Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bull, McMansions, Palouse, and a Screwed Wheel

We saw this crazy dude up in McMasionLand on a Friday ride on the dirt roads of the Palouse. This guy lives at one of the few remaining normal homes that once dotted the Palouse before the "look how rich I am" crowd moved in and built enormous and silly "ranches" and "Tuscan-inspired villas."

I forget that Liza has not ridden most of these roads. Now that she has a bike that is comfortable for long rides on interesting roads, we've been hitting some of the old chestnuts: Ben Burr, Windmill, Jamison, Hilby, etc. It's a lot of fun to ride these with her. It feels like rediscovering these rides.
These are fun roads to tool around on when it's a cool, clear fall day: super low traffic, lots of gravel roads, scenic. Soon I'll be bringing the Jetboil for longer rides on cold days. I love finding a good scenic rest stop (think Kiesling Rd off of Big Rock -- looking south west) and making a hot pot of soup and some tea to enjoy the view with.

Finally, in the "I forget how much I don't know about anything" department. I built up a great wheel this afternoon. It was on the money: I took my time, reading the tension frequently, stress relieving as I went. It was a dialed in, tight-ass wheel. Best ever.
Until today, I've stress relieved with a crank-arm, per Sheldon's method. Today, I tried doing what I've seen Liza do: grab the rim at 9 and 3 o'clock and apply pressure by pressing the down on the rim, with the hub into the ground. After I finished the wheel, I gave it a final stress reliever, and relieved it too much. I had the rim seam right at 12 o'clock and rim just buckled. Shit. I didn't like the Mavic MA4 rim anyway, but crap. I'm going back to Sheldon's method of stress-relieving from now on.


jim g said...

Ugh...sorry to read about your wheel! I've never heard of a Mavic "MA4" -- is that a new model?

John Speare said...

oops. it's an ma3.

bleckb said...

I do most of my riding out where you describe, mostly Valley Chapel and out that way, often hitting Jamison and Ben Burr on the way home. I love going through the various fields, watching them grow through the spring, coming into bloom, going down to harvest. There are also a lot of red tail hawks to watch float through the sky.

But, the mcmansions, yeah, the mcmansions. When we had some money last year, I thought about us buying some of the land that's up for sale, hoping to lease it back to the farmer so it wouldn't turn into a house. The prices are obscene, and so is what is happening to the farmland. I guess farmers need money just like anyone else, but it's a shame that's the best way they can make ends meet. I think the area needs a farmland preservation system, assuming we don't have one already.