Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good Impulses; or An Addition to the Family

We had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. For the first time in forever, the DC area managed to string together three beautiful days. (Back to the gloom today, however.)

The weekend started out on a nice note with Sr. Jr.'s call-up to the M1 game Friday night. The kids on the team were 12-13, all very nice. The coach was big and gruff, but good with kids. He was particularly welcoming and encouraging to the two M2 players he had that night. His son was the team's starting pitcher and he was enormous! He actually hit an honest-to-goodness over the fence home run in the first inning. Sr. Jr. was in awe, I think. SJ played in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings out in right field. Nothing came to him, but he showed good hustle, and ran to back up whoever needed backing up. He struck out once and walked once, but he looked really confident in the batter's box against much stronger pitchers than he's used to. He swung at strikes and let the balls go by. Even though he didn't do anything spectacular, he looked like he belonged out there. I think he'll take that confidence back to M2, as well as knowing that he'll belong in M1 next year.

As I noted in my last post, I finished the Dayflower camisole. As predicted, it did stretch out a bit during washing and blocking. It's a little bigger than I would prefer, but I think that a wash in hot water might help. Before you gasp at the idea of a hot water wash, you should know that I've swatched and abused this yarn this way before, so I know it holds up well. Here's an on-the-bod shot:

I still haven't decided what to knit next. I didn't knit much this weekend, and I certainly didn't have time to really mull over what to do next. Commenter Kippi and I have both been looking at the North Roe shawl. (Apologies for the Ravelry link.) Others under consideration are Anne Hanson's Casino Shawl and her Star of Evening shawl, both available at the Knitspot pattern shop.

Impulsive Addition to the Family

As many of you know, both Mr. T and Sr. Jr. are avid cyclists and racers. They race road, cyclocross, and mountain, which covers about 10 months out of the year. Until recently, Jr. Jr. showed very little interest in riding a bike, but this Fall, he finally managed to make the transition to a big bike with no training wheels. When he did, he decided he really like it! He's also decided he wants to race bikes like the other guys in the family.

Whenever we went to races or bike team get-togethers, people would ask me if I rode, too. My standard answer was always that I was the one who stayed home with the kids while Mr. T rode. Now that Jr. Jr. is mobile, however, there's no reason for me to be sitting on the sidelines. I had an old bike that I got for myself when I was young and poor, but I'm told it was a piece of crap. So we toodled off to the bike store this weekend and got this:

That's a Cannondale Road Warrior, carbon fork. The rest of the family bikes are all by Specialized, so I'm a bit of a rebel. I just liked this one better.

So Sunday morning we all went for a nice family ride. After a few miles, Jr. Jr. and Mr. T headed home, while Sr. Jr. and I went on. No longer needing to keep it slow, we got our speed on. In fact, we not only kept going, but we turned around and made it home before the other two! It was quite a lot of fun. Arlington (and the DC area in general) has a great network of bike trails. I could probably ride out to West Virginia if I wanted to.

I also wanted the bike for some errand running. There are a lot of little errands that I do -- post office, bank, quick visits to friends or school -- that really don't require a car. I like the idea of leaving the car in the driveway and using less gas. I'm afraid to count up how many bikes we have at this point.

The rest of the weekend was just lovely, with barbecue, home-made pizza, and a quick trip to the very cold pool club.


Scott T. said...


Plus 2 we need to give to "bikes for the world" (they refurbish them and give them to people in 3d world countries), and one unbuilt frame that I can't seem to sell.

drop off the little one somewhere and take the big one on training rides

Scott T. said...

See, your action was patriotic and green


kippi said...

Love your sweater. It is really nice and looks great on. I forgot to thank you for posting the changes you made. I will have to order the yarn, but may actually make a garment. Thanks, enabler. :-)

YAY Sr. Jr.! Wow, what a confidence boost. way cool. How are the guys enjoying the wii?

Totally jealous of the bike and the fact that you can actually run errands on bike. Way jealous. Besides, even though we are the home of Lance Armstrong, bikers are not liked here at all. We are in the land of the big vehicles who like to throw things at cyclists. Yah, I know.

Scott, is that you in that video? hilarious. Although I'm guessing that the carbon credits that guy is earning will be wiped out with the methane he will be producing later.

Scott T. said...

Me in that video, oh, oh, oh no.
While I like to ride in a little snow like that, you'd need to take about 100 pounds off the rider, and no way I'm putting a basket on the front of my bike. I'm sure I could get plenty of beer in my courier bag (I know the couriers do; in fact, back when they catered to couriers, Timbuk2 used to provide details of the volume of its different sized bags based on how many six packs of beer you could fit in them).

Anonymous said...

The sweater is lovely, Loren. It humbles me, truly. My son started to get strong on the bike last May, when he and his Dad trained for a week long bike ride in Israel. In late winter, he could barely keep up with me on training rides, but by late it was the other way around. Now, even though I do triathlons, he (at 14 almost 15) whips me on the bike and running. It's fun to watch your kids surpass you, I think. My girl (10) is a wicked Lacrosse player, but avoids running and biking if she can (difficult in our family).

Since we're leaving for Costa Rica on Saturday (gone 10 days), spring sports are (un)officially over for us. It feels weird to be able to have a regular dinner hour again during the week!

Thanks for ther interesting posts, as always.

Sharon S. (Arlington too)

Loren T said...


Triathalons -- now *I'm* humbled! How long are your training rides? Where do you go? I'm a good swimmer, and I like biking, but running is out for me. My knees just can't take it.

The Israel trip sounds great. So does Costa Rica. My father and his wife went last year and took great pictures and had great stories about the animals being bold enough to walk up to them on the beach and take their food. Have a great time!

We're not quite done with the spring sports yet. Tonight's the last regular season game, then the playoffs start this weekend.

I'm pretty sure my 10 year old can whip me on the bike already. I'll have to work on that.


Shaorn said...

I try to run two days a week, swim two days a week, and bike two days a week. When I bike, I usually ride at least 20 miles. It depends what I'm training for. The past two Junes my husband and I have done a 1/2 Ironman in Cambridge, MD, so that has involved a ton of time on the bike. Since we're going to Costa Rica this year (same weekend), we're not doing the race. Lately, I've been trying to ride to work (Arlington to Old Town/King Street Metro area) once a week, which is about 12 miles (24 round trip). I swim at either the yucky Arlington pools, or sometimes Chinquapin in Alexandria, which right up the street from where I work. I only go into the office 3 days a week, though, working from home the other 2. We're looking forward to CR--my godson (son of a friend of mine from law school) is graduating from high school and turning 18 on June 7, so we'll do the eco-adventure first, and then spend a few days in San Jose with sus amigos!

I'll look forward to see your next project. I can't believe you made that gorgeous sweater in a week. You're good!!

Loren T said...

Sharon, do you belong to one of the pool clubs around here? The one we belong to has a heated lap pool that's open (if you sign up for the extended season) from May to the end of October. They're talking about enclosing it and keeping it open year-round, too.

Your trip sounds absolutely wonderful! Eco-adventure sounds right up our alley.


Sharon said...

Just saw this, Loren. It's complicated, but my ex-husband (who lives just a mile away)kept the membership to Arlington Forest pool when we divorced. However, he kept me and the kids on the membership, so I still use it (and we even go together with the kids) when I feel like it. I suspect you belong to the pool on Lee Hwy--can't remember the name. My neighbor gives us passes for the summer to Donaldson Run pool (he's on the Board), which is nice, but certainly does NOT have a heated lap pool! I feel like I'm monopolizing your blog comment page--sorry! You write very well and it's nice to read the thoughts and "doings" of a like minded soul. Okay--back to finishing up this shawl for my friend in Costa Rica!

Loren T said...


It sounds like you're set on pools :) Your supposition about where we go is correct. The heated lap pool is definitely a plus, along with the extended season.

Comment away, that's what we're here for.