Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh My

One fixed bike.
One five-mile ride.

I now know where my sit bones are. On the bike seat or off, I know where they are....

(why is that fat I put on my hips of absolutely no use in this situation?)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Eleven years ago (about 4 months before Fluff came into my life) I bought a bike. It was a very nice bike with carbon fiber tubes and aluminum joints. A lightweight bike. A road bike for doing centuries (100 miles in a single day). A beautiful bike. I had it fitted to me, got the pedal clips fitted properly to my shoes. I bought a cyclometer with the ability to read my pedal rpms so I could protect my knees. All this cost me roughly $1000 (3 zeroes, yes). Then I bought Fluff (for $50 (one zero, yes), and rarely rode the bike. It didn't make sense to go off for 6-8 hours of pedalling knowing the 8-month-old puppy was storing up energy or using it by redecorating the house.

Now, 2 dogs and 30-40 additional pounds later, I would like to ride my bike again (Fluff is 11 and Sleek 13, so their exercise needs are much reduced). I took it out last night to see if I could remember how to shift (bike has different shifters than any other bike I've ridden regularly, plus many more gears), brake, and get the shoes loose from the pedals when stopping. My rear shifter would only shift in one direction, so when I ran out of gears, I was where I was. Since I was on a shake-down ride, I had stayed on mostly level ground, so I got home okay.

I took the bike in today to see what was up with the gear shift. The guy at the bike store was very nice and explained that this type of gearshifter really likes to be used. Without regular use, the grease probably had hardened and might be gumming up the internal springs. Sometimes they can fix them by working them (and maybe adding more grease to sort of dissolve the old stuff) and sometimes they have to be replaced. He dinked with it and says the gear shift is mostly working now but I might have to shift a couple of times to get the thing to actually work.

This may be strong incentive to ride: if I don't get that gearshift used to regular work, it may forget how to shift altogether!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Fluff!

Eleven years ago today I went to the Humane Society to pick up my girl Fluff. She was about 8 months old at the time and had been dropped at the HS by her previous owners 2 days earlier.

I woke up on August 24, 1996 with a voice in my head telling me I needed to go the Humane Society. I was resistant because I wanted a dog of the breed I wanted where I'd met the breeders and the parents and totally approved the way the dog had been raised. For some reason, though, I decided to go. I thought perhaps I would find a German Shepherd dog there, like the one my long-haired friend had found a couple of years earlier. I had loved Greta deeply and was with them when LongHair had to have Greta euthanized due to cancer -- Greta was only three.

When I walked into the dog section of the shelter, I knew I was a lost cause. There, in the first run, was my girl. She was an Australian shepherd. With a tail (I am not enthused about the bobbed tail most Aussies have, so this was quite a bonus). She was sweet, even though obviously very upset about being there (her people had only dropped her off an hour or two before I arrived). I tried soooo hard to talk myself out of taking her home. I wasn't really ready. The house wasn't puppy-proofed. The yard was not puppy-proof. I didn't have all the things I needed to take care of a dog. She really had too much white on her face (one of her eyebrows, which should be tan, was covered by her white blaze). I put a hold on her and called LongHair. LH came up, took one look and shrieked, "She's ADORABLE! Of COURSE you have to get her!!!" Left the hold in place and went home to start puppy-proofing. The HS at that time was not open on Sunday, so I had an extra day to work on house and yard.

After work on Monday, LongHair and I headed for the Humane Society. She drove so I could make sure the future Fluff (her name at the shelter was Heidi, but she didn't seem to know it) behaved safely in the car. Fluff was very eager to leave the shelter and loved riding in the car. She sat in the back, peering between the two front seats like Snoopy pretending to be a vulture. LongHair left us so we could begin learning more about each other.

Later that evening LongHair returned because her girlfriend had just broken up with her. I sat on the floor with the sobbing LH. Young Fluff came over to me, laid down beside me, and put her chin on my leg. I fell completely in love with my little dog.

Fluff has been a wonder for me. She changed my life so much. One of my non-dog friends commented about a month after I got her that I now spoke in terms of "we" instead of "me."