Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cold weather commuting...

Commuting a 2 weeks ago was really a good wake up call to cold riding, and it seems to be headed that way again this week with some early snow flurries and sleet. I'll be looking forward to some more of these cold rides soon.

Numbers don't lie and the numbers on my new 1 $ Kroger temp probe say it's cold outside.

I asked Boogy if he wanted to go outside like he often does in the mornings. When it's this cold I usually get some lethargic response and a groan like this.

So it's just me, cold, dark, and my poor attempts at a no shave November.

At least my water never gets too warm now. When it starts to freeze I usually throw it in my back jersey pocket a bit for a quick thaw.

AND...In response to Zac's open letter to warm weather I give you:

An open letter to cold weather:

Dear cold weather,

Thank you so much for finally coming. We've been waiting for you for a while and frankly it's about damn time you showed up. We had been sweating our balls off till now. I too have a lot of work and things going on with schoool/research, and I just wanted to thank you for giving me incentive to resist the urge to go outside and play my life away. It's time to buckle down and work and you know it.

To be honest, I can't count the ways I love you. No really, I can't feel my fingers so there would be no way to feel how high I was counting. But I will say I love how you bring out that alive feeling in my extremities. My fingers and toes sometimes ache and you politely slap them in the face and silence their pains, which ironically only return when entering into man made warm environments, where they are allowed to complain freely. I love the feeling of icycles over my face as the morning wind rushes by, the deafening silence you invoke on small animals along the greenways, and the confused grimaces of people that look onto me through their warm and empty cow eyes at the stop lights.

While we all complain a bit when you show up, we mean nothing by it. After surviving exposure to your wrath and telling the tale, men feel like lumberjacks and ladies like...lumberjacks after a successful day providing for their larger than life American families. No one wants to be a weatherman. Greenway riding is elevated to the next level of difficulty with randomly placed patches of ice and frozen debris. This keeps me from dozing off should I get too comfortable riding in. I know you do this because you care about me, and if I do fall I can always just lay there and take comfort in the instant ice pack that is the ground.

So kick back your feet, and put on your coat. I'll put a nice ice cream sundae out for you. And tell that "tan in a can" brethren of yours, warm weather, to just stay south. I have no need for aussie ladies and they onyl stir up trouble. I just want some snow to build myself a snow fort capable of withstanding atomic fireballs, gale force winds, and a collapsing economy.



Monday, November 10, 2008


Been busy with school, and life in general so here's some quick updates...

Cross Season Update:

Went to Fayetteville for the Beat the Freak CX series. I ended up winning the CX Pro1/2 and the SS races both days. The fields were a bit thinned for the USGP CX race in Kentucky, but I had a great time and the race director, Kevin Freeman is the nicest down to earth man on the planet. If anyone is going to save the future of cycling by planting the seed of the pure joys of riding in our youth, it is this man. He has single handed converted many children in the town to commuters/ bike riders, opening a shop on his own time and money to help them out, in a garage in his backyard.(more pics to come later) With people like this cycling has a future in everyone's lives. The weekend was spent traveling with my mom, who kept me awake with hours of good conversation. The town was hosting a Jack Daniel's cookoff so we had to stay out of town in a hotel that was about 20 minutes away. We were accompanied on one side bya truck stop and chicken place with a 12 foot tall paper mache chicken, and on the other side was the "Boobie Bungaloo" which needs no further explaining. Apparently this area was a hotbed of activity when Alabama banned strip clubs in the county directly to the south.

I confirmed relative field strengths the following weekend at the "Spooky Cross" race where I was severely whooped by class A CX racers. Although I was thoroughly spanked I had an "udderly" fun day at the races, courtesy of my mom's creativity and sewing prowess.

Knoxville Family stuff:

This past weekend went for a greenway ride with the wife and met her dad for a nice ride into downtown, where we ate at Tomato Head courtesy of Smart Trips. We followed our meal with a healthy dose of pre Christmas shopping with a gift certificate I had received at the Rescue Squad a short time ago.

It was a little chilly and Abby's dad was chastised for showing with a miller high life hat instead of a helmet. He actually forgot it this time, but we decided no excuses for next time as he tried twice to take a short cut off the greenway into the creek and woods.

We didn't quite make it back to the house before dark but the green way is now finished to the theater at Cedar Bluff and well lit, so we managed.


Did some trail work at Hastie park on a new trail that's going in. We laid out the main trail system and cleared a path, for future work which will probably require a good amount of benching, but this trail promises to be pretty sweet.

The canopy made my point and shoot camera have a fit with motion but I figured these were good enough to convey a funny little thing that happened while clearing.

Lots of chopping of lower canopy greens got us tired. Luckily there were upper canopy vines across the trail in places to cut and pull down to give us a little variety. Most were small, but some were really big...

Grape vines can be strong. Cliff and I decided this one might come down with a little persuasion. What we failed to grasp was exactly how extensive this vine was above us.

Down came the men cradle and all...The vine hurt a bit but after we realized no one had been seriously maimed we enjoyed a few laughs.

It was after this work I realized who we were missing from our work crew to help us "get it done."

On the Home front:

The neighbor's cats got under our house and ripped out some insulation and I spent Sunday morning this past weekend putting up new insulation and patching a few areas that had yet to be covered. I also installed a lamp upstairs for Abby to replace the hanging wires and light bulb that had been there for over a year. So now we are somewhat aesthetically pleasing in the upstairs portion of the house. The ceiling base unit was a pain to install, but the wiring and everything else was a snap.

Ok that's it more coming soon...