In Good Company

I just found out that I share a common thread with Levi Leipheimer.  Apparently, he rides a landshark on rainy days.  You can see some pictures of his bike.  This is probably as close as I'll ever get to "riding" with a pro.  Of course he does use his shark differently than I do, mine only comes out on sunny days.  Personally, I like my paint job better.

Bike Thief

A cycling buddy of mine, made a trip to the local Cumberland Farms for a gallon of the milk.  Unfortunately, he made the mistake of not locking his bike.  At most, he was inside for a couple of minutes, enough time for someone to snatch his bike.  Obviously he should have locked the bike, but that still doesn't give someone the right to steal a bike.  The most annoying part about this situation is that he is 6'5" and his bike frames are 65cm.  I doubt that I could even ride one of his bikes and I find it unlikely that whomever it was that stole it could do much better.  The bike also had a big wire basket on the front, not exactly your high theft bike profile. 

I've certainly been tempted to just leave my bike while running an errand, this is clear reminder why I shouldn't.

Bicycle Lift

San Francisco may have trolleys, but Trondheim Norway has the World's first bicycle lift.  Oddly, the hill in the pictures doesn't look too bad, I wonder how it would work on a hill with a steeper grade?  We have a local hill that could benefit from such a contraption, now we just need to get the bicycle density to a point where the city could justify installing one.

As an aside, I can't help but comment on how refreshing it is to see pictures, full of bicycles on the road and very few cars.  Unless I missed one, there wasn't a single car actually on the road.  I just heard this morning, that gas prices in some parts of CA are already over $4/gal and we haven't even hit the summer travel peak yet.  Perhaps the US can slowly adopt a more European transportation model.

Bike To Work Day

I have no idea how good these estimates are, but…

According to Clarke (executive director of the League of American Bicyclists ), Americans who participated in Bike to Work Day last Friday . . .

—saved more than 56 tanker trucks of gasoline
—saved $5.7 million in driving costs
—prevented 4,580 tons of carbon dioxide and 230 tons of carbon monoxide from entering the atmosphere
—burned 410 million calories

Another Way to Commute

This isn't strickly cycling, but I thought it was an interesting alternative commuting idea.  David Grimes, an IT manager across the pond from us, avoids rush hour traffic by kite-surfing to work.  If I've done the math correctly, it looks like he travels about 10 miles, it certainly is tempting to think about.  I'll have to keep an eye on the prevailing winds and see whether they would be in my favor to every attempt something like this.  I certainly have the water access, but I'd be traveling in a fairly major shipping lane.  I'm just not sure I want to tangle with the ferries and cargo ships.  I'd also have to spend some serious time practicing, certainly wouldn't want to get tired out at about the half way point!

Pay as You Go Computing, What?

There is a recent article in PC Magazine, discussing Microsoft's Pay as You Go model of computing.  I applaud them for making an effort to reach out to other countries seriously in need of an influx of technology.  However, I get worked up when I read a sentence like this "FlexGo is Microsoft's program to allow users in impoverished countries, such as Brazil, India, and Mexico, to rent or lease a PC in much the same way users lease a cellular phone from a carrier."  First off, as I read this article, they aren't renting or leasing a PC, they are renting or leasing an OS.  The users would still have to purchase or be gifted a PC.  The FlexGo system only deals with limiting the amount of time you can have the computer booted.  Secondly, and more importantly, if we are talking about an "impoverished country", why are they paying for software!  There is a plethora of open-source software that could provide these people with anything they are likely to need.  Sorry Microsoft, you don't get my vote here.  You have plenty of money, give these countries computers and licenses for the OS.


I had my first true taste of "underbiking" over lunch today.  For those that aren't familiar with the term, it typically refers to a riding an off road trail with a road bike.  The trails are typically of the type that anyone with a mountain bike would be bored, but they can take on a whole new dimension when ridden with a road bike.  I wouldn't recommend you try this type of riding with your carbon time trial bike!

Anyways, we took a spin over lunch and explored some paths around a local reservoir.  It was fun and gave us a chance to enjoy a different type of riding.  All told, we probably spent 45 minutes in the woods, not a bad way to segment your work day.  I'm not likely to do this on a regular basis, but certainly would be willing to try it again at some point. 

Good Quote

"Let us have a moment of silence for all Americans who are now stuck in traffic on their way to a health club to ride a stationary bicycle." — Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)

Bike Month

It's the first day of May and for me, this means Bike Month.  The League of American Bicyclists has a part of their webpage dedicated to bike month and even has a document covering fifty ways to celebrate bike month.  Some of the events going on in my area include the annual ride of silence and bike to work day.  If you look around, I'm sure you are likely to find similar events in your area.

Is That Phone Conversation Really Private?


"This article in the NYTimes discusses how a recent rash of high-profile mobile phone taps in Italy is spurring a rush toward software-encrypted phone conversations. Private conversations have been tapped and subsequently leaked to the media and have resulted in disclosures of sensitive takeover discussions, revelations regarding game-fixing in soccer, and the arrest of a prince on charges of providing prostitutes and illegal slot machines. An Italian investigative reporter stated that no one would ever discuss sensitive information on the phone now. As a result, encryption software for mobile phones has moved from the government and military worlds into the mainstream. Are GSM phones in the US ripe for a similar explosion in the use of freely available wiretapping technology, and could this finally be the impetus to for widespread use of software-encrypted communications?"

I wonder how many business deals a day are conducted via cell phones.