Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for December, 2008

Bad news — Moon Lake park (and trails) closing

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

There was a disturbing article the other day in the Times Leader, the local newspaper, in this article. Moon Lake, the county park where I went mountain biking in the snow a couple of weeks ago, is going to be closing five months out of the year, because of county-wide budget problems. I don’t know what, if anything, can be done, but I am very disappointed — I had a blast riding there. Many people have put in a lot of hours of volunteer work on those trails, and I can only imagine how they must feel now that they can’t enjoy the fruit of their own labor.

The article has a great quote from the park director, saying business has been better, not worse, in this down economy, so this closing really doesn’t make sense:

“Now that times are hard, our business is up, not down. We took in a lot more money from our campground. The average guy doesn’t have money to go away on vacation and really looks forward to that week of camping,” Madrack said.

I just hope this is really a temporary situation, and that in a year or two they can go back to being open year round. If things get worse, will they close the park altogether? I sure hope not.

An informal poll

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I should set up a proper poll, but I have other demands on my time. I have, until now, mostly avoided riding the Trucker in rain or snow. It’s the nicest bike I have, and I worry about subjecting it to those conditions. However, I put fenders on it not long after I bought it, fully intending to ride in the rain/snow. And if/when I eventually go on tour, I’m sure that’s something I’ll have to deal with. So my question is, should I ride the Trucker through the winter, or revert back to my old mountain bike? The old mountain bike is nice in that I can put big knobby tires on it, and I don’t mind if it gets road gunk/salt/etc on it, but it’s heavy (even compared to the Trucker) and it doesn’t feel as good to ride it.

Poll: Should I ride the Long Haul Trucker through the winter?

Options:

  1. Bikes were made to be ridden! Ride it in any and all conditions. The bike will love you for it, anyway.
  2. No way, are you crazy? That bike is too nice to subject it to that kind of abuse.

What are your thoughts?

Snowy night ride

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

It was snowing pretty well Tuesday night, and I couldn’t resist riding. I think Sarah was a little surprised, because as we were driving across the valley, it really kind of sucked. Once we got back home, I couldn’t resist the temptation to ride. Somehow it’s fun to ride in, but makes driving a pain. I set out on my newly-discovered direct, trafficless route to the Levee Trail, so I could avoid stupid drivers. That turned out to be unnecessary because the few roads I did ride on had very few cars on them.

I almost took my old mountain bike, which in the past has been my winter bike, but then I realized that I hadn’t ridden the Trucker in snow yet and took it to see how it’d fare.

The roads were a little slick from the wet snow, but not icy. I really had no problems with traction.

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Dark road

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Some Christmas lights

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Warehouse

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A huge puddle, and the limo I noticed previously

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Church (this also gives you a good idea of my headlight beam)

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Riding on the Levee Trail

I tried a few different modes on my camera before I figured out which one worked best in these conditions. I had the best luck with Night mode, with the flash set to Slow Sync. This fires the flash, but also keeps the shutter open longer to fill in the background. Having the flash fire is nice to illuminate the snowflakes.

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Riding

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Abstract

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Another action shot

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Market Street Bridge

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Pond

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Intersection of Bennett and Wyoming

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Back home

The Trucker handled very well — better than I would’ve expected, in fact. The only problem I had was that my fenders got clogged with snow. It didn’t prevent me from riding, but I could hear it rubbing, and it was mildly annoying. I don’t remember having this problem with the fenders on my old mountain bike, although they have extra clearance, and this snow was particularly wet and sticky.

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Front fender,  clogged with snow

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