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.