November 12, 2010

Why The Cycling Dude Mattered, and Why I Am Damn Well PROUD OF IT!

Dear friends, and fans, of this blog, and anyone who stumbles upon it via Google, other Search Engines, or some website that still links to me....

It has been almost 3 months since I retired this blog to little notice, or fanfare...

I never intended to post here again. (In fact the bike blogging of The Cycling Dude continues on my personal blog!)

But God, Fate, or something far more complex, had other ideas.

Earlier this week, on my other Blogs, I revealed to my small, but growing readerships, something that has been a part of my life since 2 weeks after I announced the closing of this blog:

50, Alone and Newly Unemployed in Ca., With the Rest of My Life Ahead of Me: Now What?

This morning a comment was posted, to a 5 1/2 year old post on this blog, that brought tears of pride to my eyes, during this very trying time in my life.

This comment is the single greatest Honor that I have ever received for my efforts with this site...and makes all of it worth the effort.......

Nov. 12, 2010:

Thank you for honoring the shop I have grown up in and love. We are still an old time shop but are trying to keep up with the times with the Kopp's Cycle Website

Charles Kuhn - Owner

The Comment was left here: Kopp's Selling Bikes since 1891 - A story I posted in March 2005

Thank you Mr. Kuhn...I am grateful, beyond mere words, for your kindness. ;-D

As a History Buff there is one aspect of the Kopp's site that makes it very special, and extremely important:

The History Page.

Mr. Kuhn has written an absolutely wonderful essay, and included, a few amazing, and beautiful, old photos that will blow you away.

The most important of the photos is the one of the store (1901 !), on the main page, that entices you to read his essay.

There are other photos of some of their vintage Items for sale and other things including a letter from the 1930's, that can be seen on a seperate Photos link.

I hope he plans to share more of the store history on his site in the future.

Such a past should be proudly shared for all History, and Cycling, Buffs to enjoy, and not hidden away. ;-D

One more thing... As long time readers know I made a special project of highlighting the oldest cycling shops still in business, and that had an online presense, and had a list in the sidebar (Now found on Musings of a Mad Macedonian), and wrote a series of blog posts about them, which you can explore at your leisure ( Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) ), and it pleases me no end that, at long last, that list can finally, finally!, have a link to a website for the Kopp's Store. ;-D

Out of respect for Mr. Kuhn, and his comrades on my list, I plan to keep the series going on Musings.

 ***UPDATE - 11/13/10***

I wrote Thank You letter to Mr. Kuhn, and he very graciously replied.

As well as telling him about this post, I wrote:

Dear Mr. Kuhn:
Lord knows that I tried, this morning, but mere words can not do proper justice to the very great honor you do me by your comment to my 5 1/2 year old post.
Your missive brought me to tears...tears of pride, and gratefulness that 7+ years of Bike Blogging really, truly, mattered, and was not done in vain.
Hardly anyone has even noticed I quit Bike Blogging, and mine was probably the oldest such blog in the USA. ;-D
The last 3 months have not been easy ones for me, but you absolutely made my day today. ;-D
I had given up all hope that Kopp's would ever create a website, to tell you the truth, hee, hee! ;-D
That photo on the main page, of the guys in front of the store, is a beautiful, and priceless, bit of History.
I do not know if you explored my blog, aside from finding my post, and am curious how you found it, but you may have noticed that the place had been retired, in August, and most of the extensive links in the sidebar moved to one of my other blogs.
I have done several things: 
I wrote a post on The Cycling Dude, that shares your comment, and serves as a sequel, of sorts, to my original review, as well as a sincere thank you.
I posted a variation of the same post on my other blog, and added a link to the Kopp's website to the "Bike Shops: Pre- 1941 - The Elder Statesmen [ and Women, too! ]"  List in the sidebar of that blog ( Musings of a Mad Macedonian  ).
I also am re-dedicating myself to keeping an eye out for more such stores to write about, and add to the List.
As you can tell you just may be the oldest surviving such store in the world (Only a company in Italy, so far, even comes close!). ;-D
If you know of, or ever find, others, with online presenses, that qualify for this List, please let me know. ;-D
I have no plans to continue the news, and activism, side of what I did on The Cycling Dude, at Musings (Even though I broke some major stories over the years.), because others, with bigger audiences, more knowledge, connections, time, and resources, than I (Including some who got their start by being inspired by my early work) serve that need very ably, however I will continue writing about, and share photos of, my bicyling adventures, including what I do via the blog my Cat writes (Over there we have 2 ongoing Photo Series about Cats, and other critters seen on my Bike Rides.). ;-D
There Once Was a Mad Macedonian on a Bicycle..... 

Street Seens: Cats Outdoors, Thru the Daddy Cam 

Seen & Heard: Critters With Cats on the Brain 

Sincerely yours, Kiril Kundurazieff

His reply:


Thanks for the reply.
I use google to alert me of new posts that mention Kopp's and your blog post got flagged so I checked it out as well as a little of the rest, I will have to check out the links you sent.
I ask anybody that stops in the shop to let me know of any older outfits and so far none have.
I can tell you love bikes, cats and life and wish you the best of luck.

You seem to be someone who experiences life while the rest of us just live.


****MARCH 5TH, 2011****

 Hello, again!

Regular readers of this blog may remember those times, over the years, when I covered the cycling related work (Among other health related interests) of Randy Eady, of Glider Rider, founder of Kosharey Rhythms Therapeutics, and Seat and Feet, and writer of a blog for Children & Nature Network.

Our friendship goes back to 2006, and we finally met in March of last year.

My report of that day, complete with photos, and links to all previous stories, can be read, beginning here:

Summit in San Clemente: Cycling Dude Meets Glider Rider to the Sound of Beating Drums

I'm listed on LinkedIN, as is Randy, and it was there that Randy did me the kindness of giving me my first "Recommendation", on Friday.


Kiril is a talented, responsible, ethical, professional writer. I've frequently relied on his technical writing skills (in numerous social media platforms) to represent a balanced and -- humorous -- perspective to expand/add tremendous value to the underlying message I'm delivering in health and sustainable lifestyle advocacy. Great work that can be easily sampled at various blog sites he maintains and supports.

A very cool Birthday Present, indeed.

Thank You, Randy, your support, and encouragement, means a lot to me.


November 12, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything, Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ), The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink

August 15, 2010

When Asked, The Reader of The North American Bicycle Atlas Shrugged, and Replied, "Who is The Cycling Dude?"


JANUARY 5, 2003 TO AUGUST 15, 2010 






****UPDATE - 10/22/10****

The adventures of The Cycling Dude continue on my personal blog with an archive of posts that follows my cycling life into the future.

****END UPDATE****


August 15, 2010 in Bicycling Humor, Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink

July 31, 2010

Cycling Dude Goes SPLAT! Bike Clings to Life in Intensive Care!

Hello, everyone!

Not sure how many folks know I'm still hanging in there, but I wanted to tell you that despite the best effort of a local street in Long Beach, Ca....I ain't dead yet, and neither is my Trusty Steed of a decade, Cleopatra! ;-D

Hate to disapoint anyone, hee, hee! ;-D

Hey_Doc1 My bike, "Affectionately knows as "Cleopatra", is over 10 years old, and in good shape for her age, having only endured one complete working on in all those years.
I was riding down a residential street, in Long Beach, last night, on my way home from work about 1120pm when, despite my lights, I somehow found a little bump in the road, at 5mph, that sent me head over handle bars to the pavement.
When I got up, and looked at the bike the front wheel, and part of the fork were lying away from the main bike, at a clearly unnatural position.

Clearly, we had a problem. ;-D
The Fork looked like someone had taken a saw to cut it completely thru.
Hey_Doc2 Whether the bump caused this, or finished the job of a developing crack that I was unaware of, I do not know.
My left shoulder is so sore I can barely lift it to type, my left elbow has a scrape, my left hip is a little sore, too.
I had to carry my bike maybe 2 miles, along Xemino Ave. to 7th Street, to the bus stop.

(NOTE 8/2 7pm - Unless they moved Wilson High School further west I mistyped when I originally wrote Cherry! - I did not hit my head, honest!)

The people on the residential street where I took my little tumble didn't seem to notice the ruckus out their window despite one Dog expressing his opinion, and the home directly by me having lights on.

I folded the bike as you see in the 2nd picture, slid my right arm thru the spokes to grip the fram, and staggered off to try and catch a Long Beach Transit Bus to my OCTA connection.

Staggering up Xemino I was passed by a dozen cars, and 2 bicyclists.

The nice looking cyclists even waited at the same corner I did, for a light, but didn't give me a 2nd look, despite the condition of my bike, and my moaning in pain. ;-D


I talked the Long Beach Bus Driver into a ride to the stop where I always catch the bus back to Santa Ana, across from the VA Hospital.
The OCTA Driver didn't grasp the seriousness of my situation, and why I told him the bike would not sit on the rack, but needed to be allowed inside the bus.

He had to call his supervisor, even though he, as the last bus, could have taken me on without extra OK, and his skeptical tone in talking to the super pissed me off, and so I waved the 2 halves of the bike at him, asking him if he noticed anything the matter, and if need be I'd talk to his super.


I told him that I'd been riding busses 40 years, more than 4 times longer than he'd been driving them, and seen more than he'd ever imagine in his philosphy, so don't even get me started. ;-D

This pissed him off but, in the end I got my ride, and the 2nd shorter bus ride to 3 blocks from my apartment. ;-D

Upon arriving home I hugged the Kitties, fed them got in the shower, then fed myself, and checked my e-mail, before heading to bed.

The Kitties are really good nurses, hee, hee! ;-D

On Bike Ride Daddy Goes SPLAT! Nurses Nikita, and Elvira, are on the Case!

My shoulder, while extremely sore, shows no sign of bruising as of this evening, but I am considering x-rays to be sure nothing serious happened.
I may have gotten off lucky where the bike is concerned.


This morning I took pictures, and took them to the shop at the REI, in Huntington Beach, for an initial opinion.
 I may only need to get a new front fork, and not have to go without a bike for long.

Most importantly I won't be faced with the prospect of having to go without, or buying a new bike

They told me that, to have a better idea, I'd need to bring the bike in so they could look at the poor dear, then order a fork, keep the bike there for a week until the part arrived, and then install it.

I'm look at spending close to $100 for parts, and labor.

I may have to put this off for a few weeks, due to other things going on, but I can still take the Long Beach bus on that leg of my commute in the meantime, so I am fine with that.

***UPDATE - 8/2***

Thank you, everyone for the advice, and support!

Due to advice given me by friends, and readers, including a fellow bike rider, I decided to sally forth to the ER yesterday afternoon....

I got there at 1pm, was out by 315 or so.

They took xrays of my shoulder, and the area above my heart, near the shoulder.

I also was given an EKG.

The verdict?

No broken bones.

Just Muscle Sprain up the wazzoo. ;-D

The fact that I could raise my arm straight up, despite the pain, was a positive sign of recovery beginning to them.

The sore butt cheek was more muscle soreness.

I would not have been walking if there had been a broken hip or other damage.

They told me to take some Advil, Tylenol, or Motrin, for the pain if I feel the need, and gave me some fliers about Home Care of the Sprain, and the Elbow Abrasion.

I showed them pictures on my Camera of my "In Home Nursing Staff", and gave them a report of their treatment, and they praised them for their good work, and encouraged them to keep it up. ;-D



July 31, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (10)

July 25, 2010

Hi! I'm Alive, Remember Me?

Anyone miss The Cycling Dude? Notice I was gone?

Hee, hee!

When last I checked in I was in the midst of a Medical Testapalooza, and about to go on vacation. ;-D

Nikita, on his blog, was handling all the blogging in this household this month, and things just got more interesting by the day. ;-D

I just kept up with my Doctor appointments, and went to work, as well taking a day trip to LA, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier. ;-D

Oh, and I got a chest cold, and resulting cough, with the cough refusing to go away to this day.

Among the things Nikita blogged about:

Making Your Own Way in the World of Cat Blogging

Newspaper Editor To CB Repurrter "I Really Do Hate Being Politically Correct"

The biggest event of the month so far, however, was a little bit of Domestic Upheaval that has been onging since July 11th...

Intruder Alert! Daddy's Found a Kitten! Or Vis a Versa, I don't know! ;-D

Yup, I'm a Father, again. ;-D

And, like any Father with a baby in the house, all of a sudden, everything revolved around the little one. ;-D

I am riding the bike 5 to 10 miles a day, on work days, as part of my commute, and even rode my bike, one night, from work, all the way from Long Beach to Santa Ana, about 22 miles. ;-D

***Medical Update - August 6th***

Tilt Table Test, today, is Latest in Effort to Understand What Happened with My Seizure:

First the Bad News....

They did not drug me to the gills, or turn me upside down, as I was led to believe. ;-D
I was sorely disappointed. ;-D
The Good News....
They DID fill me with something that made my heart rate go up, and they DID set me, head up, at a 70 degree angle for a while.
In the quest for signs of Neurocardiogenic Syncope (Mimics a Seizure)....
I did not faint, in fact the doc (The Cardio Docs Partner), her hospital assistant, and I, chatted the whole 2 hours.
My results were negative, the test was a completely normal event....
In other words....BORRRING. ;-D
I'll have a follow-up meet with the Cardio Doc himself, and will let the Neuro know the results, and see what he thinks.
A couple of weeks back I met with the Neuro, who said that there was no sign that my brain was the source of the Seizure
I will probably stay on the Anti-Seizure Med until the end of the year, as a precaution.
The idea is that over the last 2 months of the year the regular dosage will be gradully reduced to nothing.
1 event is worth looking into, 2 events is a trend, and of serious concern, so if I have another episode, in the next 5 months, I will let the Neuro know asap.
Maybe I just  had a 1 time fatigue, and stress induced, faint, and no real seizure at all?

***End Update***

How soon will I return to regular blogging?

I don't know.

A lot of things going on, and to think about, particularly the fact that Nikita's blog is going gangbusters, my other blog is also getting new attention, and there are a ton of respected, well known, knowledgeable, cyclists with blogs, out there, that do more than I will ever be able to do, to spread the word, and have interested audiences this blog has never had, in over 7 1/2 years, or ever will.

July 25, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 28, 2010

Well, OK, Tests say my Heart is Behaving, and I Can get back in the Saddle

Since I last reported in an MRI was on the agenda, and later so was a Treadmill, and a Holter Monitor.

This post on my other blog, last week, tells the details of taking those tests:

The Poking, and Prodding, Continues

I've been riding my bike again, for one direction of my work commute, 5 miles, and last wednesday night, before my vacation started, I rode the full 22 miles from Long Beach to Santa Ana. ;-D

The upshot of the tests seem to show that my heart was not the cause of my seizure, and I can get back in the saddle, and ride, as well as walk, and hike, as part of an effort to fight high Bad Cholesterol, and lower my weight.

June 28, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 05, 2010

Still no Bicycling, But I DO now Have Proof I have a Brain!

The last 2 weeks have been interesting, around here, as I continue going to work, and begin to get some test done in order to get a handle on what happened to me as discussed in my last post.

This post, on my other blog, includes an eyewitness account of my May 7 Seizure.

Nikita_EEG I saw the Neurologist on the 27th, and no real bad news is good news, I suppose. ;-D

The Doc checked my reflexes, asked me questions about what happened read the description my co-worker gave, and looked over the EEG results, which I also saw for the first time that day, as well.
Basically the report concluded that even though it was a normal Awake & Drowsy EEG...there appears to be some episodes of Heart Block on the EEG which needs evaluation (A heart rate of 60 beats per min, with some dropped beats, sometimes occuring as often as every 3rd beat...).
The Doc was of the opinion that what happened to me could have been caused by heart blockage issues, and is going to tell my personal Doc that he recommends I get an MRI, and a Cardiac Work-up.
I also have had real sore knees, since that day (I've had them before, but just attributed it to being a little over weight, or riding my bike far too much.), and plan to ask my Doc about them as well.
Daddys_Brain1Yesteray morning I went to the hospital and had an MRI done on my noggin!

I had to lay very, very still as this huge, noisy machine spent 15 minutes, or so, mapping what passes for my brain. ;-D

After it was all over I was given a very cool CD with 174 images of my head, and brain, in Black & White.

Let me tell you, it was immensely gratifying to know that I have a brain, afterall, considering some of the things I've done, or not done, in the first 50 years of my life. ;-D

Sitting here, at home, looking at all the images of my head, and brain, was absolutely fascinating.

How MRI works.

What it all means, including the notations, I have no clue yet.

Next up will be a Cardiac Work-up.

Once that is completed I will meet with the Neurologist, again, so he can explain what the results all mean, and then I can plan for what to do next.


See, see, bicyclists are NOT brainless! ;-D

Well, this one isn't, at least, hee, hee! ;-D

About that image on the right...

No, no, no, I was NOT wearing one of those night light contraptions one can strap to their head when cycling at night!. ;-D

If you are interested this post has a link to the music the tech had me listen to during the procedure, as well as a song parody I was inspired to write. ;-D

Thank you to everyone who has sent me well wishes, and encouragement, the last 2 weeks, it means a lot to me.

June 5, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 18, 2010

Where I've Been the Last 3 Weeks and what about the Future of Cycling Dude?

Street_Seens18c In case you didn't notice...blogging has been light around here, this year. ;-D

Besides not doing much in the way of cycling, aside from 6 mile daily commutes to, and from, work, I found myself spending the first 4 months of the year focusing on those sides of my blogging that have been getting actual readers, and comments (Cycling Dude has had few legitimate comments, or links from other blogs, in the last couple of years, and I quit accepting Trackbacks long ago because all I got was Spam.), as opposed to just folks passing thru on a Google Search, and quickly moving on, or people (Especially all you folks from Communist, and Third World, countries!) trying to butter me up for their own advertising (Or other, more, nefarious) purposes when it's clear that they haven't really read the blog, or took note of its lack of real traffic, and readers.

You can see that some of my more recent posts, here, have combined my love of cycling, with my other blogging interests, such as cats, photography, and hiking/walking (My trip to meet my friend Randy, in San Clemente, managed to combine all 4 quite spectacularly, hee, hee! You really SHOULD read the 3 part report, if you haven't already. ;-D ).

I've been Bike Blogging since 2003, long before most activists, and industry insiders, thought paying attention to ordinary folks like me, or using blogs, and other social networking tools, themselves, was even worth their time. ;-D

I am proud of what I've done, the prominent Bike Bloggers who told me they got their start by being inspired by my early work, the debates I've stirred, the correspondences, the local newspaper stories about me, the quote in a book, the few requests to test products and blog my thoughts, the invite to a film screening, the speaking engagements I've done, the bits of recognition, and support (Including publicity at events across the country from one friend.) I've gotten, and am honored by the few folks who have become my friends, and that, in a few of cases, I've had the honor, and pleasure, to actually meet in person (You all know who you are!), over the years. ;-D

In addition to the evolving success of my other blogging efforts, here, and here, something happened, on May 7th, that has me wondering if it's safe for me to still ride my bike, and has me wondering if continuing this blog, even if I do keep cycling, is worth my time, and effort.

Let me explain:

 At work on the night of May 7th, around 1015pm, I had a sudden bout of confusion while handling a call (I'm a Directory Assisitance Operator), as a blinking light on the screen would not turn off, and I heard a supervisors voice when there should not have been one.

The next thing I knew was awakening in a hospital emergency room, about 11pm, and was told I had a Gran Mal Seizure.

This scared, confused, and concerned me, as you can imagine!

I'd had brief moments of confusion before, but always attributed them to being tired during a long shift, and always passed the call to a supervisor.

This, obviously, was different.

8 1/2 hours, 2 removals of blood, several other tests, and a cat scan later, I was finally cleared to go home, with a prescription to fill, plans to see a neurologist for a battery of tests as soon as possible, and orders to stay home the next 3 days, at least, and rest.

Nurse_Nikita2 My Cat, Nikita, played nurse all week, making sure I rested, took my meds, and visited the Doctor.

I am scheduled to see a Neurologist on May 27th.

I visited my personal physician, last week, and also went to Hoag Hospital for an EEG.

This is what I know so far...

My Doc told me that my Blood Work showed that I have very Mild Anemia.

Iron Deficiency Anemia is the most common type of anemia throughout the world.

The Doc told me to increase the Iron in my diet, and set up a follow-up appointment for a month from now.

I was given the OK to go to Hoag Hospital, for an EEG, and so decided to dress appropriately for the occasion. ;-D

My choice of attire was a huge hit at the registration desk, and most particularly in the Neurosciences Institute itself. ;-D

A very nice lady, named Tracy, was in charge of administering the EEG, with the help of an assistant, and was very reassuring, and helpful, during the entire process which, including the 20 min. EEG itself, lasted 50 min.

KKMM_EEG2 Tracy asked me questions about what led up to the incident, and the incident itself, about my own health, and the fact that I had a cycling accident in the mid-90's which involved hitting my head on pavement, and a short period of nerve damage that was treated with medication, and my family medical history (Dad was a mental patient for 18 years until his death, Mom Died of Diabetes, and Leukemia.).

I then had 6 small electrodes stuck on my head, with a mild abrasive cleanser, and conductive cream, and an electrode cap, and was instructed to lay back, stay still, close my eyes, and relax, even take a short nap if I wanted (I didn't manage the nap.).

The recording procedure included something called phonetic stimulation...a flashing strobe light given in 10 second increments.

After all was done I was told a hospital Neurologist would examine the results, and in a week all conclusions would be sent to my Doc, and the Neurologist I am scheduled to see, and I might not know more until my meeting with the Neurologist.

While at the hospital I picked up all sorts of flyers, and pamphlets, that will help me understand about EEG'S, and seizures.

Looking over this stuff was quite entertaining for Nikita.

He climbed up into the top of his cat tree, and settled down to read.

He, and I, learned a lot of interesting things.

KKMM_EEG3 A seizure is "the physical response to increased electrical activity in the brain, causing synchronized firing of brain cells."

Depending on what part of a human brain is affected a person can have symptoms such as changes in concentration, muscle contractions, body jerking, or numbness, and tingling.

These events can last from just a few seconds to up to 3 minutes, and sleepiness, and confusion afterwards can last longer. 

I had a Generalized Tonic Clonic which involved full body shaking, a loss of awareness, and the appearance of unconsciousness. Once I awoke I was confused, and sleepy for a time, afterward, at the hospital.

The Electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded the electrical activity in the brain in the form of brain waves.

The idea is to see if my noggin had any abnormal electrical activity going on inside it.

Some folks might consider my poetry, songs, humor, opinions, and other blogging, including the bike blogging, and my strong stances against Critical Mass, and on various cycling issues that angered folks, over the years, as proof enough, without the need of any ol' EEG, but what do they know?

Um, hee, hee! ;-D 

Sit_Spot6bAnyway, now that the initial excitement is past, and I settle down into the routine of taking my Anti-Seizure Meds twice a day (The Generic form of Keppra, called Levetiraceta - 500mg), and finding out what Iron rich foods I should start eating more of, we can both get back to our regularly scheduled Blogging....

Will that blogging include this blog?

Would anyone even notice, or care, if it didn't? ;-D

I am seriously considering retiring from the field, with my health, my honor, my pride, my reputation, and my dignity, intact.

If I still am able to ride my bike I can still blog about my cycling jaunts, here, if I choose, or on one of my other blogs instead. ;-D

Even if I don't blog (Including Photos, & maybe videos, too.) about my own bike riding here on Cycling Dude, I could still blog about issues, and news, I suppose, even though I'm not the most knowledgeable, or connected, and also spend the rest of the year just doing one post each, on all the links in my sidebar, as a way to spread the word about them.

But if no-one reads my posts what is the point of spending my free time doing them when my other writing/blogging interests are on the upswing, and show the potential of leading me somewhere I never could have dreamed when I took up blogging in 2002?

I have Flckr, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, accounts, and a Flip Cam, and new Powershot A1100 Camera, and if I am going to learn to use them all to my advantage for my blogging, and writing, interests, then I am going to do so to further the success of those interests, and talents, of mine that people find interesting, and worth their time to check out, and encourage.


My_first_bike_1962 I know this line of thinking may come as a shock to those fans, and friends, who still stop by, from time to time, and enjoy my efforts...

All I can say is thank you for caring, and for your support, encouragement, and friendship.

Mere words can't express what that means to me.

It's been a wonderful ride.

(If it wasn't cloudy today I might have tossed my bike on the bus for a trip to Newport Beach, this evening and, after a short walk, a Sunset Photo of us both at Inspiration Point, gazing out to sea, to include with this post, but Mother Nature has no interest in co-operating.)



May 18, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (9)

March 26, 2010

Summit in San Clemente 3: Drumming Up a Healthy Brain, Helped by Pizza and a Dollop of Whiskey

KK_SC6a Stephen Dolle is an interesting man, with a fascinating past, and career.

Surviving a car accident, and 7 Brain Surgeries since 1992, barely covers it. ;-D

Don't worry having brain surgery doesn't automatically lead you to take up playing with Bongo Drums on some isolated beach, in staid Orange County, with a crowd of Dope Smoking, half naked, hippies.

While that's a scene right out of the fevered wish-fullfillment dream of a writer for The OC Weekly...HIS taking up of drumming did not lead Stephen down THAT particular path toward enlightenment, and better health. ;-D

Yes, there are youtube videos, and photos, of dancing on the beach, with colorfully clad men, and women, but this is drumming, and dancing, of a healthier, and more interesting, nature. ;-D

As I wrote in Part 1, Mr. Dolle, of Dolle Communications, is a Neuroscientist and Percussionsist, a Facilitator and Consultant.

His interests include using the rhythm, music, and language of drumming for health, wellness, movement, and sensory integration, in the interest of improving mobility, balance, and gait, and reducing stress.

Drum Circles may sound like New Age Nonsense, to some, but as I've come to learn, this week, athletic teams, businesses, and corporations think this stuff is well worth exploring, and utilizing.

Randy, Stephen, and I continued on our walk, along the beach in San Clemente, until we arrived at the San Clemente Pier, where we settled don to a lunch of Pizza and Whiskey, at Cassana's Diner. ;-D

Well, OK, it wasn't ALL Whiskey. ;-D

Randy had brought a bottle of Cream Liqeuer, hidden in a brown paper bag in his shoulder pack, so we could toast our "Historic" meeting.

Since Cassana didn't have Coffee he went next door, and brought some cups of coffee back. ;-D

He then proceeded to, um, liven up our Hot Coffee, a wee bit (Twice!), when no-one was looking. ;-D

This was the first time in 25 years that I had even touched coofee, spiked or not! ;-D

We continued talking, occassionally taking note of the passing female members of Bikinidom Assembled, and I remarked on how screwed some would be, so far from their cars, if they suffered the embarrassment of an unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction". ;-D

The Return to our car was notable for 2 feline sitings, one set in a gully next to trail, and one set in stone, and you can read the report, and see the pictures, on the blog of my Cat Nikita...Street Seens 15: March Madness - San Clemente Weirdness Edition (8 pictures in all)

KK_SC9 Since 1996, Stephen Dolle has been a tireless champion  on behalf of initiatives in the neurosciences, most notably for  the neurological disorder, hydrocephalus, which he sustained following a 1992 auto accident. He had earlier developed and patented a computer-based shunt monitoring system, the DiaCeph Test, for this condition. 

 Dolle Communitcation describes itself as "specializing in drum circle facilitation and neurosciences consulting in health & wellness, corporate teambuilding, sports training, personal communications."

 They offer "individualized DiaCeph monitoring for those with the disorder, hydrocephalus, and are a past developer of diagnostic and assistive apps for use in the management of cognitive disorders"

"Professor Mac's" site is a site overflowing with information, articles, fun facts, videos, and slide shows, that inform, and enlighten, as well as entertain, in a sometimes humorous, very easy to understand fashion.

He believes in using audible rhythm to aid mobility, attentiveness, and wellness (especially in neurological disorders).

 Stephen's 30-year career spans his work as a nuclear medical imaging technologist from 1976 to 1990, and an actor in film and theatre for 3 years in the 80's.

After his accident, and surgeries he started work that got the attention of the Food & Drug Administration.

The activities, and organizations, locally, and nationally, that he's been involved with is lengthy.

The site has sections on issues of Public Policy & Law, Science & Technology, Music & Entertainment, his DiaCeph Test, and Hydrocephalus Shunt Monitoring.

The sections on Drum Circle Fascilitation might have you banging your hands in rhythym on your desk top, a nearby table, or your lap, by the time you are thru reading it all, looking at the pictures, and watching videos. ;-D

As the site explains:

Group drumming, drum circles, or simply "drumming," refers to the modern practice of organized group play of (mostly) hand percussion instruments for the purpose of communal enjoyment, enhancing communications, health & wellness, and a wide array of other causes. Drumming is much more integrated into our modern living than you would expect. Even within the ranks of the community drum circles and industry leaders, there lies wide speculation as to the "spiritual cleansing" that takes place in drum circles....

Group drumming is a platform where participants interact with the rhythms of your brain to engage their mind and body to reach its peak performance, and to better communicate with those around them. Widely termed drum circles, it is an age old practice offering new insights today into team building and communications, which can activate key rhythms of your brain.

I found myself thoroughly enjoying reading, and exploring, all this.

The role of rhythm in our daily lives changes as we age. As our necessary survival skills continues to evolve, there is continued optimizing of rhythm's role in our lives....It is critical that we maintain our rhythm skills to remain competitive, healthy, and properly connected to those around us. Regrettably, our increasing reliance on electronic communications and technology may NOT permit sufficient exposure to needed communication rhythms. While electronic communications and artificial intelligence offers many benefits, it is yet to replace live human interaction.

Hopefully thoughts such as these will peak your interest enough to explore his site yourself. ;-D


 Around 4pm Stephen, and I said our good-byes to Randy, and Stephen drove me to the cliffs overlooking Dana Harbor where, as the fog rolled in, I set off on a 2 hour hike above the beach, and on its shores, to the north.



At one point I found myself, in a foggy field of flowers, humming, "We're off to see the Wizard!", and imagining myself wandering in a field of ...Poppies! Poppies!

Luckily they were no such thing, or I might still be there sound asleep. ;-D 

I eventually found my way to Pacific Coast Highway, found myself some dinner, and began the bus trip home.

All in all it was a fun, and interesting day. ;-D



Thanks go to Stephen for taking several of the cool pics in this series, and to both men for suggestions of shots as well. ;-D

***END NOTE***








March 26, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (1)

Summit in San Clemente 2: Exercising the Mind, Soul, and Body, Head to Toe, Strolling the Beach

KoShaReyDolleMtg.3 If you are arriving late I invite you to read part onewhere I meet Randy Eady, and Stephen Dolle, in San Clemente, Ca., then come back as we head to the beach for an afternoon stroll. ;-D

While the beach, sand, and surf, were full of people...

the paved San Clemente Beach Trail was also busy with walkers, joggers, and cyclists of ages, and all types...

as well as people being walked by their Dogs. ;-D

This trail is just 1 of 8 trails spread out throughout the city, and those other trails are ones I hope to explore if I can get to them by bus, and/or bike.

The ocean surf was cool to see in action, and what was equally fascinating was the foliage along the trail, the dirt, and wood, step paths (some public, most private) that take people from the cliff tops to the beach, and back again.


KoShaReyDolleMtg.6 I much prefered walking across the soft stones of that therapeutic cobblestone walkpad, in my stocking feet...than walking on the rocks in the tracks, and to their sides...

Um, hee, hee! ;-D

Anyway, where was I?

The cliffs themselves are an entertaining feature of the landscape, in both natural, and unnatural ways.The variety of foliage from flowers, and cactus, to weeds, and trees, placed their beauty, from top to bottom of cliffs pockmarked with a natural craggynbess that was marred in a few places by man-made graffiti, carved into the sandstone rock over the years, and so weathered, in many places, as to be un-readable.

We had a lot of fun finding ways to pose with, or without, the cobblestone pad, and even to let the pad, alone, be the star on the steps against the cliff face.

At one point, as I posed for a photo...

we came very close to losing your humble correspondent due to an, um, unfortunate lack of balancing ability on hiis part. ;-D

KK_SC10 While Randy saves my ass, from a fate most terrible, it's as good a time as any to tell you more about him, and his work. ;-D

The Glider Rider Bike, in all its forms, from toddler, to adult, is a bike without pedals that encourages the rider to use their feet, and the motions of walking, to balance themselves, and propel the bike forward.

The stories I've written, linked in Part 1, are a great way to introduce yourself to the bike, and then explore the website to learn more about the recreational, and therapeutic uses for the child version of this bike.

Randy had images of the new, older child, and adult versions and I found them quite interesting.

In the video below, you can get a brief look at the larger bikes.

It was a while before I learned that the bike was just 1 side of the work that Randy is doing.

As founder of Ko Sha Rey Rhythms Therapeutics he is deeply involved in body, Seat and Feet Therapy.

KoShaReyDolleMtg.7 As Randy writes on the Seat and Feet Website:

"True prevention and health promotion practices build and sustain a person’s resilience and fortitude.

Yet, it sometimes requires something different than access to current services for health."

  "Balance is my element. Mobility is my passion!
I love freedom of movement and experiencing the world from the different perspectives of a balanced center" he says.

Thru several programs they call Back2Life, O2B4Again, and Ancient Walking to Primal Rhythms, they are "bridging the divide and integrating traditional medicinal practices with the rigors of scientific, evidence-based research"

The video on the Seat and Feet site is an entertaining, and informative discussion, and demonstration, of some of the things they are working on. 

On his Ko Sha Rey website one can learn more about what Randy, and his work, are all about:

 His work has "led to therapy protocols and research that provide answers to natural healing processes associated distinctively with bio-energetic stimuli for chronic and degenerative illnesses for which traditional medicine provide nominal support such as PTSD.
As creator of the Ancient Walking to Primal Rhythms Program, he is the developer of numerous therapeutic garden designs that offer evidence-based symptom relief...

KoShaReyDolleMtg.8His portable therapeutic gardens have been dicussed and presented at major international healthcare conferences and can be found at numerous musical festivals throughout the world."

The website introduces, and explains, the various holistic, recreation-based therapy programs, in brief written and visual, ways that help readers better grasp the complex issues, and concepts, under discussion.

They aim to bring "Symmetry and Balance to Wellness" through their concepts of "Integrative Health and Rehabilitation, for all generations".

As mentioned earlier Randy was in San Diego for a speaking engagementat a convention.

The convention was Environments for Aging 2010, and he spoke on Monday morning.

His topic was something he called "Innovative Sensory Designs that enhance Human experience: Primal Rythyms - Designing a Garden Garden Setting for Therapeutic Continuum of Movement".

I know, I know, sleep inducing... ;-D

But as I sat thru his chat, at the Carl's Jr., he made it reasonably understandable to this scientific illiterate. ;-D

KK_SC8 So it's not hard to believe that he had  an audience that dared to step right up, and listen to his presention, in the palm of his hand. ;-D

And the description in the Conference Preview Guide describes it this way:

"Therapeutic gardens are emerging in many environments across the country and perhaps you would like one in your location as well.

This session highlights Ancient Walking to Primal Rhythms, a program that features a movement continuum framework of labyrinths, tai chi, and an oriental foot-centered hydrotherapy technique known as Ashiyu.

Shown to help participants deliver selfcare and healing, the program initiates a calming reflex that allows the body to meditate and the mind to move."

You can visit the website here.

Now that Randy has me safely back on solid ground its time to continue on down the beach, and to introduce you to Stephen as well. ;-D

***UPDATE - 3/29/10***

Now that the conference is over Randy has sent me a link to a wonderful Slide (15 slides) Presentation, from his event, that "talks about rhythmic movement helping the immune system."












March 26, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (0)

Summit in San Clemente: Cycling Dude Meets Glider Rider to the Sound of Beating Drums

Well, OK, we didn't have the drum, but we DID meet with a drummer! ;-D

Let me begin at the beginning...

KK_SC1It's 530am on a cool Saturday morning, March 20, 2010, and I found myself sitting at the Transit Terminal at the Fashion Square Mall, in Newport Beach.

Aside from 2 homeless men, with all their worldly possessions, sleeping on a couple of benches, the #57 Bus on break, and a Mall Security car in the empty parking lot, there is at first only the just arrived True Blue Catering Truck, with 2 Hispanic Ladies inside gossiping away, as they prepared their food, to keep me company for the 45 min. until the #1 to San Clemente arrives.

By 730am I arrived at the end of the line in San Clemente, and decided to do some exploring for the 90 min. before my friend arrived.

I spotted a group of cyclists, from a local YMCA I was told, preparing to ride around Camp Pendleton thanks to a Special Military Pass one of them had obtained.

This would not be even remotely like the ride the general public has been allowed to do again, since early 2005, good news that I was instrumental in making public, and clarifying, at the time, thru e-mails, and phone calls (Here was Pre-access rte - 2004, then here the good news in 2005).


I next headed toward the trail that leads to Trestles Beach, the fabled Surfer Mecca, located at the nearby San Mateo Creek Natural Preserve (Conservancy), a short 15 minute walk, one way.



As I made my way to the side trail to the beach I was passed up by the YMCA Riders. ;-D



 An easy, quiet, walk down narrow, paved, paths to the beach  leads to an encounter with the areas namesake...



and spectacular views of the beach, sand, and surf.

As you can see, in one of the above pictures,  many cyclists rig their bikes so as to transport their boards to, and from, the beach.

Once back at Carl's Jr. I settled down to await the arrival of the person I'd come to meet.

The rest of this tale will be interspersed with the many photos from the rest of the day, as we chatted, and then later walked, and chatted some more along the beach in San Clemente.

572 About 915am Randy Eady drove up and, with smiles, handshakes, and manly half hug/half back slaps an historic meeting, never even dreamed of when we first became aware of each other in 2006, began. ;-D

As we settle down to await the 3rd person to take place in this summit let me refresh long time readers, and tell newcomers, about our relationship over the years:

1. Raising A Cyclist In 21st Century America -Christmas Day 2006. 

2. Raising A Cyclist In 21st Century America: Part 2 - November 15, 2007.

3. Cycling Dude Promoted at Florida Conference! - March 3, 2008.

4. So Easy A 3 year Old Can Do It! - Sept. 12, 2009.

5. Blog Posts About Segways, and the Smell of Apathy Bring Great Comments by Randy -Sept. 14, 2009

6. New York Times Reports on Balance Bikes 3 Yrs. After Cycling Dude's 1st Story

Randy is involved in more than cycling, and I will get to that shortly.

Meanwhile...another car enters the parking lot, and another man approached our table.

KK_SC6 His name was Stephen Dolle, and a most remarkable man he turned out to be. ;-D

As I later learned...this man had endurred more than a few complex brain surgeries, since 1992, but he sure was remarkable spry through our day together, hee, hee! ;-D 

Mr. Dolle, of Dolle Communications, is a Neuroscientist and Percussionsist, a Facilitator and Consultant.

His interests include using the rhythm, music, and language of drumming for health, wellness, movement, and sensory integration, in the interest of improving mobility, balance, and gait, and reducing stress.

Drum Circles may sound like New Age Nonsense, to some, but as I've come to learn, this week, athletic teams, businesses, and corporations think this stuff is well worth exploring, and utilizing.

But more on that later. ;-D

The next 2 1/2 hours of chat were interesting.

At first you might not think these 2 men, and their interests had anything in common, but the more I've read into their work I can inderstand why they might want to work together.

KoShaReyDolleMtg.2 We sat outside Carl's Jr. as I listened to them talk about Randy's upcoming Monday Presentation at a convention at the Hotel Del Coronado, in  San Diego, and his related activities online, and elsewhere, in all of his therapeutic interests with the body, feet, walking, and the Glider Rider.

They also talked about how Stephens interests in therapy, thru neuroscience, and percussion instruments, such as drums, realted to all this in many ways.

From time to time we also discussed my various blogging interests related to cycling, and to hiking, and more, as well as how Randy, and I, know each other.

I don't pretend to have understood all that they talked about, and all that they do, but I have found that what I did grasp was very interesting.

Both men were friendly, funny, and thought provoking.

We took some pictures around Randy's mat of Therapeutic stones, infront of the less than healthy drive-up menu of Carl's Jr., and made plans for a walk along the beach for the rest of the afternoon.

Along  the beach trail we we continued our conversations about each others activities, and interests, while stopping for photos, and observing our fellow beach goers. (Continued in Pt. 2)





March 26, 2010 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (0)