Friday, August 29, 2008

Bike fashion: ur doin it wrong

Go here if you have the courage.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Andrew Sullivan On Torture

He absolutely nails it, again: Does Bush Believe McCain was tortured? Because we're doing the same thing to torture terror suspects that the NVA did to McCain.

Updated 8/20 to correct wording.

Why I Support Gay Marriage.

Greg Laden put it best in this piece:

"We are obligated, by virtue of demanding our own liberty, to protect the liberty of others."

Cycling Log: New Bike City Part 3

It's official.

I signed off yesterday on the new Moots. So like I told my boss, if you see me walking around with a look of equal parts giddy anticipation and financial anxiety, you'll know why.

Steve from Bike World was nice enough to put me up on the trainer yesterday to make sure my saddle position is adequate. Because I use such an unusual design for the saddle (Adamo Road from ISM), it essentially has to be pushed all the way to the rear on my seat post. And even then, it could stand to go back another centimeter or so. But like Steve said, given the geometry of the new bike, we can always change the post and worry about everything else later. And if I do switch to a different type of saddle, the geometry will be nicely neutral.

So I signed off on the drawing and faxed it back to Moots. Jon gave me a call later that afternoon to see if there were any additional features I wanted on top of the standard water bottle cage mounts. I told him I needed a mounting bracket for the nitrous oxide bottle, too. Seriously, is there a road rider out there who thinks his/her bike is really fast enough?

So the bad news is, I'm making my credit card company happy--again (and I do have a great credit score, if I do say so myself). The good news is, the only parts I'm now lacking are the stem and the handlebars, and those should be rectified within two weeks. (Open comment to Profile Design: I saw those handlebars in the January issue of Triathlete Magazine, ordered them back in March, and they're still not available? What gives?)

There will be a new bike party come mid-October for my faithful friends (or, rather, the ones who enjoy a free barbecue and beer).

Spin easy friends.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend with Mom.

I'm sorry I'm so late getting these things posted, but I figured you'd enjoy them all the same. Tim and family drove up to see Mom a month or so ago. Enjoy:

Tim & Taylor.
Emmalea and Kelli.
Dade & Taylor.
Uncle Paul and Dade mugging for the camera (yes, Hawkeye fans, I am wearing a Cyclones cycling jersey).
Taylor and Mom (sorry for the rotten picture, folks).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cycling log: TIG welding

I was doing some research on how companies like Moots build Titanium-framed bicycles, and I had to check out this article from Wikipedia on TIG welding. Fascinating stuff. It makes me appreciate what Jesse James of West Coast Choppers once said about metal fabricators being artists as much as artisans. The skill level is incredible, and the danger is not inconsiderable if you don't know what you're doing.

The ultimate trouser snake...

Rule #1 of broadcasting: Never work with live animals on live television (unless your name is Jim Fowler).

Required reading for Catholics

Greg Laden's take on the charges against Webster Cook being dismissed. Cook was the one who started a stir by not consuming a Catholic Eucharist, and received death threats and expulsion-level charges of misconduct at the University of Central Florida. Laden's blog contains a letter from Cook's friend, Benjamin Collard, that is really spot-on:

"This may be cliche, but the catholic league should consult the WWJD bracelets that became popular during the 1990's. For some reason I am having trouble picturing Jesus, lobbying a school board to have a student expelled or suspended. When I think of what Jesus may have done in this situation- I picture a man trying to talk with, seek understanding from, and attempt to educate Mr. Cook regarding the incident, not a person who would seek vengeance if they felt that they were wronged."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cycling log: New Bike City part 2

Well, the new bike quest continues. This would be the part in the Indiana Jones movie where there would be an airplane flying over the world map, with a big, animated arrow pointing to Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

I got in touch with John Cariveau (rhymes with caribou) of Moots's marketing department the other night. My initial email had been caught in his junk mail filter, so he was a bit delayed in getting back to me, but all is forgiven. What he did was he emailed back a print-out proposal of the new rig, basically with a shorter top tube and a longer head tube. For the laymen, that means the handlebars will be position higher and closer to me than normal. Since comfort is the goal here, that's fine with me, as long as the handling properties don't suffer. And he said they'd go with large-diameter tubes to make sure the bike absorbs vibration and provides sufficient stiffness. Music to my ears.

Meanwhile, I also put out a feeler to Litespeed just on the off chance Moots didn't get back to me in timely fashion. I got a voicemail from them in my cell phone inbox today. Three things struck me about the voicemail: I couldn't quite understand the salesman's pronunciation of his own name, he forgot the 800 toll-free number and had to give me the direct-dial number, and he forgot to mention he was with Litespeed Bikes!!! I know I'm picking nits, but basics, people!

Next step: wait for Steve Lauber to get back from some place in Wisconsin where they make some bikes, or something.

Spin easy, friends.

Quote of the day.

Take a bow, Johan Harri:

"On January 20th 2009, either the president of the United States will be a man who used to snort coke to ease his blues, or the First Lady will be a former drug addict who stole from charity to get her next fix. In this presidential campaign, there are dozens of issues that have failed to flicker into the debate, but the most striking is the failing, flailing 'War on Drugs.' Isn't it a sign of how unwinnable this 'war' is that, if it was actually enforced evenly, either Barack Obama or Cindy McCain would have to skip the inauguration -- because they'd be in jail?

At least their time in the slammer would feature some familiar faces: they could share a cell with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and some 46 percent of the US population."
HT: Sullivan

US Gymnastics Analysis

An excellent commentary by ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk. Money quote:

"(L)et's not forget the Chinese women, who were dominant on three of the four rotations and suffered only one major mistake, a fall on beam. This result was not the fault of one U.S. athlete. It was the result of 12 routines."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quote of the day.

"There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym."
--Bill Nye

Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men

The title of a blog I recently stumbled over.

I am also living proof that smarts aren't the only requirements; you also gotta smile every so often or you don't get the girls.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Grown-ups who act and dress like superheroes

Talk about fanboys, these people really patrol city streets decked out like crimefighters. And some actually seem to be getting laid.

Friday, August 8, 2008

PZ Myers: How we get new species

One of the best blog posts he's written is here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The real way to fight terrorism

Outstanding commentary here by Johann Hari. Money quote:

"The best way to undermine the confidence and beliefs of jihadists is to trigger a rebellion of Muslim women, their mothers and sisters and daughters. Where Muslim women are free to fight back against jihadists, they are already showing incredible tenacity and intellectual force."
Oh, and cut our dependence on Islamist dictatorships like, ohidunno, Saudi Arabia.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Eatough wins 24-Solo Worlds

Feel like riding a mountain bike 24 hours straight? Me, neither. But Chris Eatough is another animal.

For a guy who's won 7 out of the last 9 of these races, that might sound like a "Dog bites Man" headline, but Velonews makes it sound like a hell of a race.

For those of us who love the movie 24 Solo, I'd give a lot to see this race come out in movie format. I really hope there were camera crews on hand.

Oh, Pua Sawicki won the women's title in a rout. This lady face-planted into a boulder a number of years ago. Ugly, ugly injury from which she completely recovered. Brace yourself if you follow that link, the story is a bit gruesome.

Oh, and one of the reasons I love that movie, 24 Solo, is that Chris Eatough is one of the brightest and classiest athletes you'll ever meet. Neat guy.

Cycling Log: Flat is a four-letter word

I. Hate. Flats.

Especially when I have two of them on the same ride.

Lesson learned: If you think your tire is getting worn out, it is.

Thanks to a nice gentleman with a pickup, I didn't have to walk too far from Nevada back to Ames (carbon-soled shoes are great--when pedaling). And I need to apologize to Tom at Bike World for messing up his lovely truing job on my rear wheel (nothing fatal, just annoying). The way I look at it is, it's his wheel. He built it, I just paid him to be able to use it.

I think the Trek is getting jealous about being tossed aside for another bike. Hey, it's a harem, not a marriage.

Spin easy, friends.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cycling Log: Bike Fitting

The saga continues...

I had my bike fitting last night up at Bike World. And now I understand why people say it's a skill that requires experience on the part of the fitter.

First, there's the fit bike. Bike World has a rig from Waterford Cycles that has a series of pegs alongside the head and seat tubes which measure the angle of each. So if you want to find out what a 73-degree angle feels like, you unscrew the peg, tap/bang the tube int place alongside the 73-degree setting, and screw the peg back into place. Which is not the most glamorous thing in the world to do, I might add. Next, you set the head tube angle, and then the rig lets you slide it forward or backward to adjust the top tube length.

Lost you yet?

Yes, it's about as tedious as it sounds. And I also had to violate myself with a wooden peg to let Steve get a measurement of my inseam, and we had to get creative on how to measure the length of my spinal column from a sitting position, but in the end, I had the relevant measurements for Moots.

Now it's a waiting game to see what they come up with for a design, as well as a price tag. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it wouldn't just be easier and cheaper to go for a Cervelo RS, which is the best road-comfort bike in the world. But we'll see what Moots says first.

Spin easy, friends.