Category Archives: Two Wheels Good

The weekend in bullets

  • The kitties continue to do well after their adventure last week. They slept most of Friday – understandable, since who can sleep in a hospital?
  • Both the vet and the vet tech commented on how Chaos was a bit, erm, crabby with them. Apparently he was fine until someone tried to touch him. (I was afraid to ask if he’d drawn blood.)
  • I suspect the above has something to do with why Chaos was crusted with dried activated charcoal from his chin on down and required a thorough washcloth bath after I got him home Friday.
  • May was perfectly clean. The vet tech mentioned that May had been very scared, but that about halfway through the night, her curiosity got the better of her (we’re not surprised, are we?) and she had to sit up and keep an eye on everything.
  • Thank you all so much for your comments and commiseration!
  • As I write this on Sunday evening, I have not been paged during my on-call week. *pauses to knock on wood, since I’m on call through 9 am Monday* Update: I didn’t get called! Woot!
  • This might actually be an historic event in the history of being on call at my workplace.
  • I am slowly increasing my cycling mileage as I slog along, trying to get back into shape.
  • Sadly, this seems to be at the expense of knitting – my neck can apparently handle knitting or cycling, but not knitting and cycling.
  • Weird cycling thing I saw Friday night – a 70-year old woman biking along in cycling shorts and… a very sturdy white corset. The sort of corset that’s no frills at all and, standing on its own, could probably support a VW Bug. *blink blink*
  • I saw her twice, so I’m sure I wasn’t hallucinating.
  • Best thing about bullet posts? No transitions required!
  • Mayhem woke up and stared at the computer while I was watching it – apparently the chirrups and meows sounded realistic to her.
  • Saturday I went to my beloved Uncle Hugo’s and picked up a few paranormals that technically release on Tuesday (The Fire King (Dirk & Steele) by Marjorie M. Liu and Edge of Dawn (Light Warriors, Book 3) by Patti O’Shea).
  • I finished reading them Saturday, too. Whoops. 🙂
  • My goodness, it sure doesn’t take much for these bullet posts to get out of hand, does it?!

“Even though I’m exhausted from my ordeal, I’ve gotta keep an eye on you, Mom. You’re sneaky with those portable kitty prisons.” -Chaos

*…zzzzzzzzzz…* -Mayhem

Ouch! That’s going to leave an interesting scar…

So Sunday I was on my bicycle, heading over to the Greenway to put in a few miles on the trails, when the car in front of me stopped unexpectedly. I stopped quickly and didn’t crash or wipe out, but I did manage to catch my right calf on the front sprocket.

Since I didn’t see anything that suggested stitches, I continued on to bike about seven miles before heading home to scrub bike grease out of my cuts. Here’s a before scrubbing picture:

Heck, it doesn’t look half bad using the flash.

This is what it looked like Tuesday evening – can you see the bruises forming? That’s going to be darn colorful in a few days.

“I’m outta here. You might fall on me or something.” -Chaos

“Remember, kids, don’t try this at home! Mom’s a highly clumsy but relatively experienced cyclist.” -Chaos

Racking it up

I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy whimsical bike racks, such as the ones outside of the Uptown Y:

This one’s presumably from the same artist/era and could use some welding.

More recent bike-shaped bike racks…

These have a slightly different style.

And this one departs utterly from that theme!

For ultimate security, try the Metro Transit bike lockers.

And remember…

Fall is definitely on its way – time to change from the crisp, cool cotton sheets to the snuggly jersey sheets.

“Go away! We’re not here!” -Chaos

“Yeah! What the big kitty said!” -Mayhem

Stash addition

…bike stash addition, that is! On Saturday, I bought a 2008 Specialized Sequoia, which is an entry-level road bike. Initially, I thought I’d get a women specific bicycle (WSB), because the top tube on my 1994 manbike (Specialized Crossroads hybrid) was a bit too long (i.e., slightly too much distance between the seat and the handlebars) for me. Alas, during my WSB test rides, I discovered that my toes got in the way of the front wheel when turning. Ok, forget that idea and go back to the manbikes, eh? The Sequoia is very comfortable, plus it isn’t pink or baby blue or covered with butterflies. 🙂

Since my battered old hybrid isn’t very tempting to thieves, I have it tucked into the mass bike storage area (under a stairwell) in my building. However, that wasn’t going to work for the Sequoia, so yesterday I made a slight modification to one of the walls in my living room. Really, who needs paintings on the wall?! 😉 The Sequoia is displayed on a Delta Monet Wall Mount Storage Rack, which was pretty easy to install – even for my extremely unhandy self. (Why, oh why, were the wall studs not handily located in the center of that wall?! Mental note: Watch out for bike tire upon entering living room… ouch!)

“Hmm. I find myself at a bit of a loss as to what I should do next.” -Chaos

(I am definitely going to put some stuff on top of that bookshelf to discourage cats from playing with the bike!)

Triumph of the Wheel

If you pay attention to the very fine print in my header, you’ll notice it says “Knitting, reading, bicycling, and cat parenting.” “Hmm,” you’re all thinking. “What’s this about bicycling?!”

‘Tis true. Once upon a time, I was a cycling fiend. I wasn’t ever into having the latest gear or the latest bike – my beat up old Specialized crossbike was always good enough for me. I would get on that bike and go go go, because cycling was the activity that totally worked for my body. Running – hatey hate hate. Walking – good, but my #@$*(!&* bunion starts to rebel after enough days of walking. Biking? I feel strong and fast and sleek.

In fact, one of my favorite vacations ever was in September 2004, when I rented a cabin in the Black Hills for a week and biked over 100 miles on the gorgeous George S. Mickelson Trail across three different days.

Until this past Saturday, I hadn’t been on my bike in over two years.

Remember that pesky surgery I had last fall? For nearly two years before my surgery, riding my bike would trigger a nasty period. Can you think of a better disincentive?! Obviously, I couldn’t bike for a while after my surgery. And then it was winter. And then it was spring, but I was feeling pretty blue and just couldn’t seem to bring myself to pull out the bike and get it operational.

However, several weeks of regular walking have upped my energy level and mood, so on Saturday, I dragged out my bike, cleaned and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires, and hit the Greenway to reacquaint my tush with the feel of a bicycle seat. It was a short ride (only 3.75 miles), during which I added air to the rear tire four times. Hmm…

Yesterday, armed with a good reference manual and a set of tire levers, I replaced the rear tube – the first time I’ve ever done any significant bike maintenance on my own! 🙂 (You would not believe how unhandy I am – and how uninterested I am in becoming handy.) No reinflation was required during the subsequent 6.1 mile ride, and I feel ready to add cycling back to my exercise routine.

“What’s going on here, Mom?!” *sniff sniff sniff* -Chaos

“Big kitty, where are the stripey socks? I’m scared.” -Mayhem