Monday, November 29, 2010

Challenge(s) Accepted.

This past week, I spent some much-needed time with my family for Thanksgiving.  Lots of laughing, talking and eating.

Congratulations, Grandma and Grandpa for renewing your vows.

One of my beautiful nephews, Braden:

I've recently decided to do two things in the near future:

     1.  Ride in the 2nd annual Holiday Hundred this Sunday in Sanford, Fl., which gives 100% of the ride's profits toward buying bikes for children.  Great cause, if you ask me.  I figure my body is conditioned enough to ride another century since I just did one eight days ago...

     2.  I've signed up for the Fat Cyclist's challenge to lose 10 pounds by Dec. 23.  I figure it'll make me faster on the bike AND he's giving away some pretty sweet prizes, such as cool Garmin-Transition Jerseys, snazzy t-shirts and other stuff.  I hope I win something!

Here goes nothin'


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gimme more hillz.

This past Sunday, Ged and I completed the 31st annual Horrible Hundred, a ride that took us around Orlando and the baby hills in that area.  'Twas good fun.

101 miles in just over six hours.

Of course, pictures always tell the story better...

We parked about a mile from the start line and only had a few minutes to grab some fuel before starting the ride.  Banana and muffin for me.

The first bit took us around a nice lake.  Very scenic and a nice warm-up.

Then the little climbs started.  It was nice to actually feel some road beneath me.  I actually miss climbing.

I was feeling really good about the ride.  My legs felt great; strong and light.

At about 50 miles, though, Ged started to feel really uncomfortable on the bike.  He was riding my old bike with my old saddle, so he didn't exactly fit it very well.

Hence, lots of stretching and laying down at rest stops.

Then the weather started to turn on us.  Some drizzling, forceful winds and dark clouds.

I looked at the weather as an opportunity to prove myself as a cyclist:  I rode hard against the wind and tucked my head when it rained.

For most of the ride, I didn't draft off of anyone.  I felt like I should be able to ride by myself.  I guess that's the independent side of me.

Child's pose for Ged:

The end of the ride couldn't come soon enough.  Ged's bottom had had enough and my energy levels were dropping.

Veggie burgers and a chocolate muffin for my efforts!

Thanks so much, North Star Corporate Housing for sponsoring us.

I think I might have one more century left in me before the year ends.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Swing Life Away

Weekend recap:


Took pictures for the Gainesville Guardian that morning/afternoon.  Peewee football...small boys playing football.

They look like this (this is not my picture):

(source --my pics aren't up yet)

Then, it was time for some Florida football against the University of South Carolina.

Unfortunately, the Gators played poorly, but Ged and I enjoyed ourselves anyway.

Exhibit A:

Take 2:

The Fighting Gators band and almost 91,000 people in the stands.

Let the game begin!

This is very upsetting...

After a bad Saturday night, we needed Sunday to be great.    So, we went to Cedar Key, about 55 mi. west of Gainesville.  Cedar Key is a small town on the Gulf Coast with about 1,000 people.

The day started off well enough.  I think the next picture says it all.  He's looking very chic, no?

A quick walk away from the pier and we found SWINGS.  Release the inner child...

Cedar Key even gave me my own street.

And one for Ged, too.

We turned down a road and drove a bit further and there was a plane taking off right in front of us.  Yep, we were driving on an airplane runway.  Gotta love small villages.

Then it was Hammock Time.  Life is better in a hammock.  Fact.  

Ged bought another hammock built for two people at the downtown Art Festival two weekends ago.  It's very comfortable and easy to travel with.  Check it out.

We drove on to a state park and climbed up to a spot where the sunset would be visible.  Travel Scrabble ensued for a bit.

The sunset was great.  Didn't take pictures because we were too busy enjoying it for ourselves.  It's important to be present in the moment instead of obsessing over pictures methinks.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Computer Geeks and Rock Stars

These two things characterize part of my week.

1.  My school's (UF) student government pays famous people to come here and give speeches a few times during the semester.  The events are free and open to the public, so Ged and I decided to give it a go when we saw that Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, was speaking on Monday night.

I have a Mac and support Apple products, so I was curious what this guy had to say.  Some of his talk was too technical for me when he was discussing programming.

I read in the campus paper Tuesday that he got paid $70,000 for speaking to a crowd of 1,700 people.  Pretty good deal for him, if you ask me.

Mathematically speaking, that's around $40 a person...

2.  Ged and I drove to Jacksonville last night (90 minutes away) to see Frank Turner play again.

And the same photographer who was at The Fest  was at this gig too.  Here are some of Nicole's pics that have us in it.

Ged was practicing his Queen "We Will Rock You" pose in these pictures...

And at the end of the show, Ged and I trotted back to the car to get the camera and get a quick photo with the man himself.

Thanks again, Nicole, for taking these.

When Ged saw this picture he was very impressed with the whiteness of his teeth.  Not bad for an Englishman...

Well, off to enjoy the weekend.  Headed to the football game against S. Carolina tomorrow.  (And maybe some Formula 1 stuff on Sunday.  That's Ged's thing.)


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Like Bikes? See this movie.

On Thursday evening, Ged and I embarked on a trip to the movie theaters, a rare occurrence for us considering the high prices of movie tickets.  (Yes, I am a bit cheap because I'm a college student...)

Let me tell you, my friends, that the money spent on these tickets was a good if not excellent decision.

Why?  Because we saw Race Across the Sky (2010), a film about this year's Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race, a 100-mile mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado.

While I am NOT a mountain biker, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  I'll admit I even cried during a few different occasions when ordinary people were talking about their struggles and triumphs in life and how this race has helped them through hard times (ie. death of a loved one, illness, etc.).  I even asked Ged if I could borrow his hankie to wipe away some tears...

(Sidenote:  Just in case you need proof that I love and will always love road bikes, please see the photo below taken on the island of Elba this past June)

Anyway, back to the movie.

The reasons I did enjoy it so much was not only did the directors/producers do a great job of including footage of the pros as well as footage of everyday people, but the editing and cinematography was fantastic.  The videographers followed the riders everywhere and they shot at some of the most interesting angles (high, low, aerial).  As a photojournalism student who is currently studying video production, this really impressed me and I could tell just how much work and effort those cameramen put into this project.

Well done.  Now go see it.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hammock Time

Wanna know what I do all day?

Well, maybe not ALL day, but a good part of the day.

Ged put up a hammock he bought in Costa Rica a while back in our little patio and it's quite possibly the best piece of furniture I've had in the place.

My cat, Kitty, likes it as well, even though she looks a bit frightened in the picture above.

Ged says he's going to start his own hammock installation business...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happenings On

SO.  Here's what's going on with us.

1.  Had an amazing Halloween experience.  Volunteered on Saturday for the Fest 9, a massive punk festival that happens during the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of October.  Basically, hundreds of  punk bands take over the entire downtown Gainesville area and play their hearts out.

We saw some great new talent, such as Larry and His Flask out of Oregon.  Crazy double bass.

2.  Saw Frank Turner  perform on Sunday night and cried my eyes out because the show was so magnificent.  The crowd was a bit lively at times, but it was all OK in the end because once the venue owners kicked us out, Frank Turner walked over to the parking lot alongside the building and kept on playing until the cops threatened to start arresting people.

Here's a pic we found on Twitter later that night after returning home.  It's Ged in his costume (we dressed as bloodied schoolkids).

And as I was writing this post, Ged sent me a link to a flickr account that had tons of photos from the Fest, including several from the F. Turner show.

Here they are thanks to Nicole Kibert /  See if you can spot me or Ged...we're wearing the blood-spattered shirts near the front of the stage.  A bit hard to see us clearly in these shots but they were the best ones I could find.

And in the parking lot...(I'm on the right hand side of the picture)

 We loved the show so much I bought tickets that night to his show in Jacksonville (FL) on Memorial Day.

And last but not least:

3.  Signed up for another century.  After completing my first imperial century on Oct. 24, I decided to give it another go, so I'll be riding through central Florida on Nov. 21 for the annual "Horrible Hundred" ride.

Next on our list is the Florida Writers' Festival, an event held at the University that includes several established writers and poets.  Looking forward to it.  And maybe we'll fit in a shuttle launch between now and then if the NASA people get it together?