• Category Archives day by day
  • This is the category closest to just being a plain diary. Places I go, things I do, people I see, what’s happening in my life.

  • Sixteen Years A Turner Man

    Posted on by Don

    Here’s something that I did today: I bought a new mountain bike! (And despite the similarity in titles, I did not get rid of the Turner like I did the Outback.)

    What I got was a Santa Cruz 5010, though I’m not sure of the exact price point and I don’t recognize the components well enough to evaluate them — 11×1 gearing, adjustable seatpost, the Turner was the pride of the new millennium when it came out, but I feel now like I just traded in a stagecoach for a starship.

    Anne and I had gone over to Saucon Valley Bikes for other business, and I thought I would just look at a bike or two, since I was sort of in the market… We got there and there was Renee, who when I last saw her got on my case about getting a new bike. She and Anne both got on me because I obviously was in love with this bike, and we even did a quick singletrack ride from the shop. I came back and said “I’ll take it!” A few things needed to happen but I came back and took possession a few hours later. Tomorrow is the inaugural ride, at Sals, and I’ll make my decision on which bike to ride for the Wilderness 101.


  • Eighteen Years An Outback Man

    Posted on by Don

    Just thought I’d check in with a Subaru update: the engine is shot, there’s nothing short of a new engine that can fix it and a new engine is not worth doing, so I’m scrapping the car. The towing company will actually donate it to a local (Saranac Lake) fire company, and I get a tax write-off — I just have to wait for my new, duplicate title to come from Harrisburg since I lost the original, probably years ago.

    Anne and I were talking about cutting back to having only one car between us, so for now we will not be replacing the Outback, though our original plan was to get rid of her aging Mazda and keep the Outback, so our situation is a bit fluid, and we may end up getting a replacement for the Mazda in the foreseeable, though probably not the immediate, future.

    The question then becomes: what kind of new car? I have had an Outback for about 18 years at this point; the first one lasted 10 years and almost 200,000 miles, while the second did eight years and only 170,000 miles. I suppose I’d consider another Subaru if we could find a used one for a decent price — it still is pretty much the only game in town if you want a 4-wheel-drive station wagon — but the problems I had with the second one were depressingly familiar, almost at the exact same mileage as the first, and though I know every old car will have problems — and I have trouble imagining myself in something that isn’t a 4WD station wagon — I think I’m a little tired of Subaru right now. I guess we have to do a bit of research.


  • Vacation End… Or Is It?

    Posted on by Don

    Today was the last day of our Adirondacks vacation with Anne’s family; we got up early this morning, cleaned the cabin, said our goodbyes and took off in the rain, the only rainy day of the trip. We (Anne and I) got as far as Ray Brook NY, midway between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid — in other words, we’d just barely started our homeward journey — when the car made a “clunk” sound and died. I had just enough presence of mind, and momentum, to pull into a parking space on the side of the road, in what turned out to be the local Post Office.

    Long story short: my timing belt snapped, and there was no oil in the car. I have no idea which came first but both are bad, like possibly “car needs a new engine, which really means I need a new car” bad. We’ll find out Monday, when we also are going to rent a car in Plattsburgh, so we’re here in Saranac Lake until then.


  • Just Checking In

    Posted on by Don
    lake and trees
    Looking out over the lake from the porch.

    Fourth of July, third day of vacation, a bit of a mellow day after yesterday’s hike. Anne and I got up early and went kayaking with Lorraine, Laura and Marie, and we might do a short walk on our dirt road soon, but we just finished lunch and the ladies are carding and spinning wool, and I’m just sitting here watching the lake and trying not to nap…


  • Stop, Look Around

    Posted on by Don

    Wet day here, and its also a bit of a rest day, waiting for the oven repair man to show up. So, I’m off the bike for the day, and just in time because I’ve been feeling tired. Tomorrow I’ll be riding the towpath (volunteer work day at the Canal Museum), Thursday I’m meeting Renee out in State College to do some of the W101 course, Friday we’re going to the Wharton Esherick Museum, and then this weekend we go off for a week in the Adirondacks! Whew…

    This weekend was a blur. Anne’s mom stayed with us from Thursday, the night of Anne’s concert — by the way, Anne is in a new orchestra, better than the last one IMHO but with the same playful spirit — through Saturday (when we went to a memorial service, and Marie got a ride home from there with Anne’s sister Lorraine). There were many people we knew in the concert audience, including Lorraine and Ray with their grandkids Jonah and Quinn, Toby and Erika with Josiah, Donna and John, and many people from the neighborhood. Afterward, we sat on the porch and sampled our new beer (the Two Hearted Ale clone — verdict: delicious) with John and Donna.

    (By the way, I got in a short Towpath ride while Anne was picking up her mom. I only went to the boat club and back, but I was trying to push my heart rate, and ended up with a 15 mph average, better than any towpath ride this year.)

    Friday was a quiet day, just hanging out, but I did get in a Sals ride, one where I felt pretty good on the trail.

    Saturday was the memorial service for Marilyn, the mother of Anne’s sister-in-law Laura. She’d passed away just recently, and she’d been ill for a long while before that, but before her illness she’d been an incredible woman: vibrant, warm and loving, and a real force of nature and positive force in every life she touched; those were the memories that we celebrated. Afterwards we had a lunch at Joe and Laura’s with much family about, and many friends.

    We went out that evening to catch up for a bit with Doug and Lori.

    Sunday was the Steel City Enduro at Sals, and I went up to volunteer. I ended up running the start, no clue what I was doing but I think everyone survived, then I walked the course and did a little race-course cleanup after the riders went through. I was out of there by noon or so, so I could clean up and stop by John and Donna’s place for a picnic with their family. (Anne was off dealing with other mom-errands.)

    Yesterday I woke up really tired, and it took me a while to actually be awake. Went for a Sals ride anyway, felt pretty good, then came home and took an hour-long nap…


  • Summertime

    Posted on by Don

    We did another Bike Smart rodeo this morning, again only a few blocks from home. It was pretty low-key compared to some of the others, but still very fun, and I’m actually pretty proud that this is something I’m involved with. However…

    When we got home, I saw on Facebook that today was also “Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day” at Trexler, and it was also the day of Curt Cyclery’s “Angel 34” century ride. Too many summer things in too few summer weekends, you’re going to have to make some hard choices.

    Meantime, last night we had Indian food (the perfect food for this time of year), followed by a nice long walk, and tonight we’re having another Indian dinner, and then we’ll be heading out again.

     


  • Rest Day

    Posted on by Don

    Things are working out pretty well this week, weather-wise: Anne and I rode yesterday, down to Quakertown for lunch and back (we saw Scott S lunching at the cafe, and Lori P joined us for a coffee), enjoying a lot of good weather and about 10 minutes of storm along the way. Today I took as a rest day, and did my first stint volunteering at the National Canal Museum while the thunderstorms rolled through, and tomorrow I’ll be doing a road ride up and over Blue Mountain. Timing is everything.


  • Calypso

    Posted on by Don

    I’m feeling a bit tired right now. Anne and I did the CAT/BikeSmart “Calypso Bike Day” at Calypso Elementary this morning. It’s really fun to watch the kids, some of them diffident at first, lacking skill or confidence, come to enthusiastically ride the bike course over and over with their friends — you can actually see them become better and more confident, even stronger, as they ride. My job was to sort of referee the course, and get the kids to stop at the stop signs we had out — not an easy task sometimes, but the kids do pick up on “who’s turn it is”  at the intersections, and kid-land social pressures usually take it from there. Totally fun, for them as well as me, but keeping tabs on that chaos eventually left me feeling frazzled. It was over at noon, and I helped pack up and put things away and was home by one-thirty or so: hot, tired, over-stimulated and sunburnt, I came in, took a shower and napped for three hours.

    FYI: At the end of the day we quizzed the school principal and found that the school was named for Calypso Island, a small island in the Lehigh. The more you know…


  • Life And Love Update

    Posted on by Don

    By the way, today is the eight-year anniversary of Anne’s and my first date. We’d been in the same crowd, meeting Tuesday nights for drinks, and slowly it became more common that our seats would be next to each other, and we would go out expecting to hang together, but this was the first time it was just us two.

    Naturally enough, it was a bike ride. I came down Applebutter Road from Easton, and met her coming the other way just about where that S-turn is (towards the Freemansburg end of the road), and we went up and did the farm roads north of the Valley. We stopped at Brew Works afterward for a beer and snacks at an outside table, very cool and Euro.

    It would be another month before we really considered ourselves an item, but I think of that ride as our first real date.


  • Worn Out!

    Posted on by Don

    Morning weigh-in: 187.5#, 11% BF

    Holding steady, which is good because yesterday sure wasn’t a ride day — dreary, rainy, and I was too tired. Anne had things to  do, so I got up and futzed around with the computer and some house projects, then later in the afternoon we went to her office and I helped her with some painting. Last night was a retirement party for a friend in the neighborhood, and the weather had cleared up (it turned into a beautiful evening, actually) so we walked over. Very nice, and we slept like the dead when we got home.

    This morning we both went to volunteer at the Bike Smart Easton bike day.  Anne worked registration and helmets — every kid gets a new free helmet — and I helped with bike safety checks. It was a very busy couple of hours, and we just got home a few minutes ago.  We had plans for this afternoon, but I think our next step will be a nap.

    Tomorrow we go to visit her sister and family in Tamaqua, and Monday we’re helping Donna and John move, into a house right around the block from us.