Saturday, December 26, 2009

Biking in Seattle’s Winter

Biking in winters in one things, while biking in rains another. If both get clubbed together its a whole different pie. It was my first winter season where I attempted biking. I read quiet some blogs and informational articles on ‘how to’ n ‘what not not to’ but nothing was specific to the weather in Seattle.

There are some key things always to consider when you plan to go out for that butt freezing joy ride. Its a careful amalgam of gear, bike maintenance, bike accessories, and caution.

Clothing: One key thing to consider before you start is to that never get overdressed. Gear up, go out, you should still feel a little cold. Overdressing not only restricts your body movement, but also makes you ride heavy.

  • Must is a waterproof, wind breaker light weight jacket. You don’t need a puff daddy insulate jacket as enough body heat is generated.
  • Never compromise the dexterity of your fingers. So pick your gloves carefully, which are water n wind proof for biking. Fingertips specially get frozen while biking, so pick the ones with mittens.
  • Waterproof shoe covers are a must. Water can still seep through so tape it further in addition to the default Velcro with a reflecting tape. Use warm socks.
  • A waterproof light weight skull cap, which covers your ear. These are thin specially designed for biking in winter. They fit well under the helmet. If your nose gets frozen pick up a Balaklava.
  • Never wear a cotton base layers. As once moist you feel cooler. Pick synthetic full sleeves and wear a full forearm warmer on top of it.
  • Water n windproof pants are available, but might get uncomfortable, as they are similar to rain pants. I use full leg warmer pants and wear my regular biking shorts on top for padding comfort.

Bike accessories: Winters come along with shorter days thence lights & reflectors are very important. Your winter jacket and pants should have reflectors at the same time you must use reflective bands at ankle and arms.

  • Waterproof bag is good if you bike to work, and red flashing lights mounted under bike seat and your bag helps in visibility of you while on the road.
  • Front white lights are available in LEDs and bulbs which must be flashing.
  • Fenders… they not only help your shoes to be clean from tangential sprays of mud n water but also keep the person behind you safe.

Bike Maintenance: Water rusts your chain so make sure to lubricate them weekly. Mud n dirt gets stuck to your brake shoes and wheel rim, clean them periodically.

Caution: Winter comes along in Seattle with black ice on the road. Leaves mixed with water n dirt, and any metallic rails or manhole covers may be icy and slippery. Ride slow and careful. Try to use familiar routes, and while going downhill lean a little backwards to balance better. If possible use thinker tires on your road bike for traction. Going too steep uphill in rains can be dangerous. If in doubt dismount and walk.

Post Biking Measures: Walk slowly in small steps. Its important as your toes might be a little numb. Do a little stretching to ease out. Get adapted to the room temperature before you step in the hot shower.

Happy biking….

Friday, December 25, 2009

Reads for the Yr 2009

2009 was wonderful for me (knock the wood) and hope for an even wonderful 2010. The year was full of wonderful beer and I am happy to say that I finally know what I love the most (Belgian Ales' and IPAs'). At the same time the year had a lot of great movies to offer, Inglorious Basterds, Defiance, Avatar, State of Play, GI Joes, Wolverine, Public Enemies are just some to name...

I am glad that I was able to steal time to read this year and today while arranging my bookshelf I recall the reads for 2009, along with the ratings in my opinion. I could have added the comments for each of 'em but that would be too much work and its already time to watch Cavs at Lakers ...!!!!


PS: Books hyperlinked to Amazon just in case... u need text review!!!

Title

Author

Rating

In light of India Octavio Paz 3
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture John Battelle 4
Secure Programming with Static Analysis Brian Chess 3
Will Work for Drugs Lydia Lunch 1
White Fangs Jack London 5
Call of the wild Jack London 5
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster Jon Krakauer 5
To Live or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan Nicholas Schmidle 4
Nisha Nimantran Harivansh R Bachchan 4
The Selected Short Stories O’ Henry 3
Best Kept secrets of peer code review Jason Cohen 3
Rashmirathi Raam Dhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ 5
The Emperor's New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11 Richard Ben Veniste 3
Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played L Jon Werthiem 5
The Road to Woodstock Michael Lang 5
Siddhartha Hermen Hesse 5
JBoss in Action: Configuring the JBoss Application Server Javid Jamae, Peter Johnson 3
White Tiger Aravind Adiga 3
Winter in Kandahar Steven E. Wilson 4
The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda Andrew Rice 4

Sunday, December 13, 2009

are you 21…?

Age verification pages on websites ridicule me. Not because they are an extra step to reach the content, instead its a moronic attempt to keep underage kids away. The only analogy i can present here is a 4 ft fat belly 70 yr old bouncer guarding the door of a strip club who doesn’t realize that he is has been just slapped by a 17 yr old. I am not sure but I think since every brewery & distillery has this verification script on their portal its some govt law or regulation… so they are definitely not at fault but I cant resist myself from cursing the authorities who make it mandatory.

age

Who are they trying to shoo away with this…? People who live in constant fear that some legal org is monitoring their surfing habits or the underage? If later… yes these are the same kids who know how to bypass the childlocks on your DVR and who know how to check their fathers browsing history.

ahh c’mon Century Council you are nothing else but another illogical org like PETA… at least on this ground for sure.