Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#$&^**@!!!

Dom, I found your missing snow.
I can't recall ever seeing this much snow on the valley floor in March. Ever. It caught me off guard this morning. We've been having snow, but no snow had been despicable enough to actually stick around. Today it stuck...and it stayed all day long.

The view out my front door this morning
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The view out the back
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Frosty pink blossoms
I thought surely the snow would melt by afternoon. Alas, no.
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My commute home

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No, I didn't ride today :)
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The street I live on never quite cleared.
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Our plum tree will not survive this spring. When I got home this evening we had found that most of the major limbs had split, and the few that hadn't fallen showed signs of splitting at any moment. The above photo was taken this morning.

On a happier note the neighborhood kids must have found something to do with their day off. We rarely get enough snow for a snow man this big. 

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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Little bit of Cheadle in my Life

Today we had a brief break between the stormy weather. Best to take advantage of it while we can. I wanted to try out the new tubeless set up on my bike and a nice visit to Cheadle lake seemed like a good place for a quick ride.

Do you see that? Blue skies!! Better look quick! It's clouding up as I type.
I was looking forward to riding out on my favorite arm of the island, but alas, the way is blocked.
I've never seen the water break across the top of this trail. It comes close, but I've always been able to cross. It was about 6-8 inches deep. Perhaps it's a good time to bring the kayaks.

I backtracked and attempted to ride the next arm and ran into these guys sunning themselves along the path. I didn't have the heart to run them off.

Reverse direction once again and pedal the last section of the island. Again with the geese. They are certainly taking advantage of the momentary sunshine. I left them alone other than snapping a few pics, then head back to the main path.

The back portion of the main path is paved. I believe someday the whole of it will be paved. I found a log with a bunch of turtles on it, but only one stayed above water for the photo. Very gracious of him. :)

One last photo before returning to the car. Albany canal travels directly next to the lake. I found one odd duck enjoying the bank. The water is muddy today. Normally it's a little clearer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

29ers

The search has been on for a new mountain bike. Full-suspension, hardtail, 26er, 29er, so many options. I've been tracking Peak Sports bike inventory and had noticed some price drops on the 2011s. Hmmm, for the price of a Stumpy, we could get a couple of Trek X-calibers. And they have both our sizes.

I should mention this decision came to Ron and I while we were miles away at the coast. (How fast can we get back to Corvallis...) We didn't rush, but we did get back in time for Ron to take a test ride on an x-cal, since he hadn't tried one. I went along as well, my third ride on this particular bike. He liked it. I liked it. We gave ourselves 24 hours to think about it, and went back after work on Monday to pick them up.

We swapped out the pedals and removed offending reflectors. So what do you get when you put 29 inch wheels on a small frame bike? You get no room for a fender, no room for a rack, the itty-bitty seat bag appears to fit, but forget about any bikepacking bags (as if I'd actually go bike camping!!!). Big wheels on a small frame look particularly dopey (a clown bike some say).
2011 X-caliber WSD 14.5" frame
2011 X-caliber 17.5" frame. Bigger frame. Not so dorky looking. 
Despite being sick, I wasn't about to pass up a ride on Friday. We have new bikes awaiting their inaugural ride. We had a very rare bit of sunshine and unusually warm weather forecast, and Ron had the day off. Yeah, I'm not staying home nursing a cold!
2011 Trek/Gary Fisher X-Caliber WSD
Unhappy to be sick. Happy to be on the trails
It was a short, easy and familiar ride, from the Lewisburg saddle to Dimple Hill and down Dan's trail. We don't have computers on the bikes yet, but it seemed like we climbed a little quicker than usual and kept the momentum going as we rode.
Geez! Stop with the bike pictures already. Yeah I'm a little obsessed right now.
Only one photo  of Ron and his new ride.
The big wheels make quick work of any gravel, deep or compacted, and roll over most any bump in the trail. Well, they didn't roll over this particular bump.
Tree down on Dans Trail
Ron rode more of the ditches than I, but I did ride a couple. We both walked the big nasty one.
Photos lie. This was a much deeper ditch in real life. Ron rode, I walked.
 I had a near tumble in one switchback, and one tumble that left me splatted on the trail in another switchback. (Thank goodness mud is soft!) No pain, no blood. Another reminder, eyes up, look where you want to go. Don't touch the front brake in a turn. You'd think I know this stuff by now.
Minor carnage
It was so nice out on Friday, and I wish I was up to a longer ride. We finished off the afternoon hanging out at Peak Sports and buying goodies for the bikes. New saddle, another fender, and ordered some quick release clamps for the seat tube.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Impatiently waiting for spring

I cheated. I used the iphone instead of a webcam and photoshop for editing. Being that colored pencil has been the tool of choice, I had to buck the trend and go with chalk and charcoal. It's messier ya know, and I do love to get my hands all chalky and charcoaly. :D

Thanks to Trobairitz for coming up with a game to help pass the time while the rain falls...
...and the wind blows...
...and the snow falls...
...and trees blow over....
...and Sam cries in the garage for those long forgotten days of dry roads and warm sunshine...sigh.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sunshine Commute

Days like this in early march are few and far between. This was a must ride day.
Blue skies and green fields
 Note the time. I'm on my way to work, but it's really 8:16. I never changed the time last fall. Partly because I'm lazy, but also because I like the small connection to daylight savings time. (If I leave it, it will come - a "field of dreams" kind of thing).

The flowering plum didn't bloom for February, but a few blossoms are peaking out for March.
 

I'm glad I rode. We've had two good days of weather, but we have another 7 (or 8, or 9) wet, nasty days coming up. Sigh.