Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Place to Be Riding Your Velo!

Seeing this mountain velo on Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs, covered with snow and ice, and virtually immovable, makes me, well .... cold, and puts me in a bad mood.  Maybe the owner has a Plan 'B' while he waits out the storm?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grandpa Mark and his Littlest Avatar.

My brother-in-law Mark has a special reason to smile this Christmas season.

Mark's littlest avatar, Lulu, has grown a set of eyebrows, big schnoz, glasses and moustache just like her fave grandpa!

What a couple.

What a pic.

What a great Christmas,

don't you think?

Internet Kicks Movie Theatre's Butt.

Hometown movie theatre on Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs has closed its doors for good.

And what doors they are!  Especially the door handles.  Don't you think?

While the venue remains available for special rental and events, regular screenings, like the ones that informed and delighted generations of viewers in the Yampa Valley, seem to have fallen prey to the 24/7 news cycle, satellite TV, and the omnipresent Internet.

R.I.P. silver screen, Dolby Surround Sound,  and the best hot butter pop corn in Northwestern Colorado.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Velo Stud Buddy Rolls on Studded Rubber.

My Steamboat velo stud buddy, Ed DeGroff, told me last night that he rides his bike every day of the year. Yup. He said that.

"How do you keep from slipping and sliding,"  I asked?

"I've got studded snow tires on my mountain bike," Ed explained. "C'mon out to the garage and I'll show you what I mean."

So, I went to check these babies out.  I mean, they're better, safer and way-cooler than the tires most cars use these days.  The brand is European, the price is about one hundred bucks, per, and, as you can see, there is serious steel poking through the rubber tread.

Ed pedaled about five miles on Christmas. "Perfect snow and ice conditions," explains my velo stud buddy.

"Packed down snow like we've got in Steamboat now is ideal for the tires. They roll straight and true, and never slip from side to side."

"In loose snow, however," Ed rolls on, "you can easily take a tumble and never know what hit you!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nice Little Rockies Subdivision.

Now here's a fancy Christmas present for your road trippers.

If you hang a right off River Road and proceed up Elk Lane about three miles, you'll come to a resting point with the most remarkable view of the Yampa Valley, Steamboat Springs, and, indeed, the entire Northwest Sector of Colorado.

It all starts w/Steamboat Pines community.  You'd be crazy not to want to live here!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Me and Pina in Puffy Parkas.

Santa came early this year.  Gave La Nancita a nice, new North Face, but missed it a bit in the size department.

Poppy's puffy fits fine, a gift from Santa a decade or so back.

Before Mom re gifted the NF to son Jason, we posed for the SONY, Jason at the helm, and post the results here with all best wishes for a memorable, wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grandparents: Move to Control Guns Now.

I'm even more heartbroken than I was yesterday over the CT school massacre. It's cold blooded murder, domestic terrorism, even civil war. Yes, this is a time for national mourning, flying flags at half-staff, and political proclamations. But what about GUN CONTROL and STOPPING GUN VIOLENCE? Talk about violation of civil rights!! 

Who's going to take the lead at the state and national level? I've just written MN Governor Dayton : be the guy to do it, I implore him. Man Up, Mark! I wrote Sen. Al Franken yesterday. We're talking, citizen to citizen, in our little town about what WE can do. I feel so helpless, yet I know my little voice might resonate with others. 

We must move beyond this era of madness, hatred, breakdown of civil society. Guns kill people. More people with more guns is not the solution. How much longer can we ordinary Grandparents (me, in this case) keep from speaking out, taking action, saving our country and the lives of our precious Americans? 

What do YOU think?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cactus Santa A Little Prickly.

Out in the AZ desert they absolutely celebrate Chrismas. That's a given.  But without much snow to count on, no sleighs and reindeer, and not a hint of Frosty the Snowman, what's a true believer to do?

Da-da:  enter Santa the Christmas Cactus.

And a prickly old soul is he! Careful sitting on the Jolly Guy's lap:  you may get more than you bargained for.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

38,968 All-Time Pageviews.

The Poppy Blog continues to appeal to old fans, and attract new viewers as well.  For that I am pleased and grateful, and thank everyone who comes to see what the world looks like from my vantage point.

Just noticed today that I'd hit the 38,968 views threshold.  We're getting there!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Skull. What a cool word.

Bold bone mass, light as a feather, strong as steel.

Still a little creepy to imagine what happened to the beast beneath.

Weird, too, that your humble blogging cyclist here would have come across a horse head on his velo ventures.

Weirder still he would have donned the skull, like a Halloween mask, and then asked his wife to snap a pic for the blog.

This is what we do on snowy days in Minnesota, when the roads are impassable, and the bikes are on their stands, in the very chilly, unattached garage.

We dream of skulls.

Now Here's a Christmas Tree.

We were thinking we might have the perfect Christmas tree right here in the front yard.  Oh, Tanenbaum, indeed.  Imagine this bad boy all decked out in blinking lights, blue, green and red.  Santa and his R'deer would have no trouble GPS-ing our chimney  :)

Campus Nite Scene, Before the Snow Fell.

We were on campus at the Univ. of Minnesota the other evening for the "Do the Math" Global Warming Tour.  Info on that important event posted elsewhere on this Poppy Blog.  

Meanwhile, other events, present and future, were taking place.

One such -- pic here by iPhone -- was a dance event two weeks hence (at time foto was taken) and presented in very creative, fun way: maybe old fashion slide projector throwing light on the performing arts pavilion?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MN - Can U Hear Us Now?

Educator, writer, environmental activist, climate change rock-star Bill McKibben was in town Friday night.  His  "Do the Math" national awareness and action tour attracted hundreds of supporters to the Ted Mann Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Speakers included polar explorer Will Steeger, native activist and former Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke, members of the local Minnesota chapter of and, of course, the man himself, Professor McKibben.

Nancy and I went to the event.  We were deeply moved by evidence of contiuned risk of earthly destruction through unchecked carbon energy use.  We vowed to get smarter about the issue, do something personally to change our ways, and share info with others.

Before the night was over a group shot was take in Mann Auditorium.  You can't see the Hoyts in the pic, but we were there. While still daunted by the challenges, we're heartened and encouraged by the passion, reason and commitment to change.

With Thanks to BIKE FRIDAY Blog.

[PHOTO OF:  Jim Ralston (right) and Neil Sharpe enjoy an Autumn getaway in Europe.]

By Jim Ralston

Three of us from Memphis, TN take a European bike tour each year.

This past September we rode the Rhine River from Karlsruhe, Germany to Lake Constance in Switzerland -- a 368-mile adventure.

The photo captures two of us at the Tanners Lane in the medieval part of Strasbourg, France, with our Bike Fridays set up for touring.

That's Neil Sharpe and his New World Tourist on the left, and me with my Pocket Sport on the right.

The third member of our trio, Bill Waters, had his New World Tourist stolen from his truck just seven days before we departed, so he did not have enough time to have a new Bike Friday built and shipped for the trip.

He ordered his new NWT after we returned and is waiting for it now. We made him take the picture since he did not have his Bike Friday.

We rode for 10 days completely unsupported and had to carry all of our gear in the panniers. The bikes handled the trip with no problems at all.

Best of all, Delta treated our bikes as just another suitcase and did not charge us the extra fee of several hundred dollars per leg of the journey as they do for other bicycle shipping cases.

A few more tours and we will have saved in extra luggage fees the total cost of the Bike Fridays.

Over many years of touring I have acquired three touring bikes, but now consider my Bike Friday as my primary touring bike.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Peter Pan Donuts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Got a foto text just now from peripatetic parent JJ in Brooklyn.

She was perambulating with her Perego and came upon the sweetest little bakery in Greenpoint.  Out came the iPhone, and here you have the result.

Check the window decor. Don't you just love it?

"May Your Donuts be Filled with Holiday Joy."

Happy holidays to you, Miss Jess, and all the rest of you dear fans of the Poppy Blog.

My Buddy Whit Styles His Ride.

Whit and I got together this morning for lattes and egg-white omelette's at the Uptown Cafeteria on Lake and S. Girard in Minneapolis.

We talked biz, school stuff, strategic sales, the politics of global warming, and how each of us was dealing with climate change when it came to private modes of transportation.

I arrived in my KIA Sportage -- not bad on mileage, but hardly carbon neutral.

Whit, on the other hand, travels around the Twin Cities on his Classic Raleigh 3-Speed, shown here post-omelette.

I salute my young friend in a number of regards, not the least of which: he walks the walk, talks the talk, and, as you can see, rides the ride!