Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tumbling and Exploring

First, a couple weeks ago I fell down a rabbit hole. It was chance really but the kind of thing that happens when you’re in the right mental mode for it to happen. I visited an Apple oriented forum that I used to frequent but rarely visit these days. Not sure why I decided to pay it a visit but by chance found a thread that led me to a wiki-style information management application, Obsidian, which was just the thing I needed to begin a tumble into a new project. I think I’d already been considering something, I just had not allowed it to condense into anything solid.

So, I tumbled and the cloud began to condense. The idea is to write more, primarily for my own personal wiki. About what? Well, mostly, just a chronicle of sorts. A daily log about life. An exploration of my life lived. Ideas, people, events… life up till now. The idea being to reinforce memories and perhaps rekindle interests of my past. Or at the very least to revisit them.

Tumble, tumble. As I began putting this project into place I began writing which is, of course, the point. Writing and remembering. Writing and reflecting. Writing and exploring. And on and on.

I’m not sure how often my posts there will cross over to here as that’s not really the goal. But I suspect it might happen. Or it might be that a post there will turn into a post for here. But I have to say, it’s been rewarding to spend more time writing. Nothing fancy as nothing that I write ever is. But just taking time to mull things over via the written word. And to make it a daily routine. I’m not sure how long the practice will last.

The first big tumble this first couple of weeks has been a revisit to social ecology. I’ve enjoyed it and am just beginning that re-exploration really. Social ecology is not the sort of thing that is explored casually. Developed by Murray Bookchin over several decades, it’s a broad and deep exploration of human history, specifically the human development from nature into human culture based upon hierarchical social systems of command and control, of domination. Bookchin offered analysis of this historical development, he explored it with great depth and from this he developed the beginnings of a movement for pushing beyond what we have today. I’m not prepared yet to write at great length because this will require more time. I’m starting with a re-read of his foundational work, The Ecology of Freedom which is one of several of his books that I read in the late 1990s while working on my Masters thesis via the Institute for Social Ecology.

So, the past few weeks have been the beginning of delving back into these books and ideas. Not that I ever left them but having them stew in the depths of mind is not the same as active consideration. So, there’s that and for now it’s enough for this post. More soon and more on a regular basis I hope.

400

Ha! In my last post I was expecting bad weather for a few days. As it turned out, mostly not, so I was able to get out and ride everyday and I’ve had some great ones! I did miss 1/17 due to weather but then had 5 straight days of riding. Then we did get some actual winter weather, two days of snow, rain and freezing rain.

1/18: 9.5 miles
1/19: 11.7 miles
1/20 17.5 miles
1/21: 21.6 miles
1/22: 21.8 miles
1/25: 19.7 miles

Total is now up around 409 miles since getting the bike less than five weeks ago.

These were some great rides. I ventured up 219 to another county road 221 and then out to Hwy J which was a 15.5 mile ride and no dogs! A few nice hills and some great views of farmland from a distance. Will be a great spring/summer/fall ride. As with 217, 219 and 221 are very quiet with almost no traffic. Fantastic.

The bike continues to perform as expected. After 21 miles and starting with a full charge, I’m still at about 35% battery. Now, that said, I’m peddling the whole time. The last few rides I’ve mostly been in PAS 3 60% of the time, 30% in PAS 2 and the remainder in PAS 1 on the 2 miles of our gravel drive which is a slow ride. The rest has been blacktop but with lows of gentle rolling hills, a couple of steep hills. I’ve learned though that at 30% battery remaining, available power is less and drops far more quickly. So, the top 30% of a fully charged battery is not the same as the last 30%!

Letric’s user manual says I should expect 35 miles on PAS 3 on flat ground, 180 lb rider. With my winter clothes and boots I’m about 175. Add in another 12 lbs for my water, grocery baskets, pannier pack, lock, two small tool/phone packs. So, about 187 and fairly hilly. I’m going to speculate that I’d be good for 25 miles which is short of the 35 but I’ve got more weight and on hilly terrain. I’m not disappointed at all as that seems about right and is more than enough for the rides I’m currently doing. But…

All that said, I’m already thinking that in 6 to 8 months, if my knees continue to do well and if I continue riding as much as I hope to (300 miles/month) I think I’m going to look at adding another, lighter electric bike. Lol. I’d keep the Lectric to share with friends/family and to continue using as my town commute bike for shopping and meetings in town. I’ve got my eyes on a new bike that only weighs in at 38lbs (compare to the Lectric 63ish lbs). It would make a perfect gravel bike for longer distance rides around the county, handling blacktop or rock roads. The batteries are very light weight so I’d carry two extras and I think I’d have no problem going out for 40 to 60 mile rides, quite possibly 90 miles with the two extra batteries. The kind of bike I could go out for a day with and ride all these county back roads. At 15 to 18 mph, that’s potentially 4 to 6 hours of riding.

Funny, when I bought this bike I was expecting to use it to ride the 2 mile round trip to my parents so I could visit them more often without walking it all the time. I had no idea my knees would hold up so well to peddling nor that I’d actually be riding it 10 miles to town for fun rides. It was supposed to be a fun little utility bike for short range rides around the lake. That’s been the biggest surprise of having it. If the weather forecast holds for the next week I’ll likely have 400 miles just for the month of January.

And, last, all this has lead to me fully rediscovering the bike. As I’ve been writing about for the past month, I’m not only riding the bike as much as possible but also have jumped into the best way that I know to try to be active in terms of climate change and that is to create a local cycling project. Transportation will be a key cornerstone in how we deal or do not deal with our climate change problem. Getting active in promoting local cycling as a part of that solution feels like the best thing I could do.

Rides 12-25 to 12-26

My butt’s been just a wee bit sore so slightly shorter rides the past two days! Taking a break on Friday. I don’t really want to take a break but my rear end demands it.

12-25
Just a ride up to Scoops and back, 13 miles on peddle assist 2 for most of the ride. Battery at about 75%.

12-26
Same ride up to Scoops and back, 13 miles. Again, peddle assist 2 for most of the ride. I didn’t charge battery so started off at 75% and at about 50% now. Rode for about an hour, average speed around 13.

Continuing to peddle a good bit but keeping the force applied light. That said the Apple watch for the past two days is showing about 45 minutes of exercise each day for the ride and active calories for each ride at about 250. So, it’s a big step up from my usual walks with the dogs.

100 miles in the first 6 days! No knee pain or discomfort!

New seat arrived today so next ride (tomorrow weather permitting) should be more comfortable. I’ve also ordered the Thudbuster which should help quite a bit with larger bumps in the road and on gravel or off-road.

Denny

September 18, 2017

A have an armadillo visiting often. Perhaps sleeping under my cabin. It is adorable and I have named it Arnold. Or maybe Gertrude. Or Pat. 😬

Denny

September 12, 2017

“An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge.”-Dunning Kruger

Podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts and thought I might start mentioning my favorites here.

I’ll begin with two recently listened to. The TED Radio Hour is a favorite and one of the latest episodes is a perfect example of why I enjoy it so much. Hardwired. I’ve given it a listen but will need to give it a second. I always know a podcast is great when many of the episodes require at least a second listen.

Another favorite, Science Friday, has, as usual, aired another excellent episode. In particular I enjoyed the segments on Voyager which included a wonderful interview with planetary scientist Carolyn Porco as well as the segment on indoor microbiomes. Fascinating stuff. Check it out.