Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pro Cycling Tour (Philly Week) Heading for my Hometown

The gossip mongers on "The Pros Stuff" mentioned it first:

Inside Scoop:
- We hear that Philly and Lancaster are on this year, Trenton has been replaced with a very hard circuit race in the Blade Runner-esque ville of Reading. It's about an hour NW of Philly and has twice the de-industrialization of Trenton.

and a quick check of the PCT website confirms it ... if its the traditional "pagoda" course its going to be one ass kicker of a race ... no flat n fast crit here .... check out the profile (pdf file) or some pics from a coll. race held there.

Reading, PA ... well actually the burb of Wyomissing, is where I grew up. I think the boulder boys are being a little rough when they call it a "Blade Runer-esque ville" ... downtown is pretty sad and there are plenty of empty former manufacturing facilites but they burbs have flurished, which is about all you can ask in the US. Big upside .... the new 953 steel tubeset is made there..

Cali Sunshine My Ass

Check out the weather report for Friday

New Brunswick, NJ = 71 and Sunny

Monterey, CA = 58 and showers

Monday, March 27, 2006

So I'm Registered for the Otter

Had a blast the last two weekends checking out the otter course with a couple of my co-workers at hopkins . Considering the course is in my backyard (litteraly) it was about time I got out and saw what the BLM trails have to offer anyways.

While its not a huge deal sporting wise that I'm doing the race (as of this morning there were 124 people registered for the beg men 35-29 xc race and I'm not in good shape, even for me) its a big triumph "having fun through cycling" wise. Last couple of years I fell into that "I'm not going to do anything "competative" unless I'm in the best shape of my life" trap . Back in the day (91?) I'd do a 101 mile mtb race with what I'd today consider scary little miles in my legs...why...because is was fun. Riding with Mike, Christian and the rest of the Hopkins thursday critical mass crowd (a thursday afternoon sort of all inclusive road ride) has made me enjoy cycling in a way I havent the last couple of years.

Looking forward to getting a little more fit and checking out what the rest of the Monterey Bay group rides have to offer ...

later ... LJ

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

See my former bike (and Lindsey) win $40!

Check out the pics of "cousin" Lindsey rockin the "Dash for Cash" outside of Seattle on my former bike ... its a steel 90's bianchi cyclocross bike that she built up as a single speed. Her and Mo are the super single speedin couple.

The extra rock star part is that Linsey recently gave birth to Amelia (see the podium shot) and she rode her bianchi up till about her 8th month of pregnancy. I can barely drag my ass out for a ride and she is racing and worring about her pumping schedule at the same time (see her race report). Did I mention she is a pro wrench?

Mo is a lucky (and happy) guy ....

Bush Lied! (using statistics)

Not about all that Iraq stuff (well that too), I'm talking about his comments about real wages in the US. He claims real wages have risen 8%, its true but he is refering to the mean (ie average) rise in wages. However if we consider the median income wages have not risen at all.

So whats the difference. I'm guessing everyone out there (again the one or two of you reading this) understands average or mean. The definition of median is:

"Middle value" of a list. The smallest number such that at least half the numbers in the list are no greater than it. If the list has an odd number of entries, the median is the middle entry in the list after sorting the list into increasing order. If the list has an even number of entries, the median is equal to the sum of the two middle (after sorting) numbers divided by two. The median can be estimated from a histogram by finding the smallest number such that the area under the histogram to the left of that number is 50%"

So, basically, while the overall "pool" of income increased the number of people making less then a certain amount (in the 40k range I belive) did NOT DECREASE. When we consider both measures it implies that those that were doing well are doing better while there was little or no change in the income of the middle and lower class (though I would like to see the overall distribution of incomes) much for trickle down economics.

The scary part is if a significant percent of the economy is being driven by borrowing against home values, which have risen, while income for ost is not increasing we could be setting ourselves up for an economic clusterfuck down the road ....

just some thoughts...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Mat heads north but leaves me with Eddy

wow .... I haven't posted in over a month. Generally you didn't miss much (when I say "you" I mean the 2 people who read this) ...I was riding a bunch, for me, but getting the old #11 incisor pulled and a bone graft put a damper on all that. Combined with work, friends in town and bla bla bla it was almost 3 weeks between rides for me, but I'm back in the saddle and happy. Can't wait for all this tooth implant shiat to be done with (prob. not till August) and I cant eat whatever I want again, I think I'll have the 2nd Ave Deli fed-ex me a sandwich to celebrate the occasion.

So it was Mat at Bay Bikes in Monterey last day and I'm bummed. He's been down here from the north bay for a couple of years but has been itching to go back up for a while, cant blame him. I'm just bummed because I was ready to make BB's "my shop" because he's the best shop character I've met since moving here in September... sounds corny but where I spend my money (for bikes and other stuff) is important to me, I want to have a connection to where my cash goes .... thats why I dig places like Acme Coffee in Seaside or Diva Dulce in Monterey (holy crap Josie makes amazing hand made chocolates) where I love the product, know where my $$$ is going, and like the people its going to. Dont get me wrong, there are other good shops in the area, Winning Wheels is a great roadie shop, I would take a track wheel there and tell them to glue a tire and not think twice about it (Not something I would take to any shop). I like everyone there and I'm sure I'll give them a fair amount of business but its not a hang out post-ride and have a beer fun kind of place. I like the staff at another shop in town and they carry a good mix of road/mtb, but the owner said the wrong thing to me (I've got a couple of pet peeves when it comes to shops) and I doubt i'll ever want to spend my cash there. Anyways, I digress. Mat was the kind of guy you could stop in and shoot the shit with, go for a ride with, or catch a beer with. He could help you out with the high end stuff but at the same time he put in as much effort trying to find a lower cost solution to a bike problem....doesnt hurt that he had a cool dog. I wish him and the family luck up north.

Before he split he hooked me up with a livewrong army "Che Merckx" T

I get a kick out of this on a bunch of levels, the poking fun at the pop idolization of Che and Lance plus the reference to Eddy. The popularization of Che over the last 5 years is a great example of was is wrong with pop culture (though pop does not equal culture), especially when it comes to historical figures. The willingness of people to believe a celluloid version of a persons life reflects their role in history amazes me (don't get me started on the DaVinci code)....the ability of others to profit from those believes doesnt shock me, but I think its sort of sad. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the effect is that 1/1000 people wearing a che t-shirt they bought at urban outfitters takes the time to learn something about him and maybe that results in more people educating themselves then would have otherwise...I doubt it...but it might be true. If anyone is interested in Che I highly recommend "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life" by John Lee Anderson. It's a thorough and unjudgemental look at Guevaras life that is a very gripping read .... its also a great deal in paperback (15 bucks for 800 pages).

Well that's about it ..... I wonder when Alec will start blogging again ... of course he just moved to Golden, CO and has a new gig wrenchin ... so you've gotz to factor that in