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8 September 2002

6:30 a.m.

The sky is just beginning to get light.

In the living room, patiently waiting for me to wake up is my new Blue Angel.

The news says it's cold out--in the 50s--so I test the air. Yes, I will need a jacket, but I know that the legs will warm up very quickly, so shorts will be OK.

I pack my camera in my backpack 'cause I might want to take pictures.

On goes the helmet, open the front door, and out onto the bike path.

This was going to be the day to test my new blue angel. Last night I rode it downtown to a show I was reviewing and left Walt in the dust. The thing fairly flew down the streets and I arrived at the theatre long before he showed up, breathing heavily and complaining about how fast I'd gone.

Fast. Me. Two words you'd never dream would be compatible.

We saw the play (mediocre) and then I sped off for home. When we arrived here, he was breathing hard again and checked to see how I was. I hadn't even broken a sweat. The Blue Angel deserves the name--it flies as if it has wings.

So I knew she would do speed. How would she and I do hills?

First was easy--the little hillocks at the park. Didn't even have to shift down from highest gear to do those. Then came "the horrible overpass" that I'd conquered on the Specialized a few weeks back. Piece o'cake. I won't say it wasn't a workout to get over it, but I didn't have to go down to old lady gear to do it.

Stopped at the office to pick up work and to leave my jacket, which by now was soaked with sweat.

I saw that Dr. G had given me all of the parts of his book which have so far been written and could see that re-running them, as he wants them re-run is going to take a full ink cartridge and I knew that what I had in my printer now wouldn't make it. I decided to see if Office Max was open.

There are two ways to get to Office Max from my office. I could either go the long way, over the bike crossing I knew I could handle, or I could go over the even more horrible overpass, the one I knew that I would never ever be able to go over. What the hell. I have an angel under me...let's give it a try.

It was an inauspicious beginning. Figuring I would have to go to my very lowest gear, I shifted down to first gear on the left but it didn't quite catch in the sprockets and I found myself pedaling against nothing. The chain had come off. Swell. What do I do now?

Hey--I am woman. Hear me roar. I don't need a mechanic. I will become a mechanic.

So I examined the bike--yes, I think I can do this. I put the chain back. I got on the bike and it fell off again.


I will not call for help.

This time I turn the bike over to get a better angle, I get more aggressive with the chain, and it seems to stick. I ride around a bit on the flat and it holds. It's time to attack the hill again.

I start up...up...up. I'm pumping for all I'm worth and then I rememeber what Haggie told me--you don't have to build momentum. Slow and steady is the way to go. Sit back and let your legs do the work. I slow down and let my legs do the work and before I know it, I'm at the top of the hill I would never ever be able to ride over, and zooming down the other side.

I'm flying on the back of an angel.

Office Max is not, after all, open, so I decide to explore South Davis, finding spots I never knew existed--a lovely greenbelt which is right in the middle of things, but so secluded, it's like riding out in the woods. Just lovely. Oddly enough, it ends directly in front of Dr. G's house (but he is not about).

Time to head back. How do I want to go? Well, over a hill, of course. There's only one big one I hadn't done yet today and that's the bike overcrossing, but I know I can do that--I've done it before. Up and over. Zipping down the other side, I realized that the sun is casting a shadow on the ground below and I look lik the figure on my desktop wallpaper.

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The rest is easy. Flat all the way, and I average 12-13 mph, pulling into the carport about 10 miles after I started. It wasn't quite the same as riding all the way out to Winters for oatmeal, but it gave the Blue Angel a good test, it gave the Blue Angel's rider a good test, and we both passed.

I discovered I have to get a water bottle mount (with no back basket, I'm using a backpack now and there's really no easy place to put water). The Specialized has a water mount, but it's totally inaccessible when you're riding, so I almost never use it. This bike, however, has a bar that makes water easy to get when you're riding, so that will be added on Monday as well as a rear view mirror, which I forgot to buy when they were outfitting the bike. My peripheral vision is so bad that I really need to be able to have a mirror to see behind me.

But I would say that I am very, very happy with my new purchase. I expect that she and I will cover a lot of ground together.

Quote of the Day

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel... the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.

- Susan B. Anthony

Picture of the Day


There she is!



One Year Ago
Chewing the Air
It's the new season opener for the local theatre, and it's when I earn my keep as critic. Oh lord. How do I review it? You can't give it 2 stars, 'cause people in town think the sun rises and sets on this group.

Two Years Ago
A Live in Declarative Sentences
Walt asked last night how long we were going to have a black background on this journal. I told him "until I don’t feel black inside any more." I suspect that tomorrow will return to normal. That’s the way it is with life, isn’t it. We go "black" when we lose someone we love, but sooner or later we have to take down the black, let the colors back in, and get back to the business of life.

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Pounds Lost:  78.0
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Blue Angel 15.76

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