Week in Review – Highs and Lows

June 28, 2010

Boy, am I glad this week is over. I’ve felt like I’ve been on a roller coaster. One minute up and then the other down – in this case I mean literally.

High
I’ve been spending a lot of bike time with my eldest son. He has been riding with us this year on the weekend group rides from the store and has been able to hang on all the fast sections as well as the hills – not bad for a 14-year-old. He has also been racing at the Driveway Series ( IMHO by far the best weekly criterium series in the Country) and doing quite well. His knowledge of how to race and his overall strength have been improving every week and pretty soon I’m sure results will follow.

Low
Tuesday was the Bee Cave City Council meeting.  Enough said.

High
Friday was my 47th birthday. I feel blessed to have my health, a wonderful family and great friends. JC surprised me by rolling on down to Home Slice Pizza on South Congress and brought back a couple of pies. Now, if you are a New York Pizza Snob, as I proudly am, the offerings in Austin leave a lot to be desired. That being said, Home Slice is like a gift from on high. If you have not tried it, for shame. Its is what pizza is supposed to be.

Low
After too much pizza from the night before, I was looking forward to a ride on Saturday morning. All the usual suspects were there plus a few new riders. Everything was going well until we reached North 360 right before the exit to the Village at Westlake. We all know that the road here is a little sketchy with a series of parallel ruts large enough to swallow a front wheel. I had just turned my head to the right to say something to Greg when, as luck would have it, one of those ruts jumped up and ran in front of me. Next thing I know I’m being slammed to the pavement on the traffic side. My only thought as I headed for the ground was “this is going to freakin hurt.” And guess what – I was right.

By the way, I really need to thank the driver in the red car behind me. You were giving us plenty of room and because of that you were able to safely stop when I hit the deck. In addition, I did notice that you even hung around for a bit to make sure that I was ok. There are too many stories of cyclists and automobiles not showing the proper amount of respect for each other – this is not one of those stories. Madam or Sir, if per chance you ever read this humble blog, I thank you for you attention and kindness.

This is the spot where we cyclists normally post the pictures of our gruesome injuries. Not here my friends.

My best friends for the next week

I’ve got pretty good road rash on my left knee, calf, elbow and shoulder and a swollen hip that my kids say looks like an alien baby trying to be born. Oh and if you see me, don’t make me laugh. My ribs are killing me.

That’ my week. I expect next week to be better. My family is arriving from Boston MA, Chapel Hill NC and Jacksonville FL on July 3rd – 17 people strong. We will be hitting all the hot spots in town trying to show these outsiders what is so special about Austin. If you run into us, say hi – the beer’s on me


Bee Cave City Council

June 25, 2010

Well, the move to the new location is finally done and we have begun to settle into our new space. The last outstanding issue we have been saddled with is getting approval from the City to move our sign to the new store. Easy right? Not so fast.

It turns out that even though the sign was approved for the old space, it is too large for the new. How is that possible you may ask? Isnt the new space larger? Doesn’t the code specify that the size of the sign is a function of the size of the space? It’s all a bit confusing, but the answer is that because the frontage of the store is less, the allowable sign is less.

If any of you have ever dealt with municipal government, you may know where this story is going. Believing that we had a reasonable request we submitted the paperwork, along with a sizable check, for a variance. After two cancelled Planning and Zoning meetings (no quorum present) and the scripting of another check for a temporary sign while the issue was being resolved, the variance was finally taken up by the City Council on Tuesday evening (6/22).

The central issue under debate is how to calculate the size of the sign. Our opinion, along with that of the three sign companies that we contacted to move the sign, is that the code clearly states that the size of the sign does not include any supporting framework that is clearly incidental to the display itself. (link to the City of Bee Cave Code – http://codes.franklinlegal.net/beecave-flp/). During the meeting we were informed by Councilman Murphy that our interpretation of the code was incorrect and that the proper interpretation should include the panel the sign is to be mounted to. With no opportunity to discuss this interpretation, nor understand why other signs in the complex were judged under different criteria, our request was doomed.

At this point we have no other choice but to comply with the erroneous stipulations imposed by the City. We continue to believe strongly that we are correct in our interpretation of Code.