Last Sunday we went for a long walk

I’m not super into hiking. I sort of want to be, but having to get in the car and drive somewhere in order to go for a walk doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve always loved walking in Denver, but lately Chris and I have gotten more into long walks stretching six or seven miles.

Pictures snapped on last Sunday’s walk.

IMG_0927

IMG_0929

IMG_0931

IMG_0932

IMG_0934

IMG_0935

IMG_0937

IMG_0898

IMG_0901

IMG_0903

IMG_0904

IMG_0906

IMG_0907

IMG_0908

IMG_0909

IMG_0912

IMG_0914

IMG_0916

IMG_0917

IMG_0918

IMG_0919

IMG_0920

IMG_0921

IMG_0922

IMG_0923

IMG_0925

car2go card finally came!

The other night I took a slightly different route home from work. I was in familiar territory, but it was nice to mix up my routine.

Since I walk to work from time to time, I walk my dog, and I run in my neighborhood, it feels like I’ve been up and down all the streets near me a zillion times, and like I’ve done hundreds of laps of City Park and Cheesman Park.

Chris and I wanted to take a long walk today, and I wanted some new scenery. I also just got my car2go membership card in the week, so we grabbed a car2go and drove it down to Wash Park. We did a loop around the park and then walked home. I had estimated our walk was going to end up around five miles but we ended up going over seven.

I’m in love with the car2go model. The ability to make one way trips makes it so much better than other car share options. We’ve been a one car household for almost four years, so I’ve looked at some other ones I keep thinking of the different ways I want to use it…

  • Driving myself home if it happens to be raining when I want to leave.
  • Driving somewhere we know we’ll be enjoying some cocktails and then taking a cab home.
  • Being able to loan my own car to family or friends who are visiting and then using car2go for myself.
  • Driving myself a few miles away from my house and then running home.
  • I plan to take the car with me on my runs, actually, in case something happens. I tripped and ate it pretty hard a few months ago. Luckily I only had to walk about a half mile home, but it would have been a bummer if I were further away.
  • Lugging beer and food to City Park Jazz, and then walking home with the empties.
  • Driving myself home from the gym after swimming in the winter. Wet hair when it’s 15° makes even a short ride or walk home uncomfortable.

Anyways. I’m happy to have another transportation tool in my belt. I’ve got my car, my bike, my bus pass, my feet, my uber app, and my car2go card. (Even if it took two weeks to sign up for membership.)

Image

In other news, I recommitted to running on a regular basis for the third or fourth time this year, and lookit! I ran four times this week. I’m tired.

Breathless

It took me longer than it should have to catch the joke in the title, but this four minute film is a love letter to Denver, thin air and all.

I think it “premiered” at TedxMileHigh. We saw it there first, anyways. (TedxMileHigh was awesome, by the way. Highly recommended.) I’ve been waiting for it to be online so I could splash it all over the internet.

Maybe it’s a little cheesy, but I like cheesy. Why not get a little silly and emotional about something you love?

Ignite Denver

Occasionally it occurs to me that I didn’t do much sharing after my spark at ignite (way back in February). So here’s the recap. (ignite is an event where anyone can give a five minute speech, a “spark,”on any topic. You prepare 20 slides, and they auto-advance every 15 seconds.)

I feel like I should be more self deprecating but…too bad. I was really happy with how it turned out. I practiced, practiced, practiced and so even though I was nervous onstage, I had run through my talk so many times, I could have done it in my sleep. Like in my head in the moment, I was a little worried that the entire audience would be distracted by how much my knees were shaking, but in the video I look cool and confident and well practiced. Because I was. Funny that.

And you guys, my hair looks so good. Of all my takeaways, I’m seriously so pleased with how long and shiny my hair is in this video.

It was really nice having friends in the audience, I think there were about 300 people there total and I had about a dozen in my cheering section. I was the last speaker before intermission, so it was really fun to be able to finish and then go talk to my friends right away.

Buuut…awkward. Then everyone who came with me left at intermission. Leaving a big 12-person sized hole towards the front of the theater. At the time for some reason I found this embarrassing, but clearly it wasn’t the end of the world.

I had a blast, and I’d recommend it to anyone with the time and interest. It was harder than I thought to match a talk to the 15 second slides. I estimate I put in close to 20 hours writing my talk, putting together the slides, searching for free/uncopyrighted images to use, and of course practicing over and over. I had a few jokes that were timed to the change of a slide, and it took a lot of rehearsal to get those timings down just right.

My advice to anyone else planning to speak at an ignite event?

One, have a clear message. Twenty slides of memes might get you some laughs, but you still need some engaging content.

Two, practice 900 billion times, enough so if you get really nervous, your brain can go on auto-pilot and still finish.

Three, get (and use) feedback. We had a mandatory rehearsal a week before the event. Some of the speakers got feedback like, “I was confused about this part of your talk” and then…it was exactly the same in their actual spark.

Four, make sure you include your twitter handle somewhere in your deck so you can connect with people in the audience. And then shamelessly brag by posting screenshots of people complimenting you.

Screen Shot 2013 06 02 at 2 56 30 PM

I also found it helpful to drink one beer before going on (and then several after) but to each her own.

The next one in Denver is June 13th. I will be there, enjoying being in the audience, but I’m definitely mulling over topics to maybe try again for the next one. How to ride your bike like a lady? Nine ways to wear yellow cardigans? Semi-colons are your friend; do not abuse them?

Cycling under the influence

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know if something is really a “hot topic” or if it’s just interesting to me and people I know. Like, I was sort of interested in Colorado legalizing marijuana but I didn’t realize this was a national story until we went to Alabama for Thanksgiving and everyone asked us about it.

So, I don’t know if Denver Police enforcing DUI laws for cyclists is actually big news or if I just keep seeing it pop up because I am a Denver cyclist and so it’s something people I know are talking about.

One the one hand, it seems kind of obvious that you shouldn’t drink and bike. I’m always talking about how I have the same rights and responsibilities on my bike as I do in my car. That’s why it drives me crazy when cyclists go the wrong way on a one way street, or on the flip side when a red light won’t ever change for me unless a car pulls up behind me. You shouldn’t drive drunk; you shouldn’t ride your bike drunk.

But on the other hand, would you rather a drunk person get out on the road in a car or on a bike? I’m sure it’s possible to hurt someone while intoxicated on your bike, but my 50 pound cruiser does a lot less damage than my 2,000 pound Civic.

I’ve always felt a little funny about the fact that I will not drive my car with one drop of alcohol in my system, but I’ve definitely ridden my bike home from happy hour. If I had unlimited money, I’d take a cab home. (Actually I’d take an Uber home because I’m obsessed with their car service and it’s the best.)

I’m a stickler and very much a follower of rules, so I suppose it won’t sit well with me to be doing something that is technically illegal, but I probably am not going to start calling a cab to take me less than a mile in my neighborhood if I have my bike.

Also, don’t ever read the comments on any online article about cycling. They will make you hate everyone.

San Rafapalooza!

I was so proud of my little neighborhood tonight. It was the first San Rafapalooza, a small street fair for our small historic district, San Rafael. Just a few blocks were closed off, and there were local bands and a bunch of local businesses (a coffee shop, bike shop, realty company, etc). I saw folks selling art, handmade jewelry, we all sang Happy Birthday to an 8 year old, and even a little slam poetry. 

I hope this becomes an annual tradition. I was impressed by the size and scope. That’s a big stage! There was a well stocked drink tent with beer, wine, and spirits, three or four food trucks, and maybe a dozen display tables/tents? It seemed pretty involved for the first year.

 

IMG 3105IMG 3106
IMG 3107

 

I am getting ready for the Harvest Moon tomorrow! I was hoping I’d be super nervous way ahead of time and then feel pretty zen when the moment actually arrived, and I think it’s working. I just used up all my nervous energy this week, and I feel a lot less like I’m going to throw up right now than I did earlier this week.

If you are concerned that I might die or otherwise epically face plant tomorrow, physically or metaphorically, the best place to find updates on my well being will probably be Chris’s twitter feed.

Sunset

I know good sunsets.  For reference, this was one block from our place in San Diego:

This was my view when I went for a run in the neighborhood:

And this is my parents’ backyard:

Denver doesn’t really get spectacular sunsets.  For one thing, the sun sets in the west (duh) but to the west we have the Rocky Mountains.  By the time the sun is low enough to put on a real show, it’s normally behind the mountains already.  Also, we just don’t get a lot of clouds, and there’s no marine layer to refract the light.  It’s a trade off I’ve just come to accept.  Denver has a lot of things going for it, but sunsets are not one of them.

So this little gem?  This tiny, spectacular light show on Thursday night?  Was amazing.  I sat on my stoop to enjoy it, and I called a friend to make sure she got to see it.  Neighbors came out, and we enjoyed the sky and each other’s company, and I loved it.