Saturday, August 28, 2010

RIDES, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND PROBABLY A MINI-RANT!

This past week has been interesting with a couple of rides in the evenings and an accomplishment of note. I’ll also go ahead and warn the readership that there is a high probability of a mini-rant included in this post.

The rides…

I didn’t get back on my Fuji CCR3 until Tuesday night following last Saturday’s Blue Ridge Breakaway. By Tuesday night after work, I was ready to let go of work related stress and get my legs moving again. The Navigator was headed for her water aerobics course and then we had plans for supper out with the Wood-man and the Navigator’s sister. So, a quick spin was in order for me. I decided to circle in and out of Waynesville.

The weather was most excellent. Skies were clear and we’re just beginning to get a touch of fall in the air. You don’t really see anything different. It’s just more of a feeling than anything although the cool foggy mornings are certainly a harbinger of things to come. Our daytime temps have been in that almost perfect range of upper 70’s and very low 80’s. Tuesday evening was just a fine time to be out on a bike.

I simply crisscrossed my way around and about town and took a moderate climb up Hyatt Creek Rd. to connect back to Old Balsam Rd. before traversing town. I had only been on the road about an hour and wasn’t ready to stop so I headed east out of town by riding some residential streets and connecting to Sunnyside where I began a descent to Raccoon Creek Rd. My intent was to circle back around on Raccoon and head to my LBS, Rolls Rite.

As I was descending Sunnyside and enjoying the scenery, I was jarred to the bone when my front wheel struck some kind of object followed by my saddle attempting to scratch the base of my skull from the inside of my body. Almost immediately, my rear wheel popped up and then I knew I had flatted.

I walked the bike to a shade tree and started replacing the tube. At a nearby house, a party seemed to be underway on the porch. I’m still not sure that anyone there even noted my presence. After removing the blown tube and while checking the tire casing for foreign objects, a jeep drove by me only to stop some 25 yards past my location. The driver backed up alongside me, looked at me, and said “oh, I thought you were a friend of mine.” Having determined that I was not, in fact, a friend of his, he started to pull away and then seem to have an afterthought and inquired if I needed assistance. I thanked him and assured him I was fine.

I finished my repair and headed out to the LBS and, unfortunately, was accompanied by a thump, thump, thump as the tire rotated. Apparently, I didn’t get the tube in properly. I also experienced rough gear shifting. The jolt seemed to have thrown my drive train out of alignment. I was concerned that I had bent the rim on my rear wheel but that turned out not to be the case. John, the owner of Rolls Rite, had me back in good condition and ready to ride by our group ride on Thursday evening.

The accomplishment…

Our local bicycle advocacy group, BicycleHaywoodNC, has been sponsoring Thursday night new rider/newly returning rider groups. The focus has been on helping cyclists get back into shape and to learn to ride properly on the streets. We’ve been blessed to have good turnouts each week although most of the riders have been well experienced overall. This past week we all celebrated the accomplishment of one of our truly new riders. Previously, she had ridden with us and was worn out after about 25% of the route. We hadn’t seen her for the past couple of weeks and wondered what had become of her. We were pleased when she pulled in this past Thursday and was ready to ride.

This time she completed the full 12.5 mile route! We were very pleased and proud of this accomplishment as it was a the fulfillment of one of our goals. Of course, Carolyn did the work! We congratulated her on the accomplishment and told her how proud we were of her. She was going home to call her son and report that she had made the full route this time.

Celebrating Carolyn's Success!(The ladies celebrate Carolyn’s (far right) successful ride!)

WARNING! MINI-RANT AHEAD…

This has very little to do with cycling so feel free to skip ahead… I’ve been without my primary computer since last Sunday due to ongoing problems resulting from an upgrade in my operating system (Vista to Windows 7 Pro). After the upgrade, numerous Dell programs including my Verizon broadband account would not work. I spent 2 hours on the phone last Sunday with Dell support to accomplish the deduction (on their part) that “it isn’t working.” This resulted in kicking the problem up to an on-site visit. I purchased next day on-site protection when I purchased the computer so you’d think that meant someone would be out on Monday. You’d be wrong… It took until Wednesday before the Dell on-site tech support arrived and then until Thursday for me to get the computer back. Unfortunately, the computer was the equivalent of a paperweight as NOTHING worked. My computer is now residing with my local CRS (computer repair shop) getting yet another Windows 7 install, which means installing all of my programs again. The only good news for Dell in this is that their tech support is miles and miles better than Intuit’s (Quicken,etc.) If there is a sorrier excuse for technical support than Intuit’s “we’ll call you back” approach, I don’t ever want to see it, hear of it, and certainly not use it! O.K., I quit because I’m now approaching the cross over from mini-rant to full fledged rant and I choose not to spend my time or yours with that escalation. Let me just say that if you have submitted comments to this blog and NOT received a reply, please accept my apologies as I’m working back and forth between two different machines and things are messy…)

Some updates…

Gary Williams, the 61 year old cyclist from Belmont, NC, (near Charlotte, NC) that was so severely injured last week while participating in the Blue Ridge Breakaway remained in a coma into Thursday morning. The last update I had was that the swelling of his brain had receded and the medical staff was hoping to begin bringing him out of the coma yesterday (Friday) and hoped to take him off the ventilator. His wife remains in Asheville, NC near Memorial Mission Hospital. The family asks that they be kept in everyone’s thoughts and prayers with hopes for a full recovery… The cyclist involved in the incident in Clyde in which he was pinned under a horse trailer was treated and released at the hospital. He has been in contact with the Blue Ridge Breakaway officials and reports that he is fine… The Smoky Mountain News provided coverage of the ride. Bro Dave reports that he enjoyed an excellent 2.5 hour ride on his Salsa Fargo in and around Santa Monica, CA on Friday. He reports that BikinginLa perfectly described the ride and even wonders if they weren’t riding near each other at the same time. I do have to go find out what the Greasy Wiener truck is…Meanwhile, Jim Artis over at Cycling Experiences has been hard at work featuring articles on iPhone Apps, the new Garmin Edge 800, and the changes he has made in his design and layout of his blog… The VeloHobo is prepping for his ultra-light tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is sharing with us what he intends to include or not include on his upcoming tour.

Until later,

- Zeke

Post a Comment