Might give you an idea how busy work and life has been in general lately -- been hard to get to the keyboard for anything fun or cycling related. Ugh. Such is life....
I've been busy in the garage, too, per the previous post aboutthe Peugeot, which has been a fun project of discovery and knowledge-gathering on all things French... having some of my lust for Phil Wood displaced by new lust for Maxicar, finding out the correct pronunciations for Mafac and Mavic, which surprised me -- (FYI, there is no incorrect or correct way to pronounce either: while most would lean towards the French-sound of "mah-VEEK" or "mA-fack", the truth is that both of those French bicycle part company names are acronyms. I did not know that. Mavic = Manufacture d'Articles Velocipediques Idoux et Chanel. Mafac = Manufacture Auvergnoise de Freins et Accessoires pour Cycles.) So, no more worries about sounding like a linguistically challenged Francophobic baffoon at the bike store when asking about that new wheelset. You can call em "MAY-vick" or whatever you like. Anyways, I digress.... I've learned a lot this week, just researching stuff about this bike - and that's kept me busy enough not to blog. So, I guess I HAVE been having fun at the keyboard after all!
riding has been good, and the challenges of October have been manageable so far. There has been rain on two occasions this week - a reallly chilly and misty rain on Monday night, and more rainy conditions both yesterday and today - but I have stayed largely dry, managing to get to work inbetween downpours. The smells, the sloppy trails covered with wet leaves, the headlight staying on a lot longer and that chill under the collar - it's starting to change around here pretty quick. I've actually decided to enjoy my previous years wool purchases instead of leaving them to ferment inside plastic bags until that special weekend ride comes up, or that special brevet. They are quite capable commuter clothes, too, and in this day an age I can't have anything sitting in the shelf not earning back the money I spent on it. Echoing Noah's sentiments about rainy weather, I've jumped into the camp that anything above 45 degrees is pretty much a sweaty death-sentence with regards to wearing a rain jacket. Even with my trusty Rain-Shield from O2, it's just too darn hot inside sometimes unless it's just pouring rain. Wool and nothing else covering it works perfectly, so that will likely be the new rule for dressing. Even in this cooler weather, like happens every year, I've forgotten how I dressed the year before and have been arriving at work just as sweaty as if it were still summertime.
This morning was no exception - but the nice thing about rain jackets is the ability to remove them enroute. Especially when stopped dead by a raging flooded creek. Yeah, I had to back-track this morning after taking a chance that the rain overnight and into the morning hadn't been all that heavy... but at the bottom of the first hill near the creek was a frothing torrent of water, moving quite fast. Not even worth trying...easily rushing along at 20 MPH, and would have made short work of me and my bike, easily two feet deep. Water is heavy, and I'm no hero. Luckily, there is a bridge about a mile west of there, so I just reversed course and re-routed. The rest of the trail was in pretty good shape.
Have seen some interesting birds lately, too -- most interestingly and recently a turkey, trotting along the trail in front of me before darting into the trees near the water. The number of other people on the trail has plummetted, much like the Dow Insustrial of late. I've spent much of this week utterly alone with the trail to myself -- which is kinda nice, but also kinda lonely. After a summer of exchanging waves and on-your-lefts with a lot of regulars, almost regularly enough to use them as landmarks in some cases, it's kinda stark - just me and the squirrels. Damn rodents...cute, sure....but freaking skittish as they get ready for winter. Apparently, they have no fear of me that outweighs their fear of starvation - they are taking more risks. The W'bird knows what I'm on about here. I'm all about nature, but c'mon... if you're gonna run to the left, just go with it. Don't change your mind when I'm six inches from your tail. Tree rats... get off my trail.
Today is day-one of the ole diet. It's time to get on the boat, and stay on it until Spring. Yeah, I know the new batch of winter lager will probably be out soon, and there are still a lot of pumpkin beers to try out - but I've got to put a foot down for myself at some point. My desires and temptations have to take a back seat. The winter 200Ks that lie ahead for my R-12 are going to be hard enough --- let's make it a little easier and drop some freaking poundage already.
In other news, I've got two more of the parts needed to get Hippo II up and running, the new snow-beast. The cog and lockring are on the way. After that, all that's needed is a decent front brake -- rather, one that will actually WORK on these backwards canti-mounts.
Winter riding in style is one step closer to reality... before long, when the snow hits, I'll be rockin' the messenger bag on the bus, with the snowbeast on the front of it. Roll on.
More later.... back to work...