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Friday, June 26, 2015

Ain't that the truth?

Cover of the latest book Monkey 1 is reading.  DH and I both thought it was about Washington D.C.!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


So this past week I have been following the Race Across America, or RAAM as it is known.  Imagine the world's longest time trial bike race, starting in Oceanside CA and ending in Atlantic City NJ...The clock is always ticking, and you have to hit certain time stops by a certain time or you get DNF'd (Did Not Finish).  Oh, and all the race takes place on OPEN public roads, not closed courses like in the Tour De France.  So watch out for traffic!

There are multiple categories for racers to qualify events with 2,4,or 8 riders, male only or female only teams, mixed teams etc.  And then there are the soloists.  Yeah, one racer, riding all the way across the country, no drafting allowed, mostly without sleep (typically 90min sleep a day) because that clock is always ticking, and you have to get to the end before time runs out.  If you're not pedaling you are losing precious time!

As a spectator to RAAM, it can be a challenge.  The riders are strung out all the way from western Kansas to Maryland at this moment so you can't really just stand by the road and watch them ride past.  There is no TV coverage to watch either.  The GPS tracking system the racers use, while public, is unreliable in hilly/mountainous areas.  So you learn to follow social media, where most racers have some sort of presence (facebook, instagram, twitter etc).  If they have their crew's media person(s) keeping tabs on everything, then there will be regular updates, and even quick replies to querys from the public.  Because, riders need inspiration, especially when the road runs uphill into the wind, and the heat and humidity are nearly both in triple digits...and that inspiration can come from those of us who follow their exploits, sent in message form to encourage, and sent financially to those riders who ride for charity.

Probably the most appealing thing about RAAM is the riders are mostly just regular folks, driven to do something mindbogglingly difficult.  Folks like some of those I know and ride with at times.  Folks with regular day jobs, folks like you, like me.

Thr Tour de France is a totally different beast.  Pro riders, teams, pelotons, drafting and strategy allowed, closed roads, etc.  Oh, and they cover about 1000 less miles than RAAM and do it in more than twice as many days(with built in rest days)!  And they call themselves the hardest sporting event in the world...

I do enjoy watching the TdF, don't get me wrong.  I like watching bike racing.  And I know my skillset on a bike does not include racing, at least not that type.  I've more of a mind to do 24HRs in the Canyon, or Sebring, or The Texas Time Trials.  At least those events DO permit recumbents!  (So does RAAM).

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Back on the bike!

So last week Doc cleared me to start riding my bike instead of just the tandem.  Yay!  Off the trainer at last... or so I thought.  Alas the weather  had other ideas, and TS Bill came to visit and bring lots more rain to NTX.

Finally, by Saturday I opted to go riding, though I skipped the regular Java ride with the bike shop bunch.  Sticking relatively close to home, in case the shoulder gave me any problems, I set out.

Things took a couple minutes to settle in, having to balance and steer, but except for some tenderness in the shoulder if I hit a rough patch in the road, the ride was pleasantly uneventful.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Please keep the congregation of Emmanuel AME church in Charleston SC in your thoughts and prayers, as they grieve and try to heal after the horrific murders there last night.

Pray that their killer be apprehended quickly, and without any harm to officers or the general public.

Pray that those who would seek to use this tragedy to further their own divisive agendas would be kept far away, by those who truly seek healing, peace and justice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

No longer a "teenager"!

Indy turns three!  Yesterday marked the anniversary of our adoption of Indy.  At the time we adopted him, we were told he was approximately 2 years old.  Not knowing his real birthdate, we decided to use his adoption date and count from there forward.  
Birthday?  Me?
Thus, Indy is now 3, in calendar years, or 21 in human equivalents.  So, no longer is he a teenager!  Yay!  Though I think his personality will be that of a puppy for his entire life.  He just enjoys life far too much to ever "grow up".
Really?  I'm going out without the other two?
In honor of his birthday, and to avoid having the Monkeys try making him a dog-safe cake, we opted to head out to Sonic where we could bring Indy along for a treat.
What is this place, Mom?
Somebody couldn't believe his good luck!  Soft serve ice cream in a cone.  I wasn't sure he'd know what to do with it at first.  Then I guessed someone else might lose fingers as the Landshark Jaws snapped shut around the rapidly melting treat.  I was wrong!

For me?  Mine!
 Indy delicately nipped at and licked the ice cream.
Nom, nom, nom...
 Lick lick lick lick lick!
A long tongue is handy!
 Now how to get the ice cream out of the deep narrow part?  Good thing I have a long tongue, says Indy!
Nom, nom! Crunch!  Crunch!
 All gone!  Can I have another?  Yes, after demolishing his own cone, he began nosing around everyone else's for a second one.  Typical Indy!