Bicycle Haiku from Kevin Kelly

In 1979, Kevin Kelly rode a bike from San Francisco to New York and sketched what he saw in a notebook.


Bicycle Haiku is a reproduction of a sketchbook I kept while I rode my bicycle across the US in 1979. It contains an ink sketch and a haiku for each day of the three month 5,000 mile trip. A typical scene would be like the day I passed through Francisco, Indiana. On a page full of cow faces staring up at me, the haiku goes: “Collective silence/Like I walked into the wrong room/Every horned head turned.” (This was Annie Dillard’s favorite.) I scanned the 151 images in the original book and printed this at a books-on-demand printer in 2001. This book will not be a best-seller. It’s a book of poetry, and you know what that means. It might appeal to anyone intrigued by pedaling across a continent, or loners fascinated by blue highways and other little-traveled roads, or sensitive souls really into haikus, or sketches. I can imagine a few odd ducks who collect self-published books that will be thrilled by this book. Personal friends of mine may be interested in this vanity publishing. For the rest – that is for most normal people – there is nothing of fashionable interest here.

Kevin enjoyed the ride so much he produced a short how-to for other cyclists.

This month a Kindle version is available with an iBook to follow. I’d like to see Kevin redo that ride with an annotated GPS map and photos with sketches. Once our racing days are over, we’re riding across the country too.

Horse Heaven Hills 11

When the rain reaches biblical proportions in Seattle, Pam and I make our annual trip to Eastern Washington. Kennewick is my old home town, stomping grounds, and where the Horse Heaven Hills are. Back in the day, the hills made for an epic race course. Now it’s a weekend getaway into the sun for us.

As I tweeted Retweet, the wind always blows there. The HHH course it’s a good hard man/woman ride with climbs, rollers, and fast descents. You’ll want to bring the good wheels for the chip seal and keep a keen eye on the road for dips and cracks.

The Routes

Up Clodfelter

Roll out of town up Clodfelter Rd. for a good hour or more of climbing, then across the top, and down Weber Canyon.

Clodfelter Road

Map and Stats

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~235 watts, 39x25 into a 20 mph headwind, gusting to 30, an 8% grade, with an 8 to 9 mph average speed for 1.5 hours. Horse Heaven Hills!

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I love that ride. You work really hard to get up into the peaceful wheat fields, tempo across the top, and then come roaring back into town with a tailwind. You can’t fight the wind and it’s best to just spin into it with a equilibrium of forward motion and power. If you expend all your energy on the way out and up, you’ll have nothing left for the return. Also, if you’re not used to it, chip seal will suck the power out of our legs. Don’t underestimate the rollers either. They’re leg breakers and many roadies have found themselves over-geared, cresting a roller and dropped on this course.

This ride is East to West.

Bicycling Magazine: Lance Profiteers Either Way

Lance Hero or Saint?For more than a decade now Bicycling magazine has been positioning itself as the “rah rah” supporter of the Lance Universe. Cover stories have drooled over Lance’s various comebacks. They have produced multi-page guides to watching Lance in the tour (sometimes made ironically irrelevant by broken collar bones). They’ve sold books about Lance written by their own Bill Strickland who, in turn has been one of the biggest Lance supporters in print.

Update: Bicycling’s Editor-ic-Chief dropped me an email and pointed out that Strickland’s book was NOT published by Rodale. My apologies for the factual error, and kudos to him for not being as harsh on me as I was on his publication.

One issue I checked and found the word Lance present on every other page of the front of the book (the part of a magazine before the feature articles start). Chris Carmichael for more than a year included the word Lance in the first paragraph of every column. The magazine has taught us how to ride like Lance, climb like Lance, train like Lance, descend like Lance and make a comeback—you guessed it—like Lance. Meanwhile their ad pages are full of cars, light beer and fitness programs that are fueled by Lancetonium 232—the radioactive element created when Lance walks into a room. (It’s possible that the only company on Earth that says the word Lance more often is Versus, which seems contractually obligated to frame every bicycle program as a golden halo of his career.)

So now that the doping allegations are getting heavier and louder it’s good to see Bicycling sticking by their past decade’s editorial assertions—Lance wins because he trains harder, Lance wins because he’s got a bigger “engine,” Lance wins because he’s genetically superior—with a cover story that explains why they’ve been promoting his every move for 10 years like it was God himself on a bike with a reasoned look at the rumors and allegations that have been around forever and debunked them.

Just kidding.

Yarn Bike Under The Brooklyn Bridge

@laughingsquid spots a Yarn Bike in Brooklyn and we say, “Go BROOKLYN!” That’s the work of Olek. Also see Yarn Bombers.

Uploaded by Laughing Squid | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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