Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bike Friendly Beautiful Mesa ... Mesa, AZ

Mesa Arizona is a bike friendly place. In addition to being a friendly place -- it is inherently bike positive. City planning is done with input from bikers. Every new project is done with consideration for bikers. Most major streets have bike lanes and there in no onstreet parking. You are probably thinking, "This guy hasn't been on a bike in thirty years, what does he know about planning." I just read the plan. In addition to the bike lanes there are miles of canals with bike trails or paths.

In making my plan to commute to work I found that there are 9.0 miles of bike lanes in my trip, with the only stretch without being the one from my driveway to the pavement. Some areas the bike path is very narrow, but it's still there. In the morning ther are commuters in cars traveling at high speed, in a rush trying to get to work. and they aren't very polite to other motorists. There are a lot of roadside memorials, too. I'll need to be careful because I am thinking they won't be expecting a bicycle.

One particular dick rider that I see on a regular basis on this route frequently deliberately leaves his butt out in the way of cars trying to get around him, and responds to complaints in a very negative way. This kind of militant behavior does nothing to further the cause of safe cycling, or make it easier for those of us that are actually trying to stay out of the way of from under the cars. It alienates even the most patient of drivers, and encourages road rage. Please try to share the road.

Frankly, this is Arizona, the state with the stupid driver law; it might be smarter to try to stay out of the way. "Bicyclist Wilbert Ulmer, 85, of Mesa died Tuesday (Jan. 10, 2006) when a pickup truck struck him as he crossed the street in the 9200 block of East Southern Avenue in Mesa. He was not in a crosswalk." East Valley Tribune Article. That's an 85 year old cyclist. Shame really, there aren't too many of those.

If you don't think this is serious -- try this google search and see just how many news stories there are about cyclists being run down by cars or killed. I89 since Boxing Day. That's a lot.

Bikes belong on the road here in Mesa, so you don't have to be a Dick. We should be trying to enjoy it, because there are a lot more hostile places than this.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I Blog ...

I went over to the Acidman site and looked over Another Internet Quiz -- so I took the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I am an old beat up 4WD truck.

I'm a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. I am all about surviving and getting the job done in a memorable way. While I have a practical everyday side, I get wild when anyone pushes my pedals, or yanks my chain. I hate to lose traction (or just track). I have a warm wench warn winch, and a tow strap, some power attachments, and I like to get it on in wet places. I can be started with a crank in the morning if need be, although I'd prefer it if you tried to give me coffee first.

If you are jealous, take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz for yourself and see if you can get the answer I got.

Good luck there.

I unabashedly stole the image of the Dodge Power Wagon from here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Rubber Hits the Road -- Literally

After an incredibly long hiatus (I think I last rode a bike for sport in 1976 -- that's thirty years for those of us that are counting), I got on my bike, and rode 6 miles today. That's not bad for a first time out. During that six miles one tire came apart and the shift lever on the bike broke, and the rubber handle on one side of the bars literally fell apart in my hands. You just can't leave these bikes just sitting around for years. I broke a sweat and barely got out of breath. I was thinking I might be able to do that for a while. It was a bit chilly and the cold against my legs encouraged me to work harder -- and I figure -- made me very hungry. I wonder how you could eat enough to stay warm and bike when it is 0 degrees.

I took the bike to the shop to have it fixed. When it comes back -- I think I will just go out and ride 25. After that maybe I will try to ride here from Flagstaff after a snowstorm (I am not really serious folks). That is if it ever snows.

After that I picked up some take out Basil Beef from the Thai Corner in Mesa and devoured it in minutes, so maybe I did manage to burn a few calories. I hear that ordering the food "Thai hot" helps maintain one's intestinal health. It was good -- and the rice helps too after a bit of effort. The satisfaction index for this meal was very high. Shortly after that I also ate a dagwood, which is a bit like dessert only bigger.

You know what they say about riding a bike? It's all true.

Protection for the Roadless Areas.

Picture stolen from here.

Ketchikan, Alaska - Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole recently signed the Emerald Bay Record of Decision, approving the harvest of approximately 16 million board feet of timber from 600 acres on the Cleveland Peninsula to provide nearly 90 jobs in Southeast Alaska. The proposed project area is located approximately 40 air miles north of Ketchikan within the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District.

The Emerald Bay project includes the construction of approximately 6 miles of new low-impact road within the Cleveland Inventoried Roadless Area.

This, I don't much care for. I am astonished that it is possible for a single person in an un-elected position to have the power to make this sort of decision. How is it possible that a Forest Service Supervisor can single handedly destroy a roadless area, by deciding that it is in the best interest of a balanced forest management plan. Because he never asked me I guess. Once they build the roads -- I guess they can take that area out of the inventoried roadless areas. That should make it a lot easier to run the bulldozers.

The inventoried roadless areas, for those that don't know, represent the areas determined to be wilderness -- meaning free of evidence of human improvements. These are areas that have been set aside during the Clinton presidency with the intent of conservation, and the policies of the Bush administration and the Forest Service intend to undermine that intent of protection ( despite the desire of the American public to the contrary. This q&a page claims that there are over 50 projects pending in roadless areas in the Tongass NF alone.

This appears to be a better less misguided decision -- with the key point being -- no new roads will be required.

This is what looks to be hope for the Cleveland Roadless area.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Whoa ... not.

This crazy young woman is going to ride in the Susitna 100, a 100 mile bicycle race across Alaska in the winter. It's inspiring. I'll be taking a bike ride tomorow -- my first in about a 100 years. I think I'll start out in sunny Arizona.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Images From Zion Canyon National Park

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Zion Canyon Light Fall

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Virgin River Tree Fall

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Are Those Beavers? Virgin River Tree Damage

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Two Bucks

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Deer Taking a ...

© 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Way Out There on Highway 50, NV

© 2005, 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Bobcat Ranch, NV. Don't Bother Asking

© 2005, 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Middlegate, NV

© 2005, 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Cemetary in Austin Nevada, New Year's Eve

Cemetary in Austin, Nevada. Tombstone of Agnes Wholey. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.