Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iron Horse John Wayne Distance Fun

This is me last year after my third flat tire on the Iron Horse Trail. On Friday, Kent, Rob, and I are riding up to Easton for an s240 with a church camp. Bike tourers are always advising to take advantage of the kindness of well meaning christians and so here we go. It's raining right now and I'm not sure how to get to the east side as I wish given the blue angels and all, but we'll figure it out. I'll take some heavier tires with me on this one.

This is one of the unsung tunnels on the trail. I think it fun to have, if not an asphalted trail that is so handy, at least something to ride on that goes through so many climates, that is Puget Sound, and then sub alpine, followed by arid scrub, all within a few miles.

Coming back, I'm looking forward to some great wind.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ride Reports for Tuesday and Wednesday

Let's just say things were interesting.

I spent the afternoon with Thorvald and we went up to the Queen Anne Community Center to play in the toddler room. He discovered that he really likes it when daddy zooms the trucks. I just realized that if I'm taking my kid(s) to school over at Coe elementary school then I'm either going to become a super fantastic climber or I need much lower gears, or I'm going to start walking. We live at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill and Coe is, is, is, at the top. Perhaps by the time Thor is in school, this will be built. We can only hope.

We then picked up a cello bow I was having rehaired and we coasted back down to our place. Thorvald was getting sleepy so I took advantage of it and did a little workout ride before the 5:30 ride.

At 5:30, Claire came down to take Thor and Steve called saying he was ready to roll. I coasted down to the IDX building and found Steve, but not before chatting with Peter Lagerway who runs the Seattle DOT bicycle division. We bemoaned that cycling is a middle aged white guy sport and then my middle aged white guy friend (ok, we're both 35) showed up and we took off.

The first hill was Cherry which is a complete joy for cycling and then we cut through SU and up onto 19th and then the tunnel where I clipped back to pick up Thorvald. After about half an hour Steve called to mention that he got hit by a car. He's not seriously injured but we'll see. You can send him get well messages here.

This morning was fine. Ryan showed up at 6 and I was there jus a minute later. We trudged up and around Magnolia and then back to my place for breakfast. Ryan is bacheloring it for the week and I had fresh bread from the day before to show off. Not much to say there except that an hour and a half of riding in the morning sure does make for a good rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weekly Westbrook Wednesday morning Wramble: July 30

Join Robin, Ryan and me for a 6 AM fun ride starting at the Gasworks Parking Lot. The route varies from week to week but this week will include Magnolia, just for fun.

Tuesday after work ride July 29th

Thorvald and I are organizing a ride today after work. The meeting place is 5th and Pike at 5:30. The course is Capitol Hill and some of the Olmstead north ride, and then end up at REI at 7 PM so that everyone can attend the Iron Curtain Bike Path Presentation.

The pace is moderate though if you are pulling a trailer with a one year old in it, I would call it strenuous.

See you today

Critical Massin', police arrestin'

So, let me get this straight.

Some driver floors it through a mob of critical mass corkers and the corkers get arrested? The driver is somehow let free? Do the police know about this law?:

RCW 46.61.522

Vehicular assault — Penalty.

(1) A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:

(a) In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

(b) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

(c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.

(2) Vehicular assault is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(3) As used in this section, "substantial bodily harm" has the same meaning as in RCW 9A.04.110.

All I'm saying is that the cyclists were acting in self defense and the driver, using a very heavy, blunt object, sent some people to the hospital. Too bad he never made his reservation.

I'm actually a fan of critical mass, though I rarely make it because of work and family obligations. The roads are public spaces that we all use and the notion that everyone will somehow use them unimpeded is just a silly notion fomented by car commercials.

As for the police, I've made some police reports over the years when motorists have thrown things at me (twice), accelerated toward me in a dangerous manner so as to intimidate (more than twice), pull in front of me and then slam on their brakes, once causing me to crash (three times), and pull into my lane so as to pressure me off the road (numerous times, but four times that were brazen). Each time, I report these assaults, I am met with nonplussed boredom. They act as if I wasn't supposed to be on the road in the first place, or that because some magical cyclist that only drivers see has somehow discounted my report by riding through every red light they could find so as to disgrace me.

So when a driver says they floored it into a group of pedestrians or cyclists because they felt "panic", just remember that police also believed in "gay panic".

Critical mass exists because of the legal double standard that cyclists receive while using public spaces and public throughways. I say, keep it up.

Monday, July 28, 2008

First Epistle Unto The Cyclists

This was from a trip Kent Peterson and I took down to Olympia to lobby our fine elected officials. It's archive, but it needs to be somewhere and it's a pretty good read. Count the flats just for fun.

Chapter 1: Wherein three wise men embark upon a journey to the temple of the Caliphate; much adventure ensues.

1. On the 6th day, in the month February, three wise men did journey to the temple, yea that temple of justice on the mount Olympus to transact their business with the Caliphate.
2. Yea, it was a long journey, a journey of exceeding greatness, a journey to show the whiteness of their souls, and to bear witness of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
3. Before the first hour, as he is wont to do, Kent did hear a voice, a voice of great passion, a voice scratching on the window, asking for food.
4. And it came to pass that Kent did arise and did attend to this voice which did bid him. But behold the voice was not there, but was the voice of the eternal randonneur.

5. For Kent was a man of honest heart, a man who did walk straight in front of the Lord and with humble equipment did Kent walk before the lord, even did he ride before the Lord.
6. Yea, before the first hour did Kent arise and mount his bike, for a great trip awaited him to the temple this day to commune with others of the bicycle way.
7. Yea, In that morning hour, Kent rode his bike into the valley of Kent, nay, this great valley was not named for Kent but for some forefather who also rode straightly before the Lord (or did perhaps own a coal mine in the days of the forefathers)
8. Kent rode upon his bike to the Kent Station which, though with that name written upon its face, did contain none of the substance for which it was formerly known for it had reached a fallen state of a strip mall.

9. When Kent had arrived, he alighted from his saddle and did fall upon the neck of Michael, the second wise man.
10. And there was great rejoicing in the valley of Kent for where once was lost, now was found.
11. And so, the two wise men set upon their journey, each in turn leading the other until they had reached the plains of Fort Lewis upon the shores of Lake Gravelly.
12. On the shores of the Lake Gravelly, Kent and Michael did meet a man who was sore afraid, yea sore afraid that he had somehow missed the call of the Lord to go to the temple of justice.
13. And when Kent and Michael did cast their sight upon this man, yea, they did behold that it was Brad, the third wise man who did seek to travel with them.
14. And it came to pass that there was great rejoicing on the banks of the Lake Gravelly, on the plains of Fort Lewis, for a brother had been saved from despair and woe, and journey now could be made.
15. And it was the first hour of the morning of the 6th day, in the month of February that this did come to pass.

Chapter 2: Great trials and tribulations befall the three wise men, their mounts are enhumbled, an angelic visitation, the greater understanding in the Marvin Forrest.

1. The three wise men did mount their bikes and travel to the highway, on the road to the temple of the Caliphate.
2. But they were sore afraid, because the highway was busy and many highwaymen did leave pieces and scraps along the banks of the highway where the three wise men did ride.
3. And upon the banks of the highway did the three wise men ride today, casting their eyes low for fear that their tires would become planted upon those banks.
4. For a tire, ridden along the side of a freeway does ride quickly and lightly, yea, lighter than along other roads, especially those of chip seal, but by and by this tire is found planted by the scraps of the highwaymen and is shortly whithered and rotten.
5. Yea, this sore planting did happen not one mile from the banks of the Lake Gravelly on the plain of Fort Lewis.
6. And there was gnashing of teeth and mocking words of derision but Michael did throw himself upon the mercy of Brad and Kent so they did wait, seemingly unto the morrow.
7. But behold, it came to pass that an angelic minister came down, with a halo of yellow and orange light, yea, an angelic minister in the form of a DOT support truck with a bum knee came down and did offer protection to the three wise men.
8. Michael however, was wroth and stiffnecked, and swore that he had never been befallen with this horrible pestilence, thus angering the Lord of Tires, amusing the angelic minister, and striking fear into the hearts of the the two other wise men, for the randonneur walks gingerly before the Lord of Tires.
9. But it came to pass that when the tire was fixed, many words were spoken, and the three wise men bid farewell to the angelic minister and did set upon their way.
10. But behold, the same tire was planted a second time, and now a tube would have to be mended, yea, pronounced clean by a Livite (randonneur), and made whole again.
11. And so it came to pass that Brad did repair both tubes for Michael and there was great laughter and rejoicing as the journey did commence again.
12. Down into the Valley of Nisqually did the three wise men go, yea even down to the level of the great sea as in those journeys down to Jericho, and great speed was attained therein.

13. But in the depths of the Valley of Nisqually, Michael's tire was planted a third time and the wise men were sore afraid because they knew that they had offended the Lord of Tires by their loud laughter and bold speaking.
14. And it came to pass that along the highway, on the road to the temple of the Caliphate, the three wise men did alight from their saddles and ponder their fallen state.
15. And great gnashing of teeth ensued at the bottom of the Valley of Nisqually, and sack cloth and ashes were worn by Michael who found that his tube stem had taken ill and ruptured its innards.
16. But owing to the great condescension of Kent, a new tube was made available to Michael who was joyous and saw to it that Brad rebooted the tire.

17. Yea, and Brad did cast off the tire shield, spit out from his mouth the bedraggled tube and spewed forth the wisdom of the Tire Gods, showing forth the tire irons of righteousness, and with great thunder and applause, did set Michael right in his ways.
18. Properly chastened by Micahael's plague of plantings, Brad and Kent began to looked heavily on their own rear tires for fear that they might too be stricken with the same plague as had Michael.
19. Having found anguish and woe on this highway, the three wise men left the highway and sought refuge in secretive pathways toward Olympia so as not to cause disturbance and make their presence known to the guards at the Caliphate.
20. And thus was the second hour of the morning of the 6th day of February.

Chapter 3: The three wise men meet with the Caliph, whose heart is softened by the cries of the children. Much rejoicing ensues.

1. And it came to pass that Kent, Michael, and Brad did meet before the Sanhedrin (House Transportation Committee), did speak to the Caliph, and did speak with the spirit of the Lord.
2. And it came to pass that Brad did utter these words "For the children need to know that cycling is good for the body, bringing understanding to our souls, and should be promoted throughout the kingdom. For I work with the children and their hearts are turned towards cars and speeding. Stiffnecked are they for they will not hearken unto my words. Please make a decree that all cycling and walking and busing should be praised in the land but first in Seattle and Spokane as a pilot program".
3. And these words were met with incomprehension among the Sanhedrin,
4. But Brad was undaunted.
5. And it came to pass that Kent went up to speak before the Sanhedrin, and his words were wroth, for a spirit of Satan had come over the room in the form of an attorney from the AAA.
6. And Kent held forth with these words "Yea, it can be done, for I have done it, and have ridden my bicycle for many years, and have turned the hearts of my own flesh and blood to the joys of intermodal transportation choices. Fear not, for the day will come when all can partake of the goodness that is walking and biking".
7. And it came to pass that with these words, the judges of the Caliphate were somewhat swayed but the power and spirit of Kent and the love for his children, for they saw that he was a good and wise man.
8. With a start, the sorceress Barbara, came in with a flash and mesmerized the Caliphate with her powerful words of saving and opportunity cost, placing a great exclamation point on the words of others come in supplication, for Barbara's own flesh and blood had witnessed the transubstantiation of money not spent on cars being converted into money better spent on housing.

9. But with great power, Michael showed forth his wisdom and and led the judges and the Caliph to greater light and knowledge,
10 For thus saith Michael "yea, I once was as a little child, even as you are. Yea, I have driven many miles and continue to do so as a professional highwayman, but lo, I have taken these truths into my heart that cycling should be promoted and have live in accordance with these teachings"
11. And thus the hearts of the Sanhedrin were softened, and the bill before the judges was deemed a powerful salve to the needs of the younger generation, that the hearts of the children would be turned towards pedestrians and cyclists.
12. And it came to pass that it was the sixth hour of the afternoon of the 6th of February and all was found good in the eyes of the Lord.

Chapter 4: Great Rejoicing and the trip back to the land of Seattle

1. For it came to pass that after the meeting had closed, the sorceress Barbara did carry Brad and Kent back to the land of Seattle on her magic carpet (what? you thought we rode home too? Pshaw!) for they were enhungered and did not want to suffer the vagaries of the highwaymen one hour longer.
2. And it came to pass that Barbara dropped Brad off in the land of Lakewood, close to the shores of the Lake Gravelly, on the Plains of Fort Lewis.
3. And it came to pass that Barbara and Kent made it home without great sacrifice, and all was good.

The opening Salvo

Dear Friends, after mooching off my friends' blogs by guest posting to theirs, commenting profusely, providing at times talking points, and then only using email lists to get my information out, I have entered the technology of 2004 and have begun my own blog.

In it you will find ride reports (archived ones from past rides will come soon), organizing posts of upcoming rides, musings on Seattle and national bike transportation policy, and whatever else I deem necessary to feed this beast. Have a great day and check back later today.