Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Woo hoo! Actually got some riding in yesterday, albeit at a low intensity. Plan on doing a little more today too once classes are over. It's always good when you can feel yourself getting better. The funny thing is, whenever I've been outside riding to class or wherever I've felt better... even with the sub-freezing temps outside. I don't think it's supposed to get above freezing all week which means being glued to the trainer. I guess that will give me a chance to catch up on all of the podcasts I haven't had a chance to listen to all week. Put some new pics up on Flickr yesterday. We had another ice fog and so there are some neat pointy ice crystals on all of the trees. I also caught a cool random shot of Gauss-Johnson as I was walking in. It's the engineering building where my office is located. I thought it turned out pretty cool. Lorena is off to Boise today to present at the Idaho Weed Conference. She'll be back sometime Thursday night. The cats get back-up-food-guy for a few days.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 2:44 PM
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Day 4 of not being able to ride. Yuck. As you may recall, we were really looking forward to riding outside this weekend but plans changed a bit. I came down with a sore throat starting on Friday evening and its progression kept me off the bike all weekend. That and the weather decided to not warm up as much as was predicted which helped drive home the point. The worst part about being sick is that it doesn't happen very often and it screws up your schedule so much when it does. I think NE Ohio mountain biker Ernesto Marenchin says it for me in that "It drives me bonkers." When you ride your bike as much as we do, not being able to is like a part of the day is missing. Ah, well. Just when I thought this winter was going pretty well in that I hadn't been sick... WHAM! There you go. I suppose my immune system will come back more revamped for the next round in another 10 months or so. Better go drink some OJ and get some rest. Good night.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 12:06 AM
Friday, January 26, 2007
I forgot to mention that we've changed the website for online hosting of our pictures. You can either click on the link on the right or go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cahlsb It's a much more user-friendly site for photo sharing. Enjoy!
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 2:57 PM
What a week! I'm a bit glad our machine shop supervisor is out of town today which means the shop is closed and I don't have to worry about making any parts for my senior design team. That affords me the opportunity to maybe sneak in another ride this afternoon even though the temperature is a bit cooler than it's been this week. A lot of our snow is gone with temps in the high 30's/low 4o's this week but I've only had a chance to ride twice this week; Monday and Thursday. The snow being gone is good because that means the roads are back roads are clear and fairly dry. I took my fixie out on Monday and rode some roads I've never been on before. There was more snow then but I was riding gravel roads primarily and so there was a bit of grit at the bottom of the snow for traction. One of the roads I was on cut through an area that is primarily farm fields and even though I was no more than 3.5 miles from a town, it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. It was great to say the least. The only downside was the slushiness of the snow and that the gravel roads were kind of muddy. When I finally got back to Moscow, my riding shoe covers were so covered in mud as was my bike. There was even mud on the back side of my front fender! Not sure how that got there. I wanted to take a picture of it but when I actually got into town, the wet streets washed most of the mud off. I love riding in the winter because not many people do and there's a feeling I can't quite describe other than to say that it feels like you're the only one out there. (even though that may not be true) Yesterday's ride was really nice. I again rode some roads I haven't been on before but suspected led to roads I did know. It was a little colder than Monday but everything was much drier and the gravel roads less muddy. I didn't get to leave until about 3:15 and still managed to get about 2 hours in and still had a little bit of daylight. Woo hoo!! The days are getting longer. It's amazing how just a month ago it was dark at a little after 4. We're planning on riding in Lewiston tomorrow where it should be a little warmer. We've not ridden down there and so it should be fun to ride new roads. On top of that, we haven't explore too much outside of Moscow simply because you have to drive at least 30 miles to get almost anywhere and school just keeps us busy enough to have to stay somewhat close. We're also hoping to do some bike-camping this summer to explore a little bit more. Hard to believe the collegiate road season is only 2 months away! I have this sneaky suspicion that some of my training will be racing because of reduced training time. Then again, sometimes the best training for racing is racing itself.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 1:17 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Last week was one of those weeks where I kept saying to myself 'You need to take a little bit and write something about the snowshoeing experience.' but it never happened. Despite being a short week due to the holiday, it was crazy busy at school. Between homework, the addition of another class (up to 4 now), making parts in the machine shop, and trying to get some roller/trainer rides in, all of my time was eaten up. Now it's a nice and quiet weekend morning and I've gotten some stuff accomplished and actually have time to write now. Last weekend we decided to rent snowshoes at our rec center and go hiking on Moscow Mountain. We've never been snowshoeing before and thought we'd give it a try. Going up on the mountain would give us a chance to see just how much snow is up there because it's a lot more than what's here in town. We have about 5-6" on the ground in town and according to the National Weather Service, there was supposed to be about 2 feet on top of the mountain. Our friend Maike decided to go with us and so we went up to hike the Headwaters trail on Sunday. It was kind of cool to see the trail we so often mountain biked on in the fall covered in snow. We saw a lot of moose tracks but no moose. We were going to try to make it up to Paradise Point but decided it was a little too far given the amount of daylight we had. Here's a shot of Lorena on the trail: One of the really wild things about that day was the how much snow was just blowing around. The sky was clear of clouds but there was so much snow being blown that it looked like a moving storm. This is a picture we took on the road that leads to the trailhead. That's just blowing snow in the distance. Kinda reminds you of the dust bowl days of the 30's. You can view more pictures from Day 1 of snowshoeing by clicking here. The weather was a balmy 12 degrees but snowshoeing is hard work and so we didn't quite notice the cold except in the shady areas. We decided to go again on Monday but try to get to Paradise Point from another direction. The temperature was supposed to be a little warmer, up to 14 degrees. I thought it would be about a 7 mile hike total based on some of the directions I'd read for getting to the trails on the east end of Moscow Mountain. We parked at the bottom of the mountain and proceeded to hike up the logging road. It's 2.5 miles uphill to the ridge we were going to hike along to get to Paradise Point. It took us about 1.5 hours just to get to that point but at least it should be easier going hiking along the ridge for a while. You can see on the image I made in Google Earth just what we were up against. We hike along the ridge for about another 45 minutes and came across this area where the snow seemed deeper than any other spot we'd seen thus far. As you can see, there was a stump with a significant amount of snow on it that we had to take a picture. Having Lorena beside it really puts it in perspective. You can see all the pictures from Day 2 by clicking here. We didn't quite make it to Paradise Point but got close enough that I could get on a high spot and take some pictures looking south toward Moscow. It's really wild how far you can see on a clear day like that. All told, the hike ended up being 9.5 miles and took us 4 hours. We are all totally beat afterward and we've decided that it would be a lot more fun to cross-country ski rather than snowshoe. We can rent skis at our rec center as well and there are some cx skiing places we can go that are close and we'll probably check out. It was fun to see everything that was so dry and dusty in the fall blanketed in snow. We also got one hell of a workout. With the weather as cold and snowy as it's been lately, we've been reduced to riding indoors primarily except for commuting to school. The temperatures have been hovering around freezing the last few days and so some of the snow on the streets has turned to slush and is a little bit more slick. I'd prefer it either be frozen or completely melted for riding because the frozen snow has a little better traction (believe it or not) and you don't get wet when it's completely melted and gone. Time to grab some lunch and head in to the office for a little while. Gotta take advantage of those times when the seniors aren't around to actually make some progress on research related stuff.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 1:52 PM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I know it's a few days after the horrible BCS Championship game but this is the first chance I've had to comment on it. I suppose I should be used to it by now but one of the biggest problems with high profile Ohio football teams (i.e. the Browns and Buckeyes) is their offensive lines. The Browns have had terrible offensive lines the last few years and that hasn't given any of their quarterbacks a chance to succeed, no matter how good they were supposed to be. The same held true for the poor Buckeyes the other night because Troy Smith didn't have a chance to show off because the Florida defensive ends were on his back. I think there were three times that Troy got sacked by someone that was unblocked. Couple that with Ginn getting hurt on the first play and it's no wonder that the offense couldn't get anything going. Who knows whether or not Ginn's presence would have made a difference. Pittman actually had some good runs but with Smith not having enough time to throw the ball, OSU was one-dimensional. One thing can be said is that the OSU defense did improve in the second half as Florida only scored once compared with their scoring at will in the first half. As much as I hate Florida, I must admit their defense was extremely quick and Teboe was a pretty good runner. He just ran over people. Some are suggesting the Heismann curse for Smith but we all know that's a bunch of crap. Florida's defense outplayed OSU's offense, bottom line. All I can say about the Browns is that they had better draft an offensive lineman and not worry about the Notre Dame QB. Charlie Frye will be fine if he has some protection. The new semester has started. It's been nice having a break but it's time to wrap the old brain around homework again. Now's as good a time as any to start.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 4:14 PM
Saturday, January 06, 2007
It's a bit amazing how we managed to make it both to Ohio and back without being delayed by the weather. I saw this morning that Colorado is getting another blizzard, the day after we traveled through. Lorena mentioned that, on Thursday, the highway (the one in the pictures in the previous post) between Colfax and Pullman was closed in the afternoon due to the snow. I couldn't have been too long after we drove through but you can see in the picture that the snow was certainly sticking. We received a catalog in the mail today called "One Step Ahead." It's basically a bunch of products that are supposed to protect small children from the world. Don't ask me why we received this as we are not parents and are not expecting but, after looking through the catalog, it seems to be a wonder that anybody of our generation made it to 2007 with all of the "DANGERS" around. You can check out some of the stuff at their website here. There are a lot things that are designed to be taken with you or used in the car. If every parent had all of these things, it's no wonder that parents are so worn down because they have to carry all of this crap around. On top of that, what do you do with all of the stuff when the kids grow out of it? I guess that's what fills up everyone's houses and is the basis for shows on TLC like "Clean Sweep." I discovered a cool blog over the break: www.kottke.org I recommend looking at the post of the Best Links of 2006. There are certainly some interesting links there, especially the one about the lake in Louisiana where they drilled into a salt mine and drained the lake. Pretty wild video. My parents have newspaper clip about that but I didn't know any more about it than what was in the picture caption. Time to hop in the trainer because it's still too crappy outside to ride. Maybe we'll get a chance to ride in Lewiston on Monday or Tuesday.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 5:24 PM
Friday, January 05, 2007
What a long two weeks. I sort of lost track of what day it was for a while. It's kind of strange to think about how much we did in Ohio. We're back in Idaho and still adapting a little bit. We actually went to bed at 8pm last night and it made us feel a bit like old farts. I guess it wasn't too surprising considering it was the equivalent of 11PM in Ohio and we'd been up since 3:45AM with only 5 or so hours of sleep prior. The 10 hours we slept last night was refreshing and so we'll probably back to "normal" by Monday. A couple of funny things that happened during our return trip: Lorena ran into a guy she graduated from high school with. He was on our flight and we had a nice conversation as we waited for our flight to board. While sitting in the Denver airport, a couple sitting across from us noticed Lorena's Wadsworth Grizzlies t-shirt and asked us if we lived there because it's where they lived. The woman sitting next to them was from Youngstown and is a grad student at Washington State. Lots of Ohio natives going in different directions and all sitting one little area of the Denver airport. (Insert "small-world" cliche here.) The weather here was a little more like winter when we landed in Spokane, about 32 degrees and clear. We didn't know what we were going to be driving into as we headed toward Moscow. I think we were starting into Rosalia, WA when it started to flurry a bit. By the time we were in Colfax, WA it was near white-out conditions. The snow was sticking to the road too and made for some tricky driving. As we came into Pullman, WA, their streets were quite slick and we actually took a brief ride on a sidewalk when we topped a hill and hit the brakes. Fortunately, we didn't hit anything but it made for a rather nerve racking 8 miles into Moscow. In all, it snowed about 4 inches yesterday afternoon and we were supposed to have another inch today with more over the weekend. The lab tech in Lorena's lab commented that if you could get to the ski resorts tomorrow, the skiing would be great.... but you still have to be able to get there. It felt so good to ride bikes today, even if it was indoors. We ran a lot and chopped a lot firewood to stave off holiday pounds but we were really missing our bikes with the nice, though abnormal, weather in Ohio. Some of our friends from the OCC offered to loan us bikes but we were sans helmets, shorts, and cycling shoes. I guess we'll have to remember that for the next time we're in for an extended period. It probably would have been worth it to send our bikes but we had a lot of luggage as it was. I suppose it's been more than two hours since the last time we ate and there was a bike ride in there. Time to make some dinner. I'm sure we'll think of more to write about in the near future. We hope everyone had a great holiday season. We certainly did.
Posted by Chris&Lorena at 8:48 PM