Monday, February 29, 2016

Chilly Rainy Windy Hilly

The much anticipated Sunday finally arrived. First organized ride this side of 2016.

I laid out my choice of clothes the night before, packed my handlebar bag with unnecessary things (per usual), put the bike in the car - yes, I decided against riding downtown because I didn't know how much steam I would have left post ride, and set the alarm to 6 am.

The morning arrived with spotty rain in Issaquah, however the weather forecast predicted showers throughout the day. My last ride with COGS was a slightly painful one. Man, oh man, how much difference padded pants make. There are times I am not happy about my lady parts. After the COGS ride I was so sore that I walked like a bowlegged cowboy for days after.

Not wanting to repeat that beaver slaughter, I chose the padded route. However, none of my padded pants have long legs, so I wore knee high socks with the choice of pants. I threw the rain pants in the car just in case, thinking I wouldn't need them. Boy, was I wrong.

As soon as I approached Seattle, the rain started dumping down in buckets. The wind picked up, causing the rain to come sideways. I lucked out with parking, finding a spot right across from the ferry dock. The first thing that happened was a homeless guy knocking on my window, wanting to wash my car - in the rain. He was carrying a bucket full of supplies. He told me he was a veteran  who had fallen on hard times and just needed money for breakfast.

Me, always the bleeding heart, gave him $5 and requested he not wash my car. I know the $5 probably didn't go towards a breakfast, but who am I to judge. One man's recreational fodder is another man's liquid breakfast. The homeless man advised me to put up my seats so my car looked less like it was going to be parked there all day, making it a target. I didn't take the advice, even though it cost me $5.

Bainbridge! A fresh load of spandex coming at ya!
I didn't know how many people would show up due to the weather, but pretty soon the entire ferry dock was as full of spandex as the pride parade.

Find the guy in yellow
Kevin being funny
Turns out Kevin didn't have to wave since he was easily spotted as the only guy texting on his phone.
Kevin and I were soon joined by other people from COGS and together we waited the longest 30 minutes ever for the ferry.

Some of you should NOT wear spandex
The ferry was full of strutting peacocks and, sorry guys, but some of you should really consider concealing your weapons. See, what happens when I'm in a seated position, your non-secured weapons are pointed right at face height. My face. And should your weapon discharge, I won't be very happy.

All the bitches in line at the bathroom
Funny observation: partaking in an organized bike ride is like being in a reverse club. During my party days, the lines of the women's bathroom were miles long, whereas the men's bathroom didn't have a line. On board SS Spandex, the roles were reversed - which just goes to prove that bike rides are male dominated. My guess on this ride is that the ratio was 1/30.

The rain was light when we spewed out of the ferry in Bainbridge and the "hill" from the ferry was not a hill. Slight incline at best. I tried slowing down, but couldn't. My legs just wanted to go, go, go. Pretty soon the rain increased, but I stayed dry in my rain jacket and pants. The only parts of me that suffered slightly were my feet. Didn't wear my goretex shoes. Oh, well, it could have been worse.

The weather was typical Washington. It changed from rain, sun, wind, and every combo in between. The worst part was the wind. There was one stretch of the ride where we biked close to the water in headwinds of 25-30 mph. It felt as if I was biking on a stationary bike. I was pedaling like crazy, but didn't seem to move anywhere.

No gold at the end of the rainbow, but plenty of spandex
As y'all know, I am no fan of stopping when I'm on my bike, but I decided to do a brief swing-by at Battle Point Park where they served the usual grub. I grabbed a few things for later, ate a banana, took a photo, then headed out on the road again.

I made another exception a bit later on.

I can see Russia, I mean, Seattle from my house!
I finished the ride in a little over two hours, which I think is respectable. The people were friendly, the hills were great! Oh, the hills really were alive with the sound of - if not music - huffing and puffing. The hills were my absolute favorite on this ride and I had plenty left in the tank when all was said and done at 33 miles.

Awesome hills!
As I thought, I'm not the fastest, nor the slowest. Mid-pack is my wheel house, but I climb well. The people that were passing me on the flat, I passed on the climbs.

A load of sweaty spandex headed off the island
I caught the 11:30 am ferry back to Seattle. As you can see, it was a real sausage fest. Not sure what's next since there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of rides in March, but if there is one, I will find it!

Oh, and the ride ended with a flat - which must have happened the last stretch from the ferry to my car. Pinch flat. Go figure. My changing time is down to 5 minutes. Yeay!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Great Tea Robbery

I was joking about shanking the other day, more about that later.

Yesterday was not so fun. As some of you know, I spent three hours at the dentist.  But all is well that ends well, and I'm not feeling anything today. I had hoped to go out biking in the spectacular weather after, but didn't feel well enough to do so. I couldn't feel half my face, nor my nose, so I just headed home to feel sorry for myself.

This morning. Oh, this morning.



Everything aligned to make my ride in the best so far. I tell you, there's nothing quite like seeing the sun again in all its glory after several months of biking in the dark/dusk. The sun turned my happy meter up from content to sparkly rainbows.

Oh, hello again!
The photo doesn't do the morning justice.

I don't like to stop and take photos when I bike. Biking is for biking, not for smelling roses.

A little later on in my commute, I had to make and exception.

The first thing I saw was a pair of bandage scissors. Then a pool of blood. Lots of beer cans. A bag of tea.
Are they new? It's my favorite color! Maybe I can use them?
This is what I think went down.

Someone was walking along, carrying a bag of delicious tea. Probably already planning in their head how wonderful that cup of tea would be.

Tea bags in a bag
But the plan was thwarted by a group of people drinking beer in what seems a likely spot to have a party at - at the side of a busy road. These people had run out of beer, spotted the bag of delicious tea, and someone said:

"Hey, man, I sure could use some tea."

The person carrying the tea didn't want to give up the tea so easily, with this result:

Blood, beer, and bandage scissors
Ok, so maybe this wasn't exactly what happened, but where there's bandage scissors there's EMS.

In all seriousness, it's a little disconscerning since this is an area where there are a lot of homeless people hanging around. Hopefully no one was seriously injured.

Chilly Hilly happens on Sunday - rain and wind forecasted so business as usual in other words.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Managing Great Expectations

The weekend I've been looking forward to with much anticipation is finally here: Chilly Hilly.

Seems I have do adjust my expectations since the best part of the ride might just be the ferry ride. I thought Chilly Hilly came with distance options like Kitsap Color Classic did, but is seems that this is not the case. The entire ride is no more than 33 miles, which is barely enough for the warm-up lap.

Chilly Hilly has been kicking off the cycling season in the Northwest on the last Sunday in February for the past 44 years. The 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island starts with a scenic early morning ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle, or you can join the crowd directly on Bainbridge Island.

The climbs amount to just above 2,000 feet. That's what I do on my daily commute. I'm a little disappointed, but I'll get over it. This will teach me to read the details next time I consider signing up for a ride. But it is a Cascade ride, and so far every ride organized by them have been great. All rides have been well supported, the people have been friendly, and the grub has been awesome - except for the boiled potatoes they had at Kitsap Color Classic that I had no idea what to do with. But at least there will be cookies. And maybe heroin. Or meth.
Don't bother, they don't have meth
Post-ride I find myself having all sorts of cravings and sometimes they manifest themselves like this:

Me: I think I’m craving heroin.

Hubby: What?

Me: Well, I assume it’s heroin. It could be crack. I don’t really know.

Hubby: Start over. Make sense this time.

Me: You know when you’re craving something, but nothing satisfies the craving and so you just keep eating? But nothing works and so you’re full but you’re still craving something but still you don’t even know what it is that will satisfy the craving?

Hubby: Not really.

Me: Well, normal people do and I’m one of them, and I’ve eaten everything in the kitchen and I’m still craving something else so I’m assuming it must be something I’ve never had before. Something like heroin.

Hubby: Right. So popcorn didn’t satisfy you, so you just automatically assume you need heroin?

Me: Or maybe meth. Maybe I need to find a meth lab.

Hubby: Just stop talking.

Me: I was just thinking that meth labs aren’t like regular labs because they’re faster than regular labs. Like, if I need to know if my chest x-rays are clean it takes days for a doctor to let me know, but if I go down to that meth lab by the lake I’d probably get served immediately. Or shot immediately. One of those.

Hubby: How do you even know where a meth lab is?

Me: I don’t, but I just assume that there are some by the lake. Because scientists like water sports.

Hubby: Scientists?

Me: I’m pretty sure if you work in a lab all day you’re considered a scientist.

Hubby: Not if it’s a meth lab.

Me: It’s a loose definition, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.

There's An Untapped Market Out There

A few of the reasons I'm going to hell:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Object Of My Desires

Giant Defy Advanced 2

It's so pretty.

I. Want. This.

How Climacteric Is On A Sliding Scale

Last night I did a quick check of my bank account. I shouldn't have. The last time my account was this empty was after I tried helping that poor business man from Nigeria.

I almost called 911 but saner heads prevailed as the memories of purchasing the Cascade season pass and other bike related "necessities" came into focus. Good lord, I've spent a TON of money, but after doing a quick think it became very clear that my purchases were more than justified, if not to say climacteric. I mean, you can't put a price on happiness and health. (Ok, so the US government and Medicare are trying their best to do just that.) Also, by not driving to work in my car, I am saving the world, doing my bit to stop the ice from melting and drowning us all.

You're welcome.

I've also heard that biking makes a person calmer - something that's a work in progress and really I'm not sure biking has that effect on me, but it can't hurt. But for some reason I seem to have become angrier after I started biking. Perhaps that's the bike version of road rage, or maybe it's my body producing rage fuel to keep me pedaling. There's a lot of fuel in anger. True story, famous people.

In case I have to justify my bike expenses

Fatalistic, but still an excellent reason
At least I'm not spending money on filo.

One of my friends talks about spending all of his weekly bonus money on filo and I was all “That’s awesome.” Because I love pastries. And it’s relieving for me to know that I’m not the only one buying impulse carbs but then this week he was all “Like the new jacket? It’s filo.” And I was all “How are they making jackets out of pastry dough? Is this like when hemp wasn’t just for smoking anymore? Because I’m confused.” Then my friend was all “No. FILA, dumbass. It’s a brand name. You thought I was spending all my extra money on pastry?” and yeah, I did. Because that's the world I want to live in!

Also, now I’m hungry for filo.


To divert my thoughts from filo and spending (too much) money on bikes, here's a story about making beds.
Bugs, you said?
Me: You know when you’re making the bed but the cat jumps up on it and you keep pushing him off but he jumps back up because he thinks you’re playing a game with him and he’s pouncing on all the wrinkles you’re smoothing away and finally you decide to teach the little bastard a lesson and so you just pull the comforter over the cat so he’ll see why he shouldn’t get in your way and you stare expectantly at the lump of cat in the middle of the bed, but it doesn’t move so you wait longer and it still doesn’t move and you suddenly suspect that maybe you’ve suffocated him and that you’ll have to explain to your vet that you watched your cat smother because you were trying to teach it a lesson? About beds, I mean. Not about smothering. And then you lift up the cover tentatively and your cat stares at you like, “What? What do you want?” And so you’re like “Fine. Be that way.” And you put the covers on again and walk out angrily, but then an hour later you come back and the cat lump is still there and you think, “Shit. This time I’ve really done it. There’s a lump of dead cat in there.” But then you take a deep breath and lift up the cover and the cat looks exactly the same (except maybe squintier) and you realize that he’s playing the long game and that you’re never going to be able to relax with him under there so you give up and pull the cat out and he goes limp and looks at you like, “I don’t know why you’re mad at me. You did this. I was just laying under the covers. Because that’s what you seem to have wanted. I just want to please you.” And you’re not falling for your cat’s sarcasm because that’s how they win, so you just give up and drop the cat on the floor, and then you start to remake the bed and the cat jumps under the covers again and is like” HA! I was just fucking with you. This bed is mine, bitch.” And then you just scream “Fuck this” and then you jump onto the bed and start kicking around and crawling under the sheets and frantically shoving your hands under the pillows so that you can show your cat exactly how ridiculous it looks, but then another cat walks in the room and he’s like “What are you doing? IS THERE A BUG IN THERE?” and then he jumps up and starts frantically sticking his paws under the pillows too and looking up at you for guidance and then you feel guilty for giving him false bug-hope and so you just give up and walk away?

Hubby: I’ll give you a dollar to stop talking.

Me: You asked me why the bed was all messy.

Hubby: My bad.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The COGS Went Spinning


Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can go on to writing about a great bike ride.

Saturday I went biking with the COGS. This was the ride I thought slightly silly because I would be biking 15 miles to do a 30 mile ride. But, I am nothing if not silly so I hopped on my bike and headed for our meeting point, which was easier said than done it turned out.

Let it be said that I loathe the I-90 trail, Mountain to Sound Greenway. I hate it because it's badly signed and I always get lost at least twice when I attempt to take it. This may or may not be linked to my lack of directional abilities, but I'm only willing to blame share at 30/70 (the 30% being me).

The I-90 Trail
Glorious weather
The I-90 bridge
Probably the only signs on the trail - NOT helpful
Per usual, I took the wrong turn three times but eventually made my way across the water. The weather was glorious, a bit cold, but perfect for biking. I encountered many a +Josh Ross look alikes but all were nice and polite like.

The directions to the meeting point were a little vague so I ended up waiting in the wrong parking lot. We were supposed to meet up at 10 am and take off at 10:15, but when 10 rolled around and I didn't see any other people on bike I decided to head to the other parking lot where our meeting point also could be. Turned out that was it.

There were 11 of us in the group and all of them were worse than me as far as giving signals and knowing how to ride in a line. They were braking left and right and turning willy nilly without letting the people behind know what they were up to. Oh well, I adjusted my riding accordingly and the ride went off without any incidents.

The ride was called Bellevue and Beyond, but turned out to be to Bellevue only where we stopped for lunch (yes, my favorite thing to do... NOT). The bagel was yummy though and the diet Coke was devine!

The ride started out at the Arboretum, across I-90, then the Mercer Island loop, and from there to Bellevue.
From Washington Park Playfield to Bellevue
The Mercer Island Loop
It was a first for me riding the Mercer Island loop and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not a lot of traffic because the only people driving on the island are people living there. There were no traffic lights, which made for a great non-stop ride.

I found a couple of riders who rode at my pace and the three of us rode around the island together. I highly recommend doing the loop - if  you can find your way onto the island.

Even though this ride wasn't exactly my cup of tea as far as stopping and going and stopping for food, I'm glad I went. For a couple of reasons. One, I met some pretty cool people - and two, it was a good gauge for how I handle longer rides than the 10 miles I do on my commute.

I found out I do well on climbs but I've forgotten how to hydrate well. All in all I biked 50 miles and next Sunday is Chilly Hilly. I got my bib and my meal ticket and I can't wait!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Throwback Friday - High Pass Challenge

This was the first post I wrote, and the weather being the way it is and since I'm feeling a little lazy today - I am reposting my debut in the world of blogging. High Pass Challenge, probably not the logical choice of first organized ride ever, but a great test of strength.

I am also posting this again because I am participating in my first organized ride this year tomorrow with a group of COGS.

I did it - and I think that's very descriptive for most women who do this ride. As a fellow female rider said; "Most women who do this ride do it to see if they can do it, whereas most men do it to prove that they are - in fact, MEN".

I have never done anything close to these kinds of elevations before but being that I commute daily with a pretty solid hill towards the end, I figured it was worth a shot. I've also done a few long rides the past month, all well over 100 miles. I also googled the ride - A LOT. I even watched the full length youtube videos someone has posted. Not the entire eight hours or so, but enough so I thought myself prepared.

I also found this hilarious guide to climbing grades by Fat Cyclist.

However, no one really said anything about how one knows if one is prepared enough to pull this off. There were a lot of bragging blogs about having finished (another one added...), and how fast one was able to finish, but nothing very helpful for my purposes. I will get to that at the end of this.

I took off from home at 3:50 am. Having packed everything the nigh before, I could just get in my car and start driving. The weather forecast had predicted temperatures in the low 70s and 20% chance of rain - yeah, right...

I arrived at Packwood a little before 6 am and stopped at Cruisers Pizza for a very mediocre and expensive breakfast but I needed the fuel. I made my way over to the start line parking lot around 6:30. The parking lot was already pretty full. I got the bike out of my car and loaded it up with everything I had packed. Too much, as it turned out. I had packed a handlebar bag full of power bars and cliff gels. I only needed two bars and two packs of gels. The gels are awesome! I had filled two water bottles with Propel.

The start went off and I waited until the bulk of the riders had gone since I knew I wouldn't push it right off the gate. I was talking to a guy who said he did the ride last year and if "and old guy like he could do it, so could I". I still wasn't sold on the climbing. As much as I love hill climbing, much more so than downhill, I wasn't sure I could do 30+ miles of continuous climbing.

I think I was amongst the last 10 riders out the gate. I rode alone for the first mile or so, but caught up with a group of three other riders. Ok, so I sped up a bit to catch on as I figured I'd give the pace line thing a try. Good thing I did. The four of us picked up another female and rode all the way to Randle together. I pulled once, but wasn't fast enough. Haha. Well, I enjoyed being at the back of the pack.

When we came to Randle, the group dissolved. I tried biking as slow as I could, but needed to go a little faster, so I left my group and started climbing to the first food stop. I had to pee really bad at that point and hurried to the port-a-potties, then took off. I had a full bag of food and plenty of water.

The weather wasn't great with misty rain all the way to Randle. It was very foggy, which only got worse with the climb.
My "view"

The much anticipated climb was surprisingly "easy". The worst part of the ride turned out to be the rain and the cold and not the elevation. As we continued to climb, it got foggier, rainier, and much much colder. I was swearing a lot internally as I got more and more wet. But at least I wasn't cold due to the climbs. In fact, I was bored. Extremely so. When I go on long bike rides, I listen to music to keep the boredom at bay. I'm not the "stop and smell the roses" or enjoy-the-landscape kind of person. For me, it's about the act of biking and being able to get from A to B, so I need the music. On arranged rides, electronics aren't allowed, and being a law abiding citizen, obeying I did. Ergo, no music.

As we came up through the trees, having climbed 25 miles or so, it got colder and foggier. There were rolling hills all the way to the mid point at Windy Ridge. The downhills were brutal. Cold and wet and no sight line. Couldn't see shit. Not fun. Well, at some point it actually got ridiculous - almost to the point of ridiculous in a weirdly fun way.
What I didn't see

Due to the temperature up on the ridge, the road to Windy Ridge seemed much longer than the 10 miles it really was, but I made it. Missed the silver medal by 10 minutes, but it was ok since I had been shooting for simply making it at all. 11:40 am I crossed under the banner at Windy Ridge.

I didn't stay for long. Had half a banana, used the port-a-potty, put on my extra jersey, my rain jacket, blue disposable vinyl gloves over my soaking wet gloves. I felt like the Michelin man, but at least I was somewhat warm and windproof/waterproof. I really wished I had worn pants with legs.

You'd think I would be happy over the downhills, but I found myself longing for the climbs. I kept the speed super low as the wet conditions and the rough patches of road made the descent treacherous. I used up all my break pads that were brand new. Several times, my legs started shaking and my left leg was threatening to cramp up/develop frost bite, and I kept telling it "don't you dare give up on me". My leg listened.

A little after Iron Creek Picnic area, I was joined by another female rider. We ended up riding together the remaining miles to the finish line. All though I'm a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to biking, I enjoyed her company and it made the last bit go by much faster than had I been alone. At 4 pm we crossed the finish line - I had made it!

If you are wondering whether you can do the HPC (for us in the know.... hahahaha), this is my experience:

If you can say yes to the following, you are ready:

  • Climb up to Issaquah Highlands three times in a row and still have plenty of fuel left in the tank?
  • Ride 150 miles and feel like you could have gone longer x 4 in a month?

Those were my pre ride tests, and with that in the experience column I did the HPC and felt great after. Granted, I didn't bike super fast, I did it in a speed I felt comfortable in without seeing black dots or feel like the darkness was closing around me.

Next stop: Passport to Pain! Or Tour de Blast. Not sure yet. Same day. WTF?

Edit: Quote from the Cascade website.

"The weather conditions this year made the 2015 edition of the HPC the most challenging HPC we have ever had. Just getting to the top was a huge accomplishment!"

I heard 300 people had signed up initially, but only 200 or so showed up. Out of those 200, 180 made it to the top. Some rode in cars back down.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

There Are Worse Things I Could Do

I found an alternate route home yesterday as having all those near death experiences on Newport started to get old. Yes, I sorta kinda remedied that but even with the fix it brought me nearer to thee my god than I felt comfortable with.

So I don't get the one mile 164th hill anymore but I gain a couple of good hills with a max grade of 15.9%. That should prepare me for RondePDX. Or so I thought.

New route in red, old route in green
I didn't bike the new route particularly fast last night since I wasn't sure where to go, but today I'll map it so I know for sure how steep it is. And yes, I know. My illustrations are the best!

For those of you not in the hill climbing know, RondePDX is something (stupid) I have committed to do for the first time - and possibly only - this year. I am a sucker for a challenge and when +Peter Warton threw down the gauntlet, I had no choice but to pick it up.
The Monster
The route is designed by longtime Portland riders Brad Ross and Hugh Givens. It  is 47 miles long and contains nearly 8,000 feet of climbing. So yeah, I might very well die trying, but trying I will.

The more I research this ride, the more my mind is going "Holy shitballs! What the hell did you sign up for? Are you fucking crazy?"

The answer to the last question is very likely "YES".

Words such as "hurt locker" and "sufferfest" are being thrown around like candies in a Fourth of July parade, and by the looks of it rightly so. My feelings about this ride go from super excited to major freak-out.

The madness takes place on April 23rd and so far it's +Peter Warton and me for sure and +Josh Ross as a maybe.

But - there are worse things I could do than bike up a hill or two, so come April - Portland, here I come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's Magical - Making New Spandex Friends

Hubby has joined a nerd herd.
It could be worse
Every weekend this nerd herd meets to play Magic. All day long the conversations go "my four wooden elves beat your water cress snake" or "my carpet rolling wilderbeasts cast a spell of silence over your mountain dragon". I have no idea who hubby is anymore.
As long as I don't have to see it
And it all started with his lair. After we moved, we ended up with a spare bed room. Since hubby does a great deal of work from home, I suggested he take that room and do with it as he pleases. He is now considering velvet wallpaper for his man lair. One would think I know the man I chose to marry enough to say whether he's serious about said wallpaper, but I really couldn't tell you.

Hubby's lair now has a 55" TV, a gaming console, a bar, soon to be a mini fridge, and a work station.

From there, his nerdness spread like an evil spell to our living room and weekly Magic gatherings. As crazy as all this seems, I support it. I find it funny and adorable. But the funny thing about magic is that it tends to spread. I might write about that later.

On a side note - the missing lube has resurfaced. Hubby came in from the garage last night proudly announcing, "all that lube you couldn't find was right there", but by "right there" he meant in various boxes, on the top shelf I can't reach even in my wildest dreams, and under his truck. Not exactly right there by my definition.

Not him but very close to the real thing
The craziest thing happened this morning: I said hi to the eBike guy. Say whaaat?!? It all happened so quickly I'm not sure it was real but I believe it really did happen. I was hanging out at the intersection between SE 8th St and 140 Ave SE when I happened to glance back to check for asshat cars with their blinkers on. My peripherals caught a light that wasn't a car light so I turned around again - and what did I spy with my little eyes but the old dude on the eBike.

He said "hello" first then I said "hello" back and then I surprised myself by telling him to go first when the light turned green and he said "thank you" and the driver of the car next to us said "get a room" and I told him to fuck off and the last part is a lie but it was all very polite like.

So now I have a friend in - not Jesus - but spandex.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - And Things That Are Not

Yes, there's another version of this...
I love drawing blood.

I'm good at it. No. I'm great at it. Probably the best in the Northwest. The more challenging the draw is, the better. I volunteer to do blood draws as often as I can. I eye people's veins. Random people. Back when we were learning how to do labs, I used to drool over hubby's veins to the point where he would tell me to get away from him.

Funny how life works. Not "ha ha" funny.

Not funny like this
I used to be terrified of needles. I hated having my blood drawn or getting injections. Now I don't mind at all. Having had 30 of my fellow students practice on me cured me of that phobia real fast.

It's not the blood I like. I'm not some weirdo aspiring vampire. I'm drawn to challenges and there's nothing quite as satisfying as getting blood from an "impossible" draw. If you ever have me draw your blood, satisfaction is guaranteed.

As much as I love blood draws, I hate any other forms of body fluids or secretions. I can't decide what's worse: serous fluid or stool. One of my patients is suffering from peripheral edema in a bad way and she tends to spring leak from time to time. It's not unusual for her to cover the exam room floor with fluid. I don't know if you've ever smelled serous fluid, but it's not pleasant.

I hate female pelvic exams. I don't mind handling penises, but feminine plumbing just isn't pleasant. (Ok, it is, but not in a medical context). I am often puzzled by why people who know they are coming in for pelvic exams don't make an effort to clean up a bit down there. I'm not saying you need to book a STAT Brazillian, but at least make sure you're somewhat clean in the general area. If you're covered in toilet paper residue or worse - what the toilet paper didn't remove - or look like you're on a personal mission to save the rain forest, it makes it harder to do a proper exam.

My first female medical encounter was traumatic. I was shadowing a coworker to learn how to do a bladder installation.

The female in question was on the larger side. Let's just say she was easier to step over than walk around. As she was laying there in the stirrups an odor spread out in the small exam room in a way that was threatening to suffocate anything living within seconds. My poor coworker's head disappeared into the black hole while I was struggling with keeping my lunch down. Then I heard a muffled noise coming from my friend.

At first I thought she was calling for help because she had gotten stuck and couldn't get out by herself, but then I realized she was commenting on the woman's labia. The woman on the table had a rash on her labia to which she responded that it was probably a herpes outbreak.

He labia area was as big as my coworker's head. I'm willing to put money on that she could anatomically have given birth to a full sized human.

I still have nightmares about that encounter.

No, penises - like men - are simpler creatures to deal with. Not that dealing with cystoscopies and catheters are pleasant, but compared to the female anatomy it's far easier. But women aren't the only ones who don't think personal hygiene is of importance prior to a doctor's visit, men are equally dirty. Here's a valuable tip for you guys:


I am not this person
Nor do I enjoy making bears out of belly button lint

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Human Kite/Tumbleweed And Do You Want Fries With That?

Flawed physics
Ever since I watched Mary Poppins fly away with her umbrella, I've been curious as to what it would feel like to fly. Well, today I almost got my wish granted.

The gusts of wind hit me at 15 mph and that might not seem very bad but when that wind hits you sideways it's no joke. It got particularly hairy going down 164th - between the slick road and the wind that threatened to blow me down the slope like human tumbleweed, I came close to regretting riding in today.

Half of the gusts almost pushes me down the hill side and the other half would have lifted me off the ground had I had an umbrella. Good thing I don't have a bike like +Kentucky Bikes.

Mark this day in your calendar: Nick Allard was right. All though, at this point the fault is entirely mine when he's not.
It's an addiction by now
It's official: I've seen a lot of strange things in the road but this might be the strangest thing yet - unwrapped in the middle of the bike lane were to fish fillets that were so stinky I could smell them as I was biking passed the road sashimi buffet.
Do you want fries with that?
Those fish fillets gave me a good chuckle. What didn't give me a chuckle at all was that smashed bottle that was strewn all over the bike lane. I stopped immediately after I had run over most of it and swept my tires of any debris. Hopefully that took care of it. I just cannot handle any more flats yet.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Power Of A Habit And Why I Got Married

A while back I had a few "blah" mornings where I had zero desire to put on my biking gear and hop on the bike. I didn't feel that way this morning, but as I biked to work in the pouring rain I started wondering why I didn't just get in the car those mornings of "blah" and what it is that keeps me biking in wind, rain, and cold.

At this point of my biking to work saga, I no longer think about what needs doing in the mornings. I have a nice little routine going where I lay the clothes out the night before, make sure my lights are charging, and in the mornings I more or less just go through the motions instead of making a conscious choice of biking.

By that I mean that I don't ask myself whether I should take the car or the bike. The car isn't even an option in my head. I've been biking to work for eight months now and I think I've reached the point of "normal". I bike - not just because I enjoy biking so much, even though that's definitely part of it - but because biking to work is my normal now.

Anyway, these are just some random thoughts I had this morning on my bike - you know, since I didn't think about penises today.

Speaking of random:

Hubby: You never talk to me while I’m driving. You're just playing on your phone.

Me: Oh. I was just texting with my friend M who is amazing, but she can’t see anything other than her flaws. I wish I could make her see all the awesomeness inside of her. She’s like a magnificent pinata filled with such beauty, and all I want to do is just smash her in the face with a stick.

Hubby: What the f-?

Me:  But in a good way.

Hubby: It’s amazing that Hallmark hasn’t called you yet.

Me: I know. They don’t have nearly enough cards about pinatas. Hey, do my eyeballs smell?

Hubby: Are you high right now?

Me: No, I’m serious. If I said “It smells like ass in here” you’d know what I mean. Same thing with armpits, and earwax, and feet, and unwashed hair, but you never hear people saying “something smells like eyeballs in here”. I wonder if humans are immune to the smell of eyeballs.

Hubby: This is not even close to what I had in mind when I asked you to talk to me.

Me: Well, that’s the danger of not giving me a topic. I bet cats can smell eyes. That’s probably why when I wake up sometimes Posey’s face is like an inch from mine, and he’s staring right at my eyeballs. They probably smell awesome.

Hubby: Or terrible.

Me: I bet they smell delicious.

Hubby: *silence*

Me: Smell my eyeballs.

Hubby: I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that.

Me: Well, now I’m all curious. I can’t smell my own eyeballs, dude. This exactly why I got married.

Hubby: You got married so you’d have someone to smell your eyeballs?

Me: Well, not specifically. I mean, it wasn’t in the vows. But it was implied.

Hubby: You know what? I take it back. Please, please go back to your phone.  You win.

Me:  Really?  I didn’t even know we were fighting.