I know many of you are playing drinking games with the State of the Union on the television. I am keeping it high brow with watching the new Showtime show, “Episodes.” Why am I watching this show? Well, for one, it stars the guy that was in the baseball movie starring a monkey. The second, and far more important reason, is that Sarah and I are currently all caught up on the best show on television, “Shameless” which stars William H. Macy.
Gainesville just received a record amount of rain. If that rain was converted into snowfall it would be…wait, who cares? What is snow?
Hey, my school made it on the local news! What can I say? Parents really get into middle school sports down here!
This weekend is the Gainesville Renaissance Faire.
The Little Guy visited Sarah and I here in Gainesville this past weekend. It was a grand time and we were able to get in a lot of bike riding and viewing of random automobile auctions on television. It was quite the surprise to get a call from him alerting me of his pending appearance, but not a moment was wasted as we were soon on our bikes getting in some base miles for the upcoming season.
I finally watched Doc Hollywood for the first time in more than 15 years. Wow! It is just as amazing as I had remembered. The Doc Hollywood Invitational will do it justice.
While taking the Little Guy down to Miami for the rest of his vacation we stopped in Celebration. This is the ultimate planned new-urbanist community just outside of Orlando. It was originally developed by the Disney Corporation before the homeowners bought out Mickey. We totally geeked out at the plastic architecture, friendly folks and large farmer’s market. Although, I must admit that it was a tad too Stepford Wives for me. However, if I had $800,000 to spend on a house and was looking to live in the suburbs I would probably look at getting a house there. But, since I don’t have $300 to my name and I would much rather live in the city I don’t think we will be looking there anytime soon.
This may be the greatest goal call in the history of soccer:
That is Minnesota’s own Teal Bunbury scoring his first ever USMNT goal this past Saturday!
I am a proud member of the teacher’s union. Please stop scapegoating the union for your child’s inability to read, write or do math. We work very hard to give your child the best education possible. However, we are not the only piece to solving the puzzle. If you find yourself questioning the teacher’s union and its methods please feel free to volunteer at a school. It is non-union (which seems to be a plus) and it is a great help for hard-working educators such as myself. But, until you have set foot into a classroom please do not jump to conclusions about the teacher’s union.
It appears that Sports Illustrated is finally going to drop its long-awaited article about Lance Armstrong. I am sure the fanboys of Lance are going to claim that, “he is the most tested athlete in the world” and, “he has never tested positive.” Yet, those with half a brain know that both of these are not true. Here is a summary of what to expect in the article.
Never will I take Minnesota Public Radio for granted again. The Gainesville version of NPR is a travesty. It is run by the University of Florida, and judging by the quality of the in-house programing on WUFT I am willing to guess that the University of Florida’s school of journalism isn’t at the top of the rankings. Please, for the love of public radio and quality news please shut down your “Front Page Edition” of ‘All Things Considered.’ It is horrible.
Oh, I will not become a member of your station. Why? Because it is crap.
All we heard about during the Gulf oil spill was the lack of tourists that were traveling to Florida’s Gulf coast. Although, I am not an economist, I did once hear about something called, “supply and demand.” My understanding of S&D is that if you have a lot of something (hotel rooms/vacation rentals) the price will fall to become more competitive in order to get more customers.
13 miles south of Gainesville is a small town called Micanopy. It is a beautiful southern town that is straight out of social studies textbooks. It also happened to be the setting for the Michael J. Fox classic, “Doc Hollywood” referenced above. Many of the local rides pass through Micanopy on the way out of town and into the horse farms of northern Marion county. A few months ago a few of us from 352 Racing had an idea about putting on a non-sanctioned road race in the area that would utilize the limerock (gravel) roads of the area. Within a few weeks time the “Doc Hollywood Invitational” was created.
Yesterday I rode the course with a few others and it clocks in at 70miles. There are 9 sections of limerock which account for about 10miles of the ride. We scheduled the event opposite a big road race down in Ocala to control the size in its first year. Since it is a non-sanctioned event the rules of the road will be in full effect and riders will be 100% on their own. So, in theory, it will be nothing more than a nice group ride south of Gainesville with a goofy identity and a sprint on a random dirt road just outside of town.
Should be a hoot.
On a side note, Sarah and I found a great new Thai place in town called, Bahn Thai. It is amazing and is number 2 on my list of best Thai food places I have eaten at. On the wall behind the register is this picture:
That is Woody Harrelson and Michael J. Fox eating at Bahn Thai. The stars of Doc Hollywood. I think it is a sign.
I am continually blown away by the quality of bicycle riding in North Central Florida. As I have started to “train” for the upcoming season various routes have been suggested to me by other cyclists here in Gainesville. Therefore, over the past few weekends I have been able to get in some quality hours and I have yet to double up on routes or loops.
Perhaps the best part of riding down here is that Gainesville seems to be an anomaly on the Florida landscape. There is hardly any sprawl in the area. Unlike other cities in Florida with a population of 130,000 the developments and strip malls seem to stop at the city limits. This means that the road network is truly from small town to small town. While these small towns may be lacking in true “euro” necessities of small cafes and bike shops, it must be noted how hospitable the folks in the country seem to be towards cyclists. Sure, there are a few yokels that may buzz bye in their truck (dualies, of course), but for the most part people wave, smile and generally leave you alone.
When I came down to Florida five months ago I had preconceptions of what I was going to come across while out on my bicycle. For the most part I have been completely wrong. Give me fifteen minutes and we will be out on a country road with minimal interference and roads with full tree canopies.
This picture is from just off of Zebra Road in Marion County. Yes, you see zebras on Zebra Road. You also see antelope, ostriches and gazelles.
Just another example of the solitude I have been able to find in Florida. The best part about these roads is that the full canopy provides wonderful cover during the hot summer. While a majority of Florida is as flat as a pancake there are a number of hills in this area, so it keeps you on your toes.
This is Payne’s Prairie State Park. It is just south of Gainesville and is a major buffer to the needs of sprawl in the area. It is two miles long and about 10 miles wide. The highway that crosses it provides an ample shoulder and thus you are just a few miles away from the hills and quiet roads of Marion County to the south. It should be noted that the first town south of Gainesville on the far side of the Prairie is Micanopy. This is where Doc Hollywood was filmed. Yes, the Michael J. Fox classic.
Finally, when you are out on the road for a while you need to stop in a country store from time to time. It was with amazement that I came across this while grabbing a Pepsi:
As a caveat I am a bit distressed that Rick Scott, our new Governor, has decided to roll back some of the environmental protections and growth management divisions of the state government. This could mean that more strip malls will be littered across the state, thus making this type of riding impossible.