Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tour of America

From the RoadBikeRider newsletter, I see that the proposed route for the inaugural Tour of America keeps getting shorter and doesn't include Illinois. At this rate, the 2009 route might wind up being a crit in Americus, Kansas.

Yeah, I'm bitter.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blogging is Good for You?

Apparently it is.

"Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off."

Or maybe it's narcissism.

So what's my excuse?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Commuter Bike Panda

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

Bikes are Funny?

I get The Onion Weekly Dispatch in my email. In today's issue, there was a link at the bottom for their current contest which is "Enter to Win A Shimano Bike!". Clicking on the link directs you here to a sweepstakes where the prize is one of those new-fangled Raleigh Shimano Coasting bikes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Multitasking While Driving

You do it, but that's OK, because you know you can handle it. It's just those other !@#$holes that can't drive while text messaging, drinking coffee, shaving and scanning for music on their radio. Take a quick read of this article in Science News about what happens in our brains when we multitask while driving.
...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

More on the CycleSound

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


The funniest t-shirt I'll never wear. I just don't have the guts.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Today, I had my first road bike ride since some minor surgery two weeks ago. It was just an easy ride today, 20 miles at around a 15 MPH average. I felt good and plan to ease back into harder rides. No racing plans except for fall cross season which is way off and, perhaps the Sherman Park Crit as an incentive to get in shape.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Commuter Bike

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.