July 5th, 2003

Roadkill

Beat the Heat

The day after Independence Day is traditionally the day on which the shrubs and hedges are trimmed here at Casa Machina. However, since the predictions were that it was going to be eleventy million degrees in the shade and humid, I decided to postpone that particular chore for another weekend. They really aren't in desperate need of a trimming this year, anyway. I suspect it has something to do with the fact it was still winter only just recently.

Instead I decided to drive over to East Providence and do the East Bay bike path. East Bay is a lot of fun, and very different from the South County bike path. South County is currently only about 4.4 miles long, and is basically a path through the woods and swamp. East Bay is about 14 miles long from where I park to the southern end in Bristol, and the terrain varies from the bay shore, to woods, to bridges, to towns, so there's variety. Also, with the single exception of a short but very steep hill near the north end, the path is dead flat, so it's a very easy ride, even if you do the whole 28 mile round trip. (South County has quite a bit of up and down for an old railroad right-of-way. I was surprised the first time I rode it.)

Except it turns out it's not so easy when it's 90°+ and ridiculously humid. There was some breeze, but not enough to make a difference. Plus, with the exception of the woodsy part through Barrington, there really ain't a lot of shade on the route. So I baked for 28 miles. I felt okay for the first half, but coming back it became more and more of a chore. By the time I hit the 26 mile mark, just before that last steep hill, I was completely out of gas. I did make it up the hill, but I stopped at the top (something I rarely do when I'm riding) and finished the last of the liter of water I had with me. The last mile back to the parking lot went pretty slowly.

When I got off the bike at the truck, and started packing everything away, I suddenly started shivering a bit and feeling a touch dizzy, and I realized I was pretty dehydrated. Fortunately, I still had a bottle of water in the truck that I'd snagged for the ride home from vw's the other night, so I sat a bit and drank that, and felt a bit better. Still had a hard time getting the bike back into the back of the truck.

On the plus side, I didn't have any massive hack attacks while riding today, which was nice. I was breathing pretty well, despite the haze and humidity, so that's good. My legs were okay, too. My right knee didn't bother me at all. Also, after today's ride my current seven-day mileage is 106 miles, a new league record.

When I got home, the first thing I did was to haul the A/C up from the basement, and then install it in the back room. Set up my little folding table next to the bed, put the laptop on it, ran a long ethernet cable from the laptop to the router so i could access the net, and settled in for some cool comfort. Picked up The Silmarillion where I'd left off last night, and promptly fell asleep for the rest of the afternoon, although it probably wasn't Tolkein's fault this time.
(Side note: I just got to the part where Beor and his band of men make their appearance in Beleriand, which pissed the local green elves off terribly, so they demanded of Felagund that these illegal aliens be sent back to whence they came, saying:

"Lord, if you have power over these newcomers, bid them return by the ways that they came, or else to go forward. For we desire no strangers in this land to break the peace in which we live. And these folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we will afflict them in all ways that we can."

The term "unfriend" just amuses me greatly. I need to remember this bit if ever a group of trolls descends upon the Phoenix.)

Post-nap, there was an amazing sun shower. The rain was pouring, and yet the sun was still streaming through my front windows as bright as can be. There was a rainbow, too. The shower cooled things off a little, but I'm still hiding out in the back room.

Tomorrow it's off to Theodosia's to help rescue her property from an onslaught of weeds. Damn I hope it's cooler.
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