Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tidbits for a Chilly December

Not wishing to alarm his readers with thoughts that he might have been carted off to Gitmo, Howard offers these tidbits:
Tidbit #1: Upon arriving home after a 50-mile bike ride, Howard was confronted by a salesman waiting at his front door wanting to speak with The Architect about a new & improved product. Seeing Howard upon his bike, the salesman asked Howard how far he had ridden. The expression on the salesman's face when Howard told him 50 miles was priceless.

Tidbit #2: After dispatching said salesman, Howard saw a phone message on his answering machine. It was his mother telling him that she and Howard's dad had gone for a walk around their neighborhood, and finding the streets still miserably crusty and icy, worried that their brave and foolish son might try riding his bike in the nastiness. Her final words were something to the effect that riding a bicycle MUST be much more dangerous than riding a motorcycle, which, as everyone knows, is much much more dangerous than driving a car. Not entirely true according to the chart above (click to enlarge). The fatality rate from driving a car is nearly twice the fatality rate of riding a bicycle. While motorcycles? Mom is right there -- might as well call them "donorcycles." Of course, there are other less 'deadly' injuries from which cyclists are probably at higher risk, but still.

Tidbit #3: Two days before that, Howard was riding his 40-pound squeaker hybrid bike with the 40mm tires because the roads were snowy and icy. Fortunately, Howard's town has an extensive bike trail system that follows railroad tracks, creeks, and rivers. And fortunately the town's Parks & Rec department works diligently to keep those trails cleared of snow and ice. Unfortunately, Howard still must ride through unplowed neighborhood streets for a half-mile to plug into the bike trail system.

On this particular ride, Howard was just finishing up a 26-mile ride in the worst weather conditions he'd ever done on a bike when he hit an icy patch not 200 yards from his front door. The tires went to the right, Howard's body mass went to the left, and finding no support underneath against gravity, down Howard went. The whole slip/splat event took one second flat. Howard landed hard on his hands, knee, and on his forehead.

The upside: Bike helmets work great! No damages (or dizziness) to report. Push-ups also work as Howard caught himself from doing a complete body slam on the ground. Still, the next day, Howard ordered a set of studded snow tires for his hybrid bike. They arrived today, so now Howard will convert his hybrid bike into an ice bike.

The downside: No more excuses not to ride in snowy weather. Darn. Didn't think of that.

Tidbit #4: After another visit to the million dollar house yesterday to talk to the electrician about lighting install heights and such, Howard has more photos.

Here is a [dark] photo above of the breakfast eating nook with an Arts & Craftsy light fixture with "Heirloom Bronze" finish from All the light fixtures, door and window hardware, and the pulls and knobs on all cabinetry will be in the same Arts & Crafts dark bronze.

As you can see, stuff is piled up, and the table is not finished with a plastic laminate surface yet. The builder's crew is scrambling to finish the house enough to at least get a temporary CO (certificate of occupancy) before Christmas so the family can use the holiday break to move in and start getting situated.

Tidbit #5: Howard now has amassed 7,472 miles for the year on his bike as of this writing, and with about 15 more 35-mile days Howard should reach his goal of 8,000 miles for the year. That allows him nine days off the bike due to bad weather... though with the studded snow tires, there are no acceptable excuses!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Howard should invest in a good set of knee, elbow and wrist protectors while he ventures out on his Ice Bike. Good luck getting those last miles....
"Lone Star"

5:26 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Howard will just do more push-ups so the forehead doesn't touch ground next time!

5:36 PM, December 07, 2006  

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