Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Danger Comes in All Forms

Quite often when we ride...and we usually ride as little as possible in town, and ride the shoulder on the highway....we discuss "danger."  Yesterday we talked about being alert and cautious and aware of what's happening all around us.  We discussed heat and lack of water and angry drivers....and on and on.  I'd even made the comment that you can't just wrap yourself in pillows and stay at home.  An airplane could fall on your house...or a gas explosion (we had those in 2000)...or any number of other disasters.

Case in point:  A very close friend of mine moved about a year ago into a senior citizen high-rise.  She called this morning to tell me about their "excitement last night."  It seems about 10 pm they were told they needed to evacuate the building.  Some 80 residents did just that.  She said LOTS of firemen and police were outside and the area was already taped off with crime scene streamers.  It seems a man was found dead in an apartment on the first floor.  (No one as yet seems to know what the story is on that.  He was older however.)  At any rate, upon entering his apartment to check on his welfare and finding him expired, a stash of explosives were also found.  News reports say "grenades and pipe bombs."  My friend tells me he was a military person in his younger days and everyone thinks maybe these items were memoribilia from World War II.

At any rate, near 11 pm the residents were told they could return to their apartments...all except for the south wing of the first floor and apartments 209 and 211.  My friend Pat lives in 209!   She was finally allowed to return to her place about midnight.  She said she's been much more concerned today than she was last night when she didn't know what was going on.

So...I repeat...get out and do something fun.  You only live once and you might as well do it while you can.  Be aware, be careful, but bottom line:  when your time's up, your time's up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Again with "Biker's Humor".....

Carol and I (and sometimes Mary) have been putting in quite a few bicycle least for a bunch of old women!  Since June 14th (the date of my last post here) we've ridden 38.01, 28.50, 32.63, 25., 29.85, 41.86, 31.3, 20.46, 32.06, and 41.85 miles...that's a  total of 321.52 miles since June 14...or 662.18 miles total for June.  Am I proud??  Darned tootin', ya whippersnappers!   I'm the youngest (barely) of the three of us and I'll soon be 68 years old.  We had a guy tell us just this morning that he was impressed (we see him nearly every day)...and all I could think was, "So am I!"   Didn't figure I'd ever get back into this much riding again, and I'm loving it.

Yesterday was the second 3-digit day we've had around here (it hit 105 here) and today we're supposed to be around 107 degrees.  This morning it was just Carol and I and we were on for a 42-miler.  On the way back in we were talking about the heat and heat exhaustion and heat strokes, etc.  I told her that yesterday I had taken my car to get the oil changed and was waiting in the very cool, very air-conditioned waiting room when one of the service writers came in from the garage area at the dealership.  He was sweaty and very red-faced and clearly needed to cool off.  There are big double doors at both the north and south ends of this huge drive-thru garage and in Kansas that means the wind is moving through there.  Also they had a big..that's going...but he was clearly very hot.  Carol said, "Oh...and that's so dangerous!"   She was 100% sincere and serious...but all of a sudden it hit both of us how funny it was.  We're cranking along, sweating like crazy, out in the sun.... Duh....   Made us wonder if maybe the heat was getting to us!

It's hot...but it's fun and we all think good for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  I made the comment yesterday that there would be no war if everyone would get out and do this kind of stuff.  Maybe a little over the top, but .... maybe.

So get out there.  Go early...get home before it gets TOO hot....and hey, don't forget to count your blessings! 

One little after thought here:  Back at the beginning of this year I purchased a couple of Continental Gator tires...little pricey (about $50 each).  They are worth every penny.  The above day of 20.46 miles was because when I was about 11 miles south of here we heard a clicking.  I had a thread-thin wire in one of my tires.  Couldn't pull it out with bare fingers, so I rode it on in.  This is the first flat tire I've had since sometime in December or January.  That's phenomenal for me!  And I actually never had a flat.  I got home and pulled the wire, checked the tube which was punctured, and changed the tire.  But it never went flat when I rode on it for 11 or so miles.  Great tires...I love 'em!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maybe You Had To Be There......

You all know by now that I'm a bicyclist.  Well, sometimes when one's riding the endorphins or something make things terribly funny.  We had one of those days today.  This may not be funny to anyone else, but Carol and I found it hilarious!

To begin with, a week or so ago I bought a new pair of Shimano sandals to ride in.  Love 'em!!!  But the left one has a little squeak in it.  (I wore my old shoes one day just to determine it truly is the sandal and not the crank.)  Carol assures me it'll probably go away with time as hers had done the same thing and finally quit.

So it was windy here today...and got windier and windier as the day went on (at noon it was 23 mph with gusts.)  At 6:30 this morning we took off and rode into the wind out to Crupper's Corner (about 11 miles)...then went on to Yoder (another 4 or 5 miles.)  Usually we take a short break and then head back...and that will get us 32 miles total.    It was windy but we just kept plugging along and it wasn't that bad.  We got to Yoder and had our break and I suggested that we take Red Rock Road east out of Yoder for a few miles, then turn around and pretty much have the tailwind all the way back.  Carol's always ready for more miles so we did it.  We got out to the Buhler/Haven road (about 5 miles) and turned around and headed back.  By now there's quite a cross wind but we do ok.  When we got back to Yoder we had to stop for traffic before heading north on Yoder Road for a couple of miles.  I reached down for my water bottle and it literally fell apart in my hand.  The pop-up top just pulled right out of the lid!!!  I managed to go ahead and get a drink and we kind of laughed about it and headed north.  Two miles going with the wind...awesome!  Then we turned west again on Elmer Road.  The second we turned I heard it!  The wind was blowing across the top of my water bottle and it was "hooting."

A little ways down the road Carol said, "You have a regular band going on over there, don't ya?"  We got so tickled it was hard to pedal.  Like I said, maybe you had to be there...but it really was funny.  Every crank my shoe would creak and the water bottle was hooting!

The Bicycle Band

Never a dull moment.  It was a fun ride!  42 miles!  Life's good!  Get out there...enjoy all this...get some laughs...get busy living!!!  And don't, you know:  count your blessings!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Daily News

And goes on here.  Mary got home from the hospital...and I think maybe discovered they must've been "doctoring" her IV.  She does have a little pain, but she says can tell "hour by hour" that's she's improving.  That's good news!  She asked the dr. about riding a bicycle and he reminded her that she'd just had a rather big surgery.  She said when she mentioned wanting to play volley ball Wednesday evening he just rolled his eyes.  No bicycle, no least until after her first check up in about a week.  You just can't keep a good woman down!

Meanwhile Carol and I have really been racking up the miles.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today we rode to Yoder.  We go "the long way"...out through South Hutch and around Crupper's Corner...then usually come back on Trail West Road (affectionately known as Elmer Road - no dogs, nearly zero traffic.)  I've logged about 32 miles each I've said before, some days I must wobble more.  (I'm either 32+ or high 31's.)

One kind of neat thing that has happened at Yoder:  first day we rode over we got to Yoder pre-8 a.m. and the Kansas Station wasn't open yet so we went to the Carriage Crossing Restaurant.  We were going to sit outside and I went in to get us some drinks.  Carol drinks black coffee and I usually drink Diet Coke.  I had to compromise and have Diet Dr. Pepper (and that's ok)...but when the gal rang them up it was $1.79 and $ tax $2.46.  Same sized cups, etc.  I thought maybe it was supposed to be $.79 instead of $1.79 so I asked.  The soda was $1.79!  This would be a medium in most places.  If I had seen only the total I wouldn't have cared....but I was surprised to say the least.

So...the next day I noticed there was a pop machine over at Yoder Meats.  I checked my money and had a $5 bill and $.40 in change.  Carol had enough change we could have made it work but I decided I didn't really want one all that bad.  About that time a very good looking man came out of Yoder Meats and wound up offering to pay for our sodas. really don't care for any...and we have water.  We went over and sat at the picnic tables next door, took a little break, and got back on the road.

Yesterday we'd barely made it into the Yoder Meats parking lot and the same guy came out, bought me a Diet Dr. Pepper, offered to get Carol one, and was just overall pleasant!!!   I tried to pay him (I was prepared this time) but he wouldn't accept it!  Isn't that nice!?!?!?

Also a week ago yesterday, I bought a new pair of bike shoes: Shimano sandals with clips.  Carol has had a pair for several years and I've always thought they look so cool and comfortable.  I checked on-line and Ebay, but really wanted to try them on so a visit to Bicycle XChange in Wichita left me owning a pair.  I LOVE 'EM!!!!   They're comfortable, and cool and my little piggies feel so free.  Well worth the $$$.

The wheat harvest continues..but we're almost done around here I think.  Get out and enjoy this gorgeous weather.  Mornings are truly spectacular!  Count your blessings!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thought for Today

If you can't afford a doctor, go to an airport -  you'll get a free x-ray and a breast exam....and if you mention Al Qaeda, you'll get a free colonoscopy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Awesomely Weird Great News

Went to see Mary at the hospital this evening.  She had her appendix removed this a.m. as well as some scar tissue that was causing blockage.  It was all done laparoscopically.  Three small incisions.  Mary is looking and feeling great.  Scooted around and moved like "no pain"...and commented that she has ZERO pain.  She said the worst of it was the tube down her throat.  She'd already been up and walked the halls twice (and challenged one of the nurses to a foot race) and was planning on going a couple of more times before bedtime.  They plan to dismiss her tomorrow and when we joked that we'd have her back on the bike within six weeks, she said, "How 'bout this weekend?"  She is going to ask her doctor if she can play volleyball Wednesday night!!!

I love my friends!  Tough, strong, confident, independent women!  (And after that comment...for those of you who don't know us...NO, none of us are gay! And again for those who don't know wouldn't matter if we were!! Who cares?!?!)

Great news...Happy to have Mary back to "normal"....well, as normal as Mary gets!

Rides and Not So Good News start with, Carol and I rode Saturday morning: 28.5 miles.
And we rode Sunday: 25.12 miles.   Both absolutely beautiful rides!!!!

And after coffee this morning, Carol and Mary and I were supposed to ride...BUT...about 8:15 Mary's husband called me and told me that she's in the hospital.  After supper last evening she got really bad stomach pains and they wound up going to the emergency room.  (To start with you need to know these are people who don't know pain....i.e., Mary crashed her bicycle...road rash, etc....Wes had her get back on and they rode about 40 miles so she wouldn't get stiff!!!)  Anyway, he said they thought maybe she had a blockage or something and kept her overnight.  I told him that I'd let the other gals know and I'd be up to the hospital right after coffee.  While we were at coffee (about 9:15 or so) he called again and said probably not a good time to go see her as she has a tube down her throat and they were prepping her for surgery: emergency appendectomy!  Holy Cow!!!  Mary.....Mary who NEVER is sick...who NEVER complains about hurting anywhere!!!!  Holy Cow!!!!  I haven't heard any news since.  I'll be checking in on her later.

I've made several phone calls to let everyone know what's going on and they all say about the same thing:  Mary?  She's NEVER sick...Mary????    Yeah, Mary!

The upside is that's she's in incredible shape...muscle tone, lungs, heart, etc...and should spring back pretty quickly.  Carol and I think we can have her back on a bicycle within six weeks!  And Mary's no slouch...she's not going to just lie around and do nothing.  She'll work at getting well FAST!!!

Carol and I did go ahead and get in a ride this morning.  Didn't leave til about 10 a.m. and it got pretty hot and muggy before we got back.  But I get to log in another 25.01 miles!

Get out there...enjoy this wonderful weather....and of course, don't forget to count your blessings!  They're right there...lookin' ya right in the face!

And P.S.   Give those combines ROOM!!!!!  We had to get over and stop for two this morning....they use ALL the road and need ALL the courtesy we can give them.  They're doing a job with time and weather restraints.