Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've been in Seattle for a few days now.  I'm staying at the University of Washington in a dormitory overlooking the city.  I've been fortunate enough to enjoy a great bike commute from the U into the downtown area to the ALA.  The Freemont district is always a sight, and offers a great view of the skyline at its zenith.  I made a short video of the descent towards the lake, which I'll try to post.  I think my fingers make a cameo, and possibly steal the stage for a short solo around minute 1.  Check out the one handed, roll to a stop, camera-holding track stand on a geared road bike, and the oblivious parallel-parking motorist (a rarity in Seattle).  Video should appear at the bottom of the post -- I can't figure out how to put it elsewhere.

I've tried to photograph the campus in a way that does it justice, but the weird diffused lighting always seems to thwart my best efforts.  The hub of the campus, and interestingly minimalist discoid fountain, is set on axis with Mt. Rainier to the south east, a statue of George Washington, and the Cascades to the west.  All this adds to the amazing gothic ambience of the campus.  We've experienced amazing weather, but on some level I feel like a Londonesque drizzle would further the scholastic vibe that emanates from buildings.  To put it shortly, the University of Washington is going on the short list of graduate schools I would consider attending.

Today most of the big riders arrived.  Evidently, they come from all walks of life.  People who have ridden a maximum of 20 miles at a time to date, to people who rode 200 mi last weekend.  Their means of conveyance also vary accordingly.  Hybrids, flat bar road bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, sport tourers, tourers, pure road bikes.  Forunately, no recumbents or tandems (both eat tires and spokes, and spit out stretched chains).  This is mostly due to the inability of recumbent and tandem riders to unweight wheels individually to avoid square edged bumps and pot holes.  On top of this tandem cyclists don't generally have practically rooted ideas about wheel products.  It is not uncommon to see low spoke count wheels paired with disc brakes and slightly overweight riders.  Generally this situation leads to hubs that stop rotating before the rims follow suit -- broken spokes and stressed spoke beds etc.

I've spent the last few days piloting the most ridiculous automobile in existence -- the generally sumptuous and opulently apportioned Ford Expedition.  Daniel and I have affectionately dubbed it the pig, for its soft flesh-toned leather interior and despotic girth.  As we ride I plan on zip-tie(ing) various bits of road kill to it in order to complete the image of a true road warrior.  After running around Seattle, the trucks are ready to roll out.  We leave for our first day on the road tomorrow morning around 6.  I'll be up at 4.

Well anyone looking at this enjoyed the randomly selected photos and crappy video.


Matthew Robert Brennan said...

Hey from VA, bro.. Looks like you're having a great time. Keep us updated and have fun! I bought a motorcycle a couple weeks ago...will email you some pictures, so check your email!

peace - yo brotha

DVDitman said...

Hey Nick - elliott's parents here. Have a great trip. We look forward to following your progress via your blog.

Christine said...

Your video is slightly scarey. Riding very fast down city street in the dark with one hand listening to music. What, me worry?
Signed, Your mother!
Have fun - looking forward to more posts!

rob said...

go nick. looking for more!