Car Psychosis & Bike Fiend In The Hood

As you all know, I didn’t ride one pedal stroke last week. Yes, I drove. After commuting for so long, and driving mostly on the weekends, I found myself doing a bit of unofficial psychoanalysis of drivers, myself included. My conclusion? A good percentage of us who step into a car become crazy, or I should say, crazier. Now I know not everyone is a total nutter, but to some degree we all suffer from this car psychosis. We become disconnected and self involved. Where ever we’re going, it’s seems to be more important than anyone else(that includes pedestrians, cyclist, & small woodland creatures). We lose our shit over the littlest thing, or some even think they’re racing NASCAR. Weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, and general douchery. We feel invincible in our metal machines. I started getting sucked into all the craziness, then came Friday, and I said “Next week I’m f-ing biking, this is too insane!”

So, today I biked, and all was good with the world. I didn’t feel as crazy, and my body, though tired, was happy to be biking again. Everyone was well pleased.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Paul, a new neighbor and fellow bike nutter. I didn’t realize that he was one of the new commuters I was occasionally seeing. This evening he was out a tall bike that he made out of thrift store finds. I didn’t have my phone on me to get a pic when I met him, so him and his bikes will be featured in the near future.

I leave you with some classic electronic from A Split Second “Flesh” circa 1986

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace, Patrick

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Personal Time Trials, Broken Glass, & Mint

Always. Yes, it takes me about a week (or more) to lay down a post, but I do, and I’m more active on here than I’ve been in a very long time. Also, Twitter makes me a bit lazy here. It’s so easy to post a thought as it comes to me, so if you’re feeling saucy, +Follow @soulsidedown on Twitter for the ADD version. 😉
Right now, I’m waiting outside a local hole in the wall pizza joint, named Bella’s, awaiting a Veggie Supreme with jalapenos replacing the cheese. Yep, no cheese. Is it still a pizza? Most def it is, try it sometime. What the heck has been happening to me since my last post? Well, here are the Cliff Notes.
The Tour de France began last week, as I’m sure all of you bike nerds(that includes me) know. I’ve done my best to follow on my BlackBerry, which has been newly dubbed, the BlackBerry Projects, due to it’s inability to play Adobe Flash. Which any a computer savvy person knows, is the video platform of choice for the big thing that is the internet. So, I am limited to following text tickers, which makes me happy all the same. I’ve gotten to seeive footage via McDonald’s wi-fi. Yes, you read that right, I”ve stooped to hitting up McD’s for TdF goodness.

It’s days later, the pizza was yumz, and it’s hotter than Hades, but it’s all good. I loves me some heat. Now back to the blogginess.

Yes, you read that right, I did a personal time trial a week or so ago. I left for work way late, and decided to hammer it all the way to work. Well, I knocked 10 minutes of my average time…and that was on my singlespeed. That is the best I can do with it. I’m thinking, gears might be in my furture. SS is good for short distances, but I do 9.75 miles each way, and being able to kick it up a bit, would be nice. Someday.

Glass. It’s all over. Seems at times that the City of Columbus has some secret initiative to repair and pave the roads with broken glass, saving on recycling cost and repair cost. Just an observation.

The other day, I had to transport a mint plant home strapped in my messenger bag. Surprisingly, no one said a word. Really, not…one…word. Which is good I guess.

This week so far, I have not biked. Work and errands have seen to that. Thursday & Friday, I will pedal my ass off though. Stay tuned for my heat filled tweets. That’s all for now.

BTW, I’m rooting for the Garmin-Cervelo team in the TdF. GO ARGYLE!!!!

Peace, Patrick.

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Dude, You Gettin’ Played.

Last week I rode two days.

This week is looking to be the same.

Why?

Seems my lack of good rest the past two plus weeks, has rendered my sense of mindfulness, weak, to say the least. The lack of sleep is me letting life get the best of me, or I should say those aspects of life that cause us to stress and have anxiety, and for me, not unlike many in this economy, finances are a huge stress factor. I can’t breath, or so it seems, so I have restless sleep.

Well,  the ego in it’s infinite desire to protect itself from ill-perceived harm, and stay all comfy, has not lost any sleep, and with that, has weaseled it’s way into my mind, and worked me over like some street hustler. And you know what? It worked. I have effectively made excuses for why I shouldn’t ride. I am calling “bullsh*t” on myself. Yes, friends and fellow cyclists, I have fallen to the ego, the street hustler that is laziness.

How did I come to realize this? My latest issue of Dirt Rag Magazine that arrived in the mail. More specifically, the article on the Trans Iowa race. Yes, it’s on dirt/gravel roads, but the idea of these people pushing themselves in much harsher conditions than I, totally out of their comfort zone. I’m whining about rain and flats. Waaaahhhh! Enough! I’ve ridden in much worse conditions than what I’ve talked myself out of lately. Hell, I rode in snow, freezing temps, cold rain, and wind gusts to knock you off your bike, and I can’t handle a bit of rain. Come on!

Ego, I’m now on to you.

Ego, I am calling your ruse.

Tomorrow I ride, and the next, and will do so next week unless something truly comes up that I have to do by car.

I have to get back on my feet, both mentally and physically.

Peace!

 

 

2 days, 3 Flats, & F*#K!

So, my commute week was short. I only rode two days this week, and drove the first three. Why? I’m not sure. I thought it was laziness, but I was feeling guilty about driving, though it probably was laziness. It was also an “off” week so to speak. My mind was scattered all over the place and I wasn’t feeling motivated to do anything, hell even work was a chore, and I love my job. The two days I did bike, helped my mental state improve. On to my two day recap.

Thursday was tough. I almost talked myself out of riding, but I knew I had to do it, if for no other reason than to keep my sanity. I check my bike over before leaving for work. Tires needed a bit of air, back tire seemed a little to squishy, but it wasn’t flat so I didn’t give it much thought. Geared up, and out the door I went. It was a cool morning and beautiful. I love summer vacation, even though I don’t get one, traffic has thinned out to a nice manageable chaos. No school buses and no parents carting their kids to school. Love. What I don’t love is road kill, and there happened to be a big raccoon decomposing and leaking right in the bike lane. I feel sorry for him/her. I wish people would open their eyes while driving. Other than that, the ride into work was chill, I saw a deer in Greenlawn Cemetery, which made me smile. Now, the ride home was a whole different bit of joy. I was at work until 5 o’clock, and I saw the storm clouds. As I was getting dressed in the locker room, my friend Mark yelled from the front of the shop that I might want to wait it out. Well, “it” happened to be a blistering storm of high wind and horizontal rain. Yes, I would be waiting it out. He took off leaving me to wait it out. A half an hour later it had let up enough, that I figured I was good to go. Wrong. Pulled out my bike, flat rear tire. No worries, it’s bound to happen. Put in a new tube and off I went. I bonked hard about 3/4 of the way home. That was a tough final stretch. Finally made it home. Beer me.

Today, Friday, I was feeling a little better. The sun was out and it was getting warm fast. Two things I absolutely love, sun and heat. True story. I decided to treat myself, so I stopped at Cup-O-Joe Coffee Shop in German Village to get and iced coffee. They’re cool enough to fill up my bike bottle, which makes transporting my liquid joy that much easier. So, about 3/4 of the way to work, I start to notice my rear tire feeling a bit soft. Nah, I just put in a new tube. Aahh, fate you like dealing out adversity. Yes, my back tire was losing air, slowly. Since I was so close to work, I pulled over and pumped it up, and made it to work. I’ll address that at the end of day.
End of day comes, and with it a storm, worse than the one from the day before this one brought low visibility, high wind, lightening, and hail. I worked a little extra knowing it would pass. As it died down, I prepped to leave. I now have a flat rear tire. I pulled off the back tire, removed the tube, and intended to patch the minor leak. Found it, patched it, reassembled it all, and headed home. A 1/4 of the way into the ride, POP! And the back tire goes flat. F*#K! Three flats in two days, come on. I am now in full gggrrr mode. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I did check the tires for any offending materials, before replacing the tubes, nothing came of it, so *raspberry*. I figured my patch job had failed. Nope, it was fine. What the problem was, I’ll have to sort out later. I really inspected the tire this time, and realized that I have so many slits, cuts, and holes in my tires, that the odds are against me. With that kind of Swiss Cheese for a tire, I am more likely to get a flat than not, hence the 3 flats in two days. I now know that I have exceeded the mileage of my tires and I am in need of new ones. I also know funds are tight. Well, I’ll have to figure this out soon. I put in my last new tube, reassembled everything, and checked the time. (Remember, Greenlawn closes at 7PM, and the short cut through there saves a good bit of time.) It was 6:31. I. Must. Fly. I went into my version of time-trial mode and hammered it. I was feeling pretty good, all things considered. The traffic lights seemed to be playing in my favor. I hit the last stop light, couldn’t see the entrance to Greenlawn because of fog, but checked my clock and it showed 6:47PM. I hope they didn’t lock up early. As I got closer, the gate was still open, sweet. As I passed through, I felt a sense of relief wash over me, and I relaxed a bit. Whew! Time-trial over. The rest of the ride I did a good pace, traffic was light on SR62, and I made it home in what seems like record time. It was time for a shower, then head out to get some Salt & Pepper Tofu at Lotus Leaf. Yum.

I am now typing this out lying in bed, tired, but enjoying a short glass of Jim Beam Black. I need to find some new tires, on sale preferably…or if any company out there would like to send me some to review I would be more than happy to do that also. I ride just shy of 100 miles a week in some hardcore urban/industrial conditions. I’m just putting that out there. *wink*

Music, please. I’ve really been enjoying old Love and Rockets lately. This is one of my favorite songs from them, off of Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, a brilliant album. Enjoy!

rtsp://v8.cache6.c.youtube.com/CjYLENy73wIaLQmmAnkJIjgDdRMYESARFEIJbXYtZ29vZ2xlSARSBXdhdGNoYIuRzt3wyprYTQw=/0/0/0/video.3gp

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings.

Peace,
Patrick

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AlleyCatBikePoloColumbusOhio

I found out about these events from Seagull Bags via their Twitter profile @seagullbags  and CBusCycling614 on Tumblr. Head on over to their website and check out the amazing courier bags they have ( I will one day own one), and then follow them on Twitter. Then peep out CbusCycling614’s blog.

I will be doing my best to attend both events, only as an observer, photographer, bike weirdo, and blogger, so look for a future post regarding these two events.

*Click Images for More Info*

Peace, Patrick SSD Crew

Sun, Car Zombies, Ice Cubes & an Ozark Empire

Since I last posted, I’ve still been commuting daily, and Tweeting (@soulsidedown), the sun has returned, and heat has arrived. Yet, the rain did not go quietly. I, for the first time in recent memory, had to seek cover from a storm last week. The wind alone was a bully as the storm moved in, but when those first rain drops started falling from the sky like hydro-spears, it was time to seek protection. I found fire station and hunkered under the awning. A small break allowed me to continue home, but more rain was just waiting.
The sun and heat that have finally arrived are most welcome, at least for me. The low humidity and heat reminded me of my time in southern Utah. I smiled. I also had my first day of crazy driver zombies, which happened to be yesterday. The couple of days of heat has melted the brains and patience of those zombies in their automobiles. First off, they don’t want to wait for each other. That’s bad enough, with their honking horns and speeding around and in front of each other, but if you’re a human on a bike, they’re even less tolerant, and more apt to lash out. So now, not only am I hyper aware of Car Zombie Wednesday, I am having to ego check myself, hard, so I don’t become road kill. Remember kids, bike vs car = bike loses!
My first encounter was a double scoop of joy. I was pedaling minding traffic, having noticed the crazies, when I come up to a car waiting to turn left from on coming traffic. He saw me decides to go, stops, I brake to swerve, he goes again, cutting me off, I drop my head a bit not believing what Car Zombie just did. He then shouts at me an inquiry, “What’s your problem, huh?” I ignore this and pedal on, half expecting him to come back around the block for some odd reason. Nope.
Second wasn’t as dramatic, just someone with zero patience, puuling out in front of me. The good thing about those two encounters, is that they lit the fire under my butt to get new brake pads. More on that in a bit. The third and final Car Zombie encounter was actually a mini van of four CZs, two adults and two shirt less juveniles. I first came upon them at my second to last stop light before hitting the cemetery. I pulled up next to them at the red light, and I could feel eyes upon me, but I’m used to that. No worries here. Well, light turns green we take off, me faster than them, I get just past the I70 overpass and as they go by, ice and unidentified beverage remains come flying out of the vehicle and hit me on my arms and hands. First thought goes through my head “fu*kers!” They’re in a car, I figured them long gone, but nope they get stopped at the next light. All sorts of stuff is going through my head about what to say, my adrenaline is going, but I catch myself and pull an ego check. “Chill” I think to my self. I decide to take the non-violent route and not create any unnecessary bad bike karma. I roll up next to them eye the juvenile CZs in the back, see an older female in the passenger seat and an adult male CZ driving. I ignore them, that is until one of the juveniles says “hot enough out there for ya?” This is where I failed. I turn just a bit to my left and tell them to “fu*ck off!” I unclipped from my pedals just in case a door was to open, but they said no more. Light turned green, and as the van drives by, the distressed lady says ” I didn’t do that” in reference to the iced beverage. She knows her spawn are asses, I feel sorry for her. The rest of the ride home was chill. All safe!
Now for the new brakes. I’ve had an inkling that I have been in need of new brakes for far too long, and the near hits I had yesterday, brought it right front and center. I bought some new breaks at a local bike shop called Paradise Garage. The staff is always helpful and knowledgeable. I located the brake pads, spoke with a shop associate, who remarked at how worn my pads were. Yes, I am a lil bit embarrassed, I should have gotten new ones sooner. I picked up two sets of Velo Orange pads for $24 and installed them on my ride, made all the adjustments, and now I actually stop as opposed to slowing down. Sweet! Lesson learned.
I’ve created a page called Soul Product Reviews, in which I’ll, for the time being, inconsistently post reviews of products I purchase with my own cash and use in conjunction with my commutes. Keep an eye out for my review of the Velo Orange pads in the future.
Now for my last bit of rambling. I love music, all kinds, and I would like to share a new discovery of mine with you. The band is called Listener, and what they do defies definition or genre pigeon holing. What it is, is all heart, passion, and unique. The first song I heard was Listener “Ozark Empire or A Snake Oil Salesman Comes to Town” click the link to peep a brilliant song. If you dig, they are on tour, so peep their website: http://www.iamlistener.com for dates. I’m hoping to catch them here in Columbus.
I’ve taken up enough of your time. Thanks for stopping by, Patrick SSD Crew

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Twitter, Sore Legs, & W*nd!’

Damn, my legs were/are sore from yesterday’s wind wall on the way home, yet, I got up and decided to pedal today. I’m a glutton for punishment indeed. It was windy as all heck last night, but it chilled out enough, that this morning, I figured I could hang, not too bad. My legs weren’t big fans of it though. The ride home proved to be a bit of a challenge, as a storm was moving in, so the wind began to pick up. My co-worker informed me that it was about 25mph. Nice! The temp was dropping as I pedaled home, and I could see that there was some pretty mean storm clouds giving me dirty looks from across the horizon. We new we had a race to see who could beat who. I rode into the wind, and pushed myself to keep up a decent pace. Again, my legs were not too happy, I mean they were sore, but seemed to understand what needed to be done, and they carried on like troopers. Thanks legs! I got home and about 10 minutes later, the wind really started gusting, and the cold rain began to fall hard. I’m glad I made it. Good ride overall.

I would also like to put out there that Soul Side Down is now on Twitter, so look me up, user name: soulsidedown and follow my commute observations, mad man style ramblings,  and pics.

I’ve really been digging on this music lately, check it:

Thanks for stopping by, Patrick