Well, we didn’t have much of a winter around these parts. March felt guilty and gave us many cold, rainy days as compensation.
The bike fleet physicals continue. The Mule has been serviced, but needs some re-work. No matter who works on the bike, the bike just does not want to shift into the granny gear. I am taking it back to have a slightly bigger granny gear installed. I will swap it out for the CrossCheck tomorrow or Sunday. Meanwhile, I have been having a ball riding The Mule and Little Nellie. I did four rides to view cherry blossoms. The weeping cherry tree in the front yard is on the verge of blooming too.
I rode 800 miles in March, an average of 25.8 miles per day. My long ride was 46.5 miles (to take in the cherry blossoms in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda, Maryland). I rode 219 miles on Little Nellie which is more than I rode in it all year in 2022 or 2021. And, as an added bonus, riding Little Nellie is making my back feel much better. I am even considering switching to a flat bar for the CrossCheck next winter.
So far this year I’ve ridden 2,362 miles, including 389 miles indoors. Big Nellie will be coming out of the basement soon.
I read the remaining two books by climate scientist and bicycle tourist David Goodrich.
A Hole in the Wind is mostly about his ride from Delaware to the Oregon coast. I say mostly because he goes off on tangents that, to be honest can be depressing. His side trip to South Dakota explored the events leading up to 1890s Wounded Knee massacre. He also touches on the Underground Railroad and the Nez Perce Wars. But mostly he talks of the effects of climate change on the lands through which he rides. Much of his route coincided with that of my 2019 and 2022 tours. Many years ago I read somewhere about a narrow passage through the Rockies from the Front Range. It goes from Boulder to Walden north of Breckenridge. I didn’t ride it and I am glad I didn’t. It sounds pretty hairy.
A Voyage across an Ancient Ocean is his chronicle of a bike ride from the tar sands of Alberta to the Bakken fracking oil fields of North Dakota. He makes depressingly clear that the extraction of the vast oil reserves in these two locations will bring hell on earth to our descendants. A rapid pivot away from fossil fuels is the only hope. Even then the effects of burning fossil fuels will linger for centuries. Ugh.
The Great Bridge by David McCullough. I guess it is odd that I read this 560-page detailed history of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge since I’ve never actually crossed it. I’ve did ride under the approach to the bridge on the Brooklyn side during the Five Boro Ride back in 2018. The bridge was built over 14 years from 1869 to 1883, thanks mostly to the tireless efforts of chief engineer Washington Roebling. It’s quite a tail of political corruption and interference, perseverance, engineering brilliance, death (including that of Washington Roebling’s father John who designed the bridge, debilitating illness (caused by the bends) that kept John Roebling sick and housebound for a decade, all the while directing the work. McCullough delves into far more detail than I cared for but the book is a masterpiece none the less. Next winter I will tackle his book on the Panama Canal.
Chris Rock – Selective Outrage. We watched the live Chris Rock show on Netflix. He’s really not my cup of tea and he can’t hold a candle to Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, or Eddie Murphy. Funny. Profane. Sometimes gross. Then there was the Will Smith takedown. An interesting hour, to be sure.
World Baseball Classic – This was a baseball fan’s dream come true. So many star players. Flawed only by the fact that pitchers were held to restrictions in anticipation of the start of Major League Baseball at the end of March. Very much like Olympic hockey and World Cup Soccer. What a shame we don’t see more of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani during the regular season.
Normal People – A mini series based on the Sally Rooney novel of the same name. I was surprised at how much I liked the book, especially in light of the fact that I am decidedly not the target audience. It’s about fitful romance between a pair of high school/college friends set in Ireland. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal are quite good as the flawed but quite realistic leads. As in Rooney’s books, the sex scenes go on for so long as to become tedious. (It’s a pity the leads are so damned good looking.) It captures the turbulence of college social life incredibly well. The supporting cast is grand too.
Where the Crawdad Sings – A movie based on the book by Delia Owens. The book was a mixed bag. I thought it captured the atmospherics of the swampland, but the courtroom drama aspect was by the numbers. The movie dragged. There was little chemistry between the romantic leads. I didn’t buy Daisy Edgar-Jones as the North Carolina Swamp Girl. A few of the supporting cast members were very good, especially David Strathairn as her lawyer, a role he could have done in his sleep.
Opening Day at Nationals Park – It was a chilly day so I stayed home despite the availability of good seats. I was glad I did. The Nationals are going to be awful this year and their play on Day One did nothing to dispel that prediction.
The Donald Gets Indicted – I spent an entire night watching talking heads rehash the news of his indictment. It is astounding to me that so many people buy his con. I doubt a jury will. And this is only the beginning. Ugh.
5 thoughts on “Marching out of wimper 2023”
David Strathairn is one of my acting heroes. Have you seen his one man show “Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski”? It is available on PBS.
No. I should watch it. I’ve been a fan since Return of the Secaucus Seven.
Your biking miles are to be envied. I long for the day I live near bike paths again that I actually want to ride on. It’s more of a pain to bike for me these days, which is sad.
Paths? Paths? We don’t need no stinking paths!
Here’s an idea. Point your bike toward the sun and keep riding until you get to my house. It’s only 3,500 miles or so.
Fair enough. I don’t mind riding on roads, I just miss proper bike paths! 😭
I think a 3,500 mile challenge sounds good. How are your hosting skills? I expect a hot facial towel upon arrival.