But pretty soon. I saw some grass today.
Sure. My shoulders are sore and our old Civic probably won’t be shoveled out until April, but it really hasn’t been that bad.
- It is good exercise as long as you pace yourself. We’re at the point where we don’t really have any more room to put more snow, but our neighbors have been great with coming along and using their snowblowers to help us clear that last big pile that the plow dumped on us; and then some.
- We get to accept our neighbors generosity. There is no better way to get to know someone than letting them help you out. You’re giving them an opportunity to show their best side.
- It works both ways. After John was done clearing our driveway this morning, I was able to help him with digging out his mailbox. Then I saw Bob shoveling; and it turned out his snowblower had broken down; so I was able to help him dig out the end of his driveway.
- It makes all the work with owning a woodstove seem that much more sensible. With the high winds and impassible roads, there was a real threat of losing power. Having that stove guarantees a degree of comfort, shelter, and safety.
- It makes the $900 I paid for a 22 year old four wheel drive pickup worth every penny. Even this morning, the roads were pretty bad, and I was in fwd most of the trip to work.
- It takes away that grey monotone shadow that everything has during winter, and makes life a challenge. Normally, we have no trouble managing in the cold, but I think it affects our attitude. Now, everyone has something to get excited about – it looks like winter should look.
- It raises the anticipation level for a long ride on a cool spring afternoon that much more.
Although their web site hasn’t been updated in a while, two separate news reports indicate that roughly $325,000 has been awarded via a federal grant and state gaming funds to build a riverfront park in Millersburg and the planned rail trail. The two parks will connect, so theoretically, you could take the ferry from the west side of the river to Millersburg, and then ride the 20 miles to Lykens.
This money should finally get this project well underway.
I should have known that posting about my desire to get in a longish ride on Saturday would somehow jinx those plans. Instead of getting out on a what was an unusually nice January day, I woke up to the mother of all head colds and spent the day in bed. I probably slept 20 out of 24 hours. I’m finally starting to feel a little better…just in time for the temps to dip back into the 20′s for this coming weekend.
Based on some good advise and my limited funds, I ordered a Big Agnes Skinny Fish mummy bag that was on clearance from REI, and it showed up yesterday. Since I lay mostly on my right side with that arm extended, I ordered a right hand zipper, thinking that I could always open it up that way if I get claustrophobic. But after playing around with the bag, I don’t think I’ll have that problem.
Even though its a mummy bag, Big Agnes cuts their bags…big. My challenge was finding a long. Their cutoff for regulars is 6′, which just fits me, but not my two sons if they want to use it. What I found is that a lot of the regulars get heavily discounted in the off season, but few of the longs. Still, I believe I made out pretty good for a 20F bag, thinking that I’m a cold sleeper and the ratings are a bit optimistic, it’ll work as is down to 35F.
There’s plenty of room to roll around, the zipper is well built but requires patience, the fabric and workmanship appear good, and it has that cool system for inserting a pad and pillow. and the fill is made from recycled material. Speaking of fill, I went with plastic for price, easier care, and less moisture absorbsion. That makes it a four pound bag, and its a little big when compressed, but I think the tradeoffs are minor. It comes with a stuff sack and a simple compression sack.
The next purchase will be a pad: Big Agnes, Thermarest, Exped, insulated or not, pump or not, inflatable or foam or composite?
I found an old but nice Carradice Super C bag, which boosts my storage up to 57 liters – more than enough. There’s a guy who has come up with a cheap quick release hack for switching saddle bags that I want to try since I seem to be gathering quite the collection of Carradice items.
The X bike is sporting a new pair of skins: 700c X 32 Paselas. I want to keep that bike “lite” for fun riding, and I wasn’t happy with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus’ and how they were a bear to get on the rims. If one of the boys is riding it and flats out, they’re SOL. So Ted at Pedal Pushers had a pair of slightly used tires, and I had a set of lighter rims from the Sloth. The tires mount without tools, and viola! I think this bike has finally found it’s personality. I’m going to keep the Y2000 rims with the 29er knobbies handy for any trail riding; and the Schwalbes are going on the DC19 rims as spares for the Trucker.
Now you’d think I’d have pictures of all this goodness, but I wasn’t able to score a memory card for my new/used camera until last night. Did you know it’s getting hard to find cards with less than 4 gig? So I promise to take some shots here before too long.
Finally, with all the rain and wind, we lost our power for a few hours last night. While the woodstove kept us toasty, I scored some major geekdom points by parading around the house with my headband mounted LED lamp. Kind of took the romance vibe off with all the candles sitting about, but what can I say?
I would not be described as a humble person by most, but if you peruse this blog, you’re not going to find many pictures of me. Part of it is that I’m usually alone and I don’t have anyone taking pictures of me; and the other is that I am uncomfortable posing for pictures. I think candid shots are much better at capturing the essence of the moment and who a person is than the ones where all action stops and the participants are arranged, hair combed, ties straightened, and smiles correctly applied. One season when I was the trainer on a soccer team, I took a lot of pictures and created a team blog. My favorite shots were the ones I quietly took while the team was getting ready for the “official” after match shot. They show the girls in their natural state – goofing around, some laughing, some being miserable, some picking their noses; but all being who they are.
There are a couple bike blogs where the writers mugs are prominent in both the skin and the content. I don’t really get the point since I read their work to find out what they are up to; not what they look like. Now it may come in handy if I should be planning to meet up with someone for a ride, but part of the fun is matching the person to the words, and thinking, “wow, you don’t look anything like I pictured you.” That’s just one of the surprises of life and says more about our own perceptions than it does about the other person.
So what brought me to all of this was passing a church where, quite commonly, the senior pastor’s name was displayed prominently on a sign outside. What’s the deal? A church is so much more than one person, and if the approach is that letting the world know that this is where so and so preaches, then I’m not sure I’d want to be a part of that. I know people who have followed a pastor from one church to another, and my thoughts are that they are doing a disservice to the rest of “the church family.” After all, going to church is about relationships: with The Big Guy and with each other. If you leave to follow the pastor, then maybe he wasn’t so good about fostering those relationships….
Another thing I’ll quickly rant about are the “Clergy” bumper stickers. Are they supposed to buy you a free pass for parking spaces? It seems that in the city, every third car is owned by clergy, but I don’t notice the atmosphere being any more holy than where I live in East Podunk.
So give it a rest, guys and gals. We are all witnesses.
It’s no secret that I like to follow the occassional Crazy Guy on a Bike adventure. It has to do with my not so secret desire to hit the road one of these days for an extended tour – and this coming from a guy who has little camping equipment and even less experience. Nevertheless, I shared this thought with a friend the other day and I have been quietly researching heavy racks and panniers for the Trucker.
Anyhow, the CGOB that I have been following: Long Haul Truckin’ (wonder why?) is in the area and rolled into Hanover yesterday. Like Victor last year, I doubt I’ll have time to venture out and meet him. But still, it’s cool to see someone who has been on the road for so long ride through and provide snippets of insight on our region.