Wednesday afternoon Michelle encouraged me to take off after work and do a longer ride. We’ve been having rain showers and cloudy weather for the last couple of weeks, and weekends have been busy, so my afternoon/evening rides are the only thing that allows me to rack up the miles for the months.

I decided to ride into Seattle, and then out to Woodinville and back. The hope was 50 miles or so, I was right on track, when at mile 47, I heard “PING!!!” Yep sure as hell, I broke a spoke on the front wheel!!

At first I was mad…. Continue reading “PING!!!!”

Badly needed maintenance

I know I have mentioned my car is previous posts here.  It’s a 1997 Ford Escort Station Wagon.


I bought it brand new and it now has 304.000 (no typo) miles on it.  This thing has taken me to the mountains, the ocean and everywhere in between.  Only 3 windows work, the rear defroster is shot, and I need a flashlight to see how fast I am going at night.

Continue reading “Badly needed maintenance”

T Minus One Week and counting!

Well, here it is Saturday afternoon, July 5th, at about 3:00 PM.  One week from right now, I had better be very close to heading over the Columbia River on the  Lewis and Clark Bridge entering Oregon on the Seattle to Portland ride.

Yep, after signing up in January, it is finally here!  So today, before the rain started, it was time to get the hands dirty a bit!


Continue reading “T Minus One Week and counting!”

Old man noises and a frustrating tire

You know, I can’t remember what show it was that I was watching eons ago.  I just remember a guy, who was worried about getting old, and kept saying he was making “old man noises” whenever he moved.  You know, the groans, creaks, moans you make when you are sore?  Well that is me today, Shoulders, back, neck, chest, legs, I am a hurtin camper!  But then, that shows the work out is doing what it should!  But I sound 85 when I stand uo…

To take my mind off it, I decided it was time to work on replacing the back tire of my bike.  A week ago, while riding in the shed, I noticed the rear tire had a bulge!  This made me doubly mad when I realized the tire had barely 1000 miles on it…  I pick up a new one and figured it would only take 5 minutes to change.  I am GREAT at flat tires….

Yeah 5 minutes. Continue reading “Old man noises and a frustrating tire”

Tuned up and Rarin to go!

I dropped off my bike last Tuesday for a tune-up.  Saturday, I picked it up on the way home from the beach clean up day.  Not 10 miles after I left the bike shop, the clouds opened up and it rained all the way home (I’m glad I put the bike in the station wagon this time), all night and till almost noon today!

I was itchin to try out the bike!  But I just couldn’t drag it out into the grime!  The entire drive train looks pristine!  They soaked it in solvent and got months of road grime and gunk off it, and it looks like it did when I bought it!

Finally, last night, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, and I did a shed ride.  DAMN!  That thing is smooth!  I usually maintain a 15 mph average by this time of year.  This time though, not seeming to pedal as hard, I was cranking between 16 and 17!  I was feeling no pain, and loving the ride!  I can’t wait for the ride home today!  I checked the weather, and it says 60 and sunny!  The bike rack is on the car and I will be biking home from work today, Tuesday and round-tripping it on Wednesday!  Time to get my ass back on track!

I started thinking though.  (and for the record I blame the blog, I used to be such a shallow person, never seeing deeper meanings, oblivious to the world….  then this happens… but oh well) I started thinking, getting s tune up is such a little thing, but its amazing how much it helps.  If we did things like that for ourselves more often…

Earlier this month, for our anniversary, Michelle and I took each other to the Willows Lodge for a night away.  Room service for dinner and breakfast, king sized bed, giant soaking tub, good wine.  Did we need to?  No.  But its been a bit of a stressful time lately and dammit we deserved it!  Felt good and we ignored the world for a few hours 🙂

It doesn’t have to be something so major either.  When the kid and I made it to the beach, it was a long drive, we discussed grades and what could happen if he doesn’t get on track and pass tests the first time.  College is something you earn by proving you can do it, not a right.  Yep it was a bit stressful and quiet for a few miles.  So, when we got there, I figured he deserved a break as well as I did.

I left him in the room with the Kindle fire to surf and play, while I walked along the beach and listened to the surf, smelled the salt air, and let the wind blow the stink off me!  When I got back, both of us were in better moods.  And that lead to late night pizza!  We ended up having a great time!

I guess all I am saying is look for those little things you can do to make life smoother.  I tag along when my wife visits her mom for a couple of reasons,  One cuz I like mom, she is fun to talk to.  But the other is because I can deflect her brother (Whom we like to call Mr Grumpypants (Which is MUCH nicer than some other things we’ve called him.)) He and I read the same books, so I can keep him occupied, which keeps him from being cranky which makes weekend visits MUCH smoother for Michelle 🙂

Today I made the kid play Backgammon with me.  He was frustrated because he is still grounded because of grades.  And when frustrated he gets annoying!  Then I get pissy, which causes stress….  Instead, we played a game, killed a couple of rainy hours, and actually had fun.  All three of us were in better moods.

So, because I took the time and gave up a few days riding to get a tune up, my rides are going to be MUCH better.  What can you do to make your rides, runs, work, or just life in general go smoother?  How can you spoil yourself or your significant other, of both of you?  How can you make the kid have more fun and get outside?  It’s not hard, just look for the simple stuff and move from there!

I’ll let yall know how the ride goes!