Tuesday, June 24, 2008

drinking and driving...er...get a bike...sissy

Maybe it's just me, but when I drive I have this insecure feeling that a cop is about to pull me over at any moment. Now, just to be clear, I never drive a car if I've been drinking. But, to be quite honest I don't even think twice/once about riding my bike whilst hammered (which I am tonight, quite). I even saw two officers of the peace, and both gave me a wide berth while passing me on my well lit bike. This gave me no pause because, in Montana, it's legal to ride a bike while drunk (look it up). Now, on the way home this evening from a stint at the bar, I had my nite rider LED commuter light (it's effing bright) on 'blinky' mode. The last half mile towards my house is down-hill and I had a cross-wind slightly in my favor. There was a light truck about two blocks down when I made the turn onto my street and I can't resist the challenge of catching a lazy person driving a car, so I got on the pedals...hard...and caught the pickup within four blocks. Now, catching a car on a downhill, in town, isn't all that remarkable. But, when the truck pulled over after a block and I passed them...as they pulled back onto the road...and realized that they had pulled over b/c they thought I was a cop car...well what can I say?


Ride a bike, or all cyclists will think you're a pansy. Oh wait...if you drive your car to work, every day, when you work two point five miles from your job, and gas is, like, four dollars-a-gallon, and on it's way to five...umm are you kidding? Get a bike. Your H2 just looks stoopid now.


That wily Mr. DNA is at it again. There's an alleycat coming to Bozeman on Sunday. Check the Bozeman Fix for details. And I heard you'd better bring yer A-game for this one, cuz the kids have been cooped up to long this spring and we've had way to much time to plan for this.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Trail Etiquette

I cross posted this on the Bozeman Trail Report.

DNA and I were having a chat last night at the second annual Bozeman Meatloaf and Martini Challenge (I'm not sure if that's the official name, but there was a meatloaf competition and lots of martinis, you get the idea). One subject that came up was our responsibility to other trail users whilst out on a mountain bike ride. I'm not talking about IMBA's rules of the trail, although you should certainly obey those. I'm talking about rules of etiquette, which should govern your behavior towards the people you meet in your travels. This is both because we have obligations to treat our fellow man/woman with respect, and because I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen because certain cyclists who scare the shit out of hikers and make us all look like speed crazed gravity junkies who spend all their time watching X-games and drinking Red Bull.

Be aware of the number of people that may be hiking or riding horses on a particular trail at a particular time, you may either have to check your speed in anticipation of meeting other trail users, or perhaps make some logical decisions about whether you should ride a particular trail at a particular time. Sypes canyon on a Saturday afternoon in June is a bad time to walk your downhill rig to the top and make a 20 mile/hour decent. Ride somewhere else at that time.

Acknowledge other trail users. Say hi. Be friendly. Don't just shoulder past a family of four and be on your way. We're supposed to be having fun out there, share a good vibe with the people that you meet. Leaving people with a good impression of cyclists is probably going to more than anything else to change the sometimes negative light in which we are seen.

Don't intentionally skid on the trail, and especially don't skid up behind hikers. It does trail damage and it frightens people. Again, sometimes you have the responsibility of preemptively slowing down in anticipation of meeting another trail user. There are downhill specific trails for your eight inch rig. Part of riding on a multi-use trail is being aware that other people will be present and adjusting your speed accordingly when you can't see far enough ahead to pass people safely and humanely.

I'm sure there are several other specifics that one could codify, but in general we simply need to apply some Golden Rules to our riding. It is our responsibility as mountain bikers to treat other trail users with respect. Part of the fuel for trail closures is the fact that cyclists appear as a threatening presence to others, we owe it to our sport and our fellows to change that.


Saturday, June 14, 2008


If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with American politics. It came as a great shock to me to come home tonight and turn on the TV and learn that Tim Russert has passed at the age of 58. Via Con Dios Tim.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I know I say this a lot

...But this really pisses me off. The jerk offs in California are probably the worst perpetrators of America's overuse of petrol, and rural Montanan's are suffering the most for it. Don't get me wrong, I wish people in Montana drove less, I just don't think single mothers in rural counties should have to decide between getting to work every day and feeding their kids. Especially while exurbanite, upper-middle-class douche-bags don't really care because 250K a year is still enough to drive an Escalade 100 miles a day. I had hoped that rising gas prices would get people to make more conscientious decisions about driving, but the only reality is that poorer people suffer and wealthy people go on the same as always. Welcome to America.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I feel a little ridiculous posting something like this. But I really do feel like the xtracycle has changed my life.