November 24, 2007

Indiana trip report, part 1

Ok, so as some of you know, I spent the last week in Indiana to visit my aunt/uncle, grandmother, and a scad of cousins (pictured is Maia, age 5, and already an expert beautician) of all ages. Some thoughts from the trip:
-People who live in rural Indiana can’t ride bikes to commute. The roads are shoulderless, narrow, and full of blind curves, and the drivers are not inclined to go slow. We saw a grand total of one cyclist the entire time, and he looked terrified.

-My uncle (pictured feeding popsicles to his spoiled dog) is a genius. He’s spent the last 35 years building race cars (mostly Indy cars, but lots of other stuff as well – sprint cars, formula 1 and 2, you name it) and he’s invented a ton of cool stuff. He was one of the first people in racing to use carbon fiber extensively (in the early 1980s), he invented all kinds of safety features for race cars that are used to this day, and he’s built a ton of cool devices that allow realistic off-track testing and simulation, which can give a driver a huge advantage. Bottom line: if you can build a car that will go 200+ mph, and win races, from scratch (no joke, he can build everything but the engine and tires in his shop), you are a stud. I’m in awe.I got a lot of great ideas for bike building from touring his shop, and I’m going to put some into practice soon, I think.
-I really hate TV, and cigarettes. Why is it that so many houses have a TV on at ALL TIMES? Having not grown up with a TV, I don’t have the ability to carry on an intelligent conversation or concentrate when there’s one on in my view. Dealing with TV (or secondhand smoke) isn’t really a skill I want to develop, either.

-Having a cat around who likes to sleep on your head is funny for one night, but gets old quick. Pictured is Mr. Steak (his actual name) battling with Phoebe.
-I hate flying, and the new stop at Stapleton makes the Boulder-airport bus a joke – it must take almost an hour and a half to cover something like 30 miles as the crow flies. Terrible. It’s hardly worth it, especially given than it costs $10. Next time I’ll ride my freakin’ bike there, assuming there’s somewhere to lock it up.

Final shot of Granny, my sister, and yours truly.