missed it by that much

Well, the fenders almost went on w/o a hitch. Of course the hitch that happened seemed to be a big one, but they're on at any rate. I went cheap, just like everything else for this bike so that means more clip-ons. Hooray!
And why would this simple add-on work since nothing else on the bike has? Eventually they were on in time for a ride to work this morning. If you see someone trudging by on this rolling POS give him a sympathetic wave.
Just in time for this snow that's supposed to hit at noon today and is making everyone jumpy. Let's at least wait until it's on the ground to freak out.

Which I will be happy to do as soon as the first flake hits, but that's just me. Frankenbike is a rough enough ride on pavement. I'm terrified to see what it'll be like with some snow on the ground. Sounds like I'll find out one way or the other today. Joy.
Really I'm surprised I could bike at all after all the beer I had last night trying to make it through another drubbing at the hands of USC. That was just depressing. I now pin all my seasonal affect disorder "good" feelings on the Bears and the odds they can beat the Vikings tonite. God save us all.
Current beer-scale: 6.8


great, now let's get them over with.

I may hate thanksgiving, but I still a lot to be thankful for like…

…being married to a fantastic woman who’s part of a marvelous family that I enjoy being around (vs my family, who are the main reason I hate this holiday to begin with).

…having a turd of a dog and a reason to smile whenever I see her picture at work.

…having a job I enjoy and can bike to. And for biking in general.

…for the way this year’s election played out.

…the idea I’m spending the weekend drinking and watching football.

Off the top of my head, that seems like a pretty decent list. Sure there’s more, but let’s not get too sappy. Beer in a few hours!

Current beer-scale: 8.5


Back on the saddle

With a Sunday off and a chance for an actual full-on weekend, I had some extra time to replace a tube and play with the old one. If this was a how-to blog I'd have pictures of snipping off the end of the presta valve and squeezing some slime in, then re-inflating a repaired tube. But it's not, so let's just say everything's back on (thank christ) and that even in the rain/snow I was happy to be biking again vs driving.

I was fairly anxious about doing any kind of maintenance outside of cleaning/lubing on the rush hour. I'm not the most handy and even though I retro-fitted Frankenbike, it's called Frankenbike for a reason. It's not pretty, and even though looks aren't really what I care about as far as my ride, things were running pretty smoothly pre-flat and I wanted it to stay that way. I lack a certain level of confidence when it comes to any kind of mechanical maintenance, and with good reason. Things seem to be running alright for now though.

So it was off into the rain/snow this morning that even the dog didn't want to be out in. Ah, fall.

Current beer-scale: 6.4


are you fucking kidding me?

Another flat? Seriously? And why does it have to be on the coldest morning of the week? I know the science behind why, and I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the pothole I wasn't paying attention to until it was too late to avoid, but seriously, why today? That really sucked.

Adding to my non-bike rage so far: forgetting to grab my coffee on the way out (both times, via bike and then 20 minutes later via car), having to drive to work in the first place, morning car traffic, stepping in dog poop with Payton this morning, and having to fix a printer some idiot broke in the office by not knowing how to remove a paper jam that resulted in tiny shreds of paper blocking the rollers in our 10-year old crappy HP laserjet. Dammit this is not my day.

Three day weekend, three day week. Thanksgiving also not very high on my favorite holiday list, but anytime I can stay home and drink vs going to work I'm all for it. As long as I've picked up a (ANOTHER FUCKING) spare tube and am riding by then, right on.

Current beer-scale: 8.9


Here's a fun game

I know, let's play "Who has the right of way?" If I'm riding w/the flow of traffic, and you're turning against traffic, who has the right of way? If I have to lock up my brakes into a skid while you're too busy talking on your phone to notice you're about to run someone over on your way into the parking lot, who has the right of way? That's right asshole, I do!

Go fuck yourself idiot!

Current beer-scale: 7.7

my mustache is frozen

Bring it on winter, bring it on. Every line of cars I pass makes me that much happier I'm freezing my ass off instead of sitting in a car with ESPN radio on. It was a glorious morning to bike in any temperature, and as long as nothing is falling on me I'm good to go.

Current beer-scale: 4.5



Welcome back, here's some 30 degree weather to go running in. Awesome. Falling was even better, skidding forward on hands and then an elbow. That was a great way to start the week.

Hey, all week I just wanted to get home and now I am so I'm not complaining too much. It has taken some minor adjustments though after getting used to sun and heat in Tampa for a week. There are palm trees outside of the hockey arena there. Palm trees. Those are pictures of Lightning players behind the tree on the building. We made it to Thursday night's game against the Wings, which considering the last-minute nature of the entire outing was pretty sweet.
I'm going to go have a third cup of coffee and hope I can wake up for the rest of the day. Here's to November being half over already.

Military night at the hockey game.

Current beer-scale: 7.6



The enormity of what just happened in America is starting to settle in. I admit, the Redeye cover with President-elect Obama (!!!!) brought tears to my eyes this morning. I didn't go to Grant Park last night, and except for the last moments of last night's victory speech I didn't regret it. Watching from home though, I don't think the impact of the election really hit me until I got up this morning and had proof that it was actually done. It was fun to hear the glee in Chris Matthews' voice, and a little sad to think about Tim Russert not being there, but there's something about watching election coverage that I think I would enjoy more at home.

Kind of like a football game. Is it great to go, to say you were there, to tailgate and be outside for a glorious fall football Saturday or Sunday? Absolutely. But there are also advantages to catching it at home, including tivo, being able to check other scores, cheaper beer, no bathroom lines, being able to sit with the dog vs some grandma who doesn't know what's going on, no traffic to battle on the way home. And it was the same way last night. I would have loved to have seen history made in person last night, but as soon as Obama had closed his speech that feeling passed. I was home, I was tired, and I wasn't plodding down Michigan Ave with a million other people wondering if I was better off just walking home vs. catching a train.

Having said that, I can't read enough news coverage this morning. The idea of someone like Barack Obama now having to figure out how he's going to transition to governing the entire country is exhilarating. There were times when I doubted it would actually happen, but I'll be grateful it did for a long time. Wow. What a night.
I've never been happier to say I was part of the process, and I cannot wait to see where we go from here.



Please still be rain, please still be rain...

Well, I guess you could call that a success. It's hard to feel positive about feeling so uncomfortable, but that had more to do with the environs than the bike. All the bike can do is roll, it's up to me to dress myself. And the rolling wasn't so bad. No major noises, no major hiccups. The gear-ratio might need tweaking, but that's my inner hypochondriac talking.

I think it might be time to move onto the path when winter really rolls around though. Whenever anyone asks me why I don't take the path, especially when my way home is parallel to the gravel path for almost the entire route, "b/c I have a road bike" is my standard response. But I don't think Frankenbike technically qualifies as a road bike anymore. But since there isn't a specific surface for mutated box-store road bikes w/amateurish upgrades and modifications, the gravel might have to do. Until that first snow fall though, it's back on the actual bike.

Current beer-scale: 6.6

fall is only good for football

I'm holding off counting this morning as a success 2nd test of Frankenbike but I have reasonable hopes for the return trip this afternoon. It doesn't look like we're getting the rain that was forecast for today so maybe I'll get lucky all the way around as the day ends.
Which would be a nice change of pace from yesterday. Not that yesterday was terrible. I made it to SB w/o any catastrophes this time, and managed to have at least a little fun once I got there for the game. Watching the longest overtime game in the history of the stadium, which ended up a loss, wasn't exactly my idea of a perfect afternoon though.

I admit, my attitude could have been better going into the whole trip. That drive isn't always the most pleasant, and when I'm going alone it's always hit or miss what the game experience is like. Sometimes I get lucky, yesterday wasn't one of those times. Still, I found myself enjoying the purity of a November home game in cloudy fall weather at a few points yesterday.

The sprinklers came on just as Pitt had run it's first play in overtime. Ah, fall.

On the way home I was thinking about how badly I just wanted to get home. There were times when I would have felt just the opposite; that I would have been dying to get back to campus and would have hated leaving. I didn't hate going yesterday, but I'm definitely not approaching day trips like that with the same zeal I'm talking about here. And I realized that's b/c campus is no longer home for me, and hasn't been for some time. I'll always look back fondly on my time there, and I love who ND helped grow me into. But as an adult I've fully moved on now, and have my new place to call home. Not exactly the deepest moment of reflection I've ever had but it still surprised me at how hard that thought hit me. Probably partly b/c I just wanted to get home so bad, and still have a long night ahead of me. Oh well. It was still worth the trip out there and I'd do it again, especially if I had company next time. And beer. That would have really helped.

Current beer-scale: 5.4