Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Greetings Bikeist afficionados!  As threatened, I am am hereby re-emerging post autumnal equinox.  So, where have I been all summer?  Well, besides biking my butt off, I have been doing what I'm told us creative types are supposed to do each summer -- nothing.  As a full-fledged member of the writing community, I have exercised my right to take several months off from entertaining my hordes of loyal followers.  This, supposedly, serves two purposes:

 (1) It makes you, my faithful denizens, even hungrier to consume the bike-centric nourishment I provide you with on a weekly basis; and 

(2) It recharges my creative energies and juices, enabling me to spew forth bike wisdom as never before imagined or witnessed on the interwebs --

Truthfully, though, what this has really been about is Mr. Google's failure to recognize the fabulosity of this blog by raining down dollars on yours truly.  Seriously, people!  I've given you the never-ending bikeography, bike-stabbings galore, and the single greatest thing that has ever happened right here on this very blog!  What more is it gonna take?  Do I need to just start making stuff up?  This blog doesn't just write itself (most of the time) -- we need to start working some notion of remuneration into this equation.  

I guess I could start issuing this blog on a subscription basis in hopes, a la the New York Times, that I could monetize exclusivity.  Somehow, though, I'm not confident that I can turn much of a profit that way, even if all twelve of my loyal readers were to subscribe.  There must be a better way.  I've read about guest-blogging, back-linking, etc., as ways to perpetuate a blog, but it all sounds like so much work -- and I get enough of that at, umm, well, work.  I enjoy writing/blogging because it doesn't feel like work.  As a bonafide creative type with no notion of how to turn thoughts into dollars, I need a cold-blooded, single-minded, money-hungry agent/manager to handle the business side of this venture, so I can keep my focus upon continuing to pump out brilliant product.  

So, are you a one-dimensional, avaricious, uncreative, tech-savvy sloth interested in parlaying the output of a creative genius into untold profits?  If so, do I ever have a position for you! Apply simply by commenting to this very post.  If not, you surely must know an asshole who is qualified to take on this lofty position.  Forward a link to my blog to anybody you think may have the lack of scruples required to turn a brilliant, anonymous, blogger who has been toiling in obscurity into a money-making machine.  I am ready to be sold like laundry detergent, feminine hygiene, or erectile dysfunction products.  Like espresso drinks pre-1990, I have something completely addictive that people develop an insatiable craving for after a single serving. The Bikeist is the crack cocaine of biking blogs -- just get it out on the street and stand back as it tears apart the fabric of the "cycling" community.  That has to be worth something, right?

Anyway, untold riches or not, I'm back.  I have all kinds of bike adventures and gripes to share with you after an incredible summer in the saddle.  Let's just see what happens if we can manage to inject the profit motive into my creative process in some way. I just don't think I have it in me to be one of those artists whose prolific output is discovered post-humously and converted into millions. I want instant gratification, adulation, and remuneration!  Is that asking too much?  I think not . . . 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bikeist In Residence

The Bikeist is on Summer Sabbatical.  Why?  Because he is told that this is what creative types are supposed to do.  Rest-assured, he will be back, post-equinox, with a full array of new material --

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bikeist vs. The Oregon Coast

Waiting for my connecting flight to Portland where my buddy, Bob, will be picking me up and transporting me to Astoria, OR, where I will begin biking (the entire) Oregon coast tomorrow morning.  Adrenaline is already flowing.  Plan is to do it solo in five days (about 75 miles a day).  Haven't decided yet whether I will blog along the way, but that's part of the beauty of these journeys.  Logistics planning aside, I really try to let the journey just happen.  How the week goes will depend on an incalculable variety of variables dependent upon who I meet, what/when I eat, the weather, my stamina, attractive nuisances and other distractions along the way, etc. --

One of my favorite authors, Cormac McCarthy, likes to write about men heading off alone into the unknown on horseback with few provisions beyond their own wits.  The closest I'll ever get to that is wandering off every so often with my bike (and a charged smart-phone).   I know - not the stuff of novels -- but plenty exciting for me.

If you happen to be along the Oregon coast this week, be sure to wave -- I'll be the guy on the bike!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ride Bike, Get Stabbed, Rinse, Repeat . . .

It was a little over a year ago, on this very blog, that I revealed the alarming epidemic of bike-related stabbings in San Diego.  The evidence I laid out establishing the nearly 100% chance of getting stabbed at some point whilst biking in and around America's Classiest City was so compelling that The San Diego Reader chose to feature my findings as a public service to our oblivious populous:  "Quick Sell Your Bike . . ."

After the hysteria died down, I moved on to less sensational topics, such as chainsaw wielding maniacs threatening bike riders, and hadn't given much thought to the whole bike-stabbing thing until last week.  The headline that popped into my Twitter feed was:  "Man stabbed at 7-Eleven in North Park."  The wise ass in me (or, perhaps, more accurately, the wise ass that I am) instantly wondered what the chances were that a bike was involved.  I've resisted the temptation to click on stabbing stories for a whole year (taking it one day at a time, people), so there's no way that the first random one I click on could possibly be bike-related, right?  Wrong.  The compulsively curious part of my nature couldn't resist such click-bait, and was rewarded with this KUSI story - "Man Stabbed at 7-Eleven" - which described how a man was stabbed in a North Park 7 Eleven parking lot (I warned you people about mixing bikes with low-end fast food, but did you listen?!) and then "rode his bicycle to a friends house at Arizona St and Wightman St where he was given a wheelchair to sit in."  Same old story people - have bike, get stabbed, ride to home of friend who keeps a wheelchair around for just these sorts of situations.

Awesome!  This week's post could, practically, write itself with such juicy, sweeps-worthy material (it IS May, isn't it?).  Before actually sitting down to let this post write itself, though, I had to make sure I did my due diligence by having my crack research team scour the news wires for any other recent bike-related stabbings.  And wouldn't you know it -- we had not one, but two bike-related stabbings in the last week.  The more recent, one, though, added a twist to the usual bike-stabbing scenario.  As reported by the UT - "Man Stabbed In North Park . . ." - this time, it was the bike rider who was the aggressor:  "A man was stabbed at a bus stop at 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard in North Park Monday night by an acquaintance who rode up to him on a bicycle, San Diego police said."  

Now, that's more like it!  It's about time we, innocent, law-abiding bikeists turned the table on our tormentors and gained the upper hand --  it's stab or be stabbed people!  No longer will we bikeists be defenseless lambs -- think twice before randomly stabbing us you ne'er do wells out there.  That unseemly bulge in my lycra?  It may just mean that I'm happy to see you, but it may mean that I'm packing 10 inches of deadly, razor-sharpened steel. So, you've got to ask yourself one question, punk.  "Do I feel lucky?"  Well, do ya, punk?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Bikeist Gets All Existential And Stuff . . .

 To Blog or not to Blog, that is a question (not, necessarily, THE question).  If a Blogger uploads a post in the forest and never gets a single hit does the blog-post exist?  If I never submit another post again, ever, am I still a Blogger?

These are the sorts of questions that run through a Bikeist's mind when he's gone almost an entire month without a single post.  How long does one have to go before they can no longer consider themselves to be a Blogger?  Even when I'm not posting, I still feel like I'm the Bikeist.  Probably a lot like how Batman feels when he has to lay low for awhile -- right Batman?

I guess part of the beauty of blogging is that from the very first time you hit the "publish" button, you are, eternally, a Blogger.  Eons from now, a researcher from an advanced civilization could be surfing whatever form of interwebs they have in the 221st century and randomly enter "bike," "stab," and "San Diego," and suddenly be blinded with the brilliance that is The San Diego Bikeist!  Imagine that!

So, as usual, the call of duty (for reals people - not the video game) has kept me from my weekly blathering about all things biking and San Diego.  Although, thankfully, on shore duty in the good old U.S. of A., the rhythm of my work life has been much like that when I was at war -- long periods of repetitive routine punctuated by shorter periods of chaotic intensity.  Unfortunately for me (and, especially, my rabid, loyal fan-base), my latest "intense period" has gone on for a good two months with one "crisis" leading into another.  Not complaining (I love my job), and not going to elaborate (this blog is about biking, not keeping the world safe for God-loving, flag-waving, quinoa-eating bikeists everywhere), just want to let you know that when I am absent it is for good reason.  You understand, don't you Batman?

The beauty of my lifestyle is that, even when I'm too busy to blog, I still bike every single day.  Even when you're working constantly, you still have to get to and from work -- which, for a bike-commuter means two, guaranteed, rides a day.  It's what keeps me sane and alive (despite the driveists out there trying to kill me).  My best recent week of riding actually came at the height of "crisis" #2 - last week.  While trying to manage the evolving issue at work via smartphone, I had to attend a conference in Mission Valley.  Love these sorts of challenges, as they test my logistical acumen and dedication to always bike commuting.  I had to coordinate ahead of time with a buddy who was staying at the conference hotel, so I could shower in his room and then had to catch the 0540 ferry from Coronado each morning, so I could bike through Little Italy (with a quick pit-stop for a croissant and double-espresso with my buddy Erroll at Influx), lower Mission Hills, Middletown, and Old Town before catching the San Diego River bike-path to Mission Valley and the conference.  Needless to say, I was the only attendee who biked there every (any) day - and - probably the only one as pumped and ready to go as I was each morning.  So fun to be back on the ferry and to change the commuting routine up.  Although I usually get a good 16 - 20 in after work every day, the 1.6 miles to my office each morning aren't enough to even break a sweat.  Perhaps I need to start attending more conferences!

Last week also exposed the one weakness of my lifestyle -- I'm kind of in a bind when I'm away from HQ and am needed back at the office urgently.  Last week's "crisis" presented just such a situation, as something came up that needed to be handled in person.  Luckily, I was able to get a ride from a willing volunteer, so the day, once again, was saved.  Plus, there's always Uber or (as a last resort) a cab when there are no colleagues available to save you from your Bikeist lifestyle choice, so I'm not about to abandon it.

Back to the one-week Mission Valley commute -- I enjoyed it thoroughly.  The incredible weather last week was a big contributor, but I was also pleasantly surprised with how dead India Street was at 6 am -- less busy than when I normally traverse it on Saturday mornings!  The San Diego River Trail is in great shape, and the destitutes I encountered along the way, even the ones trying to complete a drug deal, seemed to be completely harmless.  There are so many of you out there who refuse to bike commute because you are intimidated at the prospect of biking in an urban environment.  But, if you pick your route and times properly, you can almost have the roads to yourself!  

So, loyal readers, not to worry -- I have not abandoned you.  Never fear - even when you have to suffer through an unfortunate gap in posts - be assured that I am still off pedaling somewhere simultaneously conjuring new blog posts for your amusement.  

I bike, therefore I am!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Second Best Thing That Has Ever Happened In The History of Humankind

Hello?  Anybody out there? Fan base?  You still with me?

I know,  I know -- it's been too long, but it's hard to blog when you're fighting a life and death battle with malaria.  Well, at least, I assume it would be hard since I've never, actually, contracted malaria.  But, you did feel somewhat guilty there for a split-second didn't you loyal readers?  

The truth of the matter is that my day job (keeping the free world safe for bike-loving patriots everywhere) has been more of a day, night, and weekend job for the past few weeks as we've been doing a sprawling, massive investigation that I can't talk about.  So, just take my word for it:  I've been really, really busy.  But, I've been thinking about you guys the whole time.  And, I know you've all been thinking and worrying about me and my not-malaria.

Nice thing about being a one car family is that, even when I'm super busy, I can't use that business as an excuse to not get on the bike.  No choice -- bike or nothing.  Of course, it's not like I wouldn't pick a bike over just about any other form of transportation anytime and anywhere.  Except, of course, for trans-oceanic trips -- bike isn't too useful for those.  So, it was on my bike that I experienced an incredible surge of joy as I headed out to work on Sunday morning and was greeted by this!

That's right people!  My very own "sharrow" right at the foot of my driveway.  The mark of the Bikeist tagged, eternally, directly in front of Bikeist World-Wide Headquarters!

 Now, any of you familiar with my, now, classic, posts "Duh" and  "The Single Best Thing That Has Ever Happened In The History of Humankind" have already lived through the trials and tribulations of my 1.6 mile (one way) bike commute down the very road I live on.  As described in those posts, the road is way too narrow for cars and bikes to ride together in the same lane.  Most drivers get that, but the occasional knucklehead gets offended by my presence on the road he'd like to have to himself and buzzes me or offers choice words about my supposed obligation to get to the curb.

Well, after one too many of these incidents, I got with the base XO and engineer and proposed that they paint sharrows on my street, to help educate knuckleheads and non-knuckleheads alike that it is ok for bikes to "take the lane" on such a narrow street.    After I explained to them exactly what a sharrow was, they took to the idea instantly and now we have them along the entire course of the street that leads from my driveway to my office.  Thanks, guys -- you rock!

So, do these markings possess mystical properties that will make me immune from the harm posed by multi-ton vehicles sharing the road with me.  Umm . . . no.  Every bikeist has to stay ever-aware that they, and they alone, are singularly responsible for their own safety.  We can't rely on street markings, lanes, three-foot laws, or the good intentions of driveists (especially) to protect us.  We need to keep our heads on a swivel, track what's moving around and in front of us, check our sixes, obey stop signs, use hand-signals, and do our best to move with the flow of traffic, staying out of blind spots and never overtaking a car to its right as we're approaching an intersection.

So, what good are they then?  First of all, they're better than nothing.  Second of all, as driveists get used to them, and heed them, they should, indeed, make the street safer for all users.  But, most of all, they increase awareness that bikes are equal users of the road and just as entitled to be on it as cars.  Let's face it - despite all of my close calls, I have been a skilled enough and aware enough rider to avoid ever getting hit (knock on wood).  I probably don't need the sharrows to keep on avoiding getting hit.  But, what the sharrows should definitely save me from is being an asshole.  Without them, I have to be demonstrative about my right to take the lane and have to defend it verbally  without visible proof at hand.  Now, I can happily pedal down the middle of the road (at 18 - 23 mph in a 25, so I'm not holding up anybody too badly) and simply point to the lovely sharrows anytime anybody gets impatient or rude with me.

Biking, for me is about joy.  I don't want every ride to have the potential for ugly confrontations.  Plus, I actually, genuinely enjoy people and want to get along with them.  I just don't know what primal urge exactly (especially for dudes with Georgia plates) makes certain people see red at the very sight of a bike, but I'm hopeful that my beautiful new sharrows will provide the reinforcing symbol of legal sanction that they need in order to start understanding that riders magically defying the laws of God and physics by propelling themselves forward on two wheels are not deserving of instant execution for blasphemy, or whatever.  Believe it or not, I actually think the sharrows are working already.  It could just be my imagination, but it seems like drivers have been calmly changing lanes to pass me, and holding off on doing so when on-coming traffic approaching.  It's the shame of legal sanction! I know it!  The sign of the Bikeist is a constant reminder to evil-doers everywhere that violating the three-foot-law doesn't pay!

Ride safe out there people and ride, proudly, over every sharrow you see.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Being A Force Of Nature"

Remember when I devoted an entire post to whining about being stranded without the means to repair a flat? -- "We Ain't Got No Stinkin' Patches"  Of course you do!

 Well, I somehow doubt that the amazing dude featured in this video would be able to muster much empathy for me:

Can you imagine?  The energy he expended in this video constitutes more exercise than the typical American gets in an entire week.  Some might refer to him as "inspiring," but he is more than that to me.  He is a modern day "Superman."  Not, at all, disabled -- a better version of all of us who take our functioning, unimpeded limbs for granted.  So appropriate that the Priest at the Amphib Base Chapel quoted the following from George Bernard Shaw this Sunday:

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

Thanks to loyal Bikeist fan, Shelby from Solana Beach, for bringing this video to the Bikeist's attention!