Sunday, February 19, 2012

ride till you're old. then keep riding.

I went for a short bike ride this afternoon, an easy neighborhood loop that included a stop for coffee and a snack. It was very cold when I left and I hadn't really been excited about it; but Sweetie knew that if I went anyway, I'd get rid of some of the excess shpilkes (restlessness) I tend to store up by late in the weekend. Plus, I didn't have to ride downtown for my synagogue gig this morning -- they were closed for the President's Day holiday -- so I needed an excuse to ride. By the time I got home it had warmed up a little bit and I felt better for having gone out.

After a beautifully hot shower, I surfed the interwebs and found this.

It. Made. My. Day.

Note his rather upright riding position on a drop-bar bike. He's entitled at his age to set his bars as high as he likes.

Reading the article over at otherwise-increasingly irrelevant Velo News/Velo, I was surprised to find that, with few exceptions, Marchand listens to his doctors. He carefully keeps his pulse at 110 or below when riding -- his resting pulse must be in the 40's! -- and now limits his longest rides to no more than 100km (62.5 mi). He's apparently in excellent shape for a fellow his age. His feat persuaded the UCI to create a new age category for the mile record (100+). And his story made me smile.

Friday, February 17, 2012

on riding in the rain

Today I had to run an errand into town for Sweetie, after meeting an appointment for coffee and then seeing my barber for my bi-monthly haircut.

The forecast called for showers off and on through the day. So I brought along my Burley Rock Point rain jacket (which I went back to after my Showers Pass jacket got stolen), my Rivendell Splats and a pair of Rainlegs. I figured, "showers", right? That would be raingear aplenty; plus, although I appreciate how well rain pants work I'm not a fan of wrestling in and out of them when I have multiple local errands.

I was fine until I found myself coming out of the barber's and into a downpour. I wore everything I'd brought and eventually could feel the cold wet rain seep into the gaps where my rainlegs didn't cover my jeans.


I rode through the relentless downpour until I couldn't stand it anymore; then pulled over and tossed my bike on a MAX train for the rest of the ride into town.

Sometimes even I wimp out, that's all I'm saying.

I don't mind riding in the rain most days. But now that it's mid-February I am definitely ready for the longer days, the crocuses and the warming temperatures of spring.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

do you love Hype of the Week? Listen up.

For my readers who enjoy my Hype of the Week during racing season -- I Just heard this AWFUL story on the news:

The color guard at North Salem High School (in Salem, Oregon) has just suffered a devastating loss of equipment and uniforms due to a fire in their storage room. The fire, which appears to have started under suspicious circumstances, set off the sprinkler system in the adjoining band room, soaking sheet music, instruments and cases; and the smoke and fire totally destroyed the color guard's flags, poles and uniforms -- most of which were already pretty old and some of which cannot be replaced. The kids are in the middle of their indoor winter competitive season.

Here's the deal:

1. North Salem serves a part of the city in which many students come from lower income households. Studies have shown repeatedly that students who participate in extra-curricular activities (like music, drama and sports) are far more likely to have greater academic success in school and are far less likely to get into trouble after school. Color guard is an activity that gives kids a creative and physical outlet (think of it as a sort of sport set to music -- it's mentally and physically demanding) and is a source of pride for the entire school.

2. The color guard at this school operates on a shoestring budget and does not have a "nest egg" from which to draw funds to restore the lost items.

3. The guard has its next performace in just two weeks. Right now they may have to appear in school clothes and wave broom handles. Not good.

So I'm asking you -- fans of Hype of The Week -- to help me pitch in and help these kids out.

Send a check to:

North Salem High School
765 14th Street N. E.
Salem, OR 97301

Make sure you put "Color Guard" nice and big in the memo line so they know what it's for.
I'm sending a check off first thing in the morning. Any amount will help these kids so if you love Hype of the Week, consider becoming part of Help of the Week.

Bikelovejones thanks you.

Friday, February 3, 2012

this groundhog is over winter

On February 2, my birthday dawned clear and cold.
As I have on every birthday since I turned six, I went outside and looked for my shadow.
I knew that if I waited for the sun to clear the rooftop of the neighbor's house, I would see my shadow on the walkway in front of our house.
I have been seriously tired of winter for about a month now. Riding in the first rainstorms of the fall was exhilarating -- it always is -- but by January I am ready to wear fewer layers and move on.
So I waited until the sun was up, but not high enough in th sky to clear the neighbor's house.
Ergo, I did not see my shadow and because of that there will be an early spring.
Because I said so.
(Technically, Sweetie tells me, this is cheating; but it's my tradition and I am ready for spring so I will do what I need to do in order to stay sane without apology.)

Spring is beginning to rear its head anyway, no matter what Mister Phil may have seen back in western Pennsylvania.
Punxsatwaney is so far away from Portland as to be irrelevant.
Cherry blossoms have been blooming for over a week in Northwest Portland; and tiny buds are popping out on nearly every tree I ride past on my way to work. A month ago it was still dark at 5 pm; when I rode across the river on Wednesday night to go to my teaching gig the sun was still in the sky -- very low, but still hanging there -- and I squinted to see my way across the bridge.

As I type this, I can look out the window and see buds on the branches of our forsythia bush at the oppostie end of the yard.

Spring is coming and there is no stopping it. Enjoy!

birthday ride 2-2