Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Snow Day

We finally got a bit of snow. It's been quite a mild winter. I have not been able to get much biking yet. There are lots of good excuses that I'll save for a more opportune time.

I have been getting my lunchtime walks in, and plenty of racquetball and weight training at the Y. The weight loss is slow and steady, which is probably how I put it on. It's too bad we can't lose like those people on the "fat" reality show. 12, 15, 18 pounds a week. Two a week is OK I guess. At that rate in two years I'll weight around six.

The job transfer is not looking good. Lots of outside people are bidding to move around. Although my senority is double and tripple theirs, they are in the job title and get first dibbs. Crap.

It's beyond time to start bike commuting again. I have been chawing about it for weeks and keep procrasinating. I will have to give it a try this weekend if I work. Sunday for sure.

I went for a walk at lunch with my camera.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Battery Park

Registration for the Five Boroughs Ride, is done. The hotel is booked and the recruitment for more riders continues.

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

Two others from the office have committed to ride this but they have not yet registered. A Canadian friend is registered and we are planning a get together for our online group to meet in Battery Park on the day before.

Last year I got to have a few cold ones with a coast to coast bike veteran, Mike Riscica, and a good friend from England Tick Tack and her hubby. This time the party promises to be bigger.

Since I will be in New York, I may as well get some salsa. They do make the best after all.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

She Is Considering It

I told wifey that I was very interested in riding the Erie Canal towpath this summer, and said I would love for her to come along. We would try for inexpensive lodging, but also bring a tent, just in case.

"Are you going alone" she asked. "Probably", I don't think a tour company is necessary at all for this ride. I found a journal online of people who did the ride the first week of July last year.

This just could happen. (or part there of).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Things to Do on a Snowy Cold Day

Bike is in the shop, the weather is nasty and work is slow. I visited a friends web site and saw a test that looked interesting. As with most internet stuff like this, the choices are limited.

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

I need to work on that 10%. It seems high.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I decided to make a my commuter more to my liking. I really dislike flat handle bars and am going to have drops installed tomorrow. The only expensive part is the new shifters. Like the ones on a road bike connected to the brakes. Just over $100 bucks. I have a couple of short tours and neither of my bikes are suited for that. I am using the bikes much differently than I intended.

Now that I have tried different types of riding, pacelines, commuting, club rides etc. I have settled down to commuting and touring, and the occasional family "weekend saunters" . A full touring bike is in my future, but for now, I'm going to try to get the Marin as close to a low end touring bike as I can. Wheels, check.
Racks, check. Tools, tent, paniers and stuff, check. The final touch is to make the drops for more comfortable longer rides. This should do it. (fingers crossed).

Maybe wider tires too.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Babel and The Dixie Chicks

Everyone in the theater was stunned into silence. One woman on the way out said it best. "I'm all worn out from the tension". Babel was one of the three must see movies on my list. "Pan's Labrynth" and "The Painted" Veil are the other two. I have to say the movie was better than I had hoped.

The Dixie Chicks were the big winners at the Emmy's last night. I don't watch much tv, but the Emmy's get my full attention. Natalie's nyah nyah to the Bushies was very sweet. And Ludacris' bitch slap of O'Riley was funny. The Rascal Flatts lead guitarist really nailed "Hotel California".

A couple of new groups were very impressive namely Gnarls Barkley, Corine Bailey Ray and James Blunt. Lots of great music by very talented people.

Groundhog type day experience when Sunday was just like
Saturday. Rode to the Y, played racquetball, rode home and took the dogs for their daily constitutional. On the way to the Y, I tried to clip out only to find that my shoe clip had come loose. When I turned my foot to disengage, the whole mechanisme turned with me. I had to take off my shoe and force it off the pedal. I have spd's, which let me ride one foot clipped in and one on the flat pedal. As alway, I have my digital.

Church for sale. The building has lots of possibilities.

Portage the bridge stairs

Chipping ice from the deck

Atlas Tack Superfund Site with Fairhaven village skyline in background

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Ride to the Y

As winter riding goes, this Saturday morning was really nice. A crisp 20 degrees with no wind. Perfect to ride to the YMCA for a racquetball match.

As is said on many bike forums and blogs, "it's all in the layers".

I couldn't pass my favorite spot without a winter photo with the commuter.

The bike path parallels the hurricane barrier as it approaches the center of town, before dropping the riders off at the waterfront. A cold icy waterfront.

At the end of the path is the Island Ferry maintenance facility, with a couple of the big girls in for repair.

A quick ride north is the approach to the bride that crosses the harbor into New Bedford Ma. To the south of the bridge approach the lonely boat docks sit waiting for the warmer days and the return of their craft. (and the robins).

At the far end of the bride there are stairs leading to the road below. A quick ride after portaging the stairs and I was at the Y, ready to take on all comers. A really good, competitive hour of racquetball three or four times a week, almost makes up for not bike commuting. Almost.

I saw this car whose owner wears their politics on their sleeve. Except for a couple of stubborn pockets around the country, this seems to be the opinion of Americans. The party is over for the GOP I suppose. I only hope it isn't too late.


Friday, February 9, 2007

Some People Get It

We don't hear it often engough. But when we do, it gets our attention. People who understand living. For example. Upstate New York is getting some very heavy bands of "lake effect" snow. The news was interviewing a car lot owner who closed his doors and said, "You can't sell cars if no one can see them". and "It's Buffalo, we get snow here all the time". In contrast, people in my office are complaining about the snow and we haven't even had any.

This morning on the drive to work, the dj on my favorite radio station, Laura Redington, gave the weather report and started on the dress warm, cover you face etc. She caught herself and said, "you know, you don't need me to tell you how to dress in this, I just need to tell you the temperature". The flip side of that is news outlets bringing on so called weather experts, showing wind chill charts, yada, yada, yada.

I have come to the conclusion that business's like CNN and Fox should stay out of things they don't understand, like news and politics.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Everything but Biking

Walking, stationary bike, racquetball. That's what fills in for my lack of biking. There is an AMC Ride scheduled this weekend. It's 20 something miles in Fairhaven, (my hood). They are going, to what I think is a boring section. It's five miles straight to the end of a peninsula, and return. I just may pass on that and meet them later in the ride.

I would really like to cross the bridge, and ride into New Bedford, but I think most riders may be leary "the city". Undesirables, you know.

It has been cold for the noontime walks and layers are necessary. Worn properly, the cold has almost no effect on a body. A co worker asked me to bring a box to the mail room. It looked suspicios to me, but no one in the office was scared. This ain't Boston.

There was some concern with the fire in KC this week. I have a couple of blogger friends there and they have reported that they are fine.

The cold weather is continuing and it's still difficult to get court time for racquetball. The Y is still in the grasp of the New Year resolutionist. But the numbers are dwindling.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cold Sunday Night

Riding always feels colder than walking to me. I haven't been on the bike much and haven't commuted for almost four months. Last night, after work, I did a couple of hours walking around the bike trail and side streets. It was single digit temps with a clear sky.

Saturday night I saw the full moon low in the sky. It was so big and bright that it looked like it was right at the end of the street. That convinced me to walk some extra miles. One regular route heads west at the bottom of my street. The other, east. Both are just under two miles round trip. The west route brings me to the business district along the bike path, the east route brings me to the farmland and loops back to the bike path, through the woods. I took the western route and made a point of circling the buildings so I could walk along the windows of Applebees. In full winter gear of fleece jacket and vest, hat, full face mask and yellow tinted glasses. It got me quite a few worried looks form the patrons. As intended, I like to play with the terrorist worriers. It seems like only yesterday, the "commies" were going to destroy us. Now it's al Queda.

It was just getting dark when I continued past the house and back onto the bike path for an additional two miles. The problem was that the moon doesn't rise till around eight. At seven oclock or so, I was in the middle of the woods, hearing lots of noises from the trees on both sides. "Ya know", I said to my self, I think I'll jog a bit. Once I got out of the canopy of the wooded area, the sky was able to brighten things up a little.

Independent Lens was showing an encore presentation of it's two Thursday shows.

Beyond the Call
In an Indiana Jones-meets-Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men, former soldiers and modern-day knights, travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors. Ed Artis, James Laws and Walt Ratterman inspire through deeds, not words, in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth -- the front lines of war. more

This film tells the stories of people who live with dystonia, a neurological disorder that forces muscles to twist into abnormal, often painful, movements or postures. Pat Brogan, a basketball coach and triathlete who developed dystonia after a bike accident; Shari Tritt, whose dystonia affects her whole body; and Remy Campbell, an artist who gambled on a radical form of brain surgery -- and won --try to answer the question, "When you are trapped inside your body, what will set you free?" more


Saturday, February 3, 2007

Just a Little Bit Longer

The return to bike commuting is getting closer and closer to resuming. Today everything was in place. The clothes were laid out. The bike was tuned and ready to go. Work meals were cooked and packed and the alarm was set. I arose at 5:40, looked outside and noticed the street were still wet from yesterdays snow melt.

A shiny wet. I went out front to retrieve the newspapers and found everything was covered in a sheet of ice. The coldest part of the day, (daybreak)had not yet happened. I ended up driving and made the right decision. The side roads I take on the bike were a sheet of ice. All of them.

Tomorrow is up in the air because Sue and I plan on going to the theater after work. If showtime if before 6PM I will not be able to bike commute and make it back to shower, shave and drive to the mall. Next opportunity will be Tuesday.

On the brighter side, I did play 90 minutes of very intense racquetball last night with no back issues. Four weeks rest (after the strain)did the trick.

Side Note
The city of Boston along with the the local and national news outlets, are still trying to regain their credibility afte the "Brite Lite" terror alert.

From Steve Gilliard at News Blog

"What the Boston authorities did was show exactly how unprepared they were for a real
terrorist attack. If they had been bombs, people would have died, because the media announced that the BPD was pulling them down. A bomber would have certainly triggered the remaining ones.

I would hope that after Menino changes his drawers, he sees how badly his city handled this. If they were real bombs, they would now understand what New York does about mass funerals.

I'm really itching to get back to bike commuting, but I also love my racquetball, (which causes an after work conflict).

Every day, I see a young kid riding his bike to the high school. Last year there were two of them, and I'm guessing the other one graduated. I have an extra face mask that has never been used, that I'm thinking of giving to him. The coldest part of the season is just now upon us, and I figure he could use a little more protection. I just can't get myself out of the sack during these cold mornings to commute and I probably should use him and the other rider I see as motivation.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Red Alert----Red Alert

Lite-Brites! I'll say it again. Lite-Brites were strategically placed in Boston for maximum exposure. Hundreds of thousands of people saw them every day.

After TWO WEEKS, "Boston's Finest" put the city at code red.

The fact that these things were all over NYC and LA for two weeks without incident is going to make the City of Boston look like asses in court.

"Mayor Menino is an idiot, and unfortunately I get to see him up close and personal. He does some things well, but he has no vision, and he's been in office way too long.

I assumed that this was some sort of joke or guerrilla marketing campaign as the first news started leaking out. How ridiculous to shut the city down.

If we are this afraid of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the terrorists have won." (Marek from the The News Blog comments.)