Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Month: November 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Clarendon Cycles: Thankful for Cycling in Arlington

Last week's Clarendon Cycles piece was a departure from my usual kvetching about how this or that could be improved in Arlington.   I took the holiday as an opportunity to recognize how much has been accomplished in Arlington.  There remains much to be done, of course, but we should be pretty damn proud of what we've got.

C&O Canal Overnight

Widewater, along the C&O Canal For years, my summer to-do list contained: "Ride out on the C&O Canal, camp" on it. This despite the fact that I'm not really much of a camper.  And maybe it's because I'm not much of a camper that I've let it slide, year after year. Took the opportunity last week to fix that, and I'm glad I did. While I do lots of dumb things on bikes, I've never actually gone touring. So this was something of a test ride - from home to Harpers Ferry, WV and back. That's 112 miles from my doorstep, and only ~6 on the road. If I tried, I could have cut it down to less than 2. I live in the middle of a real city, so how cool is that? Things I learned:
  • Muddy C&O = greatly reduced pace.
  • I made too many assumptions about water/food availability and backups. While I ultimately figured out that you can use the pumps (despite the NPS taking the handles away), that's HARD (seriously, my arms still hurt from that).
  • While I gave my bike a once-over for general mechanical issues, I didn't think too much about checking that things like the fender mounts were tight. Vibrated one right off, and ended up cannibalizing a light mount to fix it (i.e., keep it from annoying me for the rest of the ride).
The C&O is a great place to test things out. Far enough away from things to make it interesting, close enough for help if it really does go wrong.  Photoset here.

The Word “Brinicle” Doesn’t Begin to Convey . . .

how amazing this is:

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Opinions and the Fixation Thereof

It turns out that Kansas Gov. Brownback is kind of sensitive about what people think of him:
But Brownback’s office, which monitors social media for postings containing the governor’s name, saw [a 14 year old] Sullivan’s post [that imagined her telling the Governor that he, essentially, "sucked"]  and contacted the Youth in Government program. Sullivan received a scolding at school and was ordered to send Brownback an apology letter. She said Prinicipal Karl R. Krawitz even suggested talking points for the letter she was supposed to turn in Monday.
Mostly, I think it's kinda funny.  Seriously, the random twittering of a 14 year old girl is worth your reaction?  Kinda makes Sam sound like an insecure 14 year old girl himself, doesn't it?  If that threatens you, you must be terribly insecure in your own position, no? In any event, I wonder how this sort of thing will play out over time.  Some places, like Thailand, can't abide criticism of some people at all.  And as ridiculous as that approach seems to many of us, right now, you wonder if that's going to be the practical approach, in the future.  And remember, Americans, you've already been told - by a president's press secretary - to watch what you say.  

10:15/Saturday Night: Metric Edition

Metric's Help I'm Alive (Acoustic).  Strongly associated with a place and time for me, but it's something I think will survive for a very long time:

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Excellent Use of Access

Bravo, sir, bravo.  

Anything By Bike . . .

I think, perhaps, I might have crossed the "just because you can, it doesn't mean you should" line this weekend: Transporting a car tire by bike.

Had a slow leak in a car tire, so decided to swap out the spare while I had it repaired over the weekend. As I was about load it into the trunk and drive it over, M. pops her head out and says "Hey, you could put that in the bike trailer!"

Yep. Sure could.

The guys at Goodyear were amused.

10:15/Saturday Night – Ladies and Gentlemen

Talvin Singh, again:

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I came to Talvin Singh via Flight IC408.

It's a staple, now.

WABA Happy Hour on Thursday in DC

Hey, WABA friends (and you're *all* WABA members, right?):
'The Glass That Gives' Program: WABA Happy Hour Thursday, November 17th, 2011 Brasserie Beck A glass filled with beer is joyous any time of year, but add a splash of philanthropic giving and it tastes even better. New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, is giving back during the gift-giving season by donating to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and WABA has been selected. Join New Belgium Brewing this Thursday at Brasserie Beck and you'll walk away with prizes and support WABA during the holiday season. For every New Belgium draft you purchase, you will receive a New Belgium Globe (a classy piece of glassware), be entered for a chance to win a company jersey(s), AND New Belgium will donate $1.00 to WABA. The world-class drafts of the evening will be the Ranger IPA & Kick Sour Ale. DATE: Thursday, November 17, 2011 TIME: 5pm, Giveaways at 7:30pm LOCATION: Brasserie Beck, 1101 K St. NW Washington, DC 20005 (Google Maps) RSVP: To our Facebook event page (not required to attend, but you can promote it to all of your facebook friends)![/QUOTE]
While I think Fat Tire is overrated, I happily give my personal endorsement to the Ranger IPA. Please take this opportunity to come argue the merits with me on Thursday. Hope to see you there.

DC Tweed Ride Photos

Sunday was a lovely day for a sharply-dressed ride with hundreds of my fellow cyclists through DC: DC Tweed Ride Heads Down Pennsylvania Avenue   More in my Tweed Ride gallery.

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