"Freedom and responsibility we speak of easily, nearly always without recognition of the iron courage required to make them effective in our lives." j. glenn gray

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ride. Fish. Repeat... Summer Time!

Ok, let me see...

My computer went on the fritz and left me to keeping my log with the ol' pencil & paper. I put in roughly 586 miles in May and 429 so far for June. I've been riding Sunday mornings with my friend Colin and Bay Area Schwinn in Webster. I've also been riding short morning rides every other day or so with Theresa as she has again taken interest riding. The rides are only 10 miles in length and take less than an hour. My intention was to ride with her dropping her back at the house and then continuing on by myself, though we get back to the house and I bail out and find other things to do. It will be difficult to extend her mileage as the heat gets progressively higher for longer periods of the day. I've ridden with the WOOF Pack a couple of times and would like to do so more often this summer. I helped with the Tour de Braz again this year by putting out route signs. I also rode the 62 mile route with Lee, Chuck and Rafael. It was a beautiful ride as the skies were clear, the air dry and warm, and the breeze light.

I have been feeling much better and find the saddle to be much more inviting as of late. I don't know why I have/had such difficulties in the saddle recently. It seems one day I'm up only to reach the apogee of sucking the very next, though the good days seem to out number the bad lately.

Ah, alas, I sold my '05 Cannondale six13! The black beauty that carried me over so many, many roads across Texas is now destined to be stripped for her parts, rebuilt with lesser components and ridden by a teenager... It was a very good bike. On the other hand, I picked up an '08 Cannondale t1; the bloodline of Cannondale's flagship bike having not changed much in nearly 25 years. It is a beautiful bike though I do wish it were equipped with campagnolo rather than shimano components. The shimano shifters are much larger and do not fit well in my small hands. They also take more motion to engage where the supple campy shifters engage with barely a tap. The shimano seems also to be much more susceptible to ghost shifting. This is not a low-end group either; it is a 105 triple with the rest of the group being ultegra.

It sounds like I am complaining but, honestly, these are only observations apparent to me after having ridden bicycles equipped with campy for so many years. I truly enjoy riding the new touring steed. When I went to pick it up from the shop I was pleasantly surprised. The titanium grey paint is much darker than the photos on the web indicate and the metal flecks are not apparent in the photos either; in the sun the paint almost glows. It is very pretty. The geometry is completely different from the C'dale bikes I have been riding for years and, at first, it was almost awkward though the more upright position definitely provides a much more comfortable perch for observing the passing scenery. Conversely, the upright position catches more wind but I can live with that. The 700 x 35 tires are a definite ride improver as well absorbing energy from cracks and bumps rather than passing them to the frame and ultimately my butt and back.

I haven't made any long trips yet but intend on a trans-Texas tour once I get the panniers and other equipment. I also want to start a local recurring touring event. This idea came to me while reading an article in "Adventure Cyclist" about taking short, 24 hour, or overnight trips. I figure on planning some 62 to 124 mile trips for adventure cyclists who don't have days/weeks available for longer trips and/or rookie adventure cyclists who want to get a few short trips for experience. The idea is for all those attending to meet at a designated coffee shop on Saturday morning, ride out to the predetermined destination, camp Saturday night and return on Sunday. The recurring part would be like the 3rd weekend of each month and each month would be a different destination, as I'm sure there are at least 12 destinations that would be attractive in this area. I'm excited about this idea as it would be a short and inexpensive way to get out of doors, ride and meet new folks who enjoy the same.

On another note, we have a foreign exchange student coming to stay with us for the '08-'09 school year. Fabian is from Hamburg, Germany and will be here the first week in August. We are all very excited and look forward to having him in our home.

And another note... I have been having an AWESOME summer thus far! Mick, Jessica, and Trevor, have been taking me fishing nearly every day. It has been quite a while since the kids actually wanted to go somewhere with me, perhaps they don't have to worry about me embarrassing them in front of the fish! We have been to the Texas City dike, Pelican Island, and kayak fishing in West Bay so far. I've caught red drum, golden croaker and a couple of hard-heads. No flounder yet... odd as I used to always catch flounder in West Bay. I've missed a bunch of hits though, I guess that's part of the excitement of fishing. I've also hooked up with a couple of nice trout and something rather large but managed to yank the lure clean out of their grasp during my failed attempts to land them. Without having somebody to fish with, I haven't really been fishing since about fall of 2005 though my touch is coming back. I have thoroughly enjoyed the kids company and look forward to many more trips this summer. Guess I'll have to work out a riding-fishing, or fish-riding ;o) schedule!

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by TXPeddler

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