Tuesday, 27 November 2012


I don't think much of the word 'inspiration'.  I'm too much of a cynic/realist/skeptic to think that because someone else does something that I can do it.  I have plenty of self esteem without using others as examples of what you accomplish by trying harder.  You need this just to start on the path towards running a marathon.  You need to have the faith that you have the strength and motivation to do the required work.  I'm not much for 'faith' either, but for something of that magnitude a helping of intentional blindness is an asset.  

Then there's this guy.  I watched this in awe of him.  It made me want to work harder and strive to do better, because he shows that in the face of long odds, you can accomplish awesome things.  That's the definition of inspiration.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

What fits in the backpack

Riding a bike puts a strict limit on how much I can buy when stopping at the supermarket.  With the Townie and its generous panniers, I can fit a case of beer and plenty of groceries on the other side.  With the road bike I just have my backpack.  Last week I stopped on the way to work for a can of cat food, and found it to be on sale for a generous 1/3 off.  So I bought 40, which was all I estimated to fit in the pack.  It's waiting in my locker at work.  I wasn't bringing it all home in one trip.

One backpack worth of cat food

I like the cool new style lock I found.  It uses sliders instead of the customary dial, so I can run it with one hand.  It's sturdy like most school dial locks.  I bought one like it for taking to the pool, because, well, I'm not abandoning my valuables, and don't want to carry a key.  

Master 1500iD Padlock
Last year I had my expensive lobster-claw cycling mits stolen from the change room at work.  How bad is theft there?  I bought a dozen heavy-duty coat hangers so there would be something sturdy to hang my winter coat on.  They all disappeared by the end of the year.  Who steals coat hangers?  So I took possession of a locker for my stuff.  

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Riding in the rain

It's been such nice weather all summer, that I almost forgot what it's like to ride in the rain.  I think this is the first time it's happened on my racing bike that I've been caught in a downpour.  This fall, I kept thinking it would be the last of the weekend rides, and then another patch of warm weather would arrive.  I've seen enough overcast days stay dry that I tend to head out anyway and let the rain come as it will.  

Rainy day

The week after the rainstorm, i was an hour from home and went over some twigs on the road and got a flat.  Changing it out was also a first for my racing bike.  The wheel came and tire came off super easy.  It fitted the replacement tube in, and had a problem.  The short valve stem just barely extend out of the aerodynamic wheel rim.  That's a slight problem with my floor pump, but a complete showstopper with the mini pump that I ride with.  I couldn't get it far enough over the valve to pump.  My spouse was away shopping, so phoning for a pick up wasn't going to work.  I ended up calling a cab for a $50 fare back to the house.  It took him 20 minutes to find me.  While riding, my skimpy outfit is suitable enough.  I wear tights since they're breathable.  The bib shorts would be too cold with my legs exposed.  In about 10 minutes I had some fine shivering happening as I waited at the side of the road.  At least I wasn't wet with sweat or rain.

Oh drat, got a flat