Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Update - Jeff and His Horrible, Very Bad, F-ed-Up Day

Sorry for the allusion to profanity, but it best describes Jeff's attitude Sunday afternoon. While I read my new library book, Jeff wrestled with our new wireless internet router. After a few hours without internet success, Jeff was getting crankier and crankier. The rainy morning we woke up to had turned into a partially sunny afternoon, so I suggested a bike ride to get some fresh air and turn his bad mood around.

We get all kitted up, head out, and got about two blocks when I hear a load hissing sound - the sound of my back tire blowing out. We pull over and start to work on replacing the tube with the spare that I had. As we're doing this, all of a sudden, we hear another hiss - my front tire has gone while the bike was just sitting in the grass. We pull out the other spare tube. Then we realize that Jeff's front tire has a slow leak and is getting flat as well. We pack everything up, and climb back up the hill to our house. About 15 minutes later, we've patched and switched out all tubes, with no spares, and try again. This time, we stop at Speedy Reedy to pick up new tubes (buy 5, get the 6th for free). Flash forward another 30 minutes or so, and guess what? Another flat. Fortunately, we have lots of spare tubes. We watch some deep grey clouds mounting to the north and wonder what else the ride will bring.

An extremely windy trip across the I-90 bridge (which I hate crossing in the best of conditions) was the worst of the front that we faced: we arrived home dry and without any more mechanical issues. We made fruit daquiris (to get in our 2 - 3 servings of fruit), Jeff managed to get the internet working (in a very short amount of time), and we relaxed in front of the last of the Tour de France with homemade quiche lorraine and heirloom tomato salad. Cranky day settled into pleasant evening.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How to Make My Day,

Biking into work early, stressed about all the stuff I have to get done (and not really sure how to do it), bummed about a bad morning scale reading, worried about next week's race, I'm stopped at a light downtown. The bus driver next to me waves, then opens his window.

"I saw you back on Dexter. You're fast!"

I laugh and wave, the light turns green, and I sprint off as hard as I can, trying to figure out how to hold onto this feeling as long as possible.

UPDATE: The point of this wasn't to point out that I was fast - I'm not at all fast on my commute; everyone in the world passes me on Dexter - but rather to highlight a rare and fun interaction in a normally cranky and often antagonistic relationship between bikes and busses.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swim, Bike, Run, Repeat

It's all about the tri in these parts these days, especially on the weekends. The weekend before last, for example, we started by visiting our favorite tri-shop (recently referenced in the Sunday comics), where Jeff bought a wet suit and I reserved one to rent for Troika. We then went on a long run to the lake where we swam (and I got lots and lots of bug bites). Sunday, long bike rides all 'round. This past weekend, I took things easy with a short run on Saturday, because I raced the Seafair Tri yesterday morning. Mondays this summer have become recovery days where I have to drag myself to and from work.

I was really happy with the way the race went. It was my first time really using my new aerobars (I had them on the bike for my first tri of the season, but was too chicken to use them), and it really showed; I PR'd the 12 mile bike course by 3+ minutes (about 10%), which translated to an overall PR (by the same 3 minutes; my swim was faster and run slower than the past few years).

One of the other reasons I was so much faster, however, is that I'm much more rested than I was this time last year. Once again, we're doing the Troika, half-iron distance tri in Spokane the first weekend in August. This year, however, without the nervousness I faced last year, I'm training much less, particularly in the running arena. I'm a little worried about what this will mean for next weekend (!!!), but figure it will just mean that things will be a fair amount slower and more painful.

Next summer, I'm planning to take things easy, and do things like hiking, or kayaking, or going to the movies...
Cocktail Hour "Conversations"

IM-ing a request for a beer is much nicer than yelling, "bring me a beer, b____," especially when it's written LOL-cat style.

Friday, July 18, 2008

NEWSFLASH: There is Tension Between Bikes and Cars!

All sarcasm aside, this is a good article about the benefits and issues of more bikes on the road. There is a lot of eduction that needs to happen on the part of both drivers and cyclists, not to mention major infrastructure work, to make cycling more of a real option for people. We can sigh all we want about how everyone bikes in the Netherlands, why can't we, but they started planning for a cycling infrastructure a generation ago. Same with Portland, OR. It's going to take a little while for the rest of us to catch up.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yet Another Omnibus Post

So I've left the depressing Junuary post to sit for weeks without an update. Since the post, the weather has turned to summer, I've vacationed in Mexico, enjoyed the first week of le Tour de France, and returned to a kicked-up busy work world.

Some posts-waiting-to-be-written include:
- A Tale of Bikes and Men
- Bombs Bursting in Air
- Lewis & Clark - an American Adventure
- Facebook props redux

I hope everyone else is enjoying summer proper!