Sunday, October 31, 2010

"My" Bike Trail

Does "your" trail have a view like this? I bet not, since this is "My" trail.

"My" bike trail is the High Trestle Trail. I took the boys down today to do a quick ride. We took the "junker" camera, but managed to get a few decent shots.
It's a rock. It looks like Iowa. It's limestone. It's... not the state rock:(

We went out for a ride since we had a few hours before trick or treat and a food drive for the church. The best part of the whole ride was loading Marshall's basket with large rocks and dropping them off of the side of the bridge into very soft mud. This bridge is 12 stories tall, and the mud is very soft and deep. The impact of the rocks into the mud made huge craters! We were laughing our heads off at each Splash! Oh what fun boys are! Later!

Not quite cold enough to freeze his tongue onto the pole. This is Mitchell, the impulsive one!
His third can of pop in almost 14 years. Marshall, the conservative one!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outdoor Beer Drinking Weather, 45 Mile Ride, Orion

Outdoor beer drinking weather has begun! Crisp weather, classic fall cold snaps, and a decided lack of bugs makes this a great time to get out there with a few cold ones and pound 'em! I would go for any India Pale Ales right now. You can try to keep them cold if you want, but their origins are from long ago, before any means of prolonged cooling were available. Like when they would stick a bunch of casks of beer on a ship and head out to sea. Maybe chuck some ice on the casks and spread some hay over the ice, but probably not too often. So a few miles of gravel riding is really where these beers are at home. My favorite? Boulevard "Singlewide"IPA. I'm sure that there are some better ones out there, and I'll search them out, but I do like me some Boulevard. I bought one of their "Smokestack Series" specialty beers last year. The IPA. Now that was tasty! But at $9.00 for a 24 oz. bottle, it is a rare treat.
I recently passed through the anniversary of my birth, 45 years ago on the 19th, and celebrated in my own silly way by riding a nice 45 miler to Stanhope. Stopped at the Sinclair station for some snacks and a Coke. I had a rare experience on the way back home. An 18 wheeler snuck up on me from behind! On gravel! In the dustiest conditions of the year! I had my MP3 in my ears, so I guess I deserve the scare. He must have pulled out of a farm drive. I know he wasn't there a mile ago:) As you know, riding gravel gives a person the luxury of seeing who is around you by simply observing the gravel plumes. "Look and Live" I always say. Good riding though. A very comfortable range for me. I was playing a version of an old drinking game that two friends and I invented a long time ago. We called it "The Sheep Game" and as drinking games go, it was a total riot. Any game that makes you laugh so hard that beer shoots out your nose is a good game my friends. I will post the rules, and my modified MP3 version of it, in a future post.
Lastly, I had a great night of Orionid Meteor Shower viewing last night. I brewed up some coffee and put it in the Thermos, and suited up for cold conditions. I had planned to ride 3 or 4 miles out of town, but the moon was so bright I figured that there wasn't much sense in trying to find any dark spots! So I camped in my own yard and caught 13 nice ones between 2:07 and 3:15 or so. Two of the trains were very long lived, a full 2 seconds after initial burst and they were still visible. Do me this. If you have never learned or been taught how to find Orion in the night sky, click up the "directions" and go out and find it. If you can find The Big Dipper, you can find Orion. You'll have a constant riding buddy for any night time miles after the midnight hour , as this constellation is HUGE! It is so easy to find, and dominates the night sky once you get to know where to look. Happy Hunting! Later!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Tis The Season

Full on gravel season right now. I went out Saturday night for some after dark action. Saw a lot of critters out in the fields, an old dumb looking opossum (sorry George Jones, but there ain't nothing nice about 'em)and the business end of 5 SKUNKS! Luckily they were in flight mode, not fight mode. Must be their mating season or something? Also, I kept catching this emerald green/sapphire blue glint in the chunk every once in a while. Jewel like. Finally,after 4 or 5 times, I swung back around to see what I thought would be a rock. Turned out to be a brownish spider about the size of a fifty cent piece. It's eyes were reflecting in my light! That was cool. Same bike, same route today and only saw a few snakes and some white wading birds. Some pictures then. And again, Blogger is being difficult and I can't get captions typed in under the pictures. Nice. So here goes, from the top: The totem pole is looking nice. The caps have a very rich patina on them now. Added a Goose Island 312 today. *Rolling Yield sign. Big, green Yield sign! * The coolest part of this old Fuji I have been riding lots lately. A coaster brake tied to a 700c wheel. Stock. * The Fuji in a panoramic vista. Like the sparkly purple seat? * The road from whence I came. Rollers for miles around this joint!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Road Giveth, The Road Taketh Away

Went out for a great day of riding, 3&1/2 hours of gravel crunching goodness. Along the way my cycling cap fell out of my Camelback cargo pocket. No big deal, you can get a new cap anywhere these days, but this is one I just got out in Sioux Falls this summer, and I really wanted it back. So as soon as I realized it was missing (about 2/3 of the way home) I re-traced as much of my route as possible. I thought, "Probably when I stopped to pull that beer out." Nope. "Probably when I stopped to drink that can of Coke." Nope. "Probably when I stopped for that Gu packet." Nope. The rest of my tracing would include about 2 miles of busy paved road at the edge of town. Funny what you find out there on the roads sometimes. In my searching for a cotton cap I found a 5/8" Matco chisel, a 9" rubber bungee cord, and a nice pair of Craftsman channel locks. Not bad. And due to time issues (had to get Mitchell to piano lessons at 3:30)I had just enough time to drive the rest of my route to find the hat. Well, the only hill on this route that requires me to stand up was where I found my cap. The side to side sawing motion must have thrown it out. And wouldn't you know it, since the maintainers were out today, it was mostly buried in gravel! It now has a nice golden tan patina that I don't intend to wash out. Next time I think I'll just wear the darn thing! Later!