June Gone Too Soon

OK, this is getting ridiculous.. now two and a half months behind on writing. Makes me wonder if maybe I’m just fooling myself. Almost nobody reads these blogs and I apparently don’t even care that much about writing them. Life moves on, things are changing. June disappeared in a hurry and time continued to get away from me.  First it was the move to a new house and living with Julienne for the first time. Not to mention doing it with the beginnings of what would become a wicked cold. And not to mention having my backpack stolen, along with my work laptop, two Kindles and my camera, among other things.

Yeah, that fucking sucked.

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Welcome to Casa Dobiago

On June 1, Julienne and I got the keys to our new place in East Asheville. Moving in together. Shacking up. Living in sin. Blah blah blah. After two plus years of dating this was a big step we were taking and it was both exciting and stressful. Neither of us had lived with another person for quite some time, and for me it was the first time since I was divorced. Scary stuff indeed. I haven’t gone into too much detail about our new place, but it is vastly different from my old place.

For one thing, it doesn’t have a trail into Bent Creek running right out from the end of the driveway.

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Wrapping Up May

Following the Liberty Ride, the blackout, and the trip to the hospital, I ended up having a fairly light final week of May. By light, I mean ride/run activity. The end of the month was anything but light because in just a few short days, I would be moving into a new place. The end life on of Donnybrook Ct. and the edge of Bent Creek Forest was getting close. It’s interesting how you can plan something like a move nearly three months out, then wait and wait and wait… making arrangements like mail and utilities and stuff, but not seemingly getting any closer. Then all of a sudden you come home from a vacation and BAM!… the next big life event is suddenly upon you.

Hmm… maybe I should have started packing sooner?

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Liberty Ride Blackout (An Unexpected Part III of the “Enduring the Deluge” Saga)

Before the trip to San Jose and New York, I wrote about two lengthy mountain bike races in which I endured many hours of mud-soaked trails and torrential rains. Not to mention the resulting damage to both of my mountain bikes, totaling nearly $600 in parts and service. Following the New York trip, I resolved not to enter any more races or organized rides for quite some time. The string of rainy events extends all the way back to last fall at Shenandoah 100 in Virginia, and they’re getting to be a pain in the ass.

What I didn’t anticipate is that following the first ride upon returning from New York, I would endure yet another deluge, albeit of an entirely different sort.

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NYC Trip: “The Last Gasp”

Tuesday morning.. time to head back to Asheville. Julienne had an earlier flight than I did, since we couldn’t fly in together we also didn’t manage to arrange to fly home together either. I had a few hours to kill before I needed to head to JFK, so I requested a late checkout and spent a hot steamy morning running the streets of Manhattan. Today’s destination was the Manhattan Bridge, where I could get some views of the Brooklyn Bridge, and a side of the island I hadn’t yet seen.

I ran down Broadway, past a number of parks, once again through Greenwich Village, and Little Italy/China Town. And once again I stopped for a lot of photos along the way. The total run was about 9 miles, a little further than I had originally planned, but I got back to the hotel in plenty of time to clean up, check out and head to Penn Station to catch my train outta town.

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NYC Trip: “Dead End Kids”

On the last day of our NY trip, the weather changed dramatically and for the better. Abundant blue skies and nice warm but not hot temps. The plan for the afternoon was to take the LIRR over to Floral Park, and wander the town where Julienne is originally from. It’s a neat little downtown, especially when viewed from the railroad platform above. We first wandered down the street towards the house where J grew up, and she pointed out where all her friends lived and other landmarks from her childhood. Verdana street is a dead end street, butting up against Belmont Park, and her father dubbed her and her crew the “Dead End Kids”.

I’ve seen photos.. they look like they were serious trouble.

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NYC Trip: “Above & Below Ground”

Day three of our New York trip was scheduled to be Julienne and Kevin’s excellent adventure. We didn’t have any concrete plans, but did have a couple destinations in mind. Unfortunately, the weather from the previous day continued, in fact worsened. It was a chilly, wind driven drizzling that didn’t look like it was going to let up all day. First thing in the morning I rode the bike back to the bike shop and then ran back to the hotel, getting covered in rain and city grit the whole way. I reported the conditions to Julienne and asked her what she maybe wanted to do for the day.

One of the great thing about Julienne (and there are many) is that she doesn’t mind getting a little wet any more than I do. So we didn’t let the weather change our plans to wander the city. We grabbed some bagels at a deli along the way and wandered down 32nd street, heading for our first destination, the High Line. The High Line is an elevated green space/park build on an abandoned rail line. About a mile of the park is finished, a unique blend of aluminum, steel, wood and flora, running in between apartment and commercial buildings. The rain made it a challenge to keep my camera lens clear enough to take photos, so I did the best I could.

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NYC Trip: “Public Places”

As soon as the rains came on the second day of my bike tour around New York, they disappeared. The day was still overcast and muggy, but Julienne and I decided to go for an evening stroll in the late afternoon before meeting more of her friends for dinner. We wandered from the hotel over to Bryant Park (which have since noticed is used opening scenes from Mad About You), the New York Public Library, and Grand Central Terminal.

I also stopped along the way and “grabbed a slice”, something I figured had to be part of the New York experience.

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NYC Trip: “Running in Squares & Circles”

Similar to my trip to San Francisco a while back, for the first two days in New York, I had made arrangements to rent a hybrid bike to travel around the city. Julienne and I had arranged separate plans during the day and would meet up in the evenings to dine out with friends of hers from her childhood. In order to get to the shop where I’d pick up the bike, I decided to run there, rather than take subway or other transportation. I wanted to do a loop run through Central Park, and the bike shop was nearby, so it made sense. I’d keep the bike two days, and then return it by riding it to the shop and then running back to the hotel.

I left from the hotel, and headed up Broadway, right through the heart of Times Square, before proceeding into “the Park” for a loop. All told I ran about nine miles by the time I reached the bike shop. The goal of the run was as much for sightseeing as it was for exercise, and as you might expect, I took a lot of photos along the way.

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