Tagged: me

Pardon the Dust

Hi everyone.  I’m trying out a new WordPress theme this week and am having a bit of an issue with some of the settings. In particular, the links are really hard to see.  I’ve tried tweaking the settings but to no avail.  I really like the theme, so we’ll see what I can do with it.  Please bear with me while I try to improve the look and feel of this blog.

Shout-outs!

… Or is it “shouts-out?”  Whatever.  I was going to mention this in my post from earlier today but it so rapidly became lengthy that I didn’t want this to get buried at the end.  Yesterday I was looking over the Google stats for my site when I noticed that two other blogs had linked to mine.  How cool is that?!  (Answer: very cool.)

The first was the Commercial Appeal’s Memphis blogroll.  When I saw that, I was really impressed and a bit honored, until I actually saw their roll.  Yes, there are numerous very popular and successful blogs listed, ones that I am truly flattered to be listed with, but then there are a few that no longer exist.  So while I am very happy to be included on their list (and a little baffled, since I only started writing this blog a few months ago), they need to check their links.

But what made me most happy was a shout-out from the good people at Gotta Be Gritty.  (Full disclosure: I’ve never actually met any of them, so I’m assuming they are in fact good people.  But they play bike polo, so they must be good people, right?)  Again, I have no idea how they heard about my blog, but I really appreciate the props.

Thanks to all, and please keep reading.

Nice!

It’s official: this site finally shows up in the top ten results of a Google search for “biking in Memphis.”  It was a long time before the site got any recognition from the search engines, but now that I’ve been writing for several months (and shamelessly plugging this site on my facebook profile), it appears that it’s finally getting some attention.  Yay for that.

Almost forgot

In my most recent post, about the bike-lane meeting, I forgot to mention that I had a pretty epic biking day that day.  I biked from home to school, then from campus out to Shelby Farms on the Greenline and back (another group bike ride with the UM Cycling Club), then from campus to Otherlands, then from Otherlands to the Snowden School for the meeting, then from Snowden home.  Here’s a screenshot of my day.

And here’s a link to an interactive map.

Pretty awesome, huh?  I biked for a total of 25.2 miles that day.  My average speed was a respectable 10.4 MPH, and my peak was 20.8 MPH.  A good chunk of the trip was on the Greenline, but most of those miles were commuter miles, which I love.

Today’s commute

Today was the first day I’ve commuted to work on my bike in weeks.  I’ve been nursing my right knee due to an injury and the time off appears to have helped.  I took it really slow today, probably never cresting 10 MPH (except going downhill) but didn’t feel much pain in my knee at all.  There were a few times in my ride where the twinges got to be a bit much – a little too close to actual pain – so I just slowed down to a snail’s pace until the twinges subsided.  And for most of the ride, I was fine.

Hopefully this will continue.  I’m planning to drive to work tomorrow, mostly due to severely inclement weather and the need to give my knee a day off.  (Of course, I’m not sure how standing and lecturing for almost four and a half hours qualifies as a day off for my knee, but whatever.  That’s what I get paid to do.)  Hopefully on Wednesday I’ll be back on my bike.

Oops

It occurred to me as I was updating the links page of this site that the name I chose for this site – Biking in Memphis – is remarkably similar to the name of an organization that does a great job of supporting Memphis cyclists: Bike Memphis. Just to clear the air, I am in no way trying to confuse people about what I do or what Bike Memphis does, nor am I trying to glom onto their good name.  I’m writing about my experiences biking in Memphis, and I really appreciate all the work that Bike Memphis and many other organizations do to support cyclists like me.  Given that my page views are right now somewhere near zero, I can’t imagine that anyone is confused or upset.  But I wanted to take a moment to make my intentions clear.

Quick update

Well, I haven’t biked to work in about two weeks.  I’m giving my knee a rest in preparation for lots of biking this semester.  In fact, as I write this, I have a great big bag of ice resting on knee.  Tomorrow I’m going to keep icing it and try some stretching exercises.  Then hopefully by mid-week I can go for a short ride around the block, with more stretching and icing.  The goal is to be back at 100% by early February.

This time off my bike really makes me realize how much I hate driving to school and how much I miss cycling.  My driving commute is really short and really easy, but biking is not that much longer time-wise.  Hopefully I’ll be back in the saddle (pun intended) very soon.

Welp

This sucks.  Apparently going on a 25-mile ride after not having biked for two weeks, then adding a week’s worth of daily commuting trips was too much for my right knee.  It started to hurt about a week and a half ago, so I purposefully did not ride at all for six days.  I figured that would be enough to give my knee a rest and let it heal.

Well, apparently I was wrong.  During my commute to work today, my knee began to hurt almost as soon as I left home.  Yes, it was a victorious commute, as I broke a record for cold-weather cycling, but a sore knee is still no fun.  And with all the group rides I have coming up, apparently I need some time off the bike.

Sigh.

So I’m going to get in touch with some friends who are much more experienced cyclists and ask their advice.  Let’s hope that I’m back up and biking soon.  In the meantime, I plan to continue to my writing here, only not doing much riding.

Firsties

Hi everyone.  As I feel most blog writers should, I’m going to begin with an apology.  Not for presuming that you are interested in what I have to write about – you’re free to resume affirming your self-worth over at failblog at any time – but for the name of this blog.

In a way it’s the perfect name; the focus of this blog is the ins-and-outs of being a commuter cyclist in Memphis.  And that’s me. I’m a commuter cyclist in Memphis.  Hello.  Nice to meet you.

But unfortunately, the name of this blog (Biking in Memphis) inevitably invokes the name of a song that I absolutely detest.  I won’t mention it by name, but here’s the video.

I actually hated the song for years before I ever moved to Memphis.  Need I explain why?  It’s just a very trite recitation of “Memphis highlights,” like Beale Street, Graceland, Elvis, and so 0n.  OK fine, it does mention W.C. Handy, the Hollywood, Al Green, and the Delta Blues, but it does so in a way that is so cloyingly earnest it makes me barf.  Would like to hear a better song about Memphis?  Try this.  Or this.

But I’m getting far afield here.  My plan is to spend the next year or so writing about the day-to-day realities of being an urban commuter cyclist in Memphis.  Plenty of other blogs detail the travails of commuter cycling in other cities, but as far as I know I’m one of the first in Memphis.  (Once I finalize my list of links, I’ll be sure to include some of the other cycling blogs and websites I’ve found that are specific to Memphis.)

Anyway, that’s the big idea here.  I’m planning to publish at least once a week, perhaps more if the mood strikes me. Feel free to leave comments, just don’t be an asshole.

And by all means, get on your bikes and ride.