I Can’t Make this Stuff Up: Patrick McHenry and the Energy Bill


by Jason Swihart on Sep 04, 2007 at 10:31 AM

Since every other blog in the universe has posted on it, I thought I should as well. Maybe I’ll take a different tack than others.

Anything pertaining to cycling lifestyle is of interest around here and we, like other cyclists, took umbrage last week as this video circulated. McHenry’s speech is ugly and insulting, but it’s also incredibly lame and that’s what offended me most deeply. When a motorist runs down a cyclist because “bikes are stupid,” he may be using violence in place of argument, but at least there’s violence. McHenry’s got nothing. Bear with me while I expound.

First, let us take note of Rep. McHenry’s intellectual method of critiquing the Democrats’ provision in the energy bill.

None whatever.

There may well be lots of things wrong with the Democrats’ energy bill or their specific proposal to offer tax incentives to bicycle commuters, but rather than point any of them out, use logic, or offer an argument, McHenry substitutes a sarcastic tone. It’s Argumentum ad Muntziam. He’s not actually criticizing the Dems, he’s just pointing and sneering.

Note also, that he has his facts grossly wrong. The Democrats aren’t offering a 19th Century solution to a 21st Century problem–they’re offering a 19th Century solution to an 18th Century problem. The phenomenon of Supply and Demand was well know by the time Adam Smith published Wealth of Nations, as was international trade. McHenry seems to believe that he has uncovered a new and unprecedented problem: a resource sought by the American public located somewhere other than here. God help us, how will we untangle such a Gordian Knot?

Of course McHenry and the Republicans are at a loss in the face of this problem. Over the last 60 years the party has assiduously worked to lobotomize and emasculate itself, laying down tools like trade and all-out war that could solve such a dilemma.

Barry Goldwater was the last gasp of intellectual solvency and self esteem in the party, which were finally abandoned as part of his throwing in the towel. After his failures in 1964, the religious conservative wing of the party heaved a sigh of relief, knowing they would never again have to offer evidence or argument to support their positions. Not long after, the party castrated itself rather than suffer any longer the label “Hawk”–a vicious aspersion which they have since spent the last 50 year attempting to disprove through one incompetent military action after another.

Patrick McHenry of course is the ultimate payoff for the Republicans’ hard work: empty political bluster, lamely delivered, proudly proclaiming a total absence of ideas without even mindless, reactionary war mongering as a redeeming virtue.

Plus, bikes are cool and he’s short and his hair looks funny.

Try the veal, I’m here all week!

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Ti Commuter


by Jason Swihart on Sep 04, 2007 at 9:43 AM

A Ti commuter by Von Nicholas – a brown fork that matches the decals and the bracket to mount the tail light to the rack also attaches the fender so there is no need for the stays to hold the fender in place.

See more Eurobike photos uploaded by Novara.

from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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Dropping the Kids off


by Byron on Sep 04, 2007 at 9:40 AM

When I picked up my son from soccer practice recently he asked me, “why do you always pick me up on the Bettie?” And I replied, “because it’s not a car and it’s fun.” He nodded and smiled.

This week when the children go back to school they’ll also ask me to not bling the bell when I drop them of at or embarrass them in any other way … “embarrassed, I asked? What other kids get dropped off by bike?” They’re all in SUVs, how boring!


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Superlight Dahon Folder


by andrew_f_martin on Sep 03, 2007 at 3:39 PM

Dahon folder

BikeRadar.com is at Eurobike and has snapped some shots of the hot new Dahon Folder. Can’t wait to check to the new gear when BikeHugger rolls into Vegas for Interbike 2007!

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A Farm Kermesse


by Byron on Sep 03, 2007 at 7:33 AM

For those of you that race into the Fall and winter, Kruger’s Kermesse is coming up and it’s not only a great race, but a social happening with a beer garden and fun for the whole family. For me though, racing on manure-splattered roads near farms has always made me nervous, like I’d get some butt-bug, like Tom Danielson did.

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Fixie Popularity


by Byron on Sep 03, 2007 at 7:22 AM

Ya know Fixies have passed the tipping point into the mainstream when they make the “weekend activities” section of a local newspaper … check this article from the Daily Utah Chronicle and these words of advice

“Watch out for hills,” Sjodin said. “You gotta man up if you’re going to ride a ”fixie’ to the U.”

Man up … fixies are “manly.”

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From Japan (Part 18): Kanuma


by Mark V on Aug 31, 2007 at 10:42 PM

i found a few more pix from my Japan trip

kanuma%20startline.jpg This is the commemorative stone marking the finish line for the 1990 UCI World Championships in Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Maiko’s dad made sure we stopped here on the way from the train station to the hotel. Maiko’s family really went out of their way to entertain us.


Maiko’s dad even found this inn called the Cycling Terminal for us to stay. They had a cycling theme to the lobby’s decor with a number of late ’80s cycling posters. Mainly, it’s a nice but basic Japanese hotel with tatami mat rooms and immediate proximity to some good cycling.


Later on, the family and a business partner’s family took us out to a yakiniku restaurant (think Japanese BBQ), and we ate outselves silly…I ate things that I couldn’t identify. I ate raw beef. It was all good…well maybe not the tripe and liver.


Right now Maiko is back in Japan with her family. I just want to thank you again!

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Castelli Wicked Bibs


by Mark V on Aug 31, 2007 at 9:01 PM

castelli%20wicked%20bibshort.jpgSome people love shopping for clothes. Me? I hate it. Usually I have to buy clothes because I wore holes in something very comfortable but no longer available. Thus I gotta buy something that is often less comfortable and more expensive then what I had before. So when I had to admit that one batch of riding shorts was dead and that the replacements weren’t getting any less ill-fitting, I gave in and ordered up some new bibs from my old time favorite, Castelli.

Castelli changed distributors in the US not too long ago, and rumor has it that a lot of the designs are being determined on this side rather than Italy. But if anything, the quality and detail of the product has improved. Take these Castelli “Wicked” bibshorts I bought.

The Wicked bib features flat-stitching on the complex, multi-panel pattern. The mesh back and straps a clever kind of dual, spaghetti strap shoulder area that is designed to prevent irritating bunching. Of course, the shorts have the Castelli favorite “KISS” synthetic chamois pad which is 4-way stetch to allow it to conform to you better.

I was pleased with the fit, but I warn you that you that most riders will want to go one size bigger than normal. Castelli is what you’d call “pro fit” rather than “club fit”. The inseam is not markedly short, but the leg openings have been designed to allow you to roll up you the legs if you prefer. The leg grippers are effective without being constrictive. The KISS pad exactly meets my needs: comfy, with no more thickness than necessary.

The two Wicked bibs now sit at the top of my drawer after proving themselves on 60 miles fixed gear rides with cadence at 90-120rpm the whole time. At $120 retail, they are almost a bargan when manufacturers including Castelli are marketing $250 plus bibs. They are available in blue, red, black, and stylishly impractical white.

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