Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Absence fonder grows heart?

I went to that great state of Vermont this weekend as I enjoy doing. I canoed, I plumbed, I mowed, I walked, I grilled, I attempted to get a marriage license and I made the best tomato sauce that I had made in a long time. I don't know what it was; maybe it had something to do with adding all of the sauce ingredients instead of using a single ingredient for a sauce, but it was awesome. I still have some left, which I am willing to sell for $25/jar (limit one jar).

However, I only went for one small bike ride. This was generally due to a lot of rain, but also due to doing other things. As you can imagine and have probably heard if you've read this blog for more like a few day, I like riding a bike in Vermont with an emphasis on Orleans and Caldonia counties. I don't really mind it, though. I am reminded that I like riding a bike and I want to go do it some more, but I have developed some peace. Read more!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Using the Wrong Tool

This came to me today while I was riding home on Main Street East Hartford.  I noticed a bicycle lying in the back of a full size pickup truck.  The kind of pickup truck that hasn't ever been used for a construction job.  Spotless paint and shiny.  A vanity truck.  17 MPG and obviously the wrong damn tool for the job, unless the job is compensating for something.  How is that truck the right tool for picking up groceries or commuting?  It's insult to injury to see a bicycle in the back of a vehicle like that.  The funny thing is that they were probably driving to a bike path.

The ultimate lean machine
As an engineer, I think a lot about efficiency.  The entire reason that P&W is still in business is the geared turbofan engine, a step change in air travel efficiency.  At work, we're trained in things like Lean Principles and improving a Value Stream.  Being so trained, it always amazes me that folks, especially P&W engineers, don't apply some of those concepts to their day-to-day life.  Not so much that life gets boring and work-like, but just enough to improve your quality of life and save some wasted time.

For example.  So, so many of the engineers I work with have the typical house in the burbs with the sprawling lawn and the long commute.  They complain about cutting the grass, talk about their "new expensive tools" needed cut the grass faster, and bitch about getting stuck in traffic.  If they spent 30 minutes evaluating the things they like to do (consider that their value added activities) and then listed the fluff and suffering (non-value added activity, wasted time, and rework).  Consider the list below for example.  I know some folks enjoy cutting the lawn and their jobs, but let's not get stuck on that.   You can make your own list, it will be different.  The important thing, I think, is to actually make some sort of list like this once in a while.

Value Added (increase these)

  • Spending time with family and / or friends
  • Unstructured time spent relaxing or recreating
  • Going out to a nice dinner
  • Seeing shows or attending cultural events
  • Exercising and staying healthy
  • Improving my community
Non-Value Added, Wasted Time (reduce or eliminate these)
  • Stuck in traffic.  Commuting to work and other things.
  • Time spent at work - assuming that your job is stressful and you'd rather do other things
  • Cutting grass
  • Standing in line
  • And it could go on and on...
With that list in hand, a reasonable person might conclude that their lifestyle is set up to maximize non-value added activity.  The full hour spent commuting per day in a car.  The two nights per week spent cutting grass or pulling weeds in the lawn.  The 400 yard long driveway that requires an industrial snow blower.  How did they get there, in a life overweight with wasted time and busy work?  The opposite of a Lean lifestyle.  Spending their valuable time during the week making money to support expensive after work activities that they don't even enjoy.  Tirelessly chasing the suburban dream until they retire and full time commit themselves to the non-value added list.  If they moved closer to work, down sized the lawn (moved near a park), and changed some structure in their lives the balance of the list could change.  

A side benefit of a value added life is that things get more interesting.  As soon as someone starts talking about mulch, cutting the grass, or highway traffic - it's the most boring thing in the world.

The closed section of Mountain Road over the ridge into Tarrifville
And we'll be hip deep in the "right tool" on Saturday, June 7th.  In the morning, there is a bike swap meet in Wethersfield.  Then Dinner and Bikes that evening in Hartford.  After Dinner and Bikes, there are local bands and DJ's at Arch Street Tavern - come get some Shag Frenzy.  This is what I call maximizing the value added activity.  Huzzah Hartford!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wethersfield Swap Meet (or swamp meet)

Tire pile

Apparently, there's a bike swap meet sponsored by the Wethersfield High Bike Club in June and it comes with free coffee in the "cuppa" form. It's free to browse and $25 if you want to sell your tire, fork, stem, bottom bracket or other type of pile. It may not be Trexlertown, but it's also not in Pennsylvania.

Here's the email I was forwarded about it:
Hi Everyone,
If you like to look at bicycles and bicycle parts with a cuppa coffee in your hand, or you're looking for parts for a project build, or looking to sell a bunch of parts or bicycles you have laying around… The High School Club I run is hosting a Bicycle Show / Swap Meet in Wethersfield.
If you haven't been to a bicycle swap meet, this is your chance to go to a close one. (Usually the closest one's are in Mass.) I love going to the Munson and Dudley Shows. You can check out bikes of all styles from vintage to contemporary. You might see your first "ATB" up for sale. You might pick up that cable stop, or that brake handle for your sister's kids bike. Maybe you can clear out your stable and make some cash for new parts.

Please spread the word! It should be fun and for a good cause.
General Admission is free, and there will be sellers and demos including a flat tire clinic... If you want to sell, it is only $25 a spot.
Flier is attached.

email tbrown@wethersfield.me or call me at 860-944-8436 c
-Tom Brown
Hope to see you there, and out on the trails again in September.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why not every day?

East Hartford Bike to Work. Many of these folks cycled over from West Hartford.
Living in Connecticut and riding a bicycle for 90% of my transportation puts me in the curious position of being an extremely fringe element.  The thing that I do everyday, rain or shine, is something that the overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents consider absurd.  There is a small percentage (< 1%) that once a year think, "Hey! Driving to work every day is silly seeing that I'm less than 5 miles away and the weather is beautiful."  These open minded folks come out during Bike to Work Week in May, and try something new.   They have a great time and get their picture taken, but then the bike usually gets put back into it's marginal role of weekend recreational toy.  What is the mental block preventing more commuters from trying something that I've found to be an amazing alternative to single occupancy vehicle transportation?  Why not every day, or at least, why not many days?

Enjoying the camaraderie, food, and schwag
I'm torn between soul crushing frustration and the realization that this is a great opportunity.  The opportunity lies is the fact that only 0.3% of trips to work in Connecticut are by bicycle, that's even lower than the 0.6% national average.  That is a huge opportunity, a gaping hole of opportunity.  I was discussing with Pratt & Whitney's health and wellness coordinator our plant in Poland where 40% of the employees cycle to work.  How much healthier and wealthier would we be if just 10% of work trips were made using cycling, walking, or a combination of that with some public transit?  If anyone is interested in making that transition, or recommending a resource to a friend, they should check out www.ctrides.com.  CT Rides is a comprehensive resource for anyone trying to go "car light" - car pools, van pools, transit, telecommuting, biking, and walking.   Taking a two car family down to one car isn't rocket science, really.
Bikes overloaded the three racks by my office.  
In the interest of maintaining bike month momentum, I am organizing Dinner and Bikes on Saturday, June 7th.  You can get your tickets online, and tickets go up $5 at the door.  The tickets are sliding scale from $10 to $25.  The event is benefiting Bike Walk CT.  In addition to a vegan dinner, bicycle movie shorts, and a chat about Bikenomics, we will be highlighting Hartford Food System and local urban food production.
Because bikes deserve their own cultural events
The photo below has nothing to do with Hartford, expect that I rode my bike there.  This past Sunday I taught a Traffic Skills 101 course in Collinsville at the Canton Town Hall.  The support of cycling in that community was refreshing.  The attendees were sponsored by the local bike shop, Benidorm.  Folks were recreating joyfully on the Farmington Valley Trail.  The nearby coffee shop and deli was over flowing with bicyclists stopping in for a snack.  Bikes were organically taking over car parallel parking spots on the road.  Collinsville is looking to add bike corral parking, something I've suggested as a seasonal solution for Pratt Street in Hartford.  The East Coast Greenway is routed through Hartford, and would have a tourism draw and commuting utility like the Farmington Trail.   Instead of getting frustrated, I'm focusing on the opportunity.  Let's do this every day!

Not in Hartford, near Collinsville along the river.  Graffiti and rusty industry.
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

A man and his rocks

Editor's note: I have always been a big fan of Stone Field Sculpture. Some of my earliest memories of Hartford are of me climbing up the rocks. For the 30th anniversary of the piece in 2007, I founded the "Friends of Stone Field Sculpture" and had a picnic there. When iQuilt was planning on turning the rocks into some sort of stupid water feature, I got back in touch with Carl's wife to prevent foutainification of my favorite piece of public art in Hartford. Dario shares an affinity for Stone Field Sculpture and wrote this:

Leaning on my bike in the shade on a beautiful warm spring afternoon, gazing at the rock sculpture on the long isosceles triangle of a lawn in downtown Hartford, I realized actually how beautiful the scene was. Carl Andre's 1977 controversial sculpture of eight rows of boulders (the first at the tip of the triangle has only one; the second, two; the eighth which runs parallel to Main St. has eight, for a total of thirty-six) has aged very well. Rocks do that. The seasons pass and the rocks slightly weathered by time develop a patina. They are of basalt and gneiss, two types of rock easily found in this region. Since its creation, the "Stone Field Sculpture" has been a source of controversy. "It's just a bunch of rocks. That's not art! Anyone can do that!", decried many at the time and over the years. The City of Hartford even tried, unsuccessfully, to recoup the $87K it had paid the artist (not with taxpayer funds, by the way). The rocks have become part of the urban landscape, the sculpture is appropriate to the strip of no-man's land between Main St. and Gold (a short, winding street) and the city's oldest and most historic cemetery. The artist, Carl Andre, now in his mid-70's, is one of the fathers of Minimalist art. He is featured in a NY Times article (May 7, 2014) about the upcoming exhibition, a retrospective of his work, at DIA in Beacon Falls, NY. Andre is known for his use of local, simple, natural, but also industrial, materials and for arranging them in simple and suggestive forms. He is "exacting" in the materials' disposition. 

Prompted by the article and short video about the exhibition, I rode my bike from campus, down Vernon St., across the Learning Corridor, down Retreat Ave., through the Hartford Hospital campus, down Park, left onto Wadsworth St., across Bushnell Park, to the field of stones. And what did I see there besides a bunch of rocks? I saw something magical and quite beautiful. Buses unloaded students on Gold St. who marched up the sidewalk to catch their transfer on Main. Mothers and children cut through the field of stones, following their more direct desire lines. A heap of clothes and personal belongings was behind one of the boulders in the middle of the sculpture, not a late addition, but a temporary locker for one of the urban denizens. A passerby took a break and sat on the rocks. I wasn't sure myself if I could do so, the field of stones being a work of art and all. And then I realized, what Andre's sculpture does to us: It invites us to inhabit it, to view it as part of a landscape. It's next to a cemetery of headstones and it is a gracious, quiet complement to that historic and human artifact. I've ridden by Stone Field Sculpture on my bike hundreds of times and have always known it was there, but I have never really observed it. Why? Because we just don't look at rocks and because the beauty of the installation is not what it is, but how we interact with it. For many, Andre's minimalist work blurs the line between art and non art, but whatever is beautiful is aesthetic and art is the realm of aesthetics and, for me, Andre's field of stones was beautiful yesterday. I expect it to be so today, too.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Keney Park really is the best park

Doing my part and fixing the bridge to the Leadership Trail.

I know that it's cool to say that you like Keney Park. It's the edgy one. It's the one that unhip suburbanites say is scary, allowing you to be the cool urban contrarian and say that you go there at night without a care in the world. That's stupid posturing and you sound like you're just pretending to show off your grittiness.

Keney Park doesn't need your liberal defense. Keney Park doesn't even need you! It's you who needs Keney Park.

I was riding through Keney yesterday after a surprisingly difficult secured transaction exam. The trail system is slowly rejuvenating/expanding this spring because of that grant the Friends got and I was exploring some of the newly accessible stuff.

Probably the coolest thing about the park is how big it is. You can be off by yourself in the semi-wildness, but the park can actually be pretty full. There was cricket practice, some guy hitting golf ball at the improvised driving range, several little league games, lots of basketball, people on jungle gyms and just general park-style chilling. What really possessed me to wax poetic about the park began with some rhythmic booming. I was in Keney Waverly when I first heard it. I thought maybe there was a concert going on, which seemed weird because it was a Thursday. I was meandering south and the booming kept going and getting. Eventually when I ended up by the pond, I found the source of the booming. There was a drum line practice happening on the handball courts (Keney has handball courts. I've never figured out what handball is, but it's a big deal in New York. And according to that video, it's a way of life.).  Come on. How cool is that? There's no other park that I can think of anywhere where people can do such different things and everyone gets their own space. You can have a drumline, you can be a fixed gear cyclocross guy, you can be playing chess, you can drink a beer or you can fish. It's the ultimate recreation space. Try doing that at Elizabeth Park. Read more!

Monday, May 12, 2014

AAA considers B's

AAA (the American Automobile Association) has not generally been known as an ally of cyclists. They've lobbied against bike infrastructure, public transportation and more bike friendly laws. However, starting in Portland, OR in 2009 and now migrating into Colorado and Southern New England, they're providing pickups for stranded cyclists

This doesn't seem to have an effect upon their lobbying efforts, though there are some scattered reports that AAA supports bike infrastructure as long as it does not involve diverting money from road projects. The catch with the pick for cyclists, though, is that they'll only take you ten miles. If I'm only ten miles from home, do I really need a ride? Although, the base towing with the regular AAA card is only 5 miles. I guess the ten miles is something. It's a 100 miles of towing/year with your car if you have the higher end memberships. It'd be nice if the better membership brought you increased bike pick-up service, too. 

It would be interesting to see if anyone is using this service. Moving a broken car a few hundred feet can be pretty much impossible, but moving a few miles with a broken bike is not too hard. I sort of want to test it out just to see what the service is like and if it really exists.

UPDATE! I confirmed with greater Hartford AAA that the service is available here, too.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

So Much Bike

Bike to Work.  Bicycle skills.  Dinner and Bikes.  The next couple of weeks brings a critical mass of bicycle based activity and I'll be trying not to drown in the sea of spokes and chain rings.  I'm finding myself a bit over programmed, but it's hard to say no to the goodness of non-motorized transportation and what it does for a community, the local economy, and our much maligned planet.  Any way you can chip in to spread the word or volunteer at an event would be much appreciated.

Overflowing bike parking at the Urbana Farmers' Market.
After traveling back to the Midwest last week for vacation, I was reminded how awesome Champaign-Urbana, Illinois is with it's huge bicycle, pedestrian, and transit mode share.  In a small community of approximately 150,000 they support three bustling business districts.  The community has the typical chain mall crap north of the I-74 highway that skirts the northern edge of the city, but you won't see the bike, walk, and transit users spending much time there.  Their dollars get spent locally, and at the weekly Urbana farmers market - that includes local and regional food production.  It is mind shifting to see entire families show up to the market riding bicycles.  Not just that one odd ball, but many families.  On cargo bikes.  With bike trailers.  Using trail-a-bikes.  Some with the little ones riding along on their own separate pixie bikes.  It can happen, and there is no reason this can't become the norm in Hartford.

With that motivating vision in mind, I'll take the space below to remind folks about the fantastic bicycle orgy that is taking place in the next couple weeks.
  • Wednesday, May 14th.  6:30-9:00AM.  Bike and Walk to Work Breakfast in East Hartford.  Sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, Goodwin College, American Eagle Federal Credit Union, and the Town of East Hartford.  Right across the street from Pratt & Whitney on Main Street.  Near the Goodwin College Community Garden plots.  We'll have bagels, coffee, fruit, and juice to fuel the rest of your day.  There will also be retro-reflective and very adherent stickers being handed out to participants.  As bicycle commuters we know that visibility is important, both in numbers and in reflectivity. 
  • Wednesday, May 14th.  6:00-7:30PM.  Free bicycle safety information session at the Arroyo Recreation Center in Hartford's Pope Park.
  • Thursday, May 15th.  Free admission to the Real Art Ways Creative Cocktail Hour if you show up on a bike.
  • Friday, May 16th.  Bike to Work in downtown Hartford at the Old State House.  There are 23 total Bike to Work events statewide.  Bike Walk CT is trying to change the norm for Connecticut commuters.  Facebook event invitation - for spreading the word.
  • Sunday, May 18th.  Traffic Skills 101 course in Canton in cooperation with Benidorm.  A comprehensive 8 hour course including classroom topics, hazard avoidance drills, and a road ride.  Special note - I plan to brave Rt 44 (Avon Mountain) at the ass crack of dawn on the 18th since I'll be riding over to teach this course.  
  • Sunday, June 1st.  A 4 hour course (TS101, Part 1) in Simsbury.  This continues quite a streak of bicycle awesomeness in this Hartford burb.  They are already a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community, there is a town bike share program, and the Farmington Valley Greenway goes right through town.
  • Saturday, June 7th - Dinner and Bikes in Hartford.  Vegan dinner.  Bicycle movie shorts.  A book talk by Elly Blue on Bikenomics.  Facebook event invitation - for spreading the word.
Dinner and Bikes.  Bikes and Dinner.  We'll see you there.
Whew.  I'm worn out, and the week hasn't even started yet.  Keep being awesome and I'll see you on two wheels (or on foot).

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Giant tires

I don't know anything about downhill. I go on pinkbike sometimes, but I can't figure it what those people are talking about. Too many motorcycle helmets, goggles and pushing bikes up hill. I thought you get good at riding a bike to avoid walking. Then again when they jump off cliffs, I'd probably be waking that.

Anyway, a few years ago I bought a pile of tires for $50*. Included were a number of downhill tires that I haven't know what to do with. A lot of them are tubeless, so they're also really hard to mount. However, there's a set of Maxxis Minions that are not tubeless and are 2.5"s. 2.5"s are usually no trouble in the front, but I don't really have a frame with that kind of clearance in the rear. Actually, that's not true. I somehow got it to for my mongoose Alta. I took it or yesterday and now I understand how those downhill guys stick to the trail so well. These things are amazing. Maybe not amazingly fast on pavement, but sure footed beyond what I'm used to.

*Really a pile of tires. Johanna was not happy about this. I've decided to sell some of them and if you want to buy them, they're on ebay.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Peaceful Hartford

I was in Keney Park this evening meeting with its Friends about the proposed mountain bike trail. It was a very good meeting. We're going to try and walk the proposed trail next week and if goes as planned, maybe it'll come into existence by June. Hooray!

I rode home in the the quasi-direct route through the park, then down Woodland, Gillette, Forest, Laurel, Pope Park and then Hillside, pretty much the backbone of Hartford. Somewhere around Gillette and Farmington, it struck me that it was one of those magical spring evenings when Hartford gets peaceful. All the commuters have gone back to the suburbs and the city quiets down. People are stooping and drinking beers, kids are playing little league, dogs aren't barking, I wasn't gesticulating wildly at cars to get them to stop trying to kill me and even the ATV'ers were driving slow. We only get these evenings when the days get long, but the temperatures aren't yet too hot and they're pretty awesome. These are the times when you reflect fondly about not living in the suburbs.

Also, I saw this crazy bird. There were some people looking at something on the side of the road on Hillside. Turning to look at what it was reveal this large, weird white bird with webbed feet and a bill. It was just standing on the sidewalk like it was waiting for the bus on one leg.

Update! If you're interested in the Keney Park proposal, it is available here and here is a map. Read more!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bike Education, Cantonese style

Tony and I will be teaching our next Traffic Skills 101 class on Sunday, May 18 in Canton, CT.
Register here! Read more!

A race report, strangely

I haven't raced a mountain bike in awhile. The last time I did that was at the Circumburke. That was a pretty high note, because I won. In fact, it's memorialized on their website in a pretty funny way (I'm lying there because I tweaked my back, not because of exhaustion. I swear!). I really like mountain biking, but back when I was a Cat 2, it sort of sucked: drive to race, ride on mediocre trails for and an hour and fifteen minutes as if it were a 'cross race with some rocks and go home. Circumburke was cool, because that took a long time. Racing for over five hours means you got your money's worth. I upgraded, because I had some good finishes awhile ago, but I hadn't really done anything with it. The entry fees had also gone up, which wasn't particularly attractive. Also, I sort of suck and didn't want that to be further proven by getting my ass kicked by all those fast guys.

But lo! A race that was only $25 and it was on those weird New Haven trails I rode with Marko a few weeks ago. And, I've finally started getting up the gumption to ride a singlespeed bike in public. I should enter that one. So, I did. The start time wasn't too early, but it wasn't too late. It was 20 miles and for $25, that seemed like a reasonable deal.

Preregistering didn't have too many people registered and no more registered day of for singlespeed. It was a field of four. One of whom, Gary Hoehne, I have raced the cyclocross bikes against and two I didn't. One guy was older than me and friendly and the other guy was wearing jorts. I like riding in jorts, but not when it's so muddy.

The start was on payment and we were spinning at our crazy maximum speed of ~17mph right quick and then dropped into the woods. I was in second, but all four of us were tightly packed until the little ascent, where I took the lead. Then we crossed a road and there was some more ascending, but there was also a bog, so there was some walking for a minute, then back on the bike whereupon it turned into stone steps and then there was a guardrail where people were helping lift your bike over said guard rail. Afterwards, there was a climb on the road for like a half mile, then a little bit of rocky single track to climb and finally a this nuts rocky, steep descent. I think it dropped like 400 ft in a tenth of mile. The rest of the course was mostly gravel paths with another rocky single track section that had one mildly steep ascent that caused me to drop a chain on laps 1 and 3. On lap 1, I got passed by the guy who was older than me and friendly. I didn't realize that it was him at the time and thought it was the leader of the 50+. So, when I caught him at the beginning of the second lap, I was all confused and he said that he passed me when I dropped my chain. Then I felt really bad for having sort of accused him of cutting course.

He never caught me again and I kept on doing my thing. The course deteriorated and so did I and I ended up walking a few more steeps than I would have liked on lap three (well, really just one more than the previous laps).

So, that was that. It was a good race and I was really impressed that the New Haven parks and rec people came out and opened up their facilities for us: two hoses, a bathroom and a little spot for me to stash my messenger bag (I parked really far away) in the nature house.

Apparently, CT singlespeeders haven't been doing great this year, because winning one race also made me state champ. I wish I could do Winsted Woods, but I have law school graduation that day. Stupid law school ruining my life some more.

Photos stolen from the Root 66 facebook page and taken by Geno Esponda.

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bro'd Rage: My ugly encounter with a dangerous young driver. PART III- Brospotting, follow up, and support

This is the truck.

Only 1 of 4 wheels remain on the driveway, so your highest possible grade would be 25%. You definitely failed, dude.
Whilst traversing campus on my Wednesday lunch break, I caught a glimpse of a familiar sight: the nose of a green Toyota Tundra with New Jersey plates. It was driverless and parked this time around, thus thankfully not split seconds from hitting me head-on, so I walked over to have a look. It was clear that: 1) This was definitely the truck from last Friday's run-in. and 2) It had been parked by a person severely deficient in the finer points of parallel parking. The truck was where the people are supposed to go.

What? No truck nuts?
As I made my way around the truck to snap a few pictures, a young man approached and got into the driver seat. In our short, seconds-long conversation, he said it was his truck, that he was not on campus on Friday, and that his roommates borrow the truck. It's not my job to grill the guy, but I recommended that he get in touch and cooperate with Campus Safety and the Hartford Police ASAP. He seemed genuinely surprised to hear of the Friday incident. If I give the benefit of the doubt that this is true, then that means that the college administration had not contacted him five days after the incident. If it's not true, he's an accomplished liar. Either way, somebody's BSing me, and I don't appreciate that one bit.

Schleppi said this photo looked like a "TMZ shot"
 In the meantime, I had gotten nothing meaningful in the manner of updates as to progress being made by Campus Safety and the Dean of Students office. Either nothing was happening, or I was not being updated in a timely fashion. I got a few more updates and clarifications on Friday, but only after I had sent out a rather exasperated Thursday afternoon email that pulled no punches. Not long after my Bro-spotting lunchbreak, I did receive an invitation to speak with the Campus Life office, which I will do early this coming week.

As much of a drag and a timesuck as this incident has been over the past week, it has brought out the best in a lot of people. A number of Trinity staff and faculty approached me with encouraging words and, fairly often, a personal story of a student whose misdeeds went unpunished. Trinity Professor Jack Dougherty composed and circulated a letter of support which was co-signed by Dario and other bike riding Trinity faculty and staff members. All of the above lifted my spirits and reminded me that I work with some truly excellent people (and that they are by no means in short supply.) I still believe that positive outcomes and change can come from this ugly encounter.

My work week ended on a high note. The weather was beautiful, the day was full of unexpected delights, like a dogs and (Tastease!) donuts gathering on a nearby quadrangle late in the morning, an impromptu Spanish guitar and percussion jam outside of the Austin Arts Center, and a successful opening at the Broad Street Gallery. This Saturday Hartford will be filled with Samba, films, friends, and one of the best parties for one of the shortest sporting events of the year. In between that, I have some bikes to repair and ride. It will be nice to get back to that.

Lucy in the Quad With Donuts

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