am not clipped in, and I don't have to twist and yank to put a foot down at a light.

I do like being stuck to my pedal, it has improved my form, but it carries its own set of issues. Just thinking out loud I guess. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Commuting Woes

I am back to the daily routine of regular bike commuting. My new job has me riding in more traffic, a longer distance and more difficult intersections. Not really a problem. My bike, however, sometimes gets to be a problem. I have neglected my bike this summer. I have had limited opportunity to ride it, and less motivation to maintain it.

Yes, I have been a lazy cyclist and an even lazier bike mechanic. My bike has old (not "vintage," just old; vintage generally means expensive when new.) components (ok, vintage shifters, but that's about it) and has seen a good deal of hard riding. It needs a little TLC to keep it going. Too bad I try to do everything on a pretty frayed shoestring. My tools are cheap imitations of cheap tools, and my newest bike (not counting the Madsen or Callie's cruiser) was built in the early 90's.

This morning, the chain came off on the outside of the chainring and got twisted around the crankarm. I shrugged and got out my chaintool. This is where the trouble really came to be. I had no problem breaking the chain, but for whatever reason, the cheap chaintool I had in my bike bag jammed, and I could not push the pin back into the chain. I was wrenching outside my friendly neighborhood Burger King and so after several minutes of cursing and breaking a really cheap multitool I borrowed a pair of pliers from the hamburger princess. The pliers allowed me to gain enough leverage to force the chaintool to turn and finish the job.

This reminder that cheap is seldom better was soon forgotten as the remainder of my commute went rather well. There is a section of my commute where I take the lane for about half a mile because the shoulder is filled with parked cars, garbage cans, and sometimes large dogs and small children. I can ride this stretch at a fairly comfortable pace at over 20 MPH. I don't think I impede traffic much, especially while the crossing guards are out. A few cars passed me, which is OK, but one BMW SUV quite close while revving hard. I would assume that the purpose of this was to voice the driver's disapproval of my presumptuous behavior of riding in the lane for my own personal safety.

I chuckled when I pulled up alongside him at the next light and then at another light a half mile further along. while he was in such a hurry to get around me to get wherever he was getting to, he was at those lights at the same time I was, and couldn't leave before I did. It is nice to live at a little bit slower pace. I know I'll get there when I get there, and On my bike I just have to keep moving in order to arrive at my destination. Others race between lights just to have me pass them at the upcoming intersection.

That can be an analogy for life. There is no sense in rushing through everything when the slow lane can be so rewarding. I could certainly reap dividends by applying that philosophy myself.
Keep the rubber side down.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Why I should blog for Globe bicycles, and a bit of who I am.

Some people have a talent for singing, some for dancing, or painting, or playing hockey. I have been told that I have a talent for writing. I wish that I hadn’t let practical concerns get in my way so much that pushed me a way from it. I try here and there to write, and I get a definite and joyful thrill from it. Too often, however, it is hard to find the reason to write that will push all the other concerns away and allow me to simply sit and write because nothing else can claim a higher priority.

I am writing this post today for three reasons. I love to write, I love to ride, and if the folks at Globe bikes like what I have written, I’ll be committed to write about riding. I will have to do it, and cannot make excuses. Sometimes, it takes just a little nudge to set great things in motion. It took a nudge like this to make me a bike commuter.

Just over two years ago, I had an ill fitting bike someone had given me and I seldom rode it. I had ridden to work a little in the past but had never truly gotten into it. We had recently moved and I had changed employment, taking a position in a city nearly thirty miles away. My wife and I had one car and it was not a good time to acquire another, nor did I feel that it was worth the disruption to my domestic tranquility to take the car every day, let alone that the cost of driving would negate the pay benefits of taking the new job.

A public transit district ran between the two communities, but no bus ran to where I was living or to where I would be working. It was a classic last mile dilemma. My wife suggested the bike. I groaned and protested. The local bus stop was four miles from home, and the closest stop to work was two miles away. This seemed like an uncomfortable amount of riding to me.

In the name of making long stories short, however, my wife got her way and I am glad she did. I fell in love with my bike commute, found all sorts of online resources and support to make my commute better, and built a thrift store mountain bike into a decent all-rounder with a rack, fenders and midge bars.

I commute in rural and midsized urban areas of northern Utah and southern Idaho. I ride through beautiful mountain vistas and crowded rush hour traffic. I have been surprised by deer, scorned by motorists, and snuffled by a Labrador in the back of a pickup that passed too close. I have been known to ride with merchandise of all sizes and shapes strapped to my bike. My cargo bike carries a ladder quite well.

I ride with my family. I have a cargo bike that was specifically designed to carry children and is quite good at it. My wife likes to carry kids in a trailer behind her pink cruiser. My youngest son needs special care to ride with us because of the effects of a series of small strokes he has suffered and is working to recover from. We have found a front mounted child seat that works well for him. My kids all love to ride and we often run errands together by bike or even all ride to an event or a restaurant.

When I look at Globe bicycles I see bikes designed for the bicycle lifestyle that I am trying to live and to hand down to my children. I need a bike that can handle the extreme climate of the Intermountain west under a committed year-round cyclist. I need a bike that can handle being hefted up onto a bus rack without being overly concerned about the novice at the next stop banging it with his huffy. The commuter bike of my dreams needs very little maintenance and can easily haul my daily load of a laptop, lunch, a paper and maybe a jacket or change of clothes.

To me a Globe Live 3 makes a lot of sense, disc brakes and internal gears eliminate most of the biggest winter commuting headaches, and the belt drive helps with the rusty chain blues that tend to rule January. I like the front carrier for packing my load around and for making lunch runs or small grocery stops. The Haul might also be a good option for me, but where my heavy hauling needs are addressed by another bike in my small stable, getting a dedicated city bike like the Live makes a lot of sense.

In short, I think Globe and I are an excellent match. I am into a green, low impact lifestyle, I commute by bike and mass transit, I even haul my kids on two wheels. I mow my lawn with a manual reel mower. I can put the Globe through its paces in morning rush traffic with a laptop bag in the front rack and blog about the commute on the bus ride home. I have the outlook of a guy trying to raise a family into a cycling lifestyle and a green mentality. I also look at this as the perfect chance to reawaken my somewhat dormant writing talent.

More than I am interested in a free bike I am interested in being rewarded for writing. I want to write about something I love and get something worthwhile in return. Thanks for reading my blog. Next time maybe I’ll tell you about commuting through school zones alongside dogs in the back of pickup trucks.

Lack of Posts

Boy, was May really the last time that I attempted to post something to this blog? What a sorry excuse for a blogger I am. I am about to post a bit of something that I wrote to try and ancourage the folks at the Globe division of Specialized to "hire" me as a blogger. Maybe that will get me in gear again.

Really, though I have lacked a real direction for this blog. I will address that. I want to write about bikes, what, I ride, where I ride, why I ride, and how I ride, in addition to some other cool things I see or hear about cycling.

Expect me to be picking that back up very soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month. Get out and ride! May 15th is Bike to work day, so do it! I will ride to Logan and back that day, your commute is probably shorter. Sorry about the Lack of posts lately. I'll work on that.

(This young couple is on their way to the prom somewhere in Seattle.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

This Bike has my Name on It!

I ran across Gavin Bikes on the internet. As I think I indicated in my last post I prefer good old fashioned steel, which these bikes aren't, but to each his own, and carbon and Aluminum are Ok and have their place. They even have certain advantages over steel. It depends largely on what you want out of the bike. These Gavins come in Aluminum, Aluminum/Carbon, and Full carbon. The specs aren't bad. The components are mostly lower-grade Shimano, and the wheelsets are good but nothing special. For the price, it seems that these are fair bikes. They are available only online at The problem with mail-order bikes is that with bikes, the middleman helps make sure everything works, and fits. If you can take care of that on your own, it is usually a good way to go. Other online only bikes are found at and

Who can resist the idea of racing around on a bike with their name emblazoned proudly on the side? I would probably opt for the Aluminum/Carbon model.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Handsome Cycles: Handome Devil

One thing that I really like is bicycles that are built from a practical standpoint. The major players in the bicycle industry are building bikes that are aimed at sport cyclists, either road racers or mountain bike racers, and the rest of us are supposed to try and emulate them. So, we get a market full of gaudy, impractical, aluminum and carbon fiber bikes with high price tags, or you have low priced department store aluminum that would be better off as coke cans.
I am a big fan of practical bikes that can work for multiple uses and that are made of good quality steel. My favorite bike manufacturer is Bridgestone, although they no longer manufacture bikes for the US market. In the Late eighties and early 90's, with Grant Peterson, now of Rivendell, at the helm, Bridgestone produced extremely high quality, practical bikes with a focus on comfort, practicality, durability and utility over fad and gimmickry. This led them to choose steel over Aluminum, top-bar over trigger shifters, and to avoid supension technology on most of their mountain bike lineup. Their stick in the mud attitude about the latest technologies is still reflected by Rivendell, but is probably a major reason that Bridgestone bikes are no longer available for American consumption.
The Bridgestone philosophy, is however, one I can truly relate to. Build it right, make it practical and simple. Make it feel good to ride. One of the most well known and unique Bridgestone bikes was the XO-1 and the resultant XO series. Rivendell's flagship Atlantis is based off of this design.
So is the premier offering from newcomer Handsome Cycles, the Handsome Devil.

This is a great looking, simple bike with a great deal of versatility. Handsome has done some great pre-release marketing and has a much anticipated product. It is an exciting bike with excellent potential as a commuter, a touring bike, A camping bike, or just an all rounder. It may even have some cyclocross potential, although I think it is to classy to play in the mud. This is one bike that really wears a mustache (handlebar) well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday Wishlist.

I happened upon this lovely item on EBay. It is the perfect solution for my craving for late eighties Japanese steel. This is a fast bike in great shape. It is even just the right size! I think one could get it for a good price (compare to todays new road bikes which start at 1500 for anything of even marginal quality). I wish our budget weren't so tight right now.

Oh well, I'm just throwing this out there, along with a teasing little reminder that my birthday is in just over two weeks!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have had enough.

Enough of what, you ask? I have had enough of being the little guy, I have had enough of watching the world happen around me and not being able to do anything about it. I want to happen too.

What do I mean? I mean that I am aware of talents and abilities that I am not using. I am a smart and capable person, I work well with others, and yet I have been limited in my profession and in my influence. I realized recently that my limitations come from within.

I have been holding myself back. I have been clinging to my comfort zone like my life depended on it. If I look back at my own personal history, I can see many times when my unwillingness to step out of my security bubble has cost me dearly. I am ready to make some changes, rock some boats, and do the things I've never dared.

I'm scared to death, but here I come!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Arvil's Brain

Most readers of this blog probably know about some of the Medical problems that our youngest, Arvil has been experiencing. If you don't know and would like to, we are tracking his issues on . I just posted an update on our current situation with him, and our latest little scare.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I rode to Logan again last Thursday, yesterday, and today. I am out of shape. That first ride went great, but now I am sore. My good old right knee is giving me fits, which is odd because it left me alone for over a year. It is a souvenir from a rollover back in 2003, which is part of what has gradually turned me from a car guy into a bike guy. I thought my riding was mostly to thank for the reprieve. Do you remember the old adage that cycling is good for knees and running is bad? Now cycling seems to aggravate the inflammation of the meniscus. But this blog is not for discussing my aches and pains.

We also got out for a good deal of family riding on Friday and Saturday in the nice weather, and rode home from church in rain on Sunday. The Madsen is a lot of fun. I think it handles great. Callie still prefers her beach cruiser. I can't really blame her. It is like riding a sofa. Arvil rides best in Dawsey's lap, either in the Madsen or in the trailer.

Another milestone in our cycling life is the removal of Dawsey's training wheels. She doesn't quite have two-wheeled riding down, but she'll get it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Leprchauns and Lactic Acid

Yesterday we Celebrated St. Patricks day. Funny that we have a day for wearing grean clothes, that somehow lead to either kissing or pinching, and that on that day we eat corned beef and boiled cabbage. Its also the one day that Americans drink beer so thick that the bubbles go DOWN. What is odd about is that it combines a Catholic saint who drove out snakes with mischevious pixies that can grant wishes and deliver pots of gold, or curse your crops, herds and children. Oh, and the pinching, that is odd. And Boston is odd too.
At our house we do not drink Guiness, or dyed beer, but we did eat corned beef, red potatoes, and boiled cabbage. We also ate green-filled cream-puffs. I went to bed early, as I work twenty-seven miles away at five am, and had ridden my bike fifty-four miles in the day.
The morning ride was great, I averaged nearly eighteen miles an hour, with a headwind, but going home the wind was stronger, I was tireder, and my legs got to burning. I eventually just geared down and rolled slowly home, averaging just over15mph. I also had to remember the joys of pedaling alongside traffic on highway 91. I got used to it last year, I guess I will again.

I didn't ride today, I have to get home earlier to be a Webelos leader. Besides, a recovery day won't hurt.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back in the Saddle!

With new work schedules, winter, and crazy happenings in my life, I have been off the bike for about six weeks, with just a little riding thrown in here and there, mostly on the Madsen. This has not been good. I have been getting out of shape, and my right knee has been sore. My knee has not hurt since cycling has become a regular habit, but after this long off the bike, it has started to trouble me again.

I had hoped to ride in to work yesterday, but overslept and drove. I was angry at myself the whole way because it was warm and beautiful and would have been a great ride. So this morning I set an alarm on my alarm clock and one on my cell phone (which is really obnoxious) and with a little nudging from my darling spouse, I got on the road at 3:30. 3:00 sharp would have been preferable, but I got on the road!

I did the ride in exactly 90 minutes, which means I averaged 17.6mph. Factoriing in a stop in Franklin to remove some layering and in Richmond just to get off the bike for a minute or two, not to mention the lights in Smithfield, I figure that I did OK for being out of shape. When I was in better shape I was making that ride in about 75 minutes. My best time was 68 minutes.

I am also hoping that when I can add a true road bike to the stable I can make some really quick times, maybe sub-hour times. If anyone knows the whereabouts of a Japanese (Bridgestone, Centurion, Panasonic, Miyata, Univega, Fuji, etc.) road bike (ie "10-speed") from the 80s or 90s, let me know. Raleighs are good stuff too.

Anyway, the ride was great. I must say that my Blackburn lights are awesome. I could see and be seen without much worry, and the shoulders on the highway between Preston and Logan are great. Lots of room. Anyway, I am back on the bike and it feels great. I don't want to get off!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I was re-reading a post on The Bike Nazi blog, and was struck by something in the article. The topic under scrutiny is Idaho's allotment of stimulus funding. Bikeboy is a Boise resident and 20-year bike commuter. He is also not a liberal, but I will get into that part of the conversation in a few lines.

Apparently when the notion of spending some $ on bicycle paths came up, Otter's budget man, Wayne Hammon, said, "The future of Idaho is not contained in the North End." Instead of bike paths, Otter wants to go with landscaping on I-84.

This struck me because of some other bike-related comments made by republican politicians regarding stimulus funding. There were republicans who tried to block funding of bike paths or bike lanes, which seemed odd, because these are projects that can generally be started and completed in relatively short order. John Boehner said specifically that the stimulus should not be used for bike lanes.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the federal government should build me a bike lane. My concern is the idea of singling out bicyclist as liberals or bicycle infrastructure as a liberal agenda item. Wayne Hammon was not referring to Boise's North End as a place for bike paths but as a bastion of liberalism, it is known as "an island of blue in a very red state."

So does thinking that developing bicycle infrastructure would be more beneficial to the overall economy and to the citizens of the state than freeway landscaping make me a liberal? I doubt it. Anyone who knows me should know that I am not a liberal. Even thinking that bikes are better for the environment than SUVs does not make me a liberal. What would make me a liberal would be telling you that you have to park your SUV and ride a bike because it is better for the environment.

I am not a democrat, a progressive, a liberal or even an environmentalist just because I like to ride my bike and think that commuting by bike is very beneficial, feasible, and something ought to be encouraged. I am a practical minded conservative who believes that things like bike lanes are beneficial to society, but that if a community wants or needs them, they should be locally funded. However, if federal money is on the table anyway, it seems to me that it could be better spent encouraging cycling through improved infrastructure than by planting trees and grass on I-84.

Dating Potential of the Madsen Cargo Bike

Saturday night, Callie and I went to a book discussion group with our homeschool friends. We went by bike. I just had Callie ride in the bucket. We didn't go far, but it handled well and Callie enjoyed the ride. Our friends were impressed. Other women were jealous, I always like that.

As far as the technical aspects go, the Madsen has no trouble hauling extra people, in fact, I took Callie and the baby to church by bike on Sunday and Brigham was in and out a bit, he just likes to run. no problem. However, for taking dates as opposed to children, the Madsen is a bit awkward as it has a rather tall bucket that Callie has to climb up into. An Xtracycle setup is probably a better date option. We'll work on getting one or two of those in the near future.

I am very much of the opinion that bicycles can be used for about anything that a person or a family needs to do. I also think that there are plenty of reasons why they should. Bicycles increase your health and fitness, they allow you to actually enjoy the world around you instead of just passing through in a steel and glass bubble, and they keep gasoline prices low by decreasing oil demand. These are just a few of the reasons that I love bicycles and bike riding. I am excited to see more and more bikes coming out that are conducive to day to day living rather than racing or recreation. I will share some of these on this site as time goes on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A post!

I have been feeling guilty that I just got this blog going and then stopped writing on it. I suppose I got confused about the direction I want the blog to take. Do I want it to be political, family centered, bike oriented, or what?

I decided to stick with my original premise. I will post on whatever topic I want. I intend to post on my family. If my family bores you, I'm sorry. If you find bicycles tedious, I apologize, but I like them, and this blog is about what I like. If you are reading this blog because you like my family and bikes, you may get some really right-wing political commentary that you don't appreciate. I don't apologize. This is all a part of who I am, and I am afraid you get the whole enchilada. I recommend you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snow Sucks

My day is not off to the greatest start. It was really snowy leaving Preston this morning and just slow, messy going all the way to work. Really, it wasn't too bad. The bad part was when I got to work and slid through my turn, hit the curb and blew a tire. I will go check it out after the sun comes up, change the tire and all. If I'm lucky, I just popped the tire off the bead and won't have to replace it. If I am not lucky, Callie gets a tire for her birthday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ridin' the "Big Bike"

On Saturday morning, Duncan and I rode the Madsen to the church over by the fairgrounds to help set up chairs. Good thing that I remembered. The Elders' Quorum was asleep at the wheel. It was me, the bishop, his son, and one of the high priests. So I set up many, many chairs. Duncan still isn't sure about the "big bike," but I like it.

First off, there was about an inch of new snow. The bike didn't seem to notice. I had expected the Madsen's massive weight to be a liability in any snowy or icy conditions. I had miscalculated. That big bike rolls over almost anything once it has momentum. It can be just a bit squirrelly under load at really low speeds. I do want to put big fatty cruiser tires on it. I'm thinking white Schwalbe Fat Franks.

I also rode it around with different combinations of kids, the four youngest, then the three oldest, and then Dawsey and I rode out to grandma and grandpa's. It handles very well under load, climbs the hollows on Oneida without having to even stand up, and just keeps rolling.

I am not used to this bike's very upright "Dutch" riding position. It is harder on my knees and feels slower than my my efficient and much preferred road or touring positions. But I suppose I'll get used to it.

The kids like the bike. Well, most of the kids like the bike. Duncan tolerates it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Madsen in the Snow

I may go try the Madsen, with a load of little people, in the fresh snow. I am a bit nervous about it. I mean, I ride in the snow all the time, but the Madsen is a different story. We'll see. Wish us luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

President Obama: Bumbling Hack, or Evil Political Genius?

In watching the news since Barack Obama's inauguration, I have been struck by the apparent absurdity of many of his actions. First of all, many of the people appointed to his cabinet have had problems. Timothy Geitner and Tom Daschle were both tax cheats, as well as two less prominent cabinet nominees. Immediately after being elected he announced that there would be no lobbyists in his administration. That executive order lasted about two days before he started granting waivers to it in order to fill some cabinet positions with, of course, lobbyists.

Obama also started backpedaling on campaign promises almost immediately after being elected. The economy which he was going to miraculously heal will now get worse before it gets better. And most importantly, he let Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid load his precious stimulus bill dangerously full of earmarks and pork.

My initial response is that this relatively inexperienced politician that we just elected to the nation's highest office is inept and in over his head. A second look however, makes one wonder if he isn't just the opposite.

To frame my coming argument, look at the campaign. Obama campaigned on magic. It was all about hope and change. The primary plank in his platform was the idea that he was not the man he was running to replace. The candidate spoke very little of himself, and even attacked as sinister those who tried to scrutinize him at all. He pointed out flaws in others to direct attention away from others.

Now as President, he seems a little more flawed, but I think he is doing two things, misdirecting and overloading. In fact, he is mostly misdirecting by overloading.

My first point is that by having us all focused on pork like lawn sod for the national mall, and money for the National Endowment for the Arts, we missed, until the bill had passed the house, the fact that a major step toward nationalized healthcare was buried in the bill's 647 pages.

He is also trying to make us look at how bad the economy is and is constantly telling us what a crisis we are in and how the world will all but end unless the stimulus passes. He attacks as destructive to the nation's future his opponents in talk radio and on Fox News. The President also tells us that we must approve his Cabinet nominees, because Tim Geitner is the only man who can save us.

What is the play here? What is he trying to do? First, he misdirects us by making us afraid and telling us that he has a plan and can save us. Second, he gives us something that we find outrageous to focus on while he slips something more sinister by under our nose. Third, he gives us so much information that we tune it all out.

The third is perhaps the most sinister. He can use this information overload to discredit his opponents. If we hear nothing but criticism from them, something new every day, how long will we continue to listen? If there is so much going on, what will we miss that we should have fought?

I argue that Obama is much more brilliant than we give him credit for. He is an absolute socialist, of the Marxist school and such do not trust the people to rule. Through this political slight of hand, our President is seeking to establish a socialist state with a permanent ruling class and subject all the rest of us to his will. We need to wake up and fight it. We can fight mostly by staying informed, involved, and by not tuning out due to information overload. When we recognize what we are up against, we can better combat it.

Didn't Ride

I was too tired to get up and ride at 3am. So, I am still fat and lazy. I did get to work on time though! I arrived at a quarter until the hour, even!

Wishlist: New Bike

When we were in Salt Lake last week I stumbled in to Guthrie Bicycles. I told the salesman the kind of versatile ride I was after. He nailed it. I'd like to introduce the 2009 Raleigh Clubman. There are other bikes out there, but this is about the classiest production steel steed around. It's not a Vanilla, or a Rivendell, but what is? I can't afford a Riv at this point in life, let alone one of Sacha White's creations (mmm... handmade goodness) besides, this fits my style better than a Rivendell and is much classier looking than a lot of bikes out there.

Of course, my bike money just bought the Madsen. Well, I'd better pinch my pennies.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Biking Woes.

I have not been riding. Not riding makes me flabby. Already. I am getting old. When I was young, I could sit and eat and watch TV all day and lose three pounds. I am getting old. And fat.

I will now explain my dilemma. My wonderful and benevolent place of employment has dictated that I will now work four ten hour shifts instead of five eight hour shifts. I used to arrive at work at 7:00 am. My shift now begins at 5:00 am. The bus from Preston can have me in Logan at 6:45 or so. My bike/bus/bike routine that has worked so well for the past eighteen months is no longer viable. I have been driving to work. Cars make you fat. And lazy. And slow.

I had planned to ride to Logan this morning, so I got up early to facilitate an earlier start. (3:00am departure time.) I woke up next to my winter cycling shoes at 4:30, put on some pants, and drove to work. I was ten minutes late. And fat. (My recent Angry Whopper fetish probably doesn't help.) Apparently I can't even manage to put on riding layers and shoes with only four hours of sleep.

I last had a decent ride two weeks ago. All I've done since is try out the Madsen. With trips to SLC and a messed up schedule with Arvil's health, I'd hardly ridden in the two weeks before then. I rode fifteen miles. Slowly. And I got tired. I am old and fat.

I am laying out my bike clothes and going to bed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Woe

Ok, so I like to talk politics. I have been involved in a debate on about whether bike lanes should be in the stimulus bill or not. I am afraid that my main point has been that we shouldn't have a stimulus package of this type at all. Not only is the bill more pork laden than a Taiwanese butcher, but it is the wrong approach.

I am a firm believer in the power of the market. The market is the truest form of democracy in the world. In a free market, we make our own choices and our money goes where we want it to. Under a massive spending bill like what just passed both houses of congress, (I have choice words for the state of Maine) the government confiscates our money and spends it on what they want.

I am very opposed to a large and powerful federal government to begin with. I am opposed to the concept that government should take the money from Idahoans, Utahns, or floridians and spend it on prjects in Vermont, Kansas, or California. I see the current bill as a means of weakening the market, weakening the dollar, and eroding the Constitution.

Yes, I am characterizing the all-important Obama stimulus bill as an attack on the US Constitution. The Constitution established a limited federal government as a secondary to the governments of the several and sovereign states. It also provided for a free-enterprise, market economy, unfettered by federal controls. I won't even begin at this time to discuss indirect taxation and the crime of the sixteenth amendment.

The Obama stimulus, as well as the TARP bailouts attack the constitution through by further subverting the power of the states by making them beholden to the federal government for monies that they cannot obtain from thier citizens because it has been taken in federal taxes. It also destroys the peoples' power of choice by confiscatorially spending massive amounts of money without the citizens discretion. I would argue that the more the government spends, the less the private citizen can or will.

The stimulus bill is bad law. It will further cripple the American economy and will subject US citizens to a more powerful, increasingly totalitarian government. I sound a strong voice of alarm here, "Beware anything that increases the size, power, or scope of the federal government!" I am fearful that this signals the beginning of a Soviet-like era for our once proud nation. Nations that go down this road only return through revolution. It is not too late, but will take a strong effort. I hope that we can get conservatives into congressional office in two years.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Busy Week and Sunday Thoughts

This has been a busy week. We took Arvil to Salt Lake on Friday for Craniosacral Therapy with Sid Napper, a fairly highly regarded practitioner and instructor, he has a good reputation for working with infants. He had also been in town teaching a class at a local herbalist shop, and had asked us to bring Arvil down to see him so that he could provide better care than he could after teaching for a day or two. We felt very good about the treatment. Arvil has better movement and seems more comfortable. He was really cranky today, and most of yesterday, but most of that has to be chalked up to the new teeth he is growing. His control over his legs and right arm are improving, and we definitely noticed a change after the therapy.

While in Salt Lake we stopped in at the corporate headquarters of Madsen Cycles and met with Jared Madsen, the creator of the Madsen KG271. I had a great time, I even played ping-pong with Jared and his partner Sean while Callie tested out the bike. The bikes are usually sold in bike shops, and increasingly, on line, but we bought one right out of the warehouse. Cool.

I have thought for some time that cargo bikes are the wave of the future, and now I have one that was created right next door in Utah. We decided on the Madsen because it was more Idaho/Utah friendly than a Bakfiets (as well as wallet-friendly) and was more of a massive kid hauler than an Xtracycle. Again, happy so far.

Yesterday we hosted the homeschool group book discussion, Howard J. Ruff's "How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Times." An interesting read. I think I'll review it here in the future. The get together went well, the first large hosting in the new house. The big front room performed perfectly, and the dining room table accommodates quite a crowd.

Today we all spoke in church. It went well considering a wild week before and a lack of great preparation. Dawsey did espescially well. A member of the bishopric commented that she will be ready to become relief society president about two weeks after being baptised. The statement fits her do everything personality to a T. Better than he realized, I am sure.

I spoke about the importance of reading and understanding the Doctrine and Covenants. I realized that I should read it this year.

I love my family, and I hope that I can be what they need me to be as we continue to get busier and experience more trials. I believe that God takes an interest in that aspect of my life, and so I discuss it with Him in prayer. I do have a firm testimony of the power of prayer and of the love and interest of God.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Bike

We have a new bike. I say "we" because it is a family bike. Yes, you read that right. A family bike. I would like to introduce the Madsen Cycles KG271. I'll post pics of us in the Madsen soon. We rode around on it a bit today. The kids had a blast. So did mom and dad. I like it much better than lugging a trailer, although that is not completely in the past either as it will always serve a purpose. This bike has a rear bucket with four (yes, four) seat belts. It is very stable and we are quite happy to have this new family "car" in our garage. A more in-depth article and review of the Madsen will follow later.


This Blog is the internet record of the White Family. We will write here of our family, our doings, our beliefs and our interests. We are a family of two parents, five children, (one sister and four rambunctious boys) and no pets at the moment although we have had goats, chickens, and a dog.

We teach our children at home and have many closely held beliefs. We believe in God, we believe in liberty and the American way. We teach the Constitution to our children and focus on the intent of the founders and the purpose of the Constitution to limit government and expand freedom. It could be said that we cling to our guns and religion, although I wouldn't call us bitter.

We believe in making our own way in life and in dealing honestly. We teach these values to our children. We believe in self sufficiency and in improving ourselves and our surroundings.

We have many things that we enjoy doing as individuals and as a family. We like to read and write, we enjoy the outdoors and we like to sing. We really like bicycles. Bicycles are the transportation of the future. Perhaps that makes me rather "Green" for a conservative, but I like bikes, and I like them for general transportation. I think that we would all be healthier and that the world would be cleaner if more people pedaled more often.

Expect this blog to be full of articles about kids, homeschooling, bicycles and bicycling, camping, playing, politics, and religion. It will also have anything else that I can think of to throw at you.