« September 2005 | Main | November 2005 »

October 31, 2005

The Bicycle is Dead

So says Robert Ward, in an Oct 16th "My View" column in the venerable Atlanta Urinal and Constipation newspaper ( All hail Rush Limbaugh for coining the name! ):

I don't customarily write obituaries, but when there's been a death close to home, it's appropriate that you and I pay our last respects.

I hate to be the harbinger of such news, but the bicycle is dead.

What a shame, valiant mechanical wonder, we hardly knew ye — which is so sad on account of the price of gas, our clogged roadways and our obscene waistlines.

Admittedly, we've had our "biking" moments, a decade here or there when a good number of us rode bicycles, but it was just our sporadic foray into the use of the metallic stallion. Those ingenious transportation days are gone, much like the bicycle itself.

We've become incredibly lazy, immensely fat, and our time is excruciatingly limited because we're rushing around trying to finance our bloated lifestyles.

...Most of us jump into our venomous SUVs and charge off to destinations far, wide, and most of all, close to our homes. That's pathetic.

Don't we know the bicycle is much more economically feasible than the automobile for short trips? If you live within three miles of work, you could be commuting on a bicycle. If you live anywhere near stores, and you need to shop for something, you could be riding a bicycle. (At the very least, your household should have a beat-up, rusty "mini-mart bike" solely for those moments when you need to get a quick snack or beverage.)

If you're a basket case behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and you're sick to death of all the traffic jams, you could be riding a bicycle.

...I've been cycling for over 35 years, so let me be the first to write the bicycle's obituary.

"We the People have clearly voted with our right foot and have chosen the gas-sucking motor vehicle over the bicycle — and that bites."

Read the full piece, and weep. ;-D

SUV's, traffic, and laziness sealed bicycle's fate. ( Free registration may be required, at some point,  to read this, but not as of today. )

A tip of the hat to Ed, of CycleDog for noticing this in his Google Alerts ( I'm a month behind in reading mine! ).

October 31, 2005 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Taking the lane isn't rocket science.

Ed, of the blog CycleDog, focuses on one aspect of Greg Dobbs story to make an important point about  Safe Cycling:

So here's the problem. Greg is riding along the very edge of the pavement, believing that by doing so he's being courteous and considerate of other road users. Yet some motorists insist on returning that courtesy by buzzing past his handlebar dangerously close. The problem is how to encourage motorists to overtake with more space separating them from a cyclist, giving the cyclist ample room for safety.

Ed discusses 2 solutions to this problem in a piece called Hugging the Fog Line.

As he writes, taking the lane works. It just takes a cyclist being sure of his rights, and un-afraid to exercise them for the act to do so.

While wandering around Ed's place I came across other reasons to read him, and to add him to my Blogroll.

1. Ed writes:

I approach advocacy from the standpoint of what's best for cyclists, not what's best for the bicycle industry or bicycle advocacy groups. Like most of you, I firmly believe that getting more people to ride bicycles for transportation and recreation serves a host of needs; health, environment, and congestion mitigation, among others. Besides, it's fun, and adults don't get enough opportunities to have simple, child-like fun.

It seems he's incurred the wrath of certain activists on a Discussion List he belonged to, and "was kicked off the Thunderhead Alliance list for questioning the idea of using public funds to provide some bicycling facilities."

Read more here: An open letter to the Thunderhead Alliance.

2. Dost Thou know The Cyclist's Ten Commandments?

Here, verily, I present to thee the 1st 5:

A. Thou shalt wear thy helmet at all times, lest thou be taken for a twit.

B. Thou shalt ride on the right-hand verge of the road, through every pothole, drainage grate, and patch of glass, so that thy betters in their motor vehicles may not be inconvenienced.

C. And wave not thy tightly Spandexed bum in their faces! Some will be greatly offended, while some will be stimulated in unusual ways.

D. When a hefty Sheriff's Deputy weighing nearly as much as his SUV gives unto thee inane cycling 'advice', thou shalt tug thy forelock and bow thy head in great respect, lest he see the amusement on thy face.

E. Spittest thou to leeward, looking first to thy right and thy left, that thy riding companions will not catch a goober. Likewise with thine snot rockets take care.

If thou wisheth further enlightenment then hie thee, most hastily, over to Master Ed's place to absorb the wisdom of the other 5 Commandments.

3. Ed on the people one encounters while Bike Commuting:

One of the great things about riding back and forth to work is that you get to meet some unusual, off-beat people, the kind you wouldn’t associate with in any other situation. I’m talking about people so profoundly stupid, it’s amazing that they’re able to breathe unassisted, let alone get a driver’s license.

Read The Friday Afternoon Commute.

October 31, 2005 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Out Damn Splog!

My 1st reaction when I saw the mention on Instapundit was... What the hell?

Then I followed the links:

At first glance, it seems like a regular blog. But look closer and you'll see there's something very odd about the blog's content: It's very familiar. Too familiar.

That's because you wrote it, six months ago, on your own blog. The rest of the content doesn't make sense: The same word repeated over and over again. There are ads all over the sidebar for products like Viagra and mortgage loans.

This, you realize, is a splog, and you're the victim.

"Splogs," or spam blogs, are the latest way for spammers to manipulate the blogosphere for profit. The phenomenon hit an all-time high recently, when Google's blog-hosting service, Blogger, was inundated with more than 13,000 fake blogs spawned by a script (all have since been taken down).

Splog topics are often so nonsensical and wide-ranging they can be hard to pinpoint. Scott Beale of Laughing Squid said some really strange splogs have shown up on his watch list, everything from "Phish Rocks, Dude" to "Geeks Meet Greeks."

But why do sploggers do it? How do you know if you've been splogged? And what can you do to stop it?

The article goes on to discuss that question.

WIRED NEWS: How to fight those surging Splogs by Nicole Lee

My 1st question after reading this was: Could this be happening to little ol' me?

I mean, Jaysus H. Kee-rist, the number of daily visitors to both my blogs combined is so insignificant, compared to Glen, and so many other Uber-Bloggers it ain't even funny.

If Glen, and other Uber Bloggers, barely, or don't, know you exist, and are doing some interesting writing worth noticing on occasion, then why would spammers notice?

Then I went looking...

Discovering that the hallowed Blogger Ecosystem has its lower depths full of these sites blew me away, and hopefully will serve as a wake-up call.

Fellow Bear Flagger, Accidental Verbosity, reports this news in Spamming the Ecosystem.

So off I went to the search engine, Icerocket.

What I found when I did searches for Cycling Dude, and Sneakeasy's Joint, pissed me off.

Especially Cycling Dude related links: You see, things have been picking up at Dude this year, and I've got plans for its growth in  2006, and this notice by Cycling Spammers indicates to me that folks other than the growing number of genuinely interested cyclists, are taking note.

While most of the links to, and mentions of, my blogs were legit, many were not, including one asshole who gloated on his site about linking to Dude, and other Cycling Blogs ( which seems to be the whole purpose of his site ).

There are no doubt spammers, with all sorts of subject specific sites, with links to blogs about, or with stories on, that particular subject.

I don't pretend to understand why they are doing this, and what they gain from it, financially, or otherwise.

If you want to see what I'm talking about for yourself, then go ahead, but I will not dignify them with a link here.

I will probably report these folks as suggested but, like comment spam, and trackback spam, if your service doesn't have a system in place for easy reporting, blocking, and deleting, doing so on a regular basis, can be too time consuming to deal with.

There are no doubt some bloggers, with the time, and resources, to effectively return fire, but most of us do not have enough of either to worry too much about it.

We'd never get any blogging done at all if we did.

And that, sadly, is what these assholes count on.

Hat tip to Instapundit for spreading the word.

October 30, 2005 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 29, 2005

Books for becoming a better Bicyclist

When I 1st started this blog, in January 2003, I recommmended 3 books I have in my collection.

As I've written about cycling safety, and added links to various related websites, the thought has occurred to me to mention those books again.



Don't knock the Dummies Series.

These books, regardless of subject, offer good to excellent introductions to the subjects they cover.

My only real gripe is that this edition is 6 years old! Time for an update don't ya think? ;-D

Subjects covered include;

Bicycle Anatomy, and the differences between MTB's, Road Bikes, and Hybrids, and how to choose the best fitting, and best priced steed for you.

Several chapters on riding, riding safely, and training.

Several chapters on maintaining a healthy bike.

Riding with the kids, and charity, club, recreational, and touring riding, as well as commuting.

There's more but that's enough to get you interested I hope.

URBAN BIKERS' TRICKS and TIPS: Low-Tech and No Tech Ways To Find, Ride, and Keep a Bicycle by Dave Glowacz, Rev. ed. 2004 ( MY edition is from 1998 )

The title doesn't even begin to tell you what is in this slim ( only 250 pages ), illustration filled, reference book.

Want to use your bike more? Want to do it safely?

This book covers many subjects from the amusing, and seemingly inconsequential, to the serious, and important, in a very informative, and entertaining way.

Subjects: Choosing a bike, Maintenance basics, protecting your investment from thieves, sharing the road with them pesky SUV'S and their, lesser mortal, friends, taking your steed on busses, trains, and planes, riding at night, and in bad weather, appropriate clothing, and a resource guide.

The most important book of the 3 is...

EFFECTIVE CYCLING by John Forester ( THIS outstanding, MUST HAVE, book frst appeared in 1974! )

31 years ago John Forrester wrote a book that spawned movement of sorts.

As the back cover of my edition says:

"The Core of John Forester's concept of Effective Cycling is that bicyclists fare best when they act, and are treated in return, as drivers of vehicles, with the same rights and responsibilities that motorists have."

This classic introduction to the practices, and theory of Effective Cycling has gone thru 6 editions ( thru 1993 ), spawned educations programs, and a website, or 2.

It is, without question, the most important, and thought-provoking, book on bicycling you will likely ever read, and own, and at 600 pages is well worth the time, and effort needed to read it.

October 29, 2005 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Do Cyclists have the same rights as cars?

This question led to quite the discussion on the Blog ( ? ) of the Canyon Courier, of Evergreen, Colorado, recently.

The 2 principle players?

1. Greg Dobbs, an Emmy Award-winning correspondent  who worked for ABC News for 20 yrs.. He is host of “Colorado State of Mind” on Rocky Mountain PBS, and reports on global issues for satellite TV’s HDNet.

2. Kelly Weist is an Attorney, and political activist, who has served on the board of directors of the Colorado Federation of Republican Women and is the co-founder of Mountain Republican Women. She is an adjunct professor of political science at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Greg wrote a great piece centered around 1 central truth: "If I’m riding and you’re driving, we both have a right to be there. The bigger point is, each has a responsibility to the other."

Kelly wrote a piece about cyclists taking up the road, and being an annoyance that ends this way: "I say ban ’em before I run ’em over."

Greg responds. ;-D

Kelly fires back. ;-D

As of October 13th 11 people have put in their 2 cents on the subject. ;-D

One guy even quotes extensively from Colorado Cycling Law as he takes the disgruntled Kelly to task. ;-D

As a reminder to readers, who have not checked out my archives, about where I stand, let me guide you to my  January 2003 essay called "BICYCLIST TO CAR OWNERS: CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?".

So just what did Greg write to get this lengthy discussion underway?

[ comments by me interspersed ]

From Sept. 28th:

During the two days I was home between week-long trips to the hurricane, I squeezed in a single 45-minute bike ride. Bikes are my main lifeline to good health. And in that short ride on a winding road near Bergen Park, some son-of-a-you-know-what of a driver — or maybe the daughter-of-a-you-know-what — nearly knocked me off the road. I wasn’t hogging the lane; I heard the car behind me, saw it in the mirror that hangs from my handlebar, and hugged the shoulder. But the driver came close to either accidentally killing me … or trying to kill me. At the very least, whoever was behind the wheel ought to have his or her license revoked. At the very most, the driver ought to be in jail.

[ Hear, hear! ]

This was far from the first time this kind of thing has happened. Every time, I want to stop the driver and shout, “Couldn’t you cross halfway across the friggin’ road to give me a safe margin?” And if he’d say, “But I couldn’t see far enough ahead to know it was safe,” or, “I couldn’t cross because there was a car coming the other way,” I’d ask (again, in a slightly louder voice than the printed word conveys), “You couldn’t slow down for a lousy five seconds until the coast was clear?” And I don’t care if it’s 10 seconds, or 30, the point is the same. When I’m the one in the car coming up behind a bike, it doesn’t kill me to slow down and give the bike a wide berth. It could kill the rider if I don’t.

[ In my experience even holding such a conversation with the more anti-cyclist of the car driving public is impossible. ]

So don’t give me the line that bikes shouldn’t share the road with cars. Yes, we take our lives in our hands when we share it with irresponsible drivers behind the wheel, but that doesn’t make close calls our fault. True, some people on bikes are as irresponsible as some in cars — sometimes, I swear, bikers seem to be asking for it — but if you don’t condemn me for the stupidity of some jerk on a bike, I won’t condemn you for the stupidity of some jerk in a car.

[ Hear, hear! ]

Anyway, I pay road taxes too. The same as everyone else. I could even argue that my bike does less damage to the road than your car, but that’s not the point. The point is, if I’m riding and you’re driving, we both have a right to be there. The bigger point is, each has a responsibility to the other.

[ Responsible drivers, and cyclists, understand that, but the anti-cyclist drivers, and the far too many cyclists unfamiliar with the law, much less the practices of safe cycling, don't. ]

That’s why I was floored by a letter to the Courier a few weeks ago from a guy in Morrison. He wrote, “People’s right to live should trump bicyclists’ right to a pleasant ride.” Well excuuuuuuuuse me! Last time I looked, I was “people” too. I wouldn’t blame some angry bicyclist for firing back to this guy, “Bicyclists’ right to live should trump drivers’ right to lose not a second in getting where he wants to go.” But I wouldn’t say that because, again, responsibility for my safety and yours is mutual. Good judgment must be mutual too.

[ “People’s right to live should trump bicyclists’ right to a pleasant ride.” vs. “Bicyclists’ right to live should trump drivers’ right to lose not a second in getting where he wants to go.”

2 extreme views of the conflict  between cyclists, and drivers, with the sensible middle just trying  to get along. We realize that responsibility, and good judgement, need to be practiced by all of us in order to make our experiences on the road safe ones. ]

The conflict isn’t about rights. It’s about responsibilities. And humanity. And stupidity. And if a guy on a bike is stupid enough to tangle with a car, is that reason enough to kill him?

The debate, and resulting comments that follow ( add your own! ), can be read here:

Do Bicyclists have the same rights as cars?

October 29, 2005 in Voices From The Open Road | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Play's the Thing!

The venerable, 121 year old, British Theatre magazine Playbill recently reported on a new play opening in Britain.

Life is at the crossroads for a London mother who is going blind and her daughter, a mediocre psychic, in the Off-Broadway premiere of Deborah Grimberg's Cycling Past the Matterhorn, opening Sept. 29 at the Harold Clurman Theatre in Theatre Row.

Shirley Knight ("Desperate Housewives," and a Tony Award winner for Kennedy's Children) plays the mum Esther, who has made mistakes in her life, and Carrie Preston (Broadway's The Rivals, The Tempest) is the adult daughter, Amy, who resents her mother's shortcomings.

The relationship begins to shift when Esther makes a plan to get healthy and go on a mountain biking trek to witness the titular European mountain.

Performances began Sept. 18. The play by New York-based British writer Grimberg made its world premiere in 2003 at the New York International Fringe Festival and was further refined in a Detroit staging in 2004. Nina Jacques is the only actress retained from the Fringe run.

In the warm comedy, Amy's American fiance, Doug — played by Ben Fox, who was George in James Naughton's Our Town on Broadway — is hoping for a life in the States. Brenda Wehle, the Obie Award winner for Off-Broadway's Talking Heads, co-stars as Anita, Esther's fiercely loyal middle-aged sister.

What I want to know is do the bikes get seen on stage, or are they just alluded to by those who have just "ridden them in the mountains"?

What intrigues me is this bit from a blurb by the Producers:

Esther decides to forge ahead with her life (saying 'if Stevie Wonder can do it than so can I!'), and joins a cycling excursion in Switzerland to see the mountains while she still can."

Sept. 29th Playbill News: Shirley Knight Plays a Desperate Former Housewife in Cycling Past the Matterhorn, Opening Sept. 29 by Kenneth Jones.

October 29, 2005 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2005

Boston Cyclists, and Emergency Vehicles

I read a very interesting Sept. entry in the Bostonist Blog today.

A reader wrote in:

Hey Bostonist, I ditched my car about a month ago and have been biking everywhere I used to take my car. It's been great, don't get me wrong, definitely the way to get around the geographically small and relatively hill-free city is by bike. I'm a little uneasy though: your horror stories of getting hit, almost getting run over by the UPS man, and getting ticketed don't really help. I wonder if you could suggest how Boston bikers should react to emergency vehicles. When I'm in a car it's easy, pull as far over to the right (and sometimes left if its one-way or there's an island on a four-lane road, like Mass Ave.), but on my bike, with parked cars on one side and cars pulling over on the other, I'm worried that I'll become the bologna in a Honda sandwich. Any suggestions?

The Bostonist replied by quoting  an activist with MassBikes on Massachusetts State Law.

Ask Bostonist: Bicyclists, Make Way!

October 28, 2005 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

Joining Technorati

Today I took the plunge, and joined Technorati!

I'm currently ranked # 775,745. ;-D


Late this evening I tip-toed out of the water.

After looking around and seeing the hoops one has to jump thru everytime you post just to make sure the system notices you, I decided I was having too much fun to be bogged down by that, and changed my mind.

***END NOTE***

October 23, 2005 in The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The dangers of cycling PCH in Malibu

WARNING: This story, and its associated entries, as covered by 4 Blogs, and various newspapers, and other media outlets, is LONG.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT avoid reading the whole collection.

If you ride along Pacific Coast Highway ANYWHERE along its more narrow, and challenging, sections from the north end to the south, but especially in the Malibu area, then your LIFE could one day depend on having read this series of articles.

Let's begin in happier times...

In May of 2002, I rode my bike along the stretch from West Channel Rd.  north to Webb Way, and  from Kanan Dume Rd. south to Malibu Rd., then a several mile stretch from the other side of the hill, south to the bike path that starts at Will Rogers State Beach at PCH and Temescal Canyon Rd. ( The 2nd Blog Article I reference will show you photos of this stretch of PCH. )

Not knowing that I was supposed to consider PCH a possible danger to life, and limb, my descriptions reflect this innocence, as I shared my joy in a very long, and adventurous ride.

Slow Pokes DO have all the fun!

Pedal forward to 2005...

The stark reality that PCH holds plenty of danger for the unwary bicyclist, and that the state, county, Caltrans, and the cities of Los Angeles, and Malibu are at odds with concerned cyclists is in the news, on blogs, and on the minds of local cyclists.

Meet Insider, of the Blog Independent Sources ( A fellow member of the California Bear Flag League ) as this blogs fabulous coverage ( with pictures! ) of this story begins:

[ Story Arc, including 2nd article, and various updates: Sept. 16, 2005 to October 3, 2005 ]

This story has particular relevance to me as every week I ride my bike over the exact same stretch of PCH in Malibu as the two riders who were killed last Saturday. Every week I comment to my riding partner that the situation there is incredibly dangerous. For the past several months I had wondered out loud why no one was calling Caltrans or the contractor responsible for creating the dangerous encroachment. I was one of those people who never made the call and I will have to live with that the rest of my life. However, I can do something now which is to make sure that this story is told in its entirety and that pressure is put on all responsible parties to fix the section of roadway that has contributed to two deaths. As of today, five days after the fatal accident, nothing has been done to remove the obstructions which means this weekend, hundreds of more cyclists will be forced out of the bike lane into 50+ mph traffic. How can this be so?

This is the story of the senseless death of 2 cyclists, and it is the story of the clash between cyclists, and the culture of the car, and the lifestyles of the coastal communities.

Bicyclist deaths are always tragic and senseless. However, the killings of Stanislav Ionov and Scott Bleifer stand out in their senselessness. Bike accidents are often the result of a series of unrelated and unpredictable events that happen in such an unfortunate manner as to result in a catastrophe. For example, a driver just happening to be inattentive at the moment when they are drifting out of their lane while a cyclist is at that same moment veering into traffic to avoid road debris they were just coming upon (think “wrong place, wrong time.”).

However, unfortunate circumstances have nothing to do with the deaths of Ionov and Bleifer and their deaths were 100% avoidable.

The research into this story is detailed, heartfelt, and powerful from the get go.

Meet the tragic victims.

Be introduced to PCH, and one stretch in particular.

Take a good, long, look at the the satellite shot, and ground level photos, and come to grips with the fact that "so far in 2005, eight cyclists have been injured on PCH, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Seven were injured in 2004 and six in 2003."

Then THIS happened.

The hill mentioned is the one I avoided dealing with by taking the side road around it.

To reach that stretch, going south from Kanan, meant I was riding along the highway shown on the left side of the Photo.

Read the details of the accident, see what was left of one of the bikes, feel the horror of the other cyclists shown at the scene.

Meet the killer, and marvel at his excuse.

And a week later marvel at this stunning bit of news...

Ionov and Bleifer were killed nearly a week ago, and while people at the local Starbucks are talking about it, and the city officials of Malibu are talking about it, absolutely nothing has been done to improve the safety and while I was taking photographs today I saw bicyclists forced back out into the same stretch that killed Ionov and Bleifer. I do not understand how this is possible. State permit or not, two people are dead because of those barricades so how can they remain? Furthermore, if you look at the pictures it would appear that they could easily be moved in three feet which would still allow the construction process to continue while allowing bicycle traffic to come through without going into a high-speed traffic lane. (see photo below.) Is this really too much to ask?

"Is this really too much to ask?" He writes, and I join him in asking...

Apparently so.

Join the writer in pondering some questions.

The writer ends the 1st article with several updates, and links to the outstanding coverage by the Malibu Times, to coverage of a memorial ride, to various tribute pages, and a plea for local cyclists to get involved, and write the LA Times, and Government Officials.

Oh, and Malibu Sheriffs new policy toward cyclists.

Be sure to read all the comments ( 37 so far ) to this piece.

READ THE FULL STORY: Malibu: Sunshine, Movie Stars, and senseless death on PCH.

Part 2 is a tour of a 20 mile stretch of PCH in Malibu, with pictures, that will open your eyes to what cyclists have to deal with every day.

you must note that there are in fact NO bicycle lanes on PCH, despite the fact that thousands of cyclists ride on it every weekend. Instead, cyclists are forced to ride in a shoulder which ranges in width from a few feet to non-existent and varies in condition from bad to deadly. Henceforth I will refer to this shoulder area as the “bike passageway” since that is how cyclists use it.

Seeing is believing, folks, and the views, of the road  ( yes, and the beach, and the ocean, too ) will leave you speechless.

To understand why any road cyclist would want to travel along this, or any other stretch of PCH, understand this:

PCH is a beautiful stretch of land with sweeping ocean views and hillside and canyon vistas. Furthermore it is the primary (or in some cases sole) method for reaching the many canyon roads that criss-cross the Santa Monica Mountains. For these reasons and others, PCH is extremely popular with road cyclists. However, PCH is an extremely dangerous road–made worse by a lack of planning and care by the state and local agencies who have jurisdiction over it.

Take a good long look at ALL THE PHOTOS, read the accompanying paragraphs, and you too will join me in echoing the writers following observation:

We are realists and we do not expect miracles (e.g., drivers to suddenly change behavior). But we do not believe that it is too much to ask:

  • the permanent and semi-permanent blockages of the bike passageway be immediately addressed
  • parking regulations be created or enforced that would keep automobiles from forcing cyclists into traffic
  • more and better signage at dangerous points
  • construction zones to factor in bicycle traffic

These are just a few of the reasonable actions that the city, state and all responsible parties should take which I believe will be more effective than the recently announced Malibu Sheriff’s policy.

READ THE FULL STORY-- Dangerous Cycling: PCH Malibu ( Seeing is believing ).

I Join Independent Sources in stressing that the story of this stretch of PCH serves as a proxy for dangerous riding conditions EVERYWHERE.

Please DO NOT wait for someone to be killed to address unnecessarily dangerous bicycling conditions in your areas.

After reading all of the above I look back at how I wrote about my trip thru the area, and my 2 other PCH rides [ Seal Beach to the tip of Balboa ( mostly along the dedicated Bike Trail ), and Newport Beach to the dead end in San Clemente ], a couple of years ago, and wish I'd been more descriptive of the conditions that might pose a hazard to cyclists less attuned to paying attention to their surroundings than I. ( I've got photos that, with the experience I have gained in Blogging, and my new computer, and printer/scanner, I just might add to the stories as written, time permiting. )

October 23, 2005 in Riding Los Angeles County | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

No response to follow-up to Webmaster of Congressman

On Sept. 29th I wrote of the responses to a letter I wrote to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, of Portland, Oregon.

He is the head of the Congressional Bicycle Caucus.

While HIS response left much to be desired, the letter from his Webmaster seemed promising enough that...

now that I have an actual e-mail, attached to a real person, I may be able to finally make the Congressman aware of my thoughts about the Bike Caucus, its membership make-up, and its website, and get some serious responses related to Bicycling issues.

So I wrote a follow-up to the Webmaster, a Mr. Ernesto Omar Falcon, on Sept. 29th.

The letter is as follows:

Dear Ernesto,

Thank you for the personal reply.

It means a lot.

After reading the "I'm Mad at FEMA, and I'm NOT Gonna Take it Anymore" letter sent under the main e-mail, I was forced to wonder if the Congressman had even read my letter, much less even knew of it's exisitence.

While I understand about not linking to my blog, and fully expected that response, I am still hoping that I can get feedback from the Congressman, or even just appropriate members of his staff, on the content of the letter, and about my Blog, and its content.

You see, I have a link to the section of his website related to the Bike Caucus, and plans to carry thru on writing about Congress, and cycling issues, thru my "Congressional Bicycle Caucus Watch".

I wrote a review of the site, last spring, and even tried to notify the Congressman for feedback, but got no response.

See the 5 entries in my Archives, here: http://www.sneakeasysjoint.com/thecyclingdude/congressional_bicycle_caucus_watch/index.html

A lot has happened in my life since those articles, and I hope to do more on the Caucus, and its efforts, in the future.

I would love to have the Congressman, or an appropriate staffer, take me up on an open invitation to my readers:


I would also love to know about cycling issues the Caucus is dealing with at the moment, nationally, or within each embers jurisdiction, and how I can learn more about them so I can write informative entries on my blog.

Feel free to pass this on to Mr.  Blumenauer, and anyone else on his staff who might be interested.

Sincerely yours,


As of this morning there has been no response to this letter.

October 21, 2005 in Congressional Bicycle Caucus Watch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack