Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Number 8

From my peer group of 13;
I am known as juror number 8.
It's day 2 of what is expected to be a lengthy trial.
"Will empanelment cause you considerable hardship sir?"
Four lawyers surround me in sidebar,
with perky ears and encouraging smiles.
The judge, hovers from his high bench,
He emphasizes the word considerable
and waits for my answer with eyebrows raised.
"Please take seat number eight" and announces my new identity.

It's day 2 and this morning
I am known as bike commuting juror number 8.
Jurors 1 and 7 noticed my geek suit
as they passed me on the steps of the local shop.
I was enjoying breakfast and waiting for the doors to open
while drying out in the warm early morning sun.

Waiting to ask perfect strangers
to watch my bike
and it occurs to me,
Local Bike Shops
are like a brotherhood.

Not unlike the Freemasons.
What we lack is secret handshakes
and phrases with double meanings,
but make up for
with information revealing locations of
new connector trails
and, for the most part
are a bunch of honest folk.

I thanked them this afternoon upon my return and bought a U lock.
Lets see how honest the rest of Salem is.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

rates are up. $50 a new baseline.

Massachusetts has a proprietary holiday in April called Patriots day. Most business is halted and the city is paralyzed due to 25,000 runners and 100 thousand spectators lining the streets from Hopkinton to Copley square. My friend A.P. and I added to the crowds yesterday to cheer for his dad and try to catch up to him while running the Boston Marathon. We didn't see Lance but we did catch Billy.
So we're standing on top of heartbreak hill, near Brookline. Scanning the masses of runners flowing by, looking for familiar faces, I hear someone ask if we've got a bike pump. So I respond, yeah. This guy is frantic and asks if he can buy it off me for $50. So (like a fool) I say No. (I'm thinking) I paid $9.00 for it, but it's the best damn mini pump I've ever owned.Now the guy reaches into his pocket and takes out cash and is waiving it in front of me, I'm thinking this is some kind of joke. At the same time thinking this could be really BAD karma if I take the guys loot. He takes the $50 and stuffs it in my pocket. "I don't want to miss my brother, he is running it!" So, I say that I'll fix his flat and hand him back the money, minus $20 for my time. (5 minutes of time and a $2.90 tube, = 60/5=12*20-2.90= $237.10 per hour is my new rate to fix flats, two hour minimum) So, the frantic guys comes back after 5 minutes, his flat is fixed and he insists that I take the $50 for my "trouble". Who am I to argue?So, thanks for dinner, pizza and beer AND the train fare home. Anybody else have a flat? I gotta a really nice pump.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

watching from a distance

Some brief results up from the Cohutta 100
Still waiting to see how the SS race unfolded
Elite men + women top ten are up on cycling news
my prediction for ss podium;
TimmyD, MattF,TopherV,
but, The Elk or TomG could slip in there.
New catagory this year;
Fixed SS!
RichD, Tomi,
found some more info on Mark D's photo stream
Harlan and Floyd are still buds
looks like DJ + Timmy are on the box
but who is on top?
Da Ladies

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

nice rack

A new addition to the bike stable, a dedicated commuter fixie, complete with bags and rear rack. I know, kind'a geeky. I insist this bike found me.. years ago this bike appeared in my local bike shop, and I made fun of it's name at first sight and apparent soullessness. A mix of no name parts and ultegra shifters, made to look flashy but the wheels and drivetrain were knock-offs.
Of course my neighbor bought it. Then after a some not-so great luck with the sport of road cycling she asked me to sell it. It sat in my basement for a couple months...then I noticed the frame had rack eyelets and room for a 32mm rear tire. Blam! A 5 mm wrench and 5 minutes later the Veloz was stripped of it's cables and gears and ready to accept a single speed, fixed rear wheel.
oh god, what's next

Monday, April 14, 2008

1.21 jiggawatts

evidence that mother nature owns
one bad ass circular saw,
with a really long extension cord

Saturday, April 12, 2008

master craftsman

In a quiet town,
along a wooded street,
in a quaint garage,
Mr. Igleheart has been a busy man.

I'm lucky guy to ride his bikes and luckier still to have witnessed many an art form born from steel tubing in Christopher's shop. I've known him just a few years, his work has never looked so good. Chris' excitement and energy level is at an all time high, as is the detail he pours into his craft.
Dropping by to see what the mad scientist has created this week. Bike shops, or Shops in general, are some of my favorite places.
A Stainless rear triangle from a Pista break-away is out of the jig and now amusingly posed on display near a small window on the garage door. There are more squirrels than pedestrians here on the back road to admire the handmade subtle perfection of imperfection. The squirrels may appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

how long could it take?

This question was answered on Sunday. The question, "How long does it take to ride from Andover to Hamilton with a group of eleven riders?" Many ways to get from Andover to Hamilton.. Many ways to the center of a tootsie pop. Like the tootsie pop commercial from twenty years ago, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?" The owl, perched on the limb of a tree counts the licks. "One, Two, Three. Crunch".
Well, our answer was a surprising 9 hours and 9 minutes. Quite a bit longer than three licks. But just as tasty. The road ride to fetch the cars on Monday took considerably less time and was more direct.
Hoot Hoot.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Adventure Sunday

Last weekend at Harold Parker a hasty plan was born trailside and details quickly thrown together and almost executed in the moment...Tom paused early in our ride and said, "Hey, lets ride to Hamilton!"...and we almost did, then the five of us thought deeper into a plan to ride the north segment of the Bay Circuit Trail, (would have been totally feasible in about 4-5 hours), approximately 40 miles with a couple stops along the way to refuel....we thought it'd be wise to wait until this weekend and plan more extensively than the 15 seconds we had invested.
We've got a good crew, a plan for base miles, all we need is good weather...and cold beer after.