Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Duffy Strikes Again

I've not only shamelessly appropriated Brian Duffy's toon, I've also stolen the idea for this post from the Rev. We've had yet another car vs bike incident in Iowa -

Someone else needs to spend some quality time in the gray bar hotel.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Why Not Here?

Copenhagen - City of Cyclists from Colville Andersen on Vimeo

This is how things need to be transportation wise.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hola! It's Saturday Night Guitar Madness!

I've found a good one. If you aren't nodding your head or tapping your toes, it's time to make an appointment with the doctor or perhaps the mortician. This is a little different than thrash metal they cut their teeth on, so to speak. You can visit the official Rodrigo and Gabriela site here. Here's the wiki about them.

Bonus Clip

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Of Bikes And Sharing The Road

A week ago, a group of cyclists were out on a ride on the roads of Madison County Iowa. One of them, Doug Smith was struck and seriously injured by a truck that was towing a trailer. I've read the stories from the folks that were there. A number of my friends were on that ride. It's time that the folks behind the wheel, treat the folks behind the handlebars with the same respect that they insist on having. There have been calls for new laws to give cyclists "special rights". The only special right that cyclists need in law is to be acknowledged as legitimate users of the road. I've buried too many friends over the years. No more.

The little clip here is of the several hundred cyclists that gather of the west steps of Iowa's Capitol building riding to voice their opinion. I'm on that ride every time I'm on the bike and I think of Chris, Block, and Dave.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On The Verge

Well.... It's another late Saturday Night Guitar Madness post. Ah well... Given the "electric" post of last week, I've decided to go even deeper... Right into the Funkadelics. I'm not sure where and when I stumbled into the George Clinton Parliament / Funkadelics world, but it's a show not to be missed. This clip is of the late Eddie Hazel absolutely killing Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On. Be amazed...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Long Live The Queen

It's Sunday... It's April... It's time... L'Enfer du Nord. Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the classics. The wiki page for this race is one of the best I've seen, well worth the read if you are interested. If you're not, here's the short version. 259km long, 28 sections of cobblestone roads, runs rain or shine. Shine is better.

The image above is from Sector 18, Trouée d'Arenberg. The Arenberg is one of the most famous sections of pavé. You hit it at 96km to go. You don't win the race here, but over the 2.4km of it, you certainly can lose it.

Here are a couple of YouTube clips. The first is the from best cycling movie ever, A Sunday In Hell.

The second is from the centenary edition of the race in 2002, set to that most awesome tune, O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Carl Orrf's music is quite fitting here. It was not dry that year, also fitting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

On Fire

Well cats and kittens... This Z been schooled. Did the Hearts on Fire: An Anusara Radical Expansion Class at the Shala this morning. The class was led by Sara Strothers who practices and teaches in the Chicago area. This was definitely big city work. I was completely and utterly toasted and it didn't take 40 miles in a nasty crosswind to do it. That said, I'm quite glad that I did this. I learned a number of new things and perhaps more importantly a little more about how to approach my practice. We get the day off tomorrow from the normal Sunday practice and I'm thinking most folks that were in the room aren't too sad about that.

In honor of today's little exercise in flexibility, here's a something that's a bit out of character for my "normal" Saturday Night Guitar Madness posts, Joe Satriani doing Up In Flames, with bonus points for being shot in Tokyo.

Note: I really wanted something with ninja's but I couldn't find anything I liked.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I've been a fan forever. Finally got around to seeing what I could find on You Tube. Here's a good one. I love the minimalist drum kit.

"It can't be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!" - Thelonious Monk when asked how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ouch! or Surrender Z!

Holy Socks! I am officially toast. I went on the group ride today after work. I believe that it could be characterized as "hard". We had a really nasty wind to deal with. So... there was tailwind, there was cross wind, there was head wind. Did I mention the head wind? Oh yeah... I also rode in and out of work today. That helped to soft the legs up some first. *lol* When will I learn?

I got sawed off about 18 miles in. I just couldn't managed to deal with going 33mph for that long in the first cross section. So... I suffered by myself for a few miles until a small group got up to me. I then had some help to get through it. Wound up with 37 miles in 1:59. Not too bad for one of my first go fast attempts of the year.

We did have one Quote-tastic moment. On the bike path section heading back in, a woman that I hadn't met that was in the little suffer group managed to get herself "stuck" at the front. In an attempt to shame one of us into coming to the front and get someone else to work, she said "Ok ladies... who else wants to work?" I was laughing hard at that comment. In a later conversation, I found out that she had been on one or two of the previous weeks ride. But she didn't know anyone in the suffer group. She's going to fit right in with this crew.

Now it's time to crawl into bed and attempt to sleep. I suspect I'm not going to be sleeping well tonight give the level of effort from the group ride and how wired I am right now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Here's a lovely little clip. The Peter Green Splinter Group doing Peter's Albatross. Enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

While I'll be in full drip mode at the Primary Series class at the Shala, one of the true one day classics of the cycling world will be taking place. None other than the Ronde van Vlaanderen or the Tour of Flanders for you English speakers out there. Think of this as bigger than the Super Bowl, at least in Flanders. The race has been running since 1913. It features a number of "climbs", 17 to be precise. One of nasty ones is the Koppenburg, as seen in the second image. It's 600 meters at an average grade of 11.6%. A nice little cow path at kilometer 188 into a nice little 260 kilometer Sunday ride.

I'm thinking that the yoga class will be way, way easier. Just one week after this, the Queen of the Classics, aka l'Enfer du Nord, or more properly Paris Roubaix. Rest up and eat your Wheaties!

Update: Oh yeah... I forgot all about Ghent-Wevelgem on the 8th. It's the Classics week!

"I told the organisers it wasn't a race but a war game. It's hard to explain what the Koppenberg means to a racing cyclist. Instead of being a race, it's a lottery. Only the first five or six riders have any chance: the rest fall off or scramble up as best they can. What on earth have we done to send us to hell now?" - Bernard Hinault

"As a Belgian, winning Flanders for the first time is far more important than wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour" - Johan Museeuw.

"Looking back, you get a bit nostalgic, but from a competitive point of view, Flanders was one of the most horrible races to ride but one of the greatest races to win." - Sean Kelly

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Relieve stress, yoga will

The pointy haired guy in Dilbert was suggesting yoga as a way to relieve stress in yesterday's strip. That reminded me of this strip that was in my Dilbert calendar a few years ago. You can use this handy web page to do translations into Yoda Speak. Speaking of speaking like Yoda... Apparently the 21st of May is Talk Like Yoda day. I'm not sure that this will surpass International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but it's at least a close second.