Riding (for) 1/2 A Century

cyclistMonday, 29 June 2015

Yesterday I rode 50 miles on a bike as part of the LA Bicycle Coalition’s “LA River Ride”.  The whole process…ride out, stop for snacks at the 1/2-way point, ride back…probably took about 4:15.  Not the best 4 hours of my athletic life, and no where near the worst.

I have almost nothing interesting or enlightening to say about the experience except I got a bruise on the back of my right calf, where it goes into the knee joint.  While riding, I thought it was chafing and I could not imagine how/on what.  Apparently the repetitive smacking against the elastic on the bottom of my bike shorts caused the bruise.

I love cycling.  But today I don’t get the push to ride faster, faster, faster (and farther).  Yes, it’s true that the first time on a bike, when I was pushed to 12 mph, I was outraged, thinking “nobody needs to go this fast.  This is completely stupid.”  And now that’s my meandering speed.  So, maybe it’s the same thing.  I just don’t “get” it yet.

Why it is, do you suppose, that I’m drawn to these odd ball endurance events?  So few people do marathons, why have I done several?  I don’t know, but I suspect that even fewer people have ridden a bike super long distances (taking the general population into consideration).  Why is that appealing to me?

Thinking about activities in the coming months, cycling is going to be high on the list.  Strength climbing hills on a bike is definitely on my list.  So, I guess father is going to be on the list too.  I just don’t know about dramatically faster.


Where are my swimsuits?

swim suit 225 June 2015

It’s been like well over a year since I wrote anything here.  And today I had two posts.

But this one is why I should keep up with news — for myself.

My swimsuits have disappeared.  I know I bought two different style suits about 2 years ago because I wrote about them.  I have no idea what happened to those suits.  So I just ordered exactly the same thing on Lands’ End.  And I was flipping back and forth between the post and the Lands End catalog page to find the suit that I really liked.

The picture above is of a relatively inexpensive swim suit ($35) that is butt ugly.  The picture below is of another relatively inexpensive suit that looks GREAT on but you cannot tell why in the picture and I cannot remember why.  I just remember writing about the difference in the two suits.

swim suit 3

Apparently I’m getting ready to swim, again.

Clogging Down the Highway


Before I forget…a couple of months ago there was an article in the LA times about this woman/company who does custom fitting of clogs (worn, apparently by the rich, famous, and those on their feet all day).  This woman worked in LA for years then moved to Oregon and now returns to LA once a quarter (or twice a year, I forget which) and does fittings.  I jumped on the band wagon and sent an e-mail to get an appointment.

The fitting is free, the clogs are made by a company in Minnesota (?).  You only pay for the shoes, which start at $155/pair.

And to get to the fitting, you have to get a confirmed appointment to a particular address (a single door) in West LA.  You are admitted only if your name is on the list.  The woman is fitting 3 people at once.  She is talking about shoes, past clients, local foot doctors, etc. while 2 minions are bring clogs to the people being fitted.  She is telling people things about their feet (including insulting their shoe choices) while doing the fitting.  She had nothing negative to say about my Altra shoes — but the people wearing Sketchers and Crocs got an earful.  And she generally made negative comments about the every-day shoes people wear.  Since I wear a German-made shoe for “every day”, I didn’t get that line of lecture, either.

And, in the end, she said I had an easy foot to fit.  She suggested a size, I selected a color/style, and off I went.

Driving home I found myself wondering on two different points…

1.  Custom?

These are CUSTOM fitted shoes.  And yet, she forced people into matched pair.  What I mean is that she told me that my left foot is 1/2 size bigger than my right foot.  So one would think my shoes would be R-size X, and L-size X1/2.  But no.  My size is X (39).  She said I had a normal, easy to fit foot.

The woman sitting next to my has recently had ankle replacement surgery (whatever that means), and could NOT stand the pressure of the suggested size across the scar on her left foot.  I don’t know what happened to that woman, in the end, but while I was there the sizes/fit offered weren’t wearable.   Why bother to get a custom fitting if you’re going to be forced into a single size with single dimensions.

The clogs come on narrow, medium, and wide wood bases with small, regular, and large leather top pieces.  I cannot imagine why the manufacturer cannot reach into the 39 wide bin for a right and the 39 1/2 wide bin for a left, and put matching top pieces on them.

If these shoes revolutionize my feet, as they say they will, then who the heck cares what I have to say.

2.  Dollars

Everybody in the “shop” when I was there was a new customer.  (Probably 6 people in various stages of buying shoes.)  Of those 6 people, 5 of them bought multiple pair of clogs — having never worn them before — spending many hundreds of dollars.

Why would you spend that much on a thing you’ve never tested?

I bought one pair, black leather top on black wood sole.  If I like them, I can buy another pair.