cantilevered over their backs
Sunday, May 2 2010
I was up sort of early this morning, in time to catch the beginning of a massive bike race heading northward on Dug Hill Road. The first evidence that something was up was that a snappy sports car came up and parked in a driveway visible from the laboratory deck. Then came several vehicles with flashing lights. Only then did the cyclists start appearing. The part of Dug Hill Road visible from the laboratory deck is at the crest of a steep hill, and any cyclists coming from the south are exhausted from the climb. Traditionally this made them wounded ducks for Eleanor to pick off back when she used to chase bicycle people. But she's older and has developed better impulse control, so now if she's on the cot she likes to lie on in in the driveway and she sees a cyclist, all she'll do is maybe growl a little or let out a tepid woof. This morning Eleanor was sleeping in after a busy night of chasing coyotes. Last night I'd heard them in the woods and they'd sounded terrifying. The thought of going towards that sound had sent a shiver down my spine, yet Eleanor, who only weighs a quarter what I do, would run out into the woods to bark at them and I'd hear her barking gradually fade away to nothing as her distance into that spooky forest increased.
The first visible cyclists of the race were all muscular young men with fancy equipment. They wore elaborate helmets shaped like enormous rain drops, a long pointy tail cantilevered over their backs. Their bicycles had plastic disks covering the spokes and these would resonate with the road and make a "wook! wook!" noise. Later in the race, the bicycles started growing cheaper and the people pedalling them fatter. At some point I saw my first female rider. Some of the riders had given up on pedalling up Dug Hill Road and were walking their bikes, making a clip-clop sound with their special fancy bicycle shoes.
I spent most of the day completely restructuring the underpinning of a complicated calendar-based website I've been working on (for free!) since December. The day was so hot that it was actually a bit difficult to work in the laboratory. In the winter I point an electric parabolic heater at me and in the summer I do the same thing with a fan. Today was the day I swapped the heater for the fan.
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