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Archive for August, 2013

Downside

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Last week saw the start of a new job.
Given this is one of the top theatres in Seattle this would be cause for great celebration and I did.
A bit.
As I left theatre summer camp behind and began a career I knew there would be changes. Not least among these never being hired by the Intiman again.
Which is the price I pay for skipping out on their summer of fun.

Worse, for me, is my biking.
My calls start at 8am and end close to midnight for the moment.
One night I saw how long it took for a bus to come and realized had I biked I’d be nearly but the thing is doing that, right now, seems crazy.

Maybe in a few months when I adjust to this schedule but for the moment I bus and once we go to shows I’ll bike.
Right now I ride the chariot of the people.

Yet Monday I took my bike in for a tune up.
Shocked it has been nearly 90 days since I purchased it.
And I’ve ridden it quite a bit.
Fallen a few times.
Hit a street sign.
Nearly fell into traffic and climbed a few hills.
I have some accessories I plan to tart it up with but for right now it sits near my roommate’s car ready to be ridden.

Down a hill

August 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Ye gods man coming down Fremont ave on a be sharrowded road maybe a new pinnacle of fear.
Sharing the road is usually fine but the faux bike lanes of sharrows seemed to add extra danger. Then again on a nice Saturday the usual problems exist. You know sharing the road which means dodging cars as they decide to turn or parallel park, watching for doors that may open, the uneven conditions of Seattle streets, and don’t forget to stay in control of the bike.
Speaking of which I should replace my brakes pads.

I came down following two spandex toe clipped gents. The lead cyclist, more experienced, blazed the trail then came Lucky Pierre and I brought up the rear. Pierre was still learning as we crossed 35th he fumbled the declipping, broke too easy and almost went down. Our Fearless Leader caught LP and we parted ways.

I headed toward Westlake and they continued, I assume, to the Burke Gilman.
Au revior Lucky Pierre I am certain you’ll master those clip pedals soon enough.
And Our Fearless Leader thank you for guiding me down Fremont. I won’t forget you.

Categories: Scare Yourself

Level Up

August 12, 2013 Leave a comment

A promising sight on the corner of 85th and 8th

Two months ago I bought a bike.
First or second day out I decided to bike to Chuck’s Hop Shop.
I failed.
Miserably.
A sweaty, sorry mess trying to make it up the incline on 8th.
I barely passed 67th before surcumbing to the bitter taste of failure.
Failure and a carne asada burrito.

Hey I tried and that deserved reward/ dinner.

Today I figured I should try again.
Many trips have become easier and I needed to know if this challenge was insurmountable or did I just need more practice.

When some feelings of exhaustion set in I promised I would rest at 75th but when I passed 70th I could almost see my destination. And as I rode by a closed bike shop which I regret not going into before buying my bike I faintly heard a musical ditty and knew I had gained something.

image

Sweet sweet success beer

A goal, achievement, or a level.
I was beginning to fear I wasn’t achieving anything by bike but now I see progress.

Categories: Scare Yourself Tags: , ,

Job Interview

August 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Some questions I have no idea how to answer.
These are actual answers I’ve used.
Interviewer: This position isn’t a normal 9-5 job but requires you to work nights and weekends is that a problem?
Me: I’ve worked nights and weekends for so many years I have problems adapting to 9-5.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Me: still alive and in relatively good health.

Interviewer: What is your greatest strength and weakness?
Me: My greatest strength is adapting to new challenges and situations with relative ease and my greatest weakness is being able to take this question seriously.

Categories: Sarcasm, Scare Yourself

Skunk Stripe

August 2, 2013 1 comment
image

It rained today.
Not the hard, fierce monsoon rains I grew accustomed to in my time in New Mexico.
A gentle shower. Hell barely a rain for some but for the fall droplets posed question: do I ride to work?

Being a novice and without fenders, rain gear, goggles, a sense of what I was getting into threw on my work rain coat and set out.
I sent a moment debating if I should wear wool but decided the plastic shell was better.

So the downpour, let’s be honest ‘sprinkle’, occurred the entire way to work.
The roads were wet and I nearly slipped getting over the Bridge, Fremont not Ballard, but it wasn’t terrible. Yet besides that and my bag absorbing most of my skunk strip it wasn’t terrible.

Wet, a bit cold, but not terrible.
Still I should look into some fenders because I will need them soon enough.

Categories: Scare Yourself Tags: , ,

Scare Yourself Summer

August 1, 2013 2 comments
Be Careful

“Be Careful” is really fitting when surrounded by speeding cars.

Fear’s an odd thing.

I don’t feel like I’m afraid of many things but I find myself apprehensive in some activities.

Usually it’s telling someone off or asking someone out or expressing an original opinion that might be really against the grain. Yet in other situations I have little problem standing up and saying, “No” or “That’s shit” or refusing to go along with an plan or idea.

Not at all sure why.

Yet when Bob invited me to join this movement I wasn’t sure what to face. Dressing the way I’ve envisioned myself dressing? Being the leader that people expect of me? Or becoming more active?

So I went with activity.

I know a fair number of bicycle commuters.

Be spandexed, toe clipped, clicky shoe wearing bike commuters.

A high bar to pass under to join this elitist group of carbon bike riding fanatics.

Yet I felt I could at least ride… somewhere… maybe to the store… or the bar… or perhaps work?

So I bought a bike.

Not the one I really wanted.

That one is a heavy nearly 2 grand monstrosity. Classic lines and proven technology but if I fail at this that’s a huge sum to lose. Instead I bought a much less expensive hybrid bike.

Didn’t have the look I wanted, nor the style… not much else but if I failed at least it shouldn’t be hard to off load.

As weird as it sounds as I stood there, ready to pay for this bike, all this passed through my mind.

My transition to bike commuting began slow.

As I tried to keep riding to somewhere. Usually a few miles from my home, a few hills in the way, nothing too serious but at least I was getting out. Then my friend Freedom told me I should ride to work.

I made excuses.

Fear, worry, failure, falling off the Ballard Bridge and being chopped up by a tug boat in the Ship Canal.

You know the usual.

Still “Scare Yourself Summer”.

Train Yard

I pass really close to trains as part of my commute

I rode to work on a sunny day two hours before my call was to start.

I made it to work in under 50 minutes despite stopping to rest a few times.

I made it home in 40 minutes.

Since then I tried to ride 3 days a week until last week another friend told me to try for four days.

My commutes have settled into about as long as it took to bus to work and four days is only one more day then three, right?

So I did it.

And this week was much the same.

Now I don’t expect to convert anyone. After all I still think I’m a fair weather commuter. When the first rains come and the weather is shit will I still do this is a whole other thing? I’m not at all sure but what I do know is the views I get from my bike beat nearly anything I’ve seen on the bus. So for the moment I’m going to keep going and plan to look for some rain gear.

A friend pointed me toward a high visibility long coat and I should get some fenders… but for now I can only enjoy the warm summer temperature, salty wind, and evening views.

The Ballard Bridge at night.

The Ballard Bridge at night.

Categories: Scare Yourself