Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

18 January 2018

How Many Australians Does It Take To....?

When we're teenagers, we (some of us, anyway) become obsessed with books we don't look at after the age of 20 or so.  Such books included, for me, the ones written by Ayn Rand and J.R.R. Tolkien.  

Now, some of you might hate me for saying I haven't read Tolkien since my freshman year of college.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. They're just not my thing.  


The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, on the other hand, seem even more like fantasies than anything Tolkien wrote.  Actually, that's giving Ayn Rand's novels too much credit:  They seem rather like comic books to me now.  And, though some libertarians claim her as an intellectual godmother, I think she was more of a Mc Carthyist anti-Communist with a pretense of intellectuality.  


But I digress.  Just before that period of my life, there was a time when I was obsessed with another book I haven't looked at in years:  The Guinness Book of World Records.  I guess that at 12 or 13, I liked anything I could gawk at, and the book was full of such things. Some might be interesting to me now, but others would probably seem ridiculous--and the people involved just plain stupid--to me now.  


In the former category--ridiculous--falls something that recently made it into the latest edition of the book.  Actually, it's something I might want to see, if not try.


It's the world's longest bicycle:




The 41.42 meter (135 ft 10.7 in) contraption was built collaboratively by gas and oil company Santos and engineering students at the University of South Australia. 


For such a record, Guinness editors stipulate that the bicycle must be able to travel 100 meters without the riders' feet touching the ground.  Seven riders managed the feat on the bike in the video on 17 January 2015.  An earlier attempt resulted in the bike toppling over.  Luckily, "besides damaged pride and a couple of scratches, there were no serious injuries," according to Victoria Fielding, who wrote the record application.  


Now as to why someone would build such a bike--you've got me.  But I admit that I enjoyed watching the ride!


17 January 2018

Leaving The Sunshine In State

I've left the Sunshine State.

Did I leave in a state of sunshine?  

Maybe I left the sunshine in the state:



Yes, I'm back in New York now. The sidewalks look like 7-11 Slurpees without the bright colors.  And snow is fluttering down.


One thing I didn't bring with me was the wind I experienced while in Florida.  Oh well.  ;-)

16 January 2018

An Ocean And A Desert

The temperature felt more like New York in March, or the coast of Belgium in any month besides July and August.  And while strong wind is not unusual in this part of the world, I have never felt it for days on end during my visit.

At least the colors and light at Matanzas Bay looked more like those one associates with Florida:




So did those of Painters Hill



Some places, though, looked more like deserts.



During my visit last year, there were palm trees and littoral plant life here.  The storms that struck a few weeks ago have laid them to waste.

Believe it or not, this is a roadway:



Old A1A, to be exact.  It's closed.  Even though I was riding the beach cruiser, I didn't ride this road:  I managed to go only a few meters before the wind whipped me around and blew enough sand in my face to make me even less of a navigtor than I normally am!

Still, I had a great ride.