The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tour de Spin

During the Tour de France, spin classes mimic the tour. Yesterday was stage 15, from Gap to L’Alpe (as in mountains) D’Huez. There are 3 climbs; the third is 14 km, 8% incline with 21 switchbacks. In spin class (endurance, 75 minutes) this translated into going uphill for 55 minutes, feeling your heart pounding, wishing for an oxygen tank, and leaving giant sweat puddles on the floor. In other words, it was awesome. As an aside, the 116 mile stage was won by Schleck (Luxenberg) with an average speed of 24 mph! Don’t know how those guys do it, for 21 days. And I don’t know how they can eat enough. They burn on average 6,000 calories per day.

As spin class was starting, we got to watch another Mother Nature spectacular. There was a huge thunderstorm that brought hail that got progressively bigger until golf balls were falling. We had a tornado last week, which is a rare event in New York, so this storm was a little frightening.

On Saturday, I spent most of the day at the Pleasantville Music Festival. There were lots of musicians, many local, but a few big names. Roger McGuinn of the Byrds was the biggest. He opened with my favorite Byrds song of all time—Chestnut Mare—and got around to all their hits. The last band was World Party, which seems to be enjoying a comeback with a new “hit record.” I had a great time, sitting in a beach chair, listening to live music, wandering among all the vendors, picnicking and watching all the kids dancing, galavanting and eating continuously! Then there was dinner at a Thai restaurant to make the day complete.

As an extra perk, I got to introduce myself to a distant cousin who is a bit of a celebrity around NYC. Janet Maslin, long-time film critic and now book critic for the New York Times, introduced Roger McGuinn. We spoke for a few minutes, tried to figure out exactly how we are related. Our best guess is that our grandfathers were first cousins.

Son #2 came home for 2 days, when the camp switches over at the half-season. He devoured all the leftovers in the house—everything from a big bag of chips leftover from the World Cup Party and some chocolate chip cookies in the freezer (no need to defrost, they are good nice and crunchy), to a couple of slices of pizza, and a demented bagel. He was very happy to sit around, play video games and watch baseball games. He was very happy to get back to camp, too.

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