Biketober

One of the nice things about living in the DC area is that the weather during the first half of autumn is pretty darn good for bicycling. I took advantage by riding 29 out of 31 days for 970 miles. My longest day was the Great Pumpkin Ride, which worked out to 68 miles on my bike computer. It was harder than I recall and it took me a couple of days to recover.

I reached 63,000 miles on the refurbished Mule. It now has a new bike computer and a front brake that doesn’t habitually stick to the rim. Thanks Daniel and Beth at Bikes at Vienna for the wrenchpertise. The Mule will get some much needed rest for the next few weeks as I switch over to my Cross Check which has been in dry dock since it hit 21,000 miles a couple of months ago.

I rode Big Nellie, my long wheel base recumbent. over 400 miles this month. That’s pretty unusual. I doubt it’ll see much more outdoors activity because it’s rearward weight distribution makes it rather crash prone on wet leaves. Then again, at some point in December Big Nellie will take up residence in the basement where it will become my reading platform.

My goal for 2021 is one last 10,000 mile year. I’m on track. I finished October at 8,718 miles. I think I can do 1,282 in 61 days.

In non-biking activities I watched three movies: Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and No Time to Die. After reading several positive reviews about Black Widow, I was disappointed. It just didn’t float my boat. Shang-Chi was much better, particularly before the obligatory CGI pornfest in the last 45 minutes. I was unfamiliar with Awkwafina but I liked her performance in the first half of the movie when the characters are developed. No Time to Die was a pretty classic Bond film, better than most Bond movies. The references to the much derided On Her Majesty’s Secret Service were welcome. (I am one of the few people who think IHMSS is one of the best bond films.) I expected Daniel Craig and the actors in recurring roles to be good (and they were) but I was pleasantly surprised by Rami Malek and Ana de Armas who both owned their scenes with Craig. And while I’m at it, Geoffrey Wright is my favorite Felix Leiter.

My other passive entertainment was watching the baseball playoffs. All the displaced Nationals (other than Dusty Baker) were vanquished in the first two rounds which left me with no strong interest in the World Series. Still, the thought of no baseball for five months means I’ll watch the Braves vs the Astros anyway.

I managed to squeeze in two books this month. The first was The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This a fun read, a bit of Nick Hornby meets Agatha Christie. The second book was Beautiful World Where Are You, the third novel by Irish author Sally Rooney. I found it disappointing, lurching between the main plot and emails between the two main characters. The emails struck me as a lazy writing trick through which Rooney could make personal remarks about the writing life and the crummy state of the world. Her first two books were much better. She also seems obsessed with writing sex scenes. She’s a talented writer but by the fourth sex scene I wanted to have a cig and go to bed.

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