Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eagle Curb Taming 3-26-09

Today's ride was an easy 15 miles and as I looked ahead to the Coast Range that separates the San Francisco Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean, I thought about how, soon I would be disappearing for many days at a time into lands far more remote than how our local mountains appear. At least now, my rides are short and I always have a refrigerator, shower and a bathroom I can return to. In the pretty near future, I am going to have to prepare my mind for the nomad like existence that I will be forced to adopt.

I will also have to prepare my mind for the slow down in time where clocks and calendars will often be hard to locate. Nor will water, mirrors and my favorite foods be things I can expect to be readily accessible. Many of the things we take for granted for a productive life, such as electricity, and signals for telephone and internet access will also often not exist. This as the monotony of miles that I can look forward to pedaling is going to require I have something to keep my mind occupied. Soon, I will have to start thinking about new thoughts I can play with or cogitate upon for the desolate circumstance I know is before me.

Now that I am feeling a lot more solid on the Eagle and have been turning my attention to the Ines Brunn show on 4/4 (SOON!), we now even have an event poster we can begin circulating. Soon I will have it at the WEB we have created for this amazing performance so you can run your own copies and circulate accordingly. THX to Faye Saunders (pictured above), for not only creating the handsome poster but for taking over the management of the Ines event so I can more fully tame this Eagle.

As you can see from my route noted below, I did a light dose of hills, they are actually becoming fun, before I returned to town to run a few errands. I stopped in at the Palo Alto Weekly's downtown offices, but Jay Thorwaldson, their managing editor, was not there. Jay appreciates what I have before me, because he too lives a life of adventure. He commutes to work on a beautiful and huge motorcycle complete with fairing and floorboards. Every weekend he runs off to the Sierras on it so he can spend time with his girlfriend who lives there. Some of the escapades he has shared with me over the years remind me of the journeys I used to do all over the western US and Canada back when I was in college using motors instead of my legs to get places.

Since Jay wasn't there, I used that time to call upon Marisella at my favorite Mexican restaurant in all of the San Francisco peninsula, La Morenita. Located across from the Palo Alto Whole Foods at Homer and Emerson, it not only offers a wonderful ambiance, but the food there is great. Many a business deal has been conducted over the meals that Marisella and her aunt and sometimes her uncle can often be found serving.

A beautiful woman, like her mother who owns the restaurant, Marisella is driven to succeed and also has a sharp business mind. So much so that her mother entrusts a lot of the local promotion efforts to Marisella. Toward that end, when I asked her to support my ride and the Ines Event with a donation for our raffle, she almost immediately produced a gift certificate for $45 worth of dining at her eatery.

And all of you just might get to meet Marisella. I am trying to get her and her boyfriend to ride up with us to San Francisco City Hall when the ex mayor of Palo Alto, Yoriko Kishimoto, helps me kick my ride off on May 3 as per this
INVITATION that I am extending to all of you as well.

On my way back home I spotted a woman hauling a trailer ahead of me on Park Ave. And I raced to catch her because the pace she was keeping looked like a familiar one. She seemed to be comfortably moving along at about the same speed I did when I crossed America in 1986 on what amounted to a 13 foot long rig. By the time I caught her, I knew I had come a long way on the HiWheel bike.

When I first started riding Penny Farthings in 2001, the only people I passed were pedestrians on the sidewalk. Even the slowest jogger was hard for me to keep up with. I kept riding and over the years I keep getting stronger and stronger. And now, if I make my mind up, I can actually catch a slow moving cyclist once in a while, like I just did. And Wow, what a confidence builder to know I can move as fast as I did in 1986 because after I caught this young mother and rode with her for another half of a mile, hers was an easy pace for me to keep!!

At right is a photo of a small curb that feeds an alley way here in Palo Alto. I show
it because I rode down it on today's ride. Painlessly! And in fact, I look forward to bigger curbs to go down (and, in time, up them) because neither I nor the bike seemed to feel it very much at all. How different this was for me!

On the Ordinary Hiwheel, the way to go safely down any size curb is to place great strain on the pedals to do so. On the Eagle the opposite is true. The Eagle center of gravity is so rearward oriented that if I were to pedal hard while going down a large ledge it might just pull the front wheel off the ground after the jump was complete. Nor was I willing to find out. By keeping a light amount of pressure on the pedals, I executed the maneuver just fine!! WoW!!

So much Yahoo!!

THX 4 all of U!!

Note: This ride is not about me but it is a celebration of all the people who have helped me get back to wholeness physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. This as I stand on the shoulders of giants to enjoy the privilege of riding this bike, the only Eagle (backwards HiWheel) in active use in all the world...

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