Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Off To Seattle

And after giving it lots of thought I decided not to take my Brompton with me. I will be attending a conference at Seattle University and returning home on Tuesday. I don't anticipate much time to ride and, you know what, a break wouldn't be such a bad idea.
That means that my August monthly totals are now final. I managed to get soundly over the 500 mile mark for the month, so I can't complain.

But I can join everyone in complaining about this sight, a sight that I see almost everyday and someone on the Philadelphia Bike blog recorded (not for the first time.) If the cops can't stay out of the bike lane, why should anyone else?

Have a safe Labor Day weekend. Last year at this time Annie and I were packing up for the Hazon ride in New York, our first major cycling goal. It would've been nice to do it again, but I couldn't miss this conference of the North American Levinas society.

Low Energy Ride

I'm not sure the reason, but I had almost no energy for a ride today. It might have been because I've stayed up too late watching the Democratic National Convention, the Phillies, or whatever. I started out today about 9AM and headed toward Valley Forge. I knew I wouldn't make it so I split off at the Cross-County Trail and went toward Plymouth Meeting and then returned, really worrying for the first time ever if I would make it. I did. Just over 33 miles. Stopped at the Schuylkill Banks Park to rest before finishing up the ride and snapped this picture of the Cirus Center, just because it was there and pretty imposing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Folding Competition In Next Olympics?

Multiple cycling gold medal winner Chris Hoy may be tipping us off as to his next category to go for the gold when the Olympics move to London in 20012: Folding Bikes! Or perhaps a special event for Bromptons only. Here he is seen riding the Brompton at the closing exercises of the Beijing Olympiad. (Props to Fritz at Cycleicious)

Olympics - Closing Ceremony

The miracle August continues. We rode in long sleeves and with lights again this morning. A brisk and beautiful ride. Then I had a meeting conveniently at a coffee shop in East Falls, just off the end of the Kelly Drive section of the trail. so I rode the Brompton and arrived a few minutes early. Took advantage of the time, the place and the weather to pull out a book and sit on a bench along the river for ten minutes or so. Here is a shot of the river behind the Brompton and another of the view unimpeded by human artifacts.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Friends And Neighbors Tour

That's what it felt like this morning, another remarkably lovely August morning. We were out of the house at 7 AM in order to beat the crowds on the Drives this morning. Thankfully there were no events and we did our first two loops in record time, both Annie and I averaging 15-16 mph. We slowed the pace a bit for our third loop. Annie was getting a little tired and the number of trail users was growing. The rest of the world was waking up and it soon seemed like we were meeting friends and neighbors left and right, ahead and behind. In no particular order there was: Derek, Mr. Korb, Jake, Miki, Denine, and I presume Sue. Plus all of the nameless regulars we say hello to almost every morning. It was a very pleasant 29 mile ride. Then I went to work with the Brompton and managed to go over the thirty mark, so far, today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another Gorgeous August Day

Some time this year we are going to pay for this weather...but in the meantime how can you not love it! I rode more than my regular loops this morning. Annie wasn't with me and I manged to get out a bot earlier and do a 17 mile ride. then I tok my Brompton and rode into Manayunk for lunch. Why not combine lunch with another lovely ride on the trail? Si I added another 15 miles before day's end. Other than that not much to report but I thought I'd share this really strange video. I'm sorry that I don't remember whose blog I pilfered it from:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Rides

That was the plan, anyway. I had an appointment to ride with a friend, a recent acquaintance really, a fellow Rabbi. but he couldn't ride until 2 PM and I usually like to ride earlier in the day. today being spectacularly gorgeous I was especially anxious to get out. So I planned to ride in the morning, stop somewhere for lunch and eventually meet up. I did get in a little more sleep than usual and was on the road at 10 AM with the idea of riding slowly and getting at least as far as Conshohocken. I wanted to take some pictures of the devastating fire that occurred at the apartment complex along the Schuylkill just off the trail. That is what I did.

These two shots give you a pretty good idea of the damage that this 8 alarm blaze caused. I would imagine that these buildings are beyond repair and will have to come down before anything new can replace them, but I'm no expert.

This next shot shows how close the edge of the complex is to the construction project next door where the fire was begun by a worker's torch.

After taking the photos I turned back and went to the Manayunk dinner for lunch and then rode back into town ending up in front of the Art Museum, our meeting place. Though I had checked my email at lunch and my timing for the day was very good, I did have a few minutes before 2 PM so I checked it again. Not surprisingly there was an email saying that my friend had to cancel because of work. Rabbis are notorious for this since so many things can come up at the last minute. I really wasn't disturbed. I hadn't been much in the mood to keep riding out to
Valley Forge or someplace like that. The ride to Conshohocken had been fine, the lunch had been fine; I just decided to ride another loop around the drives and head home. Which is what I did and then lubed the chains on my bike and Annie's.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Out Of The Darkness Into The Darkness

A bit melodramatic, I admit, but that describes the morning precisely. Our electric power went out at about 5:30 this morning just as we were getting dressed to ride. After a quick phone call to report the outage (having found the strategically well placed flashlights that we keep on every floor of the house) we went for our ride. It was the first morning this season that we had to use our lights at the beginning of the ride. Actually, we needed them for a good part of the ride. Just after crossing the Falls bridge we were able to turn them off and within minutes we were wearing our sunglasses. But the natural evidence of summer's coming to an end is irrefutable. Sigh. Despite the summer crowds on the path, I'm still not looking forward to putting on all of the winter clothes to ride and still feeling cold. Oh well, there are still many weeks until that happens, but the process is in motion.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Late Loop

Annie and I needed a little extra sleep this morning more tired out from the granddaughter than from the ride. So I took the Brompton to do errands but it turned out that I didn't have many errands to do and by the end of the day I was feeling a little grumpy from not riding. So after work I took the Brompton on the trail and did a late day loop. Thankfully the trail was not too crowded. But I wanted to ride slow in any case. I didn't feel at full strength and had just finished reading about and then joining the Slow Bicycle Movement. I can't say I fully understand this movement but you can read about it here at their blog or look it up on Facebook. The gist of it is to take back bicycling from the sport enthusiasts and racers in favor of slow pedaling to get from one place to another while appreciating the journey, even if it is to and from work. Frankly, I don't know why every type of cyclist can't be appreciated and the class distinctions within the cycling world be done away with. Anyway, we are all part sport riders, part touring riders, part commuters, and part endurance riders. The slow riders do have a nice logo, though:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Perfect (Almost) Day

The almost is for Annie, about which I will write in a moment. First, the perfection. We left our house at 5:45 this morning, Annie, I, Alan (son-in-law) and Jake (friend.) The temperature was a perfect 60 degrees and never reached above 88 all day. No humidity either. Remember last year? The last thirty miles in pouring rain? Not this time, by a long shot. We couldn't have dialed-up a more perfect day for a ride in the country. After arriving in Lancaster about 7:20, we got our bikes ready, our gear straight, registered and we were off. The first 20 miles were wonderful. There were very few cars on the roads, plenty of sunshine and a warming sun to take the near-chill off the morning. We arrived at the first water stop in great spirits. Here are Alan and Jake at that moment:

Unfortunately, just as we were leaving the water stop, Annie mounted her bike on some uneven ground, lost her footing and balance and went down. Another scrapped up knee. The same knee, of course, that has been scraped-up the last three times. We washed it off and put on a few band-aids and with no loss of good spirit carried on. We rode past farmland like this:

But the hills were beginning to get to Annie, and there were plenty of them. Finally, with only 3 or 4 miles to go before lunch, after having put in a great ride of 30 miles, she couldn't go on and the sag wagon came by at just that moment and she hitched a ride to lunch. I continued on alone and when I got to the final hill before the lunch spot I was very glad she wasn't riding. It was a killer, a good mile of very steep climbing. People were getting off and walking all over the place. I must say I made it (as did most folks, to be honest) but it was a rough end to the morning. We had a great lunch and re-grouped. Here we are just before setting out. Notice the new "do." Yes, I like it so much I've changed the template photo above for now.

Anyway, Annie felt fine and wanted to get back on the bike.
So we set out for the second half of the ride, again in good spirits. We crossed some six covered bridges during the ride, hence the name "Covered Bridge Metric Century." Here is one:

Unfortunately, Annie pooped out again after reaching around the 50 mile mark which made about 45 miles of tough climbing for her. She called for the wagon and I went on. She felt bad, but I didn't mind, as long as she was ok, and actually enjoyed going at my own pace through what were some of the prettiest scenes of the day. And yes, there were some more big hills, though not as steep as earlier in the day. More like a pretty steady climb much of the way.

On account of having to stop with Annie a few times and having to wait for the sag wagon, I rolled into the finish pretty late. but not before the cut-off and not the last to arrive. I went straight for the ice cream, which tasted really good, and then we loaded the cars for the trip home. Tamar and Shail were waiting for us and I charged up the bar-b-que for some steaks. A perfect ending to a perfect day. And then they all left. That wasn't too bad either.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Too Busy To Blog

What with work really busy and the granddaughter arrived today to spend the next 5 days with us I will be pretty scarce. Not even sure whether I'll be able to get in my regular rides. I'll do the best I can. Full report after Lancaster.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Long Sleeves!

It is early August. Too early to be donning a long sleeve jersey, but that's what we did on our morning loop this morning. Still on the folders as Annie's Fuji is still in the shop. Nothing much to report. The granddaughter is coming down for the rest of the week and we will not be able to go out together and leave her (obviously.) So who will ride and how often is up in the air. But we are getting ready for Sunday's Lancaster ride and hoping for decent weather.

Friday, August 08, 2008


The number of bicycling blogs is quite literally reaching infinity. Everyday one blog leads to another and I can hardly keep up with them. I have resisted listing too many in the sidebar. But today I added Cycloculture, devoted to cycling utilitarianism and consistently interesting, while I removed a couple that seem to have become inactive or consistently stale, in my humble opinion. Enjoy.

While at jury duty (I didn't get picked) I read the first hundred pages of a new book called, "Bicycling Across The Divide" by Daryl Farmer. It is about a 40 year old literature professor re-tracing the route of a tour of the west he originally rode as a 2o year old. Not overly heavy on the personal nostalgia; rather more concerned with the changes in the country, which I am finding interesting. Definitely a good read, so I've added it to the side-bar. Remember, whenever you want to buy from Amazon start at my page and search from there. It helps support the blog! Thanks.

Jury Duty

The temperature was in the low 60's when Annie and I set out this morning. Intimations of autumn and then you-know-what. I can't write it, let alone think about it. Anyway, it was a beautiful morning. Annie's Fuji is in the shop so we rode the folders, which was fun.

I am about to leave for jury duty. Hopefully they won't keep me all day. I am taking the Brompton and will lock it up by the court house. Also hoping that that is not a problem.

Sunday is a major Jewish fast day. No ride. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dedicated Commuting

I know I've been pretty boring of late, but here is something you might not have seen. While it doesn't really talk about Seattle, it was filmed in front of the Pike Place Market.

Meanwhile, closer to home, I'm just riding my usual morning ride and taking the Brompton for short trips around town.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm Still Here

Just haven't had much to write about. Getting back to work has taken most of my energy and I think the fever of last week sapped a bit more of my spirit than first thought despite my being able to resume normal activities without any symptoms of illness. And with the tour finished and the Olympics about to start it just seemed like a good time for an uncharacteristic break. But I do continue to ride every morning and to use the Brompton daily for errands around town. So I'm still out on the road. Although today is my day off I have much to do and family in from out of town; and I was too tired to get up very early. So I settled for a double loop late this morning as the day was already heating up. I rode 22+ miles and will now devote the rest of the day to my various responsibilities. One of which will be setting my DVR for various cycling events at the Olympics, many of which take place in the middle of the night!

Our next big ride is Sunday 8/17, the Lancaster Covered Bridge event. Looking forward and hoping for better weather than last year.
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