Monday, May 7, 2018


I rode on Saturday.  I got a photo but didn't post anything.

It was my first ride of the season to a destination.  A destination ride means you go somewhere.  Life experience dictates that you not go somewhere until you have confidence that you will be able to get back.

The first destination was Lake Como.  Here is LOOK at Lake Como.
Lighting for that photo may make it indistinct but the ice is definitely out.

Saturday made three days in a row, again something that I haven't done for a long time.  I took Sunday off.

But I was out again today.  I added a couple of miles to my previous distance and can now report that if bicycle fitness does not significantly degrade between now and August that I will be able to make the out and back ride to the PSPS.

I was just across Snelling heading to some JRA at the Fairgrounds when a young person on a pretty nice bike passed me.  He took the time to tell me that he really liked my bike.

So the old bicycle still has it even as the old bicyclist increasingly does not.

The extra couple of miles took me down to Dead Man's Curve.
That spot actually has been well within range almost from ride 1.  There didn't seem any reason to go there though as there isn't anything very close on the other side of the underpass to justify going through there.  What you get is some unpleasant traffic, an uphill I really don't care for and usually a bunch of broken glass in the bike lane.

The thermometer said it was 82 when I was at the Cattle Barn.

A nice day for a ride.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Auckland Rule

Today was much too windy for bicycling but I managed to eke out a ride anyway.

And it turned out to be a day of glorious scenery, starting with the quite nearby tulip yard.
Not even three weeks removed from 16 inches of snow.

I also circled by the tree that I mentioned last week.  The leaves are a bright and pretty shade of green.
Last week they were even more fresh looking but I think the shrub is still looking good today.

And sure enough the first sighting of some slightly pinkish flowers on someone's yard shrubbery.
It is a late spring but having finally arrived the season is definitely now moving rapidly.

I also realized that I did not report yesterday's largest piece of bicycle content.

It is now May and as I have made a few rides since the blizzard I have been monitoring the street sweeping.  Most of Roseville has been swept including my street and the nearby streets that make up my usual egress and ingress from my neighborhood.  Lauderdale has not been swept yet but most of Falcon Heights has.

We had day care pick up on Wednesday, I did not ride.  But on Tuesday I had noticed that the nearby streets in Saint Paul that I ride a lot, the streets between here and the Fairgrounds, were posted for no parking on Wednesday, strongly suggesting that those streets were going to be swept.

I went all in, figuring that the sweeping of the streets meant that the season had arrived and I could ride my summer bicycle.

I was determined but, and here comes the bicycle content, I almost didn't get to ride at all.  The tires on FirstLOOK needed to be pumped before I could ride that bicycle and my pump didn't seem up to the task.

It took a while and a bit of fiddling with three different pumps but I eventually got the tires up to a pressure sufficient for riding.

Last evening I embarked on a project involving my main pump.
What the heck was the problem and was it something I could fix?

The metal parts comprising the pump head needed to be tightened and indeed that was something I could fix.

A tiny bit disappointing.  When you set out to do something expecting that it will be a project and it ends up being way too easy you don't get the big satisfaction reward of having conquered something difficult.


But I did get to ride today.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

South wind at start. north wind at finish

Which means head in wind in both directions.


But by starting out into the south wind I passed by a couple of things that I mentioned the other day but which I had previously failed to photograph due to user error (I forgot to bring my camera).

So here is the many times previously pictured first flowering shrub that I encountered this year, and many other years in the past.
Less than three weeks after 16 inches of snow.

This one is a different species but pretty showy.
The white flowers come first, the blossoms with some color seem to take just a bit longer.  But soon enough there will be some pink and then some darker pink and all sorts of springtime joy.

One last look though, here is the State Fair parking lot approximately across the street from the Toro building.
Even with temperatures into the 70s that pile has not quite given up yet.

I would be surprised to find anything there tomorrow though.

The garage thermometer today reports 77F.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hooray, hooray!

But I forgot my camera.

I saw a really pretty fully budded out tree, a couple of flowering shrubs and a parking lot at the Fairgrounds that still has a fair amount of snow.

I rode a couple of days ago and got this picture of the last bit of snow in our yard.
Even that bit has now vanished.

So it must be May.  Let the outdoor activities resume.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ice on the water

And fire in the sky.

This is a small pond that I often pass by on rides to the north.
The effects of the fire in the sky should be fairly obvious.  It doesn't look much like winter out there anymore.  Even so the ice has not completely left the pond and the local recreation department seems comfortable with the idea that it is still winter.  When they closed that set of stairs they were dang serious.  Those are 2x4s NAILED to the head posts at the top the stairs.  A crowbar will be required to reopen those stairs.

Further suggesting that it is still winter is that I am still riding my winter bicycle.

Today I tried for a couple more miles.  Too windy,  really hard.

It is a process.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Camp day

Three days in a row proved to be an obstacle that I chose not to attempt.  Two days was pretty hard.

Instead we had a date at the local book store.  The local newspaper published notice of the appearance of our favorite writer within a mile of where we live.  I immediately started to re-read his most recent Davenport novel.  I have not read the most recent Flowers book yet and with the new Davenport it looks like we may be setting up for a classic reading festival with most of the readers not having read either of the two most recent Davenport and/or the most recent Flowers.  That will be three books for the rest of you while I will only have two.
Left to right, one year old Davenport, most recent Flowers, brand new Davenport.

He is an interesting guy in addition to being our favorite writer.  Every time I attend one of these I note and find interesting that the audience has many people who have often been there before but also a sprinkling of very young people who were probably not yet able to read when his first novel was published.

He talks for a few minutes but prefers to answer questions.  One of the first questions revealed that he is within a week or two of completion of the writing of the next Flowers, to be published in the fall.  He says that he writes nearly every day and thinks about the writing projects every day.  He said that his biggest problem is devising interesting villains.  He has one in mind for the next Davenport book some of the plot of which he shared with this gathering of his fans.  He has a working title, "Neon Prey".  The plot line that he does have in mind includes a starting point in Minnesota, plot development in Los Angeles with a conclusion in Las Vegas.

He told a story that I had heard before.  Before he was a novelist he was writing for the local newspaper and produced a series that won a Pulitzer prize.  The newspaper responded by giving him a raise that left him still making less than two writers on the sports desk.  He said that he didn't really resent the sports guys, they were both really good writers.  But he did note that even with the raise he wasn't going to be making enough money to pay for his two kids to go to college.  He started fishing for some non-newspaper writing projects.  He got an agent, wrote some stuff and kept working.

A member of the audience asked when he knew he had found something that he could do outside the newspaper.

His response was that it occurred when his agent asked if he could produce something more along the lines of what he had already written.  His agent informed him that if he could that he would be paid $200,000.

That was the moment.

When we got to the front of the line the book store staff took my phone and produced a quite satisfactory photo of the three of us.
I have been several times, TOPWLH not as many but she is not a new face.  We both had heart felt exclamations to the author about how much pleasure the reading of his work has provided for us and our family over the years.  Praise which he graciously accepted.  During our very brief moment with him TOPWLH volunteered to the author the name of our daughter and received in return the expected response that his daughter has the same name.  We knew that.  He autographed his newest book for our daughter.
We had a nice night out at the local bookstore.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rubber legs

First back to back in quite a while.  It was hard.

The temperatures are returning to average but we still have this much snow under the mail box.
It was windy this morning and I hesitated but finally I was pretty determined to participate.  When I started it was cool and windy.  As often happens this time of year the warming of the atmosphere led to an increase in turbulence.  By the time I reached home it was entirely too windy to allow bicycling.

Bicycle fitness is poor, the wind was punitive, the result was legs of rubber.