Posts Tagged: ‘biking’

Minnesota Roots

June 30, 2017 Posted by Deb

Toward the end of hurricane season we start thinking about where we want to go on the boat and toward the end of the sailing season we put together an unrealistic plan for our return to the U.S. Kind of an ADD itinerary. But it’s nice to be somewhere long enough to join stuff. We signed up immediately for pickleball, the health club, and a hobby-related club. Biking is high on the list and we found out that two members of the Cast Iron Canoe club have purchased Hobie trimarans so we have a fleet now. We added a lot more pickleball to the schedule but we also subtracted a few items like house hunting (after 2 days) and car hunting (one day), but Deb burned a lot of internet time on both. They may prove to be a couple of bad calls but time will tell.

Pickleball in Shawnee Park

Pickleball in Shawnee Park

Dinner with Good Friends - Mike, Carole, Tom & Peg in Afton

Dinner with Good Friends – Mike, Carole, Tom & Peg in Afton

Carole's Ultimate Spanish Paella

Carole’s Ultimate Spanish Paella

Biking

We are addicted and we bike alone through some of the prettiest trails in the country. The group trips will come later as friends get in biking shape. We have bikes on the boat so we get a head start. Of course Deb’s cousins, Jeff and Marti, are doing Lanesboro with us over the fourth; and they have zero miles in. We told them is was 53 miles downhill and they believed us. It’s actually mostly downhill.

Cannon Valley Trail in Redwing Never Disappoints

Cannon Valley Trail in Redwing Never Disappoints

Minnehaha Falls on our Trip to Lake Calhoun

Minnehaha Falls on our Trip to Lake Calhoun

Lake Calhoun and the Tin Fish

Lake Calhoun and the Tin Fish

Trailside Food Stop on the Gateway

Trailside Food Stop on the Gateway

Brown's Creek Trail

Brown’s Creek State Trail

Trimarans

The Minnesota fleet has been out several times and you can see we are not great at picking sunshine. We are envious of the improvements Hobie has made to the trimarans over the years and are thinking about trading up.

Launching on the St. Croix in Hudson

Launching on the St. Croix in Hudson

Cloudy Day on Forest Lake

Cloudy Day on Forest Lake

Launching the Fleet on Big Marine Lake

Launching the Fleet on Big Marine Lake

Steve % Cheri Tri Rigging

Steve & Cheri Tri Rigging

Maiden Voyage for Jeff

Maiden Voyage for Jeff

Deb’s 45th Class Reunion

All Melcher-Dallas, Iowa Class Reunions are held on Coal Miners Day and there are sand and mud volleyball tournaments, a parade, a DJ, food vendors, and fireworks. Quite a show.

Coal Miner's Day All-Town Reunion in Melcher-Dallas, Iowa

Coal Miner’s Day All-Town Reunion in Melcher-Dallas, Iowa

The Big Class of '72 Reunion

The Big Class of ’72 Reunion

Iowa’s Paved Bike Loop

October 7, 2016 Posted by Deb

The Raccoon River Valley Trail

We felt the need for exercise after Nashville so we made attempt number two at what they claim is the longest paved bike loop in the U.S. How they know that we don’t know. Our first attempt years ago ended with a huge thunderstorm in Perry and we turned back. This time we started in Perry and completed the loop. There are sections that are good and, for the most part, the trail is not only paved but gorgeous, smooth concrete. Where Iowa came up with the money for that, we don’t know. There are, however, exposed sections with just farms and a SE wind at 15-20 can make those a chore. Nice little towns and they are planting trees along the route.

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Enjoying Time in Melcher-Dallas

This Glider is a Keeper (Last One Got Lost in the Clouds)

This Glider is a Keeper (Last One Got Lost in the Clouds)

Squeezing It All Into the Man Cave

Squeezing It All Into the Man Cave

The Sunsets at Cindy & Bill's

The Sunsets at Cindy & Bill’s

Back to Walker: Biking with the Andersons

September 1, 2016 Posted by Deb

We returned to the scene of the July family reunion, this time to bike with the Andersons. We did manage to rent the same ski boat and used it for touring. There were great lightning shows every night and the days were perfect.

BikeNorwayBeachCabinShingobee NorwayBeachBike

Biking Iowa and Minnesota

August 4, 2016 Posted by Deb

Martensdale - Gray's Lake - Cummins Loop

Martensdale – Gray’s Lake – Cummins Loop

Riverside on the Root

Riverside on the Root

Lanesboro After the Storm

Lanesboro After the Storm

Biking or Tree Climbing?

Biking or Tree Climbing?

Pikes Bay Trail on Cass Lake

Pikes Bay Trail on Cass Lake

Chippeway National Forest Trails

Chippewa National Forest Trails

Putting Neytiri Away for the Sixth Time

June 16, 2016 Posted by Deb

We’ve decommissioned in St. Martin, Curacao, Guatemala, Georgia, Florida, and now Guatemala again. There’s no escaping the fact that it takes seven to ten days of really fun work like pulling heavy sails down, oiling anchor chain, heads, and other wonderful jobs. We took breaks and hit the pool at NanaJuana often but the happy hours were lonely until the last day there when boats started pouring in for hurricane season. That was nice. We finally did the hike at Hacienda Tijax and our guide said we were the best “old people” she had seen for dealing with the heat and humidity. For us, it was cool in the jungle compared to working on a boat. Once we moved to our final storage location in Cayo Quemado, the air conditioning was stowed and we cooked at 97°F with 87% humidity for the final teardown.

Oiling the Anchor Chain in the Guatemala Heat

Oiling the Anchor Chain in the Guatemala Heat

NanaJuana Pool Time

NanaJuana Pool Time

Swing Bridge at Hacienda Tijax

Swing Bridge at Hacienda Tijax

Found a Spot for a Skinny Dip

Found a Spot for a Skinny Dip

Old People Hikers

Old People Hikers

Saturday Market in Fronteras

Saturday Market in Fronteras

How to Cross the Road

How to Cross the Road

Tucked Away for Another Day

Tucked Away for Another Day

Honduras

Deb pieced together a cab to San Pedro Sula in Honduras followed by a flight to Phoenix via Dallas.

Trip from Rio Dulce to San Pedro Sula in Honduras

Trip from Rio Dulce to San Pedro Sula in Honduras

Breakfast Under Coca-Cola Mountain??

Breakfast Under Coca-Cola Mountain??

We had a two-hour window to switch planes, and we missed by about 12 hours. It’s funny that we made all our sailing deadlines for three months and a little storm over Dallas blew the endgame. We waited until 2:00 a.m. for a crew to show up for our plane; and as they walked up to applause from the crowd, they announced that they had “timed out” and the flight was cancelled. We found a hotel for the night and cancelled our reservations for a car and hotel in Phoenix. They were pretty nice about refunding some of our money. The next day we slept in and did our first UBER ride to the airport. It was $45 for a taxi to the hotel, and we split a $16 dollar fair back to the airport the next day with UBER. Wow!

Casa Grande

Both the town and the RV were right where we left them. The difference was that Palm Creek, where we did the early winter last year, was a ghost town. We found the odd human at the pool from time to time but 119°F for three days kept the few that still lived in the RV park inside. We ran 48 amps of A/C around the clock and the refrigerator pretty much gave up trying. It was nice to be back in the land of big box stores but the ghost town RV Park had us feeling like we late getting out of Dodge. We headed up the hill (8% grade) to Flagstaff and the V10 got a workout. We did not need A/C again until we got out into the flats of New Mexico and Kansas.

An Entire Wall at Palm Creek Labelled Romance

An Entire Wall at Palm Creek Labelled Romance

Lake Afton in Kansas - Almost Home

Lake Afton in Kansas – Almost Home

Propane Fill - Short Hose Workaround

Propane Fill – Short Hose Workaround

Staging in Iowa

We stop for a week or so at the pole barn in Iowa where we store all our summer toys. Oh … and the odd car and van. This year we’re extending the layover to attend a birthday party for the kids of nieces and nephews. It feels like they were kids themselves just a few years ago. Tick Tick.

Our Private Trail Got Popular. Great Western Trail from Martinsdale to Des Moines

Our Private Trail Got Popular. Great Western Trail from Martinsdale to Des Moines

Calorie-Positive Biking at Cummins Tap – Great Western Trail

Calorie-Positive Biking at Cummins Tap – Great Western Trail

Deb Even Took Time Help Out with Bible School

Deb Helped Out with Vacation Bible School

Sunday Pool Day with the Family in Iowa

Sunday Pool Day with the Family in Iowa

Nelson Wine-Tasting Bike Ride

February 4, 2016 Posted by Deb

New Zealand is trying to build bike trails, which is good because the roads are narrow with no shoulders. Bikers from all over the world use the roads but we wouldn’t.images-1-700x442

So, the Nelson Great Taste Trail bike trail was appealing. The other issue was Deb and wedgy bikes (a term recumbent bikers use for regular small seat bikers). She needed a very upright, comfortable bike and most rentals are more like mountain bikes. We found a perfect wedgy at Gentle Cycling and we were off. Great day and 40k of nice trails and wine tasting.FB_IMG_1454910581261FB_IMG_1454910575369FB_IMG_1454910567096

Annual Trek to Frisco, Colorado

September 1, 2015 Posted by Deb

Early in August we headed for the mountains in what has become an annual event. Ron and Barb did not disappoint as we continued the tradition of hiking one day and biking the next. The U.S. version of the Tour de France was in the area so there was no lack of free concerts. A great food event as well but we did not gain weight because the burn rate is high in Colorado.

Oh … and one small event at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Joe Bonamassa concert. Those tickets were not free. We worked our way up into the high-dollar seating area by taking advantage of “no-shows.”

Tailgating Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Tailgating Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

Highlights other than the concert … we met some of Ron and Barb’s friends (George and Sheryl) and Ron and Chuck made it to the top of Vail Pass by bike from Frisco.

Chuck_CrossingLogsMountainsCopper_ReadytoBikeHikingByLake Bikes_RonsGaragew DebRon_TopofKeystone TopOfVailPass_ChuckRon

Escape from Ft Lauderdale

March 14, 2015 Posted by Deb

We said goodbye to friends and paid off the four crews that left footprints and debris all over the boat as well as a few wrap ups that were dumped in our laps like re-plumbing the galley (nice easy metric to US conversion) and mounting the new stove top. All propane and water pressure tests passed which left only provisioning and hiring Ingo to clean the boat from bow to stern (again). We left with four cases of beer and a couple gallons of rum and wine.

DinnerMcDaniels

FtLauderdaleDavidGailParty

FtLauderdaleAnthonyCountertops

FtLauderdaleThaiFood

FtLauderdaleChuckUnderSink

We didn’t have a going away party because we needed to rest up for the trip and we were a bit nervous about heading out without a sea trial on all the new stuff. The famous words of Kurt Russel in Captain Ron, “Don’t worry, if it’s going to happen … It’ll happen out there.” As it turned out, we should have also been a bit concerned about going down the New River in Saturday traffic on a St. Patrick’s Day party weekend. It was a great trip down through the five bridges with only one white knuckle event where we had to come close to grabbing a wall to let a monster cat go upriver.

FtLauderaleDebBridgeBike FtLauderdaleBridgeOpen1 FtLauderdaleBridgeOpen2 FtLauderdaleStPatrickDayParade

We grabbed a weather window that was supposed to be too rough for all but “salty” sailors and found it to be wimpy. That’s great if you don’t like being bounced around but not so great if you have to fight the mighty Gulf Stream. Neytiri performed quite well but we had to motor the final 30 miles into West End and arrived just before midnight. That passage was the only time our former boat, Sanity, outperformed Neytiri. We did the same trip 22 years ago about two hours faster.

The night arrival thing is something we are doing more often and it is not a great idea. Our new spotlight helped us get into West End’s “giant pile of rocks” breakwater and we rousted out a security guard to find a temporary home for the night. We heard that a “soon to be married” couple lost their boat at the entrance just a few weeks before. They went ahead and had the marriage ceremony at West End anyway … good recovery from a bad situation.

Twenty-Two Years

February 15, 2015 Posted by Deb

We have our little fold up bikes and have been biking the same suburban side roads we used 22 years ago to outfit Sanity. West Marine has moved but the Marina Mile is largely as we remembered.  Those that have done time here will remember McDonalds Hardware. We asked how long the current staff had been working at McDonalds and they trotted out a guy who had been there for 16 years. So … there wasn’t a single person in the building who pre-dated us. Gives you kind of a dinosaur feeling. Our friend and crew member on Sanity (Tony Noel) will remember this place.

McDonaldsHardware

Jags

December 16, 2014 Posted by Deb

Almost exactly three years after our sailing buddy Vickie visited us in St. Martin, we got a call from her inviting us to a Jags football game (that’s the Jacksonville NFL team). We jumped in our little rental car and drove to St. Augustine a day early to take in the festivities. We loved that town before and even more now. We did the light show, parades, and two restaurants we hadn’t been to before including our new lifetime “best burger” at the Candlelight. They put shaved steak on top of the burger and it is wonderful. I decided to quit drinking some other day.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Night of Lights in St. Augustine

Night of Lights in St. Augustine

Football, Alcohol and Food

Football, Alcohol and Food

Lunch Bike to St. Simon

It was a big deal because Deb had not biked since her surgery. She was also using one of our folding wedgies rather than her recumbent (wedgy is derogatory for regular upright bikes with small seats). Some of you may remember that it was a wedgy that blew her neck out initially back in the 1980’s on a 100-mile ride called the Split Rock Century. It is eleven miles each way to get to a restaurant on St. Simons with a beach view so a nice break in for her. The end result … gorgeous day but she probably shouldn’t have run 5K that morning.

St. Simons Causeway

St. Simon’s Causeway

Biking Under Spanish Moss

Biking Under Spanish Moss

Turkey Trot – Amelia Island

This one came out of nowhere and before a reality check, we were entered in a race on Amelia Island. We felt a bit better as we checked out the crowd and found that not everyone had their semi-pro running outfits on. We felt even better after the start and we were walking faster than most of the other walkers and we actually were even with a group of runners. The runners just ahead of us were kind of bouncing up and down but not moving forward very fast. We ran/walked the final half and were proud to beat our 10K time by over 2 minutes for a 5K race. Deb finished 7th in her age group and would have finished 5th if she hadn’t stopped just before the finish line to have her picture taken.  I finished 12th in my age group and no one passed me when Deb took my picture. All in all, a very good time and a fraction as hard as a Grenada Hash.

Cross the Finish Line First, Then Take the Picture

Cross the Finish Line First, Then Take the Picture

Fuel Filters

Entropy is gaining on Neytiri and the road trips above are quick diversions from an ongoing battle. Fuel filter changes are not pleasant but the whole process is over pretty quickly. Some even have to change them out in heavy seas when their fuel tanks get churned.  The key is to get all the air out of the lines post filter change and for that, we rely on a gravity fed fuel system. Our routine change of four filters became a two day ordeal when the gravity fed system failed to gravity feed. The process of elimination involved a complete Racor flter tear down, topping off the fuel tanks with jerry jugs for more gravity pressure, a fuel shut off valve tear down, and a lot of sloshing around in diesel fuel. All for nothing. Still no fuel.

Below is a shot of our second to last option. We taped off the fuel tank vent and taped in the hose to our dinghy pump and started pumping. Instant success and a bit more diesel fuel to slosh around in.

Insert Air Here

Insert Air Here

Dock 12

Dock 12