Monday, January 14, 2013

An office of one's own

Back to blogging.  I need to start somewhere, so I'll start with the last 24 hours.


I commuted to work for the first time in the two years I have been working at TCC.  Thanks to the new massive Jordan Bridge, getting to Portsmouth from Norfolk is much easier.  It also requires going over the Berkely Bridge. One story idea that Wes Cheney gave me a long time ago was themed "Gentrification of the Berkely Bridge."  I still have that story on the burner, along with a new idea "Jordan Bridge: The Innovation of using feet to travel."  The bridge has brought out critics who are horrified that a bridge should be built that allows people to walk and ride bikes over.  "People will get robbed at the top," and "People are going to be jumping off" are some of the comments I have read on line.  My commute is 13.5 miles one way and difficult to make in under an hour since there are so many lights. Glad to have my own office for drying the laundry.

Yesterday was a huge day in terms of mileage and boosting confidence for me.  It started out with plans to do the annual Teeuwen memorial ride (24 miles).  An additional 55 were added when Keith sent word that his group would leave from Hilltop to meet the ride.  And then Mike Carhart thought it would be a good idea to add 19 by riding from Norfolk to Hilltop. I never got word about the additional 15 that were added to "complete the loop" as shown here.  I did 98 with Mike and Mike Park completing 114. 

Now the confidence boosting part is illustrated in the casual conversation of Keith and Paul. I have long given up the idea that I can keep up with these guys (and women like Laura Cook and Ali Ingram who were also on the ride) during the warm summer months when full throttle rides are in gear (think Bully).  But I was beginning to wonder if I had lost the ability to even stay with them on base winter rides when Keith enforces a 20-24 mph pace.  It's not like I'm some star-struck rider who wants to be seen with the elites.  It's that their experience, handling, etiquette, and lack of bonehead stupidity on the road is so much better than many local groups.

Carhart dubbed the 114-mile trek "Neandriol Man's Great Dismal Gran Fondo."  Here he eats 2 donuts with one hand.  I saw him down two fully packed sandwiches over the course of the ride.  He speaks two languages (that I know of), has an awesome wife and two great girls, writes books and is flanked by graduate assistants.  It just all seems important right now.  Maybe because I want to get back to writing, and by far my #1 source of inspiration are the people who ride and my hope of telling our stories.  In an office of one's own I suppose.  (Thanks Mike, Mike and Robert for a great day.) 

1 comment:

lizard said...

Liz Schleeper is like a shepherd. I always feel safer when she's along for the ride.