Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Wallpaper and New Tenants

There's an interesting read in Kathryn's Report about Mike Blume's crash a few weeks ago. I'll let my ATC friends make of it what you will.

A photographer for the Chaska Herald sent me a photo he took of me recently while I was on a ride, stymied by the flooded Minnesota River in Jordan. I offered to pay him for it but he was kind enough to simply send me the file for my personal use. It's now serving as wallpaper on my 4 year old Macbook Pro (photo to the left).

Allie has become more skittish than ever about the sound of fireworks; so much so that it's very difficult to get her to go outside at all once late afternoon to evening rolls around. I have to tell her in my most excited voice that we're going out to see the rabbits and squirrels or she won't follow my lead. Evening walks with her are out of the question for now. Toby and Charlie don't seem to mind the noise.

I hate to see our little guys getting older. Toby has recently become hesitant to try and attempt to jump up on the couch to enjoy his usual spot. I'll often lift him up there knowing it's where he likes to observe his world. The wood floors make it difficult for him to get good footing to make the jump. They've always been a bit of a problem for him but especially now.

Charlie is as playful as ever. I was sitting eating a bowl of cereal this morning when I felt him pawing at my foot. I looked down to see him backing away with one of his stuffed animals in his mouth, wagging his head from side to side taunting me to try and get it from him. He loves to be chased and to chase after whatever I'll throw for him. I sometimes wonder how he'll manage when Toby and Allie are gone. It's a thought I don't like to dwell on.

My riding has not been what it normally is for me this year. Typically I'll be out there 4 to 6 days a week but this year I'm content with half that amount. My walking gets in the way a little for sure because I don't ride on days when I'm out walking but there's something else that's to blame. That 'something else' is an obvious understanding that the roads aren't nearly as safe as they were just a few years ago. I drove alongside a woman in another car on the way home from work last Tuesday and I watched for the 5 miles I was sharing the road with her how she never once put her phone down. She was continually texting someone. I would lag behind and see how she couldn't drive a straight line, drifting around in her lane. It's disturbing to know that she's not the exception. It's so commonplace now and I'm feeling more vulnerable than ever out there. I don't intend to stop riding but knowing that texting and distracted drivers are making up a good percentage of those behind the wheel dampens my excitement for this thing I love to do. I'm thankful for my Dinotte light knowing it definitely helps make me more visible but it's not enough.

In spite of my concerns about safety on the roads, I had a nice 4th of July ride doing a loop I hadn't done in years out to Waterville via Faribault. I had one mechanical issue 35 miles into my ride when I broke my front derailleur cable. I could manage without it but it left me stuck in the small chainring in front and I was hoping to take advantage of a tailwind on the way home. I would need my large chainring for that. As I exited the bike path in Waterville that I'd taken from Faribault I was surprised to see a bike shop sitting pretty as could be less than a couple hundred feet off the path. A very nice couple own it and operate it with the help of their grandson, Brady. Brady showed up a few minutes after I walked through the door and had me back on the road in no time. How fortunate was that? A shout-out to BW's Bikes!

Tammy and I walked to see the fireworks at Lakeville High School Friday night. Traffic can be so congested in and out of the area around that section of Lakeville before and after the show that we thought it would be nice to walk it instead. We were right. I think this may be our new routine.

The wren house I put up in our front garden has some new tenants. Tammy noticed a wren sitting on top of the house the other day singing loudly. I set up my video camera the next morning and let it record them for an hour as the female busily worked building their nest while the male mostly sang to impress his lady and let others know that this was their territory. It was interesting to watch.

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