Three for three… eclectic blog posts hitting the TandemGeek’s blog as cycling continues to garner more time than motorcycling because quite frankly, we haven’t swung a leg over Blue since we returned from Daytona Beach back on March 13th. I know, pretty sad. Oh well, 24 wake-ups to go until we head to spring bike week at Panama City Beach, Florida! That’ll make up for the slow start to spring, assuming we don’t head off for quick trip somewhere else in the meantime.
Anyway, looking back over the past week you may recall that on Monday afternoon I made a point of getting home early enough so that I could head off to the Allatoona Creek MTB Park just a mere 4 miles from our house and get in a quick loop before dark. During that ride one of my prized Selle Italia Pro Link TransAm saddles (1st generation) snapped a saddle rail.
After giving it a proper triage back at the house I confirmed the saddle was probably beyond salvage. That was unless I held onto another ProLink that had a different kind of failure that didn’t damage the seat rails. I the interim, I pulled one of Debbie’s cast-off Fizik saddles out of the parts bin so I could return to the trail for a ride on Wednesday afternoon and it worked just fine. Yeah, mountain bike saddles really don’t have to be all that special, which really drives home how silly it was for me to have one of my more fragile saddles on a hardtail mountain bike. Cest la vie.
As the week came to an end I reached my threshold for focus around noon on Friday and decided to burn-off a few hours of vacation. I will say, it was very nice having a ½ day free so I could run by Costco to pick up some provisions for the house, enjoy a few minutes relaxing and then head out for a short road bike ride from the house before it was time to get ready for our Finally a Friday celebration at Loco Willy’s once Debbie arrived home.
It’s fair to say that we over-achieved on Finally a Friday, but we had help! Our friends Ryan & Jeanette, Bobby & Carrie Ann and Patti joined us and the other regulars (i.e., David & Deb, Stewart & Teresa, Brian, Kevin, etc.) at Loco Willy’s for dinner which, in and of itself, was all we really needed. However, shortly after we were joined by friends Katelyn & Zach we headed over to SuBourbon’s where the Way Back Band was playing. I think it must have been close to midnight before we’d gotten our fill of good friends, good music and dancing and headed home. Yet another epic evening that no amount of sleep by itself could cure: ouch! Why do we do that to ourselves?
Yes, I had a slow start on Saturday morning, but once 9:00am rolled-around I knew I had to get cracking and fire up the lawn mower for the first official grass cutting session of the spring. You get spoiled here in the south when the zoysia and bermuda grass lawns go dormant and need only a little fertilizer and pre-emergence week killed during the fall and winter, so it’s always a rude awakening when you make that first cut… as you know you’ll be repeating it at least once if not twice a week until late September or early October.
With the yard work out-of-the-way and Debbie back home after running her morning errands, we grabbed some lunch and then headed out for a very nice – albeit a bit cool & windy – tandem ride from the house in the afternoon. The spring allergy season continues to treat us to very high levels of hardwood, softwood, grass and weed pollens and Saturday was no exception: poor Debbie was having a heck of a hard time getting a full and deep breath. It wasn’t a record-setting ride like the one we enjoyed last weekend, but it was still good to get out and spin our legs for a couple of hours and put another 30+ miles in the books.
Miss Debbie was dressed to the nines when she came back down after cleaning up from the tandem ride so I did likewise. Sure seemed like a waste to be dressed-to-kill and going to Loco Willy’s, but that’s what we did. In retrospect, we should have both followed our instincts and gone the other way to Henry’s Taste of Louisiana in Acworth… noting we both were thinking about Henry’s but neither of us said a word about it: one of the risks of being too in sync with each other!
When we arrived at Loco’s the inside bar was packed and no one looked as though they were close to leaving, the outside bar was cold and smoky and there was an 60th birthday just getting started that was consuming most of the tables. We ended up taking a couple of seats at the end of a table of eight and were biding our time for seats to open at the bar, but that never came to pass. Or, more accurately, we were both pretty hungry so we gave up and just ordered from the table… while sharing that we both had been thinking about Henry’s on the drive over! About the time that our food came our friends Deb & David arrived and were able to snag a couple of seats for themselves at the bar. After we finished our smoked ribs — which seemed a bit dry and tasteless for some reason — we paid-out our tab and joined Deb and David at the corner of the bar as the patron seated next to them headed out. We had a nice time visiting but I was tea-totaling and probably not as chatty as I would have been with my usual shot of tequila. We decided to call it an early night as Loco’s was absolutely slammed and just a bit too loud; funny how it seems just fine when we’re the ones that are a bit too loud and obnoxious.
On the way home we stopped by Best Buy to pick up a Chrome Cast device and wireless keyboard for our SmartTV so we could try-out streaming internet video from my laptop to the TV. Debbie had stumbled onto the current Season 7 of Archer during the week and was now interested in seeing the previous six seasons so she could learn more about the characters. While the SmartTV has Internet access, we always seem to have trouble getting video to play. David – our resident IT subject matter expert – suggested Chrome Cast as a very easy way around SmartTV software limitations. It took about 15 minutes to figure out how to make it all work, but we were pretty much successful and watched the first four episodes of season 1 before I was about to fall asleep and suggested we call it quits so we’d be fresh on Sunday.
After a really good night’s rest I was up relatively early with a full to-do list for the day. The first thing on my list was converting three of Debbie’s Voler cycling jerseys into sleeveless jerseys, a somewhat daunting project I’d been thinking through and getting materials for over the past week. Rather than go into all of the gory details here I’ll simply share a link to a blog entry that walks through the entire process. Suffices to say, I think it was a success!
Debbie really likes having three new sleeveless jerseys that match my cycling jersey’s and was also quite pleased with how the modified jerseys looked and fit. I was pretty much making it up as I went along, just going off of some reverse engineering based on other sleeveless jerseys that Debbie has from Hincapie and others, and seemingly guessed right with the bias-tape approach. I’ll know more as they see a little wear and hopefully don’t tear or otherwise begin to pull apart during repeated washings.
Once the jersey project was wrapped-up around 2:00pm – yes, it took longer than I expected – Debbie headed off to do some grocery shopping while I headed back out to the mountain bike trails to get in a quick ride. We both returned home around 3:30pm and the first thing I attended to was getting Debbie’s little car washed and polished. It had been at least a month since the last wash as the combination of rain and pollen collecting on everything made washing a car a true waste of time. Once I had that done it was nearly 5:30pm and we headed off to Loco Willy’s for some hot wings. Sadly, Loco’s has apparently made changes to how they cook their wings (too long) as well as the sauces (too thick, buttery and hot) so this was about our 4th visit for wings where we really didn’t enjoy what we ended up eating. Seriously, we enjoyed and raved about their wings for nearly three years. They were easily as good as our benchmark for the best hot wings in Atlanta: Three Dollar Café’s. However, after last night’s experience I’m pretty sure I’ll just start making wings at home when we have a hankering for ‘em. After all, I make really good wings and really good margaritas and don’t mind any part of the process: shopping, prepping, cooking or cleaning up. We’ve done the same thing with pizza with great success… we just don’t get to visit with friends as often.
Back at the house I gave my BMW motorcycle its first bath in nearly three months. Again, since it gets ridden in the rain and what with all of the pollen covering everything, washing the bike wasn’t something that seemed like a good use of my time. However, after getting it cleaned-up and polished with a coat of Zaino CS I may need to keep it clean: it looks really quite amazing for a 13-year old motorcycle!
We did an encore from Saturday and streamed a few more episodes from season 1 of Archer to wind down from our weekend. Unfortunately the wireless streaming wasn’t nearly as good as it had been on Saturday. Not sure that there was anything all that different in the set-up from Saturday night, but having done some on-line checking it would appear I may need to get a HDMI extension cord so the Chrome Cast receiver can be placed where somewhere other than buried back between the TV and exterior wall and surrounded by other signal wires.
Anyway, there you have it. A great weekend. And, from a tandem cycling perspective, if I learned one thing it’s that we’ll need to be far more careful about how much fun we have on April 22nd when celebrating Debbie’s birthday at SuBourbon’s. We still want to be able to get up and on the way to Huntsville, Alabama, at 6:00am on April 23rd for the Saturday & Sunday rides at the Alabama Tandem Weekend!!