Sunday, April 27, 2014

I have a new bike

I kept telling myself I needed a few more gears than three.

And I finally did something to fill that "need."

In the first world, a bike with more than 3 gears isn't much of a need. But it's one of those things that would give me a little more motivation to get outside and go biking, which a) improves my health and b) gets me off of Facebook. :D

So when my aunt offered to give me a bicycle that was just what I was looking for -- the right size, 10 gears, everything -- I jumped at the chance. A mini tune-up later, and it was ready to rock!

I took it out on the first group ride of the season yesterday, looking forward to tackling the hills on the 17-mile route with ease (or, at least more easily than I tackled some of the same hills on a 10-mile ride last year with my 3-speed). I was nearly halfway through the ride, quite happy with how the bike was working out and how sure I was I'd have the energy to finish the ride, when the unthinkable happened.

OK, maybe it wasn't the unthinkable. But I did land on the pavement with a badly skinned knee and a bike out of whack.

Another rider helped me straighten out the handlebars, which had been knocked askew (Google it!), and I proceeded on my way. I shortly realized that my wheel had been knocked out of whack, too. I'm fairly certain the spokes are out of true, which means some of them need a good tightening so the wheel doesn't rub up against the left brake.

Only later did I also realize how badly I'd hurt my knee. It was numb and swelling by the time I drove home and cleaned it up. (TMI, I know. :P )

So my goal this week is to re-straighten the front wheel and nurse my knee back to health (by which I mean, don't do much besides take care not to, say, knock it into the side of a table).

And then, it's back on the bike with me. Because not even a minor accident can keep me from a sport I actually enjoy!

Compendium of Links #57

The past few weeks have been going by in a blur. It's likely to only worsen until about the end of June. I know there's something going on every weekend until at least Memorial Day. And I don't know whether to be extremely excited or tired just at the thought of it. :P Fortunately, the weekends all involve people I love dearly so I think the excitement will overcome the fear of getting tired out.

New Age Bullsh*t Generator - The computer algorithm spits out a lot of gibberish disguised as New Age enlightenment, much to my amusement: "The complexity of the present time seems to demand an awakening of our chakras if we are going to survive. Suffering is the antithesis of understanding. Bondage is born in the gap where joy has been excluded." And so on.

Test your European geography knowledge with this interactive map! You get points for naming a country on the first try! I've gotten pretty good with the Slavic countries, surprisingly enough - which I attribute to having heard a speaker from Bosnia-Herzegovina recently.

It's Always Spilling Over the Edges - Sometimes there's something serious on BuzzFeed. Here, an essayist reflects on empathy, pain vs. suffering and the shame of telling one's story. (I.e., the kind of telling that might evoke the rebuke "stop wallowing in it! Move on!")

A new book teaches Chinese characters via memory games that turn the characters into pictures that you can actually understand. It's probably a great approach, especially for visual people.

Surprised by N.T. Wright - Christianity Today published a fairly lengthy profile of theologian N.T. Wright. I read a quote of Wright's in a book recently, "Christ the King" by Tim Keller, and was impressed with the eloquence (marriage of meaning and beauty in the words he chose) and have decided to see if I can't find Wright's book on worship.

Why I Defend Muslims - Yet another serious article. I know, I know, but this one is probably the one most worth reading! Skye Jethani, author of "With," explains why he represents Muslims differently than a lot of evangelical Christian speakers and how it pertains to living out the Christian faith and bringing others to it.

Lastly, here's a tongue-in-cheek crash course on how to ask about adoptive families: The basic rule is, "if you wouldn't say it about a boob job...." Enjoy. Haha!