THE NEXT TARGET

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2017 Tour is done, well earned congratulations to Chris Froome

As the Tour De France winds down and Chris Froome wins his 4th title what can I see in my own cycling crystal ball ?  2200 miles are done and now my birthday looms on the horizon just two weeks away.

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Last year at this point I was hoping to hit 1000 miles by 8/7/16 so this year maybe I’ll try and hit 2500 ?

As always the “summer break” seems to have gone very  quickly again but looking back an awful lot of good work has been achieved including, sign straightening and repainting, irrigation and power out to Scuffy, the usual mass of weeding, and removal of trees and branches.

Monday, forecast is 60% chance of storms and heavy rain, but right now its not too bad so I’d better saddle up and get on with it! Brenda is on side 2 of the sign but doesn’t want pouring rain upsetting her art work so she may be on hold.

The weather isn’t quite as bad as the forecast and I’m on the road at 1015 while Brenda gets into painting. Seems to be hard work for me this morning but no serious black clouds ahead so I press on for the 10 mile turn round point at the lakes. By the time I get back the sign is half way done, and after 4 hours the painting is complete. After lunch the new tubes get fitted and we are done.

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Painting done and the lights are on

With all the afternoon rain the grass and gardens are looking good but those weeds are coming back again!

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Dismal!

Sadly my radish seem to be getting eaten by the ants? Never had this problem before so I’m in the process of building a small bed for them out by the Maple where they can be in company with the toms and the fast recovering cucumber who has generated another 7 new fruits and is looking very healthy.

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Toms a’plenty

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Cucumbers on recovery

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Scuffy electrics have their own house

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New soil and irrigation = new flower

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Happy new rose

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Scuffy side beds looking good, and this time last year NONE of this existed!

After my first attempt at “Hill Climbing” the decision is change the gearing which I bought a little while ago but now need to get that changed this afternoon………….. Not so fast!!! seems I bought the WRONG system so of course it doesn’t fit. Time to rethink this one and maybe get them to order EXACTLY what I need.

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Wrong one!!

Home again and just time to finish the new bed and get that ready for my second attempt at some radish.

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NEW veggie bed ready for planting

Wednesday morning, and from the forecast what looks like a better day so today I’m planning on riding a little further down the road to Telluride as a bit of variety. That didn’t happen but I did knock up 26.24 which now gives me a total of 2306.62 so still on track for my birthday numbers.  The seeds go in the new bed and we will see what happens in round 2.

Saturday, and success at last! The radish seed are germinating and popping up in the numbers I would expect. Hopefully the lettuce will do the same in the next three days.

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Much better germination in the new bed

Cycling, a bit of a mixed feast, with some nasty black clouds every which way I turn and indeed I did get rained on yesterday but I still got to my objective even if Friday’s ride got cut short. Hoping to crack 2400 by close of play Sunday.

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Just got dressed up ready to go and of course its started raining! Well as I’ve waited all day for this bleak overcast weather to do something I can now wait for it to stop.

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Out I go and its spitting but I can live with it although it gets worse the further out of town I go. Only 3.8 on the clock and time to come back in and find the drier roads in town. Not very nice but I clock up 14.18 which puts me 11 miles behind schedule but I think I can catch them up in this last week.

Sunday and a much brighter morning so I need to get those numbers back up and close in on the next goal. Post ride it will be sorting out the lawn and a clean for the mower and sharpen up the blade as the grass is a collection of many types with different rates of growth…… but with all the rain its certainly much greener.

Pleasant enough start and out to the 10 mile point where there is a big black cloud and the wind is increasing. In bound and 2 miles down the road it starts raining and there is a lot of thunder. Carbon bikes, wet roads and storms ?

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I’m in the rain until the 17 mile point when I finally get back on dry roads for the run into town. Blue skies overhead but as black as hell up the valley. Push on and finish at 27.32 and a smidge under 2400 having caught up 3 miles of the 11 shortfall caused by the rain days.

After lunch the weather suddenly moved in over the town and it starts raining and carries on right through until the evening. The seeds I planted are loving the rain!

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Radish and lettuce all up

Monday, a better looking day, so off down the road and another 27.28 takes me through the 2400 banner and now I’m only 6 miles behind where I should be.

Brenda wants to take a look at another boating lake at Vallecito some 80 miles away and from the pictures it looks pretty good for all aspects. However, no sooner have I got changed and our old friend the weather starts to become seriously unsettled so that mission is now delayed until Wednesday morning. Oh well, maybe I will get the grass cut after all.

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Here we go again!

Before I can get back in gardening mode the rain starts and then gets really nasty. Above the thunder and pummeling hail I hear the rumble of some Hardly Ablesons and 3 teams of drowned rats or hogs are on our porch. They were attempting the 250 mile round trip and are staying at Ouray so they are about halfway round and of course being classic Harley people they have NO RAIN GEAR and NO HELMETS ….. I say nothing despite my views on the subject!!!

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Absolutely typical! No rain gear or helmets ……. and soaked through and VERY cold.

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……… and that about sums that up!!

Another Tuesday and August 1st, today I will edge closer to that 2500 target and if the heavens allow even get the grass cut. Riding conditions are good and 26.24 joins the total before attention turns to the grass. The mower gets the underside cleaned out and the blade sharpened although after 4 years and mucho rock and stone bashing it is time for a new one. It runs a little better and I’m about 1/3 the way through when the rain arrives!! Not the mega down pour of the last few days so I’m back on it and manage to complete mowing, strimming and edging for a nice finished product.

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The grass is cut, strimmed and edged

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Very green from all the rain.

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The Scuffy marina looking good

Now its Wednesday and plans change again so the Lake trip moves to Thursday and I’ll do a little weeding this morning and take an afternoon ride. Not a lot of time available this afternoon but a pleasant rain free ride notching up another 18.65 before coming in and getting ready for the Wednesday evening pool competition.

Brenda WINS the pool competition and is thankfully now qualified and well qualified at that!

Thursday now becomes a cycling “rest day” on my way to the 2500 birthday challenge. Only 36 miles to go and 3 days to get them in.

Friday and a hard working 26.39 goes in the books for the grand total of 2490.64 so less than 10 miles to the target champagne.

Saturday and a morning working on the Beemer as I’ve got my mojo back at last on the engineering front. Full strip down complete and ready for the replacement units on Sunday.

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Ready for new parts

Champagne loaded in the fridge and the lone rider sets off to finish the task in hand and crack that 2500 mile marker for 2017.

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Fridge loaded!

Out to the 8.0 mile point where its raining so that calls for an early turn back to home and the 18.24 for the afternoon achieves the mission taking me to 2508.88 compared to last year’s 1000 birthday target.

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Ready to pop

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Cheers, 2 days ahead of schedule

Happiness is being alive and a glass or two of the champers!

 

TONY DOWN

 

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