Saturday, October 31, 2009

ugly to read....

Remember the excitement over the clever bike-share program in Paris, Velib? All is not well with that delightful convenient system. This NY Times piece is a bit of a heartbreaker to read.

PS At 5:30 Mountain Time on Halloween day, this above-linked piece was the Most Emailed item from the NY Times....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Well, it's Portland again....

But what can one do? Someone's always doing something blogworthy there. This time it's a "bicycle traffic advisory" about construction closing a popular bike route. It's on, so there are many fun ads and links to entertaining web sites offering tempting cycling-related items.

Like many of us....

Here's a link to another wonderful NY Times "multimedia mini-biography" of a New Yorker whose life is not what we expect. Patrick Harris, like so many of us, tried to do what his parents and other well-wishing mentors encouraged him to do, and he failed. And went his own way.

By the way, I keep my computer's sound shut off. You may also. Well worth listening to Patrick Harris tell his own story during this presentation...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

News and an apology....

I'm sorry for the lack of posts this last week. Last weekend, I rode my motorcycle to a tiny town in Oklahoma - where the panhandle meets the rest of the state - for a m/c club lunch. About 30 of us showed up at that remote spot; the cafe was all there was in that town.

We milled around outside waiting for the lunch bell, and a young woman pedaled up on an Extra-Cycle, one of those lengthened bicycles with a platform on the back. Evidently not at all intimidated by the 30 "macho" (middle-aged, Cordura-clad, tea-drinkin') men, she stopped. A circle of curious guys gathered around her. One of the guys stepped up to buy her lunch.

She'd ridden from Washington DC to Gate Oklahoma! She didn't mention riding partners so I assume she'd done those miles alone, maybe 70 miles in a typical day. Her father rode motorized two-wheelers, she said, and told us she expects to own one herself one day. I don't believe she'll quit pedaling....

She's been headed for Denver/Boulder and then Oregon, but the premature advent of wintry weather drove her south. I believe she felt that further travel this year would be risky; I feel sure she'll find an airport and fly home - to resume her trip next year.

Vanessa - it was great to meet you! We all enjoyed your effervescent presence at our lunch!

Tamar and I are off tomorrow for San Francisco where her brother Ronnen is marrying Robin Rudikoff, a lovely Baltimore girl. They live in Mountain View. Should be big fun.

Sometimes after a journey on the motorcycle, I can't stop writing about this or that aspect of the experience. Other times it seems nothing memorable must have happened, 'cause I write not a word about it - for my blog page or publication. Why this happens or what it means is a mystery to me.

A couple of months ago, I rode to Indianapolis for the MotoGP motorcycle races at the Motor Speedway. I rode to Flint MI to try to find our old family home. I visited friends in Muncie IN and met author and car collector Clive Cussler and other really cool car-culture guys. I hardly wrote about that trip. Was it not story-worthy? It was.

Tamar and I will be back on Sunday after the happy occasion in The City by the Bay. I'll be back in touch soon after our return. Sorry for the lapse; I know I made at least one guy worry....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That bicycling... "It's kind of a neat thing to do"

Here's a sweet, sort-of innocent article about a minor upsurge in cycling in Buffalo, NY. In Buffalo, it seems, if you ride on the sidewalk people yell at you to ride in the street. And when you ride in the street, people yell at you to.... From the Buffalo News "Life" section.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wanna see a lucky kid?

Here's the link. No explanation seems necessary.

Make it fun....and they will come...

I'll ruin this video if I tell you about it. Watch it, please, the piano stairs one, with your sound turned on.

Thanks, Schnitz!

Thanks once again to James Raia....

Here's a terrific little video of the 2010 Tour de France Route. I could ordinarily care less about these presentations, but this one is cool! After you watch it, you can subscribe to James's Examiner blog and you'll get these updates from him often. It's a great and easy way to stay aware of what's happening in high-level cycling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why we have a if you cared

I've heard from a few blog readers who are surprised that after years of abstaining from car ownership, Tamar and I have accepted the gift from family of a...yes...SUV. Here's why we did it.

A year and a half ago, we moved Tamar's mom from Philly to Denver, where we live. Tamar's brother had migrated from Philly to the SF Bay Area and could no longer look after Rachel. So we uprooted her and moved her into an apartment house for older folks, some of whom need a bit of watching-over. The move has proved successful. Everyone's happier.

Just a few months ago, Rachel had a heart attack. She survived and is doing well, but she often visits doctors and other healthcare professionals. Because she does not drive, the responsibility of getting her to those appointments falls on Tamar.

We've been using share cars and that has been good, but now we have a car parked out behind our apartment building, our own car, and we hope that it will work out better.

I've owned cars in the distant past; Tamar has never owned one. We felt that our car-less life together allowed us to enjoy high-road feelings. Our road is no longer so elevated.

I'm sure that the commenters who chided us for selling out were teasing, but we fear that we've caved and disappointed ourselves and others. Watch, dear reader, for signs of encroaching main-streamity. God forbid....

Those damn cyclists! First they got bike paths...and now they get the entire street!

From the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, StarPhoenix, this writer is pretty fed up with trendy social engineering, and the inconveniencing of lots of car drivers to provide questionable security for a few pain-in-the-butt cyclists. Here's the link.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nissan's tiny new leaning car

Okay, this isn't about cycling or motorcycling, but it charms the socks right off my feet....

From Dvice online (I think): the new Nissan Land Glider! Is it cute...or what? I watched almost the entire video, entranced by the music and the graceful moves of the little car.

Friday, October 9, 2009

From Slate: a near-poem about vintage Honda motorcycles

I'm just back from a very quick trip to Indianapolis. I flew there and drove back. My family in Indy, my niece and her husband, had a spare car....and gave it to us. So we have a white Acura SUV out in the parking lot. We plan to use it sparingly but we enjoy having it. Tamar has never owned a car and I haven't had one for years and years. We're in the lap of luxury now, huh?

This link will take you to a fine article from Slate about a man's love affair with Japanese motorbikes of the late '60s and '70s. Worth reading even if you could care less about Japanese motorbikes of the late '60s and '70s. See if I'm not right.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A British chap enjoys his cycling - from the Huffington Post

A bit of English the expense of almost no one but the writer....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

George and his lovely old Jaguar

Clicking on this will take you to the Auto Ego section of the New York Times, to an article about a guy from NYC who drives the same '68 E-Type Jaguar he's driven for decades. I love the car and I like the guy, but the audio slide show, if you listen to him talk, describes a condition of cool-vehicle ownership that I have struggled with.

George Sweeper is far more gracious with passersby who ask questions about his car than I can be. It's a gift, I figure, that I was not given. I want to be nice, and in my best moods I can be nice. But I am not dependably nice. Hence this post. Enjoy the slide show....