Archive for July, 2011

Bicycle Dating For Men II

July 29, 2011

Where to meet them?

First here are some places NOT to meet them: work (never date anyone at work) or the street (don’t harass women on the street) or biking events (usually women go to these to ride their bike, duh, and not to be hit on otherwise they’d go to a meat market).

In fact, if you go out to explicitly meet women, usually you’ll have a kind of creepy and/or needy vibe which is the biggest turn off besides being a child molester.

Go to meetups singles and otherwise, and talk to everyone of both sexes and all ages. The idea isn’t to “hookup”, but rather to learn more about the rainbow of humanity.

Eventually, you should ask for people’s phone numbers if they are interesting enough, and if you have enough rapport. You could tell them you want to “continue the conversation” or you could find a specific activity that you both enjoy.

Again, don’t talk about the bicycle too much, and only if it comes up naturally. After a while, people will like you for who you are and they will accept your cycling as part of your original, likable self.

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Bicycle Dating For Men I

July 28, 2011

Bicycle Dating for Men

This is a HUGE topic so I am breaking this into several posts.

I usually don’t talk too much about things I don’t have much experience with.

For example, I have little experience meeting women, falling in love, and all that.

Like most guys, I have had tons of casual conversations and outings with women, but there were very few whom I thought worthy of my pursuit. In general, I was looking for the perfect woman, and I found her fairly early on.

However, I am tired of hearing all this nonsense about men needing a car to date women.

The only people who say such things have had little experience with women when they owned a car. So this is just an assumption based on a false premise.

All my really good dates were without a car.

I did date a little bit in High School when I was stuck in the delusion that I needed a car to date, but now that’s over with.

Where did this delusion come from in the first place?

For one thing, if you ask a woman if she’d date a guy without a car, she will say “no.”

Only total losers will date losers, and most women don’t hate themselves that much.

The media has put a lot of hard work into making those without cars to be losers.

In many plots, success == getting a car: the end of Good Will Hunting, for example.

Thus, you should not present yourself as the “guy without a car.” In fact, you shouldn’t talk about cars or bikes or transportation at all unless that’s her passion.

People can only think of one thing at a time, and if you are an interesting enough person, you’ll be in before she cars to look at what manufacturer’s name is emblazoned on your combustion engine.

Yes, there are some women who will ask you, immediately, what kind of car you drive then she’ll reject you if you don’t have the right kind of car.

If so, she’s blown if for herself. Just walk away. This woman is trouble, and the sooner you get away from her, the better. In fact, by not having a car–especially a nice car–you saved yourself a lot of time.

If a girl is into a guy she doesn’t even know, just because of his vehicle, she’s fake and not worth it.

Overall, you will have just as much success with women, if not more, if you start to value yourself, and to think about the woman’s feelings rather than shiny trinkets that can attract her.

Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of spending time with quality people rather than just boring gold diggers.

Mind Games

July 22, 2011

Aside from meditating on my bicycle, I also like to chant.

This helps especially when my mind is so stirred up with thoughts that meditation just makes the pain worse.

Fortunately, the last few months have been quite happy. I mean, I do feel like I am on a bike tour every day.

Golf Course Trail

Short Cut Through the Golf Course

However, I still try to memorize the following chant in order protect myself.

“(1) With the wish to safeguard my happiness,
I need to work hard and safeguard my mind;
If I’m unable to safeguard my mind,
I’ll also be unable to safeguard my happiness.”

Yes, I changed training to happiness because I’m actually not really worried about training to become enlightened, I just want to be a bit happier in this world. However, I do find that these sort of chants just the sauce to keep me going.

Basically, this line means that I must watch over my own mind to see when I am going downhill and to stop myself _before_ I get too far down.

It also means I need to watch my where my mind is going before I do something that I regret.

For example, if I wasn’t obsesses with that douche bag at the party, I wouldn’t have spilled his girly drink over his lap. 🙂

Just kidding. The last sentence didn’t happen. 🙂

“(2) Left to run loose, the elephant of my mind can ravage me
With (a joyless realm of) unrelenting pain.
Untamed, rutting elephants in this (world)
Can’t cause me such harm.”

In the next phrase, we have a metaphor which compares the mind to a wild elephant.

The untrained elephant is commonly compared to the mind because an elephant can cause great harm when wild, but it can also be tamed.

I love elephants, actually. I think they are really beautiful, and they are one of my favorite mammals. I was into rhinos as my personal animal, but now I’m all about the honey badger.

“(3) But, if the elephant of my mind is firmly bound
By the rope of mindfulness on every side,
All fears will vanish and everything constructive
Will come into my hands.”

Here it sounds as if I think that the whole world, right now, is perfect. In a sense, I do agree with this. I try not to be critical of things except when I am.

That is, when I am riding, I really try to enjoy myself.

When sitting down with friends, I like to sharpen my metaphorical knives with my friends over our enemies who create this traffic nightmare.

But overall, things are fine.

Those who rode their bikes down Fairmount only a few times, or saw it in a car: it’s not as bad as it looks. One can get used to it.

To paraphrase _The Stranger_, “a man can get used to almost anything.”

(6) …in this way, all fears,
As well as immeasurable sufferings,
Come from the mind.

Cars on Aero Drive

It's beautiful if you want it to be... 🙂

Offensive Thoughts

July 21, 2011

Sometimes, when riding my bicycle, my mind goes in places that aren’t pretty.

Sometimes I’m afraid to talk about them because I don’t want to ruin my reputation.

I don’t know what brings these thoughts on: sometimes, a blog post and sometimes a conversation with my wife.

Dead Squirrel

Where we all end up

This morning, I thought of one of two big topics: death.

This is something that I talked about before, but each time I think about it, it’s like it’s happening for the first time.

Today, I was trying to take some photos of people who love to drive in the gutter. I almost think that should be a TV show when I got buzzed a lot.

I know that most people do this deliberately. Now that the initial anger is gone, I started thinking more about the people behind the glass and steel coming inches from my face.

If I ever, ever did this, this would be the act that I was most ashamed of.

Today, I, since I had a camera out, I tried to snap photos of the drivers as they went over the white line into the gutter. But as before, the minute I started documenting this, they stopped doing it.

Now, I do believe in the basic goodness of humanity, but we are still animals who respond to our environments. Thus, I don’t see the point in worrying about something vague like “character” to protect us. Rather, I think people should have incentives in their environments to do good.

This is why I am a bit shocked that so many people on the road are kind. I’m also amazed that motoring is so safe because to me, on paper, it looks like a very terrible idea to force people to use their nervous systems–no matter how old and shaky–in order to navigate at speeds that outstrip millions of years of evolution in order to not die.

But here we are.

And here I am on the side of the highway desperately trying to make eye contact to get some kind of human to human connection with the person who might kill me.

I really do hate murderers, but there’s something a bit odd about contemplating the life of one’s own killer. Where did they grow up? How was their childhood? What are their dreams?

In this way, I do have a strange understanding of the book I could not read, Crash.

At the time I thought it was sick. But now I see that Ballard was tapping into something very primal and deep in the human psyche.

To Freeway

To Freeway

Happy Days

July 20, 2011

I’m in a good mood today. I’m usually in a good mood, but many times my posts sound angry or at least they have some kind of conflict.

Overall, I think that’s good because we need some kind of drama in our lives to keep us entertained.

On the other hand, I really don’t want people to think that my life is miserable or anything.

Thus, this post is probably going to be totally boring or uplifting or sappy depending on how you look at things.

As usual, I had great chats with my princess. This always keeps me in a good mood.

My commute was fun as usual.

Top of Fairmount

Top of Fairmount Right Before We Descend into the Valley

I love this part of my commute, and I look forward to it every day. I loved going down here with the Danes as it was really entertaining to see their reaction.

Nasty Merge

This is my hardest merge

Then I arrive at work where I have two really good friends, and many more people are friendly except for the ones that give me a good challenge in my social and work skills.

Finally at the end of the day, I’ll either have a great meal with my princess or some good friends or both.

Last night, I had my favorite food with some people from Virginia.

I’m sure everyone is either bored or ill by now so I’ll stop.

No worries, I have many more whiny and bile laden posts.

A Bicycle is NOT a Symbol

July 19, 2011

Nor is a bongo. 🙂

Kidding aside, my posts are starting to sound like lame ass Public Service Announcements without guitars, but with stupid jokes to make the whole thing easier to swallow.

On the other hand, if my “eat your vegetables” and “racism is bad” style of posts are stupid, what about the stuff that prompts them like an annoying quote in the NY Times, talking about DC:

“Some of these poorer residents saw revitalization as code for efforts to drive them out, and the building of dog parks and bike and streetcar lanes as efforts by affluent whites to re-arrange spending priorities to suit themselves.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/us/18dc.html?src=me&ref=general

There are a million things that are wrong with this.

Like, do only white people have dogs? What gives?

I think my annoyance as a bicycle being used a symbol in people’s minds rather than what it is to me which is a piece of metal with two tiny rubber wheels on it.

I have seen a bicycle equated with liberalism, ecology, hipsterism, terrorism (no kidding), the United Nations, wealth, snobby elitism, theft of tax dollars, and even being white.

I think that the problem is that some people just don’t like bicycles, and I think that’s just fine. I don’t like watching ESPN, but I’m not going to characterize sports fans as anything else than people who like to watch sports.

But this attitude of a bicycle being a symbol isn’t just outside the bike community, but inside, too.

For example, there are a lot of people who look down on cruisers. I used to until I realized I was being bikist.

Anyway, I don’t like it when people characterize my bicycle as anything else than a lump of metal and rubber that I put my ass on. 🙂

The Booze Delusion

July 18, 2011

Recently, there was a collision where yet another motorist killed a cyclist in a collision:

http://www.10news.com/news/28571866/detail.html

“Police said the driver of the SUV was not under the influence but somehow lost control of the vehicle.”

I thought this was quite odd because the biggest cause of motor vehicle deaths are attributed to speed not alcohol.

I really believe it’s good that MADD tries to get drunks off the road, but they have inadvertently helped to cement the myth in people’s minds that if we don’t drink and drive then motoring is quite safe.

In the previous case where a motorist took the lane–bike lane that is–and turned their vehicle into a flaming pile, the motorist was speeding.

Also, there was this stupid study:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2016044/Children-likely-injured-car-crash-grandparents-driving-parents-are.html?ITO=1490

“Children ‘less likely to be injured’ in a car crash when their grandparents – not their parents – are driving”

I thought this was stupid because researchers had no idea _why_ children were safer with grandparents. Don’t they realize that older people tend to drive slower?

They didn’t compare the number of collisions in the data, which I think should be another piece of information. It’s obvious that in a crash, the slower you are driving the less injured you will be. This should be totally obvious.

Personally, none of this bothers me. I realize that people speed both because they are in a hurry and because it’s fun. I recall driving with some guy in my small, hometown who had a sports car, and he took us up to 100. That was really fun.

[Disclaimer: I’m not advocating for breaking the law, and I never broke the law. Ever. I’m just saying that people do these things.]

Despite the fact that collisions happen, I think that motoring is both safe and fun.

I was also to see that they didn’t mention a helmet in the story which is awesome. Also, they didn’t even blame the cyclist which was probably because he wasn’t on the road. So overall, this was a step in the right direction.

“Cyclists said the spot where Venuto was hit is probably the least dangerous because at that spot, the bike path is separated from the freeway by 30 to 40 feet of an embankment.”

This touched a sore spot with me because I’d like to ride on the freeway as is, and I hope that this doesn’t stop that. There’s a government official who likes cycling and wants to make my dream of riding my bicycle on the 8, legally, a priority.

I did agree that these kinds of things are rare, but I was a bit sad that the cyclists didn’t come to the motorist’s defense and ask not only about their own safety, but also the motorists. What’s being done to make the drivers safer? Should they wear helmets? It seems like they can’t keep their vehicles on the road. I guess it’s really hard. I don’t drive much, and when I do, I do feel like it’s quite difficult, and I’m always grateful to have gotten there safely.

Finally, I got a chuckle out of the mean people’s comments who didn’t think that there was any benefit to cycling or at least they couldn’t see an immediate benefit to themselves so they thought it should be defunded.

This was funny because bicycling spending in San Diego is less than a dime per person per year. So if any San Diegan has any problems with “their money” (sic) wasted on cycling, let me know, and we’ll meet up and I’ll give you back your dime. 🙂

Tolerance of Others

July 15, 2011

Today, I took a ride down to the big box electronics store to buy new headphones.

Outside was a man with petitions. I usually sign all of them so I asked to read them.

I have no clue why people get a bit agitated when I want to read the petition. I take the whole thing very seriously. Why would I sign something unless I’m sure I agree with it?

I think I found the answer and it makes me sad. I think that this is because people have no idea that there are others who disagree with them. They think that if they like it then everyone must like it.

I find this to be baffling in the age of the internet where we have so much more access to other people’s points of view.

This reminds me of the VC arguments I wasted my time on last week.

The thing that I hated about the VC arguers was that they were totally disrespectful of those who disagreed with them.

I tend to think that people who differ in point of view are not evil, but rather just see things differently.

The VC people think that to disagree means to be misinformed and cowardly.

That’s, obviously, totally insulting.

Similarly, I disagreed with both petitions.

One was pension “reform” which really means making the people who all ready had pensions to have to renegotiate. I think it’s wrong to make people fight for money in a contract that they were all ready offered. My princess is an accountant, and I told the man this.

I didn’t get in an argument, I just told him that I thought there were lots of lies surrounding pensions as most people don’t even know what they are: deferred compensation. So to deny someone a salary is to deny them the salary that you originally offered them.

Usually this is known as stealing or fraud.

The other was union busting which I also disagreed with. Of course, it didn’t say that, it wanted to “level the playing field”. I could see why that would be appealing to many people who were raised to misunderstand the history of money.

I was upset about the bill because I feel that it’s going to force people to refight all their battles again. But I don’t think that the people who wrote it are evil just self-interested.

Still, it is hard not to demonize people I disagree with, but I am trying not to.

 

 

 

Sewer Day

July 13, 2011
Empty Stadium Parking Lot

Stadium parking lot which is usually always empty

The Qualcomm stadium bike path, which I take to work, not only goes past a stadium parking lot (which is usually totally empty), but also past a small stream. I’m sure that this is the most efficient use of prime real estate in San Diego, which was most likely a farm. Much nicer now. 🙂

Qualcomm Path Fence

Qualcomm Path Fence: Normal Days

Imagine my surprise to see sewer guys in the path.

Sewer Truck in Bike Way

Sewer Truck in Bike Way

The place actually did smell like a sewer. They seemed to be flushing a drain line.

Truck in Bike Lane

Truck in Bike Lane

These guys were really nice. I walked my bike past them, and they even laughed at my joke, “Tickets are doubled in work zones.” 🙂

Beyond that fence is a tiny stream. Or was, now there was just mud that smelled like a toilet.

Muddy Stream

Where there was a stream, now only mud.

I was so happy to see the truck in the steam which was dredging it out.

Digging a stream

Digging a stream

Overall, it was an excellent commute because I like to see this work being done; it seems really important, and I was happy to have a chance to watch for a short while.

I saw more workers on the bike path on that day than cyclists on the busiest cycling day ever, bike to work day.

Telling People to be Considerate is Inconsiderate

July 13, 2011

I recently read an article that confused me.

http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2011/07/07/i-am-not-a-bicyclist/

This article is going to be used to push against ANY government spending for infrastructure.

It will also be used by people who pretend to bicycle but take the motorist’s point of view on all conflicts.

Consideration is good. I ride with utmost consideration to all road users.

However, consideration is something that must be given freely not demanded.

Safety is the big red herring in the cycling world. Cycling is super-safe in all areas. I advocate for the right to ride on all roads including freeways right now.

In the future, I’d like to see the same respect given to cycling spending that motorist’s get.

If they build a billion dollar freeway, I want a billion bucks spent on cycling. Also, a billion for pedestrians. By the way, this would be a level playing field and a “freer” market.

This is not fair to motorists.

Advocates are not fair. See above quote on cherry picking.

If an advocate is trying to be “fair” and they are arguing against cycling, they are not helping me. They might have the best of intentions, but they are useless to me.

In fact, it would be better if such advocates took up a new hobby such as knitting.

I don’t like to be told how to ride. I don’t think that’s considerate.

Cycling is safe, and poses nearly no threat.

If we are going to try to shame cycling community into riding safer, we need to, first, spend ten times the amount of time lecturing motorists.

Cycletracks are not there to prevent collisions. This is a red herring. They are there to make people feel good about riding.

We seldom have collisions, but we ride every day.

Collisions are not bad. They are not to be avoided.

Traffic engineers have gotten good about making collisions less common, but the ones that do occur are more deadly.

When pedestrians collide with one another rarely is anyone hurt.

We should have the same goal for all modes.

I got hit by a car, and I was fine. I got hit by a bike and I was fine. I ditched my bike to avoid an idiot pedestrian who saw me and stepped in front of me. I was unhurt.

Had there been higher speed motor vehicle traffic, I would have been badly hurt.

Each time I had a collision, I learned something.

Now we want to avoid collisions at all costs. We have irrational fears of the world.

Of course, we should avoid collisions, but we should make them something we can hobble away from.