Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Phone

I replaced my old, decrepit cell phone with a basic iPhone. I gotta admit, it's really cool. I posted this from my iPhone.

Rode with the club today, a zesty 45 miler. This was the last organized ride of the year. From now until April, just show-and-go rides.

I'm trying to figure out how to post a photo. I totally crammed the Element with bush trimmings and tree branches yesterday. Swept and vacuumed and the Element is looking good again.

Happy riding!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

1st Club Ride in a While

It's been a month or so since I rode my last club ride, what with the move and all. But today I rode with the club on a 45 miler. And it was sweet to be out applying rubber to the road again with other people.

All of the packing, then moving, then unpacking has been consuming most of my free time in the evenings and on the weekends, so that didn't leave too much time for biking. But that's all behind us now, so there's miles of biking ahead for Big Oak.

Our ride today left from Huntertown and headed up to Waterloo, and then back.

The riders were all faster than I was today, so this was a common view for me today. Kathy, just up ahead on the right, broke several ribs this summer in a bike crash. She's back to riding almost full speed again. I rode the last 10 miles or so with Bernie, just ahead on the left. His legs weren't feeling the best today, either, and we had many short, but steep hills, plus a pretty strong southwest wind.

After we got back to Huntertown, I gave Bernie a lift home. I picked up this used Honda Element, mainly so I could haul bikes around easily. And it also fits in our garage (my truck didn't). It also gets much better gas mileage.

Bernie's bike at his home. I thought you folks would like to look at it. It's a Rivendell, but I don't know the model. It might be a Saluki. It was made by Joe Stark, when he was still building frames for Rivendell. He's got Campy derailleurs, Campy rear hub, and a TA crank. A beaut to steel-frame junkies like me. Nobody else in the club rides a Rivendell. Bernie also has a beautiful early 90's Eddie Merckx, with chromed fork ends and chromed seat and chain stays.

I'm a little bummed the nights are getting dark so early now. Once the time changes in two weeks, there will be almost no light left when I get home from work. Got to think of a project for the winter.

Hope you folks are able to get out and ride.

Happy riding!

Monday, October 17, 2011


OK, I like to think of myself as being reasonably savvy with computers and stuff. But lately I've become painfully aware of my true ignorance. We've moved a couple weeks ago, and I packed my camera cord which connects to the computer (its umbilicus) in an as yet undiscovered box. So I've been accumulating photos on the camera, with no way to download to the computer.

Or so I thought.

Then I saw my nephew stick an SD card in his computer, and instantly had an "Ah Hah!" moment. That's what that slot is on the side of my computer! Bill, oops, Big Oak, you idiot! I guess it's not for cheese.

Anyway, here are a few of the more memorable photos I've taken which documents my simple, simple life.

I took this load of bikes to ArtWerks, a bike shop here in town which sells only used bikes. I told Art to make me an offer, and I immediately accepted. I have no room for these bikes, and I hated to let them go, but I know Art will find a good, loving home for them. I sold the truck, too, although not to Art. And I got a fair sum for it, although I had to haggle for a bit.

Here's the new bike shop. In addition to these two, Alex's bike is in front of the car and out of view here, and I've got 3 bikes crammed in our 7' X 8' garden shed, along with a lawnmower, garden tiller, a stack of huge flower pots, and a bunch of garden and yard tools. I feel sorry for the poor sucker who next opens that shed door.

It's been over twenty years since I froze off my herd of cacti, so Alex decided it was time I get another batch. We found this beauty at our local Meijer store. I'm not sure what kind it is yet, but I'll look it up one of these days.

This is called a Coral Cactus, although I don't believe it is a cactus at all, but maybe a Euphorbia of some type? I'll have to look this up also.
Here's of photo of the beast a few weeks ago on the new sun porch. He had a large tumor removed from his leg, and he needed the cone to keep from licking and tugging at the stitches.

Business end of the beast. He had the cone on for 9 days, and he actually liked it. I believe he was able to smell much better with the cone, and he could certainly hear better, but only if he was aimed in the direction of the sound. I'm thinking about taking the cone down the road to the high school, to see if the coach would buy it to listen in on what plays the opposing teams are calling.

This past weekend, we went up to Alex's sister's house, where we rode some of the bike trails north of Chicago. This heron was just off the trail, posing just for me.

Alex, on her perch.

A slough along the Des Plaines River.

I've learned something the past month or so. Never pack up and move without taking a bunch of time off work. Better yet - hire somebody to do the packing and moving. Even better - don't move.

I am very happy to be settled into our new house, and to be back on the bike, although I've got some evening meetings which will cut into biking for the rest of this week.

Happy riding!