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Old 07-08-18, 12:36 PM
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Radical Rick
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I recently sent off a sample to get tested. I'm awaiting its return.

It seems like most people around here could care less about the water situation. Its full of fertilizer, fracking, and oilfield runoff. The city indicates levels near max threshold. Some speculate this data originates from specific samples designed to be within limits. In last years report cyanide was above maximum limits. They indicated this was a result of decomposing fertilizer runoff. The problem is no one really seems to care. I guess that's the west Texas mentality, or oilfield culture. Ive heard people around here talking about how they could care less about the environment, and do what they can to pollute it. No bs. Lots of people around here are also known to just drain there engine oil right on the ground. People around here like removing there catalytic converters for whatever stupid reason, and half the cars stink to the high heavens when driving around. No emissions testing, and many inspectors fail to care. I'm not sure if its mass ignorance, or if they've all been drinking their water too long. Everyone around here also complains about living in a crap hole, but its the people complaining who made it the way it is. I just don't get it, and I quit trying to care. You cant make this stuff up, and it really sickens me. I can't wait to graduate and move out of this place.

I'm beginning to feel the pride of traveling by bike once again. Using my bike for carrying groceries that's the best. Actually working for it.

Any monkey with a foot can push a gas pedal in a car. I used to think drag racing and stuff was cool. I still like the idea of going fast, well at least the thrill of acceleration. Going fast is all the same it doesn't matter what your going fast in. Just pushing an accelerator pedal to the floor takes no skill whatsoever. There is no connection with the road. The fact is, when biking, I become one with the road, and the world around me.
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Old 07-08-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Radical Rick View Post
I recently sent off a sample to get tested. I'm awaiting its return.


It seems like most people around here could care less about the water situation. Its full of fertilizer, fracking, and oilfield runoff. The city indicates levels near max threshold. Some speculate this data originates from specific samples designed to be within limits. In last years report cyanide was above maximum limits. They indicated this was a result of decomposing fertilizer runoff. The problem is no one really seems to care. I guess that's the west Texas mentality, or oilfield culture. Ive heard people around here talking about how they could care less about the environment, and do what they can to pollute it. No bs. Lots of people around here are also known to just drain there engine oil right on the ground. People around here like removing there catalytic converters for whatever stupid reason, and half the cars stink to the high heavens when driving around. No emissions testing, and many inspectors fail to care. I'm not sure if its mass ignorance, or if they've all been drinking their water too long. Everyone around here also complains about living in a crap hole, but its the people complaining who made it the way it is. I just don't get it, and I quit trying to care. You cant make this stuff up, and it really sickens me. I can't wait to graduate and move out of this place.


I'm beginning to feel the pride of traveling by bike once again. Using my bike for carrying groceries that's the best. Actually working for it.


Any monkey with a foot can push a gas pedal in a car. I used to think drag racing and stuff was cool. I still like the idea of going fast, well at least the thrill of acceleration. Going fast is all the same it doesn't matter what your going fast in. Just pushing an accelerator pedal to the floor takes no skill whatsoever. There is no connection with the road. The fact is, when biking, I become one with the road, and the world around me.

I believe this apathy is a symptom of voter disenfranchisement. Texas politicians have figured out an obvious truth; less voter participation is instrumental in maintaining the status quo and that status quo has been VERY good to them. If clean drinking water and environmental protections are important to you, I'm sure there are people all around you who agree but don't believe the changes are possible, and they may be right... But it's not like political dissidents are being rounded up and sent to re-education camps (yet), so there's no harm in openly advocating for representatives who align with your desire for a more citizen friendly city who will protect and not degrade those they serve. The least you can do is vote, every election.


As a commuter, I reap the benefits of bike lanes and bike friendly infrastructure in the city I live. How do these bike lanes get there? Well it's not random do-gooders out there with buckets of white paint, it's the citizenry voting up or down bond issues that get these things done with the taxes we ALL contribute. So again, not to put too fine a point on it, if these issues are important to you the LEAST you can do is VOTE.
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Old 07-08-18, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Radical Rick View Post
I recently sent off a sample to get tested. I'm awaiting its return.

It seems like most people around here could care less about the water situation. Its full of fertilizer, fracking, and oilfield runoff. The city indicates levels near max threshold. Some speculate this data originates from specific samples designed to be within limits. In last years report cyanide was above maximum limits. They indicated this was a result of decomposing fertilizer runoff. The problem is no one really seems to care. I guess that's the west Texas mentality, or oilfield culture. Ive heard people around here talking about how they could care less about the environment, and do what they can to pollute it. No bs. Lots of people around here are also known to just drain there engine oil right on the ground. People around here like removing there catalytic converters for whatever stupid reason, and half the cars stink to the high heavens when driving around. No emissions testing, and many inspectors fail to care. I'm not sure if its mass ignorance, or if they've all been drinking their water too long. Everyone around here also complains about living in a crap hole, but its the people complaining who made it the way it is. I just don't get it, and I quit trying to care. You cant make this stuff up, and it really sickens me. I can't wait to graduate and move out of this place.
I work for a water utility and I can't tell you how closely scrutinized water quality is here. https://city.milwaukee.gov/water/Wat...y#.W0J2wujwbrc
https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations
It appears to be a Texas thing.
https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01...d-rural-areas/
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Old 07-08-18, 05:22 PM
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I should have mentioned the trick you discovered, but you got it. I didn't even notice I do that, which is to use a basket in the store instead of a cart.

Gatorade and the like are good if you're doing a long athletic effort such as a long bike ride. If you're not, then it's junk food. I do drink Gatorade on long rides. And it does help.

And yes, crushable stuff on top. Peaches are very delicate, as is most fruit but not apples.
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Old 07-09-18, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I work for a water utility and I can't tell you how closely scrutinized water quality is here. https://city.milwaukee.gov/water/Wat...y#.W0J2wujwbrc
https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations
It appears to be a Texas thing.
https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01...d-rural-areas/
TBF, there are a lot of problems comparing Milwaukee to west Texas, starting with a population composed of more than miners and their supporting fast food and hotels, the proximity of Lake Michigan and a zillion factory breweries
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Old 07-09-18, 08:04 PM
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Ya. I know how bike friendly Austin is. That's my hometown, born and raised. Growing up, I used to ride throughout the entire city, like a giant playground. Night rides around UT were the best. I just cant believe how much its grown in the last five or so years. Its incredible how much a place can change so fast. Even since starting school, every time I visit, there's a new high rise, or giant apartment complex. Cool stuff that used to be there is no longer there. Its kind of sad really.

Today I managed to piece together a temporary long distance commuter. I found a heap of a bike tossed in the trash near my house. The bike has been sitting so long the tires had fallen off the rims. The bike is a Kent hard-tail mountain bike 6061 aluminum, wally world special. It had these funky thick aluminum rims that require extra long valve-stem tubes, and a cheapo disk brake setup. I swapped out the forks to fit a regular rim up front, and swapped in a matching rear wheel. I cleaned and greased everything, and its all ready to go. I managed to build a completely free bike. I may try to find some tubes so I can use the rims that came with it. This find really made my day. Now I have a bike suitable for hauling stuff, more than I can fit in my pack.

If I can find the time I may attempt to fabricate a rear rack. I have access to a scrap bin full of aircraft grade aluminum tubing, and alclad plate. I just need inspiration for the design of it.
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Old 07-09-18, 09:34 PM
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@Radical Rick, where are you now? I'm sure I'd like to see Austin and probably a few other parts of Texas. I've only ever passed through.
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Old 07-10-18, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Radical Rick View Post
Ya. I know how bike friendly Austin is. That's my hometown, born and raised. Growing up, I used to ride throughout the entire city, like a giant playground. Night rides around UT were the best. I just cant believe how much its grown in the last five or so years. Its incredible how much a place can change so fast. Even since starting school, every time I visit, there's a new high rise, or giant apartment complex. Cool stuff that used to be there is no longer there. Its kind of sad really.

Well, as merely a Texan native I can't claim to have seen Austin in the heyday that so many of the "born here" folks so bitterly lament. Hell! After Dallas, Durham, Princeton and now Austin, it wins HANDS DOWN in MY experience.


Durham was pretty awesome, the Tobacco Trail is what started me down the cycling path years ago and so far it's the only place I've lived that I'd leave Austin for. New Jersey? Well my favorite parts of THAT place were Philadelphia (yeah-yeah, a REAL s-hole, RIIIIIGHT? Not to me!) and New York, everything else in between? Fuhgeddaboudit...


I've been living in Austin for about 7 years, and the wife and I run a B&B on the side that's been VERY productive. However, she's wearing thin on the Austin experience as well so I suppose our days here a numbered after all... But I'll be sad to leave it, even if some of my "new to you, old to me" places get swept away by the ocean of money pouring into this place, change is hard...
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Old 07-10-18, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I work for a water utility and I can't tell you how closely scrutinized water quality is here. https://city.milwaukee.gov/water/Wat...y#.W0J2wujwbrc

https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations

It appears to be a Texas thing.

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01...d-rural-areas/
I read that with some interest since my school years were spent in West Texas and I spent some time at Texas Tech in the Lubbock area, also mentioned. From the 70's-80's You didn't drink the tapwater in most places unless you absolutely had to, and we always knew even back then that the mineral content was unhealthy, the high fluoride additives and inadequate processing almost as bad. "Hard water" to begin with, and a resistance against allocating the resources to truly deal with it.


That guy quoted, "the president of the Grassland Water Supply Corporation", is emblematic of "the Texas thing" that's been a problem for decades.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:17 AM
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Wow, I really have taken tap water for granted. It doesn't taste good in New Jersey, but it's OK, and people drink it. In New York, it's superb. People who visit and haven't heard about it are amazed.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, I really have taken tap water for granted. It doesn't taste good in New Jersey, but it's OK, and people drink it. In New York, it's superb. People who visit and haven't heard about it are amazed.
Yeah, NYC water is the ONLY water the wife will drink straight from the tap... It's rep for being the best tasting tap water is well earned.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:40 AM
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Our weekend house is in the upstate area where NYC's water comes from. Our well water there is also fantastic. We are blessed.

Our dog (RIP) liked to drink from muddy puddles there. I figure the minerals were good for her.
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Old 07-11-18, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, I really have taken tap water for granted. It doesn't taste good in New Jersey, but it's OK, and people drink it. In New York, it's superb. People who visit and haven't heard about it are amazed.
One of the reasons why New York pizza is so good is the water that goes into the making of the dough, NY & LI mom and pop neighborhood Italian restaurants are the best anywhere, I Love NY.
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Old 07-12-18, 01:41 PM
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I will have to take your word for it. I've never been to NY. I would like to see that place some day. I guess when I do make it up there I don't have to worry about water.

I know I will get some kind of hell for saying this, but I would like to try my hand at being a bike messenger, at least for a day or something. I don't know why, its just something I've wanted to do for a while now. I couldn't do it on a fixie though. I just don't understand how people can ride those. I've never tried to ride one, and to me it seems physically impossible. How do their legs ever get a rest? It seems like those bikes would tear up a persons knees real fast like. I don't get it because if your going down hill do you keep pedaling real fast, or do you relax your legs? They just don't seem practical for long distances.
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Old 07-14-18, 03:01 PM
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Everything except real squishy items in a knapsack. Bread and other delicates swinging in a second bag from the knapsack. Been doing it this way for years.
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Old 07-15-18, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Radical Rick View Post
I will have to take your word for it. I've never been to NY. I would like to see that place some day. I guess when I do make it up there I don't have to worry about water.

I know I will get some kind of hell for saying this, but I would like to try my hand at being a bike messenger, at least for a day or something. I don't know why, its just something I've wanted to do for a while now. I couldn't do it on a fixie though. I just don't understand how people can ride those. I've never tried to ride one, and to me it seems physically impossible. How do their legs ever get a rest? It seems like those bikes would tear up a persons knees real fast like. I don't get it because if your going down hill do you keep pedaling real fast, or do you relax your legs? They just don't seem practical for long distances.
Give me the word when you're on the way up here. Depending on space, we might be able to put you up, and if not, I can certainly show you around. I'll give you a bike tour of the city. I can even loan you one of my fixies. I have two! I don't even ride fixed often.

Bike messenger work does have a mystique, and I think about it. It looks very hard to me, and the pay is total crap. Too many of those guys ride fixed with no brake, though it is becoming out of fashion, thank goodness. The new crop of couriers are Latin American, and they're short. They take mountain bikes and re-equip them with light and narrow racing wheels, because those bikes fit them better. Sometimes I fantacize about being a professional cyclist (such as courier), but it's a very hard life. We get winter here, and most of them don't quit. I've seen them ride in snow that doesn't even let a bike roll through. They get off and on, as conditions permit.

Riding fixed is not as hard as you think. You might understand why people like it, even if you decide you don't. There are some nice things about it. You control your speed more finely, and in winter, the constant motion keeps you warm. Yes you do pedal fast downhill, and you don't see many people riding fixed on big hills. It is a workout, and the longest ride I've ridden fixed is ten miles. That was enough for me, but some people do long distances.
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Old 07-15-18, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Radical Rick View Post
I will have to take your word for it. I've never been to NY. I would like to see that place some day. I guess when I do make it up there I don't have to worry about water.

I know I will get some kind of hell for saying this, but I would like to try my hand at being a bike messenger, at least for a day or something. I don't know why, its just something I've wanted to do for a while now. I couldn't do it on a fixie though. I just don't understand how people can ride those. I've never tried to ride one, and to me it seems physically impossible. How do their legs ever get a rest? It seems like those bikes would tear up a persons knees real fast like. I don't get it because if your going down hill do you keep pedaling real fast, or do you relax your legs? They just don't seem practical for long distances.
I used to messenger. It got to be a pain after 9/11 because it made access to a lot of buildings very time consuming. Didn't make nearly as much as before.

If you want to try it for a few days just work for Foodora or SkipTheDishes or what have you. Anyone can do it. Usually you just have to buy the bag($50 or so). I'm not sure where you live but if it's a good sized city then it'll be no problem. You could ride weekends or evenings to get a taste of what it's like. Then sell the bag on Kijiji when you've had your fill.
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