Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recognizing the Importance of Bicycling in Transportation and Recreation

If you've never written your congress people before, here's your chance! (Here are convenient links for Representatives and Senators.) It's time to request support of House Resolution 305 "Recognizing the Importance of Bicycling in Transportation and Recreation". It raises the priority of investments in cycling infrastructure. Technically this is a House thing at this point, but it would not hurt to let your Senator know to support the Senate version when it comes through.
Here's a nice excerpt from the motivations section, nice because it says a lot of the great things about cycling:

Whereas a national transportation system conducive to bicycling produces enriched health, reduced traffic congestion and air pollution, economic vitality, and an overall improved quality of living is valuable for the Nation;

Whereas by dramatically increasing levels of bicycling in United States cities tangible and intangible benefits to the quality of life for cities and towns across the country will be realized;

Whereas we now live in a Nation with 300 million people, and that number is expected to grow to 365 million by 2030 and to 420 million by 2050 with the vast majority of that growth occurring in urban areas with limited ability to accommodate increased motor vehicle travel;

Whereas since 1980, the number of miles Americans drive has grown 3 times faster than the United States population, and almost twice as fast as vehicle registrations;

Whereas one-third of the current population does not drive due to age, disability, ineligibility, economic circumstances, or personal choice;

Whereas the United States is challenged by an obesity epidemic, 65 percent of United States adults are either overweight or obese, and 13 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, due in large part to a lack of regular activity;

Whereas the Center for Disease Control estimates that if all physically inactive Americans became active, we would save $77 billion in annual medical costs;

Whereas over 753 of our Nation's Mayors have signed onto the climate protection agreement of the United States Conference of Mayors urging the Federal Government to enact policies and programs to meet or exceed a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of a 7 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012;

Whereas the transportation sector contributes one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and passenger automobiles and light trucks alone contribute 21 percent;

Whereas bicycle commuters annually save on average $1,825 in auto-related costs, reduce their carbon emissions by 128 pounds, conserve 145 gallons of gasoline, and avoid 50 hours of gridlock traffic;

Whereas the greatest potential for increased bicycle usage is in our major urban areas where 40 percent of trips are 2 miles or less and 28 percent are less than one mile;

Whereas in 1969 approximately 50 percent of children in the United States got to school by walking or bicycling, but in 2001 only 15 percent of students were walking or bicycling to school;

Whereas as much as 20 to 30 percent of morning traffic is often generated by parents driving their children to schools, and in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14;

Whereas many public agencies in cities are using bicycles to deliver critical municipal services, for example, more than 80 percent of police departments serving populations of 50,000 to 249,999 and 96 percent of those serving more than 250,000 residents now have routine patrols by bicycle;

Whereas surveys show that a majority of people want to ride and walk more but are dissuaded by concern over traffic danger and other barriers, and case studies have shown that when those barriers to bicycling are removed, people start riding;

Whereas investment used for improvements for bicyclists and promoting bicycle use resulted in the quadrupling of bicycle use in Portland, Oregon, since 1994 and a recent report to Congress on the nonmotorized transportation pilot program reveals that 19.6 percent of trips in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are made by biking and walking, reflecting the benefit of initial investments in nonmotorized infrastructure;

Whereas the American bicyclist generates enormous economic returns, in 2006, the national bicycling economy contributed $133 billion to the United States economy, supported nearly 1.1 million jobs across the United States, generated $17.7 billion in annual Federal and State tax revenue, produced $53.1 billion annually in retail sales and services, and provided sustainable growth in rural communities;

Whereas a national network of interconnected urban and rural bikeways can provide valuable community benefits, including low or no-cost recreation and alternative transportation options for people of all ages and abilities;

... There's more if you have the time and haven't run out of patience. Click the link above.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bike Sharing in D.C.

I'm taking a quick break from writing my dissertation proposal to point out this great idea: Washington D.C. is following the example of Velib (oops, their website's english pages turn out to be in french!) in Paris, France to set up a bicycle exchange program. SmartBike DC is the name of the public/private program wherein, ClearChannel gets an advertising monopoly on bus shelters in exchange for running the low-cost program. $40/yr gets you a membership entitling you to a 3-hr no-additional-cost rental of a 3-speed bike to get around the city. The stated purpose of the program is to relieve pressure on the congested transit system, so it's aimed more at residents and people who work in the area and need to get around the central business district than at tourists who want to see the sights. The rental locations and fee structure are clearly geared toward this market segment.
Presumably someone has studied this and decided that is the most important market at present, but with the number of tourists in D.C., it seems crazy not to set up a bunch of stations around the main mall and make a short-term membership available to out-of-town visitors, too.
All in all, I'm happy to see the program. More people are becoming interested in human-powered transportation as gas prices go up. Maybe we'll see this model in more and more cities.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gas Consumption Drops!

According to the Energy Information Administration, gas consumption in the U.S. is projected to drop this year for the first time in 17 years ago. (Did it really drop 17 years ago?!) Read the same article I did in the New York Times. This is apparently the consequence (finally) of high gas prices and a slowing economy. I wonder how the bicycle makers are doing. Interesting question: in a slowing economy with rising fuel prices, do people buy new bikes or dust off old ones and ride every once in a while instead of driving?
One piece of anecdotal evidence, which doth not a trend make: today when Ian and I biked our 1.5 km to Sun Harvest for groceries, the bike rack was full and there were at least two other bikes self-locked against the wall. I have never yet seen that at this store, which I ride to with some frequency, but the weather has been nice and it could just be coincidence.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Doin' the Hula!

Caroline, aka Gem, Little, and Chubby Grum-Grum, put her tremendous skills to good use today at the Austin Friday Home School Co-Op Demonstration Day showing us the traditional Hawaiian dance. Here's the practice session:

And here's the performance:

So much cuteness, so little video...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tim's Tips for Hot Weather Bike Commuting

Sweaty days have arrived in Austin (today was in the upper 80's with humidity flirting with 90%). Do you live in such a place? Should this be an excuse to stay off the bike? Never! To convince you, I have conveniently compiled Tim's Tips for Hot Weather Biking!
  1. Water: Water is your friend. If you're like me and you start off your day with coffee and need a coffee boost sometimes in the afternoon just to make it, then it's very easy to find yourself in a bad situation hydration-wise. The morning ride is usually fine since it's cooler then and hopefully you've just had breakfast. The fun starts when it's time to mount up for the ride home in the heat. I've had some bad rides where I didn't have water along, and I was dried out, and the weather was hot. Don't do that. The best thing is to start tanking up an hour or so before you have to leave and then drink early, often, and in small doses. Embrace the sweat! It's good for you, and you can shower when you get home.
  2. Shade: Shade is also your friend. The ride in in the morning is usually pleasant because it's cooler and the sun is lower in the sky, meaning (at least in Austin where there are trees) that your ride is shadier. In the afternoon or evening, when the heat is up and the sun is high, seek routes that have shade, even if you have to go out of your way. This can mean the difference between a pleasant ride and discomfort. Direct sunshine makes a big difference (see next point).
  3. Shirts: Bring an extra shirt for riding. If I wear a lycra jersey (I have a couple from some charity rides, but I don't usually like to show them off) then it's easy enough to change out for the day and put it back on for the ride home. T-shirts usually don't recover during the day and need to be stashed out of sight in a bag so bring a second one for the ride home. Short-sleeve button-downs actually have an advantage: if you practice a little bit and don't use a backpack, you can find a posture that will inflate your shirt through your sleeves or collar, and this is awesome air-conditioning. It's possible to do this with T-shirts, but I've had little success with polos, and I think we don't need to mention long sleeves for hot weather riding...
  4. Shorts/pants: Shorts are best, and with pants, the lighter the fabric the better, but that said, I usually have to wear jeans because I work in an engines lab, and if I can wear them year round, so can you. I recommend against spandex shorts, for several reasons. Black ones are sun-magnets and unbearable in the sun. White ones show way too much, and any other color is bound to be plastered with that ultimate poseur-sin: the team logo. Actually, in my humble opinion, spandex shorts are almost always poseur-fashion and don't really offer enough advantage to justify wearing them on a commute. They belong in bike races, not on the commuters.
  5. Load: Lose the backpack/shoulder bag. They leave sweat stripes. I used to be a backpack only rider, but I have made converted to a bike rack, and will not go back, especially for summer riding. I use a bike rack, two S-hooks, and two bungee cords. My backpack (L.L. Bean) has a sturdy handle which I attach to the top of the rack with the S-hooks. The pack then hangs over the side of the rack, and I hold it in place with the bungee cords. I used to worry about my laptop getting shaken, but I keep it in a padded case in my backpack and have had no trouble. The result of all this is that I can get to work without a sweaty back and sweat-stripes on my shoulders. By all means lose the back pack and let air flow in and through your shirt.
  6. Effort: Don't sweat it! Last of all, and probably most importantly, remember to enjoy the ride and not try to beat your personal speed record when the heat is up. Relax, take it easy, leave plenty of time, and enjoy the ride. There's no shame in going slow, and it can make the heat a lot less oppressive. Consider the payback as you pass long lines of cars waiting at traffic lights.
I hope I've convinced all of my biker readers, and especially my non-biker readers, that you should not use hot weather as an excuse not to ride. Live! Breathe! Quit your gym, and save some gas! Ride a bike!

Monday, April 21, 2008

SAE World Congress

Last week, I got to travel to Detroit, Michigan to attend the 2008 SAE World Congress, where I presented my first publication on Further Development of an Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor and Application to Diesel Engine Transients with my advisor, Dr. Matt Hall. He invented, and together we are developing, a sensor for diesel engine exhaust to measure the soot content. The goal of the work is to enable better control of engines for more efficient and cleaner operation.
The Congress was in two parts. There was a large exhibition, with many dozens of vendors representing a broad swath of the automotive industry, from south asian parts suppliers to BMW touting its newest hydrogen and diesel engines and Honda showing its latest engine magic, handily wrapped into even the very modest, very long-lived, and very cool Super Cub. (Honda engineers are always fun to talk to, in my experience, both in the conference rooms and on the exhibition floor.)
Then upstairs were the technical sessions, where the papers were being presented. This is where I spent the majority of my time. There were a 30-40 sessions, at least, each with about 15 papers to present on a specific theme. My session, organized in part by Dr. Hall, was the Combustion Analysis and Flow Diagnostics session (PFL203 for those who care). The session was split between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, and wouldn't you know, but I was the first presenter, just after lunch on Tuesday. That was probably a good thing, because it meant that I didn't have too much time to get nervous. I can't really relax and enjoy things when I'm uptight about having to present.
A funny little thing happened on the way to the Congress, which I will share at my own expense and for your enjoyment if you promise not to laugh too hard. (Note the "nerd" and "self-awareness" tags on this article.) I packed for myself in usual fashion, at the last minute and with minimal, but in my estimation sufficient, consideration about what to wear, happy to have remembered sufficient socks and to match belt color to shoes. I even packed two ties of tasteful and moderate but fashionable design. I resisted the urge to wear a bow-tie in honor of my father. I put as much or more thought into packing my back pack with sufficient reading material for the flights and down-time. You understand my priorities, right? So I march out Tuesday morning, headed for the Cobo Center, and I'm about 10 minutes into my walk when it occurs to me that my sport coat is navy blue and not black as I had supposed in the dimmer light of the closet. Not a problem except for the black pants I'm wearing. I've learned to trust that little nagging I get in my subconscious, so I dialed Hannah, and after chatting about my impression of the city, blah blah blah, I tried to subtly share the humor of discovering my mismatch with her. She however, instead of chuckling with me and encouraging me to plod ahead since I'd be with a bunch of other mismatched nerds anyway and who cares (right?), got deathly silent and said, "You're wearing what?!" "Uh, my black pants..." "Your faded black pants that are not at all dressy??!! With a navy sport coat???!!!" "Um, I gotta go."

(View Larger Map)
Well, here's the truth. I marched on to the Cobo Center because I was afraid of missing breakfast (I missed it), and registered and scouted out where my presentation room was. Then, full of inner conflict and needing to resolve some self-confidence issues, hopped on the People Mover back to the hotel room and, feeling like and idiot for the initial gaffe and as much an idiot for going back, changed into some appropriate slacks and made my way back. Penance was duly performed, and now I was free to be my best.
(OK, pick yourselves up off the floor from laughing and read the rest of the story...)
It's a good thing that I practiced my presentation twice before giving it, because in front of 70-80 people who all knew a lot more about this than I do, I was pretty intimidated, and it was hard to think straight. I pretty much just stuck to the script I had practiced and managed to come in exactly on time. There were several good questions and a couple that I had to punt to Dr. Hall. I sat down feeling immense relief.
Seven presentations later (Phew!) as we were walking to the coat room, I asked Dr. Hall how he thought I did. "That was good. You did really well. Exceeded my expectations; not that they were low. Good job." I picked my jaw up off the floor and thanked him. (Once. It was a considerable effort not to dissolve into a blithering idiot.) He is not one to idly dole out praise, and he has been free to tell it like it is before, so I took it as a genuine compliment. 'Nuff said.
That night there was a big dinner party hosted by the Southwest Research Institute, where I met several Texas Exes, including Alok Warey, my predecessor in Dr. Hall's lab who worked on the sensor before me. The next morning, I roamed the exhibition hall, and loaded up on pamphlets and trinkets for the kids. That afternoon, there were 8 more presentations, and then we left for the airport.
One last funny story about the trip to the airport, and then I promise I'll sign off. (I know this is getting long.) So we hop in this taxi cab and immediately I realize we're in for quite a ride. For one the taxi is barely holding itself together and needs new shocks, new A/C, and a good bit of interior decoration... But the driver was the real piece of work. He asked what we were at the conference for and immediately connected with us on "the sensors" and proceeded to tell us all about his experiences at mechanics school. And then art school, which he attends while he can. And all about the inside view of the art industry and how to and how not to make it. And then he wanted to show us his work and whipped out his cell phone and flipped through the photos he'd taken of his wood turning work, all while weaving in and out of traffic, dodging the famous 13-axle Michigan semi-trailers. At one point, he handed the phone back to me to scroll through his pictures. It turns out I'm the talkative one between my advisor and me (ever hear the joke about the extroverted engineer?), and I know a little bit about woodworking, so I hung onto the phone and tried to make conversation about this and that exotic wood, etc. in an attempt to allow him to keep his eyes on the road. Alas, out came a second cell phone with pictures of some well-carved gradfather clocks. I gave up and started praying...
We actually reached the airport in record time (phew!) and tipped him generously for the ride, thankful to have arrived alive. I won't even talk about the guy I sat next to on the airplane... Ah the adventure!
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sinking Under a Mid-Term

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. I have been out of town (about which I plan to post), and this is the end of my mid-term crunch, and I have a Monday 8:00AM exam.
Molecular Gas Dynamics!!!! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I give you Light and Shadows...

If you haven't done so already, visit my wife's blog today. Her latest post is high literature.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

MS 150

The MS-150 fund-raising bike ride from Austin to Houston is in progress at present. The MS-150 is a bike tour that raises some millions of dollars annually for research into treatment and cures for multiple sclerosis. I have participated in a similar fund raiser (the Pan-Mass Challenge, for the Jimmy Fund), and am somewhat familiar with this kind of thing.
I wanted to hilight a neat thing going on this year. My friend Steve works at National Instruments, and he told me about the team they are fielding this year, which, appropriately enough, features fully instrumented riders, whose vital signs and position data is updated live to the web. Check it out here. Very cool.


OK, I have a little, minor, micro-retraction to make regarding my previous bash of the latest version of Microsoft Office. My previous post is all true, and I stand by everything I said there, but there is actually a little bit of redemption for Microsoft.
First, here's the back-story: I'm leaving Monday to go to the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit, where I will be presenting my first publication! In preparation for going, I have been making sure that I have all the appropriate cables, software, etc. for delivering my presentation. After a failed attempt to get a mini-DVI to VGA adapter on eBay (they sent a similar-looking but incompatible adapter, the mini-VGA to VGA) , I hoofed it over to the campus computer store to get the right thing. While I was there, I saw a Mac up and running a demo of the new Office 2008 for Mac. I thought, why don't I see whether the badness was perpetuated in the Mac version... Imagine my surprise to find all of the best features were preserved, and they actually managed to make it better: customizable toolbars, actually helpful help, etc. One big improvement was that it now correctly reads figures from Windows machines where it used to improperly rotate the text in figure axes; this was a point of constant consternation for me when I had to transfer files back and forth with my adviser. That was enough to convince me to buy it (at the academic price of $29, how could I go wrong?).
So I still have a gripe, which is not really relevant anymore, but could have an implication for my friend Sam, who is on the Mac-Windows fence: How could MS manage to get it so wrong for its Windows products and right for its Mac products? And also, what's up with the 350MB of updates I have to install?! They only published the software in February. That's a lot of things to fix already in April, IMHO.
(You may legitimately accuse me of making a mountain from a mole-hill, but it's the little things that matter sometimes. I realize I've staked my entire opinion of MS Office on the ability to customize the toolbars. That's just who I am... ;-)  )

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Life Goal I'd Like to Share

I'm sitting here in my engines lab (one of my last efforts to be graded), with head pounding from carbon monoxide, high CO2, and various hydrocarbons. I've been fixing the emissions measurement bench in a for-show-only attempt to make this lab work. As soon as we get one instrument fixed, another fails. There is no budget for this lab, and there is not one single person who takes care of it, so it ends up getting hodge-podge maintenance from those of us who are not scared to lift maintenance hatches. I'm taking a break while someone else attempts to fix some software that, thankfully, I know nothing about.
It's 5:18. The lab started at 2:00. It's supposed to end at 6:00. We have no data yet. Same thing happened in the last session.
My thoughts wander. Here, is what I'd rather be doing.

A life goal of mine is to get certified to fly sailplanes. One day, when there's time and a few extra dollars, I'll indulge maybe. Enjoy the 4-minute preview.

Milestone Passed

Wow I'm on a blogging kick! I'll keep this one short.
Yesterday I managed to line up the last of my dissertation thesis committee members, and now I'm scheduling the first meeting to defend my research proposal. Once I'm through this they'll wave their hands, and I change from Ph.D. student to doctoral candidate. That means I'll have attained to ABD status (All But Dissertation, a chronic condition for some).
It also means that I'm spending a lot of time now getting my dissertation research proposal ready. Woohoo! Lots of quality time with the computer.

Folder Size for Windows XP

Rather than just complain about how Windows XP does not calculate folder sizes like Mac OS X does, I decided that someone, somewhere must have done something about this already. It turns out they did. Click here for a nifty little tool to show folder sizes along with file sizes in details view.
In case you're wondering (as I'm sure my DW will) why I would even bother with this, it helps to know how big folders are when I'm cleaning out the hard drive, looking for junk to throw away to make more space. This is an issue because I run XP on a 10GB partition of my MacBook and Windows is such a bloated disk hog. Oops. I was going to try to not bash Microsoft, but I guess I just couldn't make it...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

And Another Thing... :-(

Now there's no way to see file properties from inside Office since the file menu is gone and has been replaced by the "Popular Commands" section of the ribbon. Who determines what is popular? I was trying to find out where MS decided to save my file. No such luck. Save a new copy.
Just not on C:\ because (gasp!) this folder contains file that keep your system working properly, and you should not modify its contents! The horror!
Power away from the people. We know best.

Unbelieveable!!!! (Actually quite believable but totally outrageous)

So the ME computer lab has just recently switched over to the new version of Microsoft Office, Office 2007. The new version features a broad swath of occupied space at the top of the screen called the ribbon. This replaces the toolbars of the previous version that could be torn off, placed wherever you wanted, and customized to contain what you wanted in whatever order you wanted. The toolbars were good. Put power in the hands of the people.
I had naively assumed that the ribbon would be an improvement on this. Wrong! Since I mostly use a MacBook, my screen is wider than it is tall, and I typically tear off the toolbars and put them on the side of my screen so that I can see as much vertical distance on my document as possible. The ribbon, however, uses up something like a quarter to a fifth of my screen across the top so that I get a relatively thin sliver to view and work with. I've avoided using Office 2007 up to now, when the option to use good ole Office 2004 disappear on the lab computers.
So I set about trying to find out how to add superscript and subscript to the ribbon. These are vital engineering edits in combustion science, which is full of chemical names and variables with exponents. I've always added these easily to the toolbars and been quite happy. Here's what the Microsoft Help says: "Because each tab relates to a type of activity, such as writing or laying out a page, it is not possible to customize the Ribbon without using XML and programming code."
I'm floored.
Not surprised. Floored. They've taken away one of the best features and required us to learn XML to get it back.
I determined long ago that Microsoft's motto goes something like this: "The dumb get dumber, and we'll get richer because we know better than you."
How long until Google Docs presents a usable alternative? I'll jump ship as soon as I possibly can.
Now I need to get over my rant and get back to work.

Human Powered Car Gets Pulled Over!

Now here's a concept I can get into:

Four people pedaling a stripped out Buick Regal. It's a little funny that they got pulled over since the charges apparently were thrown out in court. Major bummer about the towing charges to get it back to the studio where it was built... Check out the full story here. Thanks to for the tip.
Clearly this is not a motor vehicle, so does it fall under motor vehicle laws? Why would it not be OK to drive this when bikes are OK? I think we need more cars like this!

Monday, April 7, 2008

What is it about dogs and bikes?!

Last week I had a rather fun ride in to school in the morning. After running by Office Depot for printer ink, I turned south into a stiff headwind and started pedaling toward school. It was along this stretch of Guadalupe St. just behind the Texas Department of Public Safety (setting up the irony here) that I heard the noise that most bikers hate with a passion: the clickety-clackety growl and snarl of a dog giving chase. Sure enough, I glanced back (I have perfected doing this without swerving, an incredibly important skill for this situation) and saw a young pit-bull tearing across the street in my direction. I stood up to accelerate, but the dog quickly caught up to me and began circling. Another glance spotted the owner watching interestedly but doing nothing on the other side of the street. The pit bull started to snap at my heels (I was wearing shorts and sandals, so no protection there), so I had to take action. Another glance told me that the owner was still not going to be any help, so I reached down and took a hold of my U-Lock. When I raised my hand to start a swing aimed at the dog's nose, some conditioned response went off in the canine head and it backed off, swerving out into traffic in front of a car, which almost but unfortunately did not turn it into a read streak on the pavement. I very nearly turned around and swung the U-lock at the owner instead. Need I mention that there was no dog collar and no leash? Grrr!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Commuter Racing

See!!?? I'm not alone. Here's an excerpt from a guest post at Bike
It’s often referred to as “commuter racing” or the “great race”, but it’s seldom talked about openly (the first rule of commuter racing is, of course, that you don’t talk about commuter racing). And one of the first things you’ll find out when you start bike commuting is, everyone does it but few people admit it.
 I know a number of singlespeed mountain bikers who dedicate their commuting lives to overtaking riders on geared bikes. You, the guy with the beard riding a vintage 70s touring bike you’ve owned from new - you’re telling me that you don’t get a buzz from passing a 20-something on $4k of carbon fibre?
No-one’s immune.
Apparently, I've violated the first rule of bike commuter racing, but so did he, so I'm not too worried.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Emergence of the Spandex Warriors

You've heard of the 11-year locust, right? It stays hidden out of sight for years at a time, and then once the conditions are right, a whole bunch of them emerge in a frenzy of activity for a few days, lay eggs, and then die off and disappear.
Sometimes I feel like we have a similar phenomenon on the bikeways of Austin. Through the winter months there are a few hardy souls pedaling with sweaty backs and frozen fingertips to and from work, and through the summer months we same few bring two extra shirts along with us to stay dry and partake of the three-shower day.
Then for a few short weeks, the weather is nice in April and in October, the spandex warriors emerge, and Shoal Creek Boulevard is crowded with folks in spandex and bright jerseys riding $$$$ bikes. Sometimes they're in big packs even. Some are very fast and some are slow. Although you may think you detect scorn in my tone, I am truly thankful for these folks, and here's why:
Nothing motivates me to ride fast like a spandex warrior, and this is definitely a good thing. My usual pace is something around 20-22 kph, if I'm just pushing easy and not in any particular hurry. I'm not normally motivated to do sprints on my own just for the workout. However, when I pull up next to a carbon fiber bike at a traffic light, it's impossible for me to avoid a sprint to stay up with the guy. It's hardwired somewhere in the Y-chromosome, and the more duded up he is and the less flashy I am, the better. Usually, when sucked into a friendly unofficial race with said spandex warrior, I find my speed is up near 30-35kph. Granted I'm a melted puddle by the time I get home, and he's still got 30 km left on his joy ride, but I sure showed him that the clothes and bike don't make the rider...
Right. Will you just listen to me? Is this pathetic or what!? I'll stop the introspection here and continue to enjoy the all-too-brief season of friendly races (all in my head, I'm sure) until the weather moves into three-shower-day season, and the roads clear up again, and I'm left alone with my thoughts on the road.
Thanks for reading, and please comment if you either identify with this or this I'm crazy.