Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Maestro

Elvis Costello is a genius. With his incredible band, The Attractions, he spent the better part of 20 years visiting different musical genres. This clip is from "Get Happy!", his 20 song album that was a tribute to Motown & Stax. The name of the song is "Possession".

Good or Bad?

I've always wanted to have a fully stocked workshop, one that would rival any bike shop. I still have a very long way to go, but I did take a small step forward the other day, by mounting some pegboard above my tool cart. Now, all I can think of every time I go downstairs is what tools & fixtures I want to add to my growing collection. The one thing I really want now are these.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Take $100 & set it aside to use as entry fees for three new rides you've never done. Even here in Huskerland, I can find one or two new ones. Slowly, you'll build a list of favorites & this will flesh out your riding calendar. Two rides I really enjoy are the BRR ride & Onabike. I'd like to take a moment & wish everyone a happy holidays.

Now playing: joni mitchell. - in france they Kiss on main st
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I owe this gift idea to eDBiLLy. I feel a little funny posting it, after my "support your local shop" post, but when something works, you've got to use it. Performance Triflex tights are a must have if you're riding in temperatures below 30 degrees. If the wind is howling, these will save your tail (and other important parts).

Now playing: Miles Davis - Backyard Ritual
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tag, I'm it!

Snakebite tagged me, so here we go:
1) I was classically trained on the cello until I was a sophomore in high school, when I quit (I thought it was nerdy). I was pretty good-when I was a freshman, I played in this guy's senior college recital, where every other performer had at least a master's degree. I regret quitting to this day: I have actually learned a couple of Bach's cello pieces on the bass guitar, the instrument I still play.
2) Twice in my life, I've lost more than 30 lbs. in less than three months. Not because I'm a workout fanatic, but because I eat like a pig. If I didn't cycle, I'd be huge.
3) I've basically worked at the same job since I was 18. The company I started working for in 1980 was bought out by the company I currently work for. I've only been through a job interview four times in my life.
4) When I was in high school, I took a personality test.I had to go the guidance counselors when the results came back. I was told I was anti-social, that my dream job would be one where I had no contacts with other humans (that rules out most jobs, especially retail). Of course, maybe that explains why I only have two really close friends (and why I'm not going to tag five other bloggers).
5) I was an obsessive reader when I first got into cycling. I would go to the local bike shop & buy every magazine I could (I don't know why I didn't subscribe). I bought so many magazines that my nickname (unbeknownst to me until recently) was "magazine man".


Thomson Seatposts are a must have for a couple of reasons: infinite adjustability & strength. I'm very analytical about my position on my bikes, and I have these posts on three of my favorites (including the fixie). Once you have your seat angle dialed in with these seatposts, the saddle stays put. Tomorrow, we'll have a slight interruption in the countdown: I've been tagged by Snakebite, so I'll have to come up with five jewels.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


This item is one of my favorites. There's this lady named Jackie, who lives in Colorado, & makes awesome cycling caps. They are very reasonably priced ($13 including shipping). I've had one for a couple of months, & it has replaced my Swobo cap (stiffer brim) for my cycling needs.


Become good friends with your local bike shop. Bring them pizza, beer, cookies. Support your shop by buying locally. Yes, sometimes things are cheaper mailorder, but always take a step back & look at the final costs. Include shipping, & if you're trying to buy clothing, shoes or helmets, the inconvenience if they don't fit. I try to do most of my own maintenance, but sometimes, I either don't have the proper tool (I'm working on that) or don't have the experience or confidence (the hardest bike to work on is your own). This is my shop now. I used to go to Lincoln Bicycle Company (Hello Sam, Tony, Matt, Jay), but unfortunately they went out of business a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Chris King headsets are the bomb! Bulletproof, a lifetime headset. Expensive, but worth every penny.

Now playing: Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Unappreciated Genius

The band XTC are the mad scientists of pop music: brilliant musicians who haven't toured in many years (at least, not a major tour), whose pop sensibilities put them in the upper stratosphere. Here's a live acoustic cut from 1989.

Now playing: Captain Beefheart - Semi - Multicoloured Caucasian
via FoxyTunes


Here's something that every CiTy BiLLy should have: a WrapPack. It's a pouch to hold your keys, tools & beer (or bail) money in your jersey pocket when you're riding. It's water resistant & built to last. I was one of the last BiLLys to get one & it's now an indispensable piece of equipment.

Now playing: Ani Difranco - Letter To A John
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 17, 2007

8 Days

I've posted some reasonably priced holiday gifts, now it's time to splurge! Phil Wood hubs are one of the most extravagant parts you can put on your bike, yet, due to the fact they last forever (almost), in the long haul, they're a wise purchase. They are elegantly made, yet wear like iron. Phil Wood is an american company, doing things the right way.

The Kings of Pop

Here's a live cut, from the late 70's, featuring The Police. This was before Sting forgot how to play bass & hadn't discovered how to make the ladies scream by taking off his shirt. The best music they ever made was when they had to stretch their sets out because they only had a couple albums worth of material to perform. Stewart Copeland is one of the best rock drummers ever. The thing to notice in this performance is the space Sting, Andy & Stewart leave.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

9 Days of Christmas

Cycling.TV is a godsend, now that Versus realized that Lance Armstrong retired & canceled a lot of their coverage. The free section is good, but if you love the early spring races (and the Classics), get somebody to pony up the $50 (approximately) & purchase the Premium package. There is nothing like drinking Chimay while watching hours of Paris Roubaix!

More Pop Music!

The band is a relatively unknown band, Any Trouble, from the early eighties. This clip is from a Swedish television appearance. Lame interview followed by a gem of a song at 3:03.

Now playing: Nick Drake - One Of These Things First
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pop Music!

eDBiLLy calls me "bubblegum", because I love pop music. Here's a live cut by one of my all time favorites, the dBs, from the early 80's. This band should have been huge-one of the best pop bands of all time.

10 Days left

The Pedro's Beverage Wrench is a must have for any well equipped shop (or their equally brilliant wall mount unit).My brother-in-law put it best (he's opened a few beer bottles in his day); "This opener is great: it's built like a tool".

Now playing: Paul Bearer and the Caskets - I Want U
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eleven Days of Christmas

I'm not a big fan of the holidays. Working retail for nearly 30 years will do that to you. While others want to gather with family, I want to retreat to my basement & be left alone. So, in the spirit of the season, I offer my eleven days of Christmas, where I offer you items that I would like to find under my Christmas tree (if I had one of the overpriced things). Item one: Drunk Cyclist socks. A refined reminder that you're hip to one of the funniest sites on the net.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You can't believe everything on the Internet

cash advance

Sell your Soul to the MAN

Now playing: Michael Jackson - Human Nature
via FoxyTunes

Sure Sign of Winter

In eDLoNNiE's world, this the first sure indication of Winter's onset. I hate trainers, although this Nashbar unit performs very well. When I ride indoors, I'm always torn between listening to music & watching ESPN on TV. The most fun I've ever had riding a trainer was when t-BiLLy sponsored an indoor group ride at his school. My basic rule of thumb is if I can ride outside, I will. Unfortunately, we just got a shot of ice, but, hopefully by the weekend, I can go outside. What tricks do you use to ride more indoors?

Now playing: Marshall Crenshaw - Whenever You're on my mind
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beer of the Day: Mojo

In my never ending quest to find brewed nirvana, my neighbor helped me find this wildcard. Boulder Brewing created this India Pale Ale. India Pale Ale is a hit or miss with me. I love most of Goose Island's products, but their IPA is so bitter that I can barely drink it. But I digress, back to Mojo. This beer has a finish with a strong citrus tone, leaning towards grapefruit. It's great to drink when it's hot outside & equally satisfying on a December day, watching the damn snow come down.

Now playing: Billy Bragg - Debris [Live]
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gift Idea

If you want something you'll use, get one of these. I'm not sure if these have back pockets, but for $59, I'd be willing to find out.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Kick a man while he's down

In the "you've got to be kidding me" department, comes this news . If ever there was a need for government intervention, this is it. Beer prices can't go up- can't we have some of the farmers getting subsidies for growing corn (for ethanol) start growing barley & hops? KeRNeL-take a real close look at this beer tree (Rockefeller Center doesn't have a thing on eDLoNNiE).

Now playing: U2 - Shadows and Tall Trees
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

LBL 2008 Preliminary Schedule

Date: April 19th, 2008
Location: eDLoNNiE's

8 am- Breakfast with bagels, fruit, mimosas, juice & coffee

9am-Ride begins- if the last two LBLs are any indication, we will begin with a hellacious headwind

4pm (approximate)-Arrive back at eDLoNNiE's for supper (Lasagna, Chili, Bratwursts are all possibilities), brews (may have a surprise on this) & a screening of "A Sunday in Hell"

Please give me suggestions on how to make this ride even more fun.

Now playing: U2 - Out of Control
via FoxyTunes

LBL 2008 Map

As you can see, it's pretty hard to get lost!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jaco!

December 1st was Jaco Pastorius' birthday. Jaco is a big musical hero of mine- a bassist without compare, a character & ultimately, a victim of his own excesses & mental illness. Here's a video from the latter days in Jaco's life, a period when his performances reflected the turmoil in his life. This is Jaco with Gypsy guitarist Bireli Lagrene & drummer Thomas Borocz, playing Jaco's composition, "Teen Town". This is a trio on fire, at the peak of their musical abilities. Enjoy!