Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keepin on Keepin on

We've been setting a lot of heat records here the last few days, so I have felt a bit of cabin fever. Life has also been in the way, but I finished retaping my handlebars after a bunch of brake block adjustments, so sucked it up and snuck in a late ride this evening.

The sun is setting so early now - before 7:00 pm - so I was only able to get 15 miles in on a short, but fun little loop (the same one that kicked my nephew's butt last year :-O) and made it a point to push without slacking off even for a minute the entire ride. That TT taught me how important it is to train your legs and cardio to push relentlessly. It's amazing how much you can get out of a short ride if you have a plan for what you want to accomplish with it.

I forgot to mention, I had a huge epiphany riding Sunday evening. I think my beloved bike trail - the ARPT - is in the process of being deforested.  The area that is squeezed between the man-made Lake Natoma and I-50, in particular, is hammered by seasonal winds that are greatly amplified, yet an asinine culture of 'let mother nature take care of it' persists in the parkway trail environs' management.

The crux of the problem is that many old, large trees are being lost, but every attempt to grow replacement trees in small nursery areas have been burned to the ground year after year by arsonists. The only solution I can see that might work is to make use of open, but secure areas, like the forever defunct downtown rail yards, to grow trees 15-18 ft tall, and then transplant them.

Failing that, in 20-30 years the ARPT will be a savanna with only the occasional old-growth oak and cottonwood to indicate it was ever otherwise. This kind of thing was done very successfully in downtown Los Angeles in the '80s, and may well continue to this day.

On the bright side, WOW are the squirrels ever BIG and healthy this year. I saw the first ever black squirrel tonight, just after a gray with a very bushy 24" tail. Spectacular! You see whole flocks of quail, turkey, and squirrels intermixed, all chowing down on the bounty of food this year. The coyotes are looking on, biding their time, waiting for the deer to join in on the smorgasbord.

Gears are working great, and I like the new handlebar setup, but the seat is a little too high, and my seatbag is TRASHED! A huge rip along the top left-hand side is threatening to spill bike-bag guts all over the road.

I have a feeling this is going to require I bite the bullet and get a longer seat too, as the current seat's short rails don't afford an adequate purchase for most bag mounts. My seat is about gone anyway, so not entirely unwelcome. More Techie Tuesday fodder!

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