1927 on three different rides

1060 miles on the way to work, plus another 867 on the trainer, plus X amount of mystery miles before I got hired on rides to forget the job search. That number in reality is probably over 2K, but I'm neither concerned nor accurate enough to hazard a guess. But not bad for a year that got off to a horrendous start. Good riddance 2010. Now let's watch a ND team I can't quite get behind pound on 'the u' before washing the year down with copious amounts of alcohol. Happy new year!

Current beer-scale: 8.9


Like it never happened.

Almost getting run over or not, I'm not about to stop riding. And with gas prices getting out of control in Chicago right now, I can feel pretty good about that decision. Via bikecommuter's gas savings calculator:
Your daily gas savings is $8.16 dollars and lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your weekly gas savings would be $40.79 dollars and 226.88 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your monthly gas savings would be $163.17 dollars and 907.50 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your yearly gas savings would be $2,121.17 dollars and 11,797.50 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere.
Granted I wasn't commuting all year this year and this is based on the exorbitant gas prices I've seen since the holiday, but I got in a good 5+ months once I got rolling. Depending on how motivated I am to hop on the trainer before new years, my mileage count should look pretty good by Saturday evening. I wonder if I could talk the wife into getting yet another bike by showing her that yearly gas savings number...

Probably not.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


Ah, such a picturesque scene. You almost can't imagine nearly getting run over by the 66 Chicago bus. No, you're right ms. bus driver, honking and speeding by w/inches to spare is a fine way to handle traffic conditions.

Fuck you.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

Timing issues

No, not that kind.

My commute has been all over the place lately. Getting up yesterday after a few extra days off, I got a bag together relatively quickly and left a few minutes early. It was only 8:15 when I got to the office, making for a pretty long day of doing nothing and listening to construction on the floor above me. Hoping to avoid more of the same today I dragged my feet a little this morning and left later than usual. Still got here at 8:20.

Even though it was cold enough to motivate a little speed it's not like I've been sprinting both days this week. I have a lovely new pearl izumi jacket just for weather like this BTW. Maybe the lack of car traffic just makes it that much easier to get downtown quickly without fearing for my life every few blocks. We did get some weather over christmas but by now it's all taken care of and not slowing anyone down. I guess I'll just have to sleep for a few more minutes tomorrow morning and see when I make it in by.

Current beer-scale: 5.1 & about to watch some Tuesday night football


Happy photobomb!

Hi! Merry christmas!

Current beer-scale: 7.3 & on our way to the brother-in-law's


made it!

I don't know how it happened, but the holidays are here and I have a few days off. Perfect timing, b/c even in decent conditions I feel like today's ride will take a day or two to recover from. But after a few drinks last night I feel ready to have a few more and get that recovery started.

Holiday beer-scale: a festive 6.9


Wow. Just...wow.

So. That is indeed some guy reading the situation's book on the train, and not noticing my taking a pic after 5 drinks at the office christmas party. Let's just say I was trying not to cackle hysterically while taking it.

Even better, we saw the christmas train just as we exited the red line @ fullerton. Now that's good timing.

Current beer-scale: 1.9 after a solid 5 whiskeys @ the party this afternoon.


Wednesday at noon

And counting down.

Someone got to open some presents a little early this weekend...

Partly b/c the in-laws thought it would be funny to wrap some treats and throw them under the treat. A cute thought, but wrapping a pig ear isn't going to keep super-turd there from:

a)immediately smelling a treat and
b)immediately shredding anything keeping her from said treat if she can get away with it.

So she was happily shredding presents all day yesterday. Hopefully she doesn't get any ideas home alone with the tree today. She did look pretty tired by the time we got home last night.

Current beer-scale: a Bears/MNF high of 8.2 & climbing


I snuck over 1000 miles on the bike since starting my new job this week. And just in time too, b/c my riding is about to taper off for the holidays over the next two weeks. It wasn't something I was actively shooting for but now that it's happened I feel pretty great about it. Good to have a job at least.

Current beer-scale: 6.8 & climbing on a Friday


So it begins

Tonite's the second holiday party on my schedule but the first of four coming from work. There's tonite, Saturday's reception for Dec graduates, Tuesday's department party, and Wednesday's University party. Woof. I still rode today b/c having to go up to RoPo means I could leave early to stop at home then go to the party. Tonite's actually the one I'm least looking forward too, but when it's done it's Friday so I'll suck it up. I'll deal with having to take the train next week if it comes to that. That's what fancy phones are for.

I installed the available update for my Droid X yesterday and I have to say, that might be the last phone I ever need. The camera is great, there's plenty of memory for my decent-sized personal playlist, angry birds is addictive, and the call clarity isn't too bad either. I'm not immediately comfortable with change on a device I've gotten used to, but most of the changes seem surface-level. The only thing that did happen was I lost the band and album info on all the music I already had on the phone. But everything else works.

I took this last night after the update while I was goofing around. I had hoped a picture of the tree would help my mood this morning, no luck so far. The polaroid effect does a nice job of concealing just what a crappy fake plastic tree we have. Other than the laptop that could be a picture from my childhood. Minus the tinsel. I miss tinsel.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


You can still laugh

4 degrees out, ice everywhere, about to pull on 5 layers to be able to keep riding to work, the dog could still make me laugh this morning.

"What do you mean I can't take this inside?"

Of course, that's after letting her run through the park and not being able to convince her it was time to go home right away. When she finds a good stick she likes to keep a good stick. Still funny enough to make me smile. Thank god for dogs.

I hope I don't have any pictures of me or the bike covered in snow after I get home tonite.

Current beer-scale: 8.2


Baby it's cold outside

And I really should have stayed home today.

My office had a cookie exchange yesterday during our all-staff update meeting. I took the train to work carrying 30 cookies. At least I remembered how to make them from my time-killing exercises during unemployment last year.

In any case, it was 10 below zero so I wasn't too upset at not riding. Today I was back on the bike, even after having had too many cookies yesterday and wishing I could stay home. I probably should have, b/c work has me wishing I could reach through the phone and strangle people.

Not being able to use my usual bike rack this AM wasn't helping--why the fuck are there suddenly more people riding when it's below zero then when it was snow-free and a balmy 20 degrees? Pile that in with someone walking right in the front door with their folder when I was walking back from a rack further away and the day started with me ready to decapitate someone. Phone calls from idiots are only making things worse.

Current beer-scale: 9.9


Taking a day off

From the bike at least. With the wife having a day off and a stack of presents under my desk to bring home today was as good a day as any to leave the bike in the basement. I hate the lazy feeling that comes over me when I don't ride, but that's just the OCD in me. Some routines are easy to stick to and biking is one of mine.

The worst part is getting a ride to work on a morning where it would have been just as easy to ride. If anything, I have an easier time riding a bike than in a car as a passenger. The only positive going for the car is it's easier to stop at starbucks for a coffee But even then you get stuck behind some Michigan fan mouth-breathing in line, so it's more of a wash.

But damn is it quiet in the office today. All the more reason to leave early I guess. I've got whiskey to drink back at home.

Current beer-scale: 4.1


One of the drawbacks to bike commuting I've found is that over time I've become more and more anti-social. The wife makes fun of me for tending agoraphobically but that's not quite it. I just prefer being able to control when I leave, how fast I go, and not be physically confined in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. Of course, riding can be uncomfortable sometimes and I got used to that, so there is an argument I could re-acclimate to the train or bus.

But I had a mid-afternoon meeting today up north, and instead of riding there and calling it a day I took the shuttle from and back to my office. I used to ride the shuttle a lot when I lived up north and had class or worked downtown, but it's been about five years since then. More, actually. And a lot's changed.

The convenience of having a phone that can play mp3's, games, and video is not lost on me. I spent the trip back playing angry birds and listening to the white stripes. But that was while engulfed in a cloud of axe body spray positively wafting off the undergrads on the shuttle. I wish my phone had an incense app.

But the shuttle was the right move, b/c the look I got at the lake path was awfully icy. Back in school sometimes I was so busy that the shuttle going on LSD was the closest I got to a beach trip and today reminded me about that. But in weather this cold I think it's wise to stay away from the lake unless we're at the dog beach.

Current beer-scale: 5.9


10 degrees

Eventually the thought "Holy piss it's cold" will get old. Until then, HOLY PISS IT'S COLD! Nine degrees yesterday meant I was happy it was at least a double-digit 12 today. Added a layer and the facemask, toughed it out. Honestly the ride in wasn't bad either day. The ride home last night was fucking awful. Windy, dark, and slow enough that I noticed just how cold my hands and feet were getting. Total shit.

At least I remembered my phone today, so I can play angry birds all afternoon. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 7.2


Thank god for coffee

Not bad for Dec. 1st. Snow flurries are starting to intensify but temperatures aren't what you'd call "arctic." If I ride the rest of this week and all of next, I'll be at over 1000 miles for the year. Add in the trainer miles and that's a decent-looking 2010. Much prettier than the scene out my window right now:

Yeah, that's snow starting to stick. You could actually see it drift during big gusts of wind this morning on the path. I was thrilled to pour a big cup of coffee this morning, and I think it's time to pour another.

Current beer-scale: 1.2


time saved

Holy piss did it get cold today!

Riding a crappy bike, I'm not too worried about where I lock up this winter. Since I was the only person headed downtown on a bike while I was going in this morning, I thought there might be room on the rack right in front of my building. I was right, but there was only one side open vs both.

The guard gave me shit as I walked in too. "Oh, I didn't think you were still riding." No guy, I wear the bike helmet I always have with me on the train too. At least being right by the door will save me some walk time this evening. Shit it's going to be cold.

Current beer-scale: 5.8


Two turkey hilights & bitching about headwinds


We put our tree up post-thanksgiving as is our tradition, and afterwards I had a chance to "fine-tune" frankenbike for this week. Quotes b/c there's nothing fine about it. But the tires felt a little slushy and needed some air, and since I had toe-clips going unused they got tossed on the worst bike in the city. Just in time to struggle through a totally craptastic headwind on the way in this morning. If it stays breezy it might be time to switch to the cutting-thru-the-neighborhood route instead of the path. Shortcuts are smart. But there's nothing like going back to work after a few days off with elements that seem dead set on keeping you from getting there.

And what a few days off they were. ND beat USC, the Bears beat Philly and M. Vick got hit a few times, and I figured out that I could use my mother-in-law's laptop to put the NFL network broadcast on the big screen to cap off Thursday.

The dog was less than impressed, but she was exhausted from getting so much attention over the course of the day.

I don't blame her. The holidays are fun, but damn can they be draining.

Current beer-scale: 8.2



Yesterday was my 300th post. Today I'm waiting for the metra to take me to Wheaton w/a pie on my lap. For all their convenience I still hate the train. Too bad I couldn't find any rye to pick up on my way to the station.

Ah the holidays.

And here's five seconds of the start of the train ride, b/c any longer makes you want to blow your brains out.

Current beer-scale: 8.6


Today put me over 900 miles since July

But who gives a shit b/c it was 35 degrees colder over a 24-hour period. Damn.

I need a smaller cog so I'm not hopelessly spinning to try and keep a decent pace. Although I might feel differently when the weather really changes. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

There's a new ND story in the paper that makes me sick to my stomach. Add that to my sinuses punching me in the brain today and having a few days off soon is starting to sound really great. I am disappoint.

Current beer-scale: 9.4 & Tuesdays suck


Remember that time I got hit by lightning?

We laughed and laughed...

I've ridden in some ridiculous shit before. Chicago can get difficult and I try not to complain too much b/c I'm the one choosing to get on a bike instead of a train. Today was one of those days, where a light rain turned into a complete downpour and I kept going anyway. At one point by the lake lightning hit so close I saw a red flash along with the white. The accompanying thunder was so loud I thought it was cracking right over me. Good times. Still better than snow.

WGN had the temperature at 61 degrees when I got out of bed this morning so I was riding no matter what conditions were like. I had been thinking about switching to Frankenbike for a while now and the light rain pushed me over the edge. It's in surprisingly ride-able shape these days. I put some fixation session 23's on for winter hoping they would have enough tread even though they're real skinny. The gearing is a little suspect; bigger than a stock single speed but not even close to as big a ratio as I usually ride on the pilot. Which is good, b/c stopping is always a good idea and even taking it easy I felt like I was spinning away the entire ride. I forgot to put toe-clips on this weekend, how do you just 'forget' something like that? Definitely something to fix in the next day or two. As long as I get through the next day or two.

Thank god this is a short week. Bring on turkey and a few days off.

Current beer-scale: 3.9



Okay, getting a little cold out there. Might be time to bring the beard back. To hell with having a job and needing to look professional.

Ah, the weekend. Late ND game and no Bears, but plenty of beer and a nice open couch with my name all over it.

Current beer-scale: 5.1


another one bites the dust

The Borders across the street from my office is going out of business; when I noticed the "everything must go" signs up last night on my way home I almost stopped and locked up the bike outside to go in and take a look. I waited until this afternoon to head over, and I understand why they're going out of business.

As a grad fellow I spent my lunch break at that same Borders every day. I read the entire "Preacher" series, along with a few others. When I was finishing my Masters, instead of buying a $75 style guide, I grabbed a store copy and basically edited my thesis on the floor. I now own most of the books I read for free back then (except the style guide, graduate school is damn ridiculous) so don't judge me too harshly. I didn't get them all at that Borders though, and why the hell would I. I went in looking for three things today: "The Monster at the End of this Book" for a friend who just had her first kid, the latest Christopher Moore vampire book, and Venture Bros season 4.1. The Seasame St. book wasn't in stock, Moore was hardcover only for $25, and Venture Bros was under glass. No one was around to open it up for me, so the hardcover got left behind and out I walked.

I'm not above buying a hardcover b/c I can't wait for the paperback. I'm impulsive that way and it doesn't bother me. I could undoubtedly find it online for cheaper though, and could certainly find Venture Bros for less than however much Borders was charging. And I would instantly know how much someone was charging online too (it's on amazon for $17.99, down from $23.98). It's just too bad to see a monster chain that killed a lot of smaller local shops but had some positives going for it succumb to the weight of the holes in its own business plan. People will always buy books, movies, and music in some form, but more and more often it won't be at places like Borders.

Alright, that's enough of me sermonizing. I'm no economist. Football head-smashing time!

Current beer-scale: 6.9

My competitive side sometimes gets the best of me

I admit, I am a Cat 6 racer in the worst sense. I take it personally when people pass me too close, and grit my teeth with jealousy when I'm slogging through a headwind and see some spandex-clad spazz spinning away in the opposite direction. I despise drafters, and took a perverse pleasure in shaking one off last night and seeing their headlight fade behind me. I like to get home fast, and that means I basically race home.

And really, I don't see much wrong with that. As much as I enjoy the ride I'd much rather be home with the wife and dog. And on days like today it's even worse, with the Bears in the Thursday night game and pizza for dinner plans. Nevermind the fact that fall is actually here and it was below freezing for the morning ride today. I'll go as fast as I can in those conditions. And I should enjoy it while I can b/c earlier reports of possible AM slush had me prepping Frankenbike last night as I grilled dinner outside. Goodbye speed.

Current beer-scale: 7.2


Rather one-sided for a philosophical conversation

You would think someone with pro-life stickers plastered all over their car would be better drivers. At least you'd think they'd pay more attention at stop lights. But no, apparently ever life is sacred unless you're late for work. Then it's every fucker for themselves.

Not that I blame them. I don't give a shit about the people inching along in cars, and I accept the fact they don't give a shit about me. But after nearly getting run down multiple times this morning, the last thanks to said pro-lifer completely running a red light, I'd like to take a bazooka and clear some traffic on the way home tonite. Especially if anyone is pig-headed enough to go all bumper-sticker philosophy on me.

Ultimately this had to happen. Saturday and Sunday were too good to not have some sort of Monday letdown. I didn't think that would mean nearly getting killed though.

Current beer-scale: 9.8


another walkabout

We have tickets to Tosh tonite, so it was another walk to work morning for me. The wife has the day off and offered to drive me, but walking gave us a chance to spend some additional time together. Plus, the dog freaks out when the routine changes at all Mon-Fri, so she was happily spazzing.

We split up after a starbucks trip, the wife having the drag the dog away. It's never fun. It was much crappier this morning vs my last walk, so a peppermint mocha actually quite hit the spot.

I passed farm in the zoo again this morning, which makes me laugh. I used to hate walking there for work but now I walk 5 miles to work seemingly whenever I have the chance. But it really was dreary out.

Anyway, here's to a chance to have dinner somewhere downtown before Tosh tonite. Then finding whiskey to drink at home.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


Too early friends

It was cold in Chicago for a couple of days last week. Cold enough that pumpkin lattes sounded really good and it was maybe time to start actually nailing down Thanksgiving plans. It was the first week of November after all.

Not quite time to put up Christmas lights though, which is starting downtown. Granted, there are millions of lights to put up so I guess it makes sense that things might start this early. ZooLights are already going up I'm sure. But look how gorgeous it still is outside! Let's get to Thanksgiving before we start the Christmas countdown at least. It's going to be 60 degrees for christ' sake (and I can't wait to ride in it!).

Current beer-scale: 8.1


launch initiated

November dog beach trips. What else are you going to do after daylight savings when the dog won't go back to sleep?

Current beer-scale: 4.1


I love riding at night. Even when I get a text from the wife saying the car now has a flat (what kind of fucked up karma did we build up somewhere?), even when it's 30 degrees and I'm trying to navigate through impatient Friday night traffic.

Which is good, b/c that was at 10 after 6 PM, and in another 2 days that'll be 5 PM. Ah, daylight savings. Time for drinks!

Weekend beer-scale: 5.1 and itching for whiskey.

Piece of cake

Wet, windy cake.

Not the best conditions but just about anything would be better than the ride home last night. Crawling into a nasty headwind, if I had stopped pedaling I would have been blown backwards. At least the sun was out this morning. It looked nice.

Yesterday I was in a hurry to get home after getting a text from the wife saying she was giving up on the train and walking home, so the wind was a bit of an obstacle. But I've been in worse situations and had to slog through worse conditions so it really wasn't too bad. Until it started to rain. And hail. That sucked. Plus there was the dead battery in the car to deal with once I got home. We managed to eventually get the car started though, so there were positives.

Tonite I get to take a night ride since I'm staying late to make sure some meetings that are on the schedule actually happen. So it will be a long day, but if the car's still running there might be some Papa Johns in my future. Papa Johns, no ND, Bears-Bills. I can make it. I know I can. Just look at that sun.

Current beer-scale: 6.7


Bikes don't have batteries

I'm thrilled to be working for many reasons, not the least of which is not having to use the car that much. So when we're about to go grocery shopping and the car won't start, it's kind of a surprise. So after work today I get to play with the battery charger. Exactly how I want to spend a few minutes of my Thursday evening. At least it's not cold ou...oh shit.

Current beer-scale: 8.1



Go vote.

Current beer-scale: 5.2


just in time for winter

Holy crap is this coat sharp looking. I wish I had $600 to blow on something like that.

Actually, it's probably best I don't. I like my wife not divorcing me.

Current beer-scale: 4.2


Someone's always crazier

So I thought I was insane for riding yesterday. Through a downpour, with people freaking out about 50 mph wind gusts. I made it alright, but saw something even crazier on the way home yesterday.

Yeah, that's someone in the lake swimming like it's not the end of October. I admire his dedication, but have to question his sanity. At least he had a wetsuit on. The best part was, I was worried about getting blown off the path into the lake if a strong gust hit me at the wrong time. And here was this guy, quietly plowing his way through out into the lake. Madness.

And no, my clothes were not dry as I was taking this picture. Brrrrrrr.

Current beer-scale: 3.1


even by my standards

that was dumb.

Walking the dog was an adventure this morning. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph, high wind advisory and a tornado warning in the area, amidst a driving rain. Of course she didn't want to stay out too long, and of course I could not be persuaded to take the train when we were done.

She didn't even want to look as I got ready this morning.

The ride ended up not being too terrible. The rain died down until I was getting close to the bike path, and the wind only threatened to blow me off the bike once. It was worth it though, b/c by now the sun is out and even though the wind is still howling through the alleys between buildings it seems pleasant enough for an afternoon ride home.

I just hope my clothes a dry by 5 PM.

Good job, old chap!

Current beer-scale: 4.9


Adding to my list of things I never thought I would do but end up doing anyway, I spent my Sunday morning puking in an airplane lavatory.
A S. Carolina sunset Saturday evening

Overall I would call it a positive experience. And it wasn't the whole flight, just after we landed and were taxing to the gate. Tricky timing, getting up and getting to the door without getting told to sit back down. Which wouldn't have happened without me puking on someone. Let's just say when you're flying at 6:00 AM after a wedding the night before, listen to your wife when she tells you to take it easy. Do NOT, for any reasons, spend the four-hour reception drinking whiskey and top it off with a few beers in the hotel lobby at the end of the night.

Completing the stereotype, I did feel much better after jamming myself up against the walls to launch what little was in my stomach at the airplane toilet. Thankfully I hadn't eaten that much anyway. Plus, since I held it down until after a remarkably bumpy landing, I could go straight from the bathroom to the line to get the hell off the plane after just sitting down on the toilet until we finally arrived at the gate. Too bad leaving that early meant we were home in time to watch the Bears/Redskins game, which had me feeling nauseous all over again.

All in all a great end to a great weekend. Good fun with some of my oldest friends; never in a million years when I met my freshman roommate for the first time did I ever think 15 years later I'd be standing up in his wedding. Remarkable where a life can lead sometimes. Which was not what I was thinking while vomiting in an airplane the next day.

Current beer-scale: 0.9


A long-standing tradition

With a flight to catch tonight after work, the bike had to stay at home this morning. But rather than sleep in and take the train, I got up a hour early as the wife was getting ready and walked to work. That way I could walk with her to the train, and then leisurely walk to my office 5 miles away. Picture time!

Meandering down Lincoln, I caught sight of the Hancock building (the one w/the spires). It's a handy visual reference since my office is basically an extra block south and across the street. This was at Armitage & Lincoln, maybe about 3.5 miles away. I had over an hour to get to work at this point.

I thought about cutting over to see the outside of LPZ and take some slightly more interesting pictures, maybe of the wolves or farm in the zoo, but nuts to the zoo. Here's the sun breaking through the trees behind the Historical Society building instead.

The wife texted me to say she had forgotten her lunch around then, so I modified my route to head directly to her building to drop off the pequods slice I had brought for myself. Yeah, I'm just that kind of awesome. But heading to walk down inner-LSD gave me more time in the sun anyway. I was actually moving faster on foot than some of the traffic thanks to a bunch of construction. And people ask why I ride my bike.

I always wondered why people who live over there even bother to wait for the buses that come down that way. Why not just walk to where ever you're working, as long as it's not complete shit out.

Anyway, here's the Hancock again, much closer up. I still had over half-an-hour before I had to get to work at this point, so I had time to drop off my lunch and go get a crappy cup of 7-11 coffee before heading into the office. If you're in Chicago, avoid the 7-11 on Chicago & Dearborn like the plague. Seriously, that place is awful.

I'll be on a flight in less than 10 hours, and I'm starting to get antsy for some drinks. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 9.0


After a nipple-freezing ride in just t-shirts and arm sleeves yesterday, it was time to bring out the big guns. Namely, the long sleeve wool big guns.

I picked this up on ebay over the summer for a ridiculous fraction of what other sites might charge for it. But after just one ride, even if I had paid more it would have been worth it. It's only in the 40's in the morning now and going to get a lot colder, but this jersey is the start of some great layering. I've been looking for something non-technical to wear in colder weather and wool fits the bill.

Of course with the bike polo references and old-school wool craftsmanship it's cut to hipster standards and slightly snug on my less than svelte frame. The wooden buttons seem a bit over the top as well, but those are my only real issues with the jersey. It's warm, not too itchy, and feels like it will be a great base layer later in the year. Now, if only that kind of weather would hold off just a little longer.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


23 miles Friday, took nearly all weekend to recuperate. All the drinking helped, but not really.

Current beer-scale: 2.3 and depressed after what I would call a lackluster Mad Men


(via tiportiff)

Eh, sometimes it is.

Good for manners though. The path, if not the world, would be a more pleasant place if people lived by this motto.

Current beer-scale: 4.8


learning experience

I saw a great looking bernese mountain dog on the way to work this morning. Unfortunately, I saw her while she was wandering across the lakefront path with people coming at her from both directions. I managed to slow down and stay out of the way, but that was with barely avoiding getting rear-ended by the chick behind me.

Whether she owned her or not I don't know, but the woman walking the dog was all the way down the beach at the water politely calling for her dog who was about to get creamed by someone. I had enough room to turn and call her a fucking moron, but that wasn't quite enough for how mad I was at the situation. Of course it's still uber-nice for the middle of October and all the speed freaks are back out, if a dog got in the way of their morning time trial I would wager that's all she wrote for the dog. It pissed me off.

Even worse, I still feel bad about it. That dog was just doing her own thing, happy and oblivious to what she was doing. Just b/c I managed to avoid hitting her doesn't mean she was safe with all those other bikers and runners out. What I should have done was come to full stop and shoo'd the dog back to the beach, that way I'd know she was alright. That would have given me an excuse to give the lady walking her a larger, louder, more profanity-laced piece of my mind too, which I think would have made me feel much better. Not everyone should be allowed to own a dog, and if you're letting it walk across a busy street or path, you're in that group.

Current beer-scale: 8.1, shit-ily high for a Monday AM


what happened to fall?

80 degrees on the way home and four times the assholes out. Good times

Current beer-scale: 7.2


Totally glorious out, which is nice b/c I've frozen my balls off the last two mornings riding into work.

On an unrelated note, I got dropped like an absolute sack of crap yesterday on my way home. It was completely ridiculous. I stuck with the guy from the Drake to the North Ave bridge but after that, he was gone. The dropping I can handle, but I was exhausted by yesterday afternoon and I don't know what happened. Took the dog for a decently long walk and called it a night. And as it stands now that's all that's on the docket for tonight.

Current beer-scale: 5.2


Even in crappy weather, a weekend trip to the dog beach is enough to get some pretty great smiles out of all involved.

Fall is here people, and it's freezing.

Current beer-scale: 6.4 after one last high life as the Bears got throttled last night.


As craptastic as the ride into work was this morning, there was a glimmer of hope in the sun that was trying to crack through the clouds out over the lake. You could see it if you squinted away from the rain that showed up unannounced and really looked for it.

I'd have shot a pic, but a phone upgrade suddenly made me apprehensive about shoving a new phone into the black hole that is my bag before a ride. Hopefully I can get a case that gives me enough confidence to at least have a phone on me, but that might be it for the one-handed travel shots for now. That phone is fucking complicated.

Bears-Packers in less than 10 hours. No sweat, I can make it.

Current beer-scale: 7.8 and still floating after too many bbq beers Saturday. Had to ignore the beatdown Stanford layed on ND somehow.


I spent my entire ride in this morning drafting. A douche move, to be sure, but I wanted to cheat the headwind a little bit and there was actually someone out going faster than me so I latched on. I have no idea where everyone went for a few days this week, but they were back this morning.

Today puts me over 500 miles in just 9 weeks of having a job to ride to. Ten miles a day plus the occasional extra long ride really adds up quickly. Which is good, b/c I'm starting to feel kind of soft again.

Current beer-scale: 5.7 and climbing while dreading the ND/Stanford game


are you fucking kidding me?

Winning overtime on a fake field-goal touchdown? That's ballsy. Having a heartattack after the game? That kind of sucks, even though the thought of it makes me smile. A little.

Yeah, I'm a bad person. I'm okay with that. My dog likes me.

Current beer-scale: 6.66


I thought I had more time...

I was wrong.

The waves were back yesterday, pushing water onto the path and into my chain & gears. Fall is definitely here.
One sure fire sign that summer is over: the lifeguard chairs do down for the season. Heartbreaking.

But change isn't all bad--that just means my thirst is quenched with seasonal-appropriate brew. My current drink of choice for drowning fall-related sorrows?

Current beer-scale: 6.8


Last night was the first of back to back late nights at work, and I really do love night rides sometimes.My allergies are driving me to the point of insanity, but last night was just about perfect out. I pulled off my arm sleeves when I got stopped at Michigan ave and it felt great to go whipping through the darkness. The only drawback? All the bugs I inhaled riding with my mouth open. Not so pleasant this morning in the spitting rain but it's that time of year.

Tonite is bike-free, since the event I'm working is up in RoPo and driving gives me an excuse to take an hour to go home and hang out for a while before changing and heading back to work. At least driving will give me a chance to buy a good bit of beer on the way home.

Current beer-scale: 5.8


Maybe I should learn not to take some idiot's every single action as a personal affront. Or maybe I was just tired this morning and spoiling for a fight. Or maybe I was on edge after having to ride around every mouth-breathing cunt driving through the neighborhood on the way in. Or maybe I should just accept the fact that no matter how someone is getting to work, everyone is out for themselves and no one gives a shit about anyone else who happens to be sharing their space in the universe.

So yeah, I'm aggravated this morning. Couldn't sleep b/c allergies were hitting me in the sinuses all night. Had to go around some douche-baggery multiples times headed down Fullerton, especially at Lincoln and again at Clark with people not realizing they probably shouldn't be going through the intersection when they have a red light. Got cut off by someone too impatient to walk their bike under lakeshore drive, only to have to wait for them to carry their bike up the steps, and then have them cut me off again after I started west on Chicago on the street and they started on the sidewalk and cut down a driveway ramp. That last one nearly had me swinging at the guy as I passed him. For the third time.

Traffic's been really bad so far this week and I don't know why. But when it gets like this, it gets out of control b/c every asshole waiting in traffic decides they're not waiting for another light and goes through, causing any on-coming traffic to get pissed, which only fucks things up more. And not just car traffic either, as evidenced by the previously mentioned doofus. It all boils down to manners. No one has them, and everyone's in such a fucking hurry. So I go home and drink beer, so I can get up the next day and do it all again. Yippee.

Current beer-scale: 9.3



Current beer-scale: 7.3


But will they cover the spread?

Ah, what a day what a day! NFL starts tonite, and there's Hi Life at home to have with beef nachos for dinner! That's setting up for some fun.
"Hello friends..."

Fall is unarguably here, now that I've pulled on the arm sleeves and and doubling up on allergy meds on a daily basis. ND-Michigan this weekend, with good tickets and a long day in car set up for Saturday. Not crazy about the possibility of spending 5+ hours in traffic, but I'm in too good a mood to worry about that now. What it boils down to--will the Saints cover the 6.5 tonite?
It's not bad riding weather.

The sun is out, the sky is blue, and I've got beer, nachos, and football to look forward to. I'm so happy, I could be Homer Simpson.

Current beer-scale: 6.5 & climbing!


Grind it out

It's easy to enjoy a ride in the rain when you're the only person out there, or at least the only person on a bike. It might be a little more tempting to slap some car windows when people can't seem to stay out of the bike lane though.

When I got into work this morning and was drying off, I was struck by a strong memory from college. For a couple of semesters, we had "dress up humpday" every Wednesday. It's pretty self-explanatory, but the idea was to dress up on Wednesday since it was the nipple of the week. There was a weekly newsletter and everything.

Tying my tie this morning, it struck me how much fun that was and made me wonder why it kind of fell off eventually. Everything does I guess, but I wish I could muster the same enthusiasm for my daily office attire that I had for weekly formal attire at college. It's all I can do to stop myself from breaking out the Blues Brothers "mission from god" tie.
Current beer-scale: 4.9 & climbing towards tomorrow night's college football games!