Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Amazing Glasses of Enforced Sunny Optimism

I've had to break these out more than I would have liked recently, but they're a great tool in the proverbial box when you need them.

I simply put them on when the weather is being less than cooperative, then repeat to myself one of the following cheerful affirmations and proceed on my ride:
"It's actually kind of bright out."
"I think it's clearing up."
"It's only a sprinkle."
"It's really just a light mist, mostly."
"It's not raining, that's just marine layer."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Velominati Seattle Summer Cogal

Last weekend I met up with some of the guys from Velominiti for their Seattle Summer Cogal, and it was great fun.  I was admittedly a little apprehensive and nervous, as I usually ride solo and haven't tested myself much in matching other's accelerations.  Also, this was to be my longest ride to date this season, and I was concerned about taking in adequate food.  I arrived just in the nick of time to avoid Delgadoing, and said, "you guys look casually deliberate," as I rolled up to the group of about 12 in the parking lot.

Sitting in second wheel when the pace was not too high.
We departed under leaden skies and moist, but not wet roads.  It is said that the Inuits in Alaska encounter so much snow that they have 17 different words describing different varieties, and we here in the Pacific Northwest have the same relationship with rain and its variants.  Soon after departure, the roads became more rural, and the pace and grade ramped up, and I was happy to be able to follow the wheels - until I couldn't.  At some point during the second or third climb, I just suddenly started going backwards through most of the group and popped right off the back.  I came to an intersection and not knowing which way to go, simply stopped and waited for someone who had some notion of where we were going, and soon, the one known as @eightzero appeared to guide me into Snohomish.  We chatted most of the way there and actually ended up beating the group that had dropped us to the coffee shop, as they had taken an unplanned detour at some point.

The second half of the ride was much the same, getting dropped once the pace ramped up on the hills, but hanging in there on the flat.  I was fine dropping back and wait for those behind, and we beat the lead group, who had again ventured off the parcours to the beer meeting back at Red Hook.  The rain mostly held off until we were back at the brewery, and the last 5 miles or so, we had a huge tailwind pushing us beerward.

Rolling easy (in the red Canada jersey) as the other James (blue jersey to the right) contemplates dropping the hammer on the group.
Thanks to @mcsqueak for the pictures.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Gem

There's a peculiar weather phenomenon around here, typically in the winter, when it's grey all day, but the sun peeks out from below the clouds as it sets large and yellow just above the horizon.  Today was one of those days, nevermind that it's early June, that just such a sunset graced us.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Ride

"The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one."  - Bill Hicks.