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Friday, April 3

Hello, hello, hello...

Wow.  Is it Friday already?

No?  Yeth? 

You could swing my vote either way at this point.

My house is so organized right now.  I'm down to just the laundry room/sundrious hardware bits closet.  Then that's it.  I even went through the bedroom closet and sorted through all the stuff we just tossed on the top shelf when we moved in and ignored for the next 28 months.

Do kids these days even know what a "photo album" is?

Enjoy being free from this burden, young ones.

I'm still riding.  A lot.  And I've done some trail work here and there.  Both entirely local.  Pretty sure some of my friends think I'm nuts, but I'm not getting in a car with anyone to travel to a trail head right now.  It's been... weeks?  A month? 

I can't remember at this point.

But the idea of three or four heads congregating in a car and spitting their respective "communities" on one another for one to five hours round trip sounds terrible.  The whole purpose of social distancing thrown out the window because "we're bored."

Everything we're going through and all the effort and loss goes out the window because we have the privilege of living in a country where being "bored" isn't an option.

Although this is coming from a guy who purposely bought a house a half mile from 17 of the best miles of trail in the Charlotte area because I wanted to remove the car from my ride equation as much as I could.

So I (with Scott's help) built a "jump" in a place on the trail near my house that's less than of a "jump" and more of a "bump."

The picture does nothing, but I was too lazy to try and get something better. 

There used to be something there before, but it's been worn down over time.  I've been doing most of my trail work recently helping Leaf Life and Tim make jumps that are so BIG that I'm never gonna hit them.  Problem being, I wanna build stuff for other people to get their wheels off the ground, not just the 5-10% of riders in Charlotte that are comfortable with a 25' creek gap.

This "jump" is actually smaller than the stuff I want for myself.  That said, I realize it's a particular skill and knowledge base to build a proper jump of the sort I want in the right place.  I've got a couple more weeks of down time (at the moment), so mebbe I'll have a vision out there while riding the same trail day in and day out.

Who knows?

But for now, there's something that a beginner can play on, someone like me can get a grin out of, and I'm sure a talented rider could make look cool.

I just get grins.
To be honest, that video was more of a PITA to shoot by myself than it was worth... but I got too much time on my hands, so whatever.

It's about 9-10 size 43 SIDI shoes from takeoff to the edge of the down slope transition. 

Today?

I'll ride trail, take Pester to the vet, and then ride more trail an appropriate distance from Bill Nye's head later.  Mebbe end the day sitting fifteen feet apart in the yard with beers.

Then tomorrow... mebbe that laundry room.

also, probably me on Sunday:

Tuesday, March 31

Sit. Stay.

Hey, now.  Still peachy?

Me too?

Ery' day is a new day, and I've just been waking up and thinking "what now?"

Stuff.  E'ry day.  More stuff.

Sometimes this:

Leaf Life wanted some halp massaging the jumps that were built recently.

I can't describe the magnitude of this case.

Ironically, I've spent more time working on this jump line (that I'll never ride) than any other trail section lately.

Admittedly, I'm useless when it comes to shaping the dirt.  Digging more of it outta the ground is about as good as it gets for me.  I can make holes.

I worked until I felt like all my calories were depleted, headed home, showered, and rode to Birdsong Brewing...

because Higher Ground now comes in cans. If you only knew how long I've been waiting for this news. Growlers are so heavy, and it's harder to ration the good stuff out over a week. Truly a blessed day. Home, another shower... and then hammock time with The Pie staring at the sky.

If you haven't been knocking out the little tasks you've been avoiding around the house, let me tell you, you're missing out on all kinds of levels of mini-satisfaction.  This stupid hook on the screen door had a non-functioning locking bit on it that kept it from fully latching.

So I broke it off.

This molding on the outside of the screened in porch was too long, but the previous owner said "fuck it" and hammered it in anyways.

So I removed it, cut it too fit... and now my OCD has to deal with the fact that while the molding sits flush, the paint don't match.

Also, big ticket things that I've been avoiding because I knew they would take hours.

I fucking hate painting.  The only thing I hate more than painting is mold... and since I already had a can of Kilz... because mold on the screened-in porch ceiling... then mold on the back porch ceiling... then mold on the screened-in porch walls... and then mold on the whatever you call the things that hold the back porch roof up.  As per my usual, I got paint where it shouldn't be, drips here and there on the floor, but I did manage to not drop the whole gallon creating a superfund site... which is my prime directive when applying paint to surfaces.

Seriously, lipstick on my turd of a back porch.  The Pie said it looks nice, but I know a turd when I see it.

Big task done, big ride to do.

 Fuck you...

 By my estimate, this snek was much longer than 780mm. 

I made a concerted effort to keep the ride mellow but still ride all the trails for the whole twenty mile "loop."  I mean, I certainly have the time for a long ride, and it's not like I'm getting to Pisgah any time soon.  This is as good as it gets.

Oh yeah, stay home...

If you don't understand how community spread works, do some reading on the topic.

Then... stay home.  It's not about you.

Thursday, March 26

Shit in my pants

How are you today?

Peachy?

Sames.

Today the county I reside in began its Stay at Home (Shelter in Place?) Order.  The writing was on the wall already, so no surprise there.  Because I work for a law firm and that's considered an "essential business," I get to keep going to the big building.  We're still splitting the office work up in three teams, going in every third business day.  I got Tuesday and Friday this week, and as "luck" would have it, just April 1st (Wednesday) next week.  I'm still getting some of my regular work delivering/picking stuff up, but for the most part, it's just putting out tiny fires for eight hours and trying to figure out what a normal human does with an hour lunch break.

Sitting in the fancy chairs of our recently renovated main lobby watching The Orville helps pass the time on a rainy day.

Tomorrow it will be 80°, so obvs I'll go ride my bike (as still allowed by law).

Yesterday...

After doing whatever choring I could think of around the house, I was gonna go ride my bike.  Another perfect day for the Flaanimal 5.0 that I don't have yet, so what to ride?

Oh, I forgot.

I had put my Industry Nine Hydra wheels back on for shart tarck in January. After that was over, I put on the main meats for the "season," Forekasters 2.6 and 2.35.

But thanks to the Rick James of viruses, my "season" is fucked like a muddy suede couch.  Not complaining about the hardships of losing a small part of my privilege, just recognizing that I'm wasting my good tires riding around aimlessly on paved surfaces.

Dunno why it took me so long to finger out that it's time to mount my I9/NOX wheels with the big 3.0 DHF+ up front (my fun bike set up).  Mebbe I was hesitant to do it because there was no tire on the rear wheel.  The Vassago took it a month ago.

So, dig around through the used but not used up tires in the laundry room...

Find an Ikon 2.35... that is so old that it has glitter in it, which means it dates back to when I used Stan's not TruckerCo. 

Mount it anyways.

Sitting on the couch holding my trembling dog as the garbage truck does its business outside.  Finalize a plan to cruise greenways at an anti-social social distance with Bill Nye at 1:45 PM.

The garbage truck comes back down the other side of the street, the dog trembles, and

KERPLOW!
The gunshot directly behind me was the Ikon blowing off the rim.  Although it's been years since I've had such a thing happen, I knew within a half second what had transpired a few feet from my head.  My dog just thinks this is a new wrinkle in the garbage truck's plot to kill him, and I'm sure his fear factor just went up tenfold.  The Pie was on a conference call in the other room.  She came out and looked at what she expected, sighed, and went back to work.

Me?

Text Bill Nye, tell him I'm gonna be late because... reasons.

Spend the next half hour cleaning latex off everything, making sure to use a rag and NOT a precious commodity like a paper towel.  Launder the soiled curtains, mount an Ardent 2.25 (how old is this tire?), and head out the door.

Spend the next few hours collecting pollen in my eyes, keeping my distance from Bill Nye, dodging all the greenway traffic, visiting the recently injured Dr Mike (at a distance), and generally just enjoying being outside and alive for awhile.

Thank dog some nearby trails have opened up this morning so I can ride my bike where it was meant to be ridden.

I'll keep updating this blog with all the excitement that is my life, because apparently people are so bored they're going back to reading things again.

Monday, March 23

To-do'ed

So, what's new?

Me?

Not much.  I won a bike.  In a raffle.  I don't have it yet.  I don't know when I'll get it (understandably).  I do know that right now, I could use the ever-loving shit outta it.

That's not exactly my bike, but my Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0 will be something like it. Mebbe a different color. For sure, it will have a drooper whether it comes with one or not... because bikes should droop.  And as I said, if I had it right now, I'd be riding it a lot.  None of my current one-geared wonders are absolutely perfect for just rambling about town as much as I have been lately.  I just lack a certain something that makes me wanna load up on junk mileage for one reason (excuse?) or the other.

We all know new bike fever is a real thing.

What have I been doing when I'm not just tooling around aimlessly avoiding collisions with all the newcomers to the outside scene?

Just about everything on my to-do list is to-done.  Things that have lingered for too long and I've managed to steer clear of for months are complete.  I even did things that weren't on the list.  I mean, I don't wanna weed some random area of my lawn because the former home owner made it fancy, but when I'm bored?  Sure.  Cancel hotel reservations and dog boarding for our upcoming 25th anniversary trip?  Why not?  Gutters fixed, burnt out tail light replaced, and the air conditioner coils cleaned.  I even took the knots outta the dog leashes... and every single bike is now spotless.

I don't remember the last time all the bikes were clean. 

I've got some sewing/mending to do today... and then I'm back at work tomorrow, taking my turn on the skeleton crew.  After that, three days off, one day on, four days off... and that makes it to the two week "what do we do now?" mark.

I shoulda stretched my to-dos out molar betterer.

Friday, March 20

Putting the "D" in Detachment

Quite possibly the worst day to post a blerhg post is Friday, at least traffic-wise.

Well... it used to be anyways.

Who knows what things are like in our new abnormal normal, so here goes it.

My workplace has every single employee who can work from home doing so.  For me, that means bike courier work is kinda limited.  Uptown Charlotte is pretty much a ghost town, the courthouse is only open three hours a day (as of yesterday?), and it's just a strange world to be in.

Yeth, I'm still in it... kinda.  I offered to take a turn as part of the skeleton crew in the office doing whatever it is to keep things moving.  Which has been odd.  Also, when I do work (only three days between yesterday and the end of the month), I'm on for eight hours with an hour lunch instead of seven and a half with a half hour lunch, an arrangement that we came up with when I was hired so there wouldn't be a large gap in the day when I wasn't available to run around the city Premium Rushing.  I didn't like the idea of staying till 6:00 PM, but then I realized I had enough time to go... ride my bike for awhile on my lunch break?

That was pretty dope.

But that commute down the Light Rail Path last night at 6:00 PM?  Y'all weren't running before the shit went down.  A new user group who apparently has little to no shared path etiquette.  I felt like I was riding my bike down an airport concourse.

With dogs on ten feet leashes.

Red Rover, Red Rover, send Dicky on over.

So, tomorrow's Whole Enchilada race is canceled.  Obvs.

The 6 Hours of Warrior Creek was coming in two weeks... and now it's November 7th.

The Triple Dip v2.0.2 sammiches into the middle of those weekends, and is still happening as of this moment.  It's not truly an "organized" event, but... I dunno.  Do I go?  Do I stay home?  It's just a bike ride in the woods, but how many people on a ride is too many?  I guess I'll worry about that later. 

Here's what's messed up (as if I can point to one thing right now that's messed up).  Today's the first time that I can ever remember being under 130 pounds in March.  I've got plenty of saddle time in since the beginning of this year.  In general, I'm probably as "fit" as I've ever been this early in the "season," and what am I doing with it?

Sitting on the porch, drinking beer, and staring at these ding dongs.

Which isn't so bad. I do like them, and I think they like me.

So, today.  Long walk with a dog.  A bike ride with no destination or goal.  Mebbe go down the rabbit hole searching for the "butthole cut."

I'm also behind on my sewing, so mebbe that instead.

Then "butthole cut."

Tuesday, March 17

Non-idle hands

I never thought I'd be counting rolls of toilet paper, figuring out familial consumption rates, and making a decision about whether or not I need toilet paper, or if I'd just be adding to the problem of further limiting resources for others with a purchase of this most sought after commodity.

I also never thought I'd have to do Mega-Roll to standard roll conversions.

But here I am.

Am I hoarding?

Well, I did buy two liters of TruckerCo sealant, four sets of brake pads, two pairs of ESI grips, and I made sure I was topped on tire-wise as well..


Because I can ride, right?  Other than that, beer?

Yeth, I made some wise decisions as well. 

I don't wanna dwell on "the topic" tho. Every day, deal with what's coming and make smart choices. The best option on Saturday was to ride with Dr Mike. Put in some miles and smiles and talk about stuff like bikes (and also not bikes, dammit).

Sunday. A new day. We're still here? What do?

Rally up with Bill Nye and answer Leaf Life's call to build jumps that will be too big for me to ride.

"Yes, we have well exceeded Dicky range."

There is a Dicky approved line tho.  This is not it.

Bill Nye and I halped for about as long as we were useful for...

photo cred; Ben U
Machine work really speeds things up, but we were sorta useful engines.

Then we rode out behks in the woodsen for a bit.


Instead of a post-ride beer at the local hangout spot, we chose to enjoy porch isolation.

I'm sure just like anyone else who has a beating heart, Monday started as a a "take it as it comes" kinda day.  I'm also sure 90% of yinzers reading this are doing the same.  Family, some friends, bikes... and little else.

Good luck, everybody.

Tuesday, March 10

Woods are safe place

Day trips to Pisgah come at a cost.  Dedicating half the weekend to mountain bike cycling means that I have one day to do all this shitty adult things one does as well as get in some quality family time.

So, an iffy weather prediction in the mountains (that ended up being totally pleasant) meant an easier choice to get my jollies locally with buds.

Bill Nye trying to screw up the works by letting "just a little bit" of air outta his fork with an advanced monkey tool (stick).

The new trail at the US National Whitewater Center gives me one more reason to not really bother heading to the far north end of the trail system.  Not that it's absolutely terrible, just more of the same without being all that different.

No mega-mileage.  No snow.  No sleeves.

Something I couldn't say about my last two weekends in Pisgah.

Worthy of note (but mebbe not), headed out to the stores to get our weekly supplies with The Pie on Saturday night.  Target.  Decimated shelves that would normally have a plethora of toilet paper, energy bars... tampons?

The current situation seems at the forefront of everything right now, and it does seem to quash my ability to put my brain on any sorta track lately.  Not only am I lacking in blerhg fodder, I'm having to put an effort into not looking at every bit of (insert word I don't wanna say)-related news.  Shit, I even got a book outta the library,  because at this point, screen time is virtual exposure time.

Sunday, more bike mountain bike cycle rides with more buds.

Leaf Life getting all sendy.

Bill "I'll take the zero" Nye not getting all sendy.

Our "Pooh Tracks."  You pretty much have to be a Charlottean to get it.  We ride on "pooh tracks."  Real pooh tracks.

Also, I don't know if you have to be from Charlotte to get the joke (mebbe it's a Pink Bike thing), but if a tree falls in the forest and someone doesn't yell "iT's a FeAturE!" did a tree even fall?

Colin swung by to join us after doing his morning Jehovah Witnessing at the South Park Mall parking lot.

Nick has already started training for the 2020 cyclo rossing season.  Be afraid.

Bill Nye looking for any excuse he can find to justify the 1,500 gram tire he refuses to take off his bike.

Leaf Life taking the rock less hucked.

100% the kinda ride(s) I wanna have on a 60° day in Charlotte with mebbe 55% of the miles I need to get ready for The Whole Enchilada (or Half?) in two weeks.

Back at work Monday and crowded elevators and people talking about sanitizers and cruise ships and airplanes and coughing and hand washing and...

How many more months of this?