Tuesday, September 28, 2010

80s Ruled!

I put up a new background because I was reminded of the days in the 80s when my friends and I all had boomboxes. Pudge, Toad, Weeds, Konch, Appy, everyone had a different box and we would take them with us on our mopeds, or in our parents' cars. DC converters, you know! I had two at one point. One was a double tape deck AM/FM/shortwave with a ten bar, twin LED output meter. The other, which I still have, is a single tape player AM/FM/shortwave, with a programmable search system that would listen for the gaps between songs and allow a person to skip ahead (ff) up to 5 songs. White woofer cones with black center domes. Oh man. Take me back to the times of listening to the Saturday Night 6 Pack on KKRL, or the midnight albums on KGGO, and taping them all on cassette! I totally lusted after one I saw in a catalog that had a vertical turntable built in! Then I bought a SWEET Pioneer "Walkman" all-weather tape player for use in bean walking. That thing is sweet, and yes I still have it too, but a battery leaked in it and roached one of the posts:( The coolest part of it was a cassette sized adapter that you could pop in and it picked up FM signals and played them through the tape head. It scanned all FM signals and you stopped it on a guess as to which station you were on by hitting a button. Crazy. We could pick up a station from Des Moines (KUCB) that played Urban music that we could never have heard anywhere else! I heard a 20 minute version of a Prince song one time! Those were the days, long live the 80s!


Blogger is being weird and won't let me caption these as I normally would, so here is a bullet list of caps. - 14" diameter tree splintered like a match stick - Steel guard rail disappearing into a tangle. Somewhere under there are massive corrugated culverts, smashed flat - 5 or 6 feet deep in this area, loose rock and sand - Flattened crapper - The iconic bridge at the park. Check out my attempt at digital camo on the bike frame. - More debris - All of the grass is raked, by debris, in the same direction. I could see that the stone bridge withstood a direct assault. - The reddish rock here is about the size of a recliner. Just tossed up there by the water. - The first bridge in the canyon. There are 8' by 8" rails on this that were bluntly snapped into small pieces.

These images are from Ledges Park here in beautiful Boone County, Iowa. It's hard to appreciate the scope of the damage that the park sustained back in August of this year. Most years it's the backed up water from flooding, which has been a real disaster since "they" put in Saylorville Lake and Dam(n)that does the damage. This leaves 3 or 4 feet of river mud in the western half of the park, shuts it down for a couple of months, and then the budget comes through to clean it out and by October it looks great for fall colors and clear sky ride-throughs. This massive damage came from the other end of the park. It all happened from the numerous feeder streams that dump into Pea's Creek having been turned into raging water hammers! The power of running water, especially with debris in it, is immense! Some of these pics are a bit poor in quality, but you'll get a feel for the power and awe. I wish I could have seen this event as it happened. I can tell you this, it would have been other-worldly. Later!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Motivation Level

I had to check my motivation levels on Tuesday of this week. I was off work, as usual, and had plans to go to Ankeny to do some shopping with Kelli. But first, I wanted to go for a quick one hour ride. You know, first things first. So I got dressed, discussed a short route with Kelli, and headed to the "bike lab" to choose a rideable bike. The first one to speak up was my Poorman's Niner/monster cross Diamondback (major miles on this Goodwill re-build)so I pulled it out. No sooner than that it starts to rain. Spitting to dribbles, so I sat in the garage for a minute or so to see what else might happen. Well, it showed no signs of stopping, so I said "WTF!" and rolled out into it. "Maybe," I thought, "I can ride under and around it, come out at Ledges Park, and ride home dry." That didn't happen, but I had fun splashing around, hitting puddles, and having fun knowing that I really shouldn't have been out there. I haven't ridden in that hard of a rain since Millville Minnesota SEVERAL years ago. Now that was a memorable race. Maybe I'll try to recap that sometime over the winter. Yes, I said WINTER! Prepare your brains, I feel a good old fashioned snowy mess coming our way. Later!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Someone, or something, left 41 comments on different blog posts. So I figured if there was a malicious program running on my somewhat dormant blog, I might need to update. Well, this isn't an update but it will do for now. Let me toss this one at you. Have you ever been out on the chunk and you hit a rock just right, with the side of a lug, and it shoots off to the side? I call those "capacitor rocks." As if they have stored up energy from being run over, graded, and otherwise moved through the life cycle of rocks. Until they reach maximum capacity, and then shoot through the ditch to find a more dormant life. Most rocks will sit in place all of our lives and never be touched by anything but sunlight, precipitation, and other rocks. Imagining a little further, I wondered what it would be like to ride gravel if rocks really did store up the massive amounts of heat and compression that they endure during creation. Lying there silently, absorbing the suns energy, maybe even wind, (and certainly some tidal action,) until the wandering rubber vagabond gives them that little tick of energy to max out the capacity! Suddenly sediment, heat, mineral compounds, and ENERGY all blast outward in a huge display of destruction. Possibly setting off chain reactions as fragments of one rock explode into the other capacitors on the road. Now then, your little gravel escape from the boring just got a little more intense, didn't it! Then I think we might understand why people call us crazy for riding gravel. What if you hit a meteor fragment capacitor, and it unleashed a space-born bacteria on earth! Like an "Ice Nine" scenario! The freezing point of water re-figures to 114.4F and we're all screwed! Damn bikers and their space rocks! Oh well, I think we're all safe from that one, but still, avoid small black rocks if you can. Thanks. Later!