Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The End of Summer

Sort of like The Endless Summer, since it's always summer here, but actually time to go back to work.
So, what did I do for my Summer vacation?
I worked.
Since money is the root of all evil eBay, I had to work to supplement my meager income. Well, I only worked part time. With my brother.
I now brandish a handsome scar on the left side of my face thanks to a troublesome length of angle iron that fell from the sky. It compliments my chisled good looks.
My ride is a bit closer to it's finished stage with the addition of a Thomson seatpost. Yes, I got it on eBay, and I got it for cheap. Because my seat now mounts mid rails or abouts, I swear the ride is a bit more comfortable; that alone justifies (in my mind) the purchase price.
Venturing off to the Contemporary Museum, I literally saw space. Unfortunately, my visit coincided with an artist whose works show off space and the walls of the main gallery were bare. Luckily I went on free admission day so it would not be right to complain.
I actually made some art (my interpretation). I used some sheets of aluminum and formed them into large paper airplanes. I have more designs to test out.
Riding my bike payed off as I lowered my weight. It is not where I want it to be ( damn that evil scale) but I am close. It wiil be a challenge to keep it off; more of a challenge to get to where I want to be.
I went out and chalked the road before my brother did the Tinman Triathlon. I saw him for a whole ten seconds as he passed me going up the hill and passed me going back down. I got up at three in the morning to elude the police only to discover that there isn't that much to write on the road. I could only think of four things before I ran out of ideas. I didn't think my brother cared to see his name chalked on the road twenty times over twenty four miles.
Oh, and I did manage to read a book.
I did miss out on a few things I wanted to do:
I never got to go to the beach (although I pass by at least four times a week).
The garage roof did not get sealed.
The mailbox needs to be worked on or replaced.
I did not make it to the Bowfin Museum or Big Mo. You can add the aircraft museum on Ford Island to that list.
I did not manage to ride my bike out of Kailua. I could have easily done this, yet for some reason I kept forgetting.
As far as Summers go, it could have been better, could have been worse.
The main thing is that I have a job to go back to. Seeing everyone at work getting ready for the new semester is a pretty nice way for Summer to end.
Now if only I knew exactly what my job was, things would be copacetic.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fun Part II

No, not a sequel to the movie starring Alicia Witt.
There are days like today, when I just ride around without looking at the evil computer. I have become a slave of sorts to that digital display; looking for answers and constantly being denied.
Today I broke free.
Today, I rode around on my regular route and actually looked at things as I passed by. I looked into peoples driveways, into their garages and noticed what kind of cars they drove.
Well, there is one house that I always take notice of: three Toyota Prius' parked side by side in a two car garage. Different colors, always in a tight line. Now that is a statement. What it is saying I haven't quite figured out yet.
Anyway, today I decided to smell the roses so to speak and take a look around at the things that I am usually passing by with sweat in my eyes while gasping for air.
I had a great time even while gasping for air.
The best part was I saw someone I know on his bike.
I saw him a couple of weeks ago while stopped at Tamura's in Aikahi Park Shopping Center. He had graciously allowed me into his classroom to observe and participate. This was two years ago while I was still working on my certification.
So we stood there in front of Tamura's and talked about teacher stuff and he mentioned to me that he was going to start riding his bike.
The thing is, everyone says that when they see/hear that you ride a bike.
Well, there he was, riding his bike and he was a fair distance from home. He looked like he was having a good time.
He said he was six rides in and he was already putting on more distance than I was.
We chatted a bit then sped off to finish our rides.
His image though, stayed with me.
He was me, one year ago Just Riding Around (JRA) having a good time. He did purchase a cycling computer (someone help him!) so that may not last.
I could feel what he was feeling though. I remember riding around, enjoying the fact that I wasn't watching another re-run of Law & Order while sitting on the couch eating Doritos. I remember the newness of it all; the pain of pedaling uphills, finding the right gears, the sweat dripping off the end of my nose. I remember how I felt when I got home knowing that I had done something I had never done before.
Seeing him out there, embracing cycling, made my day.
Today, I didn't care about how fast I was going, how many miles I went or how fast I was pedaling.
Today, I had fun.

On a side note: why do Nacho Doritos make your fingers all orange? Can't they do something about that?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bonehead or T-Bone

I fell at a busy intersection today.
Not to get into particulars but I thought I had the light when in fact I did not and had to actuate the Panic Stop button.
This was the actual sound I made as I hit the road. Last thing I remember seeing was this nice, freshly laid down tarmac, jet black and shiny looking.
I fell about two feet into the intersection.
It was a boneheaded move that almost got me t-boned.
Luckily my cat-like ninja skills saved me from furthur injury or shame.
I still feel like an idiot.
A rather large idiot.
Having time tonight to reflect upon my recklessness, I searched any reason that could explain my actions.
Riding the same route leads to a false sense of security and familiarity. Though the area is safe and familiar, there about a kajillion things that could inject danger in my way.
I overlooked this fact.
It was at the end of my ride and dehydration I believe was a factor n my bad judgement.
Dehydration is like being under the influence: you think you know what you are doing, but in reality, you don't.
I know this for a fact for when I am afflicted with dehydration, which is more often than most, I find that my brain and my body are not operating in perfect harmony.
I want to do or say something. My body and mouth respond by kinda getting it close.
I am often puzzled by things I say and do. This is not good when you are riding around in traffic.
With scraped knee and aching hand I sit and realize that Superbiker was introduced to some Kryptonite and it was not pretty.
The more I reflect on my riding the more I realize how complacent I have become. The near misses I have experienced I attributed to the fact that I simply ride more often. As the mileage acrues, so should the awareness.
I have some things to think about on my ride tomorrow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Small Town Big Heart

I moved to Kailua back in '75.
Today was the first time I have ever watched the Fourth of July Parade.
It's not that I was avoiding it, it just seems I was always working or someplace else.
I am in awe.
The parade in Kailua is a little different. It takes place on what is essentially a residential street. People erect tents in their yards and sit in chairs while other people with chairs and umbrellas sit in other people's yards and watch the parade go by.
Today, I felt like I live in Kailua.
I live in Kailua; I shop here, I fill my car with gas here, I eat here but I never really considered myself I resident here.
Perhaps it is because I spend so much of my time in town. Kailua was someplace I slept in.
While watching the parade and the crowd, I was overcome with a sense of community. I felt part of a community. I was part of the crowd.
I did my best to clap as each group of parade participants went by. Well, I did not clap for the Republican Party or the Democrates. Governor Lingle was there as was Mayor Mufi. So were our Senators Neil and Mazie. That was cool.
The really cool part though was the smaller, less well known groups that took the time out to be part of the event.
There were groups I never knew existed whether they came from Kailua or not.
Not to be a parade critic, but there wasn't any great entertainment value there. No elaborately decorated floats or well known celebraties.
Just people. People that live in Kailua.
Did the crowd care? The crowd appreciated every minute of it.
I do wish that the guy with the red Corvette had washed his car though.
I reflected on just how small of a town Kailua is. Take away all the award winning beaches, bed and breakfasts' and the emergence of Kailua as a tourist destination and all you got is a small town.
I remember when Kailua was a smaller town. Back before Pizza Hut, Burger King and Taco Bell. McDonalds was already here.
Back then, I was too young to appreciate what Kailua was all about. As I grew up, so did my town. Today though, I saw it for what it is again and I liked what I saw.
Watching the parade with the other residents here gave me a warm fuzzy. Twice.
The atmosphere may have changed a bit, but I don't think the people have.
Yeah, I live here.