Been a while. I haven’t been riding that much and am pretty much forever finished building bikes. Gotta have something to talk about before I write something… Took a vacation over Christmas break from work and did some drawing for the first time in about 15 years. My degree is in illustration. Did you know that? Maybe. I’ve mentioned it here and there to folks, but other than that it hasn’t been a focus since I fell in with advertising agencies and started doing production–before I started doing i.t. support–before I started doing web development… You get the idea. Anyway, 2014 was the first year since graduation where I wasn’t overwhelmed with 1 thing or another. It was supposed to be ‘the year’ to do great things and work on some side projects with the intent of going back and taking stock of some of the stuff that I’ve learned along the way and let go. Good intentions, but it kind of fell flat with a bit of injury, illness, work stress and other junk. Normally I work a bit over the holiday and catch up while nobody is in. This year I stopped everything for 12 days and just drew. Nothing good, nothing important, just did. Even on the days I didn’t want to. When I was burnt out I’d practice the guitar or go for quick spins on the trainer.
January 1 sunrise for y’all — here’s to new beginnings…
We were at the beach with friends over New Years. The one afternoon I was doodling in a sketchbook and a friend of about 10 years looked over my shoulder and said “oh, I didn’t know you could draw… That’s pretty good.” Yeh. Gonna do more of that. I stole my wife’s folder and went for 1 ride ‘downey ocean’.
Big wheels and little wheels
I’ve been commuting since I fixed up the trucker with new brakes and some Schwalbe Studs but that has mostly been it. This time last year I was part of a weight loss challenge at work, down about 15 pounds from my current weight and training just about every evening in one way or another. My little art experiment worked well and I’ve been productive again. The other edge of that blade is that I’ve been sitting at a desk with all the time I’d normally be riding. IRONY. What additional riding has been done is described below with 4000 words worth of pictures…
Velo Rando on my shortie ramble ride 2/1
Started out at about 23-25°. My toes were blue by the time I got back to the house after 20ish miles. Totally worth it. After 30 minutes of walking around to jump-start the circulation in my feet, I got back on the bike, rolled over to the Bob Evans 1/2 mile away and had a cup of coffee while the guys finished their pancakes. Went on Amazon that afternoon and brought a box of toe warmers.
Pugsley on a snow day
We got–what–6-10 inches of snow last week? Noice. After the first round of snow shoveling I took some time to roam around on the unplowed roads near home. Good times.
Andrew stops for a break with me on the March Ramble
Even with the snow it was 50 degrees on Sunday and we rode a March ramble with Bob and the guys. I chose not to ride studs. The first 15 miles in the pre-dawn thaw were nail-biters but with a little caution all was well. Starting with coffee in Hampden and stopping afterwards at the Dizz for 1.5 beers I ended up with about 74 miles for the day. We ate lunch in Mt Airy. I rode most of the day with Andrew who suffered from cramps a bit. Still a really good pacer for me. I was finally able to put words to what has bothered me so much about the Frederick route. It’s hilly, but none of the hills are real beasts, it’s just 40 miles of little inclines which chip away at my soul. There’s a net elevation loss on the way home, but by then the damage is done. I kept it together ok and the huge tailwind was a perk. The only problem I had was with my bike…
Just over the newly constructed Frederick Rd. bridge at 695, something got lodged in my back fender causing it to crumple up like a soda can. I popped the back wheel off and after a few minutes of tweaking the fender with some pliers we were ready to go. It’ll never be purdy again. Seeing the way this self destructed, my horror at ruining a set of flared Honjos is tempered by the fact that…
- this happened at low speed
- it was the back wheel.
I got off easy. A sensible purchase of a set of SKS longboards with break-away mounts is in my future.
More commentary on the March ramble available at Bob’s blog HERE.
I took a few photos along the way and you can see them here with better-than-normal commentary.
Till next time…