Thursday, December 29, 2016

Riding In A Roundabout Way

Pretty clever, right? Did you see what I did there? Yeah, I'm full of myself.  AS well as other stuff.

It felt great to spend a couple of hours in the saddle. I stayed on residential roads and off arterials as much as possible. Less traffic and more snow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Went For A Bike Ride--Bought A House

I have the next couple of days off. I've been riding my bike to work but taking the most direct and safest route, which is all of a half mile in length. So this morning I went for a ride so I could get some enjoyable saddle time. I headed for the house we're supposed to be closing on today over by Downriver Golf Course.

Pettet Drive is open now.

Downriver Drive lean shot.

I passed by one of the pullout areas where people can park and get out for a walk along the river. A woman driving a sporty looking car--I didn't pay attention to the make and model--was stuck in the snow. I stopped to help. Looking over the situation, I thought it would be best if she backed up and then got a running start to get over the slight incline she was on. I had her straighten her front wheels and helped push her out of the ruts her tires had dug out. The move was successful up until the point we tried to go forward. Her tires--a rear wheel drive--spun freely on the snow-covered ice.

So much for my master plan.

I used her ice scraper to dig out some of the snow and ice and pushed the car but it wasn't moving anywhere. She was very appreciative of my trying to help. I felt bad for getting her stuck farther away from the road than she originally was.

I was out of ideas and there wasn't anything else I could do. She had called AAA but they were backlogged for the next two hours.

Feeling dejected regardless of how much she thanked me for trying to help, I left her there and continued on Downriver Drive. A little ways down the road I saw a large branch lying on the ground. Maybe I could use that to get some traction under the tires. I pulled the branch out to the road, hopped onto the bike, and drug the branch back to the stuck car.

"You're persistent, aren't you?"

Hey, you gotta keep trying, right? I broke up the branches and stuffed them under the tires lengthwise. She gave it a little gas and the car started moving forward. Then the tires spun out. No amount of pushing on my part made a difference. Then a gentleman with a proper truck and a tow strap stopped. He had her out in two minutes. She hugged us both and we went our separate ways. 

Maybe I could keep a tow strap on my bike.

 I didn't take a picture of the car or the woman. 
That would've been rude.

Our new house.

I rode up to the golf course and around the bend to my new house. It was still there. We were supposed to close today but Fedex is late with the seller's documents. So tomorrow's the day we get the keys--and then change the locks.

It'll be good to have a place called home again. And it felt great to get a good bike ride in, even with the temp in the 20's.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sick Humor, But It's Really Funny

WARNING: Mature audiences only. You'll see why.

The Procedure from calvin reeder on Vimeo.

A Little Bit Different Christmas

Our Christmas gift this year was a family vacation in Maui earlier in the month. But when we leanred that Steph had to work Christmas weekend, except for Christmas day, and that all her friends were away for the holiday, we decided to go to Missoula to be with her. Geoff flew up from Oakland and went with us. Josh spent the weekend with Amanda and her family.

We stayed at a Marriott Town Suite because they have a kitchen in the rooms. There was a note in the room informing us that most of the staff had been let off for the weekend and if we needed clean towels or anything to contact the front desk. I thought that was nice they let as many of their employees off as possible.

Geoff, Steph, and I went show shoeing at the Rattlesnake National Preservation Area. (Kathy is still very bruised and sore from falling twice the week before and fracturing her coccyx. She's not a fan so the Napolean Dynamite jokes were lost on her. Hopefully, she's feeling better soon.) The place was packed with Nordic skiers. Fortunately, we found a little used trail pretty quickly. We gradually climbed for an hour or so before heading back. It was nice and quiet with very few people along the way, which allowed us to enjoy it more than I expected.

Christmas dinner was simple and great. Steph really appreciated us coming over and we all had a fun time together, which was the most important thing of all.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Morning Commute Photos

It's been a while since I've had the camera out. This morning was fun.

Never Again--On Delta Airlines

I'm sure lots of people have seen the video of the Trump supporter being a disruptive asshole on a Delta flight. Now Delta Airlines apologizes for not ejecting him from the plane, is refunding every passenger's air fare, and is permanently barring the guy from flying on their airline.

I don't condone the guys behavior but that's kind of harsh. He was being a disruptive asshole. But so are extreme sports fans and other people with strong feelings for one thing or another that they feel they need to make public. You get one of those people on a flight every once in a while. You see people like that in public all the time. Usually all it takes is a crew member to tell the person or persons to stop or they'll be removed from the aircraft and then remove them if they don't comply. End of story and everybody gets on with their life.

The disruptive asshole in this case was removed from the aircraft and given a talking to. He was allowed back on the plane and he stopped being a disruptive asshole.

Then the video of the guy being a disruptive asshole went viral and everybody is outraged. This guy is being a disruptive asshole! Yes, he was. And he stopped being a disruptive asshole after the crew pulled him from the aircraft and talked to him. But that's not good enough so the airline overreacts and makes sure the guy is not going to be recorded being a disruptive asshole on one of their planes again.

Everybody's blood lust is satisfied now.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I've been taking some of the mystery out of bike maintenance by figuring out the disc brakes on my Elephant NFE. Thanks to the University of YouTube, I found some tutorials on replacing the pads of my Avid BB-7 disc brakes. The rear brakes went smoothly. I thought the front did too, until a couple miles into my test ride and the left pad fell out.

Fortunately, I heard the pad clatter onto the pavement so I was able to retrieve it. I went home, put the bike back on the stand, and reinserted both pads.  I was okay for a short while until I took the NFE on a trail ride on Thanksgiving morning. On the way back my front brake made an awful noise as I slowed while on a long and fast descent. Sure enough, the left pad had fallen out. I had no idea where it was so I limped on home. The nasty noise I heard was the piston hitting the disc.

I put in a  new set of pads while paying careful attention and finally figured out what I had done wrong. The pads were not completely inserted into place. I used a small screwdriver to apply pressure and they finally clicked in tight. The rear brake pads did not need as much convincing. So I'm happy I fixed it. But now the front brake surges when I pull the brake lever. I probably damaged the disc when I applied the brakes with one pad missing.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Go Outside And Play

About 20 guys showed up for a "morning after the morning after" ride that started way out on the South Hill. I rode the Rock Hopper, which looks so much better after a well-deserved make over.  I rode to the ride taking Perry straight south. The map showed three gaps in the roadway on Perry but it looked like there were connecting paths so I wouldn't have to divert to another road. Two of the three gaps do have connecting paths. The third was a huge flight of stairs. So I shouldered the bike and did some stairmaster work.

The trail ride started at High Drive and 57th and headed north. Everyone was headed to Riverside State Park but I had to peel off early to get home in time to do some house hunting. I still got plenty of miles and elevation gain in.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Don't Spread This Image Around The Internet

Apparently our president-elect doesn't care for it. So please respect his wishes.

A Contributing Factor To The Misinformed Electorate

NPR did some snooping and tracked down one of prime creators of fake news web sites, Jestin Coler. Coler owns a company appropriately named Disinfomedia.

"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," Coler says. 

He was amazed at how quickly fake news could spread and how easily people believe it.

One site,, is still active. I've seen it before and you don't have to look at it for more than two seconds before realizing it's obviously fake.

During the run-up to the presidential election, fake news really took off. "It was just anybody with a blog can get on there and find a big, huge Facebook group of kind of rabid Trump supporters just waiting to eat up this red meat that they're about to get served," Coler says. "It caused an explosion in the number of sites. I mean, my gosh, the number of just fake accounts on Facebook exploded during the Trump election." 

I noticed. Hence I stopped following a bunch of people on Facebook who kept parroting this crap. On the bright side, my news feed doesn't get me riled up any more.

Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.

There's little comfort in knowing that many people didn't fall for the fake crap when you consider how many did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Kathy has decided she wants a touring bike so we can do some longer rides together, which is exciting for me. Bike fit is very important and I really like my Elephant NFE. Having similar bikes and components would make maintenance easier for me. Glen doesn't make an extra small frame NFE so I was wondering how a small frame would work out for her.

So I emailed Glen and asked if anyone in the local area had a small frame NFE. This was his response.

"There is a guy here in town that has a small NFE. He goes by the name of Hank Greer. You may know of him, he’s quite the cyclist."

I'm still laughing about this. I am such a fucking moron.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Last Cyclocross Race Of The Season

Today was the last cyclocross race of the season locally. I entered three races: single speed, Cat 4, and masters 60+. They were in that order and back to back. John Abernathy of The Bike Hub and Simon Hartt of Two Wheel Transit had their trailes and tents set up just beyond the finish line. I stopped by and asked if they were doing beer hand ups. John pointed to the two cases, "PBR or Rainer?" I went with PBR. I l opened a can and either John or Simon handed it to me when I stopped by during each lap. I went through one can per race.

I managed to get my five laps in for during the first two races even though I was stopping for beer each time. In the second race I finished my fourth lap in the knick of time so I got to do one more. I knew that wasn't happening in the third race. I was beat and those 40+ and 50+ masters tear the course up. To ease my pain I accepted additional PBR hand ups. One on the long straightaway to the finish line. (I stopped and traded cans with Simon.) And a couple at the run up. There were also peeps at the run up. Those didn't go down as good as the beer.

Once I was done racing, I cleaned up and stationed myself at the run up for the juniors race. I had a wad of one-dollar bills and a couple of fives. The kids have it really tough on the run up and grabbing a dollar bill or two helps make their day. But they're really focused on getting up the hill so you have to get their attention to look for the money. Their reactions are great.

"Money? Where?" Look all around. Spot it. Drop the bike and go grab it.

Fun times.

Single speed fun in race #1.

Early on in race #1 so I'm still all smiles.

 Race #2 with the inestimable John Speare fixin' to pass me.

Race #3. I'm pretty tired. Thing I'll go home now.
(Thanks to Bryan MacDonald for the photos.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

What Lack Of Diversity?

This selfie taken by vice president-elect Pence zipped around the interwebs a few days ago. As you can see, our fair congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is prominently featured up front. And she should be because she's the only female member of the House Republican leadership. 

But a lot of people took issue with this photo. Many people observed there was a lack of diversity in this picture of Republican legislators, staff, etc. And when you look at that sea of white faces you have to admit that finding Waldo would be quite the challenge.

Well, Cathy wasn't about to let those lack-of-diversity charges go unanswered. I found her response in this article.

"There is a lot of diversity when you look at the experiences, the backgrounds," the Washington lawmaker, who has been reelected to her post as Republican conference chairwoman, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.

"We are younger," McMorris Rodgers said Friday. "You look at our leadership team. We're 23 years on average younger than the Democrats. I do believe we need to continue to grow the party, though, and continue to reach out to every corner of this country, every person, so that they know that the policies, the proposals are the ones that are going to prove their lives."

That explanation helped me a lot. I mean, I see mostly white men in the photo and quite a few of them have grey in their hair. I count at least nine women and five of them are right up front for your viewing pleasure. But when you only consider the Republican leadership, which Cathy thinks is the most important point to make here, there's supposedly a huge age difference.

Well who knew that from looking at this photo of Republicans?

And then there's background and experiences. This threw me off at first but then I realized Cathy was speaking in code. Background. It's a clue. Look in the background of the photo. To the far left. See? Diversity!

Experiences. Another clue. Look at the people up front. "Hey, everybody, we're taking a picture on three. Ready? One. Two. Three!" 

Congresswoman Virginia Fox has no idea why Pence is pointing with a stick that has a flat square thing on the end so she is looking for the photographer. See? Diversity!

You just have to know how to look for it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Checking Out New Roads

Yesterday I headed out with the intent to ride Valley Chapel Road and then following Harvard Road north from the small town of Rockford, connecting with Mica Peak Access Road, summiting the peak, and coming down the north side on Henry.

Valley Chapel Road is a very pleasant ride. It runs alongside Latah Creek for a while and offers some beautiful countryside.

Heading north from Rockford did not go as planned. First, I made a wrong turn onto East Harvard Branch. Then I climbed that road to a dead end. Getting back onto Harvard I found that the part that connects to Micah Peak Access Road is an unmaintained summer road that starts out with a pretty steep climb. I didn't feel like putting out the effort so I wandered my way back home. I think next time I'll come in from the north on Henry. That way I won't have as many miles under my belt by the time I start climbing.

Regardless, all in all it was a very nice 67-mile ride.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Death Cab For Cutie Song About Donald Trump

"Lyrically, ‘Million Dollar Loan’ deals with a particularly tone deaf moment in Donald Trump's ascent to the Republican nomination. While campaigning in New Hampshire last year, he attempted to cast himself as a self-made man by claiming he built his fortune with just a ‘small loan of a million dollars’ from his father. Not only has this statement been proven to be wildly untrue, he was so flippant about it."

Great use of imagery in the video.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cathy McMorris Rodgers And Donald Trump

Cathy McMorris Rodgers' support for Donald Trump from hank greer on Vimeo.

I wonder how much she would support him if he was more of an asshole than he already is. But then, how much worse can he be?\ Here's a guy who not only thinks it's okay to sexually assault a woman because he's a celebrity, but then brags about it. A positive disruption indeed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Crosstoberfest 5

John came over from Tacoma for two days of cyclocross racing at Crosstoberfest 5 in Sandpoint. He brought a couple of push up canopies that we planned to sleep under since we could camp at the race site. Thunderstorms and rain moved in Friday night and gave us a good drenching. The yellow canopy leaked at the seams. After enough water torture I got into the truck a little before midnight. I didn't sleep much better there but I was dry. Some time later, I guess John moved things around and used the bikes as weight to hold the canopies in place. The rain continued in the morning. The juniors were the first to race. The poor kids were miserable.

I signed up for single speed, 60+ masters, and men's cat 4 on Saturday. John was in 50+ masters and men's cat 4. The rain finally let up about halfway through the single speed race. The course was slick and muddy, which means it was great although a bit treacherous in a couple of spots. AFter the rain stopped and the clouds slowly moved out the weather warmed and the course got stickier and drier. By the time John and I did the cat 4 race, the last of the day, the course was completely dry except for the descent and run up by the creek.

The course was reversed and slightly rerouted for Sunday. We had one set of barriers instead of two and if you weren't too tired or too weak--like me--you could ride up what I was walking up. I did the single speed followed by the 60+ again. John, who was in the 50+, dropped back and rode with me. It was nice riding together. I felt bad because he was basically just doing warm up laps since I was out of gas from being out on the course so much. But it was cool of him to hang out with me as I plodded along. We crossed the finish line together and wrapped up the weekend.

After viewing the accommodations of everyone else who camped out...

 ...John proudly noted, "Nobody's got what we got." 
(Photo by John Greer)

John can make the best of any situation.

Ready to get muddy.
(Photo by John Greer)

Coming out of the sand pit on the single speed.
(Photo by John Greer)

Grabbing some cash hand ups during the cat 4 race on Saturday afternoon.
(Photo by Chris Hogan)

Just grabbed a dollar from the sign during the Sunday morning single speed race. 
(Photo by John Greer)

Here are a couple of photos from the first day of racing taken by Jacob Green. I don't know him but I thank him very much.

 Still smiling on the single speed.

Not so much after my nth time on the run up.