We all drop things off our bikes… please be careful.


It is a natural reaction to stop and retrieve an ejected item… a light, a bottle, a speedo. Sometimes because you need the drink, bike comps are not inexpensive, you want to remain visible… all valid reasons. But it’s easy to be hypoxic, or distracted enough as you’re turning around to forget that you’re still traffic.

Sadly that seems to have happened to 23 year old Carla Swart today while doing intervals. RIP, and the best to her family, friends, and teammates.

I’d notice this “suspension of attention” a while back and made it a rule for myself that I’d get off my bike, and walk back to retrieve whatever fell. It’s enough of a break to help prevent this failure. Even having the rule is a help, because at times I have turned around and ridden back, but not without having to think “Hey, you’re supposed to walk it back…” which reminds me why I have the rule in the first place and helps keep me safe.

I hope it’ll help you too.

[As an aside, my road bike position seems to offer up gobs of toe overlap, so “hangin’ that u’ey” is ripe with opportunity to flop over. Yet another reason to think twice before I attempt that little wonder…]

Birthday Ride 2011


Way back in the day Jenni didn’t ride in the cold. Nope she packed it in, whined about the cold, and refused to budge. But how could she refuse a birthday celebration ride? Years later I think she’s captured the essence of the day and ride rather well. And is no longer the “ice pansy” she used to call herself.

We’ve ridden in sleet and rain without knowing where we were. We’ve ridden on an ice riddled bike path when it was so cold that everyone gave in and just wore their winter coats. Doing even 4 miles seemed like insanity on that ice without skates. Last year I did a version of this route as I planned to ride it a lot—seemed like a fitting way to start the season.

The route goes up for a while, but we were in no rush, and it gentles at times to give you a break. I admit though, that this ride and I became good friends over the last year as was my plan. It was part of my “go to” ride, so I might not have thought about Jenni’s reaction to it (she did it with me at least once last year) until I heard some world class whining coming from just behind. Not, I should say, that she needs impetus for world class whining, but she was in truly rare form. I admit it rendered me speechless. I say that with no disrespect for my own champion level ability to whine, but she really took it to another level. Well done!

The day was a clean, clear winter’s day. Everything was bright and sparkling. Bright sun. Deep blue skies. Cold, but not overwhelmingly so, and the wind was a reasonable 9MPH. After riding on nothing but fat tires for the last few months I dropped some skinnies on the Kish and was delighted by the easy roll. And I was comfortable on the hills despite the seemingly inevitable winter weight gain. (I tried, I failed, Allez!)

But this ride is never about “cycling”. It’s about getting out on my bike in January regardless of the conditions and feeling the joy of life. Meant in the best of ways, I never laugh more than when I ride with Jenni.

Yes, it’s true, I took no pictures because I didn’t want to stop to un-glove, get cold etc. And maybe one day I’ll miss the evidence of this ride. But for now, the sunlight, the pink bike, the whirring of carbon laden tights, and the laughter are as totally clear as the air we breathed.


When time became money

From The Secret Diary Of Steve Jobs:

…much of what we call “news” is really entertainment, and entertainment of the worst sort. Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Olbermann, Ed Schultz. It’s not right or left. It’s both. It’s shouting, and name-calling, and demonization, and it’s all fun and games until someone gets shot.

As for the Internet, let’s just be honest: Much of what we now call “news” online isn’t even entertainment, it’s garbage.

There. I said it.

It’s garbage precisely because online news sites are not primarily created to report news. They’re created to make money. Problem is, it’s nearly impossible to make money doing what they do. So they resort to ever more desperate tricks.

or put another way

“needing some air, he went into the garden.
‘ah, look at the afternoon light,’ he said,
for shadows were forming dark zones
in the pasture recesses,
as they do in his masterpiece,
‘the mountain.’

he went over to a small shed
in the corner of the garden,
the back wall of which was made of
finely carved wood shingles
arranged in a design.

‘you see,’ he said, ‘the trouble they took
for something that could not even be seen.
that is what has been lost. it was lost
when workers began selling their time.
or as you say in america,
when time became money.’ ”