I was riding to work Monday along the frontage road that parallels US169.
It's slightly downhill and that was welcome because the wind was in my face.
A short distance ahead, I saw a cyclist coming toward me in the opposite
lane. A car was about to overtake him when he swerved left into my lane and
continued pedaling along on the shoulder.
I don't like wrong-way cyclists. Actually, they shouldn't be called
'cyclists' because they're more like pedestrians-on-bikes. They're
terrified of being run down by a car, so they compensate by doing
squirrelly, unpredictable maneuvers. Worse, motorists don't see them
because in all their driving experience they've been effectively programmed
to look everywhere EXCEPT where wrong-way riders appear. Going the wrong
way, it nearly impossible to see signals too, but then again, such
'cyclists' are rarely concerned with signals. They're pedestrians on
The car went by. The wrong-way rider was approaching on my right. He
looked to be a teenager. I used my most intimidating "Parental Command"
voice and yelled, "Get on the right side of the road!" He looked shocked,
but just after I passed, he went back over into the right lane.
I can only hope he stays there.
One of our cats was involved in an 'indiscretion' with a neighborhood tom,
and we now have three kittens running about the house. They're cute.
They're cuddly. They have amazingly sharp claws. They have extremely poor
judgment - inherited from their mother, no doubt - and at this stage in
life, they're still basically wild animals. They enjoy attacking bare feet.
Did I mention the very sharp claws?
The kittens will be weaned in another week or two. Then the question
becomes how to get rid of them. Mary and the kids would gladly keep them,
but we already have too many animals. The city permits 2 dogs and three
cats. We're over the limit. So the kittens have to go.
I've suggested calling the Russians to see if they need any cats for space
shots. I've said that kittens make excellent coyote bait. I've suggested
calling the vets office and the pet shops. As a last resort, I said we
could give them to Animal Control. Who knows? There may even be some
None of this was met with enthusiasm. In fact, I realized that by
continuing in that vein I'd probably be sleeping in the garage, if Mary was
So what am I going to do with these kittens? And don't suggest serving them
with some carrots and onions. I already tried that and it earned me the
We reached temperatures of 104F (40C) here last week, and today it's
supposed to top at 97F (36.1C). I've been drinking water constantly,
downing a full bottle before the ride home and drinking another 2 over the
10 mile commute. I arrive home dripping. It's not a pretty sight.
Some years back, the kids gave me a heart rate monitor. I use it as a rev
limiter when it's stinkin' hot. My normal heart rate around the shop is in
the 80s, but when I walk out onto that parking lot and the heat rises in
waves from the pavement, my heart hits 110 or 115 just walking to the bike
rack. The heart works harder simply moving blood around, trying to cool the
body. Toss in some exercise on top of that and the heart rate goes up over
the limit. Mine's set conservatively at 155 right now. But the scary thing
is that it doesn't feel like I'm working hard. There's no burn from lactic
acid. I don't feel like I'm going to explode. But my heart is working flat
I reached an intersection on one of the hot days just as the light was about
to change. I briefly contemplated sprinting through it. Like I said, it
was a brief thought. Better judgment prevailed and I stopped. When the
light changed, I got up to speed again, and the HRM chirped away almost
instantly! Just that effort of accelerating to 15 mph or so was enough to
exceed the limit.
It's little wonder that men around here have heat-related heart attacks.
Be careful out there.
I don't remember if I've mentioned this. I've been asked to write a grant
proposal for a bicycling project. The deadline is sometime in August, if I
remember right, and with everything that's happened recently, there's no way
I'll be finished by the deadline. So I'm not going to worry about it. I'll
plan to hit the next one in the fall.
I have no experience writing grant proposals. This is utterly new, so any
advice would be most welcome.
I've been thinking about something along the line of public art/bicycle
racks, possibly with some corporate involvement. It would involve getting
local artists to design the racks, perhaps even build them. But I was also
thinking about getting Vo-Tech involved in fabrication, and trying to get
some corporate funding as well as a grant. So, as an example, if a
coffee-themed bicycle rack were located in front of a coffee shop, part of
it would be paid for through grants and part by the business.
Just a thought, so far.
Of course, if I could figure a way to get grant money for studying, say, new
trends in bartending or maybe labor and price variations in local bicycle
shops, I'd do that in a heartbeat!