Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Since a layoff in March 2011 from my job of 8+ years as a transportation professional, I have consistently been applying for positions in the Seattle area (WA State, west coast of USA). I netted two limited-term positions to keep me working most of that time subsequently, with only a bit of a lapse. I was generally able to keep working FT and have health benefits for most of that time while I waited to be recalled to my job or find another permanent role elsewhere.

Although one job this past year had me working less than 8 or 9 miles away from home with a straight shot (along a trail/bike path!) I didn't bike commute as much as I would have liked to, and the other job (about 9 months) at University of Washington Seattle was over 20 miles one-way PLUS the university's transportation program had an extremely convenient and affordable bus pass, which meant most days I bused to campus. I did bike it a few times but not too often, given distance (better part of two hours biking - EACH WAY!)

I am happy I have been hired by a large international employer for a full-time, permanent position. My new job is 8-9 miles away, flat, and I can travel all but a mile or so on a separated trail/bike path! I start this week and hope I can squeeze in a bike commute or two while we're still in May, Bike to Work month!

I am happy I can now give up the (seemingly) endless process of job applications and interviews.  I easily applied for 15-20 jobs a month for over a year.  I believe I had roughly two dozen interviews.

Very happy to start working soon... and hope to be biking more too!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chilly Hilly video

This is someone else's video, but you will get a good idea of what the event is like.

Note that it is 32, not 23 miles noted in the beginning of the video.

Chilly Hilly 2012 Recap

I rode the 2012 Chilly Hilly on Bainbridge Island, WA yesterday. I did this ride the first time in 2010.

I/we went over on the 8:45AM WS Ferry and started the ride by 9:30-9:45 or so. It was about 32-34 miles. [Note: I don't know exactly how far or how long because my cycle speedometer got flattened by a taxi when it slipped out of the mounting bracket in Sodo part of Seattle on the way to the ferry docks. I was ticked off about that since I had been using this speedo for about 4 years and tracked about 2,000 miles of my rides on it.]

The loaded-up ferry with many bikes.

I went over with friends Adam, Rob, and Paul. I don't have pics of Adam and Rob, once we hit the BI dock, they were gone far ahead of us. Paul was also far ahead initially (until first hill where he says he threw his chain), but I eventually weeded my way through the crowds and Paul and I stayed together pretty much through most of the ride.

Here is an uphill and downhill view of one of several killer hills on Bainbridge Island:



Paul and I midway through the ride.

The larger food stop mid-ride.

Paul (R) and I at the finish line.

The bicyclists' line for the return ferry trip.

The bikes on board.

I think overall the ride was a good one. There were a few snow flakes along the way, but temps were reasonable for February (50s?) and there were many sun breaks with little wind. I think the most brutal aspects of the ride are (interestingly) not the hills. In my experience, I think the more difficult portions are the gauntlet of the ferry unloading (bogged down as folks struggle to connect or reconnect with their riding buddies or tend to various bike and gear adjustments) and the fact that there isn't a long warm-up section prior to hitting some hills.

I'm looking forward to more training rides this year (I got my ticket for this summer's STP too - my 2nd).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

maintenance versus infrastructure

Just a placeholder for more on this subject, generally speaking.

I see there is a huge gap in funding (obviously) for new projects for trails, bike lanes, etc. But what affects me more on a routine basis are existing infrastructure that isn't properly swept (what good is a bike lane or wide road lane if the shoulder side has piled up sand and debris?) or markings not properly renewed (is this a striped bike lane, shoulder, parking strip..?)

More to come (I hope) just a point of irritation for me.

Bikes Belong

(I like to highlight the work of good folks doing good things for cycling. The photo above is the Bikes Belong board from the BB website.)

Bikes Belong's motto: "Connecting communities, one bike project at a time"

The Bikes Belong organization's grant program's goal is to put more people on bicycles more often by funding important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S.

Funded projects include bike paths and rail trails, as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. Current grants are displayed on their map.

Since 1999, Bikes Belong has awarded over 200 grants to municipalities and grassroots groups in 46 states and the District of Columbia, investing nearly $2 million in community bicycling projects and leveraging federal, state, and private funding. Bikes Belong is a CO-based organization sponsored by the U.S. bicycle industry with nearly 400 members who are bicycle suppliers and retailers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Buy a shirt I designed... available at Cafe Press!

Go here to order my OLD BIKES RULE t-shirt!!!

The pic is from an actual Schwinn I owned a while back. A Schwinn American. Metallic green that was very weathered. 3-speed rear Bendix hub... classic.

Perfect for hipsters and OGs alike!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Raleigh PR guy: dream job

Here's what I was thinking of... posted recently on Bike Rumor.

Nice deal!