Monday, March 24, 2008

Signs of Spring

I like these trees; Bryce Canyon- 07
Spring is here; the last vestiges of winter are fading. There are only small piles of snow in the most shaded areas. The lower elevation mountain bike trails are all open, and I am already finding golf balls in the road along the tenth fairway at Valley View. Great spring skiing still abounds in the high country. It’s the time of year where one can enjoy packed powder in the morning, and a bike ride or a round of golf in the afternoon.
The bathroom-remodeling project is finally done. We are finally once again a modern household with fully functional facilities. Along with the joy of being done, comes the joy of having time to ride my bike, and look at the next project on the list.
Any guesses where this sign is in Layton?
I'm thinking it should have read: Read all signs and instructions!
I have enjoyed a few rides in the last week, riding 50-60 miles, and I noticed several signs that riding season is ramping up. First, the construction cones have blossomed and once again for the 4th year in a row, Gentile St. is torn up with signs and detours.
Notice they don't use the year, it's an annual experience now.
Our latest mayor campaigned that once roads were completed, there wouldn’t be months of added digging and detours. Nuff said, he shouldn’t promise such a pipe dream. It’s more of a
pipe-laying nightmare!
A lovely sight this morning. Come on fellas!
Secondly is the sign that I am seeing cyclists all over the valley. Are you seeing the cyclists in your area? Last week, I was riding up hills around Church Street near Highway 193; waiting to turn left. As I rode out into the intersection to turn left, an oncoming car came westbound and appropriately turned left behind me. I recognized the driver as a gentleman I work with; I waved, and continued north. No big deal, everyone did what they were supposed to. The funny thing is later that week when I saw my friend; he mentioned if that was me he saw riding near his house. I told him; yes, and that I had waved at him. He told me that he had just barely noticed the bicycle out of the corner of his eye. Wow. “Just out of the corner of his eye.” I saw him, recognized him, noticed his golfing hat etc. So, for all my cycling friends out there, never assume the other driver sees you as completely as you see them!
Is this a public service announcement or something else?
And as a rider awarness experiment, test your focus. Click on the following link, and see how well you do at seeing the whole picture. Enjoy! I expect to hear your results in the comment window.
And lastly, I have provided some photographs of some interesting signs I have seen in the local area. Apologies that I didn’t have time last month in Somer’s Point, NJ to photograph the sign that warned: Caution: Tortoise Crossing!
See you on the road, and keep an eye this spring!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Showers of Joy...

Bryce Canyon, June, 2007.
The act of accomplishing or the state of being accomplished; completion.
Something completed successfully; an achievement.
I was working on the bathroom remodel this morning, rejoicing in the fact that I had successfully conquered the assembly of the new fixtures, faucets, and drains. And, later on as I progressed through the day, the thought occurred to me about what accomplishment feels like, and in how many areas of our lives we can find it.
It may just be a faucet to you...
Now, to a plumber who does these jobs a hundred times a month, assembling faucets and drains are nothing more than the routine and mundane part of the week. But to me, well! I wanted to stand and admire the fact the hot water comes out the spigot, and nowhere else! And of course, when I mentioned to the young man installing the new marble walls that I am an air traffic controller, he gasped at what seemed to him the immense impossibility of doing that job. It’s all a matter of perspective.
And no parts left over!
The sense of accomplishment I felt is similar to that of finishing a long ride, achieving a new long distance, or climbing all the way to Francis Peak, without the sweat and bicycle grease, of course! And perhaps that is why we ride, for that sense of accomplishment. Some riders’ commute, some race, some ride to relax (an accomplishment in itself), some ride to lose weight, and some ride great distance. We ride recumbent, mountain, time-trial, cyclo-cross, beach bike, and a hundred variations in-between. Everyone is trying to accomplish something by riding.
Isn't it pretty?
I have sometimes felt great frustration in working on the remodel; sometimes feeling like I had no idea what I was doing, and that I had exceeded my skill level on the project. But there I was this morning, staring at the hot water. Hard to believe that just a month ago I was wielding a sledgehammer destroying walls. Perhaps as I start serious training and riding for the year, I should remember this experience. When I am 130 miles into a 200-mile ride, not to be so quick to throw in the emotional towel and pitch it in.
Grandma's Little Buddy!
Speaking of accomplishments, my grandson can now crawl! God save the cats. Paul’s old grandma cat, Biscuit (and Java, too) have found out all to quickly that Brian finds kitty cats very interesting. Crawling: Now, that’s a real accomplishment!
The cats a few weeks ago, before peace ended...
So the question I will leave you with this week is: Where do you find your sense of accomplishment?
See you on the road, spring is here!