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bRiaN



Arm Chair Philosopher, Beer Drinker, Environmentalist, Tinkerer, Rambling Bard, Wandering Idiot, Bird Stalker, Artist, Parent, and Day Dreamer.



Updated: 2018-03-06T03:36:26.320-08:00

 



Anti-social and loving it

2016-10-11T10:34:16.376-07:00

It may be my anti-social nature, it may be just that I like being in control of my own fate, it may be that I just haven't found an employer that I feel is smart enough to be my boss... but,I have been working through trial and error over several years to try to build my own business...My first attempt was a backyard clean-up duty... a very shitty job... and nary a single client caller...A second attempt was a web design business, and though years ago I had a couple clients, it wasn't enough to make a living, and technology moved at a pace I could not keep up with, now days its quite easy to build your own website cheaply and easily and they look pretty good... I have used a few generators that produce results in minutes that I could not touch in hours or days years ago...Another attempt was a bicycle touring service, which gained some steam a few years back and could have been successful, but I was quickly burned out on turning my love for adventure into a babysitting job. And quite frankly, after I lost my brother (my touring partner) I lost my desire to ride my bike.Another subsequent attempt was mobile bicycle repair... I gained enough clientele from time to time to make it a decent part time job, but not having support from a brick and mortar store made it somewhat difficult to obtain parts for clients and keeping my rates competitive was impossible. Lastly I just didn't have the heart for it... after nearly ten years of working as a bike shop mechanic even doing it for myself was lacking in enjoyment.I tried doing handyman work, but in Pinellas County it is impossible to advertise without a contractors license, and many jobs are also hard to obtain without some kind of license. Fines are not fun. I had a hard time finding peace working inside peoples homes and was often uncomfortable with the work, and again, just really had no enjoyment for the work.I dabbled in cabinetry construction and installation and found that while I like the wood working, I despise high dollar sales and contract work, and the types of clients that I was able to find while trying to stay competitive. I also took over a business from a previous employer that came with a young partner that was very lost in the business world and had no concept of quality control for cabinetry, even after 4 years experience... my mistake really... I should have seen it coming, I got out of the business before it crashed and burned.While doing handyman work I dabbled a little bit in lawn service because I had a lawn mower and a string trimmer... They were only homeowner quality and it took forever to do a decent sized lawn... but i loved being able to put on headphones and just disappear for a couple hours. Over time I decided that I should start focusing more on that type of work, as I had always enjoyed gardening and urban farming and conservation type work. I have since geared myself towards a lawn service/landscaping business leaning towards a specialty in edible landscaping / urban farming / vegetable and fruit gardening / and garden boxes.Now I have the equipment to do lawn service professionally and I have built up a decent clientele. I emphasize sustainable practices that will build the health of our community and subsequently local waterways. I discourage the use of unsustainable practices to my clients and other lawn service professionals when I can.I am slowly and organically building the connections to build the landscaping side of the business. I have continued to grow vegetables and fruit on our own property and will start to transfer those skills to my clients needs. I have been studying Horticulture and have continued to build a knowledge base in both edible and ornamental landscape plants. I have been working for two years now doing lawn care and landscape maintenance and even in the worst heat of the summer I have very few complaints about the work I have chosen for myself.I enjoy the freedom of running my own business, I enjoy being outdoors on a daily basis and being left in relative solitude for a few hours a day, and even though I work wit[...]



Trail Walkers

2016-06-25T15:47:18.416-07:00

So Caleb and I have involved ourselves in a pretty neat program put out by the Florida State Forestry Service. The Trail Walker program is designed to get folks out and hiking in the state forests of Florida. If you hike a certain amount of trails within a certain amount of State Forest parks, they send you a patch. Its kind of like working towards a badge in scouts. Though our experience with Boy Scouts has been lacking, this was a challenge that we are able to take full control of. This program has gotten us out and hiking at least 5 times a year for the past couple of years as we work towards obtaining our patches. It has taken us into some beautiful scenery and given us a chance to try out new equipment in a quest to lighten our packs and become avid hikers and backpackers... I'll try to post more stories as time goes by of our trips but this post will be about several trips we've taken over the last few years. Just a few photos to share for now.Check out the program link: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Recreation/Hiking[...]



Finding Myself

2016-06-18T12:26:02.851-07:00

Life can take you down some interesting roads if you are willing to make some turns. For some time I have been interested in homesteading, gardening, self sustainability and such... recently an old friend of mine invited me to join him in helping out on a friends farm. When I agreed to go it was because I was at a point in my life where I needed a new adventure to save me from the monotony of my every day life running a new business(more on that later). What I found out there was something I have been looking for for quite some time. Rigo's property isnt much of a farm per se, as a homestead, and when we got started out there it was just barely that. With some sweat, dirt, several weekends worth of labor, and a fair share of gasoline, we have created what is growing into a community supported agriculture project that will sustain multiple families. Vegetables, fruits, livestock, honey, never ending projects, ideas, adventures, fun... Finding myself out on this farm has been an adventure that I have only dreamed of in my years of classes in environmental science, biology, horticulture... not to mention the things I have involved my family in with the gardening and keeping chickens... the constant pursuit of self sustainability, controlling the ingredients in our diet that ultimately effect our health. Finding myself out on this farm has been a lesson in finding myself.[...]



About... Brian

2016-06-09T04:34:33.894-07:00

For those of you who have been faithful followers of my blog you have seen some of my triumphs, as well as some of my calamities. Life has a way of bringing you up when you need it, but it can also bring you crashing down when you least expect it, and are least prepared.

Much has happened in the years since my last post on Friday the 13th, some negative, some positive; I spiraled through some pretty severe depression, I lost many jobs, I became jaded to the cycling world as a whole... but though I dont ride a bike anymore I have taken some hobbies more seriously, I have built a bigger family, I have made a few friends, and I have learned how to adventure again.

I have had this blog on the back of my mind for a long time since... I guess I left it to the cycling phase of my life, which I triumphantly exited about 3 years ago. Well after coming back and reading a handful of my posts, I realized that this page is not about what I left behind, rather it is about the adventure that I still contain within me. It is not about Bike Brian... it is simply about... Brian.

I want to catch this blog up, as well as some of the people who still linger in to read it once in a while, with some of the adventures I have shared with my family and friends, whether I can include epic bike journeys or my brothers involvement is no longer of serious consequence, because I can enjoy an adventure without mourning him now. I can enjoy an adventure with my son, and my wife, and now my youngest son. I can keep the fun going, and it'll be fun to look back in years to come, at all the things I was able to get out and do with my family.



...

2012-04-13T13:45:04.087-07:00

Sometimes it pays to take an unplanned personal day. Or I guess for that matter it could be planned... but the main idea is that it is cleansing to the soul to take time off when you expected to be stressed by the days work. Today I took some time to myself. I took a walk around Weedon Island to take in some fresh air. I rode my bike a few miles around St. Pete. I spent some time cleaning around the house. I worked on a couple projects I have had lying around. Yes I would normally do these things on my regularly scheduled days off, but playing hookie, as they say, afforded me the chance to do these things on what normally would have been someone elses time. Today has been a relaxing sigh of relief, a breath of fresh air, a time to reflect and think about the things that are going on in my life.
I hope to spend more time doing things that are worthy of posting in my blog. Yesterday two touring cyclists, travelling from Oregon, needed a ride over the skyway and I was more than happy to oblige... I want to find that motivation that I used to yearn for to seek out these kinds of opportunities to help cyclists in need, rather than simply work as a bike mechanic, i want to fill a void in the cycling world. I want to feel that what I am doing matters, not just in the sense of repairing someones bicycle, but in that I am continuing their adventures.
It was good to take some time to think about these things today, now its up to me to decide what I should do with this epiphany...



Going green? no way, we INVENTED green!

2011-12-09T04:33:13.405-08:00

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With the new house we have had many plans for continuing our quest for "greenness," such as building garden beds, installing rain barrels, composting our food wastes, and keeping chickens. The rain barrel demo was recently posted so i wont go into detail about that, but Peanut and I recently worked on building a chicken coop and a compost turner.
At the trailer that Peanut and I shared with my brother Chris, we had a compost "pit" in the far corner of our garden. The pit idea isn't realistic in the new house, and wasn't great in practice anyway because you had to turn it with a shovel and couldn't move it readily. Another thing is that the food waste would attract critters of all kinds and could stink. The compost tumbler keeps the decaying process under control and away from animals and other outside influences and helps the keep it aerated with out having to use a shovel and bend over so much.
Also, the chicken coop there... it is not finished and we wont be ready for chickens for some time, but we got a head start... this is going to be the permanent coop house as it is sheltered and will be secure, but we will also have a "tractor" style run that we can move around the yard to let them truly be "free-range" chickens, without fear of the local red-shouldered hawks snatching up a quick meal of our egg layers. There will be more pictures to follow as we finish more of the chicken house and runs.



Quiver of quizzical quibble

2011-12-05T05:46:34.614-08:00

I have wanted to hunt for a long time... and I know what you are thinking... environmentalist, animal lover, former vegetarian, etc.... well, it is precisely these things that have led me to this decision. The food you get in stores is terrible, full of hormones and antibiotics, made with animals that barely have room to move, never get to roam and be free, and possibly never see the light of day. The term "free-range" has been a buzz word for some time in the organic food industry, but are they really free to range? Nothing is more "free-range" than wild animals.
Now ethically people may consider that what hunters do is cruel, barbaric, and possibly disgusting... I assure you if you ever took the time to trace the food you eat from source to table you would never eat the same way again... from the confinement to the inhumane slaughtering practices done by our food industry, hunters are far more humane, far more sanitary, and far less cruel to the animals they take out of respect for the planet.
Last but not least is the idea of land management... The animals I intend to take are animals that are possibly introduced species and have been allowed to over populate the areas they are found, out competing the local wildlife, and possibly destroying the ecosystems they inhabit. For one, wild hogs were brought in from Europe and have been a nuisance ever since, destroying habitats as well as trail systems built by us for the enjoyment of the outdoors. Hogs are very destructive creatures, and from what I hear they are very good eating... So with this new hobby I plan to live up to my environmentalist ways both by eating healthier animals that weren't inhumanely obtained, and by contributing to wildlife management.
I will try to keep this page updated as I get more into things, but for now it is only still an idea...
I plan to buy a compound bow and hunt with a few friends, but I will have to practice as an archer before I ever attempt to take down an animal.



Flat Repair Plus

2011-12-05T05:28:51.456-08:00

(image) Got this little idea whilst eating Emerald nuts... said to myself.. "hmm... this looks like a waterbottle..." and after some experimenting this is what came of that... for a long trip or a trip that may require some extra tools or parts, this thing may come in handy. I was able to fit everything on the counter there into the container. I also wrapped some electrical tape around the outside of the container for other just-in-case emergencies though I think duct tape woulda been more handy. I took this with me on my 225 mile ride and though I never needed any of it, i was grateful to have it for peace of mind.

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225 miles in one day...

2011-12-05T05:28:05.754-08:00

Donned in brightly reflective clothing, Bill and I rolled away from the house at 4a.m. not knowing exactly what adventure me might find. The plan, was, well, insane... our intended goal was to ride 350 kilometers... in one day. This trip was starting out as an emotionally challenging event to begin with considering that my brother Christopher was supposed to be going with us... He always did enjoy an adventure like this, in fact he was with me the first time I set out to do a personal record when him and I did 120 miles together... I planned this trip to see how far I could go, and I intended for him to go with me, and he would have made it.Bill and I had my brother with me in spirit and though I wanted to quit for the first 100 miles, I feel my brother encouraged me to stay the course.The green post may look familiar to others who have followed my blog in the past, for it was the very post that my brother, Caleb and I have used for very similar bike poses... The caboose picture as well has been used to pose one a number of occasions that we had made it all the way out to Inverness... this time it didnt take two days to get there... this was only our halfway point. The Istachatta General Store has changed a bit, though it is still neat inside and has become more of a thrift shop, they have repainted and taken down the sign outside. All things being said, despite some serious emotional challenges, passing by a murder scene, and being extremely depleted by the time we rolled into my driveway again at 1a.m. the following morining, we completed our goal and improved my personal one day distance record by more than 100 miles, completing 225 miles in just 19 hours of riding time. This is a trip I will never forget. And the personal reflection that I had to put myself through over hours of saddle time will not soon be forgotten, as well my brother will never be forgotten.[...]



The end of an epic era.

2011-11-09T05:48:33.914-08:00

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The hardest thing I have ever had to face has been the death of my little brother last month. Christopher did much adventuring with me as my blog will attest, and we were very close friends. No one understood me in the way that he did, and I will never be able to replace him as a friend. My brother and I shared our entire lives together, both in time and emotionally. I do know that he will be with me in spirit on any adventure I take, and when I am working on something in the garage, and when I'm just standing around enjoying a beer. I love my little brother. I will miss him greatly.



Riding the Monkey

2011-10-11T11:32:09.018-07:00

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Starting to think like a cyclist... I have been yelling back at my legs, though they put up a good fight. I tell them to shut up. Riding is more consistent than ever before, though I may not be as strong as I once was, my progression and dedication are better than ever and I am on my way to being faster than I ever was. Though that aint sayin much!
Looking forward to racing this weekend at Alafia River State Park. I haven't been on the monkey in some time so this will be more for fun than competition... but we'll see what these legs of mine have in them.



Put it together... collect the rain

2011-08-30T18:38:53.731-07:00

(image) The previous owners of our home had intended to turn this pile of bamboo into a fence... I tried doing that without tying it and it fell into the same pile that was here when I arrived. Today I had the bright Idea to repurpose this pile.. unfortunately it was only a small portion but I did my best to make a dent. There was also a barrel that had been left behind so i figured i could harvest some rain water. here are the pictures... im sure you can put the rest together.


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The Predecessor and the Successor

2011-08-24T18:48:55.021-07:00

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been riding a lot lately. have done longer and more difficult rides than I have done in some time... on the road bike at least... I have been riding the Peugot Success, which has earned the nick name "Old Betsy", for the fact that she is an old, heavy bike, and the fact that an english co-worker of mine calls many older bikes that he works on by the same name. I had been holding off on a 60 mile, sunday morning ride due to it's length and the fact that most of the guys that do this ride, that I know well enough to know better of their abilities in the saddle, make this ride a difficult one for even the most accomplished riders. This past sunday morning Old Betsy and I accomplished this sunday training ride, despite her hefty 25lbs of steel, and despite all these other thoughts floating through my head. I figure I have been able to keep up with the local 22 mile, morning rides, now I should be able to keep up with these guys. Well I was right... for about 45 miles... I got dropped. The hard part of this whole ride was that I knew I had a new bike being shipped to the shop... I had been waiting for a brand new Cannondale CAAD10 on the previous friday and hoped that it would have been delivered to the Fish prior to my sunday ride, but no such luck. I could have been climbing some hundreds of feet of elevation on top of 17 lbs of pure race developed technology, but I was on 25lbs of steel and rubber that seemed to be doing everything it could to keep me off the back of the group. The whole while reminding myself that I chose to do this ride... knowing that I had not yet received my new super-light, race worthy bike, that may have given me a better chance of keeping up. Well.. I didnt keep up, but I did show up, and I did try. And I am proud of myself for having done so. The day after that ride I did receive that nice, light-weight, expensive road bike... and it is beautiful, lightweight and very fast... but though I am happy to have this new race machine, I am happy to have accomplished some major challenges on Old Betsy that I had previously reserved for her predecessor.



Day dreaming of camping and bicycle touring

2011-07-29T04:44:21.193-07:00

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These afternoon summer rains have led to cooler mornings around here... cool mornings lead to good tent sleeping. With the training for this triathlon, which will be tomorrow morning, I'm starting to see that my strength to ride a fully loaded touring bike will be more than adequate for a 3 day trip. Ellen has been riding quite a bit lately as well and her bike will be great for taking a nice trip. The important thing now will be to build up something that Caleb will be able to ride for a couple hundred miles. The lure of the trails and tent camping has got me dreaming of the smell of a camp fire and the sounds of the woods at night... this year will be a good one I am imagining. This house is settled and soon we will be able to afford time to get out and explore. I am looking forward to our next family tour, and whatever else I can manage to squeeze out of my schedule.



Riding

2011-07-26T14:15:56.674-07:00

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I have been riding a lot lately... to work, from work, group rides, fun rides... I have been keeping the triathlon in mind and have lost a bit of weight during the process... my most enjoyable rides lately have been around the neighborhood of the new house and with my family... here are some photos of our recent ride down to Co(image) ffee Pot Bayou in St Pete...



New house!

2011-07-26T14:08:41.558-07:00

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ahhh, its been a while. Over the few weeks I have been focused on moving into the new home. My Fiancee and I have recently purchased a new home and our efforts have been focused on getting things done around here. a few (image) (image) pics to post...(image)
I have a separate garage/man cave, a fenced in yard for the dogs, and a lot of old pavers left behind by the previous owner that I am turning into a base for a raised garden... of course I have to have a garden ;) the barrel will be used as a rain barrel to keep the garden watered.
Ellen and I are excited about our new home and especially that we can do as we please with it. We have been busy finishing the floors, buying up furniture and decor, unpacking boxes, and cleaning things up. We hope to have a party as soon as things are finished and cleaned up as we feel is fit.



Teaser...

2011-06-28T19:03:46.768-07:00

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Ellens new Cross Check, "light weight touring bike." The new robins egg blue color with mid blade fork rack mounts. Killer light weight racing wheels, Hugi made (now DT Swiss) Coda hubs on Mavic Open Pro rim... spared no expense on this guy. I know I didnt document this one quite like my Giant but I certainly spent the same time getting it up and running. I have been so busy with moving into the house lately that my internet access has been limited... more pics of this bike to come ;)



woOt! new house!!!

2011-06-28T17:09:16.087-07:00

Ok... so crazy as hell the last couple weeks. moving into the new house and getting it tented for termites has been nuts. riding has been going, though not as frequently due to moving stress... for sure there will be more to post about... I built up a bike for Ellen so the pictures of her bike will be up as soon as we have more internet access and when I can find my camera after they take the tents down. WooT! new house! ok laters.



Testing the Waters

2011-06-21T13:08:56.593-07:00

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Wow... so... yeah... I just signed up for my first triathlon. Last night I registered for the Top Gun sprint triathlon at Ft. Desoto Park coming up at the end of July. I have considered doing a triathlon for some time, but finally decided to sign up and do it. I have been on a kick to loose some weight lately as I went from about 160lbs to 210lbs in the last three years. Most of the guys at the shop (flying Fish) do triathlons and their fitness and drive have motivated me to get back in shape, as in my mtb racing days. It was really merely whim that drove me to sign up for this tri as my interest over the last few years has not been geared towards triathlons, but as I have been running a lot lately, and my skill on the bicycle... it just made sense. So the training begins... or rather continues... this tri will be a continuation of my weight loss project but also an adventure in territories yet unexplored by myself. I have competed in many difficult types of racing: XC racing, single speed racing, 6 hour mtb racing, a 13 hour race, several long distance tours, two Trail to Trail Races (in the all MtB Catergory, even one before the all mountain catergory was available) a couple unofficial brevets(120+ miles in a day), and even the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race which is well renown long distance mountain bike race that takes place in the mountains of Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina(Which I did on a rigid single speed mountain bike). But a triathlon is something that I dont have to explain when bragging of my accomplishments. Everyone knows what a triathlon is, and the difficulties associated with it are known well enough by the lay person that I dont have to go into any great detail over what the acronyms mean, or how much climbing was involved, or how far I went, or how difficult it was on my type of bike. I am excited to test the waters, literally and figuratively, with triathlon racing, and to add it to my repertoire of endurance adventures. I will be looking to this triathlon as the first, but possibly not the last, of my adventures in triathlon racing.



My new (old) bike, and an aside on solitude.

2011-06-16T13:17:43.329-07:00

I know I have been obsessively recording the steps along the way towards changing this old Giant Nutra hybrid bike into a capable touring machine. But to me this bike is more than a simple build up from an old bike to an old bike with bags and racks. To me this project is more than just a mechanical exploration of what is possible with an old bike, but rather a reintroduction to the things I love.The Long Haul Trucker was a beautiful bike, and while I loved it, it was too small for me, but that bike was a vehicle for my travels, not only in the sense of going bicycle camping, but into my own thoughts and solitude. A side note on solitude to follow. This new(old) bike is not only a way to get into exploring these things again, but its build has led me to feel more attached to this bike than I ever have with the old Surly.I have documented the visible changes, such as the bars, tires, racks, and bags... but I haven't said much about the mechanical things that do not show up in pictures. The things such as the bottom bracket rebuild that replaced bearings and grease, the meticulous lubing and readjustment of the derailleurs, cables, brakes, stem, seat post, frame bolts, and truing of the wheels. These seem minute details, regular maintenance, boring necessities, things that would have been done to the trucker no doubt and by me.So why the hubbub? I have grown close to this old bike, giving her meticulous care, updating necessary components, and even some not so necessary. While the Trucker was built and bred as a touring machine, this old betsy is breathing a new life as a re-purposed machine... but less a machine, and more a living breathing life, that has the ability to start over as something else and live a life it had not had the chance to do.This feeling of rebirth is something that I imagine most people go through... things in life change situations. New choices lead to new paths, and in this case new journeys, and new adventures, and new life. The care I have given this bike, seeing that she will be ready for the next trip, seeing that she will have the right parts to see her through to the end, has really made me grow close to this bike. Though the Long Haul Trucker didn't need this meticulous attention to make it tour ready, it is this attention to the Giant that has given me a closeness to her that I never had with the LHT. I have been through some things in life and though nothing of real note to speak of, not being able to enjoy my adventures in life can be just as depressing as losing a loved one.I have re-kindled a sense of adventure within me by growing close to this old machine, by bringing new life into her and into my sense of adventure. Every minute I have spent rebuilding this bike has gotten me closer to another adventure tour, and towards my exploration of nature and solitude on my new (old) Bike. Post script on solitude:Solitude, as it may seem does not necessarily mean alone. Adventure and the exploration of the beauty of nature in solitude doesn't take away the idea of sharing this solitude. The dictionary definition of the word lends more towards the idea of a quiet place away from human activity. Though I have been on several hiking and touring trips with Ellen, and with other people, the company of others never took away from the individual appreciation of those things that Emerson, Muir, and Thoreau describe so eloquently about nature and solitude.[...]



Project: Budget Touring Bike - Part 3

2011-06-16T09:13:43.121-07:00

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The front racks came in for the bike yesterday, and though they needed some bit of modification to make them work with my front fork, they are mounted up and ready for some camping! The bike as you see it is pretty much Trail Travel ready, but with some upgrades to be seen in the future. So I wont call this the final chapter... It will continue to be a work in progress as is any bike, however, with less than $250 and some bit of patience I was able to put a touring bike together that could haul me across the country if I asked it to. Woofreakinoot!
These front bags (for some reason) did not have the spring attachment that the rear bags did to hold the panniers to the racks, so I got a flat bungee cord and made some modifications to make it useful. The front racks also seemed to be intended for a fork with less rake than mine, so I used some old disc brake adapters as extenders to make the whole thing fit. I will say that some of these mods were much more helpful being mechanically enclined, and extremely much more so since I am employed by a bike shop. but either way, I made things work and it looks stock.



It feels great to be on a bike.

2011-06-16T09:04:18.113-07:00

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Rode the touring bike into downtown Tampa yesterday. Got a couple decent shots with the cell phone camera. There is a certain peace that comes with leaving early for work, but especially when you have a couple hours to kill before you have to clock in. It was beautiful to see the river and some parts of the city I have never ridden through. It feels great to be on a bike.



Wisdom comes with age

2011-06-14T06:08:52.974-07:00

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(image) This is a beautiful place. I went for an early morning ride through south Tampa on the Peugot, from Ellen's work on Henderson near Dale Mabry, down to Bayshore Blvd and out Davis Island and out to the point near Peter O'Night Airport. Starting to realize the appeal of this place... as a child you become complaisant of your home town, I guess wisdom comes with age, or maybe I'm starting to settle for this area. Either way, there is beauty to be found, and the subsequent joy that comes with viewing it, in the Tampa Bay area. Whether I am settling or truly starting to find joy in my home town, either way I'm sure I'll be happy with either.
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Looking forward to the next chance

2011-06-10T17:29:31.649-07:00

(image) What could be better than riding to work? Takes the dullness out of the morning commute, turns a normal ritual into a nice ride, gives you a chance to see things you usually hate to see whilst headed to work all day. Great ride this morning! I also had the chance to test out my new rear panniers... I have to say, it felt great to be on a touring bike again... after loosing my LHT I was ecstatic to be on a real touring bike again. It just makes me wish that much harder for a chance to take another tour. I have been riding and running a bit lately to get in shape for my next tour... as soon as my bike is ready i'll be looking forward to the next chance.
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Project: Budget Touring Bike - Part 2

2011-06-09T11:26:54.845-07:00

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I got the Panniers in today, and yesterday I got a free rear rack from work that was intended for the donation heap. The front pannier is not mounted to a rack yet as those were much harder to find. In this picture the front panniers are hanging from the brakes. Two seconds after this picture took they both fell off, you can kinda see the left one going. I like the red though... it really pops off of the black bike. Im planning on making some darker rain covers for them to keep them discreet for stealth camping. so far though the bike is REALLY coming along.
The Cannondale panniers are very small but more than enough to carry all of my backpacking gear with plenty of room for food and souvenirs. All 4 bags have an outside pouch for organizing smaller things. My tent doesnt fit in the bags but will fit nicely on top of the rear rack. Which will be necessary anyway after rainy nights, to allow the tent to dry.
These panniers are great... it seems as if someone bought them years and years ago and just kept them in storage... they are in perfect condition and if they were used it could only have been once or twice. there is no sun damage to them at all, and not a bit of dirt. GREAT ebay find!
I am waiting on front racks, rims, and need to find fenders and possibly a better headset that is easier to adjust.
So far I have spent less than $200 and with my front rack and rim order I will still be at just under $250. I do understand that for most this number might be a little higher as I do work in a bike shop and have access to things others do not, but so far I have only purchased the tires, rims, and front rack through the shop. The rest of the stuff could be found on craig's list or ebay.
Until next time....