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 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.“you-would-just-love-to-lob-something-at-their-heads”/comment-page-1/#comment-96621

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.