Day’s Verse:
What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
1 Peter 3:4ish

I have mixed feelings about my long hair. It’s now well over halfway down my back, closer to most of the way to my waist. It’s handy in one sense. I can always just put it into a ponytail, bun, or braid and it’s out of my face. But it’s also a lot of work to keep healthy, looking nice, and under control. Then there are the other peripheral issues of vacuuming and drains.

Vacuuming — oh gosh, what an endless bother. Long hairs wrap themselves around the brush of the vacuum in no time flat and have to be cut out on a regular basis. Irritating, but not particularly gross.

Drains are much worse. There’s something about wet hairs that grosses me out. I hate having to deal with my shed hairs in the shower. That’s why it’s Ian’s job to clean out the shower drain when it starts draining badly. He’s the strongest proponent of long hair in this household, as well as the largest beneficiary, so he deals with the dirtiest repercussions thereof.

I mention this because over the last few months, our shower drain has slowly transitioned from “drain” to “plug.” Given enough time, yes, the tub would eventually empty. But we finished each shower with water up to our ankles. I didn’t need to close the drain to take a bath. It was getting bad. Our usual gentle chemical methods (baking soda and vinegar, with a heavy weight atop the drain to keep the reaction heading in the right direction) availed nothing, and some mechanical intervention (a bent coathanger) didn’t help. Thus, while I was out riding up hills today, Ian borrowed snake from his grandparents and Dealt With The Drain.

I wasn’t there to witness it, but Ian assures me this was an entire ponytail’s-worth of hair (clearly hyperbole, since I still have all my hair). He said he was astonished any water made it through at all. I took a bath after my hilly ride and I can at least confirm that the tub does now drain as intended. So hyperbole or not, I have to give Ian credit for doing his husbandly duties with the drain.

Click below the fold for a report on today’s bike ride.

Rode 58 miles at 12.9 mph, by far my slowest average in the last five months. But I’m not overly bothered, because in those 58 miles, Dad and I climbed 6,800 feet, all within 5 miles of my house. Because it was supposed to rain, we passed on the planned RTS ride, which started way far away anyhow, and I rode Artemis, thus lugging my 30-lb bike up every hill. She makes up for it by having a triple and very low gearing in the rear, but still, it was work. I wore a rain jacket and my new Terry knickers. The knickers were awesome; the rain jacket turned out to be a sweaty superfluity, as by the time we finished, the sun had come out.

We rode up Norway Hill 5.5 times: From E. Riverside Dr. three times, from 145th twice, and starting up the road by Cedar Park once. We rode up Seminary Hill three separate times. We rode up Simmonds Road both directions; one way is labeled a 9% grade. We rode up 137th from 100th, which is steep. We twice rode up 132nd from 100th. Pretty much any approach to Finn Hill gets steeper the closer you get to the top, it seems. For variety we also rode east on 132nd and turned left onto the other 132nd, all the way to the Big Stop Signs. And so my house didn’t feel left out, we rode up Brickyard Road. Left out Winery Hill, unfortunately, and Juanita Drive either direction — not enough bang for its buck. Here’s a link to the route and here’s the elevation profile.


My goal was a route with 5500′ of climbing in 40 to 50 miles, but if that’s possible staying around here, I couldn’t figure out the route (if we went to Issaquah, we could just ride up Montreaux a couple times and get the climbing done in less than 10 miles). We used Mom and Dad’s house for our rest stops, which was handy. Carmel got all excited to see us the first time, but the second time didn’t bother coming out of her cubby, ungrateful thing. The second time Dad spilled some Cytomax on the floor and we encouraged Carmel to lick it up. She dutifully did, but clearly didn’t enjoy it at all, and she readily quit when Dad arrived with a damp sponge. Even the dog (who eats her own poop) doesn’t like orange Cytomax — that’s saying something.

Now, the downside of the ride: The stupid route! I created a route using RideWithGPS. In order to get in the climbing I wanted, it was necessarily convoluted, and I couldn’t remember where all I planned on going. I counted on the Garmin’s directions and map to guide me.

Unfortunately, something went wrong between RideWithGPS and my Garmin. Partway through the ride it suddenly got confused and skipped most of the middle portion of the ride, directing us to the last few climbs. The problem is that we go through the same intersections sometimes three or four times, and the map and directions weren’t always clear about where to go. It seemed to skip directly to the final turn in each intersection.

When we figured out that it had misdirected us, we went to Mom and Dad’s house and printed a cue sheet from the site, figuring that’d keep us on the right track. But we quickly found that the cue sheet omitted several turns. Overall we spent over an hour stopped, and nearly all of that was puzzling out what the next turn was supposed to be. By the end I felt so frustrated — I just wanted to ride, not stop and be confused! I’ll give RideWithGPS a few more chances because I don’t know if it’s the site’s fault or my Garmin’s failing as far as directing me wrong, but the cue sheet errors are really bad.

And next time maybe I’ll keep it simple and just do a loop up and over the same hill a bunch of times or something.

3 thoughts on “Long Hair Tradeoffs (& May 7 Ride Report)

  1. Oh, good. Thanks. We’ll probably use it in the future, since my hair isn’t getting any shorter.

  2. You’ve affirmed my decision that it’s time to get mine hacked off just as it is getting to pony tail length, tho’ even when long mine isn’t too hard on drains. It’s just unwieldy under the helmet and FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY I’m not wearing a hat underneath!

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