Highlights reel from Climate Ride 08

Still busy sorting through photos and videos from our incredible 5 day Climate Ride, but here’s a great photo slideshow by Kip Pierson, our official photographer in the meantime. Kip’s local to DC and I’d definitely recommend him if you need a wedding or event photographer. I’ve put a few of my own pics up here and below, the ones I took from my iphone.But really you should check out Kip’s slideshow, which i don’t think i can embed here.

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Frequently asked questions about my ride from NYC to DC (Climate Ride 08)

This is for climate change?
Well, against it, really.

Have you been training?
Define training?

Well, I mean, do you ride a lot or something?
I biked to Annapolis and back last weekend… This will be much more difficult, but I plan on surviving.

Will they shut down the highways or something?
Definitely not. Apparently there are other roads between New York and DC, at least one of which goes through Amish country, where we’ll be spending a night.

What happens to the money if you don’t finish?
Thanks for your confidence. The money will be re-routed from the beneficiary organizations to cover my medical expenses. Ok?

You’ll have overcome climate change when this is over?
Fer sure.

How much money did you raise at the fundraiser you guys hosted at the Black Squirrel last week?
Almost $1,000 — thank you to everyone who stopped by and contributed!

Is it too late to make a contribution?
No! Quick — here’s my fundraising page. I’m almost at my goal… You can help me get there.

Wait, when do you leave?
Saturday AM at the crack of dawn. If you’re in NYC, stop by our kickoff event, 6-10p at BLVD (199 Bowery). Tickets.

What’s this team thing?
Asher, Dave, and I are all riding under the 1Sky banner — because we want to show our political leaders that America’s ready for bold federal climate solutions. Here’s our team page. And Phil is riding under the 350 banner for similar reasons.

And why are you doing this again?
It feels like exactly the right thing to do at exactly the right time, and we’re going to have a blast.

What’s the schedule? Where will you be and when?Here you go.

Best way to keep up with the ride while you’re on the road?
– Climate Ride 08’s blog and twitter feed
– This here blog and twitter feed

Suburban coyote attack

My parents, in their capacity as excellent live-in caretakers for my childhood home, have recently announced a new long-term guest. At first i thought it was a lame ploy to make me jealous and try to get me to move back to suburban Connecticut, after not having lived there since high school. Then when they mentioned it was a coyote, i figured that this was their warped way of telling me that they finally agreed to get a new dog after our last one went off to dog heaven when i was in 11th grade. But today my father sent the damning and undeniable photographic evidence, below. A coyote with a limp hind leg, lounging in the driveway for over a week now. My mother, of course, has spoken with every environmental agency, nature center, humane society, and law enforcement agency in the tri-state area, only to be told that there’s nothing to be done with a coyote-in-residence. After all, they say, you can bang some pans, but it’s us people that are actually in the coyote’s territory. (Which I think both my parents secretly like to hear as much as I would have enjoyed saying it myself.)So, please welcome the newest member of our family:

massive, beautiful bike crash (CSI: Arlington — call me)

Short version: Me, cycling on two-lane Mt. Vernon trail along Potomac, traveling between 10 and 15 mph in slightly overcast 80 degree weather. The Unsub, a young, stupid male between the ages of 6 and 11 approaches from the opposite direction on a red bike in my lane, riding in parallel with his apparent friend at approximately 5 to 10 mph. Instead of returning to his own lane, the subject swerves off the path toward the grass to my right — at exactly the same time that I veered off my side of the path to avoid him. Bam!! HUGE collision — both of us on the ground, twisted up with our respective bike frames.Despite the massive impact, we were both lucky. No major injuries reported. When i looked over at the kid, he seemed to be missing a big tooth or two, but there was no blood, so hopefully the teeth just hadn’t come in yet. After some minor bike re-tuning and a dust-off, I was back on the trail and the kid was up and gone before any useful words could be exchanged.Long version: I’m in a bit of manageable pain at the moment, but the whole experience turned out to be a great rush. There was something amazingly poetic about that moment before impact. That moment when you’re completely lucid about the disaster that’s going to take place in the next millisecond, and yet you’re just one millisecond past being able to take any other course of action that could prevent this from happening.So in this strange half-second, your only option is to surrender to the tragedy unfolding before your eyes, to accept the unraveling fate. The lack of needing to make a decision was surprisingly freeing.And while the sore left half of my body may say otherwise tomorrow, the forceful collision of metal and atoms in that crash was also strangely satisfying. Sort of like the release of energy that comes from breaking a glass bottle against a brick wall, or even from experiencing a thunder and lighting storm. The sheer unpredictability of the whole event carried some intrinsic value for me, which I can’t completely explain. Both the collision and the unpredictability of the event are just so rare that they seem somehow precious. Of course, my outlook would probably be a lot different if I was writing this from a hospital bed… I guess it’s just nice to be reminded of your own vitality now and again.

where to begin

long weekend in 60 seconds or less: 6 hours in the DIA airport bar with jimmy waiting for the vail mountain pass to open (and dane’s flight to land); white knuckle ride to brendan’s band house in west vail–a pullout couch, riley, andy, and wunderdog named johnny; a sweet pair of K2 Apaches demos for 3 perfectly sunny powdery days; ridin dirty on 5k acres of trees, trails, and bowls (viral video, photos on the way); minturn mile; extreme apres ski; aggressive pizza/coors diet; all wrapping with a rogue supershuttle ride back from IAD which necessitated a bold and narrow jack bauer inspired escape. i’m spent and my legs are jelly. exhausted in the most satisfying possible way.

weeping wounds hall of fame (and my 7 day anniversary)

the poison ivy on my arm is really nasty, as all of my co-workers and DC friends can now attest. 10% of it is fascinating because each day brings a completely different color and texture to this horrible blistery rash thing that seems to be living off of my arm. the other 90% is a real pain in ass because there’s no reason that a 2-second brush with some flora should cause us so much aggravation and require so much care and attention — and for so long!i’m only 7 days into the two-week life cycle for these things. what, you may ask, is going to enable me to get through the next 7 days? yes, the Poison Ivy Hall of Fame slideshow. because if there’s one thing that puts us Americans at ease, it’s knowing that there’s someone worse off than you.

It’s all bad and good, good and bad

Shimkin is leaving the building the end of the week, which means I won’t have the pleasure of watching Geri butcher his name into Shlimpskin again. The good news is that I’m getting his big TV, which is 3-4″ bigger than the TV i got from Emmet when he left DC. (A few more years here and i’ll be due for a nice flat plasma.)We’ve had some really great thunder and lighting storms for the past 48 hours or so (good). But Justin and Michelle’s apartment is flooding again and the federal government is shutting down, and the rain’s not supposed to let up for days (bad).Speaking of Justin and Michelle — Great hike in Shenandoah National Park over the weekend (photos). Virginia is For Carnivores, we learned — not herbivores.The stupid new owners of the Wardman Park Marriott, JBG Companies, just clear-cut all the big old trees in the park out front (except for a few token trees by the street). All of these massive and impressive trees are laying on their sides like carcasses waiting for the wood chipper to come and shred them to pieces. It’s probably the most terrible visual thing I’ll experience all week. There’s no good part here, and it’s too late for the Lorax. We failed as residents to save the park.And finally, the big media is all ablog about climate change these days. So now we just need to do something about it. (Yea, the Sunday NYT nonchalantly threw “ablog” into one of its articles… I’m trying it out for myself.)UPDATE: Almost forgot the most important one– An interview with 24 writer David Fury in the latest issue of the Official 24 Fan Club Newsletter confirms that Joel Surnow and other producers are die-hard conservatives. But Fury is an ultra-liberal. And there’s a new 24 blog.