Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farewell, Blue

Last week I rode my bike to Motion Makers (a nice little 30 min commute) and decided to give my bike, the Blue RC6, a little love (aka scrape the layers of dirt off of it). As I was wiping the frame, I came across a disturbing discovery. The paint was suspiciously bubbled up on a part of the down tube.

Cracked Down Tube

Hm. Further inspection on the other side revealed that there was indeed trouble in River City.

Cracked Down Tube

The bottom of the down tube also suggests that this frame is done for.

Cracked Down Tube

I found it hard to give this bike the love that it deserved in its short time with me. It's arguably the flashiest bike in my stable (or certainly was a few years ago), but I trained on it for a while. I disliked training; it made biking into a chore. I'm afraid the Blue got the brush-off when training did.

I dropped it off at the shop yesterday because I struck a deal with a coworker to dismantle it. I'll be selling the components and using the money for boring adult things like bills... and even more boring bills.

I considered having the frame repaired by Ruckus Components, a friend's company that does solid work, but the Blue is a touch too small for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing how I do without a road bike of a while. The build is getting old, too, and I want to sell the (mostly) Red group before its an antique.

I thought about getting a replacement frame for the road bike build, but then, I don't go on too many road rides. For my commute to work I'll be riding my 2009 Salsa Chili Con Crosso (voted the Most Beautiful Frame Ever by Me) with 1x10 cross gearing. Since my commute doesn't call for intense speed or have any truly difficult climbing, I'm cool with the cross bike! I can feel that it's more reactive (or twitchy) than some road bikes I've ridden, but I can deal. Maybe I'll add a road bike back into the mix later on, if an excellent deal presents itself or I decide I simply cannot go on without one.

So long, Blue. I'm sorry I didn't like you more. You were a fine bike.

Poor ol' Blue

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Le Art

I've mentioned before that I model for some artists in Black Mountain (formerly of Swannanoa, they have a new residence). Each artist has a different style, and they all tend to draw a certain feature or two in their own signature way. For one woman, my nose always arrives on paper looking more upturned than it is. Some of the artist's figures look more wispy, intelligent and alert, or stiffer than I would appear in a photo. I like to think of them each as a parallel universe Me, walking around with stiff shoulders and neck, or reading a book and sipping tea under an old quilt in my softly rendered world.

Drawing of Me

I've wanted to buy a portrait from this artist, Steve, for a while now, but while his drawings of me are always beautiful, they are sometimes so beautiful that they don't resemble me so much!

Portrait of Me

So dewy-eyed and precious. He says he likes drawing my profile because of my nose and high forehead, and I think you can see that.


This week, however, I knew something special was going on about halfway through the session. It was much more 'me' than usual! I wish I had taken a process picture, because for a while it was really very Katy, and it ended up a little less so. But I liked it, and I've wanted a drawing from this group for a while, so I made up my mind to make him an offer, and with only a little arm-twisting, he accepted.

That's me! Kiiiind of.

Now, clearly, if I actually looked like that, guys would be following me down the street, assuming I could walk upright without tipping over forward ;) But what can I say? It's pretty, it resembles me, it reminds me of modeling for this group, and I love a good charcoal drawing. Plus I have this plan to delete or burn all photos of me within five years on either side of this drawing. Thirty years from now I'll tell people I really looked like this particular parallel universe me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Burnsville Metric

Burnsville Metric

I did the Burnsville Metric (a metric century of about 60 miles, or whatever it equates to) many weekends ago. It's a ride, not a race, and about two thirds of it is flat and fast along a river, with the last third climbing back up to the town and fairly hilly. From the way people were talking about it, I was expecting some really challenging stuff toward the end, but it was more like Wisconsin-style hilly than it was North Carolina-hilly. Sorry, WI. You know I love you, but you don't have mountains that one has to grind up for sometimes literally hours. (Nobody's saying that's a bad thing, mind you.)

So to start, I'm not in very good shape. (Actually, we can just go ahead and start all of my cycling related posts like that.) The somewhat flat course was pretty sweet. For the first 20 miles I was in a big group and was flying right along. I doubted that I would be able to keep up the pace, though, and wanted to be conservative with my remaining matches, especially with the unknown 'super-intense hilly section' yet to come. So at the first checkpoint around mile 20, I stopped and mowed down some cookies and such. After that I rode by myself for much of the rest of the ride, stopping to chow down at the excellent checkpoints. As I said before, the hills were not so terrible, but I was still grateful that I had gotten out of the big group and gone at my own pace.

Here's a shot from a nice overlook in the last third of the race. The morning had started out a little chilly and overcast, but by this point it was getting downright nice out, and the arm warmers had been stashed away in a pocket.

Mt. Mitchell

I'm on the fence about these metrics and centuries, to be honest. I showed up at this one alone and rode solo, and it was a good time, but I think if I had some company it would have been a lot more fun. They tend to cost a few bucks, but it's usually for a decent cause or group... It makes it easier to get out and ride, though, knowing that the route is all set up, and that you'll be fed and watered at regular intervals. Like I said, I'm on the fence! I don't think this'll become a blog about century rides anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Excuses, Excuses.

Ok, so I've been gone for a while. I got a new job at a bike shop, Motion Makers, as their official Shop Girl. This means I'm learning sales and generally helping out. I don't help by doing any sort of repairs or tune-ups to bikes, though - rather, I am most helpful staying far, far away from wrenching on bikes!

I've also recently moved into a new house! I'm in a great house in Arden, NC, which is a little south of Asheville. It's a little bit of a bummer that it's 15 min or so from Asheville proper, but it's closer to the great trails, and it's really close to Cane Creek and Motion Makers. It sat empty for a while, so I've been cleaning and painting.

So after listing out all of these life changes, need I say I've been a little busy to be blogging?

Anyway, I'm starting to catch up on things, so how about a home-refresh post? We're going to make it official by listing where I got some things, so people can go run out to purchase them and try to be just like me.

This is the Before for the bathroom. It was a very bachelor affair!

Bathroom, Before

Bathroom, Before

For the walls I chose a green color called 'Gleeful', which turned out great! I wanted light but not pastel, spring green but not too yellow. Success!

Bathroom, After

Zig-zag rug and leaf shower curtain from Target.
Bath mat, Ralph Lauren, from TJ Maxx.
Red-orange knobs from Anthropologie.
Plant from a friend! I love it in there.

Bathroom, After

Painting from a dumpster in Milwaukee :)
Hand towel, Cynthia Rowley, from TJ Maxx.

Bathroom, After

Bryer model horse from childhood.
Wedgwood Williamsburg five finger posy vase from a thrift store.
Knobs from Anthropologie
Various containers from thrift stores, except the little brown one I made.
Photo and frame from Kate and Maciej (it's a dead fish, fyi)

Bathroom, After

Beautiful porcelain vessel that reminds me of blue cheese, from an artist in Black Mountain.
Vase on the right, thrift store.

Bathroom, After

Here I'm posing with the nurse:
Bathroom, After

I'm proud of this bathroom and how it is now a friendly place! I channeled a friend's mom, who made her parents' older lake home look positively fresh! I can't remember the details of their bathroom, but there was some really big decorating hurdle, like a mauve colored sink and toilet, and she made it look good. It was truly a marvel.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big Skinkin'

I've got a couple of rides to report on (three! in fact) but here's a picture of a skink I saw instead.

Five Lined Skink

Cane Creek's logo uses a five-lined skink. It's like seeing the Cane Creek spirit animal out in the wild. And by wild I mean the shrubs along the parking lot of a thrift store.