Ride Like a Kid! August 27, 2011
Since I rode RAGBRAI this summer, I have come to the realization that I enjoy going full-steam race-mode for twenty minutes more than spinning at 12 mph for 5 hours. Okay, when I say enjoy I really mean I get much more satisfaction from cycling that way, which is what riding a bike is all about, having a good time out on the road and feeling good about it when you get back home, which brings me to my topic. For the last few weeks I have been riding pretty hard to get ready for winter, trying to stick to a training plan and all that stuff. After a few days, I found myself less and less enthusiastic about riding, and coming to the point of just giving up on the training plan all together. It’s often in the lowest of places that we can see most clearly. Riding a bike for me had become less recreation and more work, and that is when it came to me. I need to ride like a kid again. I needed to forget about my heart rate, cadence, average speed, what route to take, and just go for a ride because it’s fun. I think we could all use a little of this childish spirit, to do something because we love to do it, and not worry about how we do it or why, but just enjoy it for what it is. So get out there and act like a kid, then go back to work and the real world.
The Battle Continues April 22, 2011
I am constantly reminded that I am not in control of the weather. Earlier in the week the temperature was well into the mid 60’s. This morning it snowed. It seems that as soon as I get into a routine with riding and training for RAGBRAI, the weather has an identity crisis. I looked out the window this crisp, spring morning, and tried to think of a way to make an analogy out of this atmospheric change, and I came up with this. Weather is like a battle and we are the deer. Allow me to clarify. Think of the warm and cold weather like two opposing factions of a mighty battle, the warm holds it’s ground in the south while the cold finds refuge in the north, and Iowa is the no-man’s land. Each storm is a battle between these mighty foes, at times the warm holds the “front” line, while at other times the cold gains the high ground. The battles that result from these engagements can become quite fierce, with the blinding flash of the cannon that can be seen for miles and the resulting window-rattling boom that rolls over the prairie like a tsunami. Their bullets flood our rivers and sometimes dent our cars, and the smoke from their guns fills our skies to the point that the sun ceases to shine. We are at the mercy of the these two mighty forces and there is nothing we can do when the battle ensues but take cover. But when the battle is over, we dare to venture forth from our shelter to graze and find sustenance while we can, and we become oblivious when the battle does not rage. But when we hear the boom and see the flash, to cover we go, like little deer hiding in the woods. So all we can do is hope that the major engagements don’t come our way, but in the meantime; the battle continues.
Small Town Humor. April 8, 2011
It’s the small towns that often have the best stories, and my small, Iowa community is no exception. All that I am about to relate to you took place around the turn of the century, when today’s sleepy little town was a thriving, booming rail-road town. During this time, the local physician was a man by the name of Dr. O’Keeffe, an ex-military man who during the summer always dressed in a white suit and Panama hat, a very disciplined and tidy man. Well Dr. O’Keeffe would always get into jokes and pranks with the local undertaker, a man by the name of Bert, who just loved to antagonize the poor doctor. Now Dr. O’Keeffe had a beautiful Buick that he just loved, and the boys would sometimes go and put axle grease on the door handle, which just drove Doc crazy, to get dirty grease all over his hands. Well one day, Bert and the boys went one step further. They went and put grease all over the seat of that pristine Buick, and when Dr. O’Keeffe jumped in his car, he got grease all over his white suit.
Oh, Dr. O’Keeffe was so upset. He knew that Bert was the one behind this, so he hatched a little plan. Now Bert also had a furniture store besides the undertaking business, and was such a heavy drinker that sometimes he would pass-out from being so drunk. So the next time Bert passed-out, Dr. O’Keeffe put his plan into action. He quietly stripped all of Bert’s clothes off while he was asleep, and tied a big red ribbon around Bert’s middle, so as to cover the important bits. Then he put Bert in one of his own caskets, with the lid wide open, and rolled him out into the front window of his furniture store. So the next day, when all the ladies and townsfolk were going about their business, there lay poor Bert, naked, asleep in his own casket, for all the world to see.
A reflection on Iowa April 7, 2011
I would like to start a little discussion here, by posing a question. What is your favorite thing about Iowa?
Even if you don’t live here or think that Iowa is where all the potatoes come from, your thoughts are welcome on what makes your state a great one.