Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Morning Music - Tom Waits

I don't really understand why anyone would put one of Tom's finest songs underneath a series of tacky "art" images that you could buy on the side of the road at one of those places that sells velvet paintings.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NCNCA District Championships - Cyclocross Photo Gallery

I was only able to come by for a little while during the races this Saturday.   Being sick on the weekends stinks.  But there was some good racing action and it was great cyclocross weather that day.   Of course I left my digital camera at work so I used my iPhone for these shots.  I also pulled out my old 35mm so we'll see how those shots come out.  It's been awhile since I've used a camera with actual film in it.

Jeffrey Lebowski raced!

Catching some air.

Mt. Peavine in the background.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Morning Music - The Beatles

In honor of the new availability of The Beatles on iTunes.  This strikes me as a very Sunday appropriate song.  Certainly it is one of the highlights of the great Let It Be album.

A little info:

On 5 February 2008, the Beatles' "Across the Universe" was beamed across the universe by NASA to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of the DSN (Deep Space Network), and the 50th anniversary of NASA. A part of the lyric are the words 'Jai Guru Deva' - a Sanskrit phrase that the Maharishi had taught the Beatles, which means "Hail divine teacher."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Riding in the Cold is Fun!

As years go by I seem to get more sensitive to the cold.  But as long as I have the right gear on it's great to ride during the winter not only to show that it can be done but because the city feels different on a bike with the air so crisp.  A minor annoyance that seems to go with riding in the cold is all the comments I get from coworkers and friends about being crazy.  But of course it's not really any different than going out and skiing.  You just need the right gear.  If you need tips on riding in the cold be sure to check out Winter Riding Workshops coming up at the Reno Bike Project.

In the next few days we will see some real winter weather hit Reno and it looks to be just in time for the NCNCA Cyclocross District Championship on Saturday.  Judging from the weather forecast it looks like the snow/rain combo is made to order for the type of optimal 'cross racing a spectator would like to see.  The schedule is here and it will be held at Clayton Middle School.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Night Pick Me Up - Cat Power

I've heard so many great versions of this song that surpass the original.  I generally don't like covers of modern pop tunes but here's a good exception.  Wish there was a real video of this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bad Idea!

What do you do in a headwind?  Click the image to see a really big version.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Morning Music - Dandy Warhols

Something about this song always reminds me of ZZ TOP.  I'm not sure that's a good thing but it's still a great song.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Los Angeles to Crack Down on the Harassment of Cyclists?

On the heels of my last post here is a slight bright spot.  Apparently the city council in LA is considering getting a bit tougher on motorists who feel compelled to harass cyclists:

The council this week asked its attorneys to draw up an ordinance that would make it a civil violation to harass or assault bicyclists. The proposed law, which the council could consider in two months, would make it easier for  cyclists to sue those who allegedly harass them and recover a cash settlement.
The bike rights campaign has been galvanized by the case of an L.A. doctor convicted a few weeks ago of purposely hitting bikers in Brentwood.
More here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

F**K Cyclists! Car Culture Rules!

I've been inundated with emails from people letting me know about the Morgan Stanley, Wealth Manager who will apparently not be facing felony charges for hitting a cyclist and then leaving the scene of the crime.  The charges are being reduced to misdemeanors because apparently a felony charge might cause the Wealth Manager to lose his job.  One wonders what would have happened if the motorist had been a gas station attendant and not a financial managing handling over a billion dollars.  The cyclist, a doctor, suffered "spinal cord injuries and bleeding from the brain" and reportedly will have pain for the rest of his life from the accident.   I've included several links to the story here, here, and here.

What can I really say about this?  Recently I got into an email altercation with someone claiming that all cyclists just assume that motorists are at fault when it comes to bike/car collisions.  I know I don't assume that because I see too many cyclists breaking the law to make that assumption.  But what I do know is that after years of experience as a cyclist and advocate I've seen literally hundreds of stories like the one above where the cyclist seems to get jilted out of due process and legal protection of their rights.  Somehow the implication is that if you're a cyclist and get hit that at least to some extent the blame lies with the cyclist no matter how negligent the driver was.   The fact that this driver apparently left scene should alone be enough to guarantee felony charges for the accident.

My point is that the system seems pretty stacked against cyclists just because our car culture makes the presumption that anybody riding a bike on the streets for transportation is "crazy" and perhaps even on some level deserved what they got.  

Here is an updated bit of information:

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert told HuffPost on Monday afternoon that news reports about the prosecution have been inaccurate. "We charged him with a felony, first of all," he said.

What's happening is that prosecutors offered Erzinger a plea bargain for restitution and two misdemeanors potentially carrying two years of jail time. What the victim wants, Hurlbert said, is for Erzinger to plead guilty to the felony of leaving the scene of accident, causing serious bodily injury. Under that deal, judgment would be deferred and the felony would be cleared from his record after a few years of good behavior. The misdemeanors, though, would stay on Erzinger's record permanently.
"This is the right plea bargain given the facts of the case, the defendant's prior criminal history and his willingness to take responsibility," Hurlbert said. "We feel this is far more punitive than the felony deferred."
Hurlbert did not offer details on the restitution, except to say it would be "significant."
"As far as employment, in any case where there is significant restitution we certainly take that into account....but it is not the overriding concern. In this case it was not the overriding concern," Hurlbert said. He added that he'd received mixed signals about how a felony or misdemeanor rap would affect Erzinger's ability to do his job.

Cyclocross Awesomeness!

What can one say about this except that it is amazing!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Morning Music - Belleville Rendez-Vous

I'll never forget seeing this performance on the Oscars.  The Lost Fingers did a nifty cover of this song the other night at their show (see previous post).   As a film buff friend of mine said, you couldn't help but suspect that the Academy voters got their ballots for that year and automatically check Randy Newman, Phil Collins, or whoever the aging rock star du jour grasping for any relevance by doing a song for kids' movie.  Then they saw this amazing performance and said, "OH SHIT!"  Actually, I think it might have been a song from Lord of the Rings that won that year.  But you get the point.  

I'm pretty firmly of the belief that pop songs songs from movie's shouldn't be eligible for Academy Awards but this might be the exception.