Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Freakin' A-

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 12.5% BF

A true fly-by: at home, grabbed lunch & my clothes on the way to the airport. I'm leaving in a few minutes, but first:

I rode Round Valley last yesterday, felt good & fast but my time was about the same as the last (disappointing) ride there. In my defense though, this time I ran into Scott H & Doug V, two teammates from "Freakin' A-", my Canaan team from 1997. Did a little catching up, found out that they're also doing Allamuchy, both solo. My actual, rolling average speed was 8.6 mph, as opposed to 8 mph last time... I always told myself that if I could manage a 10 mph average at Round Valley, out & back on the "hard" trails, I'd move up to expert; this was a loop, partly on the road, and I'm still way off. Oh well.

Stopped by T's last nite after the ride, talked her into meeting me at Which Brew at 9:00 while my laundry dried. Nice to see her, but there were some obnoxious louts (smelly too, according to T, & also bartender Carrie), which made the place less than perfect until they were thrown out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Morning weigh-in: 175#, 12.5% BF

I was going to ride the towpath last night, but blew it off in favor of errands, chores, and bike maintenance. Dinner at home: 5-grain tempeh stir-fry with peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, tamari and a little tahini, some serious eating. Worked on the bike after dinner, mainly just did a clean & lube, & gave Theresa a call: she saw that specialist, and he said she didn't have a torn rotator cuff, but it was inflamed and she probably would tear it if she didn't follow his advice (rest, special exercises); he also gave her a bunch of killer cortisone shots.

Tonight I'll be riding up at Round Valley, tomorrow and Thursday I'll be in West Virginia somewhere for work, and I'll probably be riding the towpath on Friday.

Yo, later.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A Burst of Energy

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 14% BF

Tired this morning. We (me, John C, Doug, Scott, Joe C, Rich and Bob) rode Allamuchy yesterday in the rain, a tough ride with food-coma-level meal afterward, and I basically passed out when I got home. Woke up later and had a burst of energy: I got the next set of boxes/junk ready for the garbage, straightened up the living room and vacuumed (also used rug cleaner), and did a quickie-clean of the bathroom while doing laundry; the dishwasher went on after the washing machine was done. I was sort of motivated because I spilled coffee as I left the house this morning, I wanted to get that dealt with, and I guess one thing led to another... I feel pretty good about this little project because I've been straightening and reconfiguring lately, but each step forward made things look worse as I tore into the mess, and last night I got the first payoff -- suddenly, I could see a major improvement in the place. Between the ride and the late-nite housework though, I wore myself out, overslept and woke up exhausted.

The weekend:

Friday was a towpath ride, where I met Doug and he broke his seatpost bolt. Spent about 30-45 minutes trying to put in a spare bolt he had, or at least get the broken part out but no luck -- Scott S from work rode by, on the way to Musikfest, and stopped to lend a hand and enjoy our comedic stylings, but nothing any of us tried worked so Doug had to ride home seatless. Luckily I brought lights, because the seatpost snafu put me in the dark on the return trip. I went to WB afterward, met T and her son Kyle, who was up visiting.

Saturday was "selfish day," coffee shop, gym, chores etc, but I also talked Joe C into helping me change the oil in my forks. This turned out to be a little involved but not very hard (he has all the tools and has done it many times before, half the battle), and the forks are working beautifully again. Took Joe & Cindy to dinner as a "thank you."

Sunday we rode at Allamuchy. The plan was for a 40-mile epic, but the weather wasn't cooperating, rain left over from the hurricane etc. We got in about 17-18 miles in about 5 hours; adventures on the wet slippery trails included a few crashes (standard), getting separated for a while (no biggie), some flats and broken chains (minor bad luck), and... John's frame broke. We were at maybe mile 10 when that happened, and he had to limp back to the car via the Boy Scout Camp and the road (he hitched a ride, luckily), while we worked our way back through the woods. What actually broke was his left chainstay, part of the rear swingarm so he should be able to get just that part pretty quickly, hopefully. I had a lot of trouble with visibility as my glasses kept fogging up, something I'd better solve before the race.

After that we had dinner, then home, nap, cleaned the house...

UPDATE -- more Linux: I got my internet connection to work better, and have some idea what was happening though I'm still not sure about what actually was going wrong. Basically, the PPP connection protocol has a provision to compress the packet header information -- I guess that would be information like what the packet contains, who it's from & where it's going etc, as opposed to the actual data that the packet is delivering -- which cuts down on transmission overhead on older, relatively slow dialup lines. The packet (with its normal header) routes its way around the internet and arrives at my ISP, which then compresses the header and sends it to me. My guess is, I enabled the VJ compression on the latest kernel rebuild, and either my ISP was choking trying to comply, or the data was more vulnerable in low quality phone lines. (Alternately, there may be a bug in the newer kernel.) Whatever the ultimate cause, my PPP software was picking up compression errors and stumbling...

The "quick and dirty" solution was simple: I added the line novj to my /etc/ppp/options file, which tells pppd to not use compression. I haven't noticed any real problems, and big files download pretty fast now. So far so good...