Saturday, March 26, 2016

Good Friday Fish Ride, my first corking and "Nostrovia, Susan."

This was Good Friday and the end of church fish fry fundraisers. Marko's been organizing a ride to a church in Hays not far off the trail where the Bald Eagles nest. They have good fish and the cole slaw and mac and cheese is definitely worthwhile too.

It was misty and much colder than foretasted. We didn't dress well enough. My ears were cold and Marko said he'd have been happier with an extra layer and warmer hat.

We had 7 riders who braved the cold including Mikhail and Mick.

We locked to a fence.
As we rode by, we witnessed one of the eagles lazily making a nest approach. It's always good to catch them in flight without having to stop and wait in the viewing area. I rarely stop to watch. The nestcam highlights enough for me.
After the ride we stopped at the library and got a closeup view of the art installation (present at all the Carnegie Library branches) of knitted flowers made from yarns and recycled plastic bags.

A memorial ride for Susan Hicks took place in the afternoon. Well attended by both 80+ cyclists and all three local TV news crews.

Flock agreed to marshal the ride and get the large number of cyclists through all the intersections safely and in one group. It's rather obvious that I can't marshal and then sprint to the next intersection, but Jonathan asked if I could cork the last intersection before we reached the destination. My first corking.
Our destination was Susan's house where her roomate offered all the riders a shotglass of vodka where we toasted her. She told an interesting story of a find in thier backyard last week. It was E2, the Cathedral of Learning Peregrine male. He'd apparently flown into the path of a vehicle and then chosen Susan's yard to spend his final minutes. Just yesterday, his mate Hope began courtship with a new male, N/29.

Susan worked at Pitt in the Russian and East European Studies Center and we made Russian toast with vodka.


News coverage:

Susan's killer will not be charged, it seems.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring? Flock and Viking head-rubs

Spring is desperately trying to arrive and we've had a few nice, warm-ish sunny days, but the season's first group rides were met with chillness and rain. Nevertheless, we had good turnout and much fun, good food and frivolity.

March's flock ride took us to Lawrenceville where we had pizza, nice greasy pizza. Yum.

The next day was the Viking Biking Ride (6th Annual!) in order to celebrate the first day of Spring, we dressed as Vikings, rode bikes in the rain and collected stuff for the local food bank. My camera's location on the helmet precluded me from using my smaller fuzzy Viking horns from year's past so Marko let me use his extra pair of hand-sewn horns
Photo by YaleC

After the ride, we all worked to gather food, firewood and libations. Much fun, we drank, ate and warmed ourselves by the fire. Drunk people rubbed my bald head for luck and giggles.

Viking Ride 2016
Campfire photo by JoyceW

 The Green Dress Run snaked by our campfire location and we waved to the runners.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Errandonnee 6 through 12

Today I had a few errands to take care of...
March 6th

Errand #6
Category: Wild Card
The water at my apartment was off due to a water main break on the street. We suspected they'd have the water turned back on by evening when we'd need showers and water to make dinner, wash dishes, etc... (and thankfully, it WAS back on in the evening) but we couldn't flush the toilet. Off to find some facilities.

No water for you!

Errand #7
Pharmacy (personal care)
I had a prescription to drop off. I like the bike racks here; sometimes I find a number of shopping carts corralled here. Grrr. Bike racks are not a cart corral, people!

Errand #8
Category: Arts and Entertainment
Dropping off my Netflix DVD at a mailbox

Errand #9
The Greenfront Inn
Non-store errand

we needed lunch and a fried fish sandwich sounded great.

March 12th
Errand #10
In the "You Carried WHAT On Your Bike?" category, I needed to drop off BikeMS posters and brochures at both Kindred and Thick Bikes. This large mailing tube transported the posters. I'm very thankful both shops obliged and hung them.

Errand #11
We scored pepperoni rolls!

 Errand #12
Wild Card:
Tag-O-Rama game!
The object of the game, played by a handful of Pittsburgh cyclists is essentially a photo-scavenger hunt on bikes.
#1 – Find the tag and get a picture of your bike in the same location (as best as possible). The first person to post a found tag gets to place the next tag. If you get a tag, but somebody else posts their picture first, you lose – you’ve been Bruced.
#2 – Take the tag to a new location, shoot a photo with your bike in the picture, and post it

We rode out to McKees Rocks to pickup this photo tag:

Later, and a few miles away, we set this tag. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Errandonnee begins!

Errand #1
Category: Personal Care
12.1 miles
I had a doctor's appointment and headed there after work. Unfortunately, they have no bike racks. I had lock to this fence.

Errand #2 (category: Store)
Fresh Bread!

Errand #3
Espresso a Mano (category: Social Call)
Marko and I sat outside with our coffees and chatted about newspaper articles. We also ran into PaulB.

Errand #4 (category: Art and Entertainment)
We stopped at the Carnegie Library's branch in Lawrenceville and picked up some DVDs.

Errand #5 (category: Work or Volunteering)
Kindred Bikes
Total miles for errands 2-5: 15.1
One of my co-workers asked me if I'd solicit the owners of local bike shops to place BikeMS posters and brochures about our upcoming rides. My plan is to hit both Kindred and Thick Bikes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

On baldness and bravery

I'm bald and I have been for a while, 2 months. I became accustomed to it quickly. I sometimes forget how startling my bald appearance is and I'll find I've frightened children and get stares from strangers on the rare occasions that I've gone head-naked in public.
We've had a small number of warm sunny days recently and It felt good to have the sun shining on my scalp.

I wonder how I'll treat hot weather. Will I be reluctant to cover my head and get overheated? Will I have a "Deal with it, people." attitude towards going bald in public? I think I might.

 "You're so brave." 
People keep referring to me as having a great deal of bravery while dealing with my cancer. I respectfully disagree. I'm just doing what my doctors are telling me is the best course of treatments and hoping for the best. The other option is not take their advice and let the cancer run rampant, essentially checking out. I'm not interested in death and certainly not a slow, lingering one.
I see bravery in the person who brings someone with a new cancer diagnosis into their life: knowing that she's going to lose her hair, breasts, potentially barf and poop all over herself, have wicked menopausal mood swings, drag you to a myriad of medical appointments and have a 27% chance of kicking the bucket in the next 5 years. Taking on all that, unnecessarily? That's brave.