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