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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Anticipation...

Today is Tuesday, Dec 16, aka Bike Tuesday.  My Encore is supposed to be delivered today...the wait is driving me nuts.  Made worse by having tracking data that indicates the carrier isn't quite sure where my bike is...They think it's in Dallas.  Dallas hub is looking for it even now.  It might already be on it's way up the road to my bike shop...or not...And of course, today is the last good riding day off the week according to the weather guessers.  It figures, I know it will arrive eventually, but I would like to get it today, before the rains come.

**Update, Wed, 13:30hrs.  Still no bike.  Freight company is conducting a whole-hub search in DFW for the box.  I am trying to be patient.  I haven't yelled at anyone yet, and I'm actually pretty calm, considering what I have tied up in this bike.

***Update, Wed. 13:55hrs.  They found it!  Yay!  Delivery should be tomorrow morning.  I'm still a little unclear on how exactly one misplaces a 53' semi tractor trailer, but I'm told it does happen on occasion.  I'm just happy they found it!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

R.I.P. Tucker


It was sad news I received this morning, via an email from my friends at TIRR Rescue.  My buddy Tucker, a big ol' boy I fell in love with the first time I saw him, had passed away in the night.

Tucker was one of the biggest Ridgebacks I had ever seen.  His paws were like the size of my fist.  But he was gentle and tolerant, being a supreme "leaner", enough so as to almost knock you off balance if you didn't realize what he was doing.  He enjoyed people, and got on well with every other dog I ever saw him with.
Soaking up attention.
He would have joined our pack, but for Cody.  We introduced Tucker to Shiloh and Cody once earlier this year.  Supremely confident, Tucker felt no need to exert his dominance over either dog.  There was no aggression.  Shiloh thought he was cute...but Cody, poor Cody, the life just drained out of him in the shadow of Tucker.  He was instantly demoted to third wheel, and he knew it.  He just sort of "wilted" there in the big run.  And though our whole family loved Tucker, we knew it wasn't fair to Cody in his waning years to take that emotional hit of demotion.  (Now some of you may wonder why we then got Indy.  Well, Cody did not take Indy's presence as a demotion, not at all.)
Tucker and my hat.
Tucker had a real showman's flair.  He adored sitting in a nylon folding chair, to better survey his domain!  Woe to the dog who dared steal Tucker's chair, or worse, chew it to ruin!  The King did not tolerate such insolence.  Yet Tucker also tolerated human silliness, with hats and glasses being placed on him.  It was a real crowd pleaser at adoptions, when he would sit in a chair,with a hat on, or glasses.
Tucker with lion's mane.

At Woofstock 2014.

Tucker, King of Chairs.  I will miss you, big guy.  Say hi to Charlie for me, ok?






Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore!

No, I am not on stage, receiving applause.  My Encore, however, is shipping, soon to be in my possession, after months of waiting for them to be released for sale, and then only a short delay for the batch my order is in, to be shipped and built, and shipped again.  And honestly, the delay was short--and it is the price you pay for being an early adopter of what is possibly the coolest production recumbent bike yet!

What makes it so special in my mind?  Several factors, actually.  First, it is a full carbon frame, but at the cost of an aluminum frame.  Second, is its flexible mission parameters.  What's that mean?  Well, you can run it as an uber-fast race bike, going for the complete ultralight set up.  Or you can set it up for randonneuring, or touring, or for gravel grinders.  The Encore is designed, with the right fork, to handle tires up to 42mm, and a variety of wheel sizes if disc brake equipped.  Third, while it is a production bike, it is optimally-sized to the original buyer (think custom fit).  You submit your measurements to Schlitter Bike, and the frame gets laid up to fit you best, with optimum weight distribution.  Yes, you can move the seat to accommodate different riders, so if you opt to sell it in the future, you won't have to rely on someone being just your size to purchase.  And finally, it's light weight!  It should bench out at just about half what my old steel Giro did.  It should be a joy to ride, with the light weight for climbing the rollers around here, and to ease transportation, plus the carbon frame will soak up a lot of the buzz from chipseal roads.

The bike should arrive early next week.  I'll be sure to take pics of the unboxing at my LBS, since they are acting as the receiving party for the shipping company.  Guess I'll have to bring another bag of bagels to the guys there! 

Only a few more days to wait...YAY!

Saturday, December 6, 2014