Greeted us this morning. The temperature was back in the mid-forties but the wind was stiff at 15-20 mph with gusts to 40. It was quite a ride, but the sun was out, which has been a rarity, and it was a good work-out.
It wasn't quite raining, but the mist was thick enough to cut. I really needed the ride and Annie and I went out about 7:15 for a good spin around the loop. While West River Drive won't close weekends until next weekend, it was closed this morning for a bike race. Not sure who was racing, but we stayed on the path and out of their way. This afternoon the sun has come out and it is warming up quickly. It is beginning to really feel like Spring.
Eight days since my last ride. Shameful! Should I bore you with the excuses? Grandkids, writing, late nights, lousy weather, whatever. Finally, today it felt a bit more like spring. Not a glorious day, mind you, but plenty good enough. I couldn't ride this morning (see above list and pick one...no, seriously, had an early morning doctor's appointment. Still getting follow-up treatment for the sinus crisis of January) aqnd after the doctor's visit I wrote for about three hours. For those of you interested, I've now finished the first draft of the entire manuscript from my Introduction to the end of the commentary. Now i am working my waqy through it all again editing and re-writing. It is going well. Much easier the second time through! Anyway...this afternoon I went out for a ride. Just below 60 degrees, hazy, neither sunny nor really overcast, bit of a March wind, but not terrible, plenty of people along Kelly Drive, but not impossible as an afternoon ride will soon become. A very pleasant ride and though I'm not in great shape I felt good and if it were not getting on to time to prepare for Shabbat, I might have down a second loop. The forecast is not good for the weekend, so we;ll have to see what happens.
Meanwhile, for those interested in the world of sport cycling, aside from Lance Armstrong breaking his collarbone it has been a good week. American Taylor Phinney won the track cycling world title. He is about 18 years old, son of two American great former Olympians and promises to be a sensation when he turns Pro. And in the Pro world, my favorite American Levi Leipheimer won Castilla y Leon race, while Alberto Contador also of team Astana came in second. good chance you will see these two on the Podium in Paris come July. In what order will be the question.
Cloudy but relatively mild this morning, somewhere in the low 40's and a very nice morning to ride. I felt sluggish starting out as compared to yesterday, but came home feeling strong. Along the Schuylkill Banks portion of the trail, just as it passes under JFK Blvd there has been a small construction project going on. Today the trail was blocked at that point and I had to dis-mount and walk around a truck. This gave me the opportunity to ask what they were doing. Perhaps others of you know this already, but I was pleased to learn that the new bridge that is being finished that is JFK Blvd will have an entrance to the Schuylkill Banks, both a stairway and a bike ramp. Nice. It won't make a big difference to us, but will help, for example, if I want to ride to the train station. Anyway nice to see that they included bicycles in the planning.
The fact that Spring is officially two days a way was bolstered by today's weather. Not unseasonably warm, that would be an illusion bound to disappoint. Rather just a lovely, sunny coolish day, temperature just peeking above 60 at its high point. But warm enough to ride without an outer layer beyond my jersey and to wear half-gloves. I couldn't ride early today and might have chosen to skip it but for the gorgeous looking day. So I went out after 2 PM and thought I might do a double loop, but didn't. The time and the wind dissuaded me. Despite the lovely look of the day, the feel of it was also perfectly right for the season: windy. Very windy, in fact. I don't know what the official numbers were, but coming back along West Side Drive was like riding uphill all the way. Wind in my face. where I had zipped down Kelly Drive at 15 mph, I couldn't muster more than 10 in must spots coming home. No matter. A great ride.
I stopped and took a couple of photos that I've been wanting to take for awhile now. The construction along the West Side is just about finished and, lo and behold, they were building a fish ladder.
This is a shot of the viewing bleachers they've constructed for watching the fish climb the ladder.
This is a view of the mechanism itself, not that I know exactly what it is supposed to do.
I don't think the ladder in this picture is the fish ladder. But if you look at the very bottom of the photo you might be able to see the water.
Annie got me to wake up at what had been our regular time before my Sabbatical. So we were on the road before 6 AM in the pitch dark. The temperature was 41 degrees, damp, with a stiff wind. I wasn't thrilled to be riding in the dark again, but it turned out (as it always does) to be a lovely ride. Now I can take my new hp mini and repair to a local coffee shop to write for a couple of hours.
Seems like we're becoming weekend road warriors. After a week of schedule and weather problems Annie and I got out on the road this morning nice and late. Didn't go out until 9:30 AM in 41 degree overcast skies, a bit of rain and fog, and generally damp. But it was a great ride and it felt great to be out.
I've really been too focused on my work (that's a good thing)to be following the early road racing season, but I am aware that Alberto Contador continues to shine, this week in the Paris-Nice. As the season moves toward July, I'll be getting more focused on that (and as my manuscript moves inexorably toward completion!)
And after all, astronomical Spring is only a week away. Things have to be looking up!
Will it last? Who knows, but we've had a perfect spring weekend and managed to ride 27 miles wearing merely a long-sleeved jersey. The path, as expected was more crowded, especially since the combination of a late night last night and daylight savings time had us out later than we normally go, but it was manageable and felt great. The possibility of continued warm weather is down right exciting, but I'm trying to be realistic, we have a long way to go until we can settle in and expect it.
The photo above was take on Friday afternoon as I shamefully rode around town in my car. I will be trying harder to stay on the bike for errands assuming this weather is for real. But I thought it was a cool picture of the growing number of businesses springing up arund town that are using cycling as part of their strategy.
I am a 64 year old Conservative Rabbi, published theologian and professor of Jewish Philosophy. I have also published two books of poetry and have recently become an avid cyclist along with my wife of 40 years.
I write two blogs, Bicycle-Musings and Pipe Pulpit.
In the news section of one of his early Fredcasts David told the story of one Ludwig from Znnin Poland who at 84 years of age went out for a ride on his bike. To make a longer story short (and you really should listen to the podcast to get all the details) Ludwig ended up in London, England! So I figure if (again, according to the explanation on The Fredcast #1) a Fred is someone who not only rides a bike but is severely attracted to the gadgets and accessories of a certain bike-cultural look (and I guess I'm a Fred without the financial resources to really express my Fredness) then a Ludwig could be anyone over the age of 55 who is not only a Fred, but also loves to just keep riding eating up the miles pretty much unconcerned with speed. Go Ludwig! I'm a Ludwig. Maybe someday I'll figure out podcasting and do a Ludwigcast.