Saturday, May 13, 2006

Movin' On Up!

I'm proud of myself.

Okay it really isn't a big achievement, but still, I feel I have a right to be proud. I cycle commuted to work three times this week. First time was Tuesday when I met the crew, Jon, Tom, Curt, and Tim at Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown. We meet there about once a month for breakfast at 6 AM when they open. For those that haven't experienced the loveliness that is Al's there are only 14 stools, sort of like a diner. If there isn't room, you stand behind someone and wait sort of staring vulture like over their shoulder while they eat. They have these blueberry-walnut whole wheat pancakes that are big and fluffy and well, two is plenty for most. That is a short stack is two cakes. You can get real hot maple syrup too. And all the coffee you can drink. Delicious.

We meet there, talk bikes, bike porn, bike assembly problems, bike customers, bike news, and so forth. Its fun for a bike geek like me. Tiny drag to this is to ride there I get up at the unholy hour of 4 to be on time. Heck, I was early this time! Yikes. I'll never live it down.

Wednesday I had to do some parent taxi duties for Thing 3 (he's not a thing, I just don't share names over the web; Thing 1 is the eldest, Thing 3 is the youngest.) After we got our act done, and I dropped him off at school I went to work in the car. Discovered I had a flat tire when I got out. So that was the loud noise? At lunch I swapped the spare on. After work I tried to get the tire fixed. Nope, no can do pal. It was ruined as the hole was in the sidewall. Rats. I ordered another and it will be here sometime next week. So, I hate driving with that dopey small spare on, so I'm pretending to be car free. This means I had to ride to work Thursday and Friday.

Thursday wasn't bad. Cool, windy on the return trip, but overall okay. I was tired, but I do like how the fixed gear QB forces me to work the entire trip.

Friday was another story. Welcome to Yooper summer. Raw, cold, windy and wet. It was near 40 in the morning and stayed there all day. It rained almost all day too. Yow. SO both directions it was full rain/cool gear. Wool jersey, thin woolly under, wool tights, wool knee warmers (I'm old, I need warm knees), wool gloves, Carradice rain cape, and Carradice spats. The spats cover the front of your leg and the cape keeps the falling water off of you. Under you can get ventilation.

Worked great. I have to say I had a hard time motivating to ride in the morning. I had to talk myself into it, as I could have taken the bus. Just didn't seem right. The ride in was okay, but I seemed slow. Really slow. My normal ride took about 40 minutes to do 10 miles, and it was easily over 45. The return was worse with the headwind at about 15 MPH.

It took awhile to figure out what was up. It wasn't all me being out of shape. I'd lost a nut on my rear fender. It was rubbing on the rear tire constantly. I had no way to repair and no close hardware or other type of shop to get something to fix it. So I just rode it. Painfully slow. And no way to gear down. So it was an energy zapping struggle. All the time worried that I was going to get a flat from the rub.

The ride home took an hour. Man was I tired. I ordered a pizza, and got into the shower. By the time I was out of the shower the pizza dude arrived in a few minutes. Great timing. I was famished, but I held off eating too much. I felt like eating all durn night. I mean just hunger pangs the entire night.

So, today I fix the QB, finish a friends bike, and enjoy movies with Thing 3 who showed up with Sparky the Wunderbeagle. I was thrilled to have them come over unexpectedly.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This Week in Geek Cycling

I rode this past Friday to work and back. That's it for about the last two weeks. It started about two weeks ago when I agreed to aerate the lawn for the town home association. I knew I shouldn't. I have bad (weak?) wrists. I've had carpel tunnel problems for years on and off.

So I did the aeration thing and paid for it. For four nights I'd wake up with my hands on fire from numbness. Even when I wore splints meant to prevent it. I was using ibruprophen like candy. It took a week for it to get mildly better. Last week I spent four days being a taxi driver for my youngest son. I also had the birthday party of good touring pal Jon to attend. So Friday was my only open day and I did ride.

I also have finally repaired my Carradice rain cape. I got a tool wrap from Rivendell and cut two sections from one. I then used iron on patch adhesive to bond them to the cape where the wrist loops attach. I had already tore one. I then used strong cotton thread to sew the around the parameter of the patch. This took four nights. I then used Carradice wax to seal the blazes out of the repair. It shall be interesting to see how it holds up.

Friday my hands seemed okay. Not great, but I'm trying to ice them and stuff to improve them. I'm hoping to ride all I can this week other things considered.

Saw this morning that the latest Tom Cruise movie didn't hold up to expectations monitarily. I'm very cool with that. Geeze the man is a whack job and a half. Chicks half his age that can't make any noise while delivering a child? Look I'm a guy and can't possibly know what it feels like, but I've been there for three births and I think a woman should get to say anything she likes including, "This is all your fault Mother F**ker." For the record, my ex delivered children like a champ. She worked hard at being healthy, preparing herself mentally and physically and went through labor like it was something done by millions of other women across the world. Yes, its special to those intimately involved, but it is also routine too. Yet, silent, she was not. She didn't screech like a monkey, but she made noise like any normal humans working at something hard.

Hey, would you look at that. The MN Twins actually beat the Tigers twice. The Tigers are a pretty good team and Twins don't seem to be. Their pitching and hitting seems to be something absent without leave. I'm surprised they won those two games. I'd like them to be more contenders. Only time will tell, but I don't see it as a World Series type of year.

What I Think Of Our President

This is what I think of our President and his administration. Posted by Picasa