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Bike log, June 2017: 205 miles

Trips this month included a couple jaunts down to the Three Rivers Arts Festival downtown, a few trips to Iron City Circus Arts's new location on the South Side, a Weekend Hill ride, and a Flock party ride, where some members of the ride successfully harassed an aggressive bus driver.

I also survived my first (I think) instance of being "hit" (physically touched while in motion) by a car; fortunately it was a very light brush at low speeds and not only was nothing hurt, I didn't even fall over. I called 911 to report it after I got into work. Oddly (and annoyingly), talking to the officer was more emotionally wracking than the actual incident was, probably because missing the adrenaline rush.

No bike changes; it's a lazy month.
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Bike log, May 2017: 195 miles

The biggest thing this month to affect my mileage is that I moved offices at work a few blocks down the street, taking my commute from a range of 2.6-3.7 miles to 2.9-4.0 miles. Although I can do the route into work in about the same time since now I can take the last third of it down Forbes which includes a big hill.

The vaguely-bike-related upgrade I did this month was to get a new phone, which is current enough that it doesn't randomly crash on me nearly as much, and has a much more accurate GPS. So I've been able to track my riding a bit more often, which uploads to the National Bike Challenge. Which, no surprise, still stucks. Well at least I'm not putting effort into it.

I did a few longer rides: one leisurely ride around the river trails, once to Open Streets, and one Weekend Hills ride.

Butt is still kinda sore during rides > an hour or so. Thinking maybe my saddle isn't the right one for me, despite it being a pretty color of blue. Wheels lights also annoyingly go out randomly sometime after I turn them on. Could possibly be low battery but more likely bad wire connection but I haven't figured out where. I will try one more time to debug, then I'm just going to order new ones (since they are super cheap).
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Bike log, Apr 2017: 190 miles

Apr 1 started off with a trip to the bike shop for a spring cleaning, where I got a new chain and cassette, with about normal wear and tear on it. Nothing else new, although the saddle I installed last month is definitely taking some getting used to. It's comfortable for my daily rides now, although more painful on longer rides, but I think the difference is actually how hard I'm riding (i.e., if my weight is more on my butt or on my legs/arms) and not how far I'm riding. Definitely involves less chafing than the previous one, though.

Bike things! Beer Week happened this month, so I biked from to Hough's twice, one of which involved me trying out the runnel on the Alexis St stairs. While it was an interesting experience, I'm not actually sure that it was significantly less effort than just riding up Greenfield. I guess it used different muscles? It was definitely hard work, although less hard than straight up carrying the bike that same route. Xuth and I also biked to the Science March in Oakland, which happened over Carnival weekend, which made it super convenient to get to alumni events, a BBQ, and back home again. Last week we biked downtown for dinner and Disenchanted with some friends, which was entertaining, although not awesome or even terribly memorable. Then on Saturday I helped bike marshall for the second time for the East End Brewery Keg Ride, which went well and the weather even mostly cooperated and didn't start the downpour until after we finished the ride.

I went ahead and joined the National Bike Challenge, since it uses Strava and I sometimes use Strava (only sometimes because the app crashes or otherwise just fails to record an annoyingly high percentage of the time), although I'm not very enthusiastic about it because the interface is really non-obvious. I can't even figure out how to join a team.

I'm very happy it's nice enough weather that I can just bike around to various things I want to do.
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Bike log, March 2017: 165 miles

March was a lower mileage month than February, which was pretty completely unsurprising, given that February was basically half springtime and March turned back to winter for half of it. I rode downtown with Xuth for a Brain Candy show, and around town with other women in International Women's Day, but then I went on vacation and it got cold and wet and stayed that way for a while. Finally near the end of the month we got a few nice days and I did an full Friday evening of easy trail riding.

Last month I installed the Oi and was pretty unimpressed. It only fits by moving my shifters and brakes up and out of the way, is hard to ding properly, isn't very loud, and becomes useless if anything is touching it, like my Barmitts, which I had on for the middle half of the month. I was just about ready to take it off on the next bike maint day I got, when I went for a trail ride and actually used it and it actually worked. Like, people heard it and moved out of the way. So I decided to keep it for a while longer, at least until I find another bell that I like more.

The tape holding the vinyl on my bike saddle together held up for a few weeks but was really irritating my thighs by the end. I ended up deciding on a slightly older model of the fi'z:k Vesta saddle that I found at a good price and most importantly, in a grey and blue color scheme that matches the rest of the blue on my bike. Yea, color coordination. It's MUCH firmer of a saddle than anything I've had for the past 6 years, so much so that I had to raise up my seat post by an inch to account for the lack of padding. The first couple days were slightly uncomfortable, but I think it's something I will acclimate for. I haven't done any longer rides with it so I'll reserve full judgement until then.

Ended the month by riding down to ProBikes to get some basic spring maintenance done.
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Bike log, Jan 2017: 140 miles

I started off the new year by finally making the Icycle Bicycle ride with the Western PA Wheelmen group on Jan 1, as it was nice and sunny and not snowy. About 100 cyclists showed, all in tights and neon, mostly people I didn't know. It was a fairly fast-paced ride, but it was also only about a 15 mile ride, and on mostly flats, so I didn't have too much trouble keeping in a group (although I'd dropped to a later group by the end).

Then the rest of the month was just basic commuting, with a week off to drive up to Boston for a convention. There was a lot of cold and wet riding, which was not terribly pleasant for either me or the bike, although at least I have the gear to make it only mildly annoying instead of really dreadful. One ride home left enough snow packed up in my fenders that getting into work the next morning was particularly difficult. I made good use of the large exhaust pipe near the bike racks for drying it off that day.

I ended the month at a women's winter bike workshop, where I learned that I was not lubing my chain anywhere near as often or as thoroughly as I should be doing for the weather I'm riding in. Lucky for me, I was the only one who rode my bike to the workshop, so I got to have my bike used as the demo bike, and got a freshly lubed chain out of the night. More than worth the cost of admission.
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Food log, Jan 2016

I'm not listing everything I made this month because that would be boring, not to mention I don't remember it all. But here are some highlights.

After doing some traveling earlier in the month, the house ended up with a couple bags with a greater-than-usual quantity of crushed, sugary, cereal dust. The kind of sugary dust that nobody wants to eat as actual cereal, but I wondered what I could do.

Experiment 1 was crushed frosted flake chicken. It came out decent, but a little too sweet for everybody else in the house. I bet it would have been good paired with a nice mustard, but I'll probably not try again, and anyways I ran out of that cereal.

Experiment 2 was my basic goto banana muffins, with crushed frosted shredded wheat in place of the oats, and no extra sugar added. Success! I will probably use up the rest of that cereal this way, and possibly any future cereals.

Last weekend I threw my annual Soup Swap party, where people make soups, everybody samples everything, and we swap frozen quarts around. This year I decided to try out a super easy chicken taco recipe I borrowed from [personal profile] katybeth which is basically 1 can each of black beans, kidney beans, bbq beans, corn, and tomatoes (lg), mixed with 1# chicken and taco seasoning. I tried it a couple times and decided the taco seasoning was the most (only?) important part, and using our homemade seasoning and adding some liquid made it just right. Party folks liked it well enough, too, and 7qts of it got swapped away.

The party was a great success, with 40(!) people (10 under 18) and 15 soups. Nearly everything got finished up or taken away. Everything was pretty tasty, although there was nothing this year I ended up really loving. The day afterward I decided I had been craving a good cream soup, so after a surprise trip with friends to Restaurant Depot where I got a huuuuuge amount of 'shrooms, I tossed together a basic cream of mushroom soup that hit the spot.

Today Xuth and I are sniffly and sick and blah, so leftover soups (and some emergency canned soups) are just the right thing.


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