Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I've never been one to make formal goals. Maybe that's my problem, with regard to getting things done. But for the past few months, I've considered setting an annual mileage goal for 2007. I don't want something arbitrary like 10k miles, although that sounds like a good goal. I want my goal to be based on something a relevant to my life, like 20 miles per day. My ride to work is about 22 miles round trip.

The one drawback is that I'd need a computer on each bike or I'd have to keep a log book. I've seen some people put their mileage on their blogs. That looks like a good way to get in a blog entry and record mileage.

For several years, I didn't have a computer on my bikes. I decided to not worry about mileage and that has served me well. Maybe I shouldn't change anything.

If you've got any thoughts on this, let me know.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Studded Tires Make a Huge Difference

I rode to work yesterday and it was dry on the way in. An hour later, rain fell on the frozen ground. It turned to ice and then the snow fell. Because of the treacherous conditions, I got a ride home from a coworker who lives in the same region of Minneapolis. He's a cyclist and had his roof rack installed.

So today I installed the studded tires and rode around town for a fun ride (I had the day off). It was quite a difference. The studded tires make traction a sure thing. I never slipped in the slush. Since this is my first time on them, I'll provide a full review later. I need to ride in really slick, hard ice before I know what they can do.

The tires are Innovas, I found new at a garage sale.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Party Games

I recently attended a Christmas party of married couples. None of them, except my wife, are close friends of mine. The host had us play a version of the newlywed game. They asked the men questions, then compared their answers with the women. Then they reversed the roles.

Some example questions:
1. What is his favorite band?
2. If she could go anywhere for a trip, where would it be?
3. Where did you meet and in what year?
4. When did you first have sex? (month and location)
5. If she could have sex with anyone other than you, who would she pick?

They asked 10 questions in all. We got five of them correct and I would have protested for a sixth, but I'd like to save my protesting for important things.

We were tied for first place going into the last question. But we ruined our efforts with overconfidence. They let us bet all or nothing. We bet it all and lost.

The game was entertaining and I felt more comfortable with the other couples afterward.

Have any of you been forced to play similar games?

Five Things

I've been working on this for a couple of days. I don't want to put things out here that fall in the categories of bragging or boring.

1. I have a hiding place in the basement. It's in plain sight, but no one sees me there.

2. I say lots of sick things that I think are funny, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I hold back.

3. By the time I graduated high school I had lived in 14 different houses, 2 countries, and five states. I attended 11 schools including college. Since leaving college, I've lived in 5 states. Now, I've decided to stay put because I think it's a better way to raise kids. With that in mind, I've lived in the same house for almost 12 years now. I've had a similar turnover in the job world. But I've worked at my current job for more than 4 years. I often have the feeling that it's time to go. I attribute that feeling to all the moving around I've done.

4. I used to be a gun nut. I loved to compete in target shooting events. Somewhere in my 20's, my interest disappeared. A friend dragged me to a shooting competition one Sunday and instead of being interested, I jealously watched the bicyclists pass on the nearby country road. I won second place in my class, but my interest in shooting was over. I still can't explain why my interest evaporated. By the way, I've been riding my bike for distance, competition, and commuting since I was a kid. That's an interest that has never diminished, only brightened.

5. I don't have anymore now. I'll add this later.

p.s. I don't live at the green arrow shown in the above map. That's just my zip code.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Blogger isn't working for me

I wasn't able to post to my blog last Friday. I tried many times throughout the day and when I clicked the PUBLISH button, I got a white screen. I tried it in Firefox and IE and then on another computer.

Did anyone else have trouble last Friday?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Taco John's or Taco Bell?

During some water-cooler conversation, I realized I didn't know if it was Taco John's or Taco Bell that had the e-coli problem. Well, it's both of them. Here's the link to a news story that cleared it up for me.

If you really care, you should try to upscale your eating habits. Sniff, sniff.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Project Snowflake

My daughter and I made a few of these paper snowflakes. They're a fun little project with lots of other possibilities. My daughter wants to decorate them with glitter, jewels, and paint.

The Wiki How site is pretty interesting also.

Fort Snelling Lunch Ride

My lunch time ride was great. I didn't encounter many dogs in the woods today. I often pass by the wagon wheels shown in the ice water fall photo. Today, I had my camera.

These trails are located at an old fort located on the Mississippi River at Minneapolis: Fort Snelling. It's a great place to visit. Just watch your step in the woods. You never know where a the dog poop might be.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trials Video

I posted this link to a bicyclist video on the Edinburgh Survival Guide website. The bike video doesn't have much to do with the site, but I should plug the site, because it's full of funny stuff about Neds. Ned is a derogatory term for a young Scot who has no future, drinks too much, and likes to fight. At least that's the defintion I gather from the site.

I wonder what sort of injury the bicyclist has in the video.

Correction, that's the Glasgow Survival Guide.

Pedal Minutia

Warning! Bicycle Hardware Minutia
This post is filled with talk of bicycling hardware. If you're allergic to this type of stuff, please come back in a few days and maybe I'll post something of interest to normal people. I plan to create a graphic to warn people of this type of post in the future.

This is the time of year in which I over analyze my cycling equipment because of the cold weather. Today, I'm nit picking pedals. I installed platform pedals the other day. They're shown in the accompanying photo. I installed PowerGrips and use light-weight pack boots. The boots with thick socks keep my tootsies warm down to about 10 degrees F.

I have some battery heated socks for temps below that. They are wool with a single D cell battery for each side. When I slip my hand in them to test the warming power, I can barely feel the heat, but they make enough difference on my feet to keep me warm.

I keep making tiny adjustments to the angle of the PowerGrips mounting hardware in an attempt to make foot entry easier. Does anyone have any tips for PowerGrips?

Next post: balaclavas

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Scared of Santa?

I read Boing Boing every few days and found this link to photos showing kids who are scared of Santa. It made me laugh, because I've waited in a few of those lines with my little people and watched the santa photo staff and parents try to make the best of a crying-kid situation. Nothing can be done. Just snap the photo and cherish it forever.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Those Kindergarteners!

My daughter, who is in 1st grade, created this poster, because the kindergartners frequently monopolize the drawing table at school.

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