Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years

A Surge in Bicyclists Appears to Be Waiting Check out this NY Times article
Happy New Year!
No ride this morning. 21 degrees and I'm in New Jersey anyway, awaiting the blessed event.

Farewell 2008

Today is the last day of 2008. It will certainly go down as one of the more interesting years in recent memory, what with the soaring gas prices followed by plummeting gas prices, a soaring economy followed by a plummeting economy and one of the most exciting political campaigns in anyone's memory. And The Phillies won the World Series!! And the bicycle achieved a place in the public discourse because it touches and is touched by these aforementioned subjects. They even got to lead out the Phillies victory parade.

Personally it has also been a very exciting year marked by Yoshi's wedding and the impending birth of our grandson in the next few days. (Technically that makes that part of next year's story, but grandchildren are relevant to any discussion.) Meanwhile, through it all we rode. Annie and I rode in the Freedom Valley Ride, The Harlem River Valley Ride, The Lancaster Covered Bridges Ride; I rode in Bike Philly without her because she had to be out of town, and we probably did another ride or two that I am forgetting. And of course, we rode almost every morning on our usual route around the river. Which brings me to my mileage for the year. It was a beautiful morning for a ride today, about the same temperature as yesterday, a bit colder perhaps, but almost no wind (which has since picked up to howling this afternoon) and I was sorry that I'd made a relatively early appointment to have my second Apple One-To-One. And since I stayed up late to watch a really exciting Flyers game from Vancouver last night, I didn't get out at my regular time. It was nice to ride in the light and I managed to push harder and ride over 17 miles to end the year. That brings my yearly total to 4701.4. Two hundred miles above goal, three hundred miles less than last year. A well chosen goal. I'll stick with it for the coming year: 4500 miles.

Meanwhile, January should get off to a rocky start riding-wise. The baby will be born in the next few days and for a good couple of weeks we will be either staying up in New Jersey or going back and forth a lot. Even if we take the folders with us, given the winter weather, miles may be hard to come by. But when things settle down I will be on Sabbatical and expect to at least maintain if not increase my normal riding patterns. As you may remember I hope to begin working in my local bike shop as soon as things do settle down. I will try to document my experiences there on a separate blog that will link from this one starting in a few days. It will be called Mussar and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance and the link will be up soon. Till then. Ride safely. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What A Wiind

Although Hanukkah ended yesterday I just came across this photo from Alan Snell's Bike Stories blog: Happy Belated Holidays to all!

The thermometer read 44 degrees and frankly, even with 20 to 40 mile an hour winds I wasn't cold as Annie and I rode this morning. But there were times when I was actually scared! I thought I might get blown over. I rode most of the way up Kelly Drive out of my clips just in case I had to catch myself going over. I think it was all mostly in my head. Of course, riding back the other way was much more pleasant.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cooler And Darker

The official temperature was 40 degrees when Annie and I rode out this morning. It felt colder, but was a pleasant ride to start the week. I also noticed how much darker it has become. It has been night-dark when we leave for a long time, but the sky began to lighten by the time we reached the Falls Bridge. Today it didn't even begin to lighten until we came around the museum near the end of our ride. Funny how it sneaks up on you. I fixed my tire yesterday and so was riding the Fuji this morning which felt good. I have the Brompton with me for errands etc the rest of the day so I'll record the mileage later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sixty Degrees and Blog Anniversary

Despite being really grumpy from an ongoing physical ailment (I can't categorize it any more specifically than that: it sounds like a cold but the only symptom is a stuffed nose, which I've had now for weeks, and growing loss of energy that has also been going on for weeks) and despite a number of so far unsuccessful treatments (do I need this Sabbatical or what?)who could resist getting up in the dark and riding when the temperature is 60 degrees on December 28th, which just happens to be the 2nd anniversary of this blog. (How's that for a sentence?) Annie rode the Fuji while I rode the Brompton. Not only can I keep up with her on it, I still can ride faster. It was a lovely ride. The streets were wet from overnight rain but the trail was almost empty and though there was a good headwind, it's funny how that doesn't really bother you when the temperature is 60 degrees. The forecast is for continued warmer than usual temperatures this week (though not as warm as today) and I hope to take advantage of it to tweak the mileage a bit more before the yearly total is official.

As I mentioned today is the second anniversary of this blog. While I've been a little less attentive of late, I still think it has been pretty consistent for what its worth. Thanks to all for reading and commenting.

Below is a picture from Gene's Blog, Bike Biz, from my old home of Seattle. Sixty degrees in Philadelphia, riding in the snow around Lake Washington? Something is wrong with this picture. Good luck on making your mileage goal, Gene.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Anniversary Ride

Today is Annie and my 39th wedding anniversary. It was finally a lovely day and we went out for a late morning ride. Late, in part, because we awoke to a power outage. We've had no electricity until just a few minutes ago. Basically all day. But we decided to ride anyway and then take very quick showers before heading to the movies. Then, of course, I decided to fill all the tires with air and somehow broke the pin on the valve of one of my tires. So we decided to switch to the folders: me on the Brompton and Annie on the bike Friday. Finally, we rode. Hopefully the bike shop will be open tomorrow and I will get my tire repaired. Only a few more days to ride in 2008!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Explaining The Hiatus

There's really nothing mysterious about it. Between the constant rainfall last week and this week's frigid temperatures and my late night schedule, I just haven't been able to get out much. When I do, I have rarely had a minute to blog about it. So, in fact i did ride twice last week and managed to update the mileage count, but that was about it. Today temperatures and wind were extreme and anyway we drove home late from Hanukkah in New Jersey and I didn't even try to ride. Tomorrow's weather is no more promising, but by Wednesday there is hope. If I can get a ride in 2 or 3 times a week through the winter my fitness shouldn't suffer too badly and I'll be satisfied.

Meanwhile, for your holiday entertainment I offer this video:

UPS Delivery By Bike! Salem, Oregon from nwduffer on Vimeo.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A few Pedal Strokes

Is about all I managed today. Wednesday I left to early for NY (and it was pouring), Thursday I was exhausted from the trip (and it was pouring)and today it was just pouring. I hear Kelly Drive was covered over with water. Good thing I didn't try it. But there has been a respite in the rain today (though more is coming) so I was at least able to get on the Brompton and ride to an appointment. Not much on the mileage chart, but it felt good to pedal. Hopefully Sunday will bring relief.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ten Degrees Makes A Difference

Actually 8. From yesterday's 21 degrees to today's 29 degrees and reduced wind; it felt like a summer ride. Well, not exactly, but still much more pleasant. Beautiful sunrises both days. And decent enough whether to take the Brompton with me today for meetings and errands, so I'll enter the mileage later tonight. Tomorrow I have to be in New York very early and will not be on the bike. The rest of the week they're calling for rain, so we'll see.

Monday, December 08, 2008

About As Cold As It Gets

Not really. It gets colder than 21 degrees with a 10-15 mile wind but I've decided that this is as cold as I'm going to get. Not like last year going out in 5 degree weather. Anyway, I rode solo on account of the cold and it was an enjoyable enough ride, but a lot of work against the wind.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Frigid But Fine

Friday I couldn't ride. Thursday night's poetry reading wiped me out, emptied me, actually. But today we were up and out at 7 AM with the temperature at 34 and the wind chill probably around 25 degrees. Invigorating! Really! It was a great ride and I was a little sorry that we didn't get up at our regular time and get two loops in. But we were out a bit late at the Orchestra, so there are always trade-offs. A good ride and a good day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yesterday and Today

I slept in a bit this morning and then went for a single loop, augmented mileage wise slightly by various detours like the garbage train on the tracks and Fire Department activity on Pine Street coming home. The activity on Pine Street looked like this:

Yesterday Annie and I both road. Temperature on both days was around 32 but today's bright sunshine felt good.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Touch Of Spring

Well, relatively speaking anyway. After an unusually cold November December came in like a lamb today. We rode out at 5:45 AM in 50 degree temperature with occasional wind gust, but otherwise calm and slightly overcast conditions. It was a lovely ride. Amazing the difference those say 15 degrees make. As the day wore on the sun was more prevalent but so was the wind. I took the Brompton to get around town thus adding a bit to the first day of December's mileage. We plant to ride in the morning tomorrow but it will be more chilly and very much more windy.
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