The hours of daylight are surely on the wane. There is not enough time to change clothes after work and go for a really enjoyable evening ride anymore. The fluid trainer is set up in the garage, with my go-fast (KHS 800) in it. This is a bike that was built new in December 2005. For some reason, KHS is not highly regarded but for the money you get a really good bike. The frames are made by United Engineering in Taiwan and the components come from all the usual places. The TIG welding on the frame is excellent. It has a Reynolds 853 (thin wall, very high strength) steel frame (only 3.1 lbs, within 1/2 a pound of a carbon set up) and lightweight running gear, other than the new-old-stock pebble grained Brooks B5N leather saddle with good old fashioned chromed rails. For trainer use, the regular rear wheel is replaced with one I built myself for practice and which sports a tire too worn down for serious road use.
Speaking of tires, a pair of Panaracer Pasela Tourguards came today. These are very light (240g) puncture resisting 32 mm tires with kevlar beads. They can be hard to find so when I saw them at an online outlet I jumped on a pair for back stock. I was running some Continental Ultra Gatorskins in 28 mm, and they are really nice, long wearing rubber. The TGs are just about 100% more comfortable to ride on and I have a long ride coming up.
The thing is, like many people, I hate using the trainer. There is no coasting, no sensation of speed, no bouncing over irregularities in the roadway. There is no feel to it, no soul. It is just work. I don't bicycle for the work of it but for the joy of it. The thing that it (a stationary trainer) does do is keep your leg muscles in shape for when circumstances will permit outdoor rides. Last week, I rode that darn trainer a couple of times in the garage, but tonight, I decided to ride laps around the block instead. Our block yields just a hair over 1 mile per lap and about 70' of climb which makes for a pretty good workout. I did my laps at 14 mph avg and then cleared off my son's exercise bench to do sit ups. (Or what passes for sit ups at my age and waistline) It was all pretty nice. The air is noticeably cooler now and the late long rays of sunlight slant golden across the lawns as I scoot by.
I was not eager to call it a day and head indoors, so I diddled in the yard to stretch the time. You can no longer see where I replaced the sod chunks which Alex and I cut out when we dug the hole to plant a maple tree. (The guy at Southern Homes and Gardens asked if I wanted to do it the "fast" way or the "right" way. Now if you put it that way.... Suffice it to say that a backhoe would have been faster but would have dug no wider nor deeper pits than we did with our shovels before roto-tilling 20 bags of soil "amendments" in BEFORE we ever set the trees in the ground) I measured the maple tree at 112" tall now. Similarly, the oak in the back yard is now 157" tall. The maple was 72" when planted and the oak 120" That's a bunch of growth since last February.
Finally, I wove errant tendrils of the star jasmine plants though the lattice that we nailed up to the back fence. There are 14 plants spanning the back yard, all named for patriarch or matriarch types, in the order that the books whose names are theirs appear in the Bible. So, if you start with Joshua, where do you end up? Extra points if you don't have to look it up :) Points deducted if you know already because you've seen them at our house!
Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.
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