11 March 2009

Il Fait si beau.

Yesterday was interesting, and I'm really enjoying this extra hour or so of light, so I ended up taking an evening jaunt about Shoal Creek for two hours. Little League season has begun, and so it was lively at the baseball field with families and their children enjoying the weather and the season. Most of the people at the field were nice, and the people in the concession stand will fill up your water bottles for you, which is super nice. I also passed by a duplex I've begun looking into renting in the Shoal Creek neighborhood, so if you read this and are interested in splitting a 3bed/1bath duplex, drop me a line.

I'm going to start including the data from my cyclocomputer during training rides in the journal entries specific to rides, and maybe even for races. Here's the data for Yesterday:

March 10th, 2009:
Trip Time: 2 hours, 7 Minutes
Trip Dist: 31.1 Miles
SpeedMax: 30.5 MPH
SpeedAvg: 14.5 MPH
CadMax: 174RPM (must be wrong)
CadAvg: 64RPM (I need to stop coasting)

This reminds me, I actually acquired a Polar computer a while ago, but I've been putting off installing it until I finish a bunch of other work on my bike, including a rebuild and a refit. The heart rate information should prove to be a valuable training tool.

This afternoon, I need to go by Yellow Bike and see if they can help me with my commuter bike, which got seriously damaged the other week, and needs at a minimum a replacement rim, chain, and rear derailleur. On top of yellow bike, some people at UT are trying to launch "Orange Bike", and there are some other community bike shops in the area, but I don't know much about them. I'm actually quite fond of community bike projects, and I really love these organizations, because they go back to the simple beauty of the bicycle: a machine that allows a person to go exponentially further than they could on their own, with very little materials cost (relative), and a lot of ingenuity. The reason I actually got into cycling was a concern for community development and city planning; what with the way that cities in Texas are built around cars and driving, and are incredibly difficult to traverse in other ways. Riding in heavy traffic with apathetic or animous drivers still frightens me considerably (though I am much better than I was), but a bunch of more seasoned cyclists I know (such as Miguel and the T4K People), can easily hold their own and commute almost anywhere in Austin par vélo.

While I've thought that yellow bike was a cool idea for a long time, I've never really participated in it, even though I've been living in Austin again for over half a year now. I'm not sure why. It probably doesn't help that most of the bikes assembled for "community use" without any compensation at all by the volunteers usually end up stolen, and that makes me quite sad. For the time, the project is in a transitional period as they try to relocate, and only one of their shops is actually operational, leaving them sort of hard to find.

My living situation is rapidly deteriorating, and it's creating a considerable amount of stress in my life. I'm trying not to let it affect my schoolwork and training, but it's hard to balance it all, and I'm expending a lot of my time and energy that could be spent studying or riding on trying to sort this out.

Wish me luck.

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