Sunday, July 27, 2008

All aboard the bike train

Lindsay's birthday present of a Trail-a -Bike presented me with a unique problem. There was no way to take Emily along on our trips. A trip to the bike store (complete with disapproving looks from the bike guys) fixed that problem. Viola! The bike train. Here's a picture of it next to my car for size perspective.Here's a picture of it in action. Yeah. This is fun stuff.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

1500 miles

To paraphrase an old joke that generally runs around whenever people celebrate a nice round number....

What's the difference between 1499 miles and 1500 miles? One mile.

Like most people, I like round numbers. I celebrated 1000 miles and I am celebrating 1500 miles. Why don't I celebrate 1364 miles? I did. I celebrate every time I get on the bike.

Yesterday I decided top celebrate by depositing a check in the bank 25 miles from my house. Thanks to Nancy, I had a wonderful route from west Columbus into London, Ohio. She has encouraged me to take this trip more than once. Finally, I did it. She was absolutely right about it being a great trip.

Here's a photo of the Scioto River. If I were to face south on this bridge, you would see the canoe launching area. If I were to ride north a few miles, I would be in one of the many parks in Columbus. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful park system in Columbus. I could not have picked a better day to ride. Really. Take a look at the sky. The only bad thing about the weather was that my knees got sunburned. I don't know what is wrong with my body, but two areas get sunburned no matter what I do. The first is my knees. Not really my entire knee. I only get sunburned on the top half of my kneecap. It's weird but it is something happens while biking. The other place that gets sunburned is my bottom lip. This has happened as long as I can remember. I try to stop it, but nothing seems to work.
Now, one of my favorite things about biking is that it takes you to places most people do not see. This is what I consider to be the backbone of America. To the left of the picture was a tractor unloading something into the silos. To the right was a tractor trailer taking something away. Finally, after about 50 miles, I decided some beer would be good. A six-pack of Hoegaarden and a couple of 99 cent LaBatt Blues would be good.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Weird Concidence (Not cycling at all)

I turned on ESPN this morning and watched the brawl at the Dayton Dragons game. There's no sound, but watch after the manager gets ejected. You will see the pitcher fire a fastball into the crowd. (He was aiming for the dugout, but missed.) The spectator was sent to the hospital and the pitcher is now in jail.

Then, I open the Columbus Dispatch and read a letter to the editor. (All emphasis is mine.)

Some of my happiest moments were during the World War II years, going to the Sunday double-headers at Red Bird Stadium. Once a year, we were allowed on that beautiful diamond to play an opponent on "Upper Arlington Night." What a great time!

Now I read about a brawl in the stands at a soccer game in Columbus. That's what you get when you import a Third World sport. Go out to the ballpark. You're safe there.

Boulder City, Nev.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Toledo murder update

It seems that the Toledo Police Department can find a murderer. According to the Toledo Blade, Dounche Jones was arrested early this morning for the July 15 murder of first time bicycle commuter David Babcock.

Click here to read the full story.

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What's that on my car?

What's that on my car? Dust! The thing has sat around for so long, it was covered in a thin layer of dust.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Murdered Toledo cyclist's case on America's Most Wanted

Last week, David Babcock was murdered while riding his bike to work. Deep in my heart, this feels like one of those cases that will never be solved. Even so, America's Most Wanted has featured this case on their website.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


This is what happens when I get lazy. Cartoons with no comments from me. I'll let someone else do the work for me.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Riding past an accident

I went to a ball game tonight. On my way home, there was an accident. I asked a couple of the people standing around about what happened. I was told that a truck rear-ended a bus. I rode past without thinking twice about it.

Then, I get home and read that two people were killed and nine were injured.

Please, if you are in a car, pay attention to what is happening around you.

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The go by bike challenge

Trek's go by bike challenge is popping up everywhere. It probably because you can win a free Trek 7.2 FX Hybrid bike. Here's a sample.

It's very similar to the Two Mile Challenge that provoked me to start this entire thing. I'll be honest. I began because I really enjoyed being on a bike. It's the short distances that made me want to go farther and father. The two mile challenge has become the four or five mile challenge for me.

Since this seems to fit in with the post...

Money not spent on gas: $282.60
CO2 not released into atmosphere: 1,416.69 pounds

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Route to School

I have been playing around with a few different routes to school lately. I think I will stick with this one. It's only about a mile and a half longer that the one I was taking and it skips past all of the scary parts of my current route.

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Bicycle Jigsaw Puzzle

Just for fun... A bicycle jigsaw puzzle. Click on the picture to complete it.

Click to Mix and Solve


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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Commuter shot and killed in Toledo

Around 5:40 this morning, someone shot and killed David Babcock. Why? No one really knows yet. Here's the story from the Toledo Blade. It's much better than the Dispatch's article.

Be careful out there.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

A.T.'s Tree

My trip to school takes me past three golf courses. Here's a view of one of them. This is a private golf course that I assume costs a lot of money to be a member.

I find it odd that this golf course almost never has anyone playing on it. You can be sure if I spent a whole bunch of money on anything, I would use it as much as possible. I look at it and it is simply beautiful. Even so, I take the opinion of Bill Foster in Falling Down.

It's not enough you have all these beautiful acres fenced in for your little game, but you gotta kill me with a golf ball? You should have children playing here, you should have families having picnics, you should have a goddamn petting zoo. But instead you've got these stupid electric carts for you old men with nothing better to do.

As I ride by, I see this stump. The tree continues to try to live, so the initials are almost completely disguised. I don't know the story behind these two letters, so I made up my own.

I imagine that A.T. is some guy who hates his job. After his boss told him to cut down the tree, A.T. decided to carve his initals into the stump. It was a small act of defiance, but it made A.T. feel pretty good. Now, as he drives past the gold course, he can always say that he left his mark.

That is one one the great things about being on the bike; there is plenty of time to think.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Bike tattoos

This is probably old hat by now, but I thought I would share the awesomeness of bike tattoos.

See them here.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's column by Ann Fisher

For those of you who are not from Columbus, Ann writes a column for the Dispatch. Generally, I like her writing. Maybe sometime, I will give her a call and buy her a beer.

Today's column was about how people just do not know the laws regarding cycling. Should bikes be on the sidewalk? Can cyclists pass cars stopped at a red light? Do cyclists have to ride on the shoulder? It was pretty interesting because average Joe does not know the answers.

Then we read along a little further and find Upper Arlington Police Officer Heather Galli's thoughts. "Some bicyclists don't follow all the rules, but they want special treatment," she says.

Why do people use bicyclists who break the law as an example as to why cyclists need to be trained or taken off the road? Cyclists want special treatment? Nope, we just don't want to be road kill. That's all. Let me live long enough to see my children grow up. That's pretty special treatment.

How about the website that sells these windshield stickers: They are breaking the law, and wanting people to move out of their way. That's special treatment. But that is different, right? It's a car breaking the law. In that case, it is just fine.

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Panasonic Regenerative Electric Bicycle

I have never tried a bike with an electronic assist. So far, I have not run out of gears on a bike. Nonetheless, it is an interesting idea. Read more here.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Latest load on the Xtracycle

Sorry that I have not updated in a while. I spent the Fourth away from technology.

Last Thursday, some guy stopped his car to ask me about the Xtracycle. As we were talking, he told me that recognized the bike. Of course, he thought I was Jamie from Bike Commuting in Columbus.

Here is the load I carried. Three things made the trip home great. First, the car seat made people think there was a kid on the back of the bike, so I had plenty of space on the road. The second was the the car seat acted like a sail in the tail wind.

The last great part of this trip was that I ran into the Safelite guy who repaired my wife's windshield earlier that week. While he waited for the epoxy to cure, we talked bikes. As he drove past, I saw a big thumbs up. It made that last stretch home a little bit easier.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This post has nothing to do with cycling

I just have to complain. Sorry to those of you who are expecting something bike related. I'll do that with my next post.

I received this email about The University of Toledo vs. Ohio State University football game in 2009.

Tickets will only be available to UT Season ticket holders and/or athletic/Rocket Fund contributors.

73,200 seats and not a single one available to the average fan. Thanks UT. Thanks for screwing average Joe. I have gone to at least two games a year for the past five years. I cannot make the commitment of season tickets. I cannot afford to donate money to the athletic/Rocket fund.

Thanks UT. It's not about the fans, is it? It's about how much money you can make.

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Cars to be afraid of

Yes, I know I am stereotyping. I am sure that there are one or two people in the world who do not fit these statements. To you, I apologize.

In general, I have found that the scary drivers typical have a few things in common. Unfortunately, most of them are bumper stickers, so you don't know until it is too late.

The first one is the classic Calvin peeing on something.

What better way to show your thoughts than taking a cartoon character who embodies the innocence of youth and make him take a wizz on something? I've seen Calvin peeing on Chevy logos, Ford logos, Toyota logos, and Honda logos. I guess Calvin hates all cars.

The girl peeing Calvin stickers are even more creepy.

EDIT: Thanks to Jason, I now have a link to various Calvin peeing on things pictures.

I laughed out loud when I saw Calvin peeing on the words, "copyright infringement."

The next type of car to be afraid of is the pick-up truck with the Confederate flag.

Usually, the bigger the flag, the bigger the jerk. A small sticker is nothing compared to the people who plaster this on the back window of the pick-up truck.

I realize that this might be different in the south, but I'm not sure how Ohio fits into the confederacy.

The new car that I am afraid of is the Kia Amante.

The people who drive these cars want to look like they have a lot of money, but they don't. I'm not sure what it is, but the mount of run-ins has landed them of the list of cars I am afraid of.

You might have thought I was above picking the low-hanging fruit of Hummers. Nope, they are jerks too. Here is a mildly NSFW video from (also NSFW).

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mass Transit is a Liberal plot to control you

I think this is my official indoctrination as a member of the "drive-by media." I'm probably giving myself too much credit, but here we go anyway....

And why do they want you using mass transit? Well, they say it's because it's less damaging to the environment. And they say it's more efficient. What it does is put you under the control of city transit plans: where you go, how you get there, when you go. Liberalism is about control. It is also about relishing the loss of liberty.
There you have it. Comedian Rush Limbaugh feels that mass transit is simply a Liberal plot to take away your rights.

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