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Archive for September, 2006

More similar

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Which is more similar? Domino’s, Pizza Hut, or Papa John’s?


Thursday, September 28th, 2006

I broke my chain yesterday after riding only 3/4 mile at Wapehani. I tried to replace it myself, but screwed up somehow and ended up having someone install a new one. Oh well.

It was gorgeous all day, sunny, 70s, and Dave and I planned to ride at Brown County at 6 tonight. There was rain in the forecast, but no indication I could see that it would actually come. Well, just after we got there and got ready to ride, we saw some lightning and heard thunder, and it started raining a few minutes later. A guy named Jeff was riding around the parking lot a bit, trying to decide whether to ride.

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to ride in a thunderstorm, but the thunder was distant, and Jeff thought the storm would roll over in about 30 minutes. We decided to ride the parking lot connector up to the North Tower and decide then whether to continue.

We didn’t so much decide to continue as simply not stop; the end result is the same. It was really cool riding in the rain. I’ve done that some in the woods by my old house, but those trails are nothing like this. It was, of course, slick in spots, but overall, surprisingly doable. Seeing occasional flashes of lightning and the rumble of the thunder were admittedly very cool, and the extra light was welcome, too. It was fairly dark with Brown County’s dense canopy and thick clouds overhead.

After a while, the rain started letting up, and the sun came out! It was weird because it was still raining, but the sun was streaming in from the West, and you could see mist and raindrops illuminated by rays of sunshine. We stopped for a few minutes, and I noticed there was steam rising off my body! I snapped a couple of photos with my camera phone — I wanted to be able to show Sarah what it was like. The photos turned out pretty crappy, sadly. This one gives a good sense of approximately what I could see, though, as my glasses were covered in water and mud:

My camera’s vision is eerily similar to how mine was at the time

You can’t tell it’s raining too well aside from some glistening leaves

It’s suprising as you ride in the rain, you don’t even feel the mud being splattered all over your legs by the tires. You’re just wet in general. Also weird is that when we started going again after a brief break, we realized our seats had gotten wet while we were standing up. Maybe it’s better not to stop! That reminds me, something went wrong with my rear brake — it still works fine, but it doesn’t release properly. I guess I’ll have to take my bike to a shop for the second day in a row.

Jeff told us that DINO is doing a 24-hour race at Winona Lake this weekend, during the time I’d been hoping to ride there. He said the trails will still be open to the public, so I may go anyway, but it figures that there’d be people crawling everywhere when I happen to be in the area.

Low key weekend / Brown County / Epic fears

Monday, September 25th, 2006

It was a pretty low key weekend. It rained Friday and Saturday, forcing Sarah and I to stay inside for most of it. It was really nice to sleep in, which we hadn’t really done for a while.

Today, there was a race at Brown County, so I was thinking about riding Nebo Ridge. I didn’t get up early enough to do it early in the day. Dave and Dan from work were going from 3-6 pm, but I didn’t want to do that, because it’s an hour or so away — which would have me gone from 2-7. That’s quite a bit … I almost changed my mind at the last minute, but it was really too late to go at that point, and it still would have had me gone for quite some time.

Instead, I ended up riding at Brown County. I rode all 3 trails, the first time I’ve ever done that in one day! The race ended at 1, and I got there around 4 … there were few people on the trails, especially for a Sunday. I suspect that the race, combined with how much it had rained, kept people away. No complaints here! I did run into some other riders, but not very many … and I sort of knew a lot of the people I saw, so that was actually kind of cool. I saw some of the guys from Indy Cycle Specialist, where I bought my bike. It was Scott (the owner) and Chris (who worked on my bike) and a couple other guys whose names I don’t know. I also ran into Rob, who is heavily involved in a lot of the trailbuilding efforts in the area. I met Rob last week and it was cool to run into him again.

I crashed once, I went around a turn too fast, and my wheels slipped out from under me. I hit the ground and slid/rolled a bit. It’s funny, when you crash, you’re supposed to try to roll — fortunately, that’s sort of my default reaction. Rolling helps absorb the shock, instead of just jamming your arm or something, more of your body can absorb the impact.

Another time, I wouldn’t say I crashed, but I bailed because I was on a ledge, and I didn’t feel very in control. I tried to regain control, but didn’t have much luck — I was just moving too slowly to be able to balance. So I jumped off my bike uphill, to avoid falling down the ravine. I’m sure that would have looked hilarious, had anyone seen me. I need to practice moving slowly, and trackstands. My balance tends to suck at slow speeds.

I’m a bit worried about the Epic ride that’s in a few weeks. I just don’t know if I will be able to do it. My ride today was about 12 miles (probably a little bit more), and I was beat. I’ve done more than that at once, but I just don’t know if I’ll be able to do three times as much, all in one day. I might be OK, so long as I pace myself and take frequent breaks. I’m definitely going to go for it, I’m just kind of concerned that it may be too ambitious.

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