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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/18/2013 in Blog Entries

  1. 14 points
    I went on a 63 mile ride with my wife this last Saturday. We didn't take a camera (I hate stopping and starting and thinking like a photographer while riding) but decided to revisit our path today. Our ride took us through the Sammamish, Snoqualime, and the Snohomish river valleys. So while there's not any photos of us and/or our bikes, I hope it gives you and idea of what it's like to ride in Western Washington. I've really enjoyed the photo threads you guys have put together so thought I'd return the favor. The photos below are in series. They are linear and represent the start to finish. I had to filter out a lot so if you think there are too many -- sorry. There could have been a lot more. I also chose not to narrate them. I hope they are self explanatory. Please ask if you have any questions.
  2. 11 points
    And it’s not for sissies. I’m going to talk about what it’s like sometimes and you might not want to read this. My wife has been getting weaker for a full year. After she was diagnosed with a brain lesion she had a strong radiation treatment. She was still walking on her own at this time. The radiation oncologist referred her to a medical oncologist to continue treatment. She started losing strength day by day after starting chemo. At first I would help her to the car and drive her to the cancer care center. At the CCC I would get one of their wheel chairs for her because they make you check in and go from one end of the building to the other and back again. She started having trouble with our stairs and I would have to get behind her and push and lift on her butt to get her up the stairs. On the way down I went in front of her and held her hand. I could see this getting worse so I searched online for a used stairlift. I found one on eBay and bought it only to find out the guy had already sold it. It took me three days to get my money back. I couldn’t wait for that so I went to Craig’s list and found another one. Craig’s list works a little better than eBay and I was able to contact the seller before buying it, in fact I didn’t even pay online but gave him cash when he delivered it. I thought I was all set now until the first day we used the stairlift she still had to walk out to the car and we had a total of three steps between the house and the car. She fell on the third step, I managed to get her back on her feet but realized I would need to build a ramp. I called my son’s father in law when we got home from the doctor. He came over and made some measurements and a list of materials I needed. I picked them up that evening and gave him a call. He came over in the morning and we built the ramp. That worked pretty well until the end of the year she was having a hard time standing and walking. I moved a commode chair right next to her recliner so all I had to do was help her to her feet and turn her a bit so she could sit on the commode. The last week of the year she was losing strength daily and I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to wait for Monday’s doctor appointment. I ended up calling an ambulance for her on Friday evening to take her to the ER. Our son and I spent the entire night with her in the ER as they ran test after test. They finally discovered she had a UTI just before they were going to ship her to Pittsburgh where they have brain doctors. They started her on IV antibiotic and admitted her to the hospital. She spent a week on the sixth floor getting the UTI under control and another week on the fifth floor getting physical therapy to try to get her back on her feet. They were unsuccessful at that and sent her back home by ambulance and put her on hospice care. We have an RN visit on Mondays and Fridays for about a half hour and an Aide on Tuesday and Thursday for about a half hour. The rest of the time it’s up to me. I’m getting pretty good with getting her on a bedpan and wiping her butt. I have a couple hundred pairs of rubber gloves to make the job easier. I keep my phone with me where ever I go around the house so she can call me when she has to go. Usually she wakes me twice a night when she thinks she has to poop. When you are bedridden you can never trust a fart. Better safe than sorry. Changing the bedding while the patient is still in the bed is not an easy task. I somewhat enjoy giving her a sponge bath. I keep the house real warm so she doesn’t get chilled and massage her as I wash her. She seems to enjoy her bath. I tell her how much I love her all the time, after everything is washed I put special body lotion on her because her skin is so dry. I bought her a half dozen hospital gowns because they are the most practical thing to wear when she is in the condition she is in. We are accumulating quite the assortment of medical equipment. She had a walker from when she had her hips replaced. She used that during physical therapy but they suggested a wheelie walker for her trips to the bathroom. We got one but she never used it. I had a shower chair and adult commode chair from when I broke my hip. She wanted a wider chair because she has wider hips. Now we have two of each. We have a hospital bed complete with the mattress that continuously changes air pressure in the different sections to help prevent blood clots and bed sores. We didn’t have any sheets that size so I bought some twin bed sheets to get us started and ordered hospital bed sheets on Amazon. We had just about weened her off her steroids before she went to the hospital. They put her back on them. They give her a good appetite but I’d like to see her get off them. Who knows what side effects she is getting from them? They are known to cause weakness and that’s her biggest problem right now. She slept most of the day today, I don’t think I like that. I would like to see her more active. Well I guess I jabbered enough tonite, I just wanted to say what was on my mind. I’ll try to get back to this and give an update later.
  3. 6 points
    Named after the train that ran from Chicago-Minneapolis-Seattle, this bike route is a 15 mile ride that literally takes you from a starting point in Montana to your end point in Idaho. It's a rails-to-trail line that drops down into the valley and passes though a kagillion tunnels and crosses over as many tresels deep in the Bitterroot Mountains. The first tunnel which immediately starts the ride is about 1.8 miles. But there's a catch. The Lookout Pass ski area runs access to the trail and charges $9 to use the trail per person as well as provide a $9 bus ride back to the top if you don't want to ride back up it. Plus you need a mountain bike w/ at least 700x35 tires and a helmet/headlight. They have rentals at the top for those who just want to show up but you get what you get when you arrive there. My wife and I decided to rent from a top bicycle rental shop for the day. To access the trail, one needs to drive 15 miles east on I-90 out of historical Wallace, Idaho, over Lookout Pass (which is the Idaho/Montana state line) and take Exit 5 or the Taft exit. Then you must drive for 2 miles on a forest road to the trail head. My wife and I opted to get the return trip back up the mountain because honestly we couldn't wait to get off the gravel and return to the paved CDA Trail. So for the 2 of us, it cost about $20 for two trail passes, about $20 for two return trips, and about $65 for 2 Trek mountain bike rentals from the LBS for the day. It set us back about a $100 for the two of us. Was it worth it? I dunno. We had a great day out in the mountains and forests. We got some great photos. But it was pretty damn dusty, there were a lot of lemmings on the trail, and the surface was pretty bad as you worked your way to the end (Pearson trailhead). The Route of the Hiawatha was one of the main reasons we returned to the Silver Valley in the Northern Idaho Panhandle. We're glad we did it. But I doubt we'll ever do it again. As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't paved, I don't get to excited about riding it. There are many more rides in Montana on their highways I'd like to do -- and it's free and w/o dust. Once again I'm not narrating the photos. Takes too long and you get the idea anyway. Feel free to ask questions.
  4. 6 points
    This is really a great event. They work hard on the trails, they have the support of the community, they have a nice expo at the finish line, and they have a good after-party with a ton of give-aways (fat bike fenders, Marge Lite wheels, cranksets). I just wish I had better snow skills. The weather got too warm on Friday for this Saturday event. The snow turned crystally, sugary. The roads were thick with glare ice. But the event went on, and that's good. I went up to Marquette the evening before the event so I didn't have to drive on icy roads to get there. It was good to get there and have my packet. I installed my GoPro and my number plate on the bike that night. The next morning I saw on FB they were suggesting air pressures of 3-4 psi. I went with 4.5. It was neat to see all the trucks and some cars coming in with ONLY fat bikes! According to the FB page, 171 fat bikes started the 15 mile ride. It took a few moments for us in the back to actually start moving. With that many bikes riding on mashed potato snow, it was tough even getting started. People were falling off left and right. I was actually doing fairly well, but it got too slow for me to keep my balance. I put a foot down a couple times; the third time I let the people behind me go past. Wrong. Just keep going. We had to use a road for a bit to get from the starting line to the single track, and the road was glare ice. I feel ok on ice, but I stayed on the sides like they told us to. A little slushy, but ok. I realized I forgot to get Map My Ride going, so I stopped for that. I was standing on some gravel that was peaking through some thawed ice on the side of a hill. I decided to hike to the top of the hill, but I noticed people actually pedaling behind me. I stepped into the road and onto the ice to let them pass. My feet were not moving, but I was sliding sideways down the icy hill! I think I slid like that at least 10 feet like that. Doesn't sound like much; but when you're holding onto a fat bike and sliding uncontrollably, it's quite unnerving. A few moments later I had to do it again. More sliding. Ugh! Then I got to ride again on the road for a bit. Icy road The single track was really hard for me to ride. That was really sad because I know it was gorgeous just a few days prior to that weekend. I have been hearing many other people were having a really tough time on this trail, but at the time it seemed like I was the only idiot who couldn't keep rubber side down. Kinda rolling along I should have gone lower with my tire pressure. The trail ended up with a fairly deep rut running down the middle of it, and I kept getting hung up in it. You can kinda see the rut in this pic, but mostly I took it to show how a lot of the trail weaved through the trees. That's really a neat idea and quite pretty; but as you are rolling and start falling, those trees come up to your face pretty damned fast. I think 4 or 5 times I reached out a hand as I was falling to stop myself from slamming into a tree. There was one lady who was having almost as hard a time as I was, and we kinda rode together for a while. She eventually got her shit together and left me in the dust. Maybe she aired down and got better traction? I don't know. I hope she got going ok. But here she is, and here is how pitiful my performance was. (In a little bit of my defense, this is a very switchbacky stretch of trail called FreakNnature. I'm sure it's a hoot for those who know how to handle it; I am horrible at it.) Mostly falling I found this guy's video of the short route. About 14:45 in he slips and falls on the icy road, around 38 he's on FreakNnature, about 54:30 he gets to the area of the pic above, and about 1 hour and 9 minutes in, he gets farther than I did. I like that his posted comment states "14 miles of stupid." Ha! Another racer's perspective. Ya, I did horribly. I had practiced and trained for the three weeks between the IronLine and this Polar Roll, but you'd never know. I know that's not a lot of time, but it wasn't my first day on a bike even though it felt like it. I gave out about 7 miles into the 15 miles. I wasn't super tired, but I was very discouraged. I was so frustrated, I cried. Just a little though. The nice lady with the red van hauled my bike and me back to my truck. I changed my jacket to a little bit warmer one, drove to the finish line, and checked out the expo for a bit. I was soaking wet; every footstep felt like my toes were stepping into puddles of water. I went into the warming tent and had a cup of post-ride stew. I was shivering while I was eating it. But I still wanted to look around a bit. I decided I needed dry clothes, so I cut it short. I headed over to the YMCA and took a shower. Just getting into the locker room warmed me up. My clothes were so wet, I had to peel them off. The chatty little girls showering after pool time with their moms made me smile. And the dry clothes made me feel much better. I headed over to Border Grill (a major sponsor of the Polar Roll event) and got some late lunch. I hung out in Marquette for a couple hours waiting for the post-race party. I got there, and there were free little plates of Border Grill food. Yay! And there was BlackRocks Brewery beers. I dove into a 51k IPA. OMG, did that beer go down well! I saw two guys who put on the IronLine race three weeks earlier and talked to them a bit. They each won swag (Marge Lite rims and a crankset!), and I was happy for them. I hung out for about an hour and then headed home. I promised myself I didn't have to put stuff away, but I did. I threw my clothes into the wash, unpacked everything, patted my bike and said, "Good ride," hung up my now clean clothes, and went to bed. The next morning I counted my bruises. It took a couple days to find them all, and there were many. My chiropractor appointment Monday was a little dicey... Ouch! Not there! Ok, that's fine. Ouch! Not there! Ha!! I checked out the FB page and realized I didn't do as horribly as I thought. Polar Roll FB Today I talked to the LBS owner, and he said the people he knew who rode were all bruised up too. It was truly a test of a rider's mettle. One guy commented it was a very humbling ride. The event was put on very well, but Mother Nature sure had her say. And Smudge has her say: my fat bike is for playing, and there will be no more fat bike events for me. I enjoy getting outdoors, but these events were not fun for me. Not my cup of tea, I guess. Playing with my fat bike is fun. Running with cars on my "city bike" in New York is fun. Rolling all over the countryside on my Roubaix is fun. Winter fat bike events just aren't for me. But I'm still glad I did it.
  5. 6 points
    First I want to say to all the Negative Nellies about this ride, STUFF It! This is a nice EVENT. The volunteers are nice, the people riding are there to enjoy the day, and it's a good time. If you want to kill it and pound out some miles, the Gran Fondo is next weekend! Ya, it was a nice event. Don't let any Negative Nellies dissuade you from doing this ride if you'd like to do it. It's nice. Now, ..... I got to the subway stop early and another guy with a cycle showed up. The train came, and it was packed! The other cyclist started running to find a spot. I followed like a lost puppy dog! He got on. I had to wait for the next train. Great, more stress! Ended up just fine. I got to the staging area good and early. I was smart; I got there early to be at the start of my wave. It was chilly that morning. The poor young man in black on the bottom left was visibly shaking he was so chilly. If I were a little taller, this pic would be much more impressive; you'd actually be able to see the thousands of cyclists behind us! Not too far down the road was Radio City Music Hall. I have seen many ride videos, and for some reason I always thought it was super cool that they were riding past this spot. I had to stop for a selfie. And I saw a welcome to the tour riders on the marquee! Nice! The riding was actually pretty smooth! Even with that many people and a Yooper, it really was good riding. I could easily pass people when I wanted, but I could also easily cruise along if I wanted. Of course with that many people, there were going to be some bottlenecks. Like at the Queensboro Bridge. Getting out of Astoria Park was a little time consuming too. Meh, it was a gorgeous day. It was fine. Then I bit it somewhere in Queens. Smooth... I was approaching a group that had stopped. I knew I was in a little tougher gear, so I wanted to sneak in a quick shift before I actually stopped. I heard the shift complete a millisecond before I stopped. Oh good. Oh wait... I'm toppling over. Clip out, clip out! I can't! Pull your hand back in! Don't break a clavicle trying to catch yourself!!! oof! Smooth. I heard a guy behind me, "You ok? Darned clipless pedals." heh, heh.. ah ya. Poor bike. Another hit on this trip! I quickly pounded the seat back to forward, and all was well. I had scuffs on my left knee, wrist, elbow, and pinky. A day later I discovered a tender bruise on my right upper arm. I think it smacked my right handlebar end when I fell. Good news: no broken bones. Bad news: not even any blood! All the talk about the Verrazano Bridge had me worried about the gradual climb. Psht! It wasn't bad at all! A couple miles prior to it was a rather steep climb that got my attention, but the bridge itself was simply a scenic spin. Thank goodness! The finish party had a park full of people. Of course exiting the park was a walk-your-bike event again. But that was to be expected. We rode to the Staten Island Ferry area for a ride back to Manhattan. While we waited, TD Bank (the primary sponsor) tossed popsicles into the crowd. Ha! I wanted one just to say I got one; but it was green with other colors inside and just smelled too sweet. I passed. I almost bit it again entering the ferry. I thought for sure I'd end up getting super close to getting on only to be told it was full. I was determined to get on THIS ferry! (I didn't know they can hold 4-6000 people depending on the class of ferry) I saw most people going to the sides of the ferry with their bikes. I also saw a few guys tossing their bike onto their shoulders and going up the stairs in front of us. I figured there were fewer people going up, so I'd have a better chance of getting on. I thought, "I can carry my bike upstairs!" so I went for it! Tossed my bike onto my shoulder, took a step, and almost landed on my face; I hadn't seen the 8" long x 2" high ramp going into the ferry. I saved it, and ran up the steps. whew! As I sat there, the ferry meandered toward The City. I saw this container ship pass by. I bitterly thought, "Hmm, I wonder how many fat bikes are on THAT ship?!" Ha! Ya, just being sassy. I made it back to the apartment. A couple doors down before I got here, a lady in and SUV rolled down her window and gave me a thumb's up as I walked the last few steps to the brownstone. Thanks! I didn't know my way around real well yet, but I was starving. I settled and ordered dinner from Applebees, walked to pick it up, and walked back. I dove into that steak! Not that the 40+ miles were at all grueling; I just hadn't had much hearty food that day! I gobbled that steak right down! The Five Boro Tour is a nice event. Yes, there are 32,000 people, so there will be times of standing around waiting. But you are there for the event. Get in that mindset, and it really is a great, unique event.
  6. 5 points
    For years I always did the Tour Of Mercer County century ride. This year I haven't been riding much and I haven't been working out at the gym, two things I always did. I have been hanging around the house when I'm not at work and taking care of my wife after her surgery. Anyhow I figure out last night as I was sitting around the campfire in our yard with my wife that I could do the short 35.5 mile ride and be back home by lunch time. I got up at six am and got my stuff together, we had a light rain. I got to registration about 7:10 am. got signed up and went back and unloaded my bike. I noticed the guy parked next to me had a pink cue sheet (35 mile ride). I struck up a conversation with him and found out this was his very first organized ride. He was a bit unsure of himself but wanted to try it. He said he has been doing 20 mile rides from his house and has lost 40 lbs since he got his bike last year. I told him I could ride with him if he didn't mind an old slow guy tagging along. He had no clue the amount of climbing he had in store for him. I warned him that we were basically going to be climbing and descending for the entire ride. He climbed at a faster speed than I did but I had lower gears. One third of the way through the ride he said he was really glad I was slowing him down. He said if he would have rode it like he rides his normal rides he would have been calling for someone to come get him by the time we made it to Mercer. He had to get off and walk on a couple of the climbs. He has lived in Mercer County for a long time and had no idea we had hills like this. On the return part of the ride he had trouble with leg cramps. He said he had been drinking Gatoraide and lots of water. I know he drank a lot of water because I was behind him watching him. We had a pretty steady rain on the return half of the ride. It took a different route and he was excited to not have to ride back over those hills we just rode. I told him not to celebrate too much, the return route isn't much better. We kept seeing a skinny lady and a young man looking at their map and then we wouldn't see them for awhile. It turned out they were looking for shortcuts because they were beat and just wanted to get back to their car. They took at least three shortcuts off route but we still got back before them. It was a good ride, I'm glad I went. I have been feeling cooped up during my wife's recuperation. The noob said he enjoyed the ride and plans to start training on hills so he can do the fall ride the same group puts on. I don't know why I enjoy coaching noobs so much but it give me a good feeling to help people out while they are learning the ropes and encourage them. This guy is serious about getting in shape and losing weight. I didn't ask him how much he weighs but probably not too much more than me. He is a lot shorter than me. There were a couple Strava segments on the ride and even as slow as I am I placed well in the over 65 age group on each segment.
  7. 5 points
    It's good to do some surfin' on the interweb before you head out to your destination. That is how I stumbled upon this nifty event. It's a flea market for cyclists, and it was great! I rode there on my bike. I had purchased some panniers to go with my rack just cuz I had the rack; I was REALLY glad I decided to take them this day! I got there a little early upon advice the day before from the mechanics at Bicycle Roots. The place was busy already! I locked up my bike, and off I went. I ended up buying the first thing I saw, but it was too cute to pass up. On the back it says, "Enjoy the Buzz." Being a carbon roadie, I loved that! I've been wondering how I can store Bad Ass (the fat bike). I saw this and decided my husband will be assembling one for me with one wide slot! I bought a couple cute bracelets and some plastic water bottle cages ($2 each!). Pretty sure I bought more stuff; just can't think of it right now. I had been struggling with how to carry my 4.5# New York lock. I saw a guy with a U-lock tucked in his back pocket. Cute, but I have a bigger lock. Then it dawned on me; I think I've seen this, so I'll try it. It worked great! Yup. Stick it through a belt! It's best to keep it on your left side; it won't knock into your seat when you put your left foot down to stop and won't catch on the seat when trying to get back on. Those bad things happen when the lock is on your right butt cheek! Fun stuff: Yes, in the bottom right of that last pic there is a plastic "hobby horse" cut in half and mounted on a bike. It was disturbing. I didn't mean to include it in the pic. If I had known I was going to get the front half in, I would have included the whole thing. Still, disturbing. It was time to eat, and I had found a place called Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. I got myself over there, learned a new way to lock up my bike (saw another person's bike), and went in. I had a nice lunch and found out Ithica Brewing's Flower Power IPA is good! Finally a piney IPA! I did a little more riding around and then headed home. It was a great day!
  8. 4 points
    Over the long weekend, my wife and I took the following Tuesday off after Memorial Day and rode the CDA Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. It was a great time. The following is a conversation I had on another website -- which got me inspired to ride this trail . The guy above was 100% on everything... including the exact trail entrance in Enaville. We rode on Sunday and had great weather. We stayed here A Unique Place to Stay in the Silver Valley - VRBO in Pinehurst and were a mile from the trail. The homeowner was able to find us a guy who drove us out to Plummer for $50 and we started there and ended at our cabin. I could have ridden the round trip but I knew my wife could not so that money was worth it. We rode 52 miles in all and it was some of the best trail riding I've done and it completely lived up to its expectations. The weakest part, arguably, was the middle section of farmland between Cataldo and Harrision -- and even that was better than most sections of other trails I've ridden on. Dropping down to the lake from Plummer and riding around it to Harrison was exhilerating. We surprisingly had a very good lunch out on the deck overlooking the lake at the Landing bar or whatever in Harrison... right next door to the ice cream joint. These first 16 miles were some of the easiest and sadly some of the fastest riding we've done (together). This was not planned. We were just so immersed in our ride that we were pedaling with ease and made it a point to slow down afterwards. It was in the late morning that we saw a young male moose just 2 miles into the ride and yet again later in the afternoon at the 42 mile mark. We also ran into deer, saw dozens of herons, an eagle or two, and plenty of other wildlife all from the seat of our bicycles. Kudos to all the agencies involved for designing an environmental solution to the mining runoff problem. They did a great job in spacing trailheads, stops, and bathrooms along it as well. My favorite part was probably from Bull Run to Enaville in which we were hugging the Coeur d'Alene River. In short, the trail hugs a lot of water bodies... lakes, rivers, streams, marshes... while tucked away in the mountains. I can see why you're proud of it. And he was correct in stating that everything east of Enaville is just a trail. From where we exited, there was only 20 miles of it left and I doubt I'll ever complete the rest of it. Hugging I-90 through industrial mining waste land just doesn't have the same appeal. If you haven't ridden this trail at least once in your life, your missing out IMHO.
  9. 2 points
    I wanted to start a little blog to share an upcoming trip. That way, I wouldn't have to send a bunch of emails to share my adventure with family. I thought a blog would be a good way to share stories and pics. Then I realized I don't know how to do a blog! Just like everything else, I decided I need to practice a bit. I really don't have a lot to say right now, so this is sort of awkward. Well, this is a blog about my cycling hobby; so I might as well introduce you to the cast of characters! First is my Roubaix. I absolutely love this bike! Love, love, love!! Bicycling magazine was making such a big deal of this bike for a few years, that I absolutely had to have one... even though I had never ridden one! I tried a Specialized Ruby on a decent ride, but it did not speak to me. My local Specialized dealer was offering a killer deal on the bike (it was a previous year bike brand new), but I passed. I had been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a few years, and maybe I wasn't ready for the road bike geometry? I don't know. I just know I wasn't lovin' the Ruby. All this makes my insistence on ordering the Roubaix that much more bizarre. It was only the next summer or so that I decided I needed to have one. I ordered it. I wasn't sure about a white bike, so I was a little concerned when I saw it. I mean, you gotta love the bike if you expect yourself to ride it! I decided since I ordered it, I need to keep it. I didn't even know how to use the Shimano 105 shifters! The shop owner adjusted the seat height for me and showed me how to shift (while on a trainer). After that, I was on my own. The ride home from the bike shop is only about 5 blocks. By the time I got home, I was totally in love with the bike. I had no idea what a great bike it was yet, but I knew I loved it! And I still do. Last year, I decided to "upgrade" my Sirrus to a newer one. I don't know why. It was a fine bike. I just needed new bike bling I guess. And I needed an orange bike. I traded in the 2005 Sirrus for the 2014. This is the bike I will take with me on my trip to NYC this spring. It's not a bike I love, but I like it pretty well. Kinda chaps my ass that Specialized decided they didn't need to make this bike in an XS frame. No respect for the "vertically challenged" if you ask me. But I still enjoy my time on it. Stay tuned. There will be a new addition to the stable soon (I hope!).
  10. 1 point
    My wife has abdominal pain. To change the bed or put her on the bedpan I have to roll her on her side. There is no other way to do it. When I do she moans and groans and pushes back to try to get back on her back. I’m trying to hold her on her side while I am doing what I have to do. One hand holding her up and the other doing everything else. I guess I’ll just have to keep her doped up on morphine all the time because I never know when she needs to use the bed pain. This is getting depressing, it wasn’t a fun job to begin with. I just needed to vent.
  11. 1 point
    I have been taking a certification course from Crisis Response International to be certified as a responder. The course was a lot more extensive than I expected when I signed up but tonight I finished my certification. With all the hurricanes, floods, fires, etc. going on these days I figured I should do what I can to help.
  12. 1 point
    I have been working with Zane a 16 year old non-verbal autism boy at church for about four weeks now. I would love to see a breakthrough but realistically looking at it if he hasn't had a breakthrough in 16 years who am I to expect anything now. Anyhow I was at a swimming pool about an hour south of where I live on Friday and there were only four or five people at the pool. I started talking with the one lady that was there and somehow I started telling her about Zane. She said that is really odd because she used to work with a little boy with autism who's name was Zane. She asked me if his mom's name was Lisa and I said yes. We both were talking about the same kid. She works at an autism center and she said she always wondered how he was doing now. I told her how much I was hoping to see a breakthrough, at least enough that he could communicate because he gets so frustrated at not being able to talk. I asked her if there was much hope for someone that still couldn't speak at age 16. That's when her boyfriend who had been sitting beside her on a lounge chair spoke up. He said he had autism and was non-verbal and he didn't see any breakthrough until he was an adult. He said he was about 18 years old when things started to come together for him. I told the director of the ministry I am working with about this meeting and the boyfriend who's name is Shawn and his coming out of his prison of autism as an adult and her mouth dropped open. She said: "You met Shawn?" I have his book, I'll bring it in for you to read. He has written a book about his experience growing up being autistic and the frustrations that he had. He now works as a reporter for a local newspaper. I am expecting a great breakthrough with Zane, this "random" meeting was destined to take place to encourage me to press on and not give up with Zane. I can see so much potential in him that just can't get out.
  13. 1 point
    Last year my wife and I rode one-way from point 38 (Plummer) to point 11 (Pinehurst) -- about 50 miles. Yesterday, we rode from point 9 (Kellogg) to point 30 (Harrison) and back for about 80 miles. The entire trail runs about 72 miles. I took photos on the way out to Harrision and only a couple on the way back... which is kind of too bad because I think the view heading West to East is better. Plus the weather burned off and there were clear, blue skies. But I'm posting them all here because a ) it's easier than to hunt and peck for the best ones, and b ) why filter on my discretion? c ) this way I can take up more server space. They are almost all shots taken from my bicycle seat. So there's a lot of photos here. Some good. Some bad. Mostly good. Basically the trail follows the Coeur d'Alene River to the lake... with plenty of other waterways sprinkled in. The photos are all in chronological order. Please see my previous blog for more details on the CDA trail.
  14. 1 point
    Well, I got to the airport dark and early (4:30 am or so), and both flights went well. The take-off of the first flight was funny. I remember loving the rush of take-off. However, this one had me thinking, "Oh shit! We're off the ground! Down! Down! Must go down!" Not surprisingly, all went well on both flights. Until I got to the airtrain/subway area. Totally noobed it trying to roll 2 suitcases through the turnstile, and got stuck. Luckily, a sympathetic attendant came over and helped me. Smooth, smudge. Next day I unboxed my bike that I packaged up myself. It looked good! Then I tried to put the front wheel on. It wouldn't go! I knew the fork was messed up somehow, but I wasn't sure to what extent. The guys (Elvis in particular) at Fulton Bikes had me fixed up in no time. Life savers! Later that afternoon I took the subway into The City to attend the bike expo. Tour riders had to pick up their packets at this expo. I figured Friday would be a better, less crowded day than Saturday. Worked out great! I practiced great restraint, and only bought a few goodies. I mean, seriously; you cannot set smudge loose in a place like that and expect her to walk away with only the packet! Next day I took the subway as a dry run to find where I was to gather up for our wave's start. Found it pretty easily! Good, that's what I need!
  15. 1 point
    Not gonna lie. I am totally scared right now about my trip to NYC. Three more days at home, then it's a very early start Thursday morning. I don't know. Hard to express. Mostly I hope I can get from point A, The Yoop, to point B, my rental in Brooklyn. Crazy thing is I knew all the stuff I needed to pack for my bike; that was easy. Getting me ready....makes it real. Whose bright idea was this anyway??
  16. 1 point
    I've really been enjoying riding the fat bike. I thought I would only like it in snow, but I like it without snow too. Maybe even better? Hmm.. I've gone a couple times to the Days River Trail and had a blast. I'd really like to go again this weekend, but I'm not gonna tempt fate. I am 1 week away from the Five Boro Tour, so I don't want to risk a broken arm, collar bone, or anything else that may keep me from the Tour. Damn.
  17. 1 point
    That day would be today. I woke about an hour early before I normally do and about the time I would normally leave for work, I looked at my wife and cat laying in bad snoozing and it hits me that I want to do the same. I already had Friday off so why not extend it another day? After Saturday's ride, I tore my bike apart to remove a broken spoke in the rear behind the cassette. So I'm using today to get parts -- extra spokes, some waterproof grease, some bike rim tape, some extra chain lubricant, etc. I can't be going to work with a dysfunctional bike in pieces now, can I? I'm sure, readers will naturally sympathize with my decision not to do so under such unsettling circumstances. Plus I bought a new derailleur that is not needed -- that ended up costing me $98 with tax-- so I need some extra time to take that sucker back today and reclaim some money. It's a good thing to as I see the same thing posted on an REI website on a close out sale for $40 and my wife tells me we have a 20% discount from that store. Let's see. That's (39.99 x 0.80) about $32 - a huge savings indeed. But why buy another derailleur when I don't need it? Because that particular one has become 'old' now and finding them down the road is likely going to be zero to none and I expect to have this bike a long time.
  18. 1 point
    Whew! This fat bike thing is a workout! Especially early in the season. Well, also because the differing terrain demands more work from the engine than the point and shoot of a road bike. I ended up going out onto the bay. It was going pretty well; there was only about 1 1/2" of crust to break through, and I kept plowing through. Not saying much to a regular fat biker, but that's progress for me! I've learned to use the easier spinning gears. I found out that works great. As I was riding, I was heading toward the water treatment plant. I made sure to give it a wide berth since I know the spots on the bay that break up early ARE breaking up. I didn't feel like going for a swim. I couldn't remember exactly what was around the bend where the treatment plant is, so I stopped to think it over. And to catch my breath. As I was standing there, I heard a crack and what sounded like shifting underneath me. ACK! The ice!! I spun my bike around and pedaled out of there much faster than the trip TO that spot! I'm sure I was fine, but I wasn't going to press my luck. I really wanted a pic of Bad Ass on the bay; but I ran like a rabbit, so no pic. I then went through "the fields." Scrubby weeds and sand. I went down a short, steep, sandy hill; and it went well. I decided to go out to the Kipling Boat Launch to go out on the bay in another spot. I went over to the boat launch to access the ice. Oh dear; I thought the launch ramp was concrete, but it's crushed #3 rock. Ok, you can do this. It took me a couple minutes to muster up the courage, but I did it! Getting onto the ice, I heard a pretty hearty crunch. I thought I had gone through, but I just kept on going. Whew! I wanted to head over the the built up sand bar for a couple pics. (the vegetation/trees have built it up, and the gulls have made it home) The pedaling was decent on this area of the bay too, but there were no scary ice noises. The gulls were upset that I went over there and bothered them. But I liked seeing them against the pristine blue sky. You can see them in the pic. The ride back into town was a little tough. I was getting tired, and I was riding into a hearty head wind. I really need to put money in my jacket pocket and/or get a bag for the bike for a little cash stash. I really wanted a Gatorade mid ride but had no dinero. All in all a good ride. I'm feeling much better about riding this bike. There's hope for my dirt/ice/grass skills!
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