IONTW – June 25, 2017

Draw a circle. Which way did you go?

Fascinating photos from 1942: Making the New York Times

This month marks the 45th anniversary of Title IX. Although most people, if they are aware of it at all, think Title IX has to do with high school and college athletics, since that is perhaps where the most visible impact was, the statute actually makes no explicit mention of sports: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Here are some Unsung Heroines of Sports History

Alphabet books – from Shel Silverstein, for adults(!) who knew? and the Child’s ABC of the War – WWI that would be. Some might argue about which is actually more suitable for kids…

Awesome thermochromic ink eclipse stamp!

News to me – a period (the punctuation mark) isn’t what it used to be. Or at least it might not mean what I think it does.

Angry Asian Man

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I-liner

For some reason I thought I’d done the metal type on this letter, but then I looked at the stack and … think again. OK then. Set up the two type faces – doesn’t seem to be so many Is – or at least I end up using them all and OH! yeah, they are thinner that’s probably what I’m noticing – that the lines aren’t as long. I didn’t actually count the number of letters. May not be as different as I think. And again the fun of some different arrangements of the two lines, and sorta thinking about placement but each sheet is slightly different and I never really know what I’m going to get until I pull up the print and where’s that balance between trying for something in Particular and just going with what you get? and feeling that little catch of resistance oh that’s such a big stack but getting pulled in – ink, print, ink, print, ink, print – back and forth and next thing I know it’s all gone through the press. and then, with one of each of the already printed ones (ha! this means I’m more than halfway done, right?!) – not with any thought of if these “go” together – the top off of each of the other stacks and the first off the press – so how will that end up? choose ones to go together or let it be random? whatever IT ends up to be anyway – something flat or some sort of structure or bookish thing or ?

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2016 SFR El Paseito Mixto Populaire

Carlos, of La Ruta fame (or is that infamy?) has also concocted a kinder, gentler mixed terrain populaire – El Paseito Mixto – that has been added to the SFR calendar for a dual populaire day in the late summer for several years now. Riders can choose between El Paseito and the traditional Lucas Valley route, both ending at Crissy Field for the after ride picnic. Of course I’d been intrigued, but one thing and another never got a chance to ride it until last year.

There was a bit of last-minute juggling to get food and supplies stashed for the finish, and a start location change due to another event going on, but it all got sorted out, and we were soon on our way into the beautiful day. It was clear and sunny, and the WOWs just kept coming as we climbed up Conzelman Road away from the Bridge. Such amazing views! And one of those ridiculously splendid erm Native American summer days of late September that the tourists shivering in their shorts in the fog in the middle of June think they are going to have, it being California and all, but don’t.

We went up to the tippy top (well, tippy top of the road anyway), which was new to me on a bike, and then – after a view break – down Poop-Your-Pants (WBP)* Hill. Which was also new to me. It’s a steep, somewhat twisty descent, if you were wondering what the name refers to. Super fun – at least on a dry, sunny day with working brakes.

From there it was a jig-jog on the gravel roads out onto the peninsula past Battery Mendell, back and past Rodeo Lagoon and the Marin Mammal Center on pavement and then out and around past Battery Townsley on gravel again. The out and backs were a fun chance to see other riders, although eventually most everyone got ahead as I kept stopping for pictures and view enjoyment. Amazingly this bit was all new to me – well, at least on the bike – and I could not have asked for a better day for it.

We then headed inland on the Miwok, Bobcat and Marincello (can you believe they were going to put a housing development there?!) fire roads and eased back onto pavement through Strawberry and out to Tiburon. It was fun to chat with some other randos at Cafe Acri, and Eric and I enjoyed affogatos.

After the fortification we continued rolling around Paradise and off to the big hill for the day – Mt. Tam. The climb up Old Railroad Grade is a fire road, but as the name suggests it never gets too steep. It does go on for a while though, and by this point the day had gotten rather warm. The first part is nice and shady but then it gets exposed. I started to feel a little off in the heat and sun, but the gentle grade allowed me to soft pedal, and we eventually reached the spring, which was still flowing. I dunked my head under, which was super refreshing and made the rest of the climb up to West Point Inn go a little better.

From there it was all down hill! (Effectively) There was a bit of dirt descending on Old Stage Road and then we were back on the pavement of Panoramic Highway. It was still warm, if not hot, and I decided a popsicle break was in order when we got to Mill Valley. Or maybe it was that we stopped for fluid rearrangement and then realized there was an additional opportunity. Whatever it was, popsicles were had. Even though there were only two of us, and Safeway only sells whole boxes of popsicles, it did not end up to be a problem.

Following popsicles (difficult, but yes there is life after popsicles) (and yes I just like the word. popsicles POPsicles popSICLES popsicles!!!!) we had the usual bike path and Sausalito fun, but then there was a last new-to-me route twist of going around past Fort Baker rather than climbing directly up Alexander to the bridge. Huh. Who knew?

With all my lollygagging we were among the last to the party, but it was still going on, fueled by the exceptional weather and super tasty food by Angela. It was Angela’s first time as picnic host, and she had some big shoes to fill, taking over from Kimber’s many years of most excellent feasts, but Angela did a bang up job. Big Thanks to Angela and all the other volunteers, Carlos for another fun route and Eric for being such an awesome riding buddy.

The dual populaire will be on a Sunday this year, and a little earlier – mark your calendars for August 6, 2017!

the rest of the pictures

Ride date: Sep 25, 2016

*Words by (The)Potis (TM)

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2017 Flèche NorCal: Team BnB

Somehow I got talked into doing the Flèche again this year. Slow learner, I suppose. Or hope springs eternal… with a promising route – a bit of a remote start even without taking the day off Friday, not too crazy climbing wise but not pancake flat either, and token mixed terrain Willow Creek goodness to boot – and a most excellent team: Captain EricW plus Carlos, Metin and Patrick, all super solid riders who I’ve spent many hours with on other rides with no ill effects. Well, at least for me.

So there we were on the train to Davis on Good Friday. It’s quite a pleasant way to get there, and goes surprisingly quickly. From the station we dispersed to our various hotels, but once I got in I was too tired to go out again. I figured no one would take it personally, since we were going to be spending an entire 24 hours together starting the next morning, and it would probably be better for me to get a bit more sleep.

We had an almost unrandoly 0900 start time, although we met before that for a yummy breakfast at Crepeville. Which, if one of us had been a bit more on the ball, we could have been the Crepe-to-Crepers, since the finish was also at a crepe restaurant. Not that I’ve ever actually partaken of the namesake food. In fact, we were Team BnB, which was, I think, for Bakeries-n-Beer, but could have been Bikes and either of the above, or Bacon, or Butter, or … so many good things begin with B!

Bellies full, and appropriately caffeinated, we headed out of Davis, not through the UC campus, as Eric had decided after a bit of a pre-ride we’d done a few weeks earlier. We were soon out into the agricultural landscape and on our way to Winters. It was pleasant weather and not too windy.

As we were leaving Winters we observed the stop sign before turning on to 128 to head west. The cross traffic does not have to stop, and there was some coming from either side. I might have gone if I was in a car, but probably not. I guess the guy who pulled up behind us in an SUV thought we should have – or maybe he was angry about something else, but he honked his horn. And kept honking. WTH? Really? After we turned I kept expecting him to buzz us, but apparently he was headed somewhere else in his great hurry. Or whatever it was. Whew.

The countryside was so green!! And the Glory Hole was still spilling. And, unlike our pre-ride, it was not raining! So much to like.

We wended our way over to the Napa valley, and as we neared St. Helena Metin got some serious bakery gravity. Once we arrived at the Model Bakery I could see why! HOW IS IT THAT I HAD NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE??? I mean really. Everything looked good, and everything I had was super tasty. The only sad thing was I did not have space to take a Bunny Bread with me. Although there had been mention of a BBQ place further along in Calistoga, we decided to have lunch at the Bakery.

From the Bakery we had to make another stop at a gas station for additional fluid redistribution. While we were waiting for everyone to take care of business we had a couple nice chats with other cyclists – not on bikes, but they saw ours and asked about our ride. When it was my turn in the little room I had a bonus deposit. Woohoo! don’t need to keep carrying that around. Ah, the little things in life…

Although a little trafficky, most of the next section had a good shoulder so we had a pleasant roll up the valley. It was nice having a flattish section for digesting lunch. Twomey? Wait, I thought that was on Westside. Hmn. As we passed through Calistoga I saw the BBQ place – it was super busy looking with motorcycle bikers, making the Bakery choice for lunch look that much better.

Alas, speaking of flats, I was perhaps somewhat remiss in pointing out a pothole and Got it! Eric nailed it. We pulled over in a vineyard with a splendid view of Mt. St. Helena. Well, there are worse places to get a flat. Eric quickly fixed the flat on the front but as we went to roll again realized the rear was flat too. Since we were waiting – and there hadn’t been beer at lunch – Patrick pulled out his flask. I took a sip. Breathing fire sound. Patrick told me I’m supposed to take a small drink. “I thought I did!” While we were stopped a tandem went by the opposite direction, the captain was wearing an SFR jersey but none of us recognized the riders, and they didn’t seem to be with a team.

Back on the road as we rolled north on 128 Metin very helpfully pointed out the sign for Chalk Hill Road to Santa Rosa. “Aren’t you tempted to go home?” Well so much for pretending that wasn’t there! It was getting a little warm so I started to think about stopping for a popsicle in Geyserville but then someone mentioned Plank in Cloverdale, which sounded like a much nicer option, so we pressed on.

As we got close to Cloverdale we saw a plane flying what seemed to be quite low. OHHEY! Skydivers! And no ball of flame from plane crash, so… ah, yes – we did pass a sign for the Cloverdale Airport. That must have been where the low flying plane was going.

We had some debate about where to turn to get to Plank. Everyone else thought Eric and I were going to end up on the Freeway, but we ended up beating them there. The woman at the counter asked Eric if his jersey (wool) was vintage – she seemed quite taken with it. Nope. But you could get one of your own next time there’s an order! I was feeling savory, fortunately they had a non-sweet scone option, and the shrub sounded intriguing. Yes, that’s a drink. It was quite refreshing. Eric wanted to get tubes but we had missed the bike shop on the way in. The others explained where it was, and Eric went out to make sure he got there before it closed.

Cloverdale was our northernmost point – from there we headed south and west. Ah, there is a Twomey here also, I wasn’t imagining that. There was a marvelous sundog. We joked about shortcutting to Guerneville on Sweetwater. Oh but that would overshoot our control. And Westside is such a nice road, especially the part after Wohler Bridge.

We got to Stumptown in the last of the twilight, it was open but they’d already locked the gate to the beer garden. They kindly let us roll our bikes through the bar though. I quite enjoyed soup, sliders and beer. No air hockey this time though. I got a little chilly as we sat, and I knew it wasn’t going to get any warmer for a while, plus time for the reflective gear. I went to freshen up and get situated and when I got out of the bathroom everyone was gone! What, really? No, just gone out of the back porch area, they hadn’t completely left the building. Whew.

We continued on River Road, and I was just starting to get warmed up to the being back on the bike again when we went through a big puddle. After coming out there was the sad sound which wasn’t just water on the tires. Metin’s turn for a flat.

Although we were headed toward the coast on an often notoriously headwindy road, it was not bad. Perhaps there is something to that dying down after sunset thing. Weirdly I got a stich in side though. WTH? I wasn’t running! It was more an annoyance than a show-stopper, but it certainly was annoying. Eventually, much further down the road it did sort itself out.

From the Coast we headed up Willow Creek, our token dirt. It was the first time for Carlos! We all agreed he’d have to come back and do it again during daylight! It was moist, and there were only a few stars, but it was magical as usual – the highlight of the ride.

After we got back on pavement and were at Coleman Valley Road Patrick was looking like he wanted to go left. Erm, don’t you have a magic widget to tell you where to go? We stopped in Bodega for water, finding a spigot after a bit of searching. The hillside cemetery on the outskirts of town was dappled with LED candles at all the gravestones. Not sure if it was special for Easter or if they are always there. Hmn, have I gone by there before at night?

Then the somewhat disjointed ride further into the night, punctuated by MOON!!! at the top of Middle Road. An owl gliding overhead. Weird flashing lights in one of the fields where I usually see sheep when I ride by in the day. In Tomales I saw my breath but pretended it wasn’t really that cold.

As we headed toward Petaluma I wanted to eat some of the burrito I’d been packing, but wasn’t feeling coordinated enough to take it out and unwrap it to a state where I could get just it – and not the bag it was in – down the hatch, so I settled for a bar. Ah, speaking of food, I remembered last year’s late night bonk and checked with Patrick about the eating thing – he’d been keeping up on that but admitted he was feeling a bit sleepy. He said he had taken some caffeine and then we chatted for a bit, which I think helped us both. At least it helped me.

Even though it was late when we got to Petaluma I don’t like riding on the Boulevard if I don’t have to, so the others humored me and we cut through behind the auto row to Denny’s RandoOasis! There were two, maybe three other teams already there enjoying the comforts of inside and food. I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, which I couldn’t find, but the waitress said was a standard non-menu item and let me order one. After eating and relaxing a bit we started doing the math for the rest of the route and, uh yeah we should get going.

Although it was the path of least resistance – Bike Route 5 through Marin – none of us were getting any faster, so it was good we left when we did. Coming into Novato we saw the Easter Bunny! OK OK, it was a standard issue jackrabbit in the median. But it was, at that point, Easter Sunday. The donut store was open, and Eric admitted he needed a pick-me-up. When we got back on the road he said, “I’m not sure that was a good idea.” Donut and Pepsi. Yeah, I’m not sure that’s ever a good idea!

Going through Terra Linda it was Patrick’s turn to flat. That made it seem like a bit of time trial but get to our 22-hour control but we made it with 15 minutes to spare. And wow, I got to leave behind more that I didn’t need to carry over the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, maybe that’s TMI. But you know how sometimes you just feel so much lighter after? Like you’re just going to float away? So good you just want to tell everyone about it!

But anyway. It was a beautiful sunrise, which I don’t think anyone will mind hearing about! On the bike path Eric did a hot lap of the roundabout. Patrick and I followed him, Patrick said, “one of the reasons why I love this man.” Yep. Closer to Sausalito Andrea’s team passed us. When was their start time? Are we going to be early to the finish? We decided to get over the bridge first and then see what time it was. We saw BrianC, Ryan and Mary just before the bridge, I then expected to see them at the finish but apparently they had a ways to go south before returning to the finish.

We did end up having a little “extra” time so had some bonus dirt in the Park going through the Rabbit Hole and then a Steffan lap by the Conservatory of Flowers (Eric had been on a team with Steffan as Captain and he’d made them ride around to be EXACTLY on time to the finish) then headed over to Crepes on Carl, where we handed over our bikes to the lovely volunteers, filled out our cards and went inside to get some vittles and swap stories with ALLTHERANDOS!

All in all, third time’s the charm, although I’m still not convinced this Flèche thing is all it’s cracked up to be. Although I still haven’t done the travel somewhere far(ish) away and do a true arrow route thing. Anyway, big thanks to Captain Eric, Patrick, Carlos and Metin for being an awesome team, Roland for coordinating the event and all the other volunteers at the finish.

more pictures

Ride date: April 15-16, 2017

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something I think I’d like to know, #313

when did jokes become Dad jokes?

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understanding joy

Bike Magazine is not what first comes to mind for most people if they were to list sources of relationship advice. I mostly enjoy the pictures, although the articles are generally readable and entertaining as well. Anyway, in the latest issue (July 2017), tucked into the end of a profile on Reg Mullett, who holds the world’s record for most descending on a mountain bike in 24 hours – who knew? – was a profound tidbit. Or at least it made me stop and think. Apparently Reg rides pretty much all the time and is often out and about on adventures, to the point where the author seemed a bit surprised that he’s married. (Reg that is. Don’t know the author’s marital status.) There is a bit in the article about Reg’s wife, and then the quote by Reg that got me: “She understands my joy.” Wow. To be able to see what someone else loves and is driven to do, and accept – or in some way be OK that it often takes them away from you, that is a love. I suppose when someone is passionate about something that is part of what makes them who they are, and is no doubt part of the attraction. But to really take the whole package… yeah. That’s Something.

As I read that I realized my ex did not understand my joy. Kinda depressing to think about, but I doubt it was even on the radar. Well maybe that’s unnecessarily harsh. It’s not that joy wasn’t allowed, it just had to fit within certain parameters. And I didn’t have the concept or vocabulary or whatever you want to call it to realize that should be part of a relationship. That my joy should be understood. Hmn. Now I have met someone through a shared joy, which in many ways makes this bit easier, but who knows what will happen in the future. I know it’s not the only thing for a relationship, but it seems important to be able to understand another’s joy.

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IONTW – June 18, 2017

BIRDS around the bay!!! PG&E/UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group’s peregrine falcon cam in San Francisco and Golden Gate Audubon Society’s San Francisco Bay Osprey Cam in Richmond. h/t to Alisa Golden for the ospreys.

More Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wood swimmer. Which sounds weird, but is really the perfect thing to call it.

Seattle area got some book arts and letterpress exhibits goin’ on – the awesome work of Julie Chen at the University of Washington Libraries’ Special Collections, Myrna Keliher/Expedition Press at Core Gallery – both now, AND! the New Impressions exhibit from Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum will be at the School of Visual Concepts in September and October.

Tower of books. Books in motion.

Level up playing with your food. And pasta-gami!

BUBBLES!!!

Some of us see faces in things, others see the faces and make characters out of them.

beer mitten (you’re welcome), yoga joes

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