CURRENT POSTING STATUS weekly monthly irregular none occasionally 1-3 3-5 5-7 weekdays only weekends only anyday

Monday, September 29, 2003


Have been away for a work event at Ohiopyle State Park since last Friday, so no commutes for a few days to report on. There is a great rail/trail bridge at Ohiopyle that is made of steel arching sides with a wooden plank surface, and the coolest part is that it crosses the Youghiogheny River upstream of the 18 foot falls. You can see the mist rising and hear the roar of the water, especially when the level is way up like it was this weekend. Lots of bikers out, lots with rentals from the town outfitters.

I was in town for the Falls Race event, when boaters get to run the falls, but the race was cancelled due to the water level. The meeting I was hosting for river sojourn organizers across the state still took place and was a success. When I saw all the bike rentals in town and glimpsed the young folk hangin around, I could imagine myself running a bike rental spot in Harrisburg, and spending my time working on old bikes, and advocating for bicycle rights and commuting. Don't think that is quite where my future lies, but it may be a part.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


The little ones, with their teachers, have taken to playing in Riverfront Park recently, for the last couple weeks. I guess it is because school has started. And at first I had to approach carefully and slowly. Now though, their teachers have taught them to anticipate us and to move off the paths (Riverfront Park is linear and narrow and you can't avoid the paths if you are a big group of kids playing). So I thank the teachers and the students for that.

So by suggestion of my friend Scott (AKA Grimm), I hereby post my first recipe. A simple one at that. And perfect for using up those bunches of green tomatoes you may soon be pulling off the vines to beat the impending frost.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Slice green tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
Whip up one egg in a bowl with salt and pepper, and dump some flour onto a plate.
Dip the tomatoe slices into the egg and then into the flour, coating both sides.
Cook in your favorite vegetable oil at medium to medium high until golden brown on each side.
Eat with hotsauce, or sour cream, or cheese, or homemade bread and butter, or whatever else you like. Use your favorite egg substitue to make it vegan. Enjoy.

By the way, the Big Rainbow yellow heirloom tomato is great. Sweet taste with less acidity, and a beautiful yellow with some red veining when you slice it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


A great biking community on the web can be found at Cycling Forums. The folks here have lots of experience biking on and off road, racing, touring, and commuting, so check it out. If I need to voice an opinion, or hear one from peers in the bicycle commuting community I can be sure of such by posting here.

I am after all fairly new to the daily bicycle commuting grind, and as any newcomer in any activity, I experience a little trepidation every once in awhile. And it helps to talk about and to share experiences. And if there is no one around to do so with, the Cycling Forums site is right at your fingertips. I have a few posts up right now about sidewalk biking in certain situations. I also found out there just today that Ken Kifer died recently from being hit by a car while cycling home. Ken's site is one of the first I came across when I was learning about commuting. It also has some great writings on new and sustainable community ideas. A definite check out if you haven't yet. Peace.

Monday, September 22, 2003


Today was a fairly typical day on the commute. Three honkers on the Market St bridge, a light rain when I neared home, a few pedestrians walking in the middle of the paths, the free wind blowing against me, two other cyclists out and about. I just felt like posting, but I don't feel like thinking of anything more to say since I have lots of other things to do and I think I'll do something. A number of writing and project planning projects call to me, will I answer? Gonna freeze some tomatoes and green peppers. Made a seed packet to give some coriander seed to my friend Headley. Otherwise its Monday Night Football tonight!

Sunday, September 21, 2003


I rode home through the approaching edge of Hurricane Isabel Friday. Quite a rush, though it wasn't really a big deal. The eye was well south and west, and the main thrust to hit this area wouldn't come for another 6-8 hours.

The sensations were full. Water flying into my nose from the lateral rains, splashes of water in my face from my fenderless front wheel, water drops hanging from my helmet mounted rear-view mirror in the corner of my vision, the need to pedal while going downhill while pushing through the powerful winds. These rains weren't nearly as heavy as the heaviest I have encountered, heck even after the ride home with just a windbreaker, my shirt was still mostly dry except for a few spots underneath.

Anyway I switched my rear fender from my previous bike which is now my backup to my daily commuter. I can't switch the front because I cant use that full fender on this bike with the front suspension. So I need to get one of those little clip-on fenders for the front. I'll put it on the list.

Fried green tomatoes again today, on homemade buttered bread with some hot sauce and parmesan, how can you beat that. Sue picked our ornamental gourds to take and use at her mom's dinner this weekend for decorations. They never got big enough to use for making craft items like bowls or birdhouses, though they were supposed to. And look out, my big rainbow yellow heirloom tomatoes are starting to turn. I'll be picking and slicing one this week to try, let ya know.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


The Harrisburg area's regional rail initiative CORRIDORone had a public station meeting today in Riverfront Park next to the Walnut St Bridge. Its awesome to see some alternative transportation planning and implementation going on. If you haven't checked it out yet visit the CORRIDORone website and lend your support.

While doing that, let them know that the trains need to have storage racks or cars for transporting bicycles as well as people. This initiative can have the benefit of not only removing cars from the road, but removing twice as many cars and increasing bicycle use by spreading its range of effectiveness through catering to bicyclists.

Am drying some tomatoes as we speak. Then I am planning on trying to make some tomato paste from them and using that for a tomato sauce event with some of the last remaining ripe tomatoes. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm trying to make the tomato sauce this way since I didn't grow any romas or other paste tomatoes. Wonder if Hurricane Isabel will bring an early end to the garden season. Or if my plants will hold through for a couple more weeks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Hmph. Dont know if anyone out there was trying to make comments on the site, but I went back to test it and found out it wasn't working. Went in and moved some code around, and now it should be fixed. So please leave a comment so we can test it out and see if it is working. Or send me an email to franklenblog(at)fastmail(dot)fm to let me know if it aint.

Monday, September 15, 2003


As I sat at my desk today, the grey clouds piled up, and the church bell ominously tolled 9 am, I wondered what to look forward to when and if Isabel makes her presence known here on Thursday or Friday. Today had a hint of rain in the air, and I was misted most of the way to work, but no big shower breakout. I was thinking how lucky I have been all summer, with it being the 3rd wettest on record, that I only ever got downpoured on once while biking to and from work. But what does Isabel hold for the end of the week?

Otherwise, just a normal Monday. One car deciding to pull out of the gas station lot while I was coming by, thinking that I was going to stop or something. Then whipping fast around me to pass while we are going through the next intersection. Isn't it a law that you can't pass, or change lanes or something, while going through an intersection? Maybe I am just making this up, but I seem to have it tucked away in my brain.

Father, mother, and Noni visited for the day on Saturday, out from Western PA, and I took the opportunity to drive them along my commute route. It was fun to share that little bit of life. And they brought me a nice little Craftsman toolbox that my brother had extra lying around, so now I have a dedicated place to keep all my bike tools and supplies together. Which will make it so much easier to bust them out when something needs done, even weekly or daily tune-ups.

Thursday, September 11, 2003


What can you say to people who are riding the way they shouldn't. I mean I ain't here to tell people how to ride, just how I think they should. Seriously though, a guy passed me today, and he was riding on the road, and this was the one portion of the day where I ride the sidewalk because of the jammed traffic and the narrow lanes. A dangerous spot in my mind. So then what does he do? He jumps up on the sidewalk just past the next intersection where the business district in Lemoyne starts, the one place you are not supposed to ride your bike on the sidewalk! Sigh.

On a positive tip I ran into a few folks I know while biking home across the Walnut St. Pedestrian bridge and was able to stop and talk a bit and say hello, something I couldn't have done were I riding by on the roadways. Its nice when this happens, it reminds me of college or of other communities I have lived in where I knew people regularly and ran into them regularly, as opposed to just being a working bee member of the city. Ironically though, they were from State College and only in town a few days for a Healthy Communities conference !!

Dinner tonight was fried green tomatoes from the garden. I egg dipped them then coated in flour and fried in a little oil. Then put a dollop of fat-free sour cream on top, and had a baked potato on the side. Last night Sue rough cut and froze a few pounds of ripe tomatoes. We'll use them later in the year for sauce or chili perhaps. I am still waiting for my Big Rainbow heirlooms to ripen. Will they beat the frost?

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Yeah baby! Check this out. Bicycle Commuting Now has been chosen for About Pennsylvania's Site Of The Day for September 4, 2003 as a part of their weeklong focus on blogs (check out the recognition heading of the Links column to the right). My first bit of recognition that my blog is getting read by, and maybe across, to people with my bicycle commuting messages.

Here's a fun fact since you are reading today. I finally got the bicycle computer working on the hand-me-down bike from my brother that I currently use to commute. First I replaced the battery, then reprogrammed it with the manual I found online, then I adjusted the magnet and it finally worked. And now I know that I can max out just below 25 mph when I am cruising down the roads. This means that I no longer have to feel bad if I think I am holding traffic up on a 25 or 30 mph posted road, cause they shouldn't be going faster anyways!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Sometimes I cringe in the morning when I go to get on my bike. I am not a morning person.

Unfortunately my body/mind does not agree with what I think, because I wake up early mostdays, before my alarm goes off at 7 am, that early or eralier on the weekends. I glory in the saturdays or sundays when I actually sleep till 8, 9, or heavenly 10 am. Instead I have to go to bed early to get my sleep. Bed at 9 or 10 pm sucks. What all this does is make we want to be in bed in the morning, and getting on a bicycle to ride 5 miles is not mentally exciting. About halfway into the ride I perk up, only to realize that I am halfway to work, my work environment.

I have come to believe that it is not work that I dislike, because I am involved in what I do and am passionate about my field at times. And I am smart and I do a good job, so it is not an issue of the work itelf. But it is the "going" to work that I dread, and I don't know how to change that in me. So the bike riding may be a deterrant but it is not the root, even if I would be driving I would be experiencing the same feelings.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Today's weather is the most memorable to me, besides bright sunny summer days, from my childhood. I remember so many cloudy cool and often drizzly moments from the fall and early winter that captivate my mind. Playing football in the wet fields, biking across the patch to play basketball after school, smelling the freshness of the country air, feeling the clouds roll over top of you and holding you in place. Today I revel in the weather of solitude, when you find noone else along side of you, the weather of clarity because you have few distractions outside of you. I rode carefully, because it is also attention necessary weather to be on the road, and after I returned from the Bushey's bike shop in Camp Hill I was soaked through, but feeling fresh. My new Planetbike 7-LED tailliight holding my rear, and looking forward to using the bike fitted rearview mirror I just picked up. Did feel like a rip though to pay $7.99 for the bolt set-up to replace the quick release of my seat post. Sure I could have picked one up cheaper at a normal hardware eh? But I was learning and supporting the store for its helpfulness.

I look over my garden from the rear porch balcony and feel a sense of dread, as if I were looking over a marshy battlefield from history, the ground is wet, and so many leaves are dying, but I am still getting bounty. I made more pesto this weekend. And I put together some homemade tomatoe soup this saturday that I had with a grilled cheese sandwich. MM MM Good! Cucumbers are still producing but we are so tired of them.

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