Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Week Ends, Another Begins

Happy Sunday. It is a bright day here in MN. I can't actually recall the last day we had such bountiful sunshine. Of course there are trade-offs -- it's -12 outside and windy. I'll get out in it afterwhile, but for now I'm pretty content to sit at the computer clad in my Ibex Woolies. This stuff is great. Unlike many base layer tops, Ibex cut theirs nice and long. Just like a proper mullet, a good base layer should be long in the back.

I had a fun surprise last Thursday. Late in the morning a well meaning co-worker sent an email saying the person with the white Cross-Check next to the windows had a flat tire. It was apparently quite dramatic when it happened. The tube went out with a gunshot-style bang. When I inspected it I thought at first the tire bead had separated from the casing. However, I noticed that the loop of metal was actually the sidewall of the rim. An old wheel coupled with abrasive winter riding were too much. The brake pad wore it down to the point of failure. Luckily it happened while the bike was parked and not while I was pedaling it. This put the kibosh on commuting for the end of the week. I know -- not like I don't have another bike I could ride, but the Gray Ghost was stranded at work. So Friday I got to haul gimped bike, a new wheel and the parts and pieces to build another wheelset home. A stop off for beer and I was fully stocked for a productive evening in the bike shop.

The tube says, "Bang!"

More bike art for the wall of shame.

Yesterday was windy and warm in the morning with a forecast for falling temps all day. And fall they did. The Snowball's Chance in Hell ice race was happening. April was working and Sylvia and I spent the day together. I called up Mark for a motorized growler run to the Surly brewery. On the way back we parked and walked down to Brownie Lake to see what was going on. General madness and frivolity was the theme. A handful of folks were on bikes racing; the majority of peeps were huddled around a smoky fire which was creating a puddle on the frozen lake.

There is no reason not to have a bike party on any given weekend in Minnesota.

A bearded man I know simply as "The Professor" shows how it is done in the miss-and-out.

Fellow wool fan and bike design afficionado, Corson, assesses the finer points of this gravity-driven snow bike.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Time to dig out the cold weather gear again. Tomorrow's commuting temp will be somewhere around -10. As I've written this the temperature has already risen to -9. I'm going to go out and have some fun.

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