Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Ride

Took the new XXIX SS to Beechwood last night. Two words: I suck. I have much to learn and rethink. The bike is great and with a few changes, it may become one of my all time favorites. It tracks were I point it, which, by the way, may not always be a good things. It's not as rough as I thought it would be for a fully rigid and I know that it will make me better over time. I was talking about changing a few things on it and making it lighter because it is very close to tank weight. The owner of the Bartoszuk Traveling Burrito Bistro looked at me and said, "Gosh, Steve, I wonder were you could shave some pounds." It wasn't too long after that he was serving me a wonderfully tasty chicken burrito. Hmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Yeah

Rocked the Salsa last night. One moderately hard lap on my own and then out for more of Beechwood "torture" and it was the best night I've had out there in ages. I heard some of the fast guys coming up so I let them pass before some ST and jumped behind to try to hold on to MCs rear wheel. His property, he knows the trails. That speed put a whole new perspective on things. Could I hold with him? Never. But I found the great lines in that section and I think the smile was past my ears huffing and puffing up the next hill to greet the group that had taken a quick break. Did some more ST and hillwork and headed in. Legs spent from the speed that I made myself carry. Lungs burning from the climbs. Really made me get some desire back.

Sam and Julie are at the farmer's market as I type. I'm jealous. I'd much rather be picking out good, fresh, locally grown produce than slaving in the corporate sweatshop. May be due for some off time again. Had saved a few days for CBs visit, but as we're all feeling the crunch, it's not going to happen this year. I'm going to be feeling the need for some steps come Spring.

Julie has really been stepping up on the natural front. Hard surface floors get steam cleaned, no chemicals. She's even started making some cleaning products. I'm trying to get my diet closer to what Sam is living on. My habits die hard. I'm working on it. If I could eliminate the stress, my stress eating would disappear. Fat chance. (Pun intended)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wonder What the Rattle Is

The Toy has been rattling for the past few days. Bump, rattle, bump, rattle. Really getting irritating. I realize that at 224k on the odometer and 20 years old, there's bound to be some rattles. Crawled underneath to start looking. There are supposed to be 8 nuts holding the axle to the rear leaf springs. Turns out that if one is missing and 3 of the remaining 7 are only finger tight, the rear end of the vehicle will rattle over every bump. After a couple of stores, $1.69 and some wrenching, it's good to go again.

Finished cutting up the tree I took down a bit ago. Now as I look around, I see a few more that should be down. One to make room for a shed and two that are just too close to the house. One at a time and eventually the yard will shape up to what we want. We're still in the process of removing a lot of the things that previous owners had. Everything that they had grew very fast and was very high maintenance. But, they were both retired, they had much more time than we do. I do feel sad cutting down some of the trees, but they had been planted so close to each other that large parts of them are dead. I'm hoping that by removing the dying ones, the others will have a better chance to flourish. We'll see.

One quick errands ride today and that was the only saddle time this weekend. But twenty miles worth of errands on the bike saves a gallon of gas and makes me feel better. Trying to work more of those types of errands in. I've been able to find short cuts and trails that pop me out in the middle of the shops that we frequent. I should have looked for those a long time ago. It's nice to know that we will be able to find easy and mostly safe ways to do our running around.

Hopefully my latest purchase will arrive this week. Won't be in time for Beechwood Tuesday night, but should be here by the weekend.

We're going to try to get out to see Ben during Superweek. He's playing with the big boys in the Pro/1/2 this year. Good luck to him.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Found a budget buy. Couldn't pass it up. Made a purchase. I think I have a disease.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


When out today to do the Town and Country ride that I mapped out (see earlier post if you're really interested in the route.) I was moving a bit slow this morning because, well, I'm on vacation. So I got out a bit later than I had wanted for my quickie. I thought that I would beat the storms. I didn't. I'm going to blame Ron and Andy. They could have kept them in the Madison area a bit longer rather than sending them due east to me. My 25 mile plan turned into 10 miles of nice cruising to 10 miles of time trial like riding. It poured. It was raining sideways. It was large, somewhat painful drops. There was close lightening... not as close as the time in the saddleback of Mt. Humphrey, but close. There was loud thunder. I actually chose to ride the sidewalk part way back out of fear that the vision impaired vehicle drivers wouldn't see me. At least it was warm. Got into the garage, soaked, but not chilled and feeling great. It was a good ride. I took off most of my wet kit and headed into the house. Julie called me some word that starts with a "D" but it didn't matter because I was grinning ear to ear. I'll probably never tell her how bad it was at Nine Mile a couple years back. I hopped into the shower and then I started to feel the 10 miles of maximum effort on top of the hill work from Beechwood last night. So far, great time off from work.

The Reba

The Reba has been installed and had it's maiden voyage at Beechwood last night. There are so many freakin' possible adjustments on that thing. I got used to get the psi where you like it and it was either locked out or ready to absorb. Got some pointers from Mr. Merklein as he's running the race version of it. That helped. I'm sure it's going to take some more dialing in. It almost seems too plush. I didn't have any big hits on it so I'm not sure if how easily it will bottom out. It did seem to soak up everything much better that the '03 'zocchi that I had on previously. Tracking? I don't know. I was all over the ST last night and I can't blame the fork for that. I just wasn't flowing at all. After numerous near misses - and by near miss I mean they were hits - I decided to just go and work on my biggest weakness... climbing. I went to the hayfield and did grassy climbs until my legs would barely turn the pedals. Then I did one more for good measure, took the downhill to Jay's driveway and headed to the pavement for an easy spin back to the parade grounds. I could tell I was tired as the knobbies were given the telltale woom woom sign of pedal pushing rather than pedal spinning. Concentrated on that the for the mile or so back, parked, pulled off the helmet, drained the rest of my water bottle and popped open a tasty bottle of Stone Soup followed by a tasty Harp, followed by a spotted cow accompanied by a yummy chicken brat masterfully cooked by Chef Josh. Talked to part of our very large group there last night and headed home at about 10.

Woke up today after 7. Stretched out a bit. Legs hurt. Will probably pay for that later today on my ride. Time for some yardwork and then errands as soon as the little man wakes up and eats.