Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Errands on bike

Yet another fun-filled day of preparing to move, but not without a few excuses to ride. My usual post-work meal routine with my wife isn't changing this week, so I decided to make the 6-mile voyage on bike.

The air outside was tepid and gluey. The sun was shining and wind was coming out of the south. It was a seemingly effortless ride to get supper, and a little more work riding the last half mile into the wind to get to the college. When I arrived on campus, the whole place was operating on a skeleton crew. Graduations are finally done, and they're between semesters. I entered the college, unaware of the carnage being propelled by that northbound breeze.

As my wife and I ate, we saw the college's lobby light up like someone was taking pictures. We thought nothing of it until several seconds had passed. Then, the ominous crescendo of atmospheric detonation roamed through the desolate corridors of the institution. Baffled, I went outside to analyze the situation. I was greeted with the faint aroma of lightning's ozone and a spontaneous deluge that had seemingly materialized out of nowhere! Mere minutes before, I was riding my bike in steamy sunlight.

I tarried until the storm passed. It only lasted half an hour or so, but to my relief, the temperature had dropped quite a bit. Once I got back out onto the main thoroughfares, the sun began to cook through the clouds. As fast as the storm had arrived, it departed. Blazing luminescence danced from the puddles below. Little droplets of water flew off my tires. Some of them sprayed onto my legs and face while others glimmered before me, hurdling through the beam of my headlight.

I made a deviation from my route to visit the bike shop on my way home. I've been encountering some oddities in my brakes, and I wanted their head mechanic to check it out and possibly give me a little advice. My best guess is that the brake pads that came on my Trek are of mediocre quality and should be replaced with something akin to Kool Stop Salmon pads, but I'll let the pro tell me that. I'll have to visit tomorrow when Kevin's in the shop.

Finally, I arrived home. I was irriguous -- partially by the shower from my fenderless wheels, and partially by my own perspiration. While my trip wasn't precisely a pleasant one, it was far from bad. One thing is for certain, though: There's no way I would have been blessed with the sensory experience I got today had I chosen to drive.

By the way, I recently added a few new blogs to the list on the right, and ditched a few blogs that haven't had any activity in a long time. Check out Urbana-Champaign Bicycle Commute, Dan on Bike, and MN Bicycle Commuter. I've enjoyed reading them as of late.


A Midnight Rider said...

I had to go to dictionary.com three times during this post.
"irriguous"????? Somebody got a new thesaurus for thier birthday. Yes?

I have heard about those plains sudden storms. On the coast here, they take hours to build.

Noah said...

Haha... No, someone at the college commented on my use of words. I like words, especially obscure ones. Since yesterday's ride was almost a sensory overload, I decided to enhance it a bit.

My mother is an English instructor at the same college my wife works at. Actually, I worked there right out of high school for almost nine years as well. I've always had a formidable vocabulary.

Most of the things I read and write are technical pieces. Contrary to how it sounds, technical writing is about conveying instructions in the simplest way possible. It's just boring, dull, programmatic, methodical instructions. A good technical writing piece never uses complicated verbiage.

I had to wring out the word muscles yesterday. And hey, you learned a few new words. Do what I do and try to put them to use.

By the way, irriguous is a word I learned recently, and I've been posting with bated breath for nearly a week looking for an excuse to use it in a post. No, I didn't get a Thesaurus for my birthday, but it is a great place to learn new words.

Dan said...

Hey, thanks for the nice mention. I've been reading your posts for a while now, and I always enjoy them.

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