Friday, July 29, 2011

Cream City Critique!


So, I've found myself on the slow boat again.

I was websurfing for books on bikes a couple'o'weeks ago, and found three seemingly interesting books; Bicycle: The History (for the fetishists and/or geeks), Pedaling Revolution (for the politiks and/or anti-establishment hipsters) and Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling (for cycling teens & adults and/or counter-culture enthusiasts). As a huge fan of counter-culture movements and a bike-riding adult, I went for Bike Snob first.

This book contains a very brief history of the bicycle, along with the ins/outs of what we refer to as "bicycle culture". The author adds comedy, a bit sarcasm and personal anecdotes to keep the reader pensively flipping to the next page in fits of laughter. Truth be told, whether you're currently riding a bike or not, you've noticed all the people and situations covered in the book... that is... so long as you've had any exposure to bikes.

Also included in this volume are some sweet illustrations by Christopher Koelle (poor attempt at a comics tie-in) and a plethora of quotes from notable public figures.

BikeSnobNYC's observations regarding the world of bicyles (more... the people who ride them) ring true. This guy knows his subject matter like Captain Kangaroo knows furry sidies. As an added bonus, a lot of the stuff between the covers lends itself to understanding the consumer in us all.

There is a link to his blog in this entry title and under the "Resources" banner of this blog.

Enjoy your ride!


- @

Monday, July 25, 2011

City... Cranks & Comics!

Hello everyone!

I've been commuting to and from work (a few days a week) since getting back on a bike a few weeks ago. On my off days, I use public transportation... and read about riding bikes (along with other interests). The biggest challenge of people-powered commuting isn't the ride itself. It is making the commitment to actually doing it at all. After driving to this particular job for 2 1/2 years, and knowing how long it takes in a car, I was a bit intimidated.

Can I do it? Am I willing to give up an additional 20-30 minutes (each way) of my life to get to the workplace? What am I going to do, if we get locked into a heat wave or something?

Well, I can do it and have done consistantly. I'm not giving up an additional 20-30 minutes a day to get to work... I'm using that time to enjoy the fact I'm not 6 feet under.

The Beatnik, nature and I got together again on my lengthy work commute. I enjoyed the sprinkles as I made my way North and West on the Oak Leaf Trial. Oddly enough, I later enjoyed the more than sprinkles, thunder & lightning... kinda. By mile 12 I was grinning with every revolution. And, finally, when I reached work I knew I experienced something for the first time as an adult. I enjoyed bicycling... after a handful of decades out of the saddle, and in my running shoes.

The heat earlier in the week was one thing... you just want to get out of it and into a cold pint or iced water. Riding in the rain... once I locked into the reality of the trip... was like reverting back to my aged 5 (ish) self and seeing my orange Kent parked under the Christmas tree. That bike was so amazing, although I didn't realize it at the time. I was just happy Santa (my parents) saw fit to get me that bike! But it was... Christmas in Wisconsin. I had months to wait until I could take it out for spin. I recall my brother and I trying them out in the house when we thought our parents were none the wiser. And I know we would have taken those orange Kents into the lily-white snow had we been given the choice... training wheels and ALL!

I'm all grown up now. Well... sorta. And neither my wonderful mom nor protective dad could keep me off that bike (rain, hail, sleet or snow).

I'm sure riding in the elements isn't for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for me. But I know there are few moments logged into my memory which have filled me with such a strong sense of being alive. I just thought I'd share. Living is also an artform, afterall.

Happy week!


- @

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The City on Yehuda Moon!

Hello everyone!

Ever been on the slow boat to anything?

I know I have.

Exhibit A: I've been sleeping on Rick Smith and his bicycle loving comic strip, Yehuda Moon. If not for the fact I finally got back on a bike last month, I probably would still be clueless (regarding this strip, of course). Rick Smith is also responsible for Shuck.

Check out Yehuda Moon by clicking on the title above. On the site you'll learn how you can own a copy (or more) of Yehuda: Volume 1. You should also pedal over to the Press section of this blog and check out Bicycle Times. They've printed some groovy art (from various artistes) on the covers and interiors of their magazine.



- @