Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Moon! (XXIX)

So you may all know by now I kind of have a "thing" for the moon.  Last night, the full moon rose at 7:37pm.  I had already wanted to go outside and watch it rise, but it was sealed when I learned from NASA that it would be a rare "super moon", happening once every 18 years or so.  Apparently, the moon will occasionally be closer than usual to the Earth during it's orbit, but rarely will it be closer when it's full.  This coincidence made the moon appear 14% larger than usual.

Husband and I headed outside about 7:50 last night to see it for ourselves.  We don't see it right away, so I refer to my google sky map app to locate it.  And it's right in front of us.  Immediately we are struck.  We run across the street, and start walking towards in the field.  We suddenly realize that's silly, we were walking towards the moon, as if we'd actually reach it at some point.  We collapse in giggles, and then just stand and stare at it for awhile, me leaning up against him, caught up in the moment.  It was pretty freaking cool.
So I don't know if the weirdness of my ride today had anything to do with the "super moon" or not, but I wanted to blog about both today.

First, I'd like to preface this by stating, every time I head out for a ride I wonder a little bit if I will get a flat tire.  Today I felt it stronger than usual.  So much so, that I pretty much expected to get one.  It could've been the odds.  I've been on enough rides now where that didn't happen that it was inevitable.  Anyway, I make sure I have my phone, my license, and my credit card, just in case.  Husband would not be at home today to come to my rescue.

I headed out.  Yesterday on my run I was thinking to myself, "you know, I haven't seen that guy with the ski pole on the trail in a long time."  So today, he's one of the first people I see.  He doesn't use the ski pole for anything that I can tell other than to hold it out away from him, into the side of the trail where people would be passing him on the left.  It's kind of an annoying hazard.  I don't understand it, and it rubs me the wrong way.  What's he thinking?  He needs to be waving some three foot pointy pole out towards people so that we are sure to give him enough space?  Like if he wasn't holding the pole, I'd fly past him on my bike with less than three feet of space between us?  Whatever, dude.  Wave your stupid pole.

Then I make it to the busier, downtown part of the trail.  I only catch a piece of this woman's complaint, but the bit of irony it had made me smile.  This is what I heard: *wind in my ears....*  ..."these cyclists need to SLOW DOWN ON THIS TRAIL OR...."  *wind in my ears*....This is what was happening: She's pushing a parade-float sized stroller in the MIDDLE of the BIKE PATH, with a jogger attempting to pass her on the left, causing me to slow down behind the jogger, and an oncoming cyclist to stop and wait for both the jogger and myself to pass her absurd SUV stroller at a very slow/safe rate of speed.  The wind in my ears was before and after her obstacle was safely avoided, with no real danger to herself or her child. 

Sigh.  Then, about 3/4 into my ride, I stop to blow my nose.  It's a mess, and some guy is seated at a park bench next to the trashcan I'm standing by.  I'm slightly self-conscious about blowing my nose in front of him.  Then he asks me "do you want to buy a Pepsi?"  I pause, "I'm sorry?"  He repeats the question.  I gesture to my water bottle and say, "Thanks, I'm good".  *quietly cycling away....*

And finally, it happens.  I'm about a mile from home.  I again safely avoid a loose child running all over the trail, and feel it.  My bike tire gets all...wobbly.  I peer down through my legs at it and see it flopping around all over the place.  Damn.

Now, this is shameful, I admit.  I have *no* idea how to fix a flat tire.  I have never done it myself.  I have the little patch kit and levers in my bike's fanny pack, but it's a front.  I wouldn't know what to do with them.  Even if I did, it would still be flat.  I have no pump with me.  I have two options.  Dismount, ruin my cleats and walk home, or just ride home on the flat.  I ride home.  It feels gross.  It's all wonky and vaguely nauseating.  But it's only a mile.  And now I have the bike hanging in my garage because I am too embarrassed to go to the bike store and have them fix it, because I want to learn how to fix it myself...just not today.  I might chip a nail, and they're looking really nice right now.

Something neat that I observed this weekend: the seasons are starting to change.  Yesterday morning on my run and this morning on my ride, I could literally *feel* the change.  It was in the air.  There were little pockets where the sun was starting to warm the frost out of the air, so I'd run/ride in and out of these little micro-climates of Winter to Spring.  Pretty awesome.  It was my first run of 2011 in shorts, and my first ride without a hat or jacket.  I could even take off my gloves (as seen in the picture above - they are threaded through my seat).



  1. Well, ahem. Your description of the bike path fits my recollection of it pretty well: a collection of mostly annoying people who think the bike path really isn't for bikes after all. The SUV strollers were the ones I really wanted to stop and push over, but then I'd have to slow down even more, so instead I just growled at them and sped on into a brief moment of bike freedom. Here, the first day of spring, it's blowing hard, cold, cloudy, and it will rain tonight. The roof is rattling, and I'm glad I'm inside. I raced in Utah this weekend, and the whole weekend was like this. Spring is such a demented season! I saw the moon over St. George Friday night, though!

  2. I'm something of a moony girl myself, though it's a more recently found pleasure. Yet something else I managed to reject while in school. I was last entranced by the Wolf Moon and wrote about it, though the Super Moon was . . . super.

    It's decidedly spring here, too, though this past weekend was UGLY. Now the white blossomed trees are in full array. The little flowers smell of sycamore, which pleases me. The pollen makes me want to remove my eyes and scrub them with a Brillo pad, which does not please me.

  3. i have long been enamored of the moon, staring at it for inspiration, illumination, or rumination. it was so cloudy on both friday and saturday that i didn't get to see the super moon. i was super bummed.
    fyi, rei has bike maintenance classes. at least, they do here.

  4. @OKATB - Yes, the "bike" path is more of an obstacle course. There is a brief respite the last two miles of the Cherry Creek trail before it intersects with the Platte River trail where they separate out the bikists and the peds. But of course, not all the peds can understand the picture signs directing them where to go (I have a more clear sign telling them where to go, but I refrain).
    @LM - Same thing, with the Brillo pad. I'd include the inside of my nose too.
    @rraine - that IS a super bummer! The bike shop where I purchased my bike has maintenance classes too. I just haven't gone yet. I understand what to do, just haven't done it myself. I also lack a pump, so even if I did repair the tube, I'd still have a flat. It's on the list of things "to do" this week.