Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I went out last night at 11:00 PM Central to a primo spot for meteor viewing, and came home about an hour later with 22 Geminid "streakers" spotted. They were out in record numbers, but the viewing here was limited. And again tonight, the meteors are out there doing their thing, but so are the damn clouds! Arghhhhhhh! Every good event this year has been ruined by cloud cover. Last night started out great. I saw one as I was getting into my car. I saw one immediately upon getting out of my car (not even dark adapted yet) but within an hour, and 20 meteors later, the low clouds started rolling in and the light dome from Ames was bouncing off of the clouds, and I said, "Later!" I am becoming more aware of Fall/Winter constellation locations, which has been a cool thing. I never knew how to find so many constellations from just the Big Dipper. I am finding a new one each time I look up! Big Dipper, Gemini Twins, Leo, Orion, Draco, Signus, what's next? I was thinking last night about all the history that has been witnessed by the stars. Presumably all known, and unknown history, I guess. From the dawn of time and before. And thinking that some pea sized grain of extra terrestrial flint has now come to shoot across the sky just brings a sense of the vastness of life. But also the shortness. Weird stuff out there.
Hey, isn't this a bike blog? Yes it is, so let me say I am still out there once in a while! I went on a night ride last Thursday night. About 2 hours in a new moon night with an hour of juice in the Stella! That made for a dark ride home for sure. No problem though. Some jackass yelled out of his window as he drove past me in the opposite direction to, what did he say, ah yes, "Get the fuck off the road!" (This occured when I still had light power mind you) I stopped immediately, turned my light to his vehicle, and flipped him off with both barrels. He didn't turn back around, but his brake lights flashed momentarily. Why do people have to be so stupid?
I forgot how warm I tend to be on winter rides, and God knows I have enough gear to stay warm, so I think I will be doing more winter riding this year. Night or day. Even my "bad" hand has taken to staying fairly warm, although the entire length of my left middle finger is still numb and dead-cold! The two year anniversary of my surgery will be coming up in less than two weeks. I am lucky to have had the procedure done and gained back the use of my hand. I still have to stretch the thing daily, and have been staying on top of the squeezey putty too. I'm not out of the woods free and clear, but about 90% good to go!
Besides some kind of orange bike, I want to do 2 others over the winter. I have an old Hawthorne cruiser that I want to work into a fixed gear with 27" wheels. That will be an easy one since I run skinny knobs on those wheels, and the frame was set up for balloon tires. No clearance issues, just need to get the chainline right. The other project is a Schwinn cafe racer I started last Summer. It has Grip Shift twist shifters for brake "levers", a dropped and set-back seat location, and needs only a triple clamp fork and clip bars to be considered done. That should also be easy. I will even get to use my home made , gas-pipe work stand. Indoors. Sweet! Later fools!

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