Archive for April 2011

Like Dad

April 29, 2011

One of the things that I think is funny about my father is the network of friends and acquaintances he has.  When he goes to a Lady Bears Game, he likes to get there at least an hour early and make the circle of his buddies scattered around the arena. 

That’s kind of the way I felt last night as I was riding home.   I kept running into people I know.  I encountered Jim at National and Cherry and rode with him quite a bit of the way home.  It took a couple of tries before I managed to snag him in an over the shoulder photo.  I think he helped by riding into the sweet spot for me!  Ignore the ugliness in the foreground!

  Then, as I was huffing up the hill at Dan Kinney Park, I spotted Carter.

I actually saw a couple other bike commuters yesterday and this morning as well.  I think it’s getting that time of the year where more are getting on the road, but these two are year-round riders.

Today is “save the legs” day in anticipation of some punishment tomorrow.  More on that when it’s over, but it sure was hard riding at a recovery ride pace today when the weather was really nice and we didn’t have the wind that’s been punishing us so often lately.

God bless…

TW

Two bikes

April 28, 2011

See the two bikes parked outside the locker room at work yesterday?  They’re two completely different animals, yet neither is better than the other. 

One is built for speed.  You can lift it with just a finger.  It has nothing but high-end components, with a lot of bling factor.  It’s adorned with the name of the racing team the owner rides for.  It does what it’s made to do very well.  It’s also very fun to ride.

The other is built for utility.  It’s not so light, but it is ever so comfortable.  It’s got mid and low end components, and is adorned with lights, racks and fendors to add functionality.  It was specifically built up for commuting through town, and it does that very well.  It’s also very fun to ride.

It doesn’t matter which one appeals to you the most.  Choose one, then get out and ride!

God bless…

TW

Off the ark

April 27, 2011

Whew!   After several days of monsoon weather and a trip to St. Louis with my dad to see a doctor, I was finally able to come down out of the ark today and ride my bike to work.  The only place I had any issues is pictured above, the intersection of Catalpa and Barnes.  It’s down from what it was earlier…check out Jim’s picture of the same place. 

I waited here a few minutes for a car to attempt it so I could see how deep it was out there.  I could have easily turned around and gotten around it, but I didn’t think it was deep enough to warrant doing so.  The first car was turning around as I approached, and the second was a VW Bug that turned around rather than cross through.  Finally:

After seeing him cross, I followed on my bike.  Fortunately, the bottom bracket is high enough on the Surly that I was able to keep my feet dry as I pedaled through down the middle of the street.  Hopefully, the monsoon is about over for us.

God bless…

TW

People I See – 4/21/2011

April 21, 2011

The people I usually feature in my “People I See” posts are usually those I encounter while riding my bike, but today is a different experience that was just too good to pass up.

This is Diane!  I met her today while I was out walking at lunch.  She was set up in the Central High School parking lot painting a picture of the school.  She graciously allowed me to take a photograph, and genuinely brightened my day!  I’m glad I stopped….

God bless…

TW

Dog Repellent

April 20, 2011

The other day when we were out on the tandem, we had a dumb little dog give chase, and we couldn’t outrun him, so Pam had to pull out the dog repellent.   That really doesn’t happen very often, but when they get the right angle on you, it can get nasty. 

It was a dog that broke my collarbone several years ago, and I’m pretty sure we broke a dog’s leg once with the tandem when it ran in front of us.

That incident on the tandem was enough to make us decide that we we needed to invest in dog repellent of some sort.  Pam has always been nervous about dogs that chase us, but that one could have taken us down.  We’ve never gone down on the tandem, and I sure hope we never do.  It’s bad enough to go down yourself, but it would be hard to bear if I caused Pam to go down with me.

Anyway, we went out and bought a can a pepper spray and put it in Pam’s Bento Bag on the tandem where it would always be within easy reach.  We know it’s effective on even the biggest dogs, because we’ve seen it in action.  But….after three or four dog chases and never getting a shot off, we decided pepper spray wasn’t going to be our weapon of choice.  The problem was, Pam was always concerned (and rightly so) that to get a shot off and not have the spray blow back on us, she had to wait until the dog was behind us, and by that time we really didn’t need it.  So, the pepper spray went into the trash and was replaced by

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