Saturday, October 30, 2010

Days off...

Yeah, I'm off today, and I'm getting caught up on "stuff." You know, dropping the car off for service, picking up some groceries at Trader Joe's, returning some e-mails, making some calls, and, of course, blogging, tweeting and drinking coffee. Mmmmmm... coffee.

One place that I spend LOTS of time in while I'm off is down in the "workshop." I seem to spend lots of time tweaking bikes... changing handlebars, making bikes singlespeed, making them geared, sometimes just rotating the tires... For me, working on bikes is a great way to relax. I'm not worried about medication interactions, kidney failure, heart failure, arrhythmias, nocosomial infections (nothing worse than an infected nocosom), or the worst part of medicine, documentation. Nope, I just turn wrenches and make sure that I don't strip threads. I lube pivoting parts, and yes, I shine stuff with Pedro's Bike Lust. Ah...

I'm sad to admit, and I'm man enough to do so, that every once in a while I have to get professional help, and it's not always with repairs that would be considered difficult. Indeed, I had to take my wheels in to the shop this past week simply to get the tires put on properly. I was having a hell of time getting my tires to seat properly in the rims, and rather than being round, my tires ended up being oval shaped. I tried riding the bike like this, but I felt like I was riding a circus bike. I tried everything--from pumping the tires up slowly, to taking them to a gas station and inflating them quickly with the air compressor, to trying different tires (three different ones to be exact), to changing the rim strips, always with the same result. Ultimately, my buddy Magic Dave got 'em seated properly with some soapy water sprayed at the tire bead and by just keeping going with the inflation until "pop." It's good to know that after more than 25 years of biking, I still need help sometimes with the most basic of repairs.

Anyway, I also spend a fair amount of time catering to the needs and whims of two of the most spoiled dogs, Gary and Luna. They require constant belly rubs and changes of scenery. They like car rides and going to the beach. How spoiled are they? Luna wouldn't think of resting on the ground... she actually found a natural (and smelly) natural ocean-made bed of seaweed to lay on. Unfortunately, the temperature is becoming too cold for beach romps.

This past week though has been warm enough for a couple more late season beach parties.

And speaking of this past week, it was my first "real" week at my new job. So far, it's been good. Everyone I've met has been great and it's fun to change things up everyone once in a while with a whole new work setting. I do miss many of my co-workers from Beverly Hospital--many who had become to feel like family members, but of course, neither I nor they are dead (yet), so I can keep in touch (although, I have not a good job on this front yet). In fact, I just did a shift there yesterday, so I was able to see some familiar faces!

Oh, and in case you didn't know (and how could you NOT), it's cyclocross season. I've been racing as often as I can, in what I call my 2010 Campaign for Cyclocross Mediocrity. Hop on over to the Racer-X site for one of my more recent race reports. And since I'll be racing tomorrow, there will be another race report to look forward to next week. How exciting!

Until then, be strong, and laugh, and shout at the devil.

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