Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stee-rike Two! Plus, Pandora's Box.

Ah, the New York rags!

It's day 2. What can I say? New Yorkers are seemingly united in their disdain for the Transit Workers Union.

Unfortunately, those that suffer the most are the lower-middle to working-class people, single parents many of them, living in an expensive city during difficult economic times, and having no way to get to work without spending what they would normally budget in a week for 5-7 days of relative ease.

And while I appreciate the shared communal

experience of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset with thousands of commuters, as I embarked on my third leg in two days, I thought that the novelty had worn thin.

But here I am, at 31st and 7th in Midtown, leg-weary and a bit discombobulated. Toe-warmers, neat little chemical packs that you stick to your socks, made the morning commute a little more tolerable. That, and a noticably lighter level of traffic on the streets, although there were more people and bikes on the bridge at 6 AM than yesterday.

For those of you playing the home game, The Weather Channel currently indicates the temperature as 25 degrees, but (aha!) "feels like 16 degrees F". I will say it felt warmer today, go figure. Maybe it was the toe-warmers, maybe the body's weariness not caring. At 23 miles round-trip, I'm at 34.5 milkes in two days. Today I had to walk the bike across parts of the bridge.

It wasn't as congested as yesterday, but after some NYPD folks advised us to dismount and walk the bikes, we complied, until they were behind us, whereas we re-mounted and rode cautiously until another sentry point predicated the repetition of the gesture.

Some stats for today's ride, and this includes the factoring of walking the bike for a portion of the bridge:

11.62 miles, Average Speed 10.73 MPH, total trip 1 hour and 5 minutes, max speed 19.4 MPH.

Yesterday, I made it in 5 minutes less, my avg speed is normally around 12 MPH, and on this trip, generally, I usually max out in the high 20's, as I coast down the bridge into Manhattan.

I don't know if this interesting at all to anyone but me, but what the hell, it infuses me with a greater sense of accomplishment.

As my pal Monty says, "And now for something completely different...."

A fellow blogger turned me on to a great website for people who like streaming music into their PCs. It's called, and it's linked to the Music Genome Project.

Here's how it works:

Go to

Pick a favorite band.

The site will stream a song by that band.

When it's over, it goes to the next song, a "similar" sound, based on the project's analysis of the music.

If you register, you can set up different genres.

To give an example, I started with Pearl Jam's "Immortality" from their 2003 Benaroya Hall concert in Seattle. I then got the following stream of music:

"Over Now (Live)" by Alice in Chains
"History" by the Verve
"Welcome to Paradise" by Green Day
"The Bitch Song" by Bowling for Soup
"Message in a Beer Bottle" by Screeching Weasel
"Trusty Chords" by Hot Water Music
"Today" by Smashing Pumpkins

You expose yourself to bands that you may not have heard of. Interesting. Let's change speeds and put on the Zeppelin Station:

"Shandi" by KISS
"Make Love Like a Man" by Def Leppard
"Undivided" by Bon Jovi

Ok, you get the picture, try it out, it's more fun than cycling to work in 20-degree weather!

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