Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ride to Sandy Point

On Thursday, 4/25 - just because I can, being that I'm a retired guy nowadays - I took an afternoon ride up Lucky Peak way.  The riding was nice... the scenery likewise.

The Greenbelt is gloriously un-crowded on weekday afternoons, I'm discovering - at least until school is out.  In June, all bets may be off.  (It's never very crowded east of Eckert Road or thereabouts, however.)

The past couple (nice!) weekends have brought the amateurs out, adding their little slice of humanity.  I'm always quite amazed at how many seem to not realize that the Greenbelt is a transportation corridor.  They seem to be in their own little world, when they stop to chit-chat and block the entire width of the path, or walk 3 or 4 abreast.  (I guess people complain about the "riding abreast" thing with cyclists on the roadways... but even cyclists are astute enough not to stop in a traffic lane to chew the fat for awhile.)  I think I'll start doing road loops on the weekends, and just avoid the most crowded times... do my Greenbelt riding during the week.  (I highly recommend retirement, based on the experience so far.)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

New bicycle!

I took delivery of a new bicycle.  The first showroom-new bike I've had in 10 years.

A few weeks back I reported on the crack that developed in my Cannondale "daily rider" frame.  Cannondale honored their warranty and said they'd replace the frame, but they don't make any "rim brake" bikes any more, so an alternative they offered was a steep discount on any bike in the fleet.

I decided to get a "toy" bike, since I already have the Surly LHT which will be my "daily rider" going forward.  (In fact, I've put 500+ miles on it since March 15, the day I retired.)

I ordered a last-year's-model mountain bike - it's called the Trail 6.  As seen below:

On April 20, I took my last ride on the broken bike (which was creaking with enthusiasm!)… and rode home on the new beast.

The thing is huge!  (It looks normal-size, but it's a size XL frame, and those are "29" wheels.)  It's got a long wheelbase and rides pretty luxuriously.  Other things that are new to me - there are 2 crank rings - small and super-small.  And a wide-range cassette on the back.  The hydraulic disc brakes are pretty nice - and they make much more sense on a mountain bike where the wheels are much more likely to get covered with muck.

I don't intend to make many changes.  It's got my "dual" pedals (flat on one side, SPD on the other).  I put the Anatomica seat on it, and added a Cateye computer.  (The one that tells you how many calories you burn - haha! - and also how much carbon you're NOT creating by riding it.  I'm WAY more earth-friendly than any of those celebrity tree-huggers!)

I intend to use this bicycle later in the year to cross another pastime off the bucket list - I'll ride it over to Stack Rock.  And probably some other places, too... but I'll get a slow start because it's gorgeous and I don't want to sully it, at least right away.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

New & Improved Plantation Island

The pedestrian/bicycle bridge right behind Les Bois park (RIP) was removed a couple springtimes ago, after the "Snowmageddon" runoff threatened to wash it out and send it downstream.  (In retrospect, the foundations on both sides held, and it would've likely remained in place.)

Following a fundraising effort, the foundations were shored up this spring, the bridge was dropped back into place, and the asphalt for the half-mile or so across the island was replaced.  It's all been open again, for a couple weeks.

Probably 90% of the area population is oblivious - it didn't matter to them that the bridge was removed, or that it was replaced.  But for those of us who grew accustomed to using it for our transportation and recreation, it's awfully nice to have it back!  My sincere thanks to the generous people who donated to the project, and to the good folks at the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands, who made it happen.

(Photos are of the new asphalt and the reinstalled bridge.  And I had to include a family of wild turkeys that crossed my path, just on the other side.  It's a blessing to have such encounters.)