Archive for 2012

The end of an era

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Last week, I started a new job at Oregon Health Sciences University. I’m really excited about it. The job is challenging, the people are cool, the atmosphere is fantastic, and after 16 years of spending 2hrs or more per day commuting, I’m just minutes from where I work.

Of course I miss the friends and coworkers I left behind.  I may have worked only 5 years at the Alliance, but I’ve worked with many of the people at my offices in Eugene and Corvallis since I first arrived in Oregon. Even though my actual responsibilities aren’t so much different than what I have been doing, it’s a big change for me.

All the same, adjusting to my new digs has been easier than I expected. I ride 85% less than I used to, but I also get to sleep an hour extra per day. I arrive home early enough that I can actually call friends and do things with them. I love being right on the river. And I really like Portland.

People have been kind to me wherever I go, so I’ve liked every place I’ve lived and every job I’ve had. But this time is somehow different — I have a really good feeling about it.

Rant of the day

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

While cycling through through a green light on my way to work this morning, a guy waiting for a red light on the right suddenly gunned the engine and turned on me (not in front of me, but actually on me in a maneuver that normally would have t-boned me).

Fortunately, I ride in the left of the traffic lane if I can keep up. If I would have been in the designated bike lane, I would have been creamed. Instead, I had enough time to swerve and split the lane with oncoming traffic.

I live by the motto, “Ride like everyone is trying to kill you, but don’t take it personally.” So normally I’d just chalk this up as a stupid mistake and let it go. For some reason (probably because he was driving next to me), I shouted “WHOA! MY LIGHT WAS STILL GREEN!” He replied that he couldn’t see recumbents which struck me as strange because few motorists know what a recumbent is. Here’s a picture of mine if you’ve never seen one.

I understand that people just screw up sometimes. But it was clear the guy thought that *I* was in the wrong for being in his way despite the fact that he was the one that ran a red light. I also understand that some motorists don’t care for middle aged posers, but they’re not the only people you’ll find on bikes. Kids ride them too, and they’re far less likely to pull off an evasive maneuver like I did this morning.

So if you’re riding, watch out for the idiots. They’re not out to get you, but they will anyway if you aren’t vigilant. And if you’re behind the wheel, please be aware that the 2 tons of steel vs. flesh thing never works out well.

Spring is here!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Kyle Banerjee skiing on Marys Peak
One of the best kept secrets in skiing is that the real fun begins right about the time everyone quits for the season. Don’t get me wrong. I love deep powder, snow camping, and the like.

But this has been one of the wettest springs on record so I’ve spent a lot of time frozen and soaked. So having a chance to be warm while having some outdoor fun was really nice. Naturally, I’m also looking forward to some serious cycling and kayaking as well.

The only thing that sucks is that too many people in my crazy profession seem to think that Friday nights and Saturday mornings are a great time for business meetings. While this doesn’t happen *that* often, it’s still guaranteed to occur in both May and June which means less time with friends or doing something fun outside. Argh…  But it’s my own dang fault for purposely going into a nerdy discipline.

Ten years ago today…

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I realized I’d become a shadow of my former self and decided to do something about it.

As is the case today, it was dark and cool with light rain. I decided to bike to work. My logic was that if I could ride every day for a month, I could do it as long as needed.

At first, I wimped out and rode from a park and ride 11 miles from work. But not long after I started riding, some jackass stole a taillight assembly from my truck and tried to take the tailgate. Rather than deal with problems like that, I decided to ride the full 18 miles which really didn’t take much longer than driving the first few miles.

After a month, I was sore. After two, I felt better (particularly since it was starting to warm up and the light was returning), and after six, I was totally addicted. Within a year, I was in decent shape and taking on rides I hadn’t done for years.

Since then, my commute has lengthened and I’m more addicted to cycling than ever. Thanks to my decent base, I’ve been able to expand into other sports and hang out with people who really know their stuff. And as much as I whine about getting slower, I’d be damn depressed if I started riding at speeds that I would have been very happy with 10 years ago.

Life is simply more fun when you ride. Pushing your limits for an hour straight on the way into work puts you in a state that takes the edge off the most mind numbing meetings. There’s no substitute for air in the lungs, endorphins in the bloodstream, and a burn in the legs. It’s fun to hang out with people who actually know what they’re doing and participate in activities that most people can only dream about.

Here’s to staying out there and never getting tired of it.