Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

06 September 2015

Should I Thank The Flat Earth Society?

Whenever I teach freshmen, I spend a class or two on research methods.  Of course, I mention Google, and how--and how not--to use it. 

I don't lecture them about "good" and "bad" sites or "reliable" and "unreliable" sources.  Instead, I show them examples.

At least I try to make the work fun.  As an example of an "unreliable" or "bad" site, I show them the Flat Earth Society.  They are invariably as amazed that such an organization and its website actually exist.

I can't tell you much about what FES does.  However, I could easily believe one of its members designed the route I rode today. 

It's one I've pedaled many times before, from my place to Point Lookout and back.  The only climb (bridge ramps don't count) is the one from Jamaica Avenue to Forest Park, near the end of the ride back.  It's not long or particularly steep, but if you stop for a traffic light at Jamaica, Forest Park Drive or any of the three intersections in between, it can take a bit of effort to re-start your climb. 

Especially if you're riding only one gear.  Especially if that gear is fixed.

I'm not complaining: As I've said, I've done the ride many times before.  And when I have to start thrusting again after a stop, doing so on Tosca, my fixed gear Mercian (which I rode today) is painless just because the bike fits me and rides so  well.

Anyway, because the ride is so flat--and tall buildings disappear behind me as I pedal south through Queens and east into Nassau County--vertical things stand out all the more.  They don't have to be tall:  They just have to be perpendicular to the expanses of water, shoreline and sky.

Also, I think the fact that today was as clear as yesterday was made those rocks, those sails, seem closer to the sky than they normally would. 

It was slightly warmer (a degree or so Celsius) than it was yesterday, but I hardly sweated at all--even while riding 105 kilometers on a fixed gear bike.  Of course, the levelness (Is that a word?) of the course had something to do with my lack of perspiration.  Perhaps I should thank the Flat Earth Society. ;-)

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