on organizing a ride

I’ve organized a number of shorter rides, but realized this morning that this was the first time I’ve created a longer ride.
It is more involved, and I thought of some things either too late or at the last-minute.

Things I learned (or knew but forgot and then remembered while on the ride) today:

* Get the route planned and solid at least a couple of days ahead of time.
* Have an end location. The group can stop, shake hands, say goodbyes, and be on
   their way. Creates a nice conclusion.
* Don’t put a friend on the spot at the last-minute because I get cold feet about
   leading the group in twisties.
   I am a good rider, and can set a fine pace.
   If someone wants to go faster, they can pass.
* Keep better track of who leaves early.
   We had a kinda big group today, and a number of people had to leave
   at various points in the ride.
* Don’t forget to bring water.
* Don’t forget to bring ibuprofen. Especially when you still have a stiff neck.
* Relax. It’s a lovely day and everyone is having a good ride.

I’m sure there are many more things I will think of to add to this.
But now, I just got home from this very fun ride and I’m hungry.
Thank you, Howlers VMC for a great day!


We celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday this weekend. If my dad was still alive, we would have celebrated his 66th last week.

I just got home from a long weekend with my mom and family in a small artist community in the middle of nowhere Texas. When I hugged my mom goodbye, I had a terrible sense of foreboding. I had a flash that I wouldn’t see her again and that frightened me. I will be an orphan when that day arrives.

It is inevitable that parents die. But it wasn’t until that moment that I realized how quickly finite our relationships are with them. My grandpa (dad’s dad) when asked what he thought when he looked back over his long life said, “I never realized it would go by so quickly.”

My mom and I have always had a tenuous relationship, but we have also always had a strong bond. She isn’t very demonstrative, but I know that she loves me deeply. So did my dad. I can’t imagine a world without that love existing for me. Some of it is already lost.

The present has a way of moving quickly into the past like lines on the road seen through the car back window. I never realized it would go by so quickly.

Mom, happy birthday.
I love you.

Pipes completed!

I have never riveted (although I really like saying that word. “rivet” it’s almost as good as “yurt”) but I know its super easy.
And it’s always looked like fun!

One of these days I’m going to make body work for a bike by just riveting metal together.

I set out all my stuff I needed for today’s little project:

and got to work.

Well, first I took an odd self-portrait after a friend told me I needed a “Rosie the Riveter” picture.

Instead, I ended up with a pic that is less Rosie and more, “Help! My right arm is out of control and is attacking me with an angle grinder!”

After the photo-op, I ground off the small rectangles of surface rust and repainted the areas with some Rustoleum.

Then I got to rivet!
I didn’t realize at first that it takes a couple of ‘pumps’ of the rivet gun to make the rivets expand. Ended up with a couple of mistakes before I got the hang of it.

After a few minutes of freak-out thinking that I’d put the badges on upside-down (part of me still thinks I did. Not sure why that’s stuck in my head) I got the pipes done!

One of them needed a little touch up paint, so it’s still outside drying.
But by tomorrow they will be ready to install!