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Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend review

Well, I promised to post up something about an actual ride this weekend. So here it is...

Steve, RD, and I hit the reverse loop of Land Trust, Arrowhead, McKay Hollow. All smiles except for the hike a bike for about a mile straight up McKay Hollow. Knew that would suck on the way in. However the rest of the trail was quite a bit of fun. I am not convinced that it is more or less work one way vs the other. The loop also included riding down cold springs trail which I have been wanting to ride. I had mounted up my Resolution 2.3 tires on Friday. Wanted to give them a test on the familiar platform of the Raleigh. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with their performance. For the additional heft of the tires they were only marginally wider and I found little or no difference in traction. Maybe they need the wider rim to really give them a better foot print and a more open profile. I will run these a bit longer before condemning them, but my initial impression isn't overwhelming.

I started the ride with too much pressure. This is one positive to the resolutions, looks like I can run 5-6psi lower pressure in them. Of course I didn't realize this until we are half way down the gnarliest descent of the morning (along the lines of the final descent on mailboxes, but with more loose rubble mixed in). So I am skating down it and wondering when I am going to bail. Yeah, not if but when. I pull it out and drop some pressure before we cross over into the land trust. More descent after a little grunter of a hill. I think this descent, from Monte Sano to the bottom of the Land Trust, is my favorite. Good mix of technical, speed, and some obstacles to hop over.

The climb out of the Land Trust sucks and is really more of a hike than a bike in portions. Once up we cross over into Monte Sano and connect back in to Natural well back to the start of Arrow Head. I really liked dropping into Arrow Head. Another ear to ear grinning experience. Once down the flat portion of AH and McKay Hollow actually flow much better in this direction. Of course I am running out of steam at this point and Steve has faded off ahead, so the flow was appreciated. RD has dropped back a bit, but he is a trooper and despite me being able to hold him off for a couple of hours he usually passes me in the end and keeps trucking. I guess he is more accustomed to the 3-4 hour rides. We arrive to the bottom of McKay Hollow and dismount for a brisk hike a bike. The trail is difficult to ride down. I can assure you that it is harder to push a bike up though. Once past the worst of it we remount and ride on. Still no sign of Steve, he has been training hard this season and has officially handed RD and I our asses on this ride. I just can't get a spin going after that hike, so I dismount and hike out the rest of the climb. Not sure if it is gearing or being out of shape at this point. As anticipated RD passes me about 200 yards before the top.

I am pooped, so a spin back on Family Trail is all I can do. Even that was tiring. No pictures of the ride. I will take some pictures before too long. Lots of good trails. Hard part about the pictures is that you have to be on a ride where people are okay stopping here and there to take them.

The turner is looking good

My wheels should be here Tuesday, then it will be all business. Will be really nice to have it together. I have tried to be patient with the build, but I do hates me the waiting. I don't know how people do the whole 6 month build and planning for a new bike. That would just drive me nuts. Arrghh

The spare bedroom is still doing double duty as office and bike storage.

Works well enough, but I do long for a garage again. I have rigged up one of our patios with the repair stand and tools hanging on the back of the door, but it is a sorry substitute for a real work shop. Maybe I can get in with the crew at Trail Head and build some bikes for them over the holidays to get my foot in the door for using their shop. Have to see on that one.

Okay, other than bikes...
Looks like our first house guest will be here later this week. My Sister Shannon will be out in GA for training and is willing to drive over to spend the weekend with us. We have missed her and are looking forward to the company.

I will be up to my ears again in new-hire paperwork. Since the new job uses a payroll company they have requested that I take care of all the paperwork in advance of hitting the ground there. So new IRS forms, application documents, background docs, etc. Happy happy joy joy and all that...

Blast from the past. Rodney Lewis finally got back to me. I had called him shortly after arriving in AL. I thought he was living in TN, but apparently he lives about an hour away from us on the Western border of AL. Very cool. We are going to have to get together and catch up. I haven't seen or spoken to him much in about a decade, but I am sure we will pick up somewhere about where we left off. He is expecting his first child within a month and sounds like he is doing very well. When we meet up I will snap a picture for the folks back home in CA to see how Rodney is faring. He said he doesn't ride anything without a motor these days and is big on bass fishing.

We are finding a lot of possible houses for the family. I think we are going to start getting a bit serious on the house search front since we both feel like we do want to stay here. First step will be to see what we can get into price-wise. We are eyeing stuff in the $160-220K range which shouldn't be a problem. Only real snafu is this changing of jobs, so work stability is shot again. We'll see if that turns out to be a problem or not.

All right, that was long winded. Keep safe. Hug the family and friends for us.

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