? Building Fences together | Main | Meeting Mary Behind Bars ?

June 20, 2005

Finding out if your tent is secured

Today after the storm I saw a couple of those canopy tents that had blown down, along with a few trees in our neighborhood. The first thing I thought of was this:
It's not until a storm comes along that we find out just how secure our tent is. There is an instant meditation on life. Metaphorically these blown over tents are like our lives sometimes. Stuff happens and we see how we handle it. Sometimes we get blown over and hopefully we are not too bent out of shape to get back up.
This weekend I was kind of in a funk and didn't write anything for my blog, mainly because I was too tired and had too much going on. I ended up taking today off work because I was too exhausted from the weekend.
It all started Friday night when I rode up to Blaine to the Velodrome at the National Sports Center to try the track. It was just our Saint Paul Bike Racing Club Beginner's Racing Program students and instructors therel; about 50 of us total. This was a totally awesome experience. Very strange feeling riding on those steep banks. It just made me want to ride faster, since it was easier to control the bike, or at least feel safer the faster I rode. You don't really have to steer these things; It's more like counter steering. And another highlight was the experience of riding a single-speed fixed-gear bike. That was an interesting experience. Now I want to build one just to play around on. You know, for those times when I get bored with riding 27 gear combinations. But like usual, money doesn't grow on trees, so now I'm looking for cheap options. Anyone have an old fixed gear my size?
So, by the time I got home on Friday night I was too tired to sit in front of the computer. My wife was sitting in the neighbor's yard having some wine with the neighbor so they invited me over chat. I changed real quick and had a beer with them. That was fun until my eyelids started closing and I started getting delerious from the night's exhausting activities and fun.
Saturday I worked all day on our wood picket fence, then started building my wooden bicycle trailer. It's going to be awesome when I'm done. I designed and built (am building) this thing. I ended up changing my design a couple of times and had to rip it apart to redo things. It's huge. It's 2 feet, 6 inches wide by 6 feet long and has a flat bed with 16-inch wheels and mounts to the seat post. I can haul lawnmowers and bikes and almost anything else on this thing. Mainly I wanted a serious trailer for bulky but not too heavy of objects. I won't be carrying any refrigerators around on a bike I think, but who knows. I've decided I'm going to learn how to do welding, so I might make a metal trailer frame for objects like that. The design and building process on that trailer took me until 3am, Sunday morning. I set my alarm for 5am to get ready and go for a ride with Jim, but didn't wake up until 6:15am, then started getting ready, eating, etc, and realized that I'd never make it to the rendezvous point so I just called it quits and went back to bed. After that I went to the coffee shop and overdid the caffeine intake. I came home, did a few more things, and then worked on my trailer some more. The tongue is not stable so the trailer wobbles and I was trying to find a solution. It's very difficult out of wood. I think I have a solution now. We'll see. Then we went to my father-in-laws house for Father's Day and had dinner with my wife's family. It was late when we got back home and I worked until 2am on that trailer. I was too tired to go to work today so I called in and told my boss I wasn't coming in. As it turned out, my help at the bike shop was needed teaching a class to about 15 high-school kids, but I didn't know about it until it was over. Too bad, it would have been fun for me. Today I talked to a guy who had a bike sitting upside down outside of his apartment for a few days. It's his son's bike and he was unable to fix it, so I told him I would fix it and bring it back. Well, the tubes were shot and one of the tires was wrecked so I had to make a run to the bike shop to get parts. I did that but haven't fixed it. My daughter recruited me to build a built-in shelf for her TV in her room. So we engineered that and it works great. But I needed anchor bolts for that to hold the braces onto the plaster walls. That trip to the hardware store cost me 75 dollars. I bought other things. I found some nice yellow paint for my trailer and some other hardware and things we needed for the house.
Then I came home, ate dinner and built a shelf. Now it's too late to do anything else and I have to go to work tomorrow, so I'm going to bed. I guess in retrospect I was blown over this weekend by my own storm. I haven't ridden my bike since Friday night, I shorted myself on sleep, stopped exercising, ate like a pig, drank too much caffeine and didn't write my blog entries. After all of this I was feeling kind of cruddy. I think I like my athlete lifestyle better. At least then I feel like I'm functioning within normal parameters.

My storm knocked me down this weekend. Now I hope to get back to something healthier. My fence is all up, my trailer is almost done, both need to be painted but I can see the end. I'm going to ride my bike tomorrow hard and fast. I remember the doctor asking me once, "How many times a week do you break a sweat?" I chuckled and answered, "You mean how many times per day?" Well, in the past few days, the sweating I've been doing is just from the humidity, not from getting my cardio-vascular system cranking.

Sorry Jim for missing your ride. It would have been fun for me and I was looking forward to it. I'll try to catch the next ride you organize. Happy Father's day!

Posted by carl1236 at June 20, 2005 11:17 PM | Attitude


Holy moly, John. You need to take it easy. Sorry you couldn't make it Sunday. I'm relieved that we didn't leave 1 minute before you arrived. I'm hoping to continue the Sunday morning ride as long as the weather holds and people want to do it.

I like the tent analogy, very creative.

Posted by: Jim at June 21, 2005 7:47 AM