Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Starry Morning

4:15 am comes might early. Especially after you were up late practicing carols with the local theatre company who is going to rent out carollers for a fundraiser (I am married to the pianist/musical director and they have needed an extra male voice who can kind of lead a bit). Why was I up at 4:15? Well, it all comes down to this, what do you do when you have two things you want to do but only have time for one? Mix them up! This morning I wanted to watch the Leonids (meteor shower) and I wanted a bike ride/commute. To get away from Phoenix's light pollution one has to get a ways out of the city. I have always liked the dirt parking area just on the otherside of Usery pass. I had to race a bit to beat Astronomical twighlight but I managed to get a half hour of good viewing. I saw 7 meteors and 2 satellites. Supposedly the viewing is better in asia this time around on the Leonids but at least I caught some. I dressed too warm for riding but just perfect for laying on the ground staring at the sky. Some other people in the parking lot had a dog that didn't apparently care for the odd person that walked his bike in the dark and sat down to look at the stars. He growled and barked almost the whole time. Reason number one I really dislike camping with dogs. You don't get any sleep.

Just after 6 am the sky was bright enough that you really couldn't see most of the meteors anymore so I packed up and headed off. By the time I finished the loop around the backside of Usery pass I was warm enough to shed my jacket, and by the time I got to Tempe I had to take the tights off. Yeah I dressed warm. I thought it was going to be in the thirties but it wasn't. The warm wear did what it was supposed to though and I suppose it was worth hauling it around over the 54 miles I would finally get in before arriving at work. It was a beautiful but windy morning. I got to see some meteors and I got some good miles in which is good since I am not going to be able to ride a whole lot on Saturday (the kids version of el tour is only 8 miles but that is pretty long for my kids, just not for me).

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