photo block

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sunset at sunset

I like riding Sunset Blvd at sunset. Like yesterday, riding from “the cornfields” to Silver Lake after Tour de Fat, which by the way was freakin coolio.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the unbearable lockness of being

One of the coolest moments from this past week went down yesterday evening as I was pedaling to the pub. Lately I’ve been taking the long way there. It saves a couple beers ‘cause if I get there first there are no distractions. “Ticka, ticka, ticka… athousand, athousand, athousand…” Yesterday, though, I took the long way with additional purpose – returning to the scene of the ankle-river-tumble-splashdown incident. Well, the trailhead anyway. When I left there a few days ago after my fall I was less than mindful. I was more just thinking about my foot – footful – and I somehow rode away without securing my coil lock to the bike. I had remembered setting it on the rear rack but discovered the next day that it had gone missing. Not a huge deal – a low-dollar item – five bucks at the pharmacy/general store down the street. But useful and used a lot over the last couple/few years. I carry the D-lock around with me, too, but sometimes it doesn’t span the available lockup. At this trailhead I lock to the oak tree. The tree is huge, neither of the locks span the trunk but there’s a low branch that I wrap the coil lock around. And, lately, I’ve been a bit paranoid in town so I double lock – D and coil. So, I missed my coil lock. I thought about it a lot during our time away. I wondered, would I ever find it? What would become of it? Where was it spending the night? My mission in taking the long way uptown last night was one of rescue. I got to the trailhead and looked around. Also looked along the roadside as I approached. I wasn’t sure where it had fallen off. I looked under and around the oak tree. I looked in the trashcan – thinking maybe someone had thrown it in as trash. But, no. Where was it? Then, there it was, right there coiled up and resting quietly on a knot on the oak branch. Did I set it there? Did someone else set it there, recognizing the loss? It looked like it had spent the night out in the rain on the ground, a little sandy. But maybe that was oak dust. Thankyou, Tree, for watching over my lock. Back on the bungee and holding down the bag in the basket, we rode away, happily together again, into the darkening foggy evening.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

don’t go jump in the river – wade

Unless you’re up for a night (and counting) of R.I.C.E. combined with a heaping dose insomnia inducing pain. I’ve been continuing with my repetitions of Devil’s Gate Trail. Yesterday evening was gloomy and drizzly. It had been raining (very lightly – 6mm) all day. A trail run seemed like a nice idea so I rode up there and got started.

When I got to the creek crossing it was semi-flooded. I was surprised by this because the rain was super light and this section of the creek is just below the dam. Maybe they were letting water out from behind the dam for some reason. I managed to pick my way across the first ribbon on some rocks with only minimal amount of water lapping up on the shoes.

The second ribbon (do people call separate paths of a creek a ribbon? I guess I am, here) was a bit more challenging. Had to sort of hang over from a tree trunk hoping to leap across at just the right moment of lean but lost my grip and had to go for it prematurely. A little more lapping there but mostly a solid mud landing.

Then the third ribbon – a lot of ribbons for such a small little creek. I decided to jump it. I didn’t have any run-up space so it was a standing long jump, which I haven’t practiced much since 5th grade gym class. I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough spring in my legs to clear the distance and I was right. I landed two feet full splash down onto the sloping mud bottom just below the surface of the water about a foot short of the bank. Shoes, socks, shorts all soaked.

It’s okay. Carry on. Squish, squish for a short while but eventually fine. Up the rocky steep section of trail that leads over and through the dam. Down the other side to the turn around. Now do it all again in reverse.

I realized that I got a bit lucky on the outward bound crossing the first time and considered taking an alternate route back to the bike but that route is not as enjoyable and adds too much road.

So there I am back at the creek – the ribbon I’d just (almost) leaped across. This time, going the other direction, I had about a one step run-up so I thought maybe I’d clear it. And if not, well, my shoes were already soaked so what’s to lose? Well, again. I didn’t clear the distance. This time coming down on one foot which landed hard on an unexpectedly steep slope under the murky water. Crush.

The ankle only bends so far straight back, toes up until it stops. But all that energy of motion keeps going and smashes everything tighter together. It doesn’t feel good. It makes me feel really stupid. Obviously, I waded slowly through the remaining ribbons of the creek which is what I should have done to begin with, thereby avoiding a jacked up ankle and ending my running week and a sleepless pain-filled night.

Somehow (maybe endorphins) I was able to run the last mile back to the bike without much trouble although now that I think about it that last bit of running probably did the most to start the night’s pain cycle.

Miraculously, the ankle feels a lot better already this next morning. I can put weight on it again. No plan for a visit to urgent care. It’s not ready to be tested in any significant way but I might consider a one-mile ride to the farmer’s market this evening. As for the 10-mile ride across town tomorrow – eh, we’ll have to wait and see – the ride would probably be okay (piano pace, of course) but not sure about the landscaping job at the other end. Not to mention the ride back afterward. I should probably reschedule.

Stupid boy. Too much Mule, not enough Mindful.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

autumnal overlap

Wool again – sweater and gloves (fingertip-less)
for the ride to the trailhead, lock up to Oak Tree.
Cold toes already.
Not sure what the name of that trail is but I’ve been enjoying it lately.
Call it Devil’s Gate Trail as it goes over the dam of the same name.
Short run around Johnson Rock (J-Rock).
Jeans shorts, cotton t-shirt – when it’s cool you can run in anything.
Cloudy, cool, might rain a little more this afternoon.
So hungry – last chance to fatten up before winter.
First day of winter today. Last day of summer this weekend – forecast for 88 degrees. Don’t mind the overlap – nor the lack of autumn.