Wednesday, May 30, 2007

G-Rock Morning Show - Brian Phillips and Jen Ursillo


What happen to Brian Phillips and Jen Ursillo on G-Rock's Morning Show (Monmouth & Ocean Counties, New Jersey)? I really liked that show. Brian and Jen were on yesterday and today Matt Murray and someone else were doing the show. I figured that Brian and Jen were gone for good because it was never mentioned that Matt was filling in. Eventually it was mentioned that a new morning show would be starting next week.
Brian and Jen usually played music I liked and had a lively conversation that really helped the commute (my iPod will not play in my car now so I am stuck with the radio). They seemed to get along and would usually follow each other's lead. Even though G-Rock is an Alternative (Modern) Rock Station I am never embarassed to listen to it with my daughter. The same cannot be said of other stations like Z100.


I hate it when radio stations change jocks and pretend that the original people were never there. At least they could tell the loyal listeners that the radio station is making changes and the morning show is going to be different. I did a couple of google searches and in finally found a press release. Here is from http://www.fmqb.com/article.asp?id=414096 It seemed like Jen did every female voice over the station ran.


The WHTG (G-Rock Radio)/Monmouth-Ocean, NJ morning team of Brian Phillips and Jenn Ursillo exit after four years. Phillips had also been APD/MD of the Modern Rock station.


I really hope they do not bring in one of those nationally syndicated talk shows. I really enjoyed the local feel of the show. When I lived in Charlotte the alt - rock station brought in Bob and Tom. I was not a big fan.


I will wait and see what happens but I maybe listening to Mr. Marty on WRAT now.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky


Last week a friend of mine from Boston called me on my cell and euthusiastically endorsed the latest album by Wilco call Sky Blue Sky. I have had Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in my collection for since it first came out but I have had a hard time listening to it. The backstory of Wilco keeping their artistic freedom while "sticking it to the man." was very intriguing and I deemed it worth a purchase. However, I have found Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to be a hard listen even though it is a very respectable piece of art.

My friend has made very good recommendations in the past and I saw no reason to not follow along. In any case all I had to lose is $9.99 on iTunes. I downloaded Wilco's Sky Blue Sky and Kamikaze Hearts' Oneida Road. I have listen to both several times they will both be added to my alt-country play list when I create it.


I listened to both Sky Blue Sky and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it is hard to believe that they were done by the same band. While Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was an effort to be truly creative Sky Blue Sky is more of a effort to showcase Wilco's musical influences. This album as a bit of everything and I am pretty sure that every track has an extended guitar solo. By the third song I knew why my friend had recommended it to me.

This album is so much of a guitar album that you could list each song by the type of guitar solo that is on it. The first song "Either Way" has a nice jazz guitar break. There is one song that has a dual guitar jam similar to Television. There are some Don Rich, Les Paul and Chet Atkins influenced picking on other cuts. There are some straight ahead rock and roll solos as well.
While I suspect a lot of the fans of Wilco's earlier albums might be disappointed by Sky Blue Sky I am really enjoying listening it. It is very accessible, the songs are well written and it jam packed with layered guitars.
My friend from Boston has made another fine recommendation. There must be something in the water in Boston that makes Bostonians love both the Red Sox and good music.



I have listened to Kamikaze Hearts' Oneida Road several times and I have not been disappointed. I am not sure how much more I can add to the review I included in a previous post. While I was originally looking for a Central/Upstate New York connection the album has a Southern feel. The songs are well written and the performances are stellar. If you like the music that comes out of Athens, Georgia and Austin, Texas you will definitely like Oneida Road.







Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kamikaze Hearts - Oneida Road


I was hitting the next blog button today just to see what would follow after my blog and I discover this one called High Fidelity Records (http://highfidelityrecords.blogspot.com). The name made me want to take a closer look. The blog appears to be a review of albums that are off the beaten track.


I noticed a review for a album by the name of "Oneida Road". I knew that it had to be an Central NY reference (Oneida is a small city east of Syracuse) so I looked at the review. Sure enough it is. The band is Kamikaze Hearts and they are from Albany (which is not really Central NY but close enough).


Below is the review. I copied the content from the blog and I added some formating to make it easier to read. I found it interesting enough that I am going to go and download the music (it is available on iTunes) unheard as of yet. I will post my review later. I am also going to download the new Wilco album since one of my friends called me with an very euthusiastic endorsement.


Upstate New York is nothing like Manhattan… just ask Hillary Clinton. No, upstate is full of broken dairy farms and failed factories, trailer parks hanging on the edge of river cliffs, and sullen dive bars, everything just close enough to the great Metropolis to create economic friction. It’s the kind of place where rich bankers come in and buy family farms, where the local convenience store suddenly starts stocking Beaujolais alongside the Slim Jims, where everything’s more expensive but nobody’s making more money. A hopeless sort of place, but lovely in its way, and maybe loveliest in the rain.Kamikaze Hearts, a five-piece out of Albany, have somehow bottled that kind of beautiful hopelessness, embellished it with slide guitar and mandolin, made it sing and moan and bitch about life.


Oneida Road, their fifth CD, is a wonderful record, maybe the best underground alt.country record you’ll hear this year. That it’s happiest, bounciest song is titled “No One Called You a Failure” will just give you an inkling of what you’re getting into.

The disc starts with a count, a thump of drum, and a gorgeous lattice of mandolin—that’s Matt Loiacono picking out the high counterpart, as Troy Pohl sings in a wavery, care-weary voice. “Top of Your Head”, the first cut, is a road song, as so many of these are, about a strained relationship sardined into a car as the miles roll by.

First acoustically and later in an electrified triumph, the band careens through the song’s chorus, a fractious juxtaposition of hope and realism that goes, “We’re talking in the car about the good things we’ll have / But today, you’re weeping / Curled up in a ball / Just the top of your head sticking out”. That song is a ray of sunshine compared to “Defender”, which follows, all Palace-esque vocal harmonies and pallbearer-paced drums; yet even here there’s a defiant uplift in the melody and the mandolin flourishes that intimates survival.


Most of these songs are richly instrumented, textured with overlays of guitar, bass, drums, and violins, elaborated with mountain harmonies. Yet at least once, the band strips down to almost nothing and becomes even more powerful as a result. “Half of Me” has the meditative darkness of Richard Buckner’s best work. It pauses and starts like organic thought. Its modest instrumental backing seems an extension of mood. When the song builds up near the halfway point with a stately waltz-time orchestration, the added sounds only underline the self-contained strength of the melody and lyrics.


The disc’s longest and, arguably, most interesting track comes at the end in “Guyana Central High School Class of ‘78”, a rustically arranged ballad that, at first, might seem like any end-of-high school reverie. It’s only after you’ve listened a few times and maybe checked the title that you realize the song is about the Reverend Jim Jones and his purple Kool-Aid massacre. “Reverend Jim, he spoke at the commencement / He was listing at the lectern in his robe and his sunglasses / He looked out on the class / It seemed like he might be wrapping up / So we call drank the dregs of our Dixie cups / And threw them down on the sharpened summer grass / Sat back in my folding chair and waited there for my new life to begin”.


There’s no hint of a giggle, either. You get no clue from anyone in the band that they are not perfectly serious about the whole thing, not in the righteous shimmer of guitar and mandolin or the slow-paced drums or the revival chorus of “I’m so proud of all of you”. They might be joking, but it’s a buried joke, deep inside the song, and not something they’re going to discuss with strangers.And, in a way, that’s Kamikaze Hearts, too, a band that you might discover and treasure and not want to let the rest of the world in on. A three-record deal with the UK’s One Little Indian (announced mid-November) probably means that they won’t be our little secret for long...so best enjoy their bittersweet heartache privately while you can.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Single Gear (fixed/free) Bicycles (How much is that Bianchi in the window?)

I have been meaning to blog about the Giro D'Italia but I have not got around to it. The Versus Network ran coverage of Sunday's stage 8. Even though Robbie Mc Ewen and some of the other sprinters were dropped by the Peleton the finish was extremely exciting. As I said in a previous post I have come to really appreciate the sprints. The idea that you have to ride 200 km so that you sprint the last 500 meters is just so cruel. Check out http://www.steephill.tv/2007/giro-d-italia for complete coverage and results.

Robbie Mc Ewen almost got eliminated in stage 8 but came back to finish second in stage 9. I guess Mr. Mc Ewen is planning on dropping out before the big climbs so that he can get ready for Tour de France. Mr. Mc Ewen was the winner of the green jersey (best sprinter) at last year's Tour.

On to the main topic of this blog Single Gear (fixed/free) Bicycles.

For a long time I really did not understand the whole concept behind single gear bikes if you were not on a velodrome. However, lately I have been fasicinated by them. From my observations single gear riders are the telemark skiers of the bike world.

When I was growing up in Central New York I was a member of the Onondoga Cycling Club which was run out of the Konski Engineering offices. Mr. Konski was an avid cyclist and ran the club as a labor of love (even though he seldom rode with the members). Mr. Konski used to park his car at the gas station in Minoa, NY and ride by my parents house on the way out into Madison County. To the young cyclist in Central NY Mr. Konski was a mythical figure. We had heard about how many bikes he had and how good he was. However, I was always disapointed to notice that Mr. Konski always rode a single gear bike (I am pretty sure he rode fixed without brakes as well).



Early this year I was in Pacific Bicycles in San Francisco (http://pacbikes.com/index.cfm) and I was eying the single gear bicycles. I notice that the rear hubs had a gear on each side. I was wonder why. I figured that each had a different purpose but I also notice that both gears were the same size. I was talking to one of the guys at Bike Haven in Fair Haven, NJ and he told me that one side was able to coast (free) and the other was not (fixed). With a fixed hub if you are moving you are peddling. That sounds painful but it also sounds cool. Going up hill is painful and going down hill is scary. When I asked the gentleman at Bike Haven what it was like climbing hills he said "I would rather not say!"

I am now starting to understand that fixed gear riders are hard core. It is the world of bicycle messengers (http://www.kingkog.com) and alt-country guitarists Eric Ambel (http://www.ericambel.com/BikePics.htm). I keep running into more and more of these types of people and their passion is extremely contagious.

I imagine that the workout from riding a fixed gear bike is similar to a spinning class. No gears to help you get up the hill just get out of the saddle and push yourself up. It certaintly sounds like fun.

I noticed the Bianchi Fremont in the window at Bike Haven and it really caught my eye. These bikes are just so simple and elegant. I am thinking that my next bike is going to be fixed gear bike although I think I am going to use the free spinning side of the hub.



Check out this multimedia presentation from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2007/04/29/nyregion/thecity/20070429_FIXIES_FEATURE.html

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Scotty Cranmer BMX Rider (Jackson, New Jersey Local Hero)

I usually look forward to the Summer X Games. Every year I get excited about a different event. Originally it was skateboard on the half pipe, then it was BMX on the half pipe and one year I was really fascinated by the Moto X Step Up competion (High Jump for motorcycles). Lately, I have been into the park events for both skateboarding and BMX.

Last summer (2006) I was watching the BMX park and I noticed a rider by the name of Scotty Cranmer (he took gold in the BMX Park). I found out that Scotty is a teenager from Jackson, New Jersey (home of Six Flags Great Adventure).

Here is a short clip that was posted on Youtube. Kind of gives a mini bio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkoi0sNtC3I&mode=related&search=

Just to show how hard it is to do what these guys do I have included a link to this clip on Youtube that shows a crash that Scotty had in competion in 2006.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5X8YMxiP8k&mode=related&search=

I find it interesting that the folks that compete in the X Game events are able to convince them selves that they are not going to get hurt. Even though they know that the opposite is true. All of them have fallen and broken bones. Still they heal and try it again (maybe even try it again before they heal). For every perfect run there are hundreds of times that things did not go well. Even a bruise can hurt like hell.

The art is in making something hard look easy. Check this clip out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHiRV8VgXvU

Saturday, May 19, 2007

70s Punk Playlist refined












In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I had created a 70s Punk Playlist. I have been refining it lately. Right now it is what I am listening to.

I have added complete albums instead of invidual songs. The goal is that I will listen to the complete album and I might find a new favorite. Also, I sort the list by track number so that the albums play in order but not all at once.

At this point there are 412 songs in the list.

I have tried to make the list of albums/songs that were released before 1980. However, some of the albums in the list are anthologies and some of the songs are from the 80s and 90s. I guess it goes to show that nothing is perfect.

Here is the list.

  1. Iggy Pop/The Stooges - A Million in Prizes: The Iggy Pop Story


  2. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Armed Forces



  3. The B-52's - The B-52s




  4. Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Blank Generation




  5. The Clash - The Clash




  6. Gang of Four - Entertainment




  7. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Get Happy




  8. The Clash - Give'em enough Rope




  9. Patti Smith - Horses




  10. The Clash - London Calling




  11. The Ramones - Loud Fast




  12. Television - Marquee Moon




  13. Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks




  14. Elvis Costello - My Aim is True




  15. The Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks




  16. New York Dolls - New York Dolls



  17. The Police - Outlandos d'Amour




  18. The Police - Regatta de Blanc




  19. Lou Reed - Rock'n Roll Animal




  20. Talking Heads - Sand in the Vaseline (this is an anthology)




  21. The Clash - Sandinista (Might have been release in 1980 but it is the masterpiece so it went on the list)




  22. Ian Dury & the Blockheads - New Boots & Panties




  23. The Stranglers - The Stranglers' Greatest Hits




  24. Elvis Costello - This Years Model




  25. Wreckless Eric - Wreckless Eric


I should probably add some of the Ska Punk Bands that came out about the same time such as the Specials, the English Beat, and Madness. Unfortunately, I do have any of this in my iTunes collection. I should probably add some. However, my iPod is full and I have to remove music in order to add new stuff.

Let me know if you have any suggestions.




Friday, May 18, 2007

Surfing Pics - Santa Cruz, California 2005

These pictures were taken in Santa Cruz, California (www.google.com/maps?q=Santa+Cruz,+CA,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title) . This is a cliff that runs perpendicular to the boardwalk and is just north of the pier. It is a great place to watch surfing because you can get close to the action. However, I have heard that this one of those "locals only" kind of place and it is hard to get into the line up if you want to surf. Which explains why I saw some others up further north where the waves were not as good.

On this day there were a bunch of photographers with professional equipment. My pictures were taken with a disposable camera. The top couple of pictures were taken by my Uncle using much better Nikon digital camera.





This is a picture of the Amusement Part taken from out on the pier. Not a bad place to send an afternoon. Just remember to bring a jacket or sweatshirt even in the summer. There are plenty of $20 jackets available for sale if you need something to keep you warm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Giro D'Italia 2007


(Bloggers note: I created some nice paragraphs for easy reading but all the formatting was removed when published. Sorry!)
The Giro d'Italia is in full swing. There does not seem to be the same coverage for this race as there is for the Tour de France. I did find a good site that gives the results:(www.steephill.tv/2007/giro-d-italia). Check it out.
Kind of interesting the Floyd Landis Arbitration Trial started at the same time as the Giro d'Italia. However, there is a lot of side stories going on as well. Tyler Hamilton (US) was originally scheduled to start the tour but it did not happen since he was caught up with the Puerto doping scandal along with his Tinkoff teammate Joerg Jaksche. Ivan Basso is caught up in this as well and most likely will not be riding this year.
The way things are going I may have a chance to ride in the Tour de France. I have been taking extra spin classes just in case.
The Versus network is not running as much coverage of the Giro as they do for the Tour de France so I have been getting all my updates online. It is hard to really follow who the leaders are. I usually check for the Americans but I do have a couple of non American Favorites.
Robbie Mc Ewen (www.mcewenrobbie.com) is one of the better sprinters. When I first started following professional cycling I was more interested in the overall leader and then I started looking forward to the big climbs. However, I started to notice that the leaders usually hung out in the peleton and covered each other and the climbs were usually a group of riders in a breakaway that just kind of struggled to a finish.
(Real-time Landis update: I started writing this blog on evening of May 16, 2007 but it is now the evening of May 17, 2007 and I just notice some interesting events on the www.msn.com. It seems that Greg Lemond has testified that the Landis Camp tried to blackmail him. Here is the link to the article if you are interested http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/6822648?MSNHPHCP&GT1=10035)
However, the sprints always end with the mass race to the finish. Each team works at getting it's sprint specialists up to the front. It is a mass of color which is very impressive and it always seems like Robbie Mc Ewen is usually the winner or at least in the top 3.
At this year's Giro D'Italia Robbie Mc Ewen won the second stage. Of course I did not see it. I really do not know the leaders that well. It seems like there are a lot of Tour riders missing.
This year pay attention to the sprint stages and see if you feel the same way.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Red Bank, New Jersey

One of my favorite towns is Red Bank, New Jersey. When I first came to New Jersey I spent two weeks at the Molly Pitcher Inn waiting for my apartment in Atlantic Highlands to become available. This was in 1988 and Red Bank was starting its transformation. Red Bank has gone from being nicked named Dead Bank to being a thriving town of many restaurants, night clubs and interesting shops.

Red Bank has become a center for the Antique Trade (on Front Street). At first most of this activity was on the edge of town but know it is possible to browse for furniture and knick knacks on Broad Street and Monmouth Street.



Jack's Music Shoppe (www.jacksmusicshoppe.com) is a great place to buy CDs, sheet music and musical instruments. When I first move to New Jersey Jack's was across the street from its current location and had a huge selection of musical instruments. Now the instrument selection is smaller but the CD/Video/Sheet Music select is huge. Jack's Music Shoppe can be scene in Kevin Smith's movie "Chasing Amy". Kevin Smith's Comic Book Store "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash" (www.viewaskew.com/jsbstash) is across the street.







The picture above is the entrance to Monmouth Music (www.monmouthmusic.com) The guitar playing Elvis in the front window is a local favorite. Monmouth Music is a great place to buy musical instruments. Say hi to Nick when you stop in. Sign up for a music lesson and make an attempt to recapture your youth.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Motorcycles

Kawasaki Ninja ZX14
I was driving North on RT 35 in Middletown, NJ when I passed Monmouth Cycles (www.monmouthcycles.com). I looked over and saw the cycle above displayed in the window. I have driven by Monmouth Cycles 100s maybe 1000s of times and everytime I drive by I say to myself that I should stop in and look around but I never do.

I was really attracted to the looks of the motorcycle and I decided that I would stop in and at least take a picture. To me this is motorcycle as art. This would look good displayed in your living room, family room or entrance way.

I have been really noticing motorcycles lately. Especially since I have read two of Neil Peart's (the drummer for Rush is also an author) books in the past couple of months. I used to think that Harleys were the way to go but now I like BMWs, Ducatis and now the above mentioned Ninja. I think it is the sense of the open road and the freedom that appeals to me.

The Ninja looks fast even when it is simply being displayed in the window. Can you ride one without opening up and pushing the envelope? The fear factor would probably outweigh the enjoyment. Fear usually keeps you safe.

Maybe I will take a motorcycle safety class just for kicks.



Below are some more motorcycles that I have taken pictures of. Ducatis appear to be very popular in California. Almost every model in the Ducati line functions as movable art. Check them out at www.ducati.com/od/ducatinorthamerica for more information.



The picture below was taken outside Performance Bicycles in San Francisco.



Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Elvis Costello Catalog on iTunes

At last the Elvis Costello Catalog is available on iTunes. The early albums have been released on Mini Sleeves. I bought "My Aim is True" and "Armed Forces" from Jack's Music ( http://www.jacksmusicshoppe.com/) in Red Bank, New Jersey. I downloaded "This Year's Model" and "Get Happy" from iTunes. I am not sure if I am going to get any of the others. I remember being unhappy with everything after "Armed Forces" but "Get Happy" has grown on me. Maybe I will get "Imperial Bedroom" but I am still not sure.
The cover of "Armed Forces" is the art work that appeared on the Import Version which I owned. (Yes, I was a Vinyl snob when I was younger. I now see the error of my ways.)
The first time I saw Elvis Costello was on Saturday Night Live. I actually stayed up because the Sex Pistols were originally scheduled to play. At the time I had no idea who Elvis Costello was. I do remember him starting to play Less than Zero and then waving off the band only to start into Radio Radio. It was one of the most memorable moments I have ever witnessed on TV. It worked out well for Elvis since he got labeled as Punk just as the scene was gaining traction.

WOUR (96.9) in Utica started playing Watching the Dectectives in rotation. Now that I am older and more cynical I suspect that the whole SNL thing was planned. I have heard that Elvis Costello was banned from SNL for life by Lorne Michaels. I wondered if it is true?

I was inspired to create a 70s Punk Play list on iTunes. The CDs that make up the list are as follows:







  1. Elvis Costello - My Aim is True




  2. Elvis Costello - This Years Model




  3. Elvis Costello - Armed Forces




  4. Elvis Costello - Get Happy









  5. The Clash - London Calling





  6. The Ramones - Loud Fast

  7. The B-52s - The B-52s
  8. Gang of Four - Entertainment

  9. Graham Parker - Master Hits
  10. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks

  11. New York Dolls - New York Dolls



  12. Talking Heads - Sand in the Vaseline



  13. Iggy Pop (Stooges) - A Million in Prizes


I sorted by track number so that the songs are mixed up but still in the original order.




I am going to add the first Television CD and Richard Hell and Voidoids' "Blank Generation".


I know that these selections are not really punk. I probably need to add the Dead Boys, the Damn, the Stranglers and a couple of others. However, these are missing from my collection.

Bike Riding (Across the Golden Gate) 2007


When I was younger (Elementary and Midde School) I was really into bike riding. I used to take long rides on the weekends and road a 200 mile plus ride on the 4 of July weekend of the summer between 7th and 8th grade. I was a member of the Onondaga Cycling Club ( http://onondagacyclingclub.org ) and I was a regular at the Wednesday evening time trials (10 and 25 Miles) that started in Kirkville.


However, as I entered High School running became more important. While I enjoy running, bike riding provided the ability to cover greater distance. Although bike did have two major drawback in getting chased by dogs (I did get chased by dogs running because I ran the same routes I got to know where the dogs were and would make changes) and equipment breakdowns (usually flat tires). I bought a new bike when I was a junior in High School but never was able to get it setup right even though I spent quite a bit of money trying.


Eventually, I gave up and just concentrated on running. In fact my road bike was stolen for the porch of my apartment in Edison, NJ. I always planned on buying a new bike but it just never happened. One of my coworks in the System Administration Group at Bell Labs brought his bike to work and rode at lunch but I stuck with the runners.


About 10 years ago it because difficult for me to run on a regular basis. I made the plunge and invested in a middle of the line Trek Mountain Bike (I think an 880 but I am too lazy to go out the garage to check). Eventually I was taking daily rides which got longer and longer (usually between 10 and 30 miles depending how much time was available). The mountain bike worked out well for me since I was able to bail out on traffic if I needed to without potato chipping my rims.


Not long after buying the mountain bike I started to think I wanted to get a good road bike. I started to look around but I never could make the purchase. Cut to 2007 and I am still without a road bike and the mountain bike has not moved in about a year (it needs some work after the last move and I just have got around to getting done).


I am determined to make this year the year I get a road bike. While I was in San Francisco this year I wanted to go across the Golden Gate Bridge without a car. I ran into one of my high school classmates in the hotel I was staying at. She and her husband had run across the bridge during their stay in SF and I thought that would be fun but running that kind distance was not going to work for me. I knew that you could rent bikes to ride across the bridge and take the ferry back. However, I wanted to cross the bridge and get a good workout in.


Turns out that the tourist bike vendor (www.blazingsaddles.com) also rents good road bikes. Since I knew I was going to take a weekend off of skiing I made my plans to rent the bike for two days. I picked the bike up on Friday afternoon and made plans to get up early to ride over the bridge and into Marin County.


The funny thing is that while riding over the Golden Gate Bridge was the driving force behind the adventure in reality the bridge is just an obstacle to the real riding that can be done in Marin county.


Once I got over the bridge I just followed the crowd. I rode on both Saturday and Sunday. I think I did over 100 miles between the two days. I followed the bike path signs and just explored on Saturday. On Sunday I was feeling more comfortable and a fellow cyclist suggested a loop through Tiburon which I followed and it turned out to be a great ride.


You can find Marin County Bike Maps (http://www.marinbike.org/Map/Index.shtml) in most of the bike shops. I think I paid $9 after I was done riding but I am planning using it again real soon.


Now if I can get a bike here on the East Coast I can get some good rides along the Jersey Shore (http://www.njbikemap.com/). There was a recent article in Bicycling (www.bicycling.com) that listed the 100 top climbs and several of them are in New Jersey and New York. I would love to have a go at close ones for the adventure.


I am still trying to decide between a






Maybe I will make a decision soon. In the mean time I am going to just have to be happy with my spinning classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Just Pictures - Heavenly Peak - South Lake Tahoe
















East Coast Skiing 2007 (Greek Peak)


After a couple of warm days on the East Coast I thought that the ski season was over. However, the temperature dropped, the snow returned and I was able to extend the ski season by two more weekends. I probably could have got a couple more weekends out of the season but I decided to quit while I was ahead.


I decided that I would drive to Central New York and try to make up for the New Years weekend that went bust. On Friday morning I packed for the weekend, loaded my skis in the car and drove to my parents house in Syracuse, New York immediately afterwork.




I was debating weather to ski Song Mountain or Greek Peak. Song Mountain is about 20 minutes from my parents house and Greek Peak is about an hour way. However, I have never skied Greek Peak before (not really sure why) so I decided to give it a try.



I was not sure how the conditions were going to be since it was almost heading into April. I figured I would ski the morning and if it was not any good I would meet my parents at the Syracuse - Binghamton Lacrosse Game in the SU Dome.


While I was one of the few paying customers (it was definitely a season pass day) I definitely got my money's worth. I got to the slope at 8:30 am and I skied until 5 PM. I might have skied even longer but my last run involved lightning, thunder and driving rain.


Greek Peak is a big for the East Coast ski resort. The lifts are mostly older doubles but the runs are long. Some real challenging runs with lots of bumps. The regulars (at least on this day) are all good skiers. Snowboarders and skiers seem to coexist well with each other.



I do regret not buying a season's pass for 2007 - 2008. The daily pass was $54 but I could have spent $239 for next years pass and used it on this weekend. Of course I did not find out until I had already bought the day pass. I guess one of lifes learning experiences.