Friday, March 30, 2007

Spread the Word

It's about time bike commuters were offered parity in the tax code. Here's an article in Bicycling about Congressman Earl Blumenauer's effort to create tax inscentives for bicycle commuters.
With over 50 percent of the working population commuting 5 miles or less to work, bicycles offer the strongest potential for reducing single-occupancy vehicles.
Tax breaks wouldn't create a shift all by themselves, but it would be a step in the right direction.

The Bicycling article includes links to Congressman Blumenauer's website and a tool from the League of American Bicyclists that automatically generates a letter to your local representatives (their link is wrong, but the one here is correct.)

Hint, hint.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Faustian Bargaining

The very concept of "energy independence" for America, parroted by liberals and conservatives alike, amounts to utter delusion. There is not, and will never be, even a rough equivalent to fossil fuels when it comes to powering industrial society in its current form.

So far, the most harmful and immoral manifestation of this delusion is the belief that biofuels and biomass will allow us to continue our journey as it is outlined on the Perpetual Growth itinerary. Developing a biofuel infrastructure to replace our current oil infrastructure would be the equivalent to inviting your car to the dinner table. John Michael Greer offers the best argument I've seen that this is tantamount to sticking your hand in a monkey trap.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Clever Big Dummy

Todd from Clever Cycles has posted some pics of thier new Big Dummy build over on Flickr. Pretty exciting stuff.

The Surly blog sez "these monsters should be in stores around August of this year. Thanks for being patient."

You're welcome, even though it's really hard to be patient...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Velocipedal Hillbilly

It occurs to me that the old homestead has recently taken on a certain resemblance to the local dump, only with more bicycles. Hmmm, and maybe a little bit like the local trailer park too...

Here we see the one working vehicle parked right alongside one of the less functional. That black Schwinn has a set of 650B wheels I'd like to try on a little Miyata I got at a police auction, which turned out to have a useless set of 597 wheels. And that'd be a bathroom sink right underneath it. Got the Wald basket and the tires on a little curbside shopping expedition.

Then there's the Schwinn that we pulled out of the river last fall. With a canoe. With 3 people in it. That's a story for another post. Meanwhile, it leaned against the pear tree all winter, cuz, what else am I going to do with it? That's a rusty cookie tin on the ground next to it.

And here's where the missus and I set to enjoy the kinetic art that the youngin' made. The loop of metalized dryer vent normally serves as a tire for one of the wheels on the sculpture. Good times.

Finally, the icing on the cake: a bike on blocks.

This, gentle reader, is how neighborhood organizations are born.


Sprummer has arrived here in Madison. Three weeks ago, we had 20-some inches of snow on the ground:

Today, we have temps in the mid-70's and absolutely no snow:

So, there you go.