Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What’s up with the totally bumpy bike path?

I know I promised you The Origin of the Pavement. But first this:

I don’t know why the bike path pictured in yesterday’s post is such a bumpy mess if it doesn’t get any car traffic to wear it out so. And it can’t be blamed on trees or other large shrubbery with spreading roots because there isn’t much big plant life along that section of the path.

Does anyone know how long it’s been since that bike path was last paved? I lived in that area for about six years, starting in 1996, so I know it’s been at least that long. I used the path daily and never saw any construction on it. So maybe it’s reached the end of its life span even for a car-less road. I wonder if and when they’re planning to repave it. A road with car traffic would never be allowed to get that bumpy – and ironically, it’s much more dangerous for bikes to ride over those bumps than for cars.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Getting back to the bike trail along the river, which I rode the length of last Thursday: The ground underneath that pavement has been doing some serious complaining since I last rode that path, which (I’m shocked to realize) was four years ago. Here are some pictures. OMG! Try riding on that! (Ow!)

More about the origins of pavement tomorrow. [hint: it’s all about bikes.]

Monday, January 29, 2007

Here are a few more pictures of Thursday’s emergency response. Above are five trucks just along one street, to the right you see two more along another, and there were still others. I couldn’t find any reference to a fire in Friday’s Oregonian, so I guess the O didn’t get there. You want to know what’s really happening on the street level in Portland, you gotta check your bike blogs, since we’re the only ones who can beat the traffic. What was happening was apparently nothing. If by the time twelve fire trucks had arrived and sat poised to douse a fire or save lives, there was still not a wisp of smoke to be seen, I think we can safely conclude that no bonfire issued from the building after I left the area.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Downtown Fire traps throngs of motorists

Ok, I know I alluded to a conflagration of Portland’s downtown, and suggested I might not wait till Monday to post about it. My site meter's been going berserk ever since, which rarely happens on weekends because most of my readers know I'm strictly a weekday blogger.

Apparently you’ve all been checking back furiously for the details of the story which you’re wondering why you didn’t see on TV news Friday night. Well, here’s exactly why: There was so much traffic blockage that no news vehicle could get to it. I saw one lone person with some kind of major-looking video camera…

(Maybe it did make the news. How would I know? You think I watch the so-called TV news? Spend a half hour or more of my day listening to people jabber a handful of content-free headlines over and over again with in-between commercial time that adds up to more than the “news” time? You gotta be kidding. A thirty second glance at the headlines as you walk by a newspaper box will give you the amount of information equal to what TV news gives you.)

Getting back to the so-called fire…… I’m riding through downtown and after about the twelfth fire vehicle zooms by, I decide to detour my route a bit so that I might find out what the hell is going on. Answer: nothing.

The multi-apparatus response caused blocks and blocks of commuters in all directions to be jammed into irreversible bottlenecks -- except for the cyclists. The cyclists meandered around freely among the stuck cars and were able to get right up close to the allegedly burning building and see that absolutely nothing was happening – instead of being stuck in an idling, polluting, Moving Metal Deathtrap for hours wondering what the heck was going on.

I rode right up to the building on Fifth Avenue that houses the Ross department store, which appears to support several floors of apartments above it. A fireman’s ladder was leaned up to a conspicuously smokeless window, while notably unworried-looking pedestrians milled in and out of, and past, the street level entrance below.
I asked a number of responders what was going on but none knew. As a file of firemen with tanks on their backs barreled by, a bystander called out, “Hey is there a real fire?” “Presumably,” one of them yelled back over his shoulder. “We don’t do this for practice!”
Who knows how long the area remained snarled in traffic. It quickly grew uninteresting and I was able to leave the scene effortlessly and proceed with my errands. A couple of blocks away I asked one more waiting fireman what was going on. “A small fire, ” was all he could tell me.

[more great fire photos will be posted tomorrow…]

Friday, January 26, 2007

I can barely believe how many fabulous photos I scored while biking all over Portland yesterday, beginning with down the Willamette and back for a dentist appointment. Here’s a picture of a couple more trees we must’ve lost during that last wind storm. See if you can find the bird in one picture and the squirrel in the next. Maybe it’s too small.
OK, here’s a big fat beaver – the one everybody pays homage to. I used to walk this route daily when I lived in Southwest Portland, and every day different gifts were left for this guy. On this day he’d been given a stick, a leaf, and …. some vitamins?

I have so much to show you – including a twelve-alarm fire downtown and some bridge drama. I may have to break my rule and post on the weekend.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's Do-Do List

I have been everywhere on this bike today – I must’ve ridden 25 miles doing errands all around the city. I could’ve done it by car, but it would’ve been infinitely more hassle, with all the extra circling I would’ve had to do in order to find parking, which I would’ve had to pay for in addition to the extra gas consumed. Plus I woulda missed all the great scenes I photographed! (I got tired of contracting the word “have” so I’m hereby declaring “woulda” a word -- along with shoulda, coulda, and musta. As an English teacher I have that right.)

I’m in a rush this evening, but just to give you at least something, tonight’s topic is: dog-do. It seems that as a society we have finally begun to see some success in training people that it’s really NOT ok to just let your dog poop where it will. Dog-people have at last begun to internalize the idea that when their dog does this, it is the dog-person’s social responsibility to somehow coax the poop into a plastic bag. Though exactly how people accomplish this feat has been far too gruesome for someone as squeamish as myself to even begin to imagine, I have been pleased that the community education program in charge of this appears to be partially working.

Problem: These people need to go back and take the follow-up course about what to do with the plastic bag once they have completed the loathsome task of causing the poop to be relocated to the inside the bag. Because now, instead of dog poop lying around everywhere, we are seeing bags of dog poop lying around everywhere. Without the crucial following step, which presumably would be to transfer the bag of poop to a garbage receptacle, I do not perceive this current situation as much of an improvement. Before the trainings, we had poop lying everywhere, as if to say, “Here I am. I’m hiding. Hope you don’t step on me by mistake.” What we have now is bags of poop lying everywhere saying, “HEY! LOOK AT ME! I’m a bag of poop! I’m a big poop-in-a-bag! Notice me! Here I am! At least now you probably won’t step on me because you’ll see the bag, and even if you do, it won’t be so bad. Not like in the old days, when stepping on me could nix your chances at that job interview! Ha ha!”

Now, besides stepping in it occasionally, we have to hear all about it, constantly. Look at this picturesque scene on the bike path down along the river, where not one, but two or three bags of poop have been arranged in a still life on top of this boulder. Would someone please tell me what kind of brain these people have.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

And now, try this

Besides the usual rain, in the last couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to try riding in wind, hail, snow, slush – and today I got to try fog. Here’s the view from the Broadway Bridge looking North over the Willamette River, then South. That was this morning at about quarter to nine. I’m glad I wasn’t out any earlier or I might have been even less visible than this cyclist you see receding into the mist as he rides across the bridge. Like me, he set his little lights a-blinking. Every little blink helps. At a stop-sign I was surprised that I almost didn’t see a whole car coming along because it had no lights on. Amazing what you can miss when the whole world turns gray.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Ice Master Goeth

Alley Cat is yet another cyclist whose blog is about to appear on my links list, and who left a comment to my last post – which brings me to today’s post:

Not to worry, Alley Cat. We’re not getting an ice storm this year. We can't, now -- it's too late. In the last few days all the buds have popped out, thinking it was spring, and they would all be killed.

The proper time for an ice storm would have been last week, when the snow all started to melt. We could have been frozen into one big ice floe, but it didn’t happen. A few patches appeared here and there -- nothing to warrant the title of ice storm. But for me and a ton of other people it was plenty reason to stay home.

In my opinion, ice is the Divine Excuse for Everything. Ice is a message, and the message is: just Stop it. Stop and think about what you’re doing. Stay where you are. Your plan for the day really wasn’t that important. You were going way too fast anyway, trying to pack too much in. Stay home and do something different.

So what if you had plans across town? As my father used to say at the dinner table if you asked ‘please pass the [whatever]' too many times: “Eat something near you.”

No matter what you do or don’t do, if you can blame it on ice, you’re good in the eyes of the Ice Master.

Same with snow. Portland has about two snow plows. Should we buy more? So that we can be prepared for our one snow day a year? No, we should not. The answer to the snow problem in Portland is that (1) we don’t have a snow problem in Portland, and (2) Portlanders get to have a couple extra holidays.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The astronauts have landed

The snow is all gone. I can walk and ride everywhere with no hindrances. My feet stick to the pavement at the exact point where I place them. Now I know how the astronauts must have felt when they got back from the moon landing.

Over the weekend Lindi and I lured a
blogging friend over with the promise of dinner, then picked his brain for technological information. He showed me how to do various things, among which was how to install a blogroll – a list of links to other biking blogs. I’m starting with four. You'll find them at the bottom of the right hand column. Two of them are Canadian ones – check in on them when you start hearing yourself whine about the weather in Portland. I'll be gradually adding more links to the list in the next few weeks.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pictures are ready

Hi. It's a little late, but I've only just now inserted the snow pictures into Tuesday's blog post. So it you want to see them, scroll down a few posts.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're down to pure slush

Rode bike today. All the side roads were still slushy. Slush, it turns out, makes for slippery cycling. One does feel like one needs four wheels in order to remain upright in it. I gave up after ten blocks and transferred over to Broadway to take my chances with the cars. The main streets are way better, but all the slush and debris has been shoved to the side, where the bikes go. Sometimes I just rode out in the lane. There weren't many cars -- a lot of people still not wanting to drive. Portlanders are chicken that way, which is good. There are four kinds of Portland drivers:

a. the ones who know how to drive in snow because they're really from somewhere else.
b. the ones who have no idea how to drive in snow but think there's nothing to it.
c. the ones who know darn well they have no idea how to drive in snow.
d. the ones who know that since the majority of people here don't know how to drive in snow, it doesn't matter if they themselves know how because they will be killed anyway by those who don't.

I am in category c. I can barely walk in snow. As a child, I spent three years in Ottawa, Canada (not my idea). One Christmas I was given a velvet-coated five-year diary with a lock on it. In order to fit five years into the book, they could only provide about three lines per day. At the time, I perceived my life as profoundly uninteresting and found the three lines difficult to fill. So every day I posted the temperature outside, which I was personally outraged by for nine months out of the year.

I know this is a cliche, but "when I was a kid I walked a mile to school in the snow." I fell often. When I fell, I wrote about it in my diary. (At the end of the day, I mean -- I waited till I got home.) That is how I know that (1) I'm remembering this correctly, and (2) I'm not cut out for a snowy climate.

I still have the diary as proof.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Intrepid but not foolhardy, cyclist defers to ice

Sorry – left yesterday’s morning snow pictures on hideout computer. Deleted from camera. No can insert from home. Did not go to hideout today because of ice risk. Though I am not defeated by snow, ice is another story. I won’t go near it. Nor will I go near cars traveling on ice.

However, I have last night’s snow pictures still on my camera – such as this beautiful snow-woman in the parking lot of my hideout, sculpted by Audrey who lives upstairs.

Snow still blanketed [see? there’s that stupid blanket again] industrial northwest Portland when I rode back through it on my way home at around 5:30, brightly illuminated by streetlights with nothing to do. No cars drove by at all, and only a few parked cars were around. Here’s a photo of a bunch of car-less people standing in the middle of a street where people never stand ordinarily. They were gathered there in a circle like cats under a full moon. They're small and far away -- you can hardly see them.

The pictures don’t show how it really was. I think I need lessons in night photography – my night pictures never come out. It was so eerily illuminated and here it all just looks dark.

The ride home last night wasn’t quite such a snap as the ride across town in the morning. Some slipperiness had developed. I had to get off and walk my bike up the ramp to the Broadway Bridge. The snow in the car lanes of the bridge were packed down, but the sidewalk/bike lanes not. My wheels periodically lost traction.

Here’s that poor fountain I photographed the other day, the beautiful cascading ice now all covered with snow, but the little squirt of water still gurgling away in the middle.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Our one snow-day a year

Well, yes.
I knew you all would be checking up on me today. Because all you Portlanders, plus you out-of-state weather zealots -- the ones who watch the weather channel for hours on end because it’s the only thing you can get on television where no one’s getting shot -- will have noticed that we woke up to a thick blanket of snow covering the city.

Wait. Blanket? Good God, did I say “blanket of snow”? If there’s one metaphor in the world that has been shamelessly overused, that would have to win the award. Isn't there a Dead Horse Award, or something?

But you know, I may be a writer and therefore expected to come up with original metaphors, but snow is not my subject area. Like most people who live here, I haven’t cultivated a sophisticated phraseology for snow. So sue me. I’m reserving my energy for developing language for subjects that I actually like. We in Portland only have a couple of metaphors that we use over and over again. One of them is blanket, the other one is winter wonderland.

If you had to wonder even for a minute if I resorted to driving my car today, you haven’t been reading my blog long enough. You must also not be a bike rider, because if you were, you would already know the thing that I discovered this morning, which is that in snow, a bike is a far superior mode of transportation than a car.

Yes, my friends, I passed everyone – except the other cyclists, whom, as I’ve told you before, I rarely pass. But even as the slowest cyclist, I passed ALL the cars – which were chugging along pathetically at 5 miles per hour, belching black fumes onto the formerly white snow and into the formerly crisp winter air, and doing so for a period multiple times longer than usual. They crept along, their wheels occasionally spinning uselessly or sliding sideways.

You could see their drivers huddled inside (one per car, as usual) thinking they were safe, thinking they were lucky to be in there. One car, with 2 nice women inside, stopped and offered me “a lift somewhere,” pointing out their rooftop bike rack, saying it would be no trouble. I said thanks, but I was having so much fun. They laughed good-naturedly (clearly a laugh of envy), waved, and drove on.

I had about five conversations on the way to my hideout, with other bike riders and pedestrians. That’s what snow does to people here. All life as they know it comes to a screeching halt. The entire city plays hooky from everything, and the usual West Coast friendliness, already borderline disconcerting, gets ramped up to yet another level. People talk to you in a way that makes you wonder if they’re some intimate friend whose name you’re not remembering because either they’ve had a major cosmetic reconstruction or you’re entering into the first stages of senility.

Here are a few photos from my ride in this morning. Now I will head back across town the other way, since it’s getting dark – but of course, it won’t be dark at all with all this whiteness to illuminate the way.

Never mind. Blogger is being an idiot again. I'll give this another try when I get home this evening. Do come back, you'll like them.

OK, I have returned and inserted pictures, all but one, of snow on the ironwork patterns of the Broadway Bridge. I will try again to stick in later on. This last picture is riding north on NW Thurman Street at about ten in the morning. At the top is the way to our garage before I walked on the snow to get my bike out of the garage.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cyclist Seen Ice Skating Near Downtown Fountain

In case you were NOT out riding your bike last Friday, you may have missed opportunities to see just how cold it got out there. Again, at the risk of being laughed at by the Canadians, I offer you pictures of frozen Portland. This is the fountain outside Office Max on 13th and Lovejoy downtown at about five o'clock in the afternoon.

Please appreciate the fact that I came very close slaughtering myself in the process of obtaining these photos for you. As I approached the fountain, the concrete floor surrounding it turned out to be (1) slightly sloped, and (2) covered with ice from the overflow from the fountain – a lawsuit waiting to happen, this being America and suing being the favorite national pastime. Nevertheless I managed to regain my balance and avoid both bone-break and muscle-sprain thanks to my youthful reflexes and gazelle-like alacrity. Whoops, gazelles are in Africa, no ice; Ok, mountain-goat-like alacrity. Which, I might add lest you seek to emulate me, I attribute to (you guessed it) daily bike riding.

In other news, I spotted this Dutch Cargo bike at Lloyd Center on Sunday. This is the second one in Portland that I know of. I left my card in the wooden cab area with a note to contact me, but no one has. Too bad, fame awaited them but they chose not to act. I for one would like to see these sturdy vehicles all over Portland. A few months ago I heard a rumor that some shop in town was getting ready to sell them, but I haven’t been able to track down any more information.

Friday, January 12, 2007

OK -- here are a few pictures. Here's my derailleur and chain and chain- wheel before the overhaul. See? Ug! The poor bike! Kind of makes me want to run into the kitchen and glug down a glass of olive oil.

And now, after: See how shiny? Does it not look happy?

Darnit! Blobber is being uncooperative again! It seems I'm only being allowed three photos -- 2 befores and one after. Well, I'll just have to get back to this tomorrow or Monday. I have more of these dramatic shots to show you.

Good News: You may not be as decrepit as you thought!

I feel like I have a new body, but it's only my bike.

Wow. I can't believe the difference. Really I didn't even think it was that bad. Recently, however, I did wonder if this wasn't getting more difficult instead of less. Now, not.

Isn't it amazing? One day you can think you're turning into an creaky old bird, the next day you can feel like Wonder Woman. All that in the space of 24 hours without lifting the tiniest dumbell or eating any protein-enhanced power food.

The bike's in better shape than it was when I bought it (used) two years ago. The amazing Before and After pictures will be posted some time this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bike Gallery offering deal of the century

My right gear cable busted the other day, so I’ve been riding around stuck in high gear ever since. The alternative was to scrunch down in the cold wet dark, hold the rear tire off the ground while cranking the pedals and shifting it manually into a lower gearall at the same time. On top of all that misery I know full well that bike grease doesn’t wash off -- you have to wait till your top layer of skin molts off and start fresh. I decided that riding around with it the way it was would be easier.

This morning when it was finally convenient, I took it in to Bike Gallery which is right next door to my gym. A sign said they had a winter overhaul special going on for only $125. labor – as opposed to the usual $225 or something. So I had one of the mechanics look over my bike, and he showed me all the things wrong with it. It wasn’t like when take your car to the jiffy lube for a simple oil change and they keep traipsing back to your car window with yet another unrecognizable piece of your car drowning in a fist full of scum, saying “Wouldn’t you like a new one of these?”

No, the pedal cranks were wiggly in the bottom bracket, the chain had stretched out so long it was practically dragging on the ground, etc. No wonder it kept slipping. Don’t you hate that? Just when you need to really haul, the chain skips a few sprockets and you’re lucky if you don’t land on the cross bar – or whatever that thing is called.

I decided to go for it. Why wait for all these things to fall apart one by one and then lose half a day dealing with it? Besides, fixing my cable was going to cost me $23 labor, whereas this way it’ll be included in the overhaul.

Here’s Brian, starting work on my bike at the Sandy Blvd Bike Gallery. I took closeups of the bike itself, and when I get it back tomorrow I’ll show you the Before and After pictures.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Finally, the Three Phobias

I don’t just endure the phobias, I manage them. In other words, I don’t let them interfere with my life. Here are they are, followed by instructions in case you share any of these particular ones.

1. that I’ll go up in flames from the burners on the stove while I’m cooking something
2. that I’ll be torn to shreds by a vicious dog
3. that I’ll choke to death on a hard-candy

Here are my recommended phobia-management strategies for the above.

Phobia # 1:

a. Check obsessively that none of your clothing is hanging too near the stove.
b. Refuse to wear garments that are flammable, unduly loose or baggy, or of suspicious origin.
c. Use extreme caution while reaching into cupboard located above stove hood.
d. Keep fire extinguisher near stove; observe recharge dates on extinguisher canister; insist that loved ones be trained in use of fire extinguisher.
e. When possible, have other household members execute tasks that involve the stove.

Phobia # 2:

a. Avoid all dogs, even if not visibly vicious.
b. Assume all dog owners are lying when they refer to their dog as a "sweetheart," "teddybear," or the like.

Phobia #3:
3. a. Avoid eating hard-candy during any activity that involves breathing heavier than normal, such as riding a bike or moving parts of your body in any other physical endeavor.
b. Avoid eating hard-candy during any activity which may lead to gasping, such as driving a car, riding in the passenger seat of a car, riding a bike, or raising children.
c. Never EVER eat a hard-candy while in a lying down or partly reclining position, such as in a lazy-girl chair or a hammock. This rule would preclude sucking cough drops in bed, since cough drops count as hard-candy.
e. If hard-candy cannot be resisted, first take the following precautions:
Never eat hard-candy alone, and always announce to everyone in the area that you’re about to eat a hard-candy. Ensure that at least one person in your vicinity knows how to execute the Heimlich maneuver. Then adhere to the following procedure:
Wait fifteen minutes till pulse reaches resting heart rate. In a calm seated position with relaxing music playing in the background, insert hard candy into the mouth, and suck until gone. Continue to suspend all activity until finger swipe comes up clear of all candy fragments.

You see? A phobia need not stop all life as we know it. There are ways around them. If you have a concern that’s keeping you from riding your bike, post in the comment section and I’ll help you identify whether it’s really a phobia or you’re just being chicken.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I haven't forgotten about the phobias

Shoot. I know you’re all dying to hear about my phobias. I know I said "tomorrow," and that was Thursday, but something came up (as I told you Friday) and you know I don’t blog on the weekends. I’m sorry. Don't think that I'm deliberately trying to torture you. Tomorrow morning, I promise.

No, I can’t just tell you now. Bare my soul about the phobias when I don’t have time to explain how I deal with each one? Good Grief! what do you think this is, the tabloid press? I’m not doing this to subject myself to public ridicule, I’m doing it for the public’s education. It's a sensitive subject and it has to be presented carefully and thoughtfully.

I’ll give you a hint, though. They all involve things that would end in a slow and excruciating death. I’m not exaggerating. More tomorrow.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Blogging error hides reader responses


OMG! I’ve been deprived of all your comments!

I just discovered that in some weird way at some unknown time more than two months ago, I must have made some kind of Blogspot management error while exploring my Blogger “dashboard.” Apparently I inadvertently turned off the “show comments” feature. At the same time, it seems I also turned off the feature that sends every comment directly to my email inbox and notifies me right away that you’ve posted.

Since mid-October (!) I have been stumped as to why, despite the fact that the Sitemeter was showing plenty of readership, no one was writing in .

Last night I accidentally clicked on a Blogger button that brought up a huge list of comments from you that I had never seen. I was simultaneously shocked, horrified, and relieved. An hour or so later, they all appeared in my email inbox as well.

I always appreciate your comments immensely, and try to respond to respond back with at least a few words unless I’m completely swamped with the demands of Life. I will be gradually responding to some of these retroactively. One person even wrote in that she or he regretted I had removed the show-comments feature – but of course, since the comment never made it to my inbox, I remained clueless.

I raise my teacup to a better blog in the New Year. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the promised Phobia Revelation, but I felt this was urgent so I had to slip it in right away. I’ll get back to that as soon as a reasonable number of people have had a chance to read this.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What is your big fat excuse?

So what’s the holdup? Are you or are you not riding your bike more as a result of reading this blog? OK, if you’re intimidated by the weather, I discussed the strategy for overcoming that on Tuesday, day before yesterday, which you can apply to yourself. If you have some other reason, such as lacking the necessary functioning body parts or being older than about eighty, you’re excused -- but in that case you have to come up with some other way to reduce your contribution to global warming. Get that darned video I told you about and watch it. Watch it again. Invite friends over and make them watch it too. Make them. Lock the door and don’t let them out till they’ve watched it. (They’ll thank you later.) Buy the book that goes with the film. We got the book for Christmas. It’s full of all kinds of maps, charts and photographs that are both visually compelling as well as powerful and clear in the information they deliver. Very inspiring. Keep the book out in your living room where you can flip through it now and then for ideas.

The only other reason you could be excused is if you had a genuine phobia about riding a bike. A phobia is not like you just “don’t feel like it” or you’re “not used to it.” A phobia is when, if someone tells you to get over it, you know deep in your heart that person doesn’t get it.

I have three phobias, and normally I wouldn’t blurt my personal business all over the blogosphere, but just to make sure you know the difference between a fear and a phobia, I’m going to share my phobias with you here on this blog tomorrow. For the benefit of the public, and in turn, for the benefit of the globe. Then you’ll be able to assess whether you’re coddling frivolous fears, or managing certifiable phobias. And you will therefore be able to avoid falling into the trap of using ordinary, conquerable fears as an excuse for neglecting to act in accordance with the emergency nature of today’s global warming situation.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In case you thought I'd passed away.......

Life could behave, but it just won't. Let's face it, things aren't going to be completely back to normal till next week. My rut beckons, but entropy rules. However, each passing day drifts a little closer to order. By Monday I'll be back in my glorious wheelrut for sure. Till then, I'll keep dropping the occasional line.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Secret Conversion Strategy for L

I'm gearing back up to Real Life after a long period of holiday goofing off. Two remaining relatives still to board planes, and after that I'll be all out of excuses.

Have been making embarrassingly frequent use of the despised automobile, but at least it's usually with more than one person in the car. I realize now that I was neglectful in not ensuring that Lindi be completely converted to the biking life before winter set in. No one converts in miserable weather. This must be accomplished in summer. I will begin a serious proselytizing effort in the spring. Even though the rain doesn't end till July, I'll probably need that much time to convince her. It's counterproductive even mentioning it these days, the way I come home looking like the drowned wrath of god all the time. The occasional glorious days of spring will help. Then, come July, she'll be ready for a daily practice. As next fall rolls in, I'll make sure she's outfitted with the best rain gear. Before she knows it, she'll have ridden right into winter. If she makes it to Christmas there'll be no turning back.