I have committed to racing an olympic distance triathlon in about three months, and I am taking to any and all online information I can find. Most recently, I am looking at information about bikes. I posted on this blog previously about my bike, which is an old Schwinn Le Tour with a steel frame and it’s overall pretty heavy if you consider what other people use to train/race. I’ve been considering all my options, however, and racing on my bike, Yellow Pegasus (formerly called The Tequila Sunrise), is definitely one viable option. It is the cheapest option to race it as it is, and from some of the research I’ve been doing, it seems I might not look like a complete idiot getting out there on my old steel framed bike. At least it’s not my old Wal*Mart mountain bike I guess.
What has piqued my interest the most was this article I came across earlier. This guy rode the Ironman Hawaii on a fixie bike of all things, which he outfitted to look like a tri bike. The frame looks just like Yellow Pegasus! So after seeing that, I think the second best option would be to put a little money into my bike to make it as comfortable and fast as I can make it over the distance of 40k. I’m thinking I would like to look into the handlebar setup, new pedals with clipless shoes, a new saddle, and possibly the wheels, but I’m not sure if that will be necessary or not.
With this being my first triathlon, I realize that all of the nitpickiness of speed and bike specs probably won’t matter, and any advice I receive will probably be along the lines of “just have fun”, I will leave it at that. I would like to avoid screaming “total novice” when I am doing this though, and I’m sure I’ll make up for that in other capacities like the swim for example. But any information is welcome, and I am hoping for suggestions on how to turn my Schwinn Le Tour into a racing machine. Of course if I come across a nice bike for cheap or something that I can loan, I will take the best option. Leave a comment tough if you come across this!
It’s a great day for a first blog post in six months! Today is one of few firsts for the year. I took my little yellow bike out to play after doctoring it up with some fresh air in the tires and a newly attached water bottle cage. (I was quite proud of how I rigged up my water bottle cage to my bike using an old dismantled lock holder, a few spare screws, and a zip-tie. So I added the photos onto this post.)
Here are some of the reasons I love bike commuting. For the longest time I didn’t have a car, so it was my only option, but out of necessity, I conjured up a small list of the pros of bike commuting. I wouldn’t trade my old wheels in for the world.
Everything’s A Drive-Through: I went to the post office to drop off a letter in the mail, and all I had to do was ride my bike up the sidewalk next to the drop box and send my letter away to Nebraska. Easy as pie. Didn’t even have to get off my seat. Then I put my feet to the pedals and I was gone before you could even find a parking spot.
I Can Indulge in Practicality: I bought a Camelbak just so I could use it when I was on my bike! (And for music festivals), but it’s great for biking, especially when you don’t have screws on your frame for a water bottle cage. Speaking of which, I rode my bike to the hardware store to buy zip ties an hour ago for that very reason. Practical!
And not only that, but biking forces me to be sparse and smart in my attire and what I am bringing with me. Is what I’m wearing practical for my commute and my destination? Am I carrying too much? Will all the useless shit in my backpack slow me down and cause back sweat to ruin this nice clean shirt? Yes? Okay, I won’t bring it.
Exercise: Duh, biking expends calories! Which means you can eat more and enjoy full fat lattes!
Parking: I can park where ever the hell I want! Unless there is a “No Bikes” sign, in which case I’ll walk across the street or down the block, and then park where ever the hell I want!
Know Your Neighborhood: I have become familiar with so many more local businesses because when I’m biking, I see more. In a car, I’m far more complacent with my surroundings and I don’t notice the local hardware store down the street as I whiz by in my fuel-burning, co2 producing car. Good thing I do on my bike, because now I have those zip ties.
Fresh Air: There is literally nothing better than the fresh, cool air whipping at your face when you cruise down a hill. Except today it was bitter and windy as fuck, but hey! Not bad for a February excursion.
Traffic: Biking down a busy street during rush hour is a rush. I love, love, love, soaring by cars that are at a standstill in traffic. What’s best is when they are moving but I can still cut in and out of the semi-mobile parking lot that you might call Bardstown Road, for example. It’s the biggest stress reliever I know. In my mind I like to imagine what the car-drivers are thinking watching a biker pass by on a 40mph road. I may not get to my destination faster after you get out of this little debacle, Car, but I sure as hell feel more productive.
Drunken Biking: It is illegal. Don’t be fooled. You can apparently get pulled over for this. I don’t condone it. But I actually do condone it, because it is a lot less dangerous than operating a motor vehicle under the influence (this I actually don’t condone), and it’s cheaper than a cab. I will say this, however, it is obviously more dangerous to you the biker, especially if there are other drunk drivers around. Also I tend to feel less fearless and take more reckless chances. This is why I take back roads with little to no traffic between the hours of 2am and 4am.
But for the sake of researching the other side, I found this article that seems to be the first of it’s kind. While sober, this biker was convicted of a felony for recklessly striking a pedestrian when he ran a red light on his bike. It was considered vehicular manslaughter, because the 71-year-old man died four days later from his injuries.
“Witness accounts described Bucchere as having run a red light before striking Hui, and Gascon said that was the ‘tie breaker’ between prosecuting the case as a felony or a misdemeanor.”
On a happier note, I would like to conclude this short jaunt by encouraging you to go buy a bike and ride it! In the coming months it’s sure to be warming up, and you might even be able to catch some discounts at your local bike shops.
P.S. I’m looking for a bike trunk rack and some panniers of sorts. Let a sister know if you can help her out. Happy biking!
It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post that the layout of the WordPress Dashboard has changed on me.
Where am I? Lost in an intricately designed web page with darker side tabs and larger fonts, to which my eyes have not been able to fully adjust to since I struggled to remember my login password. I’ve since decided that I need to practice writing again and because nobody has really read through this blog in the past month or more, I might as well get my crappy writing out of the way before I become a famous freelance blogger for the most popular biographical music web logs on the internet.
I was inspired today during my regular visit to Louisville’s own Highland Coffee, my favorite coffee shop in the Highlands if that was unclear, while I read through the very last issue of a free, two year old, local publication called The Paper. I seemingly discover all the wonderful things in the world just before they are about to die – but as a friend said just last night, “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”. Despite the fact that I had only just started to glance over this monthly release, I found that I was becoming attached to all the words and visuals that spanned across these 20 pages of content. Particularly August 2013 Volume 2, Issue 12.
The pages of The Paper are filled with lovely stories of local art and talent, interviews from a wide variety of transplants, lifers, and short term residents, articles on the recent happenings in the music scene, and more. My only question is, why didn’t I start picking up this paper sooner? After all, it’s completely free!
What really got me thinking though, was reading through the pages of inspiring do-it-yourselfers out of, essentially, a do-it-yourself project that is the creation of The Paper. This city is what it is because of the people who reside here. The people who run the local businesses, who play in their local bands at local bars, and who shop for Kentucky grown meat and vegetables at the local farmer’s markets. Louisville had adopted Austin’s little phrase in order to promote local and it is not uncommon to spot cars sporting “Keep Louisville Weird” bumper stickers from Prospect to Audubon Park.
Being from out of town and having lived here for the last four years for school, I have been learning about the city little by little. It was not until I turned 21 and graduated from school (and graduated from my career as a Division I athlete) that I was able to start appreciating all the little local breweries, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and countless other areas of the city that I would never have otherwise noticed had I not been so busy with all my previous commitments.
I like to tell people that I came here for school and sports, which Louisville has no shortage of (NCAA sports more specifically seeing as there are no major league teams in the city), and I stayed for the beer and the local flare and creativity. I do not plan on moving out of here any time soon and I hope that in the next few years I will be able to discover more of what makes this city so artsy, and even explore my own avenues to find out what I was brought here to do.
As I sit in my in my 100+ year old apartment building in Old Louisville with 10 foot ceilings, I am looking up from my pillows out my massive arched window which lies just behind the head of my bed (bad feng-shui, I know). A ridiculous freak rain storm has already come and gone. The heat and humidity is slowly drying the moisture up, leaving the streets printed with a rain speckled tessellation. I think the weather here sums just about everything up. Louisville and it’s people are relentless, unpredictable, and ever changing, similar to the climate in the Ohio River Valley. I couldn’t appreciate where I currently reside more. This city has stamped something significant on me and I hope to give back to it in all the best ways possible.
Because who doesn’t love panoramas and stuff. However, I didn’t really accomplish much running.
Last weekend I felt so accomplished I waited until Wednesday to tell everyone about it for fear that the overwhelming success would blow everyone so far away they would never come back to read this blog. Unfortunately, most of what I accomplished wasn’t really relevant considering I graduate in May and have a ridiculous amount of work that I still need to get done. Regardless of what I accomplished, it gave me happy feelings so I’m going to share it and hopefully you will feel happy feelings too.
It started when I was planning on taking a nap in order to prepare for a 25th birthday party at Skyzone (adulthood at it’s finest). However that did not happen due to a large Dunkin’ Donuts hazelnut iced coffee.
Any time I am unable to nap despite the fact that my body is begging me to, I take the opportunity to do something very irrelevant that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do because I am either a) sleeping, b) doing relevant homework things, or c) feeling too guilty to do fun things because I should be doing homework, but rather I am sitting on my bed staring at the wall/the TV/ my computer. Because the nap didn’t happen, on Saturday morning after practice I sat on my hair laden floor, listened to loud music, and started to make art things.
This was the result of a lot of random experimentation and home made Mod Podge. On a side note, Mod podge is the fabric of youth, and because the Internet knows lots of things, I was able to make my own for about 4 dollars. Normally that shit costs $17 for a 32oz bottle. This girl bought a $2 bottle of Kroger brand glue (actually I bought 2, it was on sale) and mixed equal parts glue and water. I put it in a Kroger brand plastic container that I bought that day (because it was on sale) and mixed it up. I haven’t used the Mod Podge brand in a while because as you can see I’m not trying to spend that kind of money, but as I recall, this concoction worked just the same. Shout out to Kroger.
The summary of this is basically, I wish I could still be in art classes like I was in high school, Bansky is an inspiration to all, and white girls cannot wear afro picks. It just is a fact.
On Sunday funday Chance the Rapper x Kids These Days were in Louisville, so of course I went. It was AWEsommeee. Here are some photes. And if anyone was wondering, I did finish a paper this day that is not due for two weeks! Yea productivity!
I got this little camera around Christmas time and I have been experimenting with it for the past couple months now. This is what I have learned.
1. This is an Holga 135 toy camera. It takes photos using 35mm film. It is not digital. It’s outside appearance will steal your heart, but what happens on the inside is what will make you fall in love.
2. Not everything that you see through the viewfinder will be what you see on the photo. This becomes obvious after the first roll of film or so. Aim high, or risk cutting peoples heads off. You can also see that the top of the lens obstructs the view a bit through this über meta photo below.
3. Double exposure! Since you can expose the film as many times as you want with the Holga, you can take some pretty interesting shots. You will only get to see how they turn out after you get them developed, but that is half the fun!
4. Patience is key. My first roll of film as a whole sucked because it was completely experimental. There were a few shots that I got out of it that I thought were pretty cool, but the more you shoot, the more you will learn what different lighting will do.
5. Quality over quantity. You only have so many exposures per roll of film, so I found it is better to take a little time to think about what it is you want to photograph, what will make the photo unique, and how to compose it. You can’t go back and delete, so snapping a photo of everything you see will get expensive.
6. Film costs money. Duh. Everything costs money. Luckily I got a few rolls of film to start out with, but if you don’t develop your own photos, which is also expensive, you will have to bring them to a lab. I have found I’ve averaged around $8 per folder of prints I have gotten back. So again, quality over quantity.
7. Observe. I’ve noticed so many more things after going out and taking photos with this camera. Because you don’t get to see the photo right away, you take more time to look at what you are shooting. This is what has made film photography fun for me thus far, and I hope to learn some new things on my next roll of film.
I am definitely hoping to get better with this little camera and learn a bit more about it! If any, or all, (probably all) of that sounded amateur, that’s because it was. But look out for more where this came from!
Basically in the past week plus a few days I have been busy as hell. In the best of ways though, because everything after Friday Dec. 6th has been in celebration of finals being over. I don’t really care to go into great detail because there has been SOO MUCH STUFF, but this is what has happened since the end of finals:
12/7 – Shopped on Bardstown road, recieved early Christmas gift of Holga Lomography camera, ate homemade hummus, and learned that possibly half the Jewish population might have had syphilis over 200 years ago. I am refraining from citing the source of this information in order to save embarrassment from a certain individual.
12/8 – erged 10 by 500m pieces, drove to Chicago, saw Hoodie Allen concert(!!), ate pizza, partied with the band. Ya know, typical Saturday night. The concert was amazing by the way, as always.
12/9 – awoke in Chicago, ate continental breakfast, bade farewell to our friends, embarked on our 5 hour journey back to Louisville.
12/10 – lazed around all day trying to come down from concert high with little success.
12/11 – received amazing/devastating news that I won a contest to see an exclusive Macklemore show in the Youtube office in the Google building in New York City! The devastating part came when I realized that I am in Louisville. But then after a lot of hemming and hawing and finally realizing that you only live once, and with the help of my wonderful mother (and her gift of frequent flier miles) I…
12/12 – …booked a flight to New York City for the following day.
12/13 – arrived at the airport at 6am for my impromptu NYC trip. When I got to NYC, I got on a bus and the driver let me on for free (so nice!), then transfered to a subway, and finally arrived in the Chelsea Market area. I walked around, saw the sights, sat in Starbucks… ENTER RYAN LEWIS. He just walked into Starbucks and was chilling! So I met him. Then the show happened. It was phenominal. Then, I rushed back to the airport to head back to Louisville. Sad face.
12/14 – woke up still concert high again, went out and got my first roll of film developed from my Holga camera, then I prepared for our departure to Miami. Got on the bus in Louisville…
12/15 – …woke up in Florida.
Between then and now we have been training in this warm, sunny place sweating our butts off and suffering from baby hand blisters. However, hooray for dolphin sightings, warm blue waters, and palm tree sunsets!
Also, hooray for having been in four different cities all in one week. I think the thing I learned from this week is to go for the gold, seize the moment, and live for now. With all the things that have happened in the last week, I would consider myself pretty damn lucky! If the world really does end on the 12/21 at least I will have had made it back to the original homeland in Connecticut to see my family and I can die a happy girl. Of course, if it doesn’t, (and it won’t) I am going to continue living this life that makes other people jealous (or so I am told), and naturally I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!
I think this song is perfectly appropriate for this moment you are probably having while reading this, plus it fits my mood right now, which is basically why I am posting it. So enjoy the ginger dreadlocks of Newton Faulkner.