Monday, November 30, 2015

A Promise Is A Promise And I'm A Woman Of My Word

Most of the time I am: a woman of my word that is. Not always, but most of the time. Last week I promised to take a selfie of my disproportionate physique and post it on my blog. But in between that promise and now there was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pie - and lots of it. I now look more like an overstuffed sausage than an upside down Popeye. Ok, so I don't really look like that but I feel as if I do.

Without further ado, here I am in all my sausage glory.

From behind
 
Nipping out in the front
Not completely updated since I have to confess that last weekend was an endless row of distractions in form of said turkey. I will get back to the promised pictures though in present time. But for now, you're welcome.

Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough

I think I've been good lately at staying calm even when I encounter asshats on the road, which there are many of. It's getting harder to remain calm though and I've pondered how to solve this so I can maintain my inner peace. This is what I came up with. Yes, I know that violence shouldn't be the answer but is this really violence? I'm not planning on hitting people with this, just cars. Like a little love tap on the side of their car.

Love tap anyone?
The way I've envisioned this is having the glove installed on the right side of my bike and the spring will be released by a button on my handlebar. Technically challenged as I am, I have no idea how to install this contraption but where there's a will there's always a way. The glove pictured above will be for asshats of the minor sort, but fear not I have a more serious glove for bigger asshats.

Not so loving...
I suspect this glove will cause greater damage to your beloved car and you will know I mean business. The glove on a spring was inspired by this video that was posted by Anton Rodman. I find this very disturbing. Considered yourself warned.



After recovering from having seen this horrifying clip I thought to myself: if an asshat driver can push a cyclist into a ditch, a cyclist should be able to push a car. Well, not actually push a car so it moves, but at least make a dent or two. And voila! Enter the boxing glove on springs. You're welcome. Ok, so just almost welcome because unlike the Heimlich Maneuver, this is more of a gesture at this stage.

I smell a kick-starter. We can call it the friendly greeter. Like those so-called neck massagers in Sky Mall Magazine, the name is just to confuse the law makers. I think it's far more likely that we can pass something seemingly benign like say The Friendly High Five, rather than the Asshat Driver Whack-A-Mole.

Oooh, my neck hurts. I found this handy neck massager in SkyMall. This will surely help

You did? Me too. My neck is just soooo tense!
 
Helping sore neck and arm muscles. Hitachi to the rescue!
Yeah, I don't care how many women you pose with this thing. We all know what it's really for. Not to worry though. I will hire a better PR firm to promote The Friendly High Five:

The Friendly High Five for when you also have an itch
If you are interested in sponsoring my kick-ass kick-starter, you can deposit money in my Nigerian bank account.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hello From The Other Side

I've finally done it - the scale is approaching the right side of the magical number and I'm a mere 5 lbs away from my goal. Not sure if I even need to get there since biking has made my physique tighter so my clothes fit like they used to before I became a fatty. Unfortunately I won't be able to flaunt this fine bod as planned this holiday season due to a canceled Christmas party. Don't these people know how much work I've put into looking this good?

Speaking of parties and food, I haven't changed my eating habits one bit. I still love my junk food and my carbs and not planning on replacing any of it with "healthy" food. After all, this was the reason why I started biking in the first place - to be able to eat what I want without expanding horizontally. My love for chips and potatoes runs deep and it's real and it's everlasting. Fortunately for me, my love for biking now runs equally deep.

Don't want to look like this
I might start going to the gym on the weekends. Never been a fan of gyms and my two careers as a bodybuilder lasted for about a week respectively. The only time in my life when I've been dedicated to goal oriented training was prior to passing the fitness test for the academy, but that was out of necessity not for pleasure/insanity. Lately I've been debating going to the gym because I'm no longer able to do my weekend centuries for the time being and also because I completely lack upper body strength these days. It's actually bordering on ridiculous and I don't want to be disproportionate in the sense that I'm all leg muscle and all wet noodle above my waist. Kind of like an upside down Popeye. Only time will tell if I am serious about the gym thing though. Given my track record I wouldn't hold my breath, but never say never.

Next thing you know, I'll be like this:



I don't know why I find this so funny but I do. Perhaps it's because I find all things German funny. It's like I'm making up for the lack of humor in the German population.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging as I literally have bigger fish to fry. Hopefully I'll be able to get at least one bike ride in between now and Monday. Lastly, if you missed this from SNL, you should watch it. Happy Turkey Day!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"You Don't Have To Do This!" + Ride Report

As I was biking home yesterday being all maudlin, I recalled something that happened when I first started out in uniform. I believe this is common for most women when they join - especially if you're young, like a rite of passage of sorts. Anywho, I was asked to go undercover in vice as a prostitute. At the time I was volunteering at the Boys And Girls Club.


I think it was the third time I was out walking the streets when I spotted a minivan in my peripherals and heard someone shouting something out of the car. I got a little nervous, but trusted my partners to have my back. The van was driving super slow as it pulled up along side me. I glanced over and recognized the father of one of the kids from the club in it. He had the passenger side window down and was leaning towards me as he was shouting, "You don't have to do this!" I shook my head and walked a little faster, hoping he would give up. He didn't. He then said, "Quick, get into my car. I will save you." I told him he was confusing me with someone else, but he still wouldn't give up. After urging me to be saved by him a few more times he eventually gave up.

I wanted to tell him I was undercover but couldn't. He didn't know I was a cop since we didn't know each other too well. Next time I saw him, he pretended like nothing had happened. I never explained and we never talked about it. Now when I think about it, I'm wondering why he was driving in the area in the first place. It was quite funny in retrospect - me decked out in complete hooker outfit with fishnets and all, him in his dad van pleading with me to get off the streets.

Looks more like a soccer mom than a street walker
On the topic of streets (smooth segue) I was almost mowed down this morning. I was crossing an intersection with a car that was passing me on the left. As it was passing me, the next thing I knew was headlights coming towards me from the lane going in the opposite direction. A car was turning to his left, not seeing me behind the car. He managed to stop in time and I was screaming like a little girl. I think I sounded like a cross between a sea lion and a squirrel. Lesson learned: when crossing intersections, take into account that cars cannot see me if I'm behind a car.

I decided not to get too freaked out by the near hit because of this: It doesn't matter whether I'm in a car, walking, or biking - there will always be near incidents. Take last weekend as an example when I was rear ended in my car. The difference is that I am far more vulnerable on a bike than in a car - which is why it seems scarier.

Also this morning - an abandoned motorcycle by the road. Unfortunately, a motorcycle cop was already standing by it. It was a pretty sweet ride. Red and shiny. Strange. It's not snowing today and I doubt it will but it's very wet which means I got to test my rain gear again and I'm happy to report that I'm still completely dry. Thank you new rain pants and sealskinz shoe covers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

In Another Life

For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to be something that had to do with law enforcement. As I grew older, my choice came down to either a lawyer or a police officer. I didn't become a lawyer. But law enforcement wasn't what I thought it would be. As much as I wanted to serve and do good, it ended up being soul sucking and nearly destroying my faith in humanity. I left before I wouldn't recognize myself anymore. I left, and never looked back - until now.


I suspect I might be going through an early midlife crisis of sorts as I've never been one for looking back. It's not that I question my choices per se, but it's like I'm taking stock of them and asking very quietly "what if". I'm not even going to talk about regrets because that's more of a death bed activity in my opinion, not to mention a pointless exercise. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

Hubby and I have a rule. If one of us suggests an activity the other person doesn't feel like doing, that person can't say no without coming up with at least two other suggestions. This is a rule I've applied in life as well - long before I met hubby. If I can't do something anymore, I have to come up with at least two realistic alternatives before I can throw in the towel. So when I realized law enforcement wasn't for me anymore, I had to come up with alternatives - and landed on health care.


Nice and warm but sad
As I went through some old stuff a while back, very early spring cleaning or whatever, I came across a box that contained old work attire. A couple of the jackets have come in handy lately. The one above and the dress jacket. Both extremely warm and windproof. The one above is even waterproof. I checked with the local branch and it's ok to wear both as long as I don't start directing traffic. Not bloody likely. However, looking through that box got me all nostalgic. Funny how the bad stuff seems to fade over time and the good memories linger. What I now remember is the camaraderie and strange encounters with the public and not the heart wrenching quagmire of people you wanted so badly to help but couldn't.

What I've also found is that my knowledge of traffic laws are lacking. Sure, some laws are universal but it's an entire different story being on a bike then walking the streets/driving a car. Perhaps I should have been a bike cop. I might have lasted longer had I chosen that (bike) path.

To end on a non navel contemplating note: My commute in this morning was cold but dry, just the way I like it. I feared slick roads but nada. The dry roads made for a pine needle less ride, meaning my bike wasn't covered in them post ride - which is when my good ol' tools come in handy.

Great tools for bike cleaning!
Yes, I still stand by my tools - and as a bonus I can test my bike for STDs.

I am contemplating participation in the Northwest Harvest Fundraiser Ride this year but haven't decided yet. My participation depends on how much prep work I have to do for the dinner we're hosting this year. We're doing the whole thing including a brined turkey, green beans, multiple pies, and whatever else I come up with. Probably something disgusting involving jello and marshmallows.

Friday, November 20, 2015

TGIFF

Yes, I absolutely meant to add that extra F. This week was one of those that yells "on your left" for then to pass you on the right.


No, not that
Not this either


This is more like it
This morning's commute was so cold I almost died. I wore my old work jacket and tied a wool scarf with tigers on around my head - but my butt will either fall off or live for another 100 years without me, depending on whether you believe in cryogenics or not. I guess it's time to invest in warmer pants.

I won't bike this weekend. For one, it's too cold, and secondly, I have decided to partake in close combat activities that may or may not involve the use of profanities and melee weapons: I am going shopping for Christmas presents. Every year it's the same thing - I say to myself that I will buy next year's presents on sale in January but it never happens. Oh, well, I suppose spending a night in jail due to fighting over the very last hyped up toy of this year's Christmas is part of the traditions. I might have to pop a valium before going.

Speaking of valium. One of my patients took one prior to the appointment, can I get space cadet for $200, Alex?

On the topic of Christmas, here's my list for Santa:

Waterproof handlebar pannier
Sealskinz for my other bike shoes
Warm bike pants
1,000,000 dollars

Not that much to wish for.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

People Are Weird - Myself Included

I'm on my weekly blog tour, browsing through the blogs I follow, when I stumble across this add on the Seattle Bike Blog:


I'm not sure why a bicyclist needs a real estate broker "who gets you". What does home ownership have to do with biking? Unless you end up buying a house that's in the middle of I-5, which wouldn't be very accessible via bike, or you buy a house that's on a tiny island, in other words not very bike friendly real estate - and this was after you told your agent that you are an avid bicyclist, but even so it's your own damned fault for buying terrible real estate, so your agent must either be extremely silver tongued or have something on you that makes you buy whatever in order to prevent that secret from coming out, and now you're stuck in the middle of the interstate or on the world's tiniest island. Perhaps I should just call her and find out why I need someone who understands my bicycling ways as my broker. I am in the market for a house.


Upon reading through the above blog I realized why I don't read this on a regular basis: it makes me depressed. It's like reading Bike Snob NYC's blog but without the humor or watching C-SPAN without Spanish subtitles. Once in a while there's something that doesn't make me want to call the suicide hotline over there, but for the most part it's a quagmire of budgets and statistics.

Loving more than one
Now onto something else that's on my mind - the polyamory thing. When hubby was gone last week, I had this vision of using those days for sniffing about but it didn't turn out that way. Not entirely sure why that is, but I seem to recall being tired and a little lazy. I'm a lazy polyamorist. Last time around things happened pretty similarly to the present scenario: I met someone completely out of the blue. I was very attracted to him - the attraction was stronger than any I'd felt for a long time. And I'm not just talking sexual attraction but an overall pull that had me all tingly and weird, feelings that would normally be considered unappealing to me but for some reason engulfed me like a welcoming hug.

Let's call him Evan. Evan and I ended up in a relationship. I fell head over heels and so did Evan. To make a long story short, what started out as a dirty secret ended up being a valuable glimpse into not only my own inner workings but also hubby's, for then to incidentally land on polyamory - or rather our own version of whatever that is. History has a way of repeating itself, and now I find myself at the threshold of a potential adventure. Evan and I were together for almost a year and I still think about him from time to time but we haven't stayed in touch.


I am a little hesitant to place myself in the polyamory category. Here's why: polyamory people have so many rules about this and that and everything. I prefer things to happen organically and let communication and trust frame it in a way that works for all parties involved. Easier said than done, I know, but it went remarkably well the last time, considering. Anywho, this is a lot of thinking for an early Thursday morning. For now I'm happy just the way things are - and outside the sun is finally shining.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rules Of Engagement

Hubby texted me yesterday while I was still at work:


Another greatest hits
Turns out I didn't have to be fat because there really wasn't any wind riding home last night. It was dark, though, and my rear lights went out - which was commented on by a fellow biker. As he rode past me he said; "Great reflectors, but you need a tail light." No shit, Sherlock. Not only do I have a tail light - I have two, but as luck would have it they both went out at the same time. Hmmm... I suppose he was right. I was also passed by a guy decked in spandex from head to toe. He zoomed passed me without a word, not even an "on your left". Whenever I see someone like that now I think of Josh Ross. Not the rude part, but the all spandex part.

My favorite hill was closed off due to a tree that had fallen and couldn't get up so I had to snake through an unknown neighborhood with a couple of steep hills. I got semi-lost twice but thanks to google maps I made it home. I discovered that it really sucks having to stop mid hill when you're not sure which road to take - especially when that hill is 10% grade. But, two steep hills, a couple of detours, and a fire engine later, I was home.

I now have somewhat of a first world problem when I bike passed Sammamish High School on 140th: the cars are too polite. I've almost toppled over a few times because I end up in a "no, you first" dance with a car. Since my bike lane is on the right, some cars actually take that into consideration before they turn right into the drop-off lane at the school so they wait. I'm just assuming that no one will stop, so I slow down and await their turn. And then the dance starts. I have started to cleat in, not anticipating to come to a full stop, so when cars don't go I am forced to stop. Probably have to stop cleating on that stretch.

Since it's Wednesday (the day I usually start planning weekend rides) and the monsoon is over for now, I am thinking of doing a longer ride this weekend. With this weather forecast, it would be hard to resist.


It's been so long now that I'm not even sure what that yellow spiky circle means. My options are either the Centennial Trail or The Interurban Trail, so north or south - but then again I might just bike around the big lake with an extra loop.

Year round commuters are weird and I think I fit right in; stubborn as hell, very equipment focused, and not awfully chatty.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Ostrich Factor

First let me say this: I'm scared.

I usually live under a rock when news are concerned. I don't usually watch news, nor do I look for it online. I will watch it briefly in the mornings now but that's mainly to catch up on the weather (even though it hasn't at all been reliable), but beyond those 10 minutes around 6:15am I have no clue about the ongoings of the world around me. This Friday was no exception.

I found out about Paris through Insta. Someone had posted this picture, and based on the comments I quickly realized something bad had happened.


I turned to CNN because who else can you trust to cover catastrophes but them and their ever present sensation hunger. Well, we all know what took place in Paris by now, but now there's Germany and people placing bombs in ambulances.

The world has gone mad.

I feel a growing urge not to want to know anything more. I don't want to hear about the horrors of the world. Oh, I know full well that people are capable of the most unimaginably cruel acts. I know the world can be evil.

I recall being so mad at my mother for walking out of a room if there was even the slightest reference to the Holocaust. I accused her of contributing to repetition and her unwillingness to remember was almost equal to denying it had taken place at all. I now understand her because I too am filled with an overwhelming urge not to want to see and hear anymore. There's just too much. My heart is full of sadness and fear instead of love and optimism.

Look, I know full well that evil like what happened in Paris takes place every single day in some places and I know that those acts are equally horrific and tragic. I just don't have it in me to feel the same dread and horror as I do right now in the aftermath of the Paris tragedy. My tiny heart just isn't big enough to hold it all and I'll admit that it's easier to sympathize with something that one can relate to culturally.

So now I find myself wanting to stick my head in the sand and pretend the last few days never happened and allow for my heart to heal. I might just get one of these:

 
After Ut√łya in 2011, one of the surviving victims said this: If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show together. This phrase gives me hope and that's all one can do after all - hope.


About Reinventing The Wheel

A somewhat heated debate took place yesterday about rain gear. One side argued that the old equipment was good enough, the other side argued against.

I biked a bit 10 years ago, and when I started out biking this time around I was amazed at how much fuss there seemed to be around bike gear - not to mention the bike itself. I don't recall having so much trouble in the past. What I recall is going into a bike sho where I bought a bike that served its purpose well. I even biked to Portland with it. I don't recall buying even a single item of clothing made of spandex and I biked through Thanksgiving in what I'm sure was pouring rain. Last time my commute was even longer than this time by 10 miles.

Granted, I was 10 years younger, not that I'm an old bag now but I might have been a little sturdier then. Or naive. Or weatherproof. I didn't get special bike pants, nor did I have shoes with cleats and rain cover. If I recall correctly, I had goretex ski shoes because they had really hard soles that would withstand the metal pedals that had grips. I had a regular rain jacket and regular rain pants that I think were my ski pants. So, nothing special - no special purchases. I think the only thing I bought were mittens that were made of old school waterproof material - you know that oily, thick material like those wax tablecloths.

I stopped biking because I got hit by a car and thrown over a traffic circle, which wasn't very pleasant. I wasn't seriously injured. In fact, I fared surprisingly well. Apart from a trip to Harborview with a non-detectable blood pressure, I had zero real injuries not counting a scraped up elbow, a dinged leg that got pinched between the car and my bike pre catapulting through the air, and a crushed helmet. In hindsight it could have gone so much worse. After being scolded by an ER nurse for being dehydrated, I was sent on my merry way. But I retired biking, and took the bus from then on. Until now.

I have no idea what's changed since then - as I'm sure spandex was invented 10 years ago. I just didn't own any. Actually, I'm lying. I did buy one outfit prior to biking to Portland but they were just bike shorts for spinning - on sale, and a runners top because I figured I'd be warm. But man, this time I have gone a little nutso in the gear department. What's different? Well, for one there's eBay, and I also bike a lot more. The longest I rode last time was to Portland. Apart from that I did some training prior to it by biking around Lake Washington three times in a row. But all of that took place less than a month prior to the STP. I did commute 30 miles daily, but that was it.


The thing is, I agree a little with both sides of the gear argument. While people (me included) fared well in the good old days pre spandex, I'm sure spandex has its benefits. With spandex I am including all things new in the bike equipment department. Spandex is just short hand for cleats, bike shoes, bike shorts, etc. I think the key is, no matter what one chooses to wear, is to be comfortable and happy. If wearing rain boots is what works for you, then great. If wearing cleats, shoe covers, and spandex make you happy, then good for you. The wheel might not need reinventing, but perhaps some modifications.

One thing I have noticed whilst navigating all things bikes is that people feel very strongly no matter what camp they subscribe to - it being steel frames versus carbon, shoes with cleats versus no cleats. Why? I don't know. Or rather, I haven't figured it out yet. I'm sure there's a reason. Maybe that reason is simply that people are being true to nature - if there's something one can disagree about, then why not. All I know when it comes to biking and spandex or not, is that I am trying to find what works for me - and sometimes it's cleats and other times not. I'm not going to preach we all smoke a peace pipe and gang up against cars because that's just silly, and I encourage feeling strongly about ones convictions - which makes for great entertainment as long as the argument is just verbal.

Monday, November 16, 2015

When Will The Fat Lady Sing?

This is getting ridiculous. Turns out I spoke too soon about my rain gear. The shoe covers got soaked on the way home Friday, the rain pants kept riding up my legs, and don't get me started on the gloves. Waterproof my ass. So much for staying dry. The gear failure prevented me from doing my weekend ride. Like I've said, I don't mind being cold or wet - just not in combination. And since I didn't have functioning rain pants, nor shoe covers, I knew I was going to be both. Last Saturday fresh in memory, I wasn't about to head out for another misery ride. But I am not a quitter, so off to REI and the LBS I went. I returned the malfunctioning rain gear and exchanged it for Sealskinz gloves and shoe covers.


I bought these rain pants at one of the small local bike shops. They are made by Endura and are super long. Apparently REI doesn't get the mechanics of cycling well with their short short pants.



By the end of the winter season, I will be an expert in rain gear. What I've learned so far is that waterproof doesn't necessarily mean waterproof and clothing that seem ok at first try, aren't so the second time around.

This morning's commute was very cold and for the first time the roads felt slick so I had to slow down significantly in order not to have a wipe-out. I am still standing by my commitment to bike through the winter unless there's snow. I will have to get something for my face as well unless I want my cheeks to suffer from frostbite. My face was the only cold body part, which can probably be remedied easily.

I am really hoping this is it for rain gear because I am running out of options. If this doesn't work, I don't know what to do. This morning was not a good test for other than proving the pants and gloves were windproof as there was no rain.

Why am I obsessing so much about rain gear? I could always call it quits for the season and drive to work. That would be the sensible thing to do. For me though, the rewards I get from biking to work far outweighs the minor inconveniences. And I don't feel that I'm asking too much - since all I'm asking is to stay dry to and from work for a total of 20 miles. So be it if I can't do weekend rides for a while, but I am not giving up my bike commute.

Here's to hoping I will hear singing by the end of the week.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Preliminary Rain Gear Review

I am so happy to report that my new rain gear is holding up. Rain was forecasted and rain it was this morning. It was pouring down but I stayed dry. Completely dry. This is what I got:

Waterproof gloves

Shoes with cleats - say whaat?

Shoe covers
 
Rain pants
Ok, consider me converted as far as the cleat shoes go. If my new rain gear holds up as well as it did this morning, I've finally stumbled onto something. The rain pants are REI brand - Novara. I know, I probably shouldn't encourage REI in their in-house equipment making, but I don't really care too much about the pants other than them being waterproof. The shoes are Shimano and they're neither here nor there yet as I haven't biked with them much. They seem ok, though.
 
Shoe covers by Pearl Izumi. Again, nothing special, but they seem to hold out water well. The gloves are ski gloves, but who cares as long as they are waterproof. I've given up on the lobster gloves in downpours.
 
But yeay for staying dry, and I really hope I will continue to stay dry. I don't think I'll install front fenders on my bike just yet, so I guess that makes me only 50% #teamfenders364.
 
Happy Friday. I really need it to be weekend.

A Pain In The Ass - The Saddle Conundrum

The first thing I noticed when I got my first new bike was that the saddle hurt like hell. Just biking in to work that first morning with a new bike not only had my butt hurt for hours, but it also caused my upper thighs to get numb. I quickly switched back to my old seat and the pain went away.

Now this is a serious saddle!
Now that I'm biking quite a bit, I'm starting to notice that the old seat might not be up to par but I'm reluctant to switch. I know that the saddle on the new bike was a plain and probably not very ergonomical stock seat so that shouldn't be my comparison and a reason not to try a new saddle, but better the devil you know, right?

Compared to this - I have no complaints
I have no idea what type of saddle I have, nor who the manufacturer is, but it works on shorter rides that are less than 60 miles. Anything longer than that, I start to notice some chaffing and butt pain. I am beginning to suspect that my saddle is meant for people with exterior plumbing which excludes me. I've started window shopping for a new saddle but haven't decided whether I'll get one yet or not.

Here are the contenders so far:

The Bontrager Evoke RL WSD

 

The Charge Spoon
Fizik’s Arione

WTB Deva


 
I'm leaning towards the WTB Deva - but like I said, I'm still just window shopping. Why the Deva? It looks comfy and I'll admit - slightly prettier than the other ones. I'm a girl when it comes down to it. Yes, I know pretty shouldn't be a factor when it comes to a bike saddle, but there you have it.
 
I suspect this would be quite painful and contribute to interesting butt patterns
I got my new helmet yesterday and I don't know if I'm just imagining, but the cars were much more considerate this morning. I was given all kinds of space, but then again it could have been a good morning just because.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Like Big Hills And I Can Not Lie


The favorite part of my commute is the last hill before I get home. It's about a mile long and snakes around with the perfect percent of climb.



I like it even more now that it's dark, and the bike lane is super wide making for one of the most enjoyable climbs in my area.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I love climbs. The longer, the better - which is probably why High Pass Challenge didn't scare me away from biking even though it was very cold, very rainy, and very hilly. There's something so meditative about climbing hills - when I climb hills it's just me and my bike working in perfect unison. Fortunately there's tons of hills in my area and when we come out on the other side of winter, I have a long list of hills to conquer.

But today I'm not biking to work. Say what? A combination of things made it impossible for me to ride my bike in, so instead I'm driving. Grrrr. It's strange going off my routine and I feel something is missing. However, I will be back on the bike tomorrow.

I bought rain pants, shoe covers, and waterproof gloves last night at REI. It's supposed to rain -  a LOT - tomorrow, making it perfect test conditions. I know all too well that just because something is supposed to be waterproof doesn't necessarily mean it it. The jury hasn't even been led out to the court room yet.

Not sure if I'm doing a weekend ride this coming weekend because while I've been biking, things have piled up a bit. I have people to see and places to be, plus there's a big storm heading in my direction and we all know how much I love to bike in headwind. Knowing myself, chances are I will be biking so we'll see.

I didn't take the lane on my way back home last night and it was fine. Since the attempted murder of earlier this week, I'm not sure if taking the lane is the correct solution. One could argue that statistics speaks for taking the lane. So far there's only been one asshat out of probably 100 cars that have passed me, which for the most part makes taking the lane the best option. But then there's the fact that it only takes one - it only takes one terrible driver and it's game over. And then it doesn't matter how many cars passed me and nothing happened, because I will still be dead or seriously injured.

I'm getting a new helmet today and I'm excited about it. I'm conducting an experiment to see if this will help traffic safety.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life Happens While Biking

When I first started writing here it was mostly about bikes and biking, but biking doesn't exist in a vacuum so while I still care deeply about everything that involves me and my bike - life happens. Life happens while I'm biking and in between biking so you might have noticed that my writings have become slightly more personal as of late. But there's a balance, because things last forever on the internet. Once it's out there, it's out there forever and ever. There are no take-backs. I try to keep that in mind as I write about myself here.

No worries, this ain't no diary, nor will it ever contain heart shaped dots...
I don't mind sharing slightly personal things, but there's protecting the innocent like hubby and other people I care for. And I think that protection also has to apply to what I'm sharing about myself - even though that technically is my decision. But say I wrote I have every STD in the book: while that technically is my information to share, it would have ramifications for hubby as well. Because that says something about me, but not only me, but also my partner. Just to clarify: I don't have any STDs. Never have, hopefully never will.

Protect what you love
The above was meant as an example. On second thought, it might as well have been about affairs I have or gerbils I've killed. What I'm trying to say is that I believe there's a balance between being open and sharing too damn much. I don't want to end up in the latter category. I was also debating whether I should register with my name or an alias. I chose an alias because I hadn't decided what my online participation should be yet. I still haven't decided on the anonymity. Some days I don't care, other days I feel limited because there is a handful of people now who know who I am in real life.

This long intro leads to the following. I've met a boy. For the moment it's neither here nor there and it might be nothing, but I am curious by nature and currently restless. Not typically a combo that ends with me sitting in a corner twiddling thumbs. I'll admit I have been open to opportunities but not in an active sort of way like placing ads online or creating profiles on various sites.

It's never easy to meet someone. Married or not. But it's a little easier to meet someone whose daily ongoings I won't be a part of. Whose dirty socks that will never be my problem, and whose annoying habits that were charming in the beginning but now drive you to the edge of sanity at times, will remain charming because they won't be a daily occurrence. It's like being an aunt instead of being a mother - all play and fun and no arguing about bedtime.

Why write about this here? While I'm just thinking and haven't decided either way, this seems a good way to process. Because there really isn't anything to discuss with hubby yet. And chillax, I'm not an adulterer nor would I ever be with a partner that "belongs" to someone else without said partner's consent.

So we will see if this meeting leads to me; a girl, standing in front of a boy...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ghost Bikes And Ghost Husbands


During my horrid ride of Saturday, I found out whose ghost bike it is that's placed in Kenmore. The cyclist who died was 70-year old Gordon Gray.

The detective on the case determined Gray failed to stop at a stop sign right before the crash.

While I don't know if that's true or not, it's a miracle no one else has died or gotten seriously maimed in that particular area. I have yet to see a single bicyclist stop by at the stop signs in Kenmore (unfortunately myself included), the cars do and don't, and don't even get me started on the low-flying pelotons. I'm sure being a member of a group has its advantages but from the outside it's still hella annoying. The groups I encounter on my rides are rude as hell - meaning they ride four abreast, taking the entire trail, not moving when I come along, and they don't say anything when they pass me with less clearance than the asshats driving cars.

Did I mention I detest pelotons? Not saying there might be great and very polite groups that consist of gentlemen whose mothers taught them manners, but I have yet to encounter one.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a peloton!
Things have improved somewhat on the homefront. Hubby and I did a few things together this weekend which was nice. That means I have to rethink my new nickname for him, which would have been Casper - as in the friendly ghost. You know, because I never see him even when he's home. We went out for dinner on Saturday, then lunch on Sunday. So sorry, Channing, we'll have to reschedule our rendezvous.

Most of the time I don't think about this, but from time to time it hits me how much work it is to be a grown up. Work is work, responsibilities are work, relationships are work, kids are work, and even relaxing is work. I can't spend too much time thinking about this and ultimately question the meaning of life, because I'll most likely go bonkers like most of the famous philosophers did. One just can't start thinking about how a table isn't really a table or whether the shadows on the cave wall is what's real or not and expect to remain sane. Seems like most of my life is spent forging on these days and I don't like it so something's gotta give. Just to clarify - I am not unhappy just restless. Perhaps it's an early midlife crisis of sorts.


Hubby is going away for a few days which will give the heart a chance to grow fonder, but if I know myself the time will most likely be spent on Netflix. Unlike hubby, I don't typically take my work home which allows me to untangle completely from work related issues. I've always preferred it that way, all though I have been thinking about moving on from where I am now. Major changes are taking place where I currently work, but for now I'll sit it out and see where all the pieces land once it's all said and done.

To stop or not to stop, that is the question.
This morning's commute was great! Except for a very stern school bus driver - which leads me to a question: do I have to make a full stop for school buses when they have their red blinky lights on when I'm on the side walk on the other side? On my bike? Up where I live there are quite a few school buses in the morning if I time it just wrong. This morning I saw red lights up ahead so I went onto the sidewalk so I wouldn't have to wait for the children to board. As I'm biking passed the bus while on the sidewalk, the driver opens the window and yells that I have to stop. Say what? I have never seen a pedestrian stop and wait for a school bus but what do I know. Apparently not traffic laws.