Sunday, May 25, 2014

I'm Quite Sure I'm Not Within the Norms

Welcome back, heat! We've missed you!

I finally got someone to come out and perform maintenance on our underground sprinkler and reroute one of the zones that was obliterated in last year's porch and deck addition project. I went with CGT Limited in Lakeville. Out of three inquiries I made to local businesses, they were the only ones who got back to me. I put the system in 22 years ago when I had our home built but I've lost my desire to do that sort of work anymore and am happy to pay someone else to get the job done.

I've had the itch to take my Mukluk down to the river and play around on the trails but I've been reluctant to because I was lacking a way to get it down there other than ride it. I could do that and have done it a number of times but I'd been wanting to get a bike rack for my car. I researched some bike forums and Amazon before settling on a Saris Freedom rack. Erik's Bike in Burnsville had one in stock. I like it. It mounts via a trailer hitch that I had installed just for it. Here's a profile view of the bike rack.

One of the reasons I chose Saris was for their optional extra-wide tire beds to accept the fat tires of my Mukluk. My only concern is that it would be so easy for anybody with a wrench to undo the one bolt that holds it to the hitch and walk off with it while I'm out on the trails. Tammy (and a previous comment on my blog) suggested keeping it in the back of the car while I'm out. I just may.

This was our weekend to go flower shopping and get them planted. It's always a big undertaking once we get started and we definitely missed our truck but we managed. Our first stop is typically Gertens in Inver Grove Heights. They've got the best selection of flowers and shrubbery around but they're also the busiest. We got there around 10:00 Thursday morning and felt glad just to find a parking spot. It was so crowded. I can't imagine what the place is like on a Saturday and I'll never know.

We made quick work of finding the necessary 5 hanging baskets we came for then headed toward the checkouts knowing we'd have to brave the crowds once more for however many flats of flowers we could fit in the back of our Forester. Still, we always enjoy this time spent together and it was a beautiful day to be out and about. Coldplay's new release, Ghost Stories, made for nice background music throughout the day.

After our 2nd trip to Gertens we went to Terra Garden Center just to the south of us. What a relief to walk in there. They had nowhere near the crowds that we experienced at Gertens and it was so much more enjoyable—but the selection isn't as good.

I'd post photos of our flower beds here but there's really not much to see yet. Give me a month. A photo of ferns will have to suffice. The photo to the left is of some ferns I transplanted to the side of our house over the last couple of years. They're taking off nicely in their new home.

I got a chance to try out my bike rack on Friday morning. I loaded up my Mukluk and headed down to the river for a couple hours of trail riding. It was such a beautiful morning. I posted the photo (below) of my muddied Mukluk to Facebook with the caption "Somebody slap me if I ever start acting my age!" I'm not sure what the mindset of a nearly 57-year-old is supposed to be but I'm quite sure I'm not within the norms and that's okay.

Some photos from my ride...


BaldEd said...

Hi Kevin,
I'm a retired ATCO in New Zealand. I've been following your interesting blog for quite a while. I have a similar interest to you in cycling. I have both a MTB and a touring hybrid. I transport my bikes around using a trailer hitch and on arriving at my ride start just take the bike rack off and store in my car - this is quite easy to remove as the hitch is one of those heavy duty 2" square tube types that are inserted into a sleeve on the vehicle and retained by a large pin and wire retainer.
Cheers, Eddie

Kevin Gilmore said...

Hi Eddie and thanks for your kind words.

My plan was to do exactly as you described but then I found a locking pin online sold by the manufacturer of my bike rack. It replaces the pin that came with the rack. I may get a chance to try it out in the next couple days. The trail I usually ride down along the river has been flooded over in spots for the past couple weeks so I've not been down there lately.

How long did you work ATC before retiring? It would be interesting to compare notes sometime.

Best to you and thanks for reading!