The arthritic old ornamental pear stretches its gnarled limbs.

Kinda gnarly-looking, I know. Still, EarthSky says it’s the vernal equinox, so I gotta go with it.

The allergies say spring. So does the unsettled weather. The NWS has issued a red-flag warning; no, it doesn’t mean the Russians are coming, but it seems we can expect winds of 20-30 mph with gusts to 45.

Last year I rode the equinox in shorts and arm warmers, which came off midride. The year before that I got rained on. So it goes.

Tracking alongside the allergies is another seasonal affliction, the wanderlust. One former colleague will attend next week’s Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point, Calif. In a couple weeks he and some others will dive into the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. And the Cactus Cup at McDowell Mountain Regional Park outside Fountain Hills, Ariz., has already come and gone.

Some old newspaper pals from California recently took a ski trip to Aspen. The friends who blew through here with their e-bikes on Friday were headed home to Fort Collins from Tucson. I’m starting to feel like the only guy I know who hasn’t traveled further from home than he can get on two wheels and one water bottle.

It all reminded me of a bit of grumbling I recorded last March for Radio Free Dogpatch, with an assist from kindly old Doctor Firesign and Ralph Spoilsport Motors (“The World’s Biggest”). I think I’ll give this ol’ baby a spin on the freeway. …

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20 Responses to “Spring?”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Ash trees are leafing out down here, junipers are going strong, and mulberry tree won’t be far behind. All the ingredients for a spring allergy snot locker explosion!

    Red flag down here today too! But, a good chance of rain tonight.

    Us retired folks, at least those of us of modest means, tend to stay put at home. Nothing wrong with that especially of you have a critter(s) to take care of. But, I sure could use a weekend trip somewhere. Preferably a place with one or more good brewpubs, preferably with live music. A jazz nightclub, or one with some blues, would be a bonus. Prescott maybe?

    “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away?”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the wisteria by the front door, and maybe the lilacs along the southwestern wall. For sure I’m allergic to the junipers, elms, ash, mulberry, etc.

      So, naturally, with a brisk wind for company, I spent an hour raking pine needles in preparation for the wee bit of weather we may or may not be getting over the next couple of days. I will never be smart.

      I’ve only been to Prescott a couple of times, and not recently, but I remember it as kind of a just-getting-hip kind of place. I wish my old man had bought property there instead of in Ash Fork, an hour north and several centuries behind.

  2. SAO' Says:

    Just saw the notification, only pop-up of the day that was worth a hoot.


  3. SAO' Says:

    Pouring one out for this lone hero:

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Wind up here is only 15-20 mph but my allergy indicators are in full throttle. Honk, sneeze, snot rocket launch any second, etc.

  5. John A Levy Says:

    We have sun and 20 mph winds, temp around 42 degrees. Spring my butt plus snow overnight, not that wet, heavy Colorado spring snow but that fluffy white stuff from the great white north, that doesn’t melt very quickly. my only saving grace is one blood draw, three doctor’s appointments. GP for a yearly checkup, hand surgeon for ruptured synovial fluid sack on the right thumb, and next day orthopod who will discurse my knee i.e. partial knee or total knee replacement. patch of ice took off the last bit of patellar cartilage and have been bone on bone since mid-January. Just sh&ts and giggles here in NW Montana. But with rehab should be back on the bike by mid-June if I can get a slot in his sugical rotation. Flippin Covid nd the ignorant unvaccinated yahoos.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, I keep hearing about knee replacements. They must be all the rage. A friend in Bibleburg has had both of hers done and I believe she’s doing quite well. A neighbor has one pending and is a little nervous.

      Anymore it seems about as involved as swapping cassettes on your road bike. They have you up and walking before the anaesthetic wears off because they need the beds for the antivaxxers.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      I simply can’t grip with my left thumb anymore. I’m biggly reluctant to have the surgery since I’ve read that the % of people who do it and find everything was peachy is not anywhere near the knee/hip replacement success. Plus without clothes on I look like a carp that has run into a boat propeller. Knee, Achilles, shoulder and double elbow zippers. Can’t find the hernia scar with …cough, ahem..the little weight gain. Good luck John I’m sure the knee replacement will bring you pain relief. But ya gotta go after rehab full on.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I hear ya, Herb. My left hand is a wreck. Dislocated the thumb in an MTB crash (no PT afterward) and the birdie in a cyclocross-on-ice crash (PT afterward). This same birdie is the one I nailed to a drawing board with an X-Acto knife in college (powerful beverages and drugs afterward). Not sure why I knifed myself: I was channeling either Vincent van Gogh or Thomas McGuane, one or the other.

  6. John A Levy Says:

    It is a matter of age and abuse,High school football and basketball didn’t prepare me for this outcome. My68th birthday present will be the knee. March 26 the day after the appointment. this getting old stuff is not as much fun as getting here, would have lived harder and died younger. Got the healthy bug in my late 40s. Too many fun tickets bought now pay the price.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The good news is, the medicos have gotten so good at this sort of thing that it’s almost outpatient surgery.

      “Whatcha doin’ there, Fred?”

      “Putting a knee in this guy.”

      “While you’ve got him up on the lift there what say we give him two hips and a new heart? I mean, as long as you got him open and all. …”

    • B Lester Says:

      The nice elderly lady next door is like my favorite aunt. She likes to say that gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        When our neighbor Judy, who has Parkinson’s, toppled over one day and broke a hip, we feared the worst. Nothing does for the Olds like a broken hip.

        But she fought her way back to mobility through surgery and rehab and even demanded that she be returned to her old house.

        That didn’t happen, of course. But she was thriving in an assisted-living center the last time I saw her. Tough as whang leather.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Kinda like March, life is. In like a lion, out like a lamb. I have been lucky health wise and would like to return to the source with all my OEM parts. We shall see. I have an eczema flare that is driving me nuts right now. Good thing I don’t have to pee in a bottle tomorrow. Roids baby, that’s the ticket!

  7. DownhillBill Says:

    My best cycling (and otherwise) friend took up the bike when he could no longer play tennis, at which he was a career professional. We called him the Bionic Man due to the 1 knee and 2 hips he’d had replaced. He was riding 8K miles/yr stupid fast. I told him that wasn’t a great idea at our age, but moderation wasn’t his strong point. He was due to have both knees done/redone when cancer got him. Said he’d have another hip done in a heartbeat, though knees were tougher.

    Hand operations can be iffy. I used to work for Silver Ring Splint Company making finger splints (orothotics, actually.) I would *strongly* suggest seeing a physical therapist experienced in treating hand problems to look for non-surgical solutions.

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