Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Climbing Trees Adult Style

Remember when you were a kid and finding trees to climb around your neighborhood was a goal?  Sometimes they were tall and sometimes they were just above shoulder level.  Either way, it was fun and hanging out in a tree was a great way to view the world.  Along my journey to adulthood, I grew terrified of heights.  Yet I find myself climbing ladders and getting onto roofs.  Kind of like the adult version of climbing trees, only with terror rather than excitement.  This ladder looks safe, right?
 Hmm.  I've been up this one before.  I can do it.  I'm only 51, not 100.
 Yeah.  Not so bad.  Even if I fell, my body bashing against the rails on the way down would break my fall.  Very comforting.
Once on top, all was good.  Except the 30 mph winds and freezing temps, it was great!  There was ice to contend with, but I'm only 51, not 100.  What's a little ice?  In reality, it was fine until I walked to the edge and looked down.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Endless Winter, Testing Limits of Sanity

 Another cold week started off with a late night trip to Wal-Mart.  Man, I hate that place.  But Mrs K and I got a ton of amusement from this over-zealous cart manager.
And I got some amusement over the beautiful Mrs K's need for reading glasses.  She has been making fun of me for years for squinting.  Now...the chickens have come home to roost!
How I would love to roost in the new Kia Stinger.  Twin turbo goodness from a decidedly affordable car company.  Short list if I win the bottom feeder lottery.
Deanna and I were able to ride outside twice this past week.  The sun is setting later and there was actually sun!  We didn't have to turn on our lights until we were about half-way through.
Finally had to get new pens.  8 months on the last two.  It's the small things in office life that stand out.
And while these are small, they are big.  My lunch notes from my beautiful wife.  Multi-colored and incredibly timely for my moods.  Thanks baby.
I stopped by Billy Goat Bikes on Saturday for some tires and Dirk had a couple of treasures in the back.  One was this Redline MX-II.  I had a blue one and a red one in my first year of racing!
 There was also this Diamond Back Turbo.  Wow, this stuff takes me back!  This one wasn't too bad, despite the broken right crank arm....and those rotten tires look original!
The beautiful Mrs K and I had to bust out and take in a little night life, too.  I caught her amazing beauty in this shot, accidentally!  She is the love of my life.
I may or may not have taken my youngest for some driving practice Sunday.  He was so much better than I thought he would be. And so much better than I was when I first got behind a wheel.
And then reality hit and I found myself doing 20/40's on the trainer.  Again.  Ahhhhhh!  Save me from winder, please!!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Cold, Basketball, Bikes, Birthdays and Food

The weekend started off with BRUTAL cold Friday night, but we still had to face it and take Eli to one of two basketball games for the weekend.  More on that later.  Saturday morning, I woke up to 16 degrees.  Cold enough to freeze the recently flooded mountain bike trails AND my fingers.
I took it like a champ and rode (skated) around on ice, both thick and thin.  I lasted an hour.  Which is about all of the time I had since Eli had another basketball game just after lunch.  I was glad I rode, though, since it's been really hard to get outside with the weather.
Did I mention that I have finally turned the black no-name mountain bike that I use as a cyclocross bike into my gravel bike?  It's true.  I raced 'cross and the 54 mile Cuban Gravel Crisis gravel race with flat bars.  Well, no more.  It has proper handlebars now.
Zooming to Eli's basketball game, this scoreboard represents a complete 180 degree turn over Friday nights game.  They played great this time and came a way winners.  Last nights game?  Nope.
More zooming ensued.  We zoomed to Columbia to meet Hanna at the Mizzou basketball game.   I've never been to a basketball game above high school level so it was pretty cool to see.  Pretty good game, although we lost.
Obligatory selfie.  Hanna was sitting with her peeps in the student section, obviously missing out on all the fun we were having.
Finally coming to her senses, Hanna met up with us and we all went to eat.  At the same time, we presented her with presents for her 19th birthday, which was a week ago.  It took all four of us to help her put her new necklace on.  Seriously.  We at a place called Cheddars, which is sort of like O'charly's or Applebee's.  We all ate too much and still had food to bring home in doggie bags. 
And tonight, I'm eating those leftovers.  Cajun Pasta. Still had enough to share with the Beautiful Mrs K.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

It's the Weekend, Better Make the Most of it

It was Affton versus Affton Friday night.  With multiple Affton 6-8 grade basketball teams, they are bound to play each other at some point.  I caught a fabulous glimpse of Eli and his TK-made duct tape jersey.  Still going strong, that stuff stays on even after a washing.
Things weren't going well for Eli's Affton team.  Then, this happened.  One point game, less than thirty seconds to go.  Tense basketball action!!
Almost 20 seconds and multiple fouls later, it was still a 1 point game.  I can't tell you how many shots were missed in this small snippet of time.  In the end, it was exactly like this, and thus ended the most intense kids basketball game I've ever witnessed.
Less tense but no less interesting was the Saturday afternoon trip to Dierberg's.  The beautiful Mrs K and I had snacks to buy for a trivia night.  Busy, no doubt, but it wasn't as bad as Walmart, which we mercifully passed up.  The Walmart parking lot looked like a boiling cauldron of fear and anxiety.
While Mrs K took a nap (she's had a monster of a cold, given to her by me, and she needed some rest) I broke out old faithful.  The Redline hadn't seen action in a couple of weeks due to the cold and BAM, it was a fantastic ride.  I felt super good!  12 miles of hills and sprints!
After a crushing loss at the trivia night at Deanna's old high school, we had to take a selfie.  You can tell we were pretty torn up about the loss.......
Totally onward and upward, we loaded up the gravel bikes and headed south.  We both really wanted to ride.  Muddy trails and gritty roads prompted me to scan my brain for a bike path that wasn't lame.  I remembered how good the old paved path at St. Joe State Park was.  Hilly, scenic, relatively unused.
 Perfect!  11 miles long, lots of climbing, super fun downhills, not much flat, and good scenery.
The sun went behind the clouds as we were preparing to ride.  But it came out after a lap and stayed out and pushed the temps up.  A ton of fun and a killer workout.  Mrs K got in 2 laps and I pushed on for a hard 3rd lap.
We brought our reward with us.  A nice picnic lunch in the 70 degree sun. We need more days like this!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Riding instead of Hiking, either way it was cold

We gave a shout out to people that may have enjoyed a hike this morning with us, but when we showed up to Castlewood State Park, it was just the Beautiful Mrs K and I.  As luck would have it, we (surprise!) just happened to have our bikes and riding gear with us.  We didn't expect anyone to show up at 8am on a Sunday morning at 25 degrees.  Maybe on a warmer morning, at a later time we can get some people to enjoy the outdoors with us.
Not that riding was that enjoyable today.  It was cold and the wind was pretty strong.  My fingers were numb in a few minutes and I stopped once to warm them up.  Deanna didn't have her contacts in and her everyday glasses are not for riding mountain bikes so she was like Mr Magoo out there and had to stick to the easier stuff.  I climbed the big three hills (Ranger Station, Cardiac, and Lone Wolf) so it was a semi-successful ride anyway.  Just not long enough.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Aluminum is supposed to be Recycled

There are so many great cliche's that I could use when talking about the original Shit Bike.  The shit bike is like:
-A bad penny that keeps turning up
-A cat with nine lives
-A dung beetle that repeats it's sisyphean behavior
-A comfy pair of sweats that you just can't throw away

Or, you could say it just keeps getting recycled.  It is aluminum, after all.  And gosh darn it, it's a loyal companion that never says no.  Since 2010 when I got it as a shiny, polished alloy Sette Razzo, it's been used and repurposed more times than I can count.  First it served as my only mountain bike.  Then it was relegated to cyclocross service.  Then back to mountain bike duty.  For quite some time it served as a bad weather road bike.  Then back to mountain biking.  However, a couple of years ago it found itself in an interesting niche as a gravel bike, and it's stayed in that capacity.  Kind of an odd gravel bike, but it works really well that way.

Now it's going to be the Beautiful Mrs K's gravel bike.  It's been modified, but it takes it like a champ and it literally costs NO money to swap pieces and parts to make it fit her.  It won't even get a new coat of spray paint because she says she likes the color.  Fair enough: we can ride off into the wild blue yonder together on our spray painted Shit Bikes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Box is a Box is a Box

Awesome is the word that comes to mind when I think of the scrap wood in the garage that went into building this box for plyometric work.  The beautiful Mrs K and I spent about 30 minutes with a circular saw, a drill, some deck screws, and a tape measure to create this hunk of awesome.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Hiking at Chubb because it's Godawful Cold to be Riding

The beautiful Mrs K and I had work to do this morning, but after we finished we had time to be outdoors and to be active.  It was only 16 degrees.  We decided to go for a hike and chose Chubb Trail.  Right off the bat, we were surprised to see a small stream going gangbusters.  Most everything was frozen SOLID.
The lack of trees and the spotty snow really highlighted the hills and contours of the surrounding area.  We hiked up the Flint Quarry trail because the effort was sure to keep us warmer.
Not quite warmer, but taking the Flint Quarry Trail down to the traditional Chubb route was still fun.  And there were really interesting ice patches.  This would have been a pelvis breaker on a mountain bike.
And this is what you do when you get to the top of the mountain.  Just because.

Tim Versus Truck

 This is the truck.  It's an old Ford F350 diesel dually. 
 This is the part.
That little part is responsible for this big, industrial strength plow.  It's no joke, it's the same kind of plow that MODOT uses to plow the roads.  That little part failed over the summer and I replaced it with an inferior it failed again during the first snow of the year.  I replaced it, you guessed it, with an inferior part. failed.
This time, I put the P-36 Anti-Gravitational Space Modulator in and it's going to take this old truck and that plow into the next century.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stair Club - Viva Club d'Escalier !

The snow did a huge number on the stairs. It's Monday night, though, and that means Stair Club.  That meant the snow had to go.  The beautiful Mrs K and I came, we saw snow and ice, and we went to work.  Yes, that's 60 steps plus two landings as well as the entrances at top and bottom.  I shoveled, she swept.  She broke the broom.
We whipped the snow and ice.  It never had a chance.  We put our OCD heads together and got the job done so we could continue our streak of Stair Club appearances.
We are old and feeble and we could easily break a hip on slick stairs, so we took it down to about 90 percent.  Ah, I'm kidding.  We ran fast and took a selfie afterward.  Yes, that's a light on her stocking hat. Viva Club d'Escalier!

Blizzards in St. Louis - A little snow goes a long way

Snow in St. Louis is a disaster.  It doesn't matter how much.  Just a bit of snow turns out to be a disaster and it's been that way for my 51 years.  It started snowing with some fury Friday afternoon and got pretty bad by quitting time.  So instead of getting into the scrum, I hung out at the warehouse and did some snow shoveling.  More on that later.
It turns out that waiting around in the valley for the traffic to die down and the roads to clear was a mistake.  It just got worse.  If you've ever driven around in the valley, you know it's a valley...every road goes up and it's pandemonium when it snows.  So I hung around even longer.  I went to Walmart.  I ate at Panda, which was packed because so many places were closing because of the weather.  Finally, I went west and drove out to St. Charles, up north, and then down south to get home.  It was a move I should have  made hours earlier.  I only got stuck on my own street, 50 miles later.  My thoughtful neighbors and my family dug me out and I got the Focus into the driveway safely.  Whew.
The weekend was spent inside.  A lot of inside time.  Me and Mrs K cleaned the kitchen and I came across this beauty on top of the cabinets.  It weighs about 15 pounds.  I remember this day pretty well, it was an mtb race at Spanish Lake.  A little TLC and it looks good as new, which is really industrial.
After another trip out to the valley on Sunday to finish shoveling the snow at the warehouse, we did more housework.  A big thing was getting the Christmas tree down.  A very funny side story is the cramming of the tree into it's original box.  It's comical.  There ain't no way that thing is going to fit in this box.  But somehow, every year it goes back in.  Zip ties and duct tape hold it together.