Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

Spring has sprung?

March 20, 2015
Not even Super Vivid mode helps this morning.

Not even Super Vivid mode helps this morning.

The daffodils are enjoying this damp weather, which arrived a little late for this ex-tree.

The daffodils are enjoying this damp weather, which arrived a little late for this ex-tree.

This is the first day of spring? So where’s the sun?

Frankly, I’m stumped.

(Rimshot.)

And yes, I know, nobody in his right mind living in a desert climate complains about rain. But right mind and I have not shared the same ZIP code for the better part of quite some time. And I have bicycles that are badly in need of riding.

The good news is, after today and tonight we’re looking at a stretch of sunny and 70s. The better news? We don’t live in New York City.

 

Must be May …

May 27, 2014
Herself enjoys the first ride of 2014 on her Soma Double Cross.

Herself enjoys the first ride of 2014 on her Soma Double Cross.

… I finally got Herself out on a bike.

 

Cloud 9 (in a series)

May 24, 2014
We seem to be in something very much like a monsoon season all of a sudden, which unless you're being washed down Fountain Creek certainly beats being on fire.

We seem to be in something very much like a monsoon season all of a sudden, which unless you’re being washed down Fountain Creek certainly beats being on fire.

Why, yes, I think it might sprinkle a bit. Why do you ask?

And later, it did.

Hail with a side salad

May 22, 2014
Our maple isn't quite down to its last leaf, but there's plenty of bald patches up there and more storms in the forecast.

Our maple isn’t quite down to its last leaf, but there’s plenty of bald patches up there and more storms in the forecast.

Herself and I spent some quality time together this morning, cleaning up the wreckage from yesterday’s blitzkrieg hailstorm.

I had to get up on the roof to broom off some of the detached greenery (and clear the gutters while I was at it). And then we set about collecting the stuff on the ground. This was about the time I decided that owning two-fifths of the block was something of a giant pain in the ass, or more specifically, the lower back.

We filled one of those big rolling trash bins and another smaller can with salad and sticks before saying the hell with it and going back indoors for lunch, after which we lost interest more or less permanently, especially since it looks like another storm may be blowing in here directly.

In other news, poor Cuddles lost his pretty pink shirt in the Giro. He has one flat stage for liver-gnawing purposes, tomorrow, before the ground tilts upward and the shit gets serious. Should be fun to watch. Rigoberto Uran Ran Ran Ran Da Doo Ran Ran looked tougher ‘n’ whang leather out there today, and taking time back from him will be like trying to steal stupid from Louie Gohmert.

Hail, hail, the hail’s all here

May 21, 2014
Hands down the worst hailstorm I've ever seen.

Hands down the worst hailstorm I’ve ever seen.

Well, that was a spot of fun. A massive hailstorm just roared through and beat the mortal shit out of every tree in the ‘hood.

Check out the size of those hailstones. Mind you, this is after they've melted a bit.

Check out the size of those hailstones. Mind you, this is after they’ve melted a bit.

Our house looks like Odin was displeased with dinner and threw his salad at it. The House Back East™, likewise.

I’m no arborist, so I have no idea how well, or if, our silver maple will recover from the pounding it took. Damn, I love that tree, too.

True to form, the sun is now out and it’s sandals-and-shorts weather.

 

On the sunny side of the … alley

May 14, 2014
The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, coming soon to a Pikes Peak Greenway Trail near you.

The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, coming soon to a Pikes Peak Greenway Trail near you.

Colorado being Colorado, we’re cycling through a wide range of weather possibilities this week — cloudy, sunny, chance of thunderstorms, plague of toads; you get the idea.

Speaking of cycling, there’s a new bike in the garage. It’s a Bianchi Zurigo Disc, and it’s slotted in right behind the Salsa Vaya for review in Adventure Cyclist.

This is not your granddaddy’s touring bike. In fact, if you were to mistake it for a cyclo-cross bike, you’d be forgiven, in part because it’s named in honor of the 1967 ‘cross worlds in Zurich (won by Renato Longo of Italy) and in part because, well … because it’s a bloody cyclo-cross bike.

The $1,799 Zurigo has an aluminum frame and carbon fork, knobby Kenda Kwicker 700×32 tires, and a SRAM Apex 10-speed drivetrain (48/34 up front, 11-32 in back). But it also has eyelets for mounting fenders and a rear rack, so a quick-and-dirty, lightly loaded tour is not out of the question.

I hope to get one of those in here directly, if weather and work permit. We have something of a full plate here in Dog Country from May through July, and a little road trip would do wonders to flush out the headgear.

Life used to be so hard

April 22, 2014

two-cats-04212014

Everybody sing!

April fuel

April 19, 2014
The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

Y’know what they say about April showers? Well, we should be up to our keisters in May flowers if this weather keeps up. We already have a fine crop of dandelions in the front yard.

Deadlines and various chores have monopolized my attention lately. The House Back East™ has new tenants, and I celebrated by doing a bit of raking and bagging, as the back yard has looked a tad funky since our landscaper vanished mysteriously, leaving a mulching undone and his tools behind. Rumor Control hints at an extended visit with the authorities, but as you know we don’t believe the liberal media here at Chez Dog.

The garage was likewise becoming unmanageable. My half of it, anyway. It looked like the lair of a bike thief who was deeply into the art of stealing but contemptuous of the business end. And so today I tidied up a bit in there, too. Got Herself’s ‘cross bike up on a hook and everything, though there’s still an appalling pile of tires in one corner. And for God’s sake, if you’re a neat freak avert your eyes from the workbench.

In between shifts I took the Salsa Vaya out for a few gentle rides. You know, the usual — city streets, back alleys, pulverized granite paths, single-track, concrete bike path, the works. Everything but I-25, and I’ll get around to that before I’m through.

Today’s Bible lesson is “Thou shalt count the teeth on thy cassette.” That 11-30 cogset ain’t nothin’ of the kind. Big plate on that bad boy has only 28 teeth, which when paired with a 39-tooth middle ring makes me feel my years. Don’t make me use the granny without racks and bags, please, Lord. I’ll quit touching myself and everything.

 

Game of chance

April 5, 2014
Mystery flats forced a tire change for the Soma Double Cross.

Mystery flats forced a tire change for the Soma Double Cross.

The forecast calls for a chance of rain and/or snow through Monday, and I beat the odds with today’s ride — a light drizzle began just as I hit the driveway.

Maybe it’s a good thing I swapped my tires out before I left. I had been running some portly 700×38 Schwalbe Little Bens on the Soma Double Cross, but the rear keeps going flat for no good reason. I’ve replaced tubes, checked the casing and the rim tape, you name it, and the sonofabitch still goes softer than Paul Ryan’s head when parked in the garage overnight.

Anyway, the DC now wears a frisky pair of 700×32 Panaracer Pasela TourGuards, and we’ll see tomorrow whether the garage gremlins treat the Japanese any better than they do the Germans.

Me, I’m being mistreated by allergies. Faugh. Our recent moisture is bringing all the neighborhood trees to hideous life. Look for pix of The House Back East®’s apricot tree in bloom here in a day or two as I gobble Claritin-D tabs like M&Ms.

 

 

Indoor sports

April 3, 2014
Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30x30.

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30×30.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.

So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies,  logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.

Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.

No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.

So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.

I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.


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