Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heaven in a Skillet

In an effort to diversify my blog and add variety, I submit this photo of morels I found yesterday in the woods. These are black morels (the smallest) and greys (the larger ones in the skillet). The biggest and best morels, the yellow sponges have not yet emerged. I'll be searching for more on Sunday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Go Spring!

I'm loving the great weather we've had the last few days. It's been 80 degrees each day since Friday. Only down side are the howling winds. They are only a minor inconvenience since they are so warm.
I'm finally getting used to my new clipless shoes and pedals. Haven't fallen yet at a stoplight, but came close. It's still going to take a little time to figure out exactly when I need to pop them off - if I pop them out too soon, I slow down and have to scoot myself up toward the light, my push foot slipping on the asphalt. If I wait too long, I run the risk of tipping over. They do seem to help me pedal more efficiently though.

I'm still planning to stick with my mountain bike shoes for commuting.

Alex and I took the dog to nearby Chain 'O Lakes State Park to enjoy the 80 degree weather and the plethora of wildflowers blooming everywhere. There is so much going on that it is difficult to take it all in.

Here's a view of Rivir Lake:

Yellow violets:


Dog-tooth Violet:


Squirrel corn:

Even fiddle heads! Didn't eat these however. Looked for morels (I've heard the blacks are up) but didn't find any.

Here's me with the beast. This is his natural habitat (I'm talking about the dog).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Uncanny Timing

The bike shop where I buy my bike parts also sells discs for disc golf. The shop has been a huge supporter of our disc golf club in Fort Wayne. For our summer league they donate a $10 gift certificate for a closest to the pin throw-off before the Wednesday night round begins. Tonight I aced the hole in front of 30 of my peers. What a great feeling! It was even better because the bike shop gives an extra $10 certificate if somebody aces (gets a hole-in-one) the throw off hole.

Well, I ordered a Shimano XT 770 rear hub for my new Velocity rim. What luck!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Remember to Count

After A week and a half, my Velocity Dyad rim came in. This baby looks like it's built tough and I'm hoping to get many, many miles on it. It is a double wall rim. I can't tell, but the metal looks thicker than on my Alexrims Ace 19.

I've read somewhere that the Dyad is a good rim for loaded touring. It ought to be good for commuting also. The cool thing is the profile is almost exactly the same as my old rim, so I can use my original spokes. I dismantled the old rim and shine up the hub. I discovered one major problem, though.

This hub only has 32 holes! I just assumed that the rear rim had 36 holes and I didn't count. What a dingo. Well, I'm in the market for a new hub. Maybe I'll lace this hub up to another rim and use it for narrower tires for quicker rides, centuries, etc.

In other news, I bought a pair of Shimano R075 road shoes. Last year I bought a pair of Nashbar SPD-SL pedals. The cleats of course didn't fit the mountain shoes. Hooked up the pedals to my Trek and took a spin tonight. I'll need to adjust the cleats on the shoes, but I like them. I've never used clipless pedals before. One thing I didn't expect was how much float (how much I can twist my foot) these pedals allow. I can move my feet almost as much as in my mountain shoes in the toe clip pedals. The new shoes have a hole in the sole at the front of each shoe and a mesh toe box which lets my sweaty feet breath. Tonight it let the cold air and rain in and froze my feet. Minor problem as the cold weather won't be around much longer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Melting Iceberg

When I started this blog, I purposely tried to remain non-political because few discussion items cause as much heartburn between otherwise good friends and acquaintances as politics. But I have to say that the greatest issue our descendants will eventually face is the impact of global warming. If not directly, then indirectly as rising sea level floods our friends in other low-lying countries.

I am very satisfied after watching a program on PBS this afternoon featuring Carol Browner, President Obama's adviser on Energy and Climate Change. On that program was this video. How great is America that 4 students from another country can produce such a video and appear on a talk show with one of the president's advisers?

What is especially remarkable is we went 8 years with no serious or substantial discussion from presidential advisers about climate change. We have experienced a fantastic change. It is important to respect our conservative friends' point of view. But it is vitally important we get to the business of addressing climate change.

Keep on biking!

Spring time!

Still waiting for my rim to come in to the bike shop for my Tri Cross. Meanwhile, I have been getting a few miles in on the Trek. The last three days were spectacular - pure blue skies with temps at 70 degrees and no wind. I was only able to ride one of those days, but it was great!

This morning's ride was very balmy - 55 deg - nice for the morning in April. Our weeping willow has decided to start leafing, as well as the flowering crabs. This picture doesn't show them very well, but look at the green! Unfortunately the grass is ready to mow. The family doesn't like my idea of fencing in our property and getting a dozen goats.

The dandelions have decided to start blooming also. These are a bane to our neighbors moving out from the city, but I think they add color to the yard. My mom still collects the leaves to eat for greens. Once the blossoms open, the leaves become particularly bitter.

I've been thinking quite a bit about biking for this year. I'm trying to get in enough riding so I can do a number of centuries. The first one is the TOSRV, which is a two-day, 200 mile ride (100 mi each day). I registered over a month ago when I was riding between 100 - 150 miles per week. Due to work and family stuff, I've been able to average only 75 miles per week for the past 2 weeks. Well, at least I've got three weeks left. This coming week looks good for biking.

Chubby Super Biker and Phil have it right, I just need to get out and ride more, even when it's windy or rainy. I do draw the line at tornados though.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rim Trouble

My rim started wobbling pretty badly all of a sudden last week. I left it in the garage, bummed out from the wobble and the weather (snow, rain, cold, high winds). I tried to true the rim last night, and this spoke popped out when I was squeezing the spokes to see which ones were loose. I think the rim was cracked because I didn't have to squeeze very hard and it popped out. Good thing this didn't happen on the road. I ordered a Velocity Dyad rim today. I'm tired of screwing around with rims. Someday I'll order a 40-spoke rim from Peter White Cycles (link is on my blog link list). He offers a lifetime guarantee on rims he recommends for my style of riding and if he builds them.

I rode this baby today for 3 hours. I forgot what a great bike this is. It wouldn't work for touring, but I'm thinking about using it for my commute this week. I'll need to transfer my lights, and I won't be able to carry much. But I bet I'll get to work quicker!

This was my triathlon bike back in the mid-80's. Notice the subdued grey - not the bright red and yellow or bright pink and yellow crap popular back then.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trip to Indy and Molly the Raleigh

This is the Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis - scene of the epic high school basketball battle featured in the movie "Hoosiers". This is a newer court floor and goals than in the movie. By the way, the Butler Bulldogs made it to the second round of the NCAA basketball tourney this year.

We visited several colleges this week for our daughter. Like a big dummy, I forgot my camera on all visits except this one to Butler. We stopped at Indiana University, home of the fixed gear classic "Little 500". The movie "Breaking Away" made in the 70's features the race and a group of "cutters". A great movie about bikes and coming of age. We saw many, many fixed gear bikes that I oogled over. We are planning another visit later this spring or early summer - will definately take my camera then.

This is the central canal in Indianapolis, on the edge of the Butler campus. For much of the way there is a trail at least on one side of the canal. This trail proceeds about two miles northeast from here and connects to the Monon Trail in Indy - a rail to trail project the city completed several years ago.

Being a canal freak, I had to take a picture of this canal. This canal was originally planned to go from Indianapolis all the way to Logansport - about 90 miles away. It only went 8 miles because the state of Indiana went bankrupt in the 1850's due to the cost to build and maintain the Wabash and Erie Canal.

Here's a photo of the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple - a village within Indianapolis. A cool place to stop and eat and get a brew (beer) or a brew (coffee).

Brief update on Molly the Raleigh - I got these bolts out but not after buggering one up pretty badly. With the rust on the crank arms, I may look for an inexpensive aluminum crank. If you are in a position where you need to get these bolts out of a crank - check out this blog for detailed instructructions: Scroll down to the typed instructions (no pictures for this style crank). Gerry's got a lot a great bike repair information.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hybrid Mixte

I am not sure that my wife's old Raleigh Record can be called a true mixte, because it doesn't have a double top tube. So sorry, if I got anyone excited about this. A little bit of digging (thanks once again to Sheldon Brown, rip). is a pretty cool collection of old Raleigh bikes. Will put in some photos and other info when I get more time.