Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Noah's Bike

Well I stuck to my guns and rode my bike in today in the pouring rain...there is a flood emergency in Plymouth today and the Pemi is centimeters away from flooding as I type this.

I am happy to say that all my gear worked great. Only parts of me that got wet were the tops of my feet and my hands (sort of). I think I can keep the tops of my feet dry if I cinch my pants on the outside of my booties, so if I get waterproof gloves I will be made in the shade, or rain as it were.

To the other Zoo family commuters, I highly recommend the Performance Brand Rain Pants that they sell in their 'Commuter Store', they are cheap, $30-$35 and they work awesome. You can cinch them shut at the bottom for a tight fit with a velcro strap and they got some reflective jibba jabba which is always nice. but size up when you buy them they run small.

Only complaint is that I am probably going to have to buy a full front fender if I am going to continue to ride in conditions like today. The fender I have covers the downtube, which gets a lot of the spray but at speed the front of the tire throws water straight up and if I'm going fast enough I hit the water before it falls to the ground and it basically hits me right in the face. Today I just tried to lean the bike to the right a bit while I leaned slightly to the left so the water went over my right shoulder. That worked but its not the best position for balance and I was also sticking my head right into traffic...which I would prefer not to do.

All in all riding in a cold rain has been conquered, we'll see how riding in a flood goes this afternoon, the Pemi is forecasted to crest sometime late this morning or early afternoon...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ethnic Diversity Ale

okay, weird name I know. The kit came as Guillermo's Imperial Pilsner which I don't like saying so I'm changing it up. Ethnic Diversity seemed fitting seeing as the malt extract was derived from American grains, the hops are German, the yeast strain is Bavarian and the beer is being touted as Mexican. This batch fits right in with the Zoo's theme for '08....Going Global, WORLDWIDE.

I can't wait to try this batch...I chose this kit because of how odd/interesting all the ingredients were and I am interested to see how its all going to come together. One of the other interesting features of this kit is that it is called a Pilsner but it is made using Ale yeast that ferments around 60-65. but apparently after bottling you can cold condition the beer to bring out more of a Pilsner feel/taste or condition at room temp for a more Ale feel. Pretty cool. Not sure how I am going to play that...maybe half and half? I am more of an ale fan usually but I'm no hater of lagers either so well see.

I think this kit should take about 2 months or maybe a little bit less so look for this batch to be ready to drink around mid-late June.

sweet broom

Finally got around to bottling this batch, probably almost a month later than I had originally planned. Got busy with some bachelor parties and weddings and the what not and before you know it this batch has been sitting in secondary for over a month. But not to worry, I think the extra time chilling out did the batch well, it looks great in the glass, tried a bit and it was nice and smooth. And it has about 4 weeks to condition until Lakerage. Perfectly in line with corporate goals. On time, under budget and within scope. BOO YAH.

Ethnic Diversity Ale. Locked and Loaded.
Ready for Lakerage.

*UPDATE*: Joe and I tried a sampling of this batch over the holiday weekend and I am pretty pleased with how it came out. Decent strength, but not harsh, good weight for summer. Its going to be PERFECT for lakerage.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My Engine Runs on Shredded Wheat Now

Frosted Mini-Wheats to be exact. And not the mainstream kind, the Hannaford kind. Today marked the beginning of my commuting season and I am posting about it here in an effort to hold myself accountable and ride my bike in to work more days than I did last year. Last year various factors contributed to why I didn't commute as much...sketchy shower accommodations at work, got into more group rides, and probably general laziness.

But this year I am going to man up and try my best to ride 4 days a week (I teach class on Wed evening until early May when the semester is out then I can try and ride all week) Not sure if the shower situation will improve this year or not, right now its fine because the HUB is open early while the students are here. But I reminded myself this year that I don't care and I will get really sketchy if needed....sink showers here I come. Weather is also no excuse this year, I have gear for rain/cold and I'm going to use it.

I also have a new route for this year. In the past I have ridden Rt. 3 because it is the most direct route, but I have never liked the condition of the road/shoulder and the types of traffic that use that road. This year I am riding N. Ashland Rd. up to Rt.175 and then down into Plymouth. For some reason I thought that route would add a lot of time and distance as opposed to Rt.3 but its only .7 more miles and maybe takes me a few more minutes. and traffic is pretty much non-existent and the road is in much better shape. Long story short, I am an idiot for riding Rt. 3 for as long as I did.

I created a new channel on the right to track the season and the number of days I actually ride in to work and eventually I will post my gas savings, miles ridden, etc.