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Ben Folsom
Works at Bike Commuter Cabal
Attended University of Virginia
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Ben Folsom

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If you have even a small capacity to comprehend and follow an argument, you will laugh at how poorly this guy makes one.

Bottom line: We took gluten out of our diet. The missus and the kids demonstrated physical and mental improvement immediately. So it does not really matter if it is actually based in physiology or not.
Amid the rise of the fall out of gluten, there is a growing sense, largely from those who are actually studying the physiological effects of the protein, that people are being a little ridiculous.
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I got as far as "People with undiagnosed celiac can often present many of the same symptoms that are associated with autism" and then had to stop.

What is it with 'Muricans and autism? If it's not vaccinations for curable diseases then it's gluten?!

I believe what the author is trying to allude to is a very narrow study that noticed excess or abnormal peptides in the urine of children expressing behaviour typical of ASD. The thinking was that they weren't digesting or processing food "correctly" and therefore autism =gluten intolerance. The majority of research in this area is anecdotal and studies have been only on a very small scale.
I may have mucuus leaking out my ass, have excruciating cramps, explosive wind, terrible skin condition and be irreversible damage to my intestines, but at no point has anyone suggested it might be autism.

I suppose I better finish reading the article now... 
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Ben Folsom

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Separation breeds contempt

I have long held a belief, predating my rediscovery of the bicycle, that the implied anonymity of driving a motor vehicle yields in a certain type an impunity of action; that no matter what happens, I am safe in my car and will never see that person ever again.

It is what leads to people that are otherwise perfectly pleasant and reasonable engaging in dangerous or rage-fueled behavior on the road: Cutting off other drivers, jumping at stops or traffic lights, failing to permit others to merge, etc.

Think about it. Guy on the highway makes a dangerous merge, you get mad or frightened, then he is gone. It is not like you are going to stalk him on the road, because, well, then you're the crazy one.

And envision those strange anonymous behaviors outside the car. What would happen in the supermarket if another shopper pushing a cart just zipped to the head of the queue and tried to nose in front of you without making eye contact? Would you permit it? No you would not, you would say, Excuse me there is a line and then you would wait for the social pressure of other shoppers or market staff to induce the cutter to get to the back of the queue.

In a moving vehicle, insulated literally and figuratively from human interaction, there is no such social backstop. Anonymity is presumed and social consequences are generally nonexistent.

To illustrate, here is a scenario that happened to me and my boys last year:

We fixed Turbine A's bike with the Croozer trailer, grabbed the list and headed out to our neighborhood hardware store via the most direct route, a road I and the boys have no trouble riding, but is not a beginner-grade road ride.

Two-thirds the way there, and older gentleman in a vintage convertible (top helpfully down) passed us too closely. Non-trailer bike was in back, trailer bike in middle and I was leading. I hear Turbine A cry out, Dad! He's too close! As he passes me, I yell (as I often do) THREE FEET!

With his top down he nonchalantly says to me, This road is too dangerous for bikes, and drives off.

Another mile later, we get to the hardware store. And which car do we see in the lot? Yes, our friend in the convertible. The boys know exactly what is going to happen without my even telling them. I set my phone to record video and go into the store and find the guy. When I find him, we just stand there. He makes a weak attempt at a SMIDSY and then beats feet out of the store empty-handed.

So yeah, generations of removing human interactions have granted drivers a very real perception that there are no consequences to their actions inside a vehicle.

Now read the linked story. Last Sunday, a woman in Melbourne, Australia was participating in an organized charity ride. And a lady in a car bashed her way through a crowd of cyclists in the road, knocking the woman off her bike and onto the hood of the car. The woman's bike becomes lodged under the left front wheel. When the cellphone video picks up, the bike is already mangled and the car is surrounded by dismounted cyclists yelling at the driver to stop.

But nope, bolstered by her serene feelings of anonymity and immunity from consequence inside her vehicle, she simply pushes through the crowd and drives off, bike still wedged under the front end of the car. A kilometer later, police pulled her over, and she is expecting to face charges.

As long as governments and society do not recognize the toxic effects of car culture, nothing can change.
A MELBOURNE woman was participating in a charity bike ride on Sunday morning when she was allegedly struck by a car, which then dragged the mangled frame of her bike more than a kilometre before being pulled over by police.
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Sam C
 
+Dee Minor welcome to Southern California.... Those most cops don't enforce it.
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Ben Folsom

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I have built and rebuilt my bikes so many times in the last 5 years I couldn't even count how many distinct iterations I've gone through. A half dozen frames, different components, bars stems, wheels...

Just keep trying stuff until it works better is my method, and then keep tweaking as long as improvement is to be found with that. I haven't found the bottom yet myself. But I am very happy with what I've discovered and built so far. Next year, who knows? Maybe I'll want to build a custom frame, or have one built for me by a pro or Waterford.
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Raccoon Riders, tonight's ride is on. Details in link.
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Nice.
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Ben Folsom

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It's a Bike to School Thursday!

Typical pattern:

"Young Master, want to ride to school today?"

"No. Let's walk."

"We're riding."

"grrrrr"

[20 minutes later]

"Whoooooooooooooo"
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What's with this dismount bike, steep slope BS?
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Ben Folsom
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I have weathered gale-force winds, sheets of soaking, driving rain. Frigid temperatures, inches of snow and ice and stroke-inducing heat.

But never have I dealt with anything like the Flatpocalypse 2015. Three flats in three rides, and I still have to get home tonight.

I don't know if two tubes and 12 patches will get me there.

I love riding my bike to work.
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So far, I've gotten more flats from degredation of the tires and tubes than from anything picked up on a ride. ...then again, I'm not sure if Alabama dirt is just chemically reactive with bike tires or if tires just don't last long anywhere.
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Ben Folsom

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The joy I felt yesterday when I arrived home from my evening bike commute to find a package waiting, knowing what was inside, it was indescribable.

Sure, surprises are great and there is pleasure in getting a package and saying, hunh, I don't remember ordering anything. And then you open it and your heart is warm from the generosity of others, or maybe that eBay win from Poland that you forgot about finally goddamned arrived.

No, it is the joy of anticipation, like seeing the beautiful woman waiting for you at the bar, the seductive smile portending the evening's end. Or when you first split the top on the bag of chips, the smell of oil and potato just before the hand goes in the bag.

It's reinforcing, comforting, choice-affirming. Everything makes sense in that moment.

And so, as I opened the box this morning, knowing that there was a tire, a 32-622 Panasonic Panaracer Pasela PT for the Surly, my beloved commuter bike patiently awaiting the start of its fourth annual overhaul, an engineering work of art in the box, I opened the package slowly, with care, conserving the experience that will end gloriously when I mount the tire.

Finally the box is open. And I remove the tire, with care, respecting its beauty.

And it was shipped folded. It is not a folding bead tire. The bead is dead and the tire is unusable, even before I can savor another moment.

My needs were simple, my threshold of satisfaction low.

And now it's all ruined.
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I can't +1 this, even though I want to support the post. This is terrible.
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+Raccoon Riders Youth Cycling Club took to the neighborhood streets of Alexandria again tonight, a leisurely ten miles of conversation and skills-building.

Tonight's feature activities included a straight-line challenge to ride in the one handlebar-wide gap between a brick wall and a storage container, and 'riding the buses,' a cornering drill weaving through tight spaces between a dozen parked cheese wagons. We will do this drill every time we ride the middle school.

The Turbines came home and ate another three tacos each. 
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Hey random roadie, do you even ride, bro?
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Ben Folsom
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Going nowhere fast

Seems I am not the only one with a rash of flats, this is neighbor bike commuter (who is not on G+ no matter how hard I try), he was struck with two in two days, then had a third this morning in the first kilometer of the ride.

So this guy, he calls me for SAG, knowing I am teleworking, I goes and gets the guy and he's like WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH ALL THE FLATS BRO

Bring him back to my house, just in time for him to sit while I pedal Young Master to school, then come back and he has the wheel off and the bead pulled.

I ask him to line up the tube with the tire so we can see where the flat was and the guy, he gives me this look, like wut? He knows not about the rule to line up the tire label to the valve stem (or any other system you have easily to see where the puncture and the tire match up). I do it the old fashioned way and he has a very tiny shard of glass inside his tire. Get that out and patch the old tube while he puts a new tube in.

Wheel back on and off he goes, expressing gratitude the whole way.

I love riding my bike to work.
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I've skidded tons with 28mm GP 4 Seasons tires.  As in, straight line grip/no-grip repeating; not to be confused with slipping.  I don't think they're meant for cantilever brakes.

The Touring Plus tires on that bike now (what the shop had in stock) don't have the problem at all.
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I'm no +Marjolein Schat, that's for sure, but I can still rock the team BCC kit and Sidis.
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Y'all jelly.
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Eastbound Cyclist hit by motor vehicle heading in same direction on causeway between Miami and Miami Beach at 11pm on Monday night.

Force of collision throws cyclist into Biscayne Bay below. Cyclist dies.

Driver calls police, stays at scene, says she was 'trying to avoid another vehicle' and was 'swerving out of the way when she hit the cyclist.'

Causeway is three lanes in each direction, divided. Traffic is very fast, in fact the causeway is designated I-195. Google Maps tells me the Julia Tuttle Causeway has large shoulders, and a commenter in the story tells me there is paint on the shoulders designating them as bike lanes.

I am no CSI, but one road user trying to avoid a second road user and actually colliding with a third makes at least the first or second negligent, if not both. There is no mention of other witnesses, or evidence to corroborate or contradict the driver's story. There may be more to it, but doubtful that we will hear of it, especially if the cyclist, about whom there are no details, turns out to be a wage-class worker trundling over to a night shift on a BSO.

Bad luck like that doesn't just happen. The driver was almost certainly at fault, and now a man is dead.

Bonus for the usual 'you all deserve it' in comments.
Miami's dire record of fatal incidents involving cyclists added another deadly incident last night. A man on a bicycle crossing the Julia Tuttle Causewa...
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:-(
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Ben Folsom
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Getting Started  - 
 
Looking for a touring bike or a good all-rounder? Burlington, VT member's club is selling this pair of 2000 Trek 520 touring bikes, complete with racks and panniers, for $700 each. One is 52cm, one is 54cm.

Let me know of interested, I will put you in touch with facilitator.
Two Trek 520 Touring bicycles. Frame sizes 52 and 54 cm. Classic loaded touring set-ups purchased new in 2000 and ridden lightly. Features Shimano Deore LX rear derailleurs, Shimano 105 front...
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That's a good deal.
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Have him in circles
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  • Bike Commuter Cabal
    Bike Commuter, 2009 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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Married
Story
Tagline
Rules 5 and 9
Introduction
Bike commuter with a wide range of interests, including riding, fixing and restoring bicycles.
Education
  • University of Virginia
    Anthropology, Italian, 1987 - 1992
  • American University
    MBA, 1998 - 2000
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Ben Folsom's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Flash (TV Den)
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The Flash (Coming This Fall to The CW)

RydeSafe
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Born in Brooklyn, Made in America

COSMOSonTV
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The official Google+ for COSMOS.

Weather Underground
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The World's First Weather Website

Bike Garage
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Bicycle cleaning & bike maintenance tips to keep you cycling longer

BikemanforU
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Never Fear BikemanforU Is Here

Bike touring for the first time -- 2009 Finger Lakes Tour
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On this cold winter day, I can very well use some warm memories of the past, in this case from my first "real" bike tour. "Real" because whe

www.3LC.tv - Cycling Training Workout Videos, DVDs & Downloads
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www.3LC.tv -Cycling Training Workout DVDs & Video Downloads with Mark Cavendish & Pete Kennaugh

VeloInk
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VeloInk decals make your bike happy :)

Cycling Nirvana/BRIEFS
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There are many styles of bikes, types of cycling and reasons to ride... and they're all good!

I Wear Spandex
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Trying to fit into my cycling spandex. Losing weight with cycling, low carb, paleo, and anything else that works. Does beer work? Sharing it all on the blog.

Capital Weather Gang
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The inside scope on weather in the D.C. area and beyond

Grateful Dead Listening Guide
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Help navigating choices in the sea of Grateful Dead shows.