Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for September, 2006

A man’s character is like a fence

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

It’s been a while since I updated. I meant to write about our trip to the Bloomington Speedway last Friday, but never got around to it. You can read Sarah’s account here.

We had a really full weekend. On Saturday, we helped my mom move things from one storage unit to another, took a nap, and then had a picnic out at Brown County. I brought my old SLR film camera (a Pentax K1000) loaded with slide film to try some cross processing, and the Kodak Retina that we found with my grandparents’ things. It’s a 35mm camera from the 1930s. I hadn’t tested it yet to see if it’d work. Unfortunately, Sarah brought her camera, but forgot to bring her memory card. This meant that she could take about 7 photos before the built-in memory filled up. I took some photos at Brown County, and then we drove around aimlessly, taking a few photos along the way.

We stumbled on this really cool Deckard Cemetery, some 5 miles back on a gravel road. We pulled up near it and realized it was on private property. There was a house right there, and a guy on the porch yelled at us. We asked if we could look around, and he said sure. So we did. You can see the photos on my Flickr page.

On Sunday, we went to McCormick’s Creek State Park and parked by the falls. We both had cameras this time (our digital ones) and we both took some photos. It’s great to do some photography again. It’s been a while.

I worked at home yesterday and today to minimize distractions. It seemed to help somewhat. Really just a change of scene is nice sometimes.

Tonight, I went for a ride at Brown County. This time, I did the Aynes Loop, and then did the North Tower Loop afterwards. I did it a bit differently, because I rode the North Tower Loop counter-clockwise, which I don’t normally do. I actually really liked it — some parts seem to flow better that way. Also, it’s the longer way back from the Aynes Loop, but it’s less intense in the climbing department, which can be pretty nice. I ran into Chris, the guy who worked on my bike up in Indy, and talked to him for a few minutes, and later encountered Randi from work and her riding buddy. I still haven’t been riding enough to get to know many people, but it’s pretty clear that once I ride some more, I’ll start seeing a lot of the same people. The cycling world is pretty small.

My ride tonight was weird because it got off to a bad start but got a whole lot better. I was just … off … at first. My timing was out of whack, and I made a couple of mistakes during the big climb on the Aynes Loop, after which I got frustrated and kept tripping myself up. However, once I started riding down the other side, I got my rhythm and did a lot better. I hit 32.4 miles per hour at one point! Pretty fast for singletrack trail. I also didn’t wipe out at all this time, which was good because I’ve had minor crashes the last couple of times I rode. I did bump my knee at one point early in the ride, and actually it looks like I rode over my own knee.

I’ve started cleaning and lubricating my chain more, and the difference is pretty clear. Everything has been working pretty smoothly overall. It’s funny because the guy at Indy Cycle Specialist said that I’d get pretty obsessive about cleaning my chain, and I laughed because I didn’t believe him, but I can already see that happening. Great. I am adjusting pretty well to my shoes, although sometimes I still have trouble clipping in, especially on a fast or technical section.

Here’s my ride from tonight:

Walking Stick

Friday, September 15th, 2006

I forgot to mention that I saw a walking stick (the insect, not the thing you use to walk) at Brown County last night. I stopped for a minute to stretch some more, and I leaned against a tree — I felt something under my hand and looked to see what it was, and it turned out to be a walking stick. They are pretty strange to look at, bugs that look like sticks. I had seem them before, certainly, but it had been a while, and I forgot all about them.

North Tower

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

The weirdest thing happened a few minutes ago. I couldn’t find my GPS. I worried that I might have left it sitting on my trunk when I left Brown County, since I remembered putting it there, but didn’t remember picking it back up. I looked all over for it, and then went outside to look in the car. It wasn’t in the car, but it WAS sitting on my trunk, just where I left it almost 15 miles away! I need to be more careful …

I rode the North Tower Loop at Brown County tonight. I wasn’t sure how the trails would be, given all the rain we’ve had, but they were in great shape. There were only a few puddle/mud spots throughout the whole part I rode.

When I rode through the section of trail where I saw those two deer last time, I saw a whole bunch of deer. In fact, I came around a corner and saw a deer standing on the trail. She moved as soon as she saw me coming, and had run up the hill by the time I got to where she’d been standing. I saw a bunch more as I continued riding. I’m not sure how many, but there were several going in different directions.

I wiped out at one point. I had been keeping my speed pretty conservative because of the mud — too conservative, I decided. The next turn I came to was off camber, and I didn’t even realize it until I was right upon it — too late to brake. I thought I could make it, but I was going a little too fast and my wheels slipped out from under me. As I was laying on the ground, I also noticed a large stone embedded in the trail that was running parallel to my line of travel. I suspect that may have had something to do with my fall as well. I wasn’t hurt, I just kind of landed on my right leg a little bit, so I walked it off for a couple of minutes and continued on my way.

I completed the North Tower Loop + parking connector in right around an hour. I didn’t time myself exactly. I think perhaps I should start timing my rides so I can better track my progress.

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