Monday, February 27, 2017

Gotta Get Ready

I have a ride on the Oregon Outback route coming up in two months and I've had enough of the snow and ice keeping me from getting some good rides in. Today I made sure my commutes were over ten miles each and included some climbing.

My ride home after work.

The beginning of the descent down Houston Road.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Asking Questions With Loaded Answers

State Representative Matt Shea, District 4-R, is asking anyone on his mailing list to take his online survey.  I don't think he would care if anyone pointed out to him that his answers could influence how people answered. But I find this sort of thing interesting. 

Here's one example:

Hmm, I'm 100% sure that prosecutors do not determine sentences. Regardless, I came up with another set of answers to this question that may or may not serve his survey well.

Yes - I believe in the sanctity of live.
No - The people should be able to have a choice in meting out punishment.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Yakima Visit

Work took me to Yakima this last week. I decided to take my camera with me. It's a creative outlet that I've been lacking at this past year or so. I was finishing my lunch at Essencia, a cozy sandwich and chocolaterie place, when a crowd of people carrying signs marched by. Darned if it wasn't some of Congressman Dan Newhouse's constituents doing what many have been doing across the country. They were civil and adamant. I gave them bonus points for no misspelled words for not dragging the American flag on the ground.

Downtown Yakima is trying to revitalize itself. Or Dowtown.

A monument erected for Colonel Cock.
(Yes, you can still find juvenile humor here.)

Across the street from Colonel Cock's monument there's a 115-year-old marker commemorating the men who lost their lives in a war that seems so meaningless now. The monument is weathered and decayed.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Occasional Hike-A-Bike

I've been really trying to stick with bike commuting but the weather has really made it very challenging for me.  I now live near Downriver golf course, which is a quiet neighborhood just under four miles from work. There are no, what I would call, direct routes to my house. You have to zig zag a bit. Since the roads don't get a lot of through traffic, they don't clear up as quickly as other more trafficked roads. And with the short thaws followed by days of freezing weather, the ice/snow mix on our residential roads is polished to a very slick surface. Add in the unevenness from the ruts created by vehicles and you have tons of opportunities to take a spill.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I have yet to fall down. You'd think I'd be running studded tires but I'm not. I'm riding on Thunder Burts, which don't have a lot of tread and essentially no deep tread. I have them inflated to around 25 psi. I focus on keeping my center of balance centered, if that makes sense, and select a slightly higher gear than normal. Anyway, it's been working out great for me, except for when conditions are really atrocious. Then I take the bus.

Yesterday I had some extremely rough ice conditions. I had to walk the bike a couple of blocks to get to some ride able roadway. I'm okay with that. Riding a bike is so much more pleasurable than driving or riding the bus.