Friday, November 11, 2011

Time Flies...

WTF. Really? No blog post since September? Shame on me. You know, of course, you can get nearly daily blatherings by following me on Twitter (I'm @BeardedBiker). But that's only 140 characters, and if you know me, you know I can talk WAY more than that.

So let's see, where did I last leave off? I had just come back from a few days down on the Cape with that lovely wife of mine and the in-laws. Good times.

When I got back, I was essentially punished for taking time off by working lots and lots of shifts.

I was also trying to immerse myself into the cyclocross season which is the only reason I actually look forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

Before heading down to the Cape, I raced in the Quad Cross race. It was super fun and a great season opener, but I got a flat, setting the stage for many mechanical issues for me thus far this season. I flatted in the next race too, Sucker Brook. If you add to the that the flat tires I had on my BMX bike and my road bike, you can imagine that I was getting a little frustrated (first world problems, I know). I got my tires squared away with some new Michelins in time for one of the biggest races in New England, the GP Gloucester which spans the first weekend of October each year. On Saturday I had a good race (video or photos), but on Sunday (video or photos) a different mechanical issue reared it's ugly head. My chain guard, which is supposed to keep my chain ON my bike, actually allowed the chain to pop off and thus prevented me from getting it back on. Eventually, I was able to get the chain back on, but it was a struggle, and I was a the absolute back of the race once I got back in the game. Oh well, I wasn't going to win anyway, and it was fun to work my way up as far as I could. In case you're wondering, yes, this did happen to me before, and I have since replaced said chain guard with an e13 chainguard that looks fool proof. And, right after Gloucester's weekend of racing, the Wednesday night Night Weasel (video or photos) race was on. This is a super fun race with a great vibe. The course was pretty muddy, but I didn't have any mechanical issues and I stayed on the bike (something not all my competitors can say), and it was another race in the history books.

It hasn't all been about the cyclocross bike though... I have been on the mountain bike, including another trip up to Kingdom Trails (check out the video!) with my buddies Mike and Jason.

I also shot up to North Conway, NH, for an off road ride and was very impressed with the trails. I look forward to more exploration...

And, in addition to mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes, I've been trying to spend as much time as possible on my BMX bike. In fact, I've even tried to bring myself up to speed with the current style of riding, and I've built up a bike with no brakes. It's an interesting transition for a rider who started in an era where locking brakes were the coolest accessory. I'm old, and out of practice, but I still absolutely love riding my BMX bike. I was off for WAAAAAAAAAAY too long.

Of course, while I've been trying to bring my riding up to date, I still have fond memories of the early days of neon bikes and 80's hair. I've got HUNDREDS of old photos rotting in various albums so I've taken it upon myself to get the scanner up and running to save these little pieces of BMX history.

I've only just BEGUN to start scanning, but here's a good first effort:

Oh, I forgot to mention that I've been taking more photos. Yeah, in addition to my attempts at a steady stream of race photos for my team mates over on the Racer-X Web site, a group of friends and I have started a Project 365 blog where we're all posting a photo every day. It's great seeing some of the awesome pics my friends have been taking, and seeing some of the lame ones I've been posting, but hey, it's a journey, right?

We, in New England, also weathered the first big snow storm of the year, which came VERY early--the end of October. There wasn't too much snow accumulation in my neck of the woods, but some parts of MA got more than two feet. Damn. More problematic than the snow was the fact that the trees still had plenty of leaves on them making them more susceptible to damage from the heavy snow. To say that there were lots of trees and limbs down would be quite the understatement. Parts of the state looked like a war zone or like the aftermath of a hurricane. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and some for several days. Everyone was enraged that the utility companies were taking so long to restore power, but I say "hey homeowners, how about taking some personal responsibility and being PREPARED for storms." I know not everyone can afford to be fully prepared, but for the homeowners that CAN afford it, but prefer to spend their money on flat screen TVs, Blu-Ray players, and other crap, how about popping a grand down on a generator? No? Rather spend the money on an iPhone and an expensive car? Well, then don't bitch if you lose power for a couple of days.

Okay, I'm off my soap box.

Gotta go... gonna get a quick ride in before work... also gotta post my pic for yesterday AND today...

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