Sunday, January 28, 2007

What have you done today?

Well the weather kind of cleared, finally, so I got out for a three hour ride on the road bike. It felt good to get in a solid ride, even if it was pretty cold at times. I went riding out east of town, around the airport. The riding is great with rolling hills most of the time and hardly any traffic. To get in shape for the Firecracker 50, and the rest of the season, I really need to get in these long rides to build up my endurance. Too bad next week is looking snowy and cold again, which will limit the riding. On top of that I’m heading to Houston on Thursday and Friday so I’ll have limited training those days.

I put a new link on the top of the site, for This site was started by Laurie David, who produced An Inconvenient Truth and is married to Larry David who wrote and created Seinfeld with Jerry Seinfeld. She started the site as a “virtual march” to let politicians know that people are concerned with Global Warming. I’m not sure if a web site has the same effect as 100’s of thousands of people actually marching on Washington like the civil rights movement, but given the new era maybe it does. I mean think of the importance of the internet, at least two potential presidential candidates, Obama and Hilary announced their intentions on their own web site. Who needs the national media when you can film, produce and air your own message. Anyway, I ask each of you to take a few minutes and add your name to the march as As I’ve been asking myself each day recently, what have you done to help protect our environment, something as simple as clicking on the web can help.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why did they come to my door?

I was sitting at home tonight, surfing the net, trying to find new links and information on Global Warming for the site. Mostly I was doing this because I emailed with Shay's teacher about a special classroom session on the environment associated with Earth Day. Ade had come up with the idea that I should teach something about global warming to his class. Well Miss H. is very excited about the idea, saying the Earth Day education is a huge favorite topic of hers.

Anyway, I do a lot of presentations to adults, but 5 year olds are not my normal audience, so I was trying to find information to start coming up with a session (plus I want to find some companies to donate swag for the kids) when there is knock on the door. Remember, no one comes to my neighborhood an knocks on the door unexpected, so I was a little surprised. In any case it is a guy from the League of Conservation Voters. Turns out this organization is committed to shaping the political agenda in the U.S. to focus on Global Warming. We talked for a few minutes about global warming and making it a key issue in the 2008 election. I told him I've written to my congress(wo)man, and presidential candidates. No cash to donate for the guy tonight, but he said just as important was spreading the word. I think I'm trying that. So check out their site at (link on the side now too), and sign up to receive information and let people know you support making global warming a key issue in the 2008 campaign.

Still not sure why they knocked on my door, but pretty cool that he did.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Will the cold ever stop?

Well the weather keeps staying the same, or in some ways getting worse. It is three weeks into the year and I haven’t been for a ride on my road bike outside since December 17. That pretty much sucks. I should be riding 3-4.5 hours outside at least once a week in order to get in shape for the races this year, however; with the snow, cold, snow, cold cycle we’ve been under it’s tough to motivate (or even ride) outside that long.

This week I put in a total of 8 hours, real limited compared to what I would like to do but between not being able to ride home this week because of other commitments and bad weather this weekend I’ll have to live with it. In the past I’ve been able to handle multiple 2-3 hour days on the trainer. This year I’m struggling with 1.5 hours. Part of it is the tedium that comes from years of having ridden the trainer, but more importantly this year I think is there has been limited chances to break up the trainer work. By the middle of the week the weather report for the weekend is always showing cold and snow which causes me to hit the stark realization by Wednesday that I’ll be inside again and no long rides. I did mange 2.5 hours outside in the cold and snow flurries yesterday. I rode my mountain bike so the shoes I was wearing didn’t work with my shoe covers. By the time I got home I really thought I had frost-bite on my toes. I took off my socks and placed my feet in front of the fireplace for about ½ hour before feeling returned. I guess next time I’ll switch pedals so I can wear shoes that work with shoe covers.

The mountain bike season is still a ways off, but I am starting to think about racing. I’ll probably race a few road races in March to help get in shape; this will really be important if I can’t start to ride longer. Most of my races are about 2-2.5 hours, but the Firecracker 50 will take 5-6 hours. To finish that I need to get in at least six rides of 5-6 between now and July 4 and probably 2 dozen rides in the 4 hour range. This is not so easy when juggling work and family as well but somehow I’ll get them in. Races can help with it, especially 2 hour road races with an hour of warm up and cool down, makes for a really hard day that probably is as tough as a 5-6 hour ride by myself.

Until the weather breaks I guess it will just be more hours in the basement. At least this week isn’t looking as crazy with work and I should be able to commute at least two days and maybe even three. I know it won’t be more than that since two days require me to drive for meetings. Hopefully between commuting and a break in the weather next weekend I can get in a 12-14 hour week of training.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Global warming poses a dire threat...second only to nuclear weapons

Maybe I should change my homepage at work away from, today is awash in bad news about the environment. Anytime you see a statement like, “Global warming poses a dire threat to human civilization that is second only to nuclear weapons," you have to take notice. I’d never even heard of the doomsday clock, and while the focus of the clock is on nuclear weapons, clearly they scientists involved realize other issues may be more likely to end the world than a single button.

State of the Union Speech

The following article was released today discussing the Presidents upcoming State of the Union speech and his new environmental policies Bush on Global Warming. While it is nice to see the President showing some concern about the environment, I would like him to really do something about it if he is going to take the time. It is interesting that the emissions standards in the US are less stringent than even those in China, yet all he wants to do is have voluntary standards. Add the President to the list of people to write about supporting legislation to protect our environment.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


When it comes to changing the world with global warming which is more important, personal action or political action. As a post I read on a bulletin board (one of Ade’s) stated (rough paraphrase) it’s not about light bulbs it’s about the politics. I’ve been debating this over in my head since I read that, my first though on raising awareness was my personal actions (and each of ours independently) are more important than the politics behind the issue. To me, at least at the start, it is about light bulbs not the politics or legislation. Does that mean that political action is the wrong course? Is policy change the proverbial chicken or egg?

One of my thoughts with global warming was to introduce concepts, ideas, efficiencies that would most importantly help the environment, but also save people money, and not be overly divisive in terms of the politics. I personally don’t care what George W thinks of global warming, and my overall hope is that even if you do agree with him you can at least buy into some of the ideas I present on how to reduce your environmental impact. Politicians seem to have proven they can’t (or won’t) introduce (perceived) unpopular policy for fear of offending their voters, causing job loss for them (and global warming fits that bill now). Congress won’t act until stopging global warming are popular in all neighborhoods. So, if this is the case then light bulbs are the key, right? True, at least I thought for some time, and then I started considering when we as a country have made changes, specifically thinking about MLK jr. and the civil rights movement (thanks to Shay). Yes MLK was trying to change perception but along a parallel path he worked on legislation to protect civil rights. In the case of the civil rights movement neither efforts to change perception nor legislation would have worked independently. To truly effect the change America need both. So I wrote to my Congresswoman last night because global warming is that important. I’ll send letters to my senators, governors, mayor of the next few weeks as well.

I hope each of you will do the same. Ask, NO TELL, your elected officials you support legislation to reduce co2 emissions from cars, support legislation to increase gas mileage in cars, support government agencies buying hybrid vehicles, support alternative power options (wind and solar for example) and that you want the US Government to sign and comply with the Kyoto Treaty (

Here is a link to get in touch with your congressional representative and senator

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Night

Well the cold and snow keep hitting Denver, sure makes getting in bike rides almost impossible. This weekend has been bitter cold, lows in the below zero range. The cool thing about the snow is winter activities are highly accessible, not that I usually do anything in the snow. I did go snowmobiling on Wednesday this week. The group of people I work with had a management team building session at Winter Park. It was pretty cool to be out on the snowmobiles cruising around in four feet of snow at 50+ miles per hour. A lot of the trails we rode were the same ones as the mountain bike races in Winter Park during the summer. It was pretty strange to be climbing up D2 at 25 mph, instead of struggling up it on the bike at 7 mph.

The Famed D2 Climb:

For the first time ever I actually had a chance to stop and enjoy the view on the trails around Winter Park. When you’re racing you don’t really have a chance to see all the beauty around you in a place like Winter Park. Since we were on a guided tour we stopped frequently and had a chance to look around and enjoy. I may have to go up to Winter Park this summer just to train/ride so I can have time to enjoy the views.

I was reading in Velo News this week about a new chain lube that Pedro’s has out; it is vegetable based (as opposed to petroleum) and therefore is environmentally friendly. I’m going to try and track some down or order some and see how it works. The concept is pretty cool and if it keeps the chain lubed in tough conditions I’ll switch.

A note on one of my new freaky habits to reduce global warming, recycling/reusing plastic grocery bags and how wasteful they are. First off is the pure volume of them every week at the grocery store, nine plus bags a week easy. Plus a couple more here and there every week for the mid-week grocery runs. There is no possible way to reuse that many no matter what you do. Over the years I’ve used them to carry lunches and as trash bags but still I always have more than I need. Then this week I read about how much energy it takes to produce the dreaded grocery bag. According to Laurie David (author of, and facts from, The Solution is You, and producer of An Inconvenient Truth) Americans throw away 100 billion (100,000,000,000) plastic bags a year. The petroleum needed to make 14 plastic bags is the same as the amount needed to drive a car 1 mile. Not sure about you, but from a convenience factor I’d rather recycle 14 plastic bags and drive a mile than the other way around. So anyway for the past few months I’ve been reusing the plastic grocery store bags a lot. I’ve used the same bag to carry my lunch for four weeks (versus in the past one a day) and have been bringing bags on all my shopping trips. Now I’m not completely off the plastic bags yet or only going to use the same ones forever, they rip break etc. but for every two weeks I use the same bags I figure I can drive one more mile, or just save the energy some. The added benefit and one Ade really likes, is that now we don’t have a cabinet full of plastic bags.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Warmest Year Ever = Global Warming

I hope I'm not stealing this, but I do work for Reuters so feel somewhat justified:

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - The year 2006 was the warmest in the contiguous United States since record keeping began 112 years ago, due in large part to an unusually warm December, U.S. government weather forecasters said on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) preliminary forecast released in mid-December forecast 2006 as the third warmest year on record.
NOAA said in a written statement that no state was colder than average last month and five states had their warmest December on record -- Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire.
The average temperature in the United States in 2006 was about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.2 degrees (1.2 degrees Celsius) above the average temperature recorded from 1901 to the end of 2000.
The warm start to the winter was tied partly to the "rarity" of Arctic outbreaks across the country because of El Nino, NOAA said.
El Nino, which is Spanish for "the little boy," is an abnormal warming of water in the Pacific Ocean every three or so years that can wreak havoc with global weather patterns. It usually brings warmer weather to much of the United States.
Weather forecasters said another factor in the record warmth was a long term warming trend some have linked to increases in greenhouse gases.
"This has made warmer-than-average conditions more common in the U.S. and other parts of the world," NOAA said. "It is unclear how much of the recent anomalous warmth was due to greenhouse-gas-induced warming and how much was due to the El Nino-related circulation pattern."
NOAA began keeping records in 1895.
© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The week in review

Well it has been a tough four day week back at work after nearly two weeks off. Between getting back in the flow of work, announcing my global warming/cycling goal for 2007 and yet another snow storm in Denver I’m a little surprised I’ve had time to think.

I’ve been inundated with reading suggestions on environmental topics and thus far have just started to read some of the titles I’ve been sent. The first book I’ve started is Natural Capitalism (, which has as a hypothesis that the business world is changing from an industrial revolution to a more environmental focus. Basically it says business can be successful, profitable and use fewer resources if it is arranged correctly. I’ll follow up with more on this as I dig in deeper, but thus far the logic and theories seem sound. I also read an article sent to me by my friend Bob (who was one of a few to recommend Natural Capitalism) written by Thomas Freidman in the NY Times (12-31-06) that says green energy sources can become as cost efficient/cheap as current sources with scale. He discusses a few new Wal-Marts that have been built green and feels the more green Wal-Marts the more scale green energy solutions will have. Since my job is consulting with companies on how economies of scale effect their pricing the logic in the article sounds like a report I’d write on mutual fund pricing, so get out there and buy some energy efficient light bulbs.

On a practical note with the energy efficient light bulbs, here are some practical numbers for you. I bought a four pack of spotlight energy efficient bulbs this weekend for $13.00; normal bulbs would have been a little less than half. But the good news is the energy efficient bulbs are suppose to last three to four times as long, creating a cost savings already, and are suppose to save me over $100 on my energy bill during their life span. This is a practical and cost efficient way all of us can go green. As your light bulbs burn out switch over to low wattage/energy conserving bulbs and get the two fold benefit; help reduce your energy use and (maybe) more importantly save money. On other green notes this week I’ll give you a rundown on easy and free (or better yet money saving) choices I made this week that help reduce waste. Commuting home on the bike two days this week for a reduction of at least 16 miles of car driving. Why do I say at least? Well Ade and I carpool in on the morning commute (so she can leave early and pick Seamus up after school) so in practice if I didn’t ride home and drove instead my driving reduction would be 32 miles. A key thing to remember with the commute this time of the year (and my low total) is that most roads are still ice-packed so riding isn’t easy, but sure is fun. Check out the commuting bike in all the glory: lights, fenders, wide knobby tires, this bike rocks in the snow.

Second easy and money saving green tip of the week, a reusable coffee mug. Cups of coffee, too many to remember (yes I have a strong coffee addiction) but at least eight or nine. For each cup I save between $0.10 and $0.25 depending on the coffee shop. Now I’m going to buy the coffee no matter what so saving the money is a nice benefit. The coffee shop I frequent most sold the cups (travelers) for $2.50 originally, that’s been paid back many times and no wasteful disposable cup every day.

The snow didn’t keep my riding down very much either. I put in 11 hours of training this week, including 4 hours of the weekend on cold and snow-packed roads. I wanted to ride about 13-14 hours but couldn’t bring myself to ride the trainer in the basement. If the conditions stay the same I guess I’ll have to soon, but for now a few less hours in the snow will have to do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Strange Days

Well first I must say I'm surprised with the amount of positive feedback I've gotten after sending an email to family and friends telling them of my plans for 2007. It's always good to know those around you buy into what you are working on. It's also interesting that one of the (bike) blogs I frequent had two posts centered on global warming recently. Check it out at Maybe bike racers are just a bunch of liberal freaks.

I've also had a lot of questions about how, why and what I'm really going to be doing to increase awareness on the environment and global warming. First off, as many of you know, I'm not an expert on the matter, nor do I have any scientific background. I've just been reading and realized there seems to be a real issue and maybe I can do a little to help. So how am I going to help? Well the blog is one step. Through this I can begin to create a discussion on global warming and provide links to help people further their knowledge and form their own opinions. For those of you unfamiliar with blogs check them out. There are blogs on every topic of interest and give you insight into peoples lives. Hopefully from checking this one out (and others) you can find some useful information. The best part about blogs for me is spelling is optional, call it poetic license.

Second, I'm making changes in my lifestyle (kind of) to reduce my waste. Things like recycling grocery bags, using energy efficient light bulbs, buying products that are in recyclable materials are some of the examples of things I'm doing. Also commuting by bike, which has a two-fold benefit the first, is allowing me more time to train for racing and second a significant reduction in co2 emissions.

So overall the plan for getting started is to provide people with some ideas on how they can reduce their waste, provide practical input on what I've tried, provide people with some resources to investigate global warming on their own and finally to try to help fund groups that help protect our environment. Oh yea, I'll be racing bikes too and hopefully giving a glimpse into what it takes to try to race a bike with some degree of success while being married (Ade), raising a kid (Seamus) and working.

Related to the riding I rode home from work today, the first time since our two big snows. The first few miles heading out of downtown weren't very bad but as soon as I hit the neighborhood it was rough going. The last two miles took as long as the first five. None of the streets had been plowed and it was an icy pothole filled route to the house. The good news is the fenders I bought today worked great and I was totally dry when I got home. Hopefully the roads clear up more, especially by the weekend so I can get in some long rides.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 Race Season Plans

I’ve been racing mountain bikes in and around Colorado since 1996, and during the late 80’s as a junior I raced on the road. In all that time I’ve been racing for myself with no compelling reason to race other than the personal enjoyment, commitment and challenge of racing. For the past couple of years I’ve been racing for COMotion Sports in Colorado. The team is the four time Mountain States Cup team champs in cross-country. Racing on COMotion provides a greater reason for racing than racing as an individual, as there is no way the team could win the season series without every racer on the team being committed to the goal of winning the team title. But the fact is that cycling, even on a team, provides way more personal benefits than it does a greater good purpose.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or more concerned with issues beyond my own little world that I’ve decided to have my 2007 race season have a greater cause than just racing. I know part of it is the result of a friend of mine, Bob, who raced an IronMan triathlon in September. He dedicated his race to a local homeless shelter and helped raise funds to support the shelter. Bob’s good will and effort to make his race more than a personal benefit got me thinking. It has taken me a while to determine what to dedicate my race season to and how best to benefit a cause.

My first thought was to dedicate my season to children’s health care, working to raise funds for a local children’s health organization. I figured I could steal another page from Bob and have a key event to sell people on, and then tie a fundraiser to the event, probably a silent auction. However, my biggest concern with this was really being at the mercy of others to donate money to the charity I picked. While I know people would be willing to help it just wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted to pick a cause that was meaningful to a lot of people, but also a cause that I could help without forcing people to donate money. I may know a lot of people, but most of them don’t have a lot of extra money to donate to a charity.

I decided I needed a cause that I could personally work on to provide benefit, a cause that is meaningful to everyone, and, if I am lucky, a cause that I can raise a few bucks for throughout the 2007 race season. On one of my flights to India I saw the movie Al Gore put together, An Inconvenient Truth, and learned considerably more about our environmental impact on the world, global warming. The more I thought about this cause, the more it made sense to me to dedicate my season to educating people on how they can help reduce emissions that cause green house effects. The bike, a great alternative transportation source to reduce CO2 emissions, made sense. I also found out there are significant actions everyone can take at home to help reduce their environmental footprint, whether it be recycling grocery bags, turning lights off or driving a little less. I also found a significant number of non-profit organizations that are working to reduce educate people about the environment, educate people on global warming, and legislate to reduce our impact on the environment. I decided educating and making people aware of our impact on the environment was a cause I could fully support, hopefully help bring a little attention to the issue and potentially raise funds for an organization focused on reducing our environmental footprint.

To truly focus on racing and dedicating my season to educating people on environmental issues, I’ve decided to not race on a team in 2007. My thought is, the less competing efforts I have to make, the more I can focus on the parts of bike racing that I’ve decided are important to me this season. I’ve decided to race the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race in Breckenridge on July 4th for a goal event. The purpose of the goal event will be to give me and anyone who cares to follow my efforts something to measure the success of this project. Near the time of my goal event I will attempt some fundraising effort with all donations going to the Environmental Defense organization. I plan to continue racing a full mountain bike schedule through the summer, but will use this race to focus attention for those not use to the world of mountain bike racing.

My goals for the 2007 related to educating people on our environmental impact are:

Begin to provide people information and resources on the effects of global warming
Raise $1,000 for the Environmental Defense to help research and educate on issues related to humans environmental impact
Educate people on the ease and benefits of using the bike as a means of transportation

I invite each of you to follow me on my journey throughout the year where I will provide information on ways everyone can easily reduce their environmental footprint and keep you apprised on my preparations for the Firecracker 50 at and, if you like, to donate at