bicycle diaries 2012, day 281

National Weather Service has issued a Red Alert due to high winds and dry conditions.

It’s Columbus Day out on the prairie and family groups have emerged from behind their keyboards;  children taking their adult keepers out for a walk on the trail.  The wind sweeps the savanna with the kinetic energy of ocean swells.  There is a square shaped black and white kite bobbing on the gusts resembling nothing so much as an aerial chessboard.

I’ve worked my way up to the point that I can cover 20 miles without much strain.  Eschewing earplugs piping data into my brain, my thoughts are free to go where they will.  Yet I can usually be alert to sounds of potential hazards.

That is how I came up with what I modestly call the Unified Field Theory of Sanity.  While not completely original, it has been cribbed from reliable sources and synthesized on the trail.  Herewith the First Axiom.  Like most axia, this one appears self-evident yet is powerful.  The idea began to germinate while talking with a friend last night.  He is feeling depressed about a partner who is inducing mental anguish, depression, and feelings of hopelessness.  As previously stated, herewith:

The Commutative Property of Health: The brain is the body and the body is the brain.

First Corollary: The mind and soul are not the brain but emerge from the brain and are OF the brain.

Second Corollary: Free will is an illusion.

Get the body up and out the door. Start the neurons firing; grow the synaptic connections. Neural research has shown that we make a decision several milliseconds before we become aware of the decision.  The body wants to move. Get out of the way and let it loose. The mind follows as the brain is bathed in dopamine.  Thoughts, motives, desires are clarified.  The focus narrows on the problem at hand.  Understanding emerges.  I think I can deal with this mess!

The ride home is uneventful.


crash analysis

I was stupid and reckless. Another fall; bumps and bruises. I entered the turn first, carrying too much speed.  She, not as familiar with the course, followed close behind.  Nearing the bottom, I braked and skidded.

The moment is difficult to recall.  “Janet? ”  Where are you?

She cried out softly, I found her on the side of the road among rocks and dirt.  In rescue mode, I went to her.  She was shaken but intact.  I was shaken.  We hugged.

She had the presence of mind to keep the bike between herself and the ground until the last possible moment.  She kept the potential for injury to a minimum.

Travel on a descending path increases velocity.  When velocity for a given turn radius exceeds the coefficient of static friction between the tires and the road, the tires will leave the road.

Recommendation: Reduce initial velocity when entering downhill curve.

god is not santa

They both see you when you are sleeping, know when you are awake, know if you have been bad or good.

If you choose to do bad, Santa will give you a lump of coal for Xmas.  God, on the other hand, will actively pursue your suffering and death followed by eternal damnation.  If you choose to do good, Santa will reward you with Xmas presents; God may choose to reward you with many blessings or if it suits his purpose, will actively pursue your suffering and death.  Not to worry though because you will receive your reward after death — the opportunity to worship him forever (which sounds suspiciously like an eternity of sitting in church).

Fortunately both God and Santa are entirely imaginary beings.

Planet Fitness and what I needed

When Maddie came down with dog diarrhea, Janet, her caregiver, at once thought of the white quart-size cartons. The first line treatment for this malady is rice. They were the last of the dinner supplied by Katy’s Dumpling House for our non-traditional family Christmas. We hadn’t come close to devouring all those glistening entrees and pot stickers. After everyone had left with take home food, I found a large unopened bag of overlooked fortune cookies. And the rice in the back of the refrigerator.
I offered to make a drop at the client’s house on the Lindrick Court cul-de-sac.
That rice mission provided the motivation for my sub-zero Celsius outing.
A brooding overcast, north wind bending the reed grass, and a “real feel” report in the low teens had me questioning whether I was up to taking on the winter.
Donning a base layer, intermediate, and outer shell, when I finally got out the door and down the drive, I met Janet on her way back.  She was in business mode as she thanked me for the rice handed through the passenger side window, “Now you can go where you like on your walk.” I made a right turn heading for the woods. I emerged an hour later as darkness fell. We are joining Planet Fitness, the no frills health club with the purple resistance machines.  In the aerobic section, the tv’s are suspended from the ceiling. We had tried out X-Sport with their sophisticated marketing and loud frenetic atmosphere.  There, each treadmill, elliptical or stepper had its own tv right in the user’s face, preventing me from entering a meditative state while staring into the middle distance.
I will sign up at the next opportunity before year’s end.  But I’m going to continue my winter walks on the snowy path through the trees with the geese honking overhead as they glide in every evening to their floating avian metropolis on the river; for the exercise, for being in the natural realm, and for the solitude. At last report, Maddie had passed a well formed stool. Happy New Year.


Pinned against the headrest by the sights and sounds of Tarantino’s surreal western/southern hyper-drama. Runaway black man teams up with German-Jewish dentist turned bounty hunter to take on the institution of slavery.  Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance late in the film as the crafty house slave nearly steals it in the last quarter.  His performance is the most delectable among a scintillating cast delivering sharp sardonic dialogue that engenders vivid and interesting characters drawn from familiar film archetypes .  An equal opportunity film which succeeds in its mission to offend the audiences’ every sensitivity while having one hell of a good time.


Fighting a pest infestation in the bronchial tree, the immune system is launching a determined counterattack calling up reserves of lymphocytes, monocytes, polymorphs, and immunoglobulins.

My role is to manage the collateral damage– generating a peak cough velocity of 800 km/hr; expelling nasal casts; keeping a pot of rooibos on the warmer; increasing fluid intake to assure the muco-ciliary escalator is properly hydrated; staying home from the dive meet; postponing  the 20 miler; and watching Big Rich Texas on The Style Network. (They also ran Sunshine Cleaning, a pleasant reworking of the family ethos of Little Miss Sunshine with a toned-downed Alan Arkin).

“On … Sunday’s episode, cheap champagne glasses get smashed when Whitney Whatley finally throws down with Kalyn Braun for flirting with Whitney’s boyfriend. Her boyfriend is a body piercer and tattoo artist in Lewisville named…(wait for it)…Booger”.

Kalyn accused Whitney of going to Booger for her v-piercing.

When my friend Mohan suffered a compound fracture laying down his Triumph on Highway 13 outside of Carbondale, he thought his convalescence would afford an opportunity to read the classics.  Blind-gated by a bus he had gone under the back of an idling truck right leg up.  He hadn’t swung the leg over in deference to the young woman riding on the back. The suit brought by her family may yet be pending.  That summer he became a regular viewer of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and other such soul-nourishing fare.

Now for some oatmeal.


Waited until the temperature reached 0 degrees Celsius before venturing out for an hour of walk/run intervals through McDowell Grove:
The mid afternoon sun low in the sky provides a pale light and pleasant warmth. A few leaves cling to the trees like visiting relatives who have stayed on well past the holiday. Rigid brown stalks of goldenrod are laden with fuzzed seed heads nodding in the breeze. The silence broken only by limestone rubble crunching underfoot, I fall into this primordial means of human locomotion. No destination nor time of arrival; only the journey.