Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love Me Now That I Can

Woo, what a ride!

Jon is an old friend, the younger brother of my riding buddy Joe. He's been a professional racer for years, just an awesome rider, and now that he's a mountain bike coach I decided to get some lessons. (I want to get out of the "comfort zone" I built for myself over the last few years, and was especially looking for help with cornering, which has always been a problem -- maybe a mystery? -- to me...) Last night was our evaluation ride: he followed me down the usual Yellow/Orange/Red route at Sals, from Dodson to the bottom of Constitution, stopping a few times to give pointers and to practice at good "teachable moment" locations, then in the bottom lot he had me practicing the new cornering method he wants me to master -- I think it'll be a while before it really clicks. Time and daylight were running out by that point, so we took the road back up the hill, practicing the relaxed standing climb he also wants me to use.

It was a real eye-opener. My main take-away (other than the new cornering tips) was that I'm too stiff on the bike, mainly because I spend way more time than I should seated rather than standing. Jon also wants me to lower my cadence in a lot of stuff, especially hills -- a bullet through the heart of my previous training regimen -- powering up with standing sprints and recovering at the top; he had me ride through technical sections in a higher gear than I normally would, at higher speeds, and whenever I "got it" (not always), it would really work. You learn something new every day...

There Are Many Rooms In The Super Dimensional Fortress: I was playing with my toy program again the other day, and it finally dawned on me why I was getting that intermittent "cannot execute binary file" error: when you log onto SDF, there are a number of different machines you can connect to. Normally I don't make any distinction between them, letting the system choose the most convenient connection at each logon, and I never really noted which machine I was running on. It turns out though, that there are differences between the different servers, and when you compile on one server it produces a program that runs on that server, which may or may not work on the other machines. Log in on one server, compile and run, log out and back in (onto another server), and -- fail.

The explanation is simple enough, but -- other than always logging in to the same server (or always running make before using the program) -- I don't know what the solution might be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looking Back

Pretty good weekend, though a little on the low-energy side...
I took off Friday, and we went to Barnegat Light to visit my brother at the beach house he rented -- photos on Flickr -- then Saturday was a sort of "slacker day" for me -- no doubt a necessity after all the sunburn and playing in the ocean -- while Anne tackled some heavy-duty gardening. (We were supposed do the Hash Run, but neither of us felt really motivated.) Saturday evening was a tour of Southside: we hit the Bookstore (OK) and the Funhouse (boring band), then stopped in at Brew Works on the way home and met up with some of the bike crowd.
Sunday was another mellow day, a rainy day... We had a late breakfast at Jumbar's with Donna and her beau, who told us of all the Hashing shenanigans they got into (and it did sound like fun, but I'm glad we skipped it), then we all went over to the Brew Works for their Mug Club Auction.
Yes that's right, we finally got our Brew Works mugs, but not without a fight... Instead of a straight mug purchase, like at Weyerbacher and Which Brew, or the "drink all the different beers on this list and you're in the club" approach of Porter's Pub, Brew Works does things a little differently: mug club size is kept limited, then every year they auction off the non-renewing memberships. We spent over $200 apiece in very competitive bidding for the limited places, but we now have our place among the Star Bellied Sneeches. We drank our complimentary mug (most expensive Free Beer I've ever had) then headed home.
Anne and I crashed for a while, watched "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (Swedish, subtitles, pretty good & it didn't stray too far from the book), then rode over to Lehigh Pizza for a late dinner.
Last night was the gym, followed by our first paying use of our new mugs.