Thursday, December 6, 2012

It does not really look like snow.

I might have mentioned that I have a cool job.  I help organize running races.I am usually the Course Director, or Course Marshall Manager.  That really means that I am responsible for making sure that the course is accurately measured and that the runners follow that course.

It is not that simple to accurately measure a road race.  You can just use a car odometer  or Google maps, or even a GPS, They are just not that accurate.  According to USA Track & Field I must attached a Jones Counter to a bicycle.  It is a super accurate odometer that attached to my front wheel.  It is so accurate that it does not even have units and it must be calibrated against a know distance each time I  The amount of "turns" per mile changes based on tire pressure, air temperature, what I had for lunch and many other random factors.

So every time I measure a race course I have to start my day by calibrating my Jones Counter. That means I have to ride back and forth a few times along a "know distance" and see how many clicks it takes.  The "know distance" I used is an 1,100 foot stretch of the bike lane that runs along Prospect Park West.  I know it is 1,100 feet long because I measured it myself.  I used a super steel tape measure and even adjusted my calculations based on temperature, humidly and sun spots.

My problem is that the Prospect Park West Bike Lane is not always clear.  Since it is the most over managed one mile bike line in the world is if often being reconstructed.  Last summer it had to have it's curb cuts  adjusted, and this year they added raised sidewalks.  These things do make it save, but they also make it hard for me to calibrate my Jones Counter.

I almost had a problem this morning.  Prospect Park West was the only street in NYC with snow on it.

Well, as you can see, upon closer inspection, it is not snow.  A combination of cotton and salt.

What do you know, they are making another movie.

These photos were take at 9 am.  There were just a few productions assistants there They are making "Winters Tale" and I did not see Will Smith or Russel Crow.  I might have seen Matt Bomer, but I don't know who he is.  I dd see a herd of horses but my phone ran out of power.

It is really not so bad.  When I came back at 3 pm there were about a hundred movie people there.  They were not blocking any car traffic and there were people whose job is was to clear the bike lane as I passed.  I have also learned that if you ask nicely the craft services people will let you take a snack.

My next post will be about the course I had to (re)measure.

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