PLAYING “FALL” AND CATCHUP

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It always starts very slowly but then a single branch on a tree turns gold amongst all the green and that signal seems to trigger every tree to join in and before you know it the season has changed and you had better get your WINTER act in place!

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First frosts, and some pretty serious cold snaps herald the time to say goodbye to all the annuals and hanging baskets. Tomatoes, cucumbers and delicates are done, autumnal displays need to be built and the quest for winter firewood begins.

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Off to Jones Pumpkin Patch we go, a quick sample of cider, and then the business of pumpkin and gourds selection for Brenda’s tribute to Autumn.

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Plenty of choice

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The Team’s 2017 selection

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Straw bales have to wait until Monday as our local source got the mildew.

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The Shade Garden under “leaf attack!”

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Monday and 3 bales of straw gets Brenda’s build underway. I’m off on my winter quest for 12 “Cadi” loads of firewood from my local sawmill at Aspen Wallwood.

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Two loads home, I don’t think they realize how much wood goes in the Cadi.

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Special upstairs autumn theme for the cat who changes it round as the mood takes him.

 

TONY DOWN

HOW MUCH FURTHER ?

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Having hit the 2017 target of 3000 miles at 7000′ the question is how many more can I do before the weather shuts my operation down?

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Coming soon !

So far, October has been a very mixed affair with rain and strong winds although I did enjoy 2 good days and knocked up 42.67 going out to my 8 mile point, twice, and savoring all the magnificent fall colors along the Dolores River.

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Monday, October 9th,  and its colder and windy and we have to take Plan B in for winterizing having completed the Safari on Sunday. The overnight forecast was a low of 23F and true to form the Coleus in the shade garden are now toast! Still looking at temps to see if a ride is in my wheelhouse or not……… NOT!!

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Tuesday, and our 10th wedding anniversary! Remember we were in Napa at Calistoga, and have been back many times over those 10 years, but fortunately we didn’t go for any wine tasting this year as the place has some dreadful fires raging everywhere. We hope there will be no lasting damage.

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A lot of smoke

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Not looking good!

The rest of the week was pretty miserable for the cyclist with very cold mornings and a biting cold wind increasing as the day went on. However, after collecting Plan B on Friday morning I managed a shorter ride around the town trying to stay in more sheltered areas and did the same again on Saturday before our 8 Ball Competition where I eventually did a little better and qualified after 6 weeks of dismal performances. A third place was very welcome!

A poor week overall with only 50 miles achieved in my three rides but next week looks a bit better with warmer temps and much less wind.

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Sunday morning, very cold, at only 25F but I’ll be pushing for a 20 miler today!!   ………. and then we will be pumpkin hunting along with some straw bales for the autumn display in the shade garden.

Denny’s for pumpkin pancakes and then Walmart for a few oddballs and off to Cliff Rose Nursery for the straw bales. NONE ! their supplier lost them to mildew so looks like IFA on Monday. Time for the Jones Farms pumpkin patch and we make the most of the selection.

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Monday and 3 straw bales from IFA has everything ready for Brenda to set about the Shade Garden. I push on and clock up another 16.10 in town miles to add to yesterday’s 22.77 run after the pumpkin task.

Tuesday and onto other tasks, and with temps on the way down as we move into mid October time to think firewood. Off to Aspen Wall Wood and $5 later a full Cadi returns and the stacking begins.

Usually I plan on 12 loads for the winter. As they told me many moons ago “a man’s net worth is judged by the size of his firewood pile”

Wednesday does not lend itself to a ride, but Thursday after a little motivation goes well with 27.30 to crest 3200

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We are in bear country but, thankfully I haven’t had this happen!!!

Friday and another load of wood wraps up the work week and although Saturday morning is now here and its cold and blustery I would like to get a “20” before pool.

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I think 4000 might be pushing it a bit but 3500 I see as “doable”

 

TONY DOWN

THE 2017 TARGET ?

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Thanksgiving Morning 2016 and the last cycling ride of the year down to the Dollar Store before winter set in big time and closed me out for the year on 2031.22 miles achieved.

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With this new taste for cycling the Roubaix was added to the inventory and by the time we set off for Vallecito Lake at the end of August  2802.39 was in the books …….. but then along comes the bloody cold again and its another 3 weeks of misery until various pills and antibiotics finally kill it. Now with weather changes as well its been a struggle to get anything done as time never seems to be on my side and strong winds and pouring rain are not to my liking!

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I’ve had enough of this !!!

Due to all of the above I’ve been struggling to get to the 2017 target of 3000 miles, and I’m almost there but not quite!!! Today should have been a nice recovery day as it a day off from school bus driving and after all the awful fall weather from earlier in the week today was forecast to be back in the 60F range with only a 20% chance of rain.

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1500 done!

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Tour de France and 2200 in the bag

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My  71st birthday and 2500 done and dusted ……. now for 3000

The day started well and after the roads dried up a bit 13.41 was done before lunch. Before I could get out and get more done yet another storm arrived with torrential rain and kept me inside as I’m now waiting on a party of 4 RV’s to arrive around 1600. (Thinks bubble) “I could ride up and down the main road and see them as they come through the town??”

Another 7.23 done before the next big shower, and I’m forced to admit defeat. They arrive at 1730 and I’m with them setting up until 1830 and its now cold, wet and miserable!

Saturday morning and it has been raining again so a small wait for it to dry up a bit and warm up. Now I’m limited time wise as its Pool this afternoon but I push on and reduce the numbers by another 15.31 taking me to 2976.27 which I’m determined to finish this weekend.

Sunday, cool and still damp, but its got to be done. 24.73 to hit that 2017 target, so with a nasty sharp cool westerly gusting 25 mph time to plan how it will be done. Plan is to go for a morning run and hit 16 and then a second outing for the remaining 8.

The first run has plenty of headwind and now with falling leaves at least you can see where the wind is coming from. I elect a town ride to stay in what shelter I can find. The wind is easterly to start with but swings round to westerly as I’m halfway through. Never mind I take it a bit further than planned and knock off 18.25 leaving me 4.48 for phase II.

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Getting there ….. another 18.25

A few household tasks and some lunch after the Bill’s win, and I’m ready for the Bronco afternoon game. Brenda needs to catch up on Outlander before we can watch today’s episode so at halftime, I’ll ride and she can watch, and we will record the Denver game.

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“By jove, I think he’s done it !”

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Yes, its 3000 in the bag !

The wind is now really gusting and it is hard work so more hiding and shelter is the name of the game but its great when you turn round! With Brenda’s TV I can stay out a bit longer so I hit 12.55 for good measure finishing the day on 30.80 and in doing so crash through the 3000 mile target.

Now what ? you ask …….. carry on pedaling until winter shuts me down.

 

TONY DOWN