Monday, August 25, 2008

4,000 Miles and Counting...


Thank You, Mr. Cook at Barcroft Bicycles....
Hi All,
Just a quick note to bring you up to date on a few riding achievements. First off, last week I surpassed 4,000 miles on the Barcroft Virginia GT. It’s no big deal, and to tell the truth I haven’t been tracking details and miles very much this year. About the most I get done is to log my rides in Excel, and see the dismal results. Yes, the miles have been a struggle this year, but I have come to understand that every year and riding season is different.

The Great Salt Lake is low this summer!
So, although I have not logged near as many miles, I have been commuting more, gotten more house projects done, and traveled all over the country. So, I have nothing to be upset about. I rejoice in every good ride I get.
There it is...
Now, back to the 4,000-mile odometer reading. It is actually, pretty cool to note. Only in that I can look back two and a half years and be proud of the cyclist I have become, and enjoy all the fond memories of the places I have ridden.
Sue's lovely bike, and an old Trek I borrowed for a fun 15 miles with Sue....
Also enclosed in this blog is a picture of my sister Sue’s new Giant bike. She bought it to compete in the Santa Barbara Sprint Triathlon, and the report from yesterday’s event, is that she was successful! She set a goal back in the spring, and after many months of training, she made it! (That’s the next post, as soon as I get some pictures from her.) It is a truly momentous achievement when you step back and look at the big picture.
Watch for a detailed report later this week…
Happy riding, all.
Jim

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll Fly Away...


Twilight in Terminal 2; SLC.
Hi All,
This past year has involved a lot of traveling around the country for Kathy and I. We have been to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, and California. A lot of these trips involved partaking of commercial aviation, in other words, propping up the airline industry. However, I have learned that there are more enjoyable pursuits in flying other than spending an evening of radar and summer thunderstorms, or a three-hour delay at O’Hare.
Looking east on the Elwood Bluffs...
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of zipping out to Santa Barbara, CA, to join Kathy in celebrating her birthday. We had a great time spending her special day at the beach with her best friends and family. The weather was great; the beach was peaceful, a great time had by all. If anyone who reads this blog needs suggestions on how to spend a birthday, relaxing at the beach is the way to go!
There were lots of bikes at the beach!
Also, on Sunday I had the pleasure of a wonderful time at the Elwood Bluffs, near my sister Sue and her husband Dana’s house. Sue and Dana are expert remote control glider pilots, and they rejoice in an on-shore wind, a nice sunny day, and gliders to fly.
video\
Gliders in flight! Enjoy some video!
Dana at the controls...
Now, for you RC neophytes out these gliders are powered only by the wind, and controlled through servos for the control surfaces. They look easy to fly, but trust me, they’re not! I have tried twice to fly one of these, and the longest time I have maintained safe and controlled flight is about 3.5 seconds.
Sue, showing off her prized glider....
Dana demonstrates the proper launch technique...
On the other hand, Dana has become quite skilled, demonstrating snap rolls, and loop-de-loops. I will say these gliders are one thing: FUN. Nothing better than enjoying the glider’s silent flight around the bluff with nothing but the fresh breeze and sea air to enjoy. The quizzical looks from the beach walkers 80 ft. below us are funny, too.
More news about riding in the next blog…
Jim

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Panzer in the Garage


The view from the Ellwood Bluffs, Goleta, Ca...
Hi All,
Sorry for the lag in posting. We have been traveling, and just plain busy. I would like to take this moment to introduce Bike #3! I guess now that three bikes constitute a fleet! But, it’s no matter. Bike #3 was brought into the garage purely to serve one purpose; Utility. It’s not a racing bike, it’s not a mountain bike, (well, a long, long time ago it was), it’s not a long distance touring bike, it’s a commuter. It’s a bike for commuting to the train, to the store, to the neighbor’s house, something to throw in the car when I need a bike.

The Klein "Panzer"...
Bike #3 is a 1989 Klein Pinnacle. Kind of an interesting story on this bike; my friend Art rode this bike for about 15 years, primarily commuting 22 miles round trip from the east side of Salt Lake City west to the ARTCC where we both work. Then after the bike had become worn down and tired, he gave it to me to fix up and refurbish for a friend. I put about $60.00 into it, replacing a shifter, front rim, tires etc. and presented it to my friend, Mike so he could start cycling. Mike used the Klein for commuting 27 miles each to work for about a year and a half, and even completed the Seattle to Portland Ride riding this well-worn soldier! 2 years ago, Mike died of a massive heart attack while trail running, and sadly, the bike was hung in the rafters of his garage.
Bikes on the Train...
A month ago or so, Kathy and I were walking with Mike’s widow, Cecilia, when we got to Ceci’s house I noticed the old Klein still hanging in the garage. Ceci said: “Take it home with you, please!” and as I was in need of a commuter bike for riding back and forth to the train station, the prodigal bike has returned.

Parked in luxury parking at work...
So, I ride the Klein 1.5 miles to the new Utah Frontrunner train station; ride the train to Salt Lake City, and ride 3.5 miles to work. The bike meets the needs of a commuter perfectly. Sturdy, (look at the square chainstays!) Built to take a beating. The bike was originally a mountain bike, but was reconfigured for commuting, and has truly been a commuter bike for almost twenty years.
Notice the odd position of the brakes?
So, now I own three bikes. My beautiful Barcroft Virginia GT, the Cannondale F7 Mountain bike, and of course, the Klein Panzer!
See you on the road…
Jim