Rolling along

Risking his neck

Driving around town the other day, I found myself in a bad mood. I was running an errand that all but demanded four-wheeled transport, but the conditions — there was about 14 feet of snow on the ground, and it was cold and blustery, and I was still in the throes of a kick-to-the-head ...

Oh, my bleeding ears!

In my free time, I like to read whatever scientific treatises I can get my hands on — the longer, more jargony the better. (OK, in the interest of honesty, I should confess that statement was absolutely false). Flipping through my most recent copy of Journal of Neuroscience (another ...

Mid-life crisis and a wandering eye

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a married man in attaining a certain age must be in want of a new, sleeker, sexier something-or-other in his life. Usually, such mid-life crises result in said semi-old dude’s trading up either his wife or his car. As I careen headlong into ...

Speed, justice and the American way

I was driving home from Kansas City the other day, with the cruise control set for a nice-and-legal 69 mph, when my venerable ride began to act a bit — please pardon the technical jargon here — wonky. My car surged a bit, then slowed. Then, much to my surprise, my speedometer plummeted ...

The REAL Lance Effect

A couple of my friends have approached me recently, asking what I make of “this Lance mess.” I usually reply with, “Well, Arthur’s a sap, but I don’t care how cute Gwen is, you can’t back-stab your bestie like that.” Yeah, I don’t have a lot of friends. And while my ...

Beware Gandolf (and Nemo and Walda and … )

A bit of winter weather kept me off the bike for a week or so. Instead I lounged around on the sofa eating bonbons and pondering the imponderable. At some point in said pondering, I puzzled my puzzler over The Weather Channel’s decision to begin naming “noteworthy” winter storms. ...

Crack kills, or at least smarts

City street crews have been in my ’hood lately, sealing the countless cracks that mar our fair roads, and I have to admit to a little thrill of anxiety whenever they’re around. I’ve road-geeked out a bit watching them. As best I can tell, first the fine fix-it folks blast those ...

Sphere factor

I’ll admit to more than my share of irrational fears off the bike, but I like to think all of my from-the-saddle scares are warranted. Of course, it could be argued that such rationalization is precisely what makes a fear irrational, but I fear I digress. Among my most gripping ...

Here, kittty, kitty

The other day, I was driving somewhere with the family and pointed out to my kids a fellow road-user. A man riding a scooter had caught my eye. He had strapped to his chest what appeared to be either a backward backpack or a baby carrier. Inside said satchel was a small dog. The kids ...

A tale of many tails

My thousands of bike miles in and around the city have provided me with dozens of tales, from captivating accounts of derring-do (or, in my case, derring-don’t) to location humor (you had to be there) to the kind of stultifying insipidity that, once it spews forth from my mouth, makes my kids ...

Duel redux

I was riding home for dinner the other evening, still struggling with the reality that it now gets dark just a couple minutes after noon, and approached the reviled roundabout not far from my house. As I approached the traffic-calming device from hell, I was surprised to see, to my right, an ...

Blog: Round and round and round we go

I read with dread the other day the news that the city was contemplating putting in another infernal traffic-calming device. Commissioners were considering a roundabout at the intersection of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, despite the fact roundabouts seem to be almost universally despised ...

Well seasoned

As I rode to work the other day, I had a handful of near-death run-ins with squirrels. The glorified tree rats seem more abundant than usual this year as they scurry about readying for winter. They also seem more ample — big boned? — than usual, like they’ve had more time and favorable ...

Rant not, want not

I’ve had all manner of weird encounters during my bike commutes. Something about the intersection (see what I did there?) of motorist and cyclist tends to bring out the odd in some folks. From insults and even the occasional compliment to batteries and beverages, I’ve had all sorts of ...

Road-side detritus

The city’s streets usually provide the most mundane vistas. With limited exception, they stretch horizon to horizon in monotonous monotone, ranging from uninspiring blacktop to insipid gray concrete, with only an occasional pothole or — if the road user is lucky — maybe a fresh bit of ...

Two-tired attire

Recently, I was sitting with the family at our favorite downtown coffee haunt, and my wife nodded over toward my daughter. “Doesn’t she look cute?” my beaming spouse asked. “She looks so *scene*.” My wife tends to speak in italics when she’s using a term either so hip or ...

Shifting gears

A couple of months ago, I was asked a cycling-related question that, to my surprise, left me stumped. I’m all the time fielding questions about which bike to buy or which cold-weather gloves to recommend or whether I prefer wet lube or dry, though I’m certainly no expert. I’ll freely ...

I’m gonna git you, (wheel) sucka!

The other day I was riding to work and was surprised to hear, awfully close, the clattering of another bike’s gears. Since I’m remarkably unfast on two wheels, it’s not terribly surprising to have been overtaken by another cyclist. However, the proximity was a bit startling. ...

Bombs away! Yum!

I was riding to work the other day when I encountered a banana peel dead ahead. I probably could have maneuvered around it, despite my proximity to the curb and the car passing to my left, but I decided just to ride over it. In one terrible split-second before contact with said fruit ...

Flippin’ out

I saw a near-dustup the other day, and while I’ve encountered several such traffic-related, road-ragey altercations (no doubt a result of the weather/economy/whatever is ailing us as a nation these days), this one stuck with me and rattled around a bit in the void between my ears. I was ...