Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lazy summer riding: 215 days and counting

Smile from the trail.
A few odds and ends from the past week or so. It is now at the point in the summer when the time seems to be speeding toward Labor Day; it's the same sort of phenomenon that made it difficult for me to enjoy Sunday afternoons as a kid. Looming responsibilities and school somehow seem to cut into enjoying the moment.

In any case, I have maintained my consecutive days of riding, which total 215 as of today. What may have been a bit of a challenge to continue early on has considerable momentum now, and even a family road trip coming up soon doesn't hold much threat to breaking my streak. Daily rides for transportation and daily rides to keep either kids or dog happy contribute to the mass of the spinning flywheel.

A few nights ago, we came upon a fire burning near the dirt trails in our neighborhood park. Julie saw a few teenage boys running from the direction of the flames, but I was too concentrated on the flames themselves and whether anyone had yet called the fire department to notice them. Within minutes, the flames were more than ten feet tall and the area was crackling.

Julie rode to the site of the fire to see if anyone needed help.
Several people at the park called fire and police, and trucks arrived within a few minutes.
We haven't yet found out exactly what happened, but it's likely a group of teenage boys were up to no good. For our girls, it was exciting to be on the arriving end of a fire truck excursion. The firemen had the flames out within a couple of minutes, but smoke and falling ash stayed in the area for some time. Fortunately, there were no injuries and the damage was minimal. A couple of days later, we surveyed the site.
Poor quality phone cam doesn't show a lot, but much of the underbrush here was turned to ash.
The trees in the fire area appear mostly unchanged.
A day after the fire, we attended a local outdoor concert. The highlight of the music was Sousa's Washington Post March, which seemed just about perfect for an evening ride.
The Dummy makes a good seat or picnic table, or provides a little shade during outdoor events.
The low evening sun and a backdrop of threatening clouds makes for some great imagery that I am just barely capable of capturing.
Earlier in the week, our out-of-town guests departed, but not before I took the girls out for one last ride. They took the opportunity to practice some skidding, and were impressed with my stories as a kid of skidding my way through tires all the way down to the cords. Perhaps their parents will have to foot the bill for some new tires for their bikes back home.

Yesterday, I was among a small group who took a B-cycle ride with Mayor Hancock of Denver. The purpose was to observe some infrastructural improvements in a couple of neighborhoods, as well as to see where there are shortcomings in the network. From an advocacy standpoint, it is encouraging to see bicycling issues taking a higher profile than they have in the past, though I have enough experience to know that improvements are hard won and take a lot of time and effort.
Mayor Hancock on the left, as Phil of Denver B-cycle leads the way.
After the ride and on the way to the office, I spotted a derelict and partially stripped Fisher Advance, predating the Trek buyout, circa 1990. It's always sad to see a nice old steel bike go out like this. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. It's easy to get her smiling on the bike.

  2. Andy, just found out I'll be moving back to Denver the first week in Sept. Will be a full on move, sold our house and full time Colorado residents. Would love to get together and let the girls ride bike while us old farts talk bikes, bike packing, etc. Let me know if you have some free time this fall

    1. Sounds great, Bob. Contact me via bigdummydaddy *at* the popular Google email service and we can hash out the details.