Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Morning Music - Tom Waits

I saw this version of one of my favorite Tom songs during this tour.  Absolutely chilling!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Velonews Gets A Rider/Writer Worth Reading?

For years I've subscribed to Velonews magazine because I really do enjoy following the sport of cycling and it's the best American rag to do that.  Really I've subscribed in spite of the overly sexualized and amateurish advertising you often see and in spite of how mind-numbingly bad their cartoonist can be.  Really, their "fat guy on a bike" series stopped being funny like a decade ago, if it really ever was.  Occasionally the "off the back" columns were interesting but they've always been a little hit or miss.

But when an iBob member pointed out this recent column I had to sit up and take note.   A professional cyclist with some decent writing chops, some ability to be a cultural critic, and a bit of wit.  Colby Pearce isn't really that known to me but after reading this column I want to read more from him.  A couple of excerpts, or go here for the full article:
Our team kits will have cows on them, because Horizon Organic Dairy is one of our title sponsors. For me, this will be somewhat cathartic. I have raced for many teams over many seasons, and raced with many labels plastered across my torso; I am a mobile billboard. The paradox is that one reason I ride my bike is to escape commercialism and the business of “western” capitalism....

I have been thinking a lot about leading by example lately, not just within the context of the Horizon Organic/ Panache Development Team, but within cycling as a whole. The jerseys have gotten more aerodynamic and the fabrics have improved significantly, but to a redneck we are still dorks in stretchy pants.
I am more in love with the sport than ever, and yet I still watch a pack of cyclists negotiating traffic or click-clacking through a coffee shop in their cleats, and I cringe. We are truly our own worst enemies. As the planet becomes more crowded and cycling moves from a fringe sport to a mainstream trend, we need to get it together. It is time to stop being entitled and running stop signs because you are lazy, while flipping off SUV’s and mumbling about gas mileage and air pollution, and secretly harboring a silent justification that stop signs don’t apply because you have carbon pedals and you don’t want to wear them out by unclipping.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Night Pick Me Up - Beatles

Not really a pick me up when you think about it.  Kind of a melancholy early Beatles track.  But I've loved this song forever and haven't heard it in almost as long.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bike Photo of the Day

Got some good miles in during my spring break.  Including some miles I don't usually travel that often anymore.  Always loved seeing these guys on my way home from my old commute.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Morning Music - Tristen

"It had to be perfect" - Tristen....She's right, and it is.  Look for Tristen to play the Blue Lamp in Sacramento on May 17th.  Wish she was swinging through Reno as she finishes up her tour.

TRISTEN - American Songwriter profile from Shawn Kornhauser on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Culture on the Verge of a Bicycle Revolution?

Ok, probably not.  But as the gas prices get within a stone's throw of a national record you can't help but wonder if it will be another summer as a stepping stone towards a more sustainable transportation model for urban areas in this country.  In 2008 when the last record was set you could see a difference in the number of bicyclists on the streets of Reno.  I can only hope that this growth in bicycling continues.  And who is poised to show the greatest growth in a more sustainable transportation model?  Cities that have developed a plan to facilitate bicycling.

Reno is just such a city.   Besides the incredible amount of participants in our bicycling culture, from the Reno Bike Project, to the Tour de Nez, we have the soon to be released Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan put together with the Reno Transportation Commission's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  I'm personally most excited for some reason about the city of Reno possibly being acknowledged as a "Bicycle Friendly City." I know there are those who don't see Reno as bicycle friendly but having lived in many different cities with far fewer bicycling services, infrastructure, and institutions, I can definitely say we deserve to be acknowledged.   It is cities such as Portland, San Francisco, and San Luis Obispo who took the forward thinking steps towards a multi-modal transportation infrastructure that have scored highest on the qualities of life indicators that matter to most americans.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bike Photo of the Day

If it weren't for the carbon fiber bits on my bike you might think this is a pretty old shot of a Della Santa.  As it is, this is a photo from the hipsamatic app on my iphone.  I'm loving playing with it.  And no, my bike is not relieving itself on the fire hydrant.  Just getting ready to head out to Verdi and Somerset from Walden's Coffee.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paris Roubaix

The greatest one-day race in the world is going on this morning so in it's honor:

Monday, April 04, 2011

Economics, Personal Transportation, Bicycles and Where This Leads Us

A few years back I saw a documentary about how if our economic model in the west holds and we truly export an American lifestyle to the rest of the planet eventually, we will need 3 or 4 more planets earths to provide the resources for said lifestyles.  Not sure if they were accounting all of the space for the landfills after we throw shit out as well.  I don't believe for a second that the ultimate goal is to export democracy to the rest of the world.  The engine driving our government is the notion that we need fresh new markets to sell goods and or find cheap labor in.

I'm wondering where we're going to find those other planets?  And I wonder if this is truly why our species will be doomed.  I love progress in so many forms, whether it is my smartphone or (some) bicycle components.  But where does this end?  I'm enough of a realist to see that our ability as humans to recognize certain problems and alter our course is quite limited.  And as great as our democratic model of government is in so many ways, the fact that any candidate that asks hard questions and expects the citizenry to question their consumption habits on the way to the "American Dream" is going to be voted out of office rather quickly, well, it doesn't instill much hope.

Look for example at Chinese with their 120 km long traffic jams, who for so many years relied on the bicycle for urban transport.  Look at where their casting off of the bike is leading them.   I still do believe that bicycles can change the world so it is quite sobering to see these kinds of stories about transportation in developing countries being converted to a fossil fuel based system.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday Morning Music - Duran Duran

Seems like a week for reliving the 80s (see The Cars post below).  I saw Duran Duran open up for  David Bowie in Denver years ago.  And while I feel privileged to have seen Bowie live I left the show knowing that DD had actually put on a better show.  They absolutely sounded great.  I think it was during a period when they had lost a member or two and had a bunch of extra backup players and singers.  They were super tight and sounded great.  IIRC we were at mile-high stadium.

Duran Duran are currently out supporting what is supposed to be a very good album.  I've caught a few clips here and there and they do seem to sound good and reminiscent of their heyday.   As silly as this video is I don't know that they've ever released a better song.  Maybe The Chauffeur?

Newer version:

And The Chauffeur for good measure: