Friday, February 12, 2010

DOWNTIME LEADS TO MIND IMPROVEMENT – MAYBE!

It is certainly no secret that the eastern part of the country has been hammered with winter storm after winter storm this year. For those of us who are single bike owners and that one bike is a skinny tire attired frame, it has meant too many hours inside. I’m currently enjoying that first cup of morning coffee as I await the next round of moisture to enter the area and drop some additional snow. We aren’t predicted to get snow starting before late afternoon but you can tell that Mother Nature is setting the table this morning.

Feb12_StormRollsIn(Flat, heavy clouds are rolling in from the southwest – upper right of image) 

With an apparent break in snowy freezing weather finding us on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, my ambivalence about mounting my new rear tire was resolved. Rather than keep the old tire mounted for trainer purposes, I went ahead and mounted my Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons rear tire last night. I’m ready to roll on the roads now when the opportunity arises. I went by my LBS the other day to look into purchasing an additional wheel, cassette, and tire for trainer specific use. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with anyone so that little detail will remain to be checked off my list of “to do” things.

I have spent the down time trying to improve my Cycling IQ. In addition to my normal daily readings of my favorite blogs, I’ve finished off all of the current cycling related magazines at by favorite local bookstore, Blue Ridge Books.

Feb12_ReadingMaterials(A small grouping of recent reading materials)

Note that, in the center, is the 2005 edition of Bicycling Magazine’s Bicycle Maintenance & Repair, which I received earlier this week. Normally, I don’t respond to telemarketers when they call hawking products but the Rodale rep was just so darn pleasant on the phone I agreed to 3 easy payments and a free 30 day look at the book. Yes, I know the 30 days will come and go and another book will find its way onto my already crowded bookshelves. My “best half” will tell you that I am a book “pack rat” and have difficulty parting with them.

My initial reading of this book though leads me to believe that it will see some significant use as a resource and reference guide. In addition to expanding my general fund of knowledge in the world of maintenance and repair, it has already proved interesting and useful in filling in gaps in my personal cycling database. The book was published in 2005 so is already 5 years old. Still, the information is new and relevant for me so I think it is a Zeke’s Keeper. The book can be purchased in either paperback or hardcover on Amazon. If you are interested in purchasing, please let me suggest that you go to Kent’s Bike Blog, click on the Amazon link, and purchase from there. Kent will use the proceeds from sales originating on his site to fund his fixed gear assault on the the Great Divide Race later this year. Heck, if you buy anything on Amazon, go through Kent’s site and help out a dedicated cyclist and very interesting writer.

If you haven’t done so recently, click on over to Cycling Experiences and check out Jim’s ongoing development for the 2010 Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic. Jim’s trailer development is well underway and coming together nicely. If you’ve ever wanted to meld technology and cycling, this is the place to go.

I’ve also used my downtime to try and improve the functionality of this blog. Thanks to Jim Artis for his support and suggestions. To get started, I’m adding a Table of Contents called “My Stories” to make finding past posts easier and to make seeing posts in related categories a single click away. I’m also working on some other concepts but they are quite ready as yet.

Until later,

Zeke

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