PRE THANKSGIVING WEEK

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Dry and VERY warm start to the working week so better make the most of it before the weather changes later in the week. Having a bit of trouble with the valve on the Roubaix back tire, sometimes flat and other days it stays up. Time to change it, but today pump it up and get out there for 25.66 with a ride up to the lakes and the extra 5 miles around the town.

Tuesday and supposed to be nasty but manage a good run out to the 8 mile marker before turning round and knocking up another 23.42 although I was not enjoying the headwind!!

Time to reflect on Thanksgiving for a moment and remember our poor religious pilgrims who were being persecuted back in their homeland and decided to sail the Atlantic against the prevailing winds. As we know the Mayflower and others had to get quite a few repairs done before their epic journey but eventually made it to Plymouth Rock having left Plymouth several months earlier.

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Political cartoon for Los Angeles Sentinel

Despite landing in a bountiful area of marine life (lobsters!) our religious brethren were neither farmers nor fishermen …. in fact just believers. In the fall of the following year, with failing crops and ever diminishing supplies there was a bit of a breakthrough when someone discovered ears of corn in baskets buried in the sand ? Now of course it never occurs to our religious hardliners that this must belong to somebody …….   Nay, nay! a thousand times nay, this is Providence and provided by our good Lord ……. and look, …..here come those turkeys …….. providence again! (Nay, nay, dumb arse, the birds are here because they eat corn!!!) Providence ?? I don’t think so, this is THEFT!

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Now, to add insult to injury,  you invite the indigenous people (who of course were the owners of the corn and turkeys) to your Harvest Supper. Well done to you! Many years later the Government moves Thanksgiving  to the backend of November …… and there you have it.

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Meanwhile back in Dolores the weather continues in its general winter trend. Wednesday and the Grandfather presses on for another 12.64 before getting the bus going again on the last pre Thanksgiving early release. Time to stop and pick up the new tires for the MTB and the tube for the Roubaix.

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Two new tires for the MTB

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New tube for the Roubaix

Thursday and despite headwinds another 18.35 goes in the books and with more dogged persistence the Old Man with a bicycle born in August continues on Friday in even colder temps for another 12.39 to bring the total up to 3593.62 ……….  and then it snowed and temps shot down to 17F for the dawn.

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Here we go again!

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Currently around 32F but not too windy so time to crack the last few miles of the week before afternoon pool.

Only 8.47 on a very brief cold ride but the objective was achieved and the total is now 3602.09

TONY DOWN

THE LAST TWO WEEKS …..

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First fire of the season

Only 2 weeks until all the excitement  begins and I’m off for the Thanksgiving Week. Tasks to get under way before then are the last loads of firewood, and some work rewiring some of the older  Xmas figurines for the balcony and a couple of deer that go out by the Waterfalls and then my do it yourself Christmas tree for the Rose Bed.

The week gets off to a good start with load No7 from the wood yard which is all nice dry stuff, although it took a long time to sort through and load into the car. Worth the effort and extra time but that left me no time for a ride.

Tuesday, very cold, with frost on the car and a day in the 40’s. Time to get the Walmart stuff including another “Santa” and I weakened with  a Darth Vader. I did get the lights, a few ornaments for my downstairs garland, some extra electric cords, and a fistful of cable ties.

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Another Santa ……. couldn’t resist

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Darth Vader ? am I losing it????

After unloading and breakfast a very short 10 miles, but every mile done today is one less for tomorrow.

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My new furry boots arrive and are a great replacement for the ones I wore all last winter driving the bus. Wednesday is “Early Release” day so only 13.78 for a quick 1 hour ride.

Improving weather on Thursday and high 50’s with little wind so a decent ride and 25.65 gets done having gone out to the 10 mile point before coming back into town.

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Friday and with no elementary kids today a 1 hour long lie in and another 1 hour later afternoon start means its time for the last load of fire wood …… and maybe a ride?

Seems Aspen Wallwood are still cutting fresh green Aspen which will take a couple of months stacked and drying so I’m sorting through the cliff for the dry fir which they cut back in May/June. About an extra hour to find it and toss it down to the car but I’m back in time to stack it and get out there pre lunch and knock out a few miles.

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After lunch another 13.24 joins the total which now stands at 3469.20 and if I knock off another 10 tomorrow 20 on Sunday should be easy!

With load No8 home and stacked I’m done, and I think we will make it through the winter.

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The Great Wall of Dolores rebuilt

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Front of house stacked

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Wheelbarrow of “Chunky Monkeys”

Saturday and the Ski Swap Shop but nothing we want this year so just sign up for our Telluride Card and be on our way. Nothing happening on the pool front for us this weekend despite a HUGE turnout! I did manage a quick 10 miles before we left so only 20.5 to do on Sunday.

Sunday then! Bloody cold with an Easterly wind and only in the low 30’s this morning but the promise is a high of 58F so don’t complain, it could be snowing!!

Garden tasks that need to be done; cut down the Russian Sages, trim the Rose Bed, and wait for the last of the Maple leaves to fall off.

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The Russians need cutting back

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Serious pruning required

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Always the last to drop

I have a slow flat on the Roubaix so I stayed in town for the 21.70 to take me through the 3500 mile marker.

TONY DOWN

LOGS & PEDALS

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” Is that you Mr Fawkes?”

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Nearly November, no Guy Fawkes for me, but only three weeks to get the last 6-8 loads of firewood and the last miles on the cycling front before conditions become just too unpleasant.

We start the week in a good place with 4 loads harvested and stacked. The Giant Wall of Dolores is rebuilt and now stacking moves onto the front of house.

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The Giant Wall of Dolores rebuilt again!

A bit precarious at the lumber yard working on the towering cliff face where all the nice dry pieces are located like gold nuggets. If you can find a seam of the good stuff a load can be done in around 30 minutes!

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Where is the nice dry stuff?

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Obviously under the dark overhang!!!

With the current changes in the weather I’m having to be very flexible with logging and riding as we now have rain and snow in the forecast.

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First step in the winter clothing addition was the purchase of some thermal riding boots as I remember my feet getting very, very cold last year.

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Should be good with all my other thermal gear but a balaclava might also be a worthwhile addition as most heat loss is through the head.

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The masked avenger rides again!

 

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Good thermals make a big difference

Monday and load number 5 is stacked in front of the house. Bad weather for Tuesday with rain and snow and between 5-10 inches above 9000′. Just manage a wet 15.83 miles. The new boots arrive but not familiar with this “boa system” so try them on in daylight on Wednesday.

Quick consultation with “Google”  and U-Tube has a video which explains everything and they fit very nicely and are as warm as toast just sitting in the lounge.

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Got my “eyes” on these for bus driving

Miles wise the pedals keep going round and after yesterday’s 15.83 the total is up to 3337.01 so with a bit of determination 3400 might fall by the weekend, and I must get this week’s second load to stay on the firewood target.

Thursday and load 6 is home and stacked. It took time to climb the cliff and prise out the good stuff and throw it down towards the car and then load it and repeat the operation. Not enough time left to get a ride in so try again tomorrow and hopefully collect the last loads next week if the weather holds.

Friday,colder but sunny and that crisp wind! Never mind, thermal on, too early for the new boots but another 21.06 is completed but I failed to get my “23” as too much pre ride coffee forced an early stop back at the house!!

42 miles left to complete this weekend, and now thinking 3700? before winter shuts me down. Of course once the firewood task is done then it will be full swing into the Christmas decs and all the fun of that. As yet nothing planned by way of any new features but there are a few things that need some extra lights replaced.

Saturday again and despite the cold the 70 year old braves the harsh elements and knocks up another 23.13 before afternoon pool.

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This goes better than it has and Brenda beats me for a guaranteed “third or better”. I fight my way through the losers winning all the way and meet her again in the 3rd & Better frame. I win this one and also the first frame of the final but lose the second. Can’t complain as the family takes a 2nd and 3rd !

November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, and the clocks go back. However, the mileage must go forward so quit whining and get out there and find somewhere wind free to bag another 20 miles.

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Bonfire night in the UK

Back in the UK Edward and Grandson James at the local bonfire and fireworks. Meanwhile I soldier on in the cold and unpleasant windy conditions and grind my way to 20.72 (I could have quit at 12 as I was NOT enjoying it!!!) …….. however I’m now at 3402.52

TONY DOWN