Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Calm Before Some Storm

To all three of you reading my blog, I say sorry for the lack of updates. Life has been relatively mundane. Not that that's a bad thing. I've been drinking less beer, going to bed earlier and pedaling uneventful bike commutes. The only "danger" I'm experiencing is getting to work dangerously close to on-time.

Yesterday I got up early in order to load up my 1X1 for a tow into work. It was time to box it and ship it out to Fruita for next week's festivities. Here are some Fruita photos from a Lincolnite friend. I just can't begin to express how much I really don't want to go on this WORK trip.

16 miles in headwinds and crosswinds wasn't as bad as it might seem. This arrangement works out pretty well and it's better than saying to oneself, "One, I suppose I need to drive today since I have to transport a bike one way." One ... that's not a good move. "Thanks for setting me straight, One!"

On the way into work I detoured west and then south to provide some funky Big Dummy backdrop for a short on-air TV interview with a couple of co-workers, David Sunshine and Swervy. It was fun to mutely smile and nod, all the while standing in front of my 1X1's top tube to obscure it from camera view. It seems I pulled up with the non-drive side showing. That's the side sporting the O.F.S. sticker. I s'pose the network didn't want to shock its early morning viewers.

The 1X1 hasn't seen much action since I built up the Karate Monkey last summer. But now that it has suspension I can envision riding this bike much more often. Can you say "totally different bike?"

That little gig of standing around accomplished magnificently, I mounted up and pedaled off into the 20mph+ headwind toward work. It was tiring, but a pleasantly warm ride nonetheless. In the park near our labor compound, I rode upon BLAR walking in. BLAR has a heart of gold. He is one of the most genuinely enthusiastic people you'll ever meet. He loves to ride and really loves to ride with friends. This past winter and early spring he stretched his riding comfort zone by pedaling in on days that were cold and nasty and icy. A few weeks ago when we were having all that afternoon thaw/overnight freeze crap, he crashed his bike FOUR times riding in through the park. But he kept riding and found out later he'd kept riding on a broken wrist. BLAR is off the bike for a while, but he's been driving within a couple miles of work and walking the rest of the way. We chatted a bit and I offered him a ride on the Dummy, but he said he'd walk. As my Uncle Ray says: "Now that's some good stuff!" Way to go, BLAR!

My final task for the work day was to box my bike in a spiffy Thule hard case designed expressly for such purposes. I've sold bikes and boxed them to ship to their new owners. It's a pain in the arse. However, I've never boxed my own bike for re-assembly at a destination where I'll be riding. I don't exactly know why I thought it would be any less of a lump in my saddle than boxing a sold bike.

Three co-workers also had to box their bikes. Jim and I (the newbies) sought input from the seasoned vets, some of whom have shipped their steeds overseas multiple times. We were both dealing with singlespeeds, luckily, because in the end our bikes were mostly disassembled -- disc calipers pulled, cables off of levers, stem and bars removed, fork removed, saddle and seatpost yanked. I padded and wrapped more than I needed to I'm sure, but I had horrific premonitions of broken parts and mangled tubes greeting me when I crack open the case in Fruita. I just don't want to start the trip with a gimped bike -- I can accomplish that just fine on my own without the assistance of UPS.

The ride home last night was phantasmagoric. Winds were blowing 30mph straight out of the south; temperatures were well into the 60s. I was coasting on the Big Dummy at 20mph on some stretches. Everyone was out -- walkers, joggers, bladers, gawkers, fisherpeople, dogs leashed to their pet humans. I always lament this time of year just a bit. I'm happy winter is over and folks are out bursting with life and renewed energy. But I love the solace of winter -- the stillness and cold and how it keeps a lot of people indoors. I appreciate the densely-populated urban landscape in its barren winter state, devoid of citizens spending time in the out-of-doors. Yep, I'm an introvert and I'm proud of it. (Give me a break -- at least I have social skills.)

I read some fun stuff tonight on MSN about how "experts" are predicting gas prices will peak at around $3.50/gallon and fall again after the "summer driving season." It was a rather happy-go-lucky article -- a silver lining the quasi-recession cloud enshrouding our nation. Funny it mentioned gas prices will recede by fall -- isn't this an election year?

1 comment:

mark said...

John, I've seen your "social skills." Let's not go putting these skills on your resume quite yet.