Thursday, October 25, 2012

First valley snow = a bracing commute.

In my new era of carlessness there have been various milestones I've anticipated with some concern, yet none have proven (thus far) to be a big deal.

Yesterday I had my first colder weather wet commute on my bicycle.

Today I had my first commute in the snow.

My "commute" is by design quite short. Just over a mile. With proper clothes, it's really no big deal. The only thing missing this morning was goggles. Ironically my new steam punk goggles arrived yesterday, and I tried them on just this morning. It didn't occur to me that I should wear them to work (how cool looking would that have been?), but they would have served me perfectly.

Instead the sleety snow pelted my eyes. The wet dirty street water assaulted me from below (no practical fenders on my commuting bike).

Yet I arrived at work warm (except for my hands), dry, and a little invigorated from my foray into the natural world, a place that most Americans shield themselves from as much as possible.

I highly recommend going carless. These mini-adventures alone are well worth it.

Photo from Duk Miller taken this morning in another part of the Salt Lake Valley. Snowfall was similar in my neck of the woods.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Lance Armstrong piece of history.

I've been semi-obsessed with the downfall of Lance Armstrong. It's a bummer. I believed his story. I believed in him. I loved his book. All lies. Here's his bio, as it appears today on his website, I figure it's only a matter of time before this disappears from the web:

Lance's Story (aka his big lie)

If scripted by Hollywood, the story would be dismissed as trite melodrama: A deadly disease strikes a promising athlete. Despite desperately thin odds, he manages not only to beat the affliction but also to return to the sport and win its top prize, not once but a record seven times. Unbelievable, except it's true.
But the story doesn't end on the finish line at the Tour de France. His experience made him a part of a cancer community, and motivated him to unleash the same passion and drive he does in bike races to the fight against cancer.
Since he made history in 1999, he has won the tour six more times, and has become one of the most recognizable and admired people of this era.

A priceless photo, also from his website (post continues below photo):  

A cheat or not, this guy's an athlete. This is a photo from last month. I love it, because a) it shows a very good looking man and b) you'd have to have an ego the size of Texas to feature this on the front page of your own website. Though if I looked like that I might use it too. 

This morning the stripping of his titles became complete when the international body overseeing cycling chose not to challenge the August sanctions of the U.S. Anti-doping Authority (USADA). I spent some time over the past 30 hours editing his fast changing Wikipedia bio. You can see the version from today here

I am fascinated by this Armstrong train wreck. The hubris. The bigger than life nature of it all. And I am disgusted by him and his lying. By all accounts it's now clear and irrefutable that he was a bullying ringleader of an elaborate scam and he didn't hesitate to lie to the world about it, repeatedly and aggressively.