The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Two Events and In Between

I have participated in two “events.”  On May 7, I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour.  It was a great day, and a great bike ride.  It is 42 miles, most of it flat.  Most of the hills are the ramps up to the bridges (and there are 5 of them).  We rode over the lower level of the Verrazano Bridge, which was very cool.  It was a perfect day—beautiful sunshine temps into the high 60s.  I came home with a sunburned nose! Riding with 30,000 other bike riders was quite an experience.  It makes you realize that this is really a big city and that there are lots of people committed to this type of lifestyle.  I made two decisions that were key.  First, I rode the hybrid.  I decided that riding with cleats with 30,000 other riders was going to be difficult if not down-right stupid.  That was a good choice.  I’d say that 75% of the riders were on mountain bikes and hybrids.  And I would say that 90% of the bikes that got flats were road bikes.  I had pedal clips put on the hybrid at 4:45 the day before the ride, and that definitely helped with my riding “efficiency.”  Second, I decided to take the train into the city.  Metro-North made this easy and I felt like I belonged to a special club.  All the bikes and bikers were in the front 2 cars of the train both coming and going, and there was all this bike karma and energy there.  Everyone had a different bike, different attire, different reasons for riding, but we shared the experience and I know I felt special.  

On May 14, I ran a Mother’s Day 5K.  I can’t remember the last time I ran in a race.  It’s gotta be at least 17 or 18 years.  The good news is that I ran it in 32:15, which is under 11 minutes/mile.  For me that’s fast.  The bad news is that my knee stiffened up.  It feels OK today, but it was “bothering me” yesterday.  When I saw the doctor about my toe, I had him check out my knee as well, and he really didn’t see any problem.  I know there is a problem, just not something that is easily defined or discernable on X-ray. So right now, I am going to put my 10K plans on hold and concentrate on cycling.  I may seek a second opinion, but it’s not a big rush.  I’m fine with limiting the running and spending the summer on my bike.  My toe is no better, no worse, it’s something I can live with for now (especially if I run less).  I could have surgery to remove the bone spur, which is causing inflammation and pain, but I would still be left with an arthritic joint.  The recovery is 3 months, so that is something I would put off until the winter anyway.  

In between these 2 events, son#1 and I went college touring.  We visited 3 colleges in 3 days: Wesleyan, Tufts and Northeastern.  We both liked all 3.  I also enjoyed spending the time with son#1.  We talked about some of my experiences in college, especially my father’s prohibitions.  I made it clear to Eric that I would not limit his experiences the way my father did.  That also got us into a discussion of what I would do, where I would go if I could do it all over again.  That could be an entire blogatation.  The bottom line is I would do it very differently and I am determined to let him get the most from his experience, in and out of the classroom.      

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