Friday, January 30, 2009
I'm a Land Rover fan, which means I'm partial to a few aftermarket parts manufacturers, like Hella, OME and Safety Devices. Now, Hella makes lighting equipment, OME makes suspension components, and Safety Devices is known for roof racks for carrying expedition equipment and rollover protection equipment etc, and was a product sponsor to the famed and now defunct Camel Trophy from years ago. Those who know Safety Devices, know the company is also known as 'SD'. They make roof racks. Their roof racks are powder coated black.
Somewhere in my life, on a Land Rover board far, far away, I typed the phrase 'black SD racks'.
So now, because I'm a fan of Land Rovers, And I spend time on a message board about British trucks and their aftermarket accessories, I'm affiliated, via Google, with...
Wait for it...
"Blacks D racks"
Yep, that's me alright, associated with a porn site featuring inter-racial pictures of black guys snuggling up to porky white boobs. The best part?... The site apparently is a portal for gay porn too! Hey! Why be picky! Woo!
So it's official...I'm never going to be President after THAT background check! (unless McCain tries a third time and needs a running mate, apparently there's no background review at all for that gig.)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Brumos, the famous local Porsche Dealer located here in Jacksonville, is the title sponsor.
The 1st place 58 car.
59 car engine, looks darn dirty, and sports typical goo from 24 hours of competition, despite only mild oil leaks .
58 on the other hand, sported the notorious oil leak that was talked about (and agonized over)during the race.
It was neat to see these suckers on display in this post race condition. Next, 58 heads down to Daytona to be displayed there for a week, and then both cars get taken apart and rebuilt for the next race in Virginia a little over a month away. 1st and 3rd place! File that under Local Boys Done Good.
Here are the bottles, ready to go. I won't need these until 10 days in, when stage two of the fermenting process starts.
The keg, washed and cleaned out, and ready to roll..
Making the Wort. This is the first stage, boiling up what Mr Beer calls the 'Booster', which is essentially a big honkin' bag of sugar.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This is on the land bridge going over the interstate. Neat how they made it look like a ground based footpath even though you're 30 feet off the ground...
Looking over the edge, over a few bikes, of course...
Sunday, Travis and I hit Santos in Ocala again, same place as last week. I picked up Travis at a bout 6am, so we would get an early start and be back in tone to contribute meaningfully to our respected households. Funny-oops of the day...I fell on my head on the kiddy obstacles in the parking lot. Ha! I'm not sure of the distance, but we went from the Santos trail head to the Land Bridge over I-75, and then beyond by about 5-7 miles, into the next trail quadrant, called Christmas, believe it or not. Pics to follow!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Too bad I slept through the local Beast of the East eBay auction. A red Pepperoni fork would have been a nice addition to mine, rather than the NOS black Pepperoni I've got sitting in the shop.
It's a good thing most of my retro interests fly under the radar, or I'd be left eating bean curds and bread crumbs!
This looks like a Twitter post. "I am drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bagel." Or some such nonsense...
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Pictures of course...to make Bikesnob proud...
And a Mavic 217 Sunset 32 hole wheel set, laced to some 950 XTR hubs. Front wheel is one cross (and USED, despite what the auction said...grr) and the rear is 3x on both drive and non drive. The rear wheel seems to be a legit take-off item, with very little signs of use, but the front wheel has been ridden. I'm pretty happy non-the-less though, as both wheels are dead straight and evenly tensioned, and the sidewall of the front wheel doesn't show excessive wear, so it's not seen much use. Still, people, list you stuff as honestly as possible...this wheel set would have still brought a pretty penny without any misdirection or slight of hand regarding condition...Both pictures are from their respective auctions, so I'm not responsible for the pic quality, and I'll assume that the sellers don't give a hoot as they no longer own the stuff, but rather have pockets stuffed with green-backs instead... "Let not he who hath mounds of Franklin's in thine pockets be tempted to wreak havoc in the courtrooms of the land, for thou who art stuffed with cash shall in the end slew the fatted goats themselves." Or something to that effect...
In other Fleabay news...I slept through an auction for another Beast of the East, located here in town this time, which would have afforded me the chance to add a matching fork to my personal Beast. Blame the Benadryl... Again...grrr.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
First, the trusty steed, approaching 15 years old and still going strong. Still as heavy as a Buick. Still 4130 straight guage steel. Still mistaken for a girls bike. Sometimes.
Trail markers...Red for naughty, including the freeride park. We did a bit of the trails out in the Vortex freeride area, but not too much. I'm fat and old and shameful, so elevated bridges and ramps frighten me. The technical trails were a treat however. I should find my Hammer Guards and get busy. Yeah, old guys have Hammer Gards too.
Blue, for the medium intensity stuff, good tight twisties with some solid obstacles to traverse... The pic is at the end of the trail, obviously where the sign was, and obviously NOT where the twisties or the obstacles were. Looks like a bloody sidewalk! (or as bike activists prefer, a 12' multi-use path'.)
And of course...we are in Florida, so the parking lot was stuffed with a good many folks just posing on their Dubs and gabbing. Word, Dog.(!) We passed maybe 5 different people on the trails, not counting the 4 rubber kids on the dirt jump bikes in Vortex, and yet the parking lot was full, some 50 plus cars. Most folks seemed happy to just hang around the marking lot and ask each other for help with their shock pumps and crap like that.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I live in FLORIDA people! As my brother so eloquently pointed out a little while ago when I whined about the weather earlier, temperature is all relative. I live in an area where the average daily temperature is nearly 70 degrees! I challenge any cyclists who gives me the razz about my lack of temperature tolerance to acclimate to a 70 degree yearly average and then ride on a frosty 39 degree morning. Yeah I though so. You either haven't tried it, or you haven't tried it. Period.
When I moved to Colorado (for all of a year and a half...one winter was enough, thanks), I remember the first summer when I worked at the Sports Garage in Boulder, the owners at the time, Frank and Thom, were complaining about the heat wave they were having. In the afternoons in July, the temperature would "soar" to about 85...and there would be Frank...sitting on the front steps with a hose over his head in the middle of the day! Now let me explain...Frank was a tough man. Frank was hard as nails. Frank used to split time working in the primary shop and next door assembling X-IT components, or working in the machine shop or whatever, then he'd head on down to the local joint for a tasty beverage, or three, or nine. He'd come back the next day and do it all over again. 6 days a week. His only chair at home if I recall was a dentist's chair. (that's hard as nails). One day he came in to work, very quiet and somber, with his knuckles all busted up. I knew why, and I didn't ask for the story. On top of all this, Frank was a brutal rider. Brutal. The man WAS energy and fierce strength, and yet there he was, in temperatures that had me wearing a fleece vest and calling the weather 'balmy', sitting on the steps to the shop trying to stave off heat stroke!
Similarly, I knew a local rider in college who competed in many road races, although I don't recall his CAT. His Name was Randy, and he was a machine on a road bike. he would commute to the shop every day, rain or shine, on an older Shogun time trial bike. Some days he'd take out his road bike instead, which was a Falcon made Reynolds steel model...none too light as I recall. Anyway, he'd thunder around on rides, jumping into the wake of large vehicles and drafting up to speeds well in excess of 30 mile per hour. Transit Buses were a favorite target to draft behind, and not always with positive results,(e.g. he was a scabby man from his risky riding style). Randy was also hard as nails.
Off road in Florida, I learned to ride on "mountain" trails where the cypress knees reached 2 plus feet tall. We're talking wooden stalagmites here. Intermingled with black muck that would seize your drive train in 100 feet. Wet logs and roots made trail riding akin to ice skating amongst the stalagmites. Bike handling skills came fast in these slippery conditions. In the wet season there would be trails in the local park that would literally be 3 plus feet underwater. I remember doing night rides with our Night Rider lights lighting up the Hillsborough River like a fish tank. Literally fish swimming across the beam of the submerged light. There were trails where you would ride a big long loop, planning on doing a flood gate crossing to complete the loop, only to find that the gates were locked. So, the solution, throw the bikes in the river and swim for it. One of our friends in the group at the time was Canadian, and he'd get all glassy eyed and chant "Gators!" when we'd swim it. Leeches were always a possibility, and Ticks were the norm. There's a reason that two thirds of the Spanish soldiers who "discovered" Florida died of disease.
I tell you that story because Frank would have never tolerated that. Randy once said he hated that "shit" because it wasn't mountain biking it was mountain walking. These were hard guys, and yet their sphere of comfort didn't include things that an old softy like me considered standard fair. Regionalisms apply to cycling as much or more than to other sports. We're not claiming to be Kamloops riders down here, but then again, Kamloops riders posses a different skill set as well, one cultivated over years of taking speed and drops for granted. Cyclists master their local conditions, and deviations produce mediocrity. I'm not making excuses for my overall mediocrity as a cyclists (because I'm pretty damn mediocre), I'm just pointing out the obvious. If it were 10 degrees below zero in North Dakota, probably not many North Dakotan's on a bike. 35 here in Florida yields the same reaction. If I were still in Colorado and acclimated once again to the altitude and temperatures, I'd be on a bike in a heartbeat if it were 35 with no snow on the ground...hell even some snow is a good time. But that summer when I first arrived in Colorado I remember doing trails along the Front Range like Walker Ranch and Sourdough and Miller's Rock, in the heat of the day in July, and those trails were lonely and abandoned, and yet the weather seemed pretty nice to me. The Altitude on the other hand, had me grabbing my chest. Again, regionalisms.
So to those of you suffering in your winter white cycling slumber, just remember that I'm suffering too, just on a sliding scale of pain. And when I complain about weather in the thirties, to many a southern cyclists, that's a very real impediment to a day on the bike.
For example...25 on Saturday in Florida will have me in bed until Monday.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
And we sure aren't used to stuff like... http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=462896
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Outlet was an unused 2 phase job located behind the fridge, unused by us, but wired in series to the switch and then overhead light. Turn on the switch for the light and the increased load on the outlet would make the loose connection arc. As it was an unused 2 phase outlet (made redundant by the 3 phase outlet not more than 2 feet away), we just opened the box and tied off the connection, eliminating the outlet all together and covering it with a face plate. Electrician averted.
The remaining connections were all checked and were snug, so close the book on the sizzling lights mystery, and I don't need to demo my nice new ceiling. Don't you just love old homes?
Rode to work yesterday and today...put a total of 22 miles on the books.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Saturday was the 52 miler with the Orange Park crew. For a no-drop ride this thing is getting pretty screwed up. This time, after my New Years Resolution to not always try to play clean-up, I ignored how many people were with me and focused on keeping up with some of the quicker guys, with some success I might add, so I felt good about that. I still think these rides should be longer though, but I'll lobby for that on another occasion. The group held together pretty well for the out trip, and the halfway sprint, which is on a wide open hill passing some silos on what looks like maybe a pig farm, and heading toward the landfill (lovely!). The group spit out a few new guys, but the turnaround point means the quicker crew comes back through and collects everyone for the return trip. On the return though, things got sort of screwy. A few fellas got hung at a light, and then there wasn't much of an effort to wait to collect them (again, I'm not making that decision anymore, other than saying something about them being off the back, my work is done. Talk to the shop owners and organizers of their no-drop events).
Then the same thing happened to the remaining group as two more guys got hung off at another light later in the day, splitting the group into three. Travis got stuck in the second group, not because he was off the back, but he fell into the roll of waiting for the slower guys, after that part had been dropped by me. In hindsight, I should have told him my plans (or he should have read my blog!) Anyway, he fell back after another new guy got dumped at the light. He was pretty incredulous that there were no volunteers with shop ties to go back or wait up, and that the group as a whole did the same split-up maneuver twice. I felt bad for personal reasons, Travis has been there for me when I felt like crap, and I left him for the faster group. I think he's vowed to not be the new-guy collector anymore either. What can I say, I want to progress as a cyclist, and I need to be LEFT because I couldn't hang, rather than be the guy who sits back for the slower folks. I still contend that slower-folk sitting is for shop guys, and seeing as my Thomson seat post was over $100, I don't think I qualify as shop guy yet.
Sunday was the San Felasco ride, a warm-up tune-up ride for next weeks Tour De Felasco. The tour is a fund raising ride put together by Friends of the park, with the goal of raising money to reinvest in the off-road infrastructure there. The ride is limited to 400 people, and competition to get a slot is tight. I sent my registration in the day it posted on the website and still didn't get in. Found out yesterday that the address had been 'leaked' and that a good many folks pre-registered for the event, sucking up many of the 400 spots, which I though was sort of weasel-like. Plus, it seems that every shop owner I've spoken to has told me that they didn't register on time, but that 'so-and-so' got them in. Crap like that really sucks. I don't think event organisers consider the bad PR that these types of stories create for their groups. I'm all for doing events to raise money or volunteering to do trail maintenance, but when it becomes a high-school clique party, well then I'll pay my 2 bucks at the gate and be wear and tear instead. Too bad too, because the park is a great place. Travis and I hung with the lead group for the first trail and then the previous days road work, and Travis' shoes and pedals (he's still using flats and running shoes, needs to make the clipless leap...are you listening Travis?) conspired to pull us off and into our own group of two. We kept up a pretty quick pace and worked the trails for about two and a half hours before heading on back to the Rover for the drive home. It was a beautiful day on the trails.
Came home, turned on the new light in the kitchen, and heard a faint buzzing and the light flickered. Ugh. House built in 1949, plus 2 phase wiring, plus shitty previous owner hack job repairs equals electrician time. I'm sure I didn't nic any lines, and the light install is about as straight forward as you can get, so I'll just have to have the pros come out and check it out. Probably have to tear a big hole in my ceiling! AAAYEE!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Close up of le corner. Nice joint on my trim, total crap joint from the PO.
More. Note the vast pint glass collection. A man can never have enough beer glasses.
As you can guess from the first picture, I was trying to emulate the feel of the ceiling in the dining room/den. The cedar in there is much older and darker, but the fresh cedar in the fridge room turned out great, and should age, dirty and darken over time. Total time, about 7 hours. Total cost, about $120. Best part, no drywall dust!
There, brief diversion from cycling, but I think you'll live.