Friday, May 30, 2008

Chainsaw Massacre

Wednesday night I finished mowing the back yard and decided to do something about the tree branch that has been pushing down on the back fence for awhile now (see Rain below, just right of the well in the background, mid photo). I did some searching and found a couple gas powered chainsaws in the shed. Surprisingly they both started and ran fine, so I decided to start cutting! The first saw, the smaller of the two, wasn't the sharpest so I ditched it after about a minute of no progress and went for the bigger saw. It did the trick and the branch crashed over the fence into the horse pasture. I didn't realize how big it was until it was on the ground, I was committed - no turning back now. I spent the next 2 hours cutting it into more manageable pieces and throwing them over the fence into the back yard. I would've finished sooner but the local horses kept getting in the way and I was almost attacked by a jackass (or donkey, I'm not sure what the hell it was).

Last night I was out stacking and trimming the branches with a cordless chainsaw when the blade slipped, caught my left thumb and split it wide open. I wrapped it in a wet bandanna and Justin drove us to my parents house to have my dad look at it and advise me if it needed stitches or not (he's an urgent care physician at an area hospital--fortunately he had the night off). Of course it needed to be sutured, so off to the hospital we went. I ended up getting 4 stitches and a thumb that doesn't bend so well.

I think my chainsaw days are over with.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Depth of Discomfort: High Gas Prices"

NBC Nightly News asked viewers to email their stories of sacrifices made over the Memorial day weekend due to high fuel prices, here are a few of the responses:

Jenna from Nebraska says: "It's a sad time in America when people who work hard and should be (and used to be) considered "Middle Class" are now living paycheck to paycheck and could lose everything if much more hits the pocketbook. What do we tell our children about why we have to stay home this summer? I guess it's a good time to become green and start growing our own produce, baking our own bread, and limiting the meat."

Katie from Sacramento says: "We will be spending a lot less. We usually do rib eye steaks and racks of ribs with lots of sides - macaroni salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, etc. This year it will be homemade hamburgers with french fries and soda instead of beer. The ground beef was bought on clearance a few weeks ago and frozen - I'll thaw it for weekend use."

Laura from California says: "Instead of our usual ribs, we are having hamburgers. As bleak as it sounds, next year we may have a cup of soup."

Yolen Jeunky, 45, collects dried mud cookies to sell in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince on Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages threaten the nation's fragile stability, and the mud cookies are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Mowing the lawn has been cancelled!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ultimate Sport Mechanic repair stand

Surly Big Dummy
I picked up an Ultimate brand Sport Mechanic repair stand at REI for $119 a couple weeks ago when they were on sale. It's a solid unit and seems to handle the Dummy quite well.

5 photos from Saturday

Meridian, Idaho
This is the welcome sign for Meridian, Idaho. Passing by in a car at 30-35 mph it might look alright, but upon closer inspection the ground is littered with trash and spent cigarettes.

Lucky Peak reservoir
Highway 21 to Idaho City, Lucky Peak reservoir.

Honda Insight
A hand out the window shot of the Honda Insight. I was feeling caged up and bored riding in the car.

62 mpg
62 MPG, 600 miles on one tank of gas: the Honda Insight is a technological wonder (almost). I know it's supposed to be "burning calories, not fossil fuels", but my allergies were really bad and I don't do so great riding a bike and sneezing uncontrollably.

Penny-farthing bicycle
And finally, Mr. High Wheel. Cool bike and cool helmet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Idaho Green Expo

Idaho Green Expo

This past weekend I rode the Big Dummy to the Boise Centre on the Grove and gave a car-free living presentation at the 1st Annual Idaho Green Expo. It didn't go as well as I had hoped it would but I guess that's what happens when you put something together at the last minute. Maybe someday I will put together a well thought out and organized presentation and hopefully encourage more people to ditch their cars.

Anyway, it was cool to meet Clancy and check out his sweet Kona Xtracycle long bike! I really like the Schwalbe Big Apples he has on it and the way they ride, it's an awesome setup. Clancy pointed out a Yuba Mundo with a custom plyboo snapdeck on it parked outside of the expo doors and I met the owner of it later when I was riding around the the electric vehicle display. I complimented him on his plyboo creation and told him about wanting to make Xtracycle footsies out of bamboo but the price was too high (Franklin Building Supply quoted $200 for a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plyboo!). He handed me his card and told me to email him. Turns out he is the owner of a company named Sustainabuilt and they build furniture out of the stuff! So yesterday I emailed him and here is his reply:

Hey Josh,
I'll be at the shop everyday this week except Thursday. Feel free to swing by and I'll get you a couple pieces of scrap plyboo. If it's just footsie material your after, It's on me. We'll come up with something.
Check the website for directions. 221 W 37 Suite F in Garden City.
Take care,

Brad Boggess
Sustainabuilt, LLC

I'm stoked! now I can finish the footsie project I started a few weeks ago.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speaking of recumbents...

Recumbent Rally review

Boise Bike Week spokecard, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

Friday night we participated in the Boise Bike Week recumbent ride. I commuted to work on my Burley Koosah recumbent and intended to work until 5pm then ride to the Julia Davis park bandshell but I ended up leaving at 2:30 and riding home to drop off my work clothes. We left Meridian at 5:00 and made it downtown Boise about an hour later. We were greeted by about 4 other bent riders and by the time we rolled out there were about a dozen or so bents and a couple of upright bikes. The ride route took us from downtown Boise all the way up highway 21 to the base of Lucky Peak dam and back to the park, roughly 25 miles. The pace was awesome and the other riders were way cool, I would definitely ride with them again. The Koosah doesn't have a trip computer on it but I estimate the work commute, riding to and from the rally, and the recumbent ride itself was a little over 60 miles.

Burley rim

Burley panda

Lucky Peak

Greenbelt near Harris Ranch

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Recumbent Rally

A Recumbent Rally has been included in Boise Bike Week this year and it will be taking place tomorrow night at 6:30pm. I haven't ridden my Burley for awhile so tonight I spent a few hours cleaning and adjusting-- getting it ready for the ride. I will take some pictures of the event and post them later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The best deal in town...

The cafeteria at St. Lukes West hospital on Eagle road: 2 salads, 2 drinks, 1 icecream, 1 soup, and 1 plate of roasted potatoes= $9.00! They usually have a good selection of vegetarian food and there's lots of bicycle parking too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's done!

Freshly powder coated v-racks and wideloaders. I thought about having them done in matte black but decided on bronze 20% gloss, I'm pretty happy with the results.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pizza by bicycle

Pizza delivered by bicycle, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

After transporting two large pizzas home last weekend with no problems, I decided to send an email to the pizza company we ordered from and share my idea of having bicycle delivery service offered for 3 mile or less orders (of course I hinted that I would be interested in doing the job). Their response:

"Great idea, and we appreciate your interest. We have seen motorbike and bicycle deliveries in very densely populated areas (near office buildings, high-rise apartment buildings, etc.) Our method of delivery uses hot ovens in our trucks to keep our food at the proper temperature, and we also have a need to have consistent delivery. For example, if it's raining or snowing, a bike would probably not work out if the distance was more than a couple blocks. You haven't given any indication of your age, but if you are at least 16, stop in and apply for an entry level job. Our delivery drivers must be at least 21, as that's the age our insurance allows us to hire for using company vehicles.

All the best,
Joy Kealey
Chicago Connection, LLC"

Oh well, it was worth a shot. Maybe when gas hits $5/gallon they'll need me.

Outlaw in Lycra

Specialized Movies presents "Outlaw in Lycra". Be sure to watch "Happy Entrails", maybe even throw a few tomatoes at the drive-in movie screen or at the cyclists watching it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

CARtoons by Andy Singer

CARtoons by Andy Singer is a 100 page book filled with anti-automobile illustrations, facts, quotations, and more. I've read it several times and it never fails to make me laugh.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Filmed by Bike 2008 DVD

Filmed by Bike 2008 DVD, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

It arrived today! Filmed by Bike is a festival of bike-themed short films held in Portland, Oregon. All of the films were entertaining but "Bent" was probably the best of the lot. Incredibly well made and worth watching more than once.

I better get to work...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Flat tire!

I-84, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

About a mile away from work this morning I noticed it was getting harder to pedal, something wasn't right. Sure enough, the rear tire went flat. This time I was equipped with a patch kit and wrench but I thought to hell with it, I'll walk the last mile. About a minute after I started walking my bike down the street, a commuter on a recumbent pulling a BOB trailer slowed down and asked if everything was okay. I smiled and told him I was fine, and that I was almost to work, thanks for stopping. A little further down the road another commuter, this time on a road bike slowed and asked if I needed anything. I thanked him and explained that I was almost to work. I was amazed! Most people who drive cars wouldn't think to stop and offer help to a fellow stranded motorist but this morning the bicycle community proved the opposite. During my lunch hour I took the rear rim off, borrowed the shop truck and drove to a LBS. I planned on buying a tube and installing it myself but I ran out of patience dealing with all the things going on at work and I probably would've thrown the rim across the shop, so I had them install one for me.

Tonight I stopped at the Locust Grove overpass and snapped the picture above. As I drank from my water bottle and watched the cars snail along, I concluded the inconvenience of an occasional flat tire is still worth the freedom my bicycle gives me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bike Car documentary and weekend review

My copy of Bike Car was returned a few weeks ago so I watched it again this morning and folded some laundry as well. It's a great documentary and if you get an opportunity to see it I highly recommend it.

Yesterday we rode to a family-owned, organic farm near where we live and picked up some fresh asparagus and a packet of squash seeds for the garden. They should have salad greens in a few weeks so we'll be visiting again soon. I rode my Raleigh One Way and on the way back the front tire went flat. I wasn't prepared for it of course (no 15mm wrench to remove the wheel or a patch kit for that matter), and I ended up walking about a mile home. I broke it down after getting home and found the tube was sliced (it must've been pinched) and not repairable. So this afternoon we ventured to REI and bought 2 tubes, another patch kit (can never have too many), a presta adapter, and a Park 15mm wrench. I installed a new tube and it should be ready for commuting this week.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Quite possibly the coolest human powered chase ever filmed? I think so.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Raleigh One Way

Raleigh One Way, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

This is the last one (for awhile). I picked up a leftover 2007 Raleigh One Way for a decent price from the bike shop in Meridian earlier this week. I like the simplicity of having one speed, the fenders for wet weather, and the comfortable riding position. It will be a great commuter.

On another note, my Xtracycle v-racks and wideloaders are still sitting in my boss's office (they've been there since last Thursday). He has a friend who is in the process of setting up his powder coating shop and should be able to work on them soon. I can't wait to get the Dummy back together and do some riding!

Raleigh One WayRaleigh One Way