Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Break

That's right. I'm taking a break. I've been slowly doing things today to get ready for the holidays, but I needed a break, and here I am. The weather is damp and a cool, but I still think it's eons better than the usually snowy north. In fact, if I had any motivation at all, I'd have gone for a ride even if it meant getting soaked.

However, I have said I was going to take a break from riding, and though I can feel my fitness literally leaving, and I can see the extra weight I've put on, I'm sticking to my guns. I figure I'll get back on the bike by the end of the year. Then I have 3 weeks to get ready for my first race. Nothing like planning ahead.

So what have I been doing otherwise? Well, I did go watch some trains and take pictures of a few downtown at Town Lake. So these are the two best shots I got.

Like I've said, I'm a train geek. In fact, I actually really enjoy chasing trains. It's relaxing, if you take the approach I have of getting something to drink and maybe snack on, set up somewhere, and wait. It's like fishing.

Other times, I like to follow and try to beat the same train so I can take a bunch of pictures of it. That's a challenge. Especially when you're just learning the light patterns, etc. But that's what life is, learning the patterns. And with that, I need to go finish what I was doing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Saw Happy Feet

We saw Happy Feet last night and it was so much fun!!! Well, there were sad and scary parts, but overall it was too enjoyable. There's a few underlying themes, but you need to see the movie to find out.

Other than that, things are pretty good, including the weather. And the fact that there were 4 people I know personally at cyclocross nationals who either won their categories or placed on the podium. Maybe next year I can go, wherever that may be.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's almost Christmas?

Really, it's hard for me to get in my head that Christmas is next week. I'm more used to what the locals call cold here in Austin as pleasant. I mean, 35 degrees at night is NOT cold for this time of year. In a year though, I'll be shivering right alongside them.

I've done not much but work and goof off lately. Which is funny in a way since my wife decided she no longer hadtime to blog anymore due to no time. Granted, we still have many things to put away, and several boxes to unpack. I should have tackled some of it today. Yet I didn't.

Instead, I indulged all my geeky and lazy instincts and went for a walk. A long one, but it was fun. Well, it wasn't that long, just down to the bookstore to read some and then back. But it was a refreshing and needed change of pace.

I haven't ridden my bikes since I last raced. I need to get back on as the first race of the season in on January 20th. Back up to Copperas Cove, which is good as it's the same course that was used for the State Championships. At least this course I'll know somewhat.

Like all people, I need to step away from things to refresh myself, and my bikes are no exception. So we've gone to friend's houses, San Antonio, and tried to relax. I won't go into boring details, but it's been busy in a different kind of way.

Also, I've been reaquainting myself with photography, which I love to death. Some examples of my work sans tripod on the riverwalk are included. This leads me to my inner geek surfacing.

Not only am I totally into picture taking, but I love trains. So, the other portion of my day was spent researching where the hot spots of train activity in Austin are. Now that I know, I have a plan to go picture taking on the next decent free day I have. Now aren't you glad you read this? LOL!!!
Happy Holidays if you don't hear from me before they arrive. Stay safe and enjoy all you have.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


So I did my races. Saturday at the State Championships I dropped out, as I was having issues with my shifters and I was way too slow. Sunday I did two races, getting 5th and 11th. Respectable.

After a bit of confusion, as in the promoter had to change the race venue for Saturday, things went well. Sunday the race was in a park over by the airport, and it was a good course for me. Of course, something had to go wrong, and when I was putting an arm warmer on I punched myself in the mouth, arriving at the the line with a very bloody mouth and lip. But it's almost healed.

What struck me the most wasn't the racing, or the course, but the other people in the park. There was a family all bundled up with their little kids playing on the playground, and another family having a barbeque and riding their bikes around the park. I liked it.

It reminded me of when I was a kid and my parents would take us to the pool or the state park with a beach on a lake. It was cheap, and we could all hang out together. Also like when we'd sit on our dock at our house in the Adirondacks. We'd swim, fish, or just pass time. Simple, and it seems like such a world away.

I'm just old enough to remember the Adirondacks as a time capsule of the 50's. It was simpler up there, and slower. Now it feels different. It was an event to go up there, and due to speed limits and slow, twisty roads, it took forever. Now it's so accessible, it doesn't quite have that special feeling. Or it didn't, but since I'm 2000 miles away, it probably will next time I get there.

So I miss some of the simpler moments of my life, like watching freight trains go by along the Mohawk River, or eagerly anticipating the next issue of whatever train or car magazine I had a subscription to at the time. And maybe that's part of the problem with the present. We feel guilty for just watching a day go by, like we must be wasting it, when in reality we're doing what we should, enjoying it.