Monday, January 26, 2009

slow bicycling, yay!

Speaking of non-sport-cyclists, a fellow bikie just brought The Slow Bicycle Movement to my attention.

When I lived in the Philadelphia suburbs, slow cyclists were few and far between. The area is not designed with transportational cyclists in mind, so the bike shop in my town mainly catered to aspiring Lance Armstrongs. I remember asking them about their weekly group rides, and they told me that the "casual" (i.e. "slow rider") rides averaged 15-18 mph. In a place with many hills of 20-degree grade. I remember wanting to laugh at them. The feeling went both ways, because when I said, "You call that slow?" the guy smirked at me and looked at my 20-year-old, 25-pound Schwinn. then back at me with a "Unless you buy something lighter from us, you are definitely not welcome" look.

Against my better judgment, I later went for a 15-mile spin with this guy and another bike shop employee. They kept chugging Gu. For a 15-mile bike ride. A bit excessive, really.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Olympic bicycling in Madison

In it's bid for the 2016 summer Olympics, Chicago is proposing that Dane County serve as the cycling epicenter.

On the one hand, that would be cool.

On the other hand, does Madison really need any more sports cyclists with holier-than-thou-lowly-bike-commuter attitudes?

Well, some sports cyclists aren't a**holes, I suppose. (Don't get offended, sports cyclists, that I say only some and not many. If I said "Many sports cyclists are not a**holes," then I'd be implying that there's a lower proportion of a**holes in the sport cycling community than in the general population, in which, too, only some people are not a**holes. And I really have no basis on which to claim that sports cyclists are less a**holic than people at large. For what it's worth, I'm a sometime sport cyclist and I really don't think I'm all that nice.)

Despite my misgivings, it is possible that, by some amazing fluke, all the Olympian cyclists who showed up would be truly kind people. And maybe all the people who took up sports cycling in imitation of the Olympians would also adopt their unusual level of beneficence.

And I do like the idea of more people taking up cycling, even if not for transportation purposes. As a hobby, it sure beats other out-of-the-house pastimes like pleasure driving, ATVs, power lawnmowing, snowmobiling and motorboating.

(An aside to people who may find the lengthiness and comma-speckled state of some of my sentences: I've been reading lots of Dickens lately, and it just makes me feel so justified in letting my written sentences go on as long and in such a winding manner as my spoken ones.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's going to be really difficult to make this look good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Jew's prayer for the children of Gaza

Bradley Burston writes a blog called "A Special Place in Hell" for Ha'aretz, the Israeli daily. I love the name of the blog and have tried listing him in my Blog Roll (see right), but it doesn't work because he -- inscrutably -- lacks an RSS feed. Here's his unusually religious column from Jan. 7.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Those hilarious copyeditors

After spending the entire weekend copyediting, I shall now relax to the dulcet tones of Old-Time Radio Drama.

One of my cohorts sent me this:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Monday, January 5, 2009

Would be funny, if it weren't so pathetic

I read* Rickard Dawkins' God Delusion last week, and it was much better than I expected. Especially thought-provoking were the chapters on the religious indoctrination of children and the ways in which even non-fundamentalist religion discourages reason. I'm sure I'll have more to say about both subjects later.

Here's a link to a cartoon illustrating a non-reasoned approach to the disappearance of dinosaurs.

*For me, "reading" often means "listening to on CD."