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Friday, June 17, 2011

The Best Cycling Retirement Idea Ever, Or Pure Stupidity. One of Those.

As my spotty-at-best posting might suggest, life and work are continuing to conspire against my blogging efforts. The life stuff is good, I'm doing a little coaching for the first time this year and my free time is pretty much soccer soccer soccer.

Work, however, has also been crazy, which has led me to start thinking about retirement although it is a far off, unreal condition for me. Nonetheless, I have had an idea and I would like to hear from people about its potential flaws or how it might be refined.

Every cyclist loves a tailwind. What if you could take a trip that was nothing but tailwinds, every day? So here's my idea. I pick a spot somewhere smack in the middle of the US. I have a fully loaded tourer and maybe even a trailer. I have camping stuff, a few nicer things to wear and some vacation money. Each day I get up and ride in whatever direction the wind blows me. If the winds shifts, I shift with it. I stop if I'm blown into a town I want to see more of, maybe stay in a motel. If I'm blown into the middle of nowhere I find a spot to camp. In my mind's eye the first time I try this it is for a couple of weeks. The next time, lessons learned, a month or more, and so on...

Hey, I could write a travel book about it, or since I take so much video, make a short film! See ya later; dream time is over and I've got to get back to work.


*"Tailwinds" salutation stolen from ChipSeal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Snow Face gets his Freak On

I've got other posts I want to write, but no time to write them. So, rather than remain absent, I present for your amusement a little bit of video of the mighty snow face !

Snow Face is now about 7 months old, and he likes gettin' his freak on...

Yer Pal,

Friday, June 3, 2011

THE Health Unit, Facebook and Twitter

You know, say what you want about London Ontario. The London-Middlesex Health Unit, a common naming convention for Health Units all over the province, owns the URL Wow, man. Somebody was on the ball on that one.

This post was originally intended to simply state the paragraph above. I looked a it and thought "that is really only a tweet". At over 200 characters, it isn't, but nonetheless it got me thinking about Twitter and Facebook and all that and I started percolating. Percolating is bad news. Funny word choice, too, indicative of somebody who is getting oldish, I think.

You know what's wrong with Facebook and Twitter? They are aimed at people who like other people and want to know even more people. People suck. This blog is about me and the people who care to comment on me and that's how I like it. It would seem that I need to be the Centre of the Universe, at least as an online persona. This is the Internet, and I think that is my prerogative. Do I suck for being so self-centred? Well yeah, kind of. But those who engage in meaningful comment here always get my attention and respect, unless they prove to be complete a-holes.

I hate Facebook and Twitter. Rather than being online tools that enable me to connect with others, they generally just annoy me. I know that's not fair... hey, pay attention to me, while I ignore you! In an effort to be true to myself and how I operate for good or ill, I am leaving those Internet spaces. They just bug me.

I registered for both because 1) I thought I could use them to promote this blog and 2) I didn't want somebody to steal my name on them. You know what? I no longer care. They're both confusing and annoying to me. If somebody steals my identity I will see it as a sign of this blog's success.

Please don't misunderstand. I have many people I count as friends online, people I have never met in person that I value highly. I didn't meet any of them on Facebook or Twitter. They comment here, or I comment on their sites and we email and stuff. You know who you are. I have been a crusty old man as long as I can remember, from the age of 3 or so. I'm crustin' it up, baby! No more Facebook or Twitter for me! WooHoo!

Yer Newly Liberated Pal, R A N T W I C K

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Encounters with Rantwick, episode sixteen: Friends of the Freak

I mentioned in a recent post that I was gonna try my new camera on my helmet, where most would have in the first place. I must admit that I like that perspective best after all and since I edit all the video anyway, "head sweep" is not the problem I thought it would be.

Having had a camera mounted either on my bike or my person for a couple of years now, I was surprised at how much notice the new camera got. I suppose I shouldn't have been... it now sticks up off the top of my helmet in a conspicious, freakish way. London Ontario, while being a good sized city of 300K+, is not a metropolis where something odd surprises no one, and people have been reacting to the camera's presence.

Some people positively glower at me like they wish me dead. I'm not kidding. Those people, however, are not what this post is about, because I don't like them. I like the people who just shout out "hey, is that a camera?"

If I were participating in a bike race (yeah, right) or out on a MTB trail or something, I'm sure the cam would find greater acceptance and understanding. POV cams are for people who want to record their "recreational" exploits after all, right? Well, not always, and the fact that I'm recording others in the public space is interesting and exciting to some and simply pisses off others. I like the people that just shout out their curiosity rather than shooting me suspicious glances. I'm not trying to "catch" anybody doing anything. I swear.

Hey, Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

If you're like some of these good people and want a camera like mine, check out 

Buy GoPro HERO Camera at