Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday morning had a good weekend glow

I had a pretty eventful weekend by my standards.

Friday was code complete date for a big project I have been working on. I worked diligently all day. Just as I think I am about to finish, I find a big problem I have to fix. Of course it is 5 pm and I am little bummed I will have to work late. I look up though and notice it is pouring outside. Since I ride my bike to work, I instantly get a lot less worried about staying late. An hour later I have my problem fixed. I look up again and yay it has stopped raining.

I hop on my bike, and I hear thunder. I think about it for a second and decide I would rather get hit by lightning than stay at work any longer. I get about 5 minutes into my ride and the lightning starts. Big suckers booming on all sides. Then the rain starts. I decide I am now in the Tour de France, and I must crush Jan Ullrich in this final rain soaked time trial.

I bury myself. Cutting cars off. Sliding through turns. Bunny hopping fallen branches on my road bike. I get home and the lightning is still crashing down on all sides. I am completely positive I said a new record for my fastest commute ever. My lips were numb I was pushing so hard. :)

Saturday I wake up early. I bought a rohloff for my singlespeed, and I am eager to install it. I start reading the manual. I know this is against the man law, but I am really bad mechanic. I need all the help I can get.

I pretty quickly figure out I got the wrong hub. So I feel kinda bad. I keep reading the manual. Wow this thing is so modular. I can order a new axle plate and solve my problem. I feel much better. I look online for the part, and it is only $30 bucks. Compared to some of my previous screw ups that is a pretty cheap fix. I feel even better.

I click on the link to order the part, and I am told the part is sold out and won't get restocked for over a month. I feel bad again. I scour the internet (one of my better skills) and find out it is sold out everywhere. I start sending random emails to different people who I think might be able to help me. Luckily Neil at cyclemonkey (inventor of the really cool monkey bone) replies back and says he has a used axle plate he can ship to me for cheap. Score!

I am super happy again. I finish reading the manual and learn about all the cool things engineered into my hub. Break a shifter cable. No problem just remove the external gear box and shift into whatever gear you want with 8 mm wrench. This thing rocks.

Sunday I wake up early again. I head over to blankets and ride a couple loops (Dwelling + South) on my still single but soon to be 14 speed. I haven't ridden south loop in a while. It is much more eroded than I remember. All the new rocks are challenging and makes the trail more fun. After I finish, I pack my bike up and head over to my nephew's house. I grab a quart of chocolate milk on the way for recovery purposes.

Bubba and I head back over to Blankets Creek. We rode a bunch of loops around Mosquito Flats. We also explored a little on a couple of side trails. Rode some in the skills area too. Then we played around taking pictures.

It was great ride.

Then I hurried home. Jumped in the shower and drove ITP. Amy and I met my little sister and her husband at Alfredo's. We had a great time talking and catching up. I didn't like my lasagna too much. The tomato sauce was very bland. It tasted like Chef Boyardee's pizza sauce. Nothing was cooked together. It was almost like the ingredients were cooked separately then layered together after the fact. Mary Glenn picked up the check as a belated birthday present so I guess it wasn't bad for free. :)

This morning I woke up thirty minutes before my alarm went off. I hopped on my bike and took the long way to work. I must be in my manic phase, but it feels good for now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Missed encounter

I was supposed to go ride with a friend and his two year old at Yellow River Sunday. I had feeling he might not show so I headed out there by myself around lunch. I took my phone with me while I did some laps in case he called. Around 4 pm or so I decided he wasn't going to call and headed home.

I am glad I went though. It would have been depressing sitting around the house all day and not doing anything.

My last post on Yellow River was pretty negative. I was a little PO-ed that the trails were changed. The original trails were the first trail I had ever ridden and maybe I am a little too sentimental.

The trails are in better shape than the last time I rode. There are still a million rogue trails on the creek side. Someone has taken the time though to spray white X's or white NOT signs on all the illegal trails. In addition the legal trails are marked with a blue blaze. Using this system I was finally able to figure out where you are supposed to ride. I rode every trail in every configuration until I got it in my head how the trails are laid out.

The river side is also looking better. The 10 foot wide logging roads are getting taken over by nature. You can still see where they were bulldozed but the actual riding surface is getting reduced back to a thin ribbon. The river side has very little rogue trails and the legal trails got the same blue blaze treatment as the creek side. There are still a ton of intersections with confusing signs but the blazes make things pretty simple to figure out which way to go. After an hour or so I rode everything twice on the river side and I think I know which trails go where.

All in all it was good day. A little lonely without my friend's company but better than sitting on the couch. My legs had a nice hurt this morning when I tried to climb up my driveway on my morning commute. That put a nice smile on my face.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Camping Trip

We went camping at Ft Yargo this weekend. We got a walk in site at campground #2. Our campsite was on a tiny peninsula with the lake on both sides. There was plenty of trees for shade but no so many that you couldn't see the lake. The site had a tent pad, fire ring/grill, and picnic table. There was a drinking water spigot about 20 feet away. The shower/bathroom area was only about 50 yards away, and they were nice and clean.

We weren't exactly roughing it, but it was my niece's and nephews' first camping trip. We figured we would go somewhere kid friendly and fun so they could enjoy themselves. I voted for Yargo since I could ride my bike there.

Camground #2 is right on the beginner loop hiking/biking trail. I ended up riding on some of the beginner trail on my way over to the outer loop. It seemed pretty flat and smooth. I think it would be good place to ride with my nephew. My nephew came on the trip, but unfortunately he wasn't able to bring his bike. There was a limited amount of space in the car he rode in.

Friday night Amy and I went to Smoking PO Boys BBQ on W Athens St. We both got the pork plate. The pork had a good flavor, but it seemed a little dry. I liked my Brunswick stew. It had a weird vinegar flavor that was different but good. Amy liked her potato salad. I am a bad judge. We have our own family recipe that is different from anything I have ever tasted at a restaurant. If it isn't made like my family makes it, I really don't like it. Amy didn't like her baked beans. It had a weird cinnamon and garlic flavor. I kinda liked it myself.

Saturday night I grilled hamburger and hot dogs. I think I did okay. I probably could have left the burgers on a little longer and got some better grill marks. I hate over cooked meat so I was a little too careful. The hot dogs were excellent though.

Bubba had a little accident after we ate. He tripped and fell and burned his hands on the grill. I went to the CVS and got him some burn medication, but he was really hurting. I felt bad for the little guy. I hope it didn't sour him on the idea of camping forever.

Other than the accident, I had a great time. I am very lucky that my sister and brother in law invited me on their trip. It was nice spending time with my family. I really enjoyed waking up in the morning in my tent.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Still no pics

Every monday, I come in and consider posting here. I usually decide not to because I always forget to bring my camera on my rides. This weekend I once again did not bring my camera, but I am going to post anyway.

Friday I went and saw the movie Wired to Win. I really like seeing the IMAX shots of the Tour de France. I thought the science bits they tried to put in the movie were kind of cheesy. They tried to do some character development by focusing in on two main riders, but they didn't do that so well either. I am glad I went though. Just seeing the scenery was amazing.

Saturday I took my nephew for a bike ride at Blankets Creek. This was his first time riding there. He did an amazing job. He rode all of Mosquito Flats like 5-6 times.

We did have one scary moment where he flew down a hill and accidentally jumped a log. He got about a foot of air and landed it. Scared me to death. Some other riders watched him do it and couldn't believe what they saw. I don't know how he didn't crash. It was very impressive.

After riding for a while we took a break and hiked part of the Dwelling Loop. I tried to show him some of the trail to see if he would be interested in riding it some day. We finished up by doing three loops around Schultz Shute. We climbed up Shultz's and rode down the fast road at the end of Dwelling.

When we got home I found out Bubba had ridden the whole day with no rear brake. I will make sure to check that for him from now on.

Sunday I rode at Big Creek for the first time in a long time. It wasn't very fun. I have ridden there so much. I am just tired of it. I also think I don't enjoy riding by myself as much anymore. I did play around on a new skinny they built. I couldn't ride it for the life of me, but I had fun trying.

Saturday is my birthday. Not sure if I will get to go riding or not. I think Bubba is going camping with my sister so I will miss my new favorite riding partner.