Saturday, June 28, 2008

to the crest

The event of the day was to ride the Sandia Crest. The Crest is 5500 ft above our lil' apartment and 30 miles away as the bike rides. The degree of difficulty of the ride requires special 'athletic food' so as to prevent riders from collapsing before the finish.

That there is a black forest brownie and apricot scone from Sweet Blessings.
This is my attempt at the Moscaline photo method. I need more practice. We're having a lot of fun near the start of the climb. There aren't any photos further up the mountain because we split up to ride at our own paces, and also because I couldn't spare the energy to lift the camera out of my basket.

By a marvel of modern technology, I simultaneously took photos of myself on the crest and Jill and I in our parking lot. It's hard to pick me out of the crowd in the photo above, but I'm the guy with the yellow hat. Sadly, Jill is not in the photo. I started back down before she reached the top, and she was happy enough to forego the last mile in favor of the quicker green chile cheeseburger. Use the red arrows if necessary to find us in the photos.
My shirt normally doesn't have white stripes along the edge of my shoulder blades. Yep, it was pretty hot. But it was also cold when we first started down from the crest, and colder still when we got rained on.
So tomorrow's plan is to watch the Germans and Spaniards kick a little ball on the pitch. Even the bbb's need some rest now and again.

Friday, June 27, 2008

flowery fri

This is another Big 3 Day Weekend, so we're getting started early with our blogging. Today's plan was to hit Sadie's for lunch, and find more adventure from there.

We didn't remember until we arrived, but we actually ate at Sadie's way back in 2002 when I was an intern in Los Alamos. The lunch combo was hyuge! Hot and yummy.

The next plan was to hit the Botanical garden to make good use of our year pass. On the way, we saw Los Poblanos, our LPO (Lovely Provider of Organicfood).
The botanical gardens are in full summer mode. Lots of flowers and greenness.

We were ridin' the Treks today. I dorkified my bike with a metal basket and super tall stem. Now it's super comfortable and allows for easy loading of stuff.

All that riding makes us hungry. No photos, but we stopped by Coldstone in Nob Hill for some black cherry ice cream with fixins. Jill was already thinking of dinner while eating the ice cream, so we headed to the Pie Shack. Look who joined us for dinner. Nice car.

One day of the weekend is done. 2 to go.

Monday, June 23, 2008

something is in the air

You know how things tend to stay pretty much the same for a long time? I've had that feeling for a while now. But a couple things might actually change in the near future, I (we) hope. We'll see, and we'll keep you posted.

Brief update on my eating habits: It's been about 2 weeks since I decided to eat less. Two observations: (1) I'm able to either concentrate (at work) or exercise (ride home) on a fairly empty stomach. Somehow being hungry has become less debilitating. (2) I became obsessed with weighing myself. One reason was to make sure that I wasn't wasting away to nothing, and the other was to see if I could get a feel for how much I was eating. My weight is about 165 and and 168, after waking up in the morning and before going to bed, respectively. I'm planning to not lose any more weight -- some would have called me skinny before this experiment. Really!

Down to 2. I loaned out the Great Big Trek, circa 1979, to a friend over the weekend. He plans to train on it and do the MS150 charity ride from Bernalillo to Los Alamos. We _might_ join him. That leaves me with only the gray Trek and the big boy blue bike.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

LA day trip

We had to do a small bit of painting at our Los Alamos estate, so we went up there to do that and to visit some buddies.

G & K invited us to vacation in Hawaii with them, but we declined. K demonstrates how she reeled in a fish that was taller than her while deep sea fishing. Note that she doesn't have a photo, so I'm not sure it was much bigger than mine.

K & K just adopted this lovely baby about 2 weeks ago. She didn't say much during lunch.

After lunch, we took a trip to Moscaline's house. We took a short but difficult bike ride up the Jemez. Jill rode a touch slower than Moscaline and I up the mountain and watched a bear cross the road about 30 yards in front of her! Somehow she didn't get a picture of it! Oh, and she's fine.

We, well mostly Jill, took a ride on the Moscaline's big dummy. It rides a lot like a tandem that we borrowed once, the difference being that the passenger gets to simply enjoy the ride.
We finished the day by eating dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Moscaline. Mr. M cooked up some very delicious whole wheat pasta (they say Barilla makes the only good whole wheat they've found) with mountains of veggies . Desert was a fabulous cherry blueberry pie. Thanks so much guys!

Friday, June 13, 2008

channeling Dave Stohler

Every so often amidst the wasteland of advertisements for used dept store bikes on sale for their new price, a true gem crops up on craigslist. Within one hour on Sunday, the ad was posted, I saw it, contacted the owner, drove (still working on bike on bike transport, a la moscaline) to his house, and bought the bike. The bike is a 1979 Trek race bike made with Columbus SP tubing with Campy dropouts and mostly mediocre parts. The seller bought the bike brand new in 1979 and replaced a few of the lousier Campy Gran Sport components with middle quality Japanese parts. Here's what it looks like after a good bit of cleaning and overhauling.

Now, Dave Stohler's bike was a red masi rather than a blue trek, I look more like Daniel Stern than Dennis Christopher, I was 3 years old when Breaking Away was released, and I lived in Urbana, IL, rather than Btown, IN. But bikes of this era really speak to me. They're subtle, with smooth curves, sharp angles, and skinny tubes that nicely balance. All the parts are simple to operate and mainain.

Just before buying it, I was thinking of possibly selling it to one of my tall friends. But then I rode it and changed my mind. The plan for now is to lend it to a friend in town so that he can train on it and ride it in the MS-150 ride from ABQ to Los Alamos. He just rode the Abq century on a mountain bike and is thinking a road bike might make the MS ride easier. And how!

My Bianchi is currently loaned out to another friend. He's commuting to work on it until his dad's old bike arrives in the mail. I'm enjoying this role as bike ambassador. It's really nice to see more people using bikes for transportation.

My bike repair business is slowly getting off the ground. This week I was replacing the freehub body on another friend's bike when a neighbor asked if I could fix his bike. Oh yea! Fame and endless riches are forthcoming!

IL gathering in NM

Grad school buddy Greg got married on Sat. We hardly got a chance to know him since he got his MS degree and got out. A mere vapour of time for us grizzled, long-term grad students. Our pics from the wedding are generally no good, so here's our 'best' shot of the bride and groom.
Fellow U of I grad students, Dave and TL flew out from soggy, dreary WA to enjoy the festivities and some sunshine. Here's an oldie but goodie from TL's piano masters' recital, shortly after they started dating.

We're quite proud that they met each other at a Bible study in our house in Urbana. They stayed at our place for the weekend, so we had much time to catch up. One reason for needing to catch up is that both Jill and Chad are really terrible at calling friends on the phone. Why? It's hard to say -- we love seeing friends in person. Talking on the phone just doesn't feel the same.
To make up for the lack of chile in their lives, we drove up to Santa Fe to eat at The Shed and wander around the plaza.

Really, some day we'll have to visit them in WA. I hear it's nice sometimes in June, July, or Aug. Can't wait!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Taos trip

About 10 miles from home, we realized that we forgot our camera, so we have no new pics of the joys and sufferings of our Taos trip. Can you believe how cheap it is to drive places? We spent maybe $25 worth of gas for 2 people round trip. That's gotta be cheaper than even trains in Europe. But note that I'm not counting depreciation, insurance, maintenance, road construction, land wasted on parking, and so on. Drive on!

On Friday afternoon, we planned to ride through the Taos Pueblo reservation area on our way to Arroyo Seco for a scoop of Taos Cow Ice Cream. Upon entering the reservation, I saw a sign that said no bicycling, hiking, or other nefarious non-car transporting through the reservation. I thought to myself, 'that can't be right', since their casino was 1 mile ahead. Well, a generally nice guy pulled his truck over in front of us and told us that the sign was correct. Of course, people in motor cars are welcome to drive on in. We were both a little shocked at getting kicked out of the reservation. But considering that our ancestors killed huge numbers of their ancestors, the treatment wasn't so bad.

On Saturday, we rode the enchanted circle in the counter clockwise direction. Lunch was at a one week old cafe called Judy's in Eagle Nest. No one told us about Bobcat Pass, elevation 9800' between Eagle Nest and Red River. To get over this pass requires climbing 4 miles up a 8ish% grade. Ouch! Just west of Red River is a giant molybdenum mine, but one can only see some processing equipment and ginormous piles of tailings. The mountain of waste is shockingly ugly in the midst of a national forest, but I can understand -- molybdenum is a key alloying ingredient in high strength steel which can be made into very nice bicycle frames. In Questa, we bought a sports drink at a gas station. The proprietor's new mtn bike was parked outside, and he came out to admire my bike (the Bianchi) and joke with some of the locals. We asked one of them how far it was to Taos. About 20 miles, said the man with a rusty pickup truck and 4 pack of Mickey's. Well, after we'd climbed 3 reasonably long hills, a sign suggested that it was still 19 miles to Taos. About 10 miles from our hotel, we were out of water, and there is only desert between that point and the town. Did I mention that it was 85 degrees? Thankfully the wind was somewhat at our backs. We made it. Jill felt nauseous, but I was okay.

Good food was had at Michael's, Pizza Outback, Dragonfly, and Judy's in Eagle Nest.

Because Jill hates to post without pictures, here are photos from past Taos adventures: