antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
So I'm trying to be more proactive about posting bike ride reports & commentary. Do people want:

1. Me to post stuff to LJ/DW (everything is crossposted).
2. Me to post stuff to a new LJ/DW (crossposted) that you can add if you want.
3. Use another blogging site (wordpress, tumblr, blogspot, whatev) I would link posts here.

IDK if I'll actually post more, but I'm going to try to. Pluses for splitting it off mean that if I link it places specifically to highlight the bike content, I'm not also linking random LJ rambling. (Though that would require me to actually post rather than lurk.) Minuses mean more work, at least in terms of linking -- posting images may actually be easier anywhere else.

(This is not a poll b/c my personal DW isn't paid right now, only my RP accounts.)
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
Most of the time, I don't think about my right knee. It's come up a few disparate times, though, lately, and then I realized it's been twenty years since I fell skiing** and partially tore the ACL in it. No surgery, just rehab, and it's been mostly fine ever since.

I still remember learning how to walk normally again. I'd been young and teenage and fearless (and stupid), and suddenly I didn't feel immortal any more. It made me a much better downhill skier in the long run. Not a stronger one, but a more controlled one. But it took a long time before I was comfortable again.

I've been feeling like that a lot lately on the bike, since getting in those two minor fender benders at the end of the summer (one completely my fault, one completely not, nothing more than bruises in both cases). I feel fragile, and then I feel silly for it, because I'm no less/more fragile than I was before, and I was much less injured than everyone else I know who got in a bike accident this past summer.

So I've mostly been riding indoors this winter, because I want to stay in shape, and the idea of going out in heavy traffic on slippery roads in the dark is less appealing. And massively overdid it this week, and I knew I was overdoing it as I did so, too. Now both knees hurt, the right much more than the left. And I don't know exactly how much strength it has. Or if this particular injury is even related; I do several things asymmetrically when riding, mostly because the curb is on the right, like which leg I start/stop with up/down, and that could be how I tweaked one more than the other.

That is to say, tl;dr, I'm whining that I can't go for my planned a long ride in the warm-ish (warm for January, at least) rain tomorrow, because being many miles from home and having my knee conk out would be double-plus ungood.

* Well, not exactly today, I don't remember what the date was, but it was early January some time, right before the big midwestern cold snap of '94 that everyone is comparing this year to.

** Well, not exactly skiing. More like, uh, getting off the chairlift at the top of the slope.

100% cotton

Dec. 1st, 2013 07:36 pm
antimony: photo of the goodyear blimp over Cleveland, OH (goodyear blimp)
Why did I keep saying I should try to find men's jeans that fit but not actually trying any on? Now I have jeans that have proper pockets, and are 100% cotton, and fit. And didn't take any more dressing-room failures than finding women's jeans that fit properly, either.

In other news, family are back on their ways home after Thanksgiving, although with some of the pictures I've seen tweeted around, may be a long road home for the ones going west on the freeway. (They left late enough I'm not worried they were in the big swathe of accidents, but they'll get snarled by the traffic.) And our house is quiet and full of food.
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)
Reasons for distracted driving I will accept:

1. Running chase on an ambulance carrying your kid to the hospital.

I.e. I got clipped riding home. I'm fine -- nothing more than bruises, no damage to the bike -- I think the only thing that touched the car was my thigh, and I wasn't hit hard enough to lose control of the bike, either. Guy stopped, pulled over, and my incipient WHAT THE HELL DUDE was cut off by the blank look on his face. He explained that he was following the ambulance with his kid (an ambulance had passed me a minute ago, so this made great sense), and I told him to go. At this point he realized he should ask if I was OK, I said yes, and waved him off.

I rode on for a bit, but I was feeling nervy at all the intersections where I have to make the same maneuver I was doing (right turn only lane, I'm going straight, have to merge across), and there were more coming, so I called [personal profile] dphilli1 from a Whole Paycheck parking lot and then got some dinner while I waited. Hopefully I'll get over the twitchy soon -- that move is safer when done aggressively.
antimony: a black eye of horus (horus)
I guess it was too much to ask to have a beginning "improving balance workshop" talk about mental training as opposed to very basic lunges and squats that anyone who does any amount of calisthenics has probably learned already. Oops.

Eh, being neurotypical is overrated. Although staying upright and not falling down is not.

It was also probably too much to ask to have the instructor not a) make assumptions about everyone's fitness based on their appearance* and b) understand that not everyone in the class is a dude**.

* He asked me "what my training background was" which I just went ...wut? to, because trying to list the athletic endeavors I've done at least semi-seriously for any significant time would have taken longer than the workshop. I tend to go through sports like fandoms, lol -- a few that I have loved forever and keep going back to, a few that I get WAY INTO for six months to several years and then walk away from. And then I visibly saw him reconfigure his assumptions when I winced at one exercise, he made an "aww, it's OK, poor unfit person" face, and I nonchalantly said I'd toasted my quads doing hills the previous night.

** In two senses: the primary one being that how athletics are taught/promoted in the US is highly gendered -- he had us doing toe-touches but prefaced it by saying "now do dead lifts", which I've seen as a thing written down in workout plans that involves heavy weights, but I've never actually been shown what one is, and he assumed people did basically no core work, which most intro-to-workout plans for women stress heavily. Actually, even his opening question about "training" -- I associate that word with weight/bulking-up-strength type workouts, and am still not sure exactly what he would qualify for the term.

And secondly, a minor assumption about relative strengths of core and biceps for not-especially-fit people, which in my experience differs wildly between men and women and I assume it's both part socially based and part physiological (on average, obviously).
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
I haven't been posting, because all I've been doing is working and riding my bike. Work is good to do but boring to talk about, and riding is better summed up by (terrible cellphone) pictures.

Pictures, and an attempt to keep the word count down )

And then the next morning I got to see [ profile] sofer and [ profile] sheepboyofchaos and meet their adorable daughter. Plus they gave me home-grown rhubarb, which is now strawberry-rhubarb shortcake. Although I managed to buy half-and-half instead of whipping cream and didn't notice until it wouldn't whip. Alas.

Now that I've hit my big goal, though -- anyone want to go riding? I'm going to be a lot less training-focused and more about just riding around for the rest of the summer. As long as you're OK with a max speed of about 14mph average -- I'm still not a speed demon.
antimony: a black eye of horus (horus)
So I saw the Hobbit, as our winter celebration with the group at work (along with lunch out). And now I am home and kind of cranky from the 3D headache (which I have gotten with 2/2 3D movies that I've seen, so I don't think it was Hobbit or high-frame rate specific).

Comments on the HFR 3D, my general feelings, and a little about the adaptation from books to movie, but no major spoilers (including for the book) inside:

mild spoilers (see above) behind cut )
antimony: a stone twenty-sided die from roman times (roman d20)
\o/ because nothing could make being home sick better than being audited on my 2010 taxes. argh. for something I have full documentation for, I just don't want to deal with the hassle.
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
Still liking the new bike -- took a little trip out to Bolton to have lunch at Nashoba Winery. And to learn how to read a cue sheet. The lunch went better than the reading -- I got lost a couple of times, most of which were after I'd run off the west end of my map. Oops. Next time, print maps.

I wish I had more time to ride. I've been doing more multi-modal with my commute (if nothing else, my arms are definitely getting stronger from hefting the folding bike around) to get more miles in, but it's going to be all-dark soon, which makes it a lot less fun. (Also, I can, in fact, outrun the headlight on the folder.)

So, with detours, 74.09 miles, a little under 12mph average (but it was running around 13 most of the ride -- I just chilled out on the last ten miles or so).

ETA: I also went back and poked at an elevation profile, and have figured out that 7% is about where I run out of gears. Will see if getting in better shape changes that, or not -- I'm running a compact double on the bike, no granny gear, but there's room for futzing with cassette sizes.
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)
So the last time I posted, I mentioned getting a new bike; it arrived about a month ago, and I finally had a chance to get it out for a long, fast ride yesterday. Whee! I missed riding like this. Yes, I used to do it on my Nishiki (1984 Nishiki Bel-Air mountain bike), complete with fairly knobby tires, but it's really nice to do it on a bike designed for speed. And yes, some may remember that I had another road bike, a Bianchi Brava, but it never fit right, and I gave up on it a few years ago.

(In other news, I am still not fast enough for group rides, sigh. There is a dearth of rides that a) actually, honestly, state their speeds and b) go 13-15 mph on flat ground. I like riding with people, and being the slowest person in a group sucks. Even if the leader clearly didn't mind hanging back, some of the other folks clearly did.)

High points of the ride: I can climb the hills on Trapelo Road while tired without a granny gear, which means I'm not completely out of shape. Also that not having a granny gear on the new bike was not a horrible mistake. :D I've been riding a lot more lately, though I am still out of shape compared to when I was riding 10-20 miles a day. I need to commute more (though not on the new bike). Even if it's getting dark out there.

Low points: a squirrel fell out of a tree and hit me. Seriously. Something dark and heavy came flying down, too fast to swerve or do anything but hold my line, and bounced off my left wrist. The guy behind me said "that was a squirrel". WTF, squirrel. It was probably a low point in the squirrel's day, too.

And, since there were very few reviews of this bike out there when I went looking, I'll post mine (warning: super-long):

click for pictures and not-so-mini-review )
antimony: photo of the bow of a canoe in the water taken from inside the canoe. (canoeing)
Adirondack pack basket: confirmed good for grocery shopping. Also confirmed to almost, but not quite, hold more groceries than I can successfully bike for 3.5 miles while carrying. Mounting a bike with a rigid, ~40# basket on one's back: entertaining, but possible, given a curb.

In other news, hello DW/LJ. I've been biking a lot more lately, which is good, since I'm buying a new bike. :) Not for grocery shopping, though. I might get the grocery-shopping bike repainted, as several years of outdoor living (frosh year at Swat, most of my time at MIT) did a number on the paint, and it's getting past the point of nail-polish touch-ups. I'll miss the old color, though. Weird to think of it being any other shade, since I've had the bike for over twenty years. (Yes, I could, and might, pick out a very similar color, but I'm also going to lose the decals and the only replica ones I can find online aren't exactly the same, though the same era, so I might go with a completely new look.)


Jul. 18th, 2012 09:24 pm
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)
I know, I know. I never call, I never write, I never post to LJ/DW. Whoops. I probably still won't, much.

The thunderstorms today were deeply impressive, especially if one was biking in them. The road near the Riverside T station was knee-deep in water; that was the only spot I couldn't plow through, but there were lots of points where my feet were going under while pedaling. (Yes, I know, terrible for the hubs and the bottom bracket. I will keep an eye on them.)

I was riding over to look at a new road bike. I miss riding. I don't do it much any more, and I am tempting myself with a shiny new bike to put the joy back in it.

Really, state of my life. I work, I bike, I canoe, I surf the web. <3
antimony: photo of the bow of a canoe in the water taken from inside the canoe. (canoeing)
I saw that meme about places one has slept in 2011, and instead of giving the rather short and mostly uninteresting list, I figured I'd finally post my pictures and story of going camping in Ipswich this past September.

I tend to pick up sporting-ish hobbies and discard them without accomplishing a whole lot; this is partly because I am competitive by nature, but not actually very athletic, and partly because I am lazy. But I've wanted to go canoe camping for a long time, and finally managed to do so on our honeymoon. That was fun, so I wanted to do it again, and also was going boating a bunch with [ profile] saxifrage so I idly started looking at canoes. One of the ones I liked best showed up used on Craigslist, and suddenly I had a boat.

So after a few paddles, I booked a night on Perkins Island on the Ipswich River, in the middle of the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

And this is where the picspam commences, so follow me behind the cut for more )

Next summer: as I said above, if anyone wants me to lead a group overnight on Perkins Island, I'd be happy to. It'd be kid-friendly and novice-friendly -- we wouldn't have to start as far upstream as I did, which would avoid any possibility of dealing with downed trees.

And then I'm going to take my boat up to Maine and do a longer trip.
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