Monday, February 28, 2011

austin, tx

Here (click me)

and here (click me too)

and here (click me please)

not much to say, well actually a lot, but I don't want to type that long...catch up with me in person for more details...especially about trails.

But anyway...Austin, TX is a sweet ass city, with BEAUTIFUL WOWOWOWOWooooo. trails are fucking badass of the greenbelt make swope and landahl look like river trail.

I really need a camera...this (click me) helps, but doesn't do it at all justice.

so ya...I've already decided that if I don't get into grad school in Albuquerque that I'm moving to ATX...too sweet not to live there for at least a few years.

Wolf heads and tacos, beautiful women and gnar trails...that sums up this trip pretty well.

peace and riding!!!

ps--the new carbon 29r single speed, FUCKING ROCKS!!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

commuterDude post

Awesome post I didn't write that I am passing along...It can be found here:

I quit.
This has been edited and re-edited over a fortnight, a few handfuls of minutes at a time here and there - finally touched up over a hurried lunch. If it seems disjointed, consider that par for the course for this website. I'm always disjointed. Those with grammatical grudges and punctuational preconceptions should simply close their browsers and go read a good book.

And now, my latest post:

Over the last 30 days or so I have been participating in an activity that has me relocated to an area - while not impossibly far away - about four times farther from home, bike-route mileage wise. After entertaining the idea of biking-it for a couple days prior, the KC-area "snow-my-gawd" events of 2011 hit, and that pretty well clinched it. Timing is everything: thank goodness I had a backup vehicle in the driveway. With that, I began a stint of driving that by quick estimation probably puts me deep in the red against whatever carbon footprint or gasoline savings my car-free/light run of last year provided. I was back in traffic; not just driving in the suburbs but as a part of the bigger problem on the local highways to and from the city - every morning, every evening, for four weeks now. My backup vehicle is not timid at the gas pump, either, to the point where I'm fairly confident I've purchased more gas in the last month than I have in the last four years. The prices sting, and it reminds me how difficult this economic dry-spell has to have been on those that don't have many choices in this car-centric town.

My own, private, socio-economic experiment was underway. I didn't want to use the car. If there was an option available, I did examine it: Car pooling, as a subject, only seemed to put people on the defensive. That was interesting. Those that had safely determined that they lived too far from me were comfortable in saying "they would've if it'd worked out". Those who did live close enough or were on the way had a littany of excuses, some legit - some shallow. Gas money sharing wasn't enough to crack into their personal space or routine.

Then I looked online for train schedules and remembered, "oh, yeah. We don't have a train here."

Returning from my mental Fairyland Park, the bus was next. Despite being very creative spending hours at the computer for a few nights between the KCATA and Jo schedules and maps, initially expecting to find a solution and prematurely re-upping my bus-pass online, I finally threw up my arms. Between four different routes and a lot of walking through the snow berms on the sidewalks, two transfers each way in one case, ultimately there was no denying that I simply can't expect a Jo bus full of people to wait for me, a single rider, to transfer from a KC Metro bus which is *scheduled* to arrive eight minutes after they are supposed to have left downtown. The last bus, an hour later, put me back at the park-n-ride 30 minutes before the kids bedtime. Wife? Peeesed, rightly.

Are Kansas City commuters set up to fail? Oddball schedule overlaps seem common. Seemingly, if you live in Johnson County and work downtown, you don't get off work at exactly 4:30pm AND you can't make it to a stop on time, on foot, you're screwed. I don't get how this works, or how this is passable as "transit". A few minor changes, and - while my attempts here were in fact strictly personal - getting back to Johnson County between 5 and 6pm would work. I'm not beefin' about the minor hassle of standing around for 10 minutes for the next bus, I'm talking about overlays of hours as a result of having missed the previous bus my only four minutes in some cases.

We need more routes. We need more people to be hacked-off about there not being more options. We need more people to realize that gasoline, right now, is the highest its been in many months... and that it is February, when gas historically should be cheaper: and it isn't. What are we looking at this summer? $4.00? Easily. A small handful of oddly-scheduled southbound routes out of downtown KCMO in the evening isn't going to cut it. People know this.... so they just keep driving.

I don't drive downtown every day normally, so while I had a general idea beforehand I didn't know it would be this kind of wake-up call. This town is, frankly, ridiculous and backwards. Is traffic here as bad as Boston, or L.A., or Manhattan, NY, or Chicago?'s not, but those are not fair comparisons in my opinion. Check any website you like: The Kansas City metro area has more lane-miles per capita than any other area in the USA. By nearly 30%. When China passes the US in highway miles, it will be because they finally passed Kansa-freaking-city. Some would argue that by driving down I-35 you can see evidence that we'll not be letting go of the title quietly. USA! USA! USA! We have the pavement space - so there shouldn't be traffic issues at all, right? Think about it. Why is everyone reeaally driving everywhere?

Now that I've had to drive a "real" commute for a month now I'm not only appauled, I'm broke, frustrated and I feel like I'm missing a chunk of my life. I don't want to be in traffic, listening to drivetime radio. I want to be home, and I want to have gotten some exercise, and I want to feel like I'm making more than minimum wage after transportation costs are subtracted.

I will blog, I will write my letters and emails and call my representative, keep my MOBIKEFED and other memberships renewed, and so should you - but I will also do what most people I shared a lane with last month either won't or can't, which is hang up the keys and start paying it back. I've missed commuting this last month - and I'm recharged and ready. I'm not starting a crusade, and I'm not wearing any arm-bands with trees imprinted on them, no flags, and perhaps I'll even keep my person-to-person soapboxing to myself - but I am quite a bit more motivated than I was in, say, January, to stay on the bike.

Because I can ride, I should. If you can ride, you should. If you can walk, you should. If you can bus, you should. YES we live in a nation built on freedoms and I understand people can and will choose to drive. That is fine, and I accept it. Sheltered joco life? Absolutely... Granted, I knew all along that I loved cycling, that I was saving money, that I was saving gas - despite how miniscule in the grand scheme - and that I was doing my small part. I'm vastly lucky to live where I live and work where I work, and to have a trail that helps me avoid some nasty intersections.

I also understand that it has gotten pretty hairy on the streets for bicyclists around town. Over a decade in traffic has dulled me to the real dangers and honest fear that keeps many people from even trying periodic bicycle commuting around here, even if they do live close to work. Consider, though, that everything benefits everything else in this scenario: more busses? More options? A fair amount of people WILL use it if it's available. That gets cars off the roads. Fewer cars on the road, less 'fear' for cyclists? Perhaps. I know it is far less stressful to ride at 5AM than at 8AM during the week, and that's attributable to number of cars. Imagine if there were fewer cars at 8AM, as if it was 5AM, finally! More cyclists equals fewer cars on the roads still. Fewer cars on the roads benefit those that don't have a choice in the short term and must drive; less stress, less time on the road (more moving, less crawling) and less road-rage... Which begets less car-vs-bike rage. Motorcyclists can feel safer again. Using less space, less gas. Overall, less wear and tear on the roads, so perhaps we CAN finally spend a billion on light rail and still more busses, instead of spending it on *another* lane in each direction on I-35, 70, 635. And so on.

BUT, it all has to start with the individual. Is that you? Is it the next co-worker or friend you tell about the bike or the bus? (or both?)

Now that my activities north of the river are coming to an end it will be very welcome indeed to get back into a healthier, more responsible routine. As the snow melts away, the rains wash the streets and the temps warm up, perhaps this is becoming as good a year as any to start real change. No, there shouldn't be a season for it - but this is the year for all of us to do something. Gas will never be this cheap again, and we will wax wistfully for $3.00/gallon in as quick as two years. If you must drive, is it time to think about how much you REALLY need that SUV or diesel pickup? Can there really be a mobile, work-from-home workforce? Have you asked your employer if you even need to be in an office downtown at all?

Start something.
Do it this week.

As for driving to work every day?
I quit.
Join me.

I haven't had a car in over 6 years now...and love it.

peace and riding!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011


more hot cx bottoms...

Levon's photos.

Phil's pix.

this me

peace and riding!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hot Cross Bottoms

Urban CX race this past weekend. not too much to say. I got 2nd! Thank god that hipsters don't know what a 29er MTB is :)

The course we rode can be best described as "Epic European Winter CX" meaning lots of snow, mud, ice, water and general sloppiness. The new carbon 29er ripped it up good. unfortunately, that sandbagger SC beat me on his carbon blue cx bike...gears and fully rigid? cheating sunnuvabitcha.

CX-go has pics up here!

Going to Austin next week for some warmth and SINGLETRACK!!!!!!!! god, finally.

Peace and riding!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm graduating this semester!

2 research capstones, 1 independent research project, intro to lit studies (in spanish) and geostatistics, but I'll be done!!!

GEOG 417 - Special Topics
Status Units Grading Grade Deadlines
Enrolled 3.00 Graded
Class Nbr Section Component Days & Times Location Instructor Start/End Date
13289 0003 Ind Study Arranged Wei Ji 1/10/2011 - 5/6/2011

GEOG 444 - Spatial Data Analysis
Status Units Grading Grade Deadlines
Enrolled 3.00 Graded
Class Nbr Section Component Days & Times Location Instructor Start/End Date
13292 0001 Lecture TuTh 7:00PM - 8:15PM Katz Hall-Rm 00011 Jejung Lee 1/10/2011 - 5/6/2011

SOCIOL 404WI - Soc Capstone Sr Seminar
Status Units Grading Grade Deadlines
Enrolled 3.00 Graded
Class Nbr Section Component Days & Times Location Instructor Start/End Date
13911 0001 Lecture MoWeFr 12:00PM - 12:50PM Haag Hall-Rm 00109 Peter Singelmann 1/10/2011 - 5/6/2011

SPANISH 301 - Intro Literary Studies
Status Units Grading Grade Deadlines
Enrolled 3.00 Graded
Class Nbr Section Component Days & Times Location Instructor Start/End Date
17095 0001 Lecture TuTh 3:30PM - 4:45PM Royal Hall-Rm 00311 Alberto Villamandos 1/10/2011 - 5/6/2011

URBAN ST 499WI - Urban Studies Seminar
Status Units Grading Grade Deadlines
Enrolled 3.00 Graded
Class Nbr Section Component Days & Times Location Instructor Start/End Date
14251 0001 Lecture Fr 12:00PM - 2:30PM 4825 Troost Room 216 Steven Driever 1/10/2011 - 5/6/2011

I got nothing else right's terrible outside.

peace and riding!!!