THE SEASONS CHANGE

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Into October and its very noticeable that the season has changed. Fall colors abound and many trees seem in a competition to see who can be the first to shed all their leaves. Of course the “air” also heralds change and its definitely cooler and crisper first thing in the morning.

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Today, 1st October, brilliant blue skies, a crisp cool wind if you are in the shade, and now despite wishes to the contrary, you know that winter (which the pundits say will be severe) is coming very soon! It is also the start of the “Winter” 8 ball pool competitions so some practice required after the smash and grab of 9 ball.

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On the cycling and health kick the “1500” was completed and  extra miles went in the book as I was in the mood. Will, or is 2000 even possible with the changing seasons? I’m starting this morning on 1531.06 so a few more weeks at least before snow and ice are the norm.

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The 4th Road Bridge on my early morning ride

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A view of the Dolores River from the bridge

Two weeks into the month and autumnal activities abound with apple picking, a harvest festival with cider making and tasting demo, the start of the firewood gathering, two rounds of pool with a first and a second to start the season, and plenty of Sunday football!

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Our friend’s orchard and FREE picking!

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The “fruits” of our labors

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Good eating too!

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Locally made nut bowl from the harvest festival @ $25

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First 3 loads are stacked

The cycling has so far not been interrupted by bad weather though it is cooler and perhaps the winds are a bit stronger. Temps are still up there in the mid 60’s or low 70’s so the “living & breathing quest” continues unabated.

Having sailed through the 1500 barrier the mind questions the idea of 2000 before Christmas? Two weeks ago I was looking at trying to hit 1500 and now today (16th Oct) I’m over 1700 so 1800 is almost a certainty and the only real question is when will this white stuff arrive?

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Today is another day of many tasks, San Ysidro on the Trials Scene didn’t even get a mention, but I’ll be back next year. Some electric fixes in the RV park, then finish off making the last of the first batch of cider. Brenda bought a vintage press and its now bolted on the outside picnic table and is working well! She wants to go to the pumpkin patch today and get another load of apples for more cider and apple sauce.

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Scrumpy here we come

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Pressed and pressed again apples off to the chickens

Quick run through the  Pumpkin Patch and suitable “things” weighed and purchased, and now some straw bales to finish the effect and brighten up the shade garden after the early frosts have decimated some of the flowers.

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Our harvest pumpkin patch

More winter activities with firewood complete the 6 load count and I’m thinking about 3 more and I’m done!

TONY DOWN

1500

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No, its not a military time in hours, its actually a distance in miles that I have targeted as a goal to be achieved by 1 Oct 2016. I did achieve the 1000 mile milestone by my birthday on August 7th so this looked feasible but this morning its pouring with rain and the forecast is looking equally gloomy for the next few days!

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Today is the 21st so not many days to go and I’ve already done 1382.55 miles so I need 117.45 in the remaining 9 days. So, if I can get a decent run with no more bad days then its a smidge over 13 miles a day    ………. we will see!

True to form it poured down so no ride for me! The day rolls over and now its WINDY for the next couple of days with 50 mph gusts which I like even less.

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Despite the infernal wind and my wimping I actually managed to bang in another 16.24 but today, Friday, the temps have shot down 30 degrees and it was pouring with rain and very unpleasant.

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Saturday, and now with just a week to “my” deadline I’m looking at 96.74 to hit the target ……. however the current temp is only 36F and I think I’ll wait until I can see at least 40 before wheeling the bike out. The forecast high is a dismal 57 after last Monday’s 84 so not exactly conducive to get out there and pedal like a madman.

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The task begins and indeed its cold with only a minor crisp wind. It seems to be going well enough but then pedaling becomes hard as the rear tire picks up a puncture in the shape of a staple! Must be my weekend of the “flat” as I picked up one on Friday afternoon driving the School Bus.

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“Crap!”

Bearing in mind I’m seldom more than a mile away from the house so I don’t carry spares and tools like I used to in AZ. Therefore  a brisk walk back to the house and a new tube later I’m back on the road again and hit a good 18.53 miles for the morning.

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Not what I had in mind!

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Sunday and with Moto GP to kick off followed by The Broncos and Brenda’s other team, The Bills, time is not good for an early ride. By half time the weather has changed so a quick 5 miles to kick things off and then post game some more giving a 20.35 mile day. That brings things up to 1442.14 so looking good for the “target” by Friday.

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Now there’s an idea

The weather decides its too early for the cold snap and has now returned to pleasant afternoons circa 70F+  and mid 40’s overnight so no excuses for me! Now lunchtime on Tuesday and I’ve just crested 1470.11 with 3 days to go…………. and now its Thursday and the crap weather has returned with gusty winds, rain showers, interspersed with thunderstorms and overcast ……. but the numbers are up and despite everything the determined pedaling demon has hit 1492.03 so I could probably walk to the finish tomorrow.

So here we are,  Sep 30th on the watch and calendar, and only a mere 7.97 to go ………. and surprisingly after all yesterday’s rainfall today its bright, sunny and relatively wind free. A pleasant ride in the fall scenery and what starts out as a mini distance to achieve soon becomes 14.46 on the clock for a grand total of 1506.49…. lets see what that looks like on a map

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That’s a long way!

The target has been achieved, but what’s next ? Well at 6936′ as we move into October frost, ice and snow are only just around the corner so this cycling thing has a limited time to go but I’m thinking I might try some hill climbing and find a way out of this town before the weather closes me down ……… and I’m not quite finished for the day as I’ve  been doing “some” research on how mountain bikes have changed over the last decade so now time to get some up front expert views on where I should be looking.

TONY DOWN