Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
On a recent outing to play some disc golf last weekend we all traveled by bike. Instead of walking from tee to tee we traveled in style on bikes. After a good game of 18 holes we had a good chuckle as a member of our posse launched his recumbent off of a gnarly jump. I'd like to see a BMX recumbent race. That would be a hoot!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Here are a few wild edible plants I gathered on my ride last week. From left to right fennel, japanese knotweed, sow thistle, and pokeweed. All of these except pokeweed can be eaten raw. Pokeweed contains a toxin called phytolaccin "which is cathartic, slightly narcotic, a slow-acting emetic in large doses and, actually poisonous". (to quote Euell Gibbons) The young leaves, however, can be boiled in water for 10 minutes and then the water poured off thus removing the toxin and making the pokeweed leaves a tasty edible that I have read to be quite nutritious. They are yummy in anything you might use spinach in. I have been making omelets with them. The knotweed is interesting because it looks like asparagus when young but tastes really tart. I have heard that you can use the plant as one would use rubarb in making pies and jams. I have been sauteing it up like asparagus. Its pretty good. Its not wise to eat too much knotweed though because it contains oxalic acid which can do damage to your liver in large doses. A little here and there passes through the body with no problems. Ok, this is making me hungry. goodbye
Monday, May 01, 2006
I called up some homeboys to go to the critical mass ride last Friday. The last time I attended one of these was over 2 years ago when I first arrived on the Portland scene. When we showed up there were lots of cops handing out flyers telling why they were there and the list of things they would bust you for if they caught you in the act. Such as not stopping at a red light, not signaling a turn, etc. I didn't feel very excited about the ride because it made me nervous to know that all these policemen would be watching over our every move. It was like this once unsanctioned, fun ride had now become a school field trip guided bike tour led by some disgruntled teachers with no sense of humor. It made me feel like I was guilty of something simply for wanting to ride my bike. So the ride began a little after 6:00. We rolled south out of the pearl and turned a corner. Before I got to the corner I heard all of this yelling. My first concern was that maybe someone had been hit by a car. I didn't want to turn the corner. When I did, there on the sidewalk were a bunch of cops and a crowd gathered around. They had a kid on the pavement face down and people were yelling that he didn't do anything. Then they handcuffed another guy and a girl. The kid was cursing and throwing a fit and the cops were in a frenzy. The aggression was making me feel upset. I don't know what the kid did but the whole scene was a big ugly mess. Everyone stopped to watch. I started to feel like, shit, maybe critical mass is giving cyclists more of a bad name than anything else. What do pedestrians think when they see these cops arresting bikers and the bikers swearing back at them in anger. Maybe not every critical mass is like this but it started to make me think that maybe there is a better way to get outsiders interested in bike culture without feeling like they have to ride through town like prisoners being led to the penitentiary. Anyway, heres a photo or two. Ride your bike. Always spread peace and understanding even in the face of aggression. Maybe you can make someone change their mind rather than close it.