Monday, September 25, 2006

*MORE* boredom

I thought, in continuation of a theme, I'd list out the top gross things in our trash can right now:

Cat poo
Dirty Diapers (Ben and Max Poo)
Festering ziplock of uncooked eggs
unidentified ziplock of brown liquid
... and the winner
A dead mouse - crisp, hardened and nearly weightless

What? No comments? Can't really believe it.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

the engine part II

to add to the boredom, I've introduced this addendum:

In the previous post I exaggerated slightly on the temp range to highlight a point; that there's a huge gap between the heat generation along with low cooling during a climb versus the low heat generation and intense cooling during the descent [on the bike.] And it's pretty amazing that such a huge difference exists. I tell the story in the first place because those that don't ride or those that don't venture out when the weather turns sour perhaps cannot easily imagine this stuff. I just think it's cool.

The addendum is simply this... When outfitted in the proper gear, riding in any conditions can be comfortable. It's easy to be not too warm & not too cold, including toes & fingers. The current crop of technical layers is truly remarkable. I've bombed down some hills in cold rain and something well under 5mm from skin to outer shell completely cozy. The thin layer is a wall that cuts through what would otherwise leave you shivering and really unhappy. Armed with a wind breaking cap under the helmet and some full coverage glasses and you begin to create an inside and outside. I'd like to use an "inside a car" analogy but that depresses the message. You've rolled out in the misty fog, drizzle or pouring rain to experience it, not be completely isolated from it. The isolation that keeps the core warm, however, is a very good thing.

When intentionally setting out in the cold and rain, it is rare that a rider gets cold. It's the seemingly nice day that turns pear shaped and you're without the aforementioned technology does one suffer. Those days are remembered with a shudder & a shake. I've walked into a bike shop after a day like that and loaded up with piles of winter protection like a hungry shopper at the grocery store.

The addendum to the boring post has gone on well past due. Carry on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the engine

prepare yourself for a mind-numbingly, and over punctuated, boring post...


Here it comes...

So it's cold, dark and usually raining when I roll out for my 10 mile /35 ish minute two wheeled commute. I start out layered in cozy & waterproof clothes. At exact points along the ride I drop layers.
I unzip jackets at 7th & Failing St
At Interstate & Alberta I lose the fleece hat
At Delta Park I swap fuzzy gloves for skinny ones
Then I'm dialed for the rest of the ride.
[anyone still reading???]

It's just {marginally} interesting how the human machine works and how the flow of cold wind & rain keeps the engine cool. Stopping at stoplights and the system overheats, even just the 30 seconds the equilibrium is broken and I roast. Then, with wind & rain back on, it all comes back down. Outside of the commute on recreational rides, the difference between climbing and descending is epic, all on the same day. If it's 47 and rainy, 10 minutes into a long climb and you could pretty much ride naked and be too hot. Then point the bike downhill and you're doing 35-40mph and exerting 30% of the output. The rain feels like ice pellets and your 5 layers with the final being a waterproof membrane isn't enough if the downhill is sustained for more than a few minutes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


A toast from one steaming thing to another. It's a great hike/scramble and I *highly* recommend it to anyone who has baseline fitness and owns a thermos.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Soba 1999 - 2006

This was, as far as cats go, a really cool cat. Ultra social and friendly. *It* thought it was a human, or so it appeared from its persona.

It went from healthy to tonight's vet visit inside of 36 hours. The annoying thing about cats is that they "mask" or hide their ailments so as to not show weakness in the wild. The vet thinks something heart &/or lung related probably linked to cancer.

Max and Ben really lit up and would chase/torture Soba. The cat put up with this quite well and actually enjoyed it assuming cats don't stick around if they're not having a good time. There's little funnier than Ben awkwardly carrying Soba around. Soba rallied for all of the Hunter/Wicker moves: Oakland>Berkeley>Boulder>Portland. Unlike Miso, this cat was into it.

The cheeky thing wrecked more than one night's sleep and covered the furniture with so much of its fur that one could fashion a whole 'nother cat from the pile. But all those small things aside, we will miss you Soba. You set the bar.