Biking's Weakest Link

I am now fully aware of the weakest mechanical link in the wold of hardcore biking, the tires. The past few days have been very bad for me and my tires, I have gone through three tire tubes and I am mildly annoyed. Two of the tube failures are decidedly my fault, but one is not so much my fault. This whole process, although bothersome, is a good thing as I am starting to get a good feel for what is and is not acceptable abuse of my tires and I do not believe that tires will end up limiting my aspirations towards being hard of core. In short order, I'll have my bike back in peak condition and get the weakest link title, rightfully, back on my shoulders.

Up until now, I've been discussing the inner tubes of bike tires, now I will move on to the outer treads. Right now, I'm using a pretty good pair of off-road mountain biking tires and they serve off-road purposes quite well and on-road purposes adequately. Adequately, however, is not sufficient for my needs and I intend to get some more specialized treads for my bike. The current off-road treads have standard off-road treading, which causes the bike to vibrate and makes a fairly high-frequency whine when on any hard, flat terrain (asphalt, concrete). The vibrating, whining and low-traction mean that I waste a lot of energy and control when on hard, flat terrain, which I don't like. I am intending to get a pair of mountain bike slicks, which I know to exist, and then use the slicks when riding on paths and roads, and while doing any urban mountain biking (I plan to have so much fun with government center this year). I have no intention of getting rid of my current treads as they serve me incredibly well whenever I am biking on dirt trails or bushwhacking. The next big tread thing will come this winter as I intend to get some studded tires when it snows and have me a whole lot of fun. I really hope that we have some good blizzards this year that will give me a chance to fully exploit studded treads.

As far as my progress towards being hard of core goes, things are slow but steady. My leg endurance and strength are getting up towards where I want them and I am more and more getting the hang of bunny-hopping. My current practice is largely centered around distance biking, going down stairs, going down drops, wheelies and going up stairs. I am really enjoying having my bike, despite my ability to destroy tire tubes.

Insufferably Pleasing Haircut

I continue to be insufferably pleased with my mohawk. The general reponse of other people has been favorable and I haven't had to put up with much negative response, which is good because I like the haircut for me and don't much want to deal with other people that feel otherwise. Maintenance is a pain, as I have to shave the sides of my head every few days, but it's worth it.

My beard is also getting back to a length that pleases me a great deal. I guess that I could say that I am very pleased by all of the hair that grows on my head.

A Big Red Chair Resting on the Side of the Path

I was out biking earlier today, enjoying myself immensely, when I happened to come across a big red chair resting on the side of the path. I rode past it and then realized that I had passed a big red chair resting on the side of the path. I turned around and went back and, as I had expected, the big red chair resting on the side of the path was a big red chair resting on the side of the path. There wasn't much else to do so I put down my bike, removed my helmet, removed my gloves and sat down in the big red chair restingon the side of the path for a while. One doesn't often find a big red chair resting on the side of the path. The big red chair resting on the side of the path was out of place yet incredibly appropriate and I was very glad to have encountered it.

To Hell With Popular Opinion

I had a mohawk for a while my freshman year and I rather enjoyed it. I found, in combination with my oilskin duster of the time, I was portraying an image of myself that I didn't much like, namely that of a hardcore punk. Eventually I moved on from the mohawk to adopt a more conservative personal appearance. Of late, I have had the desire to do the mohawk thing again and finally, I have. I just decided that if I want to have a mohawk, then I can have a mohawk and it absolutely does not matter what other people think of me because of it. Further, it has occured to me that my desire not to be identified as a hardcore punk is more an issue of my intense desire towards conformity and fitting in, than an issue of my not identifying with the punk thing. I've been listening to a bunch of KMFDM, Pig and Excessive Force laterly, which I tend to do every so often, KMFDM having been my favorite band for quite some time. Despite that I have been a huge fan of industrial rock for quite some time, I have been unwilling to identify myself as such and preferred to identify with electronic and fringe electronic. Again, this is from a preference to identify with the eccentric electronic enthusiast and not with the angry industrial rock crowd.

These preferences in desire to identify with certain people and not others has been based on the reactions I expected would be evoked in other people more than they were based on any actual personal identification. I do identify with some of the various electronic crowds, including some that I hadn't wanted to identify with in the past (like ravers) and I also identify with the industrial rock punk crowd. The big difference is that I've decided to say to Hell with popular opinion and what other people think and I'm going to be and act how I want to and not worry about how other people perceive or identify me. I will just be me and everyone else can like it or not; I'm not going to hug the conservative line to avoid reactions or unwanted attention anymore.

The Tripyramids (South, Middle and North)

Taylor and I went up to New Hampshire and climbed the three Tripyramid peaks on Saturday. The Tripyramids are quite nice and the whole trip was very pleasant.

It being Tuesday (myself having been away from the Internet since Saturday) I have forgotten many of the small details, but I will give you the key points. We started hiking at 10:30a. The trail begins as a dirt road from the parking area and continues as such for at least a mile or so. We ended up taking the route up the southern peak first, which continued as a smaller dirt path for quite a while after diverging from the road. The dirt path was small and had a moderate grade which proceeded for quite some distance before beginning to get rocky. Shortly after the dirt path had transitioned into a rocky dirt path, it decided to drop the dirt altogether and became the southern slide. The southern slide was steep and consisted entirely of exposed rock, gravel and sand. Proceeding up the southern slide was a great deal of fun and we encountered a number of other hikers going down (as well as a number of hikers with dogs). The views from the slide itself are quite spectacular and one ends up pausing to turn around and look rather often. Some of the other hikers we encountered strongly encouraged us not to take the northern slide down as it was, reputedly, much worse than the southern; it was recommended that we take the Scaur Ridge Trail down. Eventually we made it past the southern slide and the trail levelled out once more. The moderately graded dirt path had started to become a little boring before the slide, but to see similar afterwards was a very pleasant respite. There were some decent views from the southern peak but we decided to proceed to the middle peak before stopping for lunch as a number of hikers whom we had passed made mention of the spectacular views from the middle peak. The middle peak was not far beyond the southern peak, perhaps another ten or fifteen minutes, and the views were, indeed, quite spectacular. We took lunch on the second peak, and I was reminded once more of how tasty a briney pickle is after losing plenty of salt to a sweaty hike. Also, insects are a real nuisance. The hike from the middle to north peak was rather fun. The Scaur Ridge Trail from the north peak was a moderate down, followed by a gradual down, which eventually spat us back out on the aforementioned Livermore Road and we reached the car at around 4:30 making for a 6 hour hike.

All in all, the hike was quite nice, the views were great and the southern slide was a heck of a lot of fun. Also, the customary trip to the Ashland, NH Burger King for dinner was not neglected.

Spider-man is Sequeltastic

I saw Spider-man 2 today and I have two adjectives that I would like to use in describing it: fun, crappy.

One thing that I kept thinking about was how totally awesome it would be too have 4 gigantic robotic arms that half have a mind of their own. The movie was pretty much worth seeing entirely for Doc Ock. I really ought to go about inventing cybertechnology (/me is a Shadowrun dork).

Also, there was a whole lot of emotional, chick flick stuff in the movie. As much of a shame I will be to my gender, I'm going to say that I don't usually mind that emotional, chick flick stuff too much, but in the case of Spider-man 2, it was not only overdone, but rather poorly done as well.

Story: 2/5
Quality: 1/5
Characters: 3/5
Action: 5/5
FX: 5/5
Badassness: 4/5
Acting: 3/5

Overall: 2/5

Fahrenheit 9/11

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last night, if you haven't heard of it, crawl out of that cave you've been living in. It sure is something. I don't particularly want to review the movie or give my opinion on the topics it addresses because I won't do justice to my own beliefs, but I recommend that people go see it and form their own opinions.

Woods Hole is Pleasant

I had forgotten how very pleasant Woods Hole, MA really is. There's something about the place and the atmosphere that has a soothing effect on me. I think that I am going to try to make a point of maximizing the time that I spend here. Maybe I'll see if I can spend my weekends here as well. If that ends up being the case, appologies will be in order for those friends of mine that will see less of me as a result.

Cannondale Jekyll 600

Cannondale Jekyll 600 (mine is black)

Cannondale Jekyll 600 (mine is black)

Just because I'm all psyched about my new bike, I thought I might as well say what sort of bike it is. I got a Cannondale Jekyll 600 (mine is black). It's quite slick with disk brakes, front shocks with adjustable travel and damping, rear shocks with adjustable damping and lockout, and a generally neat style to it. I'm quite pleased and am having a great deal of fun with it. It's been about six to eight years since I last had a bike that fit me and I had forgotten how very pleasant biking is. My bike is an All-Mountain type bike, which means that it's far more hardcore than I am, but that's something that I can, and plan to, work on fixing.

Right now, I'm kind of working on getting the hang of and a feel for the way my bike is. I can get the front tire up pretty easily and fairly high as well, but the rear tire is a great deal more difficult and I have a hard time getting it more than a few inches off the ground. I'm also getting a bit of an idea of what kind of grade of slopes and stairs I can go up or down.

I'm quite pleased overall and if I'm being a little repetitive, it's because I'm so enthusiastic about the matter. Now back to work so that I can finish paying for the thing.

Sunburns Blow!

I think that this post's title pretty much says it all, but in case I wasn't clear enough, let me try rephrasing it a little bit. Sunburns Suck!