Sunday, April 26, 2009

Claire is an official irongirl

This is the Accuweather symbol for today's Ironman weather. Windy, wet and cold all applied to the ride. Claire rocked and rode the whole way. She overcame a mid-point time of doubt and a crash at the 25 mile mark on top of the hostile weather. When getting her shirt at the end, the event worker told her she hadn't seen any other riders Claire's age complete the ride.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Irongirl Prep.

Claire's cleaning her bike prior to a fresh coating of oil.We are anticipating our ride to be wet-n-windy. We have fenders and good rainwear, so it challenges should be manageable. Claire's too excited to sleep as I type this @ 10pm. We are in the throws of pre-adventure fun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

R.I.P aka Rust-in Pontiac.

General Motors is preparing to announce that the Pontiac car brand, once marketed as GM's "Excitement division," will be killed off.[Link]

Meanwhile, Chrysler is hoping to be saved by Fiat but still may file bankruptcy. [link]

Also today, Ford received good news, as they only posted a net loss of $1.43 billion. [link]

Maybe the news for American cars isn't so bad as GM's Total Confidence commercial say "We need to put on our rally caps, America and dig in.

Or, maybe we can hope that an economic asteroid kills of these dinosaurs and offers something better room to evolve. Hell even intelligent design would better than Detroit's big three.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

20 mile Training Ride

I love living in the Twin Cities. Claire and I left from our usual spot in Lilydale Park. We rode over the Mendota Bridge through Ft. Snelling into Minnehaha Park, North on West River Road, to the Midtown Greenway to Lake Calhoun. After a spin around the lake we ended up at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant on Nicollet. The rest of the family met us there for lunch and a ride home. In our 20.5 miles, we spent about .5 on roads; everything else was dedicated bike path.

Claire did the ride without a complaint. I'm confident she will not only ride the 30 miles next weekend, but enjoy riding it. We are thinking of having a gourmet picnic on the way. Claire wants quality baguettes, hard salami and E's cheese. I'm more than happy to fill-up the panniers to make this a memorable ride for her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ironman Training Ride

Claire and I have been training for the Ironman bike ride held the end of this month. While on tonight's ride, we saw this deer between Fort Snelling and Minehaha Park. Two additional deer emerged from the scrubby brush a scant 30 yards of this one.

Strangely the deer didn't seem to take notice of us at all. It only ran when Claire tried to walk up to our side of the fence to get her picture taken along side the deer. We were only about 10 feet away from the fence.

The picture quality is low, as I was taking this photo into the setting sun. I had to hold my hand over the camera to get enough shade to get any image at all. This is the best of the four photos I tried.

Last Sunday we saw two deer at the same spot. Claire now calls the area "Deer Hill." Riding with Claire is wonderful.

I am proud of Claire; she rode hard and worked hills like an animal. Harris will be doing the same next year.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gorillaz and Noodle

Netflix just send Gorillaz: Phase Two Slowboat to Hades. I'm into the melodic, fantastic and urban sights and sounds. I first heard this band/cartoon in Taiwan. They had a music vid with some funky Asian riffs, but I can't find it here. I know they have Asian only releases

I also find Noodle cute in an androgynous animated sort of way. She's the kind of kid hipsters long to be.

Her Wikipedia Biography says "At age 10, Noodle arrived on the Gorillaz' doorstep in a FedEx crate, in response to the ad they placed for a guitarist in the NME. She could not speak any English beyond the word "Noodle", thus earning her the alias. She quickly got settled in England with the Gorillaz, and was accepted as the fourth member of the band."

Longer ride

With the day off, I went for a longer ride. Nothing epic, 34 miles. My average speed while pedaling was good, but I spend a lot of time lost which was ok too.

I parked in St. Paul near where Highway 13 meets 35E. I headed south to the Mendota Bridge where I crossed the Mississippi into Minnehaha Park. I went west on 54th st. to Lake Nokomis. I followed around Nokomis, Harriet and Calhoun to the Greenway. I took that East to West River Road which took me back to Minnehaha Park. Nice Circuit route with good scenery.

Next time I'll be more efficient with my route and spend more time riding.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A scene from the Octagon during Big Surf's performance.


When I purchase tires for my bikes, I painstakingly read reviews and use my own experiential information to make a well informed decision, as tires matter. Traction, rolling resistance, price, durability and appearance are all variables I consider.

So when my Toyota needs tires I run to the local Costco and focus mainly on price and brand. I've had good luck in the past with Michelin tires so I get them again.

I'm sure tires differ greatly but have little experience from which to judge tread patterns. Too bad that it isn't possible to "try on" a few different tires on before choosing. Since this is not an option, I simply rely on printed literature from the manufacturer. My new tires are described as follows:

Features & Benefits

* 80,000-Mile Limited Warranty*
X® Radial DT tires feature MaxTouch Construction™, a unique contact patch shape and design that allows for long-lasting, even treadwear. The tread life of the X Radial DT tires last up to 15,000 more miles versus the leading competitor.†
* Quiet, Comfortable Ride
Michelin Comfort Control Technology™ uses computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to offer greatly reduced vibrations and road noise.
* Sure Grip in Wet and Snow
An all-weather tread pattern includes full-depth sipes for exceptional traction in rain or snow that lasts throughout the entire life of the tire.

In the end my new tires are great. $314 well spent. The car drives like new, but I can't help wonder if it could have been even better.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Artcrank 09

Here is the poster I purchased. It is the 22nd copy of a set of 25.

Here is a complete selection of the posters for sail. Many good ones.

Click on the images to make them bigger.