Improving

What a difference a weekend makes.  Saturday was a stunner, weather-wise, so Lacey and I took advantage by scoring a four bagger (pedaling to the co-op, the beer store, the garden and the pharmacy).

At the co-op I bought Spanish Roja garlic to plant at the garden (rather than replanting last years unknown variety which  for two years produced annoyingly small cloves).

At the beer store (Oliver’s), I bought a growler of Brooklyn Brewery’s Cuvee La Boîte.  I had a pint Sunday night and am very impressed.  Spiced beers can be tricky but this team, a collaboration between the brewery and a renowned spice expert, made no small amount of magic happen.  Really.

At the garden, I dug deep holes into which Lacey planted garlic cloves.  Now we wait eight months.

Errands complete, we walked Frida to the pond.  We read books and Frida ate as much duck poop as she could when our vigilance ebbed.  Gross!

Still more Saturday to come.  That night we visited The Ruck in Troy.  I wish someone would have told me more forcefully how much I’d enjoy this place.  Missing Mahar’s, I went to The Ruck’s site and learned that they not only have veggie burgers but also cask conditioned ale.  That was enough to lure me across the river.  They were out of cask conditioned ale when we showed up, but they had plenty else  to soothe our dashed expectations.  I enjoyed ten ounce pours of Tommyknocker’s Maple Nut Brown Ale (an award winning session beer from Idaho Springs, Colorado) and two from Founder’s (Curmudgeon Old Ale and Dirty Bastard).  Lacey had two ten ounce pours (Ommegang’s Rare Vos (Ommegang has no fan more loyal) and Founder’s Curmudgeon Old Ale).  The veggie burgers were good enough and the fries delightful.  We’ll be back.

With full bellies, we walked over to the Confectionery for some delicious coffee and a brownie.  The Confectionery is steadfast.  Invigorated, we walked toTroy Bike Rescue’s old space on 3rd Street  to see three bands.  Each worked hard to good effect.  It was a great time.  Thus concluded Saturday.

The beers, fries and various other delights were enough to get me off the mark, exercise-wise.  This morning I did my first set of burpees since last winter and then pedaled for twenty-five minutes on rollers.  Last year I did burpees on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rollers on Tuesday and Thursday.  This winter I’ll try the two activities back to back on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I like the sound of off days.  Don’t you?

The combination of too many push-ups and then a good spell on the Bridgestone RB-2 (with its stupid long stem, seen here) motivated me to finally make this bike fit me better.  I wanted to live with the original stem, because it was original, but my rubbery post push-up arms were crying for mercy after five minutes.  I was just too stretched out.  The last twenty were completely unfun.  So this afternoon I snipped the hemp twine on one side of the bars and carefully unwrapped the Cinelli cork wrap on that side.   With one side bare, I slipped off a brake lever and removed the too-long (and terribly ugly) stem.  I put in place a welded tubular steel Nitto/Ritchey stem.  One of my favorites and completely appropriate on a Bridgestone.  RB-2

This example has a short extension with a bit of rise.  If it had a longer quill it would be perfect (the short quill leaves the bars about an inch below the saddle–good for racers but suboptimal for anyone else), but these stems all had short quills.  Still, it is a huge improvement over the position afforded by the previous stem.  I was very happy to be able to reuse the cork wrap and the twine, since I never should have wrapped the bars with fresh tape and twine without a test ride.  Even a block would have been enough to tell me the original stem had to go.  Lesson learned (but probably too soon forgotten).   

That’s enough of that.  Time to get back to work.  Take care.

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