Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So long ol' pal

I had a pretty good time with that bike

I don't know that I want it back as bad as I want to go to town on the thief that stole it with a drive side crank arm.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Almanzo Gravel

So Friday night I wandered down to Spring Valley, MN to meet tohe NE crew of Cornbread, TK, Schmidty, Rafal-do, Malcolm, and Aaron. I was going to be their support as the group collectively laid waste to Southern MN gravel. I had contacted Almanzo director C. Skogen to inquire if I could provide a neutral feed station on the Royal 162 course. He acquiesced, and gave me a sweet spot right at the 100 mile point right next to the Root River.
With this knowledge, I saw the Nebraskans off, and headed off to meet the boys at the 38 mile mark in Preston.

The usual suspects fixing to roll the Royal course.

The Royal riders looked a lot better than the 100 crew when they hit Preston. It had not started to rain yet. I got Cornbread fed, lubed and watered, then waited for Rafal, Aaron, Malcolm, and schmitty.

Malcolm doing what Malcolm does best. After he rolled out I waited for Schimtty to roll through. He rolled up to me and expressed his contempt toward SRAM, as his shifters crapped out. So we loaded up his bike, stopped at Chic's to pick up a half dozen pizzas, and roll south toward the village of Granger.

Once We hit our neutral feed spot, I set out the gnosh, started heating up the hot, spiced wine, and started prepping things. We first saw the group lead group that contained Cornbread. Corey stopped killed a coke and 3 slices, and eventually the others came over and had a slice. They said that Troy was not too far behind.
TK rolled in a few minutes later and was in pretty bad shape. He was shaking pretty bad and could not use his hands.

Troy decided that he was done for the day so we put him in the truck, cranked up the heat, and pumped him full of hot Aveda tea.

30 minutes later.

We saw all kinds of people roll through. Our favorite was the guy wearing Keens with wool socks, with platform pedals and a single wool sweater. He truly seemed to savor his slice of pizza and coke.

Rafal rolled in a little later, and was the only person all day to take the hot spiced wine (you can see it dribbling out of the sides of his 'stache).
He would go on to win the SS race.
I see a high correlation between hot spiced wine consumption and victory, just saying.

We also picked another straggler after we met Malcolm and resupplied him with pizza, coke, and 3 beers. He would finish at 10pm, in the dark, with no lights. Normally I would insert a quotation about how if you are gonna be dumb, you better be tough, but the kid has a graduate degree in Physics.

Rafal. Victorious.

The aftermath of hauling filthy bike people around.
I feel pretty sure that despite the conditions everybody had a great time.
Big shout out to Herr Skogen for being the ring master for this circus.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day MTB

So I took Ali on a mothers day mountain bike ride at Battle Creek.

She did not have any fun

The wild rumpus has begun. We painted alot on saturday.

Its amazing the funk that can accumulate in a home over time. The above pic is where we started painting ceilings, but you can see the white outlines on the wall where pictures were hung. gag.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strange things that I eat and random pictures

Last week we finally had a few days of good weather, So Jappers and I decided to rep the Dirty South by busting out the porch furniture

What it looks like when we move.

Butch and I made some time for some single track on last sunday. Representing NE!

When we moved into the new house I found this in the back of a drawer

It expired in 2004. I ate it. Could not tell a difference in the quality of my BM's.

Jappers spitting game.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dirty Wool

We closed on our house this week in the Battlecreek community of St. Paul. I guess that technically we live in Maplewood, but I thinks its in BC. I like the house from the start, but a I really wasn't sure why.

If you have never smelled dirty wool I really think that you are missing out on some really great perspective on life. Smells are really powerful in that they can trigger memories in a much more realistic way than any other perception. If you have never owned a nice piece of woolen wear you are really missing out. Wool can be worn dozens of times before it really needs to be cleaned and does not stink when soiled like other technical fabrics. But that being said, it does collect faint bits of odors from different places its been. Its not a unpleasant smell, rather I find it very earthy and calming (not in a patchouli and incense sort of way). That mixed smell or other sensory perception reminds me of all the other places that I have smelled dirty wool or had dirty wool moments.
I guess the first real dirty wool smell That I can think of was being a little monster and going into the fairgrounds in Alleghany County, NC to help set up for the live stock show after the county had a the wool pool where anyone that had pasture maggots (sheep) would bring in wool so that it could be marketed collectively. The smells of fly strike, orvus soap, molasses sweet feed, and lanolin hang thick in the air.

New Zealand: there are a ton of dirty wool memories in NZ. There is also a part of my right index finger that is somewhere in NZ, but thats another story. There was the walk from my Farm Rd. flat at Lincoln University out to the University Dairy farm. Every morning I would walk out to my Ute and listen to the Ba-ing of the the "wee lambies", jump in a dumpy old Toyota Hi-Lux truck, and take in all the smells that are associated with animal agriculture in a arid coastal climate. Raw milk out of the bulk tank, vegemite and margarine spread on Weetabix (I never have quite figured out why they bought margarine when they had butter?) all at 4 am. The glow of one of my coworkers Benson and Hedges as she brought the mob of cows into the milking rotary.

Another dirty wool moment that was not so much smell associated, were the rural homes in NZ.
On the Canterbury Plains of the South Island, all the homes were built in the late 50's and early 60's, are sprawling ramblers, and are surrounded by hedges. The hedges are the bastard child of the Englishman's need to have a confined garden, and the plainsman's need to have a windbreak. Regardless, it results in homes that have a very distinctive appearance and feel. I can remember sleeping in the guest rooms of our farm stay hosts and thinking how pleasant and peculiar the dwellings were.

Our new house gave me dirty wool flashbacks, It has the same layout, the hedged windbreaks, and well kept appearance as the ramblers in NZ. The fact that its in MN makes it suitably foreign to me, having been accustomed to a certain level of disarray and squalor, being raised in the rural south. I could not quite put my finger on why I liked this house until this evening. I pulled a woolen jersey out of my commuting bag and smelled it. A veritable tidal wave of memories and thoughts hit me.

And to think I was going to put it in the laundry basket.
Home Sweet Home.