Friday Incoherent Rambling

I'm slowly turning into a cyclist. I currently own three bikes, but that number may change when I buy the fixed gear I've been longing for. I bought a mountain bike a couple of years ago for commuting to and from campus. It's a little over a mile from my front door to my building, but I lost the patience required to walk that distance and driving was out of the question. I was now riding a bike regularly for the first time since the eighth grade. Last summer I picked up a used Cannondale CAD3 road bike from a guy who had only ridden it indoors on a trainer. The bike was in near mint condition, although the components were slightly out of date. I'm becoming a fan of road riding (more so than running, at least), but I don't feel like a get a very good workout on a ride that takes two hours. I probably need to start pushing myself a bit more. My third bike is a single gear that I bought from a local store that sells recycled bikes. I like it a lot more than the mountain bike as a commuter because there are less components that can break or rust, although the mountain bike is still practical for riding in snow because of the knobby tires and gears.

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My dream bike.

While riding my single gear to campus today, I passed an elderly couple out for their morning walk. Elderly is not the right word; they were somewhere between middle and old age. But that's not the point of the story. The point is the snippet of their conversation that I overhead. The husband said to his wife:

"But so is crossing over in some sense. And the meiotic . . . meiosis . . ."

I have no idea what the context of this comment was, but it's pretty cool to hear something like this on the street. Ok, maybe being a geneticist myself makes this seem a lot cooler that it really is. I didn't recognize either person as faculty at my university, but I suspect that at least one probably is. Being at a large university with many different Life Science departments (in multiple colleges) means that you don't get to know every person over 50 with some knowledge of meiosis. But being in a small college town means you get to hear people talk about meiosis as they walk down the street.

Why should you care about my bikes or old people talking about biology? Because it's Friday Incoherent Rambling! At evolgen, Friday is usually reserved for phylogenies. I was out of town all last weekend and early this week (sans computer) and I failed to plan ahead. Hence, no Phylogeny Friday. I was without my computer because I didn't fell like carrying an extra six pounds in my pack while portaging my share of a 60 pound boat. Also, they don't have internet access in the backcountry. Hell, they hardly have cell phone reception where I was. Here's where I was (map that campus, Alex):

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I'm a huge supporter of leave no trace / carry in, carry out / take only pictures, leave only footprints / whatever you want to call it. There's nothing quite like taking a shit in a six inch deep hole then wiping your ass with a leaf. Some of the dudes I backpack, paddle, or camp with have a slightly different idea of what it means to be minimum impact. They don't leave piles of poo in the middle of a campsite or ditch food wrappers on the ground, but they do wipe with toilet paper and burn any piece of trash that they can sneak into a camp fire behind my back. I've stopped giving them hell about lighting fires (provided they do it in a fire pit and only use fallen trees and branches as fuel), but it irks the hell out of me when they burn trash.

It's about time to get back to work, kids. Hop off grandpa's lap, the incoherent rambling is through.

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Grandpa promises to tell the kids a story if they promise to stop listening to the rap music.

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As a fellow cyclist, let me enlighten you as for the correct number of bikes to own = n + 1; where n is the current number of bikes you own.

By Gerardo Camilo (not verified) on 01 Sep 2006 #permalink

I'm starting to get that feeling. It's like the way people describe tattoos.

I agree with Gerardo; and if you're lucky enough to be married to a cyclist, then the correct number of bicycles to own is 2n+2.

If the "trash" your friends are burning is paper, then no problem. If it's plastic though, it's putting out all kinds of nasty chemicals. Lots of chloro-organics.

By somnilista, FCD (not verified) on 03 Sep 2006 #permalink

Be careful, don't let this happen to you:
Squirrel in spokes floors cycling opera singer

HELSINKI (Reuters) - A squirrel scampered into the bicycle wheel of an unlucky Finnish opera singer, causing him to fall, knock himself out and break his nose just ahead of the world premiere of a new opera.
...

By somnilista, FCD (not verified) on 04 Sep 2006 #permalink

A lot of people in my lab road bike. I haven't joined the club. Too many hills in this town!