26 February 2009

they don’t love you like i love you

brandon martin-anderson is a cool guy, with cool ideas. back in 2007 i painstakingly recorded a gmap-pedometer log of each of my non-trivial bike rides for the year and recorded the url in a google spreadsheet. using his mad skills, brandon has taken the gpx data pulled out from those 215 gps records and in about five minutes thrown them into the image above. he’s cropped off the long bits – the ben country ride out to hood canal, the trip to whidbey, and the trek out to fall city. but the rest is there, an impressive trace of my rides around the city two years ago. the full-size version is even cooler. maybe i should start this project up again.

as for brandon, he’s got some even cooler ideas. do you have a bunch of your bike ride data saved?

12 February 2009

so keep your ergonomic chair i don’t care what my seating is

i’m now three days into my new job and it’s going well, but by yesterday i had noticed that my new desk-chair-computer arrangement was causing me discomfort. i had my previous office setup for over six years, but never did it occur to me that it was particularly ergonomic or suited to my body – it was just my desk and i sat in it however i wanted. the desk was little more than a piece of plywood on some 2×4′s with a raised stand for two flickering, ancient crt monitors and and old green chair that rapidly losing the upholstery from one corner. at the new fancy office with a crystal-clear lcd, adjustable chair and a nice new desk, i was frankly surprised to discover that my wrist and back were hurting. i did a little bit of the chair-adjust, keyboard move, monitor rotate shuffle (presumably much to the dismay of my officemate) but nothing seemed to alleviate it.

similarly, this evening i got around to measuring my bicycles. i’d had some conversations with alex about my swift folder and adjusting it to match the cockpit of my long haul trucker – a bike i knew fit me well for all types of riding. i set out with the measuring tape and lo and behold i was surprised to find that even though the swift folder is a 20″ wheeled aluminum fixed gear with bmx bars, it has the same bottom bracket-to-handlebar, bottom bracket-to-saddle, and saddle-to-handlebar measurements as the long haul trucker – down to a couple millimeters. the same held true for my trek. the pugsley was the outlier, primarily because it rocks (runs? rubs?) a lower saddle. across the board, without ever really consciously measuring out any of these bikes, i’d arrived at a very narrow range of comfortable lengths.

so, logically, i now feel an impetus to revisit my old workplace with a measuring tape and sort out the relevant distances that made me able to work there for many years without discomfort. and maybe i’ll take that old green chair, because for all it’s lack of adjustability, it sure never hurt my back.

10 May 2008


  • surly long haul trucker
  • camelbak bag
    • titanium spork
    • petzl zipka led headlamp
    • gerber multitool
    • swiss army knife
    • crank bros. multitool
    • disposable lighter
    • waterproof matches, paracord, whistle, compass
    • 2x 700×35 tubes
    • 2x tire levers
    • topeak road morph pump
    • pentax option w10 camera
    • keys, wallet, phone
    • ex officio airstrip shirt
    • shaun deller hat
  • bucket pannier (l)
    • hennessy hammock
    • feathered friends snowbunting “+20″ bag
    • exped pillow pump
  • bucket pannier (r)
    • mountain hardwear softshell
    • wool socks, extra underwear and t-shirt
    • rei travel towel
    • gladware with screw-on lids x2
  • water bottle x2
  • or exped downmat 9 deluxe
  • chaco z/1 terreno sandals

i should probably weigh this configuration. this is my current “default pack” for trips and i’m trying to minimize it down. i can clearly save some weight in a few areas – i’m carrying some redundant tools, for example: gerber, swiss army knife, leatherman micra. if only they made a true camping/cycling multitool. the right bucket has tons of room leftover for more food or clothing as necessary. for true “camping” trips i’d also bring a stove and water purifier. now to get a few hours of racktime before the big ride!

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