Another Post Without A Picture

As the subject line says, another post without a picture.  Today, I changed the blog’s About page.

This weekend, I’ve made it to the gym twice – Sunday and this morning.  Early morning workouts when the gym’s nearly empty are good for me.  The Planet Fitness in Stepford finally installed a bike rack, but it’s outside and not visible from inside the facility, so that’s not going to be one of my cycling destinations.  The shopping center where the PF’s located is high traffic and I’d be bummed to lose a bike to a drive-by thief.

Saturday took a 21 mile ride and today 24.  On the way home today, I ran into a fellow I know from the bike club and we rode a couple of hill loops near his house.  Got rained on just a little.

In a recent post about the local Ride of Silence, I may have implied that most of the folks in the bike club are on the snooty and effete end of the spectrum, but truth is there’re a lot of people in the club I like.

This afternoon, I drove over to the county seat to have lunch with some friends there. My wife and son had driven over earlier, while I was still riding.  The women were doing hair-coloring and, as I found out when I got there, assembling garden furniture in the living-room.  Theodore and I played a couple of games of Sequence against his wife and Caution-Lady.  They won a game, we won a game.

Back home, I’m getting some of my laundry done for the coming week.

And yes, on my mind today those who have lost their lives in defense of this country and our God-given freedoms.

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What I Want to do Today

is take a bike ride this morning instead of a gym workout, so that’s what I’ll do.  Before today’s scheduled thunderstorms hit.  I wore lycra last weekend for the first time in a year or two.  Man, I looked pretty awful, but the comfort was worth it.  Maybe will again, today.

Bike Days

I think this last Thursday or Friday was Ride Your Bike to Work Day and last week was Bike to Work Week.  Something to do with Bike Month.  Because I work about 30 miles from the house, riding to work wasn’t something I was going to do, however, I take a bike to work most weeks, leave it there, and ride at lunch.  I’ve established three or four different routes, changing them as various subnormals* leave their pitbulls unchained in front of their domiciles.  Shooting the dogs would unnecessarily complicate my workday, so I’ve found other places to ride.  Usually about three to four miles, maybe 15 minute rides depending on headwinds.

Last Wednesday was the local bike club’s Ride of Silence to honor those who’ve been killed while cycling and to raise awareness among motorists that cyclists share the roadways with them.  I’ve ridden along on one other Ride of Silence two or three years ago and had found the experience unpleasant but one that also proved valuable in terms of insight gained.

This year, I brought my young son along because it was something he said he’d like to do.  I wanted my son to ride with me so he’d have some experience riding with a group and some safe experience riding on the street with traffic present.

This year, I’d adjusted my expectations based on my previous experience.  My son and I showed up only a little bit early.  I didn’t bother trying initiate talk with anyone beyond a distant “Hello.”  Not surprisingly, a couple of kids with whom my son’s slightly acquainted from school did not speak to him.  Three people I really like spoke to me, and it was good to see them – it’s been over a year, maybe closer to two, I think, since I last did anything with the bike club.

My son had trouble riding slowly – about nine miles per hour – and some impatience with riders ahead of him slowing unpredictably.  He did a pretty good job of keeping his bike’s wheels from overlapping those of other riders.  He found the Modikoso uncomfortable at first, and I may need to get him a bike-fit appointment one weekend soon.  Amazingly, he was able to maintain total conversational silence during the entire ride.  Afterward, back at the house, he told me it’d been VERY difficult to remain silent during the ride.  He also expressed some disappointment that our police escort rode bikes instead of the cars with flashing lights he’d expected.

Overall, this was a much better experience for me than my last Ride of Silence, because I’d adjusted my expectations regarding the other participants and because I got to ride with my son.

*EDIT: I call them subnormals not because they live in mobile homes, have several junky-looking cars parked in their driveways, possibly perform shift-work through temporary agencies at the area’s few remaining factories, or even because they have pet dogs some of which are pitbulls. I call them  subnormal because they fail to responsibly keep their animals confined.  $.02

Modikoso So Far

Modikoso So Far

Turns out I was able to find components around here beyond reasonable priced.  Ancient, road-rash, big Dura-Ace crankset plus Shimano 600 side-pull brakes.  NOS 105 9-speed shifters.  Seatpost and stem purchased from the frame’s seller.  Dura-Ace 9-speed RD I already had.  Same for handlebars.  The entire thing assembled at Woody’s Bike Shop.  Bike still needs a different front fork – carbon fiber, probably.  Also junky plastic bottle cage I had in a parts bin in the garage.  This frame will never make a cyclocross bike – rear stays clearance w brakes installed allows for maximum width 28mm tires.  Panaracer Paselas 650c in that width allow for a little surface versatility, but lack of clearance contraindicates success in muddy conditions.  My son loves the bike.  Here are a few pictures of the Modikoso so far:

Modikoso Panaracer Pasela 28mm

Modikoso D-Ace RD 105 9sp Cassette

Modikoso D-Ace Cranset & MKS Lambdas

Modikoso 600 Sidepull

Modikoso Bars & 105 Levers

 

Bike Project for 76

Update: I’ll try to post some better pictures of the bike frame this week. C.

Tuesday evening I drove out Murfreesboro to buy a Modikoso bike frame for my son.  Goal is to build up a versatile cyclocross-ish bike for the boy to ride on and offroad.  I happened upon this amazing deal using SearchTempest to search multiple area Craigslist pages within however many miles of home I was willing to drive to make a purchase.  A couple of things sold me on this frame – it came with a Chris King headset that, itself, was probably worth close to what the seller was asking, and it was designed for use with 650b wheels.  A few years back, I picked up a 650b wheelset for $50 from Mike at Elon Bike Shop when I was visiting my best friend, Eric.  (See my Troi Villes Tour d’Alamance blog posts for reference as well as this post about Elon Bike Shop.)

Modikoso w Wheels

The wheels I thought were Shimano 105s, but turns out they were Mavic Experts Mavic CXP 21s (from a distance the sticker looked like it said Expert) with a 105 9 speed cassette.  I’ve got good condition Dura Ace front and rear derailleurs I got around the same time at a local sale for a few dollars.  Now, the big things I need are fork, seatpost, appropriately sized stem, handlebars, crankset and shift/brake levers.  And chain.  And cables. And pedals.  Tires and tubes should be no problem.  Those that came with the tires are old and unsuitable for the use I think this bike will get.

The frame’s seller told me she’d set it up for time-trials.  While I have only the vaguest idea what that is, that Kinesis Air Foil front fork looks like it was designed for riding fast in a straight line on intact, smooth pavement.  Thing I’m trying to figure out is whether the Kinesis fork has to be replaced with a 650b-specific fork or whether a more standard and more easily obtainable 700c fork will work.

Here are a few more photos of the Modikoso:

Modikoso Downtube Sticker

Modikoso Kinesis Airfoil Fork

Modikoso Seat Tube & Stays

Mavic CXP 21 - Not Expert

Modikoso Bottom Bracket

Modikoso Headtube & Headset

On another note, here’s something I drew goofing around with Sketchbook, I think it’s called, on an Ipad:

Nonobjective Copy

Church-Hopping

My wife says she thinks we will get a reputation for church-hopping.  We’ve recently left a congregation we’d associated with for about the past nine years and where I’d served as a Sunday School teacher, elder and sort of co-pastor, and where my wife had played keyboard.  Before that, we’d been part of another congregation where my wife and I had both taught Sunday School and where I’d served as a deacon.  Dunno, maybe anything shy of 20 years with the same congregation indicates instability vis-a-vis ability to build and maintain relationships with other members of a congregation as well as relative to congregational authority and government.  I can see a case for that.

On the other hand, there’s discernment and a freedom, within the Body of Christ, to exercise discernment in regard to leadership trends and changes in what’s considered acceptable.  Also, there’re choices mandated by conscience as one develops biblical categories to make sense of behaviors, statements, trends, and other circumstances or conceptual “currents” that may push against and enswirl Christians in a local congregation.

24-life-in-stream

Something I try to teach those of my clients who are more artistically minded is this:

  • If you’re going to color inside the lines, try to ensure
  • they’re lines you’ve drawn, yourself, or
  • they’re lines that make rational sense to you.

Too often within a religious context we fail to exercise our competence to make sense of what we see, what we hear and what we experience.  The “wolves” the scriptures warn about take advantage of that tendency and often succeed in bringing the local congregation under their own authority creating categories of behavior and contribution to the wolf’s own well-being that are substituted for scripturally grounded Christian faith and practice.  That, in spite of the fact that the scriptures of Old and New Testament never once adjure the elect to pretend about anything.  It was Christ who said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Back to the Christov-Tenn church-hopping family – during the past several weeks, we’ve visited with four different congregations.  One of them, last week, I attended solo as my wife and son were out of town.  My wife told me, “You can visit that one by yourself.”  Turns out she was right about that one.  Today, we plan to return to a nearby church we’ve already been to and see what their Sunday School classes are like.  After this congregation, we’ve got one other we plan to visit with.  And who knows?  Maybe we will become aware of some others we should also visit.

Friends Far Away

This morning, I got up early so I could get to the gym before first light.  Another weekend with crap weather – rain.  We’ve had A LOT of rain here in Southern Middle Tennessee this year.  Last week – Monday through Friday – was mostly sunny with temperatures not super cold.  But most weekends, we’ve had rain.  That’s what is expected again this weekend – more rain.

I didn’t make it to the gym this morning, though.  After paying a bill online, I checked my email and read an email update from the Gibello family.  I’ve mentioned them before on this site.  My son still asks about them and remembers their visit and their camper trailer, which he thought was pretty cool.  My wife and I agreed to make what for us is a fairly large, one-time donation (in addition to our small monthly commitment) because while we’re looking for a congregation to worship with, we’re not doing regular local-church giving.

Friends from the Chattanooga area are coming up to visit this afternoon and when my son woke up this morning, he talked about the Gibello family, confusing them with the family that’s actually spending the afternoon with us.  Odd, huh?  I hadn’t mentioned that I’d just been reading Melissa’s blog posts from her journal.  My son enjoyed looking at the photos of life in PNG, thought the stilt house was cool, thought using a leaf-hut outhouse might be problematic, and he thought having a large river near the house would be “kind of creepy, actually.”