Going high on the turns.

I mentioned my one-word New Year’s resolution? Balance. I was thinking more of my failure to execute tree pose competently, but today offered a new way to approach it.

One of my Christmas gifts from Kate was a class at the Lexus Velodrome here in Detroit. We took it together. It was really fun, but kinda humbling, too.

The 101 class had four participants: The two of us, plus a father-daughter team, the father a skilled indoor cyclist, the daughter less so, but then, she looked about 11 or 12 years old. In an hour, we had to learn how to control a fixed-gear bike with no brakes, then ride with enough speed and competence to go “on the track,” which is to say, to go from the relatively flat apron onto the banked part. I handled the straightaways fine, but the turns were freeee-keeee, and I bailed. But by the end of the hour, I felt comfortable enough to say I’d sign up for another lesson.

I was also, if not the oldest, certainly one of the oldest ones there. I’m well aware of my physical limitations and the brittleness of my bones. But I’m-a try again.

It was a good day, for the most part. I alternated between writing my latest freelance story and switching over to Kevin McCarthy’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day of utter humiliation.

Friends? It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

But I have to get up extra-early tomorrow, finish the story, send an invoice, and do more chores. Also, buy bagels. Stay in your lane today, and if you have to go out of it, keep your speed. It’s crucial.

Posted at 9:31 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

31 responses to “Going high on the turns.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on January 3, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    Looks rather challenging but something you could conquer. What is the charge to ride a hour if you don’t need lessons?
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Deborah said on January 3, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    From everything I’ve read about velodromes in the past it sounds like what you’ve experienced is what I would’ve expected. It’s certainly not something I would try but then I’m an old lady, so why would I?

    Our one more holiday get together is tomorrow. It’s supposed to snow tonight so there’s still the opportunity for it to be shut down. Oh please god…

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  3. alex said on January 3, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    Good heavens, I’m barely able to sustain a bicycle ride on flat pavement at this point and can’t imagine doing anything like that. But it does look like fun. But not as much fun as Kevin McCarthy schadenfreude.

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  4. Jeff Gill said on January 4, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Popcorn at noon. I’ve arranged to work from home this afternoon just so I can watch.

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  5. Suzanne said on January 4, 2023 at 8:11 am

    That’s a big fat no from me on that velodrome. Scares me to look at it.
    I haven’t been on a bike in years, other than my stationary bike.

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  6. FDChief said on January 4, 2023 at 8:33 am

    When Margie Greene is the Voice of Reason?

    The country is going to a baaaaaaaad place.

    And you’ll note what her priorities are.

    Not governance, or solving people’s problems, or helping with things like runaway inequity or predatory plutocrats.

    Nope. Firing anyone connected to Pelosi and “investigations”. Of Hunter Biden, no doubt.

    Once these chucklefucks work out enough of their bile it’ll be our turn to get it good and hard.

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  7. nancy said on January 4, 2023 at 8:58 am

    Joe, I think the class we took was $40, and included bike, shoe and helmet rental. About an hour of track time.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on January 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

    The personal trainer I’m working with has a full set of exercises designed to help me with my balance issues, which have worsened as I’ve aged. They are more taxing than the other machine-based exercises he has me doing and my legs ache like hell the next day, but they seem to be working. Falling is a real concern as you age.

    It’s certainly fun to watch a bunch of sewer rats fighting inside a burlap bag, but the end result is going to be a disastrous two years for our country. The ultraconservatives are not interested in governing. They are nihilists who seek only to destroy, dismantle and defund. These people could very well push the U.S. into a default on its debts because they’re going to demand huge cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other social programs that are now part of our national DNA. If their efforts throw us and the global economy into utter chaos, well, that’s not their problem. They’re purists, you see.

    This fucking country. . .20 assholes in the House and six religious fanatics on the Extreme Court are going to be wielding almost unimaginable power in the near term.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on January 4, 2023 at 10:08 am

    One more question on the velodrome, what type of speed do you need to maintain to stay upright on the high banks? The rugby field we played on in Indianapolis was next to the velodrome they used for the pan am games, it seemed to in constant use and looked fast.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. JodiP said on January 4, 2023 at 10:59 am

    This first paragraph in WaPo about Lyin’ George Santos first day was priceless:

    On Tuesday, looking very much like a freshman at a prep school in hell, congressman-elect George Santos wore a black backpack, a periwinkle sweater underneath his navy jacket, and a sullen face with darting, evasive eyes, as if looking to see if anyone on Capitol Hill was going to accuse him of yet another lie about the basic facts of his existence.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Jodi, that article was a hoot, wasn’t it? Plus no one would even sit next to him, so he took out his phone and acted like he was busy.

    The latest is that Santos went on a shopping spree with stolen checks

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  12. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Sorry, the doorbell rang and I hit submit while pocketing my phone.

    Santos fled Peru in 2008 after promising restitution, and now that they know where he is they are reopening the case.

    A cartoon I saw showed Santos taking the oath, “I, George Washington…”

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  13. Jeff Gill said on January 4, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    They’re hitching up their suspenders for vote #5 . . . just got done not winning an argument with a person who’s certain homelessness is always the fault of the person who is homeless, and helping them fails to teach them that [wait for it] homelessness is bad, and just encourages them to keep making bad decisions. Mind you, we’re arguing because there are children involved, this person is a gatekeeper, and I’m just trying to get this kid consistently into an educational setting where they can also get some supports.

    Of course, she’s a committed Trump supporter.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on January 4, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Well, McCarthy just lost his fourth round of votes. It seems clear the Angry Children’s Brigade aka Freedumb Caucus isn’t going to budge. Thanks, ‘Murica, for electing so many assholes and arsonists.

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  15. Sherri said on January 4, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    You’d think that McCarthy would figure out that when the only thing the Never Kevin faction wants is to defeat him, there’s nothing he can bargain with to lure them to their side, but the Democrats keep trying the same tactic, too.

    There is no “meeting halfway” with someone who only wants your destruction.

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  16. Icarus said on January 4, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Happy New Year all.

    Starting off on a bad foot. I was interviewing for two similar yet different roles between Tday and Xmas. Got to Round 3 with each. My backup gave me the bad news day after Christmas. The one I wanted waited until Jan 2 to send me the rejection email. This cycle is getting old.

    I’m assuming the Speaker of the House doesn’t HAVE to be the (thin) majority party, it just always is?

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  17. Jeff Borden said on January 4, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    It appears old Kev is on his way to a fifth defeat. He’s toast.

    The Freedumb Caucus is pushing for a black conservative from Florida, Byron Donalds, a tRumpanzee and an election denier, as speaker. He’s smarter than Herschel Walker –so is a fence post– but he’s another example of QOP hypocrisy. Dems elected a black leader. We can, too. You should read the nomination speech by Rep. Chip Roy of Texass, one of the most unctuous of the Freedumb children. It’s a paean to ‘Murican diversity. . .the very thing QOP followers hate. It’s painfully deceitful.

    Icarus, the speaker doesn’t even have to be a member of the House. At one point, some of the loons were talking about putting tRump in the post. Whoever gets the job will be entering a living hell. . .constantly dealing with the childish whims of the ultraconservatives. It will be an awful job.

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  18. Sherri said on January 4, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    I predict that whoever finally gets the Speaker’s gavel last less than six months. The arsonists will burn him down as soon as he is on top, just to watch him die.

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  19. Scout said on January 4, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    They’re not conservatives or ultraconservatives, they’re radicals and they’re only in it for money and trash reality tv fame. True to the actual word Conservatives left the party or were pushed out. The party, such as it is, is in disarray and it deserves it.

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  20. Sherri said on January 4, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    There’s a large status quo on both the left and the right that just wants homelessness to go away without having to do anything about it. The right is more likely to blame individuals for their homelessness, the left is more likely to blame capitalism, but neither wants to do what it would take to end homelessness: build housing and provide services to the people who need them.

    The number of excuses people on the left will come up for for why a particular housing project is not good enough is astounding.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Apparently the sixth time is still not the charm. They’re meeting again tonight at 8, but this whole process strikes me as the very definition of insanity.

    Icarus, I’m so sorry about the jobs. Here’s hoping your luck changes for the better and soon.

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  22. David C said on January 4, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Finland pretty much solved their homelessness problem. They gave the homeless homes. Imagine.


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  23. Deborah said on January 4, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    I do not understand the strategy that McCarthy is demonstrating with multiple votes that he keeps losing. Who is insisting that they keep having voting go-arounds and what are they getting from it? Is there a strategy or is it just shoot from the hip spontaneous combustion? Can somebody please explain this from a Republican perspective, because I don’t get it at all. I realize that most of the commentariat here are not Republican but maybe someone could play devil’s advocate?

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  24. Sherri said on January 4, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    The House can’t do any other business until a Speaker is chosen. So, the only thing that can happen is a vote for Speaker or adjournment, and the vote to adjourn tonight just barely passed by two votes. The Democrats have no incentive to bail McCarthy out and vote to adjourn, and the Never Kevin faction is happy to keep embarrassing Kevin.

    New Representatives can’t be sworn in, no bills can move forward, no classified briefings can be given, hearings can’t be held: the House can not function at all.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on January 5, 2023 at 2:31 am

    MSNBC kept playing Chip Roy’s ridiculous speech , I guess to show what a complete mess the House is in.
    Jeff G. at 13: When someone at my old workplace got 30 years in and did not take the option to retire, this one man chided them over and over , saying if they hadn’t saved enough by now to retire, they never would, and they should quit anyway to live off the pension + S.U.B. pay until they reached age 62 and had to take S.S. This same guy like to brag about his new house, too, like he was superior for having a brand new house built to his specs. The caveat is that he lived in an old farm house situated on land a certain steel mill wanted, and he held out until the mill boss built him a new home, to spec. My point is that not everyone who lived in substandard housing got a new house built for them for free, basically, and some people’s lives get turned upside down by death, divorce, support payments…and they had to keep working to keep up their obligations.
    Homelessness…we all know we could become homeless by any number of events and bad luck, or destiny. People accusing homeless people of bringing it on themselves are cruel and evil people. Things like mental illness are barriers no person so afflicted can escape without much help and care.



    Joel Coen and Ethan Coen


    An opening voice-over plays against dissolving Texas
    landscapes–broad, bare, and lifeless.

    The world is full of complainers.
    But the fact is, nothing comes with
    a guarantee. I don’t care if you’re
    the Pope of Rome, President of the
    United States, or even Man of the
    Year–something can always go wrong.
    And go ahead, complain, tell your
    problems to your neighbor, ask for
    help–watch him fly. Now in Russia,
    they got it mapped out so that
    everyone pulls for everyone else–
    that’s the theory, anyway. But what
    I know about is Texas…and down here…you’re on your own.

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  26. alex said on January 5, 2023 at 6:57 am

    David C, I’d say Finland has it right, but you’d never sell that idea in this country, where people reflexively believe that the unfortunate are morally deficient and therefore in need of punishment rather than assistance. The same asshats who like to pretend that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” don’t understand the first thing about Christianity, which they wear as a badge of their own superiority while ignoring everything Jesus Christ ever stood for.

    These people call to mind a vignette from one of Evelyn Waugh’s novels that involved missionaries in Africa. There’s some do-gooder tossing food scraps to the animals in the streets while kicking and flogging the starving humans who try to retrieve them.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on January 5, 2023 at 10:01 am

    Anyone else tired of these ultraconservative knobs claiming they represent “the American people” or that they know what “the American people” really want? Rep. Chip Roy says “the American people” don’t care about the battle over the House speaker. Really, Chip? Rep. Lauren Boebert says “the American people” want oversight and budget cuts. No I don’t! I want a functioning government that works for all Americans, not just the donor class or the goobers dreaming of a return to the fictional 1950s paradise of ‘Murica.

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  28. Jenine said on January 5, 2023 at 10:21 am

    @Dexter, thx for the Blood Simple quote. I loooove that movie.
    We need support for the most vulnerable among us including those experiencing mental illness and addiction and all their affected family members. I would love to support more leaders offering to provide that.

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  29. FDChief said on January 5, 2023 at 11:06 am

    Jeff: the term they’re searching for in that “American people” gimmick is “Volk”. As always, fascists sound more sophisticated in the original German.

    Which is a reminder the whoever the winners are in this GQP version of the Night of the Long Knives will be they will be no better for their innumerable enemies than the originals were.

    We’re about to see what happens when the craziest people in the room get to be the boss of everyone else…

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  30. Suzanne said on January 5, 2023 at 11:06 am

    I worry that the GOP House antics are more sinister, a distraction from the removal of the metal detectors at the doors, ensuring that the likes of Boebert are free to bring guns and fire away on Jan 6. Destruction is their aim and God knows what’s being planned while we are all busy laughing at Kevin.

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  31. FDChief said on January 5, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    The thing about that, Suzanne, is that it would require actual planning and coordination, and these ninnies are just prancing for their QANut fans on FAUX. The original Long Knives needed the acquiescence of the Reichswehr, and I’m pretty confident that the U.S.Army isn’t in the bag for these nitwits yet.

    But once they finish gutting what’s left of the GOP “establishment” they’re gonna feel cocky and let their freak flags fly, and woe to their long list of enemies; RINOs, liberals, homosexuals, people of color, uppity women, people who are looking for birth control, Ukrainians…it’s gonna be QAPalooza every day every week. Just thinking about it pisses me off…

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