2005 July 3

What happened to June?

It's been a long time since I've posted. I've got a whole bunch of stuff I meant to write about, like my crazy week at work. First time I was on call, and people kept apologizing to me, "it's not usually like this", and "man, you drew the worst week ever". But whatever -- the weekend has been quiet at least, and I've got some sleep now.

I've been biking a lot again this year (687 km so far). Mark Weber and I are riding the Fells mountain bike loop tomorrow if anyone wants to join. I've decided I'm not doing the Pan-Mass Challenge, not because I wouldn't love to ride it, but because the fund-raising commitment is simply too steep. Psychologically, I just can't armtwist 40 of my friends into paying $50 each so I can do a bike ride. Not that there's anything wrong with the Jimmy Fund, but it's just not my charity. Does that make sense? I mean, I don't think I'd hesitate to browbeat you all into giving money to say Medicins Sans Frontières or the Trust for Public Land, but I can't really muster the same energy for the Jimmy Fund. . . . You should still support Andromeda, of course. I have. Don't make me come after you.)

I want to ride the CRW Climb to the Clouds century on Sunday the 17th. Either 60 or 100 mi with a 2000-ft climb up Mt Wachusett in central Mass. This is fairly crazy, but I feel sure I can finish. Any chance I can talk anyone into joining me? I'm willing to do the shorter distance if it means more company. (If anyone wants to "sponsor" me, Medicins Sans Frontières takes donations by credit card. Particularly valuable is a regular monthly pledge. For full guilt value for your dollar, make sure you tell me about it.)

I also want to finally do the ride to Provincetown I've been talking about for a couple years now. The plan that seems most plausible is one-day, 110 mi, starting from Forest Hills. I hope to get someone who's not interested in the crazy bike ride and talk them into taking the ferry and meeting us in P-town with some overnight bags. Then we can all poke around the Cape a bit and take the ferry back the next day. Late August, second week of September? The plan is still inchoate.

Last weekend I was home to visit my parents. My father built an 8-foot dinghy over the winter -- technically, the design is a pram -- and we finally got it in the water. There was no reason, really, he couldn't have got it out earlier, but I think he was waiting for me. It's a beautiful little boat, with both rowing and sailing rig. The boat itself is a kit from Chesapeake Light Craft, but the oars are from Milton Fancy & Sons of Mahone Bay, the mast and spars are Nova Scotia pine planed to order directly from the lumber yard, and the sail was made in Lunenburg by North Sails Atlantic. (I love having sail from the town that ruled the waves in the Golden Age of Sail.)

The rig is weird. It's called a standing lug -- it's a trapezoidal sail instead of the more common triangular bermudan rig, and the first hour I was out there I flailed a lot and missed a lot of tacks. Plus there were a few issues with the boat design, such as the tiller being too long so it got in the way when I was trying to switch tacks. But eventually I worked out the rhythm of the boat. Beautiful little thing.

Sunna at sail in Herring Cove

I also did a few miles of rowing -- same boat, with the mast and rudder removed. This made the dog happy. Riley loves going out on the water, and got purely frantic when I took it out sailing and wouldn't let him come. (Allowing the dog amidst all the ropes and confusion of me trying to sail: not to be contemplated.)

So there we are, me at the oars, dog at the prow, nose to the wind, heading out into the Outer Harbour. Good weekend.

I'm having a barbeque Friday evening, July 8th, 7pm. If you're reading this, you're invited. If you didn't get an invitation, let me know. It pisses me off that I can't trust email to get delivered anymore.


Aww, thanks for pimping my ride :). (With apologies to MTV.)

In case anyone reading this doesn't know me but still wants to donate, go to http://www.pmc.org, click on egifts (upper left); my rider ID is ay0007. And cancer research *is* my charity, since a very dear family friend died of leukemia last year.

As for the Climb to the Clouds, I may be persuadable...need to read up on it a bit more.

Posted by: Andromeda on July 3, 2005 09:11 PM

I was thinking of doing either the 60 or the 90 route for the climb to the clouds. I'm not convinced that I'd finish the 105, though. Maybe if I convinced someone to play the role of emergency backup driver...

Posted by: Emily on July 4, 2005 07:27 AM

I think I'd be up for trying the 60 mile ride. If I'm getting my numbers right, a 9% grade would be about what you have on the steeper climb (from Gold's Gym) to the top of Water Tower Hill.

I totally want to do the P-town ride, but I'd really like whatever route I take to be at least 124 miles. I'm sure I can come up with something.

Posted by: John on July 4, 2005 09:24 AM

> at least 124 miles

ie, 200 km? I am possibly dumb enough to go for that.

Posted by: colin on July 4, 2005 09:39 AM

I agree with Emily; the 60 or the 90 sounds good.

Posted by: Andromeda on July 4, 2005 01:36 PM

It's the length of the first brevet for the BMB. So it's sort of significant for me.

Posted by: John on July 4, 2005 05:49 PM
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