Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mentos and Diet Code

My son wanted to put a Mentos in a Diet Coke. The results are less than I had seen when others have done the same. Maybe the temperature of the Diet Coke matters.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Regular Bike

I ride this bike more than the others. I'll call it the Regular Bike, because I ride it more regularly than the others. In the winter, it has fat knobbies, so the fenders are set for that diameter of tire, not these 1.25s you see in the photo. Click the photo for a bigger version.

It's the most comfortable bike I have. Comfort comes in more than one form. It fits like a glove and has felt that way since the day I put drop bars on it. So it's comfortable in that way.

It also feels comfortable after many miles. The seat fits me when I climb aboard and when I've clocked a couple of hours. The handlebars feel comfortable in my hands throughout the ride. The dimensions don't wear me out. So it's comfortable in that way too.

It takes the bumps well. I ride basically the same route to work each day. I know how the route feels in my butt, arms, hands, and shoulders. When I ride a true road bike, I go faster, but I feel each crack and lump. But on the Regular Bike I feel cush.

The Regular Bike looks pretty bad though. I'd like to get it powder coated. What color should I choose?

Technical Help with Photo

I've noticed that when I place a photo on a blog entry and use left positioning for the placement of the photo, that the text runs under the photo. I changed the positioning to center , but that's not what I had in mind.

Does anyone have suggestions for getting photos on the left without the ugly crashing text and photo?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Photos from Sunday's Race in Stillwater

Here are a few shots from the Stillwater race this past Sunday.

The trials rider is Aaron Lutze. He put on a show behind the start area.
The second shot is of the women's race on the downhill. There weren't many spectators there.

The third photo is of the men's race just past the start line as they begin the big hill.

There was a crash during the men's race that we witnessed. A rider went wide on a corner and struck a barrier. I thought he ripped his head off from the angle I had. While looking through the photos, I found I had a shot of him the instant before he crashed and one when he was on the ground. He walked away, but we thought it was much worse given the speed and that he hit a metal barrier.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Teddy Bear Park

Here's a photo from our Sunday visit to Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater, MN. Remember, it's the best park ever.

I imagine this park will make it less difficult to drag kids around the Stillwater antique stores if the kids know the park awaits them.

Poety: A New U.S. Poet Laureate

I just listened to this NPR interview with Donald Hall who is the new poet laureate. I enjoy reading poems, but it's really great to hear the poet read his own work.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I Like Stillwater

I didn't make it to the Friday night criterium due to weather. The rain came hard and heavy. I called my friend whom I intended to meet there. He was stuck in Brainerd at the airport waiting for the weather to pass.

I stayed home with my family, probably where I belong anyway.

Sunday, we watched the last stage of the Nature Valley Gran Prix. I really didn't ever notice how hilly Stillwater, MN is, but now I know.

It was fun to watch the race. I got a few photos. We found the park I'd read about in a newspaper article. It's called Teddy Bear Park. My son said it is the best park he's ever been to.

In the grandstand area of the race, we watched a trials/stunt rider named Aaron Lutze. His performance was amazing. I'll try to post a photo of him riding off of something big. I noticed that after all his performances he came around and talked to the kids. That was most impressive. He seemed like a really nice guy who realized the kids were watching and cared enough to talk to them.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thoughts on Riding

I rode a road bike to work today. I really enjoyed the heads-down, fast-riding style. No matter how fat I get or how creaky my back and shoulders become, I feel comfortable pedaling hard on a road bike.

Check back in 10 years and see if that's still true.

My knee is holding up also. I've been looking into riding a 12-hour off-road race. I'm trying to convince a friend to do it. It would be much better to ride such an event with the support of nearby friends. I would also like to try a 24-hour team race. I can't get 3 other guys together though. My friends who are capable of such things keep moving, dropping out, or disappearing. Is it my deodorant?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nature Valley Gran Prix Stage Race

Friday night, I'm going to see the Nature Valley Gran Prix Minneapolis Downtown criterium. It's stage 3 of the race. I'll meet a friend and watch the races. I really like downtown as it offers lots of interesting things to photograph. Actually, I like lots of other aspects about downtown.

On Sunday, I'm going to the Stillwater Criterium which is stage 5. My friend is from Stillwater and he says the Chillcute Hill will really be a struggle. I'm taking my family and we'll try to find a new park with an awesome play area they built in Stillwater. That'll be something for the little guys to look forward to.

I've wanted to watch these races each year they come in town, but my schedule hasn't allowed it. Finally, I've got it worked out.

I'll take the real camera, not the spy cam.

A Photo of my Handlebars

I enjoy posting photos on this blog. I've got a photo gallery website also, but it doesn't seem as fun. My old blog site which I tried to post daily photos on wasn't as fun either. Maybe posting photos on this site is better, because a few people leave comments.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Ride to Work

I brought a really cheapo digital camera to work this morning. I took a dozen photos and most of them are really bad. The highs are blown out and the lows are too dark. This is the only photo that is lookable and it is the only one that grabs me and makes me keep looking.

I'll have to bring a good camera next time.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We Camped

I went camping and canoeing this past weekend. My son and I joined 5 other dads and sons for camping at Chengwatana State Forest (east of the Pine City exit on I-35 North of the Twin Cities). We had a great time. I'm a poor canoe-er, or is it canoe-ist, anyway, I'm terrible. In the Snake River, we felt the scrape of rocks on the bottom of our boats. We bashed the canoe into lots of them. The water was lower than when we traveled the same path last year.

My son thought we were going to die. He said it several times. I never felt that scared, but my fear was aroused. The Snake River dumps into the St. Croix. That was a much smoother stretch of river.

At the campsite, the kids went wild. They ran through the woods like wild animals. We fed them and the ran. They also played in the fire. We had two rules: no forest fires and no drownings. They managed to follow them all.

I took a roll of film using the water-resistant camera. I'll get them on a CD and post one, maybe.

Here's a link to photos taken by another dad, Tim:

It was six dads and six 9-year olds. Awesome fun.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lots of biking

Yesterday, as usual, I rode my bike to work. When I got home, I realized it was my turn to bring snacks to the baseball game. So I rode my bike to the grocery store. I have a very large bag on the back of Big Red. It held 12 8oz. bottles of juice and 12 snack bars with ease.

Later, my kids and I rode to the game on our bikes. That was a good day of bicycling.

I bought a pannier for my wife today. She plans to ride her bike to work this Friday. I hope it works out. My wife had picked the pannier a few days ago. It's a very impressive piece of equipment. It's an Arkel Utility Basket. She mounted it and went for a test ride and found that her heals hit the bag. The bag is as far back as it will go.

I dug out some old panniers I have and they work, but they are much smaller. We'll see if she can fit all her stuff in there. I've got a few other bags she can try. The source of the problem is that she's riding a race bike (Bridgestone RB-2) and its chainstays are too short. Maybe a rack with more aft adjustment would work. I want her to use the new bag. It's huge and with all the straps it can compress to as small a size as the load.

I've used lots of panniers, but never any this nice.

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