You know, I had something I was going to post last Friday. Seriously, I did. I was writing during my lunch hour when stuff started happening, which prevented posting the aforementioned post.
I shall now tell you the story of what happened.
How to Suddenly Find Yourself with Time to Ride
It was my lunch hour. I was just typing. Seriously, that’s all I was doing. Just typing along. Then without warning (I wonder what form the warning would have taken, had there been one), the LCD went white. Then it went magenta. Then it went into a sort of interstitial dance of random pixeliciousness.
“Hey, look at the fireworks I’m getting!” I called out to Brad, who works in the adjoining office.
“Very nice,” said Brad. “Have you saved recently?”
The answer to that questions is in fact, “Yes, I actually developed the habit of saving at the end of each sentence back when I worked at WordPerfect, and that habit has served me well.”
In this case, though, it wouldn’t have mattered if I had developed the habit of saving after each vowel. The motherboard’s toast. I’ll get the hard drive back in a couple of days. We’ll see what survived then.
“Hey Brad, it’s a nice day out. Did you bring your bike to work?”
“As a matter of fact, I did.”
“How about a ride around Lake Sammamish?”
How to Help a Teenage Driver Feel Better About Herself After She Hits You With Her Car
You know what’s great? Leaving work early on a Friday afternoon, guilt-free, to go on a ride. And even though it’s February, it’s warm enough that you can ride with shorts and a long-sleeve jersey.
And besides, Brad and I spent at least a third of the ride talking about work, so it actually qualified as a highly-productive meeting.
Brad’s new to road riding, and so I tended to lead a little bit on the climbs. Which turned out to be a good thing for Brad, because as I rode past the Thompson Hill Road intersection on my right, a car rolled through the stop sign, turning right, and clipped my rear wheel.
I swerved wildly, corrected, swerved again, corrected, and then just wobbled a bit. I rolled to a stop, threw up my arms in a “Hey, you just hit me!” gesture. No, not that gesture. Really. Ask anyone who knows me if they’ve ever seen me do that gesture.
The car pulled over, and the most embarrassed, penitent, remorseful teenage girl in the world ran over, apologizing at — let’s face it — a comical rate.
“I can’t believe I did that,” she said. “I am so stupid. I could have totally killed you if you had been a half-second slower. Let me buy you a new wheel. Your wheel’s OK? Are you sure? Let me buy you a new one anyway. Oh, I can’t believe I did that.”
I am confident she is still apologizing.
So here’s the thing. This is the third time I’ve had a close encounter on a road bike, but by the time I parted ways, I was laughing. I can’t stay mad at someone who admits they made a mistake.
‘Course, I may have managed to stay angry if she had rolled over my leg, even with the apologies.
How to Ride Over Lots and Lots of Logs
On Saturday, I finally got to go back to Soaring Eagle Park to check out a little more of what I have been missing for the past couple years.
Yeah, the purple dotted lines represent the singletrack network. 627 acres of it. This is half a mile from my house.
Sorry, I’m still kicking myself over not having ridden this ’til now.
In shorts and short-sleeved jersey, I went on a three-hour ride, just seeing if I could cover all the singletrack in that park.
As I rode, I followed these self-imposed rules:
- Avoid doubling back on yourself if at all possible. Crisscross all over the place, but never turn around.
- When there’s a log in the trail, ride it. Even if you don’t think it’s rideable.
I obeyed the first rule until I found what must be the best section in the whole network, and found myself thinking, “Too bad I can’t double back on that and see what it’s like going in the opposite direction.” At which point I recalled the mountain biking prime directive: “Have fun.”
I smacked my head, turned around, and rode that section in the other direction.
Just as good.
The second rule — ride all the logs — taught me a lot. Specifically, I learned that the real trick to riding over logs is to just keep pedaling, even after you think you’re going to fall. In fact, make that especially when you think you’re going to fall. ‘Cuz right at that point where you’re high-centered and feeling all unnatural-like, if you keep pedaling you’ll probably clean the log. If you stop pedaling, you’ll fall over sideways.
By the end of the ride, I was a better cyclist. How often do you get to say that?
How to Sabotage Your Diet So Completely that a New Law of Physics is Named After You
I started Friday morning at 169.0. Basically, by going totally hardcore for half a week, I managed to lose the weight I needed to meet my goal. When I got home from riding around 45 miles Friday, though, I was hungry. It wasn’t the kind of hungry that a meal fixes, either. It was the kind of hungry that makes you wander around the kitchen, stuffing things from the fridge and pantry into your mouth while you wait for the microwave to finish. Did you know that it’s possible to eat most of a bag of chocolate chips in less than five minutes? Did you know that saltine crackers taste great dipped in peanut butter? Did you know that saltine crackers with a little piece of cheese on them also taste great dipped in peanut butter?
Is there anything that doesn’t taste great with peanut butter?
Once I had blown it so utterly before dinner, I had an, “Oh well, today’s shot, may as well enjoy it” attitude and just kept eating. I figured I’d go back to the diet on Saturday morning.
I did not go back on the diet Saturday.
Nor on Sunday.
And it’s not like I just didn’t diet. I anti-dieted. I ate all the junk I’ve been avoiding. And I ate monster portions of everything. Very clever.
I did not weigh myself today, because I am terrified of what I might find. I’ll weigh myself tomorrow and set a new goal, and will absolutely be more disciplined next weekend.
Unless, of course, I’m not.
PS: How to Give Credit Where Credit’s Due
When, last week, I said that Carb-Boom’s apple-cinnamon energy gel tastes just like McDonald’s apple pie filling, I should have mentioned that my riding bud Eric Gunnerson told me this exact thing about a year ago. I just didn’t believe him. Well, he was right.
Eric is, by the way, currently engaged in an interesting new blog project called Explanations, wherein he moderates an ongoing inquiry into what the cute little sayings on the inside of Dove’s candy wrappers mean.
And for that reason, I am changing my rating of Eric from “Evil Genius” to “Evil, Whimsically Misguided Genius.”
PPS: See this Movie if You Have Four-Year-Old Kids
I took the twins to see the Curious George movie over the weekend. As a person who loved Curious George books as a kid, I thought this was a great re-imagining of the Curious George story, especially how instead of having the man in the big yellow hat capture and remove George from his home it has George steal aboard the boat. Also, at long last, we get an explanation for the yellow outfit and hat.
Seriously, I enjoyed the movie. My four-year-old girls did, too.
And I ate the maximum amount of popcorn allowed under Washington State laws.