New beginnings

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2012 by jmadams13

After a long hiatus, I will be reinstalling the blog. A lot has changed in my life past two years, and so has the way I look at life as a whole. Just keep checking back, I’ll be very active in the near future.

So for now, Cheers and goodnight


Life in a bundle…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2010 by jmadams13

Its been a crazy few weeks, and not having internet access at home has made it difficult to make a true entry.  I have a few in the head, and when I have the time to site and write, I will get them out here.  I just thought I’d like to share a few things going on…  Read Walden again.  I can almost read that book with my eyes closed.  I used to read it every summer, but its been a few years since the last time, so it was like reading it all over again.  Wonderful!  Started reading ‘The Future of Life’ by Edward O. Wilson.  Not gonna go into it now, as I just started last night, but lets just say it very interesting.

Also playing with the idea of a wooden crate for the front of the bike, and a utility/city bike for Aimee.  As well as a few changes to the Surly.

Sorry for the lack of a true post, and I leave you with this:

‎”in the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy”   John C. Sawhill

judgment day

Posted in Bicycles, Ramblings on June 28, 2010 by jmadams13

Stuff, stuff, stuff, things… One of the things that constantly plays on my mind and emotions is the the need to judge one another on the the materials and ‘things’ we own, will own, or even to an extent, what we want to own. Notice I say own, not have. Own in the since that there is a monetary value. I have many things in my life, but not all has monetary value. You cannot place value on happiness, love, family, and joy.

One example that stands out the most is transportation. What you drive, how far you drive it, and how much it costs for your preferred mode of transportation. A common question I receive is almost word for word “your ride a bike to work and for errands… can you not afford a car?” Depending on the person, as if I can tell if they will be able to have a semi intelligent conversation or not, my normal response is “you think I’m poor because I have made the CHOICE to go by bicycle…” Or something of the like. If I feel they will just continue to judge me, I will say something like “yup, too poor, you must feel better now, pointing out that I travel by different means.” This normally gets people tongue tied and I leave with the satisfaction that I will get exercise and be able to enjoy nature a little more because of the choice I have made.

I am not saying I am a argumentative person, or have a ego complex or feel superior than anyone because of the choices I make in my life, I just feel its disgusting to judge someone based on what they drive, or don’t drive. Most of the time, my comments start a conversation and discussion on why I have made this choice, and most of the time, I feel I have been able to educate someone on bicycle advocacy and safety regarding automobiles and bicycles sharing the same streets, as in my town bike lanes and for the most part, even shoulders are non-existant.

Regardless of why we commute by bike, or even use the bicycle as the main mode of transportation, either by choice or by necessity due to financial situations, why should anyone judge a persons situation or reasonings just by the image of us on a bicycle for something other than for recreation. As an example, I have a friend who has a very well paying job, three automobiles, including two $40k BMW’s, who commutes to his job on a bike that cost him around $100. Should we assume he is rich when he is in his car, and poor when he is on his bike, or makes less then me because the bike I use for 95% of my transportation needs (not only commuting, but all needs) costs closer to $2,000? Should we assume that I make more than him, or that I’m only kinda poor, but he is really poor? I think not. By the way, and not that it matters, just proves a point, he makes much more than me. What matters is that he make a choice, either for personal reasons, or by necessity. That choice was his, and only his.

The public sees a bicycle as transportation for the destitute. I think its time we change that. Our choices are our choices, and they really only matter to us. Coffee Shop Dan I call him, a local bicycle commuter has a decent job, even owns his own company, commutes by bike. I don’t know his financial situation, why he rides what he rides, or why he rides at all besides he says he enjoys it. My point? The only way I “judge” him, and I use that very loosely, is that he is riding his bike, and not driving his car the 2 miles to the coffee shop, like many many others do. I do not judge them either for driving, but if they ask me why I ride, I hope they listen. If one person listens, that is maybe, just maybe, one more person that will consider using a different mode of transportation. Even if just for a short errand for the morning paper, grocery store, ect… Those are the baby steps, that one day for some will turn to a jog, then to a run. If I have educated just one person, then I have done my job, as the next time they see a cyclist, hopefully there will be no judgments passed.

A minimalist approach in the kitchen

Posted in fosters, Ramblings with tags , on June 26, 2010 by jmadams13

Notice I didn’t say food, or cooking. That is a different conversation and practice all together I will go into in another time. This discussion, is regarding the tools used. Lets say for the sake of simplicity, in our kitchen is a oven, range, microwave, and a toaster oven. With these four cooking devices and the items listed below, most any items can be cooked. I will also not go into the “eating” utensils, including bowls, plates, flatware and drinking vessels. All of these items should be in any kitchen, and are the perfect example of multi-use items.

The tool list is as follows:

2 qt Stainless Steel pot and lid

10″ Cast Iron pan

10″ Chef knife

5″ paring knife (can also be used when eating, another amazing multi-use item)

Wooden Spoon

Metal Spatula

7″ Spring Loaded Tongs

5″ Stainless Steel sauce pan

10 qt Stainless Steel stock pot with lid

Stainless Steel colander

Stoneware roasting pan

8″ whisk

One argument I get is mixing has to be done in a large mixing bowl. This can be done in a serving bowl, again a multi-use item found in most kitchens.

With these simple items, most any item can be prepared and served. Eating forks and spoons can be used in the preparation. With these few items in the kitchen, food in itself will become simpler.

Simple food can be just as good, if not better than the more complex recipes. Take the “Escoffier,” 75% of these have less than 5 ingredients, including spices, and almost always salt. Its about the method, preparations, and “chemistry” involved.

This is the first part in a multi part series on my views on food, eating, and living. Stay tuned for more…

I’m all smiles…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 by jmadams13

… and the reason?  My commute home.  Took the “long” way home to enjoy the late spring weather.  Took a few detours, chatted with some friends, and ate some wild mulberries.  I’m still all smiles, and it keeps getting better.

Pit stop at Merlins for a cup off black gold (Shakespeare’s Blend on tap for today,) and enjoy a conversation with an interesting couple who are riding the east coast on a tandem.  They didn’t want their picture taken, so I took a beauty shot of the bike instead

Ended up riding the Hanover trolly line trail.  There is only 1 1/2 miles constructed so far, but is on its way to being something great and enjoyable.

The more I ride my bike, the more I love it.  Can you tell?

Spotted a Mulberry tree on the way in this morning, and stopped for a snack.  On the way back I returned with a ziplock, so I can enjoy more, and share them with Aimee.  Just the right ripeness, and tasty as can be.

And what to do with my newly harvested bounty?  Lean on a fence and enjoy the surroundings.

And what is the result of a commute like this you say?  A huge smile and slightly sticky pedals.

Please excuse the purple teeth, one other side effect of a free roadside harvest.

Its days like this that make me remember why I chose to go by bike, and to take it slow.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, and a speedy non-stop lifestyle makes you forget what matters

the 20’s

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 by jmadams13

These ten items will focus on entertainment or pleasure.  Something that I feel we need to be truly happy.  The necessities in life are a given.  These are items that I choose solely for personal reasons.  For an explanation, feel free to comment and I will respond.

21. )  Barska 10x42mm binoculars, and soft case

22.)  1tb external HDD filled with my favorite movies.  List is too large to list, but I promise, there are many

23.)  Orion Apex 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope, case, and tripod

24.)  Tele Vue Nagler eyepiece set and case

25.)  Canon S220

26.) WWII compass.  Stainless steel, with natural steel needle, alcohol filled

27.) Garmin eTrex Vista HCx, for trail navigation and geocaching

28.)  ETON emergency radio

29.)  Cobra CB Radio, with 12V rechargeable battery and Antenna

30.)  Rubik’s Cube

education of the local PD

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 by jmadams13

Copied from HERE

From now on I will be carrying copies of the laws to hand out to the local PD when I get stopped for something that is clearly stated as NOT ILLEGAL

Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes contains the laws which govern the operation of vehicles on Pennsylvania roads.

In Pennsylvania, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and, as such, is governed by a general set of rules (common to all vehicles) and a specific set of rules (designed for bicycles). The following annotated list provides all of the important sections of the Vehicle Code which a Pennsylvania bicyclist should know. Keep in mind that the laws themselves often describe only what a bicyclist is required to do, not how to do it. This manual addresses how to bicycle safely and efficiently by following the rules of the road.


Section 3336. Method of giving hand and arm signals.
All signals given by hand and arm shall be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner except as indicated for pedalcycles and motorcycles and the signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) For a left turn, the hand and arm shall be extended horizontally.
(2) For a right turn, the left hand and arm shall be extended upward, except that the operators of motorcycles and pedalcycles may also be permitted to signal a right turn by extending the right hand and arm horizontally.
(3) To stop or decrease speed, the left hand and arm shall be extended downward.

Subchapter A – Operation of Pedalcycles (Bicycles)

Section 3501. Applicability of traffic laws to pedalcycles.
(a) General rule. — Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.

(b) Application of subchapter. — The provisions of this subchapter apply whenever a pedalcycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles subject to the exceptions stated in subsection (a).

Comment: Bicycles are considered vehicles under Pennsylvania Laws and must obey all the rules of the road which apply to vehicles. These are the “responsibilities” mentioned above. The “rights” refer to the roadway space required to operate the bicycle in a safe, lawful manner.

Section 3502. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
Any person violating any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $10.

Section 3503. Responsibility of parent or guardian.
The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this title relating to the operation of pedalcycles.

Section 3504. Riding on pedalcycles.
(a) Use of seat by operator. — A person propelling a pedalcycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the pedalcycle.

(b) Number of riders. — No pedalcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which the pedalcycle is designed and equipped, except that an adult rider may transport a child in a pedalcycle or in a child carrier which is securely attached to the pedalcycle or in a trailer which is towed by a pedalcycle.

Section 3505.
(a) General rule. — Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), every person operating a pedalcycle upon a highway shall obey the applicable rules of the road as contained in this title.

Comment: This statement reiterates the necessity for cyclists to conform to the expectations of other road users in order to ensure the safety of all.

(b) Operation on shoulder. — A pedalcycle may be operated on the shoulder of a highway and shall be operated in the same direction as required of vehicles operated on the roadway.

Comment: A bicycle may be operated on either a shoulder or on the roadway (the travel lanes). The locations will be based upon traffic volume, the physical condition of the travel lanes or the shoulder, traffic speed, the bicyclist’s intended direction, and other safety factors.

(c) Slower than prevailing speeds.— A pedalcycle operated at slower than prevailing speed shall be operated in accordance with the provisions of Section 3301(b), unless it is unsafe to do so.

[3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway. This subsection does not apply to a driver who must necessarily drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his intended route.]

Comment: Taken together, 3505 (c) and 3301 (b) state that slower vehicles should keep to the right, which is the normal expectation of all road users, while permitting bicyclists to make movements consistent with their intended route.

(d) One-way roadways. — Any person operating a pedalcycle upon a roadway, which carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

Comment: Bicycles may ride in the left lane of a one-way street which contains two or more lanes. However, this does not apply to pedalcyclists on freeways. See Section 3511(d), below.

(e) Limitation on riding abreast. — Persons riding pedalcycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles.

Section 3506.
No person operating a pedalcycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

Section 3507. Lamps or other equipment on pedalcycles.
(a) Lamps and reflectors. — Every pedalcycle when in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped on the front with a lamp which emits a beam of white light intended to illuminate the pedalcycle operator’s path and visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front, a red reflector facing to the rear which shall be visible at least 500 feet to the rear, and an amber reflector on each side. Operators of pedalcycles may supplement the required front lamp with a white flashing lamp, light-emitting diode or similar device to enhance their visibility to other traffic and with a lamp emitting a red flashing lamp, light emitting diode or similar device visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. A lamp or lamps worn by the operator of a pedalcycle shall comply with the requirements of this subsection if the lamp or lamps can be seen at the distances specified.

Comment: Many car-bike crashes occur at night and involve a poorly illuminated bicyclist. Bicyclists should understand that headlamps serve two purposes: a) primarily, they advise other road users of their presence (vitally important to prevent unsuspecting motorists from cutting across the paths of cyclists they cannot even detect), b) secondarily, illuminate the bicyclist’s path.

(b) Audible signal devices. – A pedalcycle may be equipped with a device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet except that a pedalcycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a pedalcycle any siren.

(c) Brakes. – Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system which will stop the pedalcycle in 15 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles per hour on a dry, level and clean pavement.

Section 3508. Pedalcycles on sidewalks and pedalcycle paths.
(a) Right-of-way to pedestrians.– A person riding a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk or pedalcycle path used by pedestrians shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

(b) Business districts.– A person shall not ride a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk in a business district unless permitted by official traffic-control devices, nor when a usable pedalcycle-only lane has been provided adjacent to the sidewalk.

Section 3509. Parking.
(a) Sidewalks.
(1) A person may park a pedalcycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited or restricted by an official traffic-control device.
(2) A pedalcycle parked on a sidewalk shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.

(b) Roadways.
(1) A pedalcycle may be parked on the roadway at any angle to the curb or edge of the roadway at any location where parking is allowed.
(2) A pedalcycle may be parked on the roadway abreast of another pedalcycle or pedalcycles near the side of the roadway at any location where parking is allowed.
(3) A person shall not park a pedalcycle on a roadway in such a manner as to obstruct the movement of a legally parked motor vehicle.
(4) In all other respects, pedalcycles parked anywhere on a highway shall conform with the provisions of Subchapter E of Chapter 33 (relating to stopping, standing and parking).

Section 3510. Pedalcycle helmets for certain persons.
(a) General rule.— A person under 12 years of age shall not operate a pedalcycle or ride as a passenger on a pedalcycle unless the person is wearing a pedalcycle helmet meeting the standards of the AmericanStandards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standards for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling or any other nationally recognized standard for pedalcycle helmet approval. This subsection shall also apply to a person who rides:
(1) upon a pedalcycle while in a restraining seat attached to a pedalcycle; or
(2) in a trailer towed by a pedalcycle.

Comment: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation strongly recommends that all bicyclists wear approved helmets whenever they ride.

Section 3511. Pedalcycles prohibited on freeways.
(a) General rule.– No person shall ride a pedalcycle on a freeway.

(b) Exceptions.
(1) On State-designed freeways, pedalcycles may be authorized under the following limitations:

(i) The pedalcycler is 16 years of age or older and is accompanied by a pedalcycler 18 years of age or older.

(ii) A written request for review of the freeway route based on the potential unavailability of a reasonable alternate route is made to the department.

(iii) The department determines that no reasonable alternate route exists.

(iv) The department publishes a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin authorizing pedalcycle access to the freeway. The notice shall constitute approval for the persons authorized under subparagraph (i) to ride a pedalcycle on the State-designated freeway.

(c) Action by local authorities.– Action taken by local authorities regarding permission to use pedalcycles on freeways under their jurisdiction shall be:

(1) by ordinance of the local governing body; or
(2) by a commission or public official authorized to act on specified matters.

(d) Operation on shoulder.– – If the department authorizes pedalcycle access to a freeway, the pedalcycle shall be operated upon the shoulder of that freeway whenever practicable.

Comment: Bicycles may be permitted on freeways in Pennsylvania with permission of the Department. The applicant must submit a written request (form) to the Department for review. In addition, Section 3511(d) requires the bicycle to be ridden on the shoulder of the freeway.