Friday, May 13, 2011 Sets Bad Example

Have you seen this video yet?  I was extremely disappointed. is an organization promoting cycling for the masses, but this video sets a horrible example.  When riding you have a responsibility to the safety of yourself and others, and this video is filled with the wrong way to do everything.  Here is the letter I just sent them:
This video sets a terrible example for cyclists everywhere.  Only 2 people wore helmets, and they were shown stationary, and one scene showed a man riding with no hands.  I won't even get into riding at night without safety lights and the distraction of the riders playing with projection devices, dangerously ignoring their path.  You should not promote cycling without also promoting safety.  The fact that safety was patently ignored in your promo video tells me where it sits on your priority list. 
This is akin to saying "hey, driving is fun" then showing everyone unbuckled and kids hanging out on the rear window sill like it is 1960 again.   
Because of what you are for, I hold you to a higher standard.  Had I realized safety was not important to you, I would not have signed the petition.  Now all I can do is remove your backlink from my blog and speak poorly of you in general until you decide to make it a priority.
And it's true, I am holding them to a higher standard.  I'm not some safety fanatic that yells at strangers who choose to ride helmetless.  But I enforce it with those riding with me and my kids, just like with passengers in my car ("everyone buckled?").  

By choosing to promote cycling, must take reasonable responsibility for encouraging riders to do it safely.  The have completely ignored safety in their video.  Verdict: FAIL.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shiner Blues

Well I woke up this morning
Said I'll ride a hundred miles
Ya know I woke up this morning
Said I'll ride one hundred miles

Gonna ride on down to Shiner
For beer and barbecue
I'm riding down to Shiner
Yeah, baby how 'bout you?

On that hot and dusty road
There ain't too many smiles
On that long and lonesome road
You know that I'm all smiles

I gotta ride one hundred miles
Just to have a beer
Gotta ride a hunnerd miles
'Cause there ain't no liquor here

Gonna keep on riding
All day and all night
Gonna keep on riding
Yeah, baby it's all right

On the ride down to Shiner
There's headwinds and chipseal
If ya wanna drink a cold one
Then baby, that's the deal

When I get down to Shiner
Baby, throw a dog a bone
Cause when I get down to Shiner
Baby, you know I....
             I have to ride on back home!

The Accidental Breakfast

Breakfast, one of my favorite meals.  This one was near disaster. 
For those that camp, you know eggs and aluminum pans don't mix well.  Same with potatoes.  When you forget something to oil that pan up with, forget about it.  Then we found the english muffins that were in the cooler were soaked through from the melted ice.  It was looking grim.

We did, however have half a loaf of white bread and some great ham.  Jon decided to do poached eggs instead of scrambled, which eliminated the need for oil.  We toasted the bread, grilled the ham, and topped with poached eggs for what turned out to be a great meal.

The Aftermath

Ate dinner at Curras, a more traditional "in country" Mexican.  Started with margaritas and piles of chips and salsa.  After browsing the fare, we folded the menus up and I asked the waiter to bring us "good food for four", putting the fate of our meal into his hands.

Turned out to be a good choice.  We ended up with four giant plates of food.  One was a fantastic slow roasted pork pibil.  It was melt in your mouth savory goodness.  We had carnitas cooked with coke, milk, and some other interesting ingredients and a pile of tamales.  The most surprising was a fish plate none of us would have ordered otherwise.  Flaky, moist and buried under a layer of minced garlic, it was an unexpected treat.

From there we headed downtown to a bustling coffee bar, Halcyon, for iced Vietnamese coffee served with sweetened condensed milk.  We tried moving the festivities back to camp.  Eight hours of riding and pushing midnight lead to some half-hearted revelry and instant sleep.

Shiner GASP

The last 10 miles were brutal. Uphill into a 20mph headwind. But we made it the 100 miles to the Shiner brewery, ate some brats, enjoyed some music, and drank a beer. Hahaha - you know that last part is a lie. We drank a lot of beer. Shiner 102, a nice high alcohol double wheat. Now - back to Austin on an air conditioned tour bus. Tonight, 6th street, giant dinner, and music at the Pecan Street Festival. And... more drinks.