Friday, June 16, 2006

misc ramblings

Well, another week is gone, thankfully. Had a nice ride Wednesday night. I rode over to Minneapolis, met up with an old friend then rode back to St. Paul, spectated at the time-trials on shepard road, then road back to Minneapolis and finally back home to St. Paul. That's a lot of back and fourth!
The time trials were fun. We didn't actually intend to stop there, but got sucked into the glam that is bicycle race spectating. It was virtually impossible to ride down by the start and not run into people we knew, so we hung out for a while, saw a few really fast finishers and headed on out way. The time trail was only 4.5 miles long, so there was some serious speed being laid down. Doug Swanson came though under 9 minutes, meaning he averaged over 30 mph the whole time. I think a few of the Pro's came in under 8:30. That's smokin fast.

On the ride over to Minneapolis the first time, I encountered an all-too-familiar phenomenon on Summit Ave: boneheaded riders. I swear Summit Ave is the Mecca of riders without any common sense or courtousy. Summit is the main bike highway from St. Paul to Minneapolis, and it's my fastest route to get to downtown Minneapolis from my place. So naturally when I'm on it, I 'm usually running late to meet someone so I put the pedals down all the way across it, which means passing lots of riders. Now most of them are nice commuters just on their way home and they're friendly as can be, but it's almost impossible for me to make it all the way from downtown to downtown without some stranger jumping in on my wheel completely unannounced.
I don't mind people drafting me, but fer cryin' out loud people, let me know you're there. There are parked cars all along the route, so doors can fly open at a moments notice, I have to swerve quite a bit to avoid things in the road, people, cars, etc... It's simply not safe to have someone an inch off your rear wheel and not know about it, and it's even less safe for you bonehead.

Wednesday I had an interesting one though. I passed a guy that was obviously comutting home from work, riding his schwinn letour with aerobars and double panniers (I'll never understand aerobar usage in a major metropolitan area). I passed him going about 7-10 mph faster than he was going, I made a very safe pass when there was no traffic around. Well since they can't time stoplights in St. Paul, you hit most of them when you head west. About a mile up I hit a red light and waited. A few minutes later this guy rolls up and promptly goes around me to get in front of me at the light. Guess he thought he'd get the jump on me at the light or something...
Light turns green, he barely moves, but finally start riding, I end up having to pass him again 25 feet down the road. Never saw him again after that.

I just don't understand some people.

I finally got around to getting our air-conditioner working at home yesterday. We've had a few humid days and a few hot ones earlier in the year, so it was overdue. I thought all I needed to do was splice the wire that had been cut during construction. So I started there. Got that patched up and turned on the power. I figured I'd lube the motor before I started it, so I went outside to take off the cover and check out the internals. That's when it hit me, we moved the air conditioner during construction and never fully remounted it! So a five minute job turned into an hour or so as I had to clean off the concrete slab, level it, re-fill in the dirt under one end and finally mount the air conditioner down to the slab. Oh yeah and hose out the inches of cottonwood that fill up the heat exchanger each year. By the time I finally got it all back together and running, it was just about time to head out to meet some friends for dinner.

I think we're going to try and check out the downtown crit tonight. Crits are so much more fun when you're spectating instead of racing, especially one this fast. Maybe get some frame painting done this weekend, sounds like it's supposed to storm most of the weekend, that's good painting weather!


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