Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Bike Lights 2012

Our local Target store was basically giving away their remaining Christmas lights last week, so I couldn't resist buying a string of these big LED lights to cut and chop.  After a little experimenting, I found most of the bulbs shine nicely with my spare bike battery pack (2.4v).  I think they look great during my dark morning commute (click small photo to enlarge).

On the other hand, I'm not so good at taking night photos:  photos

Watch for them on my next 200K, hopefully New Years Day.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Raleigh Santaconda 2012

Last night was the fifth annual Raleigh Santaconda, the bawdy bar crawl with hundreds of costumed Santas, elves, jokers, etc patronizing businesses on Glenwood Ave and downtown.  As usual, I arrived early to eat, and then left early, immediately following the snowball fun in Nash Park (thanks to whoever brought a load of shaved ice).  Saw old friends, made new ones.   Like a good rando, I went well-lit this year.

Here is a good set of photos on Facebook:  photos

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The original "A Christmas Story"

The feature film "A Christmas Story" was based upon a story by author and radio personality Jean Shepherd.  He read the story every Christmas Eve on his late night radio show on WOR-AM in New York City.  I heard it live on the air several times

Enjoy this 40-minute mp3 of the Dec 24 1974 show:  http://goo.gl/n40Ku
Listen at 30:36 when Santa says "You'll shoot your eye out, kid".
And yes, in the end, he almost does shoot his eye out.

More Shep recordings:  http://shepcast.blogspot.com/ 
click the 'listen now' player

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TARDIS has moved

I rode the RUSA Lookin' out my back door 200K on Saturday, Dec 1.  It was a beautiful day, just above freezing in the morning darkness, then really nice in the mid-afternoon.  Days are short, so it started getting cold quickly as soon as the sun dropped.  For this slow rando, that means dressing up warm again for the finish.

A house near the turnaround point of the route has had a blue TARDIS in their front yard for a while.  Today it was gone.  At first, I thought it had taken a journey through time, but then I spotted it in the back yard.  (click thumbnail photo to enlarge)

My spring-loaded bottom-bracket generator has performed flawlessly since I got it, even in rain.  But on this ride, my light went dark in the first half mile.  I stopped, jiggled wires, spun the pedals, and it lit back up, so I continued.   Then it went dark a second time.  Uh oh, this is not going to be fun.  But after my second jiggling, it worked flawlessly for the rest of the day.   I wonder what was the problem.

Best part of the ride:  A family was outside decorating their house north of Coats during my return trip.  As I approached, the father yelled out greetings and asked where I was riding today.  He acknowledged, then wished me well.  No disbelief, just encouragement.  Wow, wonder if he is a cyclist?  Maybe I could have recruited another rando.  Must print a batch of business cards.

Here are photos with a few more stories in captions.