weekends not working on my house

hoping this is not a wisconsin death trip ....

dallas, cam, luc, colin, mrs. dr, and i are off to wisconsin today for the 24 hours of 9 mile (there is still time to join us). if you are under house arrest or quarantined because of suspected avian influenza and you have some time to kill you can follow the progress of the race here (apparently there are live updates with their new timing system).

have a good weekend - we sure will


weekends not riding my bike

the long drawn out saga of our house renovations continued this weekend with some actual progress being made. i've attached some pictures as well as a mock-up of what we hope the house will look like when we finish (laura hopes this will be sometime before we retire). i used a cool little program called google sketchup do the mock ups; it is free download and you can do some neat things with it.

removing the stucco took place in spring and we've lived in a tar paper shack since then.

the north wall stucco removal

removing the tar paper so we can start building up the walls. the plan is to put is to add 2" of insulation to the exterior and then cover this with hardie board (see diagram at the bottom).

the new window

tyvek - apparently it works better if you put it on upside down

mock-up of the back of the house. the hardie board siding will be cut into 3' X 8' sheets with the cut offs being used for the gable end. we hope to put a metal roof on - maybe in spring.

front view


friday food file

something a little different, some interesting articles about food; more political and economics with a fun one thrown in for good measure.

there was an interesting article in the new york times on the celebration of the slow food movement in the US. some time ago i bought the book by carlo petrini which is a collection of essays about the importance and need to slow down and enjoy food and relish in the social interaction, culture, and pleasure that food provides. if anyone wants to borrow this book...

also from the new york times, a link to and interesting post on food subsidies and other agricultural truths (or not) from the freakonomics blog.

finally, like the shedworking blog there is this one on cake disasters. blogs can be really cool.


more on robert lang's origami

last week' friday fun file prompted some discussion on the origami pieces made by lang. here he explains some the principles involved in making his pieces:

a quick search did not reveal what it cost to buy one of his works, but he does make a living off of it by selling books and his work on commercial projects



race at pinawa this weeked was a wee bit of a mudfest, but that turned out to be a good thing. the mud brought some fun and extra challenges to flat and fast course. the rocks were also a challenge, causing a few flats along the way - that and a two seat post issues (snapped bolt for dr. h. and a snapped seat post for nathan weslake). one of the highlights for me was the last ditch stretch before the finish line when i heard some kid cheering me on from the road, turns out it was teagan algeo cheering me on as he rode his bike alongside me on the road - that was cool. way to go to leanne, for gathered up her first win of the season (i think), and just after moving up to comp.

thanks go to tom and luc for getting me wheels to race on as i am currently without because of hub changing project (hmmmm, maybe it would be a good idea to do something like that after a race and not the night before).

the rider was muddier than the bike


friday fun file - one day late

started this on the fgbc blog site before i took my hiatus - time to start it up again.

read about this guy in the new york times magazine some time ago. i have always admired people who enjoy craft and mathematics (which is really weird because i am so bad in this discipline). robert lang is one of the leading practitioners in art of origami. originally a published physicist and engineer, lang became a full time origami artist - go to his site and you see why (i particularly like the inscets).

tarantula made from one sheet of paper with no cuts


a wednesday night spazz attack.

another wednesday night race has come and gone. only 5 expert races showed up and i finished third, right in the middle. seems like this year is the resurrection of crash - my moniker before i took on the name of alberto; just as i was coming into the finish i took a look at my watch to check my time (like i wouldn't be getting that information any ways?!?) only to look up to find myself heading towards a lonely scrub oak. a quick bail to the right saved my ass. the last time i did something that bone headed was in my first year of racing at birch when i looked over my shoulder to see who was passing me causing me to veer off the path and crash into the bush.

on another note, our friend gianni has garnered some well deserved attention from this cool blog site.


sunday ride

tom and i headed to ingolf on suday. great day for riding

tom tries the climb

tom on the "stairs"

to say there was a little water would be an understatement


yard work

well, saturday was a day to remember. i don't think i have ever seen a crappier day in july. i can't imagine what it was like out at the folk festival. speaking of the folk festival (segwaaaaay), the front yard project is finally starting to take shape. two years ago i decided that lawns were boring monocultures - well that, and i was tired of cutting the damn thing every five days. so i decided to kill the lawn and replace it with xeriscaping. (interesting info here and here on xeriscaping) why the reference to the folk festival, well to kill it the lawn i placed tarps over it for a whole summer - thereby making it look the tarps placed in front of the main stage at the folk festival

any ways, the lawn finally died after a year (my neighbour thought that roundup would work pretty well too - tarps get better attention) and after rototilling i replaced the tarp with woodchips

well, we are into the final phase of this project and we started planting native plants, grasses, bushes, and trees in place of grass. i anticipate this final phase should take 5-7 years before everything is mature.


the picture is becoming complete

while in squamish i was lucky to stay with mike truelove, the builder of my 29er frame. while i was there i put down a deposit for a cross frame, the final (well - nothing is really ever final, but definitely final for the next few years) bike in my collection. after some research and discussion with tom, i sent mike an email with details of how i would like the frame built, here are some of the particulars:

A. Specs
1) Seat tube - 600 mm
2) Top tube - 595 mm
3) Chain stay - 425 mm
4) Head tube - 220 mm* (11/8"dia)
5) Rear spacing - 130 mm
6) Bottom bracket drop - 70 mm** (68mm shell)
7) Head tube angle - 72.5
8) Seat tube angle - 72.5
9) Stand over height - 850 mm

* I would like the head tube to be a little higher coming up from the top tube - sort of sticking up a bit if that make sense.
** I will be using 180mm cranks (most likely SRAM Rival). My Surly travel bike has a drop of 66mm - plenty of pedal clearance with the 180's I have on there, would this be too much?

B. Features
1) Paul dropouts with a hanger added
2) Canti brake bosses - circular guide stop coming from the seat stays if possible
3) Brake guides on top of top tube
4) Rear derailleur stops on top of top tube. Just two stops on the top tube and two guides on the seat stay - I plan on using a full housing from the top tube to the drop out.
5) Front derailleur, regular number - but fairly high on the seat tube.
6) Water bottle bosses on the seat and down tube

I was thinking of all True Temper tubing if possible, but if there is some good Reynolds kicking around I would not be opposed.

i decided to give myself the option of gears, but will initially set it up as a singie speed.

on another note: tinker tim, kev b, jane and i spent an evening out in the sadilands with some of the body driven riders trying some of the other trails in the area. the trails were good and there were some excellent flow to some sections. they are hoping to be able to create a new race course since they lost 70% of the old course to fire earlier this spring (damn atv riders).


sometimes i am such a spazz

as predicted, the colours on the bruise have come in quite nicely. its been a while since i managed to add some interesting colours to the normal skin tones...

i am also trying a new method of removing the effects of poison ivy from my leg - the jury is out on this method.


back in the rut

the falafel place is now open. still some work to be done and pictures to be hung, but they are open for business. in case you don't know their new location you can find them here. mrs. dr. and i are now back into our saturday morning rut.


of rides and envelopes

first, canada day saw kev b, tinker tim, and i enjoy 50km of riding around the city finding trails to ride. of course, i started off by taking the wrong path through ass forest and quickly found myself in the middle of a swamp which i had to negotiate on foot while carrying my bike on my shoulder - moral of the story: know your paths!!! i quickly joined up with tt and kb and we tooled around on the some of the neat paths this city has to offer.

tinker tim negotiating the pallets in the concrete jungle

those that are going to join the red river racing crew for their sunday extravaganza will have a blast.

so on wednesday i headed off to the bur oak trail for a ride. the round trip was 92km and it was a great evening for cycling. since i was going to leave from work i had to pack everything that i would need for the ride in a backpack.


anyone who races at bur oak likes to ride the trails fast, it improves bikes skills and teaches you the importance of a smooth even riding style. the first couple of laps went well, not blistering, but nice and smooth. after all, this was a ride to work on some skills i would need at 24-9, which is all about riding quickly and evenly which ends up yielding you the most laps at a 24-hour event. on lap 3 i entered the "root cellar", and was enjoying the great lines i was picking through the forest. i was actually enjoying them too much when i caught my right hip on a tree i was cornering. now, most of us, when we ride bur oak, usually come out of there with a few scrapes and bruises, its the way it is on those trails. when we do this we usually ride through it and only notice the damage later when we get home. but this was different, this one i could not continue riding after the contact, this time when i caught the tree as i went by i almost came to a complete stop. for the first time in a long time i actually had to catch my breath - this one hurt.

this will fill out quite nicely

when i got home i took a good look at the damage i inflicted upon my self and found my self with a extra love handle on my right hip, it was actually the size of a small grapefruit and i looked a little lopsided - ouch. the insult to injury occurred later when i pulled the camera out my backpack pocket.

lovely - the camera was f*#ked. nothing like pushing the envelope a little while riding. ces't la vie, i now have a new camera and will be a little more cautious in where i keep it when i ride. lesson learned.


24 hours of 9 mile is just around the corner

okay, its really a month off but for those planning on going get your registration in soon. mrs. dr. and i have booked a room at the super 8, if anyone else is interested in sharing a room, the rates are reasonable ($67 a night). those that i know that are interested include:

alberto - confirmed
dr. mr. - possible
cam - strong possibility
luc - strong possibility
john m - strong possibility
colin a - support possibility
dallas - possibility

also, there is no time like the present to get ready for the race, so frequent postings about rides in prep of the race will be posted.


how does one go downhill this fast and stay in control!?!

this is nutty. if you did not see this on how to avoid a bummer life you should watch this. to destroy the field by that much time in a world championship is nuts; easily on par with what floyd did in mountain climb in the tour two years ago, if not more insane. remember, video makes it look three times flatter and tamer than it is in real life.