This put the biggest smile on my face* -
*For some reason, this video is a little wonky in Firefox, so if you don’t see anything, try this link -
A lot of little threads and thoughts today. Some of which will probably be edited out in the interests of coherency.
Got a decent ride in yesterday, after weeks and weeks of too-short, too-fast commute rides. Rolled out on a gorgeous, sunny Saturday - the kind of mid-November SF Bay Area weather which we who live here get very quiet about as our cycling brothers and sisters are discussing winter gloves and studded tires. First ride in memory where I didn’t have my bag strapped to my back, and things felt light and smooth. Steered the Quickbeam over road and trail, enjoyed a freshly paved section of Paradise Drive, felt cosmically blessed when the surface turned back to bumpy and cracked and ripply, and all the race-folks fell behind on their high pressure 23C tires.
As a general rule, it seems to cause some consternation when a single-geared bicycle with tweed fender flaps goes past them over a rough and broken surface. Perhaps it’s the head-slap enlightenment. Just one of the many services we offer.
Just realized that I didn’t make a mileage post for the meager October tally. (tap, tap, tappity, tap) There.
Or rather here.
Finally upgraded my phone (the Razr that wouldn’t die), which means that I spent a couple evenings dinking around at the app store, up too late distracted by mostly less-than-useful technology. Was reasonably impressed by Pandora radio, which immediately knew about a couple of less-than-popular bands that I thought of. Only downside with them is the commercials. But, hey, nothing is “free”… Other than that there have been a few things, but I think I’m going to keep things reasonably austere for a while. (Maybe some folks will make some suggestions - so far the Photoshop, Sketchbook, Hipstamatic, StarWalk, Dragon Dictation and Evernote apps are all aboard and being used. Oh, and RedLaser, which is pretty much the end of retail as we know it. The one time waster I’ve allowed myself is Labyrinth.) None of which has to do with cycling.
For the past 30 days or so, rides have been of a different flavor. Busy times at the day job, more auditions now that I’ve got representation for voiceover work, and a few gigs have had me trying to compress more stuff into less time, and I often end up blasting home on the commute - curiously enough, often in time to get to yoga. Which must be some sort of a zen koan.
The whole practice of screaming homeward on a tallish, non-coastable gear seems to be paying off. On yesterday’s loop, there was a little lapse at about an hour, I suspect as that’s been the upper end of most of my rides of late, but then things started to notch into place. My legs and hips decided that they weren’t going anywhere, and decided to help out for a bit longer, and the back and arms started to relax and act like springs rather than shock absorbers. And when I felt like ratcheting up the pressure a bit, it actually felt like there was some latent speed in there. I don’t think I’m ready for the BASPS this year, but at least things aren’t feeling entirely monovelocic.
It’s also the time of year when everything suddenly gets darker an hour earlier. Which isn’t all that bad, as it takes my home commute out of the time of dusk, when people don’t seem to see anything and places it squarely in the night, when bright LED’s and USCG-approved reflective tape seems to catch their eyes. Indeed - the worst event riding recently was coming back from a noontime sandwich run, in broad, bright daylight, when someone entering from a side street decided they didn’t need to stop at the sign and tried to slide through it. Luckily my “HEY” horn seems to have appropriate volume and “cut through”…
Speaking of unaware drivers, I finally got a check from the insurance company to settle up property damage and expenses from the accident last June. It was a lesson in polite and helpful responses leading to no actual results, and a steadily stream of “oh, you know, we don’t have a copy of …. ” which had me re-faxing, re-emailing, and re-requesting medical clearances. For those of you keeping score at home, that was 15 months from the day of the accident. Just to clarify, this was the driver’s insurance company who redefined methodical slowness - my auto insurance was spot on, helpful, going to bat for me and quick to point out what I should do (get copies of police report, photograph damages, etc.). CSAA really rocked, and this year was one of the few times that I re-upped with them that I was actually happy about it. Of course, I’ve been with for freakin’ ever. But, in this day of online comparative pricing, and racing to the cheapest possible solution, I do wonder what the response would have been if I’d changed companies annually.
And, I am still of the opinion that it’s not a good idea to arrest the forward motion of a bicycle by sticking your index finger between your brake lever and a truck door. Just in case there’s any question about that.
Finally, I’m looking forward to today’s ride - we’re getting together with some friends who have a very energetic son who has been itching to go bike riding with us. Certainly, H.G. Wells observed
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”
…but it’s always great to remind the next generation.
Seemed like a meager bit o’ mileage this month of October, but there were a lot of other things going on.
First of all, in the non-bicycling world (unless you want to hire me to voice your cycling film, ad or cartoon…) of voiceover, I’m officially represented by Stars Agency, San Francisco. This is a good thing, and already led to a couple of video game jobs during the month. But, back to mileage.
14 rides, but reasonably clumped, so it felt like a fair bit of downtime. September was the lowest month this year at 223 miles, with some healthy gaps when I wasn’t quite 100% and work had me running around a bit. October pulled us out of the dive, with a total of 252 miles. (And this month - since I’m actually making this post in nearly mid-November - has gone well, with 11 rides for the first 13 days and mileage around 180). Through it all, I’ve managed to stay consistent with yoga, which has helped noticeably.
Been back on the Quickbeam almost exclusively (though the Zeus came out for some shorter commute days) - don’t know why precisely, other than the wondrous simplicity of jumping on and riding, and the push that it seems to give back when on a hill or upon reaching a certain speed on the flats. Something nice about a simple system.
Anyway, so as not to belabor the point -
Bikey Miles so far this year - 3449