After yesterday’s geeky day at RIT (BarCamp Rochester, talks ranging from how to hack the phones in the elevators at RIT to needing more technologists in politics – see my work blog) today is again a day of cycling.
First of all the Tour of Flanders is on! The all-knowing steephill.tv site points to a site streaming the live broadcast of a Spanish tv station. With SportWereld.be’s live ticker in another window I have perfect coverage of the race. I watch Cancellara and Boonen sneak away on the Berendries and then Cancellera drops Boonen on De Muur. 15 Kilometers remain. The guy in front is the time trial world champion. Boonen is riding in his home country, in the Belgium national champion jersey, he’s won this race twice before but will need to settle for second best this time. The way Fabian Cancellara rode away on De Muur was impressive, he didn’t even get out of the saddle, just pedaled away.
That done it is time to get my bicycle ready. Yesterday at RIT while catching up with email I had seen an email exchange between David, Sara and others discussing a ride tomorrow from his house. A 1:30pm start and a slower 30 mile ride. With riding to his house and back that would make it around a 55-ish mile ride. Nice distance. Some determined scrounging through the email archive digs up his address and I am off. Google Maps suggested down East to Main and then along Chili Ave all the way. That didn’t sound like fun; instead I go down Elmwood, pick a bit of the canal path and then let Paul Road take me into Chili village. There is a bit of head wind but perfectly on schedule at 1:15pm I arrive at Chateau Sorrel where Duc David kindly welcomes me garden tools in hand and informs me that tomorrow was yesterday.
This tomorrow-thing stumps me. The day indicator comes up in conversation most often yet no calendar shows when it is. Reminds me of Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before. The story is about a sailor getting stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean and it is also about the 16th-17th century frantic competition between the sea-fearing nations to find a method to determine longitude. Well, as it is an Umberto Eco novel there are as many story lines in the book as you like. Anyways, while stranded on the island the sailor tries to understand the emerging concept of time zones and so the island visible on the horizon to the west is imagined to be in the past, or of the day before (time equals longitude in case you’re lost on the connection).
But back to today which, dear reader, we just learned is not tomorrow. David gives me some ideas in what direction to continue my ride. I set off. I used to do this more often but haven’t in quite a while: ride without a route planned. It is a lot of fun. I make it a “let’s turn right here, go left there” kind of ride. With a GPS on the handlebars this is a little less Lewis and Clark than in centuries past but in our modern times one does what one can. I make a broad sweep around RIT and Mendon Ponds Park eventually returning within the safe borders of Rochester City.
Another favorite book by Umberto Eco is The Name of the Rose. A bit like after The Da Vinci Code was published there were theories abound regarding hidden messages and symbolic meanings of the story. Some time later the author answered in an interview why he wrote the book: “I wanted to kill a monk.”
But, beloved reader, we digress once more. Let us return to today and remember that tomorrow is yesterday.
(Note to self: when reading emails discussing plans for ‘tomorrow’, check the time stamp…)