go a little heavier next time

50 mph wind gusts are nothing to sneeze at, so to speak.

If I had gotten the new walmart bike ready by this point it probably would have been a good idea to give it a test ride this morning. Unfortunately it's still a set of fenders, toe clips, and a front light short of being ready for a winter commute.

I did at least remember I had a set of cross tires in my parts bin so it's even less ronald-mcdonald-y.
That bike is heavy as shit and might have been a little steadier than the carbon trek. In any event, Lincoln wasn't bad this morning despite having to fight huge wind gusts to stay in the right area. By the time I hit a red at State and Elm I figured that was close enough and hopped off to walk the last block. Good enough.

Current beer-scale: 3.1



Yeah, Black Friday is always a blast. Hungover, waiting for family members to leave me the hell alone, it's my favorite day of the year.

Actually, once everyone is gone things usually pick up. The wife and I take the dog around the deserted neighborhood and put up christmas crap. This year that included our new tree since the last one got trashed in our water-logged basement last year. Thanks, crappy old apartment.

But we were psyched to put this one up-a 7.5 ft fat-looking fake wesley pine with lights from Home Depot. Of course, once we opened it, the stand was missing. The lights didn't work. And oh yeah, there were rat turds all over the place. Good times.

So we made a rare Black Friday trip to a store to make a return, which thankfully went smoothly. There weren't any more wesleys left but we picked up a GE after we opened it in the store to make sure everything was in it and used a display outlet to make sure the lights worked. Ah christmas.

But it's up now, getting decorated, and we have three more days off to relax. Finally, the thanksgiving I was hoping for.

Current beer-scale: 6.6


Whiskey Wednsday

Turned into hung-over Thanksgiving. It took a beer and three whiskeys to put up with having my mom stay with us last night, and that put me in great shape today to deal with prepping the disgusting turkey. Fucking fantastic.That is fucking gross, even though eventually it looks like this.
And the dog always enjoys her thanksgiving, especially when she ends up cleaning the plate of who-ever is paying the least attention.
I think that's strawberry topping from a cheesecake, although it could be cranberry sauce too. Ah, the holidays.

Current beer-scale: 2.2


let's just say that was on purpose

A little wet this morning, perfect conditions to lay down a bit of a controlled skid when some asshat turns left directly in front of you.

ETA: Add another shitty rainy ride in the dark to come home and I've flat out had it for this week.

One more morning to go. Then it's beer & whiskey time!

Current beer-scale: 7.7


2.5 more days


More work on the walmart bike last weekend, and it's slowly coming together. Frankenbike was in worse shape than I thought and not all the parts are salvage-able, but I'm still only $20 over the $100 mark for the bike so there's some room to upgrade.

Which is good, b/c the wife started making some subtle hints about Christmas shopping this weekend and nearly sent me into a panic. I have no clue this year. Nothing new. I usually have very little clue in general but it seems to be spectacularly low this year. What do you get your pregnant wife of 5 years for Christmas?

Current beer-scale: 8.7 but coming down as I talk myself into Caleb Hanie starting the rest of the season. Ouch.


One more day

Four days in the car and I'm losing my mind. A guy riding his bike on the sidewalk while walking his dog almost set me completely off yesterday when I finally got home. I need to make the shift to the 'it's the holidays' mindset and get back on the bike as soon as possible.

So lets get through one more late friday and gear up for the ten day countdown to having time off.

Current-beer scale: 8.9

ETA: and 10 hours later I've called it a day and I'm waiting for a train freezing my ass off. Christ I need to go to bed.


Surrounded by asshats

It's a bike-light week this week, out at O'Hare for a conference. And that means two hours in the car and a$22 parking fee each day. Joy.
So I'm surrounded by the same asshats that piss me off when I'm commuting, only I'm in the exact same boat. It's a blast.

Yup, that's $22/a day worth of parking right there.

I need a beer.

Current beer-scale: 5.9


Wow that's ugly

Frankenbike went tits-up last winter. The freewheel went completely free around mid-March, so the Trek came out a few weeks early. Cut to May and getting ready to move, when Frankenbike comes out of the basement and the entire thing has rusted together. The freewheel went from spinning to being so fused it might as well be a fixed cog, both wheels had spokes rusted off, the chain was one long piece of rust, and the front brake had fused into place. Joy.
The summer started with me determined to get the bike into ride-able shape for this winter. The chain and the brake weren't too hard, but the wheels were a challenge. Ultimately it would be cheaper to get a new set versus having a shop rebuild them. But in the research into affordable options, I saw a $99 fixed gear at a big box. Namely, Walmart.

Ew. But that was where Frankenbike had originally come from, and it had lasted about 5 years in truly heinous conditions. If I could get an entire bike for the price of a cheap track wheelset, it might be worth picking up and parting out. So that's exactly what I did yesterday.

Actually we were out in the 'burbs to pick up several other items, including a new comforter for our kick ass bed, dog food for the next few weeks, and a Sam Adams winter brew package (more on that later). So tacking a stop at wally-world wasn't too out of our way. Even better, the closest one claimed this bike was still in stock.

Which it did, even though it took finding a stock-guy and having him grab it from the back. That actually worked out for the best, since that meant the crappy bike was still in it's crappy box. I'm glad we ended up with the Caliber, b/c anything any smaller wouldn't have been able to get everything home last night.Notice on the top of the box:What a useful warning. I wonder what prompted them to put that on the box versus other warnings.Anyway, not a terrible packing job. They did offer to put the thing together for me at the store, but I figured at this point I had more than enough experience dealing with shitty bikes to handle it. So far so good, but there's plenty of little detail work I need to get to before it'll be ready to actually ride.

One such issue:
How the fuck is that supposed to work?

Anyway, the thing is basically together and man does it look ugly. Surprisingly one thing I thought I would immediately change would be the tires, but they're actually in decent shape and might work well for a winter. We'll see. If I can get fenders around them they'll stay.
At least there's still some time before I have to have it ready to ride. It was in the 50's this morning, and even with some rain coming the Trek can handle that. Here's to a nicer fall.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


It's drinkin' time!

Current beer-scale: 8.9 & it's friday.


three weeks

Thanksgiving is just three weeks away. A mere 23 days. I can it that. Just hang on a few more weeks and it's five days off time. Sure, no problem.

Current beer-scale: 8.8