Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Got Harassed And Scraped This Evening

I was riding west up 40th St. North this evening at 7:17 PM, away from the University Bridge on the way to a play performance that I'm doing (and which is gratefully sold out for the entire run). The hill is a little steep and very narrow but because it only has one light (Meridian) and one stop sign (2nd NE) drivers use it as a bypass from Wallingford. They are extremely protective of their precious rights of way and often threaten those who deign to usurp, so much so that I had not been on this road 100 ft when I was approached from behind by a 90's Cadillac Fleetwood (square single head lights). This car was none too happy to see me and proceeded to rev its engine and squeal its tires (wet road) and honk like crazy. There was nowhere for me to go so I just tried to speed up a little and make the hill seem shorter.

Well, this Cadillac with the Washington license plates 300-NNO decided to pass me, but not before there was a car coming in the opposite direction. Seeing this oncoming car, the Cadillac decided to do the only thing it knew how, not use its brake pedal, not hesitate, no this Cadillac Fleetwood decided to floor it and then swerve into my side. Oh yes it did. Luckily, it just tagged me, but it startled me so that I nearly wrecked. Yes, I am very lucky and I do realize it.

The police were nonplussed by this non-gory hit and run, took long enough to show up for the report that we were well into the first act, and tried to talk the doorman into telling me to just drop it.

Ah police, when will you ever learn? Why do you grade one assault over another? Why do you disregard the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and just let the driver off, citing more pressing and "fun" things to do?

Any of you reading this know how to track down a license plate?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Dude Rides

It turns out that I just needed to be more patient. After all, It only took him a week and half to figure it out. I had a few stills around but Claire finally caught some representative footage. Enjoy. video video video video

Friday, January 8, 2010

Close Encounters Of The Cycling Kind

This is the Talequah ferry dock in the fog in the early morning. It erupts out of the nothingness and engulfs us to the point where we can...... disembark.
If you are on Vashon Island for a bike ride, you have not truly sampled the terrain until you have ridden this road. Oh yes, northbound is much trickier than southbound. Do yourself a favor and hit it at the end of the ride when you are just about to the ferry dock.
I got there a little early, and though I saw what looked like Jon Muellner bouncing around in the cold, I preferred to enjoy my hot chocolate from the confines of a closed mexican restaurant behind this glass.
The boys rolled in with the ferry and I made my way out to the dock where Kent Peterson was showing off his new ride. Mmmmm, Chrome. Mmmmm, Cunningham brakes.
Mark Vande Kamp sporting his recently reviewed and adulated rando bike. Don't believe what you read in Bicycle Quarterly, Mark is super fast.
Jon, explaining the finer points of Italian cooking to Mark Canizaro, that very same Mark Canizaro who showed me the way to Vancouver this summer.
Tom and Liam. Liam lives just few blocks from me and is a fellow devotee of Kent's Quixotic Writings. Tom recently moved from Kansas. As he says this, we just hope that he means the hilly eastern part. Tom subsequently recognized me while I was pushing my kids down the street a few days ago. I usually don't recognize people without their bikes under them. Good on Tom!
So you get out to 204th and Vashon Hwy and walk behind a mobile catering trailer and there you have it, the ostensible reason why we are out here.
Mark, reassuring me that this really is the place.
The close up shot of the bike. Non-pneumatic tires and full fenders make this bike an excellent entry in the child rando category.
Now time for snacks. I will remember to ride with Jon whenever I can.
We all sit around in the frost, in the shade, shooting the shit.
Mark, explaining where Sea-Tac is. Yes, frosty wood planks are a little slippery, but we had no mishaps here, only while going uphill, thankfully.
Getting my vitamin D allotment.
They really are more religious in the rural parts of this country.
I had to get one really nice shot in during the ride. This is Mark and Jon after a great little uphill corkscrew from a beach road full of ice.
And the second shot.
These are the standard road surfaces on Vashon. 32mm tires are a minimum on this type of chipseal. Thankfully, I have been appraised of the situation from my riding in Seattle to know what is needed.
Blocking a nice view of Rainier. Jon's Heron in the background.
The Talequah ferry dock from the dock side.
My bike, much smarter, finding refuge inside.
And at last a gravel pit with a nice view, converted into a golf course/public space somewhere between University Place and Steilacoom.