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A very merry F.U. to the people, courtesy of the Washington political idiots  //   Thursday - December 23, 2004

Today's holiday message: Screw the earth, let's bring in the cash!

The Bush administration issued comprehensive new rules yesterday for managing the national forests, jettisoning some environmental protections that date to Ronald Reagan's administration and putting in place the biggest change in forest-use policies in nearly three decades.

Wait, there's more:

The new rules give economic activity equal priority with preserving the ecological health of the forests in making management decisions and in potentially liberalizing caps on how much timber can be taken from a forest.

The government will no longer require that its managers prepare an environmental impact analysis with each forest's management plan, or use numerical counts to ensure there are "viable populations" of fish and wildlife.

We're not done yet, this part hits a little closer to home. Some of the finest riding in these parts:

The new rules would affect two national forests that encompass 1.6 million acres of Virginia land: the George Washington National Forest, 70 miles west of Washington, and the Jefferson National Forest in the southwestern part of the state. Jefferson National's officials just completed their management plan, and the George Washington forest is due to issue a new one in 2008.

No surprise here:

But timber industry officials want access to the land, and they said they need a less burdensome process so federal officials can make timely decisions on proposed timber auctions.

Read all about it in the Washington Post.

- riderx

Merry Solstice  //   Thursday - December 23, 2004

Thirty on the fixed last night. Temps have risen a bit in the last couple of days, hovering a good bit over freezing for the night ride. Air was cool and crisp, nice to be out but my desire for dirt is stronger than ever. Last night was the first ride that seemed like I had a pretty good grip on the bar with my gimp thumb. Progress is being made, still a good bit to go and I need this thing to fully heal before hitting up the off-road antics.

A lot of good music has come out this year, but you probably won't hear it on the radio. Got myself an early x-mas present the other day 'cause I knew no one else was going to do it. It may turn out to be my favorite album of the year. I'm talking about Jello Biafro with the Melvins. You can download two tracks from that there link and check it out.

If you are pounding a lot of the holiday cheer, sucking down the egg-nog like it's going out of style and generally getting merry, let someone else pilot the car if that's how you are travelling and you've had too much. Stay safe and try not to get the elves too liquored up.

- riderx

Winter is here  //   Tuesday - December 21, 2004

A balmy 16 degrees F this morning when I mount my steed. Wind chill? Who knows, but the tears streaming down my face from the bomber downhill freeze on my cheeks almost instantly. I opt for the rain paints this morning for some wind blocking protection and overall I'm not cold on my jaunt to the train, other than my face. Probably should have grabbed some sort of protection for that, but it wasn't too bad.

While everyone else finally was able to hit some dry trails this weekend I'm still stuck with the pavement pounding. I must admit, it's starting to get to me. Last week I had this deep longing to ride the new Kelly 29er that has hardly been used. And in general, the urge to hit dirt is overwhelming. But, I suck it up and go to the only thing I can right now, the tarmac. It's hard to drag myself out there right now, especially solo and the freezing cold. But once I get out there and start pedaling I start feeling much better. Therapeutic.

Saturday was a nice ride, a bit short, a dusk and through the local park. Cold, but not too bad. Sunday it was raining by the time I planned on riding, rained for a good bit of the day. Weather.com kept reporting a snow/rain mix, but it never happened. Later afternoon, the rain stopped and I headed out on the B&A from Glen Burnie to Annapolis and back. Start raining again right as I started. Stayed light for half of the trip, kept praying for snow. I love riding in the snow, especially when it's coming down. No such luck. Rain picked up for the last 1/4 of the ride, then really started coming down as I finished. Less than an hour later the snow started, got pretty steady and went through the evening and night. Figures, I get the rain on the ride and the snow comes later. Oh well, the legs felt good and the ride was still fun, take what you can get.

- riderx

 

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