This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and develops a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I hope this is happening in your town.

 The transportation authorities of the area are flabbergasting.  KATS, the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study, held an open house specifically for the non-motorized proponenets of our city.  They had donuts and coffee and big tables lined up with maps of all the streets marked with existing and proposed projects.  Cute assistants and administrators to greet us and apply name tags. 
 They need to put together a comprehensive plan for the next ten years in order to fulfill their funding and grant requirements, and in light of the state's "complete streets" initiative they asked to know what we think.
Bicycle enthusiasts and various luminaries from the community showed up.  I came early to beat the rush and I guess I caught up with the retirement crowd cause it looked
 pretty much like a bunch of younger old guys like me.
They had posted lists of various priorities in different  degrees of articulation posted for us to vote on.  It was good, the open house will be open for the "after work" crowd and I will be interested to here how the voting came out.  I chose the most general verbiage I could find on the boards.
All the maps were spread out with colored sharpies to draw in our own proposals and leave notes about routes and improvements we feel are needed.
They asked for suggestions so I left mine.
 The only one that won't require funding

Monday, July 28, 2014


Summer corn carves
an alleyway across the wind
escorting somewhere.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bike Packing 101.1

I decided to update one of my most popular posts Bike Packing 101 since I upgraded a few pieces of equipment.  Essentially it packs the same, except that the self-inflating pad I am using compacts very well and I no longer have the frumpy looking foam pad on top of  my saddlebag.
The big red bottle is a fuel bottle, I feel it's safer than in a bag. I normally carry a coffee press in the lower cage and a water bottle, but today I am just riding around taking pictures.  The much taller tent is, of course a huge improvement, only adds 8 oz and still fits in the one front pannier. 
The pole rides easily under the flap of the saddlebag. 
Inside you can see the pad and red fleece sleeping bag liner.  I think a 3 season tent stays warm enough to eliminate the need for a heavy sleeping bag. 
The pad, sleeping bag, hand axe and kitchen all fit in one front pannier together.
The axe is handy for collecting firewood to avoid buying and lugging it around on the bike.
Most woodsy areas have enough downed wood nearby to make a nice fire
with nothing more than the classic Estwing scout hatchet.  
I have changed the stove I carry when I travel alone, which is most of the time.
The kitchen spreads out this way, The cooking pot and pan nest to create a container.
Just to the right is the Trangia alcohol stove, behind is the Vargos wood stove, which is a backup in case I need fuel. Next from right to left is an 8 oz cup, two SOS pads and matches.  I keep the matches in a medicine or vitamin bottle to keep them dry, with a bit of the matchbox abrasive inside the lid.  
My son added some utensils when he borrowed my equipment last summer.  There is a web pocket in the front panniers and he used one for a selection of plastic cutlery.  A bit excessive in my opinion,
 but I try to deal with the extra weight.
There it is, not a big difference from the original, the biggest change is reducing to the alcohol stove since denatured alcohol can be easily found.  I will carry the two burner and larger pans when I have a companion.  But just as before, 3 days of clothing in the saddlebag with personal hygiene items,
don't forget a pocket knife, tool roll up and a good attitude.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Hero has turned on me!

I am definitely forlorn and lonesome now.
The Barbie police doll has gone and done it, she snapped and is running amok threatening cyclists.
Even though I may never look my Barbie doll straight in her big blue eyes again,
this is not a funny thing.   Laura Weintraub is making fun of killing people with a car and it is sick.  Of course, it once again raised the ire of and brought attention to the cycling community and everybody is all a "twitter" over the rights of cyclists.     This time I don't care if her target was Rob Ford.
Well lookie there, she destroyed the evidence!
You can still see her disgusting idiocy here.
There is a police officer out there on the road who thinks using an automobile to kill is good humor.
Her boss, the chief of police, thinks it's "cute."  Forget the denial and the apologies, they are both meaningless.  Of course they would post a carefully worded apology after they expose themselves.
The questions are simple.  What kind of person thinks vehicular homicide is funny, or "cute?"  I'm no expert but I think psychologists and sociologists have a couple of very uncomplimentary terms for this behavior. 
The second, and only important, question anybody should consider is; should a person like that have a position of responsibility involving public safety?