Thursday, February 9

Reformed Quitter

I rode. I rode I rode I rode.

There have been six days of not riding since last I did ride. I have only 31 miles for the month and it's the 9th!

I didn't feel so hot when I got to work. Tired. But I don't necessarily think that's an illness issue as much as a five-year-old-waking-up-her-parents-at-five-thirty-a-m issue. My Klean Kanteen transported coffee has not raised me from this funk. 16 ounces of Sumatran—kept wonderfully warm through the twenty degree cold—just didn't cut it. Was that a plug? Who me?

The beauty was that the roads and the Clear Creek Trail were mostly dry and free of ice. It was a low stress ride in from that standpoint. I was only a little slower than usual for a commute between the mesas and through Golden. Construction has begun on the Moss Street extension at NREL so South Golden Road is a mess now. Won't be riding that way (which is my shorter option) for about a month.

I don't have class again in Boulder until mid-March. Of course March is the time of potential mini-ice ages along the Front Range. We'll deal with that factor when, and if, it occurs. I now have plenty of time to focus on two of my online classes, and I am going to start some "light" studying for the LEED® Green Associate Exam. I have no timeframe for taking the exam. I'll take it when I think I'm ready, but with the classes I'm taking at CU I will meet the prerequisite criterion I need for taking the test.

I looked at some sample questions, and I'm slightly scared. That's saying a lot, because tests were my thing, academically speaking. I didn't study for the ACT and had a wretched gpa in high school and got a 24 first (and only) try. It would have been significantly higher than that as well, but I bombed the math section.

The sample GA exam questions make my heart quiver like the five question "quizzes" that one of my geography professors gave. The weekly quizzes were over global regions. So the first quiz was over Europe. I didn't bother to study. I figured I knew Europe pretty well. I got one out of five right. He chose the most obscure tidbits of information possible and gave no contextual clues.

The next quiz I did better, but still not perfect. Again, only five questions, but really, really specific and obscure geographic information. That class was the only class I ever put more than a few minutes into studying. I spent a full day while at work committing the covered material before each quiz and major test the rest of that semester. And for that I know all of the "Stans" and their capitals. I know that the capital of Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. I know that Eritrea and Djibouti are countries near the Red Sea. I am familiar with the Syr Darya of Kazakhstan. For the record, my college gpa was much more respectable than my high school gpa.

That class took a herculean effort on my part. I was used to absorbing information by passive osmosis. But my geo professor expected us to learn things outside of class that he never mentioned during class. It was a shocking experience for me. He taught me to learn on my own. Sink or swim style.

So when I read through the LEED GA sample questions I compulsively began rehearsing Asian geography in my head. It's going to be tough. But I'm going to do it.

Anyway, these things have little to do with cycling, but they are significant in what's going on behind the scenes for me these days. I'm moving slightly away from a future path toward transportation planning (or maybe just a widening of my path in general) and am directing my wheels toward general sustainability management and green building.

I'm sure some of your are snoring by now, and I promise I will get myself into more two-wheeled trouble soon and have many, many things to write about that are at least remotely transportation and cycling oriented. Six days of rest from riding should help me to snap back strong once I clear my system of the martian death flu we're all battling these days.

I'll leave you with this blurry photo (not of Big Foot) I took this morning on my ride in.

I'm 99% sure it was a peregrine falcon. It was perched on the railing alongside the Clear Creek Trail as I rode past. I stopped and it watched me indifferently as I took out my phone. But when I raised it to take the photo the bird took flight. I am shocked it turned out as clearly as it did.

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