Friday, January 29, 2010

Morning Commute

Joos joined me the other day on my morning commute into DC. I arrived at work stinky and muddy, which isn't a bad way to start the day. Just to clear up any confusion, that really isn't Todd Wells in the photo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Base 2

So last week marked the end of Base 2 according to the training schedule I have formulated for the 2010 season. It was a bit of a struggle to squeeze in the 18 hours I had planned as much of the week was spent at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference (which, by the way, was really very interesting). To add insult to injury, Sunday's weather was pretty much horrible. So, I decided to fold MLK day into the training week in a desperate effort to get my hours in. Trying to squeeze in training time during the work week is never easy, and it is especially hard when trying to log in long hours of base miles. With Jeff's counseling, I think I might try to revamp my training schedule by putting more emphasis on quality instead of quantity. (photo: the gridlocksmith showed up at the TRB reception)

Oh, and I finally did my first power test, only to find out that my powertap is miscalibrated for the third time in less than a year. But I guess there are worse problems to have, such as living in a country devastated by a 7.0 earthquake. It's good to keep things in perspective. Also, I forgot to pack a sports bra for the Kelley Acres CT class on Sunday and had to get creative with what I could find on her supply shelf. Turns out duct tape and rubber bands will do the trick when you're in a pinch. The photos are a bit unflattering, so
I don't think I'll be posting them. In other Kelley Acres news, Joos now holds the TT record. I think it was Black Sabbath's "Crazy Train" that really helped him turn the screws.

Joe's 40th birthday celebration was on Saturday. It was a warm, jovial gathering of the usual crowd. Jeff especially liked the bean dip and everyone was startled by the cream cheese swimming in a green gelatinous substance. Happy Birthday Joe!

As for updates on the LeCanne tragedy, TransitMiami has posted that there will be a memorial ride held on Sunday morning at 9am. I will actually be in town visiting my family and plan to attend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Death on the Rickenbacker

A Miami cyclist was killed this morning by musician Carlos Bertonatti along the Rickenbacker Causeway. Bertonatti, who was driving under the influence, sped away, dragging the cyclist's bike underneath his car. It took 22 minutes before an ambulance arrived, and by then it was too late. Bertonatti is now being charged with vehicular homicide. (photo from the Miami Bike Scene Blog)

As some of you may remember from my holiday ride reports, the Rickenbacker Causeway is really the only place to ride in Miami (aside from the Everglades). Miami is a car dominated city, with little respect or concern for pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, according to the Dangerous by Design report, Miami is the 3rd most dangerous city in the US for pedestrians. And so it is especially disturbing that this man was killed while riding in a bike lane on one of the only stretches of road that is remotely safe for cyclists. Perhaps if speed limits were more diligently enforced, Bertonatti would have been stopped before the fatal crash. The Miami cycling community pulls together as they grieve the loss of a fellow cyclist.

Full report here:
Miami New Times
Miami Bike Scene
A cyclist's account of the accident

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Catching Up

This week has been pretty hectic, which means I haven't had much time to spend keeping up on the developments of the whole facebook fiasco. Last I heard, facebook decided that the group did not violate their terms of use policy and therefore will not be removed. I'm not sure that I agree with this, but I really haven't the time or energy to look into any further at this point.

Last weekend was a bit of a blur. Joos and I went for a long ride in Gambrill on Saturday morning. Sections were still a little icy, but overall the trail conditions were pretty good. We headed home down the lawnmower trail ...which apparently is in hunting territory judging by the trail of blood in the snow. If only Louis Garneau made flak jackets. (photo: Joos really needs new gloves)

Saturday night was Hillary's Squatter's Party, in honor of the squatters she displaced when she moved in. Yay for Hillary's new house! Due to the questionable structural integrity of the house, much of it was off limits. Confined to the kitchen and the backyard, we gathered for warmth and good cheer. Congratulations, Hillary, on your new home!!!! Sorry about your floor!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Response to FB Hate Group

Outcry against the Facebook hate group is gaining momentum. Just yesterday, efforts to end the hate group culminated in the response, "Help Remove this Hate Group Against Cyclists!" (many thanks to Sarah for the heads up on this). I'm not sure how long it takes Facebook to respond to such issues, but hopefully it won't be much longer before the group is wiped from facebook existence.

Tensions between drivers and cyclists need to be diffused and hate groups only help to add fuel to a fire that is already out of control. Christopher Thomspon, the enraged LA doctor who injured two cyclists with his vehicle last summer (pictured above), is scheduled to be sentenced this morning, Friday, January 8th. Guilty of six felonies, prosecuters are asking for eight years in prison (VeloNews).

Also during the summer of 2009, Charles Alexander, a retired Asheville firefighter shot at a cyclist, narrowly missing his head by less than an inch. He was sentenced to a measly 120 days in prison for attempted murder (Streetsblog).

We must diffuse this anger and aggression before another cyclist is injured or killed by an irate driver and ending the facebook hate group is a good place to start. (photo taken from Help Remove this Facebook Group Against Cyclists!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Disturbing Facebook Group

I was recently made aware of a Facebook group that is so troubling, it makes me nauseous. The group is called "There's a Perfectly Good Path Right Next to the Road You Stupid Cyclist" and is unified in their hatred of cyclists. Not only do they complain about petty inconveniences caused by cyclists, but also applaud and encourage aggressive driving as a means to scare and intimidate cyclists off the road. One fan's comment to the photo on the right reads as follows: "i would love to do this to cyclists!" This group is wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. And I suspect that anyone who chooses to associate with such a group must be so mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt, that any attempt to convince them of their egregious behavior would only fall on deaf ears. Many of the group's fans look to be rather young maybe there is still time to help these young people realize that driving should not be the only transportation option ....and that they have been forced into their cars because the roads have become too dangerous in suburban America ....and that they are more susceptible to morbid obesity by living a car dependent lifestyle ...and that threatening someone with your car is assault ...and that a cyclist should not have to pay for a minor inconvenience with their life.

If this group disturbs you as much as it does me, you can file a report by clicking on the link at the bottom left hand corner of the page.

Hmmm ....I just happened to notice that one of the fans on this page was wearing a Dirt Rag jersey . He seems to be a fairly well known cyclist in Pittsburgh. I don't understand the logic behind this man's association with such a group. Maybe he's a double agent?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Section 402

Insert League Plug Here>>> Given that transportation represents 33% of all carbon emissions in the US, you would think that the government would be interested in making carbon neutral transportation, such as bike commuting, a safer option. Unfortunately, this is not the case and bike safety programs receive only a small fraction of federal funds. In 2008 only 2.67% of the State and Community Highway Safety Grant funds (Section 402) went towards bike and pedestrian safety, while cyclists and pedestrians represented 14% of all traffic fatalities in the same year. In order to harness federal funds for bike safety, bike advocates must become more assertive in pursuing grants such as Section 402. More information on Section 402 and other federal funding programs can be found on the League website.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We're Home!

The two day drive back to Maryland was a gradual reintroduction to the bitter reality of winter. Along the way, we stopped off at the infamous, South of the Border, for a quick bathroom break. I still feel kinda bad that I used their facilities without actually being a customer.

Upon our return home, I hopped on the rollers while Jeff got to work making chocolate chip cookies. Lorena was right, guys really love to use the mixer (thanks again Lo!). Waking up to a windchill factor in the single digits, I decided to head to Kelley Acres Speed Shop for a computrainer class. As usual, Chris gave us our money's worth. Thanks for a good workout!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I forgot to mention that Sasha remains a part of the guest room decor at my Dad's house. It wasn't until this year that I realized she's missing an arm. Either way, she still creeps me out.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Heading Home

We are now on our way back to Maryland. It was a good visit home. I got lots of good time in with my family and Jeff and I have nursed our jersey tans back to life. I'll tell the rest of the story with pictures.

Here's the ride we did every day:

Jimbo's Shrimp Shack has been condemned and Virginia Key loses a piece of Miami history:

Cyclists now have their own lane going through the toll booth on the Rickenbacker Causeway! Free of charge!

Sounds like there are plans for single track on Virginia Key:

Jeff and my dad played with his new remote control helicopter. So far, my dad is the better pilot.

Looking forward to stopping at Love's on the way home.