Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
That said, this article provides a nice lesson in doing due diligence with regards to investing. It also seems to provide an answer to this article.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I also watched the extended trailer which added nothing to my expectations. Finally, I visited Rotten Tomatoes and the news there wasn't so good either. My two favorite quotes there:
"There was nothing wrong with the original that warranted a re-do--other than pursuit of legal tender." -Gary Brown, Houston Community Newspapers
"You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you go into this movie with lowered expectations. "
-Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
Perhaps that's the best advice.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Well, if it's too cold and icy to ride, I'm happy to have good skiing conditions right outside my door.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The one practice lap I got in told me the story of a very technical, twisty, off-camber festival. No barriers to jump over (rats, I'm getting good at that) and two stair climbs. This is going to be, er, fun.
I registered to race both the 40+ Masters race and the 4a race. It was a damp 37 degrees when I arrived, but at least there wasn't any wind. As usual, the Masters got off to a very fast start and my position near the back didn't help much. As we got through the first section of twisty, off camber turns through the trees, a rider went down ahead of me. I was able to avoid hitting him or the many riders around him and dismount, run past them and remount. Looking good, but not for long. My first fall came on the hairpin turn at the top of the sled hill. It was the first of four or five falls on that initial lap. I attribute this to either my being too aggressive on the turns (which is an improvement over my usual tentativeness) or the lack of the right tires for the conditions (as if I have any others). I also decided to run that turn for the rest of the race.
The first lap cost me time and confidence and I wound up taking 27th out of 31 which is a slight improvement over Hawthorn. Ed got a nice shot of me looking pretty intense:
I now had three hours to kill before the 4a race. I ate a sandwich, drank some coffee and a lot of water and put on some additional clothing for warmth. I also took a few pictures and rode around to pass the time and help keep me warm.
I did get in one more practice lap after the women's race and this was key. I got some great advice from Tom S on how to handle that first hairpin turn on the bike and was able to practice it two or three times.
For the 4a race, I made sure to get a good starting position. This was important as there were 54 riders in this field and that first turn would probably get ugly. Not being in the top 10, I didn't get called up, but I did get in the second row.
I hammered the start as if it were a closing sprint and kept good position for the trees. I handled that hairpin turn on the sled hill perfectly (if a little slowly) and raced a nearly clean race. Unfortunately for me, I lost time every lap on the stairs to faster climbers and the various areas of the course that were muddy sapped my strength and speed. It was also getting windy which didn't help. I was very happy with my race and thought I did better than 42nd place.
Overall, a really great cyclocross race. I prefer the more technical course, because, well, they're more fun. There were also a lot of photographers out and you can see their pictures here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
But I don't wanna take a couple days off with this nice weather.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
This year, the race layout gave more room to attempt to ride through the sand pit. During my one and only pre ride lap, I forgot that there was a large lip into the pit and nearly did an endo as my front wheel dropped and dug in as I entered. Luckily I was properly sitting back in my saddle and was able to recover. The first time through during the race I was behind someone who dismounted to run it so I had to correct my line at the last minute and lost all momentum and had to execute an emergency dismount. I compounded the problem by missing the remount at the end and lost some time (and dignity). Luckily, no one captured this Kodak moment (UPDATE: apparently this guy did, but I'm not buying a print or providing a link). I rode the sand cleanly all the remaining laps.
I still need to work on my speed through sharp turns as this is costing me time and energy that I clearly do not have to spare--based on my finishing placement (41 of 54).
And then there was Superman:
Ok. This raises several questions:
Shouldn't Superman be able to ride through the sand pit?
Or be able to leap over it?
And what was Superman doing in the 4b race?
Wait. I'm confused. What's Superman doing in a skirt? If that's Supergirl, shouldn't she be in the women's race? Maybe it's Superman who's confused.
Next race for me is St. Charles. Come on out and bring your cowbell.
Friday, October 17, 2008
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."Douglas Adams, from his book (written with Mark Carwardine): Last Chance to See.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
So instead, I did the 8:00 Des Plaines River Trail ride. As you can see, it was a beautiful morning here, way out east.
It was a small group today, but it felt good to get in two hours of riding on the trails.
Note to Gurnee, the underpass under 176 is open and not under water, so you should change the sign.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
We arrived at 5:00 with a picnic dinner for a 7:00 show. By 6:30, I thought there would be a line of people waiting to get in, but I noted that the park was largely empty and no one was at the door. This was rather strange, but we went in at 6:45 and got to sit in the 3rd row. By the time the show started, I think the theater was only a third full. Patricia Barber walked on stage on time, sat down at the piano, kicked off her shoes and socks and thanked us for attending (even "those who came in by accident"). The small turnout made the evening an intimate affair for those of us who attended and she handled it with grace and humor.
I don't have the musical vocabulary to describe the show with any justice. She performed some songs from her new album, The Cole Porter Mix including You're the Top (with some improvised lyrics) , a wonderful, sultry, jazzy rendition of Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney), and some numbers that I didn't recognize. It was a fantastic performance by a very talented group of musicians. They were listed on the sign as playing from 7:00-7:45, but the show actually ended at 8:25.
So yeah, I'm gonna have to see her at the Green Mill. I'll take a nap before the show if I have to.
Oh, and a quick note to Patricia Barber: You left your shoes by the piano.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Way to stand up for your rights.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Hurdler Overcomes Many Hurdles To Win Hurdle Race
And there's more good news:
U.S. Charioteer Breaks 2,500-Year-Old Chariot-Race Record Set By Perseus
No Olympics would be complete without a crime story:
Green-Clad Olympic Archer Steals Gold Medals From Rich, Gives Them To Poor
Have a nice weekend.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The News Editor of the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier, writes:
So, I saw this guy on Wednesday riding his bicycle while talking on his cell phone.And so it begins...
He was headed south in a lane of traffic on 16th Street at Charleston Avenue in Mattoon. He stopped to wait for the light to change, yakking on the cell phone, switching it to the other ear after a few seconds, and yakking some more.Wait. A cyclist was stopped, waiting for the light to change? I thought cyclists never stop for lights or stop signs. Take that, motorists-who-think-cyclists-never-stop-for-traffic-control-devices.
Maybe I'm just jealous because I'm not that coordinated. I don't think I could ride a bike with one hand on the handlebars and the other holding a phone to my ear. I surely couldn't do it while trying to watch for traffic.Then you probably shouldn't. Nor should you speak for those of us who are coordinated enough to ride one-handed...or even no-handed.
What I really wondered when I saw Bicycle/Phone Guy, though, was who would be to blame when he gets hit by a car.Aha. Now I see where you're going with this. You are looking for yet another excuse to blame cyclists for your poor driving skills. What if you were talking on your phone in your car and you veered off into his lane (let's assume a bicycle lane) and hit him while he was talking on his phone. It would be his fault, right?
I mean, multitasking is one thing, but surely this carries it too far.Why?
I know people talk on their cell phones while driving a car--yeah, me too, I confess--but I also know some drivers who shouldn't chew gum and drive at the same time, let alone yak or text.This doesn't explain how talking on a cell phone while riding a bike is too much multitasking. This only tells me that you talk on your cell phone when you drive, you think you are better at this than some drivers you know and that despite knowing that this inhibits your ability to look out for other cars (and bicycles, and pedestrians, by the way) while you drive, you continue to do so regardless of the danger you pose to others.
It' not Average Car Driver who should be blamed when Bicycle/Phone Guy veers into traffic and gets hit by a car. It's Mr. Multitasker on a bike who should take the responsibility for being a doofus.I'm not sure what your point is, but you wrote that you saw a guy on a bike talking on his cell phone while stopped for a traffic light and then proceeding (while still on his cell phone) when the light turns green. From this you extrapolate him veering into traffic and causing a collision. Sorry, that doesn't follow. Remember, he would be taking his life in his hands if his skills are that bad. The only threat to you is a few scratches on your car, and the pain of some paperwork.
So even when I see Bicycle/Phone Guy and I mock him and I shake my head at his stupidity, I still hope he gets where he's going safely.I hope you also give him the required three feet of room when you pass him and you put down your phone, coffee, make up, iPod and cigarette (see, I can make idiotic assumptions, too) so you can make sure your car doesn't veer into the bike rider. Who's to blame and/or responsible then?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"Please enjoy the music while your party is reached."
Then I hear the dulcet tones of John Denver singing "Rocky Mountain High-igh" until they either answer or I get voice mail. Not so bad the first time I heard it, but every single time? Can't they get a playlist?
Where's the guy with the helmet camera when you need him?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
"Athletes and people who exercise not only have better bods — they have better brains too, a host of studies have now firmly established...Exercisers learn faster, remember more, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as a stroke. They are also less prone to depression and age-related cognitive decline."
We're also better looking, but you just knew that intuitively, didn't you?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
'Cuz you know, that never happened before.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
"Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, the sport’s governing body, said the dissidents were facing exclusion from the international federation."
You mean this year? 'Cuz they're leaving next year so you can't fire them, they quit.
This, of course raises the question: Did Greg LeMond know something about this?
This could get interesting...
Monday, July 14, 2008
or shots of fun stuff I see along the way like this one.
If you prefer to only take pictures of what is directly in front of you, Photojojo shows an inexpensive DIY method of attaching a camera to your handlebars.
I imagine one could attach a video camera the same way, although it seems that the best way to go would be the helmet cam.
Have fun. Ride safely.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
During a bike ride on the Skokie Valley Trail near the the Highland Park Lexus dealership, a blackbird swooped down and attacked a local rider. He lost control of his bike, fell to the ground and hit his head (he was not wearing a helmet). He died from his head injury over the weekend.
This was obviously a freak accident, but it emphasizes how important it is to wear a helmet at all times. You just never know what might happen.
Another fellow rider gave this advice about these aggressive birds:
Before they swoop down at you they make a repeated noise like ew ew ew and then they peck at your helmet. They may fly away and do it again right away. They don't hurt you, they scare the shit out of you. So if you're riding on the trail and you hear that noise, relax and hold the handle bars firmly, don't get stiff and hang on for dear life or you'll fall. Keep your tongue in your mouth (in case you scream) so you don't bite it.
So wear your helmet, just in case...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Sat September 13-CX Clinic (TBD)
Sun September 21-Jackson Park
Sun October 5- DeKalb
Sun October 12-Hawthorn Woods
Sun October 19-Carpentersville
Sun October 26-Bartlett
Sun November 2-St. Charles
Sat November 8-TBD
Sun November 9-Northbrook
Sun November 16-Lansing
Sun November 23-Woodstock
Sun December 7-Montrose-IL State Cyclocross Championships
Dates subject to change
USA Cycling Event Permit Pending
10:02 Masters 40+ (all 45)
10:02 Masters 50+
11:00 Cat. 3 (All 45 min)
11:02 Women 1/2/3
12:00 Women 4 (all 30 min)
1:00 Men 1/2/3 (60 min)
2:15 Men 4a (30 min)
3:00 Men 4b (30 min)
Race times subject to change
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wouldn't it be nice if we could do this in Illinois? Legally, I mean.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
What I’m saying is that they [the News] should take in the fruit and entrees that are presented by politicians and the corporations that process it, and come up with turds of wisdom, if you will. You either bring clarity or you bring noise. The media should be filters, and they can only be that if they exercise editorial judgment. It infuriates me when people say, 'That’s elitism.' No, it’s not. That’s expertise. That’s like saying to doctors who diagnose people, 'You’re being elitist, telling me I have heart disease. I don’t want to hear that. I want to eat cake and ice cream.'and:
You know, nineteen guys with box cutters brought down the Twin Towers. Are we supposed to go to war until there’s not nineteen guys that want to do damage to us? One day, two assholes throw pumpkins off an overpass. And now when you drive down the highway and go past an overpass, you see those giant ten- foot chain-link fences. Two vandals out of millions of people can fuck up your way of life in ways you can’t even imagine. There’s no way to fool-proof the world. You cannot out-engineer crazy.
Read the whole interview here.
Monday, June 16, 2008
As for the linked article, I have to say that the tone continues to be that cyclists are wrong, motorists are right.
"Each weekend, packs of several dozen bicyclists ride throughout town, sometimes as fast as 30 mph."
"It's a problem," he said. "This is not you and your wife out for a bike ride."
Does having your wife along on the ride somehow make riding through Barrington Hills OK? How about your girlfriend? I'm just askin'.
Reminds me of the opening of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
"Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?" said Mr. Prosser.
"How much?" asked Arthur.
"None at all," Mr. Prosser replied.
"By stepping up enforcement, Kann said, police are not trying to dissuade riding in the village. 'We just want them to follow the rules of the road,' he said."
Not a word in the article about stepping up enforcement of drivers passing too close to or intimidating cyclists.
So, let's be careful out there.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Or, maybe it's the clothing.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Of course, they just might be so successful that they can afford to waste diesel at nearly $5.00 a gallon to get their misguided message across. Or that they are so successful that they don't mind pissing off potential new customers. There is also the irony that the truck is painted green.
Lucky for us, his shift must have ended just as our food came. So the morning ended well.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Yeah, I'm bitter.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
May is National Bike Month and the League of American Bicyclists promoted Bike-to-Work Week last week (May 12-16) and Bike-to-Work Day was Friday, May 16. However, if you missed it, in Chicagoland, Bike-to-Work week is June 7-13. I think we celebrate it a month later just to make sure there's almost no chance of snow.
Either way, I was in a good mood on the way home and snapped a few panda portraits for fun.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
It is my blogversary today. I celebrated by taking a 60 mile ride up past Round Lake. It was windy with a mix of sun and clouds and the group hung together well. At Fish Lake, most went on for more and I turned south with three others to get home a little sooner. I couldn't resist trying to take this picture from the bike. It was a beautiful scene with the barn and the silo and the clouds. I think it came out OK.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
...people who combine relatively automatic tasks, such as speech comprehension and car driving, exceed a biological limit on the amount of systematic brain activity they can accommodate at one time, the researchers propose. As a result, the less-ingrained skill — in this case, driving, which is learned long after a person grasps a native language — takes a neural hit.Ya see folks, going hands-free on the cell phone isn't going to make driving while talking on your cell phone any safer.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I put the CycleSound on my road bike for my morning ride. It's pretty easy to install, but if you are going to use it on more than one bike, it's probably worth it to get a second mount. The unit has a rear zippered access flap that encloses the battery compartment (6 AA). There is just enough room here for a spare tube (23c) and one CO2 cartridge. The bottom has a zippered pocket where your music player goes. In addition to my 2nd generation iPod Nano, I was able to fit a couple of tire levers and another CO2 cartridge. There wasn't enough room for my inflation pump, although there would be for one of the smaller inflation chucks. Under this zippered pocket is an open mesh pocket which might be convenient for small items, but it didn't seem very secure to me.The sound quality is quite good and the volume is loud enough to hear, but is limited so that you can hear what's around you. I have no idea as to the unit's durability, but it seems pretty well designed and put together to me.
Here's my playlist from this morning.
Take Five - Dave Brubeck
Classical Gas - Mason Williams
Krafty - New Order
Beer - Reel Big Fish
Zoot Suit Riot - Cherry Poppin' Daddies
The House Is A Rockin' - The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
My Back Pages - The Ramones
Here It Goes Again - OK Go
Lump - The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Who's That Girl (She's Got It) - A Flock Of Seagulls
The Ballroom Blitz - Sweet
Bicycle Race - Queen
My White Bicycle - Tomorrow
Pop Song 89 - R.E.M.
Nice Guys Finish Last - Green Day
David Watts - The Jam
Take On Me - Reel Big Fish
Suffragette City - David Bowie
Runaway - The Misfits
You And Me - The Moody Blues
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers
Breakaway - The Producers
What Ever Happened To Saturday Night? - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Can't Get Enough Of You Baby - Smash Mouth
Some music to warm up to and then mostly upbeat stuff to keep it lively. I don't think I'll be riding with music on our morning rides--it's just not our style (although the spin instructor in the group thought it was a great idea). However, I think I'm going to keep the CycleSound on my commuter bike.
A couple of final thoughts. Having the iPod safely tucked away inside the zippered pocket gives a clean look and prevents getting a cord stuck in your dérailleur, but limits your control. I like the idea of a wireless remote control (like this one) for the iPod which would allow you to skip songs, and turn it off without having to take it out of the pocket. Another use would be to turn your CycleSound into a speaker phone with a bluetooth headset (would this work?). I wonder if an iPhone would give you both music and a speakerphone? The mind wanders...
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
My first bike commute of the year today made more enjoyable by the CycleSound system I won at Ride-Strong. First impression is that it is easy to set up and easy to use. The sound quality is quite good. In case you are wondering, today's playlist (round trip) was:
Take Five - Dave Brubeck
Krafty - New Order
Suffragette City - David Bowie
Beer - Reel Big Fish
Zoot Suit Riot - Cherry Poppin' Daddies
The House Is A Rockin' - The Brian Setzer Orchestra
My Back Pages - The Ramones
It's a really short commute. Yeah, and Bowie doesn't belong there--I'm going to have to work on the playlist order a little.
Thanks to Tyler at Ride Strong for getting this to me so fast.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
At this point, I want a new camera and to never have to deal with the Canon repair facility again. They took my camera, repaired what was wrong and then broke something else. They returned the camera to me without even testing it or the problem would have shown up. I returned the camera (on their supplied UPS label) and got it back with that problem solved, but with a brand new problem--the focus lock no longer worked. I called and they emailed me another UPS label. I sent it and a week later got it back. And the focus lock still doesn't work consistently.
James transferred me to Roderick who, I was told, is their highest ranking customer service person and he took my information. He is sending me an overnight label to send the camera to the manager of the repair facility so they can check the camera out and see what's going on.
Final resolution...to be determined.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Cyclist and the price of gas
Originally uploaded by richardmasoner
With gasoline prices like these, who would you ask for tips on how to save gas? How about UPS? Would you believe that one of their tips is to make fewer left turns? Or, you could ride your bike. They didn't think of that one.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Via Trust but Verify I see that WADA is mad at UCI for suing their former president (a certain Dick Pound) for injurious and biased comments against UCI. There's also stuff in this article about the French Cycling Federation (FFC) sanctioning Paris-Nice outside the oversight of the UCI and using the French anti-doping agency, AFLD, to be in charge of the doping controls for the event. The UCI warned that they would discipline any rider that participates in the event.
Tell me again why this is good for the sport.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I wonder if doping is also a concern in swimming?
Wait, was that Dick Pound's beeper I just heard going off?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
"In the beginning God created the bicycle, saw that it was good, then went for a nice Sunday ride on the bike lanes He'd made the day before, and they were good, too, because they were new and He had the angels keep them clear of debris. Later, of course, God would get cross and have the flood wash all the good ones away."--Cycling Plus, January 2001
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday morning. I'm still learning how to use my camera and what the best default setting would be for when it's in my jersey pocket. I like to use the continuous drive mode while riding, but this limits which shooting modes I can use. I am also learning that most changes to default settings are lost when the camera powers down. The net result of all this is that this shot was overexposed. I did my best to fix it in Photoshop and felt it looked better in black and white. Still not happy with it. Also, I missed a later shot of the xXx-Athletico paceline when I inadvertently put the camera in timer mode, not continuous drive mode. Damn gloves!
Oh, and it was a great day for a ride too!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
What a great day for a ride! It was 40 degrees when we started and 35 miles later, it was 50. The snow on the ground and the sunny skies made for a beautiful ride. And, I have a new camera. As far as I was concerned, this was the first ride of spring.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Rode the North Branch Trail yesterday on the mountain bike. On 4 inches of fresh powder, I had to let nearly all the air out of my tires for any traction and still it was quite the workout. I took this on the bridge over Caldwell and Oakton.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
And decided to see what happens if I look for cycling. As a control (geek alert) I googled (or is that Googled?): "Died in a skydiving accident" and "Died in an elevator accident" and found that these numbers had increased by about 10% since this chart was made. The results for "Died in a blogging accident" has increased to 46,000 hits (yes, 46 thousand), due, I'm certain, not to the increased dangers of blogging, but to bloggers citing this chart.
Anyway, the results for: various cycling terms are as follows:
Sadly, the first item that comes up in the search for "died in a cycling accident" is the death of Stereolab vocalist Mary Hansen in 2002.
OK, in a post that was supposed to be humorous, I seem to have taken a turn for the morbid. I'm going to stop digging now.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
And today is the 23rd anniversary of the coldest day in Chicago history. It was my first winter in Chicago and I woke up to a temperature of -27 degrees and wind chills down to about -90.
I didn't' ride that day either.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I wonder what major league baseball would look like if their approach to doping were the same as cycling's?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
In other news, there will be a 'cross race in Viroqua, Wisconsin on January 19. That's about 4+ hours away, so I don't think I'm going. At least, not this year.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008