Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Never Know What You're Gonna Get

That statement is as true for Forrest and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. as it is for weather and bicycle riding.

The weather was surprisingly nice for our monthly team ride. Sure it was a little windy. Sure it spit on us a little. But all said and told it was a pretty good day to be out on two wheels.

We were scheduled to meet down at the Bike Peddler (One of our sponsor LBS) at 9:30 Saturday morning. I was late... Mostly because I headed out the door later then I had intended. But also because I got a flat about half way there (Doh!).

So as I was speeding down to the shop after I had fixed the flat I was already constructing the apology letter in my brain. Fully expecting to round the corner and find them all gone. I was happily surprised to see everyone still milling around.

There weren't too many people there. But considering the miserable weather the day before I wasn't surprised. It was essentially the Cap Velo board plus two others. Which turned out to be just fine.

So after some grovelling, begging for forgiveness and a new spare tube purchased we discussed the route plan. Which of course was changed (I'm beginning to note a pattern.).  Instead of heading out into the flat lands between us and Silverton we opted for a more northerly, then westerly route. Mostly to go spy on the road race that was being held out at Heiser Farms. Which is exactly what we did.

We watched the racers go by once and looked to each other on what to do next. So we headed over to the foothills and vineyards just west of the race. 

It's amazing how well nice scenery can distract you from the pain you inflict upon yourself sometimes. And this was one of those sometimes...

We steadily rode over the rolling hills taking in the views and the conversation with equal enjoyment.

Sure we went up Brush College Rd. (A hill that strikes fear into fatties such as myself.). But the guys were nice enough to wait for me at the top. And sure they asked if I wanted to go up Gibson Rd. (Probably the only other road in near vicinity that strikes just as much fear into said fatty.) too. Which I promptly responded with a one finger salute. But it was still a lovely time. And really, how could you enjoy those wonderful downhills without suffering up the climbs!? That's just crazy talk...

So all things said and told. It was a surprisingly nice day with an equally lovely bike ride to match.

All good (Now if we could just get more members to show up regardless of weather...).

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Game Of Telephone

When we were kids in school we use to play this game called "Telephone".  The basic premise is that the teacher would whisper a sentence or two into the first kids ear. Then that kid would whisper it to the next  child and so forth and so on until it reaches the final kid in the class. Where upon that kid would have to speak out to the class what sentence they were told. And most of the time it would be a weird mangled mess that didn't even remotely resemble what the teacher whispered to the first child. 

It was mostly a lesson in communication. To convey information accurately. To show how important speaking clearly and knowing what you were told before saying it to someone else.  And also how quickly gossip can no longer resemble the truth.

It's a good lesson.

I was thinking about all this during our local group ride last night. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, are extremely important. When a communication break down happens, at best someone is going to get their chamois in a bunch. Worst case scenario someone dies...

That's no bueno.

We've had several of these break downs happen lately. Most of them involved someone getting left behind. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't good. But it's not a travesty either. That doesn't mean it should happen. It's just another glitch in the game of telephone that we play during a ride.

Most of the time when someone yells something out everyone starts looking around to the nearest person to tell them what was said. Sometimes that person knows. Other times that person just shrugs their shoulders and then continue looking around before a reason for the yelling is found.

Non-verbal signals are much the same. The person at the front of the group may point out a pot hole or a bunch of glass. But that doesn't mean the person three of four rows back is going too.

It's all in how effectively that message is conveyed to the rest of the people. And unfortunately the message chain only works if everyone plays.

So the next time you're on a group ride try to convey the messages being sent back and forth for the rest of the people. And don't just let it go to voice mail. Practice the game of telephone. Hopefully the message will come across loud and clear.

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Man And His Cave

Over the past several weeks a transformation has taken place. Not from early man to me (That change really hasn't occurred yet.). No, it's from a once gigantic pile of crap in my garage.

Said gigantic pile of crap.
To a much more reasonable pile of crap.

Said smaller pile...
In fact. It's even smaller than this now. But I still have a little bit of a ways to go to call it complete.

A while back I had talked about my big unrealistic Christmas presents that I had been dreaming about. One of those dreams was a kick ass garage.  Well my SSHW heard my cry, and after some number crunching and sexual favors she agreed to finance my dream. Yeah for me!!!

So I got started by tearing everything off the free standing miscellaneous shelves in the garage into a giant pile (Please note first picture.).

Then I called my Pop and we came up with a materials and cut list.

Then I waited for the first of the month (That's what happens when you have fiscal responsibility. Stupid, stupid responsibility.).

After that we got to work...

Pop posing with the partially erected (Huh, I said erect..) shelves.

Part 1: The great wall of shelves completed.

Part 2: The bench.
Hey! Don't make fun of another man's vise. It's what I had. Jerk...

The opposite wall of the garage.
 I didn't show any before pictures of this side. Except if you look behind the gigantic pile of crap in the back ground you can kinda see what it looked like.

Basically  I took two of the large nice shelves from the other side and used them here for all the pantry, sleeping bag, dog food and booze storage. Then shrunk up where I hung the bikes. There are still just as many hooks. But I put them closer together and alternated the direction of the handle bars to get them to fit. It seams to be working nicely. Although I haven't tried to take the bikes on and off a bunch yet. So I may change my tune.

What comes after a bench is built? Why a peg board of course! I think going shopping for this, along with all the little peg board attachments has been the happiest I've ever been shopping for home improvement stuff. It was AWESOME!!!

This is the start. I've gone a little farther than this now. But at least I have all the "vitals" up there for use during the interim.

My Pop also bought me a nice American made (Very important. As the China made ones suck.) Wilton vise. I didn't show any pictures of it mounted yet because I 'm waiting until after the metal top is installed to mount it.

I can't tell you all how super pumped I am to have a somewhat organized and usable man cave. It's enough to almost make this cave man cry (Ugh. No look at Big E when he get emotional...)

I'll have a few more gratuitous pics up in the near future of the completed project.

Rubber side down,

Big E

PS~ I wanted to give a big thank you to my SSHW for giving me "permission" (Inside joke.) and for my Pop for helping me so much with this. I couldn't have done it without either one of you. I love you both tons and tons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bonk Is A Four Letter Word

Bonk is a four letter word~

It is really cold and wet out here.

Why do my legs feel so heavy?

My winter bike is so much harder to ride.

I sure wish I put those chemical warmers in my booties before we left.

Just keep turning the pedals...

What is that feeling in the back of my stomach? Hollow. Cavernous.

Seriously!? Where is the buddy flap on that bike?

Nothing like a three and half hour cold shower. With some Belgium toothpaste to keep my breath minty fresh.

What the fuck am I doing here?

Just keep turning the pedals...

Hail!? HAIL!? Now I wish I had my glasses back on.

I'm dying...

That ditch looks as good a place as any to curl up in...

Why are all these people still talking to me!? Smiling even... Can't they tell I'm in the seventh ring of hell!? Leave me alone! I want to die in piece....

Please don't leave me!

Where am I? I haven't recognised the last three turns.

Just keep turning the pedals...

You'll eventually get there.

Work hands, work!

Am I dreaming? This must be a dream...

Just open the Ziploc bag. There is food in there. Tear it with your teeth if you have to. Just get to that sustenance.

Do I know anyone that can pick my up? SSHW? No. The boys? No. You're almost home.

You know the way home. Even at 10 miles an hour its less than an hour.

Just keep turning the pedals...

Has my brain ever been this hazy before?

I have to 'paper boy' up a hill I've gone 17 mph up before. Really?

Thank you God, for these little down hill sections.

Almost home, almost home.

Just keep turning the pedals...

I made it.

Rubber side down,

Big E