21 July 2008

Cruise In winning photo

My sister recently won a photo contest in our hometown for the monthly car show. It is located here. Pretty nice composition.
I think my brother in law also designed the T-shirt for this show.

15 July 2008

300: Defeating Norcross on 9


This is the continuing saga of a 300 mile bike journey from my front door and back, through 3 states, during the July 4th holiday.

Independence Day literally came in like a bang as earlier in the morning some hoodlums decided to light some big fireworks next to my campsite. I detailed this incident in the previous post but bring it up as a segue out of Abercrombie and take another dig at those delinquent juveniles. The thing is so weird because its like the brightest part of town with 2 security lights on all evening. I digress.
I am back on the road by 10AM, cross the Red River into Minnesota, get on US 75 and arrive in Breckenridge and Wahpeton around noon. I stop for a photo op at the headwaters of the Red and then go seek out lunch.
I decided to dine at Taco Bell where I ordered at huge box meal. It was filling and I also got some more Pepsi Stuff Points. I've been slowing accumulating the points by finding empty bottles with caps back in the Go. Since I began the trip I have added more to my collection much quicker as it seems the roadways are littered with empty bottles. I have found, however, that Mountain Dew must be the preferred beverage of the road because I see more Dew bottles in the ditches than any other soda.
After an hour I am back on 75 until it splits and then I follow MN 9. I have taken this road once before but failed to ride it out to my destination- Morris. That time I bonked, lost energy and hit the wall in Norcross. I didn't want to let that happen again. I needed to get to Morris to go a shindig in Hancock to watch fireworks.
At the 75 split it was 50 miles to Morris and the weather was superb. I stopped shortly in Tintah and was pleased to see they had a beverage machine. I purchased a cool water and was on my way. This area is rather flat and the grain elevators of the next town gave me some kind of short term goal.
It was nearing 5PM when I saw Norcross in the distance. I made it into town and re-loaded my Camelbak at the wayside rest. Finally, I made it out of Norcross and towards Herman and then Donnelly. The winds decided to go against me as I pressed to complete the last 9 miles to Morris. The mile markers scoffed as I kept at it.
Around 7:30 PM I entered Morris, stopped at Coborn's for fuel- namely an Amp and some peanuts. I then swung my my friends' home, took a bath and called for a "taxi" to take me to the Fourth of July Bash.
I celebrated the Fourth with a dozen or more children watching fireworks rather than having fireworks thrown at me. I am relieved. I also met a rock star but that's another post altogether. Additionally I would like to honor the incredible fruit flag dessert thing I ate. It was delicious.

14 July 2008

Remembering Sheldon Brown on Bastille Day


Sometimes news travels very slow even in the age of the Internet. For me at least it took me until just a few days ago to discover bicycle guru Sheldon Brown passed away in February- February 4th to be exact. Through his simple yet effective website sheldonbrown.com, he dispensed his wisdom of all things bicycle and more. I enjoyed reading the site when I needed to tinker with my numerous bicycles. He also wrote a lot about older bikes in particular the 3-speed Hub Raleighs. I still don't understand them but Sheldon made them interesting. I guess you could also credit Sheldon with influencing the revival of fixed-geared bikes because he wrote a bit about his own pieced together creations. It got me into searching for old bikes. He is probably also known for his unusual bike helmet with an eagle on top. I think the eagle even has name- Igor.
Anyways today is his birthday. He would have been 64 I think. I only knew him from peering into his life via his websites- I guess it was pretty vicarious. Nevertheless like hundreds of tributes to Sheldon have said before this (in different words of course)- the bicycle community is missing a distinct character in its pantheon. The informative website he built will continue to be a legacy and inspiration for those left behind. Keep on riding!

11 July 2008

300: the beginning


No, this is not an attempt to review or critque the movie (or graphic novel for that matter) of a battle between Spartans and Persians although this could certainly be considered an epic.
I completed a 300 mile bike tour of 3 states over the Independence Day holiday. The details I will divulge here in a few parts and possibly some pictures.
It all began on the 3rd around 8PM after 2 hours of packing and preparing the bicycle. I had intended to leave directly from work but that did not happen. I had not pre-packed enough and I needed to exchange a rear view mirror. Daylight would soon be waning and so I started the trek south, stopped at A&W for a bite to take away then continued spinning south out of town.
It was unseasonably cool yet comfortable and clear (and hardly any wind). Nearing 10 PM night descended calmly and I flicked on my lights. I was making good time despite the late start. I made a pit stop near the Christine graveyard to eat my Papa Burger and drink a St. Pauli Girl Dark(the only beer I had on the entire trip). The mosquitoes were thick as I expected outside the reach of vector control. The bugs wouldn't harm me once I got moving again.
I arrived at my destination, Fort Abercrombie, near 11PM. There was perpetual light due to a light at the river landing parking area. I made camp and went to bed only to be awoken somwhere about 2AM or 3AM by some hoodlums setting off a huge firework in the vicinity of my tent. I was not too happy but was in no manner to confront the multiple youths. They just disturbed me with their delinquency which could be forgiven but it didn't make me feel safe.

09 July 2008

I leave town and this is what happens

It appears that Go had been infiltrated by a bear while I was on vacation. I saw the headline in the paper when I was down in the Wahp. I thought the only bears in the region were in zoos. Well, go figure, wild bears have been sighted in Cass and Clay counties previously so a game warden said.
Bears in the prairie biom seems pretty weird to me. I suspect, since we are close to the coniferous region that bear may wander (and wonder too) into the Go region.
Fortunately this bear was not killed but tranquilized and relocated to the Pembina Gorge area, well north of this prairie land. About 5 years ago, 2 moose where shot and killed by authorites when they wandered into a neighborhood. The press on that incident was bad. Relocating a bear will probably go far to convince citizens that the city is kinder and gentler to animal kind now. Of course there is Phil, who would gun down any animal trying to be a nuisance, especially squirrels.

01 July 2008

100m Records

About a month ago a Jamacian sprinter broke the world record for the 100 meter sprint. I think it was somewhere around 9.72.
Well, the at U.S. track and field trials, Tyson Gay breaks the U.S. record in the 100 meters with a 9.77 finish. The AP released a headline stating "Gay sets US record in 100 with 9.77." The ambiguity of the headline must have been OK'd by an inexperienced copy editor. I made a double take when I read it. I'm sure other news outlets were wondering if they should give a cutline such as "sexual orientation matters little when on the track." I believe one new outlet changed the headline to "Homosexual sets US Record in 100m." Now that's just bad journalism. Not that I would know anything about it- journalism that is.
I wonder what Phil would say? He'd probably just retort "whatever."