February 2010 archive

Friday Funny: The Bicycle Repairman

In a bid to make you forgive my appalling lack of posts this week, please enjoy this video from the always excellent Monty Python. Bicycle repairmen truly are my heroes. Especially the ones talented enough to change a bike from blue to red with the twist of a wrench!

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

Off and On with Ms. Oma

Fresh falling and rapidly accumulating snow on Monday and Wednesday caused me to abandon Oma for the L train. I simply don’t like riding in fresh snowy conditions for safety reasons. Smushed and standing up on the train, I was not a happy camper, but I’m grateful to have a public transportation option that takes me door-to-door from home to office.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (looking ahead a bit), I stayed with my love, Ms. Oma. Not surprisingly, I had more energy on those mornings.

Hey, why is it – as Yehuda Moon astutely notes – that people always ask if you rode on the rare days you don’t ride?

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Lay to Rest Your Puddle Fears

How to make a mess: mix snow, rain, sleet, and some more snow. Vary temperatures wildly. Add a heaping dose of cars and a dash of city grit. Voila, a mess.

The stage is set for cyclists to become victims of the unattractive skunk tail. If you want to avoid this fate (and you do), make sure your bike is outfitted with fenders. Mud flaps are great, too, and keep your shoes clean.

Once your bike is outfitted with those classy and utilitarian accessories, you’ll be ready to take on all sorts of city messes. Lay to rest your puddle fears and enjoy the view (just make sure the puddle’s not hiding potholes!).

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…

Today I’ve been singing forlornly, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…” The grim gray skies try to beat it out of me, but John Denver prevails.

The lyrics and mood reminded me of this post from last year.  I remember I felt like I would never, ever be warm again.  Looking back, the date surprised me – January 13, 2009.  I got beat down much earlier last winter.

Now I feel better about my cold weather despondence. I made it all the way to late February before slumping, and spring will be here in a few weeks (knocking on wood). If I could get this type of sun on my shoulders soon, that would be great!

Am I setting myself up for heartbreak by dreaming so early? How are you getting along: wishing for spring or appreciating life in the moment?

Guitar Bike: These boots are made for biking

The weather is warm enough to wear fun boots instead of snow boots. Riding home from guitar class, I sang in my head the song we played, with a twist: “These boots are made for biking, and that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days the boots are gonna bike all over you.”

“Are you ready boots?  Start bikin’!”

I know I am a geek :)

Friday is for fun

And with the return of sun, and above-freezing temperatures in Nashville (at least for the past two days), I am ready to indulge.

The wind in my hair  was exactly what I needed.

End of the ride on Wednesday — for some reason I choose cold days to take photos!

Other things this week that have helped chase the winter blahs* away:

  • Charlotte Gainsbourg’s latest album, IRM. Beck co-wrote and produced it and it is delightful. Watch the video of the album’s first single here.
  • Delicious Thai food from The Smiling Elephant.
  • Scarf month on Academichic–so many fun ideas! My fave so far, which worked great with my hair.
  • Keeping up with my training schedule to run an 8K (even though I failed to register for the race in time; oops! Ah well, it’s about the journey, right?)
  • The continuing antics of Baby Walter, when he’s not driving me crazy. Here’s a video of his latest favorite activity, although he was somewhat distracted by the camera.

Now, off to work I go. Happy Friday!

*and yes, I meant to say “blahs” and not blues.

In Honor of Free Flowing Hair

I love the feel of wind in my hair. Wearing a helmet robs me of that joy.

There. I said it.

I’ll spare some time and energy by saying for either side: 1) You won’t feel so good with your brain splattered on the pavement; or 2) Stop wearing the silly foam hats, then.

Now that the generic stuff is out of the way, let’s talk for real.

Trisha's hair enjoying the wind

Springy weather (40 degrees!) has me yearning for the feel of free flowing hair. This yearning is nothing new. My desire is less prominent in the winter, when the helmet warms my chilly head, and most prominent on the hottest summer days, when my hair is matted and soaked by sweat.  Regardless of the weather, I would always prefer the feel of the wind in my hair.  Carefree, childish, happy, free: bicycling gives me all those wonderful feelings and a helmet clamped on my head counters those feelings to some extent.

This must be an issue that lots of cyclists – men and women – deal with, but there is so much emphasis on practicality, statistics and sides.  I’m simply saying, “I want to feel the wind in my hair!”  An innocent wishful statement, nothing more or less.  Heck, I’m currently growing my hair long so some of it can flow about while my helmet’s on.

Dottie's hair trying to grow

As two girls who ride all the time and almost always wear helmets, can we just have a moment of silence for free flowing hair?

…Okay, now you can speak up  :)

Photographic evidence

As an addendum to the last post. My fellow Southerners will  understand how extreme a statement it is when I say that I am not even surprised anymore to look out the window and see this:

What a winter. At least the sun is out and melting the ice! It might be a bike day after all.

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Icy mornings

We have had more chilly, wet weather this past week or so. And while I know it’s nothing compared to the rest of the country, it makes for treacherous biking conditions! The other day I took a few snaps of my own Lake Michigan-style ice installation. And yes, I had to walk it through.

It’s snowing, again, today, and I’m trying to decide how I’m going to get to work. Like Dottie mentioned earlier, last year I probably would have ridden just to prove that I could. Now that I don’t feel that pressure, I may not subject myself and my bikes to the extreme (for Nashville, anyway!) weather conditions when neither of us are set up for them. It’s been cold so long that all my long underwear is in the wash! Confession: these past few weeks I have been cherry-picking the best weather days and riding on those days. And it’s working for me, keeping cycling fun through the slump and the chill of winter. Though, now that that’s said, driving is also stressful when it’s icy. Maybe my own two feet will have to do?

What’s your strategy for cycling through the winter?

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