“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Friday, September 28, 2007

MS 150: Winds and Bonking

Last Saturday and Sunday I rode the MS 150 in Topeka. The route on Saturday started at Heartland Park Racetrack. We began the ride with a trip down the dragstrip and then a lap around the road race course. Black marks showed where drivers going much faster than I was had lost control and spun into the grass.
I rode out to Eskridge with a nice tailwind, making great time. But the wind gives and takes away. The return trip was into the wind. I finished 85 miles by 3:30 and headed back to KC to have dinner with the group I fell in with on the BAK this summer. One of them made a DVD from the pictures we had taken. Brenda told me before I left to make sure I was in the pictures I took and not just get pictures of scenery. So most of the ones I submitted to Kyle (the guy who did the DVD) had me in them. An embarassing number of the picturs on the DVD had me in them.
Sunday I was back in Topeka for the 2nd day of riding. The sunrise pictured is from Sunday. We rode from Topeka to Clinton lake. The winds were lighter, but the hills were many and steep. Most of the riders chose the 50 mile option and were finished long before I got in. There were only a handful of riders behind me. I didn't eat enough at the rest stops and was "bonking" at about 50 miles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonk_(condition) I did make it to the next rest stop and ate enough sugar to put me in orbit on a regular day and damn the trans-fat. Eating all that sugar was like buying gas for your car in Mexico: it runs, but not very well. I made it the next 20 miles to the finish, but could tell I had low-octane fuel in my tank.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Last Supper Group

Food from the grill, good wine, fellowship: these are why we joined the Last Supper Group, one of our church's small groups. Tim and Jean Sigler have the gift of hospitality and a large grill that cooks everything from capons to pizza. Friday was our next-to-last meeting until February and fajitas were the theme of the evening.
Brenda was working west of Parkville and had to add another layer to the finish she was doing. She wanted to finish the job and did not plan for the finish to look purple after it dried. Sometimes you just can't plan for everything. She drove home to get product for the final layer to fix the finish. While at home she chopped 3 lbs. of onions and lots of peppers. She finished up the job and met me at Sigler's. I brought the peppers and onions. We always have a blast helping get the food cooked and talking with whoever shows up for the evening. We are blessed to have such an opportunity to make connections with people from the church.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Riding to Topeka

Labor Day weekend we always travel to Topeka to meet at Elaine Spade's house with friends for a cookout. There's always good food, good wine, and good conversation. I decided that I would ride my bike over and Brenda could drive there later in the day.
I set out about noon with 2 bottles of electrolite drink and a 2-liter bladder of water in a backpack strapped to the back of my seat. Traffic was light until I reached Lawrence. Highway 24 had stretches of road with no shoulder so I had to ride out in the traffic. Most drivers moved over at least to the far side of the lane. A couple came close enough to make me really nervous. Ever since we had Kuno stay with us I've dreamed of taking a long bike trip. This gave me some idea of what it will be like to ride alone on a moderately busy highway.
The trip was 60 miles and I had 3 hours and 40 minutes of riding time. I stopped in Perry to refill on water and buy a power bar. I saw a guy from KC I'd met through my real estate group, and we talked for a few minutes. I stopped and talked to mom and dad for a couple of hours before riding on to Elaine's. We got home at 11:30 and I fell into bed.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Marble Day

Brenda & I have a jar of marbles on our countertop. Whenever we have an exceptional day we put a marble in the jar. It serves as a reminder that these great days do come around from time to time and we need to cherish them when they do. Placing the marble also helps us keep from letting a memorable day just fade away.
Yesterday we placed a large marble in the jar. We were invited to stay for dinner after we finished our work yesterday. The place we're working is in the hills of Missouri between Parkville and Weston. We finished our work for the day and had wine and cheese along with good conversation. For dinner we sat on the deck and listened to the cicadas in the trees as the sun set. We made a toast to new good friends. I think we need bigger marbles for days like this.