Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It was Christmas

we rode with the
falling snow
in the dark
along the roads and trail
that could take us to the river
but after a busy Christmas day
it was time only for
watching the snowflakes
catch light
and flurry around spokes
until our feet were cold
then we rounded the curve
to head for home

- tob

Slow Return to Normal

this is what we used to do
he said
we had stopped for eats
after skiing Sunday
and I didn't care
what time we got home

- ob out dancin' on the snow these days now that I'm finished studying

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Want to Work in the City

Had a conference to go to on Monday.
Hopped the bus a block from home, dropped-off with two blocks to walk.
10 minutes.
Maybe 12.
Fresh air and conversation.
Same on the way home.
I could get used to it.

- OB feelin' like Petula

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It is Finished

On Friday, I uploaded my last quiz and tonight I emailed my last two papers. I'm all but finished with an assignment that is due next weekend. There are a couple of loose ends, but for all practical purposes I'm finished with my coursework. I can almost, according to the Minnesota Department of Education, officially do the job I've been doing for the last year+.

After two weeks straight of sitting on my backside cranking out assignments, I can't wait to rediscover and redirect my energies toward those things I used to do. There's snow on the ground...enough for skiing. It's time to hit the deep snow again and think deep thoughts again and write fun writings and go to art flicks and drink beer and spend weekends in the good company of friends.

- TOBack

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Librarian Humor

- The Old oh-my-GAWD-is-this-what-my-life-has-become? Bag

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

All in a Day's Work?

Across Cedar Lake toward Uptown

Wirth Park's Legacy Trails looking more Official

The new Paint Job Unpainted enlarge to see the original mph on a pedestrian-free trail

The Cedar Lake Trail leading to and from Downtown

Cedar Lake

-TOB this, and a bla snore zzzzz class session

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Six-Pack Abs

Now that mountain biking season is here
I realize why they're important
and that I don't have them

- O flabbyabs B

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Shoes

In my crowd, mountain biking is synonymous with autumn and orange leaves...start riding too soon and one is just plain messing with forces beyond one's control -- a couple springs ago a buddy went out to Maah Daah Hey in MAY...the planets haven't aligned correctly since.

So, with the new season arriving it was time for me to

who am I trying to kid?

So, with The Sweetie building up a 1 x 9 Monkey and getting a new 29er within weeks of each other it was time for me to be out in the garage tinkering on mountain bikes. I had actually started pondering new wheels for the Stumpjumper back in August, but seeing two new September arrivals made the push that much more frenetic. I WANT a Monkey. I WANT a 29er!

Except that I already have a mountain bike I love, a great 'cross bike for commuting and a '76 Raleigh still sitting in my basement ready to become my urban breakfast machine, not to mention the rest of the crowd hanging out in the garage. I have no need for another bicycle.

I test rode a few 29ers just to be sure.

Didn't like any of 'em whew!

So, I did nothing for a couple weeks to be sure the feeling had passed, and after a few early fall rides, I remembered what I liked so much about Stella. She fits. She's easy not in that way. I hopped online to see what wheels the MTBR forums were buzzing on. I talked to friends. I went to a nearby LBS, as well as to the LBS. By the time I'd picked a few brains about hubs and weights and spoke-types I knew what I wanted.

But new wheels meant a few more decisions: stay with rim brakes or go disc? if disc, hydraulic or mechanical? tube or tubeless? do it all myself or have the mechanics take care of everything? AND, should I really drop a wad on a three-year-old bicycle?
Everything arrived last Wednesday. I was slated to leave town bright and early Friday for our annual three-day Wisconsin mountain bike trip...the fall vacation. There wasn't time to be changing things out, and besides who wants to mess with good karma two days before a big trip?

I do.

I'll just take these out to the garage and see how things look, I said. When the dust cloud settled, Stella was sporting new 17 degree Salsa handlebars with Cane Creek ergo bar ends, a SRAM 980 and chain, Thomson seatpost, Avid BB7s, a pair of CrossMarks and a set of sweet DT Swiss 1540s.

She rides like a dream!

- OB off in happy land

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Date: October 7
Miles: a few
Ride Type: ding-around breakfast, LBS , downtown
Bike: 'cross
Irritant: Race team three abreast taking both sides of the trail (or maybe the guy playing chicken with us was passing them because he just couldn't be bothered to slow down and wait until it was safe -- IF YOU WOULDN'T DO THAT IN A CAR ON THE HIGHWAY, DON'T DO IT ON A BICYCLE ON THE TRAIL criminy), new Twins stadium construction where the trail was slated to go
October Mileage: some
Year to Date Mileage: a bunch

Date: October 6
Miles: several
Ride Type: supper in Hopkins
Bike: 'cross
Irritant: none
October Mileage: some
Year to Date Mileage: a bunch

Date: October 2
Miles: a few
Ride Type: commute
Bike: 'cross
Irritant: didn't stop for a Frosty on the way home
October Mileage: some
Year to Date Mileage: a bunch

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not Marian

I'm down to my last two courses for my Information Media license: IM 552 -- Cardigan Sweaters and Bow-Tied Scarves, and IM 624 -- Shushing.

I think I'm flunking out of the first one. The other day someone said to me: You're the hippest, most outdoorsy librarian ever! I'd ridden the bicycle that day, washed my now wild and ratty hair (who has TIME to go to the stylist?) in the media center sink before classes arrived and had changed into a skinny black tee and rust colored double front-Carharts with my belt from Mexico and a pair of black Merrills.

I can't find my flowered skirts. The peter-pan collared dresses? Gone, I tell you. And my closet hasn't seen a jumper since the 80s (but the one I had then was denim -- I was such a rabble-rouser: it was my way of wearing jeans).

What are these kids going to think?


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Avocet O2

Avocet 02, I sure do love you
You calmed all of my saddle fears
You're wide in the right spots
And narrow where I'm not
Together we ride new frontiers.

Avocet O2, to you I am true
There's more to you than what appears
Your fine leather sails me
Titanium rails mean
For ride comfort you have no peers.

Avocet 02, without you I'm blue
You've cushioned my tush for ten years
And tho you are weary
My backside's been cheery
If it could, it would give you three cheers!

- The we're growing Old together Bag

Saturday, September 22, 2007


If you didn't know her, you'd call her an old cuss.

She's been around the block, Stella has, and she loves the animated conversation that arises from sharing tales with someone else who has a few gashes and scuff marks like hers.
Yeah, THIS one? Know that uphill rock garden in the north loop at Wirth? Man, 3/4 of the way up every time....

Remember that tree across the Ojibwe? Caught the front derailleur....

This one -- car rack -- can you even believe....

Well, there's a new horse in the stable. He's a bit pretty, and you know how those pretty types can be. Underneath they're nice enough, but hanging out with one means restraining the foot-tapping while they learn the ins-and-outs and get their first bruises. Just like that uptight cousin from the right side of the tracks, this one will soon realize that mud and sticks are good for the soul.

In the meantime, he's wearing red. Bright red. Candy red. Smooth, melted, shiny, red hot, run-your-hand-along-my-toptube-and-feel-the-gliiiide red, with a...get this...WHITE fork.
PAINT...on a mountain bike? Please.
She sighed as she was loaded into the back of the wagon first, leaving the good spot for the newbie.
Here we go again.
On the trail, though, he took the downed trees in stride and hit the rock garden in fine shape the first time over.
Thank GOD he's not a namby-pamby....
The first paint scratch was pretty mild so it didn't hurt too badly, but she knows that first saddle biff will come, that decal scrape, the gummed-up cable housing, first paint chip, and she'll be there with the tough love.
Get your arse back out there, it happens to all of us, get over it, we'll talk about it later over a few beers.
She's seen it before.

- OB and no, the new one isn't mine, it's The Sweetie's

Monday, September 17, 2007


still alive
still kicking
and screaming

hit the ground running after the MI bicycle ride in August
back to work before most
some of it paid
some of it not paid
labor of love??

two parent info nights this week
what, now it's 24/7?

now back in evening classes until mid-December
reading research and opining about theory
but in secret I'm scouring the MTBR forums

still commuting
still grocery-getting
still breakfasting and riding
still fall mountain biking
still thinking about a new 29er hardtail

after 13 years in the same Honda
now a new used vehicle for hauling my pretties to new trails

- OB and up past my bedtime!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MI Shoreline Bicycle Tour

Well, none of these pics actually shows that we were on bicycles last week, but that's what touring is about: stoppin' to smell the roses.

It took me awhile to get used to the idea we could actually swim in Lake Michigan -- I'm too used to the bone-chilling Lake Superior!

Lots of eating and a bit-o beer with lunch!

The roads were lined with purple, white and pink wildflowers.

Beverages after a long day in the saddle.

Sleeping Bear Dunes state park at the top of an 18% climb -- that slope downward on the left of the photo just gets steeper...

...and this is looking down. People run the dune...well, maybe they run down it, but they use all four to get back up. There are actually people swimming waaaaaay down there.

Cherries, peaches and apples, oh my!

The nightly tent city 3 mils separate you from your snoring neighbor.

The nightly laundry -- the day's togs washed while in the shower.

Typical rocky shoreline...there were some sandy beaches also.

- OB now has to get ready to start up the school year!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rags? Riches?

We all have our t-shirt collections: the favorite is often from THAT ONE EVENT which happened THAT ONE YEAR and now the shirt is threadbare. My collection is largely made up of sizes that are too big for me now. I haven't shrunk but styles have changed, or event officials offered the "one size fits all" model of XL and I wore them a bunch before finally admitting I'm just not an XL.

I've had a plastic tub of 'em stored away for several years...memories escape every time the lid comes off.
- an MS ride
- the jazz fest during a friend's wedding in Fort Worth
- Superweek
- pounding nails on a habitat house
- the precursor to the NVGP
- the local day tour in Northfield
I've saved them fearing that without I won't remember the miserable MS weekend with conditions that spanned low temps and icy rain (we got soup for our stomachs and bread bags for our feet in a little cafe in Moose Lake) to 90s and sweat the next day (one of the ugliest photos of my life was taken that day).

I worry I won't remember being so far off the back in a Superweek race that when we caught another dropped racer she thought we were the break catching her -- she was in awe when she learned we were only 3s and 4s and we were "this far away from the front of the pack?!"

What about the wonderful time in TX bonding with friends who'd scattered 'round the country? the Jesse James shoot-'em-up reenactment in Northfield after the ride? where I learned my nail-pounding skills along with the satisfaction of helping someone in need?

I sat down last week and quartered my old shirts that have been taking up space in the attic. At first it hurt. But the beauty? Now each shirt is in six to eight pieces all mixed together and each time I take one out to clean a bicycle I have a different flood of fond memories that make maintenance that much more enjoyable.


PS off to cycle the Michigan coastline for the upcoming week -- you all have a good one!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tragedy too Close to Home

The end of rush hour, 6:10 pm, bumper to bumper traffic heading to the baseball game or home from work.

I35W is a major artery crossing the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.


Witness reports say it bounced up and down (one said it felt similar to bad alignment) or heaved or waved then dropped out of sight. Seven deaths confirmed, many injuries.

Roughly 50 cars in the wreckage and in the water surrounding the bridge were searched. Recovery efforts will start for any that lie underneath.

The bridge deck was undergoing maintenance, but the failure was structural.

Twenty people, including one construction worker, missing.

Everyday heroes helped the injured from their vehicles and got 60 kids out of a bus.

- ob a major cycling route lies underneath and follows the shoreline

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The More Things Change...

Government class. There I was sitting my life away for an hour every day. I had better things to do with my time during my senior year in high school: play practice, art club, flute lessons, shooting hoops.... We'd just started up another school year, and a controversy flared.

The Tour de France was rocked by news that Astana's battered team leader, Alexandre Vinokourov, tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion after Saturday's time trial in Albi...the Kazakh's blood had shown evidence of a transfusion from another person with a compatible blood type.... Upon receiving the news, the Astana team suspended Vinokourov and quit the Tour de France....

Tess: I just feel so bad for them. She was a cheerleader, don't remember in which sport, but she was cute and blond and she felt bad.

Me: They signed the paper. Their parents signed the paper. They knew what they were doing. The entire first string football team had gotten caught at a party on homecoming night. That year, getting caught drinking, smoking, drugging, or even getting caught in the presence of any of the above meant an athlete was done for the season.

Every rider that is participating in this Tour de France has signed the UCI's antidoping charter in which they promised to give up a year's wages if caught doping. That means that Vinokourov, Moreni and possibly even Rasmussen may be giving up their salaries as punishment, but that's no consolation for their teams, the sponsors, the mechanics and other people involved with the team.

Mr. Hausenkopf sat back and listened during the spontaneous debate in government class.

Tess: But still, they shouldn't have been kicked off!

Bert: It wasn't fair. Bert was an enigma. He was somehow one of the beautiful people, in the popular crowd without being involved in sports, no art, no music and no personality from what I could tell. He spent no time on anybody who wasn't somebody, and I was barely a blip on the outer edge of the Somebody Radar screen.

The news Tuesday...raised a number of concerns with Floyd Landis. One of them was the question about fairness, which the California resident said was not adequately considered in the months leading up to the Floyd Landis trial....

Me: Not fair?! School officials had gone to great lengths to outline for us the new training rules that fall. We got it loud and clear. When I signed, I understood what I was signing. If I was ever caught I was out of whatever I was in. To me, nothing was worth that.

Bert: They shouldn't be kicked off the team for being at a party! Bert was trying to sound as eloquent as his 17-year-old countenance would allow. That's just stupid!

...the Danish federation claims Rasmussen missed an out-of-competition test on May 6, 2007, afterwards correcting that date to April 6 and adding another missed test on June 21, 2007. Finally in June 2007 Rasmussen was again careless with sending his whereabouts schedule to the UCI, according to the claims."

Me: We don't decide what's stupid. We decide whether or not to follow the rules, and if we want to play we don't have much choice. We all signed it -- they signed it. They all knew what would happen! Of course there was a chance of not getting caught, but everyone knew the consequences if they did get nailed. Their decision lay with assuming the risk. The new rules were harsh, but were clear. There were no second chances.

Team manager Theo DeRooy has withdrawn the maillot jaune from the Tour de France. The team fired Rasmussen, who lied to them as to his true whereabouts when he missed his out of competition tests in June. "Wrongly reporting whereabouts is a flagrant violation of UCI rules and is unacceptable," read a statement by the Rabobank team.

Bert was stuck. He looked at me and sneered. Well, just because you're a jock.... It was the best insult he could come up with on the spot. It made no sense given the conversation we were having. I was a jock. It pissed me off just the same. He didn't understand the sacrifices nor the honor of just being part of the field.

"This is a bitter pill to swallow," said Nick Nuyens, whose Cofidis team removed itself from the Tour de France. "It hasn't all sunk in yet." Nuyens was forced to leave following the news that his Italian team-mate Cristian Moreni had tested positive for testosterone. "Of course I was surprised [by Moreni's positive test], he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. "I am disillusioned. I don't know what they will do with us. All I know is that we have to leave the Tour. "When you take part in the Tour for the first time, you hope to at least reach Paris, not this," he said bitterly. "And I was so happy to have survived the last mountain stage."

I decided to follow suit and called a spade a spade. Just because you're a waste....

I didn't understand then that while adults are expected to grasp the consequences of actions, arguments can be made for the adolescent brain and what it understands, how it responds and whether it can reason. Can the same argument can be made for elite cyclists? They're aware of the consequences, but do they really understand? They're young. They've been so immersed in racing for so long that it's all they know. Is it an arrested development? Is it desperation at having put it all on the line for so many years and finding their results and their dollars won't carry them past their 30s?

Former pro cyclist Jan Koerts announced live on Dutch television Wednesday night that he used doping products during this career. "You come to a given point in your career where you have to decide," he said on the show De Avondetappe. "Either you consider your career has failed or you participate in doping," he said. "I have participated. It was that or put an end to my career.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Deep Freeze

they're in there

they call to me
and I can
in quiet moments
they talk
singing my name
and when I let
we're here, Jeanne
we love you
my midsection
and we'll be inseparable!

- The Rolly-Polly Bag has GOT to put in a few more miles this weekend...

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 11th

I stood on my front step
an old lady looking for the fireworks pranksters
been popping for a week
the border collie afraid to go outside
to GO outside
from the bedroom window I had seen what looked like a 13-year-old girl
standing near the last round fired off in front of the neighbors house
a crowd of teenagers drove up
didn't look like the cohort of teens from down the block
I knew their mother would've had their hide
were these kids from blocks over?

the new neighbor from two houses down hopped out to join the group
the group not teenagers, but legal adults
the girl not thirteen
he's young
a homeowner
moved his girlfriend's car
set down a cardboard tube on a square base
lighter to the fuse
ran back several feet
it wasn't the pop of a bottle rocket but
with a bouquet of colors cascading above the trees and rooftops
hhhiiiiisssssssssss, poppoppop
above trees
old trees, large trees
in a dry, hot summer
branches bending over rooftops of houses ten feet apart
rooftop connected to rooftop by tinder

hayuk, hayuk, dude, whoa man! later!
five of the group slammed their doors
drove off

I started my walk toward the remaining four
you move your CAR?!
this is a neighborhood
a neighborhood with elderly and toddlers
who may not have an easy time of it if their


this is our investment
inside are our treasures
and now you're in my neighborhood, our neighborhood
blind to the ramifications of your teenaged actions
yukking it up with your buddies

Hi. I'm Jeanne.
I turned to him and called him by name
he looked at me surprised I knew
we'd met last fall when I stopped by after a ride and he was outside
he had shown me his kitchen redo
his face shamed at being called out
lost the cockiness of anonymity
look, these houses are just too close together
sparks landing on one roof....

he looked at the cracks in the street
at me
it won't happen again


it won't happen again

- tob

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Foreground on the Cityscape

a commuter baiku (bicycle haiku)

spots and specks trailside
nodding with sympathy for
work 'stead of play time

- B one more day of list, one paper, one presentation left

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Betty's first train ride

- OB'd rather be bikin' but when a spoke pings...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


the nod
from a passing cyclist

seen you out here before.
do I maybe know you?

lycra begets lycra
messenger bags peg kits
backpacks hey panniers
early morning riders see other early morning riders

the helmetless
in tennies
look down the trail


out on an errand run
down the trail on the 'cross ride
library, post office, bank
auto parts store
in plain clothes
tank and baggy capris

the hairy-faced man
in the jeans on the Schwinn
gave me the nod

- Baggie nodworthy

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Took the grocery getter downtown last night to the Twin Cities' outdoor Hot Summer Jazz Festival.

Only a woman like Barbara Morrison can carry a sultry song like Love for Sale and keep it hot instead of sleazy...what a stage presence.

We saw all types, colors, ages, sizes...the pink-hatted woman with feathers 'round the ends of her sleeves and little upturned nose just didn't seem to have the right costume for the moves her body wanted to make...didn't have the right moves either, but she was movin' nonetheless!

Riding through downtown -- a ton of cyclists out.

- OB it was hot!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It's Too Darned Hot

Needing to avoid working on the research paper usually means I head for the bicycle, but today's 95 degrees and 40% humidity makes it feel as though I'm pedaling through Jell-o. Thanks to Trée over at Trebuchet for reminding me about Photo Booth. At least if I'm sitting at the computer I LOOK like I'm working...

...don't I??


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Not the Most Picturesque Part of the Commute

But whatever is coming out of that pipe smells like Rice Krispie bars....

- ob

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


just gotta remember
to wash your hands
after chopping a jalapeno
because if you forget and afterward
set yerself to scooping chocolate almond ice cream
you know
you'll want to lick your fingers

- ob complete with icky face

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Most days this summer (which has been all of five days for me) I've been riding with The Sweetie to work in the AMs. He's only got a six-mile commute into downtown so I get a 10-12-miler in before heading home to join my classes online. It's been a nice way to start my "work" day, wakes me up, gets me breathing. Often I do the same at the end of the day, but with this week's 90-degree days, morning has been the time to ride.

The other day on the way home I felt an ache on the back of my left leg behind my knee, a subtle reminder of the slight ache that started last Saturday in the hills of WI did I mention I hit 51 that day? I got off and dug for my multi-tool to make what amounted to be about a three-millimeter adjustment in my seat height.


In my early cycling days I had a hybrid that I just couldn't get set up right. I visited the PT, did my exercises, learned a bunch about fit, adjusted what I could. Considering I was just getting back into cycling I had wheeled the bike as-is out of the LBS yep, this feels good! can I have wider bars???, fine tuning came months later and meant the adjustments involved a new seat you mean, I just take off the seat that came with it? do they buy it back? and a longer stem so THIS one just goes into a drawer?? along with different toe cages that allowed my foot a bit more movement. After finding I liked doing some distance, I also found my lower back I got aero bars...put 'em on the hybrid yep so I could finally stretch out. I read magazines and learned about the relationship between knees, cranks and bottom brackets. I kept stats: miles and average speeds. They increased by leaps and bounds each season. I read about the slight changes one must make when adjusting anything, especially seat height, but that went by the wayside the day I'd had it and yanked my seat up in frustration and finally felt relief. Fine-tuning wasn't so fine -- changes were in huge increments, inches even.

When I got the first road ride, at 21 lbs., I was riding air and air didn't need as many adjustments. Since I knew more that time around, LBS and I spent more time setting it up. In the weeks after riding away from the shop I got a women's specific road saddle with longer rails and dialed it in. Early on, I changed-out the stem from a 110 to a 100. Fine-tuning this time around was in centimeters.

That same bicycle took me through most of my racing years. I took and then taught a beginning racing skills class. I kept stats on my training: miles, average speeds, routes, numbers, grades, intensity, fatigue, attitude. Without realizing it I was filing away other sorts of stats as well: the dynamics of riding with a tight group, the patterns of body language in teammates and opponents, and the sounds of purpose and fake-out. I used to take hills with a straining grip on the bars until coach said just try it with your hands here instead. I learned the subtleties. I got Betty which was a perfect fit almost from the get-go. With the amount I was training and learning, any adjustment in fit or technique had the potential to send something else out of whack or edge me away from being a strong rider toward being a good rider. Fine tuning was subtle -- changes were in millimeters.

I've been back to recreational riding and grocery getting for awhile now, but it's different than it was in '92 on the hybrid. I don't keep stats. After a couple summers without, I finally replaced the cyclo-computer that I lost, but I didn't zero it out this past January...and I regularly ride a bicycle or two that don't have one at all. If asked how many miles I've racked-up so far this year I couldn't even hazard a guess. What's my resting HR these days? Dunno. My longest ride this season? I'm at a loss. Cadence? Please. Those are practically inches.

Last weekend a cycling friend told me she was working on pedaling more efficiently and asked if I had any suggestions. She's a strong rider, but not a good rider...a little squirrely in a paceline, a bit of side-to-side movement when she pedals.

Well, first you need to know about millimeters, I said.

- The Bag's racing was always measured with a yardstick!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Heading out with the Dog


- TOB last Sunday along Minnehaha Avenue

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Really Officer, I Didn't Mean To...

...but it was really, really fun!

- OB likin' the thrill

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


My car. It's a Honda Accord that I drove off the lot in the fall of '94 and have been driving ever next oil change is due at 173,000 miles. And Hondas being what they are, mine keeps running even while dropping rusted pieces along the byways as I drive. The radio hasn't worked in years, the battery died this past winter while I was in the middle of a Minneapolis neighborhood, and the AC just petered-out on me but IT'S RELIABLE, MAN. I hate the thought of getting something else.

This past March, the front end played sledgehammer with the garage door doorway and moved that wall about 4" off the foundation. I didn't really understand fully what I'd done until later that day when I arrived home and inspected things. 4" alright. And, the parking light was hanging-on by a wire. The headlight was out.

The Sweetie looked at the dangling parking light, tucked it back in place, and added a piece of duct tape for good measure an official nerd car. I drove it around for a few days knowing I'd get bulbs soon. The tape gradually loosened and flew away.

A couple months later my dashboard hollered at me: Brake Lamp! Now THIS needed attention. I knew I'd get to it soon too.

By the time I picked up brake bulbs, parking light bulbs and a headlight bulb, it was nearly June. The other day when The Sweetie and I checked the working lights on the entire car there were two: A headlight and A brake of each. No others. Of two headlights, one. Of three brake lights, one. Of parking lights, zero.


I'm happy to say I'm almost all lit up again (one more parking light yet to go).

I look at and listen so carefully to my bicycles. Some odd rattle or tic? I'm on it. They're typically clean...I wouldn't say they're pristine, exactly, but if a spaghetti noodle got tangled up in a crank arm, I'd probably still eat it...although that may say more about my palate than about my bottom bracket. I know bicycles. I can spot a loose cassette at two bike lengths.

What is it about cars? Do I think they'll fix themselves? Do I just not understand them? If I ignore them will they go away?

- OB or maybe they'll go away if I left one out front with the keys in....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I’m back to commuting, finally. For the months that life was crazy with three grad classes on top of the job it was tough to get myself outta bed a half hour earlier to make the bicycle trek in. Yes, it would have been good for the bod, but the head needed downtime. Commuting, while a joy now I GET to ride to work, was for some reason another chore I SHOULD ride to work...I’m SUPPOSED TO ride to work...but I’m TOO FLIPPIN’ TIRED to ride to work.

At any rate, now I GET to ride to work again.

So, these days my commuting backpack typically carries not business attire or even casual clothing, not my usual denim, but my travel clothes. After all this time commuting, I finally realized how light that stuff is and how easily and quickly it de-wrinkles. I even went and bought more. No more hangars at work, no more heavy backpack. I just toss everything into the pack and I'm off. Once at work, there are a few minutes while I look like a crumpled piece of paper, but suddenly voila! Everything smooths out. No ironing needed.

Of course travel clothing often has zip-off legs and lots of cargo pockets...and sometimes the pant legs are a tad too short because they're made as a one-length-fits-all when really it doesn't but you know, it doesn't matter because I GET to ride to work again.

And grabbing olive-colored pants, an aqua shirt and no underwear really doesn't matter because I GET to ride to work again. Don't care. Am I covered, more or less? Do I have shoes? If so, then I'm good with it whatever the clothing may be...

...but you KNOW my cycling kit has got to be matching and spotless....

- OB because if you can't be good on the bicycle,then you've gotta look good