This past Sunday night, I received an email from a local cycling clown named Kevin (last name withheld for his privacy) who once owned the domain name www.ChurchOfCycling.org™ which I bought back in 2015 from GoDaddy.com. He intimated that he was going to sue me for trademark violation for my use of the phrase "church of cycling" in this Weebly site's former title, "Father Dan's Church of Cycling." That's a little ridiculous. The phrase "church of cycling" was in use before his disappointing life began, along with hundreds of variations on the idea that riding a bike might be better for the soul than driving to church. (See the "About" page of this site for several examples.) But Kevin figures that since he printed it on a jersey once upon a time, nobody else can even whisper it. I don't know much about trademark law, but I doubt that Kevin should permanently, exclusively own rights to use a phrase that had previously been part of the vernacular of a sport or hobby just because he printed it on clothing and sold it to others (especially if he didn't report the income of those sales to the IRS).
Sadly, some people think the world revolves around them and they aren't necessarily reasonable. Kevin the Klown™ also claimed that I "stole" the www.ChurchOfCycling.org domain. I don't know how to steal a domain and I have no interest in doing so. I purchased www.ChurchOfCycling.org on the open market via legitimate means from the largest domain registry in the country (www.GoDaddy.com) long before he contacted me with his whiny complaint. The domain was clearly abandoned. I've owned and subsequently abandoned or sold lots of domain names in the past. I have enough moral fiber to keep me from threatening the new domain owners with lawsuits.
Whatever. You can't argue with crazy, and I like to sleep well at night. So I try to keep virtual strangers with mental illness—especially those outside of my extended family who aren't willing to seek professional help—out of my daily life. When I was telling this story to someone who knows Kevin fairly well, that person said that Kevin might be bipolar. If so, I'm sorry about that, but I also can't fix that. So, call me "chicken" for giving up on using "Father Dan's Church of Cycling" so easily, but but this is just a blog that hardly anybody reads, and life is too short for unnecessary conflict.
An attorney friend told me that many trademark lawsuits are just attempts at extortion. Maybe Kevin just needs the money to pay alimony. And maybe I could successfully defend against this flimsy trademark claim. But one of my attorneys pointed out that it could be an empty victory for me if this litigious clown can't afford the court's order to pay my legal fees, which could grow to tens of thousands of dollars. All right then. Over the name of a bicycling blog? No thanks.
Bottom line: I'm happy to change the name if it keeps this pathetic man-boy out of my life, free to stew in his own bad juju. So here we are, successfully moved from a church to a chapel of cycling at Father Dan's Bike Chapel™ on Weebly and at www.BikeChapel.com™...yet another old cycling expression in a domain name. 🚴 Yay!
Smile & wave.
I'm off to Tuscany this September! One of my SDBC cycling buddies has committed, what about you? This is cycling heaven...Tuscany with fall colors, perfect roads, great weather (at least last time when my wife and I went in 2014), and Giro winner Andy Hampsten feeding us and showing us around the hills and dales of the northwest coastal area (Castagneto Carducci) of Italy. This is the "Cooking & Cycling Tour" run by Andy and his darling wife Elaine. They are great hosts and you are bound to enjoy it whether you ride or not. If you like learning more about wine, olive oil, pro cycling or just enjoy a peaceful place to read, this is your tour. See www.Cinghiale.com for more info.
Here are pictures from the last Cinghiale tour I went on.
How could I NOT squeeze out a blog entry after riding around our third and final grand tour? This marked completion of a crucial bucket list entry: Experience the Tour (2010), the Giro (2009), and (finally) la Vuelta! Here are photos from our short, fun trip to Costa Blanca on our way to Prague. The highest-placed American in the race was Andrew Talansky (in 5th place, right behind Alberto Contador), and our small tour group happened to include Andrew's dad, Alan.
The Tour de France is the bike race everyone knows about, but I love the greater accessibility of the Giro and the Vuelta. As you can see in the photos, we were able to ride the entire individual time trial route while the pros did their warmup/reconnaissance lap of 37 km. How fun to be passed on the course by Alejandro Valverde & ultimate race winner Nairo Quintana at around the 9 km mark giving us time to yell encouragement in our stunted español.
We felt blessed to be touring with such a nice, small group of people. (The caption above is wrong. There was never any pushing or arguing.) This brief trip, economically made possible by Sports Tours International of the UK, was a true vacation packed into just a few days in a part of Spain I'd never been to before. Even after a week off the bike, those climbing days in Spain seemed to add pep to my ride, based on how strong I felt during yesterday's club ride.
Where to next???
Once again I wonder if I'm at all capable of "doing a blog." It's been over a month since my last entry, and rather than writing my own blog entry, I'll share the writing of someone who is much more creative and entertaining than I am.
If you've ever had to try to explain anything about bike racing to anyone, you will really appreciate this commentary on racing and why almost all bike racers—by necessity—are LOSERS.
It's nice to see articles in local papers recently about how "bike friendly" San Diego is. One of the La Jolla newspapers recently conducted a survey asking how "bike friendly" La Jolla is. The vast majority said that La Jolla is NOT bike friendly, and I agree with them. Several major intersections completely disregard any accommodation for cyclists. Most drivers aren't savvy enough to know how to work around a cyclist that is in "their" lane.
Examples include (1) southbound North Torrey Pines Road, right at UCSD where the bike lane disappears to make room for the right-turn lane onto La Jolla Shores Drive, and (2) southbound Torrey Pines Road, where the same thing happens again when the right turn lane to Prospect helps distracted, impatient motorists (many of them clueless tourists) try to make cyclists struggling up that climb feel like they have no right to the road.
The fact of the matter is that cyclists do have every right to the road, so "get off the road" is about the stupidest thing a driver can say, but that doesn't stop drivers from saying so. I'm not paying any less city, county, or state taxes when I'm using my bike for transportation or exercise and I'm probably paying a lot more taxes than the clueless clown yelling that favorite phrase (so...STFU, clown!).
Anyway, hopefully cyclist mayor Faulconer and cyclist chief of San Diego police Shelley Zimmerman can work on improving San Diego's safety and the highly-correlated "bike friendliness" of America's Finest City while also enforcing California's 3-foot rule. (Any tickets written yet?) And if worse comes to worst, nothing wakes up a bad/distracted driver like a good old-fashioned lawsuit. In case you need to take that path, I recently found Mike Bomberger. He's a personal injury lawyer who has helped many cyclists and pedestrians fight back against abusive, negligent drivers. Unlike one or two other "cycling advocate" lawyers, Mike doesn't also defend those accused of DUI. I'm not saying those arrested for DUI don't deserve legal counsel, I'm just profoundly disturbed by anyone who can make that part of their work while also allegedly looking out for cyclists. (Sober drivers are bad enough!)
Here's Mike's web site in case you're a cyclist who has been injured by someone's negligent driving.
The Amgen Tour of California (TOC) began here in San Diego exactly two weeks after a water heater busted open in our duplex, flooding two floors and driving me (and a not-so-calm tenant) to our wits' end during the flood remediation and mold-testing processes. What better reason to get out and ride? When tensions rise, our mileage on the bike must, too. It's the only way I can get a half-decent sleep when I'm worried about losing my shirt in a retirement gig that I thought would pay for groceries and more. It wasn't until 3 weeks after the flood (and an "all-clear" mold test result) that I got more than 5 hours of sleep all month.
We're off to the races... The TOC was better than ever. ASO—the organization that puts on the Tour de France—is now involved in the production of the TOC with AEG, another powerful sports promotion company that has carried the TOC for years. This arrangement is very promising for the future of this race. I'm sure ASO is ecstatic that a Frenchman won the race for the first time, too. I hope the race organizers liked how San Diego (a city with a mayor and a chief of police who are both avid cyclists!) handled the challenge of being the start and finish city for the first stage of the race in one big day.
We started out in the pouring rain yesterday, and I missed the CAT 5 race, but then the sun came out on the 20th annual edition of San Diego's Barrio Logan Grand Prix. Racers from age 3 to 70+ (including some professional racers) came out to test their strength and stamina. La Jolla Vélo gave a $50 cash prize to each of the ten Juniors race winners.
Here is the link to my album on flickr. Enjoy!
Based on my lightning-fast posting of three entries in this Weebly blog in less than a couple weeks, my blogging frequency has multiplied by many orders of magnitude. I think I posted a new entry in my old blog about once every 18 months on average. But I'm posting the link here so I can remember where had it. Plus, I'm sure I wrote some stuff I've surely forgotten. Whether it was useful or not is another question.
If you have ANY interest in professional cycling and are anywhere near San Diego on May 15th, you must find a place on the course to watch stage 1 of this year's Tour of California (TOC). The TOC draws the best cyclists in the world to get their racing legs geared up for the Tour de France. The TOC is California's largest sporting event, with millions of fans showing up along the route during this weeklong race. San Diego has an extra-special place in this year's race for two reasons: It's the opening city, plus the stage starts AND finishes here...a rare event, indeed. Here are photos from a stage at the 2012 TOC where I was joined by my son Mickey, nephew James, and James' girlfriend Mary Ellen.
Find your way to the PB/Mission Beach area for a place to watch the start and finish. For more info, visit the official site: http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. See you there!