Wow, it’s been a fantastic week, temperatures have been decently warm in the early morning, things are turning green, grass is growing, and the rabbits are venturing out of their burrows to explore the new Spring. Like the rabbits I’ve been crawling out of bed early and getting outside, but with wheels strapped to my feet, but more on that later.
My wife Shauna has developed a great appreciation of backyard bird watching. A couple years ago we moved our shaded swing from the porch to the backyard so she could sit comfortably and watch the birds at their many feeders. The unsheltered area has wrecked havoc on the old swing and Shauna decided it was time for a new one. She let loose the cash and bought one from Wal-Mart.com with the plan being for it to be shipped to the store where we’d pick it up. To our surprise it could delivered to our house for no extra charge. In a few days after she ordered it a giant box weighing over 100 pounds showed up on the porch delivered by FedEx. How the economics of free shipping for such an item work out I can’t understand but I sure do appreciate it. We put the swing together last night in about two hours.
I’ve spent most of this week driving across the state for Postal Training. I’m going to be a Rural Carrier Associate now. I’ve had many hours of defensive driver training and carrier training. Looking forward to the change of pace, and delivering mail is a fast paced occupation. I’m also looking forward to working outside and not being cooped up in the office, though I’m sure I’ll regret that when its 100 degrees.
Now back to the skating. I’ve tackled skating this week and picked up a few new pieces of equipment. One of the great things I’ve noticed about skating, it is so unpopular that the equipment has lost most of it’s resale value, especially older equipment. There seems to be a much larger “gear advantage” to speed skating then cycling and not much demand for older gear. Out of style gear that is a few tenths of a second slower can be had cheap.
I picked up some Miller frames on ebay for 13 dollars. These frames were milled in California and I’d say they probably would have cost around 150 dollars new. They use 4 wheels around 84mm and are just a bit longer then a recreation frame. They are sort of a cross between a speed frame and rec skates.
I also got a complete speed setup very cheap. These Bont “Shark 2” boots are matched to a Liberty Avenger 4×100 frame. New prices for this setup would have been over 500 dollars.
As an added bonus the seller threw in some 5×80 Mogema frames, the exact same set I saw recently on ebay for 125 dollars. These are some really nice frames and I’ve put them on my Rollerblade recreation boots. This morning I skated 11 miles in these and they worked great.
I’ve also squeezed in some riding as well. I got in a mountain bike ride last Sunday on a new saddle. I found this Specialized Milano saddle in my parts box, I’d bought it for my wife but she didn’t like it. The saddle is super plush and cushy. I wouldn’t normally ride something like this but on a mountain bike it was actually nice, like an extra inch of suspension.
I own like 4 pumps, a super nice Bontrager Charger, a Park Tool that my brother gave me, a Joe BLow my Dad gave me, and a Performance that I bought about 10 years ago. All of them are broke. At any given time one of them will work, but I usually have to cycle through all 4 to find the one that feels like pumping up a tire. I got a bit frustrated the other day and bought this 20 dollar pump from Wal-Mart. It feels pretty cheaply made, it’s very light, but it works very well, and it was 20 bucks.
I got in a road bike ride Thursday night with my pal Jim whose riding a Surly Pacer that he built up this winter. It’s a throwback for sure, all steel, even the fork, downtube shifters, and even a Selle Italia Turbo saddle. It looks like a real road bike, the kind that Fausto Coppi, Jaques Anquetil, and Eddy Merckx rode. It’s a bike that’s not afraid to go fast for sure, and Jim gets about a 100 style points for it. Even cooler this bike could easily fit 30 mm tires and morph into a cross bike, and it has mounts for fenders and racks to morph it into a touring bike. It’s really a swiss army knife bike.