July 2012

Month: July 2012

Packed and ready

The contents of my now packed panniers and bags were strewn across the bed. The gear made it in, but barely. United Airlines shall not get an additional dime out of me!* Carrying a minimal amount of gear for two weeks of one’s life is an interesting exercise in, well… minimalism. Makes you wonder whether we need more stuff than we can carry on a bike?

More to come from PDX tomorrow… the goblin gets some new tires, a rack and a solid ride from yours truly so I can make some adjustments prior to the big Tour de Pacific!

Reminder, if you care… check out the tour map page starting Thursday or my Twitter feed to keep up with the nonsense.

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*Yes, this is some form of cry for help masked in anti-airline baggage fee bravado. I honestly can’t figure out why I’m so steadfast on this position…

Tweets of 2012-07-30

  • Morning on the Potomac http://t.co/LUc99XnD #
  • Bonk cure: espresso packet and beefaroni. Not proud of that, incidentally… #
  • C&O detour (dc side) http://t.co/pWrfvGKm #
  • MM 8ish #
  • Fletcher's boathouse… #
  • Gtowny #
  • Home! #
  • Helped nearby drivers by reporting a car stopped on the shoulder on I- 270 N on @waze – Drive Social. http://t.co/CmH6DSrJ #
  • Helped nearby drivers by reporting a car stopped on the shoulder on I- 70 W, Ballenger Creek on @waze – Drive Social. http://t.co/U8JkTlFW #
  • Helped nearby drivers by reporting a car stopped on the shoulder on I- 70 W on @waze – Drive Social. http://t.co/kW6FjdUd #
  • Helped nearby drivers by reporting a car stopped on the shoulder on I- 70 W on @waze – Drive Social. http://t.co/EwGcK6OU #
  • Tell me those pimp US #waterpolo robes are available. I'll pass on the weird ear hats though… #
  • I can't wait for NBC's post Olympics water polo coverage. #

Tour de Tuneup

With the big Tour de Pacific starting next week and a serious dearth of multi day trips under my belt this season, I decided to shake the rust off with a little C&O tune up tour. A few highlights so far:

– the Metro and bus combo from Dupont Circle to Poolesville, MD puts you about a semi hilly 5 mile ride from Whites Ferry (mile marker 35.5). It’s a fun way to shave off some early miles and get deeper into the trail. Love it, but alas only a weekday option.
– PS thanks Metro for charging my card 10 bucks and not applying it to my SmartCard. You suck.big thanks to the good samaratin who had change on the bus.
– trail conditions were a but choppy, but considering the storm damage the trees took its a testament to NPS for clearing it to passable status. You are the opposite of Metro, NPS!
– summer heat and humidity in the DC region is inhumane. It was 90 when the sun set. I think I was comfortable at 3am.
– biking is fun. Cycle touring is a great escape… I get great ideas while in the bike, particularly business and problem solving solutions.
– I’ve met some interesting people: a group in Harpers Ferry who had biked from CA (they were finishing in DC… Amazing!)… And just now another muddy rider who started in Cumberland. I like touring alone or with Mysterious James, but it’s cool to run into random people with random stories.

Probably camping one more night between Whites Ferry and DC. I have the crazy stair detour near Great Falls to contend with (wait, NPS… I take it back… That kind of sucks) but if I can get to it early Sunday there will be fewer camera wielding bus tourists to contend with.

Alright… Back to my rueben. I’m powerless against a rueben. If it’s on the menu I must order it…

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It’s good to be busy

Behold, the Green Goblin!
As I continue my mad sprint to the end of the month (and thus the beginning of my bike tour vacation) I’m happy to say I’m pretty busy. Having had periods of less-than-full-employment, I’m confident in saying that I prefer being busy. I’m trying to implement some new systems at the yoga studio, handle some back end web issues for Kimberly’s website, and I can forsee some video shooting on the agenda early next week.

All this, and I have a big project brewing on the back burner. I’m hoping to be able to announce that pretty soon, perhaps before I leave for Oregon.

It’s good to be busy.

Stormriders!

I‘m hosting a “summer camp” retreat at my cabin this week (led by the irrepressible Kimberly) – while the weather has been less than ideal, we managed to sneak in a short tour of the Western Maryland Rail Trail by bike.

Statistics:

  • Number of flats I’ve had on that trail over the course of about 400 previous miles: zero.
  • Number of flats we had collectively in 11 miles yesterday? 2.
  • Amount of rain forecast during our 2 hour period according to radar: zero.
  • Percentage of time we were rained on: 80% of the ride.

Moral of the story: always bring your full repair gear, learn to change all sorts of tires, and remember it’s supposed to be fun. Luckily we had all of that. I present to you, the stormriders of summer camp 2012…

 

Memo to 20-year old me…

I probably wouldn’t have listened to a 40-something dude who looked like me, but every once in a while I think about the kind of advice I would give to younger Tim. Periodically I’ll share those here.

Topic 91: Your plans will change

Your current plans of law school and environmental litigation… awesome. You’ll do that. But don’t figure you’ll keep wanting to do that. This week (my time) you’ll be hosting a yoga retreat at your West Virginia cabin.* And you’ll be happy about that, because things change and plans change. Remember when you thought you wanted to double major in biology and political science? Yeah just like that…

*Yes: yoga retreat. No, you’re not a yoga teacher. And yes, cabin in WV. You sort of live there, but it’s more nuanced than that. I know, I know… deep breaths 20 year old me… deep breaths.

World Domination Summit

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending World Domination Summit in Portland. I’ll confess something: I had never read Chris Gullibeau‘s book The $100 Startup, read his blog, or consumed anything at all related to WDS. Kimberly (the girlfriend-slash-entrepreneurial goddess who I work with and for) had heard great things about the first WDS in 2011, and we managed to nab tickets for this year’s version.

So, all I knew was that people really (really) dug the first one, the second one sold out in about 23 nanoseconds* and the whole thing has a terrible, nondescriptive name.

And it was great. I mean really great. Even though I didn’t “get” it until the end of day 1.

If I were to bumpersticker WDS, it would go something like this: a summit of people who live and work on their own terms. Lots of entreprenurial types… lots of people who work online… lots of people who travel the world… a lot of minimalists (which sounds funny)… and a lot of people who aspire to be one or more of the others.

The main speakers were interesting… I was most drawn to the stories told by Scott Harrison (founder of charity:water), particularly how he leveraged the peculiar talents of an ex-party promoter into building one of the more impressive and successful charities in the world. I also really liked Chris Brogan‘s presentation, largely perhaps because I was one of the nerds in the audience that got all of his obscure comic book references. The breakouts I chose focused on minimalism and finding freelance gigs from anywhere in the world. Day 2’s breakouts included learning more about crowdfunding and online tools for finding efficiencies in your workflow.

So, yeah… WDS is a little random… but usefully random. Maybe someone more clever would call it a holistic approach to living life on your own terms… but that would probably require a much smarter blogger. We signed up for next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I do between now and then.

Almost forgot the most dramatic part… as the summit was closing, Chris took the stage for a final time and told the story of how last year’s WDS lost about $30k and that this year had made a small profit (to polite applause). He then mentioned some unnamed person gave WDS $100,000 for the 2012 summit. No one, and I mean no one, would have begrudged him to invest that money into next year, or even taken that as profit. But this is the guy who wrote a book about starting a business with 100 bucks… and there were a thousand of us.

(let’s see… five carry the one… um, I was told there’s be no math in this blog?)

We all got a $100 bill. That’s putting your money where your mouth is. It’s also 1000 bets on on 1000 people to see what they can do with it. I’m planning on re-energizing Nineball Media… my hope is to have some good stories for WDS 2013…

UPDATE… Chris blogs about the investment here, and posted the video of the moment too:

*This is a lie. It was 20 minutes.

Preparing for my ride

I‘m still processing my World Domination Summit experience, so more on that sometime over the weekend I think.

Let’s talk bike tour. I’ll be doing a lot of that soon.

The current insanity plan is as follows:

  • Fly to PDX August 1st. Stay at my brother’s place in NE.
  • On 8/2, take the morning Wave bus to Tilamook, Oregon (“ride the WAVE!”) and meet up with mysterious James (mysterious because he has no social media presence and only reads your stuff. Yes, yours.)
  • Go south a few hundred miles.
  • Stop in San Francisco, because that should be enough.
  • Pack up bike and ship it back to my brother in PDX, where this bike lives.
  • Get on a plane on the 15th from SFO to DC.

Seems easy enough. There’s only like 6 bullet points in there and half are all in one spot!

I bought a used touring bike in Portland this week, mainly because I cannot justify urinating away* $200 to United airlines for the pleasure of potentially damaging my primary bike. Instead, I’ll give a great local Portland bike shop $300 for the used bike and an overhaul, support their business and have a great excuse for returning to Oregon for future rides. It seems classy and recycle-ish too. And I’m nothing if not recycle-ish.

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*Is it classier to say it that way or too clinical?

Origin Tale: why uncommonly silly?

All good superhero comics have origin tales… radioactive spider bite survivors, refugees from long exploded planets…  dudes who talk to fish and that’s their only power

So too, all blogs (do we still call these blogs?) have origins. My favorite Supreme Court case* is Griswold v. Connecticut. It’s a seminal privacy law case that was the predecesor to Roe v. Wade. Ever hear of that one?

The crux of the case was a law that banned contraception for everyone, even married couples. Yes… married couples. The Court… and I’ll use the technical term here… smacked this law down. The ruling wasn’t unanimous, oddly enough. Some Justices thought the law wasn’t strike-downable (now an actual word). Another, Justice Potter Stewart, thought the law was inane, but nevertheless constitutional. But the best part was how he got there. Justice Stewart began his dissent with one of the all time great dismissive lines ever to grace the Supreme Court:

This is an uncommonly silly law.

So elegant. So perfectly dismissive of a perfectly stupid (and uncommonly silly) law. I love the majority ruling on principle, but this sentence remains a favorite of mine, despite its presence in the dissent with which I disagree.

So… I honor the smack talk of a lesser-known Justice by titling my blog after his words. An homage if you will.

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*{cough cough} nerd!