"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

Monday, May 31, 2010

When did they do that?

Great ride today.  Tough to get everyone together on a holiday weekend, no worries . . . just ride a couple of times with a couple of groups and when they all need to go (read: wimp out), just keep on ridin'

Since I was alone, I thought it time to ride some gravel.

After the mandatory coffee stop at the Mocha Moose, I continued down ole scenic 61 to Knife River.  At the railroad bridge one can hop on the Old North Shore Road.  This is a particularly  scenic stretch of gravel . . . almost all the way back to Duluth.

After about 6 miles of minding my own business . . .  I notice a bit of a change at a bridge crossing . . . no worries thought Rich . . . I'm sure they just changed the barriers . . .   (ahh . . . my favorite phrase: "minding my own business")

oops . . . maybe they took the bridge out?
No worries, just a scenic water crossing!

It was a bit of a tough climb up and out:

No worries . . . home in plenty of time to take Claire to march in the Duluth Memorial Day parade.
It was by the way, a perfectly good bridge . . .
Tomorrow:  The Other Side of Nowhere:  Adventures in Big Bend National Park

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thanks to the Ski Hut Boys!

My oldest daughter Lauren is an engineering student at Dartmouth College, and an avid biker.

She has taken it upon herself to begin the design of a new style of beginner clipless pedal system (you know, the type you clip into . .  . but what of that?)

I'm sure we have all made fools of ourselves as we become stuck in our pedals!

(I remember this happening to me twice last year, once on the sidewalk in front of our house.  Said daughter had to come outside and unclip me as I lay helplessly laughing on the cruel concrete)

Which direction is she going?  Don't know . . . I think she has some interest in a magnetic system similar in concept to Mavic EZ rides (which have received mixed reviews).  

I've suggested she base her design on a Mtn bike system, since the shoes are so much easier to walk in.

She is not working on a high end competition pedal, in fact the opposite.

This will be a pedal for beginners, something to help reduce the fear and trepidation we all first felt as we clipped into our clipless pedals for the first time.


If anyone out there has any thoughts or ideas, let me know and I will pass them along.  I'm sure she will be willing to work on other bike projects as well.

(for those of you who were whinging and whining about my lazy attitude towards this blog . . . this makes 2 entries in 14 hrs . . . so there . .  .)

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's been awhile

OK, so it's been awhile since I have updated this blog.  

Two people today whined about my apparently lazy attitude, so for them . . . here I go.
First a bit of explanation:  I have purposefully taken a hiatus as my DBD friends pontificate, hypothesize, verbalize, socialize, communicate, transmit, remember, recall, recollect and otherwise relate their personal Trans Iowa experience.
For me the TI was confusing . . . first I did not get in, was #7 on the wait list.  Then . . .the hoped for communique . . . I was in!  Excited I was, rode with my friends for many hours . . . wondered what it would be like . . . excited / nervous and above all, wonder.
Just before the event, I received a call from one of the companies I work with in Germany.  They asked if I would attend BAUMA with them.  BAUMA is the world's largest trade show of any kind, it is focused on construction and road building equipment.  It is an every third year happening., always in Munich.
(given that the event is in Munich, Germany . . . I somehow thought my beer consuming friends and compatriots would understand).
How could I say "no?"  Simply put, I had to go . . . 
I waited until travel arrangements were actually made and finalized, the ticket purchased . . . all systems go before I told anyone.
I hated the thought of sending an email to Guitar Ted and informing him of my conflict / conundrum.  He seemed to understand.  Charlie, Tim and Jason . . . I needed to tell them personally.  Charlie and Tim seemed to implicitly understand.  Jason was away in the Florida sun.  I bumped into him at the end of a bike ride and told him . . . it was clear that he thought I was kidding, I think it took a day or two for him to believe me.
I was out . . . out . . .
Then, the volcano . .  . more confusion . . . what would happen?  Would I make it to Munich, or would my flight be cancelled . . . and I be able to ride the TI?
Confused does not begin to express my new emotional state.  After putting in so many miles and hours with the boys my heart and promise was with them . . . yet I had backed out . . . what should I do?
I decided the roller coaster was just too much.  I would bypass TI v6, not contact Guitar Ted or my friends . . . just let it be.
Tuesday, 20 April came . . . to the Duluth airport . . . to Chicago . . . my flight is not cancelled, yet I really doubt I will make it since the airports are only beginning to open.
I made it only a few hours late.  The show was slow, many people from the world over did not make it. 
Learned and saw a lot, met a few friends from the world over I had not seen in awhile, all in all a great experience.

accommodations were pretty nice, not a good time to be alone

Frogs are important here . . . they have their own crossing signs

Is this a chain bicycle, or a bicycle chain?

The evening of the TI, the moment I returned to the hotel, I checked the blog and was transfixed by what I read and heard.  Imagine my surprise the next morning when I heard the result.
Since my return I have logged a couple hundred miles  and read every account of the TI I can find, and can only hope Charlie, Tim and Jason know how difficult it was for me . . . how much I wanted to be with them.
Next weekend is the Almanzo 100 . . . I look forward to it.
Another finger of rum for my friends, the competitors, the DBD!