plattyjo

Aug 29
The Gray Horse Cowboy Rides Into The Clouds

At 5:45PM today, my dear father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, passed away from complications due to lung cancer. He was 61 years old.
Over the past few weeks, Jay’s health had been steadily declining. He was too fragile to withstand more chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and the location of the tumor made it impossible to operate. Bedridden, medicated, hooked up to countless machines and unable to speak — it wasn’t what Jay wanted for himself. He wanted to go home. He’d smile bravely when we came to visit and say he wasn’t depressed — not that our stoic cowboy would ever tell us if he were — but we knew he didn’t want his last days to be in the sterile environment of an ICU.
Yesterday afternoon, a local hospice organization transported Jay back to the home he shared with his wife Sue in Aromas. They set up his bed in the living room by the window, and everyone could see that he was happy to be out of the hospital and surrounded once again by the familiar comforts of their place. His sister Marsha brought his favorite horse, Goblin, around the side of the house and up to the window. The hospice nurse, Cynthia, held up Jay’s hand so Goblin could say hello to his old friend. Then Jay slept for most of the day, sedated on medication to relieve his pain. Cynthia left at midnight, and Shawn kept vigil by his bedside and attended to his father until morning.
Shawn and his stepmother Sue were sitting beside Jay in the early evening when she said, “I wish Jay would say something.” At that moment, Jay opened his eyes for the first time since yesterday. His gaze was steady and strong, fixed in a piercing stare upwards. Jay’s breathing became slower and more labored until he fell silent. The gray cowboy tipped his hat to his loved ones and ventured up into the sky.
There have been many tears today and there will be many more over the next months and years. But through the tears will be the memories of his wry smile, his fiery temper, his gentle kindness and his abiding love for his friends, family and community. Thank you for your warm spirit, Jay, and may you rest in peace at last.

The Gray Horse Cowboy Rides Into The Clouds

At 5:45PM today, my dear father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, passed away from complications due to lung cancer. He was 61 years old.

Over the past few weeks, Jay’s health had been steadily declining. He was too fragile to withstand more chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and the location of the tumor made it impossible to operate. Bedridden, medicated, hooked up to countless machines and unable to speak — it wasn’t what Jay wanted for himself. He wanted to go home. He’d smile bravely when we came to visit and say he wasn’t depressed — not that our stoic cowboy would ever tell us if he were — but we knew he didn’t want his last days to be in the sterile environment of an ICU.

Yesterday afternoon, a local hospice organization transported Jay back to the home he shared with his wife Sue in Aromas. They set up his bed in the living room by the window, and everyone could see that he was happy to be out of the hospital and surrounded once again by the familiar comforts of their place. His sister Marsha brought his favorite horse, Goblin, around the side of the house and up to the window. The hospice nurse, Cynthia, held up Jay’s hand so Goblin could say hello to his old friend. Then Jay slept for most of the day, sedated on medication to relieve his pain. Cynthia left at midnight, and Shawn kept vigil by his bedside and attended to his father until morning.

Shawn and his stepmother Sue were sitting beside Jay in the early evening when she said, “I wish Jay would say something.” At that moment, Jay opened his eyes for the first time since yesterday. His gaze was steady and strong, fixed in a piercing stare upwards. Jay’s breathing became slower and more labored until he fell silent. The gray cowboy tipped his hat to his loved ones and ventured up into the sky.

There have been many tears today and there will be many more over the next months and years. But through the tears will be the memories of his wry smile, his fiery temper, his gentle kindness and his abiding love for his friends, family and community. Thank you for your warm spirit, Jay, and may you rest in peace at last.


Aug 28

Aug 19
Jay was sleeping when I first walked into his hospital room this afternoon, so he was unaware that Shawn, Sue and I were all there. His brow was furrowed, as if he was uncomfortable and upset. Shawn sat down and gently massaged his left arm and hand, and the tense wrinkles in his forehead eventually began to relax, then melt away.
He was scheduled for some physical therapy, and the attending nurse turned off his medication so he’d be awake and lucid for his short exercise regimen. As Jay began to revive, I went over to his bedside to say hello. He surprised me by greeting me with a big, warm smile. During our previous visits, his face was often vacant, devoid of expression due to being in a hazy, medicated fog. But his smile lit up his entire face, and I saw the gray horse cowboy in that familiar grin.
His physical therapist arrived and she told him they were going to work on having him sit up for a minute or so. Jay’s eyes widened; no words were needed to express his dismay with the impending exercises. I glanced at Shawn, and I know he saw that anxious look as well. In the past few months, Shawn has become an expert at reading his father’s eyes or mouthed words to communicate with him. But he was stumped the other day when his dad whispered a request to him. ”Are you trying to say the word ‘building’?” said Shawn. Jay shook his head. Shawn starting pointing to letters of the alphabet on a notepad to see if his dad could help him spell out the word. The letter “M” garnered a nod, and he finally understood that his dad had been asking for a milkshake. Ah, of course — he should have known his dad was craving one of his favorite drinks.
Before the therapist showed up, Jay had already tried sitting up with Shawn’s help. Jay would hold Shawn’s hand and try to pull himself up away from the bed. Being bedridden had weakened him considerably, so even the smallest effort was tiring. And his arms were heavy and swollen with fluid, a side effect from the chemotherapy treatments. But he was able to lift both arms over his head much higher than the previous day. Yesterday, Jay could barely lift one arm off the covers, but he seemed restless and determined to do so. Shawn was unsure of what he wanted, but he propped up his dad’s arm on his own. Jay then reached up and proceeded to scratch his forehead. It was a reminder that it’s those little things that you take for granted, being able to scratch that one troublesome itch or easily move your pillow into the right place under your head just so.
As his therapist got him ready to sit up, I thought about all of the lifelines that were branching out of Jay’s body: one for food; one for medication; one to take away his waste; several to provide him with oxygen; countless others monitoring and maintaining his health. They had to move carefully to not disturb his network of lifelines. Healing is a delicate process and you have to move forward slowly with grace and deliberation.

Jay was sleeping when I first walked into his hospital room this afternoon, so he was unaware that Shawn, Sue and I were all there. His brow was furrowed, as if he was uncomfortable and upset. Shawn sat down and gently massaged his left arm and hand, and the tense wrinkles in his forehead eventually began to relax, then melt away.

He was scheduled for some physical therapy, and the attending nurse turned off his medication so he’d be awake and lucid for his short exercise regimen. As Jay began to revive, I went over to his bedside to say hello. He surprised me by greeting me with a big, warm smile. During our previous visits, his face was often vacant, devoid of expression due to being in a hazy, medicated fog. But his smile lit up his entire face, and I saw the gray horse cowboy in that familiar grin.

His physical therapist arrived and she told him they were going to work on having him sit up for a minute or so. Jay’s eyes widened; no words were needed to express his dismay with the impending exercises. I glanced at Shawn, and I know he saw that anxious look as well. In the past few months, Shawn has become an expert at reading his father’s eyes or mouthed words to communicate with him. But he was stumped the other day when his dad whispered a request to him. ”Are you trying to say the word ‘building’?” said Shawn. Jay shook his head. Shawn starting pointing to letters of the alphabet on a notepad to see if his dad could help him spell out the word. The letter “M” garnered a nod, and he finally understood that his dad had been asking for a milkshake. Ah, of course — he should have known his dad was craving one of his favorite drinks.

Before the therapist showed up, Jay had already tried sitting up with Shawn’s help. Jay would hold Shawn’s hand and try to pull himself up away from the bed. Being bedridden had weakened him considerably, so even the smallest effort was tiring. And his arms were heavy and swollen with fluid, a side effect from the chemotherapy treatments. But he was able to lift both arms over his head much higher than the previous day. Yesterday, Jay could barely lift one arm off the covers, but he seemed restless and determined to do so. Shawn was unsure of what he wanted, but he propped up his dad’s arm on his own. Jay then reached up and proceeded to scratch his forehead. It was a reminder that it’s those little things that you take for granted, being able to scratch that one troublesome itch or easily move your pillow into the right place under your head just so.

As his therapist got him ready to sit up, I thought about all of the lifelines that were branching out of Jay’s body: one for food; one for medication; one to take away his waste; several to provide him with oxygen; countless others monitoring and maintaining his health. They had to move carefully to not disturb his network of lifelines. Healing is a delicate process and you have to move forward slowly with grace and deliberation.


Aug 11

Rescued in Portland: A Stolen De Rosa Bicycle Has Been Found After 6 Years!

High fives all-around, Portland and San Francisco! The De Rosa has been located and will be hand delivered to Justin next month. Please spread the word about its recovery - to call off the search and as a warning to future bike thieves - and we’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped with its return! And here’s how the story unfolded this past week:


Aug 4

Horses, Hugs and Healing

My father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, aka the Gray Horse Cowboy, is still in the hospital undergoing treatments for his battle with lung cancer. We take each day as it comes. There are some days when there’s progress, and there’s other days when his situation poses more challenges. But Jay is still working hard as he always has — except now he’s working hard to tell his lung cancer that it has overstayed its welcome and it’s time to hit the road.

His wife and son, Shawn and Sue, along with several other friends and family members, regularly visit to keep his spirits high and to check in with the team of doctors that are doing their best to keep him on the road to recovery.

If there was only a way that his dogs and horses could sneak into his room to pay him a visit. I know they miss him - especially his favorite horse Goblin - and that Jay misses them as well. We’re hoping that he’ll be able to see them again soon in the near future if we can’t arrange a clandestine meeting. In the meantime, we’re sending him hugs through these photos.

And thank you to everyone who have contributed to Jay and Sue thus far. All of the messages and donations have meant so much to them.


Jul 29

Today Was A Great Day For A (Recovered) Bike Ride

Dear Cycling Community,

So I’m still in shock about the return of my mountain bike this morning. I really can’t believe that it came back - with the help of Jillian Betterly and many others - and am truly thankful for the kindness and amazing superpowers of all of you.

The Bearded One and I felt that the best way to celebrate its happy return was to go on a long ride in Marin. We headed from Mill Valley up Railroad Grade to East Peak, hooked left onto Ridgecrest, then dropped down Lagunitas Trail which eventually led back up to Ridgecrest. From there we rode part of the Seven Sisters to the Bolinas-Fairfax Ridge Trail, then took Jewel Trail to Samuel P. Taylor. We took a pit stop at a great little Indian restaurant in Lagunitas (and our appetizers were the blackberries that we foraged along the way, there’s a million bushes in bloom right now!), then continued onwards back to Mill Valley via Sir Francis Drake and beyond.

49 miles with 4091 ft. of climbing and worth every minute. Thank you again for making this and other rides possible!


My Stolen Bike Was Found With Your Help, Thank You My Fellow Cyclists!

Dear Cycling Community,

Thank you so much for helping to find my stolen Ibis. I really, really can’t thank you enough. My husband and I have been having a tough time lately, and when I woke up Thursday morning and realized my bike was gone - I was pretty devastated.

But I emailed every cycling group I knew, posted my story Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Google+ and cycling forums, put up flyers and just hoped that it might come back to me. A part of me was resigned to my fate and had started the insurance claims process, especially after we came back empty-handed from making the rounds at two flea markets yesterday morning. But I received so many messages of support - I wish I could thank you all in person - that I wasn’t yet ready to consider it gone forever.

So when Shawn got the call this morning that the Ibis had been found by Jillian Betterly, I was in serious shock. It only took four days to recover my bike. I’m lucky that the thieves were greedy enough to try and sell the bike locally. I’m also lucky that you helped spread the word about my bike so that it seemed like everyone in California and beyond knew about its disappearance. And I’m especially grateful that Jillian, who was also looking for some bikes that had been stolen from her property*, was at Laney College this morning with a friend. Once she spotted the guy, she followed him quietly so as not to spook him. When he was ready to drop it off at a vendor, she showed him a photo of the Ibis and said it was stolen, then took it. I picked it up this morning from the downtown PUBLIC Bikes store in Oakland where she works.

So thank you, my cycling community. I’ve already cried many tears of happiness this morning and really owe the return of my bike to you. I’m truly touched by everyone who helped my bike find its way home.

If you can do me one more favor, please share this story. Over the past few days, I heard many sad stories of bikes being lost, seemingly forever, and then suddenly - they were found through the diligence of our community. We won this round, and if you’ve ever had a bike stolen - or ever have the misfortune of having one stolen - you may get it back because the cycling community is truly awesome. And we are united in our ongoing battle against the villainy of bike thievery. So thank you again - I will go on a bike ride today in your honor!

****I asked Jillian if she needed help finding her stolen bikes, but she declined - it’s a long story. But be sure to high five her if you ever meet her in person, she’s a bike hero!


Jul 24
The Gray Horse Cowboy Will Ride Again
When I first met my father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, shortly after I started dating my future husband, I thought, “Well, now I know what Shawn will look like in 20 years’ time.” 
Tall and lanky, both men tower over the average citizen. They also have the same ice-blue eyes that have earned the nickname “Blue Steel” due to their cool, piercing quality. Their default mode is intimidation, and one look from them can silence anyone that crosses their path and pisses them off (I’ve seen them in action, and I can guarantee that they came in handy to their predecessors during the Hatfield-McCoy feuding days). 
And they’re both cowboys, except Shawn, The Bearded One, wears a thick salt-and-pepper beard and rides bikes while Jay sports a gray mustache and rides horses.  Jay’s standard uniform — whether he’s relaxing or when he’s working as a farrier — is a button-down shirt with blue jeans and a leather belt and boots. He’s a close cousin to one of his cinematic heroes, John Wayne. Jay chooses his words carefully, won’t bullshit you and always says how he feels even if he might offend you. Sometimes his sense of humor is so dark and dry I can’t always tell when he’s trying to be funny  (and often have the same problem with Shawn), but chances are, most of the time he’s cracking a joke.  
I was reminded of his sardonic sense of humor when I recently visited Jay in the hospital. He was recovering from a tracheotomy, which he needed in order to breathe more freely. Diagnosed with lung cancer several weeks earlier, complications from the illness began to impact his airways. As we sat down at his bedside, Jay communicated with us by jotting things down and gesturing with hand signals. I joked that he’d be a master of Charades in no time, and he promptly flipped me the bird as a response with a wry half-smile. 
But it’s sad and strange to see our cowboy at rest for the first time, lying in a hospital bed surrounded by machines and sterile beige walls. Jay was always beyond busy, a die-hard workaholic, up at dawn so that he could attend to his animals or other people’s animals or to look for structural engineering flaws with his other day job as a building inspector. It was only at the end of a long day that he’d kick back in his favorite easy chair in front of the TV to watch shows with his wife Sue.
When I think of Jay, I think of the pan of cheesy scalloped potatoes that he bakes for us every holiday. And of the super deluxe Hickory Farms gift baskets that he’d give us every Christmas because he thought we loved them even though we secretly hated them but could never say so. I think of his love for Philly Cheese steak burritos from a local Mexican restaurant and the Sunday breakfasts we’d share at the Moss Landing Cafe. I think of him cursing at his laptop, ready to hurl it out the window, because he hated computers but loved the Internet. I think of him liking my posts on Facebook, then joining Google+ when I migrated over so he could follow my stories. I think of how he used to be the impatient driver in the truck fuming at cyclists on the back country roads near where he lived until his son started biking in earnest. Then I think of him coming to watch us race at the Hellyer Velodrome after work, proud as can be. It’s hard for me to think of Jay in any other way than as the kind man who welcomed me into his family when Shawn and I married three years ago. The man in the hospital bed is just a placeholder for the cowboy I know. 
In every life, there are regrets. Maybe he regrets the cigarettes he smoked, maybe there are other things he wished were different. But he had to live life on his own terms, with no looking back. This much I know. He’s stubborn, a trait that I’ve been accused of myself in the past (especially by own father). And I believe his stubbornness will get him through his nausea from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the frustration of being bedridden and the depression from being sick and worrying about his family and all of the other roadblocks his cancer is throwing at him. 
We love you, Jay. Tell that cancer to kiss your ass so we can go get some real cheeseburgers and milkshakes, like you’ve been asking for. 
If you’d like to help Jay and Sue Hatfield with their medical expenses, you can contribute here. 

The Gray Horse Cowboy Will Ride Again

When I first met my father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, shortly after I started dating my future husband, I thought, “Well, now I know what Shawn will look like in 20 years’ time.” 

Tall and lanky, both men tower over the average citizen. They also have the same ice-blue eyes that have earned the nickname “Blue Steel” due to their cool, piercing quality. Their default mode is intimidation, and one look from them can silence anyone that crosses their path and pisses them off (I’ve seen them in action, and I can guarantee that they came in handy to their predecessors during the Hatfield-McCoy feuding days). 

And they’re both cowboys, except Shawn, The Bearded One, wears a thick salt-and-pepper beard and rides bikes while Jay sports a gray mustache and rides horses.  Jay’s standard uniform — whether he’s relaxing or when he’s working as a farrier — is a button-down shirt with blue jeans and a leather belt and boots. He’s a close cousin to one of his cinematic heroes, John Wayne. Jay chooses his words carefully, won’t bullshit you and always says how he feels even if he might offend you. Sometimes his sense of humor is so dark and dry I can’t always tell when he’s trying to be funny  (and often have the same problem with Shawn), but chances are, most of the time he’s cracking a joke.  

I was reminded of his sardonic sense of humor when I recently visited Jay in the hospital. He was recovering from a tracheotomy, which he needed in order to breathe more freely. Diagnosed with lung cancer several weeks earlier, complications from the illness began to impact his airways. As we sat down at his bedside, Jay communicated with us by jotting things down and gesturing with hand signals. I joked that he’d be a master of Charades in no time, and he promptly flipped me the bird as a response with a wry half-smile. 

But it’s sad and strange to see our cowboy at rest for the first time, lying in a hospital bed surrounded by machines and sterile beige walls. Jay was always beyond busy, a die-hard workaholic, up at dawn so that he could attend to his animals or other people’s animals or to look for structural engineering flaws with his other day job as a building inspector. It was only at the end of a long day that he’d kick back in his favorite easy chair in front of the TV to watch shows with his wife Sue.

When I think of Jay, I think of the pan of cheesy scalloped potatoes that he bakes for us every holiday. And of the super deluxe Hickory Farms gift baskets that he’d give us every Christmas because he thought we loved them even though we secretly hated them but could never say so. I think of his love for Philly Cheese steak burritos from a local Mexican restaurant and the Sunday breakfasts we’d share at the Moss Landing Cafe. I think of him cursing at his laptop, ready to hurl it out the window, because he hated computers but loved the Internet. I think of him liking my posts on Facebook, then joining Google+ when I migrated over so he could follow my stories. I think of how he used to be the impatient driver in the truck fuming at cyclists on the back country roads near where he lived until his son started biking in earnest. Then I think of him coming to watch us race at the Hellyer Velodrome after work, proud as can be. It’s hard for me to think of Jay in any other way than as the kind man who welcomed me into his family when Shawn and I married three years ago. The man in the hospital bed is just a placeholder for the cowboy I know. 

In every life, there are regrets. Maybe he regrets the cigarettes he smoked, maybe there are other things he wished were different. But he had to live life on his own terms, with no looking back. This much I know. He’s stubborn, a trait that I’ve been accused of myself in the past (especially by own father). And I believe his stubbornness will get him through his nausea from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the frustration of being bedridden and the depression from being sick and worrying about his family and all of the other roadblocks his cancer is throwing at him. 

We love you, Jay. Tell that cancer to kiss your ass so we can go get some real cheeseburgers and milkshakes, like you’ve been asking for. 

If you’d like to help Jay and Sue Hatfield with their medical expenses, you can contribute here


Three Things That Happened To Me This Past Week That Pissed Me Off But Made Me Laugh In The EndMy fellow cyclists have been sharing their bike-related pet peeves on G+ today, and so I started to think about what’s been annoying to me as of late. And I realized that all of the incidents that occurred that initially pissed me off took an absurd enough turn in the end to make me laugh them all off. Here’s the list: Hatfield NebulaLast Wednesday, which was a beautiful late summer afternoon, I’m cruising along on my fixed gear bike with a friend of mine on the Pandhandle. This is a pretty, multi-use path that leads up to Golden Gate Park. We’re just pedaling and chatting when I suddenly find myself eating sh*t, endo over my handlebars (but only after they ram into my legs) and yard sale onto the ground. We could only guess that a twig had gotten sucked into my lovely new wooden fenders, which I had been so stoked about - but were now seemingly the source of the many bruises on my legs, the largest and most colorful of which I dubbed the ‘Hatfield Nebula' due to its extreme size and density. I limped around the next day, feeling sorry for myself as I hobbled around the house. But as I had to ride my bike to work as our car was unavailable, I realized that walking was more painful than riding my bike - in fact, biking didn't hurt at all. So all was well -  my bike was fine, and I could keep riding, which was really my main concern. Maybe I can get a doctor's note that says I need to pedal around the hallways at the office?  Road RageI rode down to San Jose from Millbrae this past Saturday on a scorchingly hot day to attend a BBQ, and I chose the fastest route to get there - which also happens to be a heavily trafficked road. I was honked at three times. I ignored the first one - trying to channel my ‘share the road’ zen - but the second series of honks came from a van for a pet-walking company (I guess they show more compassion for animals than cyclists). I had no shoulder on the road, so I had no choice to edge over into part of the main lane (or go off into the embankment), which brought on an onslaught of honking from the van - despite the fact that they had another lane in which to merge into to go around me. I caught up to them at the next stoplight and was ready to launch a barrage of expletives when I saw it was a mother-and-son (I’m guessing) sitting in the front seat. They were extremely overweight and stuffing their faces with spoonfuls of mayonnaise-laden supermarket case macaroni salad from a huge plastic tub. They were washing it all down with Big Gulps. I don’t know why the sight of their meal made me laugh; maybe it was more out of schadenfreude. No good can come of eating that nasty macaroni salad; I’d rather eat spackling paste. Then I’m riding along again, and a there’s a highway off-ramp merging on my right and the road to my left. So I straddle the line temporarily until I can reach the shoulder. But then this car starts honking at me, leaning into the horn like I’m deaf, and I’ve had it. I turn around and yell out angrily when I see that it’s the elderly couple at the wheel of this huge Cadillac - which they can barely see over - and they’re both wearing thick glasses. For all I know, they  think I’m some giant squirrel in their path. Who knows how blind they are? And they’re older folks, so naturally I feel a wee bit guilty for yelling at them (even though they probably shouldn’t be driving.) But the sight of them hunched over, with their big eyes peering through the glasses with that, “Oh God, just let me survive this traffic,” made me laugh. I just let them keep honking at me until I was able to get hell out of their way. I Suck at Mountain BikingTBO and I went for a long mountain bike ride in Marin on Sunday, and at one point I was hungry (argh, we brought no snacks) and was feeling a bit fatigued from my San Jose ride the day before. There was one steep climb on the Miwok Trail that I had to get off midway and walk. I hear someone come up behind me and I get ready to move aside for the cyclist when I realize it’s a…runner. She’s all happy and humming along and chirps at me, “Helllllo!” and is at the top of the next hill by the time I get to the top of this one - where TBO is waiting for me, no sweat on his brow, saying, “Tough climb, eh?” I just had to laugh at my own suckiness. And the above photo just made me laugh. I mean, how cute is that child’s cycling seat? I thought about stealing the Miffy the rabbit, but I know I would have racked up some major bad karma points.

Three Things That Happened To Me This Past Week That Pissed Me Off But Made Me Laugh In The End

My fellow cyclists have been sharing their bike-related pet peeves on G+ today, and so I started to think about what’s been annoying to me as of late. And I realized that all of the incidents that occurred that initially pissed me off took an absurd enough turn in the end to make me laugh them all off. Here’s the list: 

Hatfield Nebula

Last Wednesday, which was a beautiful late summer afternoon, I’m cruising along on my fixed gear bike with a friend of mine on the Pandhandle. This is a pretty, multi-use path that leads up to Golden Gate Park. We’re just pedaling and chatting when I suddenly find myself eating sh*t, endo over my handlebars (but only after they ram into my legs) and yard sale onto the ground. We could only guess that a twig had gotten sucked into my lovely new wooden fenders, which I had been so stoked about - but were now seemingly the source of the many bruises on my legs, the largest and most colorful of which I dubbed the ‘Hatfield Nebula' due to its extreme size and density. I limped around the next day, feeling sorry for myself as I hobbled around the house. But as I had to ride my bike to work as our car was unavailable, I realized that walking was more painful than riding my bike - in fact, biking didn't hurt at all. So all was well -  my bike was fine, and I could keep riding, which was really my main concern. Maybe I can get a doctor's note that says I need to pedal around the hallways at the office?  

Road Rage

I rode down to San Jose from Millbrae this past Saturday on a scorchingly hot day to attend a BBQ, and I chose the fastest route to get there - which also happens to be a heavily trafficked road. I was honked at three times. I ignored the first one - trying to channel my ‘share the road’ zen - but the second series of honks came from a van for a pet-walking company (I guess they show more compassion for animals than cyclists). I had no shoulder on the road, so I had no choice to edge over into part of the main lane (or go off into the embankment), which brought on an onslaught of honking from the van - despite the fact that they had another lane in which to merge into to go around me. I caught up to them at the next stoplight and was ready to launch a barrage of expletives when I saw it was a mother-and-son (I’m guessing) sitting in the front seat. They were extremely overweight and stuffing their faces with spoonfuls of mayonnaise-laden supermarket case macaroni salad from a huge plastic tub. They were washing it all down with Big Gulps. I don’t know why the sight of their meal made me laugh; maybe it was more out of schadenfreude. No good can come of eating that nasty macaroni salad; I’d rather eat spackling paste. 

Then I’m riding along again, and a there’s a highway off-ramp merging on my right and the road to my left. So I straddle the line temporarily until I can reach the shoulder. But then this car starts honking at me, leaning into the horn like I’m deaf, and I’ve had it. I turn around and yell out angrily when I see that it’s the elderly couple at the wheel of this huge Cadillac - which they can barely see over - and they’re both wearing thick glasses. For all I know, they  think I’m some giant squirrel in their path. Who knows how blind they are? And they’re older folks, so naturally I feel a wee bit guilty for yelling at them (even though they probably shouldn’t be driving.) But the sight of them hunched over, with their big eyes peering through the glasses with that, “Oh God, just let me survive this traffic,” made me laugh. I just let them keep honking at me until I was able to get hell out of their way. 

I Suck at Mountain Biking

TBO and I went for a long mountain bike ride in Marin on Sunday, and at one point I was hungry (argh, we brought no snacks) and was feeling a bit fatigued from my San Jose ride the day before. There was one steep climb on the Miwok Trail that I had to get off midway and walk. I hear someone come up behind me and I get ready to move aside for the cyclist when I realize it’s a…runner. She’s all happy and humming along and chirps at me, “Helllllo!” and is at the top of the next hill by the time I get to the top of this one - where TBO is waiting for me, no sweat on his brow, saying, “Tough climb, eh?” I just had to laugh at my own suckiness. 

And the above photo just made me laugh. I mean, how cute is that child’s cycling seat? I thought about stealing the Miffy the rabbit, but I know I would have racked up some major bad karma points.


Jul 23
Support Jay Hatfield
My father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, is a remarkable man who’s currently battling lung cancer. If you’d like to learn more about him, please click through here to read more about his story. My husband is also holding an online fundraiser to help defray his medical expenses.

Support Jay Hatfield

My father-in-law, Jay Hatfield, is a remarkable man who’s currently battling lung cancer. If you’d like to learn more about him, please click through here to read more about his story. My husband is also holding an online fundraiser to help defray his medical expenses.