Monday, June 25, 2007

California Dreamin'

Am I completely nuts?? Who decides that for their longest vacation in over 2 years they're going to fly to California and spend the whole time on a bike? I'm sure there are quite a few others like that out there, but they're crazy. I must be too.

I'm leaving on Tuesday for the great state of California to bike the coast with my uncle Joe. Joe's a great guy, pastor at a church in Valencia, CA. We're starting just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and biking to just north of Santa Barbara. We're biking 6 days in total, and camping 5 nights. We're living it up in Monterey, however, we're staying in luxurious 2-star accommodations!

Side note, typing "accommodations" with 2 pairs of repeating letters reminded me of Cartalk's weekly puzzler. Which word has 3 pairs of consecutive letters that are all in a row. For example, 2 pairs of repeated consecutive letters would be "commiTTEE". If not for the "i" then it would be 3 pairs in a row. There is one word that I know of, and I remember reading about that riddle in an Encyclopedia Brown book back in the day. Remember those books? I was totally into them, heck, I wanted to BE Encyclopedia Brown. And Alex P Keaton. And Frank Hardy (not Joe Hardy however) Man was I dork. In any case, if you know that word, email Cartalk, or better yet, post it on my comments. If no one gets it I'll post the answer in a couple days.

I was the coolest kid in elementary school.

Back to the biking trip. So I'm riding my newish bike, a Surly Crosscheck. It's a locally made bike that is perfect for commuting and touring. My friend Tom and I put it together (really, he did all the work, but I supplied the Surly beer - while both companies are local, they are not related that I know of. Surly bikes is in the south metro, Surly beer is in the north). Here are some photos from the bike building experience. I don't have a finished photo, but I'll have some photos of it from California I'm sure.

Me with the pieces in Tom's basement

It's starting to look like a bike! Thanks Tom!

Hopefully I will be uploading photos and blogging about my trip occasionally from Cali. Big Sur here I come!!

This will be me in a couple days!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Getting Nostalgic About the Cast

I'm losing a new friend tomorrow. This friend has been with me every moment (in some form) for nearly 6 weeks. But it has come time for us to part ways. :( At 11am tomorrow, I get my cast (the 6th and final one) removed, and my last pin taken out. I've been really looking forward to this. Other than obviously making typing very difficult, I've had to adjust much of my life in unexpected ways. Little things, like being unable to put my running watch on have made running freer from the constraints of time. On the minus side, opening beer bottles is tough, but once it's open, my free 3 fingers are perfectly positioned to hold that beer!

Here's a photo of my new soon to be old friend. While I'll miss its steady presence, I will not miss explaining what happened to roughly 50 new people each day.

So my life has adjusted, but hasn't changed too much, other than being unable to run in the heat. As Mike noted, I've been biking one-handed quite a bit. And why have I been biking so much? Because in 1 week I'm biking down the coast of California!

I'll be riding my new Surly Crosscheck that Tom built for me (I tried to help!) I'm riding with my uncle Joe who lives in LA. I'll have to post photos after the trip.

In other news, the past month since I've blogged has been rather eventful. The weather turned nice and reminded me why I love it here so much. I've been enjoying all the festivals (Grand Old Day, Edina Art Fair and Stone Arch Festival), the trails, and any other excuse to be outside.

My friend and former roommate Joel visited me from NYC. Try and try as I did, I couldn't convince him to move here, but he did love it here and his only negative comment was that we have too much greenspace in the urban core! I'll take it. We also went to my high school reunion, I'll let you guess which year reunion that is.

The Chris Taylor cabin weekend o' running was also last month (day after my surgery actually). 8 smelly guys running 15 miles a day in northern WI and drinking way too much each night. Great times had by all!!! Can't wait to get back up there. Thanks Chris!

And yesterday was Grandma's Marathon. I didn't run, but Eben and I were out cheering the half and full marathon finishers for about 6 hours! It was a blazing hot and humid day (we taught Hang a new word, "sultry"), so most people's times weren't what they are capable of, but I'm really excited for everyone who ran and you all should be proud of your accomplishments. Major props to Anne for her major PR in the half, and to Mike, Steve, Tyler and Jennie who made running in this heat look easy with PRs as well. Great job!! I had such a blast cheering all of you on, more cowbell anyone? :)

OK, I'm tired of typing, so I'll just post some photos here from the past month:

The Chris Taylor running crew

Who's going to win, Mama Bear or Steve-O?

There's that stupid cast again (#5). On a boat ride near St. Paul

Joel surveys the Mpls skyline. What does the urban planner think?

Lynch vs. Johnson. The real race. Who needs Grandma's? (or Professor??)

Duluth from above (thanks Jeremy for showing us this place!)