Just a simple post with a beautiful shot along the canal. There is a heron on the stanchion here too. I did a bit of technicolor/instagram tweaking in photoshop, but otherwise this is straight from the camera. It is now my facebook timeline picture and my desktop wallpaper at work.
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Here's a comparison between my old "good" bike route in to work and my new wonderful route. It's only sixth tenths of a mile longer, which on a 10 mile commute I'll consider negligible compared to the payoff. It takes me off a major road with lots of angry traffic and puts me on a quieter road which leads to a pedestrian and bike path along the Erie canal. There is nothing about this route change that isn't better, with the tiny exception of the extra 0.6mi.
If it matters: the orange is where they overlap. The magenta is the less optimal old path. The green is the new improved path.
I should try to use this as an analogy for other things in life, weight benefits and risks, and striving to optimize your path of progress, but nuts to that. This is just an awesome improvement of my bike commute.
I discovered this Emma Goldman graffiti on the canal path. Interesting. She's a Russian Jewish anarchist who spent a couple years in Rochester. Interesting, anarchist graffiti on government built pylons. Here's the relevant section from Wikipedia.
In 1885, Helena made plans to move to New York to join her sister Lena and her husband. Goldman wanted to join her sister, but their father refused to allow it. Despite Helena's offer to pay for the trip, Abraham turned a deaf ear to their pleas. Desperate, Goldman threatened to throw herself into the Neva River if she could not go. He finally agreed, and on December 29, 1885, Helena and Emma arrived at New York's Castle Garden. They moved into the Rochester home Lena had made with her husband Samuel. Fleeing the rising antisemitism of Saint Petersburg, their parents and brothers joined them a year later. Goldman began working as a seamstress, sewing overcoats for more than ten hours a day, earning two and a half dollars a week. She asked for a raise and was denied; she quit and took work at a smaller shop nearby.
More after the jumpRead more
I'm so happy with my bike commute. It has improved tenfold, easy. After a simple suggestion from a friend I was able to plot a much better route in to work. I'm so thankful for her brilliantly simple change - like a light went off in my head when I realized the feasibility. Why hadn't I thought of that years ago? I'll upload a pic of the route difference soon (not that anyone reads this). In the meantime, here are a couple pictures from the route.
A few pictures and a teeny bit more text after the jumpRead more
I had one of my most interesting kayak adventures on Monday. Had a rare day off from work after getting back from Ohio (wife's martial arts tournament). I put the kayak in down in the southern end of Ellison Park. I had kayaked down that way before, all the way down from the south end of Irondequoit Bay, and as much as I loved it I had to turn back just because of the time. So I put it around where I left off last time.
It was great. I found rapids!
I knew the water flow got pretty quick from last time. There must be more of an elevation change there than at the rest of the waterway. But I did not know there were actual spots of really quite turbulent flow. It took me four to five tries to get up one major part where an already rapid flow was channeled into a singular gush by some boulders.
I paddled as hard as I could. It felt great to beat it.
I'm sure people rarely ever get past that part. I saw several very large dead fish. Steelhead trout? Anyway, one I poked a bit with the paddle was easily two feet long, possibly around 15 lbs. There was occasional noise from construction trucks, as the area is bordered by a couple service roads around what I think are quarries.
And interesting area that demands further exploration.
So I've been biking in to work off and on for four years. Sometimes more off than on. But this year I'm really getting in to it. It's nearly exactly 10 miles one way for me. In my time, I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. I thought I'd type up some suggestions.
The most important thing is safety. Everything after that is comfort and efficiency. Commuting is not the same as a marathon. You want to get there, but in a way that won't screw up your work day.Read more
As expected, pretty immediately after captioning this photo with "Bike safely and cast a long shadow", a friend on Facebook criticized my statement - questioning whether or not taking a picture while cycling was indeed safe. I think she was joking, but still. I probably should've chosen a better caption. Like "Fresh sunshine casts a Long Shadow" but...oh well.
My response: Actually this stretch of road has massive 8' shoulders and a long straightaway, and I made sure no traffic was coming (to ruin the shadow!), so, yeah, I think it was pretty safe