camwyn: (bike)
Found out today what it takes for me to start using my New York vocabulary again: a guy oh-so-slowly trying to drive his car in the bicycle-only side of a protected bicycle lane. As in, he'd turned out of a driveway or something and rather than cross the bike lane and join the car lanes, he opted to navigate in the one narrow lane of territory between actual physical poles and the curb until he got to the corner, and then merged into the car traffic. Never mind that that lane had the bike lane images and icons painted on it, or that like I said, it was separated from car traffic by multiple vertical poles to make it impractical for cars to use it, or that the traffic in the car lanes wasn't even all that heavy and he could have crossed the bike lane and merged into it- no, this schmuck was so fricking special that he was ENTITLED to take what little protected territory bicyclists get in this city.

Schmuck. I hope you find yourself stuck behind a Critical Mass rally, and I don't even approve of Critical Mass.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Home now. Haven't had lunch but a few sample sized energy bars and a free mini bag of potato chips go a long way. I did about 3.5 miles from home to the T station (in a godawful downpour), then 30 miles for the ride (much of the first ten or so in the rain), then 3.5 miles back. I'll be soaking in the bathtub for a bit just to get warm again.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Did the Hub on Wheels 30 mile route in about 3 hrs. and quite a lot of rain. Good ride, tho.

More later. Need food.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I need to get a new cyclocomp for my bike; the old one came off at some point last week when I had the bike in and out of the back of various zipcars. Gmaps Pedometer is useful after the fact but it'd be nice to know how fast I was going or how far I'd gone already. This weekend I rode to Salem and had to stop every so often to check my phone to see how many miles I had left.

(For the record, the trip is a little over thirteen and a half miles. I took the commuter rail back, and then there was a three and a half mile ride from the last available T station to home. I will be happier when they finish repair work on my T station, thank you.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
When I go out kayaking, I make a point of leaving my phone and my wallet home on the grounds that I don't want to lose either one should the boat overturn. True, there are zippered pockets in my life jacket, but I get a little paranoid about losing things in rough conditions. I did make a point of photographing my driver's license with the cheapo camera I got to go paddling, so that if something happened to me and I couldn't talk, a rescuer might stand a chance of finding identification information on the SD card.

Took a somewhat less water-vulnerable step today just to be on the safe side. I ordered one of these- a standard wrist-strap RoadID. It's got my name, year of birth, town of residence, blood group/allergy info, health insurance member ID, and emergency contact phone numbers on it. That should be enough for the ambulance crew or the Coasties in the event of an incapacitating incident, either on the bike or on the water.
camwyn: (bike)
Say, [personal profile] derien? Or anyone else interested in biking but not really all that experienced with it, or possibly in need of a different bike but not clear on what to get? This might be of interest.

http://www.bicycling.com/beginners/bike-skills/square-one-how-start-biking
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Skipped the stairs yesterday because I got a phone call- my new bike was available and the store was only open until 7. To make up for it, I took the bike on the T today so I could get to the office and finish a few things that had to be done in off hours, then rode home, stopping at Charlestown Navy Yard and the Bunker Hill Monument along the way. The monument's only 294 steps but I figure if you put that together with a total of about 12 miles of bicycling it probably counts as enough quad exercise to make do.

Side note: I've only been up the monument once before. I'd forgotten how absolutely unnerving it is to climb a lot a lot a lot of stairs with no means of seeing anything above or below you. Kudos to the masons who built that thing, though. That had to have been one hell of an engineering feat in the 1800s.

Also, I plan on going back to the Navy Yard when it gets warmer. The Constitution and the museum on the premises and such are all free of charge to visit, and it's not that hard to get to, so why not.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Those of you who've been reading this journal a while know that I do some fundraising every year for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The disease got my late grandmother, so I consider this revenge. I'll be bicycling thirty miles around the island of Manhattan as part of a team on October 21st, 2012. Wanna help me with the vengeance?

VENGEANCE RIDE 2012 DONATION PAGE THISAWAY


Thank you kindly!
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Hi, folks.

I'm gonna be riding in Bike MS 2012 in New York City- thirty miles around the island of Manhattan. I've got two other people on my team for this, to raise money for multiple sclerosis research and treatment. It's the same thing I do the stair climbing for in late February/early March. The bike thing's gonna be on October 21st. Would anybody be interested in a link to the ride or to the team's fundraising page or anything? I'm not trying to be a pest, I just figured I'd ask.

Thanks!
camwyn: (bike)
I'm posting this from the Staten Island Ferry as we wait to head home.

37.3 miles in 2 hours 54 minutes.

BOOYAH.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Hrm. The Ride to Montauk is the only century ride I've ever done. It's on June 16th this year. Nice, flat hundred miles until you reach mile marker 97 and see the sign reading WELCOME TO HITHER HILLS STATE PARK at which point you put your head down on the handlebars and cry like a baby.

Entry fee is $92. Transportation back from Montauk for myself and the bike would be $65.

You know, it's a nice idea and all, and I've done it twice, but I think I might look for a ride that isn't this hard to get home from. I wish the Ride organizers all the luck in the world, though. It really is a great ride and Lord Almighty do they ever have incredible rest stop service.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
It's probably a bad sign when I go looking at balaclavas for winter bicycling wear- if you had my lungs, you'd be nervous about inhaling cold air too- and keep coming back to the one that looks the most like something COBRA members would wear.

No, seriously.

I'm probably gonna get a different one. It costs less than half the price and has better ratings. But that one... I dunno, between GI Joe and G1 Optimus Prime I kinda have a fondness for headgear that covers up the bottom half of the face and looks as technological as possible. *sigh* gotta love the ol' brainmeats.

Probably going to go pick up the balaclava at the REI store in a bit, and then see how far I can ride today. Burning my last few vacation days before end of year.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I realize I haven't posted much lately. Brain's been a little eaten at work, and at home I've been dealing with .... other stuff to do with work, and some game stuff, and bicycle training for the last two rides I planned on this season, both of which are over, and the volunteering for the Hoboken Ambulance Corps. I'll post more, though. Esp. since yesterday was the MS NYC Bike New York ride, in which 4500 of us rode 30, 50, or 100 miles to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis. (It killed my grandmother. Do I get to tell people who ask that "I ride for REVENGE!!!"?) Haven't got other bike events lined up for what's left of the season, so from here out it's riding for travel's sake or my own sake.

Right now, however, my brain's not on quite straight. I got up yesterday at 5 AM for the ride and wound up going to bed... hoo, I don't know. Around 11:30 last night? And with the 30 miles in there I'm still kind of tired despite sleeping properly. So I'll be back later.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Dear would-be Craigslist scammer:

I am trying to sell one of my bicycles because it finally dawned on me that I have no need for two. Even to haul my groceries, I can still accomplish the task via backpack and my road bike. Please do not insult my intelligence by claiming you'll send me a money order because you're on a tight schedule and out of town on a business trip and asking me to remove the ad to make sure nobody else tries to buy the bike.

And really don't ask for my full name, phone number, and street address.

No love,

Me.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
So.

43 miles yesterday worked out pretty well after all. Didn't have to get off and walk except for the time I stopped to check on a guy (he was having brake trouble) partway up a short steep slope where I couldn't get up enough momentum to start moving. I won't say some of these hills didn't hurt like hell, or that there weren't a few where I verified no one was coming before taking up quite a lot of zigzagging back and forth across the road to effectively reduce the uphill angle of any given stretch, or that I didn't spend an amazing amount of time in the lowest gear/chainring combo Oorah* had available, but... I made it through and I didn't stop on the hills to breathe (I stopped on a few long low upgrades to drink water or swallow a packet of sugar goo- I'm sorry, 'energy and electrolyte replenishment gel'). And I made it through 43 miles in about four hours, maybe four and a half, which is kind of amazing given a) the hills and b) my past approximate times over the 39 miles of the Five Boro Tour. So I'm good.

I did this ride to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, seeing as how a good friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia some months back. Probably going to do more events with them when I can. Other people did this ride for an area homelessness charity, and a lot of others did it for the Seeing Eye, which has its headquarters in the Morristown area. There were blind bicyclists involved. No, seriously. They were all paired up with sighted riders- and on tandem bikes, you know, the old school 'bicycle built for two'? Like that. Sighted rider in the front, blind rider in the back. Bit slow on the uphills because those tandems are heavy, but mother of God do not get in their way on the downhills. There were downhills where people on singleton bikes were hitting forty miles per freaking hour. Those tandems, even if they took the downhills with all their brakes on the way I did, must've been blowing through those downhills like a Japanese bullet train.

Survived the downhills okay, myself, despite the occasional patchy pavement, the sharp turns, and the lack of sunglasses. Fell and bruised my entire right side on the way home after all was said and done, which was not as bad as it could have been because I landed on the rather large duffel I was carrying with my clothing in it, but I would prefer not to do that again.

Next stop is the MS New York ride on October 2nd. Thirty miles, one lap of Manhattan, city streets and highways only.





*The bike was named Oorah some time ago. On the first long ride I took it out for, I was trying to decide on a name for it. I passed a car with a lot of 'my kid is in $MILITARY_BRANCH' bumper stickers, one of which happened to have the Marine Corps motivational slogan 'oorah' on it, and that's when I decided on its name. It was that or Irene, after the hurricane, and that just didn't seem like a wise idea.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Two things. One, I'm gonna be riding in Bike MS on October 2nd this year, and I'm doing it with two of the other people in IT as a fundraising team. Just a note to let folks know I'm gonna be unavailable that day. If you live in the NYC area and you're interested, ping me and we'll talk. Doing the thirty mile route around Manhattan rather than the 50 mile up the OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE TO OFFEND YOU Palisades or the hundred mile up to SWEET BABY JESUS WHYYYYY Stony Point, New York.

The other thing is that the BBC has an e-fit picture up labeled "Is this the face of Jack the Ripper?". Had a look. Personally I think it's the face of Derek Jacobi.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
That ride I'm doing to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? Postponed. Got the message this morning:

"After coordinating and negotiating with the State Police, the 22 different municipalities through which we will be riding in Northwest New Jersey, and our volunteer support teams, we have made the decision to postpone the ride and all associated events until the weekend of September 18th - the ride itself will be on the 18th."

Which... is something, I guess. Gives me more time for hill practice, and getting my bike brakes tuned. And at least it won't be the day after Grandpa's funeral, so.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
So today I'm going into Manhattan to bike the Central Park loop as many times as I can before my legs fall off, and then I'm going down to the herb store on Ninth Street to get sarsaparilla root and sassafras root to make homebrew soda. I've already got the wintergreen oil (I don't see why I would need wintergreen leaves if I've got wintergreen oil) from a previous batch of root beer, and I bought maltodextrin and cider yeast at the Bowery Whole Foods yesterday (they were out of champagne yeast). I just need sarsaparilla, sassafras, and bottles.

Curse you, Fallout New Vegas. I'd never have even thought of homebrew sarsaparilla if it weren't for you.

ETA: Bought pasteurized goat milk yesterday at the same Whole Foods. I have lipase, mesophilic starter (I think, I need to check), liquid rennet, cheese salt, and calcium chloride. I will begin work on feta cheese tonight when I come home. That has nothing to do with any game, it's just me.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
1. If a vehicle has a siren operating, get out of its way.
2. If a vehicle runs on rails, don't get in its way in the first place.
3. Don't tailgate the liquid oxygen truck. No, not even if you call it 'drafting' instead. You're not fooling anyone.
4. Similarly, if your neighbor on the road is red and reinforced and says EXPLOSIVES on the side, find another street to be on.
5. The laws of physics trump the right of way.
6. If your bike has a high crossbar and you are going uphill and suddenly lose speed to the point where you may come out of the saddle, for the love of Hastur, tip sideways. Even if you are female. Not forward. SIDEWAYS.
7. Google Maps wants you dead. If the road it suggests looks bad, it is. Find somewhere safer.
8. Everyone falls. Everyone.


In other news, I finally got to the 9/11 memorial in Bayonne yesterday, around sunset. It's... it's an impressive place. I'm glad I made it there around dusk, because you have to go through Cruise Port Bayonne to get there, and at that time of day nothing is happening in the port and no one is there. It's not quite as quiet as the place I found in Bayonne where it feels like the quiet of waiting for the end of the world, but it's an appropriate kind of stillness.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Went to my parents' today, to make getting to the Bedminster training ride that's scheduled for tomorrow easier. Decided I wouldn't take the train any farther than I had to, and so took the PATH to Newark Penn Station, then lit out for Morris County. Fourteen miles.

Had to stop and rest a few times due to the hills along the way. Had to get off and walk in the area between Millburn and Summit. I am not sanguine about my chances on tomorrow's training ride.

Nevertheless, I made it to my parents' place under my own power from Newark, and that is something.

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camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
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