Sunday, January 10, 2010

Alternative Energy

I'm happy to report that the cycling resilience I've built up over the years paid off today, during what was probably the most windy ride I've ever experienced. I actually had to dismount and push my bike up the trail, the crosswinds were so powerful! I kept reminding myself of the descents on our tour up the California coast, headed into a northeast wind that made my dinky aluminum Klein with 25 lbs. of gear on the back jerk and shimmy--and yet, I didn't crash once. If only I could tap into that historical knowledge (and muscle memory) in other, more critical areas of my life...maybe too much personal detail for a cycling blog, eh?

In any case, I was reminded of a quote I recently read in the much-beloved Mother Jones magazine, in which a not-so-bright GOP representative attempting to discredit various non-foreign-oil/non-fossil fuel-based energy alternatives commented that wind is a finite resource (since when???) and if we run out of wind, won't that make the temperature go up anyway? Ummm...if that's the case, then Mother Nature must have expended all her wind "stores" today, and my next ride across the bridge should be a piece of cake.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions and Mantras

"Just keep peddling", I repeat to myself climbing up the rocky east face of Mt. Tamalpais, because if I don't, I'm liable to tip over. I'm not really thinking about anything else except the line I'm steering my front wheel on, up the Old Railroad Grade just out of Mill Valley. It's a route I'm familiar with, but after taking more than a few months off from riding at this intensity, I need the reminder that if I stop peddling over the dips, divvies, bumps, rocks, roots, and other debris, I'll lose momentum and fall off the Bleriot. The day was really bucolic (overused word, but not in my blog yet)--mid 60's, sunny with fog and clouds in the valley and at the coast, windy in the way that it sounds like traffic through the trees--and in order to blanch the blues from having to return to work after 2 weeks off, I decided to head out on an epic. Now that we live in the city (SF), the quiet and the wooded smell and the green-ness of Marin is ached for--but only accessible by crossing over the chaos that is the Golden Gate Bridge. I guess I could have picked a better time than Sunday afternoon.

Four and a half hours later, I've solidified my resolutions for 2010. It's been 10 years since graduating from college (omg) and I still don't own a house, have a kid, or feel settled or "mature" in any way--despite the fact that I'm beginning to be addressed as "maam" just as much as "miss" these days. But what I DO have is spectacular--a healthy, honest, humor-filled relationship; a job that makes a difference in the world, goddammit; enough money to blow $100 on a mediocre meal and feel only slightly guilty about it (okay, so maybe that last statement is a bit of a lie--several resolutions deal with saving more money and spending less frivolously)--and the most important resolution resulting from this ride is to be GRATEFUL. It's amazingly easy to get caught up in complaints, wishes, desires, ifs...but while I certainly don't expect to be a zen master by 2011, I do believe I can remind myself to show love, compassion, and gratefulness to myself and others at least once a day. Just keep peddling.