Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cycling and China

Try to cut that thief!
No more cable lock for me. JRA of One Speed: Go! finally convinced me a cable lock just isn't enough. And since I'm riding nearly everyday, to work or the coffeehouse or wherever I need to get to, I thought it time to be sure my ride would still be waiting for me whenever I was finished with what I was doing. Even though my bike isn't all that fancy or expensive, I have a certain amount of affection for it and would miss it terribly if it all the sudden went missing.

So now I'm equipped with a headlight, a taillight, a saddlebag containing an extra tube, an air pump, and a bottle holder. All  I need at this point is a rear rack. I usually carry a backpack, but with the increasing heat, I'm arriving at my destinations with a very sweaty back. Not a great look. I'm hoping a rear rack takes care of that problem.

Along with the bike commuting, I've been getting in some mileage on the new road bike. This week I'm close to 100 miles, with two 40 milers and one 13 miler. I'm getting a better feel for the bike, feeling way more comfortable on it than I was in the beginning. I remember being scared of it at first. It's so much lighter than my commuter bike, so even just a slight wind gust pushes it one way or another. The way I sit on it is very different than my commuter bike, so if I shift just a little, the bike jerks. I've had to learn how to be very soft with my movements. I'm now working on getting up to and maintaining 20 mph. The closest I've gotten was my second 40 miler this week, when I averaged 18.3 mph. Yesterday I managed to maintain 18.87 for the first 6 miles of my 13 miler, which wasn't bad considering the hills on that route. It'll take some time, but I'll eventually get there. The next couple of days the rain is supposed to settle in, so I might have to return to the treadmill to work on the barefoot running.

Whew! Didn't forget the passport!
In other areas of my life: my lovely daughter is on her way to China for a month. Last we checked, the plane is somewhere over Russia. While there, she'll be completely immersed in learning the language and culture. Having already been there for five months several years ago, when she was only 12, she knows a little bit about what to expect. Now that she's 19 and has a year of the language under her belt, she's going to have a totally different experience this go-round. Her excitement about returning to China, about learning the language and gaining more understanding about the culture, showed more and more everyday leading up to her departure. I'm going to miss her terribly, but I'm so happy she is taking steps to enhance her education. Her ambition will serve her well in the future.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Hey, I feel like I have done a small, good thing! Thanks!

When I lived in China, bicycles were everywhere, in huge numbers, locked up only with rear-wheel "nurse" locks, and often tended by ancient parking wardens who collected a few pennies to leave your bike among thousands. I wonder if they are still there... (doubt it).

JK said...

We, too, saw lots of bicycles when we were there. I have some great pics of couples riding, he on the seat and steering while she is perched either just in front of him or on the rear rack.