Yellow Pegasus: The Triathlon Bike

I have committed to racing an olympic distance triathlon in about three months, and I am taking to any and all online information I can find. Most recently, I am looking at information about bikes. I posted on this blog previously about my bike, which is an old Schwinn Le Tour with a steel frame and it’s overall pretty heavy if you consider what other people use to train/race. I’ve been considering all my options, however, and racing on my bike, Yellow Pegasus (formerly called The Tequila Sunrise), is definitely one viable option. It is the cheapest option to race it as it is, and from some of the research I’ve been doing, it seems I might not look like a complete idiot getting out there on my old steel framed bike. At least it’s not my old Wal*Mart mountain bike I guess.

What has piqued my interest the most was this article I came across earlier. This guy rode the Ironman Hawaii on a fixie bike of all things, which he outfitted to look like a tri bike. The frame looks just like Yellow Pegasus! So after seeing that, I think the second best option would be to put a little money into my bike to make it as comfortable and fast as I can make it over the distance of 40k. I’m thinking I would like to look into the handlebar setup, new pedals with clipless shoes, a new saddle, and possibly the wheels, but I’m not sure if that will be necessary or not.

With this being my first triathlon, I realize that all of the nitpickiness of speed and bike specs probably won’t matter, and any advice I receive will probably be along the lines of “just have fun”, I will leave it at that. I would like to avoid screaming “total novice” when I am doing this though, and I’m sure I’ll make up for that in other capacities like the swim for example. But any information is welcome, and I am hoping for suggestions on how to turn my Schwinn Le Tour into a racing machine. Of course if I come across a nice bike for cheap or something that I can loan, I will take the best option. Leave a comment tough if you come across this!

Why I Love Bike Commuting

It’s a great day for a first blog post in six months! Today is one of few firsts for the year. I took my little yellow bike out to play after doctoring it up with some fresh air in the tires and a newly attached water bottle cage. (I was quite proud of how I rigged up my water bottle cage to my bike using an old dismantled lock holder, a few spare screws, and a zip-tie. So I added the photos onto this post.)

Photo Feb 21, 1 43 58 PM        Photo Feb 21, 1 44 30 PM

Here are some of the reasons I love bike commuting. For the longest time I didn’t have a car, so it was my only option, but out of necessity, I conjured up a small list of the pros of bike commuting. I wouldn’t trade my old wheels in for the world.

Everything’s A Drive-Through: I went to the post office to drop off a letter in the mail, and all I had to do was ride my bike up the sidewalk next to the drop box and send my letter away to Nebraska. Easy as pie. Didn’t even have to get off my seat. Then I put my feet to the pedals and I was gone before you could even find a parking spot.

I Can Indulge in Practicality: I bought a Camelbak just so I could use it when I was on my bike! (And for music festivals), but it’s great for biking, especially when you don’t have screws on your frame for a water bottle cage. Speaking of which, I rode my bike to the hardware store to buy zip ties an hour ago for that very reason. Practical!

And not only that, but biking forces me to be sparse and smart in my attire and what I am bringing with me. Is what I’m wearing practical for my commute and my destination? Am I carrying too much? Will all the useless shit in my backpack slow me down and cause back sweat to ruin this nice clean shirt? Yes? Okay, I won’t bring it.

Exercise: Duh, biking expends calories! Which means you can eat more and enjoy full fat lattes!

Parking: I can park where ever the hell I want! Unless there is a “No Bikes” sign, in which case I’ll walk across the street or down the block, and then park where ever the hell I want!

Know Your Neighborhood: I have become familiar with so many more local businesses because when I’m biking, I see more. In a car, I’m far more complacent with my surroundings and I don’t notice the local hardware store down the street as I whiz by in my fuel-burning, co2 producing car. Good thing I do on my bike, because now I have those zip ties.

Fresh Air: There is literally nothing better than the fresh, cool air whipping at your face when you cruise down a hill. Except today it was bitter and windy as fuck, but hey! Not bad for a February excursion.

Traffic: Biking down a busy street during rush hour is a rush. I love, love, love, soaring by cars that are at a standstill in traffic. What’s best is when they are moving but I can still cut in and out of the semi-mobile parking lot that you might call Bardstown Road, for example. It’s the biggest stress reliever I know. In my mind I like to imagine what the car-drivers are thinking watching a biker pass by on a 40mph road. I may not get to my destination faster after you get out of this little debacle, Car, but I sure as hell feel more productive.

Drunken Biking: It is illegal. Don’t be fooled. You can apparently get pulled over for this. I don’t condone it. But I actually do condone it, because it is a lot less dangerous than operating a motor vehicle under the influence (this I actually don’t condone), and it’s cheaper than a cab. I will say this, however, it is obviously more dangerous to you the biker, especially if there are other drunk drivers around. Also I tend to feel less fearless and take more reckless chances. This is why I take back roads with little to no traffic between the hours of 2am and 4am.

But for the sake of researching the other side, I found this article that seems to be the first of it’s kind. While sober, this biker was convicted of a felony for recklessly striking a pedestrian when he ran a red light on his bike. It was considered vehicular manslaughter, because the 71-year-old man died four days later from his injuries.

“Witness accounts described Bucchere as having run a red light before striking Hui, and Gascon said that was the ‘tie breaker’ between prosecuting the case as a felony or a misdemeanor.”

On a happier note, I would like to conclude this short jaunt by encouraging you to go buy a bike and ride it! In the coming months it’s sure to be warming up, and you might even be able to catch some discounts at your local bike shops.

P.S. I’m looking for a bike trunk rack and some panniers of sorts. Let a sister know if you can help her out. Happy biking!

The Paper and The Weather

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It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post that the layout of the WordPress Dashboard has changed on me.

Where am I? Lost in an intricately designed web page with darker side tabs and larger fonts, to which my eyes have not been able to fully adjust to since I struggled to remember my login password. I’ve since decided that I need to practice writing again and because nobody has really read through this blog in the past month or more, I might as well get my crappy writing out of the way before I become a famous freelance blogger for the most popular biographical music web logs on the internet.


I was inspired today during my regular visit to Louisville’s own Highland Coffee, my favorite coffee shop in the Highlands if that was unclear, while I read through the very last issue of a free, two year old, local publication called The Paper. I seemingly discover all the wonderful things in the world just before they are about to die – but as a friend said just last night, “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”. Despite the fact that I had only just started to glance over this monthly release, I found that I was becoming attached to all the words and visuals that spanned across these 20 pages of content. Particularly August 2013 Volume 2, Issue 12.

The pages of The Paper are filled with lovely stories of local art and talent, interviews from a wide variety of transplants, lifers, and short term residents, articles on the recent happenings in the music scene, and more. My only question is, why didn’t I start picking up this paper sooner? After all, it’s completely free!

What really got me thinking though, was reading through the pages of inspiring do-it-yourselfers out of, essentially, a do-it-yourself project that is the creation of The Paper. This city is what it is because of the people who reside here. The people who run the local businesses, who play in their local bands at local bars, and who shop for Kentucky grown meat and vegetables at the local farmer’s markets. Louisville had adopted Austin’s little phrase in order to promote local and it is not uncommon to spot cars sporting “Keep Louisville Weird” bumper stickers from Prospect to Audubon Park.

Being from out of town and having lived here for the last four years for school, I have been learning about the city little by little. It was not until I turned 21 and graduated from school (and graduated from my career as a Division I athlete) that I was able to start appreciating all the little local breweries, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and countless other areas of the city that I would never have otherwise noticed had I not been so busy with all my previous commitments.

I like to tell people that I came here for school and sports, which Louisville has no shortage of (NCAA sports more specifically seeing as there are no major league teams in the city), and I stayed for the beer and the local flare and creativity. I do not plan on moving out of here any time soon and I hope that in the next few years I will be able to discover more of what makes this city so artsy, and even explore my own avenues to find out what I was brought here to do.

As I sit in my in my 100+ year old apartment building in Old Louisville with 10 foot ceilings, I am looking up from my pillows out my massive arched window which lies just behind the head of my bed (bad feng-shui, I know). A ridiculous freak rain storm has already come and gone. The heat and humidity is slowly drying the moisture up, leaving the streets printed with a rain speckled tessellation. I think the weather here sums just about everything up. Louisville and it’s people are relentless, unpredictable, and ever changing, similar to the climate in the Ohio River Valley. I couldn’t appreciate where I currently reside more. This city has stamped something significant on me and I hope to give back to it in all the best ways possible.

Listing

Making lists is my favorite thing to do when I’m writing on paper. I don’t particularly like writing paragraphs of feelings and bullshit, however I still do like putting my thoughts on a page. I have recently found the best way to do that is by listing all the things that come to my brain. This most closely resembles the way my brain operates… I think. Since I clearly have not shared anything new on this blog, I figured I would go through some of my analog lists and digitize them via this keyboard (and extrapolate on the really interesting stuff). Then, anyone who actually minds to read this/all my stalkers will know what’s been up in the past couple weeks.

I’m going to start with the summer to do list and I’m going to bold all the things that I have accomplished thus far and star the things that have been scheduled but are yet to happen or are a work in progress.

“Things To Do Summer 2013″ April 4, 2013.

  • acquire a car
  • acquire a bike
  • acquire a job
  • waterfront Wednesdays… all the Wednesdays
  • tabata Tuesday bikes
  • be nocturnal for like 3 days
  • Bonnaroo & Forecastle *
  • read all the Malcolm Gladwell books *
  • buy local only for 3 weeks
  • abstain from chocolate for a week (or so)
  • grow a plant
  • grow a savings account
  • meet 5 rappers
  • take lots of photos *
  • take advantage of all things free *

“Cool Things About Today” May 21, 2013

And then at the bottom of this page I added a clip out from a magazine that I newspaper blackout-ed. Maybe I will share these one day but I am going to be honest and say I’m too lazy to upload the photo. By the way, we didn’t make NCAA’s. Also, click on that link for The Kollection to see all the blog posts I’ve submitted so far. The next link is to a sweet book by Austin Kleon, and anyone who cares about being creative ought to read it.

The next list is really long so I’m only going to take the first few.

“I woke up to write this down” May 28, 2013

  • use the word lucrative more often
  • find a lucrative hobby
  • stop lying to yourself about not having lucrative hobby ideas – do them
  • write more
  • care less about what you will think when you go back & read what you wrote
  • if you don’t like it, throw it off a bridge, burn it, bury it
  • lists are good
  • ride the bike you borrowed from Dasha EVERYWHERE!
  • make up words and use them shamelessly
  • fill this page
  • write so fast you look like a dyslexic
  • become really good at your job – even the most mundane tasks
  • read more Austin Kleon

Finally, I am going to share yesterdays list because it is the most recent.

“Untitled” June 1, 2013

  • a new month
  • Paula drawing – nearly complete
  • I love listing
  • dried mango strips
  • nobody has been home all day
  • going to Market Street
  • Hannah’s 21st birthday celebration tonight
  • it’s been rainy this morning
  • two Christian ladies tried to talk to me this morning about religion

That’s a wrap. On my list for today I would add “more blog posts”, but I’m too tired to do anything right now. So goodnight! Ugh, this post has no visual and that’s bothering me. Will add later.

“This Great Nation Will Endure As It Has Endured”

FDRbig

It is almost 7am and I am sitting on a bus headed from Louisville to South Carolina. Because of the technology of this beautiful day and age, we are watching the live CNN reports about the recent activities following the Boston Marathon bombing. Suspect #1 has been shot and killed, and Watertown, Massachusetts is on lockdown while SWAT teams search the houses and remove families from their homes. Essentially the city of Boston is shut down, and even the Amtrak services from Providence to Boston have been halted.

From where I sit on this bus, somewhere now in the middle of Kentucky headed towards the East Coast, it is probably just as easy for me to say what I’m about to say, but I so strongly believe that it is the truth. The more we watch the TV and the more we repeatedly hear the same information regurgitated in a different way, the more we fear. The media is great up to a certain extent, and I would expect nothing less of them to be reporting on these terrible circumstances around the clock. In all of our hunger to be informed, we find it so hard to look away. It feels like it is almost my duty as an American to know as much as I can about the state of affairs in our country. As much as I would love to turn off the TV, I worry about the livelihood of my fellow Americans, and not only that, but my peers in the human race; peers whom have the capacity for fear, joy, insanity, and terror.

The phrase “terrorist on the loose” has come up numerous times on the news this morning. The terrorism these suspects exhibited on Monday though was clearly a premeditated act. Whoever these people are who had the audacity to commit this crime have long been terrorists on the loose. They are not the only ones. As we see communities coming together in the light of this tragedy, we must know that even now, here and all around the world, there are people just like these suspects with the same mentality. Terrorism and crime do not stop when the suspects are caught or killed. Crime and negativity is happening all around us, and whether we like it or not, it’s not going away any time soon.

What I would like people to understand, is the point of life is not for society to live in fear, nor is it to try to live one step ahead of these terrorists; we have professionals and law enforcement who dedicate their lives to this job. We just have to do what the people in Watertown, Massachusetts cannot do right at this moment, and that is to go outside, find a family member or friend and give them a hug, tell them that you appreciate them and this life that we have the opportunity to live.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his Inaugural Address to the people of the United States of America. During a trying time in this country, FDR had an unwavering optimism, and we still recite a quote from the speech he gave 80 years ago. What he had to say is so relevant to this current day, regardless of the changes in the economy and society for better and worse in the last century. After reading his words, I am inspired to capture the good from the optimists in the world. I would like to share the first paragraph of his speech, and encourage everyone to spread his words of optimism.

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.

The rest of the speech and the audio can be found here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

I have never really been one to pray, but I am one to send thoughts and positivity to the world and to the universe. That is what I am doing for Boston and for the rest of the world.

Weekend Warrior

Last weekend I felt so accomplished I waited until Wednesday to tell everyone about it for fear that the overwhelming success would blow everyone so far away they would never come back to read this blog. Unfortunately, most of what I accomplished wasn’t really relevant considering I graduate in May and have a ridiculous amount of work that I still need to get done. Regardless of what I accomplished, it gave me happy feelings so I’m going to share it and hopefully you will feel happy feelings too.

productivity

It started when I was planning on taking a nap in order to prepare for a 25th birthday party at Skyzone (adulthood at it’s finest). However that did not happen due to a large Dunkin’ Donuts hazelnut iced coffee.

Any time I am unable to nap despite the fact that my body is begging me to, I take the opportunity to do something very irrelevant that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do because I am either a) sleeping, b) doing relevant homework things, or c) feeling too guilty to do fun things because I should be doing homework, but rather I am sitting on my bed staring at the wall/the TV/ my computer. Because the nap didn’t happen, on Saturday morning after practice I sat on my hair laden floor, listened to loud music, and started to make art things.

This was the result of a lot of random experimentation and home made Mod Podge. On a side note, Mod podge is the fabric of youth, and because the Internet knows lots of things, I was able to make my own for about 4 dollars. Normally that shit costs $17 for a 32oz bottle. This girl bought a $2 bottle of Kroger brand glue (actually I bought 2, it was on sale) and mixed equal parts glue and water. I put it in a Kroger brand plastic container that I bought that day (because it was on sale) and mixed it up. I haven’t used the Mod Podge brand in a while because as you can see I’m not trying to spend that kind of money, but as I recall, this concoction worked just the same. Shout out to Kroger.

BanksyInspired

 

Wanderlust

The summary of this is basically, I wish I could still be in art classes like I was in high school, Bansky is an inspiration to all, and white girls cannot wear afro picks. It just is a fact.

 

p.s.

On Sunday funday Chance the Rapper x Kids These Days were in Louisville, so of course I went. It was AWEsommeee. Here are some photes. And if anyone was wondering, I did finish a paper this day that is not due for two weeks! Yea productivity!

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Sprocket Shots and Bulb Fraughts

camerafilmrip

The last roll of film I developed was the first time I made the mistake of using the bulb setting on my Holga 135 without returning it back to normal when I was done. Not only that, but I managed to rip the end of the film when I was trying to wind it back into the canister.

I have read about many people making the same mistake with the bulb and I have always been conscious to set it back. Not this time. Nearly all the photos came out blurry because of this, which was slightly disappointing, but some were salvageable I suppose. Better to make all the mistakes on one roll of film.

My word of advice and a lesson that I learned from this, is to make sure you know how many exposures you have on your roll of film. The film I used had 24 exposures, and the reason the film ripped was because I tried to take a 25th exposure. Upon winding the film back, it completely tore off the last few photos. I heard it ripping and after that there was nothing else to do but bring the camera in and see if the Walgreens Photo Man could help me. He did. He got the loose film out and was able to develop the photos, which I would soon find out were all blurry anyways.

Here is what to expect if you completely f*ck up all your creativity and hard work:

holgafail2You can see the tear and the sprockets… however that managed to happen. But I think it did come out kind of cool.

holgafail1Blurry, and more sprocket holes! Yes!

holgafail3This one is neat looking. The one thing I like about the bulb setting screw up in this photo is you can see the movement: Andee struggles to zip her massive coat.

holgafail4This one was my favorite of the whole roll. Lots of eery motion. Almost looks like she is floating over the street.

Search Engine Terms: AKA I wrote about this shit

I was perusing the stats page of my WordPress, because who doesn’t, and a phrase in the Search Engine Terms box caught me eye. Usually there isn’t anything in there, so I thought to myself, if “independent artist that became big in 2012?” was able to link someone back to this blog post from December, then what else have people searched that brought them here?

Turns out a lot of random shit that people search have brought them here, and I would like nothing more than to share some of these things with the internet.

“penny bra” – If you find a bra for a penny, please let me know. However if it is made out of pennies I will politely decline.

“hoodie allen name drops one direction” - Yes, yes he does.

“playlist to get you through studying” - I hope that since you searched this, it brought you to the playlist that I made for studying, and not the blog post that somehow was linked to “penny bra”.

“toilet paper helmet” - I hope this is either school related, or you were trying to write a research paper about this beautiful invention.

“kyle armillotti sings sweetest mafia song” - The sweetest damn mafia song I’ve ever heard. Or maybe you meant Swedish. Hard to say really.

“does itunes suck” - No.

“ellie goulding halcyon itunes deluxe edition free download legal” - Not every day do you see someone searching the internet for the legal download of a song. Something tells me you could have used fewer words to find the same result though. (See above)

“oh shit i think they’re onto us” - Damn right I am onto you. Despite the fact that you used the correct version of “they’re”, I assure you I am a singular person… “you’re” is sufficient.