Blackbird video on YouTube

I recently posted a video in which I play the song Blackbird on the acoustic guitar and mix in the audio from GarageBand into iMovie. I recorded the audio using a boom mic connected to my camcorder and an instrument mic connected via the Apogee One into my computer. You can view it at the following address: Below is the video itself.

First look: My new 2010 Trek Madone

Part one of a three-part series.

As you probably have noticed, I like to bike – a lot. Although I really enjoy my riding my Trek Pilot, I wanted a better bike (what enthusiast doesn’t?). So I bought a new Trek Madone 6-series.

Why such a high-end bike, you might ask? The timing seemed right. Also, I work in a bike shop, so I got a bit of a break on the price. And I like the features of the 6-series, such as the frame is the lightest one ever built by Trek, it integrates the computer sensors, and it is made right here in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

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First 2009 long bike ride outside

On Sunday, March 15, my friend Josh and I agreed to go for a ride outside. It had been 10 days since my first ride outside, before the temperatures dropped into freezing again and then climbed out to provide warmer weather. Although Josh prefers warmer weather, he and I agreed to ride around the lake.

I was running just a little behind schedule, so I stopped at my local REI and bought myself a state trail pass. I then rode the three miles to catch up with him. When I arrived, he said, “you know, we’re out here and it’s a pretty decent day, so what do you think about riding down to Paoli and back?”

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First 2009 bike ride outside

The weather on Thursday, March 5, was so warm that we hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 C). It was pretty warm, so I had spring fever. I changed the rear tire on my bike from the trainer to the road tire and anticipated getting out on Friday. Since it was warmer again on Friday, I layered up and headed out.

I had planned a short ride: about 30-45 minutes. I figured out my route, one of my usual shorter rides, and headed out. It was slightly windy, and I headed right into it (meaning good tailwind on the way home). However, all that time on the trainer should have helped pay off, at least a little.

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My first alpine ski adventure

Despite living in Wisconsin my entire life, I had never gone alpine (downhill) skiing until last weekend. Considering that I have lived around snow for nine months per year since birth and that I have never been more than an hour from any of the ski hills, I never took the opportunity to actually try it until last weekend. Kristen really encouraged it, since she had skied before. Man, what was I missing?

We had picked an ideal weekend for it: sunny, clear, and warm (well, just barely above freezing). Had we been snowshoeing, we would’ve had a blast. Had I tried cross-country, we would’ve been really warm halfway through. But downhill is tricky because you go then stop and take a lift to get back up the hill (at least that’s what most people do at the resorts). Now that I’ve had a chance to recover, here is my account of this great new adventure.

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City shirks bikes and transit

I would only expect this in a city that does a terrible job of not putting its money where its mouth is. The Madison Plan Commission decided to forego any attempt to pursue the interests of the city’s bike and pedestrian and mass transit efforts in the interest of the mighty dollar. And Marcus, the developer who will build a large retail and entertainment mall on Madison’s far east side, is just as short-sighted as those on the Plan Commission that voted for it to drop the bike-ped and mass transit requirements.

This is the city that allows businesses to expand and doesn’t do anything for the surrounding infrastructure. We have busy four-lane roads with stop signs at its intersections. We have more traffic in front of our expanded grocery stores and malls than the roads were ever designed to handle. And yet we are supposedly one of the friendliest cities for bikes. Bullsh*t.

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Happy Birthday Lambeau Leap

The Lambeau Leap turned 15 years old on December 26. This recent tradition has become a legendary expectation of all Packers that score a touchdown at Lambeau Field. Even former Packers Quarterback Brett Favre (in his last season with Green Bay) and current Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (in his first regular season start) have leaped into the arms of excited fans.

Thanks to defensive Safety Leroy Butler, the first Lambeau Leap is now the stuff of legend. I think the Lambeau Leap is one of the coolest end zone celebrations in history. When a player jumps into the stands, it brings the fans and players together in a celebration of a great feat. It’s a celebration of the sport with those that love it. Many fans have commented on how much fun it is. So thank you Leroy Butler for inventing one of the greatest moves in football.

Bike rage over light

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that back on November 26, one cyclist was followed and attacked by another when the first one told the other and his girlfriend to “get a light.” The incident occurred in the evening, so the first cyclist could barely see the others coming, and thus made the suggestion. The other cyclist followed the first one home and attacked him. The second cyclist was eventually arrested, thanks to the cycling community.

It’s bad enough that cars already have a difficult time seeing bicyclists on the road without lights. But what really bothers me is when a bicyclist doesn’t take any responsibility for the safety equipment on their own bicycles. I typically ride my road bike during the day, so it’s often unnecessary to put lights on it. But I have the mounts, and when I plan on riding when it starts to get dark, the lights go on. It’s just one more way for motorists to see me and know that there’s another vehicle sharing the roads with them.

So to all of those bicyclists that are completely in the dark: get a light.

Death Magnetic rocks!!

Metallica’s new album Death Magnetic is now available. I’m just sitting and listening to this while doing some other stuff, and I am just simply blown the f*** away!! It has got to be the best Metallica album since Master of Puppets (and I really liked a lot of stuff since that album).

You want speed? You got it. You want heavy? It’s there. You want an instrumental? Yeah, there’s one of those too. You want a love song? Go elsewhere! Death Magnetic is not for the faint of heart.

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