Monday, September 03, 2007

This weekend the second person in my life was saved without doubt due to a helmet:
On Saturday the 1st my brother got into a bad motorcycle accident. So far it sounds like he'll be OK. He broke his femur so that it was sticking out of his skin (1st surgury, inserted metal rod) and one of his shoulders was badly dislocated (which is what they operated on second). He never blacked out or went unconscious but he still didn’t enjoy the helicopter ride to the hospital went very much. I've never seen him wearing a helmet but he was Saturday and that's the only reason he is still with us.He was on a two lane road, the last of 4 bikes, and a van going the opposite direction waited for the other 3 to pass and then turned left into him. He wasn't even speeding.
We aren’t certain whether his helmet contacted the van, but when he came to a rest in the ditch 106’ from the van it is obvious he hit head first from the damage to the helmet and the way the mud and other debris are wedged into it. He also had a new leather jacket on with body armor and some sort of neck brace which likely saved his spine. The jacket was 3 days old and he said it was worth the $100 a day it cost.
!!Rant warning!!
I only ride bikes with motors once a year. Still, aside from almost losing my brother, this stands the hairs on the back of my neck up when I look at my road bike.
It’s amazing to me how many people I see riding without helmets (on and off road). What really pisses me off is parents who don’t wear them but make their children wear them. Probably harder to raise their children if they’re head gets smacked, no?
I also heard from someone at work that she doesn’t wear one because she only rides on sidewalks. She wears one now, because she got smacked in a intersection this spring.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

So I'm in Lafayette, Louisiana and I decide today is a good day to go for a long bike ride. Yesterday I was in Bristol, Tennessee and had only enough time to do some sprints on some very fun hilly county roads (37 MPH max!). I get some suggested routes from and chose a nice 38 mile route (42miles on my odometer). All was well in the sweltering heat. There was the usual angst about finding my way in a new place, and the usual turn arounds when the map and my brain couldn't synch up. About half way through I started noticing the darkening sky to my south. As I turned north to return to the hotel the sky was not looking good. With 1/3 of the way to go the cumulonimbus clouds were walling up behind and to my left and starting to also form on my right. I pedaled my wee-Dahon as fast as I could (not very) and I was beating the storm when a train interrupted my pedaling. With less than 2 miles to go I was stuck waiting on a northbound train and I watched the end of the train start to get wet. So I got wet, crossed the tracks and pedaled like mad to see if I could again get into the dry lightening free zone before the thunderhead.. overhead as it were. It worked! It must have been a very slow moving storm, but my 20MPH got me out of the rain and kept me ahead of the lightening all the way to the hotel. There was a lot of praying involved, so I'm going to say We had a fun time beating another storm. It also got my avg. speed to 14.1 over 42 miles which is pretty good for me on that bike.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm having a very fun time on my honeymoon! We stayed at a lighthouse the first night and the last two nights were at a Scottish B&B in Grand Marais. We've been biking&hiking and relaxing. I'm only on the Internet because our resort (Bluefin Bay) has wifi in the room. Our hike today was yet another hill named pincushion which provided excellent views of the lake and everything around it. It got a little hot, but the bountiful raspberries helped. They were simply everywhere! I'm used to having to hunt for them and on this trail they were every 10-20feet. We went to a campfire sing-along last night and watched the full red moon duck in and out of the clouds. We got to sleep to the sound of crashing waves last night. Very nice. We will try kayaking tomorrow if the waves cooperate, but may do more biking also or instead of. There is an adult swim that starts at 10 PM tonight. Not sure what that involves...I don't think we are THAT open-minded. I'm actually reading and enjoying the first Harry Potter book. I never started the series because I thought it was just for kids and for some reason women (all the women in my life LOVE the series). Now I have seen my folly and will get to read the whole series at as quick a pace as I choose as my lovely new wife has all the books. Off for s'mores and the only free thing so far: a bottle of champagne.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Well it's been a long time since I've gotten to sit and blog my important thoughts. I'm married now and a honest to God homeowner! We leave for the honeymoon in 2 days and I can't wait! I'm much more in synch with myself and the stress level has finally abated.

So today I was biking along on my Dahon in St. Cloud MN, minding my own business when my right shoe started feeling squishy like I had stepped on some gum. Strange, since I hadn't stepped off the pedal in a few miles for me to suddenly have gum on my shoe. Then I noticed looking at the pedal that there was light showing through places where light had not been before. I stopped to inspect this and had the whole pedal fell apart! So 12 miles into my planned 30 mile ride I had to turn around and ride back to the hotel with a nub for my right foot to push on. This after discovering a front flat before I even got to ride today. Just not a good day to bike I guess. The 96F should have been my 1st clue. I guess the little plastic Dahon pedals aren't meant to get beyond the 1000 miles that my bike is at right now. I'll have to find something more solid because if that happened going up a hill it would have been a very bad day.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Well, I got in.
In means I'm one of 1800 riders in the Cheq. 40 mountain bike race that leaves Hayward on a crisp Saturday morning in September.
In means I'm one of the 1800 who are not the 900 that didn't get selected in the random lottery.
In means I'm racing and not the designated shuttle-bitch for the 3rd year in a row!!
In means I've got motivation to keep me riding hard the whole summer long so that I can finish relatively close to my riding buddy, and my own goal of 1:45, NOT!
In means I can now try to devise a way to use my helmut cam in a race where when I finished last year my face was so dirty (pix will post at later date) that I'm considering making some sort of wiper for the camera's lens.
In is good and makes a very stressed out man a little happier.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A couple weeks ago I came home to find my desk top trying to turn itself on. Turns out the power source failed and fried the motherboard on that 3 year old E-Machine! I got the verdict from the computer guru as I was in the process of breaking my cell phone holster, and having just broken my roller-bag the day before a trip. That was not a good day. That seems to be what God has in store for me this spring. Your typical every day monotony for a few weeks and then the real bad day.
Take today: tried riding my bike inside on my rollers to be interrupted every 5-10' by phone calls. I chose to ride and talk on headset which eventually got me back to working out uninterrupted. My realtor team of Mom and Dad put my condo on the market this morning and already had someone who wanted to see it at 5PM. Dad was to get the lockbox (different from the Al Gore lockbox) to my pad in time for the prospective buyers to have a gander. Too bad he drove 2 hours to find out he didn't have the keys to put into the lockbox (my brother has his keys because he has Dad's truck). But why call my fiance and get her keys? Why go to my brother's work and get the keys from him? Nope, he decided he'd done enough and left the people who want to see my place a note saying he'd get the keys in the lock box tomorrow, (he's sending Mom to do it). So I found this out at the same time I thought it would be nice to chill out and watch one of my Netflix dvds. It won't play, I take it out of this laptop and the dvd is broken. So then I try to use the UPS website to tell them to stop trying to deliver my new desktop while I'm out of town (like they apparently tried today after I had left my abode), and it won't let me. I have the tracking number, and it won't let me change the delivery date, neither will the automated phone system. Nice. Sure hope I get home before their 3rd attempt and they send it back. Do you think Best Buy will give me free shipping twice?
My chiropractor asked if I could reduce my stress level. HA! A handful of barbiturates would do the trick!
It's a lesser world without Kurt V. His brain failed him, or he failed it. He died of brain trauma after a fall.
He said that he wrote everything with one person in mind as his audience: his sister. Why not write for everyone: "you can't just open the window and make love to the whole world!"
I'm glad he was recognized for the talent he had while he was living. He will go down as one of the greats for Am. lit.
Wouldn't it be great if he got the epitaph he wrote for himself: "All I needed to know God exists is music?"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I got out to do a group-ride yesterday in the rain. I broke out the Murray for the 43F, 30-something windchill morning. The weekend before my honey and I had fun riding a tandem through the fog. No fog this weekend, but it constantly rained. Luckily I had my Cub Foods plastic bag duct-taped to my helmut so I mostly got wet from sweating under a few too many layers. There was a guy with a new bike who made the ride a little fast for my March legs on the 40+ pound Murray. I wonder how much weight the rain added? I bet if I would have worn spandex it would have been easier : P
Today I've been working on cleaning out old crap so I can sell this abode and buy one big enough for two, and a dog-cat combo. It's amazing to me how fast stuff accrues when you can just pile it somewhere and forget it. This is the first place I've had on my own and it's got a lot of space to store junk. Luckily Mom is coming down Tuesday to make sure I get rid of the Budweiser clock from high school, and the cancelled cheques from 1994.