Jason McDowell is also known as Little Tiny Fish. He is the Creative Director for OnMilwaukee. Occasionally he freelances. Mostly he rides bikes. is not a cohesive blog, but a repository of musings on an assortment of topics, such as design, art, cycling, Milwaukee, and other personal experiences.

Every year since the very first Riverwest 24 in 2008, the team has introduced a new tattoo design that bestows 5 bonus laps onto ride participants. The designs have ranged from cool to tacky and upon first glance they’re almost always questionable. The quality of line varies tremendously, but that’s arguably either the aesthetic or not really the point.

In my eight-year history with the race I’ve been too picky about the designs and have so far only gotten one tattoo, but it’s clear that, taken as a whole, you can’t really wait until “next year” for “the good design;” they’re all going to be bad. Regardless, no matter which one(s) you get, you won’t regret any one of them. Continue reading ›

At the end of the year I lamented that I didn’t feel like I got on my bike enough in 2013. I clocked in a total of 3,184.38 miles, which was exactly 1,815.62 miles less than last 2012 (in which I went out on New Year’s Eve to cap off precisely 5,000 miles).

I’m not a person who makes resolutions (or rather, I don’t make resolutions on only one day out of the year), but my brother suggested I attempt to circumnavigate the moon by bike.

6,784 miles around the moon / 365 days in the year = 18.59 miles a day, which is over twice my average commute. Considering that takes about 15 minutes, this seems rather do-able.

Even if I don’t make it all the way around the moon, hopping from crater to crater seems like a fun challenge for anyone. Plus, maybe there’s a chance to learn something, too. Continue reading ›

I got a chance to try out the Slipnot Bicycle Tire Chain system. The results were a mixed bag. Ultimately they were overkill for my use cases, but I could imagine situations in which they could prove to be useful. I’ll run through the pros and cons below.

Continue reading ›

“Please find attached a current photograph of the switch back, just beyond the Marsupial Bridge at Kadish park.

I have often had to put forth a request to have the bike paths and recreational trails cleared after a heavy winter storm. When make the request I always ask why these trails are not cleared in an immediate way, considering how vigorously the streets are salted and plowed (though I could go on about the state of the bike lanes every year).

The response I usually get (if any) is that the city doesn’t plow the paths because they assume it is too cold for anybody to want to use them.

Well, here I offer you undeniable proof, in the form of rutted, iced over foot prints and tire tracks. Continue reading ›

“It’s basically about [rich conservatives] in Madison who hate [bicycles] and think everyone should [drive] to work. It is basically making it difficult to use [anything but an] automobile.”

Sounds familiar, eh Mr. Nass?

Fortunately neither are terribly true—particularly in Madison, one of the most bicycle friendly cities in America. Sure, there are some car hating hippies out there, just like there are bike hating capitalists, but mostly there is a giant middle ground. The vast majority of cyclists own a car and drive regularly. The vast majority of drivers own a bicycle would like to ride their bike more often. The more people we can get sharing the roads, the safer everyone will be.

The reality is that there is room for all kinds of transportation on the roads. The bike boxes aren’t being installed in Madison so that cyclists can show off their well-toned posteriors. They’re being installed for safety. They are there to make sure drivers understand that they are not the only users of the road. They are there to make sure drivers give cyclists an appropriate amount of room.

Arguing against bike boxes is like arguing against crosswalks, traffic lights, speed limits, left-turn signals, and stop signs which also slow down traffic. Are pedestrians “liberal extremists who hate cars and think everyone should walk to work,” too? Should we tell construction workers that they can no longer close lanes or hold up “SLOW” signs? This also slows down traffic.

It’s not about hating cars, honestly. It really isn’t. It’s about undoing mistakes that have made our public roads such a hostile place. It’s about making fast flying, two-ton folks more aware of their surroundings. It’s about bridging the gap between anger and understanding, speed and patience.

Showing off our well-toned posteriers is just an added benefit.

—Signed, Jason McDowell

Please take a moment to send a message to Mr. Nass and let him know that you want to see more cooperation and less auto-centric planning on our public roadways.

Here’s is Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, contact info:

Madison Office
Room 12 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

Voting Address
N8330 Jackson Road
Whitewater, WI 53190
(608) 266-5715 Or (888) 529-0031

District Telephone (262) 495-3424
Fax (608) 282-3631

Archived Comments

These comments were pulled from the archives after a site failure in mid 2014. Though I no longer accept public comments on my site, I’ve included them for posterity. If you’d like to submit a comment, send one to

  • I have to admit, Rep Nass’s rather uninformed (to be charitable) comments reminded me of a poem I learned long ago. It was written by EY Harburg (who also wrote the lyrics for Wizard of Oz). True, its subject was a Congressman, and not a state legislator but I think Rep Nass is worthy of the promotion:

    Should I Write A Letter To My Congressman?

    Each Congressman has two ends,
    A sitting and a thinking end.
    And since his whole success depends
    Upon his seat, why bother, friend?

    Arlen · 2010-05-28 21:52 · #