Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Bringing the outdoors in

This morning I found an 8-inch critter in my office. He appears to be a San Diego alligator lizard.
I’m leaving him here. He’s cute, and eats bugs — what’s not to like? Besides, he runs behind the credenza when I approach, so it would be a production to get rid of him.
In doing so, I resist [...]

Urban Walkabout

Urban Walkabout is a sport I invented many years ago. You may know it by a different name: Walking a Really Long Way through Your Own City.
It happened by accident when my plane landed in San Jose, California one Sunday. Had no ride, lots of time to kill, and didn’t want to [...]

Photos from RAGBRAI

By incredible coincidence, I found on Flickr some nice photos of my own bike, shot by a stranger in Chariton, IA, day 4 of RAGBRAI 2009.

Here is his photostream, which captures the spirit of RAGBRAI 2009.  I tried to embed the photostream, but Wordpress doesn’t seem to like Flickr embedded objects.

RAGBRAI 2009 in a nutshell

Ragbrai is an annual bicycle tour across Iowa, with thousands of participants.  Here is a 5-minute snapshot of what it’s like.
Freeway of bicycles

Bikes out ahead on the road as far as you can see.
Only bikes, no cars.
You can talk with the other “drivers” — little conversations all day long.

Big campsites, small towns

Every day, pitch your [...]

The misery of coffee

I smiled just now, for no particular reason.  Just randomly happy about how things are going.  This sentiment, once rare, is suddenly common, and I suspect the change is not circumstances, but simply that I stopped drinking coffee three weeks ago.
The change was for an unrelated reason:  I’m starting RAGBRAI on Sunday, and didn’t want [...]

Iphone solar charger for bike tour

A friend and I will pedal 420 miles across Iowa in July. We’ll be camping, i.e. no electricity, so to record the whole ride on GPS, I wanted a solar panel for my iPhone.
To find exactly the right thing was unexpectedly hard. Most consumers want compactness, so the ready-made solutions are almost all iPhone-sized, with [...]

Kayak Sails

I’m not dogmatic.  Must I personally supply every erg to propel my kayak from point A to point B?  No.  That would be extreme, and in some cases, unsafe. Plus, I just like the idea of kayak sails like this item from Pacific Action.
Sometime after my shoulder heals, I plan to make the 11-mile crossing [...]

What is green?

Quality US products, where they do exist, have a smaller carbon footprint than imports.

Hydrofoil sailboat

In the 1990s, Hobie made the Trifoiler, a delicate-looking twin-mast sailing hydrofoil that could make 35 knots.  This would take you from Los Angeles to Catalina Island in 40 minutes, if the boat survived the swell.

Dream job

Shane Chen of Washington State designs and sells amazing small vehicles from his own website, including a human-powered hydrofoil.