Saturday, November 6, 2010

Afternoon Ride 11-06-10

October 17th, that was the last time I actually sat on my bike. Work has been the main obstacle, with a recent horrible chest cold being the other. I've been getting home late from work and have done nothing but take a shower, and read a book till I fall asleep. I've been a terrible blog friend lately, I apologize.

This afternoon I rode over to the Starbucks on University Drive with the intention of finding a suitable tree along the way to serve as my entry in RANTWICK'S First Annual RANTWICK Autumn Tree Smackdown (FARATS). It's a fall tree color contest.

Apparently banana trees don't change color in the fall, but then, hardly anything does here in Texas.

Starbucks and every other shop at University Village was crowded. I sat outside and sipped coffee and tried to deal with an especially runny nose. The last time I rode (mid October), temperatures were in the high 80's, when I left the house it was 66 degrees (18.8 celsius). My body was unaccustomed to the cool air, my lungs hurt and my nose went into overdrive.

I eventually got the mucosal membranes under control and made my way to the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble. I found this magazine in the bike section. It's the third issue of She Pedals, a bike magazine for women. They've got a nice web site.

After a doing a bit of window shopping (I decided that I must have an Apple iPad), I unlocked the bike and mounted my pannier on the inexpensive new Sunlite rack that I picked up from City Cyclist last week. Unfortunately the shop is closing for business in December so they are trying to get rid of everything. I paid a little over $20 for the rack.

The rack is sturdier than I expected. It's a temporary addition as I'll eventually replace it with something made for extended touring.

Perfect weather for riding. Notice how green everything is. Texas isn't the place to go looking for fall colors.

This is it. This Charlie Brownish tree will be my FARATS entry.


Encouraged by a comment on a fairly recent blog post, I decided to include photos of cool mid-century homes, or interesting homes of any genre that I come across on my rides. I'll avoid or blur address, license plates, or any other identifying information. If somebody complains about their house appearing on my blog, I'll remove it.

I pass this house on just about every ride. I like the metal artwork on the wall and the entrance to the front door (it's hard to see in this photo). I don't know the proper architectural terms for this stuff so bear with me.

This is a cool house. I love the windows and the nicely shaded yard.

Ride-by photography. I'm trying to take these photos without being noticed. It's perfectly legal to photograph a house from the street (think Google Streetview), but seeing a scruffy guy on a bike taking photos of nice homes might alarm people, so I'll be doing it at high speed.


  1. People are just going to have to get over being photographed, having their actions photographed or their stuff photographed. Unless civilization breaks down to the stone age then like the internet it's here to stay. I think we are close to having as many cameras in use as people at any given time.
    Cameras are the guns of the new revolution.
    Sorry to hear about the cold and sinus problems. So far I have been spared.

  2. RTP it's funny to read your comments about taking pictures of houses when I have had exactly the same thoughts while doing it for exactly the same reasons. I'd love to see more of those houses from your area. Maybe this will give me courage to post up some from mine.

  3. Did you go to the FW Botannical Garden to look at trees?

  4. Oldfool-I'm sure we'd be surprised just how many times we are on camera on any given day, ATM machines, convenience stores, traffic cameras. The folks in the U.K. have it much worse than we do, although some people are fighting back-

    John Romeo Alpha-I'd like to see your pictures. Post them and let me know if you get any complaints, I'll do the same.

    Steve A-I didn't go to the botanical gardens because I wasn't sure if the trees I'd come across there would be native to Texas. I refuse to take the easy way out by photographing some flamboyant northern import. I'll proudly stand by my scrappy little tree (I'm actually not sure if it's native or not).

  5. I got no problem taking pics of folks home and stuff. I mean it's not like there's a shortage of folks walking around with cameras here.
    Kinda curious if that banana tree, or any banana tree flowers and fruits in your parts.

  6. limom-That's a good question. I must have passed this tree a hundred times but this is the first time that I've noticed it. The banana trees that we used to have in south Texas produced fruit. I'll keep an eye on it throughout the year and see.

  7. I like your attitude 'bout furrin trees.

  8. Glad you're back on the bike ... the bike is looking great! I think your FARATS entry is pretty amusing ;)

  9. Hey, do you want me to just grab that pic for the contest from here? I love it, but don't want to enter it into the contest until you tell me to.

  10. oh i LOVE your go-around ide pictures. so cool the fall leaves all over are my favorite sighting of the year. one of my guy-friends got me that magazine, it is pretty cool - Ive enjoyed many articles in it!
    cheers and happy riding, from sf