New Belgium’s Urban Assault Ride, Denver 2011

New Belgium’s Urban Assault Ride came to Denver this weekend.  They posted the route the winners plotted and used on their facebook page.  On their first three directions, the winning team helpfully noted that they would be on the sidewalk.  I suppose this is preferable to riding down a one way street the wrong way, but riding on the sidewalk is dangerous and illegal in Denver.  Let’s take a look at the law:

Sec. 54-576. Riding on sidewalks.

(a) Riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon or along sidewalks, whether on public property or private property opened for use by the general public, shall be unlawful except:

(1) When the operator or rider thereof is a uniformed city employee or uniformed state employee or uniformed federal employee, which are working as part of their official duties and are riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties; or

(2) When the operator or rider of a bicycle thereof is engaged in the delivery of newspapers;

(3) Where the sidewalk is part of a designated bicycle route; or

(4) When the operator or rider thereof is preparing to dismount and park the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle at a location on the block on which the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is being operated, or the operator has just mounted and has not yet crossed a street or alley.

I don’t really care who wins.  I was playing for fun, and finished, I think, a solid two hours after the winning team.  But if New Belgium is so pro-bicycle, they should also be pro-bicycle safety.  The event staff standing at the corner of Arapahoe and 17th watching hundreds of cyclists go the wrong way down one way streets and riding on the sidewalks didn’t do a service to cycling or to New Belgium’s brand.

I don’t know if I’m an old soul as much as I’m maybe just a retired soul.  Everywhere I go, when I find myself most happy, I look around and realize I’m bring down the average age by a few years.

My favorite store is Ann Taylor.  My favorite breakfast spot is a diner where old men read the paper and old ladies pour coffee.  I’ve been logging a lot of hours at the symphony.  I like to swim at the rec center where old ladies water jog back and forth, not letting their hair get wet.  A live performance of A Prairie Home Companion was maybe my favorite “concert” ever.

I walked out of the gym this morning and bumped into a coworker.  She asked how my workout was, and I let her know I ran a little warm up and then went to the 8:15 yoga class, which was a good stretch (which I needed) but not too strenuous.

“Oh!” she said, “You went to the old people with Mexican blankets class?”

I sure did!

Footnote: Why did I need a good stretch?  Because yesterday I rode 18 miles on the spin bike and then ran 5 friggin miles! Only the farthest I have ever run ever in my whole life. No big deal.


Last month I got super lucky.  I played in the monthly spelling bee (for fun, in a bar) I always enter, and the stars aligned and I friggin’ won!

Last night I felt really off.  I spelled my first two words right (forecastle, pronounced ‘folk-sill’ and cholesterol).  I got the next two wrong (catafalque and…something I forget).  I bought myself back in once, for $5. The emcee bought me back in the second time because when I asked for a sentence it was a sad sentence about my dog being dead (that’s not going to make any sense out of context.  Sorry!).

But after that I spelled everything else right!  I don’t remember many of the words.  One was something like retrore or retrose.  Another was decoct

And in the eleventh round I hemmed and hawed and asked for the definition about three times but then finally spelled passerine to win!  For the second month in a row.  Lightning struck twice. 

I couldn’t tell if I loved or hated this photo, so I decided to love it.

Running for Exercise?

Here is a fun game to play the next time you are out and about and you see someone running.  The game is called “Running for Exercise?”  When said aloud, it’s pronounced, “Running for Exercise Question Mark?”

Because when you see people running, they might look like this:

Running for exercise

Or they might look like this:

Not running for exercise

And sometimes it’s in between and you can’t tell.

The best game of “Running for Exercise?” happened when Chris and I were eating breakfast one cold Saturday morning last winter at our favorite, favorite diner.  We saw, out the window, a gentleman running down the street.  He was going at a pretty quick pace (not sprinting, that’s usually “Running to Catch the Bus”, but a good clip) and seemed to be wearing pretty short shorts and a t-shirt.  “Definitely running for exercise,” Chris said, and I concurred.  As he got closer, though, we saw that his short shorts were actually boxer shorts, and he was barefoot. “Um, not running for exercise.  And should we see if he needs help…?”  But he was gone.  Date gone awry?  Late night when he needed to be at work?  We’ll never know.

“Running for Exercise?”!  It’s more fun than it sounds.  And once you start you can’t ever stop playing. 

Puffy sleeves and bows!

Channeling my inner Rachel Berry.


So, my sister is getting married.  This means a few things for me.

1. An expensive bridesmaid dress for me that I will never wear again.

2. My sister, who is a total tomboy, asked me to do her makeup since I’m kind of the only woman in the family who wears any.  Which I am a little nervous about.

3. It somehow fell to me to receive the RSVP cards.

Is the RSVP thing traditional?  For them to be mailed to the maid of honor?  I did not think so.  For one thing, it just seems to add an unnecessary geographical wrench to the mix.  My sister lives in Washington, the wedding is in Minnesota, the return address on the invitations is my parents’ house in Texas, and the RSVPs are on their way to Colorado.

On their way to the wrong address in Colorado as well.  For reasons unknown to me, my mother googled my address and somehow ended up on my street address but with a ‘South’ in it.  So, instead of coming to 1234 Mel Street, 80205, it’s headed to 1234 Mel Street, 80213.  Which is really 1234 South Mel Street.  But I’m guessing the zip code will overrule the lack  of ‘South.’

So I wrote kind of an awkward letter and dropped it in the mail on Wednesday.  Dear people who live at the OTHER 1234 Mel Street, please help me out.  Love, Mel.

I hope it works!

she was disarming: An open letter to my fellow cyclists

I get it. I really do. I yell at cyclists going the wrong way down one way streets. I signal. I typically rock at least three bike lights. I announce my pass. But I still run red lights on my bike. I slow down, and I look, and if it’s clear, then I go. Because I am not heavy enough to trip the sensors to make the light turn, for one thing.Two, because Denver does all-way pedestrian crossings, and I go to work early enough that I come to intersections like this when there is maybe one or two pedestrians, usually none, and I can safely proceed. And three, honestly, because I have a 1.6 mile commute with a a total of fourteen stoplights. Mostly ones where I face no cross traffic. Stopping at every traffic light could literally double my commute time. It’s just silly.Even this blogger’s long rant about following the rules concedes that stop signs should be treated like yields. The message being, “The rules I choose to break are okay. The rules everyone else chooses to break means they are danger-craving maniacs.”


[Note: Most people who read this will already be aware of these things. I’ll probably be preaching to the choir. But I had to get it out anyway. And I don’t care if it sounds like a lecture. You know how it is.]This morning was like any other. I sat stopped at a red light while cyclist after…