Monday, September 24, 2007

Tour of the Copper Triangle

Pete and I did a bike tour with my new setup this weekend, that new setup being me with some panniers instead of a trailer. The verdict is that they're way better than the trailer, the bike handles much better and you don't feel like you're pulling anything along (other than all the extra weight on the bike). No pictures to upload, they're all on Pete's camera but I'll put up a link or something when he gets around to it.

We started in Frisco early Saturday morning with some breakfast at The Butterhorn, and rode the bike path that parallels I-70 to Copper Mountain. Its a nice stretch of path, slightly uphill but nothing bad. It was a tad cold, but blue skies were abundant. We took the road up to Leadville, which goes over Fremont Pass, about 11,400 ft or something like that. It was a nice stretch of road with a good shoulder.

Once in Leadville, we ate lunch at a pretty sub par burger place and received a few stink eyes before rolling down the road towards Vail. This stretch goes over another pass, Tennessee Pass, about 10,600 ft. It was an easy stretch of road and at the top is the 10th Mountain Division WWII war memorial which is basically a big piece of marble and a turnoff to Ski Cooper, a small ski resort up in the mountains. We rode down into a valley and proceeded to the turn off to Mt Holy Cross, a 14er in the Rockies. We camped off this road at a pretty decent campsite and had burritos and wine for dinner. Let me mention the wine French Rabbit, its pretty decent and comes in a small 1L cardboard box so its perfect for packing along.

Throughout the night it sprinkled a bit, but since I have my new sleeping bag with a built-in bivy, I was very comfortable and got to enjoy sleeping with nothing between me and the sky. The next morning we had a little oatmeal and some hot tea and proceeded to head to Vail. It was much colder than the previous day, with Oregon-like overcast most of the time. In Vail, we went through the Saturday market (or technically Sunday) which is quite big and is mostly a ton of really delicious looking food. We were too cheap to partake and proceeded on up Vail pass, which is about 10 miles of climbing on a path that heads back to Copper Mountain. This stretch of the journey was challenging but really nice as there were no cars to deal with. It was a downhill ride from the summit, about 10,800 i believe, and a little tail wind made the journey to the car a piece of cake.

Overall, I'd say this is an excellent way to spend a weekend, its too bad I don't know more bike tourers as the more the merrier for this kind of thing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Barry Bond's Baseball

Vote for what to do with it, I'm leaning towards launching it into space:

Vote Here

Dogs and Football

My roommate Adam got a dog on Friday, a Malamute thats about 6 months old and is supposed to get up to 130 pounds. Its like having a small horse running around. Its name is Cuyahoga, after the river that caught fire in Cleveland in the 70s. Its a pretty stupid name but its not my dog.

Unfortunately, Cuy got a little sick this weekend and left an insane amount of diarrhea all over his crate in the kitchen and in Adam's room. It must have been coming out at some serious velocity, because the spray was several feet up on the cabinets. He was pretty docile all weekend, but seems to have regained his energy this morning.

I also dominated Adam in a heads up match in fantasy football, a trend that is most likely to continue throughout the season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chicago and Madison

So I spent Friday evening through Monday in Chicago and Madison to see my roommate run his ironman and meet up with some old friends who live out there. It was a good time, especially seeing Birch (who was in the Peace Corps in Honduras for the past few years) and Ben.

Friday night Adam's brother Kevin being spit in the face in a cab by a cyclist for yelling "Share the road asshole!" This is why you shouldn't yell at cyclists, especially when they can get past the traffic faster than you. It was hilarious, he hit him right in the hat. We then went to a crappy bar with loud music which I wasn't particularly impressed by, but I think Chicago has potential for being a pretty fun town.

Madison was a cool town, sort of like Boulder but bigger and with less bike paths. I saw Michigan get their asses kicked by Oregon at some sports bar downtown and it became clear to me that the entire Big 10 really dislikes Michigan. I was quite surprised by how much the Wisconsin fans were cheering for Oregon.

Ben got into town (he lives way up in northern Wisconsin) and we met Birch at a free Flaming Lips concert. It was a good show but short, probably because it was free. We all headed back to Birch's house, which is about 20 minutes south of Madison on a big lake. It wasn't really in a town, but there was a bar about 100 yards from his front door. We went down and had a pitcher, played electronic cornhole, and stole appetizers from a 20 year high school reunion that was taking place in the same establishment.

In the morning, we got up and did some canoeing on the lake followed by lunch at the same bar. Probably the best part of the trip because I got to try fried cheese curds, which are delicious. I headed back into Madison to catch the second half of Adam's Ironman, which involved walking back and forth between different points on the course and cheering him on for the 10 seconds he was running by. He looked tired, probably understandable.

After the race, it was back to Chicago to sleep and in the morning, an attempt to go to Lou Malnati's. To might great disappointment, it didn't open until 4, so instead I settled for Giordano's, which is was pretty good but not mind blowing delicious deep dish like I had hoped for. I then went back to Midway and flew home. It was an action packed weekend and a good time all around. Probably the last time I go to Wisconsin, I found the lack of hills pretty disturbing and don't think I could handle that permanently.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Prelims Done

Well, I found out that I research passed my final prelim exam, so I'm pretty much done taking tests for the foreseeable future. AWESOME.