13
Sep 18

Catember, Day 13


12
Sep 18

The sun can set in any direction when you’re gassed

It is funny how you can have different emotional responses to the same thing. It doesn’t even take much to change things, either. I got home Monday, ready to ride my bike. Had to ride my bicycle. Couldn’t get out of the door again fast enough.

I didn’t ride yesterday because I couldn’t drag myself away from the pillow early enough. I was in the studio until dark, so that wiped out that day, which is fine.

But that meant an evening ride tonight! Which was great! I was happy to do it, and I had a nice ride after my legs started moving. But it didn’t have the same level of zeal as two days before. I did the same roads and same kind of roads. The weather was warm and grand on both days. So what makes the difference?

Anyway, this was me when I set out for a quick evening ride:


View this post on Instagram

‪Let's go ride bikes!‬ ‪#TheMilesAhead‬

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

We’ve been doing a lot of small ring workouts lately, because you can always improve cardio, they say. (This is a terrible thing to say, for several reasons.)

Not pictured was about eight miles in when a guy on a bike came screaming by and tossed two syllables at me, his air at a premium. (He should do more cardio.) I said something almost as intelligible, ground mostly in the problem that I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. And then I looked over my shoulder and there was a whole angry pack of young riders. Fit, young, in their big rings, going fast. And suddenly I was swallowed up. And they pretty quickly spit me out the back.

So there I was, all alone, enjoying the sun and shade and little hills and quiet of an almost-country road, reminded that I really much prefer small or solo rides to big group efforts. There’s just not enough courtesy or regard for safety in packs.

If I’d been in the right gearing, though, I could have stayed in the group and hated it for a few more seconds, of that I’m sure. But, instead, I got 43 kilometers of good cardio work this evening.

(I’m supposed to use km, I know, when it comes to riding, but I haven’t memorized the conversions or the formula and it sounds awfully pretentious. Though the numbers are always higher … It was 27 miles and change tonight, and my top speed would have been 47 km/hour. So maybe it isn’t that pretentious.)

On the way back to the house:


Do you know how many times you have to see that before you realize the perfect shot will always be perfect right there? Three. At least three times I’ve been through there and thought, Oh, what a great place for a sunset shot. I should get one of those one day before I can’t. And then I finally realized it was an east-west road and that should be a fairly predictable photograph.

I blame the cardio training for lack of directional cognition and thought processing.

So, that covers my bike ride and today’s Instagram offerings. If you haven’t been on Twitter, there’s a bunch more there today. A lot of sports, somehow, in fact. Please do give me a visit there as well. Thanks for stopping in, and come back tomorrow for another adorable picture of the black cat and probably another thing or two of passing interest. It’ll be the regular iffy Thursday smorgasbord, and you’re always invited.


12
Sep 18

Catember, Day 12


11
Sep 18

Sports as culture and 9/11

Showed part of this in class today.

Thought a lot about almost everyone on campus doesn’t have a clear personal memory of that day. And that’s both good and unfortunate. Maybe documentaries and all of the many media opportunities we have make it seem both far away and close at hand.

Fewer people, about quarter of America now, know of the hundreds or thousands of small personal moments like this:

The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

“I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

(Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney) replied without hesitating.

“I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan. And a pact.

And there’s a full generation of people for whom the large, greater, moment onboard United 93 is only a piece of history. That’s the way of it. That’s the way of time. The way of moving on.

You wonder if it always happens that quickly. Did someone feel like this in December of 1958 when they read about another anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor? Did people have a similar reaction in the fall of 1934? Was it like this in the early 1880s? Of course news come so fast now that seemingly endless wars and almost-secret wars seldom get any attention at all. Of course pivot points in history are inevitably due to be swallowed up.

But through it all, Ray, there’s been baseball.

I should have played that in class, too.


11
Sep 18

Catember, Day 11