Getting doored & handlebar shapes a New York rite of passage

So Zoe and I were having a lazy Saturday after having some Astoria coal fired thin crust pizza at a nice Italian place on Broadway and 29th called “Sac’s Pizza Place” (it was quite good) anyhow, we were biking back home down Broadway to Vernon Blvd. and there was a line of traffic probably heading to Cost Co. and just before making it to the light at the intersection WHAM! I was sprawled out on the ground, me and my ’72 Gitane. A nice older couple pulled over to offer assistance and add themselves as witnesses.  It was cold out and I was a bit worried about going into shock if I had broken anything.  

We weren’t riding very fast, and the guy in his BMW 528xi didn’t bother to check his mirror.  He clipped my right hand and handlebar and I managed to roll my left shoulder into the ground.  After the nice elderly couple gave me a piece of paper and pen, they gave me their name and number, I wrote down the BMW’s plate, went up to talk to him, asked him if he had insurance, he did.  Turns out he owned a Limo/Car Service place across the street.  He was just going to work.  I said, “Look it’s cold and I don’t think my hand is broken. I don’t want to file a police accident report here, I just want your name and number in case anything else is up. ”  So that was it.  Zoe and I walked halfway home, then rode a short section on 21st St.  We went to Lennox Hill Hospital to have the hand and wrist X-rayed.  Thankfully nothing appears to be broken.  I’ve iced it for the last few hours, kept it elevated and have a bandage on it.  Good times.  

Scotty, a guy who used to be messenger in the 80s and who I’ve worked on films with mentioned “getting doored” one day when he looked at my bike’s handlebars (which are chopped “preacher bars” like Soma Fab’s “Noah’s Arc Bar“) as they offer no hand protection.  He said that he always preferred drop bars on a track bike, as they offer some protection.  I thought about this, and figured that its better to have narrower bars than protection.  Well, after hitting the edge of a car door today with my right hand – I amend my position – I’d rather have handlebars that offer protection.  

Sadly, there just aren’t many that offer this.  European style Trekking bars are good, but quite wide (usually 57cm end-to-end) and they require a longer higher stem.  Also the fact is Trekking bars raise the dork quotient of your bike by about %1,000.  Scott Components used to make a mountain bike handlebar that fits the bill called the Scott AT-4 Pro, it was a continuously curved mountain bar.  Similarly, the shape I want is a curved flatbar (like my arc’ed preacher) that then curves back around the front in a U shape for each side, about 40 cm wide.  The Scott AT-3’s did this to some extent but I think it’s important for the curves to come pretty far in so that they don’t get caught objects while riding.  Anyhow, Rivendell and Velo-Orange don’t really sell bars for “aggressive urban” hand protection.  I’m taking a metal shop class at Pratt these next 8 weeks, so hopefully I’ll be able to make something to rectify this situation, otherwise I should probably throw on some drop handlebars.  


A Trekking Handle bar setup from Coweater on Flickr

Soma Fab's - Noah's Arc Bar

Arc, not so good for your hand on door

This sort of bar would protect your hands

This sort of bar would protect your hands

This one might get caught on stuff

This one might get caught on stuff

Special Day Photo Secrets

So, we’ve learned the hard way that when you’re about to get married you should reformat your camera’s memory card.  Reformat it three times, actually.  Wipe it clean, freshy frischmacher clean.  The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS had really never given us any major trouble, it’s been a good little point and shoot.  But as we found out the hard way (after losing I think about 40% of our wedding day photos to bad writes/corruption) you should alway reformat your flash memory cards after dumping the photos onto your computer.  I attribute a lot of it to the fact that we’d kept some photos on the card but deleted others, and I think it’s likely iPhoto was writing to the card somehow screwing with FAT16 system.  The moral is this: download all your photos then reformat your card “in camera” using the camera’s menu setup, each and every time.

Thankfully we had a friend shoot two rolls of film on an old fully manual Minolta SRT 101 35mm camera and a bunch of those came out, so it’s all good.  And we could always reshoot it once it’s not 10 degree outside and snowing.  Or we could do one month anniversary photos.  

The best software I found for free file/image recovery was Zero Assumption Recovery. The other software, that seems to be the best for the 2GB SanDisk SD card was Rescue Pro by LC Technology in the UK.  ZAR gave me similar results though.  I also tried PhotoRescue, however it did not recover as many photos as the other two.

Here are the best pics from two rolls of film: A Wedding on Film

And here are the best digital pictures we saved: Zoe & Mark Get Married

More gauzy flare


Kissing (in front of fountain)

Flowers and dress

More Ocean State

So we went to a wedding in Newport and we somehow avoided traffic in both directions, perhaps in part due to the off season, perhaps because we left the city at 12:30 on Friday afternoon.  It was beautiful; blue skies, cliffs, mansions, and more nautically themed bars than you can shake a stick at.  Lots of Zoe’s sailing buddies were in attendance. Zoe and I woke early on Saturday to get a few hours of bouldering in at Lincoln Woods Park (not Casino) just north of Providence.  The rock was a rough sharp granite, it was a cloudless 75 degrees, and we met a few New England climbers (they say “cah” not “car”).  There is a large amount of climbing within the small park boundaries and it was free.  In the ‘Gunks we pay at least $15 for the privilege.  To me it felt a bit like Rumney, only without the tall sport climbs and 4 hours closer.

The ceremony was at St. Mary’s and the reception at the Astor’s-Beechwood Mansion. We drank dark and stormies at the Black Pearl on the wharf during the intermission between the church and the mansion.  Lots of men in faded Mt. Gay Rum hats, but it seems the big money won’t come into Newport for another month or two.  The reception was black tie optional and Zoe did her part wearing a slim black spaghetti strapped cocktail dress while I wore a blue pinstriped suit and a silken yellow paisley tie from my father’s collection.  The live band, chosen at random by the planners, was surprisingly good and kept everyone dancing from the first dance onward.  For a party at a mansion that specializes in historical re-enactments, there was quite a bit of dancing.  Also there was a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and strawberries, which was pretty amazing.  I think we went to bed at exactly 00:03 as we were exhausted from both climbing that morning and drinking in the afternoon sun.  Newport is every bit as beautiful and rich as anyone will tell you.  And not a bad place to get married either.

Here’s the link to the NY Times wedding announcement and video from this weekend.

Tiny little chair
Natalie and Zoe
IMG 3368
Cliffs aft.

Pawtucket, Central Falls – Ground Round, Larry’s Lounge

So if you ever get asked to rig a “stage” in greater Providence, Rhode Island, chances are you will be rigging a “stage” in an old textile mill from the late 1800’s.  Also, it will be filthy and spooky as you’d imagine a 130 year old factory would be.  We ran a lot of cable and hung many lights, and we had something like four days to do it.  To facilitate this we ended up with a bunch of Stage Hands from Local 23, and there we already a bunch of guys from Local 481, and everyone pretty much talked funny.  Did I mention it was filthy?  It was a screen adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell Tale Heart”.  As David said, “Everyone is getting back into Gothic Horror these days”.  True, true.

So yeah.  It was Zoe’s birthday this Saturday, we got a bunch of people together (The Preps versus the Beards) and bowled at “The Gutter” in Greenpoint.  Good beer, bad lanes.  Zoe seemed happy.

WordPress is begging me to upgrade to Version 2.5.  Mostly I’m concerned with the really poor speed of this blog, and I think it’s due in part to the database and Dreamhost, but I’m not sure.  There is some extended Google Apps functionality that might be good too.  The MSN Live Search doesn’t even list this blog.  But I am now the number one “Mark Beattie”on Yahoo Search. So that is sweet.  Maybe some more bouldering at Cat Rock this afternoon?  The sun is shining, 46 degrees.

Candy Factory