Sunday, August 11, 2013

90% of the game is half mental. (Yogi Berra)

It's official. We have finished the last Miami Mansion project for 2013. I practically wept with joy as I shepherded the last workmen out our front door. Free at last, free at last.

It was worth all the hassle. Al and I have two passions: cycling and films. This last project was for the film stuff. We wanted a big flat screen TV with a really good home theater system. It pretty much takes up one wall of our main living area. It is much like having our own movie theater. Three or four days a week we watch a film in the early afternoon. Most days we watch another movie in the evening. (TV? Well, that's what DVRs are for. We can watch that stuff whenever.)

But now that all the initial make-the-place-ours projects are done, all our mornings are bike time.

Sunrise over a marina in Coconut Grove.
This week as always, we went to the Saturday bike club group ride. It was seriously weird. There were about 40 people in our group. The route seemed confused. The big group kept caterpillaring. A gap would open, expand, and expand farther. Sometimes the riders would sprint and catch up. Sometimes the group would just split. When the group caterpillared and split yet one more time near the end of the ride, Al and I bailed out. We just headed west toward one of our regular bike routes. At a stoplight along the way we pulled up behind two guys on road bikes. It turned out to be one of the ride leaders and a newbie who had been dropped. Rather than admit we had bailed, we just let the ride leader pilot fish us back to City Hall. He was just so happy rescuing two riders adrift without Garmins or smart phones. I didn't have the heart to do anything but smile and say "Thank you." (We've crossed whole states without Garmins. Finding our way home? I think we could have managed that...)

Today we took a long, easy ride into suburbia. We followed bike paths south into the 'burbs below Miami. We meandered through quiet little neighborhoods as we skipped through residential areas switching from one bike path to another. Mid morning we stopped at a bakery for coffee and a truly delicious scone. Then we turned around and headed back to the high rises of Brickell and downtown Miami. A nice long Sunday ride, all done at about 12 mph.

As we rolled our bikes into the elevator, we chanced into our newest neighbors. "Nice day for a bike ride," they commented. "Are there any good bike trails around here?"

"Oh, quite a few," we said. "You'd be surprised."