Photo A Day

31 Days in July – 31 Photos 🙂

While talking photography with my friend Chad the other day I asked him if he’d ever considered doing a photo a day challenge.  I’d been thinking about engaging in another one and some things are just always more fun with company…

Being the Chad that he is, he ran with the idea and FB and an event page later there are 17 others involved and I’m really looking forward to seeing what transpires on everyone’s blog pages!

Bye Bye Bike

I found my trusty steed a new home…I’m sad to part with it but really-why let it collect dust in my basement if there is someone else out there who can enjoy it (I’m too attached to my ‘stuff’; must try not to be). Better to just save a picture to remind me of my 13 year relationship 😉

I also had to take a picture as I found this to be an ironic occasion; I’ve wanted a bike rack since I got Missy-car 6 years ago and I only just got one. Today was the first, last, and only time I will transport my trusty steed with it 😦

[ok ok I do have a new bike to use my bike rack with, but it’s not the same – this was the “first” bike – like your first car. The bike I learned to drop off things on, the bike I rode “epic” rides to tomato creek and back on in high school, the bike I my first spd’s were on, the bike on which I tried to keep up with all the boys on, the bike I attached jingle bells to and drove T nuts with all my jingling on that winter ride, the bike I endo’d on, etc etc…
You see…the new bike is just not the same.

Yet…]

Riding…

I didn’t go for a run last Thursday with the running clinic group. I was supposed to, but I talked to EvilMonkey at 4pm and he invited me along with him and his bro to go ride the Snow to Surf mt bike course. Since I can’t remember the last time I went for a “real” ride, I figured that I could run on Friday instead. I don’t often get invited out with the boys (and I don’t know any girls to ride with)- they are usually going out covered in armour to bomb down things I consider scary.

Apparently they’ve changed the course since I last marshaled on it (that was a rather long time ago). I discovered we were headed out to the chain-up area on Strathcona parkway;
“so, um, where do we go from there?”
“the dam”
“the dam?! as in, all the way to the lake?!”
(duh…kayaking is the next leg)
“then we have to ride back, it’s not like there’s a shuttle waiting for us”
(punctuated with amused look at me)
“well I know that…I just didn’t think about it being that far…I think this might have been a bad idea.”
(Yeah, I can be a wimp at times.)

Floating around in my memory were thoughts of the transition being on Duncan Bay Main somewhere near Browns river and the now new highway and then riding from there to singletrack by the pipeline (the singletrack part I know was right) and then out along the road by the Bevan Hostel. It was nearly 12.5km at that time. I don’t know how far this year’s course was (only course leg description on the S2S website without a distance listed), but it certainly felt longer than 12.5km. I guess I should add here that I have a pretty horrible sense of distance. And a rather selective memory at times so it very well could have started at the chainup area way back when, lol.

The point of the invitation was to get me up off my @$$ and out riding. They were in no hurry- just out for a leisurely pre-ride of the course. Which is great. Problem is that their definition of “leisurely” and mine are significantly different. It took them about 2 minutes to become a fifth of the size of normal human beings way out in the distance on the road in front of me. I was in for a long and solitary ride with my “new” bike.

I haven’t taken my new bike out for any “real” rides since I got it. I’m not sure why that is exactly; it always seems like there’s something else to be doing or the people (person!?) I would ride with is busy. We have been out on the road and through a few trails in town here, but so far no prolonged periods of riding and no significant attempts to really get to know the bike. I also didn’t have my clipless pedals on the bike until last week; I feel so lost when I’m not attached to my pedals. I remember feeling somewhat ridiculous, maybe like a fraud, or possibly just a wannabe when I bought clipless pedals for the Kona. I felt like I wasn’t serious or “hardcore” enough to own them; “those pedals are for people who race, or at least ride a LOT” said the little voice in the back of my head. I ignored the little voice and I’m very happy I did. I love being attached to my bike 🙂 Maybe I’ll blog an ode to the SPD some day. My new bike came with flats on it and spds in a bag along with all the books and manuals and stickers and reciepts (yes, I even got the original purchase reciepts) that came with the bike when they bought it.

So, back to Thursday and my good opportunity to get acquainted with new bike. The geometry on this bike is somewhat different than my old Kona. The Kona was a light, low-end, fully rigid(originally), and very definitely XC oriented bike. My new(to me) bike is all of the aforementioned, but not so low-end. It’s subtly different, part of which is the fact that it’s a smaller frame size. Some things I noticed:

  • Between the smaller frame, the shorter stem, and the longer travel forks I’m finding it feels more compact. I was feeling positively squished to begin with; in fact, the entire time I was riding out to the pipeline I was wondering if I had made a mistake in choosing this bike. I had sort of noticed it before, but I wasn’t trying to keep up with anyone on the last road rides so it wasn’t as obvious. When we got into the trails I was concentrating more on getting a feel for its behaviour and wondering why my shoes seemed too big (more on big clothes later) so I stopped noticing the feeling of being squished. I guess I wasn’t feeling too badly squished if I stopped noticing it…
  • Cornering is different on this bike. It doesn’t feel like it grabs as well and it could slide out from under me. It might be the design of the tire treads (definitely a different profile?-I don’t know what you would call it- if looking over the handlebars the tires round toward their walls, the Kona tires are quite square in comparison) or maybe just me not being at home on it yet.
  • I feel like I could climb up any short steep incline! It’s fabulous-I’ve got a back tire with grip(!) and the bike itself just feels like it wants to go up anything. I wasn’t exactly successful on all the short steep “ups” we came to, but once I figure out the shifting I might have more success (lol, its very hard to keep going up when you’ve shifted the wrong way at the last minute)
  • Shifting-Ha! I have lived with ‘Gripshift’ shifting for 12 years. I’ve heard varying opinions about them, but I’ve always liked them and never had a problem with the fact that you sort of have to move your entire hands on the handlebars to shift. I now must learn the completely illogical and rather backwards setup of Shimano rapidfire…I like things to be logical; if the little indicator is moving away from the centre of my bike that is what the chain should be doing! But it doesn’t-it goes the opposite way. GAH! And of course if I pull with my finger of my right hand it only makes sense that I should have to push with the thumb of my left hand to get the same effect with the other derailleur…perhaps it has to do with the way the derailleurs react to the pushing/pulling of the cable…even if this is the case I still don’t like it 😛
  • The brakes work now that I got them new brake pads and cleaned the rims. She might not have done much riding with the bike but she sure did a lot of braking! Working brakes are good 🙂 I can even upgrade to discs if I ever feel the need. I like having options.
  • *rolls eyes at self* Riding the same bike for 12 years makes you forget about the whole process of customization that you go through with a new bike…it’s amazing how 1″ of seatpost can make such a big difference 😉 I figured that out on the ride back; you would think I would have thought to raise the seat on the way out if I was feeling squished, but no, I just pedalled less than merrily along. I was much more merry on the way back after I raised the seat up and suddenly felt like I could use my legs efficiently again. Woot!
  • Forks are squishy! I like squishy. But I don’t like sticky…they have an odd sticky feeling about them, I’m not sure how to explain it. Maybe they need an adjustment. Maybe they are just a different set up than my old ones. Much more travel than I’m used to (though not much in the grand scheme of things which is just fine), but I don’t think I can lock them or adjust them on the go 😦 That’s a bit disappointing, but is something I can live with.
  • Big clothes. Ok, this has nothing to do with the bike, but is bike related. I felt like I was positively swimming in my biking clothes! Ok, the actual bike shorts fit just fine (aside from the annoying stuffed sausage leg effect they seem to produce), but the jacket and Roach shorts reminded me of something I had forgotten – I used to wear really baggy clothes! Though that doesn’t explain the tendancy for my shoes to slip off my heels; that was rather odd. They fit before. I was wearing appropriately thick socks this time. My feet have not shrunk!
  • Overall I’m very happy with new bike! Yay!

I enjoyed riding the swoopy Bevan trail; it was as much fun as I imagined (last time I was running along it) it would be to ride 🙂 I really enjoyed the bike after I raised the seat an inch. I didn’t enjoy my numb toes, nor feeling like I was spending a whole ride trying to keep up with people I couldn’t really see most of the time as they were so far ahead of me (they did stop a number of times to wait for me at least).

Fun stuff

I have a life full of good things the past couple of weeks:

Mostly lots of dancing, peppered with running, and sewing, and some work, some school and homework?! Naaah-been ignoring the homework as usual. Guess I should start ignoring the other things and focus on the school for 4 more weeks – good lord is that it?! That’s actually a bit of a scary thought when I look at it that way…Hmm…

So, quick run down on the “fun” things and I’ll spare you the details on the Future income tax asset/liabilities, process and job costing, and strategic planning 😉

Let’s start waaaay back on Friday Feb 27th – samba workshop -Yay! The EvilMonkey joined me and I was a happy Indigo. I really like samba…not many people seem interested in it so a workshop with a partner is always a good thing, particularly as it was an intermediate workshop, not a beginner one. Sadly, I discovered that while I may enjoy it I do not have an infalliable memory (mind or muscle) and I spent a good deal of time tripping over myself. Ah well – tis to be expected…must try and practice more…

28th (Sat) -Sewing all day with D and Bazette as we agreed to dance for a fundraiser that is now only 2 weeks away. Eeek!
Evening – More dancing! This time with K&H for ‘Dancetown’. We were missing a couple of my fav leads (EvilMonkey included), however, there was much fun to be had regardless. I was literally invited out (I will refrain from saying “dragged” as the negative conotations as that would imply I didn’t want to dance with the individual-so not true!) before I’d even changed shoes, nor was I given the opportunity to do so. I quickly learned that no matter how much I love my boots they are not made for dancing in 😦

March 1st (Sun) – A ‘non-evening’.

2nd (Mon) – Bellydance – less than two weeks until public display of shimmies and jingles…

3rd (Tues) – Dance class with K&H 🙂

4th (Wed) – Introduction to Argentine Tango at the Abbey in Cumberland with Kirra Gullickson. I’ve wanted to take lessons in A.Tango for quite awhile, but it has always conflicted with something else in my life. Finally, I have free Wednesday evenings and if I don’t have a partner well; I can’t spend my life waiting on that…I’ll just have to learn on my own…and then I’ll be twice as thankful when I do have someone to dance it with. There were a number of people at the intro, including some intermediate level dnacers and I had the pleasure of being led around the floor by two of them – I really like this dance. If I figure out why I’ll let you know, for now I’ll jsut like it without too much thought as to why.

5th (Thurs) – 10km Running clinic with Sarah Seads of ELM. It’s so nice to run with a group; esp a group with such a cheery , upbeat, positive leader like Sarah and equally cheery, positive, upbeat clinic participants 🙂 It makes hill repeats seem a lot less nasty; even if it’s 6 of them, up 6th St East…oiy!

6th (Fri) – More dancing, no workshop for me tonight though…

7th (Sat) – Let’s just say my sewing machine has a 6th sense (or maybe it’s a 1st sense for a sewing machine – does it have any other senses?) about when it’s the “last minute” and it saves all its frustrating behavior for then. Despite my Husqvarna’s protests, D, Bazette, and I were triumphant in the finishing of the Beladi dresses and headwraps (though D did have to resort to sewing sequins by hand-yuck!) and spent the evening at the Elks hall in the company of many other dancers [some were quite good, though I believe our teacher was the best out of all of them 😉 ] waiting for our turn to perform. The fundraiser was in support of the Kitty Cat Pals society. I was in heaven surrounded by costume after costume of beautiful fabrics, sparkly embellishments, and piles of jewlery; I’m such a girl sometimes 😉 That said, I was really happy with our folkloric look and we got many compliments. It was especially nice to stand out in a good way as the three of us are definitely novice dancers, but with Linda’s forsight in costuming and choice of choreography we didn’t look too novice to be performing. We have a very wise instructor.

D’s partner video’d us with Bazette’s sweet new camera. I enjoyed the chance to see what it actually looked like. It is so easy to beat yourself up over everything you did wrong and forget that what you know and what the audience sees are not necessarily the same thing. So I was able to come to the conclusion that it went pretty well:

8th (Sun) I ran. It was a beautiful day out; absolutely gorgeous really, although not quite as warm as you might expect when looking out the window. Too much sitting the past few days and not enough moving…so I ran…and ran…and ran for what felt like 5 mins downhil and 104 mins uphill. It was 10km, and obviously I only went as far up as I went down since I started and ended in the same place. It was good. Slow, but good 🙂 I think I’ll run it the other way around next time and see if it feels like 5 mins downhill and 104 min uphill that way too 😉 I’ve never run that far by myself before and I didn’t once think “why am I doing this?” That’s a change for me. I dont’ consider myself a runner, and I have often wondered why I am running. Usually, and highly inconveniently, I wonder in the middle of something significant like a long run, or a race. The sort of time when you really don’t want to be succumbing to such thoughts. I came close, but looked around me considered the sunshine and the country road, and veered off into thoughts of how much I’d like a cookie instead. That was good. Now if I can just stop thinking discontentedly about cookies… 😉

…to be continued…