Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cool hat

Not much to talk about these days. Lora is home tomorrow and I've just been doing some relief work and helping some friends out on their reno job on their house (renovation).

I saw this really cool hat while surfing the net and figured if I add a link to the pattern one of our awesome knitters out there might feel like making one for the ultra geek that I truly am. It's an R2D2 hat.

Even if it wasn't a copy of the coolest little robot out there I'd still like the colors. I can't really think of a reason anyone should bother making one for me but Easter is coming up... or 4th of July... or President's Day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Catching up

Well, life goes on for us all. Lora is currently in the field in northern Tassie. I am back in Hobart squaring away my California teaching credential and getting all signed up for the last of my courses for my Masters degree.

Before setting out for the field I picked up Lora's new assistant, Craig, from the airport and while Lora was busy on the computer... of course... we took a quick hike up a nearby peak. You can see the ocean behind me.
A picture of me on top of Hartz Peak. Notice the really cool Jamper Industries T-shirt I'm sporting. Be sure to check it out and be one of the cool kids on the block!

Craig is an eager assistant from the states waiting to get into Grad school for ecology of course. He's a really nice guy and seems to really love doing fieldwork. It's nice to have someone traveling with Lora again so that I know she's ok in the field.

Craig on Hartz Peak. 1200 meters

Last week the three of us headed out to the Tassie field sites to set up traps. I hung out to help for two days and then I decided to go on a little bike ride. My plan was to ride back to Hobart from Devonport in the north. This was about 400kms. I set off alone dragging my gear in a really cool bike trailer.

As you can see from the roadside map it bisects the island. It is comprised of about 25% sealed roads, 35% gravel roads and double track fire roads, and 40% single track. I was really excited to be having an adventure again. Even though the sign calls it a "soft" adventure.

Well I made it two days and 115kms before I had a major malfunction of the bike. Apparently, the trailer caused my rear wheel axle to bend. I'm not talking about the skewer that holds the wheel to the frame but the actual axle. I didn't realize I had that much leg power. Who knew!

This of course caused the freewheel to stop acting as a freewheel and every time I stopped pedaling the chain would get sucked up and cause problems. Also, because of this the cassette, the 9 chain rings in the back, locking ring would unscrew itself and come loose. I rode for about 10 kms with this problem. My solution was to just treat my bike like it was a track bike. This means I would not stop pedaling to "coast". This sounds simple enough right? Well try going downhill faster than you can pedal dragging 25 kilos of weight in a trailer. I would have to brake going downhill and I was in my biggest chainring! Also, riding like this on a mountainbike trail is next to impossible when you have to time rocks and logs with your cranks so they don't knock you off the bike.

So being too far from a bike shop and it being the weekend which means nothing was open anyway. I decided to take the bus home the remaining 300 or so kilometers. I was pretty bummed. Of course like any adventure this one would have been better with a close friend. So if anyone wants to go on a ride you know where to find me.

I'll try to get Lora to write a blog soon so you can hear first hand what she's up to. It's just hard for her right now because she's in the field and very busty. I mean busy.