Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter Cycling

As you may have seen outside, if you live in Milwaukee there's a bunch of snow on the ground. This happened prior to it falling out of the sky making for some pretty nasty conditions on the roads... If there is one thing that is more important than anything else about being a bike messenger in a snowstorm its keeping your feet dry and not letting the salt and other crap on the roads literally eat yourself and your bike alive. Its funny, when I deliver many of my packages, the clients sometimes ask, don't they let you drive your car in this weather? The answer is always well uh... I don't have a car so... yeah...

Anyway, after watching in horror as the salt and snow ate my nice Campy parts alway in the sea of white death, I decided that something had to be done, so much to my resistance, but out of pure practically, I now have my first single speed. The Univega after a few hours in the workstand finished up with no derauilers to destroy and a simple easy single speed design which should prove to be (1) Inconvient and (2) Milwaukee winterproof.

Heres the finished product, Univega ready for winter battle.

I also thought that I would stick this on the blog, I remember seeing it at the 2007 Bicycle Film festival, but for all of you who missed it, it's a pretty cool courier video!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving and other Stuff

So I was just realizing that I don't tend to ever write updates on whats really going on in my life on this blog, but instead ideas and thoughts that I have about whatever.

Me Married~

Anyway, I don't know if I mentioned it on my blog but I'm getting married! Elizabeth and I are thinking about having the ceremony on July 4th (the same as my parents) back in Pennsylvania with the reception in my parents backyard. (Just like the old parties that we used to have there when I was growing up) Its going to be pretty neat, we're trying to find a way to have a wedding that will have many of the Quaker wedding traditions that Elizabeth enjoys. Just this weekend Mom and Dad went and visited a Quaker meeting house for the first time in their lives to get a sense of what it would be like and I think they really enjoyed it.

If you don't know what a Quaker wedding entails, it is similar to a traditional ceremony where everyone sits in silence and when they are called to speak they stand up and address the congregation. Eventually, Elizabeth and I will stand up and say our vows, and with that we are married! Pretty sweet eh? Here's a picture of the two of us in our practice engagement photos!
So that's what were thinking with regards to that, as you know these plans have gone through revision after revision, but I think that we're starting to get it really hammered out.

Thanksgiving Trip~

Elizabeth and I took the trip down to Chattanooga, TN to visit my grandparents and cousins this past thanksgiving. It was a really good trip, she had never been through the mountains and taking her up Signal Mountain where my Uncle lives was really fun... The mountains down in Chattanooga are huge. (As you can probably see if you look out at the background of the picture). It was really good to get up there with my grandparents getting older and my cousins getting ready to start college and begin their lives.
While I was there I got to spend some quality time with my all of my family, it was good because the last time I was in Chattanooga was 3 years ago, and the cousins since then had grown like weeds and my grandparents got to meet Elizabeth and officially accept her into the family. I also got to spend some time with my Uncle David, who had came from out west to spend some time with the family. If I haven't mentioned him before he's a really cool guy, he's been living out of his car for the past 30 something odd years taking whatever sort of construction job he can find for a while until he has enough saved so that he can go hang out in the wilderness again. He's lived all over the American west, in nudist colonies, national parkland, you name it! He's a true free-spirit who continually inspires me to go out and live my dreams
On the way down Elizabeth and I also stopped down at Mammoth Cave National Park, which is home to the world's largest cave system. Its really neat,

Uncle David inspecting Cannons on Lookout Mountain

apparently, there are 312 miles of discovered caves with more and more being discovered each day. We took the New Entrance tour which took us down through the dark limestone walls and crazy rock formations, its pretty nuts it almost seems like your in another world!
We also got to do some riding, just like us, we never leave home without our bikes and this trip was no exceptions. Elizabeth got the chance to climb the infamous "W Road" its called that because at the top the road is actually shaped like a W, weaving up the mountain through tight switchbacks at steep mountain grades. Completing it made a Midwestern flatlander happy to say the least!

It was a good trip, but now its time to get back to work in Milwaukee, there are packages to be delivered and bikes that need to be ridden.

Mountain Complete!