22 May 2013

Monday night ride

Monday nights, an excellent bike club, ABD, sets out on a delightful "recovery ride." It is a recovery in the sense that many of the riders are likely to have raced over the weekend. Probably on Sunday. The ride is supposed to be moderately paced (16-18mph). It usually has a dozen riders, more or less.

I have missed this ride all season. Various reasons, most of them academic. Literally, academic. This week I finally felt my way clear to consider it. And when my Karen asked me if I was planning on it, that settled it. Karen is a big fan of me getting out on my bike. I mean that it in the best possible way, for all the right reasons. And she has a way of asking if I'm going to ride that really means she hopes I will. This is the woman who bought me my two good bikes.

Monday was hot here, and it still was at 6:20 when we rolled out for our 6:15 ride. But it wasn't long before the wind, the lowering sun, and the long stretches of shade on the roads turned this into the ideal evening ride. Golly, I've missed it. There were only 6 of us riding, which no matter how nice people are - and they almost all always are - it is more fun with a dozen or more. I've been out when we've numbered two dozen, and that's a blast.

The ride snakes through parts of Winfield, West Chicago, Wayne, and Bartlett in a big loop at the end of a long string. (Think of a balloon.) For me, with my ride to and from the start point, it is a round 24 miles, just under 90 minutes, usually averaging just over 16mph.

And now, "I'm back!" My miles are pitifully low this season. This 24 mile ride amounts to about 20% of my total miles. Do the math. By this date I'm usually approaching my annual goal of 1000 by the end of May. Well, that ain't gonna happen, probably not even by July 4. And that's OK. But this ride? Yes, see you again next Monday.

20 May 2013

Weekend Breaks

Last week I began writing my thesis. After the first day, with its hard-won 80 words - yes, that is eighty words - I assumed most days would be more productive, but I wondered how many words a day I need on average to complete what I think will be a 40,000 word thesis. If I have 75 weekdays this summer, that amounts to roughly 600 words a day, Monday through Friday.

If I rode my bike 20 miles a day, on the other hand, that would be 1500 miles. Pretty doable. (In fact, if I could just get out of bed early enough, there's no reason I couldn't do both the riding and the writing!)

But the weekends belong to my Karen. Thankfully this one was sunny, warm, and productive. The yard looks great, the fence staining job is complete, the house is clean. Took at Prairie Path ride with son Pat, enjoyed a visit with Pat and his girl, got to a Pentecost Sunday service, and I got in a visit with my sister Bonnie and most of her family. I read Dorothy Sayers' The Zeal of Thy House. I'm ready to get back to the study, and see how many words are in me this week.

And thinking that that road bike sure looks lonely.

04 May 2013

Surrounded by Books

There is no adventure like it . . . a book can take you anywhere.

These days many of mine call me to my basement study, but they take me to 18th century Germany.

Just because I said I would, here are a  couple of pictures from my study. This is my thesis space:

That's my space. To the right, below the calendar is where by thesis books have been collecting. For fun, I wanted to see how tall an order this thesis is. Unfortunately I had already returned 3 of the books that I've used.
Those 2 slim volumes on top are the musical scores of cantatas I'll be studying for the thesis.

The fun is just beginning . . .