packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
This morning I thought I might ride out the trail again, and I pulled a bike out from under the tarp. I had been riding my three-speed, but I'd busted up the rim (quite a while ago, actually), and it's not a good idea to ride on dented rims.

That said, it is entirely impossible to ride with a frozen bike chain. Fortunately, I had most of a jar of bike lube and an extra-large dose of TLC* to apply, and after well over three hours, the bike was in rideable condition, and I took it out to the trail to run down to Bethesda to buy some ice cream** and a new wireless hub.

More than one person told me that the bike looked like it was in great shape, so I must have done something right. :)

(Sadly, one of the sprockets on the rear derailleur is missing one or more teeth, so I may not get away without spending some money.)

Anyway, it was quite an experience. First, this bike is very much a road bike - it bogged down in gravel quite badly. Second, it's a ten-speed with a very funky derailleur system, so I had the devil's own time getting away from fifth gear for uphills and slow starts. Third, the controls are arranged quite differently (drop handlebars, down tube shifters), which left me quite nervous and timid. Third, I'm not really fit enough to take the bike to where it should go - I was struggling to keep it moving and moving in the right direction, even.

But it was pretty good, nonetheless. Tomorrow, I'll take out the other rust monster and see how I can make it run.

* TLC = Tender Loving Care. With a pair of pliers and a lot of sweating, I must say.

** Sadly, the ice cream shop (Giffords) was closed when I went by, so I ended up buying a Dunkin' Donuts iced tea and bagel.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ladibug21 has asked me questions five, and answers five I bring!

(If you'd like me to ask five questions of you to know you better, just say the word. Yes, this is a meme.)

1. Given your answers to the recent LJ Question of the Day, what's your favorite breakfast? Are you a savory or sweet breakfast person? Where is your favorite breakfast place?

Some day ... some day ... I will find the breakfast-spot where they know how to cook an egg over medium instead of over easy.

For the meantime, I believe hotcakes, eggs, and bacon at the Vienna Inn are pretty good, when I get the chance. Hash browns are a little much.

2. Are you a fan of the winter Olympics? If so, which is your favorite event? If not, why?

Not a big fan, really - my interest in spectator sports seems to start with baseball and pretty much peter out there. I think it would be cool to learn cross-country skiing just because it's useful, but, given my current lattitude, a ham radio license would be a higher priority.

3. What's your favorite comic or printed cartoon?

Online right now, it's just about a dead heat between Kaspall (a very metafictional fantasy suspense novel) and Dead Winter (a post-satirical zombie apocalypse bildungsroman). Offline, I would have to decide between my childhood love, The Adventures of Tintin, English translation (a bit of a wandering-the-earth series), and the books I've become interested in more recently, such as Sandman Mystery Theatre, Transmetropolitan, and Invincible.

I think I would go for Dead Winter and Tintin, respectively, and would hate to choose between the two.

4. What do you plan to do once you're done with school?

I think at this point it is abundantly obvious that teaching is in my future.

5. What are your feelings on Valentine's Day?

Is that today?

On the one hand, I don't like obligations, but on the other hand, I tend to forget to do things I should if I don't have a reason and a date. On the gripping hand, I'm single (sighs!).

...well, that's all. Now to throw on some clothes to rush for the library booksale!
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
Warning: I went running with a stopwatch today. The following is almost certainly only interesting to [livejournal.com profile] zhurnaly!




I mean it! It's just a bunch of splits! )

Only other interesting thing - I weighed myself on their scales, got 73.1 kg, which is a little higher than usual for me.

Baseball!

Apr. 5th, 2009 01:07 pm
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)
For those of you not following the Twitter filter (does that link work?) - went to an exhibition game yesterday at the Washington Nationals stadium downtown - they beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-5, with (amusingly) all five Nats RBIs credited to one ballplayer, Josh Willingham. Grand slam in the first, fielder's choice single in the seventh. It was fun - I got the Grande Nachos at the Bullpen Burrito, which were delicious.

Now to go to school and write computer programs! ...after lunch!

Biking!

Dec. 30th, 2008 05:16 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (cctrail)
Finally went out to ride my bike again today. Last Friday, I'd walked to the local bicycle shop to waste my money on invest in various essential biking accessories, but the combination of bad weather, intersemester schedule lapse ("Are you staying up until 2 a.m. or something?" "Err..."), and the bicycle shop being closed Mondays meant I put off actually riding until today.

First, I went out to pump up the tires (first taking Dad's running stuff off the handlebars). Whereupon I realized I had no clue how much air they needed. So: up the stairs to my laptop and the Webbernets, which promptly informed me that (1) my bike was worth less than a meal at Taco Bell and (2) I needed to know the size of the tires. Back down the stairs, borrow a ruler, 1-1/8 inches is about 28 mm, and - back up the stairs - assuming 35 kg load per tire (reasonable) that makes 80 psi. Back down the stairs.

Then the helmet. I do most shamefully confess - after ten minutes of irritating helmet-adjusting, I simply gave up, pulled everything tight that could be tightened, and said, "Good enough".

(I also skipped putting on my LED taillight. Ironically, the headlight, which I did put on, was absolutely useless.)

After all the aggravation, I was quite glad to walk it out along the sidewalks to the nearest bike trail. And I was ecstatic to be riding again. There is very little I enjoy more than cycling - the effort required to maintain a pace my hindbrain reads as fast is quite easily within even my untrained capacities, even on (slight) uphills.

That said, I was feeling a little woozy after the first 1.5 miles, so I stopped in at a gas station to buy candy and energy drink. After that, I was doing quite well.

Anyway, in the end, I skipped the bicycle shop. After all, it was a cheap, old bike, and I was going to meet with some of me bro's friends (my acquaintances) and play "Left 4 Dead" at the internet cafe this evening. I'll go some other day.

Much fun, today.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)
Just wanted to comment on a little poetry of the sports page from Chico Harlan of the Washington Post:
Up it all went for the Dodgers, in nine pitches. The Philadelphia Phillies poked one homer just beyond the fence. They smacked another one halfway to the next Zip code. But distance didn't even matter. One measured these sorts of shots by the silence they caused, the home team's lead they erased, the series they likely shifted -- if not ended.

Good article.

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packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
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