Monday, June 30, 2008

520 Bridge

Out for an early Sunday morning ride on the Bleriot, down the BGT and past Husky Stadium, the start of the Seafair Marathon. Went past MOHAI, and glided up to Montlake, where I talked with one of Seattle's Finest. Since the 520 Bridge was closed to autos and open to runners, I enquired if bikes could cross as well. The officer responded, 'No one has told me that they can't. So, I'll just turn my back and look south, and you can do what you want!'

Here's the rest of the pictures.

31.5 miles through Bellevue, across Mercer Island and the I-90 bridge, and then up Leschi and across Montlake to the BGT. The New Ride is smoother, easier on the hills and an absolute joy. Looking forward to the commute as summer quarter starts this week.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Ride!

So, here it is. Rivendell Bleriot 55 cm frame. Nitto bars and stems. Sugino crank. Velocity wheels and 650B Tires (38 CM!). Speedplay Frog pedals. Dia Compe brakes. Brooks leather saddle. Bob F. did a great job of assembly, with lots of little personal touches. Ride is butter smooth.

20 mile shake down ride this p.m., out to Locks and back. Compared to the Lemond, hills are easier with the wide spectrum of gears on rear cassette. Cornering and handling much smoother with the wider tires, and the Bleriot just glides well.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Web 2.0 Wednesday

Michelle Martin (from the Bamboo Project Blog) encouraged her readers to "Tell Us Something Unique About Where You Live" for her Web 2.0 Wednesday project. So, I hopped on the trusty old Lemond, brought along the camera, and taking a cue from Kate's wonderful New Orleans-based blog, "What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today," took pictures of Seattle landmarks and other interesting things on this beautiful summer afternoon.

35 miles, and topped the 900 mile mark, year-to-date. Bob says the Bleriot will probably be ready on Friday.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


BGT to Magnolia Loop to Pike Place Market. Stopped at EBB and caught a glimpse of the Bleriot. Bob's still waiting on parts, like the Nitto stem and handlebars, but it's going to be cool. Figured out the pedal thing while there, and will swap out the clicking Shimano 4- year-old POS models for the Speedplay Froggs.

A stop at Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square to refuel, and then back to VR. 31.6 miles, and it's good to be back on the bike.

Now that summer is officially here, and Spring Quarter is over at SSIT, more rides are in order.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The trip to Hickory and the local community college.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where do you want to go today?

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
Douglas Adams

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Charlotte, NC

So, traveled cross-country today to get to Hickory, NC for a workshop tomorrow a.m. Four or five hours of sleep, an early rise, check the dreaded email (even MORE crap coming out of the Learning Factory drones), and then to Seatac to stand in line at the counter, stand in line through security, and then flight to Memphis. Seated in the middle next to an overweight guy who hogged the seat arm, graded exams. Transferred in Memphis and got to Charlotte. About 11 hours door-to-door.

Father's Day was great. C, Max and I went to Benaroya to see Alexander Nevsky, Eisenstein's classic with a magnificent Prokoviev score presented live by the Seattle Symphony. Wonderful!
And, afterward, an early dinner at the Shanghai Garden. Best dumplings and noodles in town.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Wheels?

So, the bug has been there for a while...Lately I've been thinking about more commuting via bike, and have good reason to do so. The Surly LHT caught my eye at Free Range Cycles, where Kathleen let me ride one, along with a Salsa Casseroll and a Cross Check. LHT was the smoothest ride, widest gear range, important for a crummy hill climber like yours truly, and seemed the best fit for a winter bike, suitable for commuting, capable of racks and fenders, and good to go, right off the rack.

But, still, something was just not exactly perfect. And, since I wanted just exactly perfect, I cruised down to Elliott Bay Bicycles, and talked to Bob. The Rivendells are beautiful frames. Lugged, well-built to last, painted exquisitely. EBB had a 55 cm Bleriot, named for the French Aviator, Louis Bleriot, in stock, so we added the wheels, and it fit fine. Worked up a parts list to my specs, and now it's being built!

My father's day present to me. I can't wait!

Have A Good Day!

Have A Good Day! Don't buy gasoline. Don't buy diesel!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

What could be a better way to relax after winning the Democratic Party nomination than to go for a spin?

Chavez and the Atomic Bike

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bear Head!

Liz and Pie have completed the trip to Omaha, and had amazing adventures along the way.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Loss seems to be the topic for the evening. This installment is a small one, espresso. I've often stopped at Uptown Espresso by the OSP on my rides. A doppio, and a stop in the restroom, not in that order, filled the bill to get me home.

So, when we visited about a week ago, after Dim Sum with the Pie before she embarked for Omaha. I parked, we meandered through the sculptures, walked along Myrtle Edwards, and then needed to offload fluids. Took the family to Uptown, but no longer do they let customers use the rest room. Pleading didn't help. "There's one a block away at the Park." So, here I was, out about $12 plus the feeling that I had led the family the astray. A loss. Won't be back soon.

And, last weekend, after circumnavigating Mercer Island, headed downtown for lunch and then espresso at Zeitgeist. Pulled the $2 out of the wallet for tiny cup, and the barista said, $2.10.

"Your prices went up."

"So has everything else."


Go Bird

Originally from August, 2004....
So, whatever became of Alan Dumas?

You know that type of question. It's the sort that used to make you pick up the phone and call, usually late at night, to old friends, flames, acquaintances. But, meetings, therapies, the years, family, the kids and other responsibilities have severely curtailed my participation in that activity. You know, "If you dig up the past, all you get is dirty."

Still, I googled Alan's name and learned that he had left this planet. My immediate reactions were shock and dismay. Immediately, I e-mailed Martha. She's the only one that I am still in touch with from that time and scene, late '60s, early '70s Orange County beach town, way before the "OC" was cool. We shared the surprise and the grief via the Internet.

After all, aren't we still young, bulletproof and immortal, smarter than anyone else, incredibly witty (he was at least), real smart-asses? Last night, or this morning, who knows, didn't we just go to the 24-hour Howard's Restaurant in Newport Beach, and play "Go Bird," the game Alan and Mike invented with the coffee sugar packets that were printed with pictures of gulls, pigeons, whatever?

We laughed ourselves silly over that one. Hadn't we just hung out at Martha├»¿½s, or rehearsed for the drama teacher at the high school? Hadn't Alan just gotten busted last week for smoking a cigar on campus? Didn't we just go to the Rock and Roll Revival at the LA Sports Arena? (I drove. Alan flew.) Yakked about Kurt Vonnegut novels?

Wasn't it just a few months ago that Alan visited me in college, with a bag full of something that made me and a bunch of friends run around like wild animals in the hills outside of Pescadero? Sadly, some of them are gone now as well. I never saw him again after that trip.

Nope, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Alan was the fastest with the quip and funniest with the insight or outrageous lie back then. Glad to know that he followed that path higher and farther than the rest of us. Alan didn't fit in with the Newport Beach of the day, the surfers, the young and old Republicans, the Jesus Freaks, those whose daddies bought them new cars.

Where he ended up, on radio, in print, telling stories, slipping into a hip scene -- Denver, now there's a place for him -- all seems so logical now. That's where he should have been, unless he chose to be somewhere else or another place that he would have told us about, all fabulous lies, of course, but we would believe him despite our better judgment because, after all, he was Alan.
Mike's and his daughter's notes represent particularly poignant memories. The movie no longer exists, unfortunately.

Alan and I wrote that for a '60s-style high school class, "Social Problems." The teacher, Carol Tatro, asked that Alan and I show it at UCLA for a group of teachers who were trying to understand contemporary youth. When one of them asked Alan what the point of the film was (the hero ended up committing suicide on the beach), Mr. Dumas responded eloquently, "We were trying to make a movie about creative masturbation, but Miss Tatro wouldn't let us. So we made this one instead."

Once again, Alan brought down the house.

So, whatever became of Alan Dumas? From reading the tributes here, he touched many, was loved by many, made many laugh, and left us way too early.

We went separate ways a long time ago, but I still feel the loss.

Shave and a Hair Cut, He's Gone

RIP, Bo Diddley.....

First saw Bo Diddley at the LA Sports Arena with Alan Dumas.  Must have been 1970, and the show was billed as a Rock and Roll Revival, with Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Shirelles, Gary U.S. Bonds, etc.   

And, last saw him at Bumbershoot, in 2006.  He still rocked.

Another original no longer amongst the living, but as long as we move to the 'shave and haircut, two bits' rhythm, he lives!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Decent Weekly Mileage

Finished the week at 829.6 miles YTD. Did a commute, plus an extension ride to Alderwood Mall via Sno County's confusing and poorly signed version of the Interurban Trail, with a group from The Learning Factory. And, did a fine Mercer Island Loop, plus a trip to the Locks, on this, the first of June, which felt a lot like the last week in March. When's it going to warm up? When are we going to get some spring?

Inside the I-90 Bike Tunnel, looking west.

And, when the cottonwoods begin to drop like this, I remember being in Moscow in June, 1994, which was covered with the seeds. And, the little Russian kids had a great time lighting the cotton on fire and watching the flames burn underneath the parked cars. Ha ha!

What is this giant salmon, when was it last used, and why is it parked at Magnuson?