Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Few Shorts

Call It "Compulsive Lite"

A couple of folks who have seen me on the bike since my "Standing Down" post have made caring inquiries like, "How's that workin' out for you?", usually accompanied by some sort of smirk. Hey, folks, I didn't say I'd quit riding. I just backed off from riding every day. I was tired! I've taken a few days off in the last week and my legs feel much better for it. With great fall weather approaching, though, it will be hard not to ride most days, but at least the oven heat seems to be behind us.

The days are getting shorter

A keen observation, I know, but until darkness starts to reach into the end of my evening rides, I don't really notice. Tonight, the sun set around 7:30. Even with extended daylight savings time, it will soon be time to charge up the headlight.  Riding on the River Trail doesn't require a flamethrower. I've got a 1 Watt LED that is adequate and which cost around $100.00, uses 4 rechargeable AA cells and will go 8-9 hours on a charge. I leave front and back blinkies on my bike year-round. I like the added visibility on the road at dawn and dusk.

Here's a link that's useful for deciding your ride times:

Back On The Mountain Bike

With the exception of the BikeRumor ride written up a couple of weeks ago, I haven't been on my mountain bike since early June in Colorado. In the spirit of not heading out on my road bike every day, I headed to Camp Robinson with my mountain bike Sunday afternoon. I did resolve to take it easy and stuck to the flat trails, but thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I wanted to try out a new tire set up, which resulted from an encounter with something sharp, creating an opportunity for me to improve my trail contact situation. I had been riding some fast, light Pythons and replaced the front with a more aggressive, but heavier, Specialized Captain. I also aired my suspension back up to spec. I must say that reading the instructions for stuff can be very informative! I'm pleased with the result in that I seem to be riding faster, but will also add that I put a new computer on the bike so that I didn't have to take my Garmin along for information. There is the slight possibility that I miscalculated my tire diameter while setting up the speedometer, resulting in grossly overstated speed. I can live with that. If that is the case, it makes me feel better about my riding, even if I am pulling the wool over my own eyes.
I've never ridden at Camp when there was no mud and no water in the creeks. I'll have to take Willie-dog's bowl when he goes to run with me, as he refuses to drink from a hydration pack. There is a lot of timber marked for cutting in the CARP section. I had been told there was to be a timber harvest at some point, but have subsequently heard that they are installing some sort on navigation structure that requires line-of-site to the helicopter facility. Perhaps some of my more knowledgeable friends can fill me in on what's going to happen to the riding scene during and after the timber cutting.

Back to the subject of food...

I picked a gallon of muscadines at the Heber place a couple of weeks ago and put them in the freezer, planning on picking more last weekend. Diane was afraid we'd be a little short for our jelly-making needs, so we determined that she needed to buy a gallon at the farmer's market. Of course, she has her favorite farmers and doesn't want to disappoint anybody, so she bought three gallons of muscadines. I uttered a few exclamations, as that represents some long hours over a couple of big boiling pots set on the fish cooker. My grandmother always made muscadine jelly, so I picked up the torch after she passed away at age 100 a few years back, and I've pretty well got the process down. With Diane doing some prep work, we knocked out 5 batches of jelly.

Vintage 2010

My 8-grain toast is assured of company for the next year. I was down to my last jar of 2009. We're just getting started on our home grown berries, so it will be back to the boiling cauldrons soon.

Things are tapering off in the local produce department and I'm going to miss all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that we've been enjoying. Diane's penchant for the local-only Argenta Farmers Market assures that I'm virtually force-fed a steady stream of fresh, delicious food. I'm not looking forward to winter when my fresh fruit supply consists only of bananas. I can't bring myself to buy a tasteless peach, strawberry or tomato from a grocery store in the dead of winter. I'll get by and wait for the good stuff!

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