Saturday, May 26, 2018

Wearing Yellow and Memorializing it!

May 27, 2018
Hello again!  So good to be here!  I hope your Memorial Day weekend/summer-related event has been as superb as you hoped!
Well, I have had the pleasure of participating in the 2018 Wear Yellow Ride event and here are a few highlights:
  • I signed up for the 57 mile gravel option because my friend Rich thought it sounded good (or something)
  • It was kind of wet and the dirt mixed with the gravel to form an extremely fast-setting concrete as evidenced by this image from my friend Rich who subsequently switched to pavement

  • I also switched to pavement because I figured it would be a bit easier and just as enjoyable
  • I won gift certificates and popcorn and candy from Family Video!
  • I didn’t take many photos this time, but I was enamored with the striking blue color of some of the roadside grasses that was accentuated by moisture from the same light rain that had affected the dirt and gravel. 

  • There were a few wineries, and a few that weren't.  I wouldn't have minded a stop, but I would have missed all the after-ride festivities!

  • It was great!  My cousin informed me that his taint was sore for a couple days.  I informed him that one can build a tolerance towards taint pain by more bicycle riding (or lessen its effects by using Chamois Butt’r, or the perfect saddle). 

As you may have noticed, the weather has become summery.  If you are concerned about such things, here are a few outfits you might try to look good whilst bicycling around town for whatever purposes you have in mind.  Nothing wrong withshorts jorts and a t-shirt, though, right!?  

Here is a summary of a few summery bicycle rides that are coming up in the area in the relatively near future:
  • The appropriately entitled Omaha Bike Ride, which begins and ends at the delicious Taste of Omaha event is on June 3
  • Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska (June 3-9) which starts in Ogallala, home of the (allegedly) delicious Open Range Grill
  • Tour de Nebraska (June 20-24) which begins in Plainview, home of the purportedly delicious Mary's Restaurant and the Post Cafe (avec accente sil vous plais)
  • Pint-a-gon rides every month or so
  • Psycowpath mountainous bicycling races (still a few left)
  • and of course there are always Taco Rides to enjoy on Thursdays

As you might have noticed by my rather superficial treatment of my bicycling experiences lately, I have been preoccupied.  I am focused primarily on our upcoming family vacation.   One fun event that I am looking forward to is learning some mountaineering skills on a glaciated volcano!  Although bicycling and walking uphill in funny footwear with backpacks on do not seem to be similar activities, they do have a few things in common (I think, having never done any mountaineering):
  • It is good to downshift from time to time 
  • Finding a comfortable position (or at least not horribly uncomfortable one) is key to a good and fulfilling experience.

I will let you know how that goes. 
In the meantime, please send me any lists you care to compile and I will do the same.  I am currently listing hard to port due to my celebratory awareness of the Memorial Day weekend!  
Blessings to you and your ancestral fighters!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

If the shoe fits, ware!

April 15, 2018
Greetings to you!  The last time I recall interacting it seems we were both a little worse for the ware.  The ware-creatures, known as lycons, that is.
These ancient creatures have been roaming around, out and about, etc.  Along with many other 2-4-legged mammals.   Here are some humanoids enjoying the outdoors.  

I bring up the ware-creatures because it was near the time of the full, geese-coming-home moon that we last held council. 
Many bicycle-related events have transpired since then.  Here is a summary of the items that I’ve experienced:
  1. I bought some new bicycling shoes
  2. I got two flat tyres
  3. I adjusted the cleats on my new bike shoes
  4. I started wearing bicycling shorts because of recent upsurges in temperature
  5. Wear Yellow Ride bike back to its original condition and is for sale

Here are the bicycling shoes I purchased:

Here are my previous bicycling shoes:

Let me say a few things about bicycling shoes equipped with the Crank Brothers Egg-Beater style cleats: 

  • I sometimes got hot foot with them on longer rides (20+ miles)
  • Then I bought some carbon-soled shoes and it seemed to help with the hot foot.  These shoes are now mostly worn out (although still usable for the occasional longer ride).  

My Lake shoes came with an exhaustive list of things that could go wrong with the shoes, most of which can be fixed with “silicone-based adhesive.”  

So I applied liberally and haven’t used them since.

When I went in to The Bike Rack to purchase my new shoes, I was assisted by an enthusiastic young store associate whom I shall call Jack.  Jack got me a few different pairs of shoes and was quite attentive.  I stated that my shoe size was 42.5.  He responded that “I think cycling shoes just come in whole number sizes.”  Well Jack, my dear boy, let me introduce you to Lake bicycling shoes. 

They are great, especially if you have a proclivity to liberally applying silicone-based adhesive like me! 

My new shoes are great too (although I had to settle for a size 43), so far, although I haven’t yet tested them on any longer rides (32+ km).  And they have Vibram soles.  I like Vibram soles on my hiking boots because they provide excellent traction, are quite durable, and wear slowly.  But I’m not sure how necessary they are on bike shoes.  I don’t intend to walk much in them, but I guess it means I could easily stop and go for a comfortable hike if I get tired of all the bicycling hither and yon (yawn). 

I also got 2 flat tyres.  The reason for the first flat was not readily apparent to me.  Here are a couple of three photos that may (or may not) provide a clue:

The third photo was taken underwater and is supplied only for your confusion/consideration.

As it turns out, my tyre tube was having it's "throat" slit near the base of the valve.  I think that might have been due to the rim tape slipping due to an under-inflated tyre.  The first time I mostly blamed the tube and just quickly replaced it without examining the area around the rim hole  (optional rim shot).  The 2nd time it happened, I figured that there was some contact between the rim and the base of the valve and quickly consulted the inter computer-based web.  Lacking at that time a de-burring device or a new roll of rim tape, I settled upon creating a gorget for the base of the valve, which I did with much hope and gusto.

Thus far I have not suffered another deflating episode.

So, for a variety of situations, I entreat you to protect your base!

As previously mentioned, my new shoes fit well.  However, I was experiencing some slight knee discomfort and I just felt that my foot wasn't quite contacting the pedal in the sweet spot.  So I took a gander and here is what I noticed:
I like my cleats in the way back (machine) position in order to minimize the afore(foot)mentioned "hot foot."  Also, as you may be able to discern, I had not placed the cleats evenly on the sole. The right shoe's cleat was too far towards the outside of the foot.  So I adjusted them thusly,
and now things are great!

So that's what's been going on with me lately.  In closing, here is a photo I took on the first day of spring.

It looks a lot like that right now.  Grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch, whinge!
Your whiny,

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

13 moons of taking credit

March 20, 2018
Dearest Reader,
How many moons has it been since we last met?  Hmmm.  I think you’re right!  About one or so.  I have recently become more interested in moons because Snot Jr. has a book entitled Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back.  I also recently witnessed a supermoon.  
Morning Supermoon When Geese Come Home
Evening Supermoon When Geese Come Home
I believe we have recently experienced what the Umoho tribe refer to as the Moon When Geese Come Home, and now the Little Frog Moon is waxing (on).  Each moon (cycle) is typically considered to begin as the moon begins to wax after the time of the new moon. 
It is also a time of year that is commonly known as spring.  Here is a symbol of spring.  The tyre. 

And the robin.  

Forever may they safely dance together as in days of yore.  It is also the time of conceiving.  And the time of the snipping of the vas deferens.  That is right, Mrs. Snot and I have almost agreed that we don’t need to be chasing any more rugrats around for many more moons than we already have  to come.  Also, I figured it would give me some I don't need anymore time to relax, spend some quality time with my balls (and ice and liquor), and catch up on some tv.  Here are some shows/movies I’ve recently thought maybe I'd I'm glad I don't have to watch while recovering from my puncture wounds:  
  • Portlandia (because it has bikes in it and might be funny, although I've not heard anyone tell me it was funny yet)
  • The Expanse (because it has space and, possibly, space bikes)
  • Archer (because it is definitely funny, and I bet either Cyril or Kreiger will ride a bicycle at some point [although neither of them have yet and I'm already on Season 3])  
Recently I have been trying to contribute towards the wellness of the clan by performing one civic duty per moon, although so far it’s more like one per season.  In order to receive credit for my recent contribution I used a method known as photo documentation.  Here is what occurred: 

As you may have surmised, I gathered up some chunks of asphalt that were at the place where the multi-use trail meets a road at the bottom of the hill by Kitty-Cat Holler.  I then transported them to the place where the multi-use trail meets the railroad track and pitched them into the scree at the base of the place where the level crossing meets the grass. 

For my next act of civic duty, I intend to be voluntarily sterilized conceive many more civic-minded babies.  Although both of these acts are primarily selfless, they are secondarily self-serving.  For act 1, the chunks were in an area where I am typically reaching maximum speed on the Ol’ B (maybe about 30 mph, I’m guessing?).  Therefore, a direct hit with an asphalt chunk may have resulted in a dreaded endo onto pavement (aka endo-CRACK!).  Now with the chunks out of the way, it seems less treacherous, although there is still a mid-sized pothole that is less visible without the chunks to mark its periphery.  As for act 2, there are never enough is enough already!  Seriously, though, the kids are great. It is a biological imperative to produce as many offspring as possible in order to win the genetic battle royale.  It’s a battle of the head and the heart, as promulgated by the recently banjo-deprived Mumford and Sons just as Robert Smith always said.  Never Enough.  

My heart told my head let love grow (by uniting with a female human’s egg and developing into a human child).  But my head told my heart, this time no, this time no (the human population is quite robust as it is, my contributions may be more valuable in other areas) okay, let's go, yes let's go.

So there you have my cockamamie notions and admirable acts of mostly selflessness.  I’ll keep you informed of my efforts to spread peace and somewhat selfless acts of penance/gratitude.  Thank you for your contributions and credit.

Restfully yours,

Monday, February 19, 2018

Brown Dog on Ice

February 19, 2018
Greeting from the recently enacted New Year of the Brown Earth Dog!   I hope it’s all you were hoping for.  I am sure you have a lot to be proud of.  Please inform me of the specifics as you like.  I, too, have been blessed with many goodies.  For example, I have recently been enjoying some banana bread that was provided to me by Snot Jr.’s Godmother for a Valentine’s Day gift!  

Yes, it is delicious.  No, I haven't shared.  Happy Valentine's Day.  Also my friend Tyler and I are planning on climbing on a mountain later this Dog Year.  It is sure to challenge my moderate fitness.  I have already been training for the far-off excursion by running for 0.8 miles and doing some push-ups, crunch-type exercises, lunges, and squats (no weight, please).   I have also been infrequently getting up and walking up and down the stairs instead of sitting around all day.

I can tell that you are curious to hear more about the Yearof the Brown Earth Dog and what it might mean to you.  Well let me check on that.  The dog is known for intelligence and protection.  There will be some activism and some big new projects.  It may be a good time to start something new. 

It was too icy for me to bicycle today, but if I lived near Lake Baikal, perhaps I would  have mustered enough gumption to head out for a spin with these smooth jazz lovers.

Wishing you icy smooth nerves of caution and the calmness of a frozen lake for the young dog year.  Time for an iced bong hit?  Ask the dog, my friends, the dog may hold the answers you seek?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Conditionally going in snow

February  6, 2018
Hello and it is great to communicate!
How have you been?  I think I see.  Please elaborate at your whim/discretion/whimsical direction.
Bicycling when it is snowy out is a great way to interact with your fellow hominids.  Although I do not specifically seek snowy bicycling, I typically enjoy it in relatively small doses.  I figure since I live in Omaha there’s not enough snow around to really develop a snowy bicycling habit.    Here are some conversations I enjoyed whilst bicycling back to my residence yesterday.

(While turning onto a snowy side street)
Shoveling Woman 1:  Bicycling?!  You’re crazy!
Me:  Huh?
SW 1:  I said you’re crazy to be bicycling!
Me:  It’s kinda fun, but a lot more work!
SW 1:  Yeah.

(While walking the Old B across the street to a sidewalk to avoid Shoveling Woman 2)
Shoveling Woman 2:  Unintelligable.
Me:  Huh?
SW 2:  That hill’s tough even on a good day!
Me:  Yeah.  A lot more work today!

I am not a great conversationalist whilst bicycling.  Nor I am a great bicyclist.  I need to concentrate on my bicycling to compensate for my lack of skill in both areas.  

Anyway, the shovelers gregariousness was appreciated and I had a fun ride home.  I do not ride in the snow often, but I gradually remembered that it the traction is often better in fresh snow than in the compacted snow out on the streets.  In order to keep my wheels in the path of least squirelliness I spent a good bit of my ride home on sidewalks.  Either that or the rare parts of the street with visible pavement.  And lots of ye olde putting of the foot down (aka dabbing).  Although a little dab will do you, a whole lot of dabbing kept me feeling comfortably upright.  In general, people had done a great job of clearing sidewalks and even some multi-use trails.  Here are some of the conditions that I witnessed/enjoyed:
Smooth rolling through some fresh powder atop sidewalk.

Beautifully cleared multi-use trail.
The roads featured some compacted snow.  Not much traction for enjoyable action

As I was bicycling in and out of gradual snow slopes on the underpass, I noticed the entrancing sound of my tyres in the snow as the pitch and volume increased and decreased with the amount of snow.  Although I did not go back to record the beautiful experience, I did make a video of a tyre and snow trio a bit later in a less dramatic setting:

In other bicycling related news, it seems that Omaha Bicycle Pedalers are again bringing a bicycling film to the Aksarben Cinema.  This time it is a bicycling classic entitled American Flyers.  It begins at 7 p.m. on February 22.  I am not sure what it is all about, but it is always nice to get out to socialize with some fellow bicyclers and enjoy feeling the camaraderie that is not often a part of a typical commute.  I will see you there!  There is also a bicycle swap meet the OBPs are sponsoring that occurs on March 11, 11-4.

Have you  been out for a drink or anything lately?  I have!  Awhile ago, back when the pavement was clear and the snow was limited to grassy and/or mulched areas, I met up with some compadres at the Thunderhead Brewing Co.'s tap room.  The beers were very good, if a bit pricey.  There is also a large stash of board games, some couches and a few different kinds of popcorn.  I had a delightful grapefruit IPA and the Cornstalker dark wheat.  

Great to catch up!  We'll have to do it again soon sometime!

Bicycler, snow thyself!