Monday, April 17, 2006

Dad's Dance, Riding and Projects at Mom's

I picked up Rachel at dance last week and her teacher poked her head in the truck window to tell me that they were looking for dads for the dad's dance and she needed a 'yes' from me. My default answer was that I had to work and wouldn't be able to attend the practices...whew...I really dodged a bullet with that one. I could tell that Rachel was really counting on me to get involved and over the course of the 20 minute drive home I'd pretty much changed my mind although I didn't tell her just yet. I got home and both Rachel and Tammy let me know that they were really really really hoping I'd do the dad's dance....okay...I'll do it! They were so happy...that alone was worth it I suppose. My first practice is tomorrow night. We'll find out then when the other practices are. There still is a chance that the practices may interfere with my schedule and I really won't be able to make it but I'm actually looking forward to it...this could be fun. Hey...I never thought I'd be using the dance floor in the basement to practice my own routine. Rachel puts a lot of effort into her dancing and the weekend of her dance recital is probably the highlight of her year. Here's a video from last year's recital. Rachel is the one my camera keeps following...duh.

I got out for my first long ride of the year last Friday when I headed up to Rogers. It was a beautiful day. I left home around 10:00 am and headed out highway 13 toward Shakopee. Highway 13 is a busy section of road through Burnsville and Savage but what makes it worse is that the shoulder is nearly always full of debris. The further to the right of the shoulder you ride the more debris you encounter. I try and cheat toward the left as much as possible to minimize my chances of flatting but to the average driver they only see you as a rider who should be hugging the right side of the shoulder...they don't see the debris I'm trying to avoid. I headed north out of Shakopee and picked up highway 101 where the first half mile is a nice 11 to 14% grade. As I neared the top of the hill I noticed my heart rate monitor showing 172 bpm...I love that feeling...I live for it!

I'm probably a bit nuts for taking highway 101 because it's got little to no shoulder for much of the way up to Rogers but I enjoy the hills and views along the way. It sucked a bit more than usual near St. Louis Park as there is a bunch of road construction and not much extra room but it only lasted a mile or two. Once I got to Maple Grove the road opened up a bit and the traffic fell off some. I got to Rogers around 1:00 and got a bite to eat at the Super America where I sat on the lawn and gave my legs a rest while watching the people come and go at the BK across the lot.

I headed for home and put a 15 to 20 mph tail wind to work for me. I was going to stop at Jackie's in Maple Grove on the way home but I really needed to get to Shakopee before the traffic got too busy on 101. It was a fun ride home but I was ready to call it a day. I came in at just over 100 miles. Here's an overview of the trip.

I spent Saturday out at my mom's place taking care of some loose ends outside for her. Her gutters were sagging in spots so I took the old ones down and put up some new ones...the same type she had. Nothing expensive but she just wants the water diverted away from her flower beds below. I also took out her old landscape lights as they were falling apart and some weren't working. I put in some solar lights for her so she doesn't have to mess with replacing broken bulbs. She was so thankful and it was nice to see her so happy. I really need to make myself more available for her. She's so giving and I need to be more like her.

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