Sunday, February 20, 2011

Birthday Presents

It's been a busy week, work-wise, so I didn't get any miles on the bikes during the week. I was really bummed since we had high temps in the 40's all week, and Thursday the high was 57F. Yesterday, Saturday, was a sunny day that got up to 40F. I was able to get out and ride 58 miles on the Trek. And this afternoon, I rode an easy 10 miles.

All of our snow is gone now, but the lakes, and the reservoir here, are still frozen.

My birthday was Tuesday, and I got two Gatorskins. I had Ultra Sports on this bike, but after 6 or 7 flats, I was getting a little nervous. These are supposed to be more durable. These tires are 28mm wide, which is the width I like for this bike. On my Tricross, I run 35mm for commuting. There is a stretch of gravel and the 35's float along with no trouble. These 28's are a little narrow for gravel, but I can use these on gravel if necessary.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm 35 lbs lighter than I was on Oct 1, when I started my Spark People diet. I was hoping to make it to 40lbs lost for my birthday, but I'm happy where I'm at. Eight more pounds and I'll be right in the middle of my ideal weight.

Here's another of my birthday presents:

This is a beautifully-photographed book of bikes made by the great French constructeurs from the 1930's through the 1980's. All steel-framed, these bikes are works of art. But they were also functional - the pinnacle of randonneuring technology.

Noteworthy, but not related to bicycling, Alex and I came home from dinner at a restaurant Wednesday night to find this beast had eaten my birthday cake. A beautifully decorated German chocolate cake, every molecule completely devoured.

I hope you have cake where you are.

Happy riding!


PaddyAnne said...

Happy BeLated BDay! 35 lbs is nothing to sneeze at, good work! I think your beagle beast was actually doing you a favour. He was probably thinking of you and ate your birthday cake to prevent you from gaining back any of those hard won pounds! Besides, who can get mad at those big liquid brown eyes? :)

Big Oak said...

Paddy, do NOT look into his eyes! He is not the sweet-looking dog you see in the photo!

Although he is a very people oriented dog, he is also very persistent. Especially when it involves MY food.

I'm positive the last thing he was thinking about as he was munching my cake was saving me from eating it!

Pondero said...


You've got a cool bike. You've got a cool book. You've got that cool, lean look. But you got no cake.

I'd be bummed to miss out on that cake, but overall, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

rlove2bike said...

I like cake.

Happy belated birthday and sounds like you had a good one. We have the same Conti's on our road tandem and they have worked well. We had a good melt up here which has left our side roads a sheet of ice. Congrats on the weight loss and the 58 mile ride...both are impressive.

Steve A said...

Chocolate cake. That dog had to pay a price for that afterwards. Chocolate and dog digestive systems don't get along very well. On second thought, perhaps you had to pay yourself all over again!

limom said...

Chocolate is not good for pooches!
Especially not a whole cake.
Boy them Conti Gatorskins are on my new short list.
So is that book.

jeff said...

Congrats on the weight loss and belated Happy Birthday!

Big Oak said...

Thanks All for the birthday wishes. Yes, I know chocolate is bad for dogs. I can't tell you how many times we've had that dog to the vet for things he's eaten.

The first thing is to make him throw up, which we have learned to do at home. The second thing is to make sure he has plenty of water, which he has. Then, we just watch for any signs of trouble, which he didn't have.

He's a wonder.

Big Oak said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, my mom baked me a new German chocolate cake. It is on top of the fridge.

Apertome said...

Happy birthday! Mine is today.

I haven't used Gatorskins but I have Conti Ultra Race tires on my Bianchi right now. They fall between the ultra sport and the gatorskins. So far, I'm pretty happy with them.

Congrats again on the weight loss. Impressive and inspiring!

Big Oak said...

Hey Michael, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day!

I liked the Ultra Sports, I just didn't feel comfortable riding long distances on them. I still have them, and plan to use part-time for commuting on my Tricross once the snow and ice are gone (for good).

Jon said...

Happy birthday, my friend. Sorry about the cake, but at least all came out well, in the end.

The Gatorskins always worked well for me, when I had them on my bike. You should get good service out of them.

Big Oak said...

Thanks Jon!

Maybe someday when my ship comes in I'll be able to afford some Grand Prix 4000 tires, but for now, for the Trek, I think the Gatorskins will work well. I've read about them in many different blogs, and the notes always seem positive.

limom said...

My dog once ate half a box of crayons.
I couldn't figure out why his poo was all colorful like.
Oh, and happy B-day!

Big Oak said...

Thanks limom! You might be on to a new idea for colored dog food. Or, you could use a bright yellow to make the dog bombs easier to see so you don't step on them!

fwbikecommuter said...

Hope it was a good one Big Oak!

Big Oak said...

FWBC - thanks - it was!