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“We Are Not Amused”


This is an altered version of the original photo I took of a bicycle stranded in the Spokane River.

On Friday morning I was walking with Frank Zafiro, a Spokane author, about the locations that inspired moments in his books. We arrived at the Post Street Bridge to talk about its use in Beneath a Weeping Sky. I looked over the edge, down toward the Spokane river and that’s when I saw a bike sticking out of the water.

My inner photographer screamed out to take a photo, so I did. I brought it back to the station where I wrote a light-hearted “moment” about how, why and when it got there. I even contemplated its future. At the end of the 5 p.m. newscast, to keep the conversation going, I posted it on Facebook.

And oh, the conversation continue.

Apparently, there are some people in this world that do not enjoy a casual moment on Facebook. There were some who appreciated the humor and savored the story for what it was, just a light-hearted piece. Others thought it was not newsworthy. They’re right. It was not. Does that mean we can’t post locally relevant photo driven stories? What about all those sunsets and sunrises that viewers and readers go nuts over? I’d think those go in the same category.

One person hated it so much they recommended we make up the news because the “meth heads won’t know the difference”.

Other readers were quick to present the opposite opinion. One reader said it reminded her of home in Amsterdam, the bike-in-the-canal capital of the world.

Some wondered if it was their own bike. Some said that an effort should be made to rescue it. Some said it was better than hearing about war and death.

This begs the question, what do viewers and readers really want to hear? They’re quick to offer comment about a story they don’t like, but when there is real good happening they ignore it. They’d rather be aghast then proud.

It’s the nature of the beast.


Adventures in Complaining (Bicycling)

There are so many ways to ride my bicycle up the South Hill and each one has its own personality. I’ve tried quite the variety and I think I now have a pretty solid opinion of a few routes. Each location starts downtown and works it way up.

#1 Pure Murder

That’s right. Murder. That would be the evil twin of N. Monroe: S. Monroe. Monroe has a gentle incline when you’re downtown, but once you hit 4th you’re praying for a swift and painless death. You get no such luxury. S. Monroe is the route (pun intended) of all evil. This is the ultimate work out.

#2 Cute but Deadly

South Stevens seemed like a good idea at the time. Its gentle incline fooled even me. The kicker is that it is long and just keeps going and going and going. By the time I get to 6th, I’m ready to give up and just pitch camp for the rest of my life.

#3 Are We There Yet?

I thought I would go out of my way just to try something completely different. I rode all the way through town just to go up Maple. It was nice and gentle until I hit 7th. From there you can do a pretty tolerable bike and walk, bike and walk. This was my second favorite.

#4 Suck it up, Nicole!

Okay, I found a route I’m partial to. Going up S. Howard and then cutting through Lewis & Clark High School is just the right amount of torment. It is quiet and not heavily traveled on so I am going with the peaceful bike and walk routine. This may be my route of choice until I find a way to rocket power my bicycle.

Slowly, I’m starting to get used to the idea that this is hard work that hurts now but in the long run it will be worth it. Right?

Adventures in Bicycling

Yesterday, I changed my Twitter profile to say the following: “social media enthusiast, photographer, local news hound, radio host and producer, occasional blogger, newbie bicyclist. Woah there. Newbie Bicyclist? Oh yes, my friend. Now that the weather is nice and I live in a close proximity to town, I can ride my bike to wherever I please. This weekend was the ultimate experiment in my newly founded commuting tool. Plus, it was Earth Day/Weekend/Week!

Total Miles: 1.4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Calories Burned: 263 (via CaloriesPerHour)

Summary: I got a taste of how much I dislike S. Monroe from 7th to 9th. I also got a taste of way too many cookies while visiting Tom Dineen and his lady.

Total Miles: 3.2
Total Time: 1 hour

Calories Burned: 526 (via CaloriesPerHour)

Summary: I really got a taste of how much I despise S. Monroe because I literally dragged myself up it from 4th to 9th. I also got a taste of a veggie dog for the first time. Don’t worry. I’m not converting to vegetarianism. Sometimes, I like to see how the other half lives. Not too bad, but I like to keep my options open.

Total Miles: 3.2
Total Time: 1 hour

Calories Burned: 526 (via CaloriesPerHour)

Summary: I learned my lesson that riding my bike across town is not the safest. Traveling up S. Stevens is the best flow for bicycling plus the uphill incline is not as steep as N. Monroe’s evil twin. Plus this allowed me to take a water break at Tom’s humble abode.

All in all, I consider this a successful weekend in the whole scheme of things. My precious Toyota Matrix never once left it’s garage. In fact, by riding my bike I saved $0.99 (via MPGBuddy). The golden number of this weekend though is that I burned 1,315 calories.

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