Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Florida Riding

What does a cyclist do in the winter? I have seen some riders tough it out in 30 degree weather, but that's not for me. My cutoff point is somewhere around 50 degrees, because I really don't like to have my fingers and my face frozen so hard that pieces start falling off. I have cold riding gear that makes 50 tolerable, but below that I'd rather not. So to stay in shape and prepare for a year of fun riding, I put my bike up on one of those stands that makes it stationary. Now I can ride my bike in our basement for as long as I can stand, which is about 15 minutes. Riding indoors, with no wind, no downhills, and scenery that never changes, is about as boring as watching cement harden. I force myself to 30 minutes but anything beyond that would drive me to the brink of insanity.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If it was that important to you...

Yesterday morning I was driving to the gym when I stopped at a traffic light. This particular intersection has one through lane, a left turn lane, and a right turn lane that goes nowhere. The intersecting road on the left does not continue to the right. I don't know why there's a right turn lane at this intersection because there is nowhere to go. There's an entrance to a parking lot about 300 feet past the intersection, and I suppose one could use the right turn lane to eventually enter that parking lot, but otherwise it is a useless lane. As I sat at this peculiar intersection, I saw a red pickup truck approach from behind. He and I were the only ones waiting for the light, but he decided to make use of the right turn lane. Well I knew he wasn't turning right so perhaps he intended to turn in to the parking lot a ways up the road. But I suspected that wasn't the case either.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Goodbye LORAN

Back before GPS there was LORAN. Building on the success of the British GEE radio navigation system, the US military developed LORAN during World War II as a secret program to provide the Allies with a reliable and accurate means of navigation at sea in any weather. LORAN was originally called Loomis Radio Navigation (LRN), named after its inventor Alfred Lee Loomis. After the war ended the Coast Guard continued to expand LORAN for use by both the military and commercial shipping fleets. It has evolved through the years but has always been a reliable means of off-shore navigation, and eventually it was expanded to include support for aircraft.