It's been a while since I have posted and so much has occurred both in my own life and the world at large, not simply cycling or art related...
...THAT being said this brief post is both art and cycling related!
It's so rare that I have an opportunity to combine them both but here we go...
This Sept. 14 I am participating in a 62 mile ride to benefit a series of Cape Cod charities through the Cape Cod Charitable Fundraisers foundation. The ride is called "the Last Gasp" (beneficiaries at the bottom of this post). Now, I have done this ride in the past, and I do so again for multiple reasons; first being that the Cape is my native home and my heart still belongs to it's salty shores, second; because I believe in the charities that CCCF supports here.
Here is where I reach out to you (really, anyone who reads this) to sponsor me and help me reach my modest fundraising goal. Anything would help from $5-500.
But now is where I hope you find incentive... if you watch or read this blog you probably are aware that I like to draw and paint, and If I reach my fundraising goal, one lucky and random donor will receive an original piece of my artwork, and if we dialogue, it could be one of your choosing!
Your contribution to the Cape and Islands United Way supports more
than 30 human service agencies providing services ranging from child
care, to food and housing assistance and medication management programs
for our aging population. Visit our website for a complete listing of
our 2013 community investment grants: www.uwcapecod.org. Thank you for your support. When you give here, it stays here!
Cape Cod Young Professionals
CCYP focuses on shaping Cape Cod to be a place that retains and
recruits young professionals who can thrive here. CCYP has launched the
Career Connect Program in order to give back to the Cape Cod community,
its emerging workforce and its future leaders. Funding for this program
is made possible through CCYP's participation in Cape Cod Charitable
FunRaisers' events and supports career and educational pursuits for
young professionals, who are truly the essence of Cape Cod's future. www.capecodyoungprofessionals.org
CHAMP homes are Places of Hope, Built on Faith. Forty-five residents
live in a family environment on our campus. We have served over 1,600
residents as we celebrate our 22nd Anniversary of Service as providers
of affordable and supportive housing to individuals (ages 17+). We are
entrepreneurial in our efforts to be self-sustaining. www.champhomes.org
Hope Hospice, Cape Cod
Hope Hospice is celebrating its 32nd anniversary as the only
independent non-profit on Cape Cod solely devoted to end-of-life care.
Since 1981, Hope Hospice has had a single dedicated mission: to provide
services that enhance the comfort and quality of life for patients and
families experiencing the impact of serious illness and loss. www.hospicecapecod.org
Kiwanis Clubs of Hyannis and Sandwich
The Kiwanis Clubs of Hyannis and Sandwich, both all-volunteer
organizations, will once again dedicate its Last Gasp funds raised
toward the youth of Cape Cod. This year we will be supporting the Boys
and Girls Club, The Challenger Club and the Special Olympics of Cape
Lyme Awareness of Cape Cod
Our mission is to provide education and promote awareness of Lyme
Disease, both acute and chronic, and other tick borne illnesses on Cape
Cod Massachusetts and the Islands.
Silent Spring Institute is a scientific research organization
dedicated to finding - and breaking - the links between environmental
chemicals and breast cancer in high incidence communities like Cape Cod.
Our goal is prevention.
Learn more: www.silentspring.org
Spaulding Rehabilitation of Cape Cod
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Cape Cod is dedicated to providing excellence in rehabilitation to help
individuals reach their full potential in function and independence
after illness, injury and surgery. SCC is part of the Spaulding
Rehabilitation Network. SCC is a 60-bed, acute rehabilitation hospital,
offering specialty inpatient programs that bring advanced rehabilitation
to the Cape & Islands. In addition to our inpatient facility
located in Sandwich, SCC has four outpatient centers located throughout
Cape Cod and one in Plymouth.
I no longer ride down Commonwealth Ave, but I did for several years. Comm Ave is a heavily traveled road (bikes, cars, and too many pedestrians to shake a stick at being that it goes directly through the Boston University campus) and (thankfully) has a wide and well marked bike lane along this length.
That being said, it was still a nightmare to ride down on a daily basis. Mostly because delivery trucks and taxis would routinely (and with impunity, I suspect, as I never witnessed a citation being given during my near 2-years riding this route) use the bike lane for offloading and the like. Between the trucks, traffic, and crush of students I called it "Riding the Gauntlet".
Also, while traveling this road I experienced more near collisions as a result of "right-hooking" than along any other route I have ridden in this city. Many right where this collision in the news article above occurred.
Now, it's early in the investigation and I do not want to jump to conclusions; but I suspect that this incident may be as a result of a "right-hook", which was, consequently, made illegal and a citable offense a few years back here in the Commonwealth.
I sincerely hope that this young cyclist (he was 26) was not doing anything foolish, but if so than so be it and may he rest in peace; but if it shows that the truck driver was at fault, I sincerely hope to see serious charges levied against them.
If anything it goes to show that infrastructure isn't enough (as I said, that area is well developed in that respect), we need education, awareness, and respect for each other on the road.
It will be interesting to see how things pan out in a city that is really trying to push
bike safety and advocacy.
Now, I don't usually review things here (as a matter of fact, I seem to rarely blog at all, to my own dismay) BUT I have to make an exception (to both situations) to share with you my experience with a set of Specialized All Condition Armadillo tires.
I did a rough calculation based on the number of miles I average per week and the length of time I owned the tires and I came to a conclusion that, over the course of the 2 years that I had these installed on my commuter bike I put approx. 65-7000 miles on them.
My usual routes take me through the streets of Boston in all types of weather and conditions–from 95º+ degree days to sub-0º with snow and ice–and these tires saw it all.
In addition to the weather, Boston roads are notoriously rough and full of imperfections,
construction, metal plates, cobblestones, and pot-holes
The pictures that accompany this post show the state the (back) tire was in when I finally relented and bought a replacement. I can only imagine the things that left these multiple wounds...
Each one of these cuts could have easily been a flat–potentially leaving me stranded (though I do carry a patch kit and spare tube); but of all of this damage, none of them ever caused a single flat. As a matter of fact the only times I had a flat while riding on these tires was due to 1 of 2 reasons:
A) the stem of the tube corroded and failed (typical in the Winter b/c of snow and de-icing chemicals)
B) Pinch flat(s) as a result of me replacing above mentioned corroded tube(s).
As you can see, any tread has l-o-n-g since been worn away, the sidewall was becoming threadbare, and the whole thing was pretty much de-laminating.
What actually got me to break down and buy a new tire is that I got sick of the "slap... slap... slap..." sound every time the wheel rotated due to the loose tread (seen below and at the top of this post).
it's been a while since I posted, and even longer since I posted something bike related...
As one or two of you might know, I have had my commuting bike for the past 2.5 years, and this is the 3rd Winter that it has had to endure (I bought in October 2009, so that makes sense ;) ...
Well, after several chains, sets of brake pads, a couple sets of tires, and (from my best educated guestimate) 8000+ miles, the first MAJOR part of the bike has failed and has been replaced.
For the last couple of weeks I have felt a slight pulsating in the rear wheel under braking. I didn't think too much of it (as this bike, at this age and amount of use has it's occasional issues) and dismissed it as the wheel being slightly out of true, or a gash/divot in the wheel from one of Bostons ubiquitous pot-holes... I had given the wheel a few quick visual inspections and really didn't see anything too out of the ordinary... that is until last Wednesday...
That is when the brake started to drag in that same pulsating fashion as described above... but much more pronounced and NOT under braking. It was @ 11pm and I was traveling home from class when the wheel (I suspect after one of Cambridge's many road abnormalities) began to behave this way...
...I stopped, and (in the dark) could not quite figure out why. I suspected that the wheel must've fallen further out of true to the point where it was hitting the brake pad even when not using the brake, so I released the V-Brake calipers and made due w/ the front brakes only, assuring myself that I would inspect and repair everything come the weekend when I had the time...
...the wheel had other ideas.
I have ridden on a "less than" true wheel out of necessity on a few occasions, and that's what I thought was the case here... that was until I got about 1.5 miles from home the next morning and the wheel began to drag (after another pot-hole) even though the rear calipers were dis-engaged.
It was at this time that I finally saw and realized what had been (slowly) happening over that last several days and 50-60 or so miles...
Yup, the braking surface of the rim of my wheel completely failed...
Ok, I admit that once or twice I let the brake pads get low so the actual shoes were rubbing metal to metal... but this is definitely more a testament to the corrosive effects of New England Winters combined with constant use.
This unfortunate event actually spurred me to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time, and that is to build my own wheel ... which is exactly what I did!
...I haven't posted much lately... not counting that last one as it was more of a forgotten draft from a couple months ago.
Well, the semester is getting ready to start up again so perhaps I will find some motivation to post a little more consistently. In the meantime, here is a round-up of sketch-book pieces that I have done over the past few months!
These are a few from late in the
semester that were not class related, so I didn't post them:
I didn't get nearly as much "art" done this Summer as I would have wanted... between moving to a new apartment and all the upheaval associated with such an endeavor. Towards the end of the Summer I got a little antsy and decided to try to "play around" a bit. I came to consciously notice that I have a tendency to doodle without purpose in lined notebooks (you should see my notebooks from college! A wealth of sketching ideas...) so I picked up a couple line Moleskine journals and voila!
Done while watching James May on BBC America:
Britta from Community:
Random silly scene from Wild At Heart:
After that I decided to get a little silly and shade them:
In-keeping with my "just f'n around" theme I decided to get really silly
and (since I noticed in doing the above shading that alcohol based
markers are not the best thing to use on the thin paper of a simple
Moleskine journal) hit them again using some of those very inexpensive
(water based) Crayola markers:
This led to a whole group of rapid sketches:
I think it was about this time I got sick of drawing/coloring on these lined pages... they are fine
for pen and pencil, but the paper is just too thin for a marker, regardless of whether it's alcohol
or water based.
That being said, I started to really like the way these cheap markers were blending... since they are so inexpensive, I had little concern about fouling the tips by repeated layering, and I got some wonderful effects! First, I went back and attacked some of my earlier sketches with color...
...achieving mostly favorable results... Then I did a couple new sketches and colored them in, too:
... fun fun.
But just as I was about to go color Crayola crazy, I just worked on this piece last night :)
Nice to get back to basics...