Altering Habits

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On the Road Again
2008-04-28, 3:54 p.m.

Day 1342

Yeah, me ‘n Willy – all about being on the road again. Ride last night was very nice. Only ran into one person that tried to run me off the road, and I’m sure it was unintentional.

I was approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic light (imagine that!) I was just coming down a nice hill, had a good head of steam going. Saw that the light ahead had just changed in my favor. I approached the line of cars at the light from the shoulder, doing maybe 25 mph. I guess the car at the head of the line was waiting to make a left and the car behind them decided to slide around them on the right shoulder – right in front of me. The guy in the car next to me got a surprise when he heard my rear tire actually squeal when I stomped (ok – squeezed) the brakes. Yes, if you get going fast enough, bicycle tires WILL squeal when you skid.

Fortunately, I didn’t get close enough to the offending SUV or I might have been tempted to kick his door panel. Dude next to me got a great view of the whole thing, so maybe he’d have sided with me. As it was, I lost a ton of momentum and had to grunt it through the intersection. Of course, it was uphill for a bit on the other side. It’s ALWAYS uphill when you have to restart at an intersection. Some unwritten rule of biking.

AAaaaaaannnnyhow. Spent a solid 10 minutes stretching everything out when I got home – even doing some of the stretches we do after spin class that feel like they’re doing nothing for ya. Tell you what – biking outside? Those stretches actually DO benefit you. For some reason, there’ muscles you use outdoors that just don’t get hit on the spin cycles. So that funky ankle over the opposite knee, figure 4 squat thing? Boy, I could feel it last night. Right in the glutes. I’m thinking it’s kept me from having a pain in the ass today.

Weather is supposed to suck here Saturday, but maybe I can get in a quick 50 miler Sunday. Supposed to be cooler (low 60’s) which always presents a problem with the mucous production (why IS that?), but the low temps are really nice for working hard. Keeps the sweat down to a minimum.

Day 1345 A Two-fuh

Hmmph. Seem to have gotten interrupted by that life thing again. So Thursday’s ride was quite nice. Good to be back outdoors again, smelling the swamps still full of spring snow melt that isn’t quite stagnant yet, the dead raccoons, not taking their time decomposing now that the weather has warmed, and of course the car exhaust.

Saturday mornings’ weather made me want to be a weather forecaster. It was SUPPOSED to be rainy all day. Figuring I’d trust the weather service, I made up my mind that that morning I’d pull the double at the Y and catch both spin classes. So. 7:15am, I head upstairs from the locker room armed with my water bottle, two hand towels and a spare t-shirt. Run through the first class with Maria. Maria is nice because she gives you a really good workout with out killing you. Always a plus. At the end of class, while everyone was stretching, I stayed put. Kept pedaling to nowhere. Got my MP3 player all wired & fired up and did my own little training thingy. There was a great three song sequence that played that I thought would make a nice segment for a class. Two were good climbing songs and the third was nice for sprint intervals. Unfortunately, I got this CRS thing going and have no clue what the 3 songs were. Collective Soul, Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughn maybe? No clue.

Anyhow. Between the end of the first class and the start of the second there is a 45 minute gap. I pedaled to my hearts content, refilled my water bottle and changed shirts toward the end of the break. The first shirt I hung off the end of the back of the bike seat was nearly dripping. The first towel? Beyond moist. It was nice to be freshened up for the second class. I know the instructor for the second class (our kids were Senior Ball dates 6 years ago) and we are actually team mates for this years TDC. She told me I could take it easy, but what’s the point of that? I told her I’d go easy on the sprints, but I’d be in full on all the ‘climbs’

The bad part of all this? As I was getting set up for the first class (@ 7:15) I had to lower the window shades to keep the sun from blinding us. Pretty wicked, those east facing windows. By the 9:00 class I STILL hadn’t seen a single cloud pass by. It was supposed to be rainy, NOT gorgeous out. Had I known it was going to be that nice, I’d have ridden a 50 mile lloop out to Batavia & back. Sheesh.

Oh – one other very distracting thing. Very, very distracting. As I was warming up for the first class, the cycles in the room started getting filled in. At one point, an attractive gal walks over to the cycle in front of me. She’s dressed in the usual spinning attire – some sort of sweat wicking technical top with a sports bra and lycra shorts. But someone (anyone but ME) REALLY needed to fill her in on her shorts because she was sporting a wicked case of camel toe. Of course she gets on the bike right in front of me. While we were all seated it was fine, all there was to look at was her back. I could concentrate on my own pedaling and not worry. But when we got up out of the saddle and did some of the more physical climbs the instructors remind you to keep your head up & facing forward. Well, I couldn’t help but notice that her case of camel toe was so bad it even extended to the rear view. Made me turn to the side a bit and stare out the window a lot.

Thank god this gal had a nice figure. It was really quite lovely. But I didn’t need to know whether or not she was pierced. This gal looked remarkably similar to a girl that substitute taught a class a couple of weeks ago, but I think most instructors (the female ones anyhow) are aware of the lycra shorts phenomenon. But I don’t know for sure, because I’m not in the habit of checking out the ‘married with children’ spin instructors for fashion faux pas, but you’d think the instructors (or other women) would tip each other off. Guys don’t, but that’s because we enjoy seeing each other make complete fools of ourselves. Cheap entertainment.

Tomorrow (finally!!) we’re getting stoned. No – not like that. This isn’t the 70’s or 80’s anymore – not for me at least. Nope - the fine folks from Atlantic Granite & Marble are coming to install out counters. There will be pictures. I can’t wait. Kinda hoping they come early in the day. Still have to re-plumb the new sink & faucet. We got a two holer sink this time around and I’ll have to completely re-vamp the drains, FOR THE LAST TIME! Still have to get the basin drain pieces, so we may be going with just the disposal for a bit.

We’re also taking advantage of the fact that we’ll be home all day and have plans on doing some ribs and baked beans in the smoker.

Wrapping up the last little details on the moldings too. Got 90% of the toe kick up, 75% of the quarter round cut & stained. I’ll varnish that tonight, install tomorrow and finish up the ugly 67.5 degree cuts on the corner cabinets too. (I’m secretly dreading those) Some of the other base moldings have to wait until I get the walls finished around external doorways, but I’ll be done up to the doors at least.

Still have to hang cleats for the counter too, but I need the sink and it’s bit of counter gone for that. Later tonight, after dinner, that’ll get done.

One big mess still left to clean up – the mess I made on the back wall of the house. One window moved, one eliminated, one changed into a set of sliding doors. There’s a few shingles that need replacing. Next warm sunny weekend day.

Oh – it DID rain Saturday. In the afternoon we got hit by some of those pop-up thunderstorms. Nice lightning & thunder, little bit of hail, torrents of rain. It came down so hard I couldn’t see our across the street neighbor’s house for a while. Didn’t last long, but it was very intense and sorely needed. Here we are, 27+ days into April and we’ve had 1.75 inches of rain – including Saturdays deluge. That’s over an inch low for the month. No April showers? What about May flowers?

I did do some artsy fartsy shots of the forsythia, the flowering plum, and the not quite flowering crab apple just before the rain hit Saturday. Had a feeling the rain was going to blast the blossoms right off the trees. It didn’t strip them completely, but they are definitely worse for the wear. I’ll have to post a posy picture or two along with the countertop shots.

Better wrap this up. I gotta get home and get stuff done. Pronto Tonto.

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old habits - new tricks