Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The speedy and the erratic

It was fun watching the race on Sunday. I have to admit, though, for most courses triathlon generally isn't what you'd call an exciting spectator sport. You see a bunch of people milling around getting ready. Then they're an anonymous herd, milling around in their wetsuits and swim caps. Then they're in the water in a splash. Depending on the course and who you're cheering for, you've got time for a coffee. Then they burst out of the water and head for transition. This can be exciting, but it doesn't last long.

Then they are out of transition and off on their bikes, and unless you hustle you aren't likely to see both of these. There are some courses where you can hop on a bike and short cut to see them zoom by. Zoom being the operative word. Even the slow riders are going about 30 Kph unless you catch them on a big uphill.

If you can't do that, you end up waiting at transition for them to come back. That might be several hours. Then they are in and gone again, transitioning from bike to run. If you're in the port-potty you will have missed it.

Then there is the run finish. All sorts of drama here. For most of my races I asked Linda to drop me at the swim, and if she wanted to stick around for the bike transition that was up to her. Then I didn't expect to see her again till the finish.

As a triathlete, it's a bit different. You can appreciate better what the racers are going through. Plus, and this is the dangerous part, you get infected with the desire to do it again. I got bit by that a little bit, but I'm safe this year. About the only one I'd be tempted to do is Chaparral Oly, and I've been asked to do the photography for it, so I'm safe.

But I did look up last weekend's finish times for my age group. The winner finished in 4:25, and the middle of the pack is 5:45 or so. I'd certainly have been well over 6 hours, if I'd been so foolish as to try. Just as a comparison, the overall winner finished in 3:35. I know lots of triathletes dream of winning their age group and going to Kona, but I have no such aspirations. I'd be thrilled with a mid pack finish, but that seems so far away right now.

But next year, who knows? I keep saying I want to get into better shape. Maybe this will be the year, without a day job to wear me down. But even "aging up" into the next age group isn't going to help me much. The winner in that age group went 4:35. Speedy.

In the mean time, I'm still getting caught up on photos.

This one is so soft and peaceful. I can see it done huge as a big print in a meditation space.

The hens and chicks blossoms are still hanging in there, though beginning to look a little worse for wear today.

The day lilies are incredible this year! I love the vibrant yellow, orange, and reds. The ordinary ones are nice, but when you get the light right, they look like they're on fire.

Another damp rose. The new bud pushing it's way in there adds even more interest.

Part of the view from the reservoir cruise. Pity about the smoke.

I was quite taken by this railroad snowplow at Heritage Park. This photo is not really doing justice to that orange. Plus I was just imagining certain politicians staked out on the tracks, getting prodded with this. My imagination gets away from me sometimes...

Oh, and the erratic. I didn't take a photo, but coming out of Coop today there was a car with a handicap sticker that didn't manage to make it fully into the handicap spot. It's like they thought they were angle parking. Then on the way home I turn onto the street where I live, and someone is driving down the wrong side of the road, then the middle, then the wrong side again. I was thinking seriously about where exactly was the safest place to bail out. Then they swerved violently into the side of the road where lots of people park, and I think they drove on someone's lawn for a second. It was a tiny old person peering over the wheel. I'm not sure who was more terrified, me or them.

This is why I want to see car simulators set up, and people run through a standardized test before getting their license renewed. Fail, and you get a chance to study, get your eyes checked and eyeglasses prescription updated if necessary, maybe do some practice with a certified instructor, then have another go at it.

There are lots of people that fear the self driving cars, but not me. I fear those other people on the road that are driving distracted for whatever reason, or no longer have the cognitive ability to drive, or suffer a medical adventure while driving. The problem is only going to get worse as the boomer generation (and I'm one of them) ages gracefully or otherwise.

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