Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When I should be thinking about something else.

I have to think if it's worthwhile to bail out GM.

On one hand:

All the jobs, GM, the steel companies, the tires, the freight people, the sales people, the service departments and those that depend on them for their living.

On the other hand;

We don't want their cars anymore. We're never going back to the days of buying a new car every year and might be better off if half the cars in the country were raptured or something.

They seem to think a bailout would just maintain the status quo. Not for R&D for better, more fuel-efficient, cars but for more of the same cars that we don't want anyway.

Couldn't we just pay them, like farmers, not to make anything?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

Probably my Panasonic Touring Deluxe, I can't imagine a better bike.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
I suppose if I went to Christi and Sarah at Acme with my bikes and tried to figure out what would make me like it better. Maybe disc brakes or a Rohloff hub, or the SA Three Speed Fixed Hub.I can't imagine.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life?

Probably someone who holds the purse strings. I can imagine worse fates.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
I've ridden someone else's, around the block. They just seem inelegant to me and hard to see in traffic.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
I tried a couple times and I freaked in the swim. Training for a Triathlon is too much like a job.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why? Ice Cream.
Could I still have Gelato?

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I can't even ride the same route to work 2 days in a row. Forget that idea.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
Ride faster than the people with me.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.
Ok, I tag anyone reading this who has not updated their blog in more than two weeks. Everyone else, ignore this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

So Long Captain Bike

It was a beautiful afternoon to ride home and I had time to think about Sheldon Brown. What a wondrous time we live in now! I feel the loss of a cycling friend with whom I never got to ride, or to drink a beer or even talk face to face. Yet due to the internet, I was able to be friends with Sheldon Brown, through his postings on the BOB list, on the Bicycle Restoration List, on the KOG list and more that escape me right now.

If you ever had a bicycle question on the internet, you had to have encountered Sheldon and you couldn't help digging deeper and getting distracted from what you had come to look up. If you ever posed a bicycle question on a list or newsgroup, you stood a pretty good chance of getting an answer from Sheldon, directly and a reference to his page. His few podcasts about English 3-Speeds and recumbent bicycles were informed without a hint of condescension.

Left hand drive? Done it.

Build a tandem from two old bikes. Sheldon had done it.

He made it clear, for me, at least, that bicycles existed to be ridden not hung on a wall. His 1918 Mead Ranger was all the evidence anybody needed.

And to ride a fixed-gear, one couldn't build one up without consulting Sheldon once or twice.

He was opinionated, informed and I would have loved to have met him and drank a beer or two with him. He was also generous with his time, energy and knowledge, answering most of the 500-1000 emails he received daily. I recall he responded one time to a question about buying bikes at the Salvation with a diatribe about "monotheism" and had to be restrained by the moderator. His home page included these 2 lists, along with every book, movie and television show he watched or read.

Some Things I Believe In

* Democracy
* Duty
* Equality
* Exogamy
* Family
* Freedom
* Justice
* Kindness
* Law
* Love
* Loyalty
* Mathematics
* Science
* Space Exploration
* Truth

Some Things I Do Not Believe In

* Angels
* Astrology
* Death Penalty
* Devils
* Elves
* Faeries
* Faith
* Gods
* "Intelligent Design"
* Leprechauns
* Luck
* Magic
* Racial Purity

I often say that I don't, myself, believe in eternal life, physically, at least as religious people describe. I do believe that good people live on in our memories or in the good deeds we repeat after learning from one another. Sheldon will live on, everytime someone needs information about fixed gears or rebuilding a 3 speed hub.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Searching for The Holy Grail

There is always one more part that will make my bike perfect. For the Twenty there are several. Some day, all that might be left from the original bike is the frame and fenders. The most pressing is the fork. The original Raleigh-built fork will not fit a fatter tire that I want to use for winter commuting. Actually, it's a studded tire but the bike will not fit a tire over 20 by 1.75 inches. So, what I need is a BMX fork with a 7.5 inch steerer that also has cantilever bosses.

There is not such a thing out there or at least not easily accessible. I am beginning to search.