Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I wore a poppy pin to work today and not one person knew the significance.
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Monday, November 09, 2009
This early November weather has been great. Saturday was in the 60s and sunny. I was able to get some stuff done around the house and yard in beautiful warm sunshine. Sunday was even better.
The bike club ride was in the Taunton, Sharon, Easton, Mansfield area. The roads were for the most part in great shape, lots on new pavement. The weather was gorgeous and the route was beautiful. It was very rural, a lot of quiet roads and minimal auto interactions and road crossings.
The only eyesore and disturbing thing was the amount of obese men with loud, smelly leaf blowers. There were dozens of them, most wearing Patriots’ gear. They were everywhere. For crying out loud, PICK UP A RAKE. Burn off a few calories.
Most of them were just blowing the leaves into the street. Thanks. Riding through dust, leaves and fumes is a hoot.
The blowers were a bit of a drag but not nearly enough to spoil a great day to be on a bicycle.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Sb noted that I have been a bit morose lately. Sorry about that. Things really are pretty good. Work is work. Nothing terrible but no worse than usual. Having a sick pet is a drag but generally home life is very good. Weight loss is still progressing. I have quite a bit to feel good about.
Not sure why I have been coming off as a grouch. I do struggle with the change of seasons. When the days get shorter I just seem to lose interest in anything other than eating and sleeping. I have been trying to get some exercise in to even me out.
We do have a few things coming up that will be fun. We are going to London in two weeks for the Patriots' game then off to Lancashire and Yorkshire for a few days.
We had a real nice ride a few weeks ago on the Air Line Trail in CT.
Last winter wasn't nearly as bad as some past years. I kept the exercise times up around 2 hours a week and it helped a lot. I hope I can stave off the blues this year too. According to Solo I have not started off well.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Fred was the voice of hockey when I was a kid. Fred and Derek Sanderson are still my favorite Bruins announcers. Even throwing Dave Shea in to the booth with them couldn't screw it up.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Summer is functionally over.
I missed my major objective of the summer when I opted to not go to D2R2. It was a tough but good decision. I just do not have the fitness required to enjoy the ride.
I did manage to lose 18 pounds and ride, to date, over three times the miles I did in 2008.
So far I have a bit over 102 hours on the bike and another 30 on the trainer for 2009.
Piddly numbers for bike racers and even keen recreational riders but a world of difference from the inactivity of the last few years.
I'm slow but I'm riding.
See ya on the road.
(photo pinched for The Daily Mail)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
As I've gotten older my politics, still fairly leftist, have crept toward the right. I resist calling my self a democrat, I am registered as an independent. I have always had a begrudging respect for Ted Kennedy.
I was saddened when it was announced he was ill and I contacted his office with my support. Within a few days I got an email back thanking me. I am not a constituent.
I think he was a man who did the best he could for his country. That is a pretty good thing.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
If you have a better than department store quality 23” , 56-58cm road bike you can loan him let me know.
The bike should be in good shape. I will give it a quick tune up but don’t want to put too much effort into it. Fit is not critical. I will get him as close as practicable.
If it works out his family may get him a new bike or if the loaner is for sale you can negotiate that.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
I saw Fidrych pitch for Pawtucket during his come back bid about 1982. The Columbus starter was a rehabbing Dave Righetti. It was an electric night and a real pitcher's duel. Bird never made it back to the big leagues but he was the "Bird" of old that night.
Via con Dios, Mark.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
As some of you may know BikeReg had a hardware issue a few weeks ago and requested that recent customers verify their registration to make sure nothing was lost.
I had registered for D2R2 and half jokingly entered my team name as "Hope & Anchor", a side project that never really got started. When the problem hit I guess the team info was lost. Both Veg (also registered as H&A) and I had no team listed the next time I perused the rider list for familiar names.
I check yesterday to see if my friend John had committed yet and saw that next to my name was listed Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. I did not tell them that. I have been in the NBW on and off since 1984 but never raced under their banner (they used to be the parent club of the old RI Velo Club).
At the Jamestown race you will see some folks registered as NBW and at a lot of Randonees and UltraCycling events there are NBW riders (I guess we are a recognized club for these organizations). But that aside, I am curious as to how they knew I am a Wheelpeople and how it showed up on the list.
(The above photo is of two of our long time members Bob and Lee, and newer rider Jan at the rear. Bob, with the red helmet, is a Vietnam vet, retired postal worker, world traveler and all around great guy.)
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I have decided I want to get rid of the Sigma BC1200 on my go slightly faster bike. I bought a CatEye Mighty 8 on clearance for my Soma and it seem needlessly complex.
I want settings for two tyre sizes and the basics. No cadence, no ambient temperature, no altitude or angle on incline.
Easy to set up, easy to see and figure out.
Anybody still look at this thing?
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
14.3 hours on the bike
4.2 hours on the RevMaster
Well below what Coach Buddy recommended but I still feel pretty good about it.
Coming from the place I was at over the autumn this is pretty good. I have lost 8 pounds since Jan 1. I am starting to feel comfortable on the bike and this week I have been able to get in a ride without my heart rate getting sky high.
Still a long way to go but at leas I'm enjoying riding a bike again.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Come see how the other half lives. Us fredly chubbies who keep all your spiffy sponsors in business ride a bike occasionally too.
THE Narragansett Bay Wheelmen are having their (our) "Spring Opener" ride Sunday from East Providence Cycle. in EP, RI. There will be 4 ride routes, all marked. If the weather is nice there should be a few hundred riders.
It is not my bike shop of choice but the they host the ride in conjunction with their bike show and big Spring sales. They do a lot for the club.
Come check out the biggest bike club in New England and the LAB Northeast Club of the Year.
See info here:
Friday, March 13, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
My Uncle Raymond died last week. My Dad told me about it on Saturday. Raymond was 79, two years younger than my Dad. This is the third brother Dad has lost. He has one brother and a sister left.
Raymond had lung cancer and emphysema for years and years. Of all the Okie relatives I was probably closest to Raymond and his family. They lived just up the road from my grandparents and had two kids roughly my age. I was also close to Aunt Phoebe's family but they lived in town so I spent a lot of time at Raymond's.
I was in contact with an old family friend this weekend . She and her husband were very close to my parents until they divorced in 1975. I was surprised to hear that Mrs. T had tried to stay in contact with my Aunt Irene. Mrs. T asked about here and I had to tell her that Irene killed herself a decade ago.
My mother and both her sisters all died within about 2 years of each other. It really is sobering to think about how quickly I am losing family members.
Below is a link to Raymond's obit. Check out the language. Very different tone from what we see in urban East Coast papers.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Or perhaps lack thereof. I have been able to cruise into and home from work for the last few months. I really noticed it last week during school vacation week. There were very few cars on the road.
I wonder how much of it is because 10% of my fellow Rhode Islanders are out of work. A friend of mine was let go from a newspaper yesterday after 30 years of service. We have laid off a few people in our FL facility and in Asia. EP is laying off 55 teachers.
Things reportedly are pretty bad.
Despite the empty roads I see plenty of full parking lots at the shops. Rt 6, Seekonk’s retail miracle mile, is jammed. I went by the Warwick Mall last week at 3:30 on a Thursday and the parking lot was packed.
Is retail really in that bad shape? Have you been cutting back? We are not big spenders, except on cat toys lately, but we are still dining out a lot buying new bikes and computers as needed. We also pay cash for just about everything. I wonder how much of this mess is panic. People are desperate for credit. I hear as soon as the banks start lending we will start to see a turnaround. Wasn’t this what did us in?
Corporations wanted to see growth, a Starbucks on every corner. Well we’re still buying coffee. Maybe the model of exponential growth is broken. Keeping stockholders happy at the expense of good sense seems to have screwed us.
Honestly though, I’m not missing the traffic on I 95.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
I had a pretty nice ride Friday afternoon. It was quite warm and the roads were a bit wet but not bad at all. I like the new bike quite a bit.
I think I may have made a mistake going with at 110 stem. Generally I like a 120 with a 58cm top tube. I thought I'd go a bit shorter in concession to my age, girth and cranky lower back. Not so good. The problem was my hands. I felt like too much weight was on my palms when on the tops and that my hands wanted to slide off the front of the hoods when I stretched out. I lowered the stem about 0.5cm when I got home and have yet to try it again.
I realize some people have to sit more upright for certain reasons but I an growing more convinced that many of the people I see with very high, short stems are just giving in to their first instinct that they don't want to be bent over. Being bent over is much more comfortable on a road bike. Less weight in the hands and rear.
When I was selling bikes I would encourage new bike owners to try the set up as is (stem a bit higher than I would like, but no crazy extenders or 6cm stems. See if it is comfortable before you screw up the handling and position of your "racing" bike. It was a losing battle, like trying to get middle aged women not to push their helmets back off their foreheads.
Anyway, now I have the bards about 2" lower than the saddle for belly clearance. I may pick up another stem to experiment with.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We went down to Wakefield yesterday to pick up my new Soma Smootie ES at Stedman's bike shop. I ordered the frame & fork the day after Christmas and had most of the parts from my Surly transplanted onto the new bike.
Before going to the shop we stopped to see Mr. Stedman. He is in his eighties and living in an assisted living facility in Wakefield. He can be a cranky old fella at times but he has a heart of gold. Everett is the epitome of an old swamp Yankee.
When we got there he was doing the accounts for the bike shop. He rarely gets to the shop, especially in this cold weather, but still does all the accounting on his kitchen table.
You bike racers out there may recognize Everett as the long time sponsor and benefactor of the W.E. Stedman Grand Prix cyclocross race as well as the Swamp Yankee Road Club (Cox Communication team).
Everett's family has sold bikes at their store since the 1920s when along with gasoline, ice cream, hardware and tobacco they sold Schwinns. The shop went all bikes during the bike boom of the early 1970s when the last gas pumps were knocked over by a drunk driver. The building was built in the late 1800s as a hotel and still has a ballroom with the Masonic symbols painted on the ceiling on the top floor. I worked at Stedman's from 1985 until 1989.
I am convinced it is the best bike shop around. Prices are great, service exceptional. It is now just a bike shop, it is a cornerstone of downtown Wakefield. Locals come in to gossip and drink coffee. Bike racers come in for parts and service. Parents still buy their kids bikes there. Regulars stop by almost daily just to talk. Two of the three full time staff have been there since I left in 1989. Compare that to the turnover at your local shop. The third, a retired Navy Chief, has been there over a decade. It is the shop Maynard Hershon should have written about.
Want a new Tarmac? Go to Stedman's. Need a new planet gear for your 1953 Sturmey Archer three speed hub? Go to Stedman's.
I pray that when Mr. Stedman passes on the shop stays. If you love bikes. I mean really love bikes, and know what Viscount, Simplex and Valentino mean you owe yourself a visit to Stedman's