Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Late Summer Afternoon


I suppose if I were to patch together all the the photos posted on this blog of the 3-mile loop, you'd probably be able to see all of it...all at once. Maybe.

But this is what it looked like today, on a late summer afternoon, and I consider myself fortunate to have seen it. More than that, because I was on a bicycle, I smelled the scent of it, heard sounds of it, and felt the very breeze of it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Map Study Delivers


I enjoy looking at maps and aerial photographs. One of the reasons is that sometimes they can pay off with delightful destinations. I was browsing Google Maps (which includes map, terrain, and aerial photos) yesterday trying to find a "non-commercial" access point to Lake Ray Roberts. When I noticed a rural road that came very close to the water, I deduced that there might be insufficient space to include private property between the road and the shoreline of the lake. So early this morning, I rolled out to investigate.





Yep. Another delightful destination bagged, and only 45 minutes away. This will be a very good spot for micro-tour when cooler weather arrives.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tough Duty


Business travel is humiliating, exhausting, lonely, and inconvenient...





...except when it's not. (Diamondbacks 11, Padres 5)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Refreshing/Humbling


Choosing (coincidentally) to start this book while being at a conference helped to reinforce its message. Here I have been spending all day sitting and listening to people who spend their lives managing, making decisions, planning, dictating, collaborating, and policy-making, so I could aspire to one day be as successful as they are. At night, however, I've been receiving a completely different message. The message from the book encourages doing things. What a contrast!

I haven't yet finished the book, and I'll not try to summarize it here. Instead, I'll simply say that if you've had a nagging urge to actually produce something instead of spectating, consuming, or making choices, you might be interested in Mr. Crawford's message. Whether it is music, creating something, growing something, or repairing something, he makes a good case that we undervalue work and overvalue consumerism and exercising choice.

I'm anxious to get back to the book, but I'd like to make a few personal observations for a few individuals I know that might enjoy it...

To my friend, Brad, maybe this should be on your "required reading list", along with works of Wendell Berry, for your future economics classes.

To my father-in-law, Burton, because I see you live it each day, I know you already understand what this book says, but you still might find it interesting how so many of us sadly don't get it.

To my daughter, Lisa, this might be a logical "its your turn" follow-up to the last two great books you've recommended to me. It seems to fit in pretty well with the general theme of our discussions.

To my daughter, Ellen, I recommend this book to you because you are so much like me, which means you need its message.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to get back to something...

Still Strange Scenery

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pre-Departure Morning Rounds


Seemed like a good idea to make the rounds this morning, before leaving town for a few days.



You know, to make sure everything was in order.



So I could go away without worrying about something being amiss.



Well that, and maybe pressing the serene views into my memory.



Because I'm pretty sure I'll see nothing like this where I'm going.



Yep, it all checked out nicely.



I wonder if it'll be okay without me around.



Maybe I should take another look around when I get back.

Yes, I think I'd better do just that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Wild Side


Readers of this blog fully grasp the utter blandness of my comparatively tame outings on the bicycle. I've been on record as referring to what I do as civilized adventuring. Some of my most excitable descriptions of being "out there" have been for something I call micro-tours. When the word epic is used in this blog, it is only allowable because of my ability to exaggerate and knowledge that you weren't there. Not so today.



Today, I took a spin on the wild side.



Today, I joined this fixie hipster for some authentic urban action. I felt somewhat out of place on my multi-geared bike with saddle bag, while she sported the feather-weight fixed wheel in town. My colorful paint seemed silly and conspicuous next to her flat black frame dripping with attitude. You fans of Yehuda Moon, think Sister Sprocket.



We cruised city streets and the Trinity Trails. No longer on my empty gravel county roads, I was a little nervous in the midst of so many people, activity, and noise. Fortunately, she was cool as ice and boosted my confidence. It was amazing to watch what only countless hours of riding in these wild surroundings can bring to one's skills.



I've got to say I think she woke up an aggressive attitude sleeping somewhere deep inside me. Or maybe it was just a powerful pull at my heart strings. Could this be love? She was such a great riding partner, I decided to bring her home. Now she's my country riding companion.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunrise Apology


I guess I should apologize for yet another sunrise photo. I'm sorry.

Although I brought the camera with me this morning, I had no intention of using it. I was going to attempt a certain loop with limited time. No nature gawking.

But when I crested this small rise, and saw the sun peeking over the trees, it seemed a shame not to share it with someone.

Had a great time, wish you were there.

And I'm really sorry.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Light Switch "On"

(light switch "on", time to roll)

The breeze picked-up almost immediately. It blew steadily from the southwest, but it felt so good to be back on the road. Normally, windy conditions mess with my mind and test my patience. Today, however, it couldn't touch my joy at all.

It was ALL good.


(hey, that's me)


(a rare grove of trees)


(hilltop pause)

(late summer green pasture)


(Ganzer Road at IH-35, looking south)


(back in the quiet zone
)

Friday, August 13, 2010

News in Context

I monitor the news of the day, and shake my head in disbelief. What folly by those who lead us!

They toss aside wisdom, justice, and truth to satisfy the most destructive passions within us. Instead of leading, they appeal to the selfish interests of others to satisfy their own selfishness. Where are the grown-ups?

The reality is that, in proper context, this seemingly enormous seat of power is scoffed, and foolishness will fall. Look at the bigger picture. Irresponsible stewards will be removed and punished.

One place to go for proper context is Psalm 2. There are many others.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Consequences

view from the saddle

I have a friend who thinks that golf is a metaphor for life. He's a golfer. I think a cycling metaphor can teach almost any life lesson. Here's one; bad choices lead to unpleasant consequences.

Yesterday, the afternoon was hot. So I decided to skip riding in the afternoon and planned to ride early this morning. The problem is that I made poor diet choices yesterday which lead to unpleasant consequences. I didn't sleep well (consequence 1). Because I didn't sleep well, I didn't get up early and ride this morning (consequence 2). Not able to ride, I went through the day agitated carrying around regret (consequence 3). Determined to solve the agitation problem, I decided to go out and ride this afternoon in the 102 (feels like 105) heat. It was unpleasant (consequence 4).

What is true here in the realm of cycling vividly illustrates a universal principle. It's best to pay attention to our decisions, and make good ones. Sometimes those unpleasant consequences can domino on us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Closer Look


Funny how mechanical issues, tweaks, weather, upgrades, schedule, research, and planning change perspective. With various things going on within the stable, I've been encouraged to take a closer look at the A. Homer Hilsen here.

I'm enjoying a whole new level of appreciation, and it ain't all appearance. It's a kind of contentment.

I like it when that happens.







Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Way I Like It

In heat of summer, I like an early start. On the road at 5:30am is about right.


Remote hilltop arrival before sunrise to catch the wonder in total. Cup of coffee in hand.


Wow, ... for me? Thanks!


When the dry southwest breeze begins to stir, its time to pack up the gear and head back.


Watching the sun spill between the trees, and flow across the road.


Zig-zagging through the folds in the landscape.