While Tracy was off running her marathon, I had a bit of an action packed weekend too. In addition to the usual family stuff and professor stuff (writing my own papers, grading papers by graduate students, refereeing papers by other professors, and catching up on work reading) there were some other events that I’ve divided into the good, the bad, and the just plain strange.
The Good: New Puppy!
Meet Cheddar. He joined our family Saturday afternoon.
And because you can never have too many photos of puppies, there are more here. Enjoy!
As a result we haven’t been sleeping very much at my house but we’re taking turns on puppy duty. One of the many upsides to life with lots of teenagers. Like puppies they keep erratic hours.
The Bad: Broken Bike
After a very lovely 75 km Saturday morning bike ride with the London Centennial Wheelers, I was coming home along the bike path when my rear derailleur hanger broke sending my rear derailleur into my chain and my rear wheel. No accidents happened. I stopped safely and my partner Jeff rode ahead home, got the car, and rescued me. But a trip to the bike shop revealed I’d need more than a new hanger. How much more is up for debate but I’m riding my sister-in-laws bike for now with my seat and pedals while it’s out for work. For this week at least, I’m running more and riding less. You’ll hear more about my running plans next week–after a consult with the knee surgeon.
Grrr. If only I’d replaced the rear derailleur hanger earlier when I’d known it needed replacing….I ordered it and had it sitting on my bike bureau at home. (Yes, I have an entire bureau of bike stuff.) Hindsight is 20/20, etc etc.
Now, the weird: Marshaling the bike race
Sunday afternoon I was marshaling the annual Springbank Road Races.
The London Centennial Wheelers are proud to present the 47th annual Springbank Road Races, to be held on Sunday, May 3, 2015 in London’s beautiful Springbank Park. This OCA sanctioned event will be held on the same closed 2.2 km course as in the past and offers over $4,000 in cash and prizes. The width of this fast and technical loop varies, combining a narrow paved path on the back of the course with a wide and flat finishing straight, and makes for exciting and spectator-friendly racing. This year the Springbank Road Races will again be part of the O-Cup, Ontario’s premier road cycling series.
On the bright side, it was warm and sunny. I’d marshaled before in the cold and rain. In years past, I often marshaled one of the more technical corners down by the river where the main hazard to the race is geese. (See Animal hazards to cyclists.) It’s a fun stretch to watch from the racing point of view. There’s a slight rise, a tricky corner, and lots of action.
This year I had a more boring patch of road, no geese, and no racing drama. But I was in the main section of the park where the pedestrian walkway crosses the course. Because it’s a 2.2 km loop often people can’t see the bikes and lots of people didn’t believe me that it wasn’t safe to cross. How fast can bikes go after all?
Other than having more marshals, I’m not sure what to do. There were signs. We had whistles and red flags.
One elderly gentleman was riding his bike on the course! Slowly, very slowly. I approached him and told him he’d have to get off the path quickly. “But my doctor told me I have to ride my bike for an hour every day and I just started.” I told him his doctor wouldn’t be happy if he got run over. It took my hand on his shoulder to convince him and we got the bike off the roadway just before the peleton roared through. It was the elite men’s race, six laps to go, of course, and they weren’t exactly noodling along. That was rescue #1.
Rescue #2 was an elderly woman with a walker, crossing after I said not to. Again, I mentioned the race. “Yes, I know there’s a race. I’m here watching. Nice young men. They wouldn’t hit me.” I agreed that they were nice young men. Obviously she couldn’t hear them swearing. I agreed they’d never hit her deliberately. We made it across without incident. Phew.
This is the first year marshaling–and I’ve done it a half dozen times for this race–when I actually worried someone might get knocked over on my shift.
Next year, I’m hoping for rain!
So that’s my weekend: the good, the bad, and the weird.