Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well That Was Fun

All day long I was looking forward to riding over to Ginko's soccer game on a nice warm evening. Well the wind was blowing as strongly as I have ever riden in and my destination was directly into it. Dodging twigs, small sandstorms and nearly being stopped dead a few times as I got caught in a strong gust, I made it just as the horn sounded to start the 6:30 games. Only problem was the Ginko and most of his Grey team had yet to arrive. 15 minutes later I headed for home with the gale at my back. Even that was dicey as crosswind gusts tried to push me into the road. I don't know what's burning off to the southwest but the smoke came in quickly and was alrady making things look foggy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hands Full of Bees

After trying three sets of handlebars on Lisbeth I finally went back to the On One Mary. My left hand buzzes no matter what I use but with the large sweep on the Mary my right is good and the left is minimal. I did an hour ride on Sunday with a flat bar and was constantly shaking out one hand or the other. I rode to Ginko's soccer game tonight with the Mary bar and I think I'll stick with them for now. She bit me again tonight, just a scratch this time. Not sure why but my legs look like I own a cat with issues. AJ brought back a Surly Tuggnut from Minneapolis which keeps the rear wheel in place and the chain nice and tight, and serves double duty as a bottle opener.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Name That Troll

Since a troll is a mythical scandanavian character I set off on a google search of scandanavian names and bingo, I found what I was looking for. I finished reading the Stieg Larrson's Millenium Trilogy about a month ago and the lead female character was a unique young woman. An abused child that persevered over all of the crap that life dropped in her path by her father, the secret police and the government programs she was buried in. Sometimes through her computer hacking skills and more often by physically stomping her enemies with her 120 pound tatooed frame. If you like mystery/detective/thrillers give The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest a read, in that order. You'll meet Lisbeth Salander, the name sake for my Surly Troll.

Bike Lane Procrastination

I received an invite to the next city council meeting to support a presentation that will request funds for another 9.5 km of bike lanes. It's May 22 and the first bike lanes that were designated last year are not officially open. They need paint, a good sweeping and some more promotion to remind drivers what those now faded lines mean. The city council meeting is June 6th. At the speed that things happen with council I would suggest maybe the presentation might have been scheduled in the other month that starts with J, namely January. Cycling season for everyone but the diehards is about five months. If council approves the new lanes we won't see them in 2011 or at least not in the months that are comfortable for riding.

I won't even go into what most cyclists think of the true value of the lanes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Caution She Bites

Today was interesting. I was left to fend for myself this afternoon. Friday before May long is traditionally quiet so I convinced the boss to take off for Minneapolis at 1:00. I had a few calls, did some inventory work and a couple of deliveries with the phone forwarded to my cell. It went by in a flash.
Started making the ride in and home longer this week. The Troll bit me again yesterday. Coming up the street yesterday and two kids were playing ball hockey across the entire street. They let a truck pass that was ahead of me and then one of the geniuses shot the ball off the back fender. When the truck stopped the kid high tails it across the street, and right into my path. Missed him with the Troll but caught him with a few verbal jabs. If only I could direct the spikes on the pedals where I want them to bite. That's my leg, by the by.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hi, Dumbass

Coming home Tuesday and a car rolls though the stop sign at the end of our street. I give her the sarcastic wave to say 'hi, I'm here.' Dumbass waves back like I'm saying hello.

Took the day off for Sal's birthday. We went for groceries. Nope we're not old at all. Just got back from the Keg, everything was great but the $13.95 crab cakes should have been called maybe muffins. I've seen bigger scallops.

The as yet unnamed Troll bit me on the back of my leg today. She's earning the Surly label. Trying another set of bars. I took the LL2BS (least likely to be stolen) Molly to work and the bank.  The bars on her that I assumed would be the least comfortable were just the opposite.

One of the guys at Petries is suffering through carpal tunnel and he said he just got in for the testing and was told he has a moderate case. He's been in much more pain than I have. Also said his doctor gave him some meds that really helped. His doctor is also mine, time to check that out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trolling for a Name

Still no name, can't pick one where it might come back to haunt me, cause no one wants to be a surly troll. The Surly is to Ford as the Troll is to Mustang. Surly is actually located in Bloomington MN so I might just stop in at Surly HQ some day. But really just look at her. Isn't she a thing of beauty, in an odd sort of female shot-putter sort of way.
The ride is pretty smooth. I love the feel of a steel frame and big tires. One of the kids working at Petries Sunday morning was bugging me about all the high end components I should put on to save weight. I said when I lose 100 pounds I'll look for a lighter bike. We put on some carbon spacer rings on the top of the fork just for him. Shaved off at least a gram. He thought the frame was cool so I guess it's not just an old guy thing. There's not another one in Thunder Bay and no official dealer, maybe I'll start a new trend.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Surly Troll Build

9am and I'm at Petries with a few spare parts for the building of the Troll. She'll begin as a singlespeed and hopefully end up with some kind of internal geared setup. In all it took about 2 hours of work and 3-1/2 hours of Petries time, the extra time for stories and customers. Good fun. Kind of miss it.
Now she just needs a name.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trolls, Bees and Dirty Old Arabs

My new frame arrived Tuesday, the Surly Troll in a beautiful bright colour called Agent Orange. I'm anything but ready to get it assembled and on the road. I've started taking longer rides and they have made it clear that my hands will be an issue in the decisions leading up to riding the Troll. I thought maybe drop bars would provide a better position for my wrists and tested that theory by taking Jill off the wall for her first ride in 2011. Well that didn't pan out. My wrists fall into positions that bring on the bees in a hurry. Too much weight over the bars and then on my hands. Next maybe high rise bars and a banana seat.

Jill also highlights the condition of our roads, in a word, ouch. The stiffness of the frame and 100 pounds in the tires over cracks, holes, lumps and bumps is not much fun with sore mitts.

Sciatica, another new medical term I've learned to hate. Every time it seems to be subsiding I go into a coughing fit that sends the pain further down my leg. Getting old is so much fun.

The Seals grabbed a 'small college library' sized amount of intel from bin Laden's hide out, but now it appears the not so holy maniac was more interested in porn than world destruction. I can't believe people think he should have gotten a fair trial, the only thing dumber is saying it out loud in the media. How many hostages would have been taken to bargain for his release?

I read about a study that partially explains the recent demise of the worlds bee population, cell phone signals. Apparently they confuse the bees to the point that they won't return to the hive and die. So you are less likely to be stung but also less likely to be able to afford food in the future.

I'm sure glad I picked up the Motorola Xoom I'm plunking out this post on. I can only sit comfortably on the couch so I've spent almost no time at my desk lately. The Xoom let's me stay on top of almost everything from the living room perch on a heating pad.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Define A Minute

An ad for the single cup coffee brewer we have came on last night touting a fresh cup in a minute. Now wait a minute, do you mean a minute as in 60 seconds? Or do you mean a minute as in "dad can we play catch". Or maybe you mean the minute left in the football game. That must be it cause it takes a minute in the microwave to heat the luke warm cup that dribbles out in about 3 of the 60 second variety.