2002-11-29

Well the road race went well, was actually won by an Australian this year, narrowly beating the Kenyans who usually win, of course the Irish team was right up there too. There was the usual assortment of ordinary runners and walkers, along with the folks in goofy costumes... can you imagine running in just a loincloth and warpaint when temps are in the low teens? I sure can't!

On the EMS side, I figured we were going to get a lot of exercise induced asthma, especially since I could already hear people coughing and weasing at my post at the first corner (Charter Oak at the I-384 exit ramp); luckily the temperature rose up in time before they hit heartbreak hill, mitigating the situation greatly. What we did get a lot of were twisted/sprained ankles secondary to slipping on the ice from the snowstorm the day before. It was fun, and after four years of doing this I was for the first time dressed properly and was able to adjust my layers for the changing temperatures.

I missed hearing "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio... but I did have a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat at my sister's house, but I stayed up 'till the next morning because I had to work a shift last night. I was pretty tired though, on our only call (a half hour before the end of the shift, of course) I was so groggy that Genny had to order me around like I was a robot or something. Unfortunately I couldn't bike to/from work because of all the places I had to be yesterday.

Chanukah started tonight, and I lit the first candle in my menorah just before I lit my Shabbos candles. That's on my little store bought menorah, I actually today built my own menorah out of a cut up yard stick, bottle caps, silver spray paint, and Elmer's glue. It'll fit Shabbos candles instead of those little candles that fit in store bought menorim. I couldn't use it tonight 'cause it's still drying, but it'll be ready for the rest of the week and especially for the last night which is also on Shabbos this year.

Still need to get down to the bike shop to fix my headlight issues, maybe I just need a bulb for my cateye... that would be the simplest thing.

2002-11-27

We had our first stint of winter weather today, and on my ride home from work I got to do my first shot at "icebiking". It wasn't bad at all, really. Of course everyone at work thougth I was seriously disturbed and would probably get killed, though the fact of the matter is I passed/was passed by Alpha one twice when the responded to some call in South Windsor. The biking was obviously easier then the driving evidenced by all the swervy skid tracks I saw in the snow, and by the fact that cars were barely passing me! The only part of me that got cold was my face due to melting snow, and even that warmed up by the second half of the ride... By that time I was in East Windsor. I've lived around here all my life and East Windsor has NEVER had anything near decent snow removal. That' s where my face warmed up because I was working so hard to make headway... its also where my chainset started to get iced up and I nearly took some diggers due to the horrible ruts in the snow. The icebike webpage says you should try to ride through the unrutted portions... Guess I'll try that next time. The one thing that really annoyed me was that the new headlight I had just bought, and only really used twice before today, quit about three quarters through the ride. I recharged the battery when I got home, but the light still doesn't work. I'm going to have to buy a new light if I'm to continue my resolution to keep on commuting to work. Hopefully I can get a refund for this light- I mail ordered it- but if I'm to get a replacement by this weekend I'll have to purchase one at a local bike shop $$$.

I have got to say that even after only a few days of commuting to work on the bicycle, my legs aren't really achy anymore... though I still want to thank the man or woman who discovered Ibuprofin! I've got to get the bike ready for the road race tomorrow morning... wash off the crud that splashed up onto it during the ride, not to mention washing my riding gear. Its already half past eleven and I'm still procrastinating about doing it... I guess I just want to relax for a day.

The snow has brought other news... my brother has obviously hired the same guy to plow the driveway here at the house and filling plant. I was watching as the guy put the snowbanks right by the gates to the filling plant again, so that the gates can't open all the way. I went out to talk to him, and I thought I was being diplomatic, but he just gave me the old smile and nod routine, obviously dismissing me as some kind of moron. He left the snowbanks where they were and proceeded to also plow in the back dock making it completely inaccesable. At least he didn't plow in the dumpster (this time). I truly hate people who take money to supposedly do a professional job and then don't even take the effort to do a good job. I wrote Alan an email that he should draw the guy a picture or something...

2002-11-25

Funny, FUNNY link.... Deer Season
Wow, nearly two weeks since the last post... I'm getting remiss at doing this

Anyway, I've pretty much blown my last paycheck outfitting me and my bike in preparation for wintertime commuting. I've gotten a lot of information from the Icebike webpage. I've done test rides into both locations of work and found that oddly enough it takes the same amount of time to each one, even though our East Hartford office has got to be about five miles farther than our Manchester office. Turns out I can get to work on time just by getting up an hour earlier. The way I figure it, the extra time spent is about equivalent to joining a gym, but without paying ~$100/month, add to that saving ~$100/month in gasoline and $70/month for parking in Harford (for my upcoming paramedic class) and that's nearly $300/month savings just by bicyling to work with the side benefit of getting into much better shape! Very efficient, which is something I love.

Actually did my test ride to East Hartford just yesterday. Went quite well even with headwinds for about half the route. Then I crossed the "Riverwalk" on the Founders' Bridge just to see how to get down on the other side. It was very useful since I found out you have to walk your bike on the other side... so I just took the elevator down to Columbus Blvd since I was walking anyway. After that I pedaled my way up to Windsor Locks to mail some novels I had sold on half.com, on the way it got dark, and my legs started to give out... luckily a friend of mine called and I asked her to meet me at the post office and she gave me a ride home.

Thanksgiving's this week, I think I'm prepped and in shape for the EMS bike team. A little different than regular cool/cold weather cyling since most ot the race we're just standing around waiting for something to happen. Since you're not pedaling to make heat it can get downright frigid, which requires a different dressing strategy.

Of course, right after Thanksgiving, Chanukah starts this year. Various organizations have sent me postcards telling of their various events for the upcoming week. Hmmm... I think I'm going to have to take a short vacation from the Atkins diet, how can a person go to someone's house and refuse to eat the food they've made for you? My mother would roll over in her grave!

Right now I'm waiting for my winter weight cycling tights from Col d'Liz�rd to show up. Hopefully they'll come before I leave for work. I'd rather wear those than my sweatsuit.