What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Wednesday ride in the books

Got out with the SORBA Huntsville crew for a lap around the mountain at Monte Sano. The ride started out very fast paced. We headed out and back on Family Trail, then out again onto Mountain Mist and Goat trail. I had a good run and even passed a couple of guys. To my surprise my pace was fast enough to drop them by a few minutes at the 3 benches. Nothing to brag about since most of the crew dropped me by the same or more heading to the benches. At the least I can be happy that the majority of the crew was still at the benches when I arrived. This was a first as I am usually arriving and all but 1-2 sweepers have gone on ahead. I can credit my good pace to the 29er again. I am really realizing that the 29 inch wheels are where it is at in the Southeast. From others in the club I get the impression that Monte Sano has about the most technical trails in the realm.

So I gotta get on with ditching the Ventana to get funds for a Turner Sultan. it will be a shame to see it go. It was my first custom frame. It might be my last since my bike shop ties are gone out here. I have been in contact with Chad at Red Barn and he has a good deal for me on the new frame and fork once I come up with the funds.

I have been looking around for a bed rack for my bikes. I considered the pvc rack, but I think they look pretty crappy and not too sturdy. Sierra Coast Cargo Racks makes a pretty cool rack, but really come up short when it comes to securing the rack to your truck. So basically you are leaving a $300 rack sitting unlocked in the back of your truck every time you head out. I don't know about you, but I would rather put money into bike parts than replacing a stolen rack. Here is a picture for reference...

So I have cooked up an idea for a basic rack using superstrut that will bolt to the stake holes in the bed rails. I am not sure I will fully appreciate the esthetic, but I am sure it will function as I want and that is important. If it works as I want maybe down the line I will make another out of sexier materials. The cheap version will run about $100, about double the cost of pvc or wood. I got $130 by selling off my roof rack, so I guess it evens out.

The family is doing well. Austin seems to really be enjoying school. We were feeling a bit guilty that he had no place to do homework or project without the constant interruptions by Faith, so we purchased a little table for his room. He has been getting home and heading straight for it the last couple of days. He is really into writing letters and doing crafts right now. Don't be surprised if you get a letter in the mail.

As indicated above Faith is a little terror. She is into everything and takes quite an offense if you tell her not to be into something. Upon installation of our new cabinet fronts in the kitchen she got to work with a purple Sharpie marker. She colored on every cabinet and on the floor. Thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic sponges. Erin managed to get all traces of Faith's art off of the apartment. We really have to be careful where we store indelible markers from now on.

Erin is getting along well, but she really does need to make some friends and unplug from the kids. I get home some evenings to find her slightly beyond her wits-end. I have been able to make a few friends through the bike club. She really doesn't have the same kind of community to leech onto for outside of the house fun.

I think we are both starting to want to venture out and see more of the state and surroundings that we are living in. It is pretty cool being centrally located. Snow, beaches, Atlanta, Nashville, Graceland, and others are all within a few hours of home. Faith is still not too fond of extended car trips, but she is doing better now that we got a new portable dvd player and she can watch Dora and other movies to distracter from being trapped in the car. Last weekend we drove over through Monrovia and Madison. Madison has a great park called Dublin Park with a castle themed playground that we had a lot of fun at. You get more for your money with respect to homes out that way, but the commute isn't good now and it is getting worse with the increased population. We have some time to figure out the house bit though.

Hope everyone is doing well.

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