2014 Seasons in the Sun

Friday, July 31, 2015

Spongebob Ghostlypants Rides My Bike

I'm hardly an aficionado of random defacement, but I can appreciate the cleverity (not a real word - cleverity (v): the act of being clever) in this case. When Caltrans, or whoever painted a big square splotch over some graffiti on this underpass, it was artistically clever that someone envisioned it as a ghostly Spongebob, drained of all color.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Bud's for You, 29 July

It helps if you are familiar with the tune "Heroes of Our Past" as sung by the Dropkick Murphys (and with due respect to the intent of the original). I don't believe any other version (if there are any) will do:

And so the story's told of a hearty group of men, it's a tale of their triumphs and their woes.
Be it climbs and fast descents or the hectic final sprint
that inspires men to attack and ride away.
And should we falter with our spirit in this ever changing race
we can look back to those heroes of our past.
With their stanch determination and ferocious iron will,
no competitor could quell them in their task...

with twenty yards to go, a look over the shoulder at a comfortable gap

first across the line yet again for SoCalCycling.com

Monday, July 27, 2015

Upcoming: PVBC Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunt

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition hosts numerous bike and ride related events over the course of a year. Maybe you already knew this because you are a member, receive their email newsletters or have liked their page on Facebook. But then, for whatever reason, maybe not. 

Anyway, they have one of those fun 'events' coming up at the beginning of August - a photo scavenger hunt. Open to teams of up to five riders, the competition will take place between the 7th and the 9th, and then end with a bang and a bash at the Dale Brother's Brewery with prizes awarded and, i imagine, a general fun time.

Form your squad now, come up with a team name, and submit all relevant information to the PVBC by the 7th of August to participate. While you are at it join the PVBC, a chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition so that you can keep abreast of all their other upcoming events.

Monday Blues: The Campus Curse

What is a Roadmaster to do. Dorms are only so big, space inside at a premium, and so you spend the night outside. One night, a weeks worth, all the nights of your existence. Without any means of self-defense you fall easy prey to thugs and random vandals. They aren't interested in the chain - all those nights in the ocean air have made a rusty mess of it, but during the darkest hours the pedals and cranks are removed easily enough. Once that happens, immobility makes you a sitting duck, and the next night they stomp your front wheel into a shell of its former self.

One day the owner comes out. He curses, maybe mourns a little, but there is nothing to be done now. You are one of the abandoned, a campus derelict.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Le Champion

Once again the Tour brought out some of the best from its competitors, and some of the worst from its spectators. Overcoming all was the 2015 champion, Chris Froome. Call him ungainly, if you must, but don't call him unlikely; for the second time he and Team Sky bested all challengers and challenges to finish in Yellow.

Some things I will remember from this Tour:
1. Steve Cummings win brought the South African MTN Qhubeka team its first Tour stage win on Nelson Mandela Day,
2. Four big sprint stage wins for Andre Greipel,
3. A solid performance until struck down by the ultimate disappointment, yet again, for Tejay Van Garderen,
4. The continuing improvement/maturity of Nairo Quinatana showing glimpses of the ability to win overall soon,
5. The failure of the big showdown between Grand Tour champions to materialize. Maybe it was too much to ask, but I really hoped for a dramatic seesaw competition between Froome, Contador, Nibali, and with Quintana and Van Garderen thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Seeing is Believing

There is a simple truth

She never does what I tell takes my advice

Therefore I have come to expect one of two courses of action to result when I tell her what to do share my words of wisdom - either the words will be ignored, or they will be construed as a cue to do the opposite. 

And so I offer up this post to Rachel, Girlz Gone Riding, and whoever else may have been on the Girlz beginners' ride this past week, who convinced her that going up curbs was, not only possible, but well within her technical ability. I waited days for just this one, when I could see for myself.

Curbs one week, Baldy the next? Anytime is a good time to learn something new. Get out and give it a try ride.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ride in Peace, Eric Steven Glasnapp

You know, there were some things I was never very good at, never will be good at. Trigonometry for instance, conversing in any language other than English for another. There are some things I have become expert at - picking onions out of a salad, or celery out of a tuna fish sandwich. There is another thing I believe I am quite good at, though it is something that does not require the least bit of talent or proficiency - keeping my four wheels out of the bike lane. It is a pretty basic task, really, one that any driver worthy of license ownership should be able to master in no time.

So, why is it such a complicated maneuver for some? Except for when they follow the bend of a curve, the lines are always straight. They don't flop around in response to a strong gust of wind. It might add an extra element of riding fun if the lines were applied in a wave pattern, but I am unaware of any city or county engineer giving a green light to something like that. Those things might make it more difficult for drivers, but a straight line? Not difficult at all. 

Based on my observations, drivers, largely, do a pretty good job of keeping to a single traffic lane. Sometimes they don't, but they quickly jerk the wheel the opposite way and they are back where they are supposed to be. They tend to be even more adept at keeping their motors on the right side of the road; the center line in usually pretty sacrosanct.

Except, of course, for when they are doing something other than driving.

Yeah, invariably, drifting across lanes, across the center line, into a bike lane is a result of one of two reasons - impairment or inattentiveness. 

And because one person was not attentive to the task at hand, another person did not make it home from a simple bike ride.

Ride in Peace, Eric Steven Glasnapp.

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