In my last post I recounted going out for a
hike walk in the woods on Thursday with my camera. I was finally starting to rid myself of the cold and flu shit that I had going on, and I was happy to be goofing off in the woods. Still, I longed for a ride. Thankfully after spending my free time on Friday mowing grass (for the last time?), I would finally get to ride on Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday. Thrice as nice!
I don’t think any of those rides were over thirty miles, but it felt great to be back on the bike. I can’t say I felt particularly great, but I was outside on my bike and not walking, or laying in bed thinking about what people who aren’t suffering from the longest cold and/or bout of the flu in modern medical history do [hyperbole, I love you].
My legs felt surprisingly good, and the weather was surprisingly pleasant for November in Michigan. November in Michigan is sort of like
April every other month in Michigan–there could be sun, wind, rain, sleet, or snow, and it could be 20˚ or 70˚ (sometimes all in the same day), so you take what you can get when Ma Nature is given it.
While I was feeling better, and free of congestion, coughing, chills, or pain, the rides seemed like one never-ending snot rocket. By the end of each ride I looked like a two-wheel rolling bukake film. The cul-de-sac was surely appalled as I rolled into the driveway. Or turned on, I don’t really know our neighbors all that well yet.
On Sunday I found myself wanting to get back on the Boone CX bike. I hadn’t been on the Boone since I picked up a loner wheel for it many weeks ago. I didn’t want my fat ass to jack up another wheel 15 miles from home again, so I’ve been opting to ride my mountain or fat bikes for everything. Anyway, I aired up the tires, lubed the chain, and headed out for a ride south of town.
As I approached the first hills, and shifted I noticed that there was a ton chain skip. I stopped, made some adjustments, and moved on. This would happen about every 3 miles for nearly the entire ride! At one point I even had the bike hanging off a tree limb while I worked on it! I’m no wrench, but I can usually at least make these sorts of adjustments. I was super frustrated, and I never did get it spot on, but found a couple of gears that work consistently and used the hell out of them. During the ride I noticed that my bike was also making way more noise than usual. First I thought it was a loose bottle cage, but at the end of the ride I finally realized what the noise was, AND why I couldn’t shift–the cassette was loose. Shit.
Despite the crap shifting, the day was about perfect for riding, I made the best of it, and I of course stopped a few times to take some photos. I pass one Amish farm pasture filled with cows and horses on almost every ride, and this one was no different. I stopped to get a few photos of a few different cows, and after about three minutes, I thanked the cows for their cooperation, and I was on my way.
Early Monday morning as I started to sift through the shots from the weekend I noticed that in one or two shots from that pasture there is clearly a man walking through the field (top left). I was there for at least three minutes, shooting photos, and chatting with the cows, and I do not remember any man in that field. How could I not have noticed?? Further more, he was no doubt Amish, and it is very unlike them not to at least holler a hello, or good morning. Super weird, and a tad embarrassing. Surely I’ll now be known amongst the Amish as the fat man, in the tight clothes, who rides a bike and talks to cows.
I had varying degrees of success with the picture-taking, and I’m usually happier shooting in the cloudy wet stuff, but just like the rides, some days I’ll take whatever I can get.
It was nice to get back into a little bit of a routine with the riding, and I’m hopeful to get as many snow and ice free rides in as I can in the coming weeks. Sure,
I like I’ve adapted to riding in the cold and snow, but it will never be my first choice.
Enough bike riding and cows, let’s talk beer!
As much as I hate the winter holiday season, there is one good thing about it–beer. And I was happy to see the 2016 version of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale on the store shelves, especially since it somehow bypassed us here last year.
The think I dig about Celebration is that it’s not filled with all sorts of spices, herbs, or organic, humanely extracted strains of Elf blood, it’s just a special IPA for the season.
WARNING: POLITICS AHEAD
OK, I got a crap ton of stuff to do today, including going to vote for the first time in sixteen years. I’m not a political person, preferring to lead a life blissfully void of the two things that turn people into insufferable asses–religion and politics.
I had all but given up on the American election process after the 2000 election, but every so often a politician comes along full of hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, stupidity, lack of political experience, and bad hair (My GOD that freaking hair!! You supposedly have all that money and THAT is your hair???) that motivates one to do their civic duty. And yes, as a man I say, and have said, stupid things in my life, and I probably do them again because I’m a moron, but I’m not running for President of the United States. AND my hair is not that bad.
I won’t be considering my vote a vote for Hillary (I like her well enough, but feel it was a bad move to have her as our nominee, too much Bill baggage), or a vote against Trump (OK, that’s a lie, it’s a vote against him), but more of a vote against all those Fox news watching, talk radio conspiracy people out there who somehow think as white men they’ve been wronged, even though many of them reap the benefits of programs every day introduced by Democratic Presidents, and will be irate if/when they get taken away. For me personally I will take great pleasure in casting my vote for Hillary Clinton, whilst thinking about the douche along M-20 that replaced the already tasteless, racist, confederate flag he was flying in front of his house with a Trump flag. This one’s for you!!! [violently connects arrow beside Clinton/Kaine].
Wednesday AM Edit: Turns out people are way dumber than I thought.
Sorry for dragging politics into this already crap blog, hopefully after today it won’t happen for another sixteen years or more, and I can get back to thinking of nothing but bikes, beer, food, soccer, and art.