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        July 9th. Damnit

Damnit. You're driving along, trying to hold a serious conversation on your cell when all of a sudden, BAM! What the heck? Your van's impaled on the end of a concrete barrier. Who in the hell designed these damned roads??!

Even worse I don't think the owner will have much luck with their insurance. The "one way" on this one way street was the other way.
Right of way.

        July Sweet Thursday

Before getting down to business the brief IMO on Biking Detroit for J-Jy 2006. Most importantly the group rides are really starting to blossom to the level we've become familiar with in other cities. Critical Mass D. has been joined by a resurgent Critical Mass Windsor, and the irregulars (actually the rather more regulars) like BTT are going through the roof. Just yesterday whilst circling the block before the England Portugal game (don't ask, so don't ask!) I was passed by Andy leading a pack of 20 people on BTT's weekly ride. Way to got BTT! Elsewhere there were a few angry words said about Biketown that looked to be coming Detroit's way but ended up going to a town in New England. The grind here seems to be that Detroiters were more needy and would have valued a donation of bikes more. Frankly until we can all agree to ride on the same side of the road, even I'd hold off on this. But more +vely, cycling is exploding here, a year ago when I moved to RiverPlace there were two bikes in the rack. Now I can hardly find space to tie up and the number of people riding to work is amazing. Go Detroit!

Ok. Enough blather. To the subject of today. Long rides, hard rides and killer rides. Sound similar, but can be really different as I realised today. About a year back I did the loop to Ann Arbor at just over 90 miles, a long but easy ride. Then there was the trip down to the Eerie metropark, long and hot. But today I did barely any distance at all and was just about dead getting back. I'd set out for the taste fest. Swung by the west side to see if I could spot Zeus & Sasha, then got turned around and ended up in the West Edison district before I knew I was going north. I was well loaded up for photography, tripod, cameras, laptop and so had the big rucksack. But the overcast weather was not tempting me to really head for the tastefest. So I was just ambling about the west side when a problem started "thud thud thud" from the back tire. If it starts to slip it's a sure sign of a flat but there was no slip. So I dismounted and took a look. Not good. Not good at all. My other bike as I;'ve said is disabled with a blown rim and this was almost as bad. The tire was starting to delaminate and the tube was making an egg out of the side of the wheel. Definately need fixing. So even though I was well heavy I set out east for B3 in the points, taking cass down to forest, then forest and mack to the points. I figured on getting there at 10.30 but when I arrived ... screwed ... the place wasn't opening till midday. So I went up Vernier to American Cycle and Fitness (not recommended - expensive and not friendly unless you're looking to buy $$$$$) only to find they too weren't open till midday. The rear tyre was now starting to look bad so I nursed the bike slowly back to B3 stopping by at Borders to further overload with books (I'm going through a steinback spell - really liked cannary row, respected east of eden, etc etc). At B3 one of the guys came out from the repair shop and immediately let some air out of the tire (I'd let a bunch out but needed to keep it ride-able) that's on the point of blowing was his view. So he offered to take it round back and throw a new tire on while I talked myself out of more money. My plan for the other bike is to transform it into a hybrid and this was the time to buy the kit. The back wheel is screwed so I bought a new hybrid wheel, some good hybrid tyres and some good tubes. Now picture this. Heavy full backpack, now has two tyres strapped to the back so it's like a sail, and the repaired bike has a wheel hanging off one handlebar. This all set me back the best part of 200 USD but it needed to be spent ... tell me biking is cheaper than driving, please! Then I started back, much to my delight with effectivly two sails and a heavy backpack I was now riding into an increasingly blustery and severe wind. Thanks so much. It was a killer, low gear high revs the whole way, watching for close traffic because I had one handlebar carrying a new wheel. I got back about 2pm having started at 8am, and even with under 60 miles on the Odo I was dead on my feet maybe it was the heat, or the weight. Whatever. Killer!

I'll end with a few shots of critters I cam across on my Vac in NE. The first is dedicated to Wolf who introduced me to the art and science of photographing pidgeons.

        Big Pigeon

call me mr ornithologist
Feed Me!

        Red & Blue Pigeon

call me mr ornithologist
Bird on a wire

        The folks in Greenfield Village

Mum, trapped between 2 cameras

Dad, plotting revenge with his D70

        June 23rd. More Vacation Shots

As I was saying my New England vacation was mostly spent looking up at cloudy skies waiting for the rain to stop. So here are a few shots of said cloudy skies ... all taken around the Cape Ann/Rockport-Gloucester (Perfect Storm(!)) area.

        Sky & Island

Big ol' sky full of rain
The ground looks so small here

        Rain Harbor

red boat
A spark of color

        Warning Dawn

Nothing good will come of this
A brooding dawn

        June 22nd. New England Vacation

Things have been quiet here recently because I've been on vacation, then I was showing my folks around D and then visiting with them up in Toronto where they were spending some time. Hence a lot of dashing about and not many minutes for messing around with shots.

The whole vacation was a bit of a washout. It was more of a cycling than a camera vacation, after spending a night in Boston I headed to Cape Ann where I hired a road bike and spent a week touring around the New England headlands. Frankly there were times when I would have been drier had I just jumped into the sea, it rained almost constantly and at times impressively. A good time to learn exactly what the stopping distance of one of those thin-wheels is in the wet! But despite the whether I enjoyed the NE coast as I always have done. I also got in my first game at comerica when back in the D - which was thoroughly enjoyable. Below are a few shots from NE salvaged from the rain ...

        Blue Floats

Floats in a Box

        Rough Weather

Cape Ann
Flooding rain & rough sea


Rockport, MA

        May 31st. Zen Garden, Belle Isle

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