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

Friday, June 19, 2009

Still not much blogging

Sorry guys/gals. Not much blogging lately. I am not a fan of just coming over here and babbling along. Gotta have some pictures or news. So when I have not compiled either of the afforementioned it gets a bit quiet around here. I am giving thought to picking up a bike only camera, something so that I can snap pics and video with more regularity on my rides.

I have been riding. Not a ton, but enough to keep me happy, covered in bites, and bruised. Oh, and feeling good. It has been hot and humid here. Talking 80-90% humidity. So despite the rain starting to taper off the rocks and roots are staying very slick. It is like our very own Southern rain forrest when you get out in the woods. By about an hour into a ride everything is soaking wet. Sweat doesn't seem to evaporate so much as it drips to a lower elevation. Eventually it finds its way to something that absorbs it or it just drips off. Okay, enough talk about sweat.

Crashing? Yeah, been a while since I had any noteworthy falls. So I decided to double down and take a couple of good spills. First tumble was last week. I had my dry weather tires on (WTB Mutano 2.24 front, Specialized Fast Track 2.2 rear) so no real traction to speak of. I was heading down Goat Trail and my rear tire kicked off a wet rock. My now altered direction put me right into an off camber root. The front tire decided to follow it right off the trail, taking the bike out from under me in the process. I find myself covered in mud,dirt, and laughing. Later I did discover some poison oak, must have rolled in that too.

Well, that wasn't too bad. Let's do that again! Next crash was on the most tame trail in the park, the family trail. It is a nice rolling 2.5mi out and back. Well if you downshift a few gears and sprint the trail takes on a whole new feel. Definitely get some of that flying, cutting, carving, and ripping through the woods feeling. So there I was ripping along. I was pedaling out of the corners and pumping into them. As I compressed into one corner and grunted a pedal out of it I was struck with a new sensation. With a solid clack the left pedal stopped, triggering a chain reaction of sorts with the final result being me flying over the bars after being ejected clean of the bike. Again, I am on the ground laughing. The bike found it's resting point a few yards back of me. A bit of dirt packed into palces it shouldn't have on the bike and I picked up a few scrapes, cuts, and bruises but the ride went on. We did marvel at the root that had caught my pedal. It was perfectly placed for a low bb bike to get a pedal smack coming out of the corner. Figures.

Wednesday marked the 2nd time since moving to Alabama that I have cleaned the climb back up from Mountain Mist. It is a stinker of a climb up a heavily rooted rock garden. Fortunately the worst of it is only about 50 yards. To make matters worse though it has been very slick lately with the moisture and humidity. So I hefted into it with minimal hopes of success. After clearing the first section of it though I figured I might as well put in 110% since I was still on the bike. I did just that and at the next switchback I was rewarded with an ill feeling and a pegged heart rate. I am not really conviced that some of these rock garden climbs here are worth the effort. They are good for bragging rights, but you expend soooo much energy just to stay upright and moving forwards that it makes the next 5 minutes of recovery pretty painful. Fortunately I was first up and we took a couple minutes to rest before racing back down the family trail.

I have started a tire co-op. Yes, some may not understand it but I have a tire fettish. I like to try out different tires and pick my favorites for given riding conditions. Well I ended up with a few other people who also wanted to try out other tires. Between the group we have 14 different tires in circulation and testing. That's a lot of tires and far more experience with selection than any of us would get out of their own pocket money.
Here is our list
Pretty fun way to get some miles on tires I wouldn't normally buy, but have been curious about.

Still playing contractor in my spare time. I found myself doing the contractor's equivalent of painting yourself into a corner. I finshed my framing and put up the 2x12 pine siding. Towards the end of the day I had the thought that my miter saw and stand may not actually fit through the door in 1 piece. Doh! I will have to give that a closer look this weekend when I have to get the saw out of the way. I swear, pictures will come eventually. Erin has a few of me working, but I don't think anyone wants to see me all sweaty, beer bellied, and plumber cracked. So I will grab some shots of the patio instead ;-)

Austin is still off in CA. Erin is settling into her job at the Church. That seems to be working out well. I get Faith up and running in the morning. After attempting to make her look presentable I shuttle her off to class for the morning and mosey into work. Not all bad. We'll see how things pan out once the school year fires back up at the end of summer.

Other news? Nope, I am pooped. Nothing else whatsoever.

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