Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's all fun and games until you get written up in a Yoga Magazine.

I guess I get to check this one off my life list. ;)

The Magazine of Yoga

Thanks Susan for talking with me and writing this up. I really had fun. :D



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington: Philly to Baltimore

The Westin Hotel in Philly ( hosted the group for the night in class and the 11 of us rolled out with support vehicles in tow. I hung toward the back and followed the route through Philly. I figured that I’d go to the front once we had some open space and people could benefit from a draft. It took me a little while to get used to the flow…. Mostly having Butch following in the SRAM Neutral Support vehicle so close behind. Usually in DC when someone is following that close to a cyclist, it is because they want to kill you. Butch was AWESOME for the whole trip and definitely provided the glue that held us together.

As expected, the roads opened up and I did some pulls at the front with different people. We were double pace-lining and just changing lead informally when folks needed a break or when there was a sprint for a town/county/state line. I enjoyed doing my share of pulling. Those who know me know that I’m not really happy unless my face is in the wind. Not sure what’s wrong with me that way.

The miles rolled by, made enjoyable listening to the guys talking. I’m not much of a talker, so I mostly listened and asked a few questions here or there. The sprints were fun to watch…. My set-up for the Delaware/Maryland state line didn’t pan out because the sign marking the border wasn’t ever found. I would have gotten my ass kicked anyways. Power I’ve got. Speed? Not so much.

Blissfully we turned off the main roads and headed out onto some rural roads Northeast of Baltimore. This brought in some climbing, that I liked, but the guys that had been hammered for the 3 preceding days didn’t like so much. I made my way to the front and set pace with Peter for a while. Unfortunately that didn’t last long. Matt and Jeremy took off for what they thought was a county line sprint and ended up hooking bars and crashing. Matt definitely got the worst of it… severely separated shoulder. The police showed up immediately, but paramedics and an ambulance took 45 minutes. We worked to keep Matt talking, warm and out of shock.

He was finally loaded up and hauled to the hospital in Harve de Grace. We followed on bicycles, with Butch in tow in the SRAM car. Google Maps listed Pulaski Highway bridge as “pedestrian friendly” but it was under construction. Confronted with a 25 mile detour to get to a bridge we could ride across the Patuxent River, we were contemplating riding the ¾ mile bridge with Butch behind us with his flashers on. Just as we were getting ready to go, a state trooper came up and told us we couldn’t cross. After a bit of joking around and threats of “If you guys drop below 30mph I’m gonna give you all tickets!”, we crossed with a police escort and safely made it to the hospital.

Jeremy and Rapha bought us post-ride food which we enjoyed sitting on the warm sidewalk outside the hospital. Matt was going to be a while at the hospital, so Butch volunteered to stay and bring him back. We eventually tossed our bikes into the back of Richard’s truck and crammed 7 of us into the cab and drove to Baltimore. In the end we rode about 71 miles at an average speed a hair short of 19mph.

I had a shower and dinner with my wife before heading off to Twenty20 Cycling ( for the evening’s reception and advocacy outreach. I’m amazed at these guys. I’m nowhere near social enough to use my brain and mouth for advocacy work. I’m much more effective with my legs and lungs. It was a fun evening.

Photos from today:

Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington: Introduction

6-time national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson ( )and the industry bicycle advocacy group Bikes Belong ( hatched an idea to raise awareness of cycling issues, funds for advocacy groups and a dramatic kick off for the National Bike Summit ( Tim and a select group of people planned a cycling trip from Boston to Washington, DC… covering 9 states and close to 500 miles in 5 days. Each rider would be required to raise $1000 for Bikes Belong to take part in the ride. I signed up.

As it turned out, logistics kept me from getting myself and my bike to Boston for the start. I did make it to Philadelphia for the last 2 days of the ride. The first three days that I’d missed had been quite difficult. New England in early March is not always the greatest place and time to be cycling. Weather, ferry schedules and bridge construction definitely complicated the route for the first three days. You could see it in the faces of the 9 riders at the evening reception at Triumph Brewing Company ( They welcomed me to the group except for Richard, who wanted to steal the swag t-shirt that Bikes Belong had sent me because he thought I’d nicked it from someone. (Who is this guy and what’s he doing with a Bikes Belong shirt???)

I had confidence in my fitness for this ride, but I can imagine that a few question marks appeared in the minds of the other riders at that first meeting. I certainly did not resemble the body type or racing pedigree of any of the others on the ride. I was easily 8” taller and 40+ pounds heavier than any of the other guys.

The next morning would see how I fit with the group.

Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington: Thank You!!!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and generosity in regards to Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington this week. The ride was a great success on many levels. We met a lot of great people and spread the word that Bikes Belong, raised much more money than we expected and had a physically and mentally challenging ride between Boston and DC. None of that could have happened without your financial, physical and moral support. Friendships and contacts were made. The fires of bicycle advocacy were stoked and fanned leading into the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC.

On a personal level it was a good wake-up call that I need to put more focus on my advocacy work. That isn’t something that is easy or natural for me. I’m much better at letting my legs to the talking rather than my mouth. Spending a few days with the group doing the Ride on Washington really pushed me to get beyond that and not be complacent about my ability to live my life on 2 wheels rather than 4. It was a good kick in the pants.

Thank you again for your support. You made this trip possible and effective.

Best wishes,

Pete Beers

The dedicated 5-day riders

The dedicated 5-day riders + me. :D

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sky Cycle

I was a tourist in Philly again today. With the rain and nasty weather, I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to fit a ride in. Went to the Franklin Institute to see da Vinci exhibit and realized that I didn't really have to worry about that.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Eastern State Penitentiary

I was a tourist today. The tourist site was a little odd though. Eastern State Penitentiary was built in the 1820s and was used as a prison until 1971. It was the first penitentiary. Its goal was reform and giving people the opportunity to reflect on their wrong doing in solitude and also to learn a trade.

HERE are my photos from the day.

That goal was watered down pretty quickly since space became a bit more cramped. The place has an amazing history and is well worth the visit if you're ever in Philly. Cool place both historically and architecturally.

Its most famous inmate was probably Al Capone, who spent some time here. His cell (seen above) was somewhat more posch than most. His cell was actually in the guards area, rather than in the main cell block.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Air is for WIMPS!

Okay. I haven't blogged in a very long time. Something significant needed to happen to make me want to get back to blogging. The death of my Wheels Built Under the Influence is that something.

History: I was challenged by a friend to build a set of wheels for my track bike using parts I had in the shop. I was not allowed to buy anything for these wheels. Not only had we been drinking a fair amount of beer, but one stipulation of this challenge was that I had to build the wheels while intoxicated. I then had to ride the wheels for a year. I was allowed to fix them, but not allowed to rebuild them or buy new parts for them. Any work done on the wheels beyond changing flats or gear ratios needed to be done in a similar state of inebriation.

Fast Forward 15 months.... The wheels had survived many thousands of miles, getting hit by cars 4 times and a lot of urban hammering. As of this week they were in pretty sad shape. I've been working so much that I haven't had time to abuse alcohol to the point where I'm allowed to replace broken spokes or retension the front wheel. Oddly enough, I had never got a flat tire. These wheels keep on rolling.

I got 2 flats on the way home Tuesday night, one on the way home last night. I found out the reason why. The rim is cracked and it is pinching the tubes. No tube would survive. I could have walked it and hitched a ride home.. but that isn't what these wheels are about. These wheels were conceived and built while under the influence. All major repairs on them have been done while intoxicated. Having them fade away into the sunset is NOT the way they want to go.

So.... With just over 9 miles to go before getting home, I got out of the saddle and hammered home as though I had air in both tires and a pack of riders ahead that I had to chase down. My time for the ride home was only 2.5 minutes slower than my usual riding time. I had to do that because it is almost impossible to corner on a tire with no air in it.

Let me tell you that riding a bike at 20+mph with a flat rear tire is a bit of an adventure. Luckily there was only one hill like that.

That isn't the end of the story... I forgot it was my wife's night to do volunteer work. I didn't have any food in the house and I didn't want pizza. So I got back on the bike and rode 3 miles to Meat in a Box for dinner, then home. Grand total... just over 15 miles hammering around town with no air in the tire. Makes me wonder why the hell I ever bothered to put air in the tires.

Thanks for reading. Might do this a bit more often. :D