Saturday, March 31, 2007

A smattering of photos from the criterium up at UNR today

A beautiful day and nice views made for a wonderful afternoon of watching some clubs from California and the UNR cycling team duke it out on campus today.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Google Getting Greener

Following IKEA's lead Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will be offering free bicycles to their employees.

Google staff get on their bikes

Mark Sweney
Thursday March 22, 2007

Google is improving its green credentials by offering all of its employees a free bike to ride to work.
The bikes, manufactured by Raleigh Europe, will be offered to around 2,000 permanent employees of the search engine giant in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. All of the bikes - plus free helmets - will be branded with the Google name.

Holger Meyer, Germany's first Google employee, came up with the idea and staff will be able to choose from a range of models including a "cool cruiser" - a folding bike for those that only make part of their trip to work under pedal power - and men's and women's hybrids.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paris: The City of Bikes!

My favorite city in the world has decided to become even more bike friendly according to this article from the Washington Post. This just means I'm going to plan on another trip to Paris in the near future. On one of my last visits the Tour de France was finishing up and I joined over 11,000 recreational cyclists who took over the streets and rode the same route as the pro racers who would later finish the race on the Champs.

If only Reno would embrace the notion of becoming a city of bikes....

Paris Embraces Plan to Become City of Bikes

PARIS, March 23 -- Paris is for lovers -- lovers of food and art and wine, lovers of the romantic sort and, starting this summer, lovers of bicycles.

On July 15, the day after Bastille Day, Parisians will wake up to discover thousands of low-cost rental bikes at hundreds of high-tech bicycle stations scattered throughout the city, an ambitious program to cut traffic, reduce pollution, improve parking and enhance the city's image as a greener, quieter, more relaxed place.

By the end of the year, organizers and city officials say, there should be 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations -- or about one station every 250 yards across the entire city. Based on experience elsewhere -- particularly in Lyon, France's third-largest city, which launched a similar system two years ago -- regular users of the bikes will ride them almost for free.

"It has completely transformed the landscape of Lyon -- everywhere you see people on the bikes," said Jean-Louis Touraine, the city's deputy mayor. The program was meant "not just to modify the equilibrium between the modes of transportation and reduce air pollution, but also to modify the image of the city and to have a city where humans occupy a larger space."

For more of the article click on the link above.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Easily amused...

Perhaps this sticker that I came across really is best suited for those who drive their H2s. But I still find it funny, even as a sometime fixed rider. The site that is selling this seems to want to be the anti-cool, cool, rock and roll lifestyle, accessory store. Or is it, anti-anti-anti-cool (and therefore supercool)? Irony is soooo confusing. The "I Hate Yoga" shirt is kinda fun.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bike vs. Truck

I was riding along 4th street out towards Mogul yesterday when a trucker in his semi hauling what looked like gravel pulled around me, stopped on the side of the road, and flagged me down while climbing out of his cab. I braced myself for some sort of ugly confrontation. The driver proceeded to give me a lecture about how he almost hit a couple of cyclists when he was going the other direction when transporting another load of gravel because the cyclists refused to ride on the right side of the white line. He then started telling me what the law was in terms of bicycles sharing the road. He had been a cop in California 30 years before so he apparently felt he knew the law. Remarkably, the conversation didn't get too ugly. I tried to remain composed and pointed out he needed to be more aware of the NRS on bicycles. Most notably these two points quoted below:

1 - Drivers of motor vehicles cannot "intentionally interfere with the movement of a person lawfully riding a bicycle; or overtake and pass a person riding a bicycle unless he can do so safely" without endangering the cyclist.

2 - Cyclists should under most circumstances "ride as far to the right side of the roadway as practicable"

Here's the rub of course. The trucker basically admitted that he did not pass the other cyclists safely...and...from his perspective the cyclists were not riding as far to the right as "practicable." But if you've ridden in that area on a bike you know that the "shoulder" area does not allow for cyclists to stay on the right side of the white line at all times. Nevermind that the shoulder is typically full of gravel and debris and is generally not that safe of a surface to ride on.

So this is a warning to cyclists heading out that way. It appears that there were dozens of similar trucks (same company with big yellow trucks) working on some project in that area. I pointed out that the road they were driving on is possibly the most popular connection for road riders in the Reno area to the trucker. I thanked him for being a "careful" driver with so many cyclists on the road and kept riding. Hopefully he'll be that much more aware of safety considerations and cyclists in the future.

Note: This photo is not THE trucker mentioned but is the truck/company that is working on the project.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"The Coulterization of the American Right"

I debated making comments about Ann Coulter after her recent episode that sold another 100,000 copies of her books. Apparently I wasn't alone because I noticed that most mainstream news outlets ignored the John Edwards is a "faggot" speech. Yeah, it was given a little play, but even ABC News and George Will took the approach of "the less said about her the better." It begs the question of whether we should ignore this kind of hate-speech or should we continually stand up and speak out against the new brand of Fascism that Coulter is selling even if it makes her richer?

This article from Salon I think most accurately describes the problem that the GOP has with Coulter. It is nicely summed up in this excerpt but click on the link for the full story:

"...this isn't really about Coulter at all. This is about a pact the American right made with the devil, a pact the devil is now coming to collect on. American conservatism sold its soul to the Coulters and Limbaughs of the world to gain power, and now that its ideology has been exposed as empty and its leadership incompetent and corrupt, free-floating hatred is the only thing it has to offer. The problem, for the GOP, is that this isn't a winning political strategy anymore -- but they're stuck with it. They're trapped. They need the bigoted and reactionary base they helped create, but the very fanaticism that made the True Believers such potent shock troops will prevent the Republicans from achieving Karl Rove's dream of long-term GOP domination."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bike Ride - When did the Rattler Ridge close down?

Out for a ride yesterday in some of the nicest weather Reno has had of late. When did the Rattler Ridge bar and grill close down in Verdi? I've ridden by several times the last few weekends and didn't even notice.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Worst "Best of" List Ever?

Billed as the definitive list of "albums everyone should own" this catastrophe made coffee shoot out my nose this morning. Coming from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I somehow expected better.

Santana and Shania Twain in the top 25? I'm going to be ill...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bush's reception in South America

I couldn't help but be struck by this image that I found while perusing the web last night. The picture would seem right at home in the liberal blogosphere or some of the more liberal news venues on the net. But this was on the front of The Bush/Hitler thing is something I can't abide but I can see equating this administration with the rise of fascism in this country (for more on this see Joe Conason's new book, "It Can Happen Here" or perhaps Philip Roth's, "The Plot Against America" if you're more of a "fiction" fan).

Anyway, I just found this provocative image appearing on as a bit surprising. When these kinds of images were being captured during protests 3 or 4 years ago were they being displayed so prominently in mainstream news outlets? It also reminded me of this animated gif I came across on a discussion forum a few weeks back. 60 plus images to create this. That takes commitment.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Bike as Functional Art

I had big plans to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show going on in San Jose this weekend. Unfortunately work intruded upon my road trip so instead of getting to experience one of the most amazing groups of bicycle builders ever assembled I have to live vicariously through my friends from the iBob list that made it to the event.

Even if you are not into bicycles it is easy to appreciate the artistry of these bicycle makers. Reno's very own legendary bike frame maker, Roland Della Santa, was there. The traditional and exotic were well represented.

Check out this link for a nice group of pics from the show: