News about me, and my thoughts, jokes, and stuff.

Sean's Blog

I am done!

I just made it back, at 4:45.  I started at 7:00am, so that means I equaled my time from last year.  If not for the heat, perhaps I could have done better.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 04:09 pm
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Last stop

I’m at the last water stop, in Williamsburg.  It’s 3:30, and I’ve got 16 miles to go.  The stops have been better than last year, as all of them have had beverages on ice.  It’s nice to get cold drinks – especially as it’s 91 degrees today.

Home stretch, here I come.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 03:09 pm
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Historic

My riding time is not historic – not yet, anyway.  The post title refers to Historic Deerfield, of which I’m on the outskirts.  I’m just about 68 miles in, so 2/3 of the way done. 

I see that I got some more donations, and the total is now $1000!  I’ll be making my matching donation tonight.  

Oh, a note on time – the blog does not seem to accurately display the time that I post an entry.  For the record, it is currently 1:40pm.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 01:09 pm
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Leyden!

I am at the Leyden town hall in beautiful downtown Leyden.  I got here about 20 minutes ago, then had a sandwich that I got from the first stop.  The second water stop is still quite a ways away, but there’s a cafe here where I was able to fill up my bottles and use the bathroom.

Time to head out again. I’m at 51 miles, so still half the ride to go.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 11:09 am
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First stop

I’ve reached the first rest stop, which is earlier in the route than last year.  It’s at the Northfield Mt. Hermon school in Gill, at mile 26.

One quarter down, three to go.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 09:09 am
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Starting with the sun

The sun has just come up, and I’m getting ready to begin the ride.  It’s warmer than last year – in the low sixties rather than the high forties.  Should be a pretty warm day.

Posted by seaking on 09-24-2017 at 06:09 am
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Doubly Sirius

I have posted each of the past few years as we got blooms on our night-blooming sirius plants.  For each of 2011, 2012, and 2013, we had exactly one bloom.  This year, we had 2 flowers growing in late July.  Even though we have 2 separate plants now (having divided the original plant in the spring of 2013), both of these flowers grew on the same plant, and the smaller plant remained bloomless (but perhaps blameless).

It looked as though the 2 flowers might open on the same night, but they ended up being 1 night off from each other.  Here is the one that opened on August 4 (click photos to make bigger):

2014sirius1-1

2014sirius1-2

On that same night, the one that wasn’t yet open looked like this:

2014sirius2-1

Then that one bloomed on the evening of the 5th:

2014sirius2-2

2014sirius2-3

As always, each bloom closed and withered the next morning, and fell off within a few days.

We thought that 2 blooms in the same year was quite special, since it had not happened before.  It appeared a month later that there would be more, as 6 flower buds appeared on that same plant in early September, and they started to grow.  A few of them got almost the size of the August ones, but they never actually opened, likely because of the colder weather (this is technically a tropical plant).  We were prepared to be flabbergasted by a 4-8 bloom year, but 2 blooms and 6 more attempts are certainly impressive.  Most impressive.

 

Posted by seaking on 11-03-2014 at 06:11 pm
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Kneecap Recap

It has been quite a long time since I last posted on the blog.  My previous post was about 1 year ago.  There’s no particular reason I went so long – I just kept not getting around to it.  But, now I am back, and will talk a little about what was happening last September.

I had signed up to ride in the second year of Will Bike 4 Food for The Food Bank of Western Mass, and had raised a bunch of money in donations for the event.  The weekend before that ride, I went on a shorter route for the Northampton Cycling Club’s Bikefest.  That took place last year on 9/22, and I was riding 72 miles.

The route covered a lot of roads that I was familiar with, first heading from Florence into Williamsburg, and then north and west to Ashfield (which involves a long, slow hill climb – and I do mean long).  From there it went east on some very quiet country roads into the town of Conway.  The morning was cool and cloudy, and in the section between Ashfield and Conway there was some fog to be seen:

bucklandfog

Soon after that, the route went north into Buckland, and to the Shelburne Falls section of town.  Coming into the Falls, I came to the first of 3 water and snack stops:

1ststopncc

The building is, I believe, a cutlery factory.

From there we crossed the Deerfield River and climbed a bit of a hill in the town of Shelburne.  Here’s a view of the river while heading up that hill:

shelfallsriv

The ride went east for a ways, until we reached Greenfield (this was the part that I had never ridden, and which had some more hills), and then started going south, coming to the second stop, which was outside a bank:

2ndstopncc

At this stop, there were bagpipers:

nccbagpipes

I guess they were there for entertainment.

From here I went south some more, crossing the Deerfield again, and then the ride progressed northeast through Historic Deerfield.  The ride took the bike bridge across the Connecticut River into Montague, and then headed south to the Book Mill.

Just past the Book Mill was the third rest stop.  It was shortly after I left that stop (about 50 miles or so into the ride) that I started to have pain in my right knee.  It wasn’t the usual muscle soreness that one can get on a long ride, but a sharp pain right in the joint as I was pedaling.  I tried to take it easy on that side, but I couldn’t get the pain to go away completely, except by not pedaling.

Fortunately, there were no real hills left in the route, but it was painful to get through the flat areas of Whately and Deerfield before I made it back to the starting point.  I did finish the 72 miles, hoping that my knee just needed some rest.

 

A couple of days later, I rode my bike to work, and experienced the same pain after only a few miles.  At that point, I made an appointment to see my doctor.  He examined me and had me get an xray, and it seemed that there was some misalignment in my knee such that the kneecap was grinding against my femur.  It only seemed to be painful when pedaling my bike, but he thought I would only make things worse by doing any more long rides, so I had to bow out of the Food Bank ride the next weekend, to my disappointment.

I did start visiting a physical therapy clinic, and over the course of 2 months saw 3 different therapists there.  I got mixed advice from them, but they did give me stretches and exercises to do which seemed to help align things better and strengthen important muscles for biking.  I have not had any further problems with the knee.  Another step I’ve taken to help keep my alignment good is to put pedal cages on my bike, which serve to keep my feet in a consistent position on the pedals.  In the past I might have moved them around a lot and had my legs at various angles when pedaling, which probably contributed to the misalignment.

Coming up, posts on this year’s riding.

 

Posted by seaking on 09-15-2013 at 10:09 pm
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Red Skies in Morning

Yesterday morning I got out of bed, and noticed an interesting color to the light that was coming in the window.  I looked out, and saw that the eastern sky was very red.

The camera kept wanting to focus on the screen, so I tried getting pictures through screenless windows, though I didn’t have as direct a view through those:

Nevertheless, it was a really pretty sunrise.  It was also transient – less than 10 minutes after I took these pictures, the sky was just gray.

 

Posted by seaking on 11-29-2011 at 08:11 pm
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Cyber Warfare?

So, today is Cyber Monday.  A day when online retailers offer various deals on goods – always the Monday after Thanksgiving.  It’s sort of an electronic version of Black Friday, though I noticed plenty of ads for Internet bargains this past Friday, not just sales in physical stores.

As I recall from when I first heard of this day’s designation, the reason for this being a day of online deals is that people would return to work after 4 days off and would do a lot of shopping online, presumably because they have better Internet access at work than at home (FWIW, the Wikipedia article on the day bears this out).  I would guess that a lot more Americans these days have Internet connections at home that are perfectly fast enough for shopping, but now that the day is established for marketers, it probably will be a special designation for many, many years.

Here’s what I find confusing: offering all these deals would seem to encourage workers to spend their time buying stuff rather than working.  In other words, on this day each year, one segment of the business community – retailers – is attacking the productivity of the rest of the business community.  Are there employers that resent this marketing?  Have they tried to put any pressure on retailers (and would it do any good, since promotions like this seem to be very helpful to retails bottom line?)?  Do lots of employees run afoul of computer use policies today?

I googled a few news stories on this, and it seems like businesses do seem to lose a lot of productivity on the day, but they have different ways of coping with it.  Some places probably don’t have an issue, simply because they keep a tight rein on what sites can be visited from their network.  Nevertheless, this is one issue where the business community is certainly not of one mind (alth0ugh that community might be less monolithic in general than I give it credit for).

 

Posted by seaking on 11-28-2011 at 10:11 pm
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