The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Summer comes out for the weekend

This morning we had weather about as perfect as a human could hope for, 26°C and sunny by the lake, with a gentle breeze out of the southwest. I hopped on my bike for an actual workout, complete with heart-rate monitor, for the first time in a couple of years, then came back, grabbed my camera, and walked the dog. Some results:

ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/640, 225mm

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/500, 55mm

As I continue to evaluate Adobe Lightroom, I'm trying to figure out how best to use it. Since about 2000, I've kept the raw copies of everything my various digital cameras produced, making copies of almost all of them with names and metadata. Lightroom obviates that step, because it saves metadata and editing steps separately from the image files, preserving the raw camera output. If I need a JPEG version of a photo, I can simply export it—edited, and with all the relevant metadata.

This changes everything. I'm just now sure how. For my first step, I've set my camera to shoot only photos in raw (Canon .cr2) format. They're a lot bigger—25 MB vs. 5 MB for JPEG—but so what? Hard drive space is around $100 per terabyte, which works out to 0.24¢ per photo. (It adds up, though; I took 4,635 photos and videos in 2010 and I've taken 2,351 so far this year, and their combined 24.1 GB use up a whopping $2.35 of hard drive space.)

As I write this, dark clouds have rolled in and radar shows thunderstorms just about on top of us. I feel like I took good advantage of the excellent weather. I even remembered sunscreen today, and had the foresight yesterday to install my air conditioners. Now I've got some real work to do, though. Sounds like it's time to go to my Remote Office...

How to cut your commute in half

Despite taking my bike in for a tune-up two and a half weeks ago, the combination of weather and after-work commitments since then put off riding it to work until today.

It turns out, I'm a little rusty. The bike isn't; even in jeans, a coat (it's 6°C on May 4th!), and a backpack containing shoes (my Felt 65 has cleat-only pedals), I still managed to barrel down Wells St. at 30 km/h. Bottom line, I got to work in 26 minutes, including the 4 minutes or so to get the bike out of its locker. In other words, I cut my commute in half, and burned a few extra calories along the way.

It's supposed to rain the next couple of days, but Saturday the forecast calls for biking weather. More details to follow.

Back on the saddle next weekend...maybe

I finally took my bike to a shop for a cleaning and tune-up. I haven't ridden in a while, mainly because of my knees, but I miss it. My doctor recommended taking some ibuprofen an hour before riding as he believes it's simply age-related arthritis. I hope he's right. Even if he isn't, I estimate the ride from my house to work will take about 20 minutes (cf. 45 by bus or train), which isn't even long enough to work up a sweat.

I'm not planning to ride the North Shore Century this year, though. Let's take it slow. If I'm up to 50 km without pain by mid-July, I'll reconsider.

Great ride this morning

I think winds affect my biking regardless of what direction they're coming from. This morning, for example, in calm winds, I set three personal records on a 60 km ride: best distance over 1 hour (30.9 km); best time for 40 km (1:18:14, beating my previous PR by 4:01); and best time for 60 km (1:58:28, beating my previous by 3:22).

Next week I'm planning to ride 110120 km as part of my North Shore Century training. Maybe another PR or two?

Cyclist knee

Phooey. My ride Saturday seems to have caused some irritation in either the ligaments or cartilege of my left knee. Not crippling, but kind of painful. So no biking this weekend, and I'll have to postpone my planned 80 km ride to the following weekend.

Last year, I couldn't ride the two centuries I'd trained for because of my gallbladder. If I'm out because of my knee this year, I'll be really, really disappointed. And I can't even blame Tonya Harding.