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Today’s ride

I guess it’s the passing of daylight savings time and the impending arrival of winter (despite the lack of anything resembling cold weather – we still have tomatoes ripening in our backyard), but lately my internal clock has been a bit askew.  Right now, it’s 8:15 PM – my wife and I are lying on the couch, listening to Neil Diamond Christmas songs – but it feels like it’s 10:15 PM. As the days shorten and the nights lengthen, the precious few hours of daylight become ever more dear.  These times have always been my favorite part of the year; the weather is cooling, leaves are falling, and the holidays are underfoot.  I’ve always enjoyed the days with the fewest hours of sunlight – and no, I’m not particularly a fan of The Cure.

That said, I knew when I set out on my bike this morning that I would have ever fewer days like today in the coming months.  The high temperature today crested at 72º F, quite a bit above what I would consider normal.  I dressed for cool/cold weather – Icebreaker long-sleeved shirt, a t-shirt over that, plus my trusty Swrve cycling knickers, knee warmers, and sock pulled up far too high.  I also brought a shell but ended up not needing it.

My riding goals today were simple: bike to campus to take care of a little (electronic) paperwork, then ride the Greenline, and finally visit Kroger and Buster’s for some provisions.  I left home around 9:30 this morning and had a lovely ride to campus.  I hadn’t biked in some time, at least a week, so I took it easy.  Traffic was light and the weather was not too unpleasant.

I left campus around 10:30 AM and headed to the Greenline on High Point Terrace.  Here’s what the Greenline looked like as I entered it this morning.

Photo 1

Empty.  Just how I like it.

The traffic was pretty low today.  I guess most people were shopping or rubbing lotion on their bellies, distended from the orgy of food that is Thanksgiving.  I cannot claim to be innocent of such crimes against moderation, hence my ride today.

I pedaled on an on to the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms then found a bench for a respite.  The day was rather windy; at times I could feel the wind pushing against my chest as I was relaxing, and my bike as I was riding, making my ride a bit more wobbly than usual.  Here’s a few pictures from Shelby Farms.

Photo 2

Pretty retro clouds.

Photo 3

Angry retro clouds!

Photo 4

Clouds, please stop making faces at me.  Kthxbai.

After half an hour or so of being battered by the winds at the edge of Patriot Lake, I decided to head back to campus.  Biking west, I came upon this lovely mural.

Photo 5

I know, it’s been up for a while.  But having had such a busy fall, this is the first time I’ve seen it!  How exciting.  I must meet the one-legged cyclists who posed for the mural.

After stopping at campus for a moment, I left for Kroger to pick up a few necessities.  Then I left for Buster’s for a bottle of prosecco, which has been shooting up the charts at my home. Then I biked home, just in time to watch my team get destroyed by its archenemy.  WDE, that’s all I can say.

Anyway, here’s a map of my ride.

Screen shot 2011 11 26 at 9 14 13 PM

You can see how I rode on Southern to campus, then through Chickasaw Gardens on the way home.  Altogether, it was a really great day to ride, if not to watch college football.  I hope your day was similarly enjoyable.  Look for more adventures soon …

Sad news

Hi everyone.  By now you’ve heard about Chris Davidson, the Memphis cyclist who died in a hit-and-run accident early Friday morning.  He was apparently struck near the intersection of Madison and Cooper, but made it to his girlfriend’s house before passing.  His father has asked for help in finding the driver.

On Wednesday, 17 August, there will be a concert at the Hi-Tone to raise funds for Chris’s family.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend, but if I can’t, I’ll send a donation directly.  You can read more about the concert and Chris himself here.  You can also make a Paypal donation there.

Let’s all keep Chris and his family and friends in our thoughts these next few days.  Please consider attending the concert or make a donation if you can.  Thanks.

Busy busy busy

Hi everyone.  Sorry I’ve been delinquent in posting lately.  This has been one of the busiest semesters I can remember in a long time.  Of course, that’s what I said last semester.  But between shepherding 350 students through the labyrinth of undergraduate economics, plus the fact that around 100 of those students are taking upper-division courses, which means that their exams are definition/short-answer/essay questions, which require hours of grading by yours truly, I haven’t had much time for writing.  Oh, and did I mention that I serve on something like 5,000,000 committees, plus I’m the faculty advisor to two registered student organizations, including the U of M Cycling Club, both of which have multiple events per semester?  Plus this research project I’ve been working on … yep, I’ve been busy.

But I’ve also been biking.  A lot.  In fact, I am well on my way to meeting a goal I set earlier in the semester, to make one tank of gas last an entire semester.  Since I set this goal, I think I’ve driven my car to campus maybe twice, most notably after the snowstorms that blanketed Memphis in early February.  (Don’t get me wrong – I have some biking skills.  But biking in snow is not among them.  Yet.)  In fact, there has been only one day when I’ve driven instead of biking when I could easily have biked.  Long story short, but I had an early morning meeting on a Saturday; it was raining and I overslept.  So I drove.  But other than a weekend trip to St. Louis to help celebrate the wedding of some dear friends, I’ve hardly driven at all.  And you know what?  It has been easy.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been days when I haven’t wanted to give in and drive.  This past Friday I had a meeting with a student on campus.  My allergies had been bugging me, I was tired from overextending myself, and I just really wanted to not have to bike.  But I did.

In the next few days I plan to write a handful of posts about some of the adventures I’ve had biking around town lately. I hate that I haven’t had time to write lately, but such is my schedule.  However, I will mention one very experience I had today.

There was a fundraiser tonight for the good people at Livable Memphis at the Malco Cinema Paradiso.  The event was a screening of the film “Ride the Divide.”  All I have to say is that if you ever have a chance to watch this film, do it. You can read more about the film on its website.  It was truly amazing.

More to come soon.  Thanks for reading.