I just got one this past week and had half a review written for the blog when this discussion boiled over on the ibob list. So here is my half assed review for those who do not read the bob list.
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Best blinky ever. I just saw one for the first time in a not really that local LBS over the weekend. I turned it on, was blinded, groped my way to the register and bought it instantly. The guy working the register asked me if it was any good. I showed him. He said, "holy shit" and then took the last one off the rack for himself.
Steady mode looking at a camera in the pitch dark with normal daytime exposure: click for big
Steady mode looking at me, away from camera, with normal daytime exposure: click for big
It is sooooo much brighter than anything I have owned before and I have bought a million different blinky lights over the years as I keep loosing/dropping/lending them, etc... It is significantly better than the blackburn mars for example, one of the most recent ones I have bought. It is brighter than the one you are using right now. I know, I know, you are saying, "well gee, the one I use is really bright". But you are wrong. This is better. By alot. Lots and lots. Go to your LBS that carries planet bike things and try it. They are pre loaded with batteries so you can blind yourself with it in the store.
This is just the flash reflecting off the magic led reflectoamplifier: click for big
It is well worth the money. In constant mode it makes a pretty good flashlight. Maybe enough to change a tire by, but certainly enough to get me across a field in the pitch black darkness. I can't think of any other blinky light that is even close. I will definitely by one for elena and one for a spare when I see them again.
Some specs: 1 blinding LED in an inversyfresnellooking reflectoamplifier. 2 lower LED's. Blink mode alternated between the blinding bigun and the two little ones. Ugly white housing. Comes with a clip for pockets/clothes. Clip slides into a housing to attach to your bike. Two AAA batteries. Blinding just blinding.
As I turned off my street and headed up the gradual climb on the Sandia loop, I check for traffic, put my head down and start rocking the pedals to the steady beat of the morning music in my head. Push push push push, getting a rhythm going and getting the bike up to speed. As I hit my sweet spot, I look up and see a big "watch your speed" mobile speed monitoring billboard. I streak past and the board flashes 4mph.
Watch out world, I am aflame with the human power.
Man, I am so glad other bloggers are better writers than me. Instead of thinking up a new post all by myself, I can read excellent reporting elsewhere, react to it, paste up a bunch of links and go from there. Thank you internets! So here goes
First go over to velonews and see that Mayo's B sample for EPO was declared negative by the lab that did it. Then note that the UCI says they will continue testing the sample as "The analysis of it has not yet finished." (anne gripper, uci doping commisar).
Right on there BKW! some interviews with doping sources with good stuff on different reputations at different labs, how irregular this is compared to the usual protocol, and the implication on the Landis case.
Great stuff (check out the rest of the blog too, lots of great pro cycling stuff).
Here are my reactions to this (I wrote these as comments to the BKW post originally, but since I wrote them I think I can reprint em here, no?):
What astounds me is that the UCI thinks it is OK to continue to test a sample to get the "correct" answer. This cuts to the fundamental problem with cycling dope testing. It is not impartial and it seems that there is no plan by the UCI to even attempt to maintain a facade of impartiality.
That they are willing to go ahead and announce that they are going to continue testing to see if they can overturn the negative is mind blowing.
The right answer is for the UCI to declare the Mayo test a negative, reinstate him and then go and figure out how and why and if their testing system failed them. And then fix the problem.
The UCI must be willing to accept that it is better to let some guilty riders go than: a. convict innocent ones b. ruin all their credibility by changing the rules as they go along.
This has been a persistent problem in the realm of antidoping in sport. At this point no one should give a shit whether Zabel doped in 96 or if Lance doped in in 2000, they should be spending their efforts in making sure their system is fundamentally flawless so riders like Hamilton, Landis, Heras or Mayo can be quickly banned without lengthy trials that expose legitimate uncertainties in the process.
Anyhoo, like I says, good post BKW, thanks to the blogosphere for making it easy to react and link and think. Stupid UCI....
OK, I admit it, I was not really paying attention to the ad content on my site, my ad profits have declining rapidly even though my readership has tripled since I started having ads on the site. Even worse, ads that had been targeted to cycling content mysteriously have transitioned into spam ads. Final straw? This one that appeared on this very blog this morning:
Are you kidding me? I went through and clicked on the ad and it takes you to an even more obnoxious pyramid scheme website with cascading pop up windows.
A few weeks later than scheduled we had the first snow of the winter yesterday, with flurries here in town (7200 feet) and accumulation on the 12,000 foot peaks in the Sangre de Christo Range...
Actually there was some visible accumulation in July on the same peaks, but I am not convinced it was not epic hail, it did not stick around for 24 hours either, so it is hard to tell whether that was the last storm of last winter, the first of this winter, or just lots and lots of hail. Which is not snow.
Here is a late afternoon shot from my roof:
Right there in the center are the snow covered Truchas peaks. Really. I just forgot my camera when I was riding around earlier in the day. It looked great!
See 2006 first snow and 2005 first snow for comparison. Wow, this blog is old! So very old. The nice part is that I am now able to call on two previous years of blog posts (425 or so and counting) when I get stuck for ideas.
Last sunday I spent the whole day riding in LA. My fixie bike friday and I started in El Segundo by short ride, then train, to a bus to downtown and met up with Rick Risemberg. We then met up with James Black (on his fixie swift) and then rode from downtown LA up to Pasadena and met up with Chuck Schmidts monthly Rose Bowl vintage bike ride. Then, the big loop around pasadena with a mid ride coffee stop. Back to the start, back around LA a bit more via train and riding, some bike shop visiting, ice cream eating more riding and then a nice meal with Rick and his wife Gina. It was a really good day. Mild Santa Ana winds blew out all the smog and it was pretty much a perfect riding day. Too many good pictures, see them all here on flickr.
Me, Chuck and James in Pasadena
It was great to meet Rick and James, and remeet chuck. I talked to a bunch of other riders on the vintage bike ride, but forgot everyones name. Sorry. Good meeting all of you. Rick and James on the way to the ride
There were lots of good bikes, memorably a nice pinarello TT bike with about 2'drop from the seat to the bars. I have always wanted to ride one of those. The owner Hyde let me ride it around the parking lot. Excellent, my neck hurt in about 1/8 mile of tooling around.
Anyone want to guess what I saw on my noontime run today?
I have lived in large predator cat country for a while both in CA and here in NM. Working at at least two places (one NM one CA) that had regular mountain lion sitings outside buildings where I worked. But I always missed them. I really want to see one. The best I have done is a large mountain lion print in the mud on a trail I ran on here in NM.
But today made up for years of near misses. So there I was on my weekly lunchtime run. I run from my workplace through Mortendad canyon up to the rim and loop around the canyon rim back to work. I have seen lots of coyotes and mule deer on this run or on the part of it that I bike commute on often (even in the middle of the day). Today I saw a small herd of mule deer in fact in the bottom of the canyon. Smelled them before I saw them, really, but it was about 5 does and a handful of fawns.
But toward the end of the run on the rim of the canyons I saw a clearly feline bobtailed form dash across the singletrack in front of me into the canyon, maybe 20 feet. I ran to the edge and looked down and saw the unmistakable ears. Then it crossed about 10feet over and 10 feet down in front of me, and there it was! Bobcat! wooooooooo! It turned a crappy day at work into a really good one.
Being modest, I lorded it over my usual running companions who have been dissing me for track workouts of late. Track workouts? What the hell guys? You missed a freeking bobcat!
I am sad to say I was unable to catch it, kill it, skin it with my teeth, eat it, or tan its hide with brains, but maybe next time...
No no just kidding. Bobcat!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooooooooo!
So with my fishing time blown out by the curse of the walmart flyshop, I went back into town and after a bit of scouting, I found a nice little cafe and had the traditional LDSland late breakfast of a burger, coffee and a beer and then went in search of a bike shop. I was on the bike the whole time, with the travel fly rod straped to my mini messenger bag and my other kit in the bag. I stopped by Bills Cycle shop and found they only sold those durned newfangled motorized bicycles, but they pointed me to bills bicycle shop on the other side of town. I stopped in for some local cycle info. It actually seemed to be a pretty practical shop with folding bikes, recumbents, trailers, new commuter bikes in addition to the usual roadie/mtb fare. They also comped me a water bottle when I tried to buy one. Thanks Bills Bike shop! They pointed me toward the 30 mile "dump loop" and off I went.
me riding along in my civvies click for big
Smiling at the beginning of the climb click for big
The never ending climb! click for big
The route started in town and headed out through the flat lands and up to a ridge on the footyhills outside of town. It turned out that I had been climbing for a looong time and a previous flat and a bit of wending to get to the route had me way off schedule, so I hit the the intersection of bone and sunnyside roads and then went back from whence I came, missing the loop part of the trip.
I spun mightily back into town, devoured a sammich and some coffee road back to my car. I was riding at 4:05, had the bike in the box by 4:20 or so, Was at the airport by 4:30 and checked in by 4:40. Small airports are good sometimes...
So two weekends back I was out there in Seattle for my cousins wedding. It was a pretty busy weekend with a day and a half out on Vashon Island (here), non stop ferry rides to get out to the wedding site on the pennisula just north of bainbridge island and then some post wedding harbor cruising. Pretty fun stuff. Here is a photo dump...
Charlie, Elena and Me heading to Vashon on the ferry click for big
Yeah, strike a pose you handsome guys you! click for big
Well appointed raleigh outside elliot bay book shop... click for big
... where Elena and I met up with wenmei and her husband chris. My eyes were closed in all the photos except this one. Another one here on wenmei's flicker page. Yeah she is pregnant. click for big
Then Elena and I ran over to drop in on Kent at his workplace. Here he is folding his new dahon with alacrity. click for big
Elena and Kent talking it up in the seattle bike station. I loooove taking flash photos in bike shops. Kent's head nearly exploded after this pic he was reflecting so much. click for big
Me and downtown seattle on the bainbridge ferry click for big
A neat bike sculpture on the steps betwixt downtown and the waterfront click for big
My Cousin Keith trying to memorize his lines right before his nuptials click for big
Keith and Lauren all married and stuff. click for big
Keith was my second cousin in a row to get married in a place that had dead creatures on the wall. I am impressed. click for big
I was in Idaho Falls last week and was able to sneak in a good ride. I also brought my fly rod so I could see if I was smarter than the trout that live in the snake river that runs through town there. During the business portion of the trip I asked around to see where I could get a fishing license. Walmart was the answer. I asked three or four separate people and the answer was the same.
Normally I would go to the little local fly shop get a license, some local knowledge and a few lucky flies. But I was on limited time and I wanted to get on the river early in the morning. So to Walmart I went.
Here is what I saw:
Yeah, there was a full fly shop in there complete with a typically aged walmart employee who actually knew stuff about where to fish and the like. He claimed that idaho falls had the only wall mart fly shop in the country. So there you go. Coming to a Walmart near you?
Of course, to punish me, the wind picked up on my second cast of the next morning and I was pretty much blown out. So I went for a bike ride instead. More pics later.
I was perusing Kent Peterson's excellent blog last month and saw this post about his visit to the Vashon Island Bike Tree. I thought to myself. Hmmm, I have a good friend that lives on Vashon Island, I have been there 3 times, and ridden there every time. Yet no one told me about this?
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Fortunately I went to seattle last week for my cousins wedding and I was able to spend a night out on vashon and get a good ride in the next day. So armed with directions, my buddy Charlie and I set out to recreate Kents blog post. We started with a long navigation around the island with a pause to meet Elena, Karin and Charlie's kids at the lighthouse beach for a picnic. It was cold and charlie and I were already near bonked from not eating enough pre ride. Then we made it to the tree.
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The directions on Kents blog are pretty good. Here they are again in case you found this page via google: The bike tree is off of Vashon Highway (which runs between the Seattle and Tacoma ferry ports on either end of the island) on the northeast corner of the Vashon Highway and SW 204 St. intersection, about 50-60 ft (very rough guesstimate) into the woods on the north side of Sound Food Cafe.
Not too shabby, but I would say that it is less than 50 feet into the woods on a very well worn path into the woods. It is on the north side of the vacant building north to the Sound food Cafe, but we got there without being confused. The bike is only 6 feet or so off the ground, for some reason I was under the impression that it was 10-40 feet off the ground. I am not sure why.
Thats me and my buddy charlie click for big
The bike's front wheel actually turns still. Really neat overall. We ran into some Vashon Island water quality people in the parking lot and aksed them about the tree, none of them had ever been there before. So as we were taking the photos, first one, then two and then three water quality workers came by to check out the bike. I should have gotten a group photo.
We next stopped at the bay view exercycle brigade, where I got a few extra miles in. click for big We saw a huge salmon jump out of the water mere moments after taking the photo.
We also went beyond the kent post and posed for a photo with the famed Vashon Island galvanized rooster mailbox: click for big
And then the obligatory post ride refueling:
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Coffee was good, pink donut not so much, but it was a good 30 + mile ride with some good scenery.