Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I can't believe it has come to this...

But I am picking the Knicks to beat the Bulls tonight, and VDN to get fired on Christmas Eve.  There have been many reasons to fire him already, such as sucking really bad, and blowing a 35 point lead last night sealed his fate.  He will be fired win or lose, but they are dead men walking. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

lancelot linkage

Manohla Dargis being surprisingly salty

Happy Birthday to Paul Simenon of the Clash, and hard to believe London Calling was released 30 years ago yesterday. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nanny State

New York is an aggressive place, this is no secret.  Everyone is trying to carve out the little amount of space they can get, and the roads are just another example of that, and tempers can flare when people are in the space you wish to occupy.  Bike lanes are one such trouble spot. Without going into the myriad of pros and cons, the history, the purpose, etc that is covered elsewhere, suffice to say that they provoke a lot of strong opinions, and recently many of these have been focused on a stretch on Bedford, where a bike lane was recently taken away largely due to the political pressure imposed by the Hasidic community.  (That is an extremely abbreviated, and perhaps misleading account, for a more complete picture, see Gothamist or Streetsblog.) 

In the days following, a question was tweeted asking if other cyclists felt ok about tapping a car that was in the bike lane to let it know it shouldn't be there.  First of all, as a friend was quick to point out, you should be ready to be threatened should you choose to do this.  Now, first of all, I have no problem with cyclists being aggressive, I am, and I react poorly to articles suggesting we need to behave better, or be 100% compliant, etc.  AND, I do think bike lanes are good and should be kept clear as much as possible, and unfortunately are too often treated like a place to double park.  However, the more I thought about it, I don't like the idea of cyclists tapping cars to remind them they are in a bike lane.  I certainly do my share of yelling "bike lane," etc, and am in no way saying we are wrong for being vigilant of abuse of a small strip designated for our use, but I don't like the idea of us policing each other unnecessarily (and this is the debatable point, what is necessary), unless it is directly and immediately putting someone in harm's way.  I hate jaywalkers.  I jaywalk too, but I hate them, mainly because I almost hit a lot of them on my bike on a daily basis, and then have to listen to them yell at me and post on boards about how dangerous we are.  However, I don't want to live in a city where people yell at each other for jaywalking (again, unless they are causing an unsafe situation).

In the many years I have spent as a messenger, commuter, recreational rider, and racer I have only gotten in one actual prolonged argument with another cyclist, (discounting various expletive laden exchanges) and that occurred after she yelled "way to run a red, asshole" at me. I had just been beside her and a clusterfuck of cars jousting with one another for a parking spot and had mumbled to her (I thought, foolishly, conspiratorially) something about how bad a job they were all doing of driving.  She stopped at the red, I went through, and she yelled.  I waited for her at the next light and said I didn't think she needed to call me an asshole.  She said that I was, at the very least, a hypocrite.  This is true, but I'm pretty sure it's true of most of us, and actually, in this case, I didn't think I was being hypocritical.  I told her that, and she said, "you ran the red".  I replied that I hadn't accused the drivers of doing anything wrong, hadn't yelled at them, etc, and asked if she screamed at everyone she saw do something wrong in her eyes. She didn't want to talk to me, and I don't blame her, I'm sure I was being annoying.  She said she didn't want to talk to me about this, so I rode off, and she screamed "way to be a 5 year old" which struck me as ridiculous at the time, but in hindsight, I can agree that I, like many, want to have my cake and eat it too.  

The point, as tenuous and convoluted as it may be at this point, is that we all annoy the hell out of each other.  People don't behave the way we want them too.  But this doesn't mean we should go around pointing this out all the time.  Someone in front of you have 16 items in the express aisle?  Let it go.  I've seen more altercations in this city that started with a comment about standing in the doorway, or not moving quick enough on the sidewalk, or someone's bag being on a seat than I would have ever imagined before moving here.

In the dark ages known as the period when I took the subway to work, I remember seeing a woman shouting, swearing at the turnstile which was not letting her through, and I shook my head and thought that she really needed a vacation, how bizarre her behavior was, and that it would never happen to me.  Sure enough, not too terribly long after that, it was me.  Thank god, I soon gave up the subway for the bike, much happier, and trying to keep those confrontations to only the necessary ones. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Guess it's December after all

Went for a jog on Saturday in the rainy, snowy mix and realized that winter had, after all and belatedly, arrived.  It made me miss the family 2 on 2 full field football games that used to take place when we were all young and had knees with the proper amount of ligaments and cartilage.   Being just a 4 person game on a hundred yard field, there was a lot of scoring, more than anything it was just chasing people for 90 yards and seeing who would fall down laughing first.  

Knicks fail to win 3 in a row and fall big to the Oden-less Trailblazers tonight at MSG, 121-101. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Don't tell me....

Tough games to call this weekend, I'm going to pick the Knicks in a stunning road upset in Atlanta, 110-107. Really torn about the Nets coming to MSG on Sunday, I could easily see this being the Nets 1st victory of the year, or the Knicks to go on a whopping 2 game win streak.  I'm gonna say Nets win, 100-89,  but I could easily pull in 0fer this weekend.  

May actually get some snow on Saturday, won't stick since it still is about 8 degrees above average for winter so far, but that would be nice, you know, seasonal.  

The list of things to replace, fix, upgrade on my bike is growing and growing, which is just serving as a reminder that I need a winter beater. I also need a nice simple way to record upright bass as long as I am airing my wants and needs.  

Speaking of which, last night marked the 3rd straight day that someone has trapped me into a very awkward, close quartered and totally inappropriate conversation.  First, there was the post-doc in a neighboring lab who commented on the subway being a great place for viruses to grow as well as to fondle women you are standing close to.  I really want to assume he was kidding, but I just am not at all sure. 

The second one was less odd, so much so that I have forgotten it entirely, but I know it was there, the third took the cake.  It occurred in the Men's locker room at the YMCA, and that right there is not how I like to begin any story.  Someone I know only very vaguely, as a slightly crazy person who is trying to convince me to allow him to be my "trainer" and swears he can get me to "the show" by January was singing "Just my Imagination" with another man in the room.  They were trading comments about bands and songs they like and he launches into a story about a Denzel movie featuring the song "Just my Imagination" and how it "helped me get the best &^%$% of my life" and proceed to tell every detail.  This was perhaps the most detailed story I have ever heard and ended, well, not well, but very climactically.  I walked away blushing and nauseous and still am both.  

Ride safe (no pun intended) and have a great weekend, and don't share too much, I can't take another one. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

If the bike fits....

I was home for the holidays in Charlottesville, Virginia, and while there, thought I would take advantage of the pretty and hilly environs to rent a bike and go for a ride.  It was easy to find a local racing club that was riding on Saturday at a decent hour and a decent distance and the ride happened to leave from the parking lot of a local bike shop, so from there it was just an email or two and I had rented a Specialized Roubaix Elite for the day.  I went to pick it up the day before the ride and they were kind enough, as people in the south often are, to spend a great deal of time with me and give me a much more extensive fit than I had ever received.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am what I have heard referred to as a "monkeyer" or something like that.  I don't fully buy the hype around bike fit, or at least, believe more in trying to find little adjustments yourself.  I believe that is much more reliable than all the measurements in the world, not to mention that they charge absurd amounts.  I realize people don't agree with me on this, and those people probably beat me in bike races as well, but, as I told Chris, the man doing the measuring, I really am always pretty damn comfortable.  He asked about numbness or tingling, I said none, except (and his eyes lit up, I knew what was coming.."there should never be any...") except past the 80 mile point or so, and nothing that a little shaking my arms doesn't fixed.  He looked a bit forlorn and admitted that maybe that was acceptable.  I pedaled, he measured, etcetera, etcetera...  After he felt fairly comfortable about the setup he asked me to step off the bike and said he was curious about something and, then, mumbles, and "uh-huhs".. and "I thought so..." and he seemed very happy to tell me I was a freak.  This didn't come as a great shock to me since I have been suit shopping in NYC and had this experience repeatedly.  He felt that I had ridiculously narrow shoulders and fairly wide hips (my wife will be thrilled at the child bearing potential.)  His suggestion was that I use much narrower bars, and throw in a couple of pedal spacers.  He would also suggest double wrapping the bar tape to accommodate my larger hands, and mentioned that Boonen wraps a garden hose around his bars (hadn't heard this, but had heard that he double wraps his bars).  

The ride was very disappointing, probably mainly due to constant headwind and frozen toes.  I never got comfortable, and had a terrible mile long walk of shame dressed like a navy seal, in cleats, through a suburban mall parking lot, since my blackberry died in my jersey pocket.  (apparently, if they get the slightest bit damp, including sweat in a jersey pocket, the phone dies, over, end of story, people replace several a year, and somehow this is supposed to be acceptable.)

Knicks get pounded by the Suns tonight 121-101, and make D'Antoni weep for his lost lovers. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


A little Louis always helps


I've babbled before about being a fan of the book "Born to Run," and here is some more research into the correlation between stretching and running efficiency

Knicks continue the West Coast trip against a Sacramento Kings team that is supposedly beatable, but to me look like a better team than they are given credit for, and definitely better than the Knicks.  NY falls, 112-88.

Off to Charlottesville for a few days, trying to borrow or rent a road bike down there to join on the weekly Saturday ride.  Hills.  Hmm.  At least it is a more reasonable start time than local rides.  10 AM.  There are things to like about the south. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

blow by boy do these teams blow

Sharing my thoughts as I watch "the game" and get ready for a post suckfest bike ride to the great northern environs of "Nyack" or "Piermont" or some such exotic locale.  

Joined the game late after brunch, just about 4 minutes left in the first.  Devin Harris comes in and instantly the Nets look like a better team, better than they were and better than the Knicks. Timeout for D'Antoni to make defensive adjustments, in other words, to remind them that Harris is good and they should try checking him, and to put in Curry.  

(I didn't predict before the game, but since Knicks are up by 5 right now you should believe me when I say that I have been picking the Nets all along.)

2:09 pm
Knicks hold for final shot, don't get a good one, but close out a decent half up by 9.  Larry Hughes has 10 to lead all Knicks.  Nate got in trouble with increasingly testy D'Antoni for shooting at the wrong basket after the buzzer at the end of period 1, which is a pretty idiotic thing to do, especially since he seemed to be guilty of not trying to get a shot off in the .5 seconds he had.  Oh god, not the freaking Time Warner commercial with the world's most annoying guy again talking about "losers" in HD.  

Time to kit up slowly.  Where the hell is my coffee?  Where is my bib?  Gu?  

This was the post I started writing, and I had every intention of continuing the periodic updates, until....I fell asleep.  Yes, that was how bad the game was, and I am not just saying that since my prediction was wrong.  It was bad, really bad, and that is coming from someone who enjoys old school eastern conference scrums.  I used to sit on the couch with my Dad, and just love watching the Bullets ugly it up against an Eastern Conference opponent. But this just put me to sleep.  

Knicks won then lost in overtime the following day to the Boston Celtics, who had clearly enjoyed NYC the night before and were not enjoying the early Sunday start time.  Time for a West Coast Swing, look for the Lakers to demolish the Knicks tomorrow night, let's say 128-100.

Nyack was beautiful, I felt recharged, hadn't gone for a while, and felt new and fun all over again.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Knicks Win!!

Ok, not yet.  Call me crazy, but I'm going to take the Knicks to beat the Pacers on the road, 112-104.  We started their 5 game win streak, they haven't won 6 straight since the end of peach baskets, and, well, that's all, they must be primed for a letdown.  Plus, things are getting a bit tumultuous in NYC with D'Antoni perhaps finding his way to the hot seat, and discussions of whether or not to sign AI.  

Now, before I start ranting about the Knicks I must return to trying to figure out what the hell this really annoying click is on my bike.  Everything I adjust fixes it for pretty much exactly one ride, and then it returns.  On the top of my drive train side pedal stroke, usually only when torqued, but occasionally even when not.  Was sure it was derailleur related, and now sure it's not, and the list is getting narrower and narrower.  Bottom bracket maybe? Good use of my day at work though while listening to Wessell "Warmdaddy"Anderson "Live at the Village Vanguard."

Finally, here's a good review of Agassi's book:


About time, I was getting really sick of everyone fawning on him and asking people to leave him alone.  You want to be left alone?  Don't (ghost) write a book, go on a book tour, get paid millions for that book, crap on a lot of people for your personal gain, brag about lying and cheating.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Curry x2?

Knicks welcome the Warriors in what should be an extremely wide open scorefest, whoever gets to 120 first wins this one. (we'll say GSW 126-108) I'm going to take Golden State to push the Knicks over the top for the worst start in team history.  Should be fun to watch though and both Nate and, wait for it, wait for it.... Curry! may return to "action."

Would like to go to Mercer Cup this weekend, really gotta get on building up 
a cross bike and/or cheap single speed.  Should be nice and muddy with Ida remnants.  

Been on a Bond kick lately, watched Dr. No (the first Bond) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 6th (with Lazenby taking over for Connery, then Connery came back for one more).  Thoroughly enjoyable, very very different, both from each other, and from newer Bond movies. Kinda made me hate the new ones, seems like they stopped trying. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


A great piece on what a scumbag Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers is, and equally importantly, the lack of attention this is receiving.  

The always amusing Schmalz asking interesting questions to the always amusing DZ, among others, on an interesting topic.  Good stuff. 

Gothamist, Brownstoner, the Local, all have various reports of violence in Ft. Greene, most of which play up the distasteful (no pun intended) cheap wings angle.  

Knicks welcome the Hawks to the Garden this evening, and will probably continue to be gracious hosts, allowing teams to shoot ungodly high percentages.   Look for the trend to continue, and expect Crawford to get a win with his new team.  Hawks win 98-82.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's line

Knicks lose to an underachieving Utah Jazz (isn't it about time they and New Orleans just swapped names?), let's say 104 - 90.  Too much Boozer and Williams.  Who knows, Boozer could be a Knick next year, the "fans" probably won't be cheering him though, that disgusting display is reserved for King James. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

My romantic comedy treatment

 A friend emailed me these fateful words yesterday:

he's really been great this whole time, ___ almost makes me want to break the law. or at least sue someone

From there it was a no-brainer.  Picture Matthew Mcconahoweverthefuckyouspellhisname and Cameron Diaz as lawyer and criminal.  Either one can play either part.  For now, we we say he is the criminal and she is the lawyer, but it can be flipped.  Basically, the premise is simple, he keeps committing crimes for the sole purpose of spending more time with her.  (The tag line for the inevitable porn version is "he keeps coming back because she is so good at getting him off).  Yes, it's been done a billion times and will be awful, but that doesn't matter.  

We discussed different possibilities for the principal roles, perhaps Alicia Silverstone, or maybe someone more in the Geena Davis realm, or maybe Parker Posey, and Tilda Swinton came up, but that starts to veer into a whole different realm, namely respectable versus money.  
Maybe it's a small town, maybe there is a poker game with the sheriff? The first half is definitely full of madcap hijinx.  There is definitely a conversation with bars between them.  Perhaps she had to stay in the small town merely to defend him, her high school sweetheart, right as she was finally about to break free to the big city.  Clearly there is a happy ending.  Roll credits with Ella singing "My Romance, doesn't need a thing but you" and you've got yourself a movie.  A money maker, that was the point.  I didn't say a good movie, just one that would make money.  

The Knicks welcome Lebron to MSG tonight so everyone can analyze to their heart's content the odds of him calling NYC home next season (little to none).  But, in terms of this season, expect more of the same, no d from the Knicks mean that Lebron and Shaq make this a laugher early, subs come in, Knicks put a dent in the lead late but still fall big, 98-76.  

Looking forward to a nice, sunny weekend, full of long rides.  Enjoy. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NY marathon

This past Sunday, I was given the opportunity to be an escort for a wheelchair racer in the 40th NYC marathon.  I am extremely pleased that I was able to do this.  
Here is some minutiae from the day.  
Woke up early, but not early enough, 6 AM for a 6:50 meetup for the riders to roll over to the start together.  I met up with part of the group ride from Manhattan directly down the hill from my apartment, arriving at 4th ave and Garfield just in time to notice a bunch of familiar kits rolling by, so I hopped on and immediately saw one of my teammates.  Ride down 4th ave was fun, being in a group for a stretch that I am accustomed to doing solo was fun, but I was woefully underdressed and my toes were already getting numb on the cold and drizzly morning.  
Complimentary breakfast in a bag consisted of an apple, a couple of juices, a couple of breakfast bars and an odd bagel and cream cheese fused together into a bar kind of concoction. I am certainly not averse to lesser quality pastry, and am in fact eating a Boston Cream Chocolate Glazed Honey Bun at this very minute, but this was just a bit odd.  Good, but odd. Oh, and boxes upon boxes of coffee.  Not bad, fairly generous actually.  Then it was into the hospital waiting room for a restroom, where I mastered the art of peeing without full bib removal.  

I am totally sold on Fizik saddles and bib shorts.  First time using either, and was a little bit of heaven.

We were to meet our riders as they came off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, at speed.  Two riders were assigned to each racer, the idea being that we would be in front and to the side of the racer, one on each curb, and far enough in front to blow a whistle and make sure the path was clear.  My guy spent all day in a group of 4 (whittled down to 3 by the time we got to the Bronx), so we had 8 riders out front for almost the entirety of the ride.  We communicated well, had a moment early on where the racers caught us and that was a little wake up call, they can gun it pretty good on flats and descents and really catch up quick, which is to be avoided.  Other than that it was all seamless, and a nice ride through empty streets.  A little bit the opposite of what I was expecting in that crowds in the city were out pretty early and very vocal and supportive, but once we got to Central Park it was as if noone knew there was a race going on, and it became a bit of work to get people out of the way.  

My guy finished somewhere between 3rd and 6th, and needless to say, I was mightily impressed by the effort of them all, unbelievable is an understatement.  

And then I biked my very full bladder home, got stuck (ironically?) not being able to cross 4th ave to get to my place because of the marathon and needed a cop to remind me that I could cross the street underground. 

For marathon map and results, click here.

And, in other news:

The Knicks host the lowly Pacers tonight, who bring an anemic offense and a pretty poor defense to MSG tonight to try and gift the Knicks a second win against a bad team. (Yes, I know, technically NO isn't supposed to be bad, but they look terrible this season so far, and were suspect at the end of last season.)  Troy Murphy may sit this one out with a lower back injury, rookie ex-Tarheel Tyler Hansbrough is definitely out, as is Jeff Foster.  Granger is listed as day to day but will probably play.  For the Knicks, Nate is out, Jeffries is day to day (limiting their ability to have him foist more bad 3's and showcase his offensive incompetence), and Darko is day to day (limiting their ability to try and pretend that he "shores up the defense.")  I'll take the Knicks by a score of 111-101.  

I'll thankfully be spared watching the entire game and will catch it "in 60," just a great, great program that somehow makes Clyde even more entertaining.  I'll miss it because my own bball team will be in action, trying to improve on our 1-5 mark against the league's only unbeaten.  Now, I would never bet on the outcome of my own game, no way, that might keep me out of the hall, but if I were a betting man....I'm having a very Galinari type year, which has made me realize that while I may not believe in junk miles, I certainly do believe in junk baskets. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

I can't bear to watch

I didn't watch the game against Philly.  I swore off near the end of regulation against Charlotte, when Raymond Felton waltzed directly to the rim, not once, but twice, for a virtually uncontested layup, using barely any time off the clock, against Jeffries, who is supposedly the Knicks defensive stopper. 

The 76'ers shot SIXTY ONE FUCKING PERCENT against the Knicks.  Obviously, D'Antoni isn't known for coaching defense, but this is ridiculous.  His Suns team could actually get a stop once in a while, and definitely could when they had to.  

I did, however, nail exactly the number of points the Knicks would score against Charlotte, just got everything else wrong.  So, to keep my predictive streak alive, tonight the Knicks fall at home to New Orleans by  a score of 111-92.  

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday follies

Best chance for a road win tonight, against the lowly bobcats. Charlotte put up a whopping 59 points in their season opening loss to Boston. Can the Knicks "defense" turn Charlottes's terrible offense around? I say knicks win 100-87 (and I lap the field at Boogie Nights)
A boy can dream, right?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Knicks

The New York Knicks opened their season in expected fashion, with a miserable loss that was far worse than even the final score (115-93) let on.  "The Rooster"(Gallinari), hit 7 useless 3's and David Lee was one rebound shy of the first of many totally inconsequential and misleading double doubles of the season.  Their always suspect, expected to be lousy defense was somewhere between porous and non-existent.  An argument could be made that this team doesn't field a single player who would start on any other team in the league.  In this (non) season of limbo before next year's free agent signings the only things of interest will be silly sideshows, such as:

Does Eddy Curry play more than 30 games this season?  

Does Jared Jeffries get traded?  (For that matter, does Nate or David Lee get traded)?

Will coach's head actually explode?  

Totally unrelated, I am greatly looking forward to riding alongside a wheelchair racer in this Sunday's NY marathon.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

On monkey pee and common sense

As a coworker said, "maybe we wouldn't need to be so litigious if people just understood some basic shit, like it's not ok to have monkey urine coming through the ceiling."

In light of our recent monkey urine situation, receiving this oh so clever invite was maybe not so funny:

Dear RU students, staff, and faculty:

We regret to inform you that many of the animals on campus have suddenly taken on a horrifying suite of mutations, all of which confer great murderous powers. Species such as C. elegans, M. musculus, and D. melanogaster, our faithful workhorses for so many years, are now particularly disgruntled. They are amassing in the Faculty club into an army of gangrenous, spindly, gelatinous, venomous  vengeance.

We can adhere to safety protocols and hide, but this will only defer the carnage which is to descend. Our only option is to confront these creatures with music, nibbles, and refreshments.

Where: Faculty Club
When: Friday, October 30.  Show up at 9 pm; particularly courageous people should show up at 6 pm for happy hour as well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home Cookin'!

What I ate during my weekend in Charleston, from beginning to end:

Meatloaf Sandwich
French Fries
Coconut Cream Pie
Carnitas Taco
Black Beans
Biscuit with Ham, Egg, and Cheese
Fried Flounder
French Fries
Hush Puppies
She Crab Soup
Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Butter Beans
Collard Greens
BBQ sandwich
Baked Beans

Tons of bikes around Charleston, and without exaggeration, not a single helmet.  Of course, most of these were beach cruisers, and there was a ton 
of salmoning and sidewalk riding.  Nice bike path along here:

I associate South Carolina with "Porgy and Bess":

"Summertime, and the livin is easy....."

Didn't feel too summery this past weekend with temperatures in the 50's, and it is difficult to walk around the city and take in the history without feeling slightly uncomfortable at best, as if they are a little too proud of their history, a little too unapologetic for their role in such massive repression and inequality, a little too ready to celebrate the rich, white landowners, a little too preppy. 

They do have some lovely cobblestone streets and it's incredibly flat, would love to bike around, from Mt. Pleasant, to Folly Beach, and around the Battery, happily helmet free....

Oh, the flag is also a thing of beauty:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As is often the case with events I am looking forward to, the best parts of the trip were the unexpected bits.  I like a good road trip, and the bagel and coffee and checking out CD's I hadn't gotten a chance to listen to while seeing some pretty leaves did the trick.  In this case, it was some Skeeter Davis,  and a random "hilbilly fever" mix made by a friend.  Did the obligatory getting lost after exiting for gas somewhere in Jersey.  Somehow, even though you never seem to be far from an interstate in Jersey, I can never seem to find my way back on.  Not bad though, I wasn't really stressed for time and I do find it a pretty state (in parts) to drive around, and I was enjoying my first time driving a hybrid.  

I got to the velodrome fairly late into the proceedings and I can believe that the good stuff was pretty well picked over by this point.  Still, even hours into it, there were plenty of options for complete bikes, road or track, frames, and more parts at cheap prices than one usually sees in one spot.  Wish it was all like that, the only disappointing part, for me, maybe not for others, was the plethora of bike stores just hawking clothing at none too deep discounts.  It isn't terribly hard to find jerseys and gloves for 10-30% off anywhere, even in NYC, but, did seem to be what a lot of the people were there for.  

The part that was most pleasantly surprising for me was the people, who were generally friendly, fun, very enthusiastic cyclists and collectors, and were happy to t
alk shop.  I'm excited to go back next year, now that I have a bit of an idea what is there, I think it'll help to go with a bit more of a mental shopping list.  

Other than big stuff, fun stuff I came home with included cool espresso mugs, socks, pint glasses and coffee mugs from LionofFlanders.com, booth manned by a couple nice guys from the Gotham team.  Love the demitasse (picture this in espresso cup size):

Unfortunately, the Kutztown Cutters were sold out of their very cool caps, 
but were extremely friendly, knew Stacey (pres of Kissena) and despite their half joking dismissal of our home track (and T town is one beautifully smooth oval), and the fact that they were both taller than me (I hate it when people are taller than me, height is one of the few things I have working for me), I was very happy to meet them.  Not to mention, they just have a very cool kit/logo:

I ended up where my search began many months ago, and after adding the price of a rental car, didn't save all that much from had I bought in Brooklyn, but I had a good time, learned a bit, and am looking forward, already, to next year, and returning wit
h a big bin and a wish list of parts. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

With bells on....

I love the people in this world who have bells on their bike.  That sounds condescending, but I truly, truly don't mean it that way.  I think they are the optimists of the world, I think one would have to be to believe that the pleasant little ring a ding will make a difference among the horrible screeches, blats, honks, and squeals of the big city.  It's like the Miles Davis Quintet, circa 1956, with Red Garland gently caressing the sweet little piano intro, "Ding, dong, ding, dong," in the middle of a mashup of Masada, Minor Threat, and Gwar. 

"Ask me how do I feel, ask me now that we're cosy and clinging.  Well sir, all I can say is if I were a bell I'd be ringing..."

It's genteel and sweet, and I was lucky enough to have a bird's eye view of a classic bell scene this morning while going north on the fairly brand spanking new, drainage challenged Allen Street bike lane.  I was stuck behind a very upright woman on a dutch city style bicycle of the sort that people keep claiming to be the ideal commuter.  I personally don't find anything ideal about 40 lbs and a wingspan that barely fits the Manhattan bridge bike lane, let alone squeezing between cars in traffic, but to each their own.  That's the thing about all these commuter proclamations "your lock should cost more than your bike," "you have to have fenders," "we need more bike lanes," "bike lanes are no good."  Different people have different styles, different priorities.  Personally, I prefer taking a lane and actually feel safer being in traffic.  To some, comfort is important, and they would prefer to sit upright, separated from the cars and not have street scum splash all over them (yes, I eschew fenders, I know...I know...), but we use the street differently, and what works for the bike messenger might not work for the businessman.  The best we can do is try to empathize with what other people might find important, try to look beyond ourselves, at least try.  But I digress.  

Finally having passed the giant wingspanned commuter, I nearly clocked a Lindsay Lohan lookalike.  Fortunately, I was spared the pedestrian hate, since she never noticed a thing.  She was crossing the street, I think she was at least, in a very meandering way and had just gotten to the giant potted plant partitions when I passed her, head bobbing away and looking North through giant Aviators, even though traffic was coming from the south.  I heard the tinkle tinkle of the little bell and had to look back.  Li-lo continued staring north, the bell continued to ring and the cyclist eventually went around the still roaming aimlessly child star look alike, never saying a word, but ringing constantly.  

"Ask me how do I feel, little me with my quiet upbringing.  Well, sir, all I can say is if I were a gate I'd be swinging!  And if I were a watch I'd start popping my springs, or if I were a bell I'd go ding, dong, ding, dong, ding!"

"Well, if I were a salad I know I'd be splashing my dressing" -  interestingly, I did see a man pouring salad dressing onto this very same bike lane..., "ask me how to describe this whole beautiful thing, well if I were a bell I'd go ding dong, ding dong.....GET THE HELL OUT MY WAY, WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK IT IS OK TO AMBLE AIMLESSLY IN TRAFFIC WHILE WEARING HEADPHONES??!!"

Just not zen enough I guess, I strive to be "Relaxin with the Miles Davis Quintet," but often am still much more "Never Mind the Bollocks."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Classic Ramblings

Post-season baseball time, great time of year.  The Mets had a hugely disappointing season (an understatement) so I am stuck in the position of rooting against teams.  Thankfully, that is easy when the Yankees are involved, so.... Let's go Twins!  This is made even easier by Minnesota being where my wife is from.  I had a great, old school Twins baseball cap given to me by a great guy named Tim, bluegrass guitarist, cyclist, artist, art installer, who was living in the house in Jamaica Plain where I ended up living for a couple of years while at Berklee Factory of Music.  My friend Drex (just married last weekend, congrats Drex) was living there and I remember going to visit and being woken up by the sound of a coffee grinder and an espresso machine (of the very old and thunderously loud variety).  On a crisp New England morning, that just sounded and smelled like about the very best thing in the world.  I came from a Maxwell House family, and from this time forward was totally hooked on freshly ground dark, shiny, aromatic as hell beans.  A little party for the ol' olfactory....  Anyway, I fully expect them to get crushed, but it would be fantastic if they could pull off the upset.  With the wind gusting away today in the ridiculous new ballpark (only 1 game where neither team has homered the entire season!!) should at least be fun to watch.  Thankfully, I can also ride my wife's family coattails and root against the Phillies, as her parents live in Frisco, CO, and we were married there in her grandfather's cabin, one of my favorite places.  I'll take Dodgers over Cards and Red Sox over Angels.  

College football, all I can say is UVa is terrible and it's time to fire Groh (oddly enough exactly what I spent most of last winter saying just substituting basketball for football and Leitao for Groh).  Other than that too exhausting to take up here, ditto for NFL, NHL, and Premier League.   NBA - I'll just get too irate talking about the Knicks.  Think it was summed up pretty well by the recent quote regarding umpteen million dollar man Eddy Curry = "we're just trying to get him to a place where he can run up and down a court".....sigh.   

The only cycling related news for me is that I am very excited for the T town swap this weekend. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This has much to do with nothing, or actually to be more precise, has fuckall to do with anything. 

I like it, have liked it for a while, but was only thinking about it today through a stream of consciousness that started with talking about Zurich, led to Needle Park, which made me think of Gorky Park....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

mouthful of ???

Maybe Bike Snob is more powerful than I thought.  The mere mention of disagreement over the importance of fenders and what happens, torrential downpour.  Not that I believe fenders would have helped me at all, I was fucked, the victim of terrible timing.  So I tried to be zen and go with it, which failed quickly, so I resorted to screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs, which got me through about 5 miles or so.  I was doing alright until, in another moment of poor timing, a car passed going the opposite direction and splashed an amazing amount of water all over my front, and, much to my horror, revealed to me that I ride with my mouth open.  That's right, and the swallow reflex kicked in.  Arguably still better than the subway.

schluff off

I love BSNYC for many reasons, not the least of which is that he saves me the trouble of expressing my feelings by saying exactly what I believe (except in the case of fenders) in a much more coherent, intelligent, and witty fashion.  

So, I will replace my long winded diatribe about how Sullivan does not represent me with a simple link to the always great BSNYC.


Friday, September 25, 2009

guess the price.....I dare you


Rain Jacket

The new Rapha Rain Jacket is the perfect protection from the wettest conditions. The jacket combines fully waterproof and breathable panels to give great cover, without compromising on comfort.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Jersey Nyets

Unfortunately, it seems that Ratner has been saved by one of Russia's wealthiest, a former basketball player.  Can I trademark the "New Jersey Nyets"?

eh, beaten to it by


and I think SI as well.  

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bag it

About time...finally I can take people's suggestions.  After years of being told that I should really put a bag over my head, Fashion Week comes along and legitimizes it. 

The morning commute

My commute this morning featured chilly rain, amazing traffic on Flatbush, a man pouring salad oil in the new bike lane at Allen St, and being behind a cop who blew through 5 red lights, no siren, to arrive safely at, yes, I kid you not, Dunkin Donuts.  Not to mention about every offensive driving move you can think of.  People are in midseason form!

The salad oil was certainly the high point.  Perhaps we was confused by the green color of the lane?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September Song

"Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the waiting game"

Instamelancholy.....that's what September means to me.  Doesn't seem to matter how long it's been since I've been a student, always feels like going back to school, which is synonymous with sadness for me.  Not depression or anything, there were things I loved about school, and there are things I absolutely love about fall...leaves changing, smells, etc, always leave me feeling like taking the cliche trip through New England to see the fall foliage, or at least drinking some hot cider....but it can't help but feel a bit to me like the end of something, something fun....hmmm, maybe I should do cyclocross after all.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The Philadelphia century is done.  Finished.  Cooked.  Speaking of which, I nearly flipped a guardrail after overcooking a turn and skidding a very, very long way.  

This past Sunday I rode a century, one hundred miles in the beautiful countryside outside of Philadelphia, ostensibly to raise money for cancer research.  I suppose that is overly cynical, but all I mean is that I, and I am sure there are others that participated who were similar, probably would have biked a fair distance that day anyway and were merely paying for the benefit of marshals, a mapped out course, and some nice little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches placed at various points along the way, waiting for me should I feel like pulling over and having a bite and a stretching of the legs.  Of course that paints an ugly picture, and I am very happy to raise money, and people seem very happy to contribute, and perhaps one (me) should look at it the alternate way, the flipside, and say that as long as I am going to be doing something so selfish as to spend my day pedaling, well then, I damned well better be helping someone other than myself. Competition is always a facet of most things I do, and no matter how many times people emphasized that this was a ride and not a race, I, and again I am very sure that there are others like me, can't help but want to do well, to do better than others, which is what drove me to ask inane questions like "how many minutes ahead is the lead group" to race marshals, and even to the nice Pennsylvanian mothers and daughters handing me my miniscule, square, PBJ's.  Much to their credit, they didn't even blink at the question, or the fact that it was asked while stuffing several of these mini-wiches into my mouth at once, or perhaps that simply kept them from understanding the question.  I believe this was the same stop (I stopped at 3 of the 9) where I kept scooping grapes out of the ice water, my hands like shovels, and giggling each time, asking the women if it was alright if I stuck my head in and bobbed for grapes. (Gamely, they did respond "no", but offered to allow me to accidentally be under it when they dumped it in a few minutes; I declined.)  

Since then, a race at Floyd Bennett and the following:  

What beats a root canal?  Well, pretty much anything.  There's a reason that it is the litmus test of bad, all else, except childbirth, can be waved off relative to this barbaric yanking out of nerves.  

Eric Revis at the Jazz Gallery, and "No Country for Old Men," and now, the US Open

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



081809crush.jpgDon Broderick, a one-time New York Post reporter and current Fox News staffer, won't face charges related to his June 1st altercation with Central Park cyclist Brian Dooda. Dooda's accusations are pretty sensational; he says that after he pulled in front of Broderick at a red light to admonish him for cutting him off, Broderick gunned his SUV into him, knocking him down. Then, when Dooda tried to block the SUV so Broderick couldn't leave the scene, he allegedly rammed Dooda onto the hood and drove some 200 feet with Dooda clinging to the vehicle, pleading for him to stop. Now the Manhattan DA tells Gawker they've dropped the case because they could not prove Dooda suffered any injuries in the incident. (Dooda insists he did sustain minor injuries from the death ride, including a scrape on his elbow.) Broderick, who was once forced to take anger management classes after he threatened to tear a subordinate's head off, says, "The DA's action speaks for itself. There's nothing further to say." Dooda couldn't be reached for comment, and the DA's spokesperson declined to comment on why they didn't file lesser charges against Broderick based on damage to Dooda's bike.

my comment:  what ever happened to attempted something?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Promises in the Dark

I think the history of concerts I have seen that I haven't enjoyed, if graphed, would correspond rather perfectly with concerts that I have attended without imbibing or partaking of other substances.  This also corresponds for the most part with concerts that I have biked to and from, as I generally try to avoid combining pedaling and altering of consciousness, or reflexes, or judgement.  I didn't always feel this way, but 30 stitches to the head made me realize that, well, I didn't like getting 30 stitches in the head.  The lack of health insurance at that time was painful as well, but not quite as painful as listening to some of the town hall meetings this week regarding public heath care.  One of the many, many things I love about getting around by bike is the way my thought process seems unhitched while the wheels are rolling.  It's like playtime for my brain, and any thoughts are welcome.  I also fully enjoy, (and after having done it for as long as I have, have come to be able to predict and expect), the seesaw of euphoria to doldrums that comes, probably all chemical balance/nutrition-related.  The first of these fake highs on Thursday's post-work ride to Coney Island came close to the end of the ride, almost immediately after crossing Ocean Parkway.  Yes, I live on the other side of the park, but my wife and a couple of friends were going to see the Pat Benatar/Blondie double bill that had all of NYC talking, mainly asking who in their right mind would go to Coney Island to see a Pat Benatar/Blondie double bill.  I have a love/hate relationships with "greenways" in general.  Love them in theory but almost always prefer a well paved road to a cracked sidewalk with curbs on every corner and associated turns for cars.  That was my memory of the path to Coney Island, so I decided to try a side street and see if I could just be parallel to the path.  This brilliant idea went nowhere except in a big circle leading me straight back to the greenway, so I relented, and this is where the happiness came.  It was nice!  They had fixed it up!  Smooth sailing, and noone was on it!  It was so nice in fact that I had almost decided it was worth it to come this way to Floyd rather than bombing down Flatbush, had almost decided that when the nice new pavement ended and it was back to an organ mashing craterfest.  I just tried to hold the wheel of crazy mountain bike guy in front of me to distract me from the non-chamois wearing pain I was experiencing in the nether regions.  

I was mocking the lack of foot traffic as I approached Avenue X, "yeah, some concert.."  I would eat those words when I got there, and looked around for a place to lock up my bike.  There was a distinct 80's style guitar sound emanating from the stage where The Donnas were "rocking out,"  playing songs from the hopefully ironically title "Greatest Hits" album.  Actually they weren't bad, and the place was packed.  Like mobbed packed.  I couldn't find my friends for a long long time, and it took even longer to find my wife who had arrived much earlier.  Sprint sucks, no service at all, or maybe it was Verizon sabotaging them since they had a tent set up to sign people up.  My wife finally found us and had narrowly escaped a close encounter with a few middle aged woman who were very much encroaching on her space and telling the people in front of her to sit down.  Again, my head voice was mocking the concert.  And what was with the lack of smoke?  The stage looked like the Denver airport.  Finally, Pat Benatar came on and, I think, for the most part looked and sounded like I remembered.  Keep in mind that being the old fogey that I am, I remember the 80's vividly, and Pat Benatar is not necessarily a fond memory.  There is no kitsch value in it for me, she was a purveyor of bad pop, and that was all, and I had to sit through her videos in the early days of MTV over and over and over again. That said, she looked and sounded like I remembered, certainly not bad for a 56 year old woman (from Greenpoint!!!, nee Patricia Mae Andrzejewski), and she did all the hits, and yes, I actually enjoyed them, especially the crowd singing along with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."  Being out of the crowd was nice, and the boardwalk was very nice, and thankfully the appropriate smells finally wafted our way.  It was officially a concert now.  We didn't wait for Blondie, but there is a cycling connection.  Her guitar player is Paul Carbonara, a local racer, much more representative for me and cycling in the city than David Byrne, whom I love musically, but am not convinced I really want as a spokesman for cycling in NYC.  I was hungry and didn't get to see Paul, whom I actually think, even being the jazz snob I am, is a good guitarist, and who I was more interested in than the not so interested in Deborah Harry, who is now 64 years old!  So, to recap, couldn't make it to the end of a concert featuring a 56 year old and a 64 year old. 

I stayed on Ocean Pkwy the whole way home, again opting for street over path.  It was nice, and dark, and pleasant, even if the cars turning right off the main parkway almost killed me several times.  Eventually, after what seemed like many more than 26 lettered Avenues, I arrived back to the cozy confines of the Park, but eschewed it for a street in order to find a store, pasta sauce, and beer. The rest of the night was "Bringing up Baby," with food, and beer, and cat, and my lovely wife, who, as it turns out with most things, is right, I don't party anymore.  

public art


there's a link I like, here's one to hate..in fact, I challenge you to actually read the pages reprinted in the article


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

argument redux/bike recovery

Time for the monthly comment battle:


And then there was this:

Is there anything Facebook can't do? A Park Slope family has now used the social networking site to track down an adolescent bicycle thief. Beth Harpaz, an AP reporter and author of The Girls in the Van: Covering Hillary, says a local teenused the oldest trick in the book to separate her 11-year-old son from his new BMX at the playground: He asked to "see your bike for a minute," then never rode back. (The trick even works on adults!) Harpaz tried filing a police report, but a beat cop discouraged her, saying, "If you file a police report, we'll have to arrest him. Just wait a few days. You'll get the bike back." And the policeman was right—though the BMX wasn't recovered thanks to NYPD detective work, but through Harpaz's dogged sleuthing. Long story short, some kids at the playground knew the suspect's first name and the Middle School from which he'd graduated, so Harpaz obtained a copy of the yearbook, identified him, and tracked him down on Facebook. After threatening to have him arrested, the unidentified thief revealed the bike's location, along with the combination for the lock. He also asked Harpaz, "Where do u live at?" but Harpaz knew better than to let him see her house for a minute.

Now, the oddest part of this story for me is the policeman commenting that they would get the bike back.  One thing that bothers me about bike theft is the police attitude that there is no way in hell you will ever see it again.  

track geometry opinions

Let me know, what do you think is most important thing to look for, and separately, which bike with drilled front fork has most track like geometry?  

Monday, August 10, 2009

Julie and Julia

streep and tucci/julia's life in paris vs 2 really annoying bad actors in long island city blogging about themselves and how julia changed their life. i think it's rare to root against the central character and author of the book, and i don't think nora ephron intended it that way, but god i was so disappointed that her stupid blog brought her fame and fortune. 

Then watched "The Flying Scotsman," very fun,. 

Friday, August 7, 2009

streetsblog needs to get some teeth

"The hate-filled spew of Delinski & Doyle and their ilk is truly loathsome. But we have to face the reality that bicyclists who ride with reckless disregard for the law only feed the beast."

I understand the point, and agree we need to accept some responsibility, but I absolutely hate that an article about people wanting to assault us for no reason chooses to close on such an apologist note. Just as you were discussing the psychological effect on listeners, your article has one on readers as well, and to close in such a way implies a culpability that has no bearing on extremist nutjobs like these idiots.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

deepest sympathies

I often don't think cycling has much of a community.  Sure, there are forums, message boards, blogs, etc, but they are generally more competitive in nature.  Fat cyclist has always been a bit different sort of a blogger.  He is a warm and caring person, and has dedicated most of his time and energy for quite some time to caring for his wife, Susan, and fundraising in her honor.  I was very saddened to hear the news that Susan passed away yesterday and wish to convey my very sincere sympathy to Elden and his family.  I am proud to say I am  a member of Team Fatty. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My new alterego

P-Rhymate, the rapping gorilla.

Monday, August 3, 2009

favorite post of the day

combining 2 of my loves, the weather, and stupid comments


rapha cont....

I take that back, in rereading it just makes me want to have fun and stick a pump in their wheel

rapha, oh dear god

so disgusting, this makes me want to upgrade and kick some rapha tail

Rapha Racing New York City is a group of like-minded cyclists, all drawn by the same desire to ride the legs off our friends, then laugh about it over coffee and bagels or a couple beers before going back to our families. Rapha Racing is for those of us who force a cycling lifestyle upon a city that would rather say otherwise. Rapha Racing is the triumph of our cycling addiction over our urban realities.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'll be brief, cyclists be warned

Underwear Run in Central Park Tonight

underwearrun0709.jpgMove over Triathalon, the 2009 Central Park Underwear Run (or if you prefer: the Running of the Balls) takes place tonight. The 1.7 mile fun run goes down every year prior to the big, and much more serious, Sunday race. The organizers have simple rules for this one: "No transitions, no timing chips, no expensive race gear, just 500 strangers running around in their underwear." We will say, this sounds a bit better than the naked bike ride, so we'll actually accept any photos you take if you should happen to stumble upon the sweaty half dressed mob.

The group will be attempting to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for most people assembled in their underwear. Registration is closed, but if you dowant to be a spectator (they advise to "Wear shades, stare") just show up to Central Park at Dead Road by 7:30 tonight. More details (and video) here. And yes, Naked Cowboy will be there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In honor of Team Radio Shack


informal cycling club

Let me know if you would like me to email and/or post rides that are forming, primarily on weekends.  These would be mainly fun, leisurely, etc, although am open to other (pacelining, interval training) as well.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Town

Congrats to Jen Grace, and love to Sean Graney and Hypocrites! http://gothamist.com/2009/07/21/david_cromer_our_town.php

Que Cera Cera


bike thievery


Feels pretty gross to actually watch someone commit this crime, and equally gross to read some of the comments, ie the guy who would be pissed if cops cared about this crime.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

prospect park

I love this place, and can't believe the party these asshats had sunday night


and the cops sat around, watched and said 'just a badass bbq'

Monday, July 20, 2009

so sad when love goes bad

  1. ghincapie
    ghincapieJust did an easy ride, ran into my good buddie @robbieventura. Great guy , always positive and makes me laugh.
  2. Lance Armstrong
    lancearmstrongJust finished a easy ride on rest day #2. Beautiful here in Sion, Switzerland. Lots of vines..
    remember the good ol days when they rode together during a rest day?  may seem like only yesterday, but my how times have changed.  now they sound like jilted lovers.....sigh

Friday, July 17, 2009

shot in the peloton


I don't know what to say about this other than that my commute seems a bit less hazardous....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Will this be the year I give in and buy fenders? Stay tuned...

By Joe Bastardi

Could the "Year Without True Summer" Mean the Coldest and Snowiest Winter in Over Five Years from New York City to Washington, D.C.?

According to AccuWeather.com's Chief Meteorologist and Expert Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi, cooler-than-normal weather this summer in the Northeast could point to a cold, snowy winter for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. He says the heart of winter will be centered over the area from Boston to Washington, D.C.

For people across the Great Lakes and Northeast, this has been the coolest summer in more than a decade. After a period of more classic summer heat in the coming weeks, cooler weather is expected to continue the trend of the "Year Without True Summer." For Southeast residents, the hot topic for the end of summer will be the tropics heating up after August 15th.