Monday, March 31, 2008

With A Heavy Heart...

...I feel compelled to share some bad news. I was out riding on Sunday afternoon and came to a realization that made me stop, sit down in a ditch, and really examine what is going on in my life. I sat there and watched the wind blow through some tall grass, watching the way that the grass would bend when the wind blew hard, but not break off. It seemed to me that my life has become brittle and unlike the grass. I am no longer able to bend instead of break, and I think that the time and energy I have wasted on riding my "big boy bike" could have been better spent working harder, or planning for things that might pop up unexpectedly, or trying to correct any of my personality flaws which have kept people from liking me. You can never be too cautious these days, and I have better things to do than ride around empty headed just looking at grass and rocks. So, that being said, I am hanging up bike riding and the bike mania that I have spent so many years crafting. It's just not fun anymore. If you guys know of anyone who would benefit from a couple of free bikes, I will take a last weekend and distribute my 25+ bikes around to different people. Just check my comments section for more details as they become available. Thanks for reading, and might I say, I have enjoyed this post more than any of the posts I have put up since I started blogging. Thanks to all who have shared their "passion" for what they believe to be a wise use of their time. Goodbye.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Here's one of those bikes...

...that seems instantly do-able, you will want it instantly, and you'll dream about having one for years, and yet seems impossible at the same time. Damn I hate that feeling! It's the Amazon Blonde by Blonde Fabrications! 36" of hard spankin' goodness. Do Not go there if you're weak about wanting things you'll never get to own! I saw it at Later! Travel Gravel!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Frost Boil Forecast

I was working in our outlet store Friday morning, nothing going on, when a guy pulls into the lot in an Aliant Energy truck. He came in and we started talking about the gravel roads. I asked him if he had seen anything getting ugly yet. He said that it was still dry, but that he was sure it would get ugly when the frost lets out. Normally, according to his experience, the dry winters let the frost get down into the ground further. He said 3 feet is about normal, but that he has dug down and hit frost as far as 6 feet this year (excessively deep.) His thinking was, even though this was a wet winter, that once the frost lets out and the frost boils set in that they will be nasty-deep! These guys generally know what they're talking about, I should know. My Grandpa "Cy" Mc Quillen was a lineman for Iowa Electric for 47 years, and told me many stories about his career in the outdoors. 47 years, that's from High School graduation to retirement, working every day in all kinds of weather! 47 years of snow, cold, ice, heat, wind, etc. I have enormous respect for the memories I have of him. Add to these factors the jobs of father, husband, and fire chief and you have one hell of a man. He told me a story once of how they used to put up power poles by hand! He was in the last days of "good" memories and remembered all kinds of details. How they dug the holes, hitched up horses, and blocks and pulleys, the whole thing. He even remembered names like "Red" and "Shorty" and guys he worked with. Sometimes when I'm out riding I'll look at a couple of miles of poles and think about his stories, and imagine the personal strength and drive it would take to raise them. Respect! Ever think about how many power/phone poles there are in this state? County? Your town? I wonder if the power companies even know. Do they number them?
I went out today and rode R Ave. to 150th, then turned for the hills of Fraser. I hit the bottom of the Devil's Backbone and could see that the river was up over the road, so I decided to hit up the Y Camp hill. Always a good time, right? Wrong! The county has dropped white rock on the top third of it and made it simply impossible to ride. These rocks are about the size of orange wedges, and 2 or 3 inches deep. I had to walk the last 100 feet. I was riding with the Budweiser twins (they're tall boys!) so I decided to stop at the top of the hill and consult with them. They were motivating enough to get me the rest of the way home. No problems with frost boils anywhere yet, but I predict a lot of misery coming our way this spring once they open up. Later! Travel Gravel!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Shortest Post Yet?

I rode the bike I call "Buffalo Soldier" down to Kum n Go tonight to pick up a DSM paper. On the way there I was singing the song of the same name. When I walked in that same song was playing on the boombox of the Goth-girl working there. Crazy. Bob is everywhere. Later! Travel Gravel!