23 July 2014

Testing - testing - checking in

So much for my resolution to keep up the blog!  I kept thinking that I needed to write up what I was doing in June, and then I got busy doing it, or something else, and never got around to writeups.  Now it's the second half of July, and it's been two months since I wrote.  I'll try to do a bit of catching-up.

I've been a bit better about doing new things, though.  I cannot talk about the May one as it's in progress and not ready for public consumption.  June was a mixture and more of taking things I had done in the past into new directions.  My favourite thing in June was a road trip I took to Dallas, Missouri, and Kansas.  Well, I flew to Dallas, then between Dallas and Kansas City, but I put a lot of mileage onto rental cars in between.

My new July thing would be a bad fall off a bike, but I recovered (still a bit scabby) and went on the Real Ride, which was my first long bike ride that I can remember.  I did not do particularly well, definitely at the end of the pack most of the time, but I had fun and did not fail.  I walked in a few places, but rode at the end, completing the whole course.  And I turned out to be a photo op because to joke at myself and the fall I had taken, I built a costume of pool inflatables and pool noodles (complete with roll bars) and had a light-up warning sign on the back:
As you can see, I became a photo opportunity.
It was too awkward to ride in the costume, but I took the sign and attached it to my backpack so I could wear it, especially as the bike had no lights.  After the ride I promptly donated the bike I was using to a local Free Bike project, where they will work on the bike to make it more rideable (it was secondhand and not in as great shape as I'd been assured at the bike shop), and they said they would give me a credit against a bike that comes in and doesn't meet their standards for the ones in their system.  The organizers try to keep a certain type of bike on the road, but they accept almost anything and trade or sell the others.

Since then I've been on a ride around Hartford as part of the Colt 200 activities, and that was a lot of fun. By that time I was on a Schwinn, and even though it's a bit small I've decided I love Schwinns.  Well, I've always loved Schwinns.  Maybe it's a mental thing, but when I decided I needed to get a bike, a friend let me ride on a Schwinn Hollywood and I fell in love.  I wasn't sure about buying it, and then he sold it to someone else.  [Insert sad face here.]  I fell off a Raleigh that I had on loan, and the secondhand one is a Jamis, and a bike shop tried to get me to buy a Trek that just felt uncomfortably big to me (I think it has to do with the handlebars), and the one I have now is another Schwinn and despite the size (20") I am happy again.

Another new thing for July - going up into the cupola of the Colt Armory, on one of the Colt 200 tours:
I was on the tour with my friend Rayah and her friends the Berriens.
You can see what the armory looks like in this area - dicey.

Because it is in one of the less-well-kept areas of the complex, you can't just wander in, and tours are rare.

Views up there are great.  That's the Connecticut River behind me.  In 1854 it flooded, including the then-present factory, so Sam Colt built a series of dikes to hold back the water in the future to protect his equipment.  You can see a panorama of the flood at the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the panel with the Colt factory includes a tiny rowboat with people in it who are factory workers being rescued.

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