Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Long time no see

Yes, I've been a slug, an extraordinary slug, at least with the blogging. Maybe now I can do better, we shall see.

On the biking front, a few new goodies
  • some newer clothing, a few more jerseys, shorts, socks. The local bike shop had their spring sale, some pretty good deals. Most of the time though, I've ordered from the REI outlet store
  • 3 tire tubes (see next item)
  • frame pump, which I had to use due to a flat I got from a construction staple (they are still building houses quite actively in the newer subdivisions I ride through. Fortunately, it was a small puncture, and I was only a mile or so from my house, so I was able to re-inflate, and ride back home.
  • Some custom stickers, with my name, so now I have a truely personalized bike
  • hydration pack, 100 oz.
  • A bell, one the 'Incredibell' line
The last purchase was for warning walkers and joggers, to let them know I'm heading their way. However, with all the mp3 players these days, I wonder if they will hear me. Still, this is better than trying to yell at them, or clicking the brake levers, or whistling, or scaring them half to death ;-)

I'm up over 1000 miles on the bike, I would suspect a yearly total of something over 2000, given I can keep the number of rides per week about the same. Of course, there is the summer heat now, which will affect this.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New bike toys

Got a few more toys for the bike, well, for me.

I decided to try clipless pedals (shimano m540, and shoes (shimano mt40,, which for the non biking crowd, you clip into. Yes, it sounds like it makes no sense, but the clipless is referring to toe-clips. Anyways, you install cleats on the bottom of the shoes which snap into the pedals, and off you go. The difference is you can now pull up on the pedals as well as pushing down for better power transfer. The one thing you must remember, of course, is now you just cannot move your foot off the pedal, something you can potentially forget. Oops, over you go if you do forget. I loosened the tension on the snap so they are quite easy to snap in and out of. It will take some more riding to get fully used to them. The pedals are quite tiny compared the platform ones which came with the bike. Looks kinda strange initally.

I also got some 'official' biking clothes, the thin, tight fitting shirts and pants. It does cut down on the 'flapping' around that not-so-tight clothes will do as you ride. BTW, having those tighter clothes is a real good reason to stay in shape, you really don't want to be seen in these type of clothes unless you fit in them well :-) It was quite warm today on the ride (new record high temperature of 87 at the airport), so having the thin clothes did make it more comfortable.

Not sure quite yet what the next purchase will be, still thinking about it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Stupor Bowl XL

What is with the officiating in the playoffs this year? I did not believe it would be as bad in the Stupid Bowl as it was in all the preceding games. However, I was sorely disappointed. The refs clearly won the game for Pittsburgh.

  • Phantom offensive pass interference on the Seattle TD pass: go watch the Pats - Broncos game if you want to see offensive pass interference -- oh wait, they called that defensive pass interference
  • Phantom holding call on the pass to the one yard line: the replay showed no holding
  • Phantom touchdown by Rothisburger, the ball clearly never made it, and watch the side judge, he marked it down outside the endzone, then had a revelation that it was a TD.
  • Personal foul on the QB for tackling the guy with the ball. Umm, flash for the refs, that's what you are supposed to do. And watch every cornerback in the NFL, that's how they tackle, just dive low for the legs. What an atrocious call.
Plus the complete non-offensive by Pittsburgh, two TDs came on long plays, pretty much everything else they did was pitiful. And Seattle, geez, get a kicker who can make field goals. It must have been the weather, oh wait, you're inside -- oh, I see, you watch the Indy kicker, I see where your skill comes from.

And Seattle, please practice your two minute drill for more than 2 minutes every year.

Please get some decent teams for next year. Please.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Entirely too long

I've been bad, not blogging as often as I should. Perhaps a failed New Year's resolution already? Say it isn't so :-)

My beloved Pats lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs, to an inferior Denver team, as evidenced by the thrashing they took from Pittsburgh the next week. No way is Pittsburgh the best AFC team, they would have lost in the 1st round game except for the game ending injury to the Bengals QB. I'm not all that interested in the Superbowl, I'll probably watch, at least for the commercials. Who knows, it might be entertaining.

I got back onto the bike this last weekend, well, just Sunday. Saturday was rainy early and the hike and bike trails were under water in some sections. I decided it would be better to wait until Sunday (the bike is still nice and shiny, and I don't have the heart to get it messy yet). The bike computer worked well, nothing fell off :-), my total was just over 22 miles. I did three seperate rides, trying to get measurements of the some of the walks I have been doing before I could ride again. Unfortuneately, due to some fumble fingerness, I somehow turned off the trip odometer for part of the 3rd ride, so I'm not 100% sure of the distance. Next weekend, for sure, I will get a measurement. I've been considering a new helmet, the older one is not as well ventilated as contemporary ones, not really important right now, but it will become much worse as the temperature rises. I did wear the cycling gloves I got from REI, they definitely do help, although it's necessary to adjust your grip occasionally to overcome fatigue.

I've also found some more podcasts to listen to, about biking, I've not had the time since I downloaded them to listen to many, but I will!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Longhorns are National Champs!

In case you've been living on Mars (which come to think of it is BURNT ORANGE), the Texas Longhorns won the Rose Bowl claiming the National Championship. It was a very exciting game, with Texas coming from 12 points behind with about 5 minutes left to win the game in the last 20 seconds. I will admit when USC scored before that, to go ahead 38-26, it did look bleak. It was clear Texas could score again, but the question is could they hold USC and get the ball back a 2nd time. Since Texas had missed an extra point and FG earlier, they need a TD instead of FG to win the game. Texas' defense did hold USC on 4th down to get the back back with about 2 minutes left. It was the only possesion of the 2nd half that Texas was able to stop USC.

And just in case anyone forgot, the Longhorns are the reigning Baseball National Champions, an excellent year for the University of Texas.

The BCS games this year were all close (with the exception of the Fiesta Bowl), and the games were fun to watch.