June 29th, 2010
9:00AM appointment @ DM RV repair to address lack of frige cooling. Aaron gained my trust right away. He checked electrical outputs that measured OK. He discovered that the installation created a dead air space above the top of the upper exhaust vents. The hot air “cooked” the chemicals in the gas absorption process which destroyed the frige’s ability to chill. He created and added a baffle to direct the hot air out to top of vent. This baffle should have been done by Van Specialities who installed the frige. I am now engaged in negotiations w/ Van Specialties for replacement frige. I will buy a new frige and install from DM. Don’t know when that will happen or outcome of claim. New frige I found was $750 plus shipping. The ice chest will continue to be integral to my cramped interior.
Spent most of day @ DM.
Drove back to PUSH to visit. I Asked Darren for parking lot sleeping privilege which was granted.
Left seeking shade to hide under. Temp @ 6:15PM was 88 degrees w/ 25% humidity. It is uncomfortable.
Choice pic of Chris Lesser, the author of the Bike MAG article.
Chris Lesser wondering what he did, or thinking of further articles?
Dinner in another parking lot. Off to buy shower @ health club.
June 28th, 2010
Parking spot last night proved to be a bit more active than i estimated. 2 fright trains went by, the 100 feet distance just kept the engineer from looking into my windows. Temp never dropped below 70 making a sweaty sleep. Just after I crawled into bed I heard a car pull in right beside me, like next parking slot and there were others to choose. The engine was left running. I first thought police but after several minutes no car door opening followed by a rap on the van happened. I peeked out thru gap in curtains. Dark car, maybe SUV, engine running. Next thought was perhaps a couple parking or some kind of criminal activity. I debated about packing up and leaving. Instead I sweated in the heat in bed. I heard their car door open quietly followed by a woman’s hurling sound followed by a wet splat on the pavement then the car left. I wondered what hit the pavement. I shined my flashlight on the pavement and spotted a white puddle w/ spittle in it. Yep, she wasn’t a swallower.
In the AM I opened the side door and hung inside the van. I was right on a thruway from office buildings and Whole Foods and there was almost a constant flow of people heading for goodies then back. A guy, Rob, comes over and introduces himself and said he has been reading m y blog. He is also a Turner addict w/ a Flux and Spot. Next Justin stops, he was one of the riders I sort of rode w/ @ Soapstone on Sat. They were faster riders and beat me back to parking lot and left b4 3rd t-storm. Then Matt pedals up on a bike. He was riding on the trail and saw a green van and he wondered if it might be the green van from BikeMag. He discovered it was. He is manager of Performance Bike store just down the way. He is so pumped. He invites me to the store just down the way to meet rest of his staff. I made the store. They had copies of the BikeMag that were awaiting my autograph. How cool.
Bid FT Collins adieu and headed back to Loveland for Tues AM frige service. I stopped @ Jax which is like a big hardware sportsgoods military surplus store just to poke around and enjoy the AC. Outside temp was flirting w/ 100 and it was hot. B4 walking into the store I invited myself into a conversation w/ 2 firefighters tending their firetruck. I wanted to know how they ran the engine and if there were specific job roles. Yes there are. Got to talking about firefighters carrying obese vicitms. Their back & neck injuries are caused by moving the obese.
Went into store and gawked at all the merchandise. Visual overload. Struck up a conversation w/ an attractive young woman employee. Received some smiles and giggles. I felt warm.
Bought a CO Gazetteer because I will be spending July in CO & having a detailed map will be most needed. Bought salad makings @ Albertson’s and drove to shoreline of Loveland lake and parked in shade of 2 large cottonwoods. I was reading the Time Visions of Victory book when an older Ford pickup pulled up beside me driven by an elderly man. He started a conversation about my van. He is 80 and served in Korea, fought @ frozen reservoir battle (Chosin?) where US sufferd enormous losses, many froze to death. We both enjoyed the conversation. He told me war stories he never told his daughter.
The sun is setting, the park is being populated by shore fisherman.
Spoke w/ Grace today during my weekly Monday call. She and Mike are in Leadville for some course preriding. Leadville is 10,000′ or so. Thurs we meet near Breckenridge for long weekend.
Hey, any of you readers, I have a Chris King ISO QR 32 spoke hub laced to a DT Swiss 4.2d rim everything in black and never ridden on trued front wheel for $ 150 and a Fox Float 140mm travel fork tuned for a 150# rider recently rebuilt by PUSH for $450. I accept PayPal and will UPS your purchase to your door step. My van is getting full and, well, I can use the money. I could autograph it for you. Buy a piece of the Living the Dream odyssey.
Say Good Night, Craig.
June 27th, 2010
Yesterday I drove from PUSH parking lot in Loveland, CO to FT Collins seeking local trails. Stopped @ Matter Bookstore on main drag in FT Collins for map info. Interesting: it was a .pdf on cd. I didn’t buy as Soapstone was not included. Friendly clerk went on line to natural area office and found the driving instructions. Said it was 25 miles from town. I perceived that to be 25 miles north on 287 to Wyoming. Wrong. Missed first turn and drove said 25 miles. Turned around. Pulled over and called the number listed on the brochure. i learned that rt turn is just out of town. First navigational mistake. Drove out to Soapstone over st hwy, county paved then to dirt then to washboarder dirt to entrance. Suzy was on duty.
She was just floored by me, said I was the most unique person whom she has net at the booth. OK, booth is out in the sticks.
She plied me w/ questions, i tols stories, she took photos. We kept each other occupied for maybe 30 minutes. I wanted to get riding b4 noon to beat the heat.
Trails are on a steppe instead of a plateau, just a slight incline and lack tree cover: just you, your bike, some grasses, and the sky. Joined 2 other guys sharing my ride plans. Weather was threatening storm. Prepared me had his rain jacket in his heavy pack. Rode out on machine cut trails, smooth on like decomposing granite type soil which moves under force. At a later intersection we split ways going different ways to meet later, it turned out I wasn’t supposed to meet them there. T-storm broke during my solo trail. I rode past the intersection I was supposed to take. One intersection joined another 1 a short distance in. I misinterpreted the trail name and rode up to top, met the guys who interpreted the map correctly. They were in just riding clothes wetted by rain. I rode what they rode and then back again on what I rode until the missed intersection was reached, i made the correct turn up Canyon trail that was shallow, not steep, and covered in prairie grasses. Another T storm moved in. Lightning struck earth in the same time the thunder cracked. Out in the open but a bit below high points. Just kept pedaling and kept my head down. Storm moved on b4 i crested the high flat open land where i was the highest thing, Trail dropped down hill mostly from here on ST. Again the dirt moves under force b4 I really want to lean into it. Several of the turns were sudden preceded by like a grade dip that I pump tracked gaining speed only to dive into a turn. Grabbing brakes, mostly front, to enter the turn @ a safer speed and not skid. Finally saw TH in distance as another T- storm blew in. This one was windier that buffeted me all way back to van. Not much in the rain, still putting the bike on the rack and wrestling the wind to secure the rain cover over the bikes got me damp. What it lacked in wetness it made up for in penetrating force. Solar shower didn’t heat up and beside, no way was I going to shower in that wind. I did think about taking over the CXT outhouse made in Hillsboro, TX plant for a shower stall.
Drove back into Ft Collins thinking shower, laundry, dinner from Whole Foods mecca. GPS displayed public pool. Found it but it was closed. Whole Foods goodies and I drove to laundromat right on main drag. Clean clothes. Next was a sleep spot. GPSd the hospital to look for dr office parking lots. Found what i was looking for. Cooler night. Slept better.
Darren from PUSH said he might ride Horsetooth on Sun and would call me. No call Sat night.
Sunday after a few errands I drove out to Horsetooth TH. Trail up was an old road w/ a lot of 12 to 17% grade. Worked up to 7000′ again. Encountered a young law enforcement officer equiped w/ his utility belt but no hat or water. He approved of my route. Headed out on techy narrow ST mix of slight up & down w/ some flat in between. On a hike a bike section I met a guy coming down. We were both off our bikes him going down and me going up. We struck up a conversation, he is a consulting forester. Above us a rider was rolling down over rocks & roots. He passed between us thru some rocks. I saw the Turner logo and read 5Spot, just like mine except he was riding a coil over shock that Darren said would make my bike feel like a different bike. I continued on finally going down. I encounter Drew, the guy on the Spot. We chatted, he is a good friend of Darren’s of PUSH. Cool.
ST joined back to main trail and I dropped vertical on road. Bummer.
At TH the solar shower was waiting. I wanted a shower and the crowded parking lot seemed like a good place to be private in a public place. I hung the shower from the rain gutter. Hot shower. Shampooed & wash cloth soap scrubbed. I kept my shorts on.
Drove back into FT Collins to be a downtown tourist. Healthy downtown. All 2 story brick buildings. Lots of people. Pleasant walking around looking @ buildings & desirable women. Lots of trim women wearing summer dresses. Had a beer in a brew pub.
Drove to Whole Foods where I remember shade trees in an ajoining parking lot. This is my night spot. Whole Food treat after bfast and then down to Loveland.
Using a cooler to refrigerate my food. I have thrown out almost all of my food from frig because of like 55 degree temps. Learned that true Parmesan can be stored @ room temp.