Aug 17

And now, I will vent

I’ve had views like this …

… for about seven years now. It is a nice view. You understand the topography differently. You learn to be patient with yourself. You see the world at a different pace than you do from behind the windshield. And you see some things, too. Turkeys and deer and people doing odd things and strange sites you just might overlook when you’re moving at car speeds. Why, just last Friday three separate people — all supposedly adult human beings — walked right in front of my bike’s path over the course of a five mile stretch of my life. (I’ll bet you a dollar that happens at least once again tomorrow, because why look both ways when crossing the street. EDIT: It did.) And then Friday ended with a big truck whose driver couldn’t hardly be troubled to demonstrate an appreciation for the dynamics of a four-way stop while I was in the middle of the intersection. He got a well practiced European reaction I learned from watching pros racing.

Granted, the four-way stop thing is problematical because the local K-Mart closed last year and, consequently, no one has any idea where they are supposed to get their driver’s license anymore. Plus, people aren’t always their best driving selves anyway. And I’ll grant you what is likely just a limitation of habit and the human brain and the internal filtering system: sometimes drivers just don’t see a cyclist because that 15-pound frame with a human on it isn’t a two-ton truck, which is what they are actually looking for. On a bike, then, you accept this, and you have to always be on guard for it, and aware of a lot of other road rage, silliness and stupidity, too.

Which brings us to yesterday. I was out and about, enjoying a nice slow day on the bike because some days have to be slow days and the weather was nice and you soak those in. I’m on a road that ends in a T-intersection. I take this route every day when I’m traveling to the house from the office no matter if I’m driving or riding. You go down a little roller and then up the other side and there’s the stop sign.

Yesterday, while I was on my bike, I reach that spot with three cars in front of me. One car goes and there are two cars in front of me. The second car goes and so it is just me and a Fiat. And this guy turns on his left blinker, so I go to the right, which is the direction I’m going to turn anyway. And then this guy turns right …

Almost flattened me. And for all of that I caught up to him at a red light a block later. If you know that guy, give him the what for for me.

Aug 17

Sometimes it is easier to sit than to do

This is a video I shot last weekend. We were at the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championship where The Yankee was racing. She was out on her bike at the time, which gave me a few minutes to sit and enjoy the nice weather and the shade. Those are two things, I think, we don’t do often enough.

So there I sat and I looked up and this was above me and I decided to make a video. I’d intended it to be a meditative thing for the front page because sitting under a shade tree and watching the sunlight blink through it. That’s one of the most relaxing things I can think of doing, roughly ever. When I sat down to edit the video last night I found that the file size was just too large. But I really liked the video. Fortunately, in this age of wonders, there are more places than just the front page of your website where things like this can go. So it is going here:

There, isn’t that better?

Well, it was, except for this:

Jul 17

Hello leg muscles

I went for my first bike ride in a while on Saturday. It was hard in the way that the usual becomes hard after too much time off. I’d been fighting off a mild respiratory or sinus thing for a bit and then a separate throat thing and we were in a hot spell and I didn’t have to ride, so I didn’t. But, I thought Saturday, maybe I should have anyway.

And then yesterday afternoon I returned to the untied sneaker exercises:

It had been three or four weeks since my last ride and a great deal longer since my last run. And that wasn’t easy, either. It wasn’t hard so much as slow and full of the usual aches and pains you forget about in the early part of a run. But the weather was nice and the scenery was lovely:

If you run slow, you see it longer, that’s what I always say:

I say that a lot, because I’m slow. And my run was slow, but today, my walk might have been just a touch slower, too.

May 17

Mondays never have clever post titles

The best restive kind of weekend. Slept in and and then did only what I wanted to do on Saturday. This included turning on lights seldom used and in random combinations throughout the evening. Also, I cleaned out the leftovers from the refrigerator. To most people this means dragging the garbage can over and doing the transfer of goods routine. Or the Transfer of Foodstuffs That Were Once Good and No Longer Are routine.

Me, I just ate them. Two dishes from last week that made their way into the fridge were lunch and dinner on Saturday. Then I cleaned my office.

Sunday, I made the mother’s day calls, went to the grocery store, watched a bike race and road my bicycle.

I made several passes on that deer, so I got plenty of fuzzy photos:


Also, nearby, was a rabbit:


Maybe they’ll both come over and help with the next set of leftovers.

Today, back to the office, where things are taking place and some work is getting down and meetings are being held. Then home and, while walking to the car, I saw another rabbit:


I’m guessing it was a different rabbit. It could be the same one. The two sightings were only about a mile or so apart. I don’t know why that first rabbit would need to hop this direction, but it is possible. (Not pictured, another rabbit, which was hiding in the shrubbery.)

And then another bike ride. I did an hour in a low gear, mashing and lifting the pedals as quickly as I can, on the flattest course I could find, where I still managed to gain 503 feet over 16 miles. But I held my highest pace of the year so far. That deserves a handlebar shot:


And another ride tomorrow.

May 17

Oh no, we have slowed because H20 has flowed

On tonight’s group ride we went slowly. One of the fastest guys in town was there, but he was in a chatty mood. And various other people were only interested in seeing standing moisture on the road and stopping for it almost entirely, as if the gathering of three molecules in a specific formulation in the smallest of volumes could harm their bicycles.

We stopped a lot. Four times in a 24-mile ride. That’s barely enough to get and keep the heart rate where you might like it. These were flowers I found at the first stop, after just six miles of riding:


Those four stops took place because this is a no-drop group, which means there are plenty of chances to regroup. Or stop and wait, depending on where you are in the scheme of things. The four stops we counted do not include a fifth stop.

Topping the biggest climb of the day, a long and slow 330 feet or so that has hurt me each of the few times I’ve done it, one of the riders in the group had an accident a bit ahead of me. When I got to the top of the hill there were already two cars stopped and someone said a rider had been hit, which sends a chill. But it seems a dog ran out in front of the rider and she took a tumble. Fortunately, she was OK. And fortunately one of the riders was a physician, and one of the people that stopped was a paramedic. After a few minutes, some Neosporin and a few small bandages, she pronounced herself OK, got up and we all rode off down the hill.

The larger group made one last stop, but we skipped it. We were close to darkness, because all of these stops had made a 24-mile ride into nearly two hours. It was damp and chilly and a tiny bit frustrating. I think I am coming to form my opinion on group rides.

On the way back to the house we have to pass over a creek, which was almost ready to to threaten the high banks after more than a week of rain:

flooding creek

All of the water here is swiftly moving, which is more than we can say about our ride this evening.