Category Archives: Recreation

Quickly

Activity levels have picked up along with the temperatures.  I am giving daily attention to the community garden.  It is only a quarter planted, but that quarter is doing well (all but the beet seeds have sprouted).   cg

The brown pillow is a tarp filled with dried grass.  My neighbor shares her bounty each spring so that I can spread it around the garden to suppress weeds.  I was able to get that thing in my station wagon without leaving so much as a single reed.  Much better than last year (when I stuffed the grass into the back of Lacey’s Fit, sans tarp.  You know I vacuumed it all up as soon as I got home, but I still felt bad.  Disrespectful.

The stick stomper took a few days off and then stomped the same corner a third time yesterday afternoon/night (I found them this morning).  I replaced the sticks and added six more at the spot.  A silly way for the two of us to be spending our time, don’t you think?s

I started the rest of the plants for the garden in the basement, on propagation mats and under lights.  They are now outside getting used to real world conditions before I plant them in the ground near the end of May.

Yesterday I had fun reconditioning a vintage cast aluminum yard lamp.  I found it on a pile on my neighbor’s curb.l

The paint was chipped, mostly gone, and the plug had been run over by a lawn mower.  I disassembled it, cleaned it, glued a broken part of the globe (the separated piece was still in there), gave it three coats of rattle can (wanted to remove all the paint, to leave it raw, but what remained was well stuck), replaced the plug and added a rubber grommet to seal the juncture between the cord and the lamp.  The bulb that was in it is still working.  A yellow one that is meant to prevent bugs from gathering.  I looked around the net to see if I could assign a date to the thing.  Now I am getting ads for repros on most every web page I visit.  ll

The mail carrier delivered She & Him’s Volume 3 yesterday.  I forgot that the first so many LPs to be shipped would be on blue vinyl.  3

Hope it sounds as good as it looks (I think colored vinyl might not sound as good as virgin black, but I am too lazy to look for confirmation).  Tilly and the Wall contribute vocals on three of the tracks and Mike Watt plays bass on another track!

I just noticed you can order the album as a cassette.  I haven’t seen that in a long while.  Could cassettes replace vinyl for some fashion chasers?  Maybe.  I still have my Walkman.  Two actually.  M. Ward may like the hiss.  Much as I respect his work, I don ‘t think I’ll be hopping on that wagon.  How I hated moving between songs with the forward and back buttons!

Skyrim is back in my life.  I broke down and ordered my own copy.  Mixed feelings.  I played yesterday for the first time in ten or so days.  Still fun, but I hope I play less.

Yesterday afternoon Lacey, Frida and I picnicked in Washington Park with my cousins.  The place was lovely and packed.  Albany packed (not NYC packed).  I got a parking space within ten seconds of forming the idea that I wanted one.  We were twenty yards away from our nearest blanket mates.  Under big shade trees  and a stone throw away from the fountain and the tulips.  Pretty special time.  Glad my cousins texted the suggestion.  Glad for cousins.

Oh!  Get the new app for Albanians.  AlbanyWorks4U.  Use it to report problems to the city, track progress, see other issues reported and vote for problems reported by others.  Could have used it this morning when I reported a leaking water fountain at Rosemont Park.  Called, which should work fine, but with the app I won’t have to enjoy a conversation with a city worker who seemed bothered by my interruption.  Three cheers for faceless, and voiceless, appService.

That’s enough.  Time to listen to Volume 3.  Take care.

Moving on Up

Crushed by work, but still want to say hey.

The League of American Bicyclists state rankings are out.  What are they ranking?  Friendliness of the 50 states toward bicyclists (or something like that).  My takeaway?  So glad I left Nebraska (43rd  most friendly–only 7 meaner states) to come to New York (42nd most friendly–a full 8 meaner states, including that old stink hole Nebraska–kidding–huge fan of the Good Life).  So basically I could throw a dart and be hard pressed to hit a state that is meaner to cyclists than my present state of residence (and my former state of residence).   Funny thing is, I really like biking in both Nebraska and New York.  What am I missing?  Better not to ask.

Better to go roll around the block and stretch my legs.  So I did.  I pedaled to the pond (the lowest point in our ‘hood, then pedaled at a good clip to the highest point in our neighborhood (which is the highest point in Albany).  It felt so good to be moving that I kept going.  I took a lap on the ring road around a state office complex.  I thought the speed limit in all of Albany was 30 mph, and it generally is, but this road allows 40 mph.  The road also has “No Bicycle Racing” signs posted.  Has a ticket has ever been issued?  There are always roadies present, and now me on my single speed coaster brake transportation rig complete with upright bars, wicker basket and fenders.  I fall in behind two triathletes in full kit and aerobar tucks.  I thought I would catch them.  I didn’t try too hard (if you race someone who doesn’t know you are racing them, you have to go easy so you can pass them and say hey without labored breath).  I didn’t catch them, but their escape was gradual.  One lap and home.  Four point two miles.  Love a good short ride.

Bye!

Ten Minutes

Just sharing a few short moments from the day.  Like most of my posts, nothing big happens.  That’s a central theme of this blog.  I share glimpses of my mostly quiet life filled with short bicycle rides and everyday food.  I want this site to be an alternative to others sharing extreme bicycle adventures and complex food.  I’d be honored if you’d think of this as a bicycling and vegan cooking blog that Fred Rogers would have linked to.  [Hmm.  This should really be on my about page, so I'm going to copy it there.]  Let’s go.

Above are the remains of the overwintered  cabbage (after I brought home the middle of the stalks with the leaves).  A day after being cut, the flowers are still pretty.  If my mother was local, I would have brought them home and given them to her.  I have a hard time getting comfortable with giving flowers from flower shops.  Most probably have a big carbon footprint.  I’d much rather give flowers I found on the side of the road or some such thing.

Why each cabbage head sprouted five or so stalks is a mystery to me, but it is fun to look at up close.

The video above shows me pedaling home from the community garden.  I love how these videos make me look fast.  Truth is, I was probably going about twelve miles per hour.  If.

Got home and watered the backyard garden.  Putting the hose away, I saw this cutie pie.

It let me make a picture because it was interested in not exposing itself to Frida.  Before I knew the rabbit was there, I let Frida out.  She had walked not five feet from where I found it.  I made the picture quickly and went inside.  Didn’t want to stress it out more than I had.  It stayed there long enough for Lacey to come see it, but was gone a few minutes later.  

Had a nice Other Mother’s Day brunch with the neighbors.  I contributed a tofu salad.  

I borrowed the ingredient list from the Bridge Tofu site, and added a few things.  I like that their ingredient list has nothing funky.  Know that I love me some grape seed oil fakin’ mayo, but tahini instead feels better.  Details? Mooshed up Bridge tofu plus chopped green garlic, celery, carrots and sweet red pepper, plus black pepper, cayenne pepper and dill, mixed with a dressing consisting of tahini, vinegar (Lagusta’s peach!), mustard, tamari, miso and apple cider.  Maybe taste the dressing before you add it to the tofu/veggie mixture ’cause as they say you can’t unring a bell.

Later!

Two 2s

I love my wife!  The day started with a nice walk with Frida.  Lacey said she wanted to go to the gym in the morning.  I said it was so pretty that maybe she’d be willing to bicycle in the country with me.  No driving to the gym.  No electricity used by the work out machines.  Free vitamin D from the sun.  Togetherness.  It is kind of cold and very windy, but she said yes!  I love pedaling with my sweetie!

Lacey wanted to ride her Bridgestone XO-2.  It is her favorite go fast bicycle.  Her Panasonic road bike is probably quicker, but it isn’t as stable or comfortable and the XO-2 has easier gears.  Perfect.  I picked out my new Bridgestone RB-2.

Lacey also wanted a bagel brunch.  I had thought the same thing when I woke up, so I stuffed a cotton bag in my coat pocket and planned a country route that dumped us out by a grocery (where we could get Tofutti cream cheese) and then we’d continue home and stop by the bagel store.  

The ride in the country was hard work.  A very strong head wind the whole way.  We enjoyed it anyway.  

After the grocery, we faced a pretty long ride along a very busy street, but as luck would have it we had the strongest tailwind the whole way.  It was amazing.  We had to be going twenty-five, maybe more, with almost no effort.  I haven’t had that kind of fun in ages!

The line for bagels was out the door and moving slowly.  When I got inside the door, I grabbed a bag of day old bagels and headed to the cash registers.  That’s the ethic there.  If you don’t need the help of the sandwich makers, you get to cut to the registers.  Score!

Home safe now.  Lacey is cleaning up while I type.  Then bagel brunch!  Woo hoo!

I hope your Sunday is extra special, too.

Civility and Not

Albany tweed ride is, for us anyway, in the history books.  Warm memories are all I have.  Big thanks to Ethan for setting it up.  Big thanks to the Olde English Pub and Pantry for the round of drinks on the house.  Made mine a Wee Heavy from Bellhaven.  Yummers!  

The Olde English Pub is hella cute and the folks that care for visitors are super nice.  Go if you haven’t.  You won’t need encouragement for the return visit.  A few vegan items on the menu would be welcomed, though.  Keeping with the English theme, I suggest beans on toast, fake sausage and mashers, and maybe a veg curry and flat bread plate.  Easy way to make another 5% of the population feel welcome.  What do you say, friends?

Such great folks on the ride!  Six years have passed since I have had this feeling, and oddly enough it went down a few feet away from the Olde English.  We finished our first Albany Critical Mass ride, nearly seven years ago, at the Albany Pump Station, just across the alley.  There we met most of the folks that were to be our friends for the next six years (and hopefully many more), and were invited to a party where we met the rest of our local friends.  We met more wonderful folks today and with any luck and effort our group of friends will grow.  Ride pics here.  Joys all around.

On the way home a Saab beeped at us as it was passing.  It was a no beep situation, as we hadn’t delayed the car in any way, shape or form, but still the beep.  Lacey nearly jumped out of her skin.  Don’t cross my girl, fool.  I fantasized about reaching into my basket for my U-Lock and tossing the same at their rear window.  The daydream continued with  their window breaking, them stopping, and then I retrieve my lock and beat the driver silly for the needless honk.  It was a bad dream, mind, you.  I want to have nothing to do with bothering anyone, let alone hurting anyone, but the unwelcome fantasies arose with the unjust honk.  Glad to report I did nothing, but people need to behave.  Folks other than me may not be in control of their passions.  Just be nice, for heavens sake!  We are all neighbors!

On the whoopsie daisy front, I just bought a new to me bike.  A 1993 Bridgestone RB-2.  I bought it because I need one of its Ritchey Vantage Comp rims for my yellow RB-1 (the rear rim on my yellow RB-1 has a flat spot).  If the front rim on the RB-2 is perfect, I will move it over to the RB-1 rear and then replace the front on the RB-2 with a spare RB-1 front wheel I have on hand.  The spare wheel was purchased to solve the RB-1 flat spot problem, but the sticker is different (so it just won’t do).  I want the yellow RB-1 to be perfect.  Sickness flourishing.  Sigh.

Now it is time to batten down the hatches in preparation for the nor’ easter on its way here.  Should arrive in the next hour or so.  If I am reduced to talking about the weather, that’s enough from me.  How are you?  I sincerely hope you are tip top and happy as a fool.

Tamale Jag

Friends invited us to a picnic at Joralemon, so I made a batch of tamales.  I’ve made tamales three times before, each time with guidance from Veganomicon and instructions on the side of the bag of Instant Corn Masa Mix.  The first effort went well enough, as I remember it, but the next two times, yesterday included, the tamales required nearly double the time in the steamer (an hour and a half as opposed to the advertised forty-five minutes).  I’d open one at 45 minutes and it the dough would still be wet.  I’d tie it back up and try another 15 minutes and at an hour and a half they’d seem close to right.  

Both Veganomicon and the bag suggest a one to one ratio of stock to masa mix, so that is what I always did.  The dough was pretty wet (just short of pancake batter), but what did I know?  This morning, with the problem fresh in my mind,  I made another batch.  I added one and  a half cups of stock to two cups of masa mix.  The dough was drier, but still easy to work with.  Between pancake batter and cookie dough.  I ended up with twelve tamales with lovely texture after 45 minutes in the steamer.  This reminds me of the importance of adding liquids to unfamiliar batters in stages.  You can always add more if the batter seems too dry.  

My folding technique has evolved, too.  I now press a quarter cup of dough into a small tortilla-sized, pancake-thick, round in my hand.  With the grain of the corn husk running vertically, I lay the dough along the left edge, leaving a couple of inches of husk on the top, right and bottom.  I lay a stripe of filling vertically in the middle of the dough.  I roll the husk from left to right until a tube of dough is formed (the empty right part of the husk is still unrolled), fold the top and bottom edges of the husk in and then continue the roll to trap the edges.  Very tidy.

Tying the tamales was always a struggle.  I’d make ties from strips of husk.  String would be easier, but about one hundred times less cute.  Now I tie two strips together to make a double length husk strip tie and tying is now reliable and fun.  Too long, really, but the extra length is pretty and makes it easier to untie when eating time arrives.

Filling?  I sautéed chopped onion for twenty minutes on low heat to come close to caramelization (I wanted to caramelize them, but in my thirty or so years of cooking have never once managed the patience required for a good caramelization–and only just learned that can take as many as forty minutes).  Then added jalapeno, garlic and mushrooms.  Spinach, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper last.  Next time I am going to leave time for full caramelization.

The picnic was great.  Our friends are so very wonderful.  Every time we get together I count my blessings that they share their lives with us.  We played bocce, skipped rocks at the river, looked for cave openings and ate wonderful food.  Most of these folks are vegan or nearly so and most of the dishes are made vegan.  If dairy is involved, it is kept on the side.  A little thing, but it goes a long way to making us feel welcome and cared-for.  Not a golf disk was thrown, but I didn’t mind a whit.  I was having too much fun to care.

Hope you are all well.

Sweet

Yesterday Lacey gave me a surprise.  MUSA knickers from Rivendell!  Isn’t she the best?  I like the colors in mine better than those on the site now.

The fit is baggy.  I have a couple of pairs of tight fashion knickers which I also enjoy, but it is nice to have a choice.  Do I want to look cool or be comfortable?  Like everyone’s preferences, mine are ever-changing.  I see no reason to save these for pedaling.  Disc golf, climbing at the gym and drinking beer seem to be other good uses for these britches (the elastic belt will register no protest when I order a second pint).    

Very well thought out details, too.  Grant makes sure you know by including a card.  Remember you can click on images to make them bigger.

Gave the house a vigorous cleaning this morning.  Apparently my lawyering hands were not up the task.

Manna baked tofu is in the oven now.  Oops.  Now it is (that’s a twenty minute delay on a lunch I am already wanting to be eating–sadness).  Should be worth the wait, though, as I added onion powder, thyme and black pepper to the sauce which has in the past included oil, water, garlic powder, mushroom soy sauce and hot sauce.  I also tossed in a little corn meal with the nutritional yeast as I turned and dusted the baking tofu.  Update:  It rocked!

Missing the tent in the living room.  Might need to pitch it again.  Here is a nice reminiscence shot (for my benefit as much as anyones).  Tea, pear, Magnus Mills and a phone (who knows when a client will call).  Add Lacey and Frida and I’d have no reason to leave.

Stumbled upon Velo Cult’s site yesterday.  Looks like this shop would do a fine job of draining my wallet.  Not sure if this site is directly related to Velo Cult, but that’s the sense I got as I was surfing and assuming and such.  Not that you’ve helped me in the past, but please consider buying that Rivendell All-Rounder before I lose control (again).

Frida got four-paw salt-paw on our walk morning.  She lifted one and made it shake, but as soon as I cleaned it she lifted the next and another and then the last.  So sad.  Her pads must absorb the chemicals (how would she feel it otherwise).  I wonder if there is a long-term health impact?  She hates her boots, but they might have to come out again.  Makes me want to live in the country so we could walk without crossing salted roads.  I’d do anything for this little girl.

The dryer is hollering at me so I should go.  Happy Friday to you all.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Pixie Dust

Today I pedaled the Rivendell Road for the second time.  Just a bit but longer than the first go.  I rode to a local government campus encircled by a two mile ring road and then to the community garden.  Maybe four miles all in.  Maybe not that much.  The seller of the frame had left just enough pixie dust on the frame so that my first ride was beyond effortless.  Not like the bicycle was pedaling itself.  More like it was being pulled urgently forward by the hand of Dog herself.  Sad to report that the pixie dust seems to be gone.  Used up or maybe I polished it away.  Either way, today I had to pedal.  It is, after all, just a bicycle.  A mighty fine bicycle, but once the thrill of rolling on a dream ride exits the room, you are left with tires, cogs, chain, bearings, legs and lungs.

The sun baked outdoor thermometer may read forty-five, but the air temp is thirty-five.  Luxuriously warm for walking on a January day in upstate New York, sure, but chilling as you move through it at any pace faster than that of a scent obsessed ten-year-old dog.  Still, the lap around the campus was fun.  Loooks flat, but the true pitch of any road is revealed when you pedal it.  Half up and half down, it is.  Not a big change.   A couple of teeth more on the rear cluster are enough to keep my breath in check on the up part.

One lap was plenty so I headed to the garden.  Hadn’t been for a month.  Only kale is still in the ground and I had low expectations for finding any I’d want to eat.  I was happy to find all the plants in decent shape.  Not growing in these temps, but the leaves were neither wilted nor ashen from cold.  I picked enough to make it worth taking out the pot, but had no way to carry it.  I could pedal one handed carrying a kale bouquet, but road bikes are better enjoyed at speed.  Speed demands (for me anyway) quick access to both brakes.  I rolled the kale in my scarf, a vegetal and woolen burrito, tucked the fattie in my hoodie and pedaled home.  

My kale stuffed hoodie suggested a comically huge super-hero chest, growing larger still each time I filled my lungs with air on the long flat straight road between the garden and my home.  Gosh I love pedaling.

Don’t forget to have fun today.

Dang!

There I am–minding my own business at the strip mall post office (sending Security Freeze requests to the three credit reporting agencies).  That accomplished, and with Eastern Mountain Sports just across the car resting area, I saw nothing wrong with a quick stroll through their aisles.  What could go wrong?  I need nothing and want less (so I thought).  As I step through the door, I see a sale table.  Two green nylon stuff sacks are waiting there.  For me?  Tag on one says Hubba Hubba and the other says Gear Shed.  Both are marked used and are offered at one-half retail.  Know me?  Then you don’t need to look ahead to the picture below to know where this went.  At least the tent and vestibule pack small (they won’t take up much room in our house as they wait to get used).  How much longer until summer?

Silliness.  See, Lacey and I both came to our marriage with tents.  Symmetrical dowries, in this regard.  Lacey contributed an EMS dome.  Me, a Eureka Timberline.  Both are well used but perfectly fine.  Hasn’t stopped me, over the last five years, from wanting the very MSR tent that I was now holding in my hands.  Just as I am getting all misty forming adventurous dreams, the salesperson approaches offering help.  I ask for confirmation that this is the two person model.  It is.  I ask why they are selling used gear.  He says it is probably a return and we should set it up and confirm everything is there and the condition acceptable.  We do just that.  Everything is there and the tent appears to be unused.  Sold!

Got home and managed to make and eat lunch before setting up the tent again, but you can bet it was together minutes after I washed my dishes.  The tent went up quickly and easily, but my heart sank as I was attaching the fly.  Some connectors seemed to be sewn incorrectly.  One half of each of the four ring and post connectors was on the inside of the fly and the other was on the outside.  What?  How do you secure the fly to the poles unless both halves of the ring and post connectors are on the underside of the fly?  This must be why the tent was returned.  All sales final on used stuff.  Shoot!  Think man!  I could cut off the connectors on the top side of the fly and sew them onto the underside.  Not ideal, but it would work fine and it wouldn’t be hard.  Before I chopped up a new tent, thought, I took a moment.  The connectors weren’t anywhere near poles.  Did I have the fly turned 90 degrees to the bad?  Tried that, but it didn’t help.  I had it right the first time.The tent didn’t come with a manual.  Just simple instructions sewn on the inside of the stuff sack.  Then it hit me.  The fly didn’t need the ring and post attachments to be secure.  The attachments at the four corners and on both ends of the short center support pole were all that was needed.  So what were those improperly sewn ring and post connectors?  Nuclear duh detonated–they were (properly sewn) door tie-backs.  Same as on every other tent I had ever used.  The fly was so simple to attach I was trying to make it harder.  Glad I was slow to reach for the scissors!

The salesperson said I should be happy the tent was made in the USA.  I didn’t challenge him, but when I got home I remembered that Rivendell said they didn’t sell tents because they can’t find any reasonable ones made here.  If the Hubba Hubba was made here, they’d surely offer it (it has so many fans).  Turns out that MSR makes some stuff here (stoves, snow shoes and water filtration systems, for example), but their tents are made in Taiwan and cooking pots are made in Thailand.  With so much sewing, it’d be tough to make this tent in the USA and still sell it at prices most folks would pay.

Cool here but still dry.  Rollers treated me well this morning , but I hope to make it out on the Rivendell Road tomorrow.  Very strange winter so far, right?

Saturday I was in DC for a work party.  I stayed with a good friend.  He showed me a great time.  Started by taking me to play a round of disc golf.  Wonderful course.  A little more wooded than I prefer, but it was so nice to be playing a gloveless round in January in a hoodie with good friends (his girlfriend and two other friends came along–they were all so nice and welcoming I have no hesitation to call them friends despite our short time together).  After the round we grabbed some vegan soul food (I got fried yuba (tofu skin) “chicken,” greens and mac and cheese), brought it to his friend’s place and ate in the back yard.  They shared some really tasty home brew.  We relaxed and joked and before I knew it the sun was setting.  Time to get changed for the work party.

Work party was fun.  Nice to see my colleagues, enjoy great wine (Morgan Pinot was a standout) and good food.  After the party I went back to my friend’s place for whisky and kale chips, but I was soon cashed.  It had been a big day for me–I woke up at 3:00 am to catch my flight to DC and it was now part 11 pm.  Twenty hours, then.  Easy to sleep when you are dead tired, but partial credit for my deep snooze should be assigned to my comfortable bed placed in the middle of my friend’s tool room.   Surrounded by bicycles, tools and parts, and all their familiar and comforting smells, I was guaranteed sweet dreams.  I slept until 8:00!  Haven’t done that in years!

Sunday my host dropped me off at Sticky Fingers Bakery on his way to play soccer.  I ate a small cheesecake there and bought a Tempeh Lettuce and Tomato sandwich for the flight home.  What a great scene.  A couple of dozen folks chowing on vegan food.  Makes me love DC even more.  Hopped the Metro to the airport (I love the DC Metro), flew home, drove home, Lacey hopped in the car and we headed to Hudson to see Eleanor Friedberger play at the Spotty Dog.  Hudson is an hour away and we had just one hour to get there before the doors opened.  No rest for the weary, but I was excited to see Eleanor perform live for the second time.  The first time she was part of the Fiery Furnaces, who played in Troy.  Before that night I had no idea who they were, but I was an instant fan.  This time we found ourselves seated in the front row (good timing)!

Sad to report Eleanor’s voice was all but gone.  She said her throat wasn’t sore, but almost nothing was coming out.  Most of the time, anyway.  I can share with you a couple of videos I made of the performance.  I won’t post them (not fair to her as she was clearly distraught), but I will let you watch them here if you are curious.  The performance, as it was, was actually kind of amazing.  Helped me remember how special vocals are–just cells and air–transitory.  Through it all, she was a real professional.   Sang as well as she could.  Good that she was performing with John Wesley Harding.  His voice was strong.  He sang a few of Eleanor’s numbers and a few of his own.  He really impressed me (another case of first impressions–always special when experienced live in a small joint).  All in all a very fun night that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  Feel better, Eleanor!  Enjoying the album very much, John!

My DC friend sent home with me a couple of chunks of Pu-Ehr tea.  He had carried it back from China.  A very special treat that I am enjoying for the first time as I write.  I was excited to try it, as it was, along with Oolong tea, one of the two focal points in that documentary I keep mentioning (All In This Tea).  

Glad I was able to get it home.  Airport security was a concern as my friend put the chucks in a ziplock.  Looked suspicious to me, but security didn’t even open my bag.

I understand this tea can survive very well over long periods and was sometimes used as currency.  My friend said his Chinese hosts called it old man tea and would throw out the first infusion, but he doesn’t.  This first infusion tastes great.  Like Oolong, Pu-Ehr is supposed to hold up well to multiple infusions.  The first can be very short and each one thereafter a bit longer.  Just tasted the second infusion and it is just as good.  I let the first go about a minute and the second go three minutes.  The second is darker but still no bitterness.  I might try a third infusion today, but I should get on with other things (caffeine commands progress).  Suffice it to say, this has been a very positive introduction  to Pu-Ehr. Thanks friend!

Be well!

Warming

Forty-five degrees today, so I finished my work and pedaled the new to me Rivendell Road around the neighborhood.  Just a couple of miles, but enough to know all is well.  Better than well.  Amazing.

The fit is perfect.  I might even be tempted to ride in the drops if a headwind becomes annoying.  It tracks perfectly straight (I didn’t expect otherwise, but it always nice to confirm when you get a used frame shipped to you).  The build results in a nearly silent ride even when coasting.  Silent, that is, after I had a second go at recogging the Sachs freewheel.  A couple of the cogs I put on the freewheel body were worn more than appearance suggested–enough to skip under load.  Luckily, I had another Sachs freewheel on hand and was able to move the 3rd through 7th gears over.  It pedals great now (no skipping) and I’ll say twice in say in one paragraph how much I love silent coasting.  Hooray for Sachs freewheels.  As a point of comparison, I will share this.  I am surprised they are proud of the sound.  I’d hesitate to buy their cassette hub after hearing it (or if I had one, I’d never stop pedaling).   Loving the Rivendell Roll-y Pol-y tires, too.  Comfortable with a nice shape.  No squirminess whatsoever.  Joy.

I found closely matching paint at the hobby store and touched up all the tiny nicks.  I did the work inside under poor light so I don’t really know how it looks in full sun.  As I moved about the bicycle today, I didn’t notice any blobs or mismatching hues.  In fact, I didn’t think about the nicks at all.  That’s a pretty good indication that the paint is a good match and that I didn’t put too much anywhere.  Otherwise, the touched up spots would holler out.

As I pedaled by the pond I noticed the ice was perfect–like glass.  Best I have ever seen.  Although I haven’t witessed anyone venture onto it this year, I suspect more than a few are thinking about it.  I stepped onto it, just at the edge, and gave a bounce.  Seemed solid, but I’ve never been the first to skate on a pond and that is a record worth maintaining.  It is a funny time of year.  I want snow and not snow.  I want it to be cold and not cold.  No matter what I want, right?

Frida is happy to be outside again.  The air temp may be 45 but sun on the outside thermometer gives an elevated reading of 60!  As Frida lays in the sun and with her black fur, I suspect she feels something north of 60.  Dog days of January!

Happy Friday!