Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Than The Bike

The Green Bay Packer's last game of the season. Was I the bad luck charm?

Bones, supporting the team.

Amy and her sister Gina make an "Eki Sandwich". Too bad the night before I accidentally turned the temp down. We only lasted about 10 minutes.

Pretending to be a bowler. I'll stick to the bike, Thank You very much.

Amy's birthday night was all about bowling. Such good form!

They can't all be strikes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hey, Who Turned On The Lights?

Riding in the dark used to intimidate me. For some reason I would worry about it, constantly thinking that if something happened it would be more difficult to deal with in the dark. I dreaded the shortening of the days, like a cage was slowly being lowered around me.

Now, riding in the dark is like visiting with an old friend, in many ways I prefer it. The critters darting through my light, the deep thoughts going through my head, the knowing nods from fellow commuters.

The winter rolls on, so do I, through the dark, comfortable in my routine. So comfortable in fact that I begin to match my commutes to and from work to the minute. I find that I enjoy the familiarity of it all.

Then, it happened! Yesterday something seemed amiss. I quickened my pace as I entered into the hustle bustle of city streets. "Dude, you're really pushing this morning. What's up? I'm late for some reason, I need to stay on top of it. I don't want to have rush around when I get to work." Wait a second, there's no reason that you're late. You left at the same time as you do every morning." "But, I'm turning my light off, I must be behind schedule." That was the conversation in my head.

It donned on me, as I looked east, toward the big Gitchee Gummee for confirmation. Mother Nature had turned on the lights. The sun was up over the lake and the times, they were a changin'.

The cycle continues as we ride into another phase. It won't be long now...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cat Lover Saves Dog with Bike

A bizarre sequence of events unfolded for me as I've been enjoying some time at home for the holidays. I'll be returning to global travel/training soon.

It went something like this:

I left my place of employment at approximately 4:18 p.m. a couple days ago. I rolled out listening to my favorite podcast, while focusing on getting my head right for the war zone that is Duluth's cars vs. bike world I live in. The first leg of my commute home involves a super dangerous 5 or 6 mile stretch of road that contains 4 lanes of traffic, no shoulder, and a ton of pissed off people speeding home in steel boxes with wheels. Now, I have been trying to lose some weight so as not to take up any more of their road than I have to, but I can only get so skinny. Needless to say, I battled the edge of the road and it's broken up borders that are somehow always coated in a sheen of ice. I'm used to hanging onto my life by my finger nails, so I pushed on to fight the good fight.

Suddenly, it appeared in front of me, miraculously surviving amidst 2 ton objects hurling past it, a tiny animal. The beast was coming toward me, sharing my plight, it's eyes bulging in fear, it's head on a swivel, much like mine. "Oh, this poor rabbit doesn't have long to live", I thought. "Wait, that's not a rabbit, it's a squirrel, no too big...IT'S A LITTLE DOG!!". The little man's best friend was running to me while I road toward it. Our distance between closing fast, I called out, "Get to the side little guy!". He didn't understand. I guess I didn't really expect him to, but I had to try something. Then, I found out what I'm made of. I spun my head around 180 degrees to check my 6. Yep, just like I figured, a train of cars coming fast! This little dude was going to die and it was going to be right in front of me if I didn't act fast. Like jumping on a grenade, I went to the middle of my lane and put my bike perpendicular to the cars in an attempt to make them stop. It was him or me at this point. The tiny creature gave me a concerned, but thoughtful glance as it trotted past, terrified, but alive. I motioned to the car coming fast behind me that there was trouble in the road. Just then a barrage of barking came from the yard on my right. A quick glance told me his doggy friends were behind their enclosure and urging him to listen to the guy on the bike. Relief washed over me as the car behind came to a halt on one of the busiest roads in Duluth and the passenger thrust open his door to assist my new comrade. Still jacked on a King Kong sized dose of adrenaline the little guy bolted up the avenue in front of his house. I exhaled as a pack of wild eyed, yet responsibly concerned 13 year old boys came running around the house of dogs. I yelled, "He just went up that avenue!!", motioning the direction with my hand. In an instant their pace quickened as they continued pursuit.

I pulled off to the side to gather myself and allow traffic to commence with it's chaotic journey home. Clipping in, I glanced to the fenced area only to notice one of the little hounds give me a wink and a smile. I returned the gesture and was on my way.

The fur faces need us, just like we need them. Give yours a hug today.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Just Kept Riding.

I had to know what would be around the next corner.

Enough said...