Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday's HC Ride (Sept. 28, 2008)

We stopped at the Hard Times Cafe. This is the Ham's Bear. He's been demoted from serving as a famous beer mascot to dispensing free condoms.

After the ride, I looked around the shop. They received a few Rawlands frames. Mark was in the process of building this one. I really like the fork crown and rear dropouts.

I also like these white Schwalbe tires. I've seen them before, but I thought they were only available in 559 (26"). I feel silly when I say SCHWAL-BEE. Its that the right way to pronounce the name?

Then I found them in 622 (700c). Tires are fun. These are on my list now.

This old Continental is very nice. I'm fighting the urge.

How many bikes does a person need? That's a rhetorical question, please don't try to answer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heavy Weather

This is a photo I took yesterday afternoon while riding home. The sky was so dark, most people turned on their headlights even before it started raining.

I didn't run into the heavy rain. It started right after I arrived home and stepped into my house.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Run Outlook in Safe Mode

Warning: If you don't care about Microsoft related crap, ignore this post.

I've learned a couple of methods to start MS Outlook in safe mode:

1. Hold down the Ctrl key when starting MS Outlook until it starts. It will display (Safe Mode) in the title bar.
2. In the Run window type outlook /safe. (How do you get to the Run window? Window key + r or Start>Programs>Accessories>Run.)

Q: Why would someone want to run Outlook in safe mode?
A: If you find it unreliable, this will start it without add ins that seem to be a common cause of Outlook's instability.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Offroad Ride

I rode the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail this morning, starting at the crack of dawn. I saw two deer, three hikers, and one wedding party in a photo session.

I also stopped and read this sign.

"Site of Chief Cloudman's village. He had moved here from Lake Calhoun in 1839. A friend of Gideon Pond. He tried farming."

I'm going to research this a bit and get back to you on what I find. I can't imagine farming in this exact spot. It's at the base of a cliff with a marsh and river on the other side. Stopping here in any season except winter is foolish due to the number of mosquitoes. I had a flat tire in this area one time and the mosquitoes forced me to ride on a flat until I found a better spot. But if you're moving, it's a beautiful area.
It's possible that in 1839, the area was much different. The Minnesota River may have been further away then.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Replacement Saddle

I replaced the broken saddle mentioned in a recent post.

Here's a photo of the broken saddle. It popped off the rails in a crash.

Here's the replacement. It's a Fujita and is the only comfortable, narrow leather saddle I've ever had.

Here's a photo of the entire bike ready to ride.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My New Headlight

I've been using a battery powered headlight for the last couple weeks on my ride to work. It's a NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB Plus LED. The literature says it weighs 6 ounces. I haven't weighed it myself, but it is really light compared to my lead-acid battery light of days gone by. Last year, I used a Shimano generator hub to power my LED light. It was very nice and not worrying about recharging batteries was nice.

The NiteRider is much brighter and I can easily move it from bike to bike. I have a few bikes that I like to ride to work (one at a time of course). The generator light limited me to one bike.

I first used the NiteRider light in a offroad race in which I had to ride at night. It worked really well there and I figured that since I spent money on it, I might as well try it on the streets too.

This is a photo of it on my bike. The headlight is about the size of an egg and the battery is about the same size as 3/4 a stick of butter. It's the black thing attached to the handlebar stem in the photo below. It holds a charge for about three hours. Not too bad.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crash and Find

I crashed my newly built bike. I was riding through a park several blocks from my house to get the mud off the tires (wet grass does a good job of that). I cut across a sidewalk at an angle and crashed on the edge of the pavement. I got up, a bit shaken, and rode home standing up, because the seat broke off the rails.

A couple hours later, my wife came in the house after running. She asked where I crashed. I told her the name of the park in which I crashed earlier. She handed me my wallet. It had popped out of my jersey pocket during the crash. She happened to run through the park and find my wallet sitting in the rain-soaked grass about four feet from the sidewalk.

A New Word from My Daughter

My nine-year old daughter does not like to wear underwear. This is an ongoing battle that we're clearly losing. We asked her why she doesn't like them. Her reply, "No one calls them funderwear."

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Bike (sorta)

I've had an idea for a bike since I installed the dirt-drop style bars on my commuting bike sometime last year. I loved the way the bars felt and liked the way it felt off road. I thought about having the same bike without the racks, fenders, lights and any other extras. Then I saw a post on about Monstercross bikes. (Apologies to you wordsmiths, I didn't invent the term.)

It all came together and I found a frame to serve as the basis for my Monstercross bike.

I just got it together tonight. Currently, it's a two-speed, but I'll most likely double the number of gears soon by adding a front derailleur and another chain ring.

The around-the-block test ride was fantastic. It rides exactly as I planned with the longer stem. (Last weekend, I tried a shorter stem and it wasn't right.) Tomorrow morning, it gets to go on the Hiawatha Cyclery Nature Ride.

The definition of Monstercross is pretty squishy. It has something to do with drop bars and tires fatter than the UCI cyclocross maximum of 32mm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

US Soccer vs. Trinidad Tobago

I traveled on a charter bus from St. Paul to Chicago with 40 some other soccer fans to see the U.S. mens soccer team play Trinidad Tobago in a World Cup qualifier on Sept 10.

I took a few photos and recorded a couple videos.

Here we are on the bus. It was pretty comfortable and we watched soccer videos for several hours during the ride to Chicago.

We stopped in the Wisconsin Dells for lunch. It was cheesy as expected.
The Toyota Park was very nice on the inside and outside. It's a dedicated soccer stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois (a Chicago suburb).

Many fans gathered before the game in the parking lot.

All the bus riders wore a special t-shirt. This guy got a tattoo on his forehead. We teased him a bit.

Sprinklers watered the grass before the match. The field was beautiful (as beautiful as grass gets, at least).

When the U.S. scored, they passed a giant flag up the rows for display. I've seen this sort of stuff before on TV, but I've never been under the flag until last night (three times).

Action shot of soccer action.

The sun went down during the game.

The U.S. won 3-0 and it was time for a nap in the parking lot. Our bus disappeared during the game, but they returned to pick us up. We got back to St. Paul at 5 a.m. as scheduled. It was a great trip. I don't need to do it every week, but I'll do it again when possible.

The fans sang songs almost non-stop during match. I captured a few on video.

This is a song the fans sang in appreciation of goalie Tim Howard's fine play.

This is a cheer the fans yelled when one of the opposing players went down and needed a stretcher.

They're singing, "You're going home in a Cook County ambulance!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Soccer Trip

I like to watch soccer and am going to see the US men play Trinidad-Tobago in a World Cup qualifying match. The match is located in Chicago. I'm leaving this morning (Wednesday) on a charter bus to Chicago (from St. Paul). We'll arrive, see the game, leave and are scheduled to return by 5 a.m. tomorrow. I'm bring a camera and will load some photos.

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