Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What I've REALLY been up to.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Other people's adventures

My teammate Brett is on his way back home from the west coast by bike.  Everyone told him that it was crazy to plan a trip through the mountains in November, but then again, Brett is crazy.

Check out the adventure here:Brett's Blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

What the heck is Mid-Tek

My modestly-crazy friend and former boss Mike from Trophy has decided to spice up the slow winter months by engaging his secondary passion in weird machines. He's focussed, or perhaps obsessed with typewriters and things that he might have used during his stint as a reporter in the late 80s. The concept is called Mid-Tek and it occupies about 40 square feet of real-estate in the front corner of the bike shop. I built up the screen and sliding door to cordon off the shop as part of a trade for my new favorite bike, the Brommie!

Check out the concept here
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Maitake Mushrooms, in nature

It's apparently been a bumper year for mushroom hunters this fall. The cool, wet weather has been perfect for all of these different fungi. This is a maitake mushroom that I found growing from the base of an oak tree in Fairmount park. It was really tasty when fried up, but had some issues with grits. Apparently the dirt that got kicked up onto the mushroom from the nearby trail was quickly incorporated into the flesh, and proved impossible to scrub out. The end result tasted a lot like turkey bacon with sand. Almost delicious!
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Really? That's what you did?

Confirm the timestamp if you doubt, but I went for a run last night. Those are my floppy feet and pencil calves pictured above. I think that the last time I went for a run was last October some time when I had aspirations of getting back after it in the off season.

After a week of a nagging knee injury that seems only to hurt when I ride a bike, I dug out my old cross country spikes and rode to Fairmount Park. I tried riding a bit and then stashed my bike in the woods, switched over my shoes and headed out for a jog. Though I probably only ran for 30 minutes, it was the best 30 minutes of running I've done in the past 5 years. The constant change of pace, hopping over logs, jumping through brambles, shucking and jiving made the time fly, and my legs happy. Powering up little inclines was actually fabulous, and I even found myself diverting on alternate trails to make the trip back to my bike longer. My legs are pretty hammered today, but that's to be expected. I'm hoping that a couple more runs and I'll be able to withstand a bit of pounding again.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The joys of the British pub

The English pub is a great place. You just go, hang out and have a beer. None of the obnoxious loud music and overcrowded garbage that you associate with bars in the US. This was our first afternoon in England. True to form, the weather was lovely day 1 and then rained all over us on day 2.

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The view from the flat

On a connection between friends of friends of friends, we hooked up with Chris and Jess, the most fabulous hosts we could have asked for. They were actually headed to Cape Cod for 2 weeks and so handed off the keys to their place, and let us crash in their lovely apartment in Brixton, London. Whoever did the gardening on the first floor flat knew what they were doing, as the view from the window was great.

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Old powerplant that looked cool

London is full of gigantic old coal fired power plants like this one which have been or are being re-purposed for other things. The Tate Modern is a great example of such a building, it actually looks a lot like this.

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crack fox

Urban foxes abound in London. This one was just hanging out in the rain in the Nunhead Cemetery, which is spectacularly overgrown and weird. I'd recommend a tour through for anyone in South London for a while.

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3rd fastest weirdo

Here I am being adorned by Andrew Richey himself; inventor of the lovely steeds upon which we all rode.  
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Two national champs, both 3rd place.

Kind of serendipitous that Julie Secor, the fastest finisher at the US Championships, and I were both 3rd place in the race. Go USA.

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Headed down to Plymouth

We took the train out of Oxford along with what seemed like hundreds of our new favorite people: drunken football fans. Oxford United had won its match, and gave local youth a good reason to get drunk and insult our train conductor. I can only imagine what would have happened if Oxford had lost. That would have given the local youth a good reason to get drunk and insult our train conductor.

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Who likes pygmy ponies?

Dartmoor has herds of pygmy ponies running rampant along with all of the sheep and cows. Apparently national parks are also generally free grazing land in the UK. Hence, poop everywhere.

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Obligatory Chimney Shot

We lunched at a mediocre little cafe in the town of Princetown, a quaint scrabbly little place in the center of Dartmoor national park. The ride up to the town was really splendid, though both of us were wishing for MUCH lower gearing. At the 15 and 20% grades we'd chug and puff up the hill until the call of "WALKIES!!" went out and then we hoof it up the rest. I would have loved to have an altimeter on this day.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sheep amongst the rocks

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On the march for the Tors of Dartmoor

Jennifer heading to one of the tors, outcroppings of granite on top of the hills of Dartmoor.
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Plymouth at sunset

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I'll call that a good view

After spending 2 days in the Devon and Cornwall area, we took the train up to the land of many consonants: WALES! We spent our time on the north coast of wales, which is dominated by massive hills and bluffs that lead to the sea, and some splendid little coastal towns, right near some not at all splendid coastal towns. The first day we spent tootling around on our Brommies, and the second day we took the train, then the bus and then our feet up into the heart of the Snowdownia National Park, home to the highest peaks in Britain outside of North Scotland.

Wales is scenic as heck. The highway around the north side of the Great Orme.
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Conwy Castle

We turned around at Conwy and went across the peninsula back to Colwyn Bay.
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Walking in

The walk in to the mountains was nice as well.
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Scrambling to the top of Tyrfan

Mt. Tyrfan is in the next ridgeline north from Snowdon. It's a heck of a scramble with broken boulders of limestone all over the place. Jennifer sailed through the rough part of the hike here.
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Lush and green

Wales is, like the rest of Britain, extremely lush and green. They take advantage of this by grazing sheep everywhere!
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Mount Snowdon

This was the view that greeted us as we crested the saddle on the ridge just to the north of Snowdon.
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Our buddies, the mountain goats

These guys watched us eat lunch on the moutntain.
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The Picture House

This was the inside of The Picture House, in Colwyn Bay, Wales. The town was cute and the pub was great. They had an excellent selection of beers and the food was cheap and satisfying. Not really gourmet, but they did have a killer curry night on Thursdays that really brought the folks out.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Better luck THIS TIME!!

So, the folding dragon has been slain. Despite feeling crappy, coughy, jet-laggy and otherwise non-fit at the starting line, Jennifer was right. I had a pretty good run. The worst part is that I let 2nd place slip through my fingers by being too much of a gentleman and being too lackadaisical on the finishing straight. At any rate, I think that I have done my Brompton thing quite well this year.

My real regret is not packing a smaller chain ring for the tootling around after the race. I'm now a consummate master of the 50 rpm grind up hills and my arms are actually tired from riding around these past 3 days. Overall, my claim from last year still stands: Britain in the sunshine is hard to beat. More pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crossing the Pond, Redux

I've packed sealant this time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fabulously informative

Got this email from the IT staff here at the City.

City issued Blackberry devices are currently experiencing latency due to the legacy perimeter security controls. We are currently working on resolving this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Fortunately, my latency was set to stun, and the Klingons were incapacitated before boarding the good ship Municipal Services Building.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A singular treat

I had the unique joy of riding in to work on a bike lane that I helped plan on Monday. We've repainted a buffered bike lane along 13th street from South to Market streets. Next week they'll be painting the street north to Spring Garden. I have been using 13th street for the past 6 months since it is simply calmer and nicer to ride on than any of the other alternatives. With the addition of a couple thousand bucks worth of paint, it has become AWESOME. Drivers on the left, bikers on the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.
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