Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Terror From the Toy Box

Another one I finished, this past week.

50th Post

Not that I have anything "50-oriented". I just noticed it on my Blogger dashboard.

I've been doing some art lately. Here's a piece I did for Tracy, based on a photo of her bike taken at the Fixed Gear Symposium, last month.

Pen and ink/water color on paper. I've got a couple of other bike-related pieces in the works, but I have to work on them between times I work on bikes, so they may take a while.

The Art World holds its breath in anticipation.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Welcome To The Camp...

I was talking to someone, the other day, about mountain biking. I used to do a lot of mountain biking and, in fact, moved to Colorado primarily because of the off-road riding possibilities.

I think I've been on a mountain bike about 10 times, this year.

So what happened? Did I get tired of it? Nope I still love lung-busting climbs and twisty singletrack.

Lack of time? No more so than when I biked incessently.

No, what happened was, like the Who's Tommy, I became "aware". I became aware that loading my bicycle up into a truck which gets, on a good day, 15 mpg and driving across town to get to a trail was really not in keeping with my desire to be a good resident of this green Earth.

I ride my bike whenever I can, and my motorcycle most other times. The truck has become a vehicle of necessity for me. I drive it when I have no good alternative; when I have to take the dog (Jack) somewhere, or haul boxed bikes or a load of paver stones somewhere. And, every time I drive it, I wish I was using some other form of transport. (I really want a sidecar for one of the motorcycles!)

So, it just seems selfish to me to load up a vehicle into a vehicle just for my own recreation.

I don't mind it, so much, if more than one person is going. Carpooling lowers the impact of the drive; even though the trip is still frivolous, I suppose.

I know a lot of my friends don't understand this. They think I go overboard with things, sometimes, and I probably do.

But, I know too much about the effects we are having on this planet. Peak Oil, Global Warming,
Iraq War, Russia's Resurgence (as a power bankrolled by oil exports). All of these problems may be overstated by a large margin, as some would have you believe. But, even if they are overstated, they still exist.

Does it make a difference, really, if the peak in oil production occurs in 5 years, or 20? The point is, it's coming, and our lifestyles are accelerating it.

Sure, one guy driving less may not help a great lot, but it doesn't hurt.

I wish I could just go back to the old days, when I was unaware of my impact on the world. I wish that I could not feel that every little effort I make is a small bit of help in mitigating the damage done daily by the car culture we have developed.

To paraphrase Cypher, in the Matrix, I really wish I had taken the blue pill.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Wish All Pro Athletes Were As Classy As Andre

I'm not much of a sports fan. Actually, most people who know me would probably categorize me as "anti-sports", because I really just don't care about games, teams or championships at all.

But, today, a sporting event actually brought tears to my eyes.

I was watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament because it was Andre Agassi's last appearance as a pro. While I don't normally subscribe to the athlete-as-god school of thinking, I've always admired Andre for his poise and his style, as well as his brilliant tennis game. Imagine if Floyd Landis wasn't a doper; that would be a cycling Andre.

Anyway, Andre fought long and hard against opponents ten years his junior, a bad back, and the inexorable tide of time which eventually slows us all down. But, after a valiant, and somewhat unexpected effort, he finally went down today.

Now, I'll tell you, if I had been there I would have happily participated in the eight-minute (!) standing ovation he received. I would have screamed myself hoarse like a teeny-bopper at a Beatles concert, just like everybody else. But, I was here in Denver, watching on television.

So, I was somewhat removed from the excitement; watching the match on TV as I worked on my sister's new bike. Still, I was somewhat moved by the moment.

All that detachment went away, though, as the standing-o continued. I stopped working on the bike and just stood there, watching. My throat tightened up, a little, but I maintained that stoic calm that all adult males are supposed to exhibit in such circumstances.

I gotta say, though, that when Andre started to cry, I lost it. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched Andre soak it all in, and I felt good. I felt good, sharing an emotional moment with a guy I've always admired, and the thousands (maybe millions, I don't know) of people all over the world who were also crying along.

If you can find a clip of his farewell speech from the court, watch it. The man has CLASS, people, and if any one player in the major leagues, or the NBA, or Pro Cycling had one-tenth as much class, I might be a fan.

Thank you, Andre. We'll miss you.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Brad's "NOW Artspace" Opening

I went to the Tennyson First Friday Artwalk, last night, mostly to see Brad's opening at NOW. Of course, I forgot my camera. But I shot a couple of pictures with the ol' cellphone cam, at the end of the night.

The art looked terrific on the wall. It was nice to see his stuff hanging where you could actually view it, rather than looking over the heads of coffee drinkers, and around bags of beans. The wall opposite Brad's installation was filled with black and white 9-11 themed photos, and the rear corner had some nice Dia de los Muertos-themed art. So, the room had a nice flow, and the contrast between the stark black and white images and the vibrant colors of the paintings was striking.

I don't say this just because he is my friend, but you really should check out his art. And, if it suits your tastes, buy some. I have some of his works hanging in Grinder Bikes World headquarters, and I must say I'm proud to display them.