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Happy Independence Day!

Democracy alone has constructed an unlimited civilization capable of infinite progress in the improvement of human life. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Whew! Seriously? July 4 already? I had to look back and figure out when I last's been a crazy week.

Cole has been accepted for school in the fall so he'll be going for 3 hours every morning--5 days a week--to a pretty small class size that I think is going to be perfect for getting him used to some peers and the idea of school in general. He's super excited. We'll have some serious work getting him on a schedule and used to being away. I'm sure he'll have his up and down days, come home exhausted and cranky, and full of energy about all the new things he'll be learning. It's just for the best probably for all of us. He'll also be free from the watchful eye of his sister and Leda will now get one-on-one time with Daddy. Frankly, she gets that for probably 30 minutes each day now because she sleeps so little...she's the first one up from nap. But this will give her days of storytime, playgroup, maybe even the zoo or whatnot. Without having to be the annoying baby sister along for the ride. Everybody getting the attention they deserve and dad being less overwhelmed is probably a good thing.

We were going to skip the fireworks tomorrow night, but are having second thoughts after a very curious Cole wanted to know what the ad for fireworks was about. We may try to do a bit of in-the-car watching where the noise is less and we can escape quickly if need be. It's one of those things where he'll either love it or hate it. Same with the firetrucks in the parade tomorrow. He's so excited to see them up close, but I've also been warning him they will probably blow their sirens and be very, very loud. He understands...but like so many things, I'm not sure he is prepared for the difference between the fascinating stuff in books and on tv and actually being there. Like so much in life, the real thing can be more intimidating.

The same goes for train rides. He's been asking for and we're willing to try. Kelly is home from work Friday for the long weekend and we're thinking it would be a great day to take Metra to a lunch somewhere. We'll see how that goes. My plan has been to talk him through all the noises and events to know what to expect. A loud bell. Conductor will come around asking for tickets. There are two levels of seating to choose from. Etc..

We're also trying to get 2 bike rides in this weekend. Weather didn't cooperate last weekend since it's been so cool and we only rode on Sunday morning at the "garden."

I've been proud of myself this week having A) put the stock saddle back on the CR1 since I'll be riding it more. B) Stopping the chain from rubbing the front derailleur with an admittedly small adjustment. But I thought it would need to go to the bike shop.

I took it out for brief 1 hour ride yesterday morning before traffic was too bad. The one-sided pedals to clip into gave me a bit of bother--and nasty bruise/scrape on my right inner ankle. But other than that it was uneventful. My first time on a road bike and it took some getting used to. It rides so differently from anything upright I've been on. I actually found myself slower but I attribute that to lack of confidence, skill, and experience at the moment. The handling/steering is so "twitchy" and the center of gravity so different You feel every bump and have to steer and absolute straight line with all your concentration and upper body coordination. I alternated between the aero bars and the brake hoods and was less comfortable all the way down in the drops. My neck was getting stiff in aero even though it was fairly comfortable otherwise. But the aero bars also take away a very natural hand position for me on the top where the tape is. Still a heck of a lot more hand positions than my hybrid. I'm still playing with the saddle height and fore/aft/tilt a bit. Unfortunately, unless Kelly wants to pull the trailer on my bike for our family rides, our time on the CR1 is a bit shared right now so we need to find some compromises.

My plan had been to do a 50 mile ride before Sept rolls around and now I'm wondering if it's wise to do that on the road bike I'm less used to. Time in the saddle is probably all that will help get me used to it. Then again, 50 miles on my hybrid is probably just as much proof to myself as I need about the ability to go long.

Oh, and did I mention I need to purchase a hex wrench kit to get the behind-saddle Profile Design water bottle holder off Kelly's old (women's) saddle? It's on there with both a normal sized bolt--same size as the seat post--and the size one smaller. I have the size one-bigger which is what the saddle was held on with...not sure why I had that larger wrench laying around the junk drawer but I did.

Everybody stay safe, enjoy the cookouts and fireworks and parades.