Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vision Correction to Vision Protection

Karl asked a good question the other day in the comments. He said, "So now will you be riding with some kind of non-corrective eyewear to keep the bugs, dust, and beer cans away from your new investments?" Now, I know Karl and know that he rides here in Minneapolis. I'm not sure what part of Minneapolis, but obviously a different part than me. Getting a flying beer can in the eye has never been high on my list of things to worry about.

I have, however, been thinking about what to wear on the old eyeballs. Both in the first month following the surgery where the mere act of turning my head fast causes my eyes to get dry and me to run for some eye drops. But also for the long term. I've never ridden any distance without the specs on, at least since I was a kid. They were no safety glasses, but they did offer a modicum of protection from the wind and elements. And flying beer cans.

Today was my first day back on the bike after the surgery. I decided to give the old ski goggles a try. I have a pair of ski goggles that I picked up at a thrift store last year and have never worn. After one day, I'm hooked. The goggles were great. My eyes weren't tearing up like they have in previous cold weather riding. And the top half of my face, previously my Achillies heel in winter armor, was snug and comfortable. I did have issues seeing clearly on the way home in the dark, however. I hadn't cleaned the lenses very well after buying them, and there was residue from the thrift store price tag in front of one eye and residue from something I'm sure I'm glad I don't know what it is in front of the other eye. But a few minutes with a rag and some windex tonight and things are all "cleared" up. That's a joke, son.

The goggles did have one drawback. They seem to ride low on my nose. Or perhaps it's because my nose is larger than average. But either way it felt as though I was wearing the opposite of a Breathe-Right strip. Call it a Breathe-Wrong strip. The goggles pushed down and instead of magically opening my nasal passages they made it harder to breathe through my nose. I'm hoping that some adjustments to the elastic strap will help with these issues. Either that, or perhaps a pair of goggles that costs me more than $8.

Date: November 29
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
November mileage: 80
Year to date mileage: 2991

Monday, November 27, 2006

I know you've been worried

It was a busy holiday weekend for me and mine. I had the Lasik procedure on Tuesday, which shot that day to hell. By Wednesday morning I could see really well. It's like a high-tech miracle. I spent Wednesday with my kids, getting used to not wearing glasses and getting used to the eye drop ritual. Wednesday afternoon we went to my one day eye follow-up appointment. The hottie doc told me I was already seeing 20/20 and sent me home.

Thursday we had the traditional Thanksgiving with my family, and I ate until I was sure I'd gain a few pounds. To make sure I'd keep those pounds on, Friday we hopped in the car and headed to Bemidji to see family, a parade, and fireworks. The kids swam in the hotel pool Friday night and Saturday morning. I hot tubbed, but no swimming (gotta keep the eyes dry for 7 days). Then Saturday afternoon we drove back home.

Sunday I did manage to burn some calories, but not on a bike. After a morning spent drinking coffee and cleaning the house I made waffles for the girls. Then I changed the oil in our van and watched a bit of the Vikings. The Vikes didn't really hold my attention so I put up the outside Christmas lights and cleaned the gutters since all the leaves are down from the trees.

The way things are going, it's going to be Christmas before I can even turn around.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Low miles and eyes

I'm going to be lucky to break 100 miles this month. I'm currently sitting at 60, and looking ahead I don't see a ton of miles in my future. I worked from home yesterday and today and I'm scheduled for Lasik this afternoon. After that, I'm off work the rest of the week. This may be my lowest mileage month in over a year. Which is a bummer, because it's been an awesome November for bike riding. No snow and decent temps. The few days I have been out have been wonderful.

Speaking of Lasik, I can't believe how nervous I am about the procedure. Stuff like this usually doesn't bother me, but I've been finding myself obsessing over it for the last few days. And I'm not normally the obsessing type. I'm sure it will all go according to plan, but I wish they would have given me a couple day supply of tranquilizers. Just a little something to take the edge off. Ah well, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sweet ride

Now this is a sweet bike. Quick, take up a collection for the "buy Pete a cool old bike" fund. Found via craigslist

Scratch scratch

From the stall where I change into and out of my biking clothes:

I hope this guy had better luck with his other business than he did with the scratch-off he brought into the stall.

Date: November 15
Mileage: 20
Ride type/bike: Commute/Schwinn
November mileage: 60
Year to date mileage: 2971

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cue the crickets

I haven't been riding for over a week. I had a big training class last week that made commuting difficult, and Friday I worked from home. So to blow the dust off of the blog, here's a 4 page article about bike relations in New York, from The New Yorker appropriately enough. That should keep you busy for a bit. It's Sunday morning, pull up a couch and some coffee. And read nuggets like this:

Of course, some people’s fun is another person’s nightmare. The completion of the thirteen-mile greenway along the Hudson has inspired a great many people—five thousand, on a good day—to ride their bikes. According to Michael Smith, a veteran city cyclist, the new riders tend to wear spandex and helmets and go very fast, with a great sense of purpose, on expensive machines. Smith is a member of Right of Way, an organization “dedicated to the overthrow of car tyranny.” On its Web site, he wrote, “Back when we were all fighting the cars on the street, I felt a certain sense of solidarity. But now that we’ve got this dedicated—or sorta dedicated—space, I’m finding out that a lot of us are, well, assholes . . . just like that Guido in the S.U.V. who nearly killed you on Sixth Avenue last week.” Smith longed for a return of that “good, mutinous urban attitude” about cycling, where “we’d just laugh at the stoplights, and give the finger to the indignant, honking drivers. And we’d all feel like comrades or co-conspirators or something.” The “drivers on bikes,” as he called them, are really suburbanites in disguise. “Will they—please God!—move to fucking Scarsdale as soon as their kids are born?”


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Vehicle Update

It's been an unproductive week here at the Velocipete HQ. The kids picked up some kind of plague and now it's been transferred to Mrs. Velocipete. I've either already had an extremely mild version or I'm coming down with it, and I can't for the life of me figure out which. This is causing not much to get done. Yesterday I was on a quest to get my blinkers to blink on my 1990 Montero. I've been driving around for at least a month manually moving the blinker wand up and down to get an artifical "blink" from the turn signals. I know that the left rear signal is completely non-functional, and it's bothering me a bit. So Saturday I did some interweb digging and found a salvage yard in Rosemount that was supposed to have a Montero. I drove out there with one daughter only to find they didn't. We stopped at Checker on the way home and bought a new flasher. But the one they sold me had three prongs and I couldn't find anything under the dash that remotely resembled it. I spent probably an hour taking apart the dash with no luck. So I did some testing and found that the true flasher only has two prongs. I removed it and took the part back to Checker. They don't carry one that will work. So I either need to find a vehicle at salvage with the flasher and rear taillight assembly or go the dealer. This is a whole lot more work than I'm interesting in doing for a vehicle I'm probably going to unload soon.

I spent some time in the garage this afternoon cleaning a whole lotta stuff that has been piling up. The garage is now in a state where, once my current basement shelving project is done, I'll actually be able to park both cars in there again! And more importantly, I've got space to do bike repairs. So I took advantage of that and replaced the brakes on the Raleigh during the Vikings game. I got a pair of NOS Coda cantilever brakes from eBay for about $20, so I won't be too heartbroken if they're trashed come spring. Now I can confidently brake with both front and rear brakes. What a concept! Now I just need to do something about the drivetrain. Work, work, work.

Date: November 2
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
November mileage: 20
Year to date mileage: 2931

Date: November 3
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
November mileage: 20
Year to date mileage: 2951