Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Return of a River Crossing

Remember the Winter of '16-17?  It was a doozie!  Snowfall at levels almost unheard of in these parts, accompanied by flooding for months, and property damage.  One of the casualties was the South Plantation Island Bridge, an important river crossing on the Boise Greenbelt (right behind what was once Les Bois Park).  The pathway on the island, as well as the footings for the bridge, were damaged by high water, and they decided to remove the bridge rather than risking losing it down the river channel.

Since then (almost 2 years!), there's been a virtual dead end on the north side, and only a place to stop and look across forlornly on the south side.  Here's what the view looked like earlier today:

Last summer, the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands (who manage the island) announced a fundraising effort.  They needed to raise $75,000 in matching funds, to get fed money to replace the bridge.

I commented on the Boise Guardian website, about pathway users needing to pony up and hold a bake sale.  Obviously we maintain second-class citizen status; taxpayer funds are used when a road breaks and needs fixin'.  But much to their credit, local private citizens rose to the occasion and raised the money!

So... I've been wondering when we could expect to see bridge restoration efforts get underway.  (They need to do it over the winter, when water levels are low.)  I emailed the Foundation to inquire, and got a nice reply from Jan Johns, the Foundation director:

Thanks for your inquiry.  We have good news as of yesterday.  All our permits have been approved and we received them in the mail yesterday.  We are now going out to bid immediately.  I will be sending out an update this afternoon and update the website as well.  

It has been a longer process than expected to get the permits approved due to holidays and government shutdown.  But hallelujah we are finally moving forward.  The engineers anticipate it will take a couple of weeks to get the work done once we get going. We will be keeping our fingers crossed that all the work goes smoothly.  Thanks again for your concern.

Great news, indeed!  That's a significant river crossing for the local bike/pedestrian community.  And a bridge is better than what was suggested by a commenter over at the Guardian: I’m surprised the government folks haven’t touted the benefits of swimming across the river as a viable and healthy alternative. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Am I toxic?

The Social Justice Activists have moved onto another defect that pervades our society - Toxic Masculinity.  I don't watch much TV, but apparently Gillette - the razor blade people - even have a commercial chastising the 50% of humanity who can grow a beard.  For being men.  (Admittedly I don't know the details, but the men who are confident about being men share some of the blame for the abusers and wife beaters?)  (Dang it, why didn't I take some psychology classes, so I'd understand all this stuff?!!)

Now I can't help but wonder... do I ride a bike (and with a beard, several months of the year) because I suffer from TMS?

I gotta confess - riding a bike instills in me a sense of superiority over the weak-and-infirm people who choose a lesser form of transportation.  But I try REALLY HARD to contain that feeling in my brain, and not point out the feebleness of the others.  (I'm sure they're painfully aware of it - why point out the obvious?)

Maybe I should change my moniker to Bike Neanderthal.

Well... if I'm a carrier of TMS, at least I don't have it as bad as those poor slobs who spend $50,000 on an F350 Super Duty, and then add $15,000 worth of masculine bling to it!!

(nudge-nudge, wink-wink)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Magic Carpet Ride

Last night as I put my bicycle to bed, I just happened to make mental note of the odometer - 88.8 miles (YTD).  Easy to remember overnight, huh?

This morning I rode to work in the dark... it's what I do this time of year.  Passing under a streetlight, I checked and it said I was going some outlandish speed - 100+ MPH!  Yowza!  (What the???  My actual speed was maybe 13mph.)  I started checking as I passed streetlights - it was obvious my bike computer was wonky, because my speed was jumping from 1mph to 800mph to 20mph, seemingly randomly.  Maybe that was the sign - time to get a new computer.  In any case, I was expected to be at work, so I'd deal with it later.

This afternoon, I checked.  It said this morning's ride covered 210 miles, and my YTD miles was 6100-odd.  HUH?

I rode away.  It seemed to be keeping precise track of MPH and distance once again.  I guesstimated when I'd hit 100 miles... stopped at that point and reset it back to all zeros.  (It'll be easier to add 100 to total miles than 88 or 92, assuming it remains faithful going forward.)

So - what happened?

Scenic route (to McCall and back)?


Dark-side-of-the-moon experiments by the Chi-Comms?

UFO flyover?  (Maybe I should find a hypnotherapist and see if some obscured memories emerge...)

I'll keep an eye on it.  I've usually gone with a Cateye computer since my first "Cateye Solar" way back in the 80s (and I think the price was in the $80s, as well).  This one is a Cateye "Mity 8" - and it's probably 9 years old, so perhaps it's approaching the end of its useful life.  We'll see...