Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life - Moving. Again.

About a year ago the missus and I moved from a small 3 bedroom house to a smaller 2 bedroom apartment. At the house we had a garage and a big basement, full of stuff I'd accumulated over the course of almost 15 years and having perhaps 10 different roommates. Before we moved I made a bunch of van runs to the dump, hauling sometimes thousands of pounds of stuff. It got to the point where the guy (at the dump) who drove the giant Tonka Toy Yellow front loader would come by the van to see what I was dropping off that day. He'd check out what I had in the van, inevitably ask me to leave stuff "over there" (where all the good stuff ended up), and wait for me to finish unloading everything so he could claim it.

Ultimately we moved what I thought was a pretty well edited bunch of stuff, all fitting in a PODS, multiple 18-foot-long-van trips, the missus's mom's pick up, and a few Civics worth of delicate stuff.

Lo and behold I'm finding that my editing in Norwalk, severe as it was, ended up incomplete by a long shot. There are some tables we're donating, sofas to disappear, and various miscellaneous things we've found twice (i.e. we have one and then we find another one). Freecycle is our friend and it can be your friend. A few minutes ago our second salad spinner went out the door to a very appreciative lady.

There are those things I want to keep. I have a pile of frames, wheels, bikes. And parts.

Lots of parts.

I've spent the last few days doing even more editing, organizing boxes. My procedure is pretty straight forward - grab a box that has a lot of stuff in it (inevitably bike stuff along with other stuff) and pick out the things one at a time, put them in the right box (a different one). Repeat ad nauseum.

I've now filled a pretty big plastic bin with "bike" nuts and bolts. This is a separate bin from the ones with bike suspension or automotive or household nuts and bolts, and separate again from the bins holding actual parts. My future goal will be to get one of those nut and bolt organizers that mount on the wall (maybe a few of them) and empty out this big bin into the little drawers. The new shop nearby has them and I really like the way the bins work out.

I also want to get some clear plastic drawer things, the cheap stackable "collegiate" type ones that previously generated scoffs on my part. Now I see them as great bug/dust resistant containers for stems, cranks, cassettes, freewheels, hubs, derailleurs, brakes, shifters, shock/suspension parts, parts for particular bike builds, and, if I can find one long enough, handlebars.

I have a few nostalgic frames I want to rebuild - my Actual Size Cannondale 3.0 crit bike (the 2.7 got crashed so much I actually tossed it), my original Actual Size Cannondale (it has the original race frame, one we called the "5.0"), and perhaps a time trial bike or something. That last thing I'll actually ride, maybe race, and probably convert back to a regular bike after I go really slow on it.

I want to rebuild something else too - my fitness. I've finally noticed some blood veins popping out of my calves, and the layers of fat on my arms have melted away just enough to show a hint of the veins there too. I'm almost back down to my peak fitness (i.e. "just before Bethel" fitness, i.e. late February fitness), helped along with some regular riding and some beautiful days.

There's a reason for gaining fitness this late in the season. A minor goal for me - okay, it's a major one, I admit it - is to rebuild a lot of fitness by late September. I am hoping to do a race I consider to be quite major and I want to do enough not to embarrass myself. This means a lot of speedwork, a lot of training, and losing some weight. Six weeks to go and I feel like it's February before Bethel.

Oh wait, it's exactly like that.

Except I'm already kind of in shape. Sort of, anyway.

I looked into doing some track races up in New Hampshire. 318 meter track, Wednesday night races and "free track time" 4:30 PM until 6:30 PM the same evening, pretty cool. I'll have to give up the Wednesday night group rides but the Monday ones will have to do until the end of September. It works out with my new job since I've told my new (very nice) bosses that I'd like Wednesdays off and they happily agreed. The track gigs will have to wait until we move as "5 hours of driving" (yikes!) won't work well with "moving in two weeks". So a few weeks in September will have to do - but I hope that some very intense speedwork will help me find some ancient form.

I'll get out of work early enough for Tuesday evening races and Monday night group rides, so that will help. Two hours every Monday, plus some "post-ride night riding", and my legs get pretty well cooked. Then Tuesday's races, where I now want to hang with the group rather than scamper off after breaks and blow up right away. Tonight I have to skip the group ride as I'm totally exhausted, there is a 90% chance of thundershowers, and the sky has been quietly grumbling. I hope to be able to race Tuesday though, and do the group ride Wednesday.

Nonetheless the main goal, right now, is the upcoming move. One full weekend of packing left, plus evenings, and we close on our house in two Fridays. Saturday we're having everyone who offered to help come over and, well, help. We also hired some movers for the heavy stuff, and between the 8 or 9 or more of us and the movers, we hope it's a quick and relatively painless move, not like when we moved into the apartment - the agonizing full day in blazing heat with just four of us doing the moving, and we moved everything.

Just to prove that friends triumph over pain, the two that helped us last year have volunteered to help us once again this year. Well, they did offer a little extra help - their new daughter Dara will be joining us in welcoming use into the new home.

Okay, I'll shut up about the moving. I will, however, want to talk about some of the future garage and storage plans I have for the new place. The group ride is not just good for riding in a group (and sitting on wheels) - it's also a fertile place for ideas, and one guy described what I think is an excellent way of storing bikes. If I can implement a similar idea in the new place I'll be sure to describe it here.

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