Monday, May 26, 2008

Negative 29

It's really quite amazing when you stop to think about just how big space is. I'm talking the stars and planets and universes and black holes kinda space. Not the empty space between my ears kinda space. It's hard to comprehend the vastness of it. You look up to the sky on a clear moonless night and you can see millions of stars which isn't even scratching the surface of just how far you can go. It amazes me that with all that stuff out there that none of it hardly ever runs into something else. I mean I'm sure it happens but I'm also sure it's super-mega-rare.

To bring it down to a smaller scale, think about just chillin' on your bike cruising along on a beautiful sunny Monday afternoon the amount of bugs you might come across on a 52 mile journey. All that wide open Perry county space would lead most people to think the chances of meeting a tiny little bug face to face would be slim but bordering on the rare. All that wide open space. A tiny little fly, or a bee, or a gnat. Little specs of jib no bigger than your pinky finger nail. All that wide open space and those stinkin' little critters found my bike riding eyeballs no less than half a dozen times on my 3hr tour. Some were straight ahead assaults leaving a self-defending split-second squint while others were the periferal sneak attacks that leave no time to react. Little bastards.

Today I made the 3rd Annual Memorial Day Ride to The Wifey's Grandparents House. There is no way I could have ordered better weather. Even the forecasted wind was made to order. South south west. Perfect. I love this ride. It's a great chance to hit some Bee-U-T-full Perry County roads. I passed on the opportunity to meet an old friend and decided to check out a different route. Iron Mountain Rd just north of Millerstown is the steepest beeyatch of a mile long dirt road climb I'd ever care to come across. Like an old friend, I know I'll visit Iron Mtn again someday, just not today. I bypassed the mtn and was happy to do so.

Of course the main attraction of the day was not spending 3 wonderful hours on my road sled but the feasting of quality grilled meats and other assorted glorious goodies while catching up with The Wifey's extended family. Yum.

Warning! Geeky riding-with-a-PowerTap subject matter follows. Interesting tidbits from the ride. 1st hour avg watts was 191, NP 220. TSS was 66 with an IF of .822. 665 calories expended. Avg speed was 17.4mph. This included the hardest climb of the day, The ridiculous Lambs Gap Rd. The lower early portion is pretty chill but if you measure the average gradient from a mile to go all the way to the top its a 10% climb. The final .40 is 13%. Poop.

Second hour avg watts was 187, NP 206. TSS was 60 with an IF of .774 and 670 calories. Avg speed was 17.3mph. Pine Hill Rd off of 850 is one of the coolest little climbs I've done. Perfect asphalt. Tree-lined. Kicks at the end. Over the top drops into a killer scenic view of the valley. Good stuff.

The final 57 minutes was a relaxing 160 avg watts, NP 178. TSS was 42.5. IF was .668 and calories was 550. Avg speed was 18.8mph.
Add it up. F U N ride. Oh yeah, and a very negative balance.

Haley is such a cool little girl. Tomorrow she hits 17 months. I love her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jam bong

Please bear with me as I try to get a handle on my narcissistic guilt.

Many of you know I’m an avid bicycler. I’m fortunate to be in a good situation to leave my car parked and ride to work an awful lot. I’m also fortunate to have an understanding employer and fellow co-workers who permit me to leave work at 5pm a couple days a week so that I can spend some time with TLW before she goes to bed at 7pm. So, I ride home at 5pm or I ride home at 8pm.

My ride home is never alone. There are always others with me. What amazes me is the stark contrast between the 5pm and the 8pm people I ride home with. The 5pm crowd is retardedly hyper while the 8pm crowd is super tranquilo.

Case in point; this evening I left work at 5pm. I made it through the 18th St traffic mess without incident and directed my way out of Camp Hill on my trusty fixie, the commuter of favor lately. As I approached the bridges that cross the Yellow Breeches on Spanglers Mill Rd I could feel a few of my fellow commuters bearing down on me. The bridges are sketchy at best and make a hard right up a hill upon crossing. Just as I’m approximately half-way over the bridge one of my fellow commuters accelerates and passes me just as we make the hard right up the hill. My fellow commuter chops my line and speeds off leaving me to fight for control to stay on the pavement.

My point is this; no way do you see this kind of behavior from the 8pm crowd. As much as I like being home early to hang with The Wifey and TLW, I sure could do without the 5pm clowns to share the ride home.

Did I mention the fellow commuter in the aforementioned experiences of today was driving a Subaru? Or did I leave out the fact that this Subaru driving fellow commuter had a Yak rack on his roof? With 2 bike mounts? Oops. My bad.

April ended with an 81% commuting success rate. May steams along at a robust and unblemished 8 fer 8. 100%. My aim is to keep it perfect this month.

My wonderful mother told me she looks forward to visiting this blog and keeping up with what’s new at The Kessel Ranch. I promise I will do better to update more frequently for no other reason than that. Happy Mothers Day. A day late.

Cape May April 2008

The awesome Cape May Zoo!

Snakes are fun

Gators bore TLW

Bears ain't no thang for Haley!