Monday, January 28, 2013

Brynna Needs Friends

How do you know when a kid needs friends?  When she starts making her own.  In this case, she used a rolled up yoga mat and a foam roller.  At least these friends don't eat much and you don't have to worry about them coloring on the walls.

Not at all creepy.  I just hope I don't wake up one morning to these bastards sitting next to the bed.

Speaking of coloring, I just came across this book that B made me for christmas. 

Notice the "bike race" shirt I'm sporting.  not sure why I'm wearing a toupee...

and a surprisingly good drawing of our living room as I fly her like a plane. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

DOG Is My Co-Pilot 

I rarely take Autumn riding with me these days.  Mostly because she has too much hound in her and I lack the training ability to keep her close without having my eye on her every second.  If I don't pay attention for 10 seconds and she gets on a scent, she'll be gone for 10-20 minutes.  When I take her running, I can keep a closer eye on her and call her back in a much more timely manner but that's hard to do on the bike.  But since I can't run right now I've been taking her out with some (minimal) success.  At least where we live, there is minimal chance of her getting into any trouble since we have hundreds of wooded acres behind the house and all of the neighbors are on the opposite side of the road.   She may not be the best trained dog around but at least she's not getting fat...

This weekend, I made it out on the Mukluk 3 days in a row.  Each time for less than 1.5 hours but damn it felt good.  I'm starting to feel some semblance of fitness coming back ever so slowly and my hip flexibility is steadily (and very slowly) improving as well. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

 Out With The Old

For how many years I can't remember, I've bee using a pair of trusty Gaerne winter riding shoes on both my mountain bikes and road bike to keep my toechies warm and snugly during winter riding.  They served me well but after what must be ten years of considerable use (if you are a reader of this blog, you know that my typical riding volume only slightly decreases over the winter) they have finally shit the bed.  First, the outers got cut which allowed snow and water to enter the inner sanctum so a pair of Pearl Izumi shoe covers were added.  As we all know, shoe covers for winter mountain bike riding are about as durable as Lindsay Lohan's nose in a coke house.  First, the toes ripped out from walking in the snow so much (as one is required to do a fair amount of in the winter) so duct tape was added, multiple times.  Then, the arches ripped out so yet more duct tape was added.  Then, the zippers shit the bed so velcro straps were put to work.  And, all this time, the shoes seemed to be losing their magical feet keeping warm ability as the inner liners disintegrated.

 when they were young'uns
oh, the memories
The Gaerne's were expensive but well worth it when you spread the cost out on a per ride basis.  I'm guessing that they might have run me 20c a ride.  Probably less actually.  A very worth investment for winter comfort, but, time marches on and given my current mobility issues (I have extreme difficulty reaching the right side of my right foot) making these shoes/covers hard to put on and the general shitty state of the shoes, I decided it was high time for something new.

Sooooo, in walk my new Lake MXZ303's.   These bad boys sport a rugged (and soft) Vibram sole so the winter trudges should be more enjoyable, a Boa lace system that is super easy for me to operate given my flexibility issue and a wealth of impressive sounding words about how they keep your feet warm.   

"water-repellent PITTARDS"? Is it getting hot in here?  "OUTLAST liner"  you know all the right things to say.  "water-repellent AIRPRENE shaft"  my shaft is getting more water-repellent by the second.  "toe box with THINSULATE insulation"  Holy Shit!  "THERMASOL insole interrupts the cold bridge between pedal/cleat" Ahh, that was nice.

Time will tell how these new togs treat me but their maiden voyage was sweet so I've got nothing but high hopes (and soiled underwear). 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

 Operation: Pack 'Em!

If you follow me on Strava! you probably noticed that I've spent a bit of time out on the snowshoes packing down the loop at the house.  I had over a foot of powder to work with so it wasn't easy - powdery, mealy snow is tough to ride in.

Operation: Pack Em's! official mascot.

 obligatory self portrait

 a very tired (and cold) pooch afterwards.  
B is taking care of her...

The plan payed off though with a (mostly) successful, albeit slow, snow bike ride yesterday and then, when I went out again to pack this morning, things had firmed up nicely.  Rejoice!  At least until the next frickin snow hits us.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy Brew Year 

Ha! See what I did there? Super clever huh?  I slay me...

My brother and I have taken the plunge  and started down the popular road of brewing our own beer.  We brewed our first batch a couple of months ago.  Things went pretty smoothly except the brewing instructions blew (at least for actual noobs) and we ended up with a bit of a stuck fermentation.  After thinking we'd have to dump the batch, we salvaged it and had a successful bottling.

bottle, bottle, bottle

On Christmas day, we tried our first bottle.  Because of the stuck fermentation and a slightly low FG, we were afraid we'd be spitting the beer on the floor after the first sip but, thankfully, it wasn't horrid (no worse than Bud) but it wasn't exactly revolutionary.  

proper testing glasses

hmmm, it looks like good beer and smells like good beer 
but tastes like mediocre beer

Darren was happy enough.  The cat? 
Not so much.
Next step?  We've got a brew scheduled in a couple of weeks with a guy who actually knows what he's doing followed by an IPA brew of our own with astounding success (it pays to be upbeat).