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Archive for the ‘bike ‘n’ bitch’ Category

Not every song that I post can be a work of genius, but you get the point.

I can’t ride my own motherfucking bike (and feel righteous!) because I’m on Week 3 of R shoulder injury. Ain’t that a bitch?

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La Jolla

harbor seals

didn’t I write about vibrissae here before?

Latin is cool because of the –a ending singular and –ae ending plural

that is really about as much as I know about Latin

how, how, how could the mammals have come onto the land and have gone back into the water? it boggles the mind, but Hubby is right, it’s just what they did, they must have needed to. food? rising oceans? do you actually think I’ll read this and find out the truth? hell no! but you can.

pinnipeds

we decided to rent bikes, only a 2-mile-ish walk to the rental place, so we walked. noonday sun, so cal style, not a cloud. me? sunscreen, gott sei dank. enough water, apparently not. definitely slightly dehydrated from the 10 hours of travel yesterday, you know how dry the air in airports and airplanes is, you know how much dryer it is here than in New England.

got to the rental place and I already had a headache, but then riding the bike uphill, uphill, me with not enough air in my lungs (still), I pooped out. but I still got back to our place alright. there is a really nice bike lane on the main drag (Torrey Pines Road) outside of town (although there’s no where to cross the street on your bike if you are facing one way and need to get the other way, very few traffic lights where this would be possible and safe, wtf?) but no bike lanes in the town of La Jolla per se and rather terrifyingly huge SUVs, around which one can hardly see or be seen, parked up and down every street. it seems like mostly people are driving slowly in town and are acclimated to lots of crosswalks and pedestrians. I was not a very good cyclist today, alternating between the sidewalk and the road and even riding without my helmet on the second trip. I just wish I had more dang air already and I promise to wear my helmet at all times tomorrow.

after our first ride, I had to pop some ibuprofin, drink a slew of water, rest, and I was pretty well recovered. when we rode back to the rental place later to pick up a lock, the air had cooled rather beautifully and I felt much stronger. even the hills (there are really only a couple) seemed easier and my breath was better. La Jolla, not bad, I tell you, not bad at all.

writing about biking and anemia is pretty boring, I admit, but I still haven’t told you the whole sordid story of why I have been bleeding so much in the last year. I finally found out last month but I won’t go into it right now.

it’s nice to be in a Mediterranean/maritime (I looked it up) climate. the flowers and plants all smell so good. the jade hedges go on and on, they are HUGE, the rosemary is abundant as well, the trees are fascinating, exotic, and beautiful. I forgot how it all looks out here, though I’ve never been this far south in California, I just mean the Pacific Coast tout entire. god the flowers, god the plants, god the birds. the seals, the ocean. the fruit and vegetables taste pretty darn good, too.

the Mission architecture, the Spanish tile roofs, the colorful buildings, the windows, the wealth. the racism that you know is just under the surface, is not that long-gone (if at all).

St. James Church, across the street from our b and b, with the most amazing dragon tree, as you can see

not the Republicans, though, no, not them. Romney has a house here as does McCain, but I did see 2 Obama bumper stickers in a row today. gott sei dank.

I can’t wait ’til the whole obscene mess is over. the money, the waste. if Romney makes it in, I’d like to leave. Quebec isn’t far from me when I’m home, but they want Obama in the WH up there as much as I do and are subject to the influence of the POTUS same as everyone.

I am sorry my anemia is making me fatter and older. it’s unfair, really. every time I go through this, I gain about 8 pounds and lose about 2 years in my face. I try not to talk about my weight and body image, because, well, I have the same issues any American woman does, but I find it boring and demeaning. but today, I gave myself permission because I’ve about had it.

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Fuck you, Lance Armstrong.

I never got one of those bright yellow bracelets because frankly, it seemed very trendy. It even smacked of wrong. Everyone with a buck seemed to have one or more. Children of privilege. Grown-ups. The more, the better. And what were they made of? Junky plastic? Yes, silicone. Thanks, LANCE, for adding to plastic in the environment. Did you make sure that the poor people in factories in poor countries were paid a living wage to make a buncha [mostly] white Westerners feel good about donating to cancer research? Pretty soon everyone had a different bracelet of a different color and pattern for every different charity under the sun. Can’t Westerners just do the right thing without pointing out that they’ve done the right thing? Can’t you donate some time or money without getting a fucking medal? Fuck you.

Look, I know you are my friends and peers. I know you mean well. But you need to question the need for this kind of thing in the future. You need to examine the impact of your little trendy bangles and baubles and “gifts” to charity. Fuck yes. Yes fuck. Fuck. Yes.

I don’t really care if Armstrong was doping. I’m not a big follower of sports. I do appreciate athleticism. I remember reading a New Yorker article many years ago about Lance Armstrong. It was impressive. He was impressive. He IS impressive, doping or no doping. I remember that he was the most studied athlete in all history. On the one hand, it makes me puke, because FUCK YOU, what about women giving birth for centuries without drugs and all that people have had to endure with no accolades? What about war and poverty? Poor people in horrible conditions. The slaves in the hulls of ships. Slaves, period. The Holocaust. But no, we have to study the length of Lance Armstrong’s femurs and throw a buttload of money all over the place to show we care. The culture is so twisted and obsessed with celebrity and sports.

Now, what I’d really like is some dope for my fucking anemia. I can’t breathe my full breath, Lance Armstrong. I was riding today and I never got my breath. Fuck you.

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I like the pun in roundabout, because while this is an update of yesterday’s post, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it is straightforward or not.

I asked a question yesterday on Facebook about Amherst’s new double rotary, aka Atkins’ Corner, and my pal, Baer, aka sweetmojo, sent me this link. It is a safe link to download and open (at least it was for me), but lotsa luck reading the damn thing. This is just how my friends are: thorough, leaving no stone unturned. Now I have to be responsible and read why I can’t have a bike lane in the roundabout. You know I’d rather rant than admit there’s a good reason Amherst does anything at all with my tax money. Okay, some of it was state money. I pay that, too.

I know we’re a little town, not a state capital or anything. I remember the bike lanes in Madison. I remember.

It’s not that I think it’s safe to make a bike lane in a roundabout necessarily. I just wonder why time and again when I see street improvements in Amherst, they do not include proper bike lanes. And everything else I said yesterday, too. But God forbid I should get involved in local politics. Remember how busy I am?

Maybe by spring they’ll complete the shared sidewalk/bike lane with some sort of entrance/exits for cyclists and I can see if it meets with my approval.

Props to you, Baer. You didn’t think I was gonna let facts stand in the way of my bitching, did you? That said, the divine biker in me bows to the divine biker in you.

This guy has a bike lane and he looks like he needs to chill the fuck out. They even painted it green for extra specialness. Lesson learned: happiness comes from the bike lane within.

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what, me bitter?

You already know about Amherst’s new, 6 million dollar double roundabout, right?

Guess what? NO BIKE LANE. At least not one that I can see. Maybe I am simply short on oxygen due to my recent bout with anemia. But I don’t think so.

6 million dollars, 2 years’ construction, and NO BIKE LANE. It appears that there’s a new wide sidewalk still being completed. Are bikes expected to share the sidewalk? WHO’S RUNNING THE ASYLUM people?

Also, it seems to me that as you get within an eighth-of-a-mile of the new roundabout, the breakdown lane that used to exist has almost completely disappeared. Instead of a 3″ white line and about a foot and a half of shoulder before the berm and sidewalk (this is actually only if you are lucky because in some spots on 116 the “breakdown lane” disappears almost completely), now there is a white line and about 12″ of “breakdown” lane. Next to that? About a 4″ high curb. NO ROOM FOR ERROR. Where is a cyclist supposed to go?

Oh, Amherst, you vex me. You vex me terribly.

When push comes to shove on your politically correct ass, you fall short, so short.

I’m not too into machismo, but I feel a wee bit of schadenfreude when I watch this:

I didn’t even mention all the trees that came down in the construction, some of which, according to the Shade Tree Commission, could have been saved.

 

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I biked yesterday, a little further than I have since rib injuries Nos. 2 and 3. On my commuter bike and I think it was the most comfortable and strong I’ve felt on the damn thing yet.

On the ride, we passed 2 dead whole (as in not squashed-run over) squirrels overlapping berm and road. I almost ran over the first one, but Hubby, who was riding in front of me, gave me a heads up. Still, my reaction was quite slow and I almost, almost ran the soft fresh body of it over, right down its mammalian middle. I swerved slightly to the left and I think I clipped its little toenails.

This has been a banner year for road-kill squirrels. Every year it seems there are more than the last. When squirrels startle, you will note, they take to an erratic pattern because if another animal were giving chase, this would [theoretically] foil the predator into exhaustion from running in a zig-zag. Or did I just make that up? I don’t get it though. How does the prey not tire more quickly as well? I guess they run up trees faster than something large and large. And big and large.

Then there is the curve of pursuit, a diagram of which my kids had to draw into their Main Lesson books in 6th Grade when they were at their Waldorf school. I like the play on words pursuit of curves and I think about poeming that. Pursuit of curves, pursuit of curves….

Nancy Upton

I do not understand the curve of pursuit, as you might have guessed, considering my small brain capacity (probably like an Eastern gray squirrel’s) in spite of my appropriately curvy hip-to-waist ratio.

You can make all sorts of patterns out of pursuit curves. This is the humble triangle. When you are older, you might be ready for a pentagram. But not this day!

The very horrifying road kill of the day, to which I refer in the title of this post, had to do with gasp! several smashed red velvet cupcakes. So beautiful, so huge, so red, so smooshed flat inside of their frilly cupcake cups. They smelled good, too, a whiff of sugary love as I rode past, careful not to re-run them over as with the squirrel. I saw at least 4, a whole fancy-dinner-ful of them. What do you suppose the people did for dessert without their cupcakes? Now, my dear pets, you should look away if you are faint of heart, for here I post a photo of a smashed red velvet cupcake:

I myself have only tasted red velvet cupcakes twice. I am not a fan of cupcakes except for the ones Annie made for her 14th Birthday party last month. OH MY those were fine. Vanilla with vanilla buttercream. Out of this world!

We do take cupcakes quite seriously around here due to the aforementioned offspring’s passion for cupcake baking. Though that post featured some flower cupcakes, look at these:

They are meant to mimic lo mein or fried rice or something Chinese take-out-y. They did not taste too good, if I recall correctly. All of those toppings were made with candy, what kind I don’t remember, but gross stuff that no adults would ever normally eat. You can see the Rice Krispies, too. A clever design, I must admit.

When I was searching for an image of a gray squirrel, I found a stupid video of a squirrel and a penguin playing Dueling Banjos and it reminded me of a post a couple years back that Erin O’Brien did about that very song and the men in the movie Deliverance.

Without further ado (boy did this post end up in a different place than I had imagined it would!)

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I added one mile on my bike ride tonight since my last ride. And I added one mile per hour, too (mostly because I was doing more downhills). I went through one loop of Amherst’s new, 6 million dollar, double-roundabout, perhaps the most puzzling road construction I’ve ever lived through. WTF, Amherst, WTF?

photo from Daily Hampshire Gazette 8-1-12

not my car, but about the size of any car that should be expected to fit in the mini-lanes of our new roundabout

*

I keep singing this in my head. From my kids’ iPod, but a song which she got from her Dad.

How good is this song? So Good. So Blue.

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