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....