Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catching up

Hmm. Haven't posted a ride story for over a month. There has been much going on, not necessarily involving actual riding.

July 4 weekend, nephew Michael got married to the lovely Taylor. The wedding took place in Dallas. Much family convergence in Dallas, family invasion of the IHOP, sightseeing in Dallas, and... the wedding.

Ande, Ellen, Sherry, Leslie (at the counter), Arthur, Joan, Ronnie, and Fitz

The wedding party

Mom, Leslie, Ande, Jeff, me, Dad

Fitz and Brian

The next weekend cousin Marissa got married to the delightful Daniel. THIS wedding took place at Skamania Lodge. A thought - I could RIDE to that wedding. Fitz would be driving anyway; he could bring my clothes. Surely some relative who was not immediate family of the bride would be staying there; I could "borrow" their shower. And indeed, all these things came to pass.

Rode over to find Cecil at Kettleman's Bagels, and then we headed out on the standard Bridge of the Gods ride, except we passed the bridge and went into Stevenson for a grocery store lunch, pedaled back to the Lodge, where she then pedaled on home. 64 excellently sunny miles, PERFECT weather, and the best-ever descent from Cape Horn. Best ever. Dry pavement, practically no traffic, no wind. Best ever.

Me and Cecil at Cape Horn

Found cousins Joan and Don and used their shower (I had shorts and a t-shirt along, while waiting for the fancy clothing to show up), wandered around the lodge visiting (family everywhere), then settled into the nice rocking chairs in the great room with the complimentary coffee and newspaper, watching the photography preparations. My uncle showed up and kept me company, then Fitz and the kids arrived, with my clothes.

Brian, Rebecca and Jessica

The Bedecken

End of the ceremony

A delightful wedding as well.

Then the next weekend, off to Michigan, with Rebecca and Jessica, where we first went to Mackinac Island ("What?!?" said Jessica. "You've NEVER BEEN! You are missing the BEST PART!") Don't know if I'd go that far, but it was way fun. NO motorized transportation on the island. None. Bicycles, horses, or walking; that's it. Well, ok, you can fly in and out.

Rules of the road

Jessica, Fitz and Rebecca setting out from Arch Rock

We rented bicycles and rode around the island (all of 8 miles). It started raining about 6 miles in. Downpour :-) Got back to town. I had my new Showers Pass Double Century jacket along. It kept the top of me dry just fine. We turned the bikes back in, bought plastic rain ponchos, and then toured the Fort and town. The Fort was clearly the Party Posting of the latter half of the 1800's.

Fitz, Rebecca and Jessica at the Fort entrance

Main Street

Then to the Fitzsimmons Cottage. Fitz's sisters Beth and Lynn and their total of 6 children were next door in the Yellow Cottage (heretofore referred to as the Fitz and the Yellow), so we had a fun week. Several amazing beach days, great runs along Lake Michigan (and no, it isn't flat - there's dunes to get over!), rides to and from the beach (1 mi each way) and a ride around Crystal Lake. What with internet now in the Yellow, I somehow didn't have the impetus for my once or twice daily 6 mile round trip rides into town...

Brief stop at the Frankfort Smokehouse

Rebecca and Beth picking berries

Fitz and Latte on the porch

Swimming at the lake was mostly wonderful - the water was perfect, and one day it was even a bit choppy. I like it choppy - more of an adventure to swim the line (1/4 mile). On the non-plus side, the Swimmers' Itch was pretty active this year. Usually I get one or two bites, and that is it. Not this year. Fortunately, I don't get as itchy as the kids seem to. Clear Caladryl and I'm good.

Beach at Crystal Lake

Why it is named Crystal Lake

A new activity for me was being hauled off to a local golf course to hit a bucket of balls. I am not a golfer. It is probably pretty clear now that I will never be a golfer. SIL Beth and I dutifully hacked away at those little yellow range balls. We even connected reasonably well on a few of them, but, at least in my case, it was mostly whiffs, the ball shooting off to the right, or not going very far. Like maybe 30 feet. Beth and I concluded that golf is not for us. SIL Sue just watched - she already knows she isn't a fan of the game.

Beth and Fitz

Knitting accomplishments on vacation - finished a pair of stripey stashbuster socks, bought some acrylic yarn at the Shop n Save in Benzonia and made Brian his Cunning Hat, and started a pair of Filey socks in a blue tweed for me.

The Cunning Hat

And now, back home, led a Portland Velo ride (I took the faster half of the 14-16mph group), climbing Holly Hill. 47+ miles. Need to plan another ride for tomorrow.

More pictures:

Friday, July 30, 2010

I have a Fedex tracking number and know how to use it...

Sweetpea is painted and on its way back to Portland!

Estimated delivery - Aug 4!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I was warned that paint might be the time suck

Totally brought home yesterday. I believe I mentioned on June 15 that the bike was off to paint. It is now July 25. The bike is STILL at paint. First they were backed up. Now they are finally painting - the rack is done. It appears that they cannot pinstripe over aluminum, so the hammered metal fenders will remain completely unpainted. Oooh, shiny. Pinstripes in the grooved channels would have been nice, though.

The kicker is, they just discovered they are out of the color specified for my bike. Now, exactly HOW LONG did they know they needed that color? It will take time to order and receive the paint. And then paint. And ship.

I have suggested expediting all around. I was WANTING to ride the 400k on Aug 7, and it may not be possible now.

I might also suggest a short course in inventory control.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sweetpea Progress, updated

Getting closer. It did, in theory, get painted this week. I suspect it will be painted next week. Intense email exchange on the fenders - darker sage green pinstriping in the grooves, otherwise unpainted to let the hammered metal sparkle.

Subtle shimmer clearcoat over the Signal Violet frame paint.

Symmetrical beam Supernova E-3 Lefty.

Parts ordered/acquired. Big check written for the parts.

I am told I should be able to ride it to Canada next month on RSVP.