Accidental Poetry

Day’s Verse:
Better a bread crust shared in love
than a slab of prime rib served in hate.

Proverbs 15:17

Back story: My co-LCI on the Bike Alliance trainings* said she always brings an extra wheel to classes. I asked if it was necessary for our trainings, since the schedule was so tight and we didn’t have time for fix-a-flat. When I received her reply, I couldn’t help but read it as poetry. She wrote, with this exact formatting,

I will bring one or two along. My usual way of handling
It is to leave it to the end for those who want
To stay and learn. Sometimes a few want it,
sometimes not. Continue Reading...

Train the Trainer #1: Canceled

Day’s Verse:
The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words.
Proverbs 10:19

After all the preparation and buildup, the class I was supposed to teach — officially called the Train the Trainer for the Safe Routes to School Bicycle & Pedestrian Skills Education program — got called off due to inclement weather. It was a double-whammy: Lots of snow falling and expected to fall in Snoqualmie Pass, and snow/rain, near-freezing temperatures, and high winds expected in Mattawa for the foreseeable future. (Which isn’t very far, when it comes to weather.) Continue Reading...

How I Spent My Afternoon

Day’s Verse:
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Matthew 8:26 (context)

Playing with crayons! Specifically, black and yellow crayons to make a practice intersection for the class next week.

Practice Intersection

Partway through I had an epiphany: If I don’t indicate which way the lanes are going, I dramatically increase the number of scenarios we can play out. At the same time I realized that we could use post-it notes to flexibly indicate lane type. We’ll use really cool working miniature bikes and try out different scenarios of where you should position a bicycle in the lane, where you should start moving over, where you should scan, and so forth depending on where you want to go through the intersection. I prefer hands-on playing over lecturing when I teach. Continue Reading...

Numbers I’ve Never Seen Before

Day’s Verse:
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.

Proverbs 9:12

…at least not when I’m standing on a bathroom scale. Here’s me on the scale in regular clothes before the backpack:
112 lbs

Here’s what Ian described as “heavy reading,” my backpacking backpack crammed full of 85 Traffic Skills 101 student manuals to deliver to the Bicycle Alliance:
Heavy reading

And here’s me on the scale wearing the backpack:

Gosh, I’ve never been anywhere near 150 lbs before! Ian was right, this is heavy reading! A little quick math indicated I was carrying just under 40% of my weight in that backpack. I mentally patted myself on the back at my clever solution for how to get 40 lbs of books to BAW without driving downtown. A backpacking backpack, I reasoned, is designed to carry heavy loads. Granted, this wasn’t food, water, clothes, tents, sleeping bags, etc., but what does the bag care? Continue Reading...

Things 1, 2, 3, and 4

Day’s Verse:
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?

Proverbs 5:9-10ish

Thing 1
Sun breaks yesterday.
Winter Garden

Thing 2
I tried making the cheesy bread Ben mentioned on his blog last week.
Crusty Cheesy Bread
I decided to keep the loaf sealed, rather than cutting it in quarters or half as the recipe said. You can see the result. Overall as bread it turned out well; the crispy crust, fairly light innards (although I still prefer the no-knead bread for interior lightness). As far as the cheese goes, it ended up with just a thick slab of cheese right down the middle. The recipe calls for you to flatten the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle the cheese, and then seal it up again. If I did this again, I’d probably roll the bread out a bit thinner and then do multiple rolls to get a swirl of cheese in the middle, like you do with cinnamon rolls. We enjoyed this bread with homemade tomato soup that I’ve had frozen since summer. I can hardly wait for tomato season again. Continue Reading...

Bike Class Day 2

Day’s Verse:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Galatians 1:3-5

IT’S OVER!!!!1 Woo!!

…that is all I have to say about that right now, except to add that I’m extremely tired.

OK, I will add that all 5 of the remaining students came, and I got the sense that we did a good job engaging them and getting them to think about bicycling and bicycle safety in a new light. Continue Reading...

Bike Class Day 1

Day’s Verse:

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:30-32 (context)

Day 1 went well, all things considered. We got into the building, had all the materials we needed, everybody showed up, and nobody fell asleep. We survived. Continue Reading...