So Much (Not Really)

I went to visit my parents.  On the flight out I read Just Ride (A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike) by Grant Petersen (founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works).  My expectations were low, as I have been learning from Grant since 1993.  Nearly as long as I have been learning from Lacey!  Would Grant have anything new for me?  Not much, but if you haven’t been following his teachings and want to enjoy bicycling, I’d strongly encourage you to give it a read.  Can’t loan you a copy (because I don’t own one), but I am sure the library from which I borrowed it would do so happily.

What did I learn?  Four things.  It’s good to check your blood sugar levels even before your doctor says to check.  It is easy to do, as you surely know someone with a tester.  I do, and they were happy to check for me.  I scored an eighty-nine (and anything below one hundred is good).  Done!  Next!

No one pedals circles.  Not even the pros (someone hooked a bunch up to sensitive testing devices and confirmed this).  So no need to connect feet to pedals and think about pulling up.  I already didn’t give a poo, but I did think about this age old advice on occasion.  Don’t need to again.  Next!

Crank length.  Also something I don’t think about, but I do believe most of my bikes have 170mm cranks and would feel a little funny if I knowingly encountered cranks of another length.  Should be obvious, but it wasn’t to me until Grant said it, that another 5 or even 10 mm isn’t that much difference.  Take out a ruler and check it out.  Infinitesimal!  I won’t show you how I spelled that before the spell check placed me on the straight and narrow.  Wow.  Next!

Burpees!  Grant pointed out how crappy bicycles are at making us fit.  Knew that, but for some reason (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of I Idolize Grant) I took to heart his suggestion of doing sets of burpees.  Monday I did nine, then eight, then five, then four, then three, then two, then one.  Rested ten seconds between each set.  Notice the gap in progression between eight and five?  I meant to fill that in with seven and then six, but I was too toasted!  Felt it Tuesday and didn’t try again until today.  I did the full set!  I hope this will become a habit.  Have you tried it?

Unless you’ve stalked, er followed, er paid casual attention to, Grant for a couple of decades, you’ll likely learn more.  So read it already!

The visit with my parents was superb!  Nice talks, some quite intense and others lighter, filled most of the time.  Of course we shared good meals.  My parents are omnivores, but have zero bad things to say about veganism.  They didn’t even need to shop for my visit.  They have a fridge full of alterna-milks.  They put coconut oil on toast.  They slow cook huge vats of pinto beans and eat some with most meals.   Mom did buy me a nice cappuccino coconut ice cream.  When traveling, the food search can often be kinda stressful.  Not when visiting them!  Nice meal out at The Asylum in Jerome, AZ.  It was all dolled up for Halloween, and what a view!

My parents have a personal trainer, so one morning while they were working out I took a drive to look at trailer homes.  Still obsessed with trailer homes, and Sedona is an amazing place to check out some well preserved older ones.  As I was meandering through neighborhoods I followed signs to the Sugar Loaf trailhead. Didn’t know anything about the walk and didn’t have anything with me (not even water).  The sign at the trailhead made it sound doable, though, without provisions.  Just a mile to the summit.  I set off and soon met a guy named Papoose and his cool black german shepherd mix.  Turns out he was originally from Schenectady.  Yikers!  Anyway, Papoose said the walk is easy and I’d be fine.  He was right.  In less than 30 minutes I was on top.  Quite a view.  

Why does my head look all warped?  Do I need to work on my posture or was I standing on a vortex?  I’ll go with the latter.  Anyway, the walk to the summit of Sugar Loaf is the kind of walk you could do every morning to get the blood pumping a bit, and there many folks on the trail, most with dogs, doing just that.  Also encountered a group of six mountain bikers in full lycra suffering up the hill and over the rough rocks.  Each one that passed had an excuse.  Something like “It gets tough after six days of this!”  Or “I needed a warm up!”  One was walking his bike and said “I should be riding this!”  I felt sorry for them.  They need to read Grant’s book.  Pedaling should be fun.  Didn’t look like they were having fun.  It was a great trail for walking, so why not walk it?!

On the way out of Sedona, headed to the airport, the air was filled with balloons.  Only two in the pictures, but there were six or more all in.  Pretty magical farewell to a magical place.  

Got back Saturday and Sunday we were delighted to visit the home of a cousin I had never met.  She just moved here with her husband, two kids and their dog.  My aunt was visiting, too.  I think she is my aunt anyway (I am not so good with family trees so I use aunt and cousin pretty loosely).  If you read this and I have it wrong, please correct me.  Or not.  Your call.  The evening was terrific, with an outstanding vegan chili on the stove.  So spicy!  People are usually kind of conservative with newcomers at their table.  If my cousin thinks she was being conservative, she must have some serious spice chops!  Didn’t bother me (on the contrary, I enjoyed it) and Lacey didn’t even notice it was hot (Lacey must be pretty tough, too!).

What else?  I made it to the garden where I pulled out all the tomatoes and harvested half the cabbage, as well as more tomatillos.  Quite a load on my front rack.  I covered it with a towel to keep tomatoes, tomatillos, five heads of cabbage and radishes from getting free of the bungee net.  Looked pretty odd.  Big and lumpy, like I had lord knows what in there.  A gallon and a half of sauerkraut is on the counter.  I added to the salted cabbage carrots and pears.  Should be nice.  Also have souring in brine a bunch of green tomatoes.  I added to that crock a habanero pepper, too.  I was worried about the pepper’s heat, but the brine doesn’t seem too spicy.  Can’t wait to try soured spicey green tomato pickles!

That’s enough for now.  Eleven hundred and seventy-five words.  Too many!  Hope you are well.  Bye!

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4 responses to “So Much (Not Really)

  1. So nice that you wrote about your visit to Sedona and such kind words. Enjoying reading about your night out with your cousin too….will be nice having a relative close by!

  2. I have a copy of Just Ride if anyone wants to borrow it. You can read it on lunch breaks in less than a week.

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