Venting; what do men think about when they ride?

First a disclosure; I like men, there are many men I love. Some of my best friends are men. When I ride my bike I think about all the men who taught me so much about cycling and life. Yes, men and bikes are a good thing.

What follows may be a huge overgeneralization but I want to talk about behaviors I often see on the road by guys.

Today on an enjoyable errand ride only interrupted by my forgetting something at home I spotted ahead a large obstacle on the MUT. Kneeling with his head and butt squarely blocking the path, whirling his blue and yellow Lemond "I coulda been a contender" road bike so it was blocking the road was a road cyclist. His puzzled head bowed, something clearly stopping his epic ride.

Riders and runners deftly whirled around him. His body language clearly saying "I could pass all of you but this mechanical that's clearly not my fault is halting me. I just want you to observe how cycle chic I look. That is why I am not off to the side. I must exhibit my puzzlement".

Decked out in Not Your Daughter's jeans, Ibex wool shirt, Chacos and Wald bike rack I slowed to give the traditional cyclists call out; are you ok? it's traditionally abbreviated to: you ok?

Yeah, he said with dejection in his voice.

Well you would be ok with a full set of tools on the bike. But he's observing the road rider's rule; carry nothing that's big enough to actually be observed in a jersey pocket.

I rode on.

A little while later I turned back to get whatever it is I thought I forgot. There he was on the porch of my LBS with his bike up on the repair stand of shame. This is the one they provide for those who say "oh yeah, I can fix this. I don't need any help, just a stand is all. Uh, can I borrow your tools?"

Presumably some time later he'll ask if they can keep the bike overnight and fix it.

People; mechanicals happen on the road of life. Carry what you need to fix them. When stuff happens get yourself and your bike OFF the road or path unless you actually need to stop someone (health emergency). Blocking the path can cause a crash, move to the right.


Cooking for the cure

I own a small, underwater, 70's era condo in the Bay Area. It was expertly remodeled by my friend, contractor, carpenter Hilary. We found and used many local products some of which I mentioned here. I'll go over more of those later.

Gentle readers, please remind me, I get distracted especially when I talk about food, cooking and their impact on our health.

One of the first projects of the remodel was that I decided to remove the stereotypical, 70's, dated, cottage cheese ceiling. You know the stuff in bad hotels? It makes the ceiling look low, like it's closing in on you. I'd try to be optimistic and say "look, it's shiny like stars!" but let's be honest.

That stuff is gray depressing, cluttered and nasty. It had to go.

But first I had to clean and scrape the grease off the ceiling spending days tottering, scared up on the ladder with TSP, gloves and a mask. The signs of the sellers poor  diet were visible all over the property but only if you looked up. The ceiling was just covered with a thin film of grease from the kitchen out to the dining room. It seems they fried everything they ate. I'm guessing from the aroma mostly meat and fish.

What wasn't on the ceiling was in the kitchen plumbing which also eventualy had to go.

One can only imagine their circulatory system and general health. I'm sure not all the grease went up to the ceiling or down the drain. Some must have gone into the 6 adults and 2 kids who lived cramped in what was then a cluttered 2 bedroom 1.5 bath condo.

I had already removed the dated, 70's, wooden beaded room dividers. Those were as greasy as they were dated, dark, dusty and tacky.

We put up tarps on all floors as I cleaned mostly so I would not slip later on the grease/TSP mixture. I was not worried about protecting the 30 year old linoleum in the kitchen, dining room and supremely ugly blue shag carpeting in the rest of the condo. I was more concerned with slipping on the clean up efforts.

At least their style of "staging a house for sale" had kept the price affordable for me.

Once we'd cleaned and prepped I stepped back to let the pro's attack the cottage cheese. During the ceiling project I removed myself from the fray for the weekend. I went up to Sonoma to my Mom's. My mutt, Mae (that's my dear, now departed and very much missed dog pictured above) went far, far away for the weekend.

Hilary and crew took every precaution because what is that dated cottage cheese anyway? Asbetos perhaps, asbestos probably. And contact with asbestos can be deadly with direct links to a cancer called mesothelioma.

It's not that I did not want to help them out. During the remodel I tried to do everything an unskilled, untrained, owner could. This is mostly clean or clean up afterwards, run errands some of which I theorize contractors invent to get their clients out of the way and write lots of checks.

But when it comes to asbestos lacking the skill, training, experience and equipment of a pro I did not want to risk being around and much less even breathing that stuff. Dealing with asbestos is something we want to stand back and let the trained, properly equipped and experienced pro's handle it because it's a carcinogen.  Best to come back later on and say "Ah! Beautiful!"

Cancer has cut a swath through my family. I've lost several loved ones to cancer, others are survivors. I hate cancer, all forms of cancer.

Other than avoiding contact with carcinogens is there prevention, cure or certain treatment of cancer? Can lifestyle factors particularly good diet and nutrition lead to a life free of cancer?

Maybe, perhaps and it can be as simple as eating your fresh, local fruits and vegies.

I recently read a study in the Journal of Cancer Research which was done by Mark H. Shiffman, Linda W. Pickle, Elizabeth  Fontham, Sheila Hoar Zahm, Roni Falk, Joy Mele, Pelayo Correa and Joseph Fraumeni Jr. called Case Control Study of Diet and Mesothelioma in Louisiana.

In this study 37 patients with mesothelioma were matched with case controlled subjects. Patients were matched to controls according to age, sex, race, region, occupational histories and many factors. In this study reductions in risk were seen with increasing consumption of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables. These associations could not be explained by differences in exposure such as occupation.

The results indicated that eating your vegetables may reduce the risk of mesothelioma.

Eat your local vegetables.

Referenced study http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/48/10/2911.short

More information here www.mesotheliomahelp.net