No, not an accident, or food poisoning. This time I refer to the disaster in Philly. I will soon be taking the magic number counter on this page down because it will be irrelevant. Oh, the pain. Four games. Four losses. And to add to the pain of this short period is the sweep of the Sox by the Yanks. This season could turn into a nightmare for Mets fans. Oh, the pain.

Finally.... and Accident Clarity

In a posting I made on June 30th I mentioned the slow pace of bridge reconstruction in Union Beach. Well, lo and behold, in the past two weeks both bridges have been completed. Apparently they read my blog and were shamed into a speedy conclusion of their work.

Also in a previous posting I detailed my accident as much as I could recall, but my last ride put me on the same road and I wasn't paying attention and hit the same hole. It isn't a regular pothole with clearly defined edges, but more of a paved dent in the road. This time I didn't kiss the asphalt because as soon as I sensed it I grabbed the bars tight. And that is when I learned the cause of my crash. One or two seconds after hitting the first hole I hit a second one. Being aware this time saved me, but last time I would have recovered if not for the second hole. Mystery solved.


New pics

I have posted some of the pics of our trip to LA earlier this month. Click here to see them.

Procrastination and Consideration

Well I started this posting a couple days ago and never posted it. I always start out with good intentions but let it go and then one day blends into another and soon I have forgotten about it totally. But now I will post it. Not that there are more than three or four people who ever read this blog anyway.

Yesterday [Aug. 22] Pat and I went out to dinner for our 37th anniversary. That is probably a topic for another posting. We went to Julia's (owned by one time Red Sox and Met player John Valentin) in the Highlands, not to be confused with Atlantic Highlands, because it was a restaurant we had never been to, and it sounded like a good place for an anniversary dinner. You would think that Atlantic Highlands would be the town nearer the "Atlantic", but NOOOO, it is the other way around, and the way I remember which is which is that Atlantic Highlands is home of the Atlantic Cinema. But I digress, which is not unusual. The interior of Julia's has a bar along one wall, then a half wall separating it from the dining area which has tables running along the half wall and the other wall of the room. We were seated on the outside wall, with me with my back to the wall. There were two other occupied tables which was par for a Wednesday night at most restaurants. After we had chosen our wine, and placed our orders, and toasted our 37th, I looked toward the door to see a young couple come in with a little girl about two. Uh-oh. They were seated opposite us and the little girl was a little loud, not whining or anything, but just loud. The acoustics of the place lend itself to echoing, and I imagine when all the tables are filled it is a bit noisy. But that was not yesterday. I saw them placed their order for wine, and the little girl was constantly being loud, and in the quiet it was very disconcerting. Not a way we wanted to spend a nice romantic dinner. But then a very strange thing happened. I saw the couple talking seriously, the father got up and went toward the back of the restaurant, came back to the table and the three of them got up and left, saying something to the hostess as they left. I did hear the mother say that she didn't think it was as fancy a place as it was. I almost wanted to go up to them to thank them for being so considerate of other the other diners. It was very refreshing to see that. I hope they had a nice dinner with their daughter somewhere else that evening.


Back in the saddle

Yesterday I stopped by the stable/blacksmith to pick up my trusty steed. Newly shoed she was ready to go, and today I decided to go for a ride. At first I was a little nervous being thrown off during my last ride seventeen days ago, but they say you should get right back on the horse after being thrown, so that was what I intended. With a little gentle talking I eased her out onto the road. She was a little skittish at first, as was I, but we settled into a nice ride. Each small bump we hit I held the reins a little tighter, fearing a recurrence of my last ride. But eventually I regained the confidence of letting her go and we had a very nice ride, going twenty-one miles in an hour and twenty minutes. Putting my steed away after the ride, I knew we were once again simpatico.


One shower a day is enough

Monday evening after dinner Kevin wanted to take a ride up into the hills north of here to take some photos of the valley at night. I went along to "watch his back" while he took pictures because it is an area with gated communities and he didn't want to be focused on his camera and have a security guard sneak up behind him. As we were to make the final turn to go up into the area we were waiting at a light when three fire trucks crossed the intersection and went up the hill ahead of us. About a mile up the road they were at another intersection and heading up a side road, so we continued on while trying to see if we could see any fires anywhere. Driving down to the end of the road we noticed helicopters overhead and thought they were news copters covering the fire. We turned around, looking for a place to park where Kevin could get his shots of the valley. Drving back along the ridge road one of the helicopters was coming in low and was landing nearby. At this time we were passing a small parking lot for a park and pulled in. Sprinklers were on so we had to park where we wouldn't get wet if we got out. The camera was taken out and set on a tripod waiting for the helicopter to leave, but it stayed. The zoom lens revealed that the lettering on the side of the copter was LAFD, so it was related to the fire on the other side of the hill. So we waited and watched, not really seeing much in the darkness. Another helicopter was circling the area and when the first one finally took off the second one landed. It was then that we concluded that they were taking on water for a drop over the fire. As the second one was loading up the first one returned and set down nearby, waiting for its turn again. After they had both left the sprinklers went off and we decided to walk toward where they had landed to get a better shot of the valley. Kevin bent down to find the grass dry and worried that sprinklers might come on in the area. As we were walking we heard one of the helicopters returning. The searchlight was moving across the ground and lit us up as we walked. I felt like Richard Kimball. Then I looked toward the landing area which was also illuminated by the light and pointed out to Kevin that the sprinklers had come on in that area and I was concerned that where we were could be next. Ready to turn back as the helicopter flew overhead we watched as it dumped what water it had left. Had he done it a few seconds sooner we would have gotten a good drenching. At that point we headed back to the car without a shot of the valley's lights, but lucky to be dry.


Baseball for breakfast

After getting up and discussing the earthquake with the household I poured myself a cup of coffee, put some cereal in a bowl and had breakfast. After finishing I went back to the couch and at 9:00 turned on the television to watch BASEBALL. Nine o'clock in the morning and I am watching the Mets vs. Braves. By lunch the game is over, and disappointing because the Mets lost despite a ninth inning comeback falling one run short. I don't know if I could ever get used to watching sports so early in the day. Very difficult.

Shake, rattle and roll

This is our eighth trip to the left coast to visit the Riepls of California and we have finally experienced the true essence of living here. 4.5 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake was centered in Chatsworth which isn't too far from here and occurred at 12:58 last night. I went to bed at eleven and was sound asleep at the time, but was awakened by the house shaking. It only lasted for a couple seconds and then I went right back to sleep. There were no pictures falling off the wall or pipes exploding, just a rumbling and shaking. In the morning Kevin said that it was the most severe one they have experienced in the nearly six years out here. From looking at the site which lists recent earthquakes in CA, it appears that there were some aftershocks, but we all must have slept through them. We have another five or six days here and hopefully they will be shake free.

List of quakes


Food Poisoning or Virus?

Wouldn't wish either on my worst enemy ..... violent intestinal pain ...... wet and clammy ..... bent over pain ..... saliva filled mouth ..... severe painful cramps ..... nearly vomiting ..... unbearable painful cramps ..... laying on the bathroom floor ..... cramps ..... pain ..... getting up numerous times during the night ..... did I mention the pain? ..... and wishing it would somehow all just end.


Expensive crash

I took my bent and twisted bike to the shop this morning. Howie, the owner, was amazed by looking at the bike that I wasn't more seriously hurt. For that matter so was I. He looked the bike over and it turns out that the rear wheel is also bent so both have to be replaced. New wheels and a tuneup would have cost me $475, but he will just buy the rims and build the wheels himself which will bring the total down to $345. I just hope he doesn't find anything else bent or broken when he tunes it up. As it is it will take a while and I hope it is ready when we return from CA.
My abrasions are scabbing over but in the morning I discovered I must have injured my right shoulder too, because it is very sore. Lucky I didn't break my collarbone which is the most common injury in cycling accidents.


I think it's supposed to be round

So I went for a ride today. Normally on a day where the weather was predicted to be in the nineties I would have gone in the morning, but I stayed up late to watch the Mets lose, so I decided to go in the afternoon around 3:30. It was near ninety when I started out but not too humid and breezy so it was bearable. I had chosen my route to stay near the shore, heading out to Port Monmouth and back, a ride of about 21 miles. So, there I was, a little more than seven and a half miles into my ride, enjoying the warm summer afternoon, when BAM! I found myself laying on the asphalt. It really happened that fast. One second I am on the bike and the next I am laying on the road, looking around to see if anyone saw me go down. Not to get help, but because it was embarrassing. I picked myself up, checked for broken bones first, then looked to discover scrapes on my right leg and arm. I got up without a problem and picked up the bike which revealed the odd shape of my front wheel. Not a good shape. Because the wheel wouldn't turn, I dragged the bike to the side of the road, up onto the sidewalk, and onto a lawn. (A very nice lawn, plush and green, I might add) With the shape of the wheel it was immediately obvious that I wasn't riding home, so I sat down on the lawn, pulled my cell out of my right rear pocket, hoping it was still working, and called Pat. Now, I was only fifteen minutes from home, but Pat wasn't home, being at a friend's house a half hour from our house. I asked her to come and get me and then sat back to wait. The owner of the house I was in front of came home a few minutes later and came over to check on me, and then later a guy in a truck stopped to see if I needed help. It was nice to see strangers reaching out, despite a State Trooper who was so busy on his cell phone he drove right past. I waited forty minutes and then Pat was there and I loaded the bike in the car and went home to shower, medicate, and ice my wounds.

Now, what happened? As I was sitting on the lawn I tried to reconstruct it in my mind and this is what I think happened. I was riding with my hands resting on the handlebars, and not really gripping them, which isn't really that unusual for riders to do. I then hit a medium size pothole which I didn't see, and this caused my hands to jump up off the bars. With nothing to prevent me from going forward, that is what I did. I recall trying to steer with my forearms on the handlebars as I went forward, but it didn't work, and then the wheel went sharply left, and I was skidding along the asphalt. I don't know if the wheel was bent by the pothole, hitting the curb, or just being so sharply turned and stopped.

It could have been a lot worse. My helmet's outer shell is cracked, my hip is bruised and sore, and I have numerous "strawberries" on my body. There was no car behind me, I didn't break any bones, and I will ride again. So it could have been a lot worse.

Tomorrow morning I will shlep my bike to the bike shop to have the wheel replaced and the rest of the bike checked out.