Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Detritus

What little snow we've had this winter is gone, except for a large pile on the north side of my town's multi-story parking structure- stuff that was scraped off  the top level by the plough and won't be gone until June.

In many places the road along the fog line is liberally sprinkled with glass from jettisoned beer bottles- it's a minor miracle that i haven't punctured yet.

i used to wonder how so much brown and green glass wound up on the road until i witnessed some yahoos tossing out their beer bottles so as not to be caught with open liquor in their car.

i'm not sure what makes me angrier- the fact that people are consuming alcohol whilst driving or that they feel entitled to just toss their trash along the roads.

When i ride in more rural parts, i see a lot of beer cans and 12 pack cartons strewn along the right-of-way. One time i remarked to a riding companion that the overwhelming majority of those cans were from one or two of the more common brands of "light" ("Lite?") beer.  He pointed out that the reason for so many light beer cans being tossed was that they were ashamed to leave evidence in their cars that they actually drank such dreck. i mean, if you're going to drink beer, drink real beer. Ah well...

Along with the beer cans and bottles, i lately notice an alarming number of hard liquor bottles out there. Empty 750ml vodka and whiskey bottles are frighteningly common. When i find myself on an evening or nighttime ride i especially worry about this.

Among of the odder things i've seen are vanilla extract bottles. At the last couple of years' 3 Speed Tours there were dozens along the shoulder of Wisconsin 35. i wonder if under-agers were spiking their soda with the stuff...  How's that for desperate?

It's depressing to me that so many people feel it's okay to scatter trash along the highways and streets. i have on a couple of past occasions been able to scoop up someone's trash and toss it back to them at the next stoplight, but i don't think i'll do that any more since i never know who may be packing heat.

Of course, not everything i encounter on my rides is useless. Last Sunday i found a crisp dollar bill in the gutter- yea me! For some reason, 12mm box wrenches are a regular find, as well as the occasional pliers and other small hand tools... i once came back from a brevet with a claw hammer in my seat bag. You miss these sorts of things when behind the wheel of a car.

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

March Forth

The Order of the Day...

March comes in on clumsy feet,
 Kicks the trash cans down the street,
 Spills some garbage on the lawn,
 Blows the rest to hellandgone,
Knocks the branches off the trees, 
Gives the power lines a squeeze, 
Then March leaves and as it goes 
The sun comes out and then it snows.

-Richard Thompson (1957-2016.) 

My favourite poem of the season; from one of my favourite cartoonists, who is sorely missed.

 i did obey the Order of March Fourth today. It was a typical atypical late winter day here- a bit warmer than average and sunny. Of course, i forgot the sunscreen, but i probably got more windburned than anything. i dodged pedestrians and other riders on the MUP around Busse Woods, riding out on Molly, my Mercian path bike, pedaling every kilometer in a 66" fixed gear. Eight weeks to the first GLR brevet... so much more work to do.

Bridge over Higgins road, Busse path.




 The west bridge of the Busse Woods MUP was built a couple of years ago over Illinois route 72. The previous path used a crosswalk at the intersection of 72 and the frontage road of IL53/I-290. It took a fatality at that intersection to get the state to put in this overpass. The intersection can just be seen in the distance between the railings.

i usually avoid MUPs, but it's early season and the path wasn't yet completely overrun with skaters and dog walkers. It was also downwind from home, just in case i got a bit wonky on the ride back.
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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Road Rides Cancelled Until Further Notice





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                                                             Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Every Ride is a Recovery Ride

About 130 kilometers.

My total road distance for January, excluding errand rides. i don't usually count those distances because they're taken at only a bit higher pace than my walking speed (spoiler alert: i mosey on foot.)

i wasn't keeping track in December or November. i'd be surprised if it broke 200km total.

2017 wasn't a good year for my riding. Although i did manage to do three 200 km brevets, an invitational or two, and a long day's ride on Wisconsin's Wild Goose Trail and another on the Badger State Trail. 

With a few exceptions, i found that i've been having increasing difficulty being able to ride fast enough to keep out of my own way. i've never had tons of stamina, but in recent years, what stamina i've had has been ebbing. My doctor gave me a good going over last year, but nothing is obviously wrong. i live in denial that it's an age thing.

So, i've been practicing an attitude adjustment. i no longer try to chase down that guy up the road, nor step up my pace to keep up with any rider who passes me... for the time being.

Today there's an inch or two of snow on the roads and it's about 15 degrees American outside with a stiff wind. i'm holed up and considering my options. i do want to attempt some longer brevets this season- the first one of our club's rides is in April, so there's a lot of work ahead of me.

Downstairs my wife's bike is on the trainer. Her goal is to be able to do the two days' Lake Pepin 3 Speed Tour as discomfort-free as possible. We've done seven of these rides so far and we're really looking forward to it. i admire her ambition. As for me, i detest indoor riding- so much so that i sold off my wind trainer and rollers a few years ago- i hardly used them anyway, but now i'm regretting that decision. i think that tomorrow i'll be taking her bike off and setting up my own- have to start somewhere...

Basically, i'm at kilometer zero. Time to quit whingeing and to get busy.
                                                  
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It's all uphill.