June 26th and 27th funness

I got out a bit this weekend.  My mileage isn’t super high yet, but I’m getting out and getting exercise.  On the 26th, I got a night ride in on the bike.  We’re trying for a regular Saturday night at 8pm group ride time.  Unfortunately, my main riding buddy couldn’t make it since his wife was out of town and he had to watch the kids.  I was there, though.  Nobody else showed up, which turned out to be a good thing.  The batteries on my headlamps were BOTH low (the indicator light was now glowing red instead of green), and I wasn’t sure how long to expect them to last.  So, I ran on one light, but kept both batteries on me so that in case one of them died, I’d have the extra to get back to the trailhead.

Wildlife Update: Gulf Coast Toad

I want to try to have a series of wildlife photo posts, and here’s my first official post in that series.

I captured these photos a few weeks ago. Every year in May and June, I get toads in the front. I think they really like my front gardens, where I use a lot of native pine straw as mulch and the soil is good and loose for them to search for prey.

gulf coast toad

gulf coast toad

I had a hard time getting a face shot, this guy was very photo-shy. The second picture is the best I could get. If you’re wondering what these guys sound like, here’s a nice video.

Lanana Creek Trail at Night

I went for a night ride for the first time this summer. It was my wife’s first night ride ever, so we stuck to the easy trail in town. Lanana Creek is a pretty easy option. There’s a good bit of pavement, but there’s enough dirt to satisfy for an easy ride, and there are even a couple of technical spots to offer a little challenge.

It was a rewarding ride. It’s been so hot lately that riding during the day just hasn’t worked. Middle of the day is too intense and baking. First thing in the morning is horribly sticky and humid. Nighttime works. I’ll be trying a regular departure time of 8pm for awhile now.

Photo Gear

I’ve got a vacation coming up, and I plan on spending a good portion of my time learning some photography. The professional photographer I’ll be learning from suggested I get a few items. I already knew I needed a decent tripod. He suggested some filters for me. This post isn’t about the filters…I’m enough of a photography newbie that I don’t feel in a position to review those.

This post is about the tripod and ball head that was my number one priority.

It’s fruit season in Texas

The plums began to ripen a couple weeks ago. My wife and I have been gorging ourselves on fresh plums from the Nacogdoches Farmer’s Market since we first saw them there. Tasty. This week, the peaches started to show up, too. I first saw them at the Texas Blueberry Festival over the weekend, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with their ripeness. Today, they’re beautifully ripe. Here’s our haul for this week.

Fruit season in TX

June 6, 2010 Ride

Today is Cancer Survivor Day.  I celebrated with a dawn mtb ride with my riding buddy.  I tend to not take so many pictures (any pictures) when I ride lately.  I’m just too busy riding.  I still do record GPS tracks, though.

It was disgustingly humid this morning for the ride.  The sun was nowhere to be seen.  It was obscured by fog/clouds.  It seriously looked overcast at the beginning of the ride.  I had to stow my sunglasses in my pack because they were too dark and I could barely see for one.  The other problem was that it was SO humid that I absolutely could not stop the lenses from fogging up, even though they’re vented.

WSS Open Source Sealant for Tubeless Bike Tires

After my experiment with inflating standard tires dry on UST rims, it was quickly obvious that I needed a sealant in order to use them tubeless.

I did some searching on homemade tire sealants and I stumbled across the WSS Open Source Sealant.

The basic recipe is as follows:

1 part Latex mold builder
1 part Slime tubeless
1 part cheap antifreeze
2 parts water

I sought to modify the recipe a little.  I am just not a fan of the extremely toxic nature of ethylene glycol, especially to pets.  The stuff is extremely sweet to them and for something that’s likely to be weeping out of the sidewalls of my tires, I don’t want the local wildlife getting a taste.

Garmin 62 Series GPS Announced

Yesterday, Garmin announced (officially) their replacement of the popular and well-regarded 60 series of GPS receivers. The announcement got a lot of press at GPSTracklog today.
Garmin 62-series GPS As you can see, the new model includes support of Garmin Custom Maps, satellite images from Garmin’s subscription service (BirdsEye Satellite Imagery), and it probably won’t be too long before Topofusion can load imagery onto it.

I don’t think I really need to cover the technical specifications at this point.  Between the Garmin Blog announcement and the GPSTracklog announcement, all the technical specifications are pretty well covered.

A Semi-Ghetto Tubeless Tire Conversion

I’ve been interested in trying tubeless tires on my mountain bike for a long time. I bought the Mavic CrossTrail UST Disc wheelset for my bike many years ago partly with the idea that I’d eventually try it out. I had a fairly new set of tubed tires at the time and I didn’t want to spring for $120 worth of rubber with those wheels at the time.

Well, I’ve been rocking those tires for awhile and decided to get some new tires this season. I wanted to get the Continental Mountain Kings because they looked and sounded like they’d be a good tread pattern for my local trails. I also wanted some big tires to help float over the sand.