Thursday, August 28, 2008

And then...

...there was this!

...and in slightly better news, this!

Hardin County Ordinance...WHOOPS...

This just in from the Bike Iowa listserv:

I just received a call from Jim Johnson of the Hardin County Board. The board will begin the process to repeal the ordinance on Tuesday. The form has been removed from their website. He said they did not have enough information when they passed the ordinance and they only intended protection against RAGBRAI.

He acknowledged it was a mistake and it was a bigger mistake to put 10 riders in the ordinance, but it was what was provided by ISAC. He appreciated that the Iowa Bicycle Coalition organized local members, bicycle shops, and the trails group in Hardin County to speak to the board and provide them with theinformation that they needed.

Crossing the Line...

Found this today on Story People and loved it so much I thought I'd post here:

I have too much to lose, she said, if I cross that line.

Like what? I said.

She could not think of anything that day so she said she'd get back to me.

Since then I've been thinking what I would lose if I cross my line & I haven't come up with anything either.

There's always another line somewhere.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hardin County Passes B.S. Biking Ordinance

See below minutes from a recent Hardin County Board of Supervisors meeting. If there was ever a load of poo to be read, I am fairly certain this is it:

Johnson moved, Miller seconded to adopt Ordinance No. 43, An Ordinance Relating toBicycle Events of County Roads.

Roll call vote: "Ayes" Johnson, Miller and Bear."Nays": None.

Ordinance No. 43 is hereby adopted as follows:

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Hardin ordains as follows:
1. County roads are not designed for bicycles. According to the National HighwayTraffic Administration, bicycling results in more emergency room admissions than anyother sport or activity. Large organized bicycle events that use County roads create aunique risk of injury to bicycle riders. Allowing such rides puts the County, and Countytaxpayers, at risk for lawsuits and large damage awards.

2. The County wants to encourage large organized bicycle events, while at the same timeprotecting the County from liability. The County has a legitimate interest in protectingitself from liability for injuries associated with the use of County roads. The best way todo that is to require that large organized bicycle events procure insurance that includesthe County as an additional insured.

3. Even with this ordinance in place, full opportunity will continue to exist on Countyroads and on other County property for the free flow of ideas, and the exercise offreedom of speech.

1. "County" means the County of Hardin, State of Iowa.

2. "Bicycle event" means an organized procession or assemblage of more than ten (10 )bicycle riders on one or more County roads in the unincorporated portion of theCounty, when one or more of the following conditions also applies:
a. The event is publicly advertised, which may include but is not limited toInternet, radio, newspaper, flier or email advertising; or
b. A registration fee or donation is charged or requested for participation inthe event.

3. "Person" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, ororganization of any kind.

4. "Board of Supervisors" means the Board of Supervisors of the County or itsdesignee.SECTION

3. INSURANCE REQUIRED No person shall organize, operate, or participate in, any bicycle event in the Countyunless the event has liability insurance coverage as provided in this ordinance.

1. Form. The Board of Supervisors shall provide a proof of insurance form. Anauthorized representative of the bicycle event shall file a completed proof of insuranceform with the Board of Supervisors as set forth below.

2. Filing Deadline. A completed proof of insurance form for a bicycle event shall be filedwith the Board of Supervisors no less than three (3) days before the date on which itis proposed to conduct the bicycle event.

3. Content. The proof of insurance form shall set forth the following information:
a. The name, address and telephone number of the person or personsseeking to conduct such bicycle event;
b. If the bicycle event is proposed to be conducted by, or on behalf of, anorganization, the address and telephone number of the organization, and ofthe authorized agents of such organization;
c. The date and time when the bicycle event is to be conducted;
d. The route to be traveled;e. The approximate number of bicycles riders that will participate in the bicycleevent.

4. Certificate of Insurance. Attached to completed proof of insurance form, theauthorized representative of the bicycle event shall provide to the Board ofSupervisors a certificate of insurance showing that the representative has obtainedcomprehensive general liability insurance in the minimum amount of one milliondollars ($1,000,000) to cover property damage and/or injuries, including death, toany persons in connection with the activities conducted in accordance with thebicycle event. The certificate shall include an additional insured endorsementpage that names the County, and its officers, employees, agents, andrepresentatives as additional insureds.

5. Fee. No bicycle event permit fee or filing fee shall be charged by the Board ofSupervisors.

6. Deficiencies. The Board of Supervisors shall advise the authorized representativeof the bicycle event in writing of any deficiencies in the completed proof ofinsurance form within 24 hours of the filing of the form with the Board ofSupervisors.

If bicycle event participants are required to sign a waiver of liability, the waiver shallinclude language waiving any claim against the County and its officers, employees,agents, and representatives.

The violation of any provision of this ordinance is a county infraction which shall be punishable by a civil penalty of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00). If theinfraction is a repeat offense, it shall be punishable by a civil penalty of onethousand dollars ($1,000) for each repeat offense. A separate offense shall be deemed to have been committed for each day or portion of a day that a violationcontinues.

If any of the provisions of this ordinance are for any reason illegal or void,then the lawful provisions of this document, which are separable from theunlawful provision shall be and remain in full force and effect, the same as ifthe ordinance contained no illegal or void provisions.

This ordinance shall be in effect upon its final passage, approval andpublication as provided by law.

Adopted and passed by the Hardin County Board of Supervisors on this 9th dayof July, 2008./s/Ed BearEd Bear, ChairmanHardin County Board of Supervisors/s/Erv MillerErv Miller, MemberHardin County Board of Supervisors/s/Jim JohnsonJim Johnson, MemberHardin County Board of Supervisors

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baseball and Cycling: Similar--You Decide.

I have been a fan of Frank DeFord's since I first discovered NPR. His diction lends itself well to his commentaries but even without the audio piece, I find myself compelled by each of his weekly pieces.

I have referenced this article to many of my friends, and just found it in his archives. You can many of his previous works here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ragbrai Blurbs: To Be Continued...The Amazing Race

Ragbrai Blurbs: For Keri...Scooty Stays Puff't

Take note of this guy: charming, cute, and yet typically posed with a deep scowl and flipping the camera the bird. He is perhaps only smiling in this picture because he is wearing his brand spanking new Bad Monkey rain coat, which none of the rest of us ordered. He lives for these moments.

It rained all morning. It is now afternoon and things are starting to get silly.

Now, come with me for a minute:
Your ass hurts.
The chafe is really setting in.
You've knocked off 50 some miles of your day.
First 18 are sketchy as all get out.
You nearly sag.
This guy totally and fully GUILTS you into riding.
The road is shitty, full of holes your top tube might fit nicely in and could eat a tire whole.
There's rain.
Lots of rain.
A headwind.
Then...cross winds that make staying upright a chore.
Finally, there are a couple beers.
And then you are too soon perhaps, back in the line pedaling, this is guy pulling, you are a row behind.

You watch his calves awhile.
You watch the other guys' calves awhile.
You watch their wheels.
You try and duck behind that headwind.
You make a smartass comment.
Your girlfriend makes another.
You look up...and simultaneously you and said girlfriend notice that this jacket...this guy...the headwind has turned him into this Stay Puffed guy.

You laugh like you have not laughed in years; tears rolling down your cheeks, bike weaving and handlebars nearly tangling. You cannot breathe, you cannot possibly pedal, you totally screw up the line.

Yeah. Had to be there.

Ragbrai Blurbs: Brett Favre Is One Bad Monkey

You probably noticed that Brett Favre didn't turn on his proverbial PR machine and start causing a Green Bay a ruckus until after the conclusion of Ragbrai 2008. That is because he was riding with Team Bad Monkey, posing for pictures with various ladies throughout the ride, buying us groceries, punching people in the gut, and signing autographs. We don't claim any kind of responsibility for his shenanigans on...or off the ride, but we did want to make it clear that Lance ain't all that--we've got Brett. Steer clear of us.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ragbrai Blurbs: Chew

Ragbrai 2008 marked Chew's big riding debut. He got things started off right by working way too much in June and early July, riding too little and partying his ass off the night before the bus headed west to make its first party stop in Marney. He subsequently slept through the entire first day; awakening in bursts of three to five minutes to make a smartass comment, chug a beer and promptly fall back to sleep.

We did rouse the beast, and he did rally like some kind of rockstar after that first day of slumber--and for the remainder of the week he kept us all laughing our asses off with these quick-witted smartass comments that made you snort your beer.

He poses here in his kindergarten riding picture.

Fortunately for Chew, he had some help along the way and Night One those helpers were kind enough to help set up his tent for its maiden night of use. By 3 a.m. we were all snug in our beds; sweating bullets on our respective air mattresses atop the plateau of a town they call Missouri Valley when the wind started howling and the rains started rolling in. Most of us in "Tent City" peeled our sweaty asses from our air mattresses and pulled out the rain flies. But not Chew and not his neighbor Ben. While Ben deleriously stumbled around camp singing some Robert Earl Keen tune, Keri made sense of things in their tent and took care of business. Chew, on the other hand very efficiently and with MacGyver-like speed rolled up and put away his entire tent.

He was afraid of blowing away.

No one knows for sure where Sickles, Chew's tent buddy was at this point but we later found him in the garage like he'd ascended straight from the clouds down onto some air mattress that just happened to be there...surrounded by 60 bikes. Ben sang his way back into his own dry tent and low and behold, Chew wound up in Lindie's and my tent. A two man tent now made for three...where Chew spent his first night of Ragbrai 2008: snuggled up with two single chicks. We are proud to report that he took full advantage by spooning Lindie's toes, his body entirely off the air mattress and his face smashed into the side of the tent.

Ragbrai Blurbs: Chapter One

Well, I've searched my soul for a week for the perfect way to sum up Ragbrai 2008. I've come up with a smattering of laughs, inside jokes, and silly moments that will mean little to anyone other than those who were along for the ride..or perhaps even riding by my side for each of them.

This is what makes this ride beautiful: each year is totally different. Each day is totally different. Each mile, collectively different for each rider. And so it goes. So the thing about Ragbrai is just that; it defies description. And when you try and explain to a person who has never sat their ass on a saddle and pedaled out 400-some miles the sheer lunacy and gluttony that ensues after 80 some miles of hills coupled with a killer headwind, a nice thunderstorm, and 10 or 20 thousand others doing the same damned thing, day after is a somewhat difficult thing to do. Things just get better/crazier as the week goes by, you tend to leave it at that.

Perhaps that mystery is some of the allure of this thing for those of us who come back to ride it again and again. I've decided the only way I can do this thing justice is in I think of some little thing...or bigger thing, I'll scrawl it out. It is the little things that make this week: an offhand comment after miles of silence, reminiscing about the previous night's shenanigans in the middle of the peleton, shoveling down a plate of spaghetti after you've already had two sandwiches and finishing it off with 8 cookies, or pulling a line and laughing so hard that you nearly run everyone off the road.

To my new Bad Monkey Teammates I offer this: you have your program fine tuned to the point that it is damned near disturbing. I will forever feel indebted to the organizational masterminds behind the Monkey Operation who gave me one of the best vacations I've had. I will also forever be indebted to Scooter for introducing me to this clan of mostly Indianola bred folk; who I now hold dear as my own people. Thank you all for welcoming me with open arms and for immediately flipping me shit. I had so little to worry about besides pedaling for one week's time that the ride took on a whole new meaning. It was truly that--a ride.