19 July 2007

Regardless of your location, work stinks.

Here's an email string between myself and my billing/credit rep in India.

My client received a “Payment Shortage” in the mail for $369.08. He’s been paying for advertising by check, in full, so I’m not certain why he received it. Could you check into it and let me know? Thank you, and have a great day.

Hi Greg,
Sorry for the delay as was on vacation.
The original invoice# 24614064 was for $3,204.93. We had received payments only for $2,835.85, which left them a Short Payment of $369.08.
We received payment for $348.19, which again left them a Short Payment of $20.89.

Thank you, I’ll talk with my client today. I hope you had a nice vacation!

Vacation was nice!! But coming back to work is terrible.
I guess even you might have have gone through this.

Unfortunately, I can share in your pain. I think work stinks regardless of where you are in the world.

18 July 2007


Rock Gal took the track photos during my Development Class a few weeks ago and I took the crappy shots of the bike last night. I need a tripod or a steady hand or something. The track photos will give you an idea of scale, as well as a better feel for the banking of the track. The apron at the very bottom is flat, banking on the straight is 17 degrees and in the corners it is 44 degrees. Total track length is 250 meters with 200 Meter Time Trial events starting from the white line that bisects turns 1 & 2, and other starting from other locations depending on length and the style of racing.

The sprints (200 meter time trial) are the most fun because you drop from the rail (outside of track) down into the Sprinter's Lane (between black & red lines) as you progress through turn one. The banking acts like a downhill and you pick up a lot of speed, which is also a lot of fun. The hard part is maintaining that speed and keeping the bike below the red line in the corners.

Since there are not any brakes on the bike we use the banking to slow down as well. If you turn right you go up the bank and lose speed pretty quickly, which is also a lot of fun. You can also back peddle, or resist the motion of the peddles to slow down, which works better in a group of people to maintain a speed, but you can't really stop the bike that way from high speed without a lot of room. Since everyone is just going all the time, in the same direction and roughly the same speed, it is not necessary to stop while you're out on the track like you would on a regular road or trail. I know it sounds strange, but it makes sense once you see it in progress.

I'll get some better photos on Thursday but this at least gives you an idea of what the heck I've been doing.

My power has been increasing steadily as has my speed. Most of my workouts last about 2 hours, but that does include some downtime for rest and water. Typically I do intervals of either 250's with rest laps, or a build up from 250 to 1000 meter sprints, with two to three rest laps between each effort.

17 July 2007

BMX Plus!

I saw a t-shirt in the June 2007 BMX Plus! that I really want, but now the magazine is off the news rack! I wrote them a letter asking for contact info for the company and will keep my fingers crossed. The t-shirt image showed a guy (looking at him from a downward angle) holding a gas pump to his head like a gun. He was drawn clearly to his waist but the rest of the image was running down and looked like fluid, or gas, making the image. It was stunning, and I really want it!

Now its off the shelf though and I don't know how else to find it. The caption on the photo said Design Syndicate but I could not find a website related to that name in the listing at the end of the "Buyer's Guide". I googled it but have not found what I'm seeking yet.

I might call RBM today and ask them to look it up for me. I really want that shirt.

17, 18, 19...

This morning on my commute to work a cop was sitting at the top of a hill on a two lane road. They sit out every once in a while looking for speeders but today he found me. As I rode up the hil toward him I heard his P.A. come on...
"Seventeen... Eighteen... Nineteen... c'mon!"

I didn't realize it at first because he was difficult to understand on the PA, but he was reading my speed off of his radar gun. As I approached, "20!"

I feigned hard work (tongue wagging) and he gave me a big thumbs up and a smile as I passed him. I was glad to have the pep and it was nice to see him out there. Folks tend to really blaze through that section of roadway.

Paris Program Brings 10,000 Bikes to City

This article is from the Charlotte Observer.

11 July 2007

Bicycle Drifting

This may or may not link/play/display properly so bear with me.

Looks like a fixed gear to me, but quite how he's able to slide like that...

10 July 2007

Vomit Comet

This past weekend Rogge stopped by with his ages old Mongoose BMX bike, complete with flat tires, a rusty chain and wheel bearings from hell. We repacked the bearings -but it didn't help much- aired up the tires -carefully- and Rogge set to work repolishing the chrome (now varnished) frame. Within an hour we had it rolling, and only the freewheel was still in truly bad shape.

Off to dinner we go, but not on the bikes. Red, Hot & Blue was the cuisine of choice that evening and it certainly was a treat. Sausage, mashed potatos and cole slaw packed our bellies along with more than a few honey biscuits! Upon arriving back at the pad we set to work fixing iTunes, my favorite love/hate relationship. iTunes has been, up until now, a complete bear. I hate my iPod only because I hate iTunes. Not any more. Rogge had it running smooth as silk after only a few minutes and even found time to explain why centrifugal force doesn't exist. I get it now, but I liked be wrong better.

Skip ahead a few minutes and we're riding along on our BMX bikes to a fun filled evening at the local RaceTrack gas station. We crusied along at a reasonable clip, or so I thought, and made our way through the neighborhood to our destination. Upon arrival Rogge made it known that dinner, however tasty, would be making an appearance.

While this was never my goal, I suddenly realized that commuting to work on a bicycle and riding at the velodrome may have prepared me for our ride somewhat better than Rogge, who had not been on a bicycle since 1994. 13 years had taken its toll and along with the knee aches, and things went south (or north then south) several times before we were able to head back. We took it easy for round two and I made sure he had plenty to drink when we got back.

I felt bad, I really did, but I couldn't help laughing. I don't know why, but it was just really funny. I wasn't laughing at him, not like I was amused at his predicament, just laughing because the situtation seemed so surreal. Here we are, two guys in their 30s, crusing the neighborhood on our 20 yr old BMX bikes for a Slushee at the local convenience store... at any rate, it has also reinvigorated my desire to build up a more properly sized BMX bike. I might build a cruiser, but I've been eyeing 20" Pro XL frames on CraigsList and Ebay for a good deal... project number 5!

04 July 2007


Last night was my first of my practice sessions at the Superdrome (velodrome) in Frisco, TX. Having completed my development class only this past Saturday I was anxious to get some more seat time at the track. I feel more comfortable on the track and really enjoyed getting out there for some intervals and 200M efforts.

For intervals I would ride a warm-up lap or two, then drop in off the banking and do a 250 meter effort, rest for a lap and a half before doing a 500 M, etc. This continued up to 1000 meters before I worked back down to 250 M. I did two sets of these and tried to make my efforts as close to 100% as possible.
I also rode a couple of 200 M efforts by starting low, working a lap at the blue line, then went high for a lap and dropped into the sprinter's lane in Turn 1 to gain momentum and speed. I'm not super quick, but it is fun and I'm getting stronger.

All told I ended up at the track for 2.5 hours last night. I wasn't on track the entire time, but I did get a number of good efforts and felt really comfortable on the track. The banking was scary as hell on Saturday morning, but it became easier and last night it almost felt flat!

I'm looking to return this afternoon since the office is closed for 4th of July. We'll see if Rock Gal minds going out there, though I'm sure she won't care. She seems to enjoy seeing me ride and get excited about mashing pedals out there. She doesn't want to ride on the track, but she's behind it all the way and I really appreciate it! We'll take her bike as well, of course, and she can ride laps on the apron while I'm doing efforts. Its all good.

Happy Fourth of July. Although, honestly, I think this is another holiday lost to the whimsy of commercialism and retail sales.