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October 28, 2005


I'm in the process of rejiggering lots of stuff on the site here. In phases bits of it will definitely fail to look and act as expected over the next few days. There's no need to let me know if it's on the blink right now. That time will come when I'm done rejiggering.

October 12, 2005

Six Things the Rain Has Taught Me

  1. Five dollars is not too much too pay for a streetcorner umbrella outside Penn Station.
  2. Thirty seconds is about half a minute too long to wait before realizing (1).
  3. Thirty-sixth Street and Seventh Avenue is a flood plain where water washes freely over storm drains and up onto the sidewalk without the slightest ripple.
  4. Forty-first Street and Broadway is even worse. As above, but three or four inches deep.
  5. Some puddles are too broad to jump without a good running start.
  6. Getting spashed by a car makes very little difference.

October 02, 2005

A Great Pumpkin

I did it! I rode a hundred (and two) miles in the Pumpkin Patch Pedal, extending my personal record distance by a third and meeting my major season goal of completing my first century!

The day started out fairly cold, around 54°F, so I was wearing arm and knee warmers to keep me comfortable. I was a bit worried when I saw that there would only be three rest stops, and that the last one followed a particularly long leg (the stops were at 25, 50, and 84 miles) but I set out gamely and as it turns out the route is very flat, much flatter than my last two big rides. Not climbing up hills meant less strain on my legs, always a good thing. But it turns out this is a mixed blessing, because it also means you don't get to rest (or go fast) on the descents, that you hardly ever change your position, and that you pretty much never stop pedalling. We had a headwind for most of several hours in the afternoon, never more than five or six miles per hour, but enough to cancel out any slight downhill and make everything else (including long five-mile flats) feel like a climb. It did warm up by the end of the day to something like 77°F and I have a few lovely spots of sunburn to show for it.

I set out alone but was fortunately to fall in with some great riding partners. I missed a few names--but thanks, Brian and sister; Donna and Jen; Cynthia, Sue, Bill and friends; and especially to Joan and Jim who ended up pacing me for sixty miles. These people offered great (and distracting) conversation, a good, comfortable pace, and periodic shelter from the wind. I expected to be by myself but I only rode ten miles alone. I hope I'll ride with all of you again!

October 01, 2005

Pumpkin in the Morning

In nine hours I'll be setting out in the Pumpkin Patch Pedal, my first attempt at riding a hundred miles. The weather looks good (knock on wood) and everything is packed. I'll report back here when it's all over!