Friday, September 21, 2007

name caller

My friend read this blog and jokingly called me a commie. Whatever that means.

I am not advocating for the redistribution of wealth or resources. I am advocating for changing the way we think.

We are one of the most advanced, educated, free-thinking countries in the world...and yet we are shackled to a way of life that is choking us.

While one might agree in the abstract that we need to do something, that same person will get into an SUV that seats drive to work alone. How hard is it to see the foolishness of this behavior? Are citizens that blind to what is happening?

This is a war we are in and there are those of us who are not living like my grandparents did through WWII. They conserved, made changes, tried to go farther with less.

This war, we consume, drive more, buy and consume more. That defies logic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

two a day

Still not convinced you should convert to pedal power for your commute?

You could spend less on an outfit to bike-commute than you spend in one month on your car. (assuming you have a car payment)

There is no someday.

bad, getting worse

And Bend is not immune to this phenom...

Cooley and 97 is already bad. Juniper _will_ make it worse.

The state wants to spend money changing 97 into an expressway south of Madras to California, making all interchanges below highway grade. That makes perfect sense. Take that truck traffic and make it more fluid, unfettered by cities like Redmond, LaPine, Bend, etc. or dumb intersections like China Hat has been or like the Sunriver T has been.

What is interesting about the cnn article, acknowledging that it is cnn, is the lack of planning to get fewer people driving and/or getting more bodies into cars. Of course, no one mentions bikes.

There just seems to be a lot of head scratching going on. Gee, we had no idea that more cars would be on the roads, would mean more time in the car commuting. Could better planning have mitigated this issue before it happened? Or simply staved off the inevitable? I think it was inevitable. We are bound to buy more, consume more, use more, because we are Americans. I am about to compare us to ready or stop reading now...In Europe, most people do not own cars. Most people do not own large, gas-guzzling cars. Housing and building is centered around the urban center, not sprawling across miles landscape. They tend to build up, not out. Smaller houses (versus 2600 square feet for two people). Now, do not get me wrong, I live in Bend/Salem, not Amsterdam; I bought into this just like you, true believer. I love Bend, living in Bend, but thank some one's god that I ride to work, instead of contributing to this problem. I do contribute to other problems, like wine consumption and love of the 80's.

See that waste the article quantifies? We as a people, as a culture, as a belief system, NEED to move ourselves away from what has defined us as consumers, guzzlers, abusers of resources. As in Fight Club, you are not the car you drive...the things you own, start to own you.

Bikes, not Bush.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

sweet, sweet candy

So, the DOT has an _a w e s o m e_ tool for preparing a is not specifically for cyclists, but it might as well be.

DOT has compiled pix of major highways, every hundredth of a mile. Now someone, anyone, can look at the stretch of highway they are going to travel, in painful detail. Likely they expect you to use a high-speed connection to do this.

Unfortunately, when I wrote this post, the link was not working. It can be found here:
and look under "Digital Video Log"

Why is this sweet? Now if you are touring on a secondary or tertiary (yes, I just like using "tertiary") you can review the roadway, check shoulder width, hills, turns, asphalt versus pavement versus chipseal, etc.

Remember, there is no someday. Tools like this get you there sooner. Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle...

brain bucket

I asked a class-mate how much he was spending on his law school education...over 100k...I then asked him if a $30 helmet was a worthy insurance policy for his bike rides to school.

He laughed...but did not answer...or maybe he did.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

bike spider

Last Spring, I put new tape on my Nishiki bars, for the first time in about 17 years. My amateur tape job did not cover two holes underneath, nearer to the neck.

Two weeks ago, I started noticing full-on webs in the left handlebar/drop. I looked and looked, but could never find the spider. Twice a day, I was essentially gill-netting for this free-loader, as I commuted back and forth to school.

I found him a few days ago, when I returned from Labor Day back in Bend. I went to tease him a little, and he shot from the web in the left drop to the left hole in bar. Faster than I thought he had a panic button on his arse to snake in his line.

Since then, I have not been able to tease him out anymore. Freeloader.

In other news, 10 weeks left in the semester.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

telfer driving to salem

Chris Telfer, genius CPA from Bend City Council (and purveyor of wrong mileage info during the TDC Century ride) is thinking of running for state senate...

Based solely on this article, I formed the conclusion that she drives a car and does not think in terms of alternative transportation. From the quick read, she is concerned with improving roads, presumably for vehicular traffic.

She has been a council member in Bend for two terms now, according to the article. According to the years I have lived there, I do not recall a time she touted anything other than pro-growth. And not even smart-growth, what I like to call dumb growth. How long did it take the city to put a fixed route system in place? How hard can it be to find the money (she _is_ a CPA) and then go spend the money? Now she will bring the pork back to Bend.

In a related news piece,

a few of the area's tourism heavyweights weigh in on the need for a better transport system, preferably one funded by the business community and/or the city. Because they cannot make money fast enough. Should the taxpayers foot the bill, so they can bring 1200+ ski groups to Mt. Bachelor? I know, I know, the money they spend while skiing all weekend, goes to local businesses, like Merenda, Bellatazza, and various gas stations. Oh and hotels. Those entities employ locals (even Bend locals occasionally). Just seems a little self serving.

A better bus system would be great. Even one that has buses that run, that are not parked permanently near a cemetery. Could they spend more money on roads to enhance cycling? Could they sidewalk Bend streets with that money? Ride down Newport, 14th, Century, various side streets...where are the sidewalks? Some streets are still gravel. What year is this?

This is the rambling I produce on Wednesdays, when I only have two classes.

Maybe Telfer would be a welcome breath of fiscal responsibility in Salem someday. But only if she gets the pork brought home, baby.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

riding to brownsville

Last Friday I rode to B-Ville on my (new) Cannondale. 44.8 miles door to door.

One-third of the trip was just getting out of Salem. It was also the same Ankeny Winery trip from the previous ride.

The ride itself was great. I felt great, the bike felt short still. I need to get a longer neck. And a long-neck.

Two hours and thirty nine minutes and only one car swept past me at less than three feet. Everyone else gave me a wide berth, usually the entire lane. For the most part, I had great shoulders to ride and taking tertiary roads or farm roads eliminated most of the traffic. I rode through Jefferson, my first time in that town. It was not much. B-Ville was much more exciting, quaint, and well done. A real downtown that has been preserved and cared for.

I thought the ride was hard-core, going that far with panniers...Then I read the blog of my former supervisor who just did the Vancouver Iron Man. He did it all, beating his target time. Wow. I am nothing in comparison. But I suspect we both have big hearts...