empty summer update

One Line Summary: Less Bikes. More Coffee.

xkcd comicspecial thanks to xkcd for the comic

Well yes, we were only affected by 1 storm in our area, but it just so happened to be right when I needed it least. Saturday and Sunday 2 weekends ago I was supposed to raise $750 and ride 250 miles at 24 hours of booty. Well I raised the money, actually close to double that, but the event was cancelled. It is very difficult to talk about a charity event in a negative context. I am very appreciative to all who donated to the cause, to support me, and to remember my dad, but for me personally, I didn’t want to do that event, I NEEDED to do it. I guess I could have ridden around up and down Roland Ave for 24 hours, or ridden on the trainer for 24 hours, but I just wasn’t thinking about anything at that point. When I found out the Thursday night before at 10pm I just shut down. Then the lights went out Saturday night. Then they stayed out. For 4 days. Then once they came back on the internet stayed out for another 3. (or 4, I kind of forget). Didn’t matter because I was too busy cooking everything that I had rescued from the fridge on Tuesday morning when I noticed my freezer thermometer hit 40 degrees. I did more cooking in the last 5 days than I’ve done in the last 5 months. Probably an exaggeration, but not by far. Then we actually had a nice day on Sunday with some friends and family over at the house for a cookout. I was cooking again, but at least it was of my own free will. Labor day was the first day I actually came up for air.

Summer did have a few high points this year. I went on a ramble or 2. I visited my friends on the east shore for a few days. I rediscovered strength training for the first time in 25 years. On the down side again, work kicked in with a vengeance and for most of July I just sat at my desk blankly. When I snapped out of it in mid August and realized how far behind I was on my deadlines (most all of which are self-imposed thank God) and how much I needed to learn to make it work, I stopped everything else until I got it under control. That finally happened to some degree about 27 minutes before I left for the labor day break. I’m sure I lost all the benefits from the early summer gym sessions above and beyond practical knowledge. Looking back through my paper journal for rides >5 miles, I found FOUR ā€“ INCLUDING my day at the beach in August, Charm&Grace and Moonlight Madness. That is sad.

bike stuff – which should probably be a separate post…
I need more bike related equipment like I need another hole in my head, but I have a ravenous urge to build stuff right now. One of the most satisfying things I’ve done in the last 8 months was building up my first wheel around that old 7 speed hub and then abusing it by commuting/dropping it off curbs/hitting potholes/riding around with 60lbs of groceries on the back to have the spoke tension/true stay virtually unchanged. What can I say. I like making stuff then trying to wreck it. I love my blue commuter, but the threaded headset is making me want to scream. Just can’t find the sweet spot where it’ll stay adjusted properly. I’m sure it has to do with the canti-brake hanger stressing it, but I don’t want to swap out for a flat bar just so I can have linear pull brakes. I don’t want to spend $60 on drop-v levers, and problem-solvers travel agents are problem-makers. The drive train skips a little, but that’s just because I’ve been mashing up hills in the 11 tooth cog all summer long. Really should get a bigger front ring, but don’t want to buy that either. I did spring for a small order of novelties from Riv about a month back that I’ll write up separately.

And coffee…
Oddly enough, the one bright side is the Rancilio Silvia, which as any Google search would eventually bring up, is a harsh mistress. For a year or 2, I couldn’t pull a decent shot unless I approached it with the kind of a-z crazy methodical nature of someone who had 3 evenings in a row to kill roasting beans, then experimenting with the right grind and spending 2 hours on a Saturday morning ‘temperature surfing’ to make a decent drink.

file photo

For the last month, every time I fire it up, I just grab whatever Zekes I’ve been drinking as drip all week, put the rocky on ‘1’ , fire up Silvia, wait 15 minutes and pull a great shot with 1/4″ of crema on the first try. Knock Wood. If only I could get everything else running as smoothly for a while I’d trade the espresso in a heartbeat.

In conclusion, I dub September ‘Summer 2.0’. Gonna have another go at this thing. Went for a quick 15 mile hour on Saturday night before I could talk myself out of it. My computer protested by not recording more than two-hundredths of my ride. I am unfazed. Have to start somewhere.


2 thoughts on “empty summer update

  1. I like this post. šŸ˜‰

    After the 4 Reservoirs Tour, I’m switching hobbies and getting my sailboat into the water. In the meantime, if you want a rabbit to chase up the hills I’m available Saturday mornings before 9AM, most Sundays and Mondays and some evenings.

  2. Thanks Bob, I’ll steal your mantis route and send you an email if I’m going out. BIG congratulations to you for finishing Deerfield! I saw your forum post on bbc and flickr pics at lunch.

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