Wednesday, December 31, 2008

assorted 2008 photos

Not really the year in review, but the best you'll get from this blog. Miscellaneous pictures from the year that (almost) was.

The Tour of Pennsylvania...shots from the front porch:


Also Tour of PA, but not from my porch:


What Shippensburg looks like the rest of the year:


Broken mountain bike crap:


Father's day present (yes, it's a wallet made from a bicycle tube...and it's awesome):


The three natural-born goats (before there were four) on a ride through campus...Marian's taking the picture from her trailer:


Assorted shots of me, with others, engaged in my third favorite pass time...at home:


...at the hospital:

...camping:


...and with the new kid:


A shot of Mare and I with a lamb in the yard (yes, the lamb is wearing a pull-up):


The autumn rake-up (I'm not kneeling):


The lovely and ever-accommodating:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

this nasty shoulder

All y'all remember that I broke my collarbone (again) in early October. Last Wednesday, Christmas Eve, I was headed out to deliver cookies to a few friends and fell on the ice.

My shoulder today:


(The bump, where it looks like my clavicle just ends, is from the first break. It's the bruising I want to highlight.)

I should have known better. It had been raining all night, the rain began to freeze, and upon closer inspection there was about a 1/4 inch of ice on my back steps. I should have known better, but apparently I don't. First step down--I didn't stand a chance--first step down and I was on my back.

Well... Not directly on my back. I saved the cookies in my right hand. Broke my fall with the left forearm. In retrospect, I would have been better off on my back, because what happened left my collarbone hurting like a mother.

After I determined I hadn't broken the bone again (at least not clean through, I'm not convinced that I didn't somehow crack it but probably just strained the new growth, the bone "patch"), muttered half a dozen words I didn't learn from my mother, repeated dozens of times, I grit my teeth, put on a plastic smile and made the deliveries. Once home, I took two oxycodone and went to bed.

But it can't be hurt that bad. That was Wednesday, and on Friday I rode 80 minutes on the trainer, learned to ride a Ripstik, and tried for about a half hour to ride a unicycle. Saturday I got 56 miles in on the road.

Collarbones... Definitely a human skeletal design flaw.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a few pics...

A couple of teaser shots for Mark of the new rig (and my unattractive basement ceiling) after a wet night ride:



And a shot of the fool who loves to go out and ride in the dark:


Actually, that ride just finished in the dark. From a couple of Saturdays ago. About three and half hours of Michaux's finest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

weather here = craptastic

(Valerie has told me that "craptastic" is my new favorite word. Might as well embrace it...)

Yesterday, while hurriedly finishing my grading, I watched the snow accumulate on the grassy lawn that my office window overlooks. I was getting so excited. I made plans to ski today--if not at a resort, then cross country atop the mountain. And I was getting antsy to get my ride on. I love me some fresh (mtb) tracks.

But it was a busy day, and I didn't get out until 9:30pm. And by then it was raining.

Yes. Raining. After snowing all day, the snow turns to rain a few hours after nightfall. Unbelievable.

So it was a wet, not-really-that-fun ride. I could only manage about 40 minutes.

This morning: more rain.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

reminiscence

Growing up, my dial was tuned to the Boise classic rock* station KJOT, J105, "Idaho's Best Rock"--which, I was surprised to learn, is still on the air, playing, it would seem, more or less the same tunes it did 20 years ago.

Every Monday morning at 6am, about five minutes after I was supposed to get up to deliver the paper, the morning show would kick off with this little ditty from Fleetwood Mac.



Before today, I'm not sure I'd heard this song since I was a teenager. But for some reason (odd...it's not even Monday) the song popped in my head today.


* Born in the early 70s and coming to a popular music awareness in the 80s the moniker "classic rock" made sense to me as that really great era of popular music that immediately, and only coincidentally, predated my interest in music. But now, more than two decades later, it seems odd that a certain kind of popular music recorded in the 60s and 70s would qualify as "classic rock" and everything since...something else. Which leads me to wonder, who coined the term "classic rock" in the first place?

There's so much power in definitions...

...

I got a flat yesterday...riding the trainer. Isn't having to ride a trainer crappy enough without having to worry about flat tires? Insult to injury...

Monday, December 8, 2008

notes from the trail

(1) Rifle season is over. Hallelujah.

(2) I've said it before: Pennsylvania winters suck rocks. It is a "crappy dark-cloudy-northern-dreary-craptastic-cold-funk of a winter." I'd forgive the cold and windy and constant overcast-dreary if we could get a decent snow cover. But here in south-central pee-aay, even though it's been crazy cold for the past several days, we won't get precipitation again until it warms up.

It's become a predictable pattern.

(3) On Saturday's ride I looked down to notice that drips of sweat had frozen in a slick little sweat-spattered pattern on the flat black paint of my top tube. Cold.

(4) I bought winter riding shoes. From Wiggle. Some stuff is way cheaper bought in Europe, especially with free shipping deals.

(5) My new mtb tires, Michelin Wildgripper Sprints, are awesome.
I have the green ones (on my monitor, this picture makes them look teal, but they're more green than teal). Why are they awesome? One, green...and they look awesome on my otherwise black mtb. Two, prefect tread pattern for how and what I ride. Three, they do that cool optical illusion thing where it looks like the wheel is rotating the other direction. I'm exceptionally pleased with this.

Look, act quickly and you can get your own. Other than that, I suppose your best bet at finding a pair would be to clean out the inner recesses of your local bike shop's dusty back closet. That's where I found mine.

(6) I heard more gunfire in the mountains two Saturdays ago (two days before rifle season) than I did this last Saturday (the last day of rifle season). Damn poachers.

(7) Self-imposed moratorium on cycling-related spending until Feb 1 (with the exception of a rear mtb wheel I already have on order). Think I can make it?

Monday, December 1, 2008

saturday's happy sunshine of a mtb ride

I need to get a picture of the new ride up here soon. I feel guilty...and I'm not even accountable--in any meaningful way--to anyone reading this blog. (Guilt...I loath you!)

Anyway, I'm really liking the new hardtail. Saturday, Big E and Andy guided me on some south Michaux singletrack I hadn't ridden before. Three and half hours of it. I liked the trails. I liked my bike on the trails. And that earlier comment about having a hard time keeping the rear wheel on the ground with the new ride? I had forgotten that I rode that day with over-inflated tires (I was initially planning to stick just to the fire roads). Saturday, with my tires properly inflated, I was much more satisfied with my bike's handling.

But as much as I liked the trails and my bike on the trails, I mostly just loved the weather and being outside in it. Saturday saw a few clouds, but mostly sunshine. Temperatures probably got up to 41 or 42 degrees. And when it's been so cold and dreary, even if just for a few weeks, temps in the low 40s with sunshine can feel wonderful.

Rainy today, but looks to be clear tomorrow. Hoping to take advantage of the girls' day off and get Audrey and a friend or two out for hike... In this crappy dark-cloudy-northern-dreary-craptastic-cold-funk of a winter season I gotta get outside in the sun as much as possible. It's like I'm really, really sick and sunshine is the cure.