Friday, August 26, 2016

Bike shorts and a cowboy...

I posted a photo of this face, with the bottom part of a goatee shaved off.  Just a mustache.  In all likelihood, I'll scrape off the mustache when I am done (or close to it) being at an open helm.  It really does help protect my lips from the sun and wind, along with a heavy helping of sunscreen.

At our Roche Harbor desk yesterday, one of the reservations ladies said, "You grew a mustache!"

"Well, almost - I lost a beard."

"That looks good... you look like a cowboy.  An Australian cowboy!"

Apparently Australian cowboy mustaches are different from American cowboy mustaches?  Either way, I am not a cowboy.  I don't trust horses.  Oh, they are magnificent animals, and I understand the huge part they played in settling this country.  A century or two ago.

Back in my photographer days, I had clients who wanted to be photographed with their horses... yes, sometimes plural.  Rarely was the horse excited about that whole prospect.

Some people look great riding a horse.  My only experience with that has been the cheesy trail rides you do when you are in some "natural wonder" area.  About the same amount of time ago as when this country was settled.  But, I digress - I am not one of those people that look great riding a horse.  I bobble around looking like a bobble head... well, more like a whole bobble body.  And I don't stay "stuck to the saddle" the way the people who are good with horses do... I look and sound like I am applauding with my ass.

Maybe that's the way Australian cowboys do it?  Probably not.


I didn't have a trip this morning.  Joan asked if I'd take a deposit to the bank (yes, we get paid for this "fun summer job").  "If you don't have to go to Roche this morning, you could ride your e-bike into town to go to the bank."

That sounded like a great idea.

It is another warm day - probably the last of that for a while.  I put on some bike shorts before heading out.  No, not the outerwear kind, the ones you wear instead of skivvies.  I know they are supposed to be more comfortable, but I find that instead of protecting the area they are supposed to protect, they seemed to be designed to pinch "the boys" in new ways.  If you don't have "boys," no explanation will suffice... if you do have "boys," no explanation will be necessary.

I was fine all the way into town.  On the highway, there is a bit of a shoulder on this stretch - I'm calling it a bike lane.  Passing vehicles have differing thoughts on how close to that white line they should drive... most give you a bit of room when passing.  Some seem to feel that "Share the Road" means you should both be occupying the same space at the same time.

When you get into town, any semblance of a bike lane goes away.  This is truly "Share the Road" time, but I still try to stay as far to the right as parked cars will allow.  I made it unscathed to the bank, climbed back on the bike for the ride back.  It is a lot of uphill this direction.  The e-bike allows you to dial in the amount of pedal-assist you like... that doesn't do the pedaling for you, it allows you to go a bit faster with the same effort.  I was down to second gear riding up Spring Street in Friday Harbor.  Passing the airport, there is one long and relatively steep hill between me and home.  I have wanted to see how the e-bike would do with this hill... I have seen plenty of bicycle riding folks who have given up half way up the hill and are walking their bike.

No problem with my trusty Trail Viper...

9.8 miles per hour in second gear.  Uphill.  It was about that time that the bike shorts started to feel more like bite shorts.  It isn't like you have a lot of position options on a bicycle... but a short stand-up-and-shake-down helped a lot.

The more I ride this bike, the more I like it.  Yes, it has a throttle, if you decide to go "scooter mode" with it, but I still haven't run it 'till exhausted to see how far it will go.  It inspires some confidence, having that throttle to fall back on... in case the hill gets too steep.

Or, the shorts start to chafe.  This may be a good song for Weird Al: a parody of a Taylor Swift song... "Shake it down - shake it down!"


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