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Epilogue... Of Sorts.

I doubt anyone is left reading this blog after my extended absence, and I wouldn't expect them to be. A few spambots and the occasional casual browser will pass through like tumbleweeds through a Sears parking lot, and that's about it. It seems depressingly fitting. Nothing lasts forever, and things just run their course until one day they're demolished to make way for a Starbucks or microbrewery. One day Google will decide that blogs are a horrible waste of bandwidth, and just like that years of posts will disappear- no bulldozer required.

Meh.

I'm riding again, although with no real regularity or sense of purpose. When I feel like riding, I ride. When I don't or something else interferes, I don't. I admit that I feel a bit like a failure in this regard, but that's a conditioned response. Years of riding in one way or another five or six days a week will do that to you.

My power is way down. I can't sustain what I once considered a moderate pace for more …

Another Life.

I haven't ridden my bike in over a month.

My life is dominated by this fucking travel trailer. Every day I do some amount of work on it, usually spending 4-14 hours a day. I want it gone, but I committed to the project. I'm stuck in the worst possible way, so I have no choice but to put my head down and try to see it through.

There was a double-header TT/road race at Point Mackenzie I missed because I was working on the camper. The Tour of Anchorage starts in less than two weeks. For the third year straight, I will not be riding it. The Spring Stage Race was the end of my racing season. Over before it started.

I constantly ache. Not that good sort of ache from a block of training or a long, hard ride, but rather the ache of too many hours with power tools and hammers. My back stiffens up from the constant up and down required by construction. The joints in my fingers and arms won't flex some days. My hands are a mass of cuts and abrasions. I'm destroying myself.

I wish it …

Hammered.

I haven't ridden my bike in a week.

Every day I get home from work, quickly change into my crusty clothes. and go out and work on the latest project.

Another fucking canned ham travel trailer. I'm an idiot.

This one is by far my most ambitious and stupid project yet. It's a 1968 Aloha 16T Custom- sorta. Actually it's a good trailer frame, some windows, and some aluminum siding. All of the wood is rotten and is being replaced. All of it, down to the floorboards. All of the appliances are being replaced. I'm not kidding.

I have a large dumpster in my driveway that is almost completely full of rotting wood and other junk that used to give the camper its shape. The aluminum siding and roof are currently laid out neatly, killing my lawn. Choice pieces that I want to retain for reference or to reuse somehow are under plastic up against the garage.

I've already framed out the wall panels with new lumber. I'll add the paneling before I put them on the frame because in c…

Fitting.

Yesterday, a mile and a half into my ride, I hit a sharp rock thoughtfully deposited by one of the many dump trucks roaming the base with no identifiable purpose. I swapped in the spare tube, puffed it up with CO2, and was off in relatively short time to continue on my way.

Today, before my ride, I replaced the spare tube in my saddle bag, because you never know. Plus, the rear tire was looking a bit square, which indicates the center section is probably just about down to the cords.

I set off into a mild headwind, and had a marvelous ride. For some reason the legs could respond when I asked them to, and I was able to sustain more wattage than I normally do on sections. On the last third, I caught a nice tailwind and was flat out hauling.

So, a mile and a half from the end of my ride, I hit a sharp rock placed there specifically for me by my dump truck friends. Not one flat, but two. I pulled out the front tube, found a pair of pinch-flat holes, and patched them. After reinstalling the t…

Logging Off.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

When looked at objectively, I don't really train anymore. What I do is ride around and pretty much do whatever I feel like and then download it into some tracking medium. If I'm really feeling disciplined (rarely happens), I'll plan out a week or so of rides ahead of time. Then I'll go in later and edit them to match whatever it is I did during a particular ride, giving the outward impression that I planned it this way all along.

Years ago, I used to use Garmin's online application to track my ride data. Then I added a spreadsheet calendar and WKO+. Eventually I dumped the Garmin application and spreadsheet, which was getting progressively less functional and moved onto TrainingPeaks, with a local backup in WKO+. When WKO was updated, all of the features confused my unfrozen caveman mind and I retreated to TrainingPeaks, where I've been ever since.

So, I've been paying for a training program to track my cycling m…

Spoke Too Soon.

I had just finished penning yesterday's post when my wife came up to me with exciting news. A friend of ours was willing to buy a moldy old pile of camper and I would have carte blanche in terms of finances to resurrect it. Isn't that wonderful?

No. No it's not. Not only no, but fuck no.

There's several reasons for my refusal.
It's far beyond salvage. Basically what you'd be getting for the far-too-high asking price is a trailer base of questionable serviceability, a few windows, some hardware, and the aluminum sheeting to use as a template. It would be a ground-up rebuild, with all of the fun that entails. Just to get it to the non-death trap stage would deplete the proposed "unlimited" budget. It's a really cute and unique design, but that's all it is.I have no room for such a large project. These things need space, and I've imposed upon the neighbors enough. An off-site location was purposed, but that would limit the number of hours I coul…

No, Don't Be Stupid.

I'm a bit of a hoarder.

Check that. I have a serious, serious problem.

Once I get into something, I usually collect far more equipment related to that pursuit than I could ever need. I have piles of race skis and all of the stuff that goes with the sport. I have stacks of Jeep and Land Rover parts. Bike parts? Yes, I have far more than my share. Local bike shops carry less than I do.

Now it's RVs and campers. Fuck.

However, the real problem is my wife is interested too. She usually acts as an effective defense for overindulgence, but not now. All of her friends want their own campers or RVs, not realizing how much work they are or how much of a money pit they can be. So, my wife is on the lookout for old campers that are most useful as breeding grounds for hantavirus. She overestimates my skills as a carpenter, and rarely sees the receipts for all of the supplies that have to be brought to bear to prop one of these rotting hulks for five or ten years more of usable service life. T…