Saturday, October 01, 2005


I've a new cyclecomputer. It gives me lots of information that I don't use: speed tendency, acceleration/deceleration, max speed, ... I generally use it to tell the time and miles per hour (it shows both at the same time). Sometimes, but rarely, I use the trip odometer, trip timer, and average speed calculator on one of my usual routes.

It also lets me know the temperature (in tenths of a degree!). All this for not much more than 10 bucks. Technology amazes but so does how much of it you get for your dollar.

I've known that the temperature gets lower as I ride down into Rock Creek Park on my in-bound commute, but I haven't known how much. These recent chilly mornings I find that it drops about 5 degrees to the coldest point then rises a bit above the starting temp. For example, two mornings last week:

55 at home
48 in RCP
56 on Cap Hill

48 at home
43 in RCP
50 on Cap Hill

On the day it was 43 going in, it was a nice brisk 66 or so going out. I felt my usual creaky reluctance to get into motion. I dislike stretching, but stretch I must, and when I do the creakyness dissolves somewhat; as I ride I pretty quickly forget the reluctance. This particular ride, things went nicely right and I didn't have to actually stop for any of the 20 or more stop lights, though I slowed for a couple and had to jump smartly ahead to make others. My motivation rose again when I managed to keep up with one of the youngish, fit-looking guys who does training rides on the same hills I take.

On the day it was 48 going in, on entering the building from the garage, I fell in behind a couple of women who car pool together. They were discussing the wonders of a toddler-age grandchild -- the new words she was using and how quickly she was growing up. One of them had her hair done a new way -- or maybe a new wig. I noticed the young police woman on duty gave her a look but I couldn't interpret it.

I didn't think I'd ever spoken to the woman before, but while we waited for the elevator she asked me whether I'd just done my nine miles. (I should say that on seeing me in my bike duds people generally ask how far I ride and how long it takes. So she was one who had asked and remembered what I responded.) Then she and her carpool mate discussed how far they'd likely go if they tried to bike in; maybe a mile they agreed. Nine miles -- a big deal.

The red line on this map traces (roughly) the northern half of my commute. If I ever see a cayote (see below), the most likely spot is about where the line enters Rock Creek Park (shown in green).

It's pretty common to see wildlife on ride to work, mostly deer, fox, raccoon. I've yet to see a cayote, but it seems I could. I go right by a place where one has been sighted.

Rock Creek Park caption: Coyote sightings have been reported since May 2004; they were confirmed by staff in September 2004. Several animals have been seen in Rock Creek Park. Most of the sighting have been on the western side of the park in the Oregon Avenue/Bingham Road and Oregon Avenue/Military Road areas.

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